The dating game…at 55…

So, you are suddenly single. You’re not 23 anymore or even 4o for that matter, which, from this view, looks quite enticing. You are feeling free. No more tidy whiteys to wash, no more ‘dates’ with a man snoring in a recliner with the TV blaring the History channel.   You get the picture. You finally have control of the remote. The bathroom is all yours! And, you can sleep ALL OVER the bed.  IT IS GLORIOUS…until…you think about…gulp…dating. Frankly, the only way I can describe it is sucky. Your best friend, who is single and has been single longer than you have, says “Join …..this site…it will be fun”.  Uh, okay, sure. You upload your photo from facebook and create a profile outlining your interests and what you are looking for in a relationship. You ‘like’ him, and ‘wink’ at him and wait for a message. You chat and soon you are having your first date. Let me tell you, THINGS HAVE CHANGED.

For instance, in 1984, you didn’t live with anyone before you were married, or at least you didn’t tell your mother. That is for sure. You were 22 for god’s sake!  . You weren’t expected to have ‘sexual relations’ by the third date. You actually met people through friends or at parties, not on a dating site where a photo and a vapid description lands you a date with some guy who has no clue what you do for a living but feigns interest because he just paid for your coffee.

Then,  what’s next? probably nothing. maybe everything.

Let’s say, you DO meet someone randomly, through a colleague or friend, and, there are sparks, it works out, and you actually ‘have a relationship’. At worst, it will end, at best it will endure. Regardless, it’s not like being married; not married to who you were married to for the last million years. Even if the putz you dismissed was not your dream man, you knew how he liked his coffee, and what movies you could both enjoy. And, excitedly, you began to really like this ‘random’ new guy and thought, hmmmm….he might be it. He might be the next Mr. Whoever.  But because you haven’t dated in eons, you don’t see what your best friend sees. This guy is your ex-husband except that you have feelings for this new guy. You don’t wash his tidy whiteys, and he doesn’t snore in the recliner because he is still trying to impress you.  Sigh.  Danger, Will Robinson, Danger! But, you don’t see it. You don’t move on. You DON’T even know the signs of a commitment-phobe because YOU got married when you and your ex were mere children fresh out of the crib – not jaded or cynical or reluctant to take that exhilarating risk to join forces with an equally naive person. AND, you miss that blind faith. You stay there, with that new person, because it is familiar and you seriously have no clue that you are totally comfortable being ‘married but not married’ all over again.

Here comes the kicker. You are ready. Ready to do a repeat performance of the previous life. Permanently. Voila!  You had no idea that the plan was only your plan. You thought that you were on the same page. You are stunned. Thrown for a loop. Wait. Why is this not working out how I thought it would? Your new significant other indicated, in veiled falseness, that his intentions were simpatico with yours.  Flabberghasted comes to mind when you realize that you’ve been duped, or is it dumped. You are suddenly very alone. Alone in your feelings and just plain alone…because he is gone. Poof! Disappeared. Well, shit!  and a slew of other unsavory words. Welcome to ghosting. A modern cowards version of ‘hitting the high road’. I believe sucky was the word I used above. And it is. Sucky.      But, narrowly escaping duplicate entrapment is a blessing, of course, after you have wept weeks of tears, and spilled miles of sorrow to those who will listen.

Moral to this story.

Actually, I don’t know. I am on a journey. A journey that is continuous. Hopefully one that will lead me to my truth. And, if it includes my special someone, it will be glorious once and for all.

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Where do I begin…?

In the present, that’s where.

Now. Here. Right now as a matter of fact.

Each moment, each minute, each hour, each day… is the beginning.                                      The beginning of each new action, feeling, emotion and miracle of our life.                          We choose our destiny and who we are and who we become. Coincidence is actually fate.

It is true that we repeat our inconsequential and disappointing moments because we have not learned what we need to know yet. We relive these times until we get it “more right”.

Resolve. yes. I accept resolve. I am learning.I WILL continue to learn. I WILL get it right. And that is because I choose to be true. Be True. A powerful message that I accepted in 1980 and have lost touch with off and on over the years. My mantra for 2017.


Success…it’s all relative…

Tonight I want to talk about success. Not as it relates to monetary acquisition but more as it relates to emotional and spiritual acquisition.

So, you ask ? “what exactly do you mean?”

Personal success for me has been centered around the intangible gratification of my artistic contributions. Yes, I have been paid…sporadically and inconsistently for my work. But, that has been inconsequential to my well being. I have certainly, and morosely, over obsessed about the lack of financial infusion to my bank accounts, but that has not pre determined my dedication to the project at hand. Each year that passes,  I consider the fact that I have not contributed to a 401(k) or some other pre-destined retirement plan. I wonder if I should be really worried…and then, I forget that I thought about it at all.

My point is that success is determined by those who own it.

I own it.

Do you?

It’s real…

So, being real, is REALLY hard…at least for some people. It means vulnerability, exposure, truth.

If we are able to maintain a facade of strength, resistance, and avoidance…maybe, just maybe, we can avoid ourselves.



I know. I am a quintessential vocabularian. It’s my curse.

But I am currently hung up on this concept. Of a sene of deception. The sense of betrayal is prevalent and I smell its lack of loyalty in my midst. I am not comfortable with its presence. Although the unearthing of its truth is painful, I also relish in its exposure.

Bring it on!


Don’t worry, be happy!

I can clearly remember those insanely hot summer days where the only place to get cooled off was in the pool while my mother and her neighbor friends sat inside in the air conditioning playing mah johnng, and all of the kids splashed happily in the pool until the sun started to set. The 1960’s were a different time. Most mothers stayed home and fathers went to work. My mom was a “homemaker”. My dad was a highly functioning alcoholic. I guess I was happy. Probably about as much as anyone else I knew. But I did know that I always felt like my family had this big secret. When someone in your family has a ‘drinking problem’ it is the family focus. It’s the white elephant in the room. Of course, at that time, I had no idea that I wasn’t the only one. No one talked about this stuff. Oprah didn’t exist to administer advice on self help remedies for all the maladies of the world. Fortunately, although I was practically almost an only child, I had my imaginary friend Smokey the Bear and all of my creative projects to keep me going. I don’t ever remember being bored. And there were the massive murals I drew on the hallway linoleum and the bedroom walls. (yes my mother, not only allowed it, but, encouraged this expression- when you’re surrounded by artists, this is not terribly unusual). We didn’t have 3 million TV channels to watch. No cell phones. No handheld devices to entertain us. No internet to explore. Our explorations were tangible. I’d ride my bike around the neighborhood for hours on end and my parents didn’t have to worry about where I was going or for how long. I built my own treehouse by standing on top of the swing set and feeling so proud when it was done. I made my own Barbie camper out of a shoebox and pipe cleaners because my parents thought $11.00 was too much to pay for it at the toy store. Depression era parents are a different breed than the parents today who shower their offspring with massive amounts of nonsensical possessions that end up at Goodwill anyway.

Those were the days. And looking back on it now, my mother was probably not experiencing the same sense of joy and freedom that I was but she did her best to shield me from the daily shit she endured.

It went like this. My dad went to work, then he went to happy hour (an oxymoron in some sense), and if he wasn’t too drunk when he got home my mom served his dinner and I waited anxiously for the arguments to begin and then after dinner he’d resume his nightly ritual of vodka and (fill in the blank) orange juice, grapefruit juice or my kool aid. I hated it when he used my kool aid. That was mine. To this day, thinking of kool aid conjures up unpleasant memories for me. If he was pretty drunk already when he came home he’d usually pass out in his chair, and I was grateful for that. Mind you, this man never missed a day of work no matter how drunk he was the night before.  Well, that’s not entirely true. The 3 times he had his drivers license revoked he went to jail for a short time and my mother had to drive him everywhere for 6 months each time this happened.(as an aside, I must mention that my dad really was a great man…)

But, I don’t know how my mother did it. Really. I’m a recently divorced self employed single mom with 3 children (we’ll get into that later in another post), and I cannot imagine having to deal with this nonsense with kids, and school and everything that goes into being an adult. We all have our issues to deal with, and I suppose that we learn to accommodate the idiosyncrasies that plague our daily situations, but in those days, as I mentioned before, people didn’t air their dirty laundry. This had to be a terrible embarrassment to my mother. I know that as I got older, I could never invite friends over if it was after 5:00 p.m. It made my teenage years tough, and it’s not as if those years aren’t tough enough already. I know, wah wah, I had it so tough. But, as I said, I guess I was happy enough.

Which brings me to the topic at hand. Happiness. So if you look up the definition of happiness, it merely says “the state of being happy”. What?! And if you look for other answers to the meaning of happiness, what you will come up with is its subjectivity as a feeling or state of being. I’ve been thinking of ways that happiness is perceived or used to describe people and their lives or situations. Like the statement “I’m not a happy camper” or “you make me so happy” or “as long as you’re happy”. What do those things really mean? Pleasure, joy, exhilaration, bliss, contentedness, delight, enjoyment, satisfaction, contentment, felicity are words that imply an active or passive state of pleasure or pleasurable satisfaction. “Happiness results from the possession or attainment of what one considers good; all synonyms for happiness.”The word origin and history of happiness: 1520s, “good fortune,” from happy + ness. Meaning “pleasant and contented mental state” is from 1590s. Phrase greatest happiness for the greatest number was in Hutcheson (1725).

And why does everyone want us to be happy? It’s been quoted, somewhere, that “extreme happiness begets tragedy.” After all, the antonym is misery. These descriptions are akin to pleasure and pain.

I suppose the point of all of this is that, like my life as a child, which was a strained mix of happiness and misery, and pleasure and pain, I chose to be “happy”. Despite the many, many days, perhaps years, that I experienced what would be considered an unhappy environment. I chose to create my own world of joy. I lived in a place of my own where it was happy. Because, although I rarely saw any real affection or love between them, I knew that my parents loved me and probably each other. There is no a tangible way for me to determine this, but I’m pretty sure there was something between them. Fifty six years is a long time to stay married…

I have grown so weary of the election of so many to be unhappy and to maintain a stance of being unhappy when one could just give into it and be damn happy. It really does feel better to choose this felicitous state. I can bring myself to tears in seconds dwelling on things that are upsetting and that make me feel unhappy and I hate it when that happens. And I know that I am the culprit of these feelings and emotions. That makes me even more upset with myself.

So, my resolve for 2015 is to revive my childhood approach to life. I choose to be happy. And so far, I am and in fact, almost blissful at the proposition of regaining a sense of innocence and naivete. Happy, happy new year to me…