We’re Not Sixteen Anymore is the short title of a novel published in 2016 by Becky Andersen. In addition, the subtitle notes that this is A Baby Boomer’s Adventures With Online Dating. In the Tinder (and not necessarily tender) age of 2019, is an update called for? Just a note of what to look for. Chapter One, Welcome to the Sixties is about both THE 60s (time) and the 60s (personal, as in had a birthday). Andersen compares changes in body shape and physical capabilities between herself at sixteen and sixty. When does what appears to be a smudge in the mirror become a uni-brow? For me, the novel was a page-turner after that.
Andersen was happily married for thirty-seven tears. She was fifty-eight when her husband, aged fifty-seven died. They had two grown and married children. For the next few years, she contemplated a life of living alone. It was at a party for her sixtieth birthday, one in which 60s music was played and all attendees dressed in 60s attire, that she decided it was time to investigate what the twenty-first century had to offer the survivors of the twentieth century. Electronic dating might be the answer. If she had any doubt about the propriety or social acceptance of it, she could point to her parents. On a visit to their retirement home in Florida, Mom and Dad recommended online services for matchmaking.
This is the story of one woman’s adventure with online dating told through several anecdotes about the kinds of guys she met. There were a few she met more than once. She rejected almost all of them at their first meeting and with one exception she even rejected the ones she agreed to meet more than once. This novel can be read as a series of anecdotes about reigniting romantic, not sexual adventures. If there was any agonizing over reviving a sexual component in life, it centered on the “first kiss.” Andersen expresses as much angst about the possibility of a kiss originating from an online date as a shy teenager expresses about getting to “first base.”
This memoir is held together by all the supporting logistic considerations of dating in later years. There are different kinds of makeup to be used for different purposes. Teenagers don’t worry about concealing wrinkles. Andersen is effusive in her praise of what Spanx is good for. It seems to be as versatile as duct tape. There are different energy levels to consider. Andersen needs her sleep by ten PM at the latest. At a younger age, she might skip school. With a more mature perspective, she cannot skip work. When dating in her teenage years, she did not have to contend with ex-spouses and dependent or even grown children. Now she has grown children of her own who give her advice and dating tips.
This is fun to read. It is what a cozy mystery is to mysteries. This might be a cozy memoir. There are no abrupt surprises. There is a lot of obvious and in-your-face clean humor. This is a safe read in all environments. In the first few chapters, Andersen addresses how words have evolved into much more sexually explicit definitions but the way she explains the new definitions comes across as the indirect speech of Victorian England. This is amusing all by itself. This memoir is a four plus Amazon star read. The humor will appeal greatly to Baby Boomers (like me). I purchased this on Amazon for USD 1.99, Amazon today lists it at USD 2.51. Could it be more Baby Boomers are buying it? It is also available for free through Kindle Unlimited.