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Walker Stalker

ArchieDear Archie and Angela:

I’m glad my friend Marion told me about your over-50’s advice website because I have a problem with Henry, who lives in the same lightly assisted retirement home that I do.
We have quite a few group activities at our residence and I am pretty active even if I am over 80 and have an arthritic hip. I get lots of compliments about my looks and mental alertness and can even dance for a time before I have to take a breather.
The problem came up when Henry, who can’t hear very well and has a little tremor and who’s older than me, kind of follows me around even when I play mah jongg, and other board games. He also has asked me if he can sit next to me during some movies they show and a music concert brought in. Henry thinks, (so he’s said), that these are dates and we’ve been dating now for 2 months, but I disagree. So Henry also kind of comes over and stands between Frank and Samuel who I like, and me every time we’re talking or they ask me to dance. I am feeling like I’ve been branded and cut out from the herd if you know what I mean.

Really! it’s beginning to annoy me no end! And I am not flirting (a lot).

Last night Henry didn’t want to stop at my front door after we played bingo, and he once again secured a seat right next to me without my inviting him!! He said we’ve been on 10 “dates” now and it’s time we could make some love and stuff. Well! I told him he was out of his mind, and not to bother me anymore and that I was not “his” at all!

He didn’t like this and I’m afraid he’s going to pester me some more now about “dating and sex”. What can I do to feel safe and secure from this old rooster?? Should I go join one of those on-line dating sites for older people and really find a boyfriend?  I’m at my wit’s end, Archie and Angela.
Ruth of Dubuque, Iowa


Dear Ruth of Dubuque, Iowa:
I am clearly hearing your desperate plight and wholly take your part in this instance of an aging stalker loose in your senior residence facility! Egad my dear! m’Thinks I should lend you my fashionable walking stick withthe  heavy silver embroidered end to it just to fend off this presumptuous flea-bitten lothario….
However I would need some more information from you, subsequently, about your “World” to render a gilt-edged warranty guaranteeing decisive and remedial action to put this Henry, the slavering sex-starved limpalong, in his place! (Hrrumph!).
For instance: You didn’t mention whether or not you venture out from your planned living community alone? or with your friend Marion, or are picked up from relatives and other friends? How mobile and “free” you are will be part of the admixture of a solution posed by your inquiry: ….about going on-line to a senior dating site and finding a “real” boyfriend? If You don’t get outside your residency bubble, then an older gentleman would have to be able to travel into Your world, you see?
But Archie sees that first, immediate action must be taken by you to set Henry, the dolt, firmly on a corrected set of behaviours towards you. As you describe Henry, he presumes to “own” you, and has sexual “gratification” (and stuff)…..rights to your privacy and body. Well!! He is clearly spreading a poisonous and chilling atmosphere over your world and putting your happiness, in enjoying all the games and group activities with your friends, in dire jeopardy.
Sooo…’s what Archie recommends you do, dear Ruth:
1. Visit with the residency’s top manager and tell him you are being harassed and the other details of your “Henry-woes”.

2. If you have family and/or friends outside the “lightly assisted” community, spill your discontent and apprehensions to them.

Ask for help in this matter…… i.e. to be present if/when you meet with Henry and the manager to clearly set and inform Henry of your privacy boundaries and personal rights -not to be harassed. The management bears a liability in this matter too.

3. Tell your friends in your “world” about this and ask not to be left alone for a time, at social events until Henry’s behaviors have markedly changed (He stays away from you completely!). They will surely pass the word around, (gossip), and it will serve to isolate him and provide you with some group “protection”, and finally…

4. Smile, Ruth! Join an online senior dating site and communicate, occasionally have a “date” after lengthy screening, and see how that might work out. Or……keep having fun flirting a bit with your friends Frank and Samuel, who can delightedly handle it.
Archie understands perfectly your right to be Free and Independent, Ruth. But, as our foreFathers…..and a lot of foreMothers said, and are reminding Men constantly today, young and mature alike…….It takes …Eternal Vigilence!  : )  Good Luck.
Signed: Archie, Who remembers cogently, that song and lyrics about being…..Free to Be You and Me. Yeah!


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