Out Dating, or Outdated?

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Welcome to Welcome to BEING Studios Audio Reality®.

Meet Elise — a 60-year-old optometrist and businesswoman, who also models and competes in beauty pageants. While she loves the world of pageants, tension abounds with Gloria, who views pageants as backward and toxic. Meanwhile, Buzz follows Gloria’s lead and decides to explore dating again. After receiving a few alarmingly racy photos and sorting through a few profiles on dating apps, he sets out on a date in hopes of developing a new love connection (and stocks up on some black-market Viagra, just in case).


Mike, Henri, Buzz, Elise, Linda, Janice, Gloria

Buzz  00:07

Buzz here, I’m stopping by my friend Mike’s house just to hang out. I’ve been friends with Mike and his partner, Ben for oh my gosh, a long time. In fact, I used to actually live with them one of the times that I was out here in LA.

Mike  01:05

How does buzzy get his love life going? Of course I laugh. I mean, you know, what am I going to say? I mean, I just I wouldn’t want to be in the dating scene right now. And that’s all I can tell you is just like; don’t I don’t even know where to start. I’ve been in a relationship for..

Buzz  01:27

I have been married. And I’ve been divorced for I’ve actually been divorced for quite a while. And over those years. I have dated off and on had a couple of pretty good relationships, but nothing real serious. But as I’ve gotten a little bit older here, and I’m realizing that it might be time to get back out there. So here’s what I’ve done. I’ve gotten just to get that out of the way. What I did is I went and signed up for a couple apps. Oh, good. And within like three days, it was like ding, ding, ding, pow.

Mike  02:08

Well, there’s a lot of women out there.

Buzz  02:10

I think so. Yeah. I started answering. And I answered this one woman. But then she just out of the blue sends me this photograph.

Mike  02:25

Oh my God, but she’s not wearing underwear. And she’s doing a Sharon Stone almost.

Buzz  02:38

I’ve never received a suggestive photo from a dating app. But then I’ve never been on a dating app. This was the first time I’ve been on there. Maybe I’m naive or just you know, I’ve never done this. So to think that somebody was going to send me something of that nature right away was a little bit disconcerting. This last picture really made me go

Mike  02:57

Did you send anything back? Do you feel pressure to do that?

Buzz  03:01

I don’t know what to respond with. I don’t want to come off as some kind of a prude here because of course, I’ve sent suggestive photographs but not to somebody I don’t know. This is a stranger. I don’t know what I would have sent. I Phil what he’s nice pit.

Mike  03:23

You can think about that. But that’s not necessarily going out and meeting the girl of your dreams and wanting to go out and have that relationship.

Buzz  03:30

But I can tell you after two, three years of the pandemic, a booty call would not be a bad thing. But that one threw me for a loop. That one threw me for like a little nervous. It did make me nervous. With my very limited dating app experience, it felt and sounded to me like she wanted a friend with benefits. It’s been a long time since I even had that. So maybe we could go that way. Thanks for talking to me about this because this is on my mind. Obviously this whole..

Mike  03:59

You know, nothing ever works when it’s forced. So just go out there and just be yourself and it’ll happen

Elise  04:05

Think I’m not used to boxing this large of a space. My name is Elise. I’m 60 years old and I live in Los Angeles, California want to clear the shoulder sometimes. And that’s my boxing coach and mentor Brian Viloria. With the shots we take. Each one counts on this one. I’m a doctor and the founder of a vision wellness company. Happy Eggs and I’m old. I can’t say the same thing. I live a very healthy lifestyle. And as I got older, I kind of got thrust into the role of being a spokesmodel for the pro aging and proactive, healthy aging movement, along with everything else that I do, I started competing in pageants last year. Go, go, go, go, go go. I was the oldest crowned queen in a major beauty pageant. I think it’s important for people to see older women as beautiful. And not that it’s something exclusive to you. But at the same time, I also want to try and change my generations attitudes about aging, so that they don’t fear it. And that they promote taking charge of their physical health and see themselves with more potential. That’s really what keeps me going. My son is 14 years old. His name is David. We have a lot of fun together. My mom passed away during COVID. And my father doesn’t live too close. So it’s really just David and I. And our little dog Curtis. We have a little fluff puff. I come from a proud Vietnamese family. So it’s important for me to keep my culture alive through language. This is amazing. Being a single mom raising a teenage boy has its challenges. He was surprised when I wanted to start competing in pageants. But he’s gone to the pageants. He’s helped me choose my dresses. He really has just embraced everything that I do. Okay, Curtis, bye.

Elise  08:21

Thank you for making it up here to see me. I’m really appreciative.

Gloria  08:26

This is Gloria. I’m meeting up today with Elise for lunch. I’m gonna have some wine. Henri wanted me to meet Elise. And she thought that we’d have a lot in common since we’re both single parents. Even though my son is grown and hers is a teenager.

Elise  08:46

Well, my son’s with his dad this week.

Gloria  08:48

How long have you been divorced?

Elise  08:50

Since he was three. We’re best buddies. You know, I feel very responsible for him. I never want him to feel like he was for lacking a parent. But you know, he’ll say things like, gosh, you know, I wish I had a dad. And I said, well, you do have a father. He said to me, you know here with you.

Gloria  09:17

Well, it’s heartbreaking when you hear that kind of thing. And single moms. I really believe we raise different kinds of men. That’s my proudest accomplishment is raising a son that loves women, respects them.

Gloria  09:18

Well, he saw a strong single mom raised, who wore the pants and the skirts and the family and all right, So Gloria, let me ask you this. Do you notice a big difference between 60 and 70?

Gloria  09:52

Not really, I think I look different. Certainly.

Elise  09:57

I never feel my age so people ask and make a big deal out of it.

Gloria  10:01

I know. And when they say, Oh my God, you look so good for 70. Why did they have to say that?

Elise  10:09

I’m up against girls who are a lot younger. But my rant is that women our age, control, something like 80% to 90% of the spending power, especially in fashion. But then there’s so few models who represent the actual customer, right? They’re putting 20 year old 19 year old’s and these designer, couture gowns. So there’s starting to become a pro aging movement. And that’s what I’m part of represent.

Gloria  10:45

I’m still getting to know Elise, but ever since I met her something that’s thrown me a little bit is that with all of Elise’s accomplishments, that she would make a decision to go from being a doctor, to being a beauty queen. So when you first started doing the pageant thing, how did your family and friends react to it?

Elise  11:12

They were shocked. My dad’s very supportive.

Gloria  11:20

I will admit, I don’t know anything about pageants in the current day. Maybe they’ve changed. But to me, that is the kind of thing that sets women back. With the ageism issue. Do you feel that things like pageants encourage people to think about that ageism thing in that I think pageants concentrate on that beauty. When you compete in these pageants and you have to put on a bathing suit. I’m 71, I have cellulite. I will never not have that. No matter how hard I worked out. No matter what age you are. But in pageants it does.

Elise  12:09

I think it objectifies women. And I think our struggles are great for women’s rights.  And I’m not sure this moves us forward.

Gloria  12:21

But that’s a problem I have with beauty pageants is that it makes older people like me, not good enough to compete in a beauty pageant.

Elise  12:33

Well, I’m putting myself out there. There’s different types of pageantry. I had a misconception of what it was when I first was asked to judge, I even did not feel that I was qualified to be a judge for a pageant. That’s why I love the United States pageant system. Because it’s one of the few that has the Ms Woman division, which is 35 and older. All the other systems aged out at 29.

Gloria  13:05

Well, I’m excited to do that.

Buzz  13:39

Thanks for showing up. I’m on a date with Janice we actually met on the dating app. Silver singles Who Gloria had me sign up with. Do you want something? So I’m gonna get an iced coffee? We can order it up here. So Janice is not the woman that sent me the racy photos. And as much as I thought, well, maybe a friend with benefits situation might be fun. That’s really not what I’m looking for. I’m really looking for something that can develop and become is much more of an organic situation. So what’s your story?

Janice  14:14

I’m born and raised in Southern California always threatened to leave but they have weather everywhere else. I became a journalist at what 18, like my second semester of college.

Buzz  14:35

Thank you so much. All right, here we go. We’re gonna go out and then to the right and go sit out back. Your stunning by the way I love the gray hair. Those are our signatures. The Courtship presents itself in a very different way, as you get older, it’s a shorter path. It’s not quite as windy of a road, you cut through all the bullshit. And I know that I tend to get to those conversations much quicker than I did in earlier years. It’s quiet over here.

Janice  15:22

The whole journalism thing just seemed to speak to me in a way that nothing else had, I could really tell stories and people were listening, you know, and I’m working on a second look. But you know, I’m also looking at, you know, how to grow my career, at this point in my life, is retirement something that I want? And what does it look like? Well, I have to have long term care, because I have no children. So you have no children. I have been married. You know, I haven’t dated since the quarantine. So this is like, a new thing for me.

Buzz  16:10

Kind new for all of us. It’s getting back up on the bike.

Janice  16:17

Like, I’m wondering if I know how to ride it.

Buzz  16:22

I have those days. Not sure if I can ride it. But yeah, you know, we’ve all been through heartache. And we’ve all been through broken hearts.

Janice  16:32

It’s tough. And you know, as I get older, I realized that I am not everyone’s cup of tea, you know, because I’m a little more gray. I’m a little more menopausal. So guys, my age aren’t really looking for women like me.

Buzz  16:56

They’re missing something. Janice’s very, very beautiful woman and seeing her, it just takes my breath away because she’s maybe even out of my league. This has been really nice.

Janice  17:14

And I saw gem store that I’m going to stop in. They have crystals and things like that.

Buzz  17:21

I carry one with me all the time. I’ve carried this for years. I gotta admit that I was a little skeptical about meeting anyone on an app. But after meeting Janice, it’s changed my mind. And I’m really enjoying this time with Janice and I’m really looking forward to more time. This has been great meeting you.

Janice  17:53

It was nice meeting really nice.

Buzz  17:55

It’s a very nice, how do I call that. A welcome pleasure on a Friday afternoon. A very nice way to go into the weekend.

Elise  18:31

This is Elise and today I’m volunteering as a pageant contestant coordinator for the Miss West Coast pageant. Tara rice is the executive director. I’m here today to support both Tara and the contestants backstage. What I really like about this pageant system as well as others that are growing in popularity, is that there is a shift more towards expanding the definition of beauty and more of them are platform based. Just showing that that women are beautiful in many different ways. Everybody lined up that I’m gonna give you my advice for evening gown. The main thing I see is folding in so please, everybody, be proud, shoulders bac, chest out, proud chest. I always need that reminder too. I’m like, yeah, I saw you doing it. Well, you’re not you’re not on stage yet, but just remember. There’s misconceptions about beauty pageants, and even I had some of that. The other day when I met Gloria for lunch, I felt like she was being a little bit judgmental about pageantry. I thought it might be a good idea for her to come today to watch the pageant, so that she could get a better understanding about what pageantry really is about.

Gloria  20:41

Here we are, I think this is my seat. Excuse me. I’m sorry. Thank you. Excuse me. I’m not sure how well take to all of this. It’s an awfully long thing for me, but I’m open to seeing what happens here.

Elise  21:05

Pageants usually span over several days. What people are most familiar with is the onstage show. First, there’s the introduction. Proud chest. Okay, shoulders back and smile. Show them your personality. And now for swimsuit. Are you guys ready? Then their swimsuit or athletic wear, which is probably the most controversial part of pageants. But it really is about confidence and poise how you carry yourself. I love you guys. We have the full figure girls and the very skinny girls too; you don’t have to look like a supermodel to win in swimsuit. I do believe that confidence in yourself really reads on stage. You want to glide and just float. Take your step slowly and celebrate the moment one and then there’s the evening gown competition and onstage interview. This is my favorite part. Because it’s where we get to talk about our platform and what we plan to do, should we be given the title.

Elise  22:30

And then the winners are announced. It seems like it takes forever but time just flies.

Gloria  22:34

So the pageants finally over after four hours, and so I’m looking around, I’m trying to find Elise, but I’m not sure I’ll catch her. But hopefully, I want to at least say goodbye. Are you tired already?

Elise  23:29

We had a late night because we had a queen’s get together. And then I was with my mentor. And I had an 8:30 call time but I worked out before me.

Gloria  23:37

Oh, good. Well, you look fabulous. Thank

Elise  23:39

Thank you. Appreciate it. How did you enjoy the pageant?

Gloria  23:45

Well, it was very, very interesting. It’s like you’re playing dress up.  I tell the ladies that the pageant was interesting. And she gives me this look of she doesn’t understand my comment. And it was almost like, that’s all you have to say about the pageant. The exchange ended pretty quickly, Elise was wanting to take off her mic and get to things behind the scenes, but I think that she was really anxious to stop talking to me at that particular moment.

Elise  24:38

I just thought she was being rude and judgmental. Did you listen to what they had to say and what these girls are going to do if they win. I just felt like I was with my grandmother.

Buzz  25:04

Hey, Greg, this is Buzz, how are you? If you want to things in my dating life are going very well. One thing that I’m very mindful of is that I’m always wanting to be prepared. And to be prepared at my age means our erectile dysfunction product. Hey, listen, I It’s been a couple of months since we have communicated. And I’m actually starting to go on a few dates. So maybe some relationship, things starting to happen here. So I thought I’d re up with you and see if I could get some Viagra or Cialis or whatever you’ve got available, would be great. I get my erectile dysfunction product from a dealer. His name is Greg. And I have for a few years. And I can text him and I can have it at my house within a couple of days, when you find out that it’s hundreds of dollars for this medication, and you can actually find it on basically these black market spaces for a whole lot less. If you want to just let me know if give me a call back and we’ll get an order going and get it out and get it in my hand. And I don’t want to make this sound like I’m being presumptuous. Like, oh, I’m gonna get laid. The last thing I would ever want to do is just fail. Or I didn’t want my partner to think that I wasn’t interested and have the evening all fall apart. Back in our day, we had to be prepared to have a condom in our wallet. Today, we have to have ED medication in our wallet. Hope you have a great day. Thanks, Greg. Take care bye. So I’m on my second date now with Janice which is very exciting. We are going to take a tango and salsa lesson and just be able to be a little bit more physical and, you know, touch each other a little bit and it would be a lot of fun. Okay, here we go. What’s happening here is tango and salsa are turning out to be more of a workout than any kind of a romantic situation. It is not quite the intimacy that I thought it would turn out to be.

Janice  28:10

I think we’re getting it.

Buzz  28:16

When she would hold me there would be no real firm like, you know, any kind of pulling me close or anything. And I know that I a couple of times tried to pull her close. But she pulled away. I really didn’t. What’s the next venture? What do you want to do now? Oh, another time? Would you like to do something again? We’ll come up with an idea. By the end of the date, you know, I wanted to feel a little bit more and I really didn’t feel it. Personally, I felt a lack of spark. It was definitely a shift after the first date. I’ll give you a call. And we’ll do something again. Let’s go out. Get a bite to eat or do something. That sounds good. Maybe it’s one of those it’s going to take three or four more dates for there to be any kind of movement. I’ll talk to you very soon. Okay. All right. Take care.

Gloria  30:18

Come in. I’m going to paint mine with acrylics. Yeah. I’m having my sister Linda come over to paint some protest signs, our little solidarity posters that were so cute that letter. Can we move this out a little bit? Linda I go to protests and rallies as often as we can. We both feel like there’s so many issues right now. I’m really passionate about women’s rights. And I believe that anything that happens in great numbers, gets attention and makes people start thinking about these issues. Did that tell you the story about when I went to the beauty pageant? Wow, what’s going on? It’s been years since I’ve seen, but when Elise, you know, invited me to go to this. I said, yeah, I’d go. After it was over. I went backstage and thanked her for inviting me. And she said, So what do you think? And my answer was, it was interesting. She looked at me and said, interesting. Like, that’s an odd answer. She didn’t say it’s an odd answer, but she just said, interesting. She did ask me. How was it interesting. And then I was like a deer in the headlights because I was like wasn’t interesting to meet all.

Linda  31:51

Gloria, do you think you came across this critical?

Gloria  31:54

Int was not my intention to be critical? And I think by saying one word like it was interesting, was the most positive thing I could come up with. Okay, other than a lie, which would have been oh, it’s great. I love being here. Thank you for inviting me. Yeah. And perhaps I just should have been polite. But this particular thing upset me so much that I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I don’t think my opinion changed at all about beauty pageants. I really don’t. It feels like it is a celebration of the exterior of women, rather than all of our accomplishments and our knowledge and our passions, and the love we bring to this world. I was dealing with my emotions and my feelings about how I felt for that four hour sitting there. And it was torture for me. inside my head, I wanted to say, oh, boy, can you discuss this with you right now?

Linda  31:54

You and I are not into just the outer part of a human being and that that’s what that feels like to me is that people that you know, walk across the stage and you know, the first thing you see is the body. And this is what men have done to women and putting them in bathing suits and didn’t care that much about what they had in their heads. So I mean, I think you and I come from that of you know, women not being seen as just an object and that there’s something more deeper inside but I mean I think saying it’s interesting leaves it really wide open for her to think all sorts of things. But if you could, if you both could sit down and you can just tell her how you really feel about these things. I don’t think you need to tippy toe around what you have to say but I think it would be an opportunity to see if she is open to a dialogue about it.

Gloria  34:12

But to get into a conversation with her about my feelings about it would surely hurt her feelings more but maybe not. We don’t know what she’s feeling we really don’t. Today I’m meeting with Elise and Henri. And this be interesting because it’s the first time I’ve seen Elise since the pageant. So what have you been up to, say more stuff? I think that maybe Elise and I need to talk a little bit and clear up any misconceptions or hurt feelings that might have occurred that night. So I’ve been talking to Chris a lot on the phone. And things are really getting great. I feel like we’re getting closer and closer. And so I’m just looking forward to building on that relationship.

Elise  35:48

He now has this opportunity to be with you.

Henri  35:51

Absolutely. Like I said, I think everything happens for a reason. And I love the fact that he’s an adult, we get a chance to have adult conversations, and we can be more open with each other.

Elise  36:03

And that is really lovely.

Henri  36:06

Ladies, I have a party to go to.

Gloria  36:09

You know, I’ve been thinking about our interaction at the pageant. And you’ve been very busy. And we got to talk maybe for two nanoseconds. But when I said to you, when you asked me what I thought about the patch, and I said I thought it was interesting. And I’m just, you know, I guess my thoughts on this is I’m more concerned about the person that’s involved in the pageant. And I was happy to see women that were large women get out there and feel confident. But the other piece that I thought was because although I was happy that there were large women that were out there, those women didn’t win. The beautiful women and the small bodies won. And they get Miss Congeniality, whatever. And I think it I think it takes so much. I think it takes a lot of guts for someone who’s not beautiful.

Elise  36:39

I see them as all being beautiful. And you’re judging it on such a superficial level.

Gloria  37:31

I’m judging it by what the judges say in the end of the day, I looked at pageants online, all the winners, none of them are large women. So that’s the piece it’s hard to different.

Elise  37:44

I’ve seen them win, and I don’t judge anybody just by their looks. I feel that beauty evolves from health and self-confidence. And that reflects his beauty to you know, I was not born with the looks of a model or a pageant queen, but I’m glad that they saw my inner beauty and allowed me to represent them like that. Well. The world’s definition of beauty is evolving and expanding, as far as ethnicities, sizes, and even ages that I feel it’s all about inclusivity. Are pageants perfect? No. pageants are evolving the same way the world is evolving. And I’m really proud to be part of that narrative.

Gloria  38:27

I know you and I feel very differently about pageants. I don’t think we disagree on everything when it comes to pageants. But I know, we feel differently about it. As far as you know, I feel about you feel it empowers women. And I think that would be your whole thing. And my, you know, there’s a piece of me that feels like, well, it’s good for some people. For me, I always grew up believing that it objectified when. So in that area, we differ and it was interesting, you know, to meet someone like you who is educated. And I think you’re a great representative for these because I think they have evolved from when, you know, I was watching the Miss America Pageant. I can understand that the industry has probably changed in the last few years. And I can relate to what Elise is trying to do. But I really can’t wrap my head around the whole issue with beauty pageants. I understand that in this day and age, many things are changing. In many ways. I feel we’re going backwards. At 70 years old when I think back on the struggles that women have had. This is an issue where I’m not going to change my mind on it. All in all, I think that Elise and I are very different in our opinions about these things, but it really kind of wanted to make nice and I felt like maybe that was accomplished. You think you’ll at some point, stop the pageantry and go back to having patients and?

Elise  40:09

You know, I always keep everything open. Who knows. But I can also reach more people in pageantry. I’m helping inspire more people.

Gloria  40:18

And you inspire me to get fit and eat right? Because a lot of people my age, don’t do that, quite honestly, in our community in the senior community, but it’s very inspirational to know that someone’s 60 years old is in great shape like you are.

Elise  40:35

Thank you, then I’ve done my job. I’m glad I could inspire you.

Buzz  40:56

Hi, Janice, it’s buzz. How are you?

Janice  41:00

I’m busy. Busy in the last few days. It’s bananas. I mean, it’s great stuff is happening, but it’s just like, wait a minute, how did I get so busy? This is supposed to be my easy week.

Buzz  41:19

Well, it’s also supposed to you get to tell these people that your birthday month, so you got to just tell them to back off?

Janice  41:25

Well. It’s all good stuff that I want to have happen. So it’s just, it’s just what’s gonna have to happen right now.

Buzz  41:33

Got it. So hey, how did you feel after that? Tango salsa dancing thing.

Janice  41:39

You know, it’s a great workout. Oh, really is I could feel it in my thighs and my hips. And I was just like, ooh, I got to do more of this. But it was fun. I think I got so caught up and just like, trying to make sure I did the steps and didn’t step on any feet.

Buzz  41:59

You were spectacular. No, are you kidding me? If anything I felt like I was not the one carrying my weight that you were doing it. You are great.

Janice  42:11

Did you enjoy it?

Buzz  42:14

I’d love to be able to ask is I’d love to see if you’d like to go out again.

Janice  42:20

I have a colleague and friend that is coming on Friday, unexpectedly. So yes. And so I’d like to have a chance to see him. Because he’s coming from Florida. And I have a reading at Beyond Baroque in Venice. You should come and actually invite friends.

Buzz  42:47

Okay. I will. And Gloria might even like to come and see that. That would be kind of fun. I think that Janice, and I ultimately will just be friends. That’s the way I’m reading it right now. I really love what she does. And I know that there’s many, many things that I could learn from her. And you know, I would love to meet with her again on a friend’s basis. And you know, who knows, but I’m open. So you’re going to New York, right? You travel safe to New York. Getting back into the dating game was just plain weird. But it also actually feels really good in my heart to be back out there. Something that I had been closing off for many years in the pursuit to just get back here to LA that I had not been allowing myself to open up my heart. And this just feels like I’m doing it and I’m ready to do it. I’ve always felt like I didn’t want to leave this earth without a partner. I wanted to be able to have someone in my life that I could lean on, put my head on their shoulder, you know, get that soft kiss before you go to bed, get that soft kiss in the morning. That that would feel really good to have that in my life because it has been missing for a long time. And when that person comes along, I’m going to know.


BEING Golden is an audio reality original from Lemonada Media’s BEING studios. Executive Producers are Jessica Cordova Kramer, Stephanie Wittels and Kasey Barrett. Our co-executive producer is me. Sele Leota. Our segment producer is Mariah Gossett and our associate producer is Greta Stromquist. Liz Lipschultz is our Story producer, and Millee Taggart-Ratcliffe Is our Story consultant. Scott […] is our audio supervisor and field recordist. Additional field recording by Kurt […] and […]. Mix and sound Design by Ivan Kuraev and Bill […]. Our music is by Signature Tracks. Special thanks to Providence St. John’s Health Care Center and Rough Improv. You can find us online at Lemonada Media and connect with us across all social platforms. For a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this and all other Lemonada Media series. Visit lemonadamedia.com/sponsors. If you liked what you heard today, please tell your family and friends to listen and subscribe, rate and review us on Apple, Spotify and wherever you get your podcasts. Until next time, thanks for listening and thanks for BEING.

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