“No way do you look fifty-five,” someone said the other day. For a second, I felt wonderful. Then I remembered: I really am fifty-five.
I agree that I don’t look my age. Nor, for that matter, do I act it. Maybe, as I’ve heard, fifty is the new forty. Regardless, there’s one thing I can’t escape: I’m hitting another Valentine’s day trying to date when many people my age are partnered or married or just plain disinterested.
Throw in that I’m transgender, and all of a sudden, it’s an uphill battle to score a date with a decent woman.
For sure, I’ve had my share of dating partners. However, things never quite work out for the long haul. Four months seems to be the magic number–everything sails along reasonably well to that point, and then, inexplicably, the relationship goes to hell in an instant. I’m pretty sure—no, on second thought, make that absolutely positive—this abysmal track record has nothing to do with me.
“It’s just bad luck“, I tell myself.
In my rare moments of lucidity, I’ve tried to analyze why it is that Match.com has the same people showing up in the same photographs with the same profiles day in and day out. Does everyone have $59.95 to throw around for three months of hoping? I, for one, am tired of waiting for that special “match” to show up in my life. I can’t be the only one who thinks like this.
I’m certain there are plenty of lesbians and bisexual women searching for Ms. Right, just like me. We simply don’t know where to look. As best I can tell, there’s no coffee shop or bar that caters specifically to lesbians. Pi the bar is long dead. I belong to a wonderful Meet Up group, but many of the women in it are already taken.
It doesn’t help that I’m picky. My perfect woman has Jennifer Aniston’s body, Zooey Deschanel’s looks, and Lady Gaga’s personality. There’s bonus points for Rachel Maddow’s spunk. My perfect woman has to love bicycling and the Sunday New York Times, read appropriately in bed. It would help if she’s Mensa level smart, but I’ll accept slightly less intellect if she meets all other qualifications. I realize I have to be flexible to some extent.
Oh, wait a minute. Come back to reality, Ellie.
I’m not the only one in a middle aged dating (“MAD”) malaise. My baby brother—sadly, another fifty something—has a hard time snagging that all-important second or third date with the right person. “It’s frustrating as hell,” he said.
Tell me about it. At least my bro’s getting first dates. That means he’s got far less to complain about.
I don’t know what role being transgender plays in my dating drought. If anything, some women think I’m too feminine. It’s true—I don’t own a single flannel shirt or fishing pole. I’ve got that little problem with my voice, but then again, that didn’t stop past dating partners. Instead, I think “transgender” is still a bit too out there, too unusual for a Match.com profile. I assume some women—and for that matter, men—wonder, “Does it actually look real down there?”
In a word, it sure does. I’m happy to report that one girlfriend—this one didn’t even make it three months—eagerly exclaimed, “I love your surgeon!”
In five years, my status as transgender probably won’t be a big deal. But then again, that’s five years of waiting around. I don’t have time to waste while our culture catches up to me. I’m ready for something serious now.
I do have a plan.
I’m thinking of a billboard on I-94 near the Hennepin–Lyndale Avenues exit. I’ve got a great picture of me wearing glasses—dare I say it’s a bit sexy? Below the picture—blown twenty feet high—the words, “Ladies, how can you resist this? Call me at 1-I WANT ELLIE.”
I can see it now. Traffic backed up in both directions. Women in the west bound lanes stopped to jot down the number. Perhaps cell phone or iPad pictures snapped. On the other side of the highway, rubberneckers vie for a glimpse of the remarkable—and soon famous–billboard.
Yea, that’s the ticket, Ellie. It’s sure to get you a date.