Funny story – funny in the sense that the sentient robots who run the Google Machine are now trying to play matchmaker for me.
If you read anything I write, you probably already know I’m big into sports history. This requires doing a good deal of research, and being a native of Birmingham, Alabama, means a lot of what I’m looking for involves sports related to my hometown.
Legion Field is the venerable football stadium there; it opened in 1927 and is still in use today. Like most stadiums it has a nickname, and one of them is “The Old Gray Lady.” It’s located on Graymont Avenue in Birmingham, so the nick is clever – especially now that it’s 93 years old.
Well, apparently during one of my research days I Googled “The Old Gray Lady” and the next thing I know I’m getting emails and pop-up advertisements for senior dating sites.
First it was “Silver Singles” and then “Real Mature Singles” and they were followed by several others that I’m simply afraid to click on. Let’s face it – “Find naughty grannies in your area” would take me down a rabbit hole I might never escape.
Before I go any further, let me state that I’m happily married and not looking to date anyone other than my wife.
Doing so would be rude.
But the emails have targeted me correctly in terms of my age.
Although I’ve never taken a deep dive into services such as eHarmony or Match.com, I assume their primary audience consists of people who skew much younger than I do.
Many of them have never used rotary telephones, never watched “The F.B.I.” starring Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., and never dined on ‘”TV dinners” consisting of congealed leather, instant mashed potatoes and pea-like orbs wrapped in aluminum foil and cooked for 45 to 50 minutes in a conventional oven.
All of these are familiar to me and – I assume – familiar to the women who use Silver Singles, Real Mature Singles, etc.
Oh, the things we could talk about …
“Hey, do you remember those TV dinners we used to eat?”
“I do! I’d usually eat them while watching ‘The FBI,’ starring Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.”
“I’d eat mine while talking on the rotary phone.”
(Since we’re older, we’d cut to the chase and end the date early because we’d need to get home and take our pills).
Anyway, during the first wave of these emails I did open a few of them simply out of curiosity. One, for example, is designed for people who are over 50 but “young at heart.”
I’ve never really understood what that even means. I like music and movies that appeal to people much younger than me, but I don’t like pea carrot spinach mush served from a glass jar or baby formula, which appeals to people much, much younger than me.
It did, however, show photos of couples who found their later-in-life soul mates through the service. None of these people looked 50. None even looked 40.
If I’m gonna date someone who is at least 50, I want to see a few gray hairs and wrinkles. I also wouldn’t mind a faded, bluish “Keep On Truckin’” tattoo on the calf of their left leg, but that’s really more of a personal kink and not necessarily a deal-breaker.
Another guarantees the singles on their site are “at least 50 years young.”
None of those 48 or 49-year old posers here – these folks are half a hundred if they’re a damn day. I noticed there was no age maximum, though. So I guess it would be possible for a 75-year old to hook up with a 50-year old, which would be a May-December romance – or probably closer to a November and April of next year kinda thing.
And a third promotes an “old-fashioned romance for old-fashioned people.”
Again, I’m not certain what their definition of “old-fashioned” is.
Do the women not vote? Do the men smoke unfiltered Lucky Strikes? During their first meeting at a restaurant do they have to report other diners who they believe to be sympathetic to the Communist Party?
Fortunately, I don’t know and don’t have to find out. Regardless of what my search engine suggests, when I put in the words “gray” and “lady” it has nothing to do with dating.
Hopefully these emails and ads will soon run their course and I won’t have to spend so much time weeding them out while studying sports history. As a matter of fact, I’m currently working on a piece about international soccer and researching the Swiss club BSC Young Boys.
Googling “Young Boys” shouldn’t cause any problems for me …