The Stuff of Life: Old Spice and My Adventures of Online Dating
Now that I have lived in Chicago (my big new city) for seven months it is safe to tell you the “stuff” I know for sure…at least in the scope of being a 53-year-old-single-empty-nesting-mother-of-four who has ventured into dating absolute strangers I’ve met online.
First, some context…
- Let’s just say in the first go-round I didn’t always make the best choices when it came to men. I have worked very hard on improving this—but history will show that (pre-marriage) if my boyfriend was sleeping with my best friend I liked him even more. Basically, it was all about the chase. When the chase was over—it was over!
- I don’t need more APPS on my phone! YELP and UBER suffice. YELP finds me great places and UBER gets me there. More specifically, I don’t need the JSWIPE APP that alerts (and alarms) me, every time it lets me know “Yay! You have just been chosen from a random pool of strangers!” I feel like I just won some sort of contest. I swipe. I look. I would rather have won a $25 gift certificate for Walgreens. I actually think the APP should reply, “Thanks for playing…”
- I know there are plenty, even millions of success stories. However, for me, meeting strange men in random Starbucks is just plain weird.
But, as I previously stated, I used to like the chase. I like men. I like putting on lipstick. I am not afraid to try something new—at least once—maybe twice.
So, I have swiped left (or is it right…maybe that’s the problem?).
Before the lessons learned, here are some of my Online Dating highlights (aka disasters; aka fodder for humor; aka ???):
Date #1. Before we even met in person we realized through text exchange that we were neighbors. He wanted to know if I lived in the building across the street with the indoor pool—and could we take a midnight swim? What! Crazy—but I did meet the midnight swimmer at Shake Shack for a burger. I was home in an hour. Next…
Date #2. Interesting…George with the round face and glasses chose me in January, while, unbeknownst to him I was campaigning for Hillary Clinton. I explained I was in Iowa for a month. He asked, “Why in Iowa?” I replied, “Working for Hillary.” I never heard from him again. Good to know before I went to the trouble of putting on lipstick and drinking a latte. Goodbye round face George. Next…
Date #3. Too slick. Too much bad cologne. His hair was dyed a weird color. I like gray hair. He told me to order a half-portion of pasta explaining “eating a full portion would make me fat.” He was serious. I ordered the full portion! Next…
There have been more equally ridiculous dates…but you get the gist. The dating game is just that—a game. Bleep and I win a crazy person!
What else do I win? Self-knowledge, which usually only comes from experience. So here is what I have learned from my reentry into the dating world, as an older, wiser, more confident woman than the 20-year-old-self who did this before:
- I like Old Spice. It reminds me of my cozy UGG slippers. Old Spice is that feeling of safe and sound and normal.
- I no longer like the chase. I choose safe and sound (see #1 above.)
- I will likely not take a midnight swim in an indoor pool at all, never mind with a stranger. Never mind I hate getting my hair wet. (I just washed my hair and can’t do a thing with it!)
- 50-plus year old men mostly like 30-year-old women. I don’t want to be 30. As much as I relished every minute at the time, I don’t want to go to anymore school plays or drive carpool. At least until I have grandchildren.
- Sleeping with my best friend is a deal breaker. With age thankfully comes wisdom.
- I like quiet down-time. I choose the Sunday New York Times and I get to read the Style Section first.
- I choose cuddling up with a man who wears Old Spice and is happy to curl up and binge watch “House of Cards.”
- If my tastes make me old, then I am happily old.
- Thank god I am smarter than my 20-year-old-self. I am finally making better choices (most of the time).
- I want a man to hold the door for me, let me off the elevator first and walk me home. (Note to my son—I bet this transcends age).
First chore of the day…I must figure out how to delete that Swiping APP. The notification “bleep” is so annoying…It makes me jump.
And, for now, happiness is: YELP. UBER. OLD SPICE.