Sat | Aug 8, 2020

Carolyn Cooper | 50/50 chance of romance at Singles Club 876?

Published:Sunday | October 13, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Carolyn Cooper

When I got the advertisement for last month’s ‘Over 50 & Fabulous Singles event’, mi nearly dead wid laugh. Everton Tate, founder of the Singles Club 876, seemed to be taking a huge risk. It looked as if he was setting himself up for even more criticism from disappointed female clients. Where on Earth was he going to find Jamaican men over 50 who want to date women over 50?

Which nursing home was Mr Tate going to raid? And, even so, very senior men don’t usually want equally senior women. They are all looking young gyal to help them regain their youthful vigour. It doesn’t matter if these vintage men can’t satisfy their sexual partner. It’s male vanity and the illusion of sex appeal that enable women to con men into thinking they’re up to it.

It seems as if Mr Tate recovered quite quickly from his lapse of judgement. A week later, a new ad arrived: “Over 45 & Fabulous Singles event.” Like those marketers who use one cent to make prices attractive – $19.99 instead of $20.00 – Mr Tate seemed to be trying a ting. Anyone over 50 is also over 45. But even knocking off five years didn’t make it any more likely that Mr Tate would attract a significant number of men.

The ‘Over 50’ version of the ad was rather optimistic: “This is your time to go out and enjoy life to the fullest and meet someone new that could be your ideal partner for a long-term relationship.” The revised version made no such claim. But it featured a hot couple who even didn’t look as if they were over 45. And the message wasn’t subliminal. It was right on the surface. These were the prospective dates you would meet at the event.


This I had to see. As it turned out, there were seven female and four male patrons at the social. One woman who was clearly under 45 had come on a prearranged date. But the man she was supposed to meet didn’t show up. One man said he had come to meet Mr Tate on business. Not one of the other three men was over 45.

Bait and switch! One woman complained vigorously. She was not a cougar and was only interested in men in her own age group. Clearly, she was not a good candidate for seduction by the young men who routinely tell older women, “A big ooman like you me love.” They are ready to milk women, especially those long past their breastfeeding days.

And talking about breasts, I sympathise with Dr Andre Haughton for his spontaneous outburst in Parliament about his mother calling him a breast man. It wasn’t the right place and time to make the confession, especially given the actual focus on breast cancer. But I think he can be forgiven for his error of judgement.

Mr Tate explained that several men had bought tickets but just didn’t show up. He had no control over that. But this was no consolation to the frustrated women. In the parking lot, one of them said she felt shortchanged. She had paid $3,500 for her ticket and was disappointed that she didn’t get value for money.


And even the men who do register and want Mr Tate to help them find a partner can be difficult. One farmer asked if the woman Mr Tate had selected for him had a degree. If so, he was not interested. Him no want no woman fi come rule him. This farmer’s anxiety that an educated woman was likely to rule him seems rather unusual.

Most Jamaican men don’t feel that any woman is superior to them and, therefore, entitled to rule. From dem name man, dem can get any woman dem want. Degree? Wa dat? Dem have more dan degree. Dem have di magical hard wood that is guaranteed to put a spell on women!

My most memorable experience with a completely self-confident Jamaican man was at Hellshire Beach. This young man offered to teach me to swim. I declined. I instinctively knew that all he wanted to do was touch me up. He probably couldn’t even swim. Much more teach swimming! Anyhow, we kept talking and he asked what my job was. I told him I was a teacher at the University of the West Indies.

I could not have anticipated his response. He was a ‘ductor and did the August Town run all the time. So it was easy for him to come check me. He wasn’t joking. As far as he was concerned, the only difference between a doctor and a ‘ductor is a vowel. Who could rule a man like that?

Mr Tate needs to get a lot more self-confident men like that ‘ductor to sign up for the Singles Club 876. It looks as if he’ll have to go beyond the limits of the 876 area code. Women might have a 50/50 chance of finding romance in the rebranded Singles Club.

- Carolyn Cooper, PhD, is a specialist on culture and development. Email feedback to and