Over 80 and Still Dating! Part II of Ellen's Excellent Adventures
Jdate has just sent me an urgent message:
WOW—Look at you!
No, really: Other Jdaters are looking at you!
Here’s someone who just checked out your profile.
A handsome well-dressed gentleman of 71 stares back at me, from Knoxville, TN. He’s looking for a woman between 60 and 75, within range of Knoxville.
Why oh why does Jdate do this?
We know why—they want to keep me paying their monthly fee, tempted by a flow of male faces, teasing me into fantasizing that my charms will lure this man to my side, from thousands of miles away, overlooking all my imperfections, limitations, age differential, what have you.
It’s all sales pitch. I imagine an immense space filled with desks and computers and cell phones—and countless men and women selling the brand. Coming up with peppy slogans, fake cheer.
“Can’t wait to hear from you!”
“Where’ve you been all my life?”
Do they get rated by the number of hits? A bonus for when a couple actually meets? What if they marry—and contact Jdate for hurrahs?
Do bells chime? Does the Jdate staff break out the booze, and dance in the aisles?
That’s one side. The other side: Luring lonely old ladies—and men—into fanciful possibilities, holding out dreams of love and romance, keeping hope alive for a blissful future. Dream-Catcher.
Why not push that dream? It does happen. I’m living proof.
Column One introduced me and my husband who died of Alzheimer's after 63 years marriage, to Lustre friends.
I mourned and moaned and then eventually went looking for a new Mister Right, ready to move on, live my life—short, long, whatever.
This is Column Two: Hopeful.
The first step for me was to check out old friends, longtime widowers, to explore possibilities. Friends, nothing more. My daughter Alice tried to set me straight:“Those men are done! You have to go where the men are lonely, where they’re still looking for a woman in their lives. Yeah! Jdate.”
“No,” I said. “That's not me, parading my wares.”
Natalie, a recovering widow like me, had one word for me: Jdate. “It’s a way to meet decent men without going bar hopping.
“Thanks but no thanks,” I said.
And then my ophthalmologist gave me orders:
“Get yourself on Jdate, where my mom met a great guy. You’ve got years ahead of you—stop wasting time.”
So that’s how at last I landed on Jdate—I always listen to my doctors.
I composed the profile: “I’m loyal, honest, light-hearted, pot belly but few wrinkles, fan of old movies, Robert Caro.”—and waited, and waited, and waited—for a stream of interesting men to respond. Finally a date, but no chemistry. Then a couple of ‘flirts’ that went nowhere.
My subscription was about to end when SmartOneFunny showed up on my screen:
“You appear to be someone I would be interested in knowing, but I told Jdate no one more than 25 miles away and you’re 100 miles further!”
I don't know why Jdate does this.
“We can however, be Pen Pals.”
Pen Pals? I wanted a lover, not a Pen Pal. But no one else was bidding. (His photo did have a winning dimpled smile, and he too had mentioned Robert Caro.)
So I seized the day and the invitation, and we started a series of emails, getting to know one another. Phil: an engineer who’d established a student court to keep kids out of real court, mediator for troubled couples, stories about his loving mother, Steve Martin’s Great Flydini.
This was too good to let drift. We had to meet: Connect or cut bait. And connect we did—and soon after I met family and friends at his 90th birthday party.
“The love of my life,” he averred—and his three children concurred. (Credit verbs to W. S. Gilbert.)
Phil’s heart held out—as did his passion, but late stage kidney disease called the tune, and he was gone shortly before birthday 93.
And I’m back on Jdate, ordered there this time by Phil’s caring daughters, obeying Phil’s last wish, composing a new style profile:
“I pay my full share of taxes, and I’ve been a volunteer in tax assistance for low-income taxpayers. I’m a life-time member of Hadassah, I love dogs, I tip at least 20%. I warn children on bikes to put on helmets, and keep my eye on the kids out in deep water. I think I’m entitled to more loving, still, as all of us are. Age not in the equation.”
Who will that profile lure?
I’ll keep you posted—and you keep me in your loop. Tell us your dating stories, in the comment section. Share through Lustre.
Let’s enjoy life together.