Okay, okay, okay. I can’t help myself. I know I told myself I would not blog about my attempt at dating. But, I can’t help myself. There is just too much good blogging material not to blog about it…and I’ve only had four dates. Well, actually I wouldn’t say four full dates. Maybe 3.5 dates, as the last one I walked out on.
And I already have some tips for my fellow single female boomers who are new to dating at 50+, women like me who have decided to think about venturing out with the opposite sex like I did the past month. This is harder work than I thought. I have to think about what I want in a new mate, think about what I don’t want in a new mate, write all this stuff down, go out and hunt through all the online sites and profiles, say ‘no’ to those who contact me that I’m not interested in, contact those I might be interested in, figure out if, as they say in the movie, if “he’s just not into you” or as the book that one of my lifelines gave me last week says, “be honest – You’re Not That Into Him Either.”
This week, I think I am aiming more towards getting a dog than getting a new man in my life. First of all, a small dog is cuter. Secondly, a small dog will love me during my up and down days and will be there when I get home at night to greet me with hopefully a warm welcome. Even if I do have to walk and groom my small dog, he or she will be worth the effort. However, I will have to think about a dog walker for the day time hours. (Note: I’m not saying I am definitely getting a dog, but it is more likely that I will find a cute dog on Petfinder.com than find a compatible man on jDate.)
Okay, okay, okay, so what dating tips do I have to share to date? I am so glad I have my many lifelines who have been giving me wise counsel along the way. They are such supportive friends and truly have helped me through my 3.5 dates.
First tip – what do you eat if you are going out to an Indian restaurant on a first date and all you’ve eaten all day is two Kashi flaxseed bars and you don’t want to spend the evening in the bathroom. As my lifeline told me 20 minutes before my date, “Eat biryani Judi, remember ‘beer’ and remember the singer ‘Yanni'” Oh, thank you dear lifeline…you did save my life. When my date asked me what I was going to eat, I said “Biryani, a rice dish.” But, when he decided to order a spicy appetizer, I wasn’t sure what to do. I hadn’t asked my lifeline about appetizers. “Just order lots of flatbread,” I thought…and I’ll be fine.
Second tip – what do you do if you are ready to go out on a date and the guy keeps calling that he is going to be late? Add on that you are soooo hungry because you haven’t really eaten since breakfast and you are at your condo on the corner at the shore where you have absolutely no food in the house except peanut butter. What do you do? What do you do? I’ll tell you what to do. You drive to theWawa down the street and buy a loaf of Martin’s potato bread and a jar of strawberry jam and you come home and make yourself a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich.
Third tip – what do you do if you meet a guy for coffee on a Sunday morning and he is an ex-hippie who is now 60+ years old but still living like he was in the ’60s (except he does have short hair now) and talks to you about his LSD escapades that he did in the early ’70s on his farm. What do you do, what do you do? You make sure you first go to your fantastic Sunday morning yoga class and make sure you are very Zen when you go to meet this ex-hippie. Then you order a Starbucks grande vanilla latte skim decaf (so you stay very Zen) and a nice blueberry scone. You eat the blueberry scone and drink your grande vanilla latte skim decaf. And when you are done with your last sip, and you are done trying to convince the ex-hippie that LSD is indeed a drug even though he disagrees. What do you do, what do you do? You get up, you say ‘nice to meet you,’ and you leave.
Last week, I went to see the movie “Last Chance Harvey” with Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. I thought with all this talk about dating, I would share Emma Thompson’s blog about this lovely movie where a boomer man meets a boomer woman in an airport and falls in love. Does this only happen in the movies? (Absolutely, only in the movies.) Here’s Emma’s blog post:
Dear Fellow Females – I’ve been asked to offer a blog on my new film, ‘Last Chance Harvey’ – which, as a computer illiterate, I get confused with ‘snog’ (British slang for kissing) and ‘shog’ (Shakespearian word used by Pistol in Henry V meaning ‘leave’) neither of which – I realise – is the correct interpretation.
But it is a comment, or view, I think, that you want, and here it is –
I shall turn 50 this year, which is not without its odd emotions and has got me thinking about being, well, old. I don’t mean decrepit, I mean not infantile, no longer so attached to things, no longer so concerned about what others think, no longer so anxious to prove myself – you may know the sort of thing I mean. It was rather a treat, therefore, to play what is – in a way – my first modern romantic lead in a film that is more romantic than comic (although it has very funny moments and is underscored with irony and subtle humour throughout) where I was not required to be stunningly attractive or in despair or in need of rescue, but simply an ordinary woman in her forties living a rather stale-looking life as best she can.
Along comes this rather brash American (Dustin) and he blows a great hole in her defenses (don’t you think we all build them for various stages in life and then FORGET TO DISMANTLE THEM when the danger is past or the trauma has been lived through?). So what you are watching is a sudden flood of real communication (how rare is that?), the sort of communication that shifts the emotional tectonic plates and provokes seismic movement in the soul.
Again, it’s rare to watch this on the screen because you need to be a little thoughtful and not require explosions of the literal kind to keep you interested. I’d guess that’s a fair description of us.
If you see the picture, and I hope you will because I love it very much and am moved by it every time I see it, you’ll notice I am decidedly unglamorous and at least size 16. I really wanted to look like a “normal” woman, I mean in terms of body size.
Actresses seem to be getting tinier and tinier and I do wonder how we think we can present really powerful women, matriarchs and the like, when we seem to insist upon having such attenuated physiques.
So Kate is solid – probably worries a bit about her muffin-top (mine is more like a desk-top these days if you must know) but can’t find the energy to worry enough to go to the gym and can’t find the time either.
She’s a real sort of person, someone I could relate to entirely and I hope you enjoy her. If you do, tell your friends because the more we can get films like this well distributed the more films we can make about (for want of a better epithet) real women as opposed to (let’s face it) pretend ones.
Warmest wishes to you all for 2009 from Emma Thompson, a first time blogger at fifty
It’s Valentine’s Day the end of this week. I’m not going on any dates. I’m going to visit my mom for Valentine’s Day. I don’t think we will be going out for any early bird dinners on Saturday. It will likely be crowded with couples at all the restaurants in Florida. Maybe I will take her to see “Last Chance Harvey.” I do think she will like the movie.
My 87 year old mom…or mum as Emma would likely say in England…thinks I should be dating younger men. “Women live longer than men,” said my mom. “Aim younger, Judi, and don’t take all this dating so seriously.” I’m so glad I’m spending Valentine’s Day with my mom, she is one of the wisest women I know.