Scoping Guys

I’ve been single for a long time and my friends keep asking, “Do you have a boyfriend?”

“Nope, not yet.”

“Are you looking?”

Of course. All the time.

“Then, what’s taking so long?”

“I have preferences that limit my choices.”

It’s true. My list of “wants” is so long that it’s ridiculous and things on my list sound shallow. For instance, I don’t want a boy-friend who is shorter than I. Now isn’t that silly? Tom Cruise is shorter than Katy Holmes and she’s fine with it. Not me. I feel chunky as it is, and a shorter man would make me feel like an elephant.

And here’s another thing…if a man I’m scoping is wearing cut-offs I do not want his legs to be skinny. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know, but I do want his thighs to be well-developed. I would also enjoy strolling with a man who is well-coordinated and walks with purpose. I want his face to be open and friendly, and I want his lips to be noticeable and not too thin. He must have eyes that smile and stay stuck to my face when I’m talking so I know that he’s listening. I want him to laugh with abandon and have a healthy sense of humor. I hope he’s smart, but not smarter than I am. He must enjoy reading, movie-going, walking, talking, and dancing. He will be spiritual, but not doctrinal. and a bonus would be kindness and patience. He must appreciate me just as I am, because it’s too late to change. I want him to be affectionate and loving because I can crank up my passion if time allows.

You now see how long my “want” list has grown and a pretty good reason I do not have a boyfriend.

In spite of these hurdles I’ve spent the last eleven years scoping guys and I love it as much as men love eyeballing women. But sometimes my enthusiasm backfires. One such occasion was a magnificent spring day when my children and grandchildren took me to the Oakland Zoo. I spent a long time getting dressed and looking good in case a nice gentleman hit on me. I needed to stay in practice and my bright pink sweater set might catch his attention…whoever he is.

(At this point in my story I will describe it as though we’re there in person so you can witness it first-hand) Eleven of us are walking in a disorganized line with me straggling behind. My 12-year-old grandson, Nathan, is strolling in front of me and points out various interesting creatures. Then I feel a strong tap on my back. I crank my head around expecting to see a nice fellow who wants  to ask a question just so he can flirt with me. But, no such fellow is there. Hm. I assume two things: that a large twig has  fallen from the trees onto my shoulder, and that I am wayyyyy too eager.

Then Nathan drops to the end of the line and walks behind me when  I hear him suck in his breath and say,  “OMIGOSH, NONNIE–you’ve got a huge bird poop on your back!”

My two daughters fly into action, remove my bright pink cardigan and clean it up in the women’s rest room. What a mess. That bird must have been an eagle. But I have to forget this unfortunate experience and enjoy the rest of the zoo.  We catch up with rest of the family and are now approaching the camels. They look grungy and moth-eaten with half of their hair missing. I guess they’re molting and I say, “Nathan, those camels look so weird.”


“Right over there.”

I raise my hand and point to the camel pen…and wouldn’t you know–another Eagle-sized poop plops on my outstretched arm; back to the rest room to clean up. By now, all delusional daydreams  of romance are right down the toilet. Instead of being hit upon by a nice man I am being hit upon by a large bird that is attracted to bright pink.

After a few days of sulking I pull out of it and start scoping guys again because the fun is in the hunt. But what happens if I find the man I’m describing? The possibility scares me. If I find him, I might have to keep him — but not all the time. Sometimes we can stay at his house and sometimes at my house and sometimes we can just just take a long break from each other.

Since the hunt is more fun than the prize I can scope guys until I die…but whatta way to go.

PS Today, August 18, 2011 is my 81st birthday, and I do not intend to grow up.

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  • Laura/Readerwoman

    WOW! I thought you were describing my husband for a minute there – til you got to the dancing part! In 37 years of marriage we have danced twice – once when he was a bit tipsy (he doesn’t normally drink!) and once at our daughter’s wedding! You didn’t mention age – are you gonna go for a younger guy?! Hope to get together when we get back to Cali!

  • Betty Auchard

    Laura, I would go for anyone who fits on my list of “wants” even if he’s older than I. I would hope that a nice gent of 65 (or so) would feel the same about me and forget my age.

  • oscar case

    Well, Betty, you sound pretty picky when it comes to men, but I won’t hold that against you. We all have our wants and likes. At least, you admit that you scope out the men where most women wouldn’t.

  • Betty Auchard

    Hi Oscar. I’m an open book when telling stories.