Going out on a first date is bad enough when you’re a teenager with a bad complexion, but it’s even worse when you’re over forty with a bad complexion and less hair to boot. Your Over-40-and-Single Advisor has a veritable cornucopia of suggestions for the middle-aged single who wants to get back into the swing of things, based on nervous queries from readers such as the following:
Dear Over-40 and Single Advisor:
I took your advice to the reader who said she was not comfortable going to “Singles Nights” such as many Elks Lodges and bars have around the country. “Jump-start the fun with an activity date!” you said, so I arranged to meet a man whom I will call “Bill” at a local mountain trail for a hike. Things were going okay for awhile, then he stopped to tie his boot behind me and when I turned around he was being mauled by a puma!
I succeeded in beating the big cat off of Bill with a tree limb, then I dragged him (Bill, not the puma) down to base camp where the Med-Flight helicopter took him to a hospital.
Ms. Over-40 and Single Advisor, I was always taught that you should write a thank-you note promptly after a first date, and if you didn’t within like a week it was very rude. I have not heard from Bill and frankly am a bit miffed.
Sue Elaine Hightower, Manchester, New Hampshire
Dear Sue Elaine:
I know how much you are suffering but please don’t take it personally. Doctors say rest is the best medication for puma-related injuries, which by the way are rising because of hiking dates gone awry. Give “Bill” a few more weeks to regain his basic motor skills and I’ll bet you’ll find a “special delivery” waiting in your mailbox!
Dear Over 40-and-Single Advisor:
You said in last month’s column to bring a note card with questions for your date after being out of circulation for awhile so as not to turn a fun first evening together into a “Woe is me pity party.” That is what you said, I saved the clipping. Well, I tried, but I can’t say it was a big success. When we hit a lull in the conversation I looked down at my 4″ x 6″ card and read off “Would you rather die of a lengthy illness or be the victim of a sudden, tragic accident?” which is a question that has always fascinated me as a litmus test of a person’s outlook on life. “Sheryl,” my date, got all pissy and said “What the hell kinda question is that?” and stormed out of the Denny’s we were at, leaving me with a bill for $10.50 for her Pigs-In-A-Blanket and iced tea.
I hope you offer refunds ’cause otherwise I’m going to call the State Department of Consumer Affairs on you.
Duane Goosen, Kahokia, Illinois
Perhaps I am missing something–you came up with the question that Sheryl took offense to, not me. I suggested a number of less intrusive queries such as “Why would a pretty blonde like you die her roots black?” or “I notice you’re sweating–should I ask them to crank up the air conditioning?”
The Over-40-and-Single Advisor is unfortunately unable to offer cash refunds for dating expenses, although I do have a number of discount pizza coupons good for a large cheese pizza and a two-liter bottle of Sprite, the refreshing lemon-lime soft drink. If you find the conversation dragging your next time out, try filling your mouth with food until your date thinks of something to say.
I went out and had a “date-friendly makeover” such as you suggested to Cindy M., of Southfield, Michigan, before I started dating after my divorce, in order to increase my confidence. I did what you said and took a clipping of a hairdo I liked to the beauty salon, but when I got home I was mortified because my shorter cut made my face look fat–ter.
I holed myself up in my kitchen and when “Roger,” my date, came to the door, I lied (laid?) down on the floor and made some vomiting noises and told him I was sick to my stomach from some popcorn chicken I ate, please just leave me alone.
Roger went over to the KFC which is the only place that sells popcorn chicken in town and gave the manager “what for,” which was nice, but now I can’t go in there for lunch ’cause they give me the evil eye. Any suggestions?
Veneta Sue Donlan, Hoxie, Arkansas
Dear Veneta Sue:
The past tense of “lie” is “lay,” so you should say that you “lay” down on the floor and made some vomiting noises.
Dear Over-40-and-Single Advisor:
I sent away for your “Remind Yourself You’re Special!” Motivational Tapes before re-entering the dating “scene,” and followed the instructions carefully, listening to them while sleeping all week long before my date Friday night with Lurleen Mitchell, who is a secretary at the Minton’s State Farm Insurance Agency.
Anyway, halfway into our date Lurleen takes her cell phone out of her purse and starts looking at it every now and then, like she’s waiting to see if somebody better calls her. I had just started telling her about my collection of license plates from around the country when she interrupts me and says “Lloyd–no offense, but you are just about the most egotistical person I’ve ever met.”
Needless to say there was stony silence until the waiter came with the check and we shook hands good night. What I want to know is, do I need to get a de-programmer now that you have stuffed my head with a bunch of self-centered junk that will be a turn-off for any decent woman I may happen to meet in the future?
Lloyd Salley, Cheektowanga, New York
I am so sorry to hear of your misfortune resulting from the deliberate misuse of our product which we are clearly not liable for in 48 out of 50 states. I would suggest that you call one of our cheerful operators with your VISA or MasterCard ready and purchase “How to Control a Raging Ego and Attract Women Who Love You,” a four-cassette how-to-do-it kit with free instructional booklet that will help you better understand your strengths and weaknesses for offers such as ours.
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “Take My Advice, I Wasn’t Using it Anyway.”