Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Research Project: Operation Internet Dating Profiles

First let’s get this straight: I am not looking for love on the internet or anywhere else for that matter. I was just bored when I sat down to write about my less than exciting life and I was under the influence of what fellow blogger, Judy, over at Onward and Upward had shared about finding the profile of guy she dated way back during band camp---some 50 years ago. She found the profile at Our Time, a dating site for people over 50. I often see one of their commercials on late night TV, the one where they show a guy who has a deep, sexy voice like my husband had and I can never ignore what he has to say about getting his first “flirt” within minutes of posting his profile. Well, duh, he’s a pretty hot looking guy who comes off as ‘normal’ aka not a mass murderer or a con-artist.

Anyway, back to Judy. What a bizarre thing it was to find an x-boyfriend like that, I thought. Maybe they are star-crossed, like Don and I were before we started dating, being at the same places at the same times without seeing one another yet destine to meet one day. Or maybe unlike me Judy and her X just live in a small town where the pool of people is so small they're bound to reappear in each other's lives from time to time. Type your zip code into the Our Time search bar and it spits out your next door neighbor. Your married neighbor with the sweet wife. After reading Judy's post I couldn’t stop thinking about the guys I had dated before Don and I got together and I wondered if it was that easy to find out what happened in their lives over that past half century. Judy said you don’t have to post a profile over at Our Time to “window shop” so that’s what I did. I went window shopping in Old Geezer-land.

I have another widow friend who has been going through men every three to four months for the past four years and she meets them all through on-line dating and my opinion on the quality of the guys she finds isn’t all that high. They are all flawed human beings but when you get as old as we are I suppose it would be nearly impossible to find people on-line (or anywhere else) that aren’t flawed by the challenges that life throws at us over the years. One profile I read at Our Time was written by a guy whose wife had died over a decade ago and he had to see a shrink to get him to a point where he could try dating again. Our Time was his first foray into the scary world of finding a woman to replace is died wife. Okay. My widow friend would have sent him “a flirt” because she is into fixing broken souls. It’s her widowhood hobby like cross-stitching or knitting.

What shocked me the most about what I found in my research project was how many guys ages 70 to 75 I found at Our time who live in my zip code! There must have been a hundred and I dare say half of them profess to loving long walks on the beach and holding hands. Really, guys? How often have you actually done that in your lives? Or is that a code for something I don't understand? Pardon me if I’m a little skeptical here. The other half who don’t declare an undying love for shoreline walks were looking for women who love water sports as much as they do or motorcycles. (That leaves me out. The cellulite on my legs is allergic to bathing suits and the last time I was on a motorcycle I was fifteen and I got sent to bed without my supper when I got back home.) These ‘sporty guys’ might as well say, “Look at me, I'm still strong and athletic for an old duffer and I have all my own teeth.”

If I was into fixer uppers, I’d teach an on-line class on how to write a dating profile that actually might reel them in a suitable mate. And I’d start with photographs. I swear to God some of these guys look like that could have been stand-ins for demon possessed Jack Torrnace aka Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Get a decent haircut, guys, and smile for the camera. And don’t go to a photography studio in a thirty year old suit or have a yacht in the background unless you actually own one. One stand-out guy at Our Time professes a love of astrology and here I thought, “What’s your sign?” went out with the ‘70s. Remember, you're no longer flirting in the prime of your life, guys. Update your pickup lines! And the super-sized income some of these guys claim they have! Why even bother listing your income unless you're looking for a sugar baby, gold digger with with fake breasts and low morals. She's the one I see occasionally in my travels through Old People-hood who walks around with a body full of jewelry like merit badges and says, "Friends just like to give me stuff ."

One of my favorite profiles reads like this: "I provide honesty, kindness and compassion. I am well read and value long conversations on any subject. I am a Christian. I am physically clean. I do not smoke and rarely drink. Like everyone I carry some 'baggage' but it is under control. I look better on the inside than on the outside. I try to not be a bigot. I was widowed after 36 years.” He’s one of the guys with a Jack Torrnace-like, scary photograph and I don’t know why his profile amuses me so much. Maybe it’s that “baggage under control” part that intrigues me. Maybe he buries bodies under his house but he only does it every couple of years. I do like his line about looking better on the inside than the outside. If I ever write an on-line profile for a dating site I will use that line, but be forewarned if that ever happens, hell just froze over. I can, however, recommend spending an entertaining hour or two of window shopping at Our Time. Just be careful what you click on or before you know it you could be sending a "flirt" to a potential axe murderer. They should make those buttons bigger on old-people dating sites! Some poor guy out there in Old Geezer-land thinks he got a "flirt" from a ghost with no profile.  ©

11 comments:

  1. I hardly stopped laughing! Thanks for saving me the trouble of window shopping on Out Time. My friends see the commercials and advise me to give it a whirl. Like I need another fox in my henhouse? LOL

    Seriously, You're looking at a pro in online dating, a former pro. Some of the guys on these sites really ARE sweethearts. I met two wonderful boyfriends this way. It put the bloom back in my life. Hey. If any body's interested in signing up, here's my advice: be as transparent and genuine as possible in your profile. It attracts the nice fellas and scares the pants off the players. (I'm assuming you're a nice woman who wants a nice man.)

    Some say dating's a numbers game, I say it's a weeding game. Weed, weed, weed, ladies. Do not be a people pleaser. Do not be a people fixer. Be a people chooser. Stick with men your own age. Any man worth his salt does, too. It's easy to sit on the sidelines. Jump in! Think of all the stories you'll get to tell your friends!

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    1. GowithFlo: That sounds like really great advice for meeting people any where---male, female, online or in person. Our Time is the only on-line dating site I've ever been to but I did like how you could search by age and zip code both and you've got to know I didn't mention any of the normal sounding guys I saw there because they didn't fit into my criteria for poking fun at the whole concept. I'm sure there are lots of suitable guys there worth "flirting" with if one were serious about finding a match. But I still can't get over how old these guys look in my age group! I guess in my head when I think romance, by mind's eye is twenty years behind the times. Just for laughs I may go back and look at the 50 years old guys are seeking in women they want to date. I guarantee none but a scam artist is looking for a women who is old enough to see a doctor who specializes in geriatric medicine. LOL

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    2. Yep. 20 years younger is about right. LOL

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  2. I think I read that same profile!!! I have got to post a pix of the one I saw today--OHMYGOSH!! I think he was trying to look like John Travolta--back in the 80's.

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    1. Some of those profiles are really funny, aren't they. But I guess if I wrote one they wouldn't look much better. It's a sales pitch of sorts but you don't want to come off as bragging. One photo I saw that cracked me up was of a guy in front of a pick up truck. He was wearing a cowboy hat and didn't seem to match the age he posted that he was. That one had a John Travolta like pose. LOL

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  3. well hi there! i found you through judy, we both lost our guys about the same time and now i found you too! i have seen these commercials but never had the nerve to look, maybe i will now!

    smiles, bee
    xoox

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    1. Welcome! Judy and I have been following each other's blogs for some time now. She's quite the character and I know we'd be great friends if we were living in the same town. I can't wait to check out your blog, too. Our guys died just eight days apart! That seems like only yesterday some days and a hundred years ago on other days.

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  4. You had me laughing the whole time. I've yet to try online dating, and probably won't but it sure is fun when Judy writes about it. I'm sorry though that you lost your husband. xoxo

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    1. Thank you for reading here, the comment and for the condolence. I keep wondering if Judy and I are actually getting ready to take a step towards finding a male companion. Are we putting our toe in the water and just telling ourselves it's "just entertainment?" I guess time will tell....

      I look forward to checking out your blog.

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  5. I never stopped laughing the whole way through. Talking about the hair, I hate comb-overs. My husband is practically bald on top with some around the bottom. About ten years ago, it started getting really thin on top, and he buzzed it, thankfully. Bald is better than those few pitifully stringy strands hanging on for dear life. If you decide to choose an online buddy, you have to tell us about it. It's the blogger code.

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    1. I like bald better than comb overs or long on the sides and bald on the top. Worse yet is bald on the top but wearing a pony tail in back.

      Don't worry about me spilling the beans if I decide to post a profile online. I blog about 90% of what I do. That 10%? Things I'd like to write about but it would hurt someone's feelings if they saw it.

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