No. 615



Years ago when someone first made the comment, “we are all different,” they made the understatement of the century. If there is one thing that characterizes human beings, it’s that we are each unique, as there is no other human being who ever lived who is just like you or me. What I have just shared is meant more or less as a disclaimer because of a topic that I want to share today: the hazards of senior dating. While there are some people who never marry, most do, and usually one spouse will live longer than the other. At this point we refer to these individuals as a widower or a widow. After several months have passed, depending on their age, a good percentage of these people will begin to date, and an even lesser percentage will marry again.
It should also be noted that a lot of these seniors never date, which is a personal choice. My wife has a beautiful sister in this category. Several years ago her husband passed away, and while in her mid-70s, still doesn’t date, and I don’t suspect it will change. She is in good health and has been invited out by numerous men. Up to this point, she always declines, being content with her church work and taking care of her grandkids. Now, I have said these things because I don’t want you to think that I am being disrespectful. However, there are a lot of men and women in their 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90s who do date, and today I want to tell you about a good friend of mine and a fantastic guy by the name of J C Noggle.
J C, and he always tells me it’s without the periods, is a widower in his 80s, comfortable, has a doctoral degree and loves to take the ladies out. J C is in our Lions Club, and one day when I was out of town on a speaking engagement he told our club about an experience he had with a garage door opener. They said it was so funny that it brought the house down. I’m sorry I missed it. Later, J C recalled this story for me in an e-mail and, because of his good nature, he embellished it a bit. You are the judge, but I believe you will really enjoy his story, especially if you have had a similar experience in your own life.
He begins, “While riding my lawn mower around my plantation in Vilonia, I have been thinking about the significance of the garage door opener, other than its use to open the garage door. Remember the latch-string? It is a cord attached to a latch and often passed through a hole in the door to allow lifting of the latch from the outside.” In earlier times, there were no locks on the doors and a latch string was installed on the outside doors. At night, you would pull the latch-string into the house and no one could open the door from the outside. But during the day when someone was welcome to enter your home, you put the string through the hole to the outside and they could pull the string, thereby unlatching the door and letting themselves in without you having to stop what you were doing to answer the door.
Later locks were installed that required a key to open the door. With the increase of wives working outside the home, children often came home from school to an empty house. They were given a key to enter and are referred to as “latchkey-kids.” Now extend this to “senior dating” during modern times. After a few “dates,” the lady feels comfortable with the man and, in order to not have to stop what she is doing when he arrives, she gives him one of her spare garage door openers so he can enter the house without ringing the door bell. (Of course it is arranged previously as to the time he will be there.) Now after a period of time, the lady decides that the guy is a dud and would like to terminate the relationship.
If they were both young, she would write him a “Dear John” letter, but now she is a senior citizen so she just says, “Return my garage door opener and hit the road buster.”
Well, I won’t call names, but this actually happened to my friend J C Noggle, so you can see why his telling it brought the house down. This is just one of many hazards of senior dating.
He told me about another one that I would never have thought about in a million years. It seems if you are dating someone and love to talk on the phone you have “free mobile to mobile” if you both own cell phones and have the same wireless company. You can then talk all day, if you want to, without it counting against your minutes. Well, J C went to a wireless company to check this out and found this was indeed the case, but it would cost an extra $10 per month. J C said, “What if we break up? Can I go back down to the original rate?” Apparently, the answer is no, you just have to live with the deal you made when times were better in your relationship. This is yet another one of those hazards of senior dating.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To support literacy, buy his book: “Learning, Earning & Giving Back.”)