Archive for May, 2010

Finding A Man After 50 and Knowing When to Let Go

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

If you believe in senior dating fairy tales — something we’d all like to believe in — it’s possible for all of us to live very happily ever after. It may not be easy. We may meet a lot of frogs along the way who won’t turn out to be princes when we kiss them. But if we persist and push the right dating buttons, we’ll finally meet a man who likes our looks — even though we’re not 21 anymore — and is ready, willing, and eager to date us.

Enid met Len on a dating website. He liked her picture. She liked his. She liked his well-written profile, too. He sounded like a winner and she enjoyed their first date and those that followed. What she didn’t like was his gradual increased pattern of pleading poverty. At first, he had pulled out his wallet with alacrity. But after he saw her Lexus and her well-appointed condo, the retreat from tab-taking began and persisted. His explanation: “I’ve got a pension from my old job, but it’s not very big. But between that and Social Security and the occasional odd job, I get by.” But not enough, it seemed, to pick up restaurant tabs (anyway, he said, he preferred home cooking) or even movie tickets.

Still he told interesting stories of his days in the merchant marine and the Navy, and it was nice to have a man around the house (and in her bed), even if she’d thought her cooking days were over. But sometimes it got embarrassing. Like birthday parties for her grandchildren to which (“Oh, gosh!” as she rang the bell) he always forgot to bring a birthday present. So the first year was great, the second year his naval battles began to get boring, and by the third year Enid had begun to feel the relationship was a mistake she should have ended long ago.

End it, finally, she did. But her regrets aren’t over. “I wasted three years,” she said. “I kept thinking he was the wrong man, but I didn’t do anything about it.” But then she added, “Oh, well. There were some good times. No use moaning and groaning. I’ll just have to do better next time.” She will if she persists, persists, persist.

Boomer Dating: “I just got pinned at 84.”

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Yogi Berra was right: “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” So any woman who decides at 50, or  60, or 70 — or even 80 — that her dating days are over needs to consider the good and happy life of my friend Charlotte. Charlotte lost her husband 15 years ago, but decided shortly thereafter that she didn’t like being alone one bit. She answered an ad in her local newspaper and that was followed shortly thereafter by a phone call that led to a long and happy ten year relationship.

But nothing is forever and just before their 10th “anniversary,” her “almost husband” (neither had seen any point in getting married) took seriously ill and was moved to another state by a son who felt that his father’s care would be too much for Charlotte. Sadly, she agreed, but soon discovered that one thing hadn’t changed. She still didn’t like being alone. “I have lots of friends,” she told me, “and I love you. But the truth is, I miss male companionship.”

I’m a natural-born matchmaker and I thought immediately of Marvin. We played bridge occasionally and he had recently lost his wife. He was four years older than Charlotte and was  in good health. The fact that he still played golf was pretty good proof of that. So at the first opportunity, I told him, “I know a very lovely woman I’m sure you’d like.” When he growled, “I’m not ready,” I simply said, “Okay, tell me when you are.” Two months later, he told me quietly, “I’m ready.”

He was and so was she. What started with a date for dinner is now a full-fledged relationship.  Full pledged, too. Last week he sat beside her on the couch, slipped a small packet out of his pocket, and said, “Go ahead, Charlotte.  Open it.” Inside she found something he’d saved for 70 years — his gold high school graduation ring.

It was too big, but she had a jeweler rectify that, and she wears it proudly. “I never thought,” she smiles, “that I’d be pinned at 84.” Like I said, Yogi Berra was right. No matter what your age, “it ain’t over ’til it’s over.”