Seniors | Should I call him?by Barbara Rose Brooker
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“Do you think I should call or wait for him to call?” my friend, Myrna Bloomberg, asks on the phone.
“Break tradition,” I say. “We’re boomer hottie women, pioneers of the ageless generation. If you want to call, call.”
Myrna continues in detail to tell me about a man she met and how fabulous he is. She’s blonde and pretty. A former actor, she volunteers giving acting lessons to girls in prisons. She’s real interesting.
She goes on. “Until 2 a.m., we sat and talked about the theater. He’s a playwright. Very interesting. He’s 70 and I’m 81, but who’s counting? He ate my Brie, drank a $100 bottle of white wine. We had a great time.”
“Good shmood. So why doesn’t he call? It’s been almost two weeks.” She sighs heavily.“You have great hair for your age, he tells me. What’s with the for your age bit? Either you have great hair or not.”
“He’s an ageist,” I rant.
“If you’re not blinged with Botox and boobed to the sky, a size 2, rich, or have a doorman, you’re a throwaway. I went on JDate, posted my current photo and real age. I got one response from a retired surgeon. I quickly realized I’d met the moron years ago. Ten years ago he had the same photo posted and the same age. Moron.”
“Hold on Myrna. It’s Elaine Berman. She’s panicked about her new man.”
I press the call-waiting button: “Elaine, I’m on the phone with Myrna, I can’t talk right now.”
But Elaine continues to rage: “So the freak wants me to sleep in his dead wife’s bed. Can you imagine? I go over there with my new Chillow pillow — you know, those shmata pillows that stay cool during the night … Anyway, he’s got the ceiling fan, the Indian music, the whole shmear, but above the bed is a huge portrait of his dead wife. Plus her ugly cat meowed and clawed. You think the man has called? Should I call him?”
“I’ll call you later,” I say. “Myrna is on the line.”
“Myrna, I’m back.” But Myrna has hung up.
What is it with this calling thing? We’re still invested in the romantic notion that all men are Heathcliff and will pursue us. Is this realistic? Generations have changed. Or have they?
The next day, I’m lost. I’m at California Pacific Medical Center on my way to visit my brother who is having heart surgery. The hospital is a maze and I’m nervous. I’m a nervous person. I’m afraid of elevators, balloons, birds. I don’t know where to go. There are too many arrows pointing to different directions.
“Can I help you?” asks a very handsome man. He’s tall, wears a dark, elegant suit and has a slight European accent.
“I’m looking for the third floor. My brother is having surgery.”
He smiles, revealing nice, even teeth. His salt and pepper hair is slicked back and he has merry eyes. “You’re in the wrong building. I’ll take you to the lobby of the main building.”
I follow him into this huge elevator. We’re the only people in the elevator and it slowly cranks up. I say, “Thank you. It’s my lucky day.”
“No. It’s my lucky day,” he smiles.
“Wow. You’re a lovely person …”
“Not as lovely as you are.”
The elevator jerks to a stop.
Ceremoniously, he steps aside and I enter the lobby. He gives me his card. “Call me if you need any help.”
We shake hands. I’m furious that I’m blushing. I watch him walk away, as if he owns the ground. I look at his card. He’s an M.D., in charge of physician relations.
“Wow, he was something,” I tell Myrna later on the phone.
“So call him.”
“I have to think about it.”
“What’s there to think about?”
“Have you called your playwright?”
She sighs. “Should I call? I decided to wait a little longer to see if he calls me.”
“We’re still acting like Jane, and the men, Tarzan. We give them the power.”
“I’m a romantic. I want him to call,” she says.
Later that day, I look at his card. Slowly, I dial his cellphone. My heart is beating fast. It rings several times. His voicemail comes on: “Leave a message,” he says.
“Hello, this is the lost lady you met at the hospital. You are lovely and do call … Let me leave my number.”
Barbara Rose Brooker is an S.F. native and the author of “The Viagra Diaries.” A sequel, “Love Sometimes,” will be published in 2014. Her book “Should I Sleep in His Dead Wife’s Bed” is due to be published in December. http://www.barbararosebrooker.com
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