It was a cursory glance at my email while my mother was patiently waiting for me to leave my apartment for dinner, that unbeknownst to me, changed my life in a very profound manner. After my best friend, my father, had passed away on September 7, my life appeared to be unraveling; I felt numb and indifferent to any of life’s pleasures.
My mom politely asked me what I was reading on my computer and I quickly replied, "An email from JDate." After being a member of JDate for a few years on and off with nothing to show for it but some funny stories that amused my friends, families, and co-workers, I noticed I received a Flirt from a gorgeous blonde girl. "I am looking at email from JDate, mom. This girl does not seem to be a nut job," I told my mother. I did not respond to the email, because I didn't want to be late for a belated family birthday dinner, so I calmly logged off and headed out for the evening.
The next morning, I redirected my focus to the unanswered JDate email by replying to my newfound admirer. An Instant Message session shortly ensued, followed by a late-night phone call until the small hours of the morning, and then a series of text messages. Finally, I met face to face with Marla on September 24.
The scene of the crime was Barrio Latino, a popular Aventura bistro in the Waterways shopping plaza. Despite the fact that I had a sneaking suspicion that Marla was different from my other JDate prospects, I refused to change my policy of never picking up a JDate in my car. I was still reeling from my first JDate a few years back, when a woman I had picked up cruelly ended the date after a few minutes by asking to be taken home and then slammed the door in my face.
But my date with Marla that evening would follow a very different course. When I first laid eyes on Marla as she parked the car, I could see she had a stunning figure and glowing blonde hair. As I approached her, it became more apparent that she did not only look great from afar, but was even more attractive up close.
As far as the actual date was concerned, Marla did not disappoint. The two glasses of Pinot Grigio and conversation flowed equally well. And after a short period of time, Marla held my hand. Moments later, she leaned forward and planted an innocent kiss. I had already asked her out for a second date, so perhaps she was feeling confident.
A month later, after a courtship that transpired at breakneck speed, Marla accompanied me to my father Hal's beachside memorial on Sanibel Island. When it was my turn to speak at the podium in front of my friends, family, and Hal's standing-room-only following, I spoke from my heart without notes.
"I lost my best friend - my dad - but he is still here with all of us... and I know he is up there looking after me by sending Marla to me after 43-plus years of bachelorhood."
Cut to my swimming pool in April 2009 when it appeared to be just another lazy day. I was well into my 20th crawl-stroke lap when Marla came down to spend the afternoon with me. I abruptly stopped swimming and summoned Marla to the edge of the pool. Marla was reluctant because she was looking for a chair, so I had to lie to her and tell her I was bleeding. When I finally cajoled her to meet me poolside, I reached into my pocket and handed her an engagement ring.
After realizing that I was proposing, Marla hysterically accepted my offer and on July 12, 2009 we entered our union as husband and wife, thanks to JDate, but more importantly, thanks to my father, Hal.
Scott & Marla