2019 Holiday Gift Guide

Ghosting Stan

Cindy Gabriel
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Stan Ehrenkranz

CINDY'S ONLINE FIND Stan-the-Fan Ehrenkranz has never met a baby he didn't like. Here he is with his granddaughter Arden Evans.

I like you more than food.” That was Stan’s most recent attempt to put his feelings in words. I think that means I’m just below his canine children, Chester and Trap. 

’Lest you haven’t been waiting on the edge of your sofa for the next Buzz to arrive with the latest installment of whatever this is – “Dating After 40,” ok, waaaay after 40 – here’s the back story. (You can make a quick stop at thebuzzmagazines.com if you need a refresher.)

First, there was the May Issue, Crickets: The quiet before the Stan. And, if you really don’t have anything better to do, this is best read in the context of the April issue, An Old Crush: That I did something about.    

Where are we? Oh yeah, online dating. So, after getting the feeling that I was smack dab in the middle of Stan’s Maybe List as someone he might like, and considering he was the first person I went out with, I decided to get out before I got in. First, I turned down a movie date with him. Then, I just kinda quit responding to his texts. I had just paid for three months of online dating and wanted my money’s worth.

Frankly, this was not my first online attempt. Years earlier, I went to coffee a couple of times with two nice guys, six months after my husband George died. Why coffee? Both happened to be in AA. 

But, my addiction is coffee. I felt wired and unsettled after each visit and quickly retreated into hiding for five “Crickets” years. I can’t tell you how important that time was. 

That little blond girl born in the ’50s had some natural curiosities that now, parentless, husbandless, and, with children out of the nest, had some inner exploring to do. I re-met myself without the attachments, challenged my own assumptions about life, religion, the universe, nature – all in the context of this crazy world, which seems to be changing at a rate that matches my own.  

I questioned everything I was taught not to question, growing more and more comfortable with living in the mystery. It was the perfect set-up for adventure. I wanted to know about other religions, particularly how they began, including my own Christian history. The fact that Stan was Jewish fed into that curiosity.

I went out, again, with two other men. Still, Stan remained at the top of the list. Two weeks went by. I missed him.

Then, clever girl that I am, I thought of an “Oh, by the way” text about his favorite subject, food. I mentioned a bar/restaurant under new ownership that was walking distance from his home. 

“I thought you ghosted me” was his comeback within seconds. Wow, he noticed. I had never heard such a hip term, but it made me feel kinda cool.   

He would later admit that my move to distance him took him by surprise. As it turns out, Stan was quite in demand, as a single man with a job and no noticeable missing parts, but hair. In the 60-plus dating world, he’s a bit of “a catch.”

At least I think he’s a catch.  Am I lucky to land the first man I went out with online, or just desperate?

No, Stan is not the man of my plans. He’s not going to fix my house, or do my taxes. But he cooks healthy meals, and is comfortable with expanding the table for last-minute company. He’s such a foodie that when he retires he wants to work at Trader Joe’s, where he always picks up fresh flowers, both for his home and mine.

He never finishes one meal without a plan for another. It’s a family thing. He has spent over a decade delivering Meals on Wheels, again food. He’s an extrovert who listens, which may account for his array of lifelong friends, who say things like, “Stan and I grew up together. Make that, I grew up.” His large, loving family includes three sisters, Aimee, Heather and Mindy, who offer him wise, supportive advice about me like, “Don’t blow this, Stan.” 

He never met a baby he didn’t like. Like me, he is a new grandfather, who is prone to actually waking up a sleeping baby just to visit with them. Stop that, Stan!

He takes me to Shabbat services and tags along with me to an occasional Methodist gathering. He’s a terrible driver. I’m not much better. We pray a lot.

So, for now, I like him more than coffee. Think I’ll keep my accountant and see what happens next. He may not be the man of my plans, but he might just wind up the man of my dreams. 

Hope I don’t blow it.

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