Love Lessons... From My Single Mother

May 2012

“Spring is coming and it’s like a mass explosion of men chasing after me,” my 70-year-old mother cried me a river over the phone recently. On the other end of the line I rolled my eyes and flipped through my own datebook, blank page after blank page.  

Dad left us quietly five summers ago, despite my mother’s stern orders — while hitting his legs with a pillow — to stick around. After my initial shock of losing a parent muted, the next traumatic realization struck me nearly as hard: My mother is now single. Single like me.

Only not like me, as it turns out. It seems that single in the retirement years is a different animal than single in life’s prime. Let us count the ways my mother’s newfound singlehood differs dramatically from mine:

Mr. Right. My personal ad: SWF seeks healthy sperm count in the form of fit, ambitious, financially responsible male willing to share the household chores. Mom’s personal ad: SWF seeks fun-loving companion to share conversation and laughs and road trips to visit grandchildren.

Dating tactics. Last weekend, Mom went on a four-wheeling date with “The Rancher.” She was too “scared” to ride the four-wheeler by herself (wink, wink) so she climbed behind The Rancher and shared his four-wheeler. That same day, I hiked Radnor Lake with my own date and grew secretly irritated when he couldn’t keep up with me, then downright annoyed when he tried to pass me on the trail. What is this, a competition?

Sex. Still a firm believer in the stork, no matter how old I get, I will forever refuse to acknowledge my parents as sexual beings. Mom, on the other hand, loves to corner her daughters on the topic of sex when she’s not dwelling on her other favorite topic: How to dispose of her body when she dies. Thus, the unbearable afternoon a week after Christmas in standstill traffic on the seventh floor of the Mall at Green Hills parking garage, when she got on the topic of, er, self-love. See, I can’t even say it. I’m blushing. Let’s move on to the next category.

Internet dating. From what I understand, there’s this magical place for the 50-and-over-only crowd called One of Mom’s winning strategies is to email the men her age seeking women 20 years their junior and call them on it. “You old crony, who do you think you are?” They love this, and she gets all kinds of dates this way. Meanwhile, I’m over on blasé, resorting uncreatively to the electronic “wink.”

Communicating. Texting. Skyping. Instant messaging. Not me — I’m referring to Mom and the many modern ways she communicates with her dates. She reports that “The Cowboy” (not to be confused with “The Rancher”) Skypes her each morning at 6 a.m. Never mind the state of my hair at this hour, but who has the time? I need to get ready for work. Anyway, what would you even find to talk about at 6 a.m.? Oooohhh … never mind. It was the stork, I said, the stork! Next category, please!

Self-image. I honestly worry about things like the first time he’ll feel my bare tummy and detect in it the slight curve evidencing the Cupcake Collection stop I made yesterday before hitting the gym. Mom lets him know upfront that her body’s not perfect, but that she makes a mean pan of dumplings and sauerkraut.

The endgame. Maybe it’s because I’ve never found him — or maybe because I’m still in search of a baby daddy — but I devote ridiculous amounts of energy to finding “The One.” So, maybe because she’s already had “The One,” my mother’s goals are entirely different: companionship, simple as that. "The Rancher" and "The Cowboy" and "The Electrician" and "The Beekeeper" weave in and out of her life in a flurry of first dates and giddy phone calls and Skype break-ups. Reminiscent of love at age 16, when marriage and babies were still the stuff of teenage dreams and prom was the end game. The lack of pressure must be nice. 

Funny how my mother always seems to know best. If ever we daughters had any qualms about going downhill from here, my mother is living proof that loving only gets better as we age. When we stop taking ourselves so seriously, when we have more time for people, when beauty by force of nature becomes less about our skin and more about our souls … maybe that’s when we really learn to love.



jfosmo's picture

There is something about a "Schneider Girl" ! I love your article!


MariaL's picture

I agree that there's something about "Schneider Girl". :)

I guess love comes with age. The word "love" is very complicated and unexplainable. Sometimes, you get hurt but you still love that person. It's so ironic.

No matter how much you deny it but the fact is that sex is a vital requirement of every human being regardless of their sexual identity. There are times when you feel that you need to have something for your sexual need. You could opt for watching livesex cams or porn.

JoeAnne's picture

I remember when I had my first discussions with my mother. I know that I had to lie to her for a couple of years just because she couldn't handle the truth. But, now I'm really getting along with her and I don't need to hide anymore. Anyway, to be honest, I prefer some advice from, because they know what they are talking about.

SHAKIB's picture

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leonardo85's picture

It is interesting to find that your mom is so modern and she has so many admirers. You on the other hand is lagging behind, seriously you need to work on your self if you want men in your life. Be a little more adventurous, try out a different kind of fun with the guys that fascinate you would might be able to tempt one, no stork is going to help you.

Finding love could be difficult at any age and it is incredibly easy for some. You just have to admit that you do lack either skill or luck in this game of dating. However, finding a partner to spend intimate moments with is not difficult at all, for instance if you are in Paris alone just go for a call girl Paris for enjoyment.

Your mother is a great character. I hope she doesn't stay single. There are a lot of firms that arrange dating for seniors, and most of them have a high success rate.

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zion1122's picture

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.
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Well it is quite difficult when we stay alone in our life; we generally need a partner who can assist us in our each and every work. We all know that life is not a bed of roses and at each and every moment we can generally need a mentor who can guide us throughout our life. Like in the above a single mother can be a good mentor towards her daughter during the teenage of her daughter as she has life closely and can advice her what to do and what not to do. There are few portions of life which needs to be discussed firmly and strongly such as love life, sex life, self image and many more mentioned above.

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drove2112's picture

Not sometimes. True love is limitless, by saying sometimes you don't get it. Giving is a non stop air conditioning installers as commitment to happiness defined best by love.

Thus, the intolerable afternoon a week since Christmas in deadlock exchange on the seventh drop of the Promenade at Naive Inclines parking garage, GetCheapEssay whereas she got on the matter of, er, being-affection. Espy, I can’t constant dictate it. I’m bashful. Allow’s stir on to the then species.

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Jevon Ashley Said "Many people over the age of 40 are afraid of using more modern online senior dating methods, believing them to be exclusively for younger generations. In actual fact, most of these websites have a large percentage of users over the age of 40 and the internet can be an extremely useful tool for dating for seniors and all adult age groups."

I made yesterday before hitting the gym. Mom lets him know upfront that her body’s not perfect, but that she makes a mean pan of dumplings and sauerkraut.

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Mom, on the additional applause, affections to spot her daughters on the point of gender during she’s nay building on her else darling subject: How to give of her person during she withers. pepper spray

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