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Widow ready to socialize again - but how?

Dear Lois: My 50-year-old husband passed away two years ago after a lengthy illness. I am turning 50 this year. I have a child 12 and a soon-to-be college graduate. Financially I am fine, with my own home, car and few debts.

My problem is loneliness. I am involved with my church and have friends, but my social life is nonexistent. The church offers no place to meet any man under 80, and the PTA and soccer fields are not the answer, either. I have heard there are singles clubs available, but how do I find them? I would like to meet people, both male and female, to talk and have dinner - but have had no luck at all.I belong to several grief support groups, but no one ever talks about how one comes back into the world after the death of a spouse. Can you point me in the right direction?

- MDR

Dear MDR: You've taken all the prescribed steps and still have not met the kinds of people who can lead you into a new social atmosphere. Yes, there are acceptable singles clubs, and you will find them primarily at places like the Y.

Sometimes what you seek will not be in a singles group but with some like-minded people. Often you can change the direction of your social life by joining a class. Do you play bridge? Want to learn? Golf? Tennis? Bowling? There are many good book groups (ask your library or book shop).

What is it you always wanted to do or to learn but never had the time? Well, surprisingly, you've got the time. Now make a few calls. Best luck.

Dear Lois: Do I believe in older fathers? Absolutely. I had one, and I've been one, and I'm planning to be one again. I am 56 years young, and this summer I plan to go to the Philippines to marry a "sweet Filipina" under 30 years of age. If I'm lucky, I'll marry a girl under 25, and if I'm very, very lucky, I'll marry a girl under 18. I'll enjoy her a few years, then plan to have a couple of kids - if I'm still alive.

- Charles

Dear Charles: You did sign your full name, included your address and city - but to spare you the kind of mail you'd get, let's settle for Charles. I notice that you did not ask my advice, so I'm just printing your letter and reminding the writer of the letter that preceded yours that you're the reason responsible women can't find suitable men.

Next time a woman asks me where all the men over 50 are, I'll explain that they're out hunting women under 20.

Dear Lois: I can't believe your answer to the son who was concerned because his father (widowed) was having a romance with a woman in the retirement home where he now lived. You condoned - actually encouraged - the old geezer to continue his immoral lifestyle. Perhaps the desire for companionship, warmth and tenderness never ends, but that shouldn't be a license to hop into a different bed every night. Where are his morals, and why do you think it is perfectly acceptable? Disappointed in you!

- Betty Talman, Oswego, N.Y.

Dear Betty: I don't think I suggested he hop into a different bed every night. If he did, it would probably kill him - but let's be reasonable. I don't believe in promiscuity at any age, but holding hands feels so good (at any age), and when we get past the time of raging hormones, I hope each of us finds affection and someone responsible who cares about our well-being.

Dear Lois: Our grandson Kyle, age 10, was watching a film on television, and the actor was about to walk the last mile on the way to be executed. My daughter-in-law had tears running down her cheeks, and Kyle said sadly, "I know just how he feels because that's how I feel when I have to eat my green beans."

- Grandma `K', Saginaw, Mich.

Dear Grandma: Just imagine if he had to eat cauliflower!