Opening Gambits

I have found over the months, the whole tenor of how a relationship starts rides on the first few lines. Recently, a woman messaged me through POF, writing, I found your profile quite appealing. I naturally replied, Like a banana? Another attractive woman described herself as having very long legs and arms. I asked if she had a very short torso. She answered, No, I do not resemble a Daddy Longlegs Spider.

I got confused whether a woman’s name was Victoria, as in the Kinks’ song, or Veronica, a la Elvis Costello. She answered, The far more interesting name songs, would be “Victoria” or “Lola”, both by the Kinks. She’s a feisty one I thought, replying, The question I should be asking then is, are you a Queen or a queen?

Any woman who states she works in the payroll department, I ask her to put me on the employment list and sign me up to receive checks. Oh, you work in a bank? Can you arrange an interest free loan? (wink, wink) In finance, Maybe we can set up a Ponzi scheme together, just to test our compatibility.

Looking for a big hearted man, I brag mine’s unusually big. In fact, it may just be Cardiomegaly. I need to see a doctor. Should you wear a costume in a picture, I will undoubtedly ask if you can wear it on a date. I may be a tad snarky and need to turn it down a bit.

A Dark ‘n’ Stormy Recipe

To the women out there: a suggestion. Do not, I repeat, do not post a picture of you and your mother on your online dating profile, unless your mother is Raquel Welch. At our age, your mother is probably fairly old, possibly frail. I know when I see a picture of you and your mother, I’m thinking my potential match will likely be looking like that in the not so distant future. The other side of the same card is posting pictures with your children and stating in your profile that your children are the most important part of your life. I get it, if they’re still young, your children should be your priority. If they’re in their college years or beyond and you still feel the need to tell a potential suitor that they are your priority, I think I’m moving on to the next lady. This goes doubly, if your dog is your raison d’etre.

Also, please do not post a bunch of pictures of you and your friends. Some women post nothing but group pictures and I not only have to play Wheres Waldo, but Who’s Waldo as well. I have to figure out which woman is in each photo. Spoiler alert: it’s not the best looking one.

I also avoid the women who have too many rules and qualifications I must meet. Her profile is usually split in two halves. The first, under the heading “Me”, informs me that this woman is an extraordinary catch. The second half, entitled “You”, lists a whole bunch of things I better be before I even think of messaging her. The list of musts can include the usual: well-educated, funny, fit, good looking, passionate, successful, etc. often though, it goes into the ultra-specific: eyebrows must not be plucked, slacks not jeans, good grammar, must not eat Macdonalds, masculine but tender, must be able to make me laugh on my worst days, luxury car owners only. I have to think very few men are meeting all the marks and who would want to? Give me a woman who just wants to share an October sunset and a Dark ‘n’ Stormy*.

*A Dark ‘n’ Stormy is a highball cocktail made with quality dark rum and ginger beer served over ice and garnished with a slice of lime. When made correctly, you will know nirvana. Unfortunately, if you drink too many, you will wake up with a terrific headache.

#onlinedating #middleaged #manspov

#middleageddating #lastfirstkiss #love #kissing #humor #sex #darknstormy #whereswaldo

Let’s Talk About Sex

A woman friend exchanged two messages on POF with a fellow: hello and how are you. His third message cut to the chase. Basically he told her communication and sexual compatibility were the two main components in any adult relationship. He asked her to give him her views on sex as it wasn’t worth going forward if they didn’t like the same things. Positions, frequency, oral, anal, etc, please spill in explicit detail. I wonder if he ever gets any women to answer him. His problem, as I see it, was twofold: it’s a super weird request and it was way too soon. I’d suggest building up some rapport for a few days and then hit her with how horny you are.

I’ve now been on POF for over four months. I have not exchanged a single message with a woman who was here for casual sex. I’ve only seen one profile in which the woman plainly said she was here to meet up for sex, but she was 17 years younger than me-and pregnant, interestingly enough. I did try to message, purely out of curiosity, but I was not within her outer age limit. I’m not saying I’m here to Netflix and chill, but I was under the impression this was happening left and right. Maybe we’re just too old and have had our fill of meaningless sex.

The few times I’ve attempted to sext, I’ve apparently misread the signals and have been shot down in cold blood. I was messaging this quite good looking woman some time ago. She was very complimentary to me and I felt we had built up a nice little virtual relationship. Somehow we got on the subject of some work she had to do around the house when she sent this message: I’m very dangerous with power equipment. The first power screwdriver I got I stripped all of the screws in every curtain rod that I mounted in the house. Lol I will take your warning under advisement. Seems fairly innocuous to me now, but what I saw in my fevered state were the words screw (twice), drive, stripped, rod and mounted. I asked if she was sending me a subliminal message with these words that could be taken sexually. She asked me if I was deranged and I haven’t heard from her since.

#onlinedating #middleaged #manspov

#middleageddating #lastfirstkiss #love #kissing #humor #sex #pregnancy


My father scraped the electric hair clipper across my brother’s scalp. Billy sat frowning with each stroke, because it was not a gentle act. He was 12 years old. I was waiting my turn. My younger brother was third in line. My father did not abide hippies generally, but certainly not in his own house.

It was early June 1970 and his fellow New York City construction workers had just protested the Vietnam War, not against it, but for it. The nation was teetering towards chaos and he and 150,000 like-minded patriotic tradesmen took to the streets of Manhattan to voice their support of Richard M. Nixon. And he’d be goddamned if there would be any hippies walking around his house. I was 7 years old at the time.

Billy’s golden brown hair tumbled off his bare, white, narrow shoulders to the kitchen’s linoleum tile floor. My father, former Marine corporal, finished the buzz cut and said, Welcome to the corps, marine. Looking at me, Your turn, Jimmy. I sat down and got my buzz cut. My father seemed angry while he ran that stainless steel clipper across my head. Why he was so angry, I never understood.

30 years later and I’m in a hair salon. My father would have laughed at me, if he saw me going into a salon. Normal barber not good enough for ya, Jimmy, i could hear him saying. I sat down at the appointed time and the pretty young lady asked me what I’d like. I told her, she pulled out clippers, and with a few different attachments, a few scissor snips, and a brush off, I was out the door 15 minutes later, $60 lighter. I felt sheepish.

Another 15 years later, my lady love sits me in her kitchen and pulls out the the hair clippers. She spends so much time studying my head, I wonder if she’s thinking about taking it apart and memorizing how to put it back together. Finally, she gets started, so gently it feels soothing. My graying hair falls down my bare, broad shoulders to her tiled floor. She blows errant hairs off my ears and kisses my nose to say she’s finished. Shower up, James, she smiles. Let’s get this day started.

#1970 #haircuts #autobiography #vietnamwar #nixon #hippy #love #lastfirstkiss

The Digital Catcall

A reader commented on my catcall posts and reminded me this is supposed to be a blog about online dating. She went onto write that receiving an online greeting is much like being whistled at on the street. In short, I agree. We do these little drive-by catcalls and see if they stick.

On all of the dating sites I’ve seen, one can simply check off women (or men, of course) one finds attractive on your handy touchscreen. It literally couldn’t be any easier or more devoid of emotion, much like the street catcall. And while, it isn’t completely anonymous, unless a fake account is being used, one feels safely separated from the receiver of said instant attraction. You’re sending out a sounding ping, waiting to see if it comes back.

In the world of online dating, the ability to simply whistle one’s attraction is absolutely equal opportunity. Women get to be just as superficial and judgemental as us men. Congratulations, I guess.

I admit I have swiped right or hit the heart icon on women whose profiles I’ve never read, basing my attraction solely on looks. I had no idea if they were 3 miles away or 60. I just swiped right and, if they did the same, I’d look into them a little deeper. And I might reject them on the second, deeper look, based on maybe their location or political leanings or some other quibble. After all, I haven’t put any emotion into it yet. I’m just driving by, shouting, Nice legs or Hubba hubba.

I have been pinged too. On POF, there’s a “meet me” option where a woman can just check off my pic and I get notified a woman wants to meet me. I know she’s put zero effort in and really there’s little chance she even wants to meet. I rarely reply to these. I was walking down the street once with a friend. He was a small-time mobster, shylocking and gambling mostly. Some distance behind us, I could hear a guy whistling and saying, Yo, wait up. I told my friend I thought somebody wanted to talk to him and he said, I don’t turn around for whistles. Let the asshole run to catch up. I got fuckin’ dignity.

#onlinedating #middleaged #manspov

#middleageddating #lastfirstkiss #love #kissing #humor #catcalls

The Misery of Love

Maud Gonne

Why should I blame her that she filled my days with misery…                                                Why, what could she have done, being what she is?                                                                          Was there another Troy for her to burn?                                                                                             No Second Troy by William Butler Yeats

Love can be thrilling, can’t it? It can make your heart sing; bring a smile to your lips unbidden. When you’re truly in love, nothing else really matters. Except when your love is unrequited, then everything else matters. Yeats wrote No Second Troy about Maud Gonne, who was considered a great beauty and firebrand in revolutionary Ireland around 1916. She spurned his marriage proposals several times, before she finally married another suitor. She remained his muse though.

Certainly, I have felt that misery, the ruinous echo of love vibrating within my own cavernous heart with no answering call to soothe the aching. Back in my younger days, perhaps it was puppy love, but it felt real enough to me. I’d pass a note or leave a message to call me back and then anxiously await a reply. Sometimes waiting sheepishly for days because there never was an answer.

Over the years, I’ve learned love can wound and hurt as much as it can bind and make whole. I’ve been divorced now. I’m not so innocent as I once was, not innocent at all really. Once, I would have bared my heart in a note, now I’m guarded. A woman friend admitted she was afraid she couldn’t love again. She had been through too much and didn’t know if she could open herself up like that once more. She asked, Do you think you can love again, James? And I didn’t have an answer, but I did have a hope I could rebuild Troy.

#wby #yeats #williambutleryeats #maudgonne #nosecondtroy #lastfirstkiss #onlinedating #boomergeneration