Saturday, August 28, 2010

Robbing the Cradle

When I first thought about dating again, after my year of grieving and recovery, as a 51-year-old widower, something strange happened. I went right back to being 25. That was the last time I had dated. The women I found attractive happened to be half my age. They could be my daughter. Silly me. I was delusional.

I figurtively slapped myself in the face. Wake up, moron! No robbing the cradle. If I was going to date, I would have to find someone if not my own age at least residing in the same zip code, as in 50-something zip. A quarter century had passed, and women my age now had wrinkles, body fat, dyed hair. Some had grandkids. Yikes! Then I looked in the mirror and made an honest evaluation of what i saw. I had wrinkles too. My hair was turning a lovely shade of silver. I had lost my metabolism years earlier and was fighting the battle of the bulge.

I had to retrain my brain to look for a companion my own age. I needed to find someone who had seen life in the trenches, who had recovered from layoffs and illnesses, who had lost people close to them and who had recovered to come back stronger than ever. I needed to find a character with character.

When I went on Yahoo personals, in late September 2008, I was absolutely delighted when two weeks later I found a person, Teri, almost exactly my age. It was uncanny. A miracle. A bit of unexpected synchronicity. As we got to know each other better, we discovered we had even more in common than first imagined. We had both seen life in the trenches. We had both recovered from severe challenges and come back stronger than ever.

OK, so Teri is seven weeks older. At least it's not me who is "robbing the cradle."

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