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Tag Archive: aging

Apr 29

Mastering online dating at a certain age

“Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your heart or burn down your house, you can never tell.” –Joan Crawford.

Except perhaps in the world of online dating in which hundreds of thousands of singles are mastering this growing social phenomenon and becoming quite discerning in the process. They are getting good at it.

Those of us who are married have some difficulty understanding how this works, and we ask silly questions.

“Aren’t you afraid? Don’t people really just lie about their past?”

Admittedly, we are often too free with our well-meaning advice, such as “watch out for a con man who only wants your money” and “what if you attract a serial killer.”

This is not particularly supportive and helpful, I am told.

The main reason online dating is on my mind, however, is that I recently became aware of the large number of single people using these services, especially those of a certain age.

A lot.

But honestly, it is mind boggling to those of us not in the know.

So, I decided to learn more about online dating from my single friends.

Apparently, it can be a wild ride.

My friend Kat, for example, met a guy from Wyoming she dubbed WYO 2 because she was already chatting with another man from Wyoming, nicknamed WYO 1. All are in the over 60 crowd.

WYO 2 wrote Kat an email for the first time beginning this way: “Dear Fat.” What a way to start with a typo. “Kat” wrote back and said, “Yunno in this early part of our relationship, I don’t think you really need to be calling me names.”

She was kidding.

Poor guy kept trying to explain himself and only made it worse. Scratch WYO 2.

Back to WYO 1. By now they were at the telephoning stage of courtship. WYO 1 called Kat and wanted to meet. He told her he picked out three women from the online dating service and she was one of them. Whoopee, she thought.

“What am I Door No. 1, 2, or 3,” she wondered?

Still, after getting over the urge to hit him, she decided this could be an intriguing encounter, so she agreed to meet him for coffee.

They talked for a couple of hours when he announced he had to go back to work, but would meet her for dinner later. When “later” came, he called saying he could not get away from work after all. That was OK with Kat because she already gave up on him and was now driving thru Taco Bell ordering her usual Friday night meat-and-cheese burrito with no sauce and no cheese, price $1.08.

The evening turned out just fine she decided, but she couldn’t help wondering which one he was really with–Door #2 or 3.

Once she met a cattle rancher who lives 30 miles from the nearest town and could only be reached by satellite telephone.

Another time she met a man who used a picture at least 10 years old on his profile page. He showed up for their first date in ugly shorts and horrid shirt packing 50 more pounds than in his online photo. She saw him arrive from the restaurant window and decided to stay and meet him even though he didn’t look like his picture. She felt guilty canceling. Now as a seasoned online dating expert, she would call him on his cell and cancel before he ever set foot in the restaurant.

Yet another “match” drove 6 hours to meet her at a halfway point between their home cities. After coffee and a totally one-sided conversation about his son being on drugs, he announced that he had to leave because he had to work on his lawn mower.

Yes, it’s a crazy online dating world, she admits, but offers some advice that is far better than my “watch out for serial killer” guidance.

Kat says look at it like a game, and then it’s so much easier. If you happen to end up liking the person and they like you, then it’s great. That takes the pressure off knowing you are not committed to anything when you meet new people.

However, she gives one word of advice to senior men who are considering joining an online dating service. Kat says, “Don’t let your grown daughter fill out your profile online for you. They just make up stuff they are not sure about, and meanwhile, the poor man has no idea he supposedly likes sushi.

So, she keeps at it.

After all, she says, you can’t buy love on eBay.

Jan 21

Living to be 100 and moving to a “Blue Zone”

“The best age is the age you are.” –Maggie Kuhn, founder of The Gray Panthers

Two friends emailed me recently on the same day with the same message, “Do you want to live to be a 100 or look and feel younger at every age?”

“OK, sure,” I thought suspiciously, “but why are you asking? Do I need to look younger?” I don’t think I want to know the answer to my own question.

“Take twenty minutes of your time and watch this video about Blue Zones,” they each continued in lock step.

Since they are friends and they were asking, I decided to check out the website and Google search Blue Zones, wondering where or what in the world they were.

I soon learned that “where in the world” was the key point. Blue Zones are indeed geographic locations; places where climate and lifestyle can help you live to be a centenarian.

If I recall my geography studies from high school correctly and that is a reach, there are temperate zones, frigid zones and torrid zones in the world. But what are Blue Zones? I am sorry to admit that I never heard of them.

I know of Red Zones, Green Zones, Orange Zones, and Purple, but not Blue.

Red Zones are easy–the area between the 20-yard line and the goal line in football. If you are on defense, better keep your opponent out of the Red Zone!

The Green Zone was in the news for years—the international area protected by coalition forces inside the City of Baghdad.

Then, there is the Orange Zone. It has something to do with making calls abroad with one’s mobile phone, but don’t hold me to that. I suspect fans of Tennessee football would not agree with this definition since they have a completely different meaning for the term Orange Zone.

The Purple Zone was a funky 2006 comedy that few people watched, and it is also refers to a football program at a small university in Texas, a newsletter, a store, a blog and who knows what else.

But, back to Blue Zones.

People who live in these zones live longer and are reportedly happier and healthier than the rest of us. They do not get sick often and can function for many years without dementia or pain.

Here are the five (and there are only five) such spots that scientists believe offer health utopia: Sardinia, Italy; Islands of Okinawa, Japan; Loma Linda, CA; Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; and Icaria, Greece.

If I have to choose one of these Blue Zones, as my two email friends recommended, then I pick Sardinia, Italy, which sounds heavenly.

However, that was just until I learned that Sardinia’s 100-year longevity principal only applies to males who live alone in mountain villages and eat goat cheese.

The other four locations weren’t much different except for perhaps Loma Linda, and I have no idea why it is on the list.

My friends asked if I was ready to move to one of these Blue Zones because they were ready to relocate.

“No, absolutely not,” I said remembering what Abraham Lincoln once said on the subject–“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

But I might visit Loma Linda.

Nov 05

Finding a new sense of fashion in empty-nesting years

“I base my fashion sense on what doesn’t itch.” –Gilda Radner

No longer do I complain that I don’t have a thing to wear. No longer do I care if I wear the same thing twice in the same week, and now Casual Fridays are a godsend to me. My previously-strict fashion rules are gone.

Once I longed for designer suits, handbags, authentic precious stones and hot pumps. Things have changed.

In recent years, I discovered a complete new sense of personal fashion, not unlike Gilda Radner’s. I blame the economy and aging or both, but truth is I like my new unfettered style.

First, it was the foot surgery a few years back that nixed even the dream of trendy pumps.

The economic downturn banished designer suits from my closet.

I developed an affinity for costume jewelry because it is colorful, funky and fun, and honestly, who cares if it breaks or gets lost. It is cheap.

As for designer handbags, I still love those but prefer using canvas totes most of the time instead because I can get more “stuff’ in them. One cannot have enough totes is my new motto.

Call it aging or whatever you want, there is another dimension to my changing fashion sense these days–wearing the same old thing never sounded so good.

Think about it for a minute. What is wrong with wearing the same outfit every day like kids to do in some prep schools? I love the idea because it doesn’t confuse my already cluttered brain concerning what to wear on what day. I can’t remember what I wore yesterday anyway.

For example, I went to the county seat in a nearby town one day this week and wore my new purple long-sleeved tee shirt that has rhinestones and the word “Paris” emblazoned in glitter on the front. I love that shirt, so the next day when I went to a different town to visit my mother in the nursing home I wore the purple shirt again.

Folks in that town didn’t know that I wore the glam tee shirt to the other town the day before did they?

I have to fess up a little bit. Truth is that on the second day of the wearing of the purple shirt and not until I was driving did I realize that I wore the shirt already. Did I forget to toss it in the laundry basket and hang it back up instead, I wondered.

Apparently so.

I was beginning to feel like Roseanne Barr when she deadpanned, “Right now I’m having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before.”

Let’s see; tomorrow is Casual Friday, so my wardrobe choices will be easy for me, right? Red for the K. C. Chiefs, gold for the Missouri Tigers, blue to honor the military, pink to support breast cancer awareness, green for the environment and on Ad infinitum.

With so many “Dress-Down Friday” choices, that glittery purple shirt hanging in my closet, clean or not, is looking’ mighty good to me right now. Come to think of it, I might just wear it Friday.

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