First off, hello from a 68-year-old woman, strong of mind
and body, and with no ambition to be America’s Oldest Teenager or
Anorectic Botox Babe. You know the type, uber skinny, wrist-sized lower
legs, dyed blond hair dry as straw, with or without an extension, French
nails, capped teeth like sanded down stones, swanning around, designer
handbag in her clutches, in stilettos, with a pigeon-toed gait like a
little girl learning to walk. Gaining on her, you witness her
prehistoric face, with numbly unhappy expression, and you gasp in horror
at her in the window of a department store mirror where she is checking
Okay, I could stand to lose a few pounds but I wear my
weight well. I can still pitch a baseball so hard and fast that it
would hurt through a thickly padded catcher’s mitt. Eight-year-old boys
swoon over my athletic prowess. Had I married, I would have registered
at Modells Sporting Goods.
I came close to walking down the aisle once, but some small
detail, like his affinity for air conditioning and my refusal to freeze
and suffer a stiff neck, intervened. Another issue: pulp versus no pulp
orange juice. The devil is always in the details. Also, anyone who
emails jokes wouldn’t get to first base with me. Or punctuates
sentences with ha,ha,ha. A nervous tic is no excuse. I do,
however, adore fine dining connoisseurs and if we ever ran out of things
to discuss, I could bring along the Conversation Cards that come with
my Omaha Steaks orders. The talking points are windows into the
soul : ‘If the person across from you were an animal, what would they
be?’ and ‘What would your dream job or career be?
With my many and varied interests, books, music, movies, sports and
travel, I am never desperate for company. In fact, sometimes I cannot
think of any better company than myself. Anyway, I can always depend on
the kindness of telemarketers—Greg from Merrill Lynch or Cindy from card
member services—to call as I sit home alone.
I don’t even know anymore what the word “lonely” means. The
last time I held hands was a few weeks ago at the nail salon where Lucy,
the Korean manicurist, twined her fingers in mine while rubbing cream
into my hands. Geez, we didn’t even talk. Try having a conversation
about “cut cuticles” or “what color polish” which I don’t even wear.
I subscribe to Netflix, but not match.com or
ChristianMingle. (For God’s sakes, I’m Jewish!) This is the first time,
I swear, that I am answering a personals ad. It being February in New
York, with winter dug in, relentless, merciless, with bites of wind off
the river, gris, like the pallor of an Eastern European sky, I think a
cuddle by the fireplace might be in order, and I say to myself, ‘Oh,
what the hell, answer him. It can’t hurt.’
You write that you are looking for a Long Term
Relationship or, as you put it, LTR, which I so appreciate, believing as
I do that brevity is the soul of genius. Owing to the circumstance of
our both being septuagenarians, as a practical matter you should know
for future reference that I want to be cremated. No high maintenance
stuff like a plush coffin or mausoleum for me!
At the moment though I am a vital woman with the vestiges
of a tan from sailing in the Caribbean in January. I read somewhere
that it takes thirty days or so for a tan to fade entirely. Best to
call me sooner rather than later.
In closing, I think I should come clean. Which is to say I
have just decided that I am not going to give you my name, phone number
or email address. What you need to know about me, above all, is that I
change my mind from one minute to the next.
Never Meant To Be