New Chapters: The grumpy old man vs the liberated woman?

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Max was none too happy when his wife of 28 years moved out, divorced him and started having, “The time of her life.”

He was left with the rambling old house, an incontinent dog and early retirement -all were more frightening, than exhilarating.

A CPA for 29.7 years, Max had carefully planned out – well everything: his retirement, buying a Recreational Vehicle, selling the house, living in campgrounds and beaches for a year before moving to Arizona – the land of perpetual sunshine, golf and hammock time. It was his dream.

His Ex developed an aversion to living in a “trailer,” camping, and the sun. She loathed golf and thought hammocks were a waste of time.

She became a vegetarian, started taking poetry workshops and watercolor classes, spin classes and attending lectures at the local junior college and the JCC.

The more he eased into retirement modus operandi- she geared up for a richer, more active life. She wanted to invent something, to write poetry, appear at Book Passages, and be to a star of the slam poetry group. She volunteered at film festivals and art shows and thought perhaps she should make a film. Why not?

hopeMax grew more bored by the day. He never imagined himself being single. Was he lonely or bored – or both? He hoped his Ex would come back.

Taking a page from his younger, bachelor-neighbor with the parade of women arriving at his house each month, Max decided to sign up for online dating.

Two of his golf buddies, divorced and hovering around 50, were dabbling in dating and encouraged him heartily. Why not? If nothing else, Max is thorough. He did his due diligence and believing ‘You get what you pay for,’ he skipped all the “free sites” and decided to try a month eHarmony for $70.00. He had half-watched the upbeat dating TV ads with the Orville Redenbacher character touting the company’s high success rate for years. Why not?

His sister-in-law in Ohio encouraged him. She urged him to date women his own age. He didn’t tell her that he was having none of that. Like a new car, he was going for the younger, faster, sleeker model than his old wife.

He even debated about leasing a Tesla. One of his clients had leased one and he looked really cool.

One friend told him to get rid of the old man jeans, the baggy sweaters, the sweats and the T-shirts with funny logos. Off to Tommy Bahama’s- The Outlet- for shirts, and slacks. Ta-da! The “New” Max.

The Biggest Mistake – The Selfie in the Mirror

Every picture Max had – was of his ex-wife and him: photos in Hawaii, at restaurants, at parties with friends. There were no good, recent – in the last ten years – photos of him to put up online. Resourceful, he pointed his camera at the mirror and took 15 photos. Two words: Not Good.

Nothing says “loser” like a Selfie in the Mirror Shot

 If you don’t have a friend – to take your photo with your smart phone – ask a neighbor, a dog walker, your gardener to snap five photos. Choose one.

 Fortunately, Max had to return one shirt to the Tommy Bahama store – and he sheepishly asked the sales clerk to take a photo of him. Smart girl, she took ten photos of Max – all around the store, and three were good. Bingo. He was ready to sign on and get in the game. And, he did!

Look out world, here comes Max!

Once a grump – always a grump?

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