Dating after the age of 50 has us concerned about our crow’s feet, muffin tops, boob droop or as the late, great Nora Ephron so elegantly fretted, “I feel bad about my neck.” One of my favorite lady peeps, Big T (for BIG personality and opinions), says, “There’s not enough lube at Walmart to make me want to date that!” about most of the men we swipe off our Tinder screens. Seriously, you want to hear squeals of laughter on a Friday night from your posse? Start Tindering and comparing notes about these male hotties who are missing a few teeth and neglect to scour the mold off that ’80s shower curtain in the background of their poorly-lit selfies.
When it comes to dating, I’m low maintenance–but I’m not NO maintenance.
Are we gals perfect? Not at all. But I like to think among my circle, based on our dating records, intelligence, presentable social skills and superb personal grooming above and below the equator, that we have something to offer men who’ve moved past the Peter Pan stage and into adulthood. The couple of Peters (and I say that with almost a straight face) I’ve encountered in my dating pool said they were looking for a relationship–but forgot to add that it looks like the ones they had in junior high. Sorry guys, an entire “relationship” conducted by text, including a booty call without ever having to verbally ask for it, doesn’t make our hearts flutter with anticipation.
It gets down to supply and demand in my community–straight men where I live have their pick of the litter, and the pup with the big eyes who leans forward, cocks her head to one side, listens to the big manly voice and whimpers at the right moment, goes home with a new daddy and a fluffy bed.
Once we’ve had a date, though, it’s not a lay up. What about the jackasses who ask all the right questions about our work, our children and grand babies, say they’re anxious to know more and ask us out for another date? They seal it all with a kiss and, perfect gentlemen, don’t force a tongue down our throats–but then they disappear for weeks–or sometimes forever. And these are guys whose backgrounds we’ve checked out like the FBI drills down on al-Qaeda.
I call it shiny thing syndrome–ooohhhh, look over there! That one’s blonder/skinnier/younger/fill in the blank. On to the next one.
Lest I sound bitter, I’m not. Really. I call it seasoned reasoning. I’m speaking collectively for all of my single peeps, as each one of us can tell a similar tale. Have we dated some good ones? You bet, and they’re the ones who keep us in the hunt, offering a peek at what it’s like to have a gentleman occasionally pay for our dinner, hold our hand, tell us we look pretty in that dress or slip an arm around our waist for a welcome squeeze (yes, BF, I appreciated every time you were present). Are there some shitty women who date a successful man for his bank account, and keep their options open for a guy with a bigger belt buckle? Of course. But I’m aware of far fewer of those in my world.
Then there’s the inexplicable thing called chemistry. Alpha J, a dear member of my posse, has been keeping company with a lovely gent for a year now. Problem is, while they enjoy the same wine, a fine meal often cooked together while laughing and talking about their week, he wants a relationship that resembles the long marriage he had in the past–with lots of togetherness–and sex. Alpha (so named by one of my guys who says she’s the only gal he knows that out-alphas ME) has been single most of her life. She welcomes the good times they share–but feels smothered when he presses her for more of her time, more of herself. She cares for him, but can’t see herself in his bed; she’s offered to step away completely so he can pursue the woman who DOES want it all. But the guy says he can’t imagine his life without Alpha in it, so he makes concessions to keep from losing her.
Isn’t that always the way? Haven’t we all been wooed by the one who seems unattainable, standing just an arm’s length beyond that brass ring? Operative word–brass. Not gold, dear readers, so we may be grasping for an alloy of copper and zinc versus something that’s solid and precious (just a metaphor as my peep Alpha IS golden). Thank god, I’m light years beyond looking at the unattainables as anything other than sport fishing.
But what sparked this post is that since the supply of available men is scarce, demand is up, so even a perv like mr. invisible can score with little effort and just a pinch of his boy scout demeanor thrown in. A friend who reported invisible’s dating status to me says he has a regular girlfriend who now goes to the same family physician that invisible and I shared for decades. Hope my former doc (the one who told me that invisible would never get well because his addiction was too ingrained) orders a full STD panel with the girlfriend’s next office visit.
Why does this story about my ex feel like an irritating pebble in the sole of my shoe? After all, he’s a man whose voice I’ve completely forgotten, although I can still conjure his eyes like black slits as he fixed me with his glare when I told him I knew about his secret life. The irritant is this: A man who lied about who he was every day during our marriage, who beneath the surface held no respect or love for me, has more dating options than I do.
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