Los Angeles single, Tom Bunzel, says single men over 50 want no part in the so-called “fun” things that single women want them to do.
I’m a single man over 50 and I’ve been reading your online dating profiles. I get the idea — you love travel and adventure, you’re high energy and always doing something “fun.”
Here is the crux of the problem:
What you consider fun and what I consider fun are two different things.
Trust me, I’ve had my share of “fun” in my life and I don’t have a whole lot to show for it.
A lot of my fun has cost me brain cells, threatened my liver, brain and life, cost me a fortune in airfare, hotels and therapy, and convinced me that inner peace is where it’s at. Frequently, fun has cost me dearly in terms of drama, anxiety, guilt, confusion and cash. My go-go-go has gone-gone-gone.
Activities that you deem to be “fun” invariably involve one or more of the following: getting up early, driving long distances, getting stuck in traffic, dealing with crowds and jammed parking lots, loud kids and Gen-X jerks, and making small talk with strangers. Examples of places I avoid assiduously include Disneyland, Universal City, boat parades, tree lighting ceremonies and flash mobs.
Oh sure, I have great memories but let’s deal honestly with present day reality.
These days, a good day is getting up without a stiff back, hitting a few winners in tennis, having my cat curl up on me when I nap, and no people ahead of me with coupons in the express lane at the market. A good game on TV, after dinner, is icing on the cake.
I know — you want to “live life to the fullest.” Here’s how I see it.
Let’s take travel. All of you LOVE to travel… For me, travel means leaving the comfort of my shower, bathroom, bed, couch, and big screen TV for the hassle of at least two airports, scrunched into a seat next to oversized humans, hearing screaming kids, renting a car and then being charged a resort rate and parking fees.
As soon as I leave home, every time I need to pee is an adventure whether I’m on the road or on a plane. In the air, the period between takeoff and the no seat belt sign being turned off feels like an eternity, and if I get up too soon, the flight attendant may tell the pilot there’s a terrorist on board.
Sure, when I travel, I might meet some new friends or reconnect with family, but I’m just as likely to be bored and trapped with people I have no desire to be with or talk to. At home I can pick my friends — on vacation I have to be nice. It’s a really bad deal.
When I get to the destination, since you’re high energy, I’ll also be expected to do “fun” things like scale the waterfall, take a tour and tip the tour guide, buy souvenirs, take photos and “do what the locals do.”
Truly, I don’t give a damn. And let’s face it, most of the locals are trying to get off their boring island and get to the big city that you insisted we needed to leave. I don’t want to listen to any freaking mariachis, steel drums or Polynesian music and be forced to get up and do the hula or the limbo.
If you let me read in the hammock and swim in the pool, and maybe flirt a little at the pool bar, I’m good with that. But I can do that in Vegas and I don’t have to pack or deal with the airport.
Or better yet, let me just stay home where there are Trader Joe’s, friendly restaurants and satellite TV.
Here is the other thing. Everything you think is “fun” costs money. I don’t know how much longer I am going to live but I do know how much longer I want to work — and the answer is not much.
Sure I used to be able to make a decent living by having lunch, traveling and hobnobbing, but most of those jobs are gone. These days you have to bust your balls 24/7 and your boss is half your age.
Even if I’m not quite retired now, I have to plan for my future. I have no interest in being a greeter at Wal-Mart. I’d rather play tennis and collect Social Security. Since the stock market is a gamble, and the banks are paying zilch, I need to watch what I spend, which means I’ll use discounts, coupons and cut corners wherever possible. I may even ask you to chip in. You don’t like that.
So what do I think is “fun”?
I like to be quiet, think, have bantering conversations about interesting ideas and eat good food (not necessarily at a trendy fun spot). And yes, I like to take long naps and watch TV.
If I am going to socialize, it’s generally to eat, be sarcastic, or chase inappropriate women.
Sure, I also like warmth, affection and sex when I am excited, and I am more than willing to do what I can to get you excited — and I fully realize that that might take a while — that it might mean holding hands, hearing about your day and going out for several weeks while I play the gentleman.
And it might even include having the kind of “fun” that you like. I am not close-minded or opposed to the concept. And I even have some emergency cash socked away in case the “let’s have fun together” feeling is mutual.
But please don’t make me wear costumes, stupid hats or sing karaoke more than once a year. And indulge me if I want to engage in my very favorite activity — not doing a damn a thing.
Copyright © Tom Bunzel/2012 Singular Communications, LLC.