Dating during a Pandemic

March 30, 2020

          I received an email from Match.com today that contained some interesting words. I don’t’ know if they coined the phrases but I love them, especially “Social Recession.” They also gave advice about “Dating While Distancing” which amounted to don’t agree to meet anyone in person. They suggested to meet for cocktails on Zoom.

I’ve seen a definite upturn in the number of messages I’ve gotten in the last week. I can certainly understand that. People have a lot of time on their hands. Before the pandemic, I wanted to meet the fellows right away, rather than email and talk over the phone. I felt it gave them too much time to put up a “front” that wouldn’t match them when we met. I’m rethinking that idea.

It would be possible to meet at a park, if there weren’t many people around, and take a walk six feet apart. That might be difficult for the hard of hearing, many of whom refuse to wear their hearing aids. Or we could sit on opposite ends of a park bench. We could maintain social distancing if we leaned in far enough to shake hands, if we both wore gloves. Sex seems out of the question as I can’t imagine a position that kept us six feet apart.

Two guys asked for my telephone number but they haven’t called. They’ve been texting me. I’m not sure why. I find talking on the telephone much more interesting, informative and personal.

One of the texters is P. He texted me good morning, gave me some information about himself, but seemed more interested in having someone to check in with.

The other texter, S., asked me about relationships, kids, etc., but to me it’s hard to share important information and feelings during a text conversation.

I have another guy who is messaging me through the OK Cupid site. He says contradictory things and sometimes has poor grammar, so I’m thinking he may have hacked a user’s profile.

And Mr. I’m Not Really Married keeps contacting me through email and the OKCupid website. I was quite definite when I told him I would not see him until he was divorced. He keeps saying he loves me. And he messaged that he wanted to move in with me, paying some expenses. I guess he didn’t listen when I told him I was not interested in a 24/7 relationship and not to contact me until he was divorced.

Before we warned to stay inside, I did meet a great guy for coffee/tea. Unfortunately he wasn’t into me.

So even through I’m communicating with some guys, I don’t hold out much hope of sustaining a text relationship until we can meet. I notice none of them suggested FaceTime or Zoom. I’d have to have advance notice since I’m not into makeup or “doing” my hair these days. My dogs don’t seem to care whether I dress up or not.

I was thinking about going up to Munds Park in the middle of April, but I read in The Arizona Daily Sun that the Flagstaff Medical Center had reached capacity a few days ago. I don’t need to put a further burden on the health care situation, so I guess I’ll stay in Scottsdale until the situation up there improves.

I am missing human contact. My dogs give me affection, but it’s not the same as a hug from a human being. FaceTiming my kids and grandkids is not as satisfying as seeing them in real life. But I’m doing my part to stay home and stay safe. I hope all of you are too, so we can get through this pandemic faster.

 

 

Mr. Valentine

March 2, 2020

           I used to like Valentine’s Day until my second husband chose that day to tell me he wanted a divorce. I try to ignore the day now.

I got a message on an internet dating site on Valentine’s Day. The fellow’s profile seemed okay so I agreed to meet him at The Sugar Bowl, my favorite ice cream place in downtown Scottsdale. I had a luscious hot fudge Sunday with chocolate chip ice cream while he had a sandwich since he hadn’t eaten dinner. We talked and laughed and seemed to get along. We went across the street to Grimaldi’s for some cocktails. We had to wait for a table and spent some time talking with some women in their early forties about dating. We did a lot of laughing. He was quite attentive and gave me mucho compliments.

At the table, we continued to banter and laugh. I had two Mai Tais and was felling good but not high or drunk. I had to take a seven a.m. flight on Monday to Hobbs, NM and he offered to stay overnight and drive me the next morning. I just laughed, knowing it was too soon for that kind of involvement.

He walked me to my car, about three blocks away from the restaurant. He kissed me, which I invited. Then he tried more and I pushed him away. I smiled, got into my car, and drove home. He looked surprised.

He texted me the next day, anxious to sleep over before my flight. However, I woke up with a cold and started taking Zicam tablets (they work!) so I wouldn’t get a full-blown cold. I texted him that I was sick and I didn’t want to do any socializing before I left since I was trying o head off the cold. He texted me back once, then not again.

He was a Player, a guy who roams Internet dating sites in order to score. In other words, a guy who flatters women until he gets them in bed and then drops them. If the woman is not willing or available in the next few days, he goes on to the next.

I felt good about the date. I had a fun time on Valentine’s Day and expected nothing else.

If you’re up for an R rating book, check out my new one, Sex and the Single Senior, available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle.

Possibility Dashed

January 17, 2020

The New Possibility (NM) and I went out quite a bit the first few weeks. We went to dinner and I made him dinner. We watched the Ultimate Jeopardy Championship together. I suggested going to the Rhythm Room for music, but that wasn’t his thing. Okay, I could go with my friends.

My detective friend Marlene looked it up and found out he had not filed for divorce. Uh-oh. The first lie.

We had a date for a Friday night, but he canceled and wanted to go out Sunday night. I was concerned. Married guys are the ones who won’t go out on Friday and Saturday nights. He invited me to stay at his home on Sunday night, via a text. He also said he had downloaded my new book, Sex and the Single Senior and enjoyed the chapter about Mr. Scrabble.

Didn’t his wife live there? Wouldn’t it be awkward, to say the least? I thought it over and texted him about his wife being there. He answered that she would be in Las Vegas.

This caused more concerns. Was this guy separated from his wife and divorcing her? Or was I part of an arrangement they had that he could have affairs? I thought about it and texted back the next day that I was not comfortable with that. He texted back that he didn’t feel like socializing for the time being but that I was a very impressive person. What was the subtext of that remark?

I texted him the next day and thanked him for the compliment. I asked if he liked my book. He texted back that he didn’t. He emailed me this:

Why? Think of This-

Who would want to be in your company at the risk of ending up in a book?

 

That is true. I understand his concern. Writers like me use their personal experiences as fodder. I caught the anger in the email. I guess he expected a slam or a tell-all. So another possibility didn’t work out.

 

 

A New Possibility

January 13, 2020

A New Possibility

I’ve been passive in the Internet dating game, mostly waiting for guys to email me. If their profile says they are looking for a woman who is slim or athletic, I don’t consider those men possibilities as I am not slim or athletic.

I was matched with a fellow on the free OK Cupid site and agreed to meet him since he didn’t indicate a preference for slim women. He wanted to meet at a Fry’s deli, which I’d never had suggested before. When I got to the deli, quite close to my home, I was surprised that there was no soda machine, only coffee. When my date appeared, he was taken aback at the situation. He explained that the place had been remodeled since he’s last been there. Neither of us drank coffee.

So without beverages, we sat at a table and talked for more than an hour. He didn’t spill his guts about himself, which most men do on a first date. Instead, we spoke of current events. He didn’t have to ask me to explain any words I used, such a relief. I got good vibes from him and was happy that he wanted a second date.

He boosted my ego the next morning by texting that he was going to the library to check out one of my books to read. Here was a man who listened to what I said and valued my intelligence.

Our second date was at Panda Express. He wanted Chinese food because he’d read my travel blog on China. We again had a lively discussion which I thoroughly enjoyed.

He said he hadn’t been to a movie in ten years. I told him I go often. We agreed to see “Richard Jewell” the next day. He asked if he could pick me up at my house and I gave him my address.

When I mentioned this to a friend, she said I should Google him to make sure he wasn’t a felon. I did find out that he’d been the Deputy Chief of the Maricopa County Schools a while ago. I also saw his letters to the editors and op-ed pieces.

We both enjoyed the movie. I introduced him to my neighborhood restaurant, Randy’s. I worked up the courage to ask about what stage of divorce he was in. He looked a bit uncomfortable so I asked if he and his wife were still living in the same house. They were. Uh-oh.

I told him we could be friends, and do things together, but there was no possibility of a relationship as long as he was living with his wife. He understood but wasn’t pleased.

He texts me during the day as well as emailing me articles to read. I’m enjoying the attention. I do like him. I sure hope he changes his living situation. That would make him a definite candidate for a relationship.

 

 

The Single Senior Tries Bar Trivia

September 17, 2019

I love Jeopardy. I tape it every day. I attribute this love to my upbringing. We watched College Bowl as a family and played a version of it at the dinner table. My father, who was a genius, was the questioner. My younger brother was also a genius. In my experience, geniuses don’t like to lose intellectual competitions. We didn’t do teams. It was the three children against each other. My older sister and I were always pleased when either of us beat my brother. Family dynamics are fascinating.

I was a librarian for many years. When the game Trivial Pursuit came out, we librarians loved to test our recall of random facts. In those days, before the Internet, when people wanted particular information, they called or visited the library. So we librarians had lots of strange facts in our brains.

Last year, Pinewood Country Club had a Trivia Night in the bar. I had never been to one and didn’t know what to expect. I thought I would be able to find someone to play with, but everyone came with their own teams. I convinced the guy on the next bar stool to play the first part of the game with me, but after a while he figured he had better things to do and left. I still managed to take second place but the questions were not at all what I expected. Most were on popular culture and recognizing celebrity photos. I didn’t return.

This year, Agee’s BBQ has Trivia Night in their saloon on Wednesdays. Susan, a librarian as well as a good friend of mine, was visiting from the valley. She played trivia in a valley bar with other librarians so she was more in the loop than me. Again, most people were in teams of four, but we still managed to snag second prize that week. We each got $15.00 vouchers for Agee’s food. The winners got $25.00 vouchers. The team with the least right answers got free ice cream.

I talked up Trivia Night to my writing group and my book and book club. The next Wednesday I had a team. We didn’t win anything, but it was great fun. Annie Baxter’s team won after a playoff.

I’ll go to Trivia Night again at Agee’s, but only if I have a team. I did not feel comfortable doing it alone.

 

The Dog Days of Dating

September 17, 2019

August is known as the “Dog Days of Summer.” For me, it’s also “the Dog Days of Dating.” I haven’t had a date since breaking up with the Trucker in April.

I put myself back on Match.com, with more up-o-date photos. I wrote, “I’m an easy going person who enjoys going and doing as well as relaxing and talking. I’m an optimist who feels that service to others is part of life. I’m looking for a not-crazy, self-supporting guy to have fun with. If it turns into a relationship so much the better.” I thought that described me well. I asked to be matched with men 66-75 within 50 miles of Munds Park.

I looked through my “matches.” I eliminated guys on motorcycles, too young, or shorter than five feet six inches, thin, or fellows who wanted “an athletic and toned” woman. I indicated “like” on some, and emailed others. I only received one reply since I joined the site in June. And that man said he couldn’t see my photos.

I know the pool of single men in that age range and in this region is small, but I was flummoxed at the lack of replies to my emails. Were my photos unappealing? I’ll let you decide.

So if you know a great guy who meets my guidelines (not crazy, over five feet five inches, and self-supporting,) think about fixing me up with him.

I wrote this for my column in The Pinewood News. A man, from Munds Park, emailed me and said he’d like to meet me. We made a date for beers at The Pinewood Restaurant. He was good looking and personable. Then we got to talking and got three strikes: he let his two large dogs out to roam the neighborhoods and poop on other people’s properties, he didn’t like to read or listen to live music and he watched Fox News.

 

 

 

The Gal Pals Go Their Own Way

September 17, 2019

My first summer in Munds Park was in 2008. As a single person, I found it quite “coupled.” The couples were friendly with me but I was never invited for dinner or to accompany them for an outing. Eventually I found the “Gal Pals.”

I knew Donna because she lived across the street from me in Scottsdale. We hung out, but she was only there on weekends. We still have fun on Fridays, but she’s part of a couple now.

IMG_1444 (2)

Laura rented a home on Fairlane and I met her while walking my dogs. She was game to go to movies, music and hang out. I’m still friendly with her, but she hasn‘t rented in Munds Park for a few years.

Marian lived on Wintergreen. She knew Laura and went out with us. Marian and I became friends. That worked for a few years, but then she sold her house and started to travel the world.

Joan, another neighbor from Scottsdale, bought a place in Munds Park seven years ago. She was always up for an adventure, a meal out, or hanging out. She just sold her place so she won’t be around here.

IMG_1420

Myrna hung out with us, too. She was always up for a good time. But she just sold her place and moved back to Scottsdale.

IMG_2280_2498

I guess it’s time to round up some more Gal Pals.

 

 

 

 

The Single Senior Does Fourth of July Weekend

July 8, 2019

I had my granddaughter Charlotte, turning seven, and her other grandmother Terry up for the Fourth of July Week.

IMG_1405

One day we took a walk in the woods with my dogs. We entered the forest at Iron Springs Road. We sauntered along until we got to the sign that said the trail was a mile-long loop. I chose not to continue. I sat on a stump with Flossie lying at my feet. I inhaled the pine scent and reveled in the sound of the wind. I waited and waited. Finally I got a text from Terry that they had gone a mile and found another sign that said the hike was further on. They decided to head back but Pebbles, my eight-pound dog, was too tired to walk. Charlotte carried her all the way back to me. I carried her back to the cabin. She was fine after a drink of water.

IMG_1390

We went into town. We had lunch at Oscar’s Fiesta Burrito. Then we went next door to the Henna and Threading establishment. Charlotte chose her design and got a henna tattoo on her arm.When we returned to the cabin, we put up the Fourth of July decorations.

IMG_1395

Wednesday night we went to the Pinewood Country Club for dinner. I had matches and a candle that said “7.” I gave it to our waitress so she could decorate the Pinewood Cookie desert I ordered for after dinner. The desert came out and we sang “Happy Birthday” to Charlotte, but the pan and cookie were so hot, they melted the candle so Charlotte couldn’t blow it out. She loved the desert.

On Thursday Charlotte donned her red, white and blue dress and I put on my new t-shirt that said, “The Single Senior.” After breakfast at the Pinewood restaurant, Charlotte and I rode the Pinewood News float in the parade.

IMG_1406

We went to the kids’ carnival and then home for lunch.

The three of us went back to the Pinewood Country Club. Terry took Charlotte to the bounce houses and I got her a cotton candy. Then we all went swimming for a while, listening to the great music of J-Bad Band.

We went to the cabin to take showers and off to a barbeque. We were too tired to seek out a fireworks display so we watched “The Capital Fourth” on PBS to see fireworks.

They left on Friday and my cabin was suddenly quiet. After three weeks of grandchildren, I luxuriated in the solitude. I missed them but I was exhausted. I rested most of the day.

On Saturday, I went into Flagstaff for a writers’ meeting sponsored by the Flagstaff Public Library and learned how to do a podcast. After that, I drove to the Oakmont restaurant at the Continental Country Club because my favorite band, The Mother Road Trio, was performing. I wore their t-shirt which I had embellished with glitter. They loved it! Unfortunately, they were the opening act for a Journey cover band. I wasn’t up to a five hour concert so I bought their new CD instead.

I went back to the Pinewood Country Club and hung out with friends and listened to the band Boomer. My last stop that night was Beavfest. I always appreciate the sounds of Supertrain, the band that plays that event. Fairlane Drive was packed with people enjoying the entertainment.

IMG_1413

Sunday was a back-to -normal day. I played pickleball early and read the Sunday Arizona Daily Sun and The New York Times. Joan and I went to Agee’s for lunch and I read the rest of the day.

At no time did I feel lonely. I am lucky to have such a great family and close friends.

What’s a Full Life?

July 8, 2019

Occasionally, I feel envious of couples. I see them dancing together, giving each other that special smile. Or I’m not considered fore a dinner party because I’m a single. Or when I see a couple my age holding hands as they walk along. I know that not all couples are doing well, but on the surface, it looks that way. I would like someone to hug, who would enfold me in his arms and give me a soft kiss. But at my age, it’s seems to be difficult to find someone who doesn’t need a nurse or a purse.

My mind wanders and I find myself glad that I can eat ice cream for breakfast or down gallon of tea and Oreos while I write without anyone giving me a disapproving look.

After my volunteering experience in Tanzania, I realized I need to appreciate what I have:  my health, financial security, writing full time, close relationships with friends, my siblings, children and grandchildren. I belong to two book clubs which provide intellectual stimulation. The combination of my Fitbit and gummies (thanks to my Medical Marijuana Card) allow me to finally get a good night’s sleep. Who knew that all those years I may have been dreaming I was awake!

One of my favorite joys in life are my four granddaughters. Abby, age twelve, visited for a  week. She made her bed, did dishes, and I paid her to do my chores (watering the garden and picking up dog poop.) We made Oreo truffles,

IMG_1298

bowled at Cliff Castle Casino

IMG_E1299

played Tenzi and Rumimikub

IMG_1328

and went to see The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Toy Story 4. She used concrete to make a paving stone, braided lanyards and keychains, and glittered shoes and socks at the Art Glitter Factory in Cottonwood.

IMG_1333

She swam for at least an hour every day. We ate out one meal a day, at the country club, Your Pie, Oscar’s Fiesta Burrito, and Johnny Rockets. She watched TV and read before going to sleep.

The next week I had Savy, age 8. It was a bit more work. She got started right away on crafts. She painted a picture, made wind chimes, bead and feather necklaces. She set up a stand, on the road in front of my house, to sell her crafts.

IMG_1350 (1)

It was much easier to do my weekly laundry trek to Flagstaff with her hauling bundles. She enjoyed taking the loads out of the washer, putting them in the dryer, and using the card to add minutes to the dryer.

IMG_1343

She did a great job of folding the towels, too. Together we made a fleece blanket for her bed of girl scout material.

IMG_1347

We also went bowling glittering, and to see a movie.

My life, full of friends and family, give me joy.

 

 

 

 

Snow and Solitude

May 29, 2019

IMG_1264

           I moved up to Munds Park on Wednesday May 15. It was chilly but not too cold. Then it snowed on Sunday. . . and then it snowed a lot more on Wednesday night and Thursday. It reminded of my college days in Rochester, New York. The university dug tunnels underneath the buildings on the Quad so we didn’t have to go out in the weather to change classes. I took lifesaving for PE. After that class, I’d shower and braid my long hair. The braids would freeze as I walked to the Student Union to check my mail.

It’s great to be retired and be able to look at the snow without having to be at work at a specific time.

IMG_1258

           My new dogs were fascinated to watch the snow fall. They were not thrilled with walking in the snow. When I attempted to put them in my backyard to do their business early in the morning, they took one step onto the snow, turned around, and ran back into the house.

IMG_1265

           I’ve been here alone. I haven’t been dating anyone lately. The Trucker put me off that for a while. For those of you who don’t read my blog regularly, I’ll do a quick recap. I met the trucker in February and we seemed to hit it off. He had a bad knee and a heart problem, but he was addressing those problems.

He also had financial issues, but he was self-supporting so I didn’t worry about that immediately. He wanted to live with someone and I was emphatic that I was unwilling to do that.

During the first three weeks, he gave me foot massages and compliments.

           However, for my birthday, he did not give me a card or a present. I took him to a Spring Training game that the alumni association of Case Western Reserve treated us to tickets and a buffet lunch. He did buy me one beer at The Dirty Dogg Saloon to celebrate.

           He talked about not renewing the lease for his apartment and moving into a ward at a VA home. He had previously told me he was working Lyft so he could qualify for a mortgage. He the money for the down payment. He’d been an independent driver, not a Teamsters’ member.

He started stopping by after his work as a Lyft driver and I would feed him dinner. He would go straight home after dinner because he didn’t see well at night.

           We had a date to go to the movies at six p.m. one Saturday night, and he called me at seven-thirty p.m. to tell me he wasn’t feeling well. I felt stood up.

I had a wine and cheese party as a fundraiser for Global Volunteers. I figured it would be a good time for him to meet my friends. He was a no-show. He didn’t call, either.

When we spoke the next day, he said he was too sick to attend the party. Then he proceeded to tell me about a fight he had the day before with his son when they were working on a car. Whoa. He just told me he was too sick to come to the party (or even call me,) but he was well enough to work on his son’s car?

I thought it over and decided that he wasn’t someone I wanted to date. Too many issues and not thoughtful enough. I made a date for dinner to end the relationship. When we were in the car, on the way to the restaurant, he asked me to investigate apartments in Scottsdale for him.

I said “no.”

He replied, “Why not? You’re not working.”

I told him I was writing, but I was fuming inside that to him my time wasn’t worth anything but his was. I couldn’t break up with him at the restaurant because, although he wore hearing aids, he still had problems hearing people. I had to say things twice and practically shout them.

I waited until we got back to my house and gave the news. He didn’t argue. He got up and left. I was relieved.

As I sat in my living room in Munds Park, with a blanket of the dogs on my lap to keep me warm, I relished watching the snow fall, reading, watching Netflix, and eating Oreos and artichokes.

I do enjoy my own company. I hope to meet a special guy, but if it doesn’t happen, I’m happy with my life.