On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter June 4, 2021
by Columnist Tom P Blake
Paula, 75, emailed recently, describing her life with Harvey and Stuart. While reading her email, a song popped into my head, which seems to be happening often lately.
As you read today’s column, I think you’ll understand why Paula’s email content made me think of Bob Dylan’s classic 1965 song, “Like a Rolling Stone.”
So, who the heck are Harvey and Stuart? They are Paula’s two Basset Hounds, pictured above.
Paula wrote, “When I wrote you after your recent column about Sarasota, Florida being a dating paradise, I explained why I was disenchanted with Florida. You asked why.
“It’s too hot, too humid (but the bugs aren’t as bad as those in Texas) and lastly it just doesn’t feel like ‘home.’
“After a divorce 29 years ago, I decided there was an amazing world out there that I had not seen and things I had not done. I have lived in several states—Montana, Alaska, Washington, Florida, to name a few.
“Regularly, I move to a city and state where I have never been before…buy a house that needs renovations and live in it for at least two years so I don’t have to pay capital gains tax.
“If I enjoy the area where I am then I stay longer but I am always planning my next move to somewhere.
“I live in Jacksonville, about 45 minutes from the beaches. Parking is hard to find and some beaches are not dog-friendly. I have only been to a beach one time since being here; I am satisfied with that only visit.
“I have lived in several states and have found that senior women are very cliquish. Those single females have their established group of friends and when a new person appears on the scene, they are mildly friendly but not as accepting as I would hope.
“Plus, some women have husbands they want to keep attached to their hip, which is no problem for me. “I love having lunch with a lady or ladies just for the conversation because talking to my dogs is not too inspiring.
“I have made lots of friends along the way and have kept some close to my heart. I use a saying by some anonymous individual ‘…a reason, a season or a lifetime’ as my guide when I meet somebody. “I tried to move back to the Spokane, Washington area after I sold my last house here in Jacksonville, but couldn’t find anything in my price range so I had to return to Jax to buy another house to renovate which is almost done. I am my own general contractor.
“I do everything I am physically able to do. I recently de-tiled the walls behind two bathtubs. I remove carpeting and even do plastering. “I am not in search of a gentleman to call my own…moving as much and as often as I do wouldn’t rest well with any man. The only way I can do what I do is to be single.
“I have no inclination in finding a significant other since I move around so frequently. Senior men are very planted and moving at an older age frightens them to no end. Most are settled in the place where their immediate family resides. Asking an old man to move would be like asking a ‘tree hugger’ to go out and cut down a Christmas Tree.
“Being single has its ups and downs but I am happy with myself and busy. I know for certain I would not be a good wife. “I am still pretty healthy according to my cardiologist but I am no spring chicken at the age of 75. I still have a lot I want to do and see but that doesn’t mean getting on a plane or sailing on a boat. The USA has wonderful things to see and places where you can have fun.
“I knew after four weeks of living in Florida it was not going to be my stopping-off state. I knew I was not going to put down roots here. I haven’t found that place just yet but I know when I do it will give my heart that ‘warm giggle.’
“I want seniors to know that life doesn’t stop because they have aged, retired, or even lost a spouse. Both men and women can be resourceful and fulfill their dreams. They should do things that inspire their daily living and focus on a rich future. As for being lonely, that is a matter of choice.
“Warmest regards from sunny, humid and the state where hurricanes love to visit.”
Senior Men and Dogs
Kathy, “One of my main problems with dating was animals. I love animals, but I’m allergic and even if I wasn’t, I don’t want animal hair on my clothes or furniture.
“Trying to find a man that didn’t have a dog in the house was hard and I would never consider asking someone to change that for me, so, when I was online, I would pass men up who had photos of their animals in their profiles.”
Leslie, “In my life when I stayed in a relationship out of fear that there wouldn’t be anyone else, it was the wrong decision. When I’d leave, another door would open.
Those single women-to-single-men ratios you’ve written about bother me because I find they don’t matter. When I was younger and moving to Atlanta, I was told, too many women live there, you’ll never date again. So I went there expecting the worst.
“It was the opposite, I dated a lot and met the love of my life there. I’m now 80. Never did I expect another relationship, yet here came one, four years ago. He just gave me a ring. “Please write M back and let her know those ratios don’t matter. Plus, when you tell men that, it gives them a false sense of what’s going on and can cause the behavior as shown in Corrine’s situation.
(Tom’s note: Corrine was the woman we wrote about a few weeks ago who was worried that her man would leave her).
“That’s what’s great about your column, you can sway expectations one way or the other.”
Tom’s comment to Leslie: “In my writing about senior dating topics, presenting a balance is important. Swaying expectations is not my goal. Instead, I prefer that the facts help people make their own decisions. Plus, attempting to “sway” this group of wise and intelligent thinkers wouldn’t work.”
One thing is certain. These three women are fiercely independent and have minds of their own. More power to them. I don’t think they will be “swayed” by anything anybody says to them.