After thirty years as a life coach, I decided to take a year off to play student instead of teacher. My objective was one. To make 2017 a year I could define as the one that brought my inner tiger out to play. I'm 70. How many tomorrows do I have left? Why not dream big, bold and beautiful? Why not align myself to my greatest 'wants' and wholeheartedly work towards them? Over 60s women are not over the hill. We're at the time of our lives when we have nothing to lose by taking risks and I intend to take plenty of those in my YAP (young aged pensioner) gap year.
First on my list is to find a suitor. My challenge as a 70 year old is reeling in a man who still has fire in his belly as opposed to the 'been there, done that, let's watch TV' type. The challenge doubles because toy boys don't do it for me, and men my age want someone considerably younger.
I took my first risk and joined a dating site. Surely one man amongst the millions would appreciate a woman of many colours? So I practice yoga, meditate, care for the environment and I'm involved with animal welfare but on the rare occasion I go to Amsterdam I also enjoy watching peep shows and once inside a casino, I transform into a slot machine lunatic.
I omitted the latter revelations on my profile since the men's were so conservative, and admit to lying about my age. 64 sounded right so I used that number and it wasn't long before I was in daily conversation with a possible contender. Then, he Googled my name and poo hit the fan.
His reason for never wanting to talk to me again was that I lied about my age. (I suspect the truth was that he came face to face with fifty pages of 'semen mask' articles the press had a field day with two years earlier. Was it my fault the world turned me into a dubious sex nymph or that a journalist wrote 'Hilarious pensioner says using baby batter on her skin keeps it young and glowing?' Bloody good job he didn't know about my penchant for peep show booths!)
Initially I thought his slur was in jest so wrote back saying: 'Are you serious?'
'Serious as a heart attack,' he replied.
A more sensitive woman might have been scarred for months. I saw it as a test to prove to the universe I could withstand the lizards and frogs it threw my way until the fickle finger of fate shone on 'the one.' As we know, however, miracles are rarely delivered immediately and what I got delivered was a bigger slap than the first.
That man, burly, sophisticated and stylish arranged to meet me outside Holborn Station. We'd planned to have lunch at a Japanese restaurant down the road. The moment he saw me turn the corner, his mobile went to his ear (was it my purple hair or avante garde outfit that turned him off?) He invented an illness for his granddaughter, mumbled as he rushed off that he'd be in touch and that was the end of burly.
I suffered with paranoia the rest of that day. I even asked a woman at a bus stop how old I looked. When I chewed it over, however, I felt thankful that I'd seen their true colours early on. I have enough experience not to buckle under pressure and know the right man for me will embrace my age, dress style and differences.
Whether I find him on a dating site or have to move to Plan B (which I'm hatching at the moment) remains to be seen. In the meantime I'm rewriting my profile. At 70 I'm done with compromise and will state my true age because I want to be loved for the glorious colours that make me who I am. My profile will end with 'Stylish shoes a must. Man who'd whisk me off on a cruise to tango under the stars particularly welcome.'
I accept I'm Marmite to most but there has to be someone out there who'd love licking it off my toes. Tomorrow I'm going to buy a slinky tango dress in readiness for my adventure and prove 'there is no challenge without a solution.'
I'm sorry you haven't so far learned much about how to get back into the dating game, but I AM going to crack this challenge. Watch this space for more news of my progress...and if you're a singleton of any age don't give up or allow any man to dent your self-esteem. As for us older women, we have much to offer and shouldn't settle for crumbs so let's keep looking for a man who can see beyond our wrinkles and the number given on our birth certificates.
Perhaps we should start a club called 'Over sixty saucy single minxes' and compare our dating stories? If you have one, please share and let's smile some more at the absurdness of life.
If you want to know more about my unusual beauty secret, i.e. semen masks, here's the link to the blog. http://www.stellaralfini.co.uk/scientific-facts-and-application-of-semen-beauty-mask/