Meeting your love over a carrot juice
Unusual way to meet your mate:
Over a carrot juice.
© Tom Blake 2003
I've written more than 600 columns for "Orange County Register" newspapers in southern California on middle age dating and relationships. So, readers think I likely met the special woman in my life by some scientific method, learned from the nine years of writing my columns. But that's not the case.
Besides being a writer, I've also owned a deli called Tutor and Spunky's in Dana Point, Calif., for 17 years. In April, 1998, at lunchtime, a woman named Greta, whom I had never met, asked if I hosted singles functions for middle age people as I had mentioned in my columns a few times. I told Greta I didn't sponsor singles events any more, that I was in a relationship and didn't feel they'd be appropriate for me.
Two months later, when I saw Greta in the deli, I told her I remembered our previous conversation, that my relationship had ended, and I was thinking of sponsoring singles events again. She told me to let her know, ordered a fresh carrot juice and went to a table to wait.
As Greta was sitting there, I looked at her. There's something radiant about her face and smile. You can tell she's a kind and warm person just by looking at her.
Without thinking about it, I walked around the counter to where she was sitting and said, "Would you like to have dinner with me?"
"That would be nice," said Greta.
That was June 24. We decided to go out on June 27, which fell on a Saturday in 1998.
Because I owned a local business, and because she knew of me from my newspaper columns, she felt comfortable enough to allow me to pick her up at her home, despite warnings from her daughters, "Watch out Mom, he's a dating expert, he might have a few
slick moves and lines of his own."
As I drove up to Greta's house, a young woman was leaving. Later, I found out it was her daughter, Terri Wert, who had helped Greta select what clothes to wear.
We went to the Claim Jumper Restaurant off La Paz Road in Laguna Hills. While waiting in the bar, the first thing we discovered we had in common was a liking of Kendall-Jackson chardonnay.
Then, we found out each of our marriages had fallen apart late in 1993. And that we both had dabbled in real estate as a second job during the early 1990s. She was a year younger than I.
Within 15 minutes, I knew Greta was a quality person who would make a great partner.
She was leaving for Hawaii with her family the following Tuesday. On Monday night, I took her an autographed copy of my book, "Middle Aged and Dating Again," figuring, if she was still interested in seeing me after reading about the pathetic exploits of a pathetic single man the first year after his divorce, that would be a good test.
We were perfect for each other. But, we both knew it was too soon for me to open my heart, having ended an intense relationship just a month before.
I felt Greta was special enough to maintain a friendship with while I went through the healing process. And Greta says she was willing to take the risk that I might never shape up and be able to commit to her.
So, here we are almost six years later, as perfectly suited and happy as we were when we met.
It's important singles remain alert for opportunities that arise where they meet someone who might be special for them. The timing will never be perfect or ideal. If you're a single woman or a single man, don't be shy, be mildly assertive, by asking the person to join you for a cup of coffee, or even a freshly squeezed carrot juice. You might meet the love of your life.