He winked, then he made me "one of his favorites," as Match.com dutifully reported to me. Then he wrote an email. Thus bombarded, I read his profile. A self-described "non-religious Cantor." Hmmm...not bad. My age, similar backgrounds, tall, wiry, quite handsome if he actually looks like his photo. And quite well-expressed. Why not reply!
And so I did, suggesting a phone call. He called. The conversation went well. Oddly, he did express some urgency in meeting me. He was leaving on a three-week trip to Israel to visit family within a few days, he said, and did not want to wait till he returned. He was in fact "dying" to meet me. Could he take me to dinner the very next night?
The next night was not convenient, as I had recently had foot surgery and was dragging myself around in a huge black boot. But as I was going to be wearing this boot thing for another six weeks, why not strike while the iron was hot? Dying to meet me? Well, no need to die. And, since I could not go out, I thought it only fair that I offer him a simple dinner at my place.
I was secretly hoping he would sing Kol Nidre for me. In anticipation I went to YouTube and once again watched that incredible scene in "The Jazz Singer" with Neil Diamond where he comes into the Temple and sings Kol Nidre. Meanwhile his estranged father, Cantor Rabinovitch, played by none other than Sir Lawrence Olivier, refuses to even look at him. The two have not spoken for more than a year because of his refusal to become a Cantor and some other lifestyle issues -- he also married a non-Jewish woman, played by Lucie Arnaz.
After the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) services are over, Neil's character, whose real name is Yussel Rabinovitch, but who uses the name Jess Robin in his popular music career, waits for his father in the hallway. When the elderly man starts to walk coldly past him with no acknowledgement, Jess/Yussel throws a baby picture at him and says, "You have a grandson!" THAT DOES IT! The stoic Cantor's heart melts. Oy vey did I cry -- it never fails.
Back to my date. I wasn't expecting Neil Diamond to walk in my door, which of course would have been nice -- considering my major crush, exceeded only by a lifelong lust for Harry Belafonte -- but the man who did walk in was an extremely attractive 73-year-old. He was also quite complimentary of me, my home, and the meal I put in front of him, which he demolished with great relish. So far so good.
Two hours of friendly conversation later, he said he had things to do and had to leave.
One thing I have learned in life is to go for the close. It astonishes me how seldom people do that. Perhaps they are afraid of the answer! When I meet with someone who wants to write a book and have come to tell me their story in order to hear me explain my ghostwriting services and book marketing business, I always ask, "Well, now that you know what I do, how I do it, and what I charge, what will it take for us to work together?"
Perhaps they cannot afford me. That's fine. I never feel that I wasted my time if I get an honest answer. But this was apparently not to be the case tonight.
"Well," I said as he moved in for a goodbye hug, "What do you think? Would you like to get together again when you get back from your trip?"
His expression did not change, as he said, matter-of-factly: "You are very nice, very attractive, and easy to talk to. But I am dating five other women right now, and I think one of them might be special. You know -- the one! So we will just have to see."
PLEASE PAUSE TO TAKE THIS IN.
WHAT DID HE JUST SAY?
Forget me: I am out a piece of salmon, a baked potato and a glass of orange juice (okay my last glass of orange juice that I was saving for the morning), along with some grapes and a croissant. Plus two hours of my life, when I could have been reading a book, watching TV or playing with my two small dogs -- who by the way did not like him all that much. But what about HER... the special one? How would she feel if she knew her Cantor/potential boyfriend was still fervently, and furtively, looking over his shoulder at prospect number six, and who knows how many others!
Combine this with the fact that my past year on Match.com has been filled with equally strange and often disconcerting experiences, and you will (perhaps) sympathize with my sentiments in deciding to exit Match, whether temporarily or permanently.
A friend tells me she has someone she wants me to meet. He just happens to be 17 years younger, but still, this is an interesting opportunity I am going to explore. This is a close friend who knows me well and would not set me up with anyone who is anything like this person. The people she knows, both men and women, have charm, warmth and most of all -- integrity. That quality, sad to say, seems to be sorely lacking in many of those I have met online.
This then is going to be my new phase -- let's call it serendipitously meeting strangers -- which I will duly report on in this same space. So please, wish me luck "out there" my beauties!
I wish the same for you.
Sometimes it feels like the foundation of your social life is so strong that you no longer find the opportunity to meet new and exciting people. Throw a barbecue or party in which guests bring a friend that no one in the group knows. Alternatively, tag along with a friend the next time their office has a company picnic or function -- this is a great way to meet somebody who you know is responsible enough to hold down a career and who you can 'check out' with an acquainted friend before you agree to a date.
There's no longer a stigma about a woman learning to golf or a man taking a Pilates class, though such activities are still gender lopsided enough one way or the other to open up the dating options for the minority sex. In time you'll be able to go to a local public course and complete someone else's foursome, or cap off an exercise class by going for coffee with some of your fellow students -- both of which will give you the opportunity to meet a host of new people (most likely of the opposite sex). Just make sure you're doing something you want to do -- it would be a shame to begin a relationship under false pretenses.
Organizations such as "Habitat For Humanity" allow you to come into contact with people of all ages and from all walks of life, all of whom have strong, respectable values. And it's not just a great chance to meet a prospective date -- volunteering attracts interesting, good-natured people who themselves are excited to meet new faces and make friends.
Book clubs are great places to meet well-read, like-minded adults -- you can usually find one by calling your local library. Similarly, wine clubs, outdoors clubs and gardening clubs are good options as well depending on your interests. Joining a club allows you to grow as an individual and sets up the opportunity for you to meet someone who shares a common interest.
Singles over 50 are flocking to the online dating world more than any other demographic. It would be a shame to let 20th century prejudices about online dating spoil the opportunities that could await you with a membership. The perception that dating sites attract eccentrics or shut-ins is a dying one, but if you need convincing, just see for yourself the array of adults turning to sites like "Match" and "eHarmony" to help them begin meaningful relationships with interesting people. Here are the top five most popular dating sites for Post50s.