Sunday, November 28, 2010

Self Doubts and the First Date

I struggle with the idea that I’m just too old to date. I squint into the mirror and notice wrinkles as I apply my mascara. What am I thinking? I remember on TLC’s What Not to Wear, Stacey London is always cautioning the “mature” woman not to go too sexy in her dress because against a twenty-four year old, the twenty-four year old wins every time. I think about wearing a turtleneck, but since I already have my makeup on I’ll just be wearing a turtleneck with makeup on it. Besides I’ll end up looking like Diane Keaton in her last four movies. Still Diane Keaton looks good, maybe the turtleneck? Instead I go with the lucky clothes.

Not unlike men who insist on wearing certain clothing to play sports in the belief it helps them win, I have lucky clothing. Realistically, they aren’t all that magical. While my snakeskin cowboy boots caught the eye of the dentist I dated once, I didn’t. They also went along on a date with an engineer I never saw again. Maybe the boots are off-putting. Perhaps men think it is odd choice since I’m not riding a horse and do not run a dude ranch. They could be wondering about other peculiar choices I might make. Still, I pull them on along with my miraculous skinny jeans.

My skinny jeans are not those tight peg leg pants, but jeans that are guaranteed to make me look skinny. You’ve seen them in the store and wondered if they worked. Well, they’re definitely tighter than my regular jeans. Putting them off requires the same amount of work as pulling on a pair of pantyhose resulting with the same tight, lifted rear. I may not look skinnier, but definitely tighter.

Onto the shirt where I worry about how low the neckline should be. Since I’m no Dolly Parton and have no implants to showcase I settle for modest neckline, especially since that is all I own. It’s probably the easiest decision. Going for my turquoise turtle earrings, I feel like I am readying myself for a ritual sacrifice.

I never dated much when I was younger and I remember why. I couldn’t stand the anxiety when I waited to see if a guy would like me. It’s odd I never took the power in my hands and rejected them. I usually settled with one fellow, no matter how a bad of a fit he was, and stayed. It just seemed easier. That’s my whole dating history and marriages summed up in one sentence.

I decided maybe after an Oprah episode that I deserved better. I wanted a man who appreciated me exactly how I am and not for what I could do for him. Realistically, all women know that we’ll stop the pampering shortly after marriage. It gets old, then, all we have is a man who is resentful he’s no longer the sun in our universe. On the hand, we might resent him for being so self-centered and demanding. Thinking back wasn’t this inevitable. Ahh, dating, romance, relationships—am I any good at any of these?

As I brush my hair I wonder if there is any evidence I should date. I’ve had lukewarm relationships in the past. Men who wanted to marry me, but I was leery for various reasons. My dog was a better companion. I think that he is my measuring stick. A man has to outdo my dog and he’s been working it for the last nine years. Truth is he’s still pampered so apparently he knows stuff the men don’t. Every time I walk into a room I’m wonderful, the best thing that has ever happened to him up there with bacon.

Spraying my last spritz of perfume I’m almost ready. My mind set has changed from being rejected which I sometimes am to comparing men to my dog. Men my age are so different from young men. Young men are more willing to take chances and go out with anyone just for fun. If it doesn’t work it’s no big deal. After getting to the first date with a seasoned gentleman I think I should be able to do mediation for major companies. The second date must be more like the Middle East Peace Talks. I might have to call in Jimmy Carter for help.

I’m ready at least I think I am. Funny thing is I try to appear cool and confident when I’m the opposite. How did that cell phone get in my hand? I put it down without calling and making some silly excuse. Isn’t that him pacing in front of the restaurant? It’s show time. What am I doing I could be home sitting on my couch watching television…and we all know how exciting that is. Stupid eHarmony commercial. He turns and smiles, a big delighted I’m glad to see you smile. When I’m close enough he reaches out his hand to take mine, says my name before enveloping me into a hug. Now I remember why I’m doing this.

Tell me about your doubts if you’re dating or past doubts if you’re in a relationship. Next time, I have a handful of single guys who divulged what they go through in the dating process. It isn’t as easy or as wonderful from the male point of view as I thought


  1. You know, I think what you said is sooo true and few of us ever really 'get' it. We should be the ones wondering if a date is good enough for us! There is nothing worse than showing up to meet someone who wants what we're not, which is why I am living the temporary convent life for now, hanging w/my four adorable Golden Retrievers in my nice warm house. Thankfully I have crushes like big wave surfer Laird Hamilton and cutie patootie David Duchovny who I actually met in Malibu when we were both separated. He actually talked to me and it was really honest and nice. Alas, he went back w/his wife and I stayed separated, so that ain't gonna work!

    I do have one couple friend, he in his early 50's, she late 40's, secon marriages for both and they met online. I make my life as interesting as I can. I work out every day, make great low-fat meals, drink some good wine occasionally and hang with friends. That seems to work for now.
    And of course self pleasuring which keeps me happy! God Bless u if ur out there dating. I'm a coward, really I am. It seems like way more work than I'm willing to put in. It took a 24 y.o. to teach me the truth about the love connections. He said we're the ones in control. I never saw it that way but he's right. If ur attractive, u r and I am, fun and a good sport, I am and u sound like u r, then truly we are in control. I met a guy who I could have fallen in love with but he's already married so I can't go there but I made him promise me if he ever met an available guy kind of like him, he would tell me. It's a start, yes???

  2. good article. I have dated several times after the 48 years. The first time was after my divorce at age of 55. I didn't want a relationship or marriage, just someone to have fun with, no sex. I found a guy who wanted the same thing. The first thing I knew, we were planning our wedding. We did have a lot of fun together and shared many common interests. The second time was after my husband died. I was 72 years old and had known two gentlemen for over 20 years. I enjoyed the company of both men but they wanted more from me than I was willing to give. The good news is I still enjoy the company of a nice, intelligent, considerate, gentleman. There are several that I sing, play cards with that fit the bill. We firt, laugh, and enjoy each other's company with no ties or committment.

  3. Hi Word Actress,
    I don't know if I would call myself courageous because I'm still out dating. I am learning to become my most authentic self and to be the type of person I am looking for. If I want someone interesting then I have to be interesting. If I want a man who is in control of his destiny then I have to be in control of my destiny. Be yourself and that should be enough.

  4. Teddi,
    How lovely to hear from you. It inspires me that women older than myself have found happiness and success in dating. You sound like very interesting lady.