Ask the Old Bag

Advice for the Over-50 Crowd

Gayle M. Lagman-Creswick | Apr 3, 2014, 8:32 a.m.

Dear Old Bag: I personally do not like your title. Anyway, in response to the never-ending problem of who pays for a date: Maybe your readers would be interested in how I resolved this non-issue. 1. He who does the asking, does the paying! 2. If a gentleman takes me out for a second date, that’s great. But, on the third date, I ask him and I pay!

Heavens, what universe are these shallow senior women living in? Also: If a gentleman suggests a Dutch Date, I’m finished before we get started. Signed, Fran

Dear Fran: Sorry you do not like my title. I came by it honestly. Thank you for letting us hear another version of the “who pays” saga. The Old Bag Rules for Casual Dating for those on a fixed income are not for everyone. Hope you do not miss out on a wonderful man because he goes by my rules! Good luck. Signed, O.B.

Dear Old Bag: My wife passed away a few months ago. Since her passing I have been obsessed with wondering how I will die. My wife was a wonderful woman, but she had six months of hell before she died. I know we never know what path our home stretch will follow, but at the thought of how she died, I feel I must do something to avoid such an ending to my own life. What are your thoughts? Signed, Worried

Dear Worried: I think it is normal to think these thoughts after losing a loved one, especially if they had a difficult passing. Most of us, given the choice, would want to die in our sleep. Unfortunately, we do not have that choice. However, when you say you feel you must “do something to avoid such an ending” that sends up a red flag to me. You must get some counseling regarding these thoughts. Speak with a doctor, hospice or with your clergy ASAP. Prayers and good thoughts are coming your way. Best wishes, O.B.

Dear Old Bag: I very much enjoyed your talk to our alumni group last month. Someone asked you a question about what you thought about casual dating, if your spouse was in a nursing home and had been paralyzed for years and not able to speak, but was still aware of what was going on. You said you felt that was different than an Alzheimer’s patient who did not know you anymore and was not aware, and you said you felt it would not be right to date in that case. My question to you is: what is a person to do? It is lonely after years and years. Signed, Alum

Dear Alum: If your spouse in the nursing home is aware, I am sure she is lonely, too. I did not mean that you should not be active socially. I meant that I felt you should not develop a relationship with the opposite sex, if your spouse is still aware. You can still golf, play cards, have dinner with friends, enjoy family, go to church, travel, etc. It is very important to stay active. This is a tough time for sure. Remember, this is only my opinion. Each person must decide for themselves, based upon their own set of ethics. Good luck, O.B. P.S. If I were the patient myself, I would give my spouse permission to get on with his life...but that is just how I feel.

Dear Readers: Remember the request that I made for each of us to teach the younger crowd how to be kind to others? Our assignment this month for those of you who are on board: Invite an acquaintance to dinner or to an activity to get to know the person better. It would be extra nice if the person you invite has a spouse in a nursing home or is a widow or widower. Most of us run around with the same people all the time. Stretch a little! Thank you, O.B.

If you have a question for The Old Bag, please send it to: Ask the Old Bag c/o Lovin’ Life After 50, 3200 N. Hayden Road, Suite 210, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 or lagmancreswick@cox.net.

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