Being single in your twenties is great. No commitments. No restrictions placed on your time or your alcohol consumption. You are free to pursue or be pursued. In your thirties it’s okay too. Theoretically you’re all more mature and less likely to do things you’ll regret.
But in your forties and fifties, it can be embarrassing, painful and let’s face it, hideous. Kind of like getting pink eye. At least that’s how it seemed to our newly divorced friend, Ann.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have been so quick to divorce him.” Ann said regretfully.
“He cheated on you for eight years. I wouldn’t say you were being hasty.” I reminded her.
“But dating, it’s just so…”
“Exciting!” I said, trying to be encouraging. “It’s a great time to be dating. Men in their forties are stable and have careers.”
“Men in their forties that are stable have wives. The ones that have never been married I wouldn’t classify as ‘stable.’” she said
“So find a stable divorced guy. There’s got to be plenty of those. If there’s no ring, go after that thing!” I said, trying to sound cheerful, but sounding more like a washed up cheerleader. “Look, you can go out with anyone you want!”
“I want Jeremy.” she pined.
“You just think you do. Once you find a nice guy that doesn’t cheat on you, or pee in the yard and has a separated unibrow, you’ll wonder why you stayed with him so long.”
“Thanks.” she said, although I’m not sure what she meant by it.
“Why don’t you look up old boyfriends on Facebook?” I said trying to sound enticing.
“They’re all married.”
“You could try one of those dating sites.” I said hopefully. “You know Bob and Kate met that way.”
“Bob and Kate? The swingers?” she asked dumbfounded.
“Oh, right. What about church? That’s got to be a safe place to meet guys.”
“You know I’m an atheist. Right?” she reminded me.
“Still? I thought that was just in the nineties.” I said trying to recall. “Oh, that’s right, the nineties were your Jehovah Witness/Prince period.”
“Prince!” she said bursting into tears. “He would have been perfect.”
After twenty minutes of trying to console her, during which I pretended to understand what she was saying through her sobs, I got her convinced being single in her forties was the best thing to happen to her. Well, I say convinced, mainly I just got her to stop crying. Or she was too dehydrated to produce anymore tears.
Then the doorbell rang, my dogs went crazy and a brilliant idea struck me. “Quick,” I yelled, grabbing her hand and dragging her to the door. “What about him?” I exclaimed yanking the door open to reveal the UPS guy setting a package on the front porch.
Everything happened really fast at that moment. Ann’s swollen tear streaked face, now had a decided look of fear and confusion. But not as confused and fearful as the UPS driver that was suddenly being pursued by my big snarling dog and handicapped by my little Chihuahua mix that had attached himself to his ankle.
Thankfully Chihuahua teeth are small. Ann was able to nurse his wounds and convince him not to seek legal advice or call the dog catcher. She even got a date with him!
“No, he got a date with me.” she corrected me a couple of weeks later when we were revisiting the event. “I did it to save your butt. He is not my type.”
“Was it the unibrow?” I asked.
“No, I like a guy with a strong unibrow.”
“You should give him another chance then. You know what they say, see how a man treats his mother, because that’s how he will treat you.” I said wisely.
“He lives with his mom.” she said.
“You mean he takes care of her and she lives with him.” I said re-framing her statement.
“No. He never left home.”
“Oh.” I said, disappointed. We sat there quiet for several moments unable to come up with any more dating options. “Have you consider Catholicism?” I asked. “Not as a religion, but as a nun?”