Thursday, March 29, 2018
SLICE #29- In which an old lady considers dating
My staff has a really nice blend of teachers in the first few years of their career, mid-career, and veterans like me, who are within a few years of retiring.
Once or twice a month, we go out for "adult beverages" after work. The beginning-of-their-career teachers hang out together quite a bit, I think, and they always go. The mid-career teachers rarely go- they are busy raising their own families- picking up kids, making dinner, running carpools, etc. The veterans like me go about half the time. Truthfully, I'm never really sure those young teachers really want people their parents age around when they out after work. Usually, I only go if one of them specifically asks if I'm coming.
Inevitably, the subject of dating comes up. Usually, it's after some people have already left, and there are only six or eight of us sitting around the table. The dating question travels clockwise around the table. Who's dating? Where did they meet him/her? How often? Long-term potential or not?
I listen as the young teachers talk. L has recently met "the one" or at least he thinks she is. She's from another country, and this summer, he will be spending two weeks there, meeting her family. N typically dates for six or eight weeks, seriously at first, but then she gets bored. J is dating, via the internet, but she is moving to Thailand for a three year teaching assignment this summer, and isn't really looking for anything serious.
And then they want to know about my dating life.
I protest, "I'm old, you guys, too old. I don't date."
That doesn't satisfy them. They think I should date.
I try again, "I don't think I fill the requirements of those guys on the dating sites."
This is like dangling raw meat in front of sharks.
"So you do those dating sites, Carol?"
"No," I say, "I don't pay for any of those dating sites. But sometimes I look at them. And those guys…"
N interrupts. "I know," she says, "they're all the same. There's the prerequisite guy on the beach in a tropical country, guy on a motorcycle, guy skiing, guy mountain biking, guy dressed up for a formal, guy with a dog or cat, and guy with a child."
Everyone laughs. That really does pretty much sum it up.
And it doesn't fit me. At all. I do kids and animals and beaches, but I do not do skiing or motorcycles or mountain biking. Ever. I could post pictures of me walking the dog, drinking coffee at Tattered Cover, or headed into a movie with a bucket of popcorn, or sitting on my back porch with a book. Those are the kinds of adventures I like.
"I have a pretty boring life," I say. "I don't date. I'm too old for that."
"But you're fun," L says. "You don't seem old."
That feels a little like damning with faint praise, but thanks, I guess.
"I know what we need to do," says J. "We need to write you a dating profile. I'm really good at them. And then we need to post it some place. There are lots of free websites. You could post it on Bumble. That one's free."
"Or maybe on Our Turn," says R, the only other veteran still at the table. She met her husband about five years ago, when she out dancing, but has more recent experience with dating age. "That's people more our age."
Instantly, they are all in. "Carol, it would be fun," they say.
"Let's have a game night," says L. "We can play board games and eat pizza and write your profile."
Again, they all think it's a great idea. They decide they will do it the Friday after break.
And I'm wondering, "How in the heck did we get from having a drink after work on the Thursday before spring break to writing a dating profile for one of the oldest teachers on staff? And are they really going to go through with this?"
And I wonder what they might write in a dating profile.
I really think I am way too old for this.