“If I kick off, you should wait a couple of weeks and then go find someone. You are 69, you know.”

I stared at him.

“I know people say to wait a year. But you shouldn’t do that. Just go find someone. You’re 69.”

I kept staring, now with raised eyebrows.

“The problem with guys in their 70’s though is that they are all looking for somebody who’s 40.”

I nodded. It’s an old joke between us. On my 50th birthday, I asked him: Did you ever think you would be sleeping with a 50-year old woman? Yes, he answered, but I thought I’d be 70 at the time.

“Not that you’re not cute. I would say you’re pretty cute considering…”

Let me guess.

“How come you don’t have a reaction to me talking about kicking off?”

I wonder.

 

When my mother died, she and my dad had been married 64 years. I remember when we were kids, he always said that he absolutely would remarry if our mom died because he liked being married so much. It seemed weird and disloyal. I only figured out the sense of it many years later.

One night, several months after she died, my 89-year old dad quietly admitted that “it can get pretty lonely around here.” Then he told me that a lady he sees at the bank had invited him over for dinner. “I’m not ready for that,” he said. I encouraged him but in a feeble way. No one knew his own mind like my father. If he wasn’t ready, he wasn’t. And he probably never would be. Never mind what he said long ago. That was theory. This was real.

So much for theory.