Thursday, June 9, 2022

Online Dating

This third version of me has to step out a bit.

In my 13th month alone, now, I have noticed how much I miss talking. With a man. Well, I did notice it sooner. It has taken this long for me to accept it.

There is peace, of course, in silence.

In the songs of birds, insects, the distant rumble of tractors. Peace there, as well.

To a point.

But not a word of conversation.

So where do we find it with a man, outside of hardware stores when buying a new garden hoe?

Newsflash: Fayette County does not seem to bulge with single men over seventy.

In a grief group I had met a solid and successful local citizen who told me he’d joined He had lost his wife and was suffering, it seemed to me, much as I was suffering.

If people like this fellow join Match, I thought, it might be worth a shot. I’d been sharing feelings with wonderful women friends who walk ahead of me this labyrinth of widowhood. Maybe, now, I could connect, also, with a male mind over the destabilizing loss of a spouse.

So I joined it, along with a few other sites intended specifically for older people.

I had thought there would be few men of the right age participating on such sites. Apparently, however, a substantial number joined during the pandemic, when normal social life became restricted.

And so did a legion of scammers. We’ve all heard the stories. More about that another day, I think.

Overall, it’s a learning experience. People are classified on these sites according to categories into which the real person disappears. Very few men take the opportunity offered to post a description that might reveal personality.

And, curiously, a number of men don’t even post a photograph. I skip them. A face can tell you much about a person.

I discovered quickly that I have lots of choice if I’m interested in a man who never attended college or stopped after two years; is a born-again Christian; very conservative; likes to travel by RV, hunt and fish.

Go for it, girl!

Choices diminish if you are private about your religious beliefs and attempting to match an educational level of college and above.

In that category, I find mostly engineers, a few retired professors, a retired doctor or two, but zero journalists or writers.  

The pictures are fun. Men on boats, men holding big fish, or standing with a gun and dog beside a fallen deer. Men hugging pretty daughters or granddaughters. Men standing beside prosperous fireplaces, or at the top of a mountain, against a panorama of foreign valleys and towns.

Strangely, many of the men without props are scowling for some reason. Many others display excellent teeth. But no cheekbones. Cheekbones are out. These fellows have upholstery (as do I, in fact). Or the kind of beard that hides expression.

And then there’s me. The immutable fact of myself. I decided on complete honesty in my profiles. Age honest, photo honest, career honest. And I have to report that I have not discovered a groundswell of interest in the land of silver singles for seventy-seven year old female writers.

That should not be surprising.

But after so many years of marriage to a man who never criticized, who treated me as though I were still the “beautiful girl” he had fallen in love with, I had been carrying around an image of my virtues that had become tangible to me. I saw it daily in his eyes.

Welcome to the real world, honey.

1 comment:

  1. Been there, done that, Babette. And you're right--my honesty about having a Ph.D. was a total turnoff. But to guys I wouldn't have been interested in anyway. Girl talk ain't all bad.