Hilda expertly pulled her long grey hair into a ponytail and then fastened it into a neat bun.

She penciled in her eyebrows that were no longer visible due to excessive plucking.

She blotted cream blush on her round cheeks and applied red lipstick to her generous mouth.

Hilda undid the top two buttons on her white blouse to reveal her cleavage; a silver necklace in the shape of a candy cane hung in between her breasts. She smoothed her red skirt and adjusted the wide black belt around her small waist. Black low heel pumps and her signature red woolen shawl sealed the outfit. Hilda was ready for her date.

It wasn’t easy putting yourself out into the dating world at age 70, but Hilda was determined to find the perfect partner, the perfect Santa. She had gone on a number of dating sites, from eHarmony to Match.com to Tinder, but nothing came of it except a waste of time and energy. Then she tried Silver Singles and finally men of her own age or slightly older were available, plus they had the look she was striving for: grey to white hair, a full beard, longer hair and portly.

Hilda had all the requirements for attracting an elderly man. She was attractive, charming, witty, and knew how to please a man in bed. Hilda had been a dancer in her younger years, and after years of practicing yoga, Hilda could apply her flexibility to various positions to accommodate a protruding stomach and a shrinking penis. These men were putty in her hands. The only problem was she hadn’t found the right man…yet!

Hilda was due to meet her date at a local restaurant. It was quiet with low lighting, which contributed to the romantic atmosphere. She decided to get a taxi in case she decided to drink. Wine was always good on a first date; it loosened up the inhibitions.

As she walked into the restaurant, she immediately saw him. He looked exactly as his picture on the dating site, which she was relieved about. Too often, the pictures weren’t up to date or tampered with. Hilda indicated to the hostess that she was with the gentleman in the corner table and sashayed her way to him.

“Albert?” she said smiling.

“Yes, and Hilda?”

“Yes, Hilda Clause.” Hilda extended her hand to Albert. He had a strong shake, which was also a bonus.

“It’s lovely to meet you, Albert,” she said as Albert held the chair for her sit down.

“And you as well…Hilda. I haven’t heard that name in years. We have old-fashioned names, which is refreshing in this day and age.”

“Yes, it is, Albert.”

Just then, the waiter came with water and a wine menu.

“Would you like to look at the wine menu?” he asked.

Hilda looked expectantly at Albert who nodded.

“Yes please.” Hilda took the menu and passed it to Albert.

“No, you decide, I’m not much of a wine drinker.”

Hilda scanned the menu for a good red and ordered a bottle. This was going to be a good night, she thought to herself.

They ordered their meals after the wine came and she was pleased that Albert chose a hearty meal of prime rib and mashed potatoes. After some superficial chatting about the weather, the restaurant, and current events, Hilda began her “grilling” of Albert’s qualifications.

“So, Albert, tell me about yourself. Do you have a family? What do you like to do?”

“Well, I was married, but my wife died about five years ago. She was a lovely woman. Sadly, we couldn’t have children, so the only living relative I have is a brother in the States. It’s been lonely the last five years, but I do belong to the senior center and I enjoy walks, drives in the country, and my passion is fishing. Just off the rocks or sometimes wading in the rivers, streams; the occasional lakes. I have treated myself to the odd fishing expedition…what about you, Hilda?”

Hilda mentally ticked off her checklist and without missing a beat said, “I have never been married. I never found the right person. I was a dancer in my early years; did some theatre and taught classes. I love yoga and, like you, enjoy walks and being out in nature. Even though I never had children myself, I love children and sometimes volunteer at a local nursery or school. How about you, Albert; do you like children?” Hilda held her breath waiting for his answer.

“Oh, I love kids. My wife and I fostered children in our early years and thoroughly enjoyed it. Some of the kids were troubled, but all in all, it was very satisfying.”

Hilda almost gave a fist pump but stopped herself. The evening progressed smoothly and after a bottle of wine, good food, and dessert with coffee, Albert paid the bill.

It won’t be cheap, thought Hilda, but Albert didn’t seem to mind and gave a generous tip.

“Can I offer you a lift home?” Albert asked innocently.

“Why yes, that would be lovely, thank you.”

As they pulled up outside Hilda’s home, Hilda leaned into Albert and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “Thank you for a wonderful evening, Albert. I hope we can do this again.”

Albert actually blushed. “Can I call you?”

“Of course.” Hilda got out of the car with little effort and blew a kiss to Albert. “Bye-bye.” She waved.

After she watched him drive off, Hilda threw her shoes off and pulled out a bottle of whiskey from a cupboard. She poured herself a large shot and added tap water to it. Undoing her belt, Hilda sat on the couch. She ran a hand over her stomach. “Ugg, I ate too much,” she moaned.

“That did go well, though, didn’t it,” she said aloud, smiling. Thinking back to their conversation, Hilda suddenly said, “Damn, I forgot to ask his age!!”

The next couple of weeks were filled with outings with Albert. They walked some local trails, went to various restaurants, sat in the parks watching children play, and Hilda even bought some wading boots to try fishing. Albert was very patient with Hilda, showing her how to tie a “fly” on her rod and helping her cast. They had a good laugh when Hilda’s line got snagged on some rocks and she fell into the river trying to pull it out. Luckily, she had all the right gear on and didn’t get too wet. When they went back to her place to change, Hilda played the trump card and came out of her bedroom naked. Albert’s mouth dropped, his eyes taking in Hilda’s shapely body. Hilda sat next to Albert on the couch and kissed him deeply, grabbing his hands to her ample breasts. That’s all that was needed for Albert to take over. They made out on the couch with Hilda showing Albert all her tricks. Afterwards, Albert, exhausted, fell asleep on the couch. Hilda put a blanket on him and had a shower.

Their days were filled with fun and sex (well, two or three times a week). She didn’t want to “kill the poor man.” It was only a month into their relationship that Albert proposed. He took her to the first restaurant they had dinner at and even went on bended knee (requiring help to get up afterwards from the waiter). Hilda’s eyes sparkled with excitement and joy; at last, she found her “perfect Santa.”

It was a small ceremony in the registry office, neither of them belonging to any particular church or religion. They decided on a small honeymoon at Harrison Hot Springs Hotel. Albert splurged on a large suite. They had a wonderful week of swimming in the hot pools; dinner at the in-house restaurant, which had a band. They drank wine, danced, and gorged on extravagant meals. The swimming and the sex seemed to keep them in check from gaining too much weight, but Hilda noticed her clothes were getting tight. She didn’t like it, so she decided to go on a diet when they got home.

They decided to live at Hilda’s home and sell Albert’s place. “There were too many memories of his deceased wife,” Hilda said. It took a month for the house to sell and to auction off his furniture and other belongings. Albert had tears in his eyes when he handed over the keys to the real estate agent. Hilda hugged him close and took his hand, trying to soften the blow.

After the house sale, Hilda wanted to get their names changed by deed poll.

“What’s this all about?” Albert asked confused.

“I want to keep my maiden name and I want you to have it as well,” Hilda said, stubbornly.

“What’s wrong with ‘Rogers?’” Albert said, hurt.

“Nothing, darling, it’s just that I have had this name all my life and I have a hard time getting used to ‘Hilda Rogers.’” Hilda said it with disdain.

“Well, you keep your name and I’ll keep mine, how about that for a compromise?”

“No,” Hilda said adamantly. “If you love me, you’ll do this for me.”

Crocodile tears were produced for Albert and he couldn’t resist his new wife.

“Okay, okay.”

When they did change the names, the ‘e’ was dropped from Clause.

“Why did we have to drop the ‘e?’” Albert asked

“It’s so much more fun to be Mr. and Mrs. Claus.”

That night, Hilda rewarded Albert with marathon sex and a roast dinner.

Life was good for a few more months as far as Albert was concerned. They still did their various activities together, but gone was the restaurant outings and drinking. Hilda became fastidious in keeping her trim figure, but made sure Albert was eating his fill to keep his belly bulging.

One day, Albert was headed out the door. “Where are you going?” Hilda asked.

“It’s a surprise, my dear. I’ll be back in an hour.”

Hilda didn’t like surprises. “Why don’t I come with you?’

“It wouldn’t be a surprise if you came with me, now, would it?”

Hilda put her arms around Albert’s ample waist. “I don’t like surprises, Albert; please tell me.” She squeezed his stomach affectionately.

“Oh, Hilda, I’m going to get my hair cut and beard shaved,” he said resignedly.

Hilda pushed her hands further into his stomach. “What?” she shrieked.

“Hilda, you’re hurting my stomach, please let go.”

Hilda squeezed further. “Albert, you know how much I love your beard and hair. Please don’t do that,” she cooed, regaining control.

Albert pushed her hands away and turned to face Hilda. “You told me it tickled when we kiss and rubbed your face making it red and besides, I’m getting tired of it. This is a new life. I need a change.

Hilda stepped back, furious. “If you do this, don’t bother coming back.”

Albert was aghast. “I don’t understand; I didn’t know you felt so strongly about it.”

Hilda mustered up some tears. “Why would you want to change when this is the man I fell in love with?” Hilda indicated his face and hair.

“Oh, sweetheart, I’m so sorry. Okay, I won’t do it. I should’ve talked it over with you, I’m sorry…” He took Hilda in his arms and as he was hugging her, Hilda’s tears disappeared, a thin line of disapproval on her lips.

Hilda began weening Albert off sex, gradually at first. She feigned exhaustion, headaches.

Albert wasn’t happy about it, so Hilda started putting CBD oil in his dinner. It made him relaxed and sleepy. She bought a blood pressure monitor and checked his blood pressure daily. It was normal, but Albert didn’t know that. He didn’t like doing it, so Hilda made up the numbers.

Albert became concerned and wanted to go to the doctor.

“Look, love, let’s hold off sex for a bit and see if that helps. I know you enjoy it, but I couldn’t bear to have anything happen to you, and there are always side effects with drugs.”

Albert reluctantly agreed. He did admit that he was having trouble with an erection at times, which made him feel bad.

“I didn’t marry you for sex, Albert. I married you because I love you,” Hilda said convincingly.

She noticed that Albert’s hair was thinning on top. She gave him a medication for hair loss which also contributed to decreasing his libido.

Hilda showed Albert the real blood pressure readings after a few weeks of limited sex.

“See Albert, the numbers are normal again. It is the right decision.”

“What would I do without you, Hilda.”

Hilda kissed him on the cheek and skipped into the kitchen to make dinner.


For all installments of “The Perfect Santa,” click here.