Dear Amy:

I am 60 (shudder) years old and single. I've been e-mailing once or twice a day with a man my age who lives about 1,000 miles away.

He has been divorced for a few years and recently retired. He says he wants to find a new area of the country for his home. He also says he wants a relationship. He is planning a road trip and will be coming to my hometown for a few days, and he suggested we meet.

The thing is that he answers less than half my questions. Actually, most of his letters are generic, and could be to anyone. He mainly writes about his cat, bird watching and visiting botanical gardens.

I think it is possible that he writes a daily generic letter to the various women he's met on dating sites, and now he is going on a trip to meet us all. Kind of like a quest for his lady.

I'll find out his last name and address before he comes, but other than that, he'll be a stranger. What do you think? Do I have a right to know the purpose of his trip? What's necessary for safety?

- Confused and Curious

Dear Confused:

You've got a great movie screenplay on your hands. A gentleman sends out generic e-mails to women, and then sets out on a cross-country quest to meet them all. Hello, Lifetime Channel!

You are smart to be wary. Two things raise red flags for me - the fact that he doesn't answer your questions directly, and that he is telling you he'll pack up and move anywhere in the country. If you choose to meet him in person, follow the rules you would employ for meeting any stranger - meet in a public place, tell people where you are going and for what purpose, and don't reveal your own address.

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