Ruth is an attractive, petite woman who’s spent her life working in publishing. She’s from the East Coast and went to college in Syracuse, graduating with a major in advertising and a minor in painting. She worked in New York as an art director for Modern Bride magazine, but moved out to Los Angeles for her then-husband, who was from here. “When I got divorced [in 1995], my kids came first.” They’re now fully grown —“they’re 29 and 34. They look a lot alike, they’re both incredibly funny, they’re both bright — one went to Caltech, and the other studied art.”
I ask why she stayed in Los Angeles. “L.A. suits me, weather-wise. I find most of the friends I make out here are from cities. I love people from the Midwest — they’re friendly and open — but most of my friends are from large cities.”
I ask Ruth what she wants in a man. “They [should] have an enthusiasm for life. I prefer men who have been married and ones who have children — I think they understand give and take a lot better. Humor has always been important to me. I’ve never been attracted to someone who doesn’t have a good sense of humor. They need to be bright.”
I don’t know how old Ruth is — she doesn’t say — but she’s youthful. “Probably the reason I stay young is I always have kids in my house. Every time one of the kids moves out, a friend moves in. I’ve always had a lot of young people working for me.”
She’s smart but comically gullible. She looks at my black hair and says, “If you told me your hair was blond, I’d say, ‘Well, maybe it is blond.’ ” We discuss how someone can be convinced of something different than the truth they see in front of them. She says, “My parents brought me up to be honest, so I assume people are honest. And it’s extremely important to me they are.” It’s an amazing quality, and I smile because I’m reminded of my mother-in-law, Carol, who was very similar in that respect. I remember the year I called and pretended to be from the cable company and made her switch off her TV just before the Academy Awards, her favorite show of the year. Don’t worry, I told her the truth before it started.
I ask Ruth what she’s looking for in a relationship. “Long term or marriage. I think marriage is a wonderful institution. My parents have been married 70 years. I was married for 24. If you can find someone that’s the perfect partner, then you just want to be with them, and marriage is the contract you’ve made — that commitment. I think the difference between being married and not is you understand everything won’t work perfectly, but you’re willing to work it out. I think a good relationship is one where you respect your differences and at the same time enjoy the things you like together. To me, a good first date is the conversation keeps going and the time just goes by. I think that most men I’ve been with, their families are very important to them. I like to dance, but I seem to always end up with men who don’t dance, so by now it’s been so long I probably don’t remember how.” She laughs.
“The truth is, if I don’t meet someone, I’d be fine on my own. It’s not that that’s a necessity, but it’s just, ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful to find the love of your life?’ ”
Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.