Love Among the Ruins

Yesterday, Women’s Voices for Change posted my article, Second Chance at Silver Romance. In case you missed the posting, here is the direct link to the article.

In the meantime, I had sent another article to the Philadelphia Inquirer entitled, Love Among the Ruins, after a movie of the same name. I sent it too late and so I am posting it here, below. But last night something strange occurred. My husband Alan & I went to dinner to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our first meeting, Feb. 12, 2003, after he had been a widower for only 6 1/2 months. His first wife’s name was Estelle, with a nickname of E.S. One of my nicknames in E.S. for Ellen Sue. Even more strange is that Estelle’s birthday is February 12th, the same day we met. Feb. 12th, 2003 was the first birthday after her death. Could it be she sent Alan to me so he would not be alone on her birthday? Very Twilight Zone!!!
This was taken, I think when we were engaged.

Love Among the Ruins*: Senior Romance is Alive & Well

Falling in love has no expiration date. I fell in love at age 65 after my second date with a 69-year old man from Philadelphia. Since I was living in State College, the romance was a little tricky. It started with my ad in early February, 2003: Single, slim, sensuous, spiritual Sagittarius female seeks similar single male (ages 60-70) spiritual soul, soon.

To my surprise I received a response. Men my age usually seek and find much younger women. He called & left this message, “Hi, this is Alan. Leave your name and number, and if I like you, I’ll call you back.” I laughed and called him back.  A good sense of humor was high on my “mate trait” list. We chatted and I told him I lived in State College.  His reply: State College! I don’t even want to go to Northeast Philadelphia for a date. Why would I travel all the way to State College? I replied in my best sassy Sagittarius tone, “But Alan, what if I am the one and you never came to meet me?” We compromised and made a date for March 1st to meet halfway, in Harrisburg.

Then I learned my friend Susan was planning a trip to Philadelphia on February 12th and said I could hitch a ride.  I called Alan back and he agreed to meet me in Center City at our hotel. About 7 pm, Alan knocked on the door. He came in and my first impression was a positive one. Maybe not love at first sight, but definitely like at first sight. Back at the hotel coffee shop after dinner we exchanged mutual interests, which were many.  At my room door he kissed me good night—a quick kiss, but nice. He said, I’ll call you. (Right! I wasn’t sure that would happen. After all, I was a GUPPY, a geographically undesirable person.)

Next morning my friend Susan told me that after her last meeting she was having lunch with her brother-in-law before heading home. I asked her, “Should I ask Alan to join us?”  She said, “Yes.” I hesitated, but she pushed. I easily gave in and called Alan at work, also in Center City. His response was, “What a pleasant surprise!” (I was pleasantly surprised by that comment.) We met and lunch was even better than dinner. I definitely felt a connection. He said he would call. This time I believed him.

I went home on a small cloud—didn’t want to get my hopes up. He was a recent widow and maybe not ready for Prime Time. (I was. I had been divorced 13 years after a 30-year marriage.) But on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2003, he did call and we made plans to meet on March 1st, our original date. After that weekend I knew he was almost too good to be true. I moved to Philadelphia. We became engaged that November and married in October 2004. We danced down the aisle to the tune of “You Make Me Feel So Young.” Our grown children (my three, his two) children and significant others, his 97-year old mother, plus other family and friends celebrated with us. February 14th now has an extra special meaning for me, because that’s when our senior romance started.

Alan & I dancing down the aisle for our wedding.

*Title from a movie by the same name with an aging Katherine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier and their senior romance.

Love among the ruins means love at any stage.

Since when is love an era? You can fall at any age!

Life is not a static game and making plans is folly.

Divorce and widowhood are not a shame; hop on or off the trolley.

Open your heart to what comes next; don’t be afraid to try.

Love & Loss are part of LIFE; you can laugh and you can cry!

Holding hands @ 80; kissing in the waning light;

Maybe love IS wasted on the young; perhaps we’ve got it right!


This was taken last week when we were in Florida.

2 thoughts on “Love Among the Ruins

  1. What a great rendition of your silver romance
    and marriage. Always thought you were really
    lucky to have met your mensch, as I recall you saying.

    Hugs for Valentines Day to you both!

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