PATSY BRUMFIELD: Oldsters need romance too, just not me



Quite a few years after I was eligible to join, I accepted reality and sent AARP my membership dues.

Chiefly, I think of the massive oldies organization as a lobbying juggernaut to advocate on my behalf with elected officials, who need reminding that they too will be an oldie one of these days. Self-interest is always a great motivator.

AARP also offers members what it claims are discounts on a variety of services. I have yet to delve deeply into these offers, but like sands through the hourglass, there may yet come a time it will be important to know what that Medicare Donut Hole actually is.
Of course, every time you join something online, they get your email address.

The AARP folks aren’t too bad about blasting me with unwanted information, and so, it was with a bit of surprise last week that I got an AARP message: “Single? Give us 7 days and we’ll get you dating again.”

That presumes a lot.

Frankly, you gotta figure that if anybody wants to restart their social life in their “golden years,” the AARP may be an odd-ball, but logical place to look.

I love this additional promotional message in the email: “AARP Dating is simple. All you need to do is post your idea of a perfect first date and we’ll get you started.”

Truly, in 21st century culture, I understand how difficult it’s apparently become for nice singles to find one another. Millions of busy people have turned to various online services to find that special someone.

I can only wish them great success and eternal happiness. They are far braver than I am.

The whole enterprise just creeps me out.

As my grandmother, the beautiful and willful Rosalie Dial always said, “There are worse things than being alone.”

She also said, “Night will fall.”

Grama could be very scary, but she also knew a thing or two.

And so, in the interest of fairness, I went to the AARP website to take a look at what they are talking about.

Perhaps the most difficult part, at that stage, was to decide what my “screen name” was going to be. Should it be casual, informational, not too flirty, what?

I wasn’t going to take this process much farther because it was freaking me out, but I was curious.

Frankly, I fudged a little on the personal questions, although I was seriously specific about my politics. In a few instances, they asked goofy questions.

I greatly appreciate that single folks are out there looking, and perhaps this oldies site offers some a less frightening experience than the ones you see heavily advertised on TV. Doesn’t that old guy just creep you out with how sincerely he insists he can find the perfect person for you?

I held my breath and pressed the “search” button, and up came a man’s photograph. Apologies, if he’s a reader. I loaded a photo of my grandpuppy.

The site then asked me to describe a “date” idea to respond to this local person.

It was just all too much for me, the words of my grandmother ringing in my ears.

I’ll check back around Halloween if I need to recapture that feeling of terror.

PATSY R. BRUMFIELD writes a Thursday column. Contact her at (662) 678-1596 or

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