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, instead of her Sally who had met Harry a decade earlier, around the time I immigrated to the United States. someday,” Sally is barely 30 and sporting a sassy hair cut that in 1989 should have worked with my natural curls. Some are minor - I don’t have sensible hair, and I spend a fortune colouring it and trying to tame it.

Yes, my next chapter could be the stuff of a Nora Ephron rom-com. It gives me no pride to tell you that I subsequently carried in my wallet, for several years - maybe a decade - a page from a glossy magazine that featured Ryan’s many haircuts. Fonts matter in ways they shouldn’t - if I don’t like the lettering on a store sign, I won’t shop there, and Comic Sans on homework assignments forces me to question the teacher’s judgement.

The circumstances around my husband’s death shattered my sense of certainty and made me cautious. A fragile guardedness reminiscent of a temperamental garage door. A quick study, I had filed away the important bits - he was a liberal, a non-smoker, and a music-loving musician who was divorced and had a little girl. Who knew if his pictures were current or if he had built his entire profile on a foundation of fibs?

At the end of the day, it’s all about survival and control. You get the idea, and you’ll therefore understand why I abandoned the idea of online dating - or it abandoned me. I dismissed the interest in football (the American kind, for God’s sake) and golf (eye-roll), hoped he meant it when he checked “no preference” on hair colour, and held on to his mention of integrity - and the picture of the Harley Davidson. He said he worked out every day - of course he did, who doesn’t? Maybe he didn’t really like Bob Dylan (a deal-breaker) and maybe he went to the gym thrice daily.

It would be fun, they said, a way for me to reintroduce myself to the world as the single woman I used to be in the days before smart phones and texting and instant gratification.

He was sitting at the bar, staring ahead, and I watched him watch me out of the corner of his eye as I walked the plank all the way from the front door to where he sat. In spite of all the tactics and algorithms deployed to make sense of our checked boxes and declare us a 100 per cent match, and being declared “official” by Facebook and the young bartender who thinks we’re photogenic enough to be “the desert Obamas”, we are making this match right here, right here where angels fear to tread, in the messiness of the middle of two lives that collided at the best and worst of times.

Even though I know you’re not supposed to have any expectations, I had prepared myself to be let down and lied to, but my instinct told me that the man at the bar was not going to lie to me and that I would not lie to him. Virtuality was becoming reality and although I was sceptical - sorry, musicians, but you have a reputation to uphold - I was also smitten. Having read and committed to memory the FAQ section of the online dating site, I knew this was another red flag.

If I have been somewhere at least eight times, I can get there without much assistance, but until such times, I must lean on Google maps, Siri, my daughter reading directions from the phone that is smarter than both of us, and those friends and colleagues who consistently “bring me in” by phone from my destination - where they are already waiting. I almost learned from my ordeal with breast cancer to be kinder and more patient. #ITook AChance Ignoring the raised eyebrows and the sage advice from online dating sites which would deem his boldness a red flag, I broke protocol.

My teenage daughter will attest that I have yet to reach a level of proficiency in either area. Without any protracted emailing phase, I agreed to meet the tall and forward stranger the next afternoon. Still, disenchanted by dating - online and off - I half-expected Mr Forward to be five feet tall and 95-years-old.

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