Just to start out with a bit of information I found out recently,
that Dick Van Dyke has married at age 87, a woman who is a makeup
artist, of 42 years of age. Now, I ask you, what will they have in
common? Will he “catch her up” on the oldies but goodies that he
enjoyed? Will she “fill him in” on all the new technology and new
musical groups that he may have never listened to?
This all is so upsetting! I was match made by my youngest daughter
with a man who is 47 years old. I have been 58 since November. I
think we would have a lot in common. We are not that far apart and
as I was driving to meet him at the Polaris (Shopping area, north
of Columbus, Ohio) Panera Bread, I was given a pep talk by my
First of all, she led with the fact this man had been ‘stood up’
at the restaurant that she works at on High Street. (Cameron
Mitchell’s The Pearl Restaurant.) He was sitting at the bar,
looking at his watch or his cell phone and seemed rather tired
and cranky. His impatience had led him to ordering a few drinks
while waiting, ultimately ending up with wings and French fries.
Not the typical healthy fare that the restaurant is known for,
and my daughter, the hostess with the ‘most-est” (the spell
check would not accept the word without a hyphen, it wanted to
make it moistest! Smile!) Anyway, she wandered over, asked
the bartender/server for a hot tea, she was like me all
week, voice-less or nearly so.
She introduced herself and asked him who he was waiting for,
he openly declared himself, “stood up.” He also looked within
a short time at my photograph. This is how my family and friends
approach absolute strangers… He said I looked ‘too young’ to
have her as a daughter. She was asked to ‘guess my age’ and she
guessed the man as ’61.’ I have to grin now, as I type this, since
alas, she ‘forgot’ my age and said I was ’55.’ He said he was only
47 and yet, since I looked ‘younger than 55’ he would take a chance
and he gave her his phone number.
Sunday morning, I did not have to work. I did not try to ‘earn my
Tuesday off,’ and just took my already ‘free’ Wednesday off. I
texted him, “Would you like to buy this girl a coffee?” He texted
back, that he did not have any plans, was relaxing and reading the
Sunday newspaper. I texted him at ten a.m. after my daughter had
let me know his phone number on Sat. into Sun. early hours. I
figured I would wait until I was ready to go brave the cold,
also allowing him to sleep in, if he were that type of guy.
After ten minutes of texting back and forth, trying to decide
where a halfway point would be, we agreed to meet at 11:00 a.m.
I drove across town in Delaware to feed my friends’ kitties,
then hurried back to S.R. 23 southward bound. I was sipping on
my second cup of coffee, having eaten a light breakfast. I was
When I entered Panera, he had been told I was wearing a red,
down coat and he said he would have a gray and red sweater
on. He had chosen a booth, arriving a minute earlier. I had
texted him from my friend, Jenny’s house, telling him that
it may be closer to 11:15 but it was only 11:02, so I made
We shook hands and then went up to the counter, I offered to
go ahead and purchase my coffee. He said he would pay for it.
I glanced at the pastries, my ‘downfall’ and passed. He went
ahead and ordered what appeared to be lunch. He said I could
order more, but I declined.
Once we sat down, I mentioned that my daughter had told me
he was a political consultant. I asked if he had a particular
client? He answered that he had been closely affiliated and
liked Ted Strickland. I mentioned that I had met John Glenn
and his wife a few times, along with Gene Branstool. He told
me both politicians were ‘fine men.’ I told him that Gene had
presented my battered women’s children funding grant to his
subcommittee. That he is like the ‘salt of the earth.’ Turns
out that Bill knew his son. That was cool, I thought, I like
to hear about connections between people. Also, told him why
I knew John Glenn.
Bill was very understated and not a bragging man, but he did
mention that one of the pictures of himself on match.com,
(where the woman who stood him up had ‘met him’) he was
wearing a tuxedo. He says he has to own one to go to the
Inaugurations and Inaugural Balls. I was fascinated by the
subject, but he did not pursue or reveal much more.
When I told him my real age, he backed off, pushed himself
away from the table, leaning back to study me. I began a
short summary of my relationships. I have a very shortened,
humorous summary which usually gets a few smiles. When I
said I had three children and one of my children had
married a woman with two children and then had two more,
which made the total go up to four. He muttered, not very
quietly (if you watch, “The Middle” think of the character
Brick who looks downward, but you can hear his comments0:
“Four too many!”
I looked a little stunned, he looked at me, no blinking and
said, “I don’t have children, am an uncle and do that well.”
I went on to say that both my brothers didn’t have children
but were very involved in my children’s lives and also, now,
with the grandchildren. I did not pause, but I am a little
Later, I did get up the nerve to ask, “Do you date anyone
Bill said, “Most of the women I date have children in the
range of 11 to 15 years old.”
At that point, again emphasizing our age difference I should
But, I am kind of stubborn! I said, “This past summer I dated
a 46 year old man for about 6-8 weeks and we didn’t part due
to my being a grandmother. I enjoyed our trip to Cleveland
and we watched the Indians play.”
He did not pursue the subject. He did say that he had tickets
for the Blue Jackets that night.
I mentioned that I used to love watching the BGSU hockey team
play and had taken in a few Blue Jackets’ games.
When he was looking at me again, he said, “I wonder if we have
I told him I have that “girl next door” look, that I have been
blessed with a few complimentary comparisons to Marlo Thomas
and Sally Fields.
He asked me, “Who is Marlo Thomas?”
I answered, “She was the star in a television show called, “That
He shook his head, ‘no.’
I said, “She is Danny Thomas’ daughter and has been carrying on
in his support for the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital charity.”
He looked at me askance, like I was talking a foreign language!
I looked at him and my last two feeble identifying questions were:
“Do you know who Phil Donahue is? She has been married to him for
Head shaking ‘no’ again.
“I don’t suppose you have heard of ‘Free to Be Me’ a musical that
has several different freedom of choices in it. It was made for
children and there is a fairy tale where the princess wants to
choose her husband, instead of one that kisses her, or wins her
hand in marriage from the King.”
I smiled and said, “Oh well! My sister in law jokes around that
my brother was in junior high school when she was married and
He did not smile back.
I told him I liked to blog, that filled up a lot of my thinking
processes while at my basic, manual labor job. He told me this,
I hope you get to this terrible comment, my dear fellow blogging
“Bloggers are twits and idiots.”
I looked at him, telling him that I write on wordpress.com.
He shrugged and did not retract the insults.
I said, “I have a byline that says, “Relationships reveal our Hearts.”
He did go into a few political areas of why he dislikes bloggers.
He added about the ones who ‘disagree’ with his politics, are
particularly ‘big mouthed’ and ‘not very informed before they
write just about anything.’
I did not try to tell him about the humor, essence of humanity,
creative forces that write posts or the friends I have made
through my blogging community.
I stood up and closed with my one of my final thoughts to get
us separating our paths,
“Well, you mentioned at least one good thing will come of having
to meet me at Polaris, you have a gift card from Brooks Brothers,
and you will find that across the street at the Mall.”
He said, “Nice to meet you,” and shook my hand.
As one of the first words I had said while asking him to meet me
for a cup of coffee settled into my mind and I walked towards my
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
The latter part, unfortunately was true of my time and energy.