Rachelle is originally from New York. “I went to San Francisco in my 20s, so I feel as if I grew up [there].” Her husband at the time wanted to get out of New York, “and I’m actually glad he wanted to move. I love San Francisco.” She divorced in the 1970s and, while working as an actress on the set of a film, she met a makeup artist and moved down to Los Angeles to be with him. She dated other men she met on film sets, but none led to marriage. “There was one I should have stayed with — I made a mistake. Didn’t make a lot of mistakes but …” She trails off.
After years of acting and modeling, she couldn’t take the rejection anymore, so she found something else to do. She spent years working as a publicist for nonprofits. “I finally decided, in my 50s, I needed a regular job, and I went to work for Jewish Family Service.” She retired four years ago, “and it’s even harder now to meet men. Because when you volunteer (she spent four years volunteering at Cedars-Sinai Hospital), there aren’t a lot of men. There are mostly women.”
“I don’t care how somebody looks. I like a strong, successful person. I don’t want to raise anybody. I don’t want somebody who has to worry about me. I’d like an equal. And I know that scares a lot of men. But I don’t want a hanger-on. I find veterinarians and doctors terribly interesting. I want [a man] close to my age range, because I’m so old.” She’s 70. “I want to spend some time with someone, but I find the men my age want 30-year-olds, and I don’t want [those men]. My friend who married a CEO of a company has had the most gorgeous life I’ve known. I’d like a little bit of that. I’m not into maids and fur coats and designer handbags, but I like nice restaurants and good places.”
I ask her what kind of things she likes. “I like going to concerts; I like going to lovely dinners together; I like walking on the beach. I don’t like hiking. But I like taking drives; I like plays, movies, and I love Netflix. I like watching movies at home lots of times. I like having people over for dinner on Friday night. I do like cooking — it’s a creative outlet. I love cats. I have a cat. But I love dogs, too. It’s funny, I like cats telling me what to do, but I don’t like men telling me what to do.”
Rachelle’s pretty and very natural looking. She’s over 30 years older than me, but I don’t feel a huge generation gap. If she were closer to my age, and we were having the same conversation, it wouldn’t come off as odd. Maybe she picks up on what I’m thinking, because when we talk about the difficulties of dating, she says, “We’re like you — only older.”
She tried online dating, but one guy berated her for calling too late, another asked where she lived and said a duplex wasn’t nice enough, and the third one didn’t respond after having her send him a picture. “So I gave up. Three strikes, and you’re out.”
“Retirement was hard for me. Not having a business card who says who you are — it defines you. Because I was so defined by all the things I did. You lose your identity. You’ve done so much — what do you want to do next? And that’s enjoy life. I want to enjoy it with someone special. That’s so cliché. But it’s true.”
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Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.