Over 80? Ready For Romance? Get Tips On Dating!
By Ellen Weiss
I am an 89 year old widow. Also an author, with a book, More To Come, out soon, all about living and loving in old age. In it, I tell my story, at least the first part. Then I tell all—about dating, and dancing, and enjoying love—after that. And I am going to share it all with Lustre readers, here.
I had been married 63 years, when my husband, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, died of Alzheimers. Five days later, I learned of his 25-year affair with his technician. I’d thought we’d had a near-perfect marriage. Boy, was I wrong.
I mourned and moaned—and then went off to find someone new, and better.
I like to think my recent lunch with a dashing 101 year old man held promise. We were at Bellevale, a high-end retirement community known for handsome interiors and great food in the mother building, cozy apartments adjoining. Ronald is witty, charming, well-mannered. If gently prodded, he will break into song, “Sweet Little Alice Blue Gown” his favorite. Any woman would enjoy time spent with him. His age is irrelevant, believe me.
We’d had four dates a year ago, so it was easy to imagine this as a date—but I knew better.
To back-track: December 2017, daughter Marisa, sitting in her dentist’s chair, was not thinking teeth. “Ernie, you know everyone—do you know someone for my mother? She’s special—and lonely.” Ernie and his assistant whispered together. “Marisa,” Ernie said, “We’ll get back to you.” They did, and two weeks later, Ronald Falls drove up to my front door, and we were off to lunch at a local old-world Italian bistro. Tall and straight, he managed—albeit slowly, no cane, and led me up to the entrance.
“May I order you wine, or a cocktail?” Ronald asked as he signaled for the waiter. I nodded. “She’ll have what I’m having,” he said with authority. Ordinarily I’d skip the alcohol but I wanted to appear rather more sophisticated than I actually am. I just hoped I wouldn’t get tipsy.
We talked non-stop—about family, Gilbert and Sullivan, tax audits, old loves. Lots of laughing, and lots of G&S patter.
I was having a great time, this was promising.
We met again, three times more, the last at Bellevale, his home base. That’s when I knew this was not going anywhere. Women, one after another, good-looking, some quite svelte, stopped by our table, for a few coy words, a pat on the arm, toothy smiles. Ronald had company enough there at his elbow, to keep him happy without taking one step beyond the main door.
We’d had a good time together (though I’d laughed more than he). I think at bottom he was looking to keep on the good side of a dentist he depended on to maintain his chompers in good order.
A year later I was visiting an old friend, recently widowed, grateful to have been settled in a place as agreeable as Bellevale—and bumped into Ronald. Warm words, and an invitation to join him the following week, the ‘date’ this story started with.
So there I was again, seated in one of the several select dining rooms, and as I should have expected three different well-dressed, smiling widows stopped briefly to say hello, interrupting Ronald’s serenade from Call Me Madam”: …”I hear music and there’s no one there…”
‘I did hear music but no romance was there,’ tra la la…
Ah me, back on the road. Next?
Ellen Weiss is the author of a forthcoming book, More to Come. She is also the author of Secondhand Super Shopper, and, with her daughter Marisa Weiss, of breastcancer.org fame, of Living Well Beyond Breast Cancer. She is proficient at JDate.