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home : community : book reviews August 1, 2014

3/18/2011 12:19:00 PM
'Next!' - The incredible dating adventures of Angie

Joyce Laabs
Features Editor

She didn't want to be alone. So when Angela LaTorre's marriage failed after 30 years and she was suddenly single at the age of 50, she began her quest to find a new life partner.

"Next!" by Angela LaTorre is the story of her adventures as she searches for Mr. Right.

Angie was raised in the Northeast by Catholic parents of Italian descent. She married at the innocent age of 19.

After her divorce, she immediately finds it is not easy to get back into the dating game, but learns something from each date - and I couldn't believe how many "losers" she was able to hook up with.

"All I was looking for was an honest, stable man with a heart. I met men while ballroom dancing, in bars, online and by pure chance. I was 'fixed up' by well meaning friends and family who didn't seem to have a clue what kind of man was right for me. Sometimes I didn't either.

Through it all I held on to my personal belief that after divorce it's not natural to spend the rest of one's life alone without a partner. I know for sure it's not God's plan for me."

In Next!, Angie describes 27 dates that didn't work out. They included "Tall, Dark and Then Some;" "Dumber Than Dumb;" "The Biker;" "The Alcoholic;" and "Momma's Boy," to name a few. So, you can see, she ran the gamut. The lengths of her relationships with a potential life partner ranged from 19 seconds to three months.

However, each date was a chapter in her education - and she learned the rules of dating as they exist today.

As a result, Angie said her book had six empowering points full of endless humor, a true heart and enduring humanity.

They are as follows:

• To encourage single women to move forward with their lives, both professionally and personally, with a presence of mind.

• To encourage single women to enjoy the endless humor that enhances the experience, like a good medicine.

• To encourage single women to discover peace from within a true heart, even if a life partner never arrives. To value yourself as powerful and even more necessary when you stand alone.

• To encourage married women to value their mates in a fresh new way, full of appreciation.

• To encourage single women to do better decision-making, plus more hope and greater wisdom.

• To seek spiritual guidance from a higher source for inner peace and a clear understanding of one's wholeness. As in, "I feel whole within myself, but a partner offers a sense of completeness."

Though widowed and well past the dating years, it was a fun read, and made me aware of just how many 'losers' are out there. It also made me happy I'm beyond the dating scene.

Here is one of Angie's Internet adventures. A man sent an initial message regarding how he likes to travel and travels often. When Angie asked for details, his second message read:

"Well darlin', in answer to your question, yes of course I love to travel and I travel often, so often that at times it's more than once a week. Yes, you know I am a diesel maestro."

Angie thought that was fine, not being a snob about the color of a man's collar. She knew truck drivers make very good money and are in demand. She immediately imagines long, romantic trips through beautiful mountain vistas, the the two of them singing "Me and Bobby McGee" in perfect harmony.

"But, as I read further I learn that his only form of 'travel' involves to service calls via I-95, primarily over 75 miles of flatland south of Jacksonville - not at all a scenic area of Florida," said Angie.

Then the potential suitor goes on to say:

"Yes, darlin' I would love for you to be ready to hop up into my rig and hang with me as I make these calls and you can enjoy the sights of North Florida along I-95. I promise to bring plenty of hand cleaner. And when I come to get you for a date, when we are not on the road, I promise there will be no grease under my fingernails."

Angie's reaction: "Next!"

The 190-page softcover book sells for $12.99.

It's a fun read and well worth the price.

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