Guess who has a new girlfriend? Well, besides me. And thanks in advance for your warm wishes. It's the old man, actually. That's right. Look out golden girls. Dad's dating again.
Well, he was -- until he met "the one." Can you believe that? Six months and he's off the market already. Now you can't even get the guy on the horn. And when you do, his chick's always beeping in on call-waiting.
"Tell her you'll call back," I plead.
Seniors today -- always yapping on the phone.
Dad, or as I now refer to him, "Hef," turns 80 this year. That just goes to show you how badly men want women in their lives. You think the urge would flame out at age 72? Please. 76? Hardly. The big 8-0 and still scoping out babes like Potsie on "Happy Days."
A bit out of practice, yes, but give the guy some credit. Sure, he left the dating scene for a brief 52 years, but he returned stronger than ever. Scoured the online personals. Hung out at senior singles nights. Met and dated a number of women. My sisters started setting him up with prospects they came across.
I had thought about asking my female friends about their moms, but worried if things worked out a certain way, I could theoretically wind up as my own grandfather.
You've heard of the book, "He's Just Not Into You"? Well, he's really into this woman. It's always "my girlfriend this" and "my girlfriend that." Just like a teenager: No job. Obsessing over women. A really bad driver. I'm expecting the acne to start at any moment.
And get this -- he's asking me for advice! Me. The guy who once broke up with the same girl five times in seven months. I'm more confused than anyone.
Sure, I've dated a fair amount, but the over-70 age range is one even I haven't yet ventured into. Don't have a clue as to what those gals have on their mind. But judging from the women I do know, I'm guessing cats and jewelry wouldn't be too far off.
Also Harry Connick Jr.
And the stories I hear. Once, he told me he met a woman who said she was 68. And guess what? That's right -- she was actually 71. Nice to see some courtship traditions last a lifetime.
Another time, I got the "why should I call her, let her call me" argument. Or "She lives too far away." And "We don't have anything in common."
Now I know where I get my sunny disposition.
I'm glad he finally met someone. A nice, Jewish woman at that! She's terrific. Pretty. Well-mannered. Early 70s. Marriage-minded, but not looking to have more children, evidently.
They're having a great time. Even went to Disneyland the other day. The two of them flying down the Matterhorn like screaming kids. I'd suggest bumper cars, but it only promotes more bad habits behind the wheel.
Note to ABC: "The Bachelor -- Senior Edition."
Anyway, he's happier now. That's the great thing about finding someone -- at any age. Gives you more reasons to keep going. Not that stamp collecting and watering the lawn aren't enough. And the best part? It keeps him out of my hair.
Now I do the badgering: "How's your girlfriend? How come I never hear from you anymore? When are you getting married? No, of course, I would never submit a story about you to a local publication read by all of your close friends and family members."
I envy them. Seems to be a lot less pressure when you're dating at their age. Fewer expectations and demands. They've been together a year and not one major fight, as far as I can tell.
Can't wait for the bachelor party. Question: Do I hire dancers? Or their grandmothers?
I hope it lasts forever. I really don't want to run into dad during happy hour at Hooters. At least not again.
Freelance writer Howard Leff lives in Los Angeles with one dog and two guitars. You can reach him at email@example.com.
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