I overheard a group of women say they were fed up with sorting through dating site creeps. A lady with silky white-hair who was holding court dazzled them with a daring new slant on dating. “It’s surefire,” she said, “and doesn’t involve awkward moments.”
Decades older and more than amusing, the matriarch delivered a Theresa Talk (Ted wouldn’t discuss this sort of thing). The process she ascribed to was hardly seductive. Nevertheless, “it works like a charm,” she said. “Actually, it used to work like a charm.”
“Ladies,” she began, “You have computers, handhelds and dating sites. What on earth for? All you need is the daily obituaries.”
Obituaries? The young ones laughed, mostly from shock.
“My friend Judy, a widow on the far side of hot flashes, couldn’t compete with younger women. Her friends, three to be exact, were in the same boat. Together they devised a strategy. Read the obituaries. Find a deceased wife and viewing information. Memorize every detail about her. Study her family like you’re cramming for an exam. Google the husband, the rich guy you aim to scoop up. Check each link. You will meet him at the service.”
There were rules: scrub up, dress conservatively, wear a string of pearls and forget anything that suggests good legs. Have your hair styled and nails manicured…you will be shaking hands.
The matriarch’s friends invited her to go along. “We met in the funeral home’s parking lot,” she said, “and practiced solemn expressions. An usher led us to a row of seats where we prayed and glanced around (casing the joint, if you will) without being obvious.
“Judy led us forward to greet the family. We remembered the plan: never make eye contact until you meet the widower. We stood behind her like a brick wall so she could hold him captive. Brent was his name, a meticulously dressed man who didn’t recognize her. Judy explained she was a friend from his wife’s garden club, country club or bridge club. She oozed sincerity; even made a sound that passed for a whimper and said she had lost her husband…she understood his pain. He nodded, said he appreciated her thoughts and thanked her. She wished him well, clasped his hand and said, ‘I’ll be in touch, I promise.’
“I was ready to celebrate her success, but the others had three more viewings. They wore me out. Judy said it’s easier in the city. The chapels are only five minutes apart. You can walk then go to dinner.”
The matriarch continued, “After a week or so and never longer––these guys go off the market fast––the women made a dynamite casserole and took it to the residence. If the widower was home, great if not she left it where he would find it and taped a note to the door with her contact information. At times they didn’t have the home address so they attended the burial and followed the mourners to his house.
The strategy worked. Why wouldn’t it, they knew all about the guy beforehand, the obit was like a resume. It took two years, but their lives were reborn.
One by one they chose a long-term investment over chasing slugs online and landed a keeper.