Get a Man For Your Mama

Double-dating with your mother is probably not your idea of a great way to spend an evening. But if she’s divorced or widowed, going all out to help her find a man could be the best thing that ever happened to her and to you.

That’s right. We’re suggesting a campaign to “Get a Man for Your Mama.” If you’re currently unattached, the (“and Yourself”) part isn’t a bad idea either. Sounds next-to-impossible? Not nowadays when women far beyond their 50s, who’ve been depositing Social Security checks for years, coif attractively and wear chic dog-walking outfits instead of sweat pants. Instead of saying, “Men? Who wants to take care of an old geezer? I’ve been there, done that,” they’re willing to roll the dice one more time. Maybe even twice.

Shirley’s mother was not such a woman. After her husband died, she spent her days in a stained house dress, watching TV and eating potato chips in a Massachusetts mill town. “Enough of this,” Shirley declared. “I’m taking you to New York, and we’re going to find you a man.”

“You’re crazy,” her mother exclaimed. “Look at me. What man would want a woman like me?” But the prospect of spending lots of face time with her grandchildren overcame her misgivings, and, giving her possessions to the Salvation Army, Minnie came quietly.

Shirley’s campaign began in earnest. She dieted her mother down 20 pounds to pleasingly plump, took her shopping for a whole new wardrobe, bought her a new set of dentures that didn’t slip in mid-sentence, took her to the beauty parlor for hair tinting and a face-framing perm, replaced her black granny shoes with fashionable sandals, and, since electrolysis was not in the budget, set her grandson to plucking her less than endearing facial hairs. When the project was complete, after two months of reminders to “stand up straight,” Minnie, with the carriage of a queen, looked in a full-length mirror, beamed happily and said, “I haven’t looked this good since my wedding day.”

With the help of a girlfriend, she wrote a personal page ad. It drew three responses, and three months later one of them, a widower, was her brand-new husband. They lived happily ever after — at least, until Harry died. Minnie told Shirley through her tears, “They were the best five years of my life. Not only that, I never knew sex could be so wonderful.”

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