Friday, October 10, 2014

The Last Cowboy Song: the end of the meet and greets

On Life and Love After 50 Newsletter

by Thomas P. Blake      October 10, 2014

The end of the Meet and Greets

For two and a half years, Tutor and Spunky’s, my Dana Point, California, deli has sponsored a Meet and Greet on the last Thursday night of each month for singles age 50-plus and beyond, in some cases far beyond. People in their 90s have attended and one nice gentleman, Dave, at age 92, met his significant other there.

Attendance has varied to a high of 120 to a low of about 20, which was the dismal number two weeks ago at the September Meet and Greet. I think only four men attended. The average attendance was usually 45-50.

As far as I can determine, about 15 couples have formed as a result of meeting there. It’s hard to get an exact count because what happens is once a couple gets together, they don’t return. One guy I saw in the Post Office who had attended a few times said he didn’t attend anymore because his new main squeeze didn’t want him to be socializing with other women.  

At every Meet and Greet, the women always outnumbered the men by at least two-to-one, but at times by four or five-to-one. There was one exception. Four months ago, the men outnumbered the women by more than two-to-one. I knew something strange was brewing that night when the first nine people to arrive were men.

I mentioned that phenomenon in my local newspaper article. At the next gathering, new women poured through the door while the men recoiled so we ended up having a lopsided women-to-men ratio. That may have been the beginning of the end.

It is a fact of life that women always outnumber men at singles functions for people ages 50, 60, 70 and 80. Most women accept that fact but there are others who don’t understand. At each event, we usually have a break in the action when new people can come to the microphone and introduce themselves. I recall when a woman took the microphone and instead of saying something like, “Hi, I’m Susie, I live in Dana Point and have been a widow for five years,” she said, “Where are all of the decent men?”

I quickly took the microphone from her and suggested she needed to have a more positive attitude. She stomped out and later emailed me that she had never been so humiliated in her life. She never came back.

This week, I received an email from Jean, who attended the September Meet and Greet. Jean wrote, “I wanted to comment on something said to a group of women at a table with one of the men. Dick said that there were at least 10 men he knew of who were staying home because the women clustered together, dressed for one another and came to hear each other, while the men came to meet ladies. I told Dick that I attend to hear male conversation but have never met anyone I have been smitten with. I simply think the gals are dressed up anyway and make the best of an evening visiting with one another sitting in groups. I personally attend alone but have been joined by a female in the past.”

I emailed back to her that the guy Dick she commented about usually sat with three or four of his buddies and barely ever acknowledged a woman. So there you have it.

One new woman who attended September’s event came in and wanted me to turn the TV on to the MLB (Major League Baseball) Network so she could watch Derek Jeter’s last game in Yankee Stadium. I apologized for not subscribing to the MLB. She disappeared in an instant, perhaps making her way across the parking lot to the sports bar where the 20 to 30 year old crowd hangs out.

Our October Meet and Greet will be the last one, at least until next spring. In ending two and a half years of Meet and Greets, I can’t get a song out of my mind that The Highwaymen sang (Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristoffersen, and Waylon Jennings), titled, “This is the Last Cowboy Song.”

This is the last cowboy song:
The end of a hundred year waltz.
The voices sound sad as they're singin' along.
Another piece of America's lost.

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