Peggy Lee’s haunting song, “Is that all there is?” had been his theme song for the past six years. Married to his college sweetheart for 34 years, the kids were launched, they had a house in the suburbs, a cabin at Tahoe and “Is that all there is, my friend?” burned a pattern in his brain.
At one point, he consulted with a family law attorney, and started plotting the divorce proceedings. He took his time. Two years later, he moved out of the family home to a high-rise in Emeryville. He furnished the new place with IKEA’s finest. He had been dreaming about his his dive into the alluring, singles only, dating pool. Another 60+-year-old man, chomping at the bit to date again – as he did often and well– several decades earlier.
Roger had not been on a date in about 40 years. For half his life – he was a husband, a dad, ‘Uncle Rog’ to a handful of nephews and a dedicated son to a mother with dementia. He played a little table tennis, rode his bike on weekends, dabbled in Sudoku, relaxed in front of the TV watching sports. For fun, he went to Oakland A’s games. His kids teased him that his cooking repertoire consisted of eggs: scrambled, fried, or boiled and the rare omelet.
Like a lot of married men, he had peeked at Match.com ads had been intrigued by eHarmony television commercials. He decided upon Match. Dashing off an online dating profile would be effortless. He had been writing legal briefs forever and considered himself a clever man – he knew his way around Strunk and White’s.
He thought it might take up to three months to find his new playmate. In the meantime, he would enjoy dozens of dates with wanton women who would melt at his touch. He soldiered on.
He spent one Sunday afternoon selecting two good photographs, crafting his bio/profile, paid for the three-month plan and hit the “Send” button.
He had hallucinated about meeting a young nymphomaniac or middle-aged harlot – to revel in romance and sex all the time. Roger had frequent Walter Mitty thoughts of weekends spent horizontal – in bed, perfecting the Kama Sutra with one of his many new girl friends.
Let the party begin…
In no time, the company provided several “Perfect Matches.” Roger was giddy. It was like Christmas morning, but better.
He was excited at the sight of so many pretty women ages 35 to 55. He decided early on he would date a younger, thinner, sexier woman than his wife. He mused women 35 to 40- maybe 50, would be perfect. He had visions of lingering and lingerie, going to the Symphony, French 75’s at Absinthe, seduction. And oysters.
Oh, no: no mojo
It turns out he was eager, yet grossly ill prepared for Dating 2014. His old, “Do you come here often? What’s your sign? and “Can I buy you a drink?” were antediluvian.
He decided to go slow and send out a few “winks” to a half dozen girls. He sometimes slipped and called women “girls.” Nada. No response. He tried again with a friendly one-liner. Three of the women who responded – exchanged emails with “Roger-Doger” and later each suggested a first- meeting-hike. A hike? Was that the new dating ritual? How about meeting for a martini at Trader Vic’s, Vanessi’s or Paoli’s?
(All of his old watering holes had dried up a long time ago.)
A hike meant Roger had to get some new shoes… his old grubby, running shoes –were gross…perhaps a trip to REI to get cool shoes and walking shorts. Wait. His legs were snow white – he couldn’t wear shorts – the glare would blind his date. He needed a dating wardrobe…
Here we go again – Dating at 60…Roger’s Story.