It's been forty-five years and the magic is gone.

Setting up Facebook on new computer. Oh look! A message from an old girlfriend, with her phone number, when to call, and everything. I call and learn that whatever magic we had in 1975 is no more. I look at the datestamp: 2018. She didn’t remember writing it or anything.

“You know I’m playing for the other team now, right?” Her term. I knew, and the announcement brought Wife on her deathbed a final bit of happiness. Wife couldn’t stand her.

Another old friend, not a girlfriend, was posting COVID horseshit. After years of this I replied that she is too smart to fall for every bit of Trumpian, tea partyish, or libertarian CT crap she runs across. I lied; she’s every bit that dumb. Why did I hang out with her? In the day she looked like Bernadette Peters’ bustier sister.

I’m reminded most why I hate Facebook.

Something similar happened to me. Got an email from an old college girlfriend from 40 years earlier. A fiance, actually, my first. I went into the military and she promptly got pregnant by another guy. On top of which, she was a head case who loved to emotionally manipulate the men around her. Like they say: don’t stick it in the crazy. Anyway, she contacts me out of the blue with the old "Oh, I just want to know if your life turned out okay after all our “problems.” Yeah, my life improved dramatically after that was over. Even Vietnam was a step up from that relationship. I didn’t answer her.

Just a few years ago I was contacted by the wife of a guy I worked for in the Navy back in 1981. He had since died and it was obvious that she was husband hunting, which I didn’t realize until after I responded to her. :smack:

My parents had been married for 52 years when Momma died. A few months after she passed, I sar Daddy down for a “facts of life” talk. I explined at his age, there are more single women than single men.

And many of those lonesome ladies did NOT want to be single any longer! Senior women have been know to have hair-pulling cat fights over unaccompanied menfolk!

My father was a handsome, charming man, with Social Security plus two retirement checks. A real catch!

Daddy didn’t quite believe me. So, I told him single ladies would flock to him, knowing he was widowed. And their “mating call” sounded like this: Oh, you need a good, home-cooked meal!

I said no more after that. Sometime later, he came to me and said, “You know, you were right!”

My widowed stepfather called those the “casserole contingent”.


My PCP tried to get me into Arthur Murray dance class with her husband and her. I pointed out that I can’t dance and can barely walk. All I had to do was sit there and schmooze with the old dears, giving her a chance to dance with her husband.

I’m not surprised the magic is gone from thaaat first relationship, since I never felt so magical in the first place. I might have abused her affections.

Yet folks can and do happily remarry after a long first marriage. I had an uncle married over fifty years. When his wife, my aunt, died, he later remarried. Another widow naturally, and they had actually been acquainted before. He was the kind of guy who needed a wife. She was a lovely woman, we all liked her. When my uncle passed she was worried we wouldn’t consider her part of the family, but that was nonsense. She died about three years ago and of course some of the family went to the funeral. It was out of state, so we couldn’t all be there, but still it was important to us.

When my grandma died, grandpa was 62 and lived in a trailer park that apparently had a lot of widows. My grandma was a sweet, handsome man. My parents tell me he was pursued by EVERY woman in that trailer park!

Turns out he didn’t want any widow. He reached out to a woman he knew in the 1950s, through church. She had just recently moved back to Ohio from Canada. They were a good match and were married for 20 years before he died.

Contacts from old sweethearts are a mixed bag.

I’ve been contacted via FB a couple of times by exes from my high school/college years. In one case it was great - it was a legit “hi how are you, would love to reconnect a little” situation, and we had some pleasant conversations with no sense that anyone wanted to rekindle a romance (he sent me a photo of his wife!).

In the second case, I didn’t see the FB message, which was a little enigmatic and wistful, for over a year, since I really loathe FB and never check it. It was from someone I’d always wondered about and I was vexed that I hadn’t responded in a timely fashion. I responded but never heard back … googled him and there was almost nothing about him on the internet, and zero after the time that he wrote me.

For years I have worried that he was suicidally depressed when he wrote and shortly thereafter killed himself. BUT … happily, I have googled him again and found someone who is almost certainly him who just took a job at a tech start up (there’s a photo that looks like him, seems the right age, and the job is consistent with his schooling, so I’m pretty sure it is him). I had great affection for him so this is quite a relief.

In the early days of FB, a married couple that was close to my parents was broken up by an old girlfriend hunting for a new husband on FB. It caused quite a stir in the community. It’s not the only reason why I’m not a FB fan, but it was an early introduction to some of the problems it can cause.

I feel there’s a story in there.

I had a lot of aunts and uncles, both parents having come from large families. But, strangely, not one of them, when widowed, remarried. Some remained widowed for many decades. I don’t think any of them even dated.

Isn’t it interesting that there is a term for a woman whose husband has died (widow), but there isn’t a term for a man whose wife has died? I’m sure there must be a sociological conspiracy or two buried in there somewhere.

I have known two men in their 60s who have used the dating web sites. Both were just amazed by the positive response.

Personally, if I were single, I wouldn’t want to date again. It’s all too much drama and jr high school. I hated it the first time around & I’m sure I’d hate it all the more the second time. Just stay off my lawn. Is that too much to ask?


The stereotypical man is older than his wife + statistical men die younger means we just get a lot more mileage out of the word “widow,” yes?

Although you are technically correct (the best kind of correct), I would suggest that my point still stands. One is just a nod to the other.

That just sounds like it’s the man’s fault.