Dating in the modern world…

I’m an old-fashioned guy. In short, I look to a previous time for guidance in how I conduct myself. I have an eclectic approach, I’m not stuck in the past, but I do believe that previous generations possessed a code of conduct that worked and is lost on younger generations. I keep it alive because I’ve seen it in action, I believe in it and I do believe it is ingrained in me.

I suspect that I’m much older than most of my readers and I may be talking about an unfamiliar topic. For the sake of this writing, the old-fashioned values I cherish are as follows:

  • respect for elders
  • honoring your word
  • a firm handshake and direct eye contact
  • be tolerant and accepting of other’s viewpoints
  • holding the door for a lady

Did you double-take on the last one? Yes, I am a guy who holds a door for a lady. Not for a chick, a broad, a ho, bae, some strange or a side-bitch. A lady. And I will not apologize for this. I am fully aware that a woman can open her own door and I make no assumptions of dominance nor intend a lack of respect when I do it. It’s a nice gesture and I do it. I believe there are women, and a lot of them, that long for an old-fashioned guy. If they’ve never met one it’s about time they did.

Last night my mother opened a video sent her by one of her dating site connections. It was titled “Does this turn you on?” She opened it, it was a 74-year-old man jerking off for the camera. Facepalm…I thought an older man would be better than that. Mom does too.

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Dating has always been a game. Even though I’ve been in an exclusive, faithful relationship for 25 years I know that the game has changed. Dating is very casual. The conventional “relationship” has changed on both sides. Monogamy is considered an almost outdated construct. Sex is much easily obtained with a lot less effort and commitment. The way I knew it was a lot of work and few guaranteed results. Now, a man has to put in a bare-bones effort and is almost guaranteed to score. Women like hounds apparently.

I get it, it’s a by-product of the times. We live in a time where we are entitled to everything, hard work is not valued and instant gratification is awesome. We talk to each other through screens; we use text messaging to avoid conversation; we compromise our own integrity in the interest of cheap pleasure. There has to be something between my Grandfather’s day when a man “went a’ courting” his best gal and today’s man texting “‘sup bitch, wanna hook up?”

I don’t just want a woman that I can respect, I want a woman that respects herself. Sex is not a true victory, it’s just her letting a man into her pants. A true victory is when she respects you for how you treat her and she then lets you into her heart. Sex is great, but what are you going to talk about after?

I’ll continue to hold the door for a woman. I’m pretty sure when she’s done being offended she’ll find herself just a little turned on.

Kayaking

Yesterday was quite a day. I got out of bed at the crack of 7:30 and went downstairs for the morning caffeine infusion. My mother, on cue, was making a pot. Something was missing. “Where’s your boytoy?” I asked her. The boyfriend stays with us almost every weekend and he was there when I went to sleep the night before.

“Gone,” she said. “He got a little too handsy this morning and when I told him to knock it off. He got pissed, packed his bag and left. Want to go to Church with me?”

What I wanted to say was Gee Mom I am actually headed down this morning to see a couple of friends before I stop by wifey’s and have cake with the 2 oldest kids for a belated birthday party so I can’t. But what came out was “I’d love to.” There was no way that she was as ok as she acted and I knew I needed to be there to support her today. I would go down after church. Besides, I needed to know what happened.

As we prepared for church I got the story. Being the Trump supporter that he is he tried to grab her by the…well you know where I’m going with this. Apparently, he woke up a little “Randy”, popped a Viagra, rose to the occasion and attempted to park it somewhere…at 6 AM.


Mom was just a little busy sleeping when the countdown ended and it was a failed launch attempt. He and Mr. Johnson were rebuffed with extreme prejudice. Knowing that he’s a golfer, I’m just a bit surprised at his lack of etiquette. You always give a heads up before you try to play through.

The church was delightful as always. As I am still in my Undefined-Spiritual-Transition-Mode I sit there and I people watch. I know the people now, The congregation consists of some wonderful, giving people. And then there are those few that have that ethereal my shit don’t stink because I love God so much that I’m going to heaven and you’re not face and I know that they’re completely full of shit. Fine by me, it’s their journey, not mine. I then caught the eye of Linda, my new buddy from the food pantry. She mouthed “hey you” to me and I smiled for the first time that day.

Linda is an attractive, happily married older woman who I am very drawn to. In the classic sense of the word, I want to be around her. It’s not sexual but exciting nonetheless. She’s educated, smart, extremely charitable with her time and in her actions and I love talking to her. Linda was present the day I told my food pantry volunteer pals my theory on religion. I was asked in front of a room full of people why I don’t attend church often. I told them:

Religion is sitting in church thinking about Kayaking. Spirituality is sitting in a kayak thinking about God“.

It’s not original but it sums me up so well.

The service closed with a prayer. Not participating in the ritual, rebel that I am, I said my own prayer of the agnostic.

Dear whoever you are. Without putting too fine a point on things please make this earth a better place. If you can’t then please show us how. Take care of the poor, don’t let babies die of cancer and punish the dicks. I don’t care how you do it just put it higher on your list than who wins the next major sporting event. Your humble servant, Amen or bye for now or whatever. Forgive me for I know not what the fuck I am talking about.

We then adjourned for the St. Patty’s luncheon out back. Mom was serving so I grabbed a plate of food. Seeing a bunch of set tables and a row of chairs I chose to sit on a straw chair. That would allow groups to have the tables. I had picked a perfect spot to people watch and that is just what I did. A few people approached me, some who I haven’t yet met introduced themselves and some that I knew, asking me why I was sitting there lonely. I assured them that I was where I wanted to be. After all, I was. I was writing my next blog in my head after all!

Linda approached and sat down next to me, smiled and said “Kayaking?”

“What do you mean?” I asked her. She couldn’t possibly be referring to the conversation we had weeks ago.

“You know what I mean. It looks like you’re Kayaking right now.”

“I can’t believe you remember that. Nice catch. Yes, I am. Always. You know that’s not original right?”

“I know”, she said. “But I liked it and you own it.” We talked for a few, I met her lucky husband and she went off to socialize with someone else.”

Who knew that my own words would come back to me someday?

The rest of the day panned out as planned. I made it down to MA to see my friends and family and made it home by 10 and made sure Mom was ok.

As of today we haven’t heard from Trump Jr. I guess we’ll see if the voters choose to let that “locker room behavior” slide.

 

 

More cracks than I thought

I posted a few days ago about my Mom’s boyfriend and how, as his familiarity increases with our home he has begun to show a “further side” of his personality. Some folksy racist comments, inserting himself into situations that don’t concern him and trying to influence decisions my mother makes. It is bugging me a bit, but as I stated before it is her life and if she’s happy then so am I. I’m also a guest in her house right now and I know my place and will not exceed my boundaries, provided they jive with my sensibilities. That is a big ol’ gelatinous statement because my “sensibilities” constantly evolve.

A little history will provide some more context.

My father died of Parkinson’s in 2013. He battled the insidious disease for 8 years. As the disease systematically reduced the once unbreakable, honest and strong man to a mere shell of existence my mother was forced to care for him almost unassisted despite the fact that he was a veteran and a Teamster. Caring for him took a terrible toll on her, the stress of seeing her only love fade before her eyes and the physical toll of tending to his every need was miserable for her. His death was a relief for everyone, I imagine even for my father. I was living in MA and was 100 miles away so I was of little help but when he passed I spent as much time up here as I could to keep her company.

Six months passed and Mom called and said: “we need to talk”. She had a boyfriend. A local guy, a retired MA transplant who worked part-time in the schools named Frank. I had mixed emotions. Part of me screamed “too soooooon!” but the other, more reasonable side of me liked the fact that she wasn’t alone. I would meet Frank soon after and I liked him. My family not so much. My wife, the pinnacle of virtue apparently, got all judgy about how fast it all happened. My children were unhappy because they hadn’t seen their grandmother at all as she cared for my dad and now she was busy with someone else and they were again on the back burner. I found myself playing the middle, a role I hate.

Frank was a clinger, a Velcro boyfriend. He had come from a miserable marriage, he was crazy about my mother and he never left her side. I pulled mom aside and told her my concerns, she was aware but not worried about it. It became a problem for me when I brought the family up one night and come bedtime, instead of getting in his truck he began to put his pajamas on and headed towards the bedroom. The same bed my mother shared with my father. I wasn’t cool with that at all. My kids were here, they wanted time with her and he couldn’t give her one night without humping her leg? And she couldn’t ask him to leave?  I did it for her.

“Hey Frank, if it’s all the same to you…you know I like you right? If it’s all the same to you when we’re at breakfast tomorrow I’d rather not see you come out of this room scratching your balls. Would you mind going home tonight?” Mom was not happy but she knew I just had a conversation she couldn’t. Frank was pissed. But he skulked out and I told Mom that she needed to reign in his clinginess. How did they think that it was ok for the grandkids, who just lost their grandfather, to see that?

Eventually, Frank and I came to an understanding and we ended up liking each other a lot, although Mom said he was intimidated by me. I’m glad I liked him because he proposed in July of 16. They were now living together and their old-fashioned values left them feeling uncomfortable with “living in sin.” They were married in January of this year.

He died 3 months later. What started out as a cold turned out to be lung cancer. He lasted 10 days from diagnosis to the morgue. My mother was crushed. But bounced right back.

She gave it 6 months, and around the time that I moved in she began to get the itch. She wanted to date again. After several failed online experiences, she met Dave. Dave is the guy I recently posted about. He is almost but not quite as clingy as Frank.

The other day I asked my mother how things were going with him. I had my opinions but I only offered them when asked for. We talked for a bit about the aforementioned stuff. I recommended that she be the one to be in charge of the relationship. She needed to remind him that she just lost a 2nd husband and that the situation needs to be how she wants it. I assured her that he would be fine with whatever she does. I then mentioned to her some of the things I discussed in my previous post. Most of which she agreed with. Then she said, “there is one more thing, he needs to stop grabbing me. You know…sexually”. The top of my head almost blew off! I was furious. I needed to know: how bad, how often, what did you do about it and what happens now?!?!

“Like what”, she said, “I told him I didn’t like it. That in my entire life I’ve never been groped”.

“Umm Hmmm…and what, pray tell was his response to that?”

“He said that I should be flattered.” He sounds like Fred fucking Flintstone.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have told you”.

“You’d better do something or I will,” I told her.

I’m glad she told me. I am now planning my move. Something will be said. This is my Mother! What is he, a teenager? Is she hot? I’m not backing off of this.

I’m fine with her dating. It’s not even up to me. I wish she played the field a bit instead of falling in with these “nesters” but it’s not my call. I tolerate the fact that he may be plowing my mother in my father’s bed but he had better respect her and she had better insist on it. Retired state trooper or not, I’ll put him out the door without the benefit of opening it first.

A 70-year old man groping a woman like a teenager. You can’t make this shit up.

 

crack in the foundation

My mother’s new boyfriend has become a weekly house guest. Because he lives almost 80 miles away his routine is to show up on Friday and leave Monday morning. He originally stayed in the guest room but now he’s in her bed. My father’s bed. Heavy sigh. Let it go.

I like him. He’s a big, polite 70-year-old Vietnam Veteran and retired State Trooper. He’s nice to my mother and he and I get along well. Even if we didn’t it doesn’t matter I’m not shagging him my mother is.

Predictably, as his familiarity and comfort level increase, he is showing some additional sides of his personality. A few telling comments containing “folksy racism”, unwelcome input (my favorite), and indications that he thinks he is a bigger part of this household than he really is. My mother is noticing it, is ok with things for now, but I am comfortable that she will handle it if she decides it is a problem. As for me, I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

This morning he made a mean comment about our dog to me. Big mistake. I even said “you’re in the wrong house then big guy”. “You’ll go before he will”. He asked if I was serious.

“Hell yea I am. We love dogs in this house.”

I can’t help but wonder what Mom’s reaction would have been had she heard that? I have a feeling that this is only a matter of time.