Skip to main content

If You Like Pina Coladas...

A young work associate and I were discussing dating.  "It's so hard", she moaned.  "All the guys act like The Situation or Paulie from The Jersey Shore.  They never stop checking out their phones or texting. You just can't meet a nice guy who wants to have a CONVERSATION."  I thought about that for a moment and offered this:

Imagine the lush African plains.  There are rivers and lakes, where all species of animals, birds and reptiles have plenty of water and live together peacefully. Now, think about that same African Plain during the dry season.  The lakes have dried up to muddy puddles and only the most aggressive animals get to lap up whatever swill is left.

That's the difference between the dating pool in your twenties and at my age.

Last Saturday night I was alone with nothing to do so I decided to go to the movies. A $20 investment in temporary happiness-my ticket, a soda and a popcorn with extra butter. The long line in front of me to buy tickets included families, groups of gal-pals, and, of course, couples out to see the thrillers and horror films that have you cringing into your date's shoulder. As luck would have it, the only movie I was interested in sold out right before I got to the front of the line, leaving me popcorn-less and dateless. I went home, feeling a bit frustrated. I really wanted that popcorn. And someone to share the calories with.

I will admit, that only recently have I even thought about who's out there in the man world. Having gone to Yankee Stadium in July and seeing 20,000 or so men in the same place at the same time made me wonder how many of them were there looking to catch a Derek Jeter foul ball or looking for a woman who liked baseball. I use to be that kind of woman with Wingman.  I probably could be again.

My approach to meeting men up to this point was like my sons' approach to college was.  The right one will find me. What we learned was that looking for a college and finding the one that you won't want leave after the first semester takes work. Like my sons looking for colleges, I wished there was a computer program to find the right fit in a man-one that would make me happy and not regret the choice.

Like an on-line dating website.

Wait, did I really just say that? Better yet, did I mean it or was it just a temporary lapse of reason?

Having just seen pictures of Wingman's cousin and her man up in Newport on vacation, I thought yes.  She is a beautiful, 6 foot tall ex-NYC cop, who found an equally tall, sweet, teddy-bear-of-a-guy on-line. She found her soul mate. I'm just looking for someone to hold the popcorn while I eat it. So, with a glass of wine and cheese curls in place of the soda and popcorn in hand, I searched.

There is a dating site just for people over 50.  It comes with a homepage complete with warnings not to send money to any Nigerian princes who happen to be trolling for princesses, not to let strangers into your home, and a couple of other generic warnings. But the site had a free trial, so I filled out my profile. And it wasn't like anyone else's I read.  Like: What makes you a good partner?  "I was married for 30 years before Wingman died.  Enough said?" Or, About the one you looking for? "If you're filling a void while looking for a trophy girlfriend, don't waste my time." Nothing like an honest beginning I reckoned.

Sunday had me back at work with the same young associate.  I told her I signed up for the free trial, and on our break, I showed her the site.  She showed me how to find guys in our area, and we both laughed for a good hour.  First we found a doppelganger for the teacher in"Clueless", followed by a midget Unibomber, a native American with bigger pecs than mine, ones taking selfies in the bathroom with open toilets behind them, and guys whose profile names were "Eyesalwayslookin" "Funcatch32" and "Luv4MILFS". Right, dream on, dreamers. Finally, a good looking beach guy from the next town caught both our eyes.  Then I saw him...


The homeless guy.  Someone I knew from ages ago.  Someone I once had as a client, before his wife threw him out and his kids refused to have anything to do with him.  Someone who tried to rent an office from another client as long as he could also live there. A man with such a high, squeaky voice that I'm not sure he ever went through puberty. Someone who dies his hair and beard. And at the same time we were looking at him, a pop-up came up that he was looking at me.

"Make him go away" I moaned.

She flashed through a couple of more, and then it happened again.


The nose picker.  A man I see in church every Sunday.  The person you never want to shake hands with in the Sign of Peace.

"I can't do this" I cried.

In the end, my associate agreed that she had it better than me.  And today, I cancelled my free membership without finding out who the 122 views to my profile, 20 messages, 7 flirts, 2 liked photos or 1 fave came from. Curiosity killed better cougars than me.

Like looking at colleges, I've seen the good (hey, 7 flirts in a few days is pretty cool) the bad (if I read one more profile about men who like to walk on the beach or snuggle in front of a fire, I'll vomit in my mouth) and the ugly (men who were "matched" to me that I have no more in common with other than we both stand upright).

No, what I need now is a refresher course in romance. Or at least some buttered popcorn. 


Popular posts from this blog

I'm Too Sexy For My Shirt

Wingman use to call me many things. Obstinate. Overcritical. Certainly bitchy. I even recall on our wedding day that he called me "beautiful". But that was a one-time happening, and I don't recall him ever crooning Eric Clapton"s "You Look Wonderful Tonight" after that. So it comes as no surprise that he never called me "sexy".

And I get it.  When I went to school in NYC, a couple of my friends were stopped by Eileen Ford and asked to come to her agency to model.  They were cute, and one was even, in an exotic way, sexy even back then.  But not me. I was and always will be, fine with how I look.

There were some things over the years that got me when I stopped dying my hair and grew it out to donate for a wig.  As part of a lecture that I did on The Avon Walk For Breast Cancer, I had my beautician come in and cut my waist-long hair short. The following Sunday at church, I was a Eucharistic Minister, which at a Catholic Mass is a re…

'Cause Baby You're A Firework. Come On Show Them What You're Worth

Five years ago today, I stood in a hospital room strewn with used syringes, rubber gloves and other medical waste, looking at the lifeless body of the man that I shared a life with for over 30 years. I should have been thinking of family, love and loss.  Instead, my first thought was, "Wow, I'm a widow now." Pretty pathetic in retrospect, and when Wingman referred to me just before I left him as "The Bitch", probably not too far off the mark.

But in time-warped speed just a half hour before that, I had already talked to the hospital twice, woken son #3 up to go over to the hospital with me, called Wingman's brother on the way, fought with a gimpy legged night watchman who wouldn't let us in the hospital, and finally took "that meeting" in a small private room where the doctor told my son and I that they did everything possible, but unfortunately (UNFORTUNATELY???) Wingman had passed. My brain was filled with what to do, who to call, …

But She Use To Have A Carefree Mind Of Her Own, With A Devilish Look In Her Eye

The first time I went out with Wingman, he remarked about how much I reminded him of his mother.  When we finally met, I just didn't see it: she was a tall, chain-smoking blonde, with a Lauren Bacall-esque voice, while I considered myself just an average size brunette with no distinguishable qualities.

She and I began our own relationship with stories about our lives, and she won every round of "Can You Top This". At 10 years old, she helped deliver her brother when her mother went into labor at home. Later, her alcoholic mother walked out on the family and was never seen or heard from again, so she dropped out of school to help. At 19, she and her husband eloped, and thought no one knew.  A photographer however, took a picture of them outside City Hall which became the cover of the afternoon edition of the NY World Telegram. (Oops.) A couple of years later, her very pregnant self drove her father and his equally pregnant girlfriend to City Hall in Newark to MAKE them get…