Online dating? That’s for kids. Or, is it? In another of his essays about the absurdity of everyday life, longtime San Francisco columnist Nick Hoppe writes that finding happiness can be tricky. But it’s not impossible. Not even for baby boomers.
My wife and I went to a rollicking wedding last weekend in the wine country. The beautiful bride was 70 years old, and the dashing groom was 72.
They were both widowed a few years ago after long, happy marriages. They mourned, and then eventually decided to move on with the rest of their lives. Naturally, they went on Match.com.
He had numerous dates, she had only three before they connected on the online dating service. They fell madly in love, and married within a year of their first date.
“Isn’t that a beautiful story?” my wife asked as we drove back home after the wedding. “Meeting online and getting married in their 70’s. They look so happy.”
It was indeed lovely to see. Life isn’t over until you say it is. Your beloved spouse may die, but it doesn’t mean you can’t move on. That’s why I suggested to my wife that we start working on our online dating profiles, just in case one of us croaks.
As usual, she wasn’t fond of my idea. She explained that we were both in good health, and there wasn’t any need to plan for so far in the future. It wasn’t until I suggested that we each write the other’s online profile that she warmed up.
“Now that makes more sense,” she said. “I’d love to see what you write about me. And don’t worry. I’ll still hold to my promise to not start dating for at least two weeks after your death.”
I knew she was kidding, but didn’t doubt there would come a time when she might be ready to venture out, just like our 70 and 72 year old friends. I told her I’d have her online profile ready for her soon.
It didn’t take me long. I researched some online dating services and wrote a profile that I thought would work perfectly. I presented it to her the next afternoon. The headline (which is very important) was “Older Woman Seeks Man Who Can Compare To My Wonderful And Cherished Late Husband.”
I thought of adding “Good Luck, Sucker” to the headline, but it was getting too long. Instead, I just jumped into the narrative:
“I recently lost my beloved and irreplaceable husband. I am drowning in sorrow and self-pity and am looking for someone who can take long walks and listen to me talk about my spectacular former life. I also like to dance and particularly enjoy humiliating any dance partner who is not as good as me.”
“What do you think?” I asked as she put down the sheet of paper with her illustrious qualifications as a potential date.
“I think the pickings will be a little slim, just as you intended,” she replied. “And not everyone is as bad a dancer as you.”
“I’m just trying to help you find someone who you can be happy with after I’m gone,” I said, beaming. “If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.”
She turned my sheet of paper over and pulled out a pen. “Time for me to write your profile.”
Fair enough. I figured it would take her some time to come up with so many glowing adjectives, so I left her alone for a while. When I came back 20 minutes later, she was done.
The headline was short and sweet and it was a good start: “Older Man With Perfect Eyesight Seeks Fantasy Woman.”
“I like it so far,” I said, looking up at her with my 20-20 vision.
By the look on her face, I could tell I wasn’t going to get my Fantasy Woman. “Read on,” said my wife.
The profile continued: “I may have perfect eyesight, but that’s the only part of my body that works well. The rest is a mess. I like to whine about aches and pains and talk about how fit I was 40 years ago. I also like drinking beer and watching sports, and I’m a bit of a slob. The only woman who could put up with me died recently. I miss her, but only when a game isn’t on.”
I finished reading and looked at my wife, who was beaming just as much as I did when she was reading her profile.
“It looks like neither one of us is going to be able to do much dating with these profiles,” I said. “I’d like to suggest we both live forever.”
She grabbed the sheet of paper and ripped it to shreds. Then she high-fived me. “Done,” she replied.
Nick Hoppe’s latest book is, “Some Books Aren’t Meant To Be Sold: A Collection of Humor Columns.”