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Eight Simple Rules for Dating My Mother

I am continuing my quest to represent a group that is much underrepresented in the media. I am referring to the group we call the “more mature.” We have advice columns for the 30 and under, advertising that targets the 20 to 40 year old group, and books such as W. Bruce Cameron’s Eight Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. The book, which is the springboard for the television series by the same name, is very well written and if you haven’t read it, you should. In the off chance that you haven’t read the book I will summarize the eight rules. Rule #1--Don’t honk. Rule #2--Don’t lay hands or eyes on my daughter. Rule #3-- Keep your clothes on. Rule #4-- No sex. Rule #5-- Be home early. Rule # 6-- Don’t make her cry. Rule # 7-- Don’t waste time waiting for my daughter to get ready. Change the oil in my car. Rule #--8 Do not take my daughter anyplace where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool.

It is obvious that the book celebrates and/or protects the young. What about the “more mature” group? Older people need love and protection too. Many seniors enjoy dating very much.

It is with this background that I am going to advance my own “Eight Rules.” Although you may suspect I have a very personal interest and, in fact, some personal gain in mind, I assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. I am only interested in what is right and proper for our older citizens.


Rule #1—Hurry. My mother is in the group known as 80-something. From a statistical standpoint mom’s dating years are running out. Although she is dynamic, vivacious, and very sexy for an 80-something, time will probably erode these qualities. You should strike while the iron is hot, so to speak.

Rule #2—Don’t honk. If you pull into the driveway and honk, do not expect mom to come rushing out to your car. She actually does not hear car horns—or thunder, or gunfire in the back yard. Be civilized and walk up to the front door and ring the bell. It is very loud and it activates a large red light, which mom can see. Also, you should make no untoward or dirty inferences about the red light.

Rule #3—No nuts. If you take mom out for a meal do not feed her nuts or anything with small seeds, like blackberries. She can’t chew the nuts very well and the seeds get under her dentures and cause discomfort. I don’t want you discomforting my mom.

Rule # 4—Go dancing. It is OK to take her dancing. Ballroom dancing. The kind of dancing where couples actually touch each other and move their bodies and limbs in time to the music. She would be confused and somewhat distressed trying do some of the current dance rages where the couples do not touch but move body and limbs in what appears to be a random fashion. The rule seems to be if you have a body part that will move, you should shake it vigorously without regard to the tempo or rhythm of the music. Anyway mom has very few body parts that are currently moveable.

Rule #5— Plan on a chaperone. There will be no out-of-town trips without a proper chaperone—me. If you plan to invite mom to accompany you to exotic places in Europe, Asia, or even Australia, you should count on including my wife, Lynn, and me in your plans. You should have the resources to cover all the expenses of all parties, including the chaperones. In other words if you are not pretty well off, you should plan to date someone whose only son does not have such high expectations for a potential stepfather.

Rule #6—No dates on Thursday night. On Thursday night mom plays bingo. So do about 300 other mature women who live nearby. They are avid bingo players. Nothing will deter them. They play multiple cards and mark off the bingo numbers with a bigheaded magic marker made specifically for that purpose. Mom told me this—Do you know how to make 4 little old ladies say the king of all four letter bad words (The one for which Ralphy got his mouth washed out with Lifebuoy soap in A Christmas Story). Have a fifth little old lady say BINGO.

Rule #7—Bring a gift. Perhaps a nice bottle of Metamucil. Oh, I know a lot of guys would bring a bottle of fine wine. They think wine might loosen up their date. Well Metamucil works for mom. She likes the orange flavor with a small glass of prune juice.

Rule #8—Be home early. Mom generally goes to sleep around 10:00, both AM and PM. At 10:00 AM it is just a pre-lunch nap. At 10:00 PM she is sacked out for the night. Don’t plan to sack out with her. I would have to kill you for that. The sleep occurs about the same time each night no matter where she is--the restaurant, the theater, driving home in a car, etc. She sleeps very soundly and you would still be responsible for getting her home. You can’t just leave her sleeping in her chair. What I’m saying is that surely you don’t want to try to explain to concerned bystanders why you are carrying what appears to be a dead body out of the restaurant. Be home before 10:00.

I’m sure my mother would be quite interested in dating the right man. When you show up for your date, I will expect you to fill out a brief questionnaire. Also, please remember to bring a copy of your most recent income tax return.