Ninety Years Young

Robin Botie of ithaca, New York, photoshops the symbol for Anonymous Female from Facebook instead of a photo of her 90 year old friend who is online dating.“I may be 90 but I’m not dead,” my friend Juliette said. It was her birthday. To celebrate, I’d brought over the requested tuna-on-rye with onion and lettuce, a tiny cheesecake, and my camera.

“Oh good,” she said, eyeing the camera. “I’m considering going back to online dating and I need some photos.” I looked at her in awe, never having gathered enough courage to go through with online dating myself. She had over five years of experience.

“But you already have a boyfriend,” I said, trying to hide my jealousy. “Are there really guys online, looking for women in their 80s and 90s?”
“Oh, yes,” she assured me. But there were problems about dating in one’s Sunset Years. “Mostly related to geography,” she said. She mentioned health issues and scammers as well, but decided the biggest obstacle was the physical distance between herself and her admirers. If you no longer drive and your sweetheart lives hours away, there is never enough time together and each meet-up requires the aid of family or friends to transport one to be with the other. “That’s why I’m going back to shopping online to find a congenial companion who lives within 10 to 20 miles.”

“So, what’s your ideal man like?” I asked. She responded with her list: Gentle. Affectionate. Good command of the English language. Someone to go to ethnic restaurants with, who likes to play word games and cards, enjoys listening to classical music, … happy to share coffee in the morning. I wondered, how early in the morning? And if that implied they would spend the night together? Not wanting to pry, I didn’t say anything at first. But finally, because these days I’m trying to be more forthright in my communications, I asked, “Is there sex at 90?”

From her shiny red motorized wheel chair, Juliette looked up at me through knitted brows, and lowered her voice, “Well, you’re not supposed to advertise that fact.” That’s when she said, “I may be 90 but I’m not dead.” Right then, I knew I’d found my story of the week.


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6 thoughts on “Ninety Years Young

  1. Marian Beaman

    Your comment on Elaine Mansfield’s recent post led me here. Now I’m happily poking around in your website.

    Obviously you are conversant in more than one art – writing and photshopping to name two. I am married to an artist who photshops and also supplied the drawing to my wordless (almost) blog post today.

    I love your story. It reminded me of what may have happened after I saw two 90-year-olds on the ballroom dancing floor this summer. Ha!

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Thank you, and welcome to my online home, Marian. Yes, I love writing and Photoshop. Now. I did not like either very much before I discovered that my daughter was a writer and loved photography. As for my 90-year old friend Juliette, she inspires me. As does anyone who can cross the borders of who they think they are or have to be. You mentioned your partner’s abilities but not your own – except for an almost-wordless blog. Which sounds appealing to me right now having just written my longest post ever. I’m making a note of your site and will have to check it out soon. Thanks for giving me an image of two ninety-year-olds ballroom dancing. might just share that with Juliette. Cheers!

  2. Elaine Mansfield

    I love this, Robin. I wrote a piece a while back about sex in the days of cancer, but haven’t figured out where to submit it. You encourage me to dig a little deeper into the joy of sexuality no matter how old or sick we are. I’m charmed. Thank you.

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      You are so brave, Elaine. To be able to write about sex in days of cancer, sex and joy, sex and whatever. I don’t know if I could go there. Might be easier if all my sexuality wasn’t ancient history. But I’m so glad I can at least be an encouragement. Actually. Even if Juliette is the one having all the fun. Cheers!

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Thanks, Lynne. Can’t wait to catch up with Juliette now that I’m back from my 17-day trip. She’s already warned me in an email that she’s got news. I imagine she could get into a lot of mischief in 17 days.


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