Bob Morris used to dole out delightfully crotchety etiquette tips in the Sunday Style section, but like many people who are great at telling other people what to do, he was less than expert at dealing with his own problems. Like, for example, helping his widowed dad find lasting love — while searching for a suitable match for himself at the same time. But everything worked out … well, I suppose you have to read the book to find out how everything worked out. Bob not only answered my questions, he included bonus advice on how to look good in your online dating profile picture.
GC: Many are the times when I have given up on the whole idea of dating because it’s just too messy and complicated and demoralizing — and I’m 26! What are the things that get easier with age, and what things get harder?
What’s harder is that when you get to be my age and your natural state is paunchier and double chinned, you lose the ability to turn heads at a party or on the street. And if you are dating online, you have to be more deft in choice of your profile photograph. To avoid the chin, shoot from above, dear! What gets easier with age, at least to me, has been far more profound. You learn when you’re older and still looking for love to stop paying so much attention to your own preconceived notions of who your Mr. Right is. As a (now reformed) self-hating Jew, I always said I am not my type. I”m swarthy and have always had a thing for fair haired Irish Catholic guys. Yet, I have finally found the perfect spouse in a man who could be my cousin or even brother with the name Ira Silverberg. Could there be a more Jewish name? And we are horrifically similar in many ways. When we first started dating, I looked for every reason to bolt. It wasn’t instantly apparent to me that he was the one. But if you do the math, I’m even more imperfect than he is. Well, as my dad used to tell me, “Stop looking for perfection. That’s the only way you’ll find it.” Corny as it sounds, love is a decision, right? It was for me, anyway. It took me to age 45 to finally learn to figure that out. And now I’m finally a happily married man who (god willing) never has to date again.
GC: Is this book an appropriate gift for my newly single 86 year old Nana, or should I wait until my grandfather’s first yarzheit at least?
What is appropriate in mourning? Are we required to grieve a certain amount of time or are we allowed to move on, laugh a little and read a funny book about looking for love in the wake of a spouse’s death? To help my sales ranking, I’d say give it to her. And by the way, if my father were still alive, I’d be asking if she’s cute and then soliciting you for her number.