I’m here to tell you that you can look like a million bucks on social media and be worth oh, about ten clams soaking wet in real life.

I’m on Tinder and Bumble and swiping on anyone magically delicious. And I’m matching with all sorts of people. Especially on Maui.

I’m trying to stay somewhere within my age range but sometimes I swipe right on some thirty something sandy surfer and boom – it’s a match!

Really?

It’s both refreshing and confusing. I’m not catfishing anyone. But really?

I do know that men of all types like women of all types. And vice-versa. On a good day I’m very comfortable dating out of my league, so to speak. But I’m also not so sure that my bags under-the-eyes 56yr old everything-has-settled bod and aging mind and soul really is a match for all this young testosterone.

Ten years ago, maybe. No, definitely. But I’m hitting a wall.

I’m also not a match for your average pushing sixty dad with one in college and one ready to launch.

I’m just not a match for anyone, really. Not unless I fortify my mojo and swallow hard. Not unless the right combination of earned maturity and focussed lightheartedness comes my way.

For the guys who are straight up grown-ups, am I too much of a free spirit who might be seen as some kind of perpetual wild child, and frivolous?

Am I just too old for the guys in their early thirties and forties with weird facial hair and rambunctious big dogs they throw in their funky retro camping vans as they travel under the same stars – where I’m longing to just collapse and rest my head? Do I even have the energy for that?

I don’t know what my next boyfriend is going to look like or if I’m even gonna have one.

That’s why I swipe on anyone who looks interesting.

But when they swipe back there’s a moment of reckoning. Well after the shock of it. Me?

It isn’t really my problem, but do they know what late fifties looks like in real life?

I just put up a full body shot in my office. I never use filters. But I don’t use outtakes and my pictures are starting to look better than I feel. This one is very real, but still perkier than I feel some days.

Some men will get frisky with anything shiny. Am I really that damn shiny in real life?

I have to say the answer is, no. Not that I couldn’t pull it off. But on any regular basis, no I’m not. My profile is starting to look better than I do in real life and it’s beginning to rattle me a little.

The last thing you want is for someone to think they’re getting chocolate fondue when it’s actually avocado toast. Both are good, but they are different.

I’m a bit crunchy. A bit worn.

Sometimes I match with someone very pretty and we talk and I just say out of the box things until they go away.

Because I don’t think I really can or want to anymore.

I’m not a cougar, but I’m also not aging along traditional lines. But I’m not a cougar or a MILF. I’m actually too old and too uninterested to be anyone’s MILF. Ha!

I’m aging into one of those fabulous older women who is just ageless and timeless. No more agenda. Free as a bird but up to my eyeballs in responsibility. Tied down to my life but with a heart and spirit that wants to roam.

I’m worried that looks just aren’t a very good barometer for anything.

I try to keep the swiping broad and open. Because you never know. I try to just like what I like, and let other people do the same.

But it would be so much easier in real life to just meet people. And that doesn’t happen.

I’ve stayed in the online game, and come to see it as the carnival game that it is.

You can throw a lot of rings and it can look deceptively easy but hardly anyone walks away with the life-sized stuffed gorilla eating a banana. You mostly get the dollar store consolation prize. It’s a cute little rubber dolphin, but it’s not the big gorilla you see three or four people dragging around the fairground. How’d they do it?

Swipe swipe swipe.

I’m still swiping because I have humor, and a lust for life and things to talk about and I can stand by my two dimensional profile self and selfies with defiance and hope.

Hope that there are real people to meet, where looks are just a place you start, but the things we say to each other and the experiences we offer are the real prize.

I’ve got lots to say, and plenty to experience. And wrinkly saggy bits to prove I’m the real deal. What you see isn’t what’s real. What’s real is the inner workings that keep me out in the world. Just being me.

Morning bedhead, on my daughters deck on Maui, listening to the roosters. Still dating. Barely.

Namaste.