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Monday, June 17, 2013 1:27 AM

Celebrating Life: I Got Married on Friday

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As most of you know, I lost my wife Joanne on May 16 last year to ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease. We were happily married for 27 years.

Joanne's three closest friends, Kathy, Marybeth, and Debbie all wanted me to move on, have fun, meet someone and enjoy life.

But where does one who is 59 years old find someone?

The bar scene may work for someone 21 to 35. For someone 59, the bar scene is a near-certain strikeout. There are numerous online services but most of the horror stories speak for themselves. I do have a close friend who was "successful" on the exact 100th match.

No thanks.

I decided to try a place called Selective Search. I found them doing a search for executive matching. There are other high-end matching services, but I liked the Selective Search model.

One key difference between Selective Search and other executive matching services is only the men pay. The advantages and disadvantages of such an approach should be obvious. The advantage to men is there are far more women in the system. The advantage to women is they do not pay and thus have nothing to lose.

Selective Search interviews every candidate and they weed out men who are not seriously looking for a relationship; they weed out women who appear to be gold-diggers, and they weed out people with unrealistic goals (for example a 60 year-old overweight man who wants to find a 23-year-old beauty-queen match).

My Criteria

Preferably, I wanted someone with a nice smile and slender build, who likes to travel, likes golf, likes to kayak, and likes to play cards. My "dealbreakers" were smoking, someone with young kids, and someone who wanted more kids.

Liz was my second date, matched personally by "Molly", my Selective Search matchmaker. Liz, 52, had a cutoff age of 55, but Molly convinced Liz to take a chance.

We went out for dinner on Saturday, November 3, then again on November 6, Election Day.

Very quickly we started seeing a lot of each other. Since then we bought and decorated a Christmas tree together, have been to Mexico, Mackinaw Island, gone hiking in state parks, and went kayaking twice. We golf regularly, and we even won two regional duplicate bridge tournaments together.

The odds of quickly finding someone with those interests except via a high-end matching service is about zero percent, no matter how long one looks.

Old Friends, New Friends

Liz and Joanne's closest friends have met, and we have even traveled together, to Mexico. Kathy, Marybeth, and Debbie have embraced Liz and vice versa. Kathy, was my "best man" at the wedding.

Meet Liz

Here are some pictures from our two most recent trips.
Click on any image for sharper view.

Sipping Tea on Front Porch of Grand Hotel - Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island Michigan Carriage Ride

Mackinac Island - Fun in Phone Booth

Glen Arbor Michigan - Rhododendrons

Sunset, Sipping Wine at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Sunset

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - Wild Lilacs

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - Wild Lilacs

Starved Rock State Park, Utica IL, Waterfall After Spring Rain

Yes, we got wet taking that picture (Liz got soaked while I was fooling around trying to find the best angle), but it was fun. And, life's too short to not have fun with a compatible soulmate.

I am extremely fortunate to have found Liz. And I could not possibly be happier.

We are going on a delayed honeymoon at the end of July and early August in Prague (the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic), Munich Germany, and Rothenburg ob der Tauber (a lovely fairy-tale city on the Romantic Road in Germany). I will post some pictures while there.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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