Thursday, April 2, 2009
The Last Love of your Life. Winterslove.org.co.cd
One day while half watching his thirteen inch black and white television and half watching the rain pelting his parlor window he heard a commercial on the TV. He turned to the set and focused his attention long enough to understand. It was a commercial for an online dating service called Springlove. Springlove promised to find anyone a match if you paid a fee and filled out your two hundred point personality profile. Bernard’s blood pressure rose slightly pulling oxygen into his starving brain. His heart starting beating hard enough to be felt as it rattled away beneath his malnourished skeletal frame. Bernard had a thought. Why not find someone to love in his final years? He knew Lola would approve. It was time to move on.
Bernard sat with pencil and paper in hand ready to write down the telephone number for Springlove. The closing scene of the commercial flickered in hundreds of black and white pixels - a man and woman walking arm in arm into the multi shaded gray sunset. Instead of a phone number the screen displayed a web site. Bernard recognized what a web site looked like but had never used a computer. The game show returned. Bernard was up and out of his seat. He put on his rain coat and ventured out into the shower and down the sidewalk to the Salvation Army Thrift Store.
“I want a computer,” he told Major Valerie. Major Valerie was the manager in charge that afternoon. She took him in the back room and showed him the limited selection. Most of it was junk. Even Bernard could see that. The Major apologized for not being very helpful and then remembered a new shipment of used computers from the Shire schools. They were still on a packing pallet covered in plastic on the back porch. With a razor blade and determination they cut through he plastic and set out each computer on a large table. One computer looked promising. Its plastic shell was free of the foul school yard language found scratched into the plastic of the other machines. The computer turned on. The hard drive spun into life. The screen displayed something called Windows. Bernard made the purchase.
After spending several weeks learning how to use the mouse and internet thanks to his neighbor’s Eagle Scout project, Bernard joined Springlove. He took the personality profile and waited for the result. He waited. And waited. And waited some more. A week later he received notice that Springlove had credited his enrollment fee back to his bank. In the email explanation someone from the matchmaking service said he was far too old and they didn’t have anyone interested in dating someone old enough to be their great grandfather. Bernard was devastated. He wondered if he was truly ‘Past It’ as they implied in their email.
The next day his Boy Scout neighbor stopped by for his Eagle Scout Project - teaching the elderly basic computer skills. Bernard explained the situation and told him he was through with computers. He had Maxine and that was all he needed.
“Why not start your own dating service for old timers like you?” the Boy Scout asked. “I could create a web site and teach you how to run it. Of course this is beyond my Scout project so I'll have to charge you something," the boy explained.
Bernard took the next week to consider the possibilities of running his own matchmaking service for the nearly dead. After an evening discussing the pros and cons with Maxine, Bernard decided to do it. With the help of his neighbor and a portion of his savings Bernard founded Winterlove, the matchmaking service for the elderly and home bound. He decided on the word 'winter' to illustrate where he was on life’s journey.
Winterlove took off. Soon Bernard had over fifty geriatric clients - all looking for someone’s hand to hold as they slipped through the mortal curtain and into eternity. Bernard even found someone for himself. A lovely woman his age from Strawberry Junction. He stepped out with her several times before she fell and broke her hip. She was moved by ambulance to Capital City’s Medical Center and they lost touch. Bernard’s new match is a woman two years younger. She can cook and tolerates the hours of time he spends working on his web site. She helps with the matches and beams with pride when she receives emails saying her matches were successful.
Bernard found a new lease on life. He helps lonely people like himself find partners in the winter of their lives. He even enjoys the time he spends on the computer. He has a hard time seeing the keyboard some days and other days just turning it on confuses him.
Remember Winterslove if you have a lonely, elderly member of your family and are looking for someone to take your place as their care giver. You may need to spend a little money for a good hair cut, dentures, and clothing that doesn't look like it was ordered from the 1972 Sears Catalog. Remember you are placing your senior citizen back on the dating market and first impressions still matter.