‘Our discreet service’, ‘only genuine singles’, ‘romance starts here’. Elise sighed and signed up. In ‘partner profile’, she entered information potential dates would see. The other section was designed, the site said, to assist ‘deep compatibility indexing’. Some mumbo-jumbo about couple matching software made her want to laugh.

Her first date was with Adrian, a metal-worker from the country. He didn’t sound like her prospective partner but she decided to let the process take its course. They agreed to meet at a café in town.

She liked Adrian immediately. He was a nice guy. But she didn’t want a nice guy. She wanted special. Besides they seemed to have so little in common. He seemed fidgety, unsure of himself. After bumbling through a pleasant enough morning tea he finally said what they’d both been thinking, ‘I reckon that compatibility thingy needs tweaking.’

They started trying to work out what they’d said that could have matched them. He liked soccer. She hated sport. He was politically conservative. She was small ‘L’ liberal.

What about about education?’ said Adrian. ‘I’m doing a correspondence course in Ancient history.’

‘Oh, yeah,’ said Elise, laughing. ‘And I studied to be a podiatrist.’

Adrian’s face reddened. His jaw sagged

‘What?’

He gulped. ‘Our deep compatibility. You’re a podiatrist. And…well…I have a…you know…a thing about…well…feet.

2011—Richard Holt / small stories about love (smallstoriesaboutlove.wordpress.com)

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