I’ve been going to the Lupke Senior Center in Vancouver, WA, for lunch a couple of times a week. The food is fairly decent, not your “normal” institutional-type food (Valentina is a real chef, after all!), and there’s always a fresh green salad and fruit available. To me, it’s a food win/win, and we all know how much I like food!
I like being around people and have never been much of a loner, so although I appreciate living alone in my own space, I also enjoy conversation, seeing how other people are making it through their days, listening to stories and hearing about their adventures, and well, just being around other people.
That’s why, when I was trying to figure out how to put more people-interaction into my life, I thought about all the old people, uh, senior citizens out there and wondered if any of them got out to the local senior center. Turns out, yes, there are a lot of old people hanging out at the senior center and doing a bunch of things together like dancing to live music, playing bingo, enjoying root beer floats, eating lasagna or chicken sandwiches for lunch, hiking the local mountains, taking trips to the theater or the coast, knitting, reading books – there’s something for everyone. Sounds like my kind of gang, especially that food part.
So off I went the other day to have some baked chicken with mashed potatoes and mixed veggies. It was pretty tasty, I can tell you, but what this blog post is about is a conversation that got started at our table about dating. There were five of us at the table that day – two women and three men. All of us were single and had been single for quite awhile – 11 years, 14 years, 18 years, etc. All of us live alone (well, I now live with a roommate but that’s a temporary situation while I get my health under control) and all of us like to go out to dinner, go to the movies, have coffee out, take walks along the waterfront or in the park, and stuff like that. One of the men said something about going on a date. It wasn’t anything specific and he wasn’t asking anyone out on a date, but that got the conversation centered around the idea of dating. The other woman at the table, who was sitting next to me, said she hadn’t been out on a date in 18 years. And I asked, “Not even with yourself?”
Her response? “No, I don’t want to spend the money.”
…and then I heard myself say that “if you don’t think you’re worth spending some money on to take yourself out on a date, how is anyone else going to think you’re worth spending money on?”
She said she’d never thought of it that way, and I could see the wheels begin to turn in her head. Maybe she’d take herself out on a date after all.
I go out on lots of dates with myself. In fact, I took myself out to five movies last week. Yes, you read that right – five movies (senior prices make it much easier on the budget than it used to be!). I go places I like to go, eat food I like to eat, and have conversations with myself that no one else interrupts (and most of the time those conversations take place in my head). Sounds like the perfect date to me!
Why don’t you take yourself out on a date some time during this coming week?
Even if you don’t live alone, you can still take yourself out to a movie you know you want to see, have lunch at a place you enjoy, or take a walk through a park or along a beach. Try it. You just might like it 😀
…and the next time I see Cheryl (not her real name, hehehe), I’m going to ask her where she went on her date.
** some of the photos above are from some of my dates – from top to bottom: my lunch ticket for a chicken sandwich at the senior center; a night out at the Hollywood Theater seeing The Hateful Eight in Ultra Panavision 70mm; salmon sushi on the go-round. The image on the main page is of the Kiggins Theater where I saw Janis: Little Girl Blue, the biography of Janis Joplin (go see it if you’re a Janis fan; it’s very well done).