Every morning, I turn on my laptop and check my emails. Very few of them are personal, mostly junk mail. I don’t bother opening them… just go down the list and delete them.
But today one of them caught my eye. It was from Groop Dealz. The header read:
$7.99 Free Shipping
It got my attention. A cafe busy latte and a bun cost that much. This had to be the sale of the century! No auto-delete for this one. The soft boyfriend was just a click away.
I’m seventy-seven years old. I live alone and most of the time, that’s fine with me. But every so often, it might be nice to have a soft boyfriend to lean against when I’m watching Wheel of Fortune.
Please don’t tell me age is just a number. Who started that lie anyway… probably someone who was staring into the dark abyss of turning forty?
On-line dating is not for me.
I don’t want long walks on the beach. I can barely walk to my car. I don’t need to watch the sunsets. By the time the sun goes down, I’m in my nightgown and taking my pills.
I can’t think of anything less appealing than getting all fixed up to meet a man I don’t know. A complete stranger who, if he is age appropriate, is looking for someone to make him a home-cooked meal or wants help changing his colostomy bag. These days, I only get fixed up for my doctor appointments… even that is too much for me.
Maybe I could connect with that guy who does that TV commercial, the one with his own plane and who’s looking for the perfect catheter. If you are under 70 you probably haven’t seen it. They run it at 4 AM, when all the old folks are wide awake but too tired to read and have the misfortune of turning on the TV.
But for $7.99 Free Shipping, I have nothing to lose. My soft boyfriend is just a click away.
I open the e-mail. The header for the ad is missing a word. It should have read: “Soft Boyfriend Sweater $7.99 Free Shipping.”
I might have known that any company that couldn’t spell Group Deals was not on the level and couldn’t be trusted. Just another bait and switch company trying to scam unsuspecting old ladies. Like that Nigerian Prince from Africa, who wanted me to send him money for I don’t know what all. Or that call I got from the Prize Patrol.
That night after Zoey cat and I finish dinner, we cuddle together on the sofa to watch a rerun of Golden Girls. She curls up on my lap. I rub her under her chin. She purrs. I whisper softly in her ear.
“As long as I have you, who needs a Soft Boyfriend?”
Phyllis Reilly says: “I returned to writing after a ten-year absence. Two years ago, I started The Croton Writers Group and have been writing my memoirs. I also write flash fiction nonfiction short stories and poetry. At seventy-seven years old I am l grateful that my work has been published, most recently in Passager Journal, Cottagebytheroad, and The Citron Review. I live along the Croton River in NY with my husband and cat Zoey. In spite of this insane world… Life is good.”