While waiting in line at Home Depot (writing a check of that size required a visit to the customer service desk, which was busy) two men in line behind me struck up a conversation. We were all waiting for the apparently complicated transaction ahead of me to conclude, so they had time to talk.
I occasionally find myself chatting in line with strangers, but not like these two. Within ten minutes I knew more about them than I do my co-workers, neighbors, and a few cousins. I knew these guys' ages, how long each had been married, where they grew up, (the same general part of the country) that one of them married a "Polish girl" and had "a Big Polish Wedding," and decades later it was obviously a very happy memory. One of the guys was in his 70s, the other was just a few years older than me, but they were two peas in a pod in their bonding over a shared life experience, back in a better place, in a better time, in a land far north of Central Florida.
Still we waited, and their conversation started to turn from these common happy bonds to how The World Has Changed. The guy only three years older than I am was right in there bitching, I mean pitching, about how Things Suck Now and Nothing is the Same and We'll Never See Those Days Again....and fortunately the long transaction before me concluded and I was next, and wrote my knee-weakening big check for my new cabinetry, and went on my way.
But their conversation stayed with me, because unfortunately, it's a familiar refrain from too many men, and too many women, Of a Certain Age (an age I share with them). Nothing is as good as it was, and they'd rather live in the past than enjoy the present. I call it, "Music Has Sucked Since The Eagles Broke Up," after a line spoken by a man my age some years ago.
Apparently I'm totally out of step with my peer group, because I definitely am not as old as they are, at least inside my head. I am not ready to live in the past, and I don't think the present sucks - and there has been plenty of great music since The Eagles broke up. I get extremely bored when my peer group goes down memory lane and ends up in a ditch of It Was So Much Better Then. What a lovely way to live!
Which brings me to: Would It Kill You Guys to SMILE? I'm starting to think it might.
I'm sure you've seen the ads for that online dating site for the over 50 - Our Time? I was bored and curious one day, so I went to the site and put in my zip code, so I could "see the men in my area"! And get depressed, because yeech.
In a page full of photos, photos posted with the intent of attracting a woman, mind you, exactly ONE man had a pleasant smile on his face and a spark of youthful excitement in his eyes. The rest looked bored, glum, tired, indifferent, probably constipated, and like the present world sucks - pretty much like the ones I've met IRL. I didn't go any further or bother to read the profiles, because seriously guys, if you can't muster a genuine smile and look alive in a picture you are using to try to "attract the ladies," I can only imagine what a delight you must be in person!
In short, I'd rather be happily single and be the project manager of my own remodeling project and manage my own LIFE, than be saddled with somebody who thinks the world has gone to hell in a handbasket and lives in the past. If a man with a spark of life in him comes my way, I wouldn't chase him off, but seriously, IME the pickings are grim, in a very literal sense.