Guest Column: Dating Online Series. California state of mind?

by Ms. Jennifer

I arrived in California. Traffic is a major theme. And…Oakland is in the eye of the beholder. I’m here for a family wedding (on my ex’s side) and my anticipation retains a touch of melancholy. 

Arriving a couple days early, I’ve made plans to go to Ecstatic Dance and somehow I’ve managed (with my new best friend named I-phone) to find the place and dance with groovy people from San Francisco. I can hold my own, but I’m always reminded of my age since most in attendance are my kid’s ages and “we’re all one” works until about the age 29. The few old groovy guys still want to dance with the young, hot chicks wearing yoga bras and skimpy shorts and who can blame them?   

Still each time it gets just a megabit harder to put myself out there.  It’s not overt ageism, but it’s definitely there. We are instructed that eye contact is the way to engage, but most overt their eyes. Thankfully, there was one exception to this rule.  Somehow I end up dancing with one of the girls and then a tall, dark and handsome joins us and we’re having a Ménage-a-trois on the dance floor.  He skillfully weaves between us and we float, spin and pirouette, but the best is yet to come!   

The other woman drifts off and suddenly it’s just the two of us and I think he used the word “lift” and the next thing I know I’m flying.  You may not understand the next thing I’m about to say, but that’s almost as good as an orgasm.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m an air virgin, because he doesn’t drop me, or because he can pick my ample ass up–probably a combination, but I’m laughing and then he reads my mind and does it again!  That’s definitely worth the $18.00 bucks to get in and almost worth the $200.00 parking ticket I got this morning when my Airbnb host forgot to tell me how to get inside the gate to park.

I wanted to thank him, but I can’t stomach a groovy closing circle.  I’ve just danced hard for three hours and my body knows it’s after 1:00 in the morning.   Beside more good things are about to happen.  I’m picking up my son and his girlfriend in less than 12 hours.  They’ve booked a Swanky hotel, but when I tried to book a room it was $300.00 a night.  Another crappy Airbnb for me, only this time, unlike the first one with no info about parking, this Airbnb has instructions on everything including how to wipe my ass.  The host has taken tips from the airlines and has a price sheet and everything is for sale (bathrobes, slippers, snacks, etc.) everything except for Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome.   

The next morning I pick up my son and his girlfriend from the airport and we’re off to breakfast.   Somehow I still seem to be in the stage of interviewing them.

“How’s work?

“How’s the house?”

“How’s the dog?”

I’ve also been secretively checking my phone to see if Jose has texted me.  We went on a date two days before my trip and I had a third date with Henry the night before I left (Henry doesn’t text between dates). Henry is like fine wine and the conversations flows until, on our last date, we retired to his couch and we wrap ourselves together and relax. It’s very enjoyable, but it’s very quiet and sometimes “girls, just want to have fun.”  I don’t mean screaming from the chandeliers (I imagine Henry would be a thoughtful and sensitive lover), but sometimes I need to burn off the energy on the dance floor and he prefers to stay home (understandably since he lives in a beautiful and artful home) where there are no outside distractions or amusements we just have each other to focus on. 

But Henry’s already warned me that he won’t give his heart to one person and in many ways he reminds me of my ex (except he’s honest, whereas my ex wasn’t) they both need a stable of women and when you’re rich and privileged this is always a possibility for men. The double standard is alive and well. Of course, woman can have multiple lovers, but older women aren’t the coveted prize that rich men are.  Powerful men have access and you don’t have to commit so why limit yourself, right?   Even if you’re bald and short you can get some.  Henry, for the record, unlike my ex, is tall with a full head of beautiful white hair.  Maybe some small justice, although he’s not going to be my boyfriend, so between you and me, what does it matter?

Older women, on the other hand, are always going to struggle because our worth isn’t in our wealth/power, but in our youth or more specifically having a youthful, fertile pussy and for me those days are gone. I didn’t completely understand that when I was younger maybe I would have “used it more.”  I gave my pussy for love never for “profit” or control, but I also didn’t understand it had an expiration date.   Well, maybe I did think giving it up would offer some sort of insurance, but that didn’t work.  But why wasn’t I using it for myself rather than for some sort of potential gain?   Because women both know and don’t know the power of their pussy.   Men want it, but they seem not to always want the rest of what comes with that pussy.   And what happens where their needs are so over-powering they don’t give the woman space to figure out what she wants to do with her own treasure box?   And when she’s ripe enough to know what she wants to do with it, most have lost interest assuming its dried up.

I’m here to tell you the well is not dry, people, but I’m still wondering what to do with it cause I’m finding most men online are too busy chasing the young pussy, or a fantasy, to see what is right in front of them.   I don’t sense that is true with Henry, he wants brains and a heart.   He just wants what he wants when he wants it and, like my ex, doesn’t see the point of being tied down to one pussy.  Why limit yourself?

There are men that advertising themselves online as a “one-woman man,” but I wonder about this with so many affairs and the new “non-polygamous” trend. Are men programmed to spread their seed (maybe another reason to want the young, fertile pussy)?  I mean I get it intellectually sometimes I want to be a slut and fuck whoever interests me, but I know myself and I want more.   I want the whole enchilada and being here alone getting ready for my niece’s wedding really drills in that point. I would have loved to be here with my boyfriend to make love after the wedding after filling up on silly gossip, wine, and cake.

I’ve been trained by my master ex who reassured me the way to get people interested is to act like you don’t care.  Do not chase them and yet as a passionate woman I want that early intensity when you can’t get enough and why should I hide who I am?   But I also want to know how to keep it alive after that initial high wears off instead of being changed out like a replacement part.   

But Jose has already warned me he’s a workaholic. Is it really all about money and survival?  Of all the “aholic” to deal with this would be my first choice, but it may also simply be a fact of getting older no one has much room in their lives for another relationship– probably burned multiple times by failed love affairs (so different from the young, idealistic love I witnessed at the wedding this afternoon).   At least workaholic are more likely successful and I appreciate their drive and effort, but just how out of alignment is it?   And where (or will I) fit in–too soon to tell.  Still after our first date and hot text conversation, I’m feeling a cool breeze.  

Regardless after a lot of single dates, I remain excited about Jose.  He’s from Venezuela moved here when he was 14 and he comes from a big family and I love that idea, but I’m supposed to be rather cool and detached and not show much interest, right?  But the truth is even before I met him I was eager… eager to get out of the house.  My 90-year old father just moved into my house.  I need a glass of wine and stimulating conversation to get my mojo back and that’s exactly what Jose provided.  Of course, there were the pre-date jitters–what if he doesn’t show up.  What is there is no chemistry, but none of that happened and the more we talked the more I was interested.  And I couldn’t be sure, but I thought the feeling was mutual.   

We said goodbye in the parking lot with a quick embrace, but then he reached his arm out to me which I took and something about that felt so familiar and welcoming.   Still I couldn’t get LOST there, because I had to go home and pack.   To my delight he sent me a text when I got home saying, “I had a good time.” 

“Thank you, Jose.  I did, too.”

“I keep looking at your picture.”

“Someone said I had an interesting third picture and I was like what the hell did I post?   I don’t recall….lol”

“I do.”

….and we’re off at the races.   We end up sharing sexy, but tasteful photo of ourselves.  At one point I ask him:

Are we going to:

  1. Freak ourselves out?
  2.  Laugh hysterically when we see each other again?
  3. Scare each other off?
  4. ??

His response with “4”

“What’s four?”

“Whatever we want.”

But that’s when I start getting texts spaced days apart like:

“Where are you going again?”

And I get worried that my mini-slutty behavior isn’t okay.  That I can’t “win” that when I don’t put out there’s no call back, or if I give something up, it’s too much.   Maybe Jose wants a “good girl,” can’t I be both?  Can I find someone who will accept the full expression of myself?   Who will encourage that sexy part of me, but also will accept the parts that aren’t so sexy.  Can this be that hard to find?

Jose says he want the “whole thing.” I just have to cool my jets to see what’s there.   Am I supposed to let the man lead (don’t want to scare him off) but what about what I want, what about being “organic,” but what exactly does that mean?   Being in my head and trying to figure out the rules is not such a good idea.    You should hear the shit in my head.  I just have to trust myself and, now that I’m over my Prince Charming fantasy understanding he’s dead, I’ve grown up to know nothing is guaranteed.   And if Jose is super into it, and then suddenly missing in action, I have to remember, even at my age, there are plenty of fish.   But how long should you hang on hoping?   It seem people swipe after the first fart.   

Besides when I “wait” for some action I want, or expect, or hope for, it adds to feeling more lonely, and why should I expect any guy to fix that?   I have to face the shit straight up and I do my best.   I’ve dropped the kids off at restaurant where they are meeting the cousins who just got married and didn’t invite me to their wedding.  I ask my son if he thinks I should join them.    He’s cool either way.  I haven’t seen them since they got married and I don’t want to be a fifth wheel.   Back at the hotel there is a “disco band” so I drive back (should have told them to take the damn train there is no such thing as a quick trip) and hit the dance floor, but the second it’s over I find myself hungry, alone, missing my old life in NOLA and checking my phone.   I want my dad (even in diapers), I want my dog.  I want my music. I want a man (or a text from Jose).  It’s more than being horny, it’s an ache/longing to be known.  I think my dad provided a lot of that later in my life, but I’m losing it again as his memory is mostly gone and his body is melting. 

Jose has four daughters and he says he tells them “it will be ok” often and I told him that’s not good enough.  Being known deeply/fully (is not the same as agreed with) is a human need. There’s this idea that we have to have multiple partners to get all our of needs met, but what happened to meeting our own needs?   What happened to family and friends, God?, nature?, the rest of life filling us up?   What happened to going deeper and deeper with one lover (is this not possible after the high wears off)?  Am I naive?  Unhip?  Insecure?  I don’t know anymore, but while I’m looking I’m sure having (generally) a good time, when I’m not having a horrible time.   

I don’t see anything long term with Henry.   He’s already put me on notice.  He’s someone to engage in the moment, but Jose, well let’s just say I can’t wait to see him again.  In fact, I wish he was right here now with me in this crappy Airbnb. 

After three days and no reply to my text, Jose resurfaced. “Back to reality,” he writes, but I don’t tell him I didn’t know what to do with that reality. I have a very bad habit of making shit up.   Maybe I’m nuts, we had one nice date, so what?  What do we pin our hopes on these days?   It’s the age of swipe.   Who knows how much to invest in anything.  I’m torn wanting to be more like my ex while also resenting him for his fast food mentality.  

Buddha says attachment creates suffering, seems true, but attachment also creates purpose and meaning.  I’m on my way to the airport my head and heart filled from my niece’s wedding where I witness innocent love in such a pure and distilled form. I understand my white dress days are over, but isn’t there some part of that we are never too old for?

The airline changed my departure time so I had to get up at 4:00 am to drive seven hours and get to the airport, Drop the  rental car off and uber to the airport and then sit in Denver three more hours waiting on the next flight. By the time I get home it’s been 20 hours.  Uber emails me. They’ve charged me a $150.00 cleaning fee for peeing on myself or spilling water (I think I would know if I peed on myself). And while sitting in Denver my sister calls to tell me she accidentally let my dog out and she’s still missing.  When I get home after midnight I go looking for my dog and finally get a few hours of sleep to wake up to my dad peeing all over the floor.  Perhaps I should charge Uber.