Friday, August 7, 2015

Dating after 50 and beyond can be a challenge
On Life and Love After 50 newsletter  by Tom P. Blake

As I read the comments posted to our Finding Love After 50 Facebook group page, I am reminded of what a challenge dating after 50 and beyond, often far beyond (like 60 to 80), can be.

I often hear about dating woes from senior women: the guy who won't pay for the coffee, or who is dressed in his gardening clothes, or who talks non-stop about himself, all of these issues on the first date, or the guy who doesn't want to travel, for example. But dating can be difficult for men as well.

Last week, a friend of 57 years and I had a laugh about a date he had that illustrates my point. He had related this story to me a couple of years ago and I had posted it to one of my websites. Please don't judge it as being demeaning to women, I am simply illustrating that men don't always have a great experience either.

One would think with three million people in Orange County, California--where I live and my friend lives--that a 71-year-old man would be able to find a compatible mate here. My friend has dated a variety of women, hoping to find a permanent partner. But, after his experience, his prospect list shrunk by one.

My friend loves to dance; he says it keeps him sane and helps him stay in shape. He said, “Dancing just makes life work better for me.” Hence, we shall call him Dancing King.

Dancing King arranged to meet his date, a woman fairly close to his age, in the parking lot in front of Polly’s Pies Restaurant, near the Department of Motor Vehicles on Moulton Parkway, in Laguna Hills (I know precisely where this is because after I married my third wife at the Santa Ana, California, courthouse, that Polly's Pies is where we celebrated by having lunch).

Dancing King agreed with his date that she would leave her car in that parking lot and together they would drive to Newport Beach for dinner at a restaurant called Woody’s Wharf, a fixture for 41 years. Probably a 20-25 minute drive. Then, Dancing King would return her to her car and both would return to their respective homes.

The day after the date, Dancing King telephoned me and said, “I am down to one lady on my prospect list after last night's date. It was a Newport Beach night and things went badly when my date's vodka consumption caught up with her after we left Woody’s Wharf. She commented that most of the cars ahead of us had four tail lights. Fortunately, I was behind the wheel and I'd only had a glass of wine.”

Dancing King continued: “We dropped off the keys to her nearby rental property for her son-in-law at the Ritz Carlton Hotel hostess desk. She was fearful of meeting him in her state of inebriation and then was fearful of speaking to him or leaving him a message on the cell phone, but continued to fret and worry that he might not get the keys from the hostess.”

In the car, according to Dancing King, she continued to fret over and over again about the keys not being delivered to her son-in-law. Dancing King told her to please either phone the son-in-law or stop worrying because her ongoing rant was wearing him down.

Her reply: “I hate you.”

Dancing King turned toward her house instead of to where she had left her car. He safely got her to her condo at a well-known community for seniors. But, she couldn’t find her keys in her purse and poured the entire contents of her purse onto her front porch deck. Still no keys.

Dancing King said, “Unable to unlock her door, she crawled through her pet door into her house. I finished unloading the car. I opened her emptied purse one more time and found the keys in one of those small pockets inside where she had placed them an hour earlier.”

“I told her she could call her friend Jane, who lives nearby, in the morning and have Jane drive her to her car in the Polly’s parking lot, or, I would leave her $20 for a cab.

“She dropped the F-bomb and I left immediately. Tell me; is there any hope for this one?”

I replied, “Is the pet door large? Does she own a Great Dane? Or, is she just petite? Any woman who is athletic enough to crawl through her pet door might be a good salsa dancer so perhaps consider giving her another chance.”

He said, "You've got a point there."

I've never had to crawl through a pet door, but I've broken a key off in my lock. We're all human. They've had a few dances together since, usually spotting each other across the floor. They dance well together, but never has a word been mentioned about the Newport Beach night.

Senior dating in Orange County or, anywhere for that matter, isn’t exactly a snap for men either.
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