Where are the men?

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – May 24, 2019 – Two parts today:

Part One “From the Mailbag”

Part 2 – Wednesday night’s Meet and Greet (with photos)

Part One  – From the mailbag – responses to Where are the men?

I’m surprised. Despite last week’s eNewsletter being laden with Census Bureau statistical information about people age 65 and older, which I thought would be boring to some, a surprising number of sage responses arrived in my email inbox.

Some of the responses, had the usual off-the-wall twists and humor in them. A few of those comments follow, with my responses back to the senders. Women wonder: where are senior men?

Mohammed Gariba (unedited) emailed, “How can i get widow to marry  iam in Ghana”

As you can surmise, particularly from the poor grammar, I suspected a scammer. Not to mention, an individual who was geographically undesirable. Usually, I ignore emails like that. But, a couple of brief replies popped into my head so I answered Mohammed:

“How can you get a widow to marry you? Have you asked one?”

And this: “Move to Alaska.”

He responded, “I will do that if I have the means.”

His dilemma solved.

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Andrew emailed, “Tom, you wrote, When you consider that many of those men included are in a relationship, or don’t want to be in a relationship, or never married, or aren’t ‘relationship material,’ as some women point out, the realistic ratios are much larger.”

Maybe there are a similar proportion of women in a relationship, etc., etc., so the realistic ratios remain the same.”

Tom to Andrew: “Good point. I considered it. But more women than men express the not-relationship-material aspect. Regardless, whatever the actual, realistic, ratio, it’s still tougher on women than men. Where are senior single men is asked often. ”

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Thomas (not I) emailed, “Five years ago, I lived in San Clemente and twice attended your deli Greet and Meets. I have since moved to Salida, CO.

“I still believe I am one of those men that can’t find that woman to be with the rest of my life. I bought a motor home this past year and spent the winter in Texas and AZ. I am 80 and in good health. So, I am asking the question, ‘Where are all the women?’”

My reply, “There are lots of wonderful, single women in Texas and AZ. Perhaps your RV park was geographically undesirable. Once you are encamped in those areas, you still need to get off the couch, and out of the motor coach, and seek outside activities where others will be. Just hanging around the RV park won’t be enough.

Belinda, “OMG. HOW DEPRESSING.”

My reply: “I didn’t intend for the column to be depressing; I felt it substantiated what I’ve been saying for years–the ratios make it more difficult for women.

“And yet, it’s not impossible to find a mate later in life. I published a hardcover book titled, How 50 Couples Found Love After 50, a few years back that featured 58 couples who had found love.


 https://www.findingloveafter50.com/how-50-couples-found-love-after-50

Many of those couples are still Champs and remain together. Meeting a mate later in life takes effort, and some luck. But, it can and does happen.

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Champ Jim, a humor columnist (RaisingDad column) for the Desert Exposure Magazine in New Mexico (www.desertexposure.com), responded to the May 9 eNewsletter, about the woman who complained about her partner who spends time in the backyard, ostensibly flirting with neighbor women.

Jim wrote, “I wasn’t planning on responding, but since the response to that lady’s complaints seems to be 100% against her partner, I thought I’d give an opposing perspective.

“First, two stories:

(1) “I have a cousin who went on a group trip to Italy with his wife. During the trip, whenever he would recommend that they do something, his wife would defer. She preferred staying at the hotel and enjoying the amenities.

“My cousin was disappointed, but what could he do? He went off to enjoy the sights alone. When they returned from the trip, within the year, he and his wife had divorced, and he was involved with another lady he had met on the trip.

(2) “My mother could talk to anyone. My father, not so much. Whenever they would go anywhere, my mother would end up talking to whomever happened to be within hearing distance. My father, on the other hand, would be sidelined by his own choice, fuming. Who was at fault? My friendly mother or my unsocial father?

“Like you, I don’t know that lady’s situation, but I do know there are two sides to every story. Other than (he) being, in her opinion, overly friendly, her partner doesn’t seem to be committing any great sin.

“Maybe she can quibble about how the household chores have shaken out, but, really, what has this guy done? Is he a drunk? A freeloader? A womanizer? Does he beat her? Berate her? Disappear for great lengths of time with no explanations upon his return?

“Apparently, no. His sin is that he likes to work on his yard and flirt with his neighbors. Is that so bad?

“Like my cousin’s ex-wife, maybe if she had joined him in the activities he enjoyed, she wouldn’t have felt quite so ignored. Same for my father.”Ramping up for the Wednesday night Meet and Greet at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli in Dana Point, CA.

Susie, Fairfax, Va., emailed on Tuesday, prior to the event, “Why don’t they have more meet and greets for older, young-at-heart people over 70?”

Tom’s response to Susie: “My question is: Who are the they you refer to? The government? Restaurants? Senior Centers?

“My experience, as a former restaurant owner, is: Meet and Greets take time to plan, and then it’s hard to predict who will show up. If, not enough men attend, women complain.

“Plus, for restaurants, seniors don’t spend much money so there is little financial incentive for restaurants to sponsor events like that. The restaurants prepare food that might go to waste if the turnout is poor. Then, they have extra staff members on hand and that costs money.

“The event Greta and I helped with took hours of prep work by the deli staff and new owners, including purchasing extra wine and beer, promoting the event, and contacting people. I hoped for at least 50 attendees.

The Champs who sent RSVPs were all women, not one of our male Champs said they would attend; so, I hoped this wouldn’t be a disappointing event. I understand that people have other obligations and can’t always attend.

One woman wrote: “After 17 years of being single after two divorces, I’ve seen what’s out there. It ain’t pretty.”

I responded: “Who knows? Maybe a few good men will attend the Meet and Greet in Dana Point on Wednesday from 5 to 7. You live just down the road from Dana Point, 10 to 15 minutes away. Might you join us at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli, 34085 Pacific Coast Highway, DP 92629?

She said, “I don’t have a car, so no.”

What? I thought, but didn’t say to her: “Have you heard of Lyft or Uber?”

Her comment made me think about an article, that Kip, a buddy who kayaks at Dana Point Harbor, told me about, that appeared in the May 14, 2019, Los Angeles Times online newspaper. It was titled, “For lonely men in Spanish towns, the ‘caravan of women’ brings hope of love,” written by Meg Bernhard.

I accessed the article online out of curiosity because of our “Where are the men?” article. I ended up reading it because of how well written it was—a fascinating article.

It’s too long to get into it in this eNewsletter, other than to say, it talks about 50 single older women who live in Madrid, Spain. They each paid $23 to take a charter bus to Calzadilla De La Cueza Spain, a tiny town (24 permanent residents), four hours away, in hopes of meeting the single men there. They were in the tiny town in a bar for about eight hours.

The return bus headed back to Madrid at 4 a.m., arriving at 8. Women in this country who think they have a hard time meeting men, should read this story. Again, it is incredible journalism.

Bottom line: It’s hard to meet older single men anywhere in the world. Not just in the USA. Link to that story:

https://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-col1-spain-women-caravan-20190514-htmlstory.html

And finally, Champ Sue said, “I live near Chicago and don’t know how to find the boys! I just keep hoping. Have a beautiful day.”

Part 2 – Meet and Greet recap from Wednesday night 

We hadn’t had a Meet and Greet at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli in Dana Point CA in four years. So, I didn’t know what to expect.


Early crowd at the deli

People started arriving before 5 p.m. By 5:15, there were 50 people there. By 5:30, nearly 100. They kept coming into the deli. Greta was filling in name tags as fast as she could write. Jackie Hammond and her sister Judy Frank arrived.


Greta, Jackie, Tom, and Jackie’s sister Judy (Jackie graciously shared many of the photos taken with her camera that are shown here today)

About 15 of our Champs attended. Stella took a bus from Newport Beach, just as she did five years ago. Marinell came early and introduced herself. Then Mary Ann joined the party.


   Greta and Tom with Mary Ann (photo courtesy of Mary Ann)

Champ Susie was there and seemed thrilled with the group. Mirtha came with friends. Dee, who had been to many Meet and Greets, arrived with her daughter Julie, and Julie’ significant other, Vince.


                   And yes there were men, I count five in this picture 

Guys there: included Ken, Jim, Cluny, Vince, Cliffy, Bob and Mike—seven guy pals of mine.

Yes, there were more single women than men, but men did show. At one point, I counted 20 men interspersed with the women. It was a great way to introduce the new deli owners, Samantha and Elena, who hugged more people in one night than most of us hug in a year.

One table of women had an international flare—they were from Mexico, France, Bulgaria, and Iran.

Greta’s family and friends were there in droves—sisters DeDe and Jeanne, and her son, Tony, who was the volunteer bartender, just as he’d been five years before, and her daughter Terri. Her long-time friend Lula. Several members of Greta’s Dippy Dolphins Water Aerobics class attended.


Tom with 2 owners–Elena and Samantha– behind him on the right side

One of the first couples who met at our first Meet and Greet six years ago—Fred and Joanne—were there with friends. And another couple, Jack and Joanne (not the same Joanne) who say they met because of my articles that encouraged them to keep trying years ago were all smiles.


Tony the bartender (Greta’s son). He looks busy because–he was

What more can I say? Great night. When addressing the group, I asked the people, when for the June Meet and Greet? Oh my Gosh. Not on Tuesdays, that’s Taco Tuesdays. Wednesdays? No, that’s country dancing night at
Stillwater Restaurant and some people go to church on that night. Third Thursday? Nope, that’s the Chamber of Commerce mixer night.

At home, Greta and I flipped a coin. It was heads: the next event will be Thursday, June 27, 5 to 7 p.m. My guess is, Tutor and Spunky’s is going to be packed on that night.  Stay tuned.

Author: tpblake

Tom Blake is a newspaper columnist in south Orange County, California. He has published four books. His primary topic is finding love after 50 and beyond, sometimes far beyond, for people 80 and older as well. He also blogs about travel at TravelAfter55.com.

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