Friday 29 September 2023

Don’t Need Nothing (Sic) But a Good Time by Angela James, Gin Fizz

Message: Welcome to the MeetMarket!

Sharon’s 21 year old son, Austin, sets up a profile for me on a dating app. My 40 year self is pitched as bubbly and fun. Every uploaded photo so far features cleavage and/or alcohol.  

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My profile is a real crowd pleaser. I don’t know how to restrict the age range so I am hearing from men in their 70s all the way down to guys barely in their twenties.  The young ones are brazen, even after I respond that, back in my day, youngsters treated their elders with respect (ok I know that response isn’t exactly discouraging).

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I unread message

Looks like the MeetMarket should rename itself the MeetTinyBodega. I cannot believe I just received a message on there from my ex.  His profile touts his commitment to equality (ha!) and his hatred of drama (even bigger ha!). 

1 MeetCuteVideo with Serpico76

I am excited about one of my prospects. Mike (aka Serpico76) is both smart and funny and has that specific Mediterranean look that prompts arguments about whether the person looks more Jewish or Italian.  

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I stupidly give my bank lady enough information to pull up my dating profile. I feign confusion when she frets that my profile does not sound like a lady a man would bring home to his parents.  The last thing I want to explain to this sweet older woman is that I already have parents. My marriage excavated my soul. Casual is good for now.

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I am learning not to open messages that have photo attachments with the first message sent. Some of these guys don’t even have photos of their faces on their profiles but they are sending me shots of their junk.

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I am so sleep-deprived from talking to Mike (Italian! Mystery solved!) for hours every night.

New message from Serpico76: looking forward to finally seeing you this evening!

Mike has such strong arms and his little belly makes a delightful thwacking sound when I pat it.  

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Meeting with my divorce lawyer today. His smooth confident baritone makes me feel like I am a child being carried in burly arms.  When he says I should warn people about how bitter I am, I offer to update my profile byline to: “Bitter? Or an Acquired Taste?” He gives a hearty laugh with his head thrown back.

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I can’t stop obsessing over the fact that I am still being physically faithful, technically anyway, to my ex when he wasn’t even faithful when we together.

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So here we are, decades after the start of the AIDS epidemic and Mike refuses to wear a condom. Apparently, his equipment simply will not work if forced to wear one. I am cursing myself for staying married so long that I am dealing with temperamental middle-aged penises.  I remind him I am not on any other birth control. He climbs onto my back, says, “We’ll just do it this way instead,” and plows ahead with the act Bible scholars think is condemned at Romans 1:26, without even asking.

New Message from Serpico76: I had a great time with you last night. Thank you so much for your hospitality :) Can’t wait to see you again.

Coffee with Sharon this morning. She says Amanda got a call from Public Health that a guy she had slept with has HIV so she needs to be tested. Sharon crinkles her nose, telling me Amanda admitted she barebacked the guy after meeting him online.

Once back at the office, I make an appointment to be tested for every possible STI, telling the receptionist my ex had been a cheater (well he was).  

MeetMarket email: Log Back in and See Who is Waiting to Hear From You!

Mr. Don’t-Mind-Me-I’ll-Just-Help-Myself has been leaving texts and voicemails. I am waiting a couple of weeks to do the tests because of the incubation periods. That is a long time to sit tight and stress.  

MeetMarket email: Come Back! We Miss You!

I pick up the phone today when Mr. Don’t-Mind-If-I-Do! calls. I am stressed and he is in no position to judge me. How is it I end up comforting him about his likelihood of getting any diseases from me?

MeetMarket Email: Free Upgrade Available!

Mr. Roman-Hands-and-Russian-Penis is being surprisingly sweet in his efforts to cheer me up. He is providing a lot of good advice for me regarding a work situation too. 

MeetMarket Email: See Time Limited Offer!

I have my blood etc. taken this morning. Although the doctor says that generally “no news is good news”, she agrees I will get confirmation when the results are back.  

MeetMarket Message: Are You Sure You Want to Delete Your Profile?

I was going to let him stew but Mr. Su-Culo-es-Mi-Culo is delighted to hear about my results. He can now be confident he didn’t get anything from me. I, on the other hand, will need to get tested again in a couple more months. 

Message from phone: Are you sure you want to delete this app?

Mr. Shake-for-me-girl-I-wanna-be-your-backdoor-man tells me with sad eyes that he is getting back together with his wife. Maybe watching me worry about VD scared him straight. He says he is so sorry he does not have more to offer me and he hopes I will be careful because there are so many creeps out there.

 About the author


Angela James is a writer who has intentions to emerge. She resides in a small community in Ontario, Canada with her spouse and many pets. 


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