I read an article in O, The Oprah Magazine, about a woman–a single senior woman–describing a first date.
It made me chuckle. It seemed no matter what a person’s age, first dates can play out with disappointing outcomes—quite different from what was imagined ahead of time.
First dates make me think of baseball. In baseball, three strikes and you’re out (at least for that “at bat”). In the dating game, if a strikeout happens on the first date, there’s no second or third chance offered (in some cases that might be a good thing).
Not long ago, I attended a friend’s birthday party where I met another guest—a man I’ll call Sam. There was a trivia contest relating to the host and Sam and I agreed to team up to win the prize—a bottle of wine. We won. He suggested we get together to share the bottle and offered to keep it until we met again.
Did I mention that he asked me to write my phone number on the wine label so he wouldn’t lose it? Women reading this are thinking, “Romantic” and “What a sweet thing to do.” Men are thinking he was just being practical (the label was the handiest thing to write on).
We met for dinner at a very nice restaurant. Sam brought the bottle, but suggested we save it for another time. He also insisted on paying. It was a delightful first date (others followed)—unlike my first dates from several Match meet-ups.
Casual Dude (in wrinkled Bermuda shorts and ragged flip flops) was a boaster and a bore. He proposed we meet at a bookstore coffee shop—an interesting choice for someone who didn’t read or drink coffee. He said he went there because it was a good place to check people out. He also said he was looking for someone with money so he could retire and he didn’t offer to buy me coffee. Strike ONE!
Then there was George. From the photos on his profile, he had a nice face. We shared a few cursory emails and agreed to meet around six at Starbucks (George drank coffee). He was late, but had no way of contacting me. Since I hadn’t given him my cell number, I gave him the benefit of the doubt that traffic was bad or he couldn’t find a parking spot. After twenty minutes, George arrived—out of breath and apologetic.
He recognized me immediately and called me by name. The man speaking bore little resemblance to his photo. This man, stooped over with a portfolio briefcase under his arm, was old. To say I was surprised would be an understatement. He offered to buy me coffee and something to eat. I ordered a latte.
We shared an awkward few minutes before George removed several papers from his case. The first was an 8 ½” x 11” photo of his beagle—the love of his life. The second a copy of my profile—a copy covered with yellow highlights and scribbled notations. He said he had some questions. My surprise expanded.
Half a latte and a dozen questions later, he confessed he had used an old photo, but boldly stated he didn’t think he looked any different now than he had ten-years ago. He asked me if I agreed. Strike TWO!
Next came Wanna-be Athlete Man (a.k.a. Jocko). This time there were emails and a few phone calls before I agreed to meet. Jocko planned bowling (I love bowling), a movie (one I wanted to see) and possibly a bite to eat afterwards. He wasn’t overbearing, just eager to meet and have a nice time. After George, someone with spunk and energy was a refreshing change.
Jocko was a nice, healthy and active man for his age—again, a man who shaved more than a decade from his DOB. The biggest problem was his obsession with fitness. Every 20–30 minutes he swallowed vitamins or supplements like a kid eating M&M’s. He carried them with him in one of those plastic organizer trays, doling them out by category. During the movie he ate them between handfuls of popcorn!
It didn’t happen on the first date, but by the second movie, it was Strike THREE!
What is it with men in the age bracket I’m interested in—the ones who have acquired some interesting life experience and wisdom? They’re looking for sweet young things, not women my age. I’d bet the farm many are striking out even before a first date.
I’m neither sweet nor young (although my neighbors believe I’m sweet). Officially, I’m a senior. Note the word senior, meaning entitled to certain benefits—not to be confused with elderly or old. I’m smart, confident and capable with an independent spirit (a nice way of saying I’m stubborn sometimes). I can climb a 16-foot ladder to wash windows and move furniture by myself. I enjoy many interesting and exciting things, but I am not old (yet).
Let me be perfectly clear: Old is not a bad thing. It just doesn’t define who I am.
I hope I have many innings left at bat. I’m not ready to get out of the game right now. There are bound to be more strikeouts, even foul balls, but also fun times and exciting people to meet. I’ll restock my peanuts and Cracker Jack supply and head back into the game. Some of baseball’s hottest hitters have had the most strikeouts.