Have any of you tried online dating? It can be a fun game, a familiar game, from our procreative years when hormones drove the search and the long-range goal was marriage and family. However, this time around, for us seniors, the goals and objectives are different. Some moves carry-over from the traditional ‘mating dance’ like who calls whom, who pays for the meal, who opens the restaurant door. Sweet. On the other hand, when we get to a certain age, a couple can both agree that we’ve ‘been there, done all that’ and can decide that we’re old enough to skip the coy virgin and the hat-twisting teenager asking a girl to the prom routine. It can get pretty simple: ‘Your place/my place?’ ‘Your grandkid’s birthday/my grandkid’s graduation?’ As always, I think a good anecdote can get to the core of current senior ‘rules of engagement’.
A farmer comes out of a general store loaded down with a bucket, a can of paint, a goose and two chickens, goes to the mechanic next door and is disappointed to hear that his truck repair has to wait on a part. While he is trying to decide how to carry all his stuff on foot, a sweet older woman with a suitcase asks if he can help find where her sister, Sarah Blanchard, lives.
“Oh, yeah, she’s my neighbor. I can walk you there but first I got to figure how to carry all this stuff.”
The lady goes, “Why don’t you put the can of paint in the bucket. Carry the bucket in one hand. Carry the goose in your other hand and put a chicken under each arm?”
“Huh! That would do it…let’s go.”
On the way he says, “Let’s take a short cut through the woods. We’ll be there in no time.”
The lady stops, looks him over cautiously, places a hand on her chest, and says, “I am a defenseless widow. How do I know that when we get in the woods you won’t take advantage of me?”
The farmer goes, “Holy smokes lady! I ‘m carrying a bucket, a gallon of paint, two chickens, and a goose. How in the world could I possibly…?”
The sweet lady jumps in with, “Set the goose down, cover her with the bucket, put the paint on top of the bucket, and I’ll hold the chickens.”
Retired trainer, and writing instructor, Joe Novara lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Writings include novels, short stories, a memoir and various poems, plays, anthologies and articles. In, Pinata Belly, and other tales of later love, Novara reminds of the limits and ultimate hope for online dating sites.