Dating over 60 – Senior only shopping hours

Senior only shopping hours have been created to allow the most fragile among us the opportunity to purchase a roll of toilet paper and eggs. The newly appointed senior population may be viewing this as an opportunity to meet the next Mr. or Ms. Right. Think of it as “speed dating” while keeping a six-foot distance from a new prospect!

Arriving before the advertised hour for senior only shopping hours allows you to preview those arriving and exiting their Dodge Vipers, Toyota Corollas and Chevy Silverado’s. It is difficult to determine relationship status by one crawling out of their car or truck. Do they look tired and haggard? A single senior on the prowl is going to look like “date night”. Are they alone? We all know what a cute couple looks like!  Single seniors are single seniors! If you are lucky enough to congregate at the storefront before the doors open, you have the chance to target, I mean, review the crowd.

Remembering to keep social distancing in mind, seniors step closer to hear better when you greet them. Everyone must discuss the trials and tribulations of traveling to multiple retailers trying to purchase a can of beans. A shopping cart or buggy shortage may even creep into the conversation. A few will be clutching a list, hankie included. You will definitely hear which store has no meat, water, paper products or canned goods. Does anyone have recipes for creating delights with cottage cheese and asiago cheese injected bratwursts?

The greatest generation is always willing to engage in conversation. Isolation may not be new to them. Anyone with a walker or cane is gently ushered to the front. Utilizing humor with the chemistry of a hound dog, one can wish and pray for a love connection even at a distance. Gentle chatting brings everyone together for the common focus.  Everyone remains patient for the doors to burst open. This special grace of population is appreciative of the opportunity to purchase a pint of milk.

Considering the extenuating circumstances, we find ourselves living in – our only escape from our homes is to forge forward for the necessities of life – Twinkies, Cheetos, beer and wine. Dating over 60 includes meeting a prospective love organically. Social distancing has just put a unique spin on the process. Remember to wear your glasses!

(This writer wishes to thank the H-E-B customer, in Clear Lake, Texas,  who grabbed the last two packages of Scott Tissue but turned around and saw my face before she gently handed one to me.)

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Dating over 60 – Interview or Interrogation

First dates and initial meetings can stress out the savviest dater. Text and telephone conversations are important in making the first impression a positive outcome. There is a fine line in crossing over into interrogation mode when trying to get to know someone. Innovative and engaging conversation should never feel like a job interview either.

Telephone conversations before the first meet and greet/date is a necessary step in determining if you may be compatible for any kind of relationship. If the candidate starts talking and doesn’t take a breath for 45 minutes, it may be a sign their favorite subject is themselves. Telephone conversations relay a wealth of information. You may be informed their number is a landline. In the current world, having a smart phone for anyone leaving their love nest, is almost a necessity. If you agree that your prospective love interest is just fine living in 1996 – be prepared to do anything technically specific to survive for them. An example would be ordering their “senior coffee” at the kiosk in McDonalds!   We all wish for the caller using a movie star voice, a comforting attitude and an enthusiastic welcome to share words with you.

You may be an experienced public speaker, but occupational theatrics may not be your best bet when making a love connection.  Your experience with outside sales spiels may make your clients roar with laughter during the 5-star lunch your corporate expense account is paying for. If you are the comedian in your bible study, gauge your new audience before delivering the punchline, “Jesus Christ, are you still in the bathroom”!

Consider the comfort of your date before shooting off closed-end questions, such as:

  • Where do you live?
  • How many kids do you have?
  • Do you work?

A one- or two-word response stops the conversation. Open-end questions will open a conversation for a response of more than a “yes” or “no” answer. Conversation starters allow an extension for showing interest without being invasive. Instead of:

  • Where do you live?     What is the best thing about living in WhereTheHellAmI, AL?
  • How many kids do you have?     How grand of a production is the holidays at your house?          
  • Do you work?     What interest keeps your heart happy during the week? Skydiving? Dating Coach? Map maker? Car jockey? Rocket scientist?  

If you feel like you are sitting in a tiny room with a bare light bulb burning above your head, tell Sargent Joe Friday to step back with the rapid fire of questions. You are under no obligation to disclose anything which makes you uncomfortable. A great response is to just stare back at your date with a smile on your face. State in a firm tone, “I’d rather not answer that.” You are the judge calculating if the question is innocent or digging for private and unjustifiable nobody’s business but your own!

The interviewer/date may start off with where they grew up, in a nuclear family of five in suburbia and hula hoop lessons all the way around. The information may bleed into the college and employment resume. If every single one of their work titles and positions is stated, take a deep breath and excuse yourself to wash your hands. You will be in a position to re-direct the conversation upon your return.

The expectation is that you release the elevator pitch of your “Wonder Years” to determine if there will be a second interview. Your 30 second announcement, 75 words or less can be as vague or as specific as you wish. You are in the driver’s seat when it is your turn. Inserting humor can lighten the direction of the banter into a natural flow of getting to know each other.

Be authentic and true to yourself. If the initial dialogue did not meet your expectation, you may have a humorous story to share later. Remember, it’s a date not a marriage commitment – at least not yet!

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Dating over 60 – Disaster dates

The general dance of dating over 60 is a wide-ranging outline of dating in your 20’s or 30’s. You think you know what you want. You think you know your type. When presented with the opportunities, this can change in a heartbeat. First impressions can dissolve like cotton candy in the rain.

First dates are classified as the “honeymoon” period. He says he likes peas and chicken. She says she loves all sports, including curling. The reality soon surfaces around the fifth date. He hates chicken because the Colonel served him chicken that was bloody in the middle around 1986. Her idea of loving sports is shopping for MLB official apparel during the game with his credit card and crocheting team dog sweaters.

If you are lucky, the differences will appear almost immediately. He shows up in lemon yellow corduroy short shorts. She has a mustache bigger than his and smells like Nair. This usually sums up how the first encounter is going to secure your future if you consider the details.

Another example of immediate differences – She’s been throwing back non-stop margaritas at lunch. Her car is equipped with breathalyzer apparatus and won’t start unless a sober person blows into the tube. She then informs you of her DUI and she lives sixty miles away. She suggests staying at his place for the evening. He loads her into his car and makes a 120-mile round trip to drop her ass off at her apartment.

A favorite story, told by a friend, is the date that arrives in a cab with a suitcase and tote bag that has Florida oranges printed on it. She informs her date that her significant other threw her out when she was scouting online for a replacement sugar daddy. She announces her homelessness between the entree and dessert courses. Did he not notice the luggage?

Online photos can be misleading. The most common complaints include the proverbial weight and age issues. One detail the internet may not be able to explicitly capture is the date with so much Botox in her face that when she laughs, nothing moves. The photos were an extremely beautiful model, but the person appeared to be a real-life plaster mannequin with hardly any moveable parts.

The blind date turning into a family affair is another surprise. She turns up at the designated restaurant, with her 3 small hungry children, her best friend, Margo and cousin, Bert. Obviously, there’s a forgotten Louis Vuitton wallet and Mr. Date either learns to wash dishes, gets arrested for theft of services or ends up paying the tab.

Odds are, you will have a turn at the not so blissful meet and greet or date. It leads to a good comparison of the extreme pool to choose from. Be tenacious. Never forget who you are. Don’t settle for anything unhealthy.  

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