Friday, June 13, 2008

Trolling for Dates... for Dad

Father and son, they're an odd pair to be enmeshed together in the dating scene.

Bob is gay, 40, erudite, picky, fashion-snooty, and he recoils from dating anyone who resembles him. Joe is 81, a widower, sloppy, grudgingly willing to brush the accumulated trash off the passenger seat for a date (though not willing to turn off the baseball game), seeking a nice, Jewish woman who plays bridge and is willing to do more than hold hands.

Joe sends Bob into a squirming fit by telling him he wants Bob's help answering the personals ads.

Assisted Loving is a thoroughly delightful and funny memoir of Bob and Joe and their dating travails. More, it's a story of how Bob, so judgmental at first that you wonder if he even likes his father, comes to see Joe's deeper qualities -- and his own. Highly recommended.

Of course I must chastise Bob for seeing his father's desire for sex as "unseemly" and embarrassing. Joe had an affectionate, dynamic relationship with Bob's mother, and of course he would want to share this kind of intimacy with someone else rather than stay lonely. (We understand this better than Bob did, I think.) Why should sex be "unseemly" just because Joe has wrinkles, a paunch and a hip replacement, and talks with his mouth full? More power to him if he feels sexual vigor and wants to express it, don't you agree?

If you're a dating, elder dad, this book would be a marvelous gift for your grown kids! Be sure to visit Bob Morris's website, too -- it's very funny.


  1. The dad in this story sounds like a fun guy!!

  2. Joan - thanks for taking the time to read my book and write a thoughtful penetrating review.


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