Roger (62, newly divorced -suddenly single) was very excited to go on his first date. His last ‘first-date’ was 35 years earlier. Then came marriage, the baby carriage and bam! Three decades later: the divorce. He was now a self-professed ‘swinging single’…did they still call it that?
His new matchmaker of choice, Match.com sent him a bevy of beauties they labeled as “Perfect matches.” Each woman looked young, seemed energetic and possibly good company. All the women were 10-20 years his junior. He went to great lengths to align himself to a “newer model.”
He was feeling confident. He got bought designer jeans, pulled his old leather jacket out of the closet, threw away his Grandpa sweaters and got a couple new shirts at Ross. He was looking good -not a buff jock; he was fit – kind of. And he was witty- yes, he was clever. His married hiking buddies said he would “score” and they wanted the details.
He considered himself tall (over 5’9 in Dansko clogs) and a pretty good dancer. He and his soon-to-be ex-wife had a repertoire of two dances: one Fast (kind of The Twist meets The Jerk, with a dash of West Coast Swing – it had served him well for decades) and the Waltz. Women love men who dance – he had read that.
In the beginning…
Peet’s on Fourth Street in Berkeley is a haven for first dates. His buddy, John-divorced twice, had advised him to arrive early and score a table. Roger arrived in his new jeans, old leather jacket – excited, nervous and with dry mouth.
He wondered if he should have prepared a set of questions to ask Lidia (49, Albany, 5’4, runner, baker-biker chick.) She arrived at the table smiling, introduced herself, gave Roger a hug and sat down. She was much prettier than her picture. She was wearing running shorts and a T-shirt. Roger was visibly nervous – her confidence, and attire and ease made him even more uncomfortable.
The opening question has asked every new client, “What brings you here?” popped out of his mouth and he almost fainted when he heard himself.
She laughed and he wasn’t sure if she was laughing at him or his stupid question. He faked a laugh – and said, “I sound like an attorney – sorry.” She was gracious, did not want to a cup a coffee, and actually, only had a few minutes- something came up – she had to go.
Within five minutes, he met a beautiful woman, who stayed long enough to say “Hello” and disappear forever. So this was “Dating 2014”
Three Strikes – Yer Out!
Roger had two more dates that week. He wasn’t quite as glib as he thought he was. He couldn’t stop talking and he was boring himself. Both dates ended with someone saying “Nice to meet you – good luck – good bye.”
One afternoon, he met a very attractive women-15 years his junior-in snug, low-cut, yoga clothes and his mouth went dry in his mind went blank. She seemed bored and also remembered another engagement and dashed off.
His last date was with a “Tiger Lilly”a petite blonde from Dogpatch. Her real name “Cyndi-with-an-i” was eager to meet at La Boulange on Polk Street. She barely resembled her online photograph – she, obviously, had gained considerable weight and age and reeked of cigarettes. After a few minutes of small talk – Roger nervously excused himself and claimed he had to pick up his kids (they were both on the East coast and over 25, actually.) He was ready to throw in the dating towel.
This dating thing was harder than he thought. He went to Amazon.com and bought four books in the Dating for Dummies vein and studied.