Dear Gail: To Bucket List or Not to Bucket List

How can you be a gentleman on a first date but also connect? Are bucket lists all they are cracked up to be? Comedian Gail Forrest has answers.

Dating Rules of the Road

Dear Gail:
How do I know whether or not to hug a woman after a first date, much less a gentle peck on the cheek? I’m trying to adhere to appropriate distance guidelines and be a gentleman, but I also want to make a connection. The flip side is that after a very enjoyable second date, I’ve been unable to get even a handshake? What’s a man to do?


Dear Bill:
You pose some excellent questions which in 2023 are difficult to answer. If it was 1968 I’d say take her home, light up a joint, turn on The Beatles, or Van Morrison and have sex. Or if you were at the Trident in Sausalito you’d tee up some coke at the table and head to a dark corner.

Back to 2023, sadly. I think if you feel a mutual attraction on date one definitely hug it out. Even better if you sense real “chemistry” gently kiss her on the lips. Trust me, if she likes you she has spent the entire evening agonizing if you are a good kisser or bad kisser.

As for your date two dilemma, since you enjoyed it and she won’t shake your hand, my best guess is she didn’t share the joy. “Next!”


To Bucket List or Not to Bucket List

Dear Gail:
What is with this “Bucket List” thing? As far as I’m concerned, making a list of things you just gotta do before you kick the bucket is just too much pressure and, at age 73, I really don’t need any more. I’m never going to see the bulls run at Pamplona which I think is on a lot of lists. I’m good with seeing one bull on Yellowstone.

What do you think? Have I got the right attitude here? Do you have a bucket list? 

Leonard P. 

Dear Leonard P:
I think you have the right attitude. At 73 do whatever you like. You might want to keep in shape, however, in case you change your mind about running away from bulls.

I have no bucket list. It’s possible, however, I already filled it in my twenties. Those were crazy, wild, adventurous times. And in hindsight very “bucket list.” If you count going to a party at Jerry Garcia’s farm, jumping in Darryl Strawberry’s limo, or getting picked up in Grace Slick’s Aston Martin as list material, I had a bucket full.

Right now I have nothing in a bucket except going to Home Depot for boxes and sleeping through the night. No dreams of climbing Everest or even Fillmore St in San Francisco. And I think running with the bulls is just plain dumb especially if you tend to trip a lot.

There’s a dog in a shelter who has finding a kind human on its bucket list. Make a dream come true.


Need advice? Gail wants to hear from you. Send your letters, questions, and quandaries to: newsletter@weareageist.com

See medical disclaimer below. ↓


  1. Your youthful bucket adventures sound like a blast. I’ll bet there’s some terrific stories behind them.

    Wild youth is such a gift.

  2. Funny and insightful.

    I guess I don’t really have a “must do!” bucket list, but now that I’m in my 70’s, I do like having projects …. as long as I can conduct them within a 5 mile radius or preferentially within the confines of my own home. Currently, one of my projects is assembling this ridiculous cardboard castle for my cats. This is about all the excitement I can take.

  3. Educational and inspiring, as usual.

    And you validated my current pursuit of making up as many poems as possible whose last line rhymes with “bucket”.

  4. Yes, youth they say is wasted on the young. I can match you on the enthusiasm as I may not be able to dance 💃 all night as I once did in Madrid. Well the club didn’t open until 2am so technically, I danced all morning. 🤷🏽‍♀️ I just want to keep taking chances within reason and I would only watch & pray from a balcony in Pamplona. I’ll leave the running 🏃🏽‍♀️ to those who don’t use their health insurance as often. I just wish our nation would turn back towards God through Christ Jesus our Savior, value country and duty and I dunno 🤷🏽‍♀️ stay married 40 & 50 years and build stronger families than the generation b4 them, like my grandparents. Now that’s a bucket 🪣 we all need to fill up!

    • Thank you for your well thought out response. I think one’s list changes with each year. It’s become more of a daily list rather than macrocosmic. I like to get through another day, these days.
      Glad you responded.

  5. Funny stuff. Love your response to Bill, “If it was 1968…” Then reading your response to to Leonard P, sound like in in 1968, you did all those things you mentioned to Bill. You’re my hero!


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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

Gail Forresthttp://www.gailforrest.com
Gail Forrest is a comedy writer and stand up comic. She studied at Second City in Chicago and has performed at Pretty Funny Women and Flappers in LA, as well as Second City to name a few. She has a published book Gonepausal on Amazon about women in midlife and is working on a new book which includes men and promises to be just as funny with even more insights on aging.


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