Welcome to my blog. Thanks for coming! One day I hope my little piece of internet real estate will be home to lots of family photos, pictures of my scrapbook and card art, with some random thoughts and memories posted on a somewhat regular basis. Mostly my world is very predictable, but occasionally some excitement will find me, so visit often. Who knows what useful (or useless) information you may find here.


Friday, February 12, 2016

Internet Dating For Seniors

Happy Valentine's Day Weekend!!  Here's this week's article in The Barrow Journal, just in time for the Season Of Love!!


Here he comes again.  That chubby little angel with wings, and a bow and arrow.  The Valentine Season is upon us.  Red hearts and all that crap everywhere.  It is SAD day for sure.  Singles Awareness Day.  Yeah, we know we’re single.  But thanks a lot, Mr. Cupid, for reminding us in such flamboyant ways.  At this stage in my life the only good thing about SAD is the 50% off chocolate available on the 15th.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m perfectly fine with my singleness.  So fine, in fact, that I will threaten to shoot that chubby little rascal if he starts flying in my direction. But, let’s face it.  A date every now and then would be nice.  And I do have some single friends who really would like to find a companion for the long haul.  Even though, at our age, the haul isn’t nearly as long as it once was.

For many of us, by the time we’re ready for Social Security, finding a date becomes a little more challenging.  Nowadays, the best place to meet someone in our age group seems to be the waiting room in the orthopedic office, the hip-replacement rehab facility, or the funeral home. 

Then there’s internet dating.  I my ownself tried this about 15 years ago.  I answered all the questions, took the personality-match tests, etc.  I even submitted a photograph.  After a reasonable waiting period, I was delighted when the site matched me up with someone nearby.  After chatting through the site, e-mailing, and talking on the phone for a few weeks, we decided to meet.  He was a nice enough fella, but it was very obvious that he was put off by my appearance – as though I looked completely different than he expected.  I was puzzled by this.  The photo I had posted was recent, it was not photoshopped, and I felt it was fairly accurate.  (In other words, I hated it, and figured nobody would ever click on my profile.)  And because we had corresponded for so long, and supposedly knew quite a bit about each other, he knew that I was Not A Skinny Girl.  So I was totally surprised by his reaction.  I mean, he didn’t throw up or anything… but it was obvious there were no *sparks* when we met in person.  So, the date ended early, and I was very happy to get back home to my kitties, who love me unconditionally!  (And though it may be unkind for me to say so, he wasn’t ALL THAT his ownself!

That set me to thinking.  You can *be* anything you want to be on the internet.  Dating site profiles look pretty much the same.  Everyone loves romantic walks on the beach, the mountains, spending time with family and friends.  Even my own profile reflected that.   In my humble opinion, far too much time is spent on frivolous, superficial information that may or may not even be true.  The whole idea is to market ourselves as a person someone would want to date, and maybe even marry.   Embellishing the truth appears to be a fairly common practice in the marketing process. 

For those of us who have been around the block a time or two, I submit that we cut the crap, and get right to the point.  There is no time to separate the wheat from the chaff here.  The clock is ticking, and the undertaker has a box with our name on it.  Just be honest up front, and it will make the choosing a lot better.  The truth will come out sooner or later anyhow, so just lay it all out there.  You never know… there may be someone who is perfectly fine with our lack of awesomeness. 

If I were creating a dating profile for senior dating, it would look something like this: Iloveromanticwalksonthebeachandsunsetsoverthemountainsandromanticdinnersfortwo. (Yeah.  Let’s just go ahead and get that out of the way.)

Things you will need to know:   I love Jesus.   I will love your kids and grandkids, but I will always love mine more.   I don’t need your money to pay my bills, but you need enough money to pay yours.   My culinary skills are questionable, at best.  Love me, love my cats.  I am not a Skinny Girl, but I can bend over and tie my shoes.  I have stretch marks on my tummy.  Her name is Whitney.  My requirements:  No lying.  Ever.  Either you have a job now, or you have a retirement check from a job you once had.  No freeloaders.  Like me enough to let me be me.  The good, the bad, the ugly. Hissy fits and all.  If you can fix things, build things, and let me borrow your power tools, that’s a plus.  If you have all your original body parts, and they work reasonably well, that’d be super.  Not a deal breaker, but extra bonus points, for sure!!

I think that’s enough to get the process started.  So, my single friends, (especially my senior friends for whom the clock is ticking,) if you decide to go the way of internet dating, just skip all the superficial crap and get right to the important stuff.  If you need further guidance creating your profile, feel free to check out the archives on my blog in the February 2013 folder titled “Internet Dating” for a more comprehensive guide to marketing yourself out there in cyberspace.  Yes, honesty is always the best policy.  But, with all that honesty in my profile, I suppose it’s a good thing I like being single!!!



So, in case you're interested in the more comprehensive version of dating tips, I will paste the blog post from 2013 here, and you won't have to search for it.


Internet Dating       (April 23, 2013)

If you watch television very much, you’ve likely seen the advertisements for online dating services.  E-Harmony, Match.Com, Zoosk, OurTime, Chemistry.Com, PlentyOfFish.com, to name a few.  It is an industry unto itself, with millions of members, generating millions of dollars. They’ve got the marketing techniques down pat, too.  Just watching the commercials could make a lonely person head straight for their computer and sign up to join.  The couples look so happy, and so perfectly suited for each other.  

Yeah, right.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be so cynical.  I’m sure there are success stories. In fact, I know there are, as one of my favorite people did indeed meet her Prince Charming through E-Harmony, and best I can tell, he really is a prince. In reality, though, the true Prince Charming-falls-in-love-with-the-Princess, Happily-Ever-After stories are probably more rare than common.  And I’ll bet there was a lot of toad-kissing going on before they found each other. And we all know how I feel about kissing toads. 

I will admit that in 19 years of being single, I did, on occasion, peruse the sites.  I even did the E-Harmony thing one time.  There was a local fella with whom I corresponded for a bit. Then we met, and he was so obviously put off with my appearance that he could hardly wait for the date to end.  Which puzzled me – the photograph I posted was recent, and was not photo-shopped to make me beautiful. We had disclosed our body types, so he was well aware that I was Not A Skinny Girl.  He knew my age.  He knew more about me than Whitney’s dad knew about me on our first (blind) date.  So it really ticked me off that he was expecting something different.  But, then, he was kinda weird his ownself.  He was a civilian, but had a job with the military, yet he was quite evasive regarding the particulars of his job description.  There was all this top-secret stuff that he supposedly was doing – in the vein of “if I tell you, I’ll hafta kill you” kind of way… so I wasn’t disappointed when the date ended, either. And – might I add that HE looked a lot older than HIS profile picture, and not nearly as buff.  So I was pretty dang offended that *he* didn’t like *me*. So, I’m personally not much on the internet dating thing.  If it works for you, then more power to you – and I celebrate your relationship.  I think I’ll just stick with my family, my  friends, and my cat.  That’s about all the drama I can take these days. 

Recently, though, I did have the occasion to check out a particular dating site.  I was a single girl for many years, and I still have lots of single girlfriends. Lots of single girlfriends who are currently into the internet dating scene, and who visit these sites often. Back in December, someone brought to my attention something they thought I might find amusing on one such site, so I took a look.  The only thing I found amusing was that nothing much in the world of internet dating had changed. Most of the bios are still as bogey hilarious and fake as they ever were. If you’ve never visited one of these sites, allow me to enlighten you as to how it all works.  The main idea is to put your best self forward, and present yourself in such a manner that all members of the opposite gender will find you irresistible  and therefore, want to date you, (or marry you, if finding a spouse is your goal.)  Here’s a sample of some of the most common things you’ll find.  Mr. or Ms. Prospective Mate will post this about himself or herself:

Username:  PrinceCharming1954

My likes:
~Spending quality time with that special someone
~Romantic walks on the beach
~Watching the sun set over the mountains
~Traveling with my mate
~Romantic dinners for two
~Sunday afternoon drives
~Romantic surprises
~Snuggling in front of the fireplace on a cold winter evening

What I’m Looking For In A Mate: 
~Physically fit
~No baggage
~Loves animals and children
~Free spirit
~Financially independent
About Me: 
~Financially secure
~Love to work out
~Love to spoil my mate
~Devoted to family
~Hard worker
~Excellent cook
~Love animals and children


Okay. Sign me up.  Sounds perfect, huh?   Hahaha.... I totally get that you have to market yourself.  But, seriously.  Most everyone I know would put some of those items on their list. (Whether or not it's true seems to have no bearing, at this point in the game.)  

If I were in the market for a beau, (which I am not), and wanted to market myself on the internet, (which I do not), I think my bio would go a little something like this:

My User Name:  JustSayNoToToads  (Because it is a terrible idea to use your real name on a dating site)

My Likes: 
~My family
~Spending time with my friends – Girls only, or couples. You must love my friends and fit into our circle, or you’re out. Just as with my family, we’re a package deal.
~Watching my favorite TV shows without someone talking or bothering me
~My alone time, balanced with “spending quality time with that special someone”
~Shopping - Preferably alone
~Romantic walks on the beach
~Good food cooked on the grill
~Watching the sun set over the mountains
~Going to church, but occasionally playing hooky
~Dancing (Chubby white girl can’t dance, but I like to do it anyway)
~Romantic dinners for two, and romantic surprises
~Doing crafty things
~Flower gardening (usually without much success)
~Blizzards  (Dairy Queen - Not snow)
~Foot rubs and back rubs  (Given to me – not by me – though I will occasionally return the favor)
~Swimming and floating about in the pool
~Chick flicks
~Sometimes being worthless, lazy, and self-indulgent

My point:  Most people DO like those romantic things, (see, I have them on my list too!) so listing those things really tells you nothing about the person. Let’s hear about the real stuff.  What you’re REALLY like. Translated:  Let's cut the crap, and talk about what makes us tick.  This is Dating For Seniors. We're getting older by the minute, and don't have time to glean the chaff from the wheat here. Let's not bother investing time getting to know each other, if we can already determine ahead of time that there's things about each other that we're not gonna like - deal breakers, if you will - no matter how strong the physical attraction may be.  With that in mind, here’s some more info about me that you would want to know, before adding me to your Favorites list:

Random Things About Me: 
~I will love your family and your grandkids, but I will always love mine more. 
~I’m soon to be 55 years old.  I have earned every wrinkle and laugh line on my face, and will  not be visiting the Botox Doc.
~I have gray “highlights” in my hair.   Bling, if you will.
~My body type is always a work in progress.  For the most part, I have to claim “chubby” or “pleasantly plump”, or as the dating sites like to say “a few extra pounds”.  I’ve long ago faced the reality that I’ll never have buns of steel or six-pack abs, but I can touch my toes as good as (or better than) most girls my age and size, and I can tie my own shoes.  Well – unless my back is bothering me, which happens from time to time.
~I love sleeping in on Saturdays.  But when I get up in time, you’ll find me on the deck at DJ’s having coffee.    This is sacred girlfriend time.  Do Not Disturb.   
~I have stretch marks on my tummy.  Her name is Whitney.  (Okay, maybe one or two are named Oreo Blizzard)
~I am a grammar/punctuation/spelling Nazi.  I’m not always perfect, and I make typos and mistakes, but I DIE when someone else finds my errors before I do.  But your mistakes will bother me even more.  Besides, your errors are easier to spot than mine.  At the very least, please Learn the difference between plural and possessive, and use those apostrophes appropriately!!!  Unless, of course, you want to see my head explode. (And if you find errors in this post, please notify me immediately!!)
~My entertainment preferences are quite diverse. Downton Abby to Duck Dynasty.  Bach to Zeppelin and Floyd.  Mercy Me to Garth. Wizard of Oz to Braveheart.  You must be willing to embrace the entire spectrum, and enthusiastically agree to listen to, or watch, whatever I’m in the mood for at the moment. And you must tolerate my singing in the car.  Without laughing.
~I am very forgiving, and nonjudgmental.  But hurt me or someone I love, though I forgive, I don’t forget.  Do it again, and I will cut you.  
~I am sometimes impatient. Maybe *often* would be a better choice of words.
~Sometimes I procrastinate, but I don’t want to talk about that right now.
~I enjoy cooking, but have had so many kitchen disasters, that I allow people to think that I can’t cook. That  way, I only have to bring the paper products or chips to the parties and reunions.
~I hate math.  Seriously hate it.  Think: Head exploding.
~I love my power tools, and want to add to my small collection, so it would be a real plus if you have lots of tools, and are willing to teach me how to use them. I want to be a carpenter when I grow up. Only without the math.
~I am bossy. (But like Edith Ann used to say – “I am not bossy.  My ideas are just better.")
~The “control-freak” gene is alive and well within my DNA. 
~I like my towels and washcloths folded and stored a certain way in the linen closet. (OCD?)
~I like my steak cooked medium to medium-rare.  David can show you how to cook it. Please
  observe carefully and learn. Perfection is key when cooking a steak for me.
~I love discussing “politics and religion”.  Especially if your ideas differ from mine.
~I am financially independent.  Not wealthy.  I get by.  I just don’t need your money to pay my bills, but by the same token, I don’t have enough money to pay yours, so if you’re lookin’ for a sugar mama, you’re lookin’ in the wrong place. However, if you have plenty of money and would like to contribute to the paying of my bills, and would like to support me in my retirement, well, then, I’d be okay with that.  That, of course, would also cost you a wedding ring and a trip to the courthouse.  I ain’t lookin’ for no sugar daddy, neither.  (note - bad grammar intentional)
~I am funny.  If you don’t believe me, just fall down, or drop your milkshake or ham sandwich, and watch me laugh.  People who laugh are funny. Right? I have a warped sense of humor and often laugh at inappropriate times.  My daughter is the same way.  We absolutely cannot sit together in church. We’ve almost been kicked out of a funeral home (on two different occasions), and we barely escaped banishment from her prepared childbirth class.  Don’t even ask about the parent meeting before church youth camp one year.
~"Business Professional Attire" translates to me "My Nicest Pair Of Pajamas"
~The fact that the text doesn't align itself the way I want it to when viewing this blog post makes me seriously want to throttle the person who wrote the code... as I have spent a massive amount of time in aligning the text perfectly on the "compose post" page.

What I’m Looking For In A Mate:
~No lying. Period. Ever.
~Someone who will cook for me.
~Someone who can fix things and build things
~Someone who will listen to me gripe and complain when things don’t go my way, and agrees that I am   
  right, and everyone else is wrong. Including his ownself, whenever necessary.
~Someone to spoil me with romantic dinners and surprises.  Including planning and paying for said dinners and surprises.
~Someone to take me to the beach for romantic walks. 
~Someone who will help me take care of my yard and my house, except when I want to do it myself….  which is pretty much never.
~Someone who loves me enough to let me be me.  The good, the bad, and the ugly. Someone who doesn’t run away, or think less of me, and will forgive me when I have a meltdown or pitch a  hissy fit.  (Which goes without saying, was all his fault in the first place…)
~Someone who understands that, except for a short time, I’ve been alone for most of my adult life, and I smother easily. I need my space.  If you’re looking for me, and find the door is closed, unless you’re vomiting blood or the house is on fire, please go away.
~Someone who makes me laugh.
~Someone who wakes up every day thinking of ways to make me feel happy, secure, and loved.
~Someone who can program my cable box remote control.
~Someone who is thoughtful and brings me flowers, and makes me feel like I am the center of  his universe.
~Someone who understands that It’s All About Me.

So.  Any takers?  I really am a catch.  You’d be lucky to have me. Don’t doubt it for a minute.  ;-)

HAHAHA… probably wouldn’t get many takers with a bio like that.  Which is why so many of these relationships don’t work out.  Because the bios of most folks aren’t real.  There’s a cookie-cutter version of what we WISH we were like, and then there’s the reality of what we really are like.  I realize that even my “real” list is tainted by my own perception of myself.  I’m probably worse than the bad things I list, and probably not nearly as good as the good things I list.  But – my list is for sure more real than what you’ll find on an internet dating site. 

Internet Dating.  There are some happy endings.  But it’s not for everyone.  And it’s certainly not for me.  I think I’ll just sit on the couch, watch some uninterrupted TV, eat my Oreo Blizzard, and pet my sweet kitty.  And live happily ever after.