A friend of mine recently pushed me to start dating again. “It’s been a year since your divorce; it’s time,” she said. Apparently her biological clock has been replaced with a post-marital calendar.
We’ve all had women friends who want to set us up on dates when we’re single, but I’m 52 ("and a half!" my inner child adds) and have been married a total of 25 years to three different men. I’ve been around the Monogamy board so many times, surely I’ve collected at least a dozen “Get out of dating free” cards.
My friend knows how to goad me, so she added that the only reason she was being so pushy was that I’m such a good catch. I agree, I am, but I prefer the catch and release program. Unfortunately, men my age are either into dating college cheerleaders or looking for a companion to spend their golden years with. And I just can’t get into the cheerleader outfit any more. Not without having to see my chiropractor the next day.
Facebook is also pressuring me. Recently, ads that read “Meet Mature Singles” have popped up on the right side of my computer screen every time I log in. I guess I need to go back and change my relationship status to “immature.” Facebook should know better. I don’t even have time to see what dance craze I am or water my imaginary garden. When am I supposed to meet and nurture a relationship with someone who expects me to be mature?
The excuses younger women use to get out of dating–I have to work late, my mom’s going to be on Jeopardy that night and she’ll kill me if I miss it, I’m thinking of joining a nunnery – just don’t cut it anymore. I need more creative and age-appropriate ways of telling well-meaning but pushy friends to butt out. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
10. My dog’s on a new diet where he has to eat every 15 minutes or his blood sugar gets too high. And he’s a Rottweiler, so I can’t take him along in my purse.
9. I can’t date until the Botox wears off and I can pretend to look interested.
8. I either have time for dating or helping build houses for the poor. You decide.
7. My last marriage counselor doesn’t think it’s a good idea.
6. It’s not fair for me to monopolize the few middle-aged men willing to date within their own cohort. So really, my not dating is an altruistic act.
5. My menopausal mood swings are so severe someone would get hurt. And if I ended up in prison, I wouldn’t be dating there, either. This way is safer for everyone.
4. I’ve forgotten. What is dating again?
3. How will I know if he calls me back when I can’t see my cell phone display?
2. I am secretly dating my chiropractor. Sure we only see each other once a month or when I throw my back out and yes, I do have to pay him, but other than that, we have the perfect relationship.
1. I’m just not that into it.