Originally posted on The Huffington Post:
Thursday, May 20, 2010 | by Barbara Rose Brooker
What about love after 60? Dating at 70? Beyond? What’s with this Viagra generation? Is true love possible? Age is to be celebrated, and not hidden. I’m 73 and I want to be a movie star. Everything is possible after 60. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how immobilized; the mind can take you anywhere. Age is not a number, nor is it about Botox. It’s a spirit.
Barbara Rose Brooker, “All right already!” says my 45-year-old daughter, Bonny. We are on the phone. “Enough with your career. What about falling in love?”
“I agree,” says Gary, her 51-year-old husband on the phone
extension. “Find love before we have to take you to the Jewish Home.”
“My career is important. It’s just beginning after 30 years.”
They heavily sigh. “Gary, tell her, it’s important to have love before the party is over. Put an ad on JDate.com.”
“I’ve had it with the serial JDaters. The stingy jeweler on the make for a size two and 30-year-old.”
“Try again. You might get lucky.”
Is she right? OK, I haven’t been so great in that department, but why not try again? I place an ad on JDate.com. This time I don’t lie about my age. Why should I? I’m proud of my age. I receive e-mails from several men. Most of them send pictures of themselves taken a hundred years ago, standing on mountains, or on beaches. Some are the same men who have
been on JDate for years. Plus, they never changed their age. It’s a week later, a misty Friday afternoon. The phone is ringing. I can’t ﬁnd it. Am I losing it? Yesterday I misplaced my television remote and all night CNN has been on. I trace the thin red string I attached to the phone. I put on my glasses so I can see the string. There! The phone is under my bed. I grab it.
“Barbara? This is Phil Kaplan. We met on JDate.”
“Oh, yes.” The 78-year-old shrink, I recall.
He never sent a picture. We chat a moment, a kind of Q&A: children? Grandchildren? Dogs? Work? He’s divorced, and still sees patients. He’s writing a book on happiness. I like smart men. We make a date to meet that afternoon at Starbucks on Polk and Vallejo. That way we
can check each other out.
“You’ll know me,” he says. “ They say I look like a Jewish Harrison Ford.”
I go on my daily two-mile walk along the hills. San Francisco is cool, a lot of wind and full of light. Just perfect. I don’t like the sun. Every minute with the have-a-good-days, and worrying about melanomas. I arrive at Starbucks. Every day, I stop here to read or edit my daily copy. I’m writing another novel. I sit in the back, facing the door, sipping my iced decaf Americano with soy and soy foam on top. Sunlight streams through the windows. The café is busy with the sounds of clicking laptops, cell phone conversations, grinding coffee beans. A giant-sized man enters and shufﬂes toward me. No way Harrison Ford. He has a mass of puffed salt and pepper hair, somewhat bulging suspicious eyes and huge lips. We shake hands.
“You look pretty good for 73,” he says.
“I won’t say thank you. I don’t like ‘for 73.’ Either you look good or not.”
“I Googled you,” he says after a long silence. He pauses, as if reﬂecting. “Do you have Netﬂix?”
He wants to ﬁnd the “right woman,” he tells me. He complains
about the women he meets on JDate.
“The women say they’re 60 and I meet them and they’re 92. They have back problems, knee problems, humps on their backs,
and they’re looking for a shmuck like me to take care of them.”
“Shame,” I say, thinking that even ugly men can be jerks.
He frowns. “Do you rent or own?”
“I’m not applying for a job.”
“Are you on Lipitor?” “Do you tango?” I ask.
“I like the tango.”
“Are you Jewish?”
“Is the pope Catholic?”
“Who’s your hero?”
“Jewish women prefer Cary Grant. They’re home cooking Passover dinners, providing for their families. I prefer a Jewish
woman who’s afﬂuent, with property, who will spend time with me in Israel. You’re self-involved.”
Want to read more? Get your copy of The Viagra Diaries here!
Barbara Rose Brooker of San Francisco is working on a sequel to her ﬁrst book,“The Viagra Diaries,” which has been optioned by HBO. She also teaches at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at SFSU.
Contact her at email@example.com or