A friend of mine–a much younger and hencely, DUMBER friend, recently suggested that perhaps it was time for me to join a dating site that was more appropriate for my age. “One that’s for–” I watched as her infantile brain searched for the right words that wouldn’t offend me. She searched in vain. She spoke slowly, ” You know, like, Megan, like, a dating site that’s, like, for–OLD PEOPLE–like you.” Yep, this embryo said, “OLD PEOPLE.”
After sneaking seven tablespoons of Metamucil in her sippy cup*, I realized that my former friend was right; I needed to find someone my own age. I had grown weary of scrolling through dozens of winks on Internet dating sites from 19 year old mountain men named Cletis, or Otis, or Eustis. Most often, Cletis, Otis/Eustis’s profile picture featured my potential beau dressed in a flannel shirt, no pants, and a well-worn pair of brown work boots. In one hand, a can of rolling rock (nip-sized, thank you,) the other hand resting lovingly on a gutted deer hanging from a tree in front of his cabin. On his face, along with a healthy dose of “mountain man morning face fur”, was a sleepy, “come-hither” look mountain men have first thing in the morning, you know, before they’ve finished their AM six pack, and had a good b.m. in the backyard.
*BTW–does anyone under the age of thirty drink out of glasses or bottles or cans anymore? I coach a high school girls’ basketball team and during the time-outs, the athletes look like baby lambs being bottle fed by one of Old MacDonald’s farmhands.
If you’re single, you may have noticed that type-specific dating sites have sprung up everywhere on the Internet. Whatever kind of love you’re in search of–it’s out there. Spend a few minutes and you can find sites for Divorced Christian Love, Black People Meet, Big Fat German Bakers, Middle Child.Match, and Macular Degeneratives Seek Love.com, to name only a few. So, I was pleasantly surprised at the number of dating sites out in cyberspace suitable for “OLD PEOPLE.” There is an abundance of companies willing to cater to-a.k.a. prey on- those of us who spend much of our remaining time contemplating our own mortality, the meaning of life, regretting decisions made, opportunities lost, and years wasted. (Side note–on the Internet, there’s a site called the “Death Clock” which calculates– based on your health, family history, and emotional stability– how much time you can assume you have left to live. My death clock holds a permanent place in the upper right hand corner of my computer screen…a subtle, but constant reminder to CARPE DIEM.) Yes, these geriatric dating sites know who we are, what we’re scared of, and aren’t afraid to pounce on our fears; the biggest one being that no one will lie on their deathbed, and while gasping, rattling, and raling toward the heavenly gates, in their last breath call out our names, like Napoleon crying out, ” Josephine…”**
**A little bit of historic trivia for you–it is reported that seven years later, on her deathbed, Josephine’s last word was, “What?”
I found: “Senior Time–Or do you really want to die alone?” and “Join Gray Panther Love–because it’s later than you think.” I eventually settled for an online site called, “Crotchety Old Fart Mingle.com” because of the marvelous membership package they offered. For only $39.95 a month, I received a free portable defibrillator and a pocket guide entitled: “Ten Signs your Date is Having a Stroke,” autographed by George Hamilton–indisputably, the oldest eligible man in Hollywood. But, my favorite freebie had to be my medic-alert bracelet that read:
I’ve Fallen – in love– and I Can’t Get Up.
There was also an in-depth questionnaire to fill out. I was asked questions like:
1.) At dinner, your date begins to discuss his most recent bowel movement. You:
a. nod understandingly, but quickly change the subject.
b. hope he’s going to give a power point presentation.
c. can’t wait to show him the stool sample you carry with you at all times in case of an unexpected visit to the E.R.
2.) With 1 being most important and 10 being least important, rank the following qualities you seek in a potential mate:
a full set of teeth
a hefty pension
a love for animals
a sense of adventure
a sex drive
a driver’s license
a double digit IQ
In addition to the questionnaire, all dating sites have a list of rules you must agree to before you’re accepted as a member. For instance, the list of rules for “plenty of assholes in the sea.com” is fairly simple and straightforward:
1. Members may not wear sunglasses in their photos (presumably so potential suitors can detect the tell-tale “666” sign of the devil reflected in the iris of your eyes.)
2. Children may not be in your picture (an obvious deterrent to pedophiles who have mistakenly strayed from the IAMTHE LOWESTFORMOFHUMANLIFE.COM site created expressly for these perves.)
and, that’s it.
Crotchety Old Fart Mingle.com had its list as well:
1. There is to be no correspondance after 6 p.m. This rule was strictly enforced. Crotchety Old Fart Mingle.com actually closes from 6 p.m. until 5 a.m. each day. Though admittedly, they relax the curfew on Saturday nights, when members can troll until the ungodly hour of 8 p.m.
2. Members should post photos featuring only one chin. Remind me someday to tell you about the curse of middle age and its effect on one’s “chinage.”
3. Members must post a recent photo. The folks at COFM.com were very lenient with this rule. After scanning through several member profiles, it seemed that as long as your picture was not a daguerrotype, they were willing to look the other way.
4. Members may not schedule dinner dates for after 4 p.m.
5. Members may engage in no activity that increases one’s heart rate beyond 20-30% of one’s maximum target heart rate. This roughly translates to 220 minus your age minus twice your shoe size. So, we’re talking nothing more taxing than a heady game of Parcheesi.
Now, I’d love to spend more time writing to you today, but it’s nearly 4 p.m. and I’m off to meet my latest Crotchety Old Fart for the early bird buffet at China King Palace…Geez, I hope I get to try out my new defibrilllator….