(Auntie Mame of Marin is a funny, out-spoken-yet gracious old gal of 80. She paints, does yoga, explores the hills and trails of Mt Tam with a bunch of old friends – every Wednesday. Once a Sausalito fixture – Trident and Ondines- she has stories. She is a fabulous cook, a marvelous hostess and does not suffer fools gladly. She readily offers colorful tales and free advice)
Dear Boys and Girls
I remember, a long time ago, when the dating code was all about baseball. The ‘Next Day’ question was, “Did he get to first base or strike out?
How has it changed in 50 years?
Now, when my five girl friends get together for our monthly Whine and Roses Salon, on the pretense of discussing current events, we boldly go where no one we know has gone before. We throw off the manacles of polite society- forget that – we go for candid and candor. None of that tiptoeing around for us.
And we quickly get down to basics, and put forth the un-ladylike, yet, very direct question: “Did you get any?”
Our brothers, uncles, cousins, buddies must’ve taught us the phrase and we cling to it like expensive Saran Wrap.
At over-70, we don’t want to hear about the amusing little Petit Syrah they sipped or the Brie they nibbled with sesame seed wafers.
Inquiring minds want to know and there is no pretense here. At this stage of the game, getting anything is a treat. So, the six of us are all ears (albeit some enhanced with tiny hearing aides).
Kitty is our fearless leader and has always tested the waters well before the rest of us. Heck, she was on Match.com 15 years ago. She met Mitch online and the two of them, too proper and too shy to even post their photographs, fell in love with each other over salt-water taffy, Vivaldi’s Bolero and an affinity for Peter Max.
Their rapid and ribald romance lasted five years and the rest of us girls lived vicariously through their trips to the Santa Fe Opera, romps at Harbin Hot Springs, and weekends at the Fairmont on Nob Hill or the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Nigel.
Sadly, Mitch died way too young and Kitty has always wished to replicate the storybook romance she had with Mitch. In time, she climbed right back on that horse and started active pursuit. Her active pursuit was fodder for many a raucous Whine and Roses Salon gatherings.
Kitty talked me into going to a Speed Dating for those 50+ last year. She explained to me that 50+ was not the speed limit, but merely an age demarcation.
My kids think it’s very funny that I admit to being a” Jack Benny 39.” They didn’t think it was funny that I actually dated a man 20 years my junior. My motto is: “Life is short – I’m not – send the tall ones my way.”
My kids don’t think that’s funny either. I’ve never been a Betty Crocker mom.
Speed Dating at a Synagogue was a riot
Fueled by Sangria and hubris, my bold sidekick, Kitty and I perched on our tin folding chairs. We each met 15 men on that cold and foggy July night. Of the 15, eight were very nice guys, each with a special something…”that only a mother could like,” quipped Rachel, our greatest wit and detractor.
We are all in the third act, as it were.
I’ve thrown away the list for: tall, dark, handsome, brain surgeon- and have re-worked and re-invented My Perfect Date should possess: Great sense of humor, smart, polite, cordial, kind, clever, and a good listener. And: Stays awake after dinner.
So, our Speed Dating Experiment resulted in two or three dates with a couple of men- and hours of ribald discussion at our Salon. Both guys were good sports and slipped into the “Just a pal” slot.
Kitty wanted me to join her next foray into Internet Dating… Her idea? Tiptoe on Tinder… Her young cousin, Martha, met the man of her dreams on Tinder and was now happily living a life of Riley in Carmel.
Who were we to doubt?
Besides, there is safety in numbers and courage in every bottle of Pinot Noir.