A Knight in Battered Armor

This is where i admit that i’ve a soft spot for people, men and women both, with a bit of grit. I’ve never been one for the pretty boy or the stately beauty. Show me callouses, scars, and the look in their eye that, in spite of all they’ve seen, they still find me worthy.

Those lists – the ones made by fashion and gossip magazines – of the hottest celebrities… Rarely do they show the kind of people i lust after. The millionnaire bachelor with his perfect cheekbones and professionally trained physique hold very little allure for me. Don’t get me wrong, i understand why others carry the torches. The aesthetic of the Hollywood-groomed woman, of the couture-suited man, they beg to be noticed. The ones who have acquired that old-style grace, and the ones with the dry wit… There is a reason they are PR’d that way… Because the masses love it.

The perfect bit of 5 O’clock shadow. The golden skin and curve of a silk and tulle clad breast. We all wish we had it – Either for ourselves or in the form of a lover. But to me, they have always rung as a bit fake. To say you’ve had a man with cut abs and  larger than life junk in his trousers… When i was young, i thought that was a great accomplishment. I thought it proved something about me. And i suppose it did.

It proved the shallowness and short-mindedness of youth.

Physical attraction is important. Yes, scientifically, it ensures the continued population of the species; but more importantly, attraction means sex. And sex is good for our physical and mental health. It’s one of God/Goddess/Universe’s greatest and funnest gifts. It is an affirmation of life. Or should be, when it is done well and with the right person.

Each of us has our own idea of the “right person”. What attracts us, engages us, and keeps us entertained is different for each person. One may like a chiseled face. One may like a muscular ass. Others are all about the hair. More power to them. As for me, i want someone whose face and body tell a story of survival, passion, and depth.

Show me the scar where he got his ass beat getting his best friend’s back. Show me calloused fingers where she worked her way up in a man’s world. But most of all, show me that look in their eye. Those eyes that have seen pain and joy. The ones that hold lust and wisdom. The ones that promise their heart if you can get thru to it. I want someone who has seen a lot, been thru a lot, and respects others who have done the same. THAT is someone who i can open up to and melt for. That is a degree of sexiness that won’t diminish with age, circumstance, or loss of limb.

I’ve always held this view, but it’s been made worse by binge watching Game of Thrones.  Too many sexy scar-bearers in that cast. And me, laid out on a lot of bedrest after some surgery… Filling my time by ogling them and getting wrapped up in the drama. (You think you’ve found the perfect fantasy character… Then they either get killed or do something terribly evil…. It’s a tease of volcanic proportions.) (If you think about volcanoes for a second… The waxing and waning of smoke, and the lava overflowing or not, depending on the whim of the gods… It makes even more sense.) 

Friends have told me for a long time now that i would love this show. It is the kind of epic fantasy that i devoured as a kid, but have less time for as an adult. After watching this series, tho, i think i need to start making time for it. No, i won’t get to ogle the sexy people as easily in a book; but a good writer brings that sense of duty, honor, and passion out in a way that is even more sexy. (And then you get to picture them in your head and make them your own… There is no bigger tease than the one we create in our own mind.)

And why am i writing about this today? A combination of too much rest (I’m not good at “resting”) and post-op narcotics, i suppose. This idea has been sitting in my draft bin for over a week, but i was afraid to publish it til i had been off the pain pills for a bit, lest i regret it in a literary “morning after.” The equivalent of waking up with your best friend’s little brother after a drunken dinner party. Except the brother has armor. And a sword. And a convoluted claim to a crown. And a scar across his cheek. And that look in his eye….

Oh my.

 

 

 

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Stories from the Justice League – OBX Edition

The events i am about to describe are true. Names have been changed to protect the not-exactly-innocent (Tho we do actually call ourselves the Justice League, and we are all actual Superheroes in our own right, having overcome tremendous obstacles to become the Badass Paragons of Womanhood that we are now.)

***********************************************************************

I got a tan this weekend, and as a telltale sign of the fun we were having, i have little white lines where my happy eye-crinkles were. I smiled so much that the flesh inside those deep crevices never saw the sun. (Ladies and gentlemen, the one wrinkle i will not complain about having!) I think friends and family were worried about how much we would drink, but honestly, we ended up giving away half the alcohol we brought to a couple we met on the beach, both to avoid having to buy a cooler to bring it home, and also as an apology (More on that later.) And i am certain they were worried about what would happen when the OBX contingent of the Justice League decided to throw caution to the wind for a weekend. For the most part, tho, we were good girls. Well, more accurately, we would have been good girls had the ocean not intervened. Or the neighbors. Or the fear of heights.

I turned 50 this past weekend. To celebrate, my besties and i had an adventure. Off we went to a condo at the Outer Banks. We had only planned two things: Hand gliding, and a trip to a famous donut shop. The rest of the time would be fun, relaxation, and a little bit of sight-seeing. A perfect adult weekend.

We got in very late on Thursday due to a long drive and a fight with the GPS. For some reason, the AC was set on 60* when we got there, so it felt like an igloo. Catwoman was sent to turn up the temperature while the rest of us put up the groceries we had brought. We checked things out around the weekend digs, marveled at the view from the porch, and then started getting ready for bed.

“It’s still freezing in here!” says Jamie Sommers. SuperGirl and i, the Mighty Isis, agree – it doesn’t seem to have warmed up much. We take a peek at the climate controls… They are set to 65*

When confronted, Catwoman confesses that she really needs it cooler, but she does agree to a compromise and taps at the AC control.

A good night’s sleep. A pot of coffee, some junk food, and we hit the beach with too much giddy anticipation to notice the chill in the apartment.

First observation: All our eye glasses, camera lenses and phone faces are completely fogged from the change in temperature. Second: The surf is bigger and choppier than we expected. Third, we have found the place of our dreams.

SuperGirl and i are 50, Catwoman and Jamie are 40-somethings. But in spite of this, we are showing off our best assets in pretty swimsuits, laying our scantily clad bodies on towels to tan for a bit before hitting the water. We were happy and confident when we finally strolled our way to the tide line. Now, SuperGirl and i are strong swimmers, having grown up on the beach. We were used to the Atlantic and its sassy saltiness. But this beach, these waves… We had never been in anything like this. The four of us weren’t in as far as our ribs when a big wave hit and knocked us all on our asses. Trying to stand up as gracefully as possible turned out to be pointless, as the suction of the undertow for the next pulled us back down within seconds, and the following wave bitch-slapped us like we were Nicholas Cage in MoonStruck.

A few more beatings from Poseidon and the surf settled enough for us to stand up. Coughing, dizzy, and a bit out of sorts, the four of us unsteadily got to our feet. As i look to make sure my sisters are all ok, SuperGirl’s glasses are on cockeyed and she’s blowing sand out of her nose. Jamie has a pile of rocks in her bikini bottom that looks like she had a massive bathroom accident. Catwoman’s bottoms are rolled tightly at her ankles. And both my boobs are squashed in the area where only my cleavage should be. Immediately we squat back into the water to fix the malfunctions, laughing heartily at each other and our own embarrassment when we realize the full complement of beachgoers has seen the whole thing.

Gluttons for punishment, we keep playing in the water, body-surfing and jumping over the waves. We lost count of the number of times one or more of us lost all or part of a swimsuit. Or had the undertow pull five pounds of sand into our bottoms. Or swallowed a growler of seawater. We had a blast and laughed like lunatics at each uncounted incident.

As it turned out, other people were counting.

Back to the condo to wash and dress for dinner. Catwoman’s idea of compromise on the temperature of the condo didn’t exactly match ours. But when we complained that all the winter palace lacked was Christmas lights or a nice view of the Aurora Borealis, the only response we received was, “Bite me, Bitches.” Catwoman was the organizer, so by custom, we had to relent, but, damn, i’m pretty sure Nanook of the North would have been right at home!

Our condo shared a water heater with the one next door, so showering became an exercise in yelping, but we emerged an hour later, pink and painted and dressed like the, ahem, ladies we are. We had a wonderful time over dinner, enjoying the meal, salivating over the server, and raising eyebrows over a Rico Suave wannabe who spent the entire evening getting up from his table to walk around the dining room for no apparent reason except to show off his absurdly tight, bright yellow short shorts.

As had become her habit, SuperGirl told everyone she encountered that it was my 50th birthday. And when i say she told everyone, i mean everyone. She literally stopped random strangers on the sidewalk to point at me and share the fact. Most people looked a bit awkward at the news flash, but a few joined in on the joke. The restaurateurs were of the latter group and politely offered me a wheelchair to help me out of the establishment after dinner. Thank God i have a good sense of humor.

Thus ended day one.

Day two was a slightly early rise as we had an appointment at a grassy airfield/ winery with two young men and their very large kites. Man number one was a small, blonde surfer dude with a degree in psychology who was younger than my oldest child. Man number two was a Tom Brady lookalike, older than his coworker, and – can i say – visually and charismatically speaking, everything a woman my age would want in a man. I mean, DAMN!  Even after the officially spoken rule that i could grab anything except the hand glider’s steering wires, i was afraid to grope for fear that i might be unable to let go. Or worse, might sink my teeth in.

To note: SuperGirl had no such fear.

Tho i am terrified of heights, i was determined to go thru with this adventure. I’ve taken small plane flying lessons and flown many times in helicopters with pilots who were certain they could make me sick (None of them were ever able to – they apparently had no concept of my overflowing pride and stubbornness.) I figured, if i could do that, i can do this. So we listen to the safety lecture, given by an awesomely badass woman close to our own age, and a champion hand glider in her own right, and then each take our turn as a human kite ornament.

Of course, i magically ended up on Tom Brady’s kite. Cocooned above him in tandem, i was surprised at how safe it felt, even as we detached from the plane at 2000 feet. The view was too breathtaking to allow for the breathlessness of fear. I have never felt so exhilarated as i did gliding above the trees and beaches, wind and skill swooping and swaying us -once i said i could handle it-  with a lovely, pearly gray haze over the ocean in the distance, and my body gently hammocked over a fantasy man.

If i’d have died up there, it would have been with a smile on my face.

Since no number of words will accurately describe every bit of feeling that experience gave me, i will refrain from any more and let you experience it for yourself someday. Nor will i bore you with the details of the yummy shrimp and pork belly tacos for lunch, or the ravenous mosquitoes of the Elizabethan Gardens, since they pale in comparison to the thrill of flight. Suffice it to say, it all rocked!

We get back to the condo, and as we are trudging up the stairs, SuperGirl stops dead and turns, “Oh my God! I saw his dongle!”

Say, what?!?

In broad daylight, in a communal, four foot deep wading pool, in a family complex, an eerily thin and rangy 30-ish couple decided to make a filmless porn flick.

The only  good thing about this is that the warnings took precedence over alerting the entire known universe to my birthday. Now we were alerting complete strangers, “JUST SAY NO TO FOUR FEET!!!”

We change into our suits and head back to the beach. The waves are even choppier today, and the undertow stronger. When i say that i spent a good portion of the afternoon in  a washing machine, that is exactly what it felt like. But we were having a blast so neither the expensive beachwear that spent more time off the parts they were charged with covering than on, nor the ingestion of Mother Nature’s healing saline solution, nor SuperGirl’s GoPro-mounted-on-something-that-looked-humorously-like-a-cheap-vibrator-but-was-supposed-to-be-a-float could keep us from jumping into the turbulent water again and again. And in our oblivious glee, the beach was treated to a full view of Catwoman’s porcelain backside, bits and pieces of Jamie’s various pink parts, SuperGirl’s everything as she went arse-over-tea-kettle with her not-really-a-sex-toy-with-a-camera, and pretty much the entire territory from my mighty ducks to my Christmas goose. Tho it would normally, the laughing and pointing from the other beachgoers didn’t really bother us much. Even when Catwoman got caught up in a powerful wave and was thrust between the legs of a man quietly sitting in the water, keeping a parental watch on his teenage daughters.  (Incidentally, his wife thought that incident was the funniest thing she’d ever seen. We were grateful for her good sportsmanship and forgiveness!)

The above mentioned man, his adorable wife, and their teenage girls came and talked with us as we were packing up (After SuperGirl wandered over to inform them both of my birthday and to SAY NO TO FOUR FEET!). Wife checked on Catwoman, while not really containing her belly laughter at the memorable vision of a complete stranger being torpedoed into her hubby’s junk. The teenage girls talked to Jamie and the rest of us about their college plans and their delight that four “older women” would still be enjoying weekends together with our girlfriends. And Dad wanted to know if i had had both parts of my suit on at the same time at any point while at the beach. We talked and laughed til after the sun went down, then went our separate ways as we headed back.

“I have enough sand and rocks in my butt-crack to poop cobblestones.”

“I feel like i’ve had sex with an asteroid.”

“I have seaweed in my cleavage. I’m a human planter.”

“I feel like i’ve been in  a bar fight.”

… All of these said with hoarse voices brought about by brutal saline therapy, and Guy Smiley grins of true happiness.

Supper that night was Portuguese brinner (Linguica and eggs with toasted sweet rolls) in the condo. Followed by world famous donuts in the morning (And yes, they were absolutely the best donuts ever!), a donation of all our leftover alcohol to the sweet family that we visually violated, and a trip to a lighthouse before the long journey home.  The entire weekend contingent of the Justice League is exhausted, sunburnt and sea-battered. We’ll be digging sand and rocks out of our ears, nose, and pink parts for weeks. And we will remember this weekend as the first in hopefully dozens of Badass Women gatherings with as many members of the Justice League as we can manage.

There are more stories from the weekend, of course; but even i have a bawdiness limit on public media. In the end, this is what i hope you take away from my story:

If you have to turn 50, do it with your besties, doing something you’ve never done before, in a place where you’ve never been and no one knows you.

“Showing your ass” literally is way funnier than doing it figuratively. A one-piece may not fall down, but it’s also harder to dig rocks out of!

If you have never had a Duck Donut, put it on your bucket list.

Looking to see who is in the pool can be dangerous. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Be careful who you vote to control the AC, or you may find you have a need for a dogsled.

And if you have the chance to grab a Tom Brady look-alike’s bum while flying 2000 feet above a beautiful vista, take it!

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Just Singing In The Rain

Moving sucks. Even when it is worth it in the end. So you have to savor those moments that make it seem less like Hell.

Bringing our final load of assorted leftover crap from the old place to the new place today, in the middle of a rainstorm, my son comes out with this gem of musing…

“Hey, Ma. Do you know that song, ‘It’s Raining Men’?”

“Yes, ” i reply, with a cocked eyebrow.

“I’m wondering, when they fall, are they whole?”

WTH???

“I mean, does a man just fall from the sky, land on his feet, and say, ‘Hi. My name is Terry. I’m from Montana. I’m a Capricorn and i enjoy cooking and volunteering at the local animal shelter.’?  Or do bodies just fall from the sky realistically, breaking into pieces so it makes a mess of blood and guts everywhere? ”

“You know that old joke, ‘It’s raining cats and dogs out there! I just stepped in a poodle!’? If it were raining men, would you say you stepped on a head? Or a foot? Or a butt! Oh my God! That would be funny! But then you’d be slipping everywhere on the blood and guts.”

“Can you imagine the umbrella you’d need? Body parts falling everywhere? It would have to be made out of plywood or something. Like, a Kevlar umbrella, maybe. And, man, it would suck for the street sweepers!”

“Also, how would you know it was going to rain men? Would the sky be filled with cumulonimbus  clouds shaped like penises? That would be weird.”

I am silent thru this whole stream of consciousness, as i have no flipping clue as to the proper parental response.  When he finally goes quiet, i relax a bit. Then…

“I hope they just fall out of the sky whole.”

Me, too, son. Me too.

 

From Atlantic to Pacific

I admit, i am someone who pushes the boundaries of propriety on a regular basis. I can be in the midst of the most austere occasion, in full lady regalia, when some unfiltered comment will slip from my lips like a gravy fart at Thanksgiving dinner. I can’t help it. When God/Goddess/Universe made me, she replaced the usual filter with a trap door that opens and closes at random. And it doesn’t help that my brain functions like a neurological whack-a-mole, where my better judgement is always one step behind. Obviously, over the years, i have built up an immunity to embarrassment. How could i cope otherwise? Even when caught with my pants down (whether this is figurative or literal is left up to the reader’s imagination), it is instinctual for me to dive into the joke and own it. So when i tell you i was rendered speechless at her comment for a full five or ten seconds, understand that those were the longest seconds in all of Christendom.

I have mentioned before that, especially in winter, i have a tendency to dress a bit like a Manhattan banker. This, combined with my short hairstyle and direct manner, apparently gives some people a certain impression of my sexuality bent. I guess i can understand it. In spite of all we see in movies, tv, magazines, etc, we still have a picture in our minds of the type of woman who dons menswear. Basically, we are inclined to believe she longs for other women who don menswear. (If you are one who truly believes this, we need to talk about book covers. For real. )  This is partly why The Great Kate caused a fury in Hollywood in her day. No one was gonna believe she lusted after Spencer Tracy if she wore pants. Anyway, the point being that her confusion didn’t surprise me…

…  After all, i often joke about my multiple marriages, and the fact that Liam Neeson makes me swoon. I make offhand comments regarding the fact that most of the men in the cubby farm are too young for me. And a few have seen me salivate at a well-dressed man. I’m sure this seems contrary to my visual persona.

In reality, it’s not as simple as that. I’m not as simple as that.

So when she complimented my vest, and i didn’t get the hammer out in time to stop the mole, i slipped my arm around her waist and said something along the lines of, “Thank you so much! And what are you doing later?” *wink * She laughed, then pulled me aside to talk.

“I have a friend i want you to meet, ” she says in a not-quite-whisper. “But i’m not sure if you, you know…..”

“Are single?” I ask. “Yes, i am.”

“No, i mean. Ummm. Well, this friend… I mean… She’s a girl. And i know you were married before, but i thought, i mean, maybe i’m wrong. You know, the way you dress and all, i just assumed. I mean, do you? I didn’t mean anything bad. I mean, not that it’s bad. I just….”

“It’s ok,” I say, trying to alleviate her awkwardness. “I generally date men. But tell me about her.”

“Oh!” she says, sighing a breath of relief. “That makes much more sense! You’re bi-coastal!”

This is where i am rendered temporarily mute for a handful of seconds. Then…

I’m laughing. A good-natured laugh that makes her start to laugh too.

“I’ve never been called that before, but yeah, you could say i’m bi-coastal.”

Apparently, she doesn’t win at Whack-a-Mole either.

 

 

Fervid Prayer

Venus and Bastet.

Eros and Min.

Rati and Cliodhna.

Save me.

Saint Dymphna, hear my prayer.

The single woman’s lament.

No wishing. No filling.

No well at all.

An absent watershed in a state of

Ponds.

Lada, hear my cry.

Wave upon wave hit the breakwater

And recycle themselves like

Fruitcake.

Milady de Winter,

Keep your secret and the fire

Burning within.

Let me grow cold and ash.

Burnt offerings to Catherine the Great.

The indulgence of the other Mary.

I ask of you, Freyja,

Why must i suffer the scourge

When i come by it most honestly?

Weep for me, Turan.

Comfort me, Anahita.

Margaret, Audrey, Desdemona,

Leave me be.

Lilith, have mercy on me,

Your subject.

I beseech

And pound upon my chest.

Mea culpa.

Mea culpa.

Mea indigus cupidus culpa.

 

Jug Band

I started just now to type, “I have a confession to make…” And then i realized that it isn’t really a confession. It isn’t a sin that i have committed. It isn’t even an accidental mistake. It’s not a bad thing. Well, not usually. Nor is it something i should have to apologize for. It shouldn’t be an issue. But it often is.

I have big boobs.

There. I said it. In all it’s embarrassing glory.

So, as i see it, there are two parts to this, and neither should be an issue in today’s society. Unfortunately, people still have a problem with both parts.

First, the “big” part. I was not given a choice as to the size of my ducks any more than i was given a choice in my height. I am generally a small woman. But i have twice as many chins as i need, and at least twice as much breast. And tho teenage boys may think that sounds like a gold mine, a large set comes with its own problems.

For one thing, it’s hard to find clothes that fit. If i want a button-up shirt, i either have to buy one that is big and flow-y, or i have to buy it in the men’s department. Those pretty blouses the other girls wear strain perilously at the chest buttons. And because bras made in the bigger cup sizes rarely come in the lovely lacy array that the “normal” ones do, it’s not like that gap gives anyone something pretty to look at. And if you give in and unbutton it a bit, you’re a skanky slitch whose momma didn’t teach her to keep ’em covered. So knits it is, and even then, finding one that fits the tits without swimming around the middle (Or worse, fitting at the middle and pulled tight over the top)…. Well, i wish there were a patron saint to invoke while shopping for that!

Oh – exercise clothes? Sports bras? RacerBack tanks? Even YMCA appropriate swimsuits? Fuggeddaboudit. Ain’t gonna happen. No such luck. Not unless you have a fortune to pay some online kevlar broker.

People make assumptions about women with big boobs. That we are daft or “easy”. And because it is hard to hide them, people assume that we are showing them off because we’re proud of them, like they are some crowning achievement akin to moderating Middle Eastern peace talks. News flash to the media: Just like the old adage about men with large shoes, the size of a woman’s chest has no direct OR inverse relationship with the size of her brain. Headline to the rest of the world: Most of us base our fashion choices on what doesn’t make us look dumpy (The scourge of every large-breasted woman), not on the measurement of our cleavage. So please, cut us some slack. And we will try to remember to cut you some on those skin-tight jeggings over your ample bottom.

Issue number two: The “boob” part. When i had my first child, terrifyingly close to three decades ago, for health and financial reasons, i chose to breastfeed. I was lucky enough at that time to be a student at a large university with a student population from all over the world. I learned from some women of other cultures about the miracle of the baby sling. I have no idea if breastfeeding in public was actually illegal at that time, but i knew without a doubt that doing it in the open would get me a lot of unwanted attention. The sling was my answer. I bought one and then fashioned a couple others. I invested in nursing tops. I learned how to nurse in public without showing any of my pink parts to undesiring strangers. It was a pain in the ass, but i felt like it was showing respect. The only time i made  a spectacle of it was during a “nurse in” in protest of the Nestle formula-in-Africa scandals, and i admit, i felt awkward doing it.

Nearly 10 years later, when i had my second child, i was living in Central America. And that was where i learned that vilification of public breastfeeding was largely a U.S. issue. Panamanians felt ALL women should breastfeed, and to that end, encouraged it and held it as part of regular life. Tho i still used a sling, i no longer worried if an errant pink part got flashed. The locals never cared. To the contrary, they delighted that she fed so well! I could sit with a group of women, feed my beautiful child, and never fear scorn or disgust. It was wonderful. It helped me realize that it is social indoctrination that makes public boobage wrong. Ok, maybe intent as well, if you’re out flashing your ladies for scandal or advertisement. But as far as breastfeeding goes, it’s the way we were socialized that makes us uncomfortable with it.

By my third child, while i did not flaunt it while i was nursing, i didn’t run for the closet every time either. I tried to keep politely covered, but i never hid. And yes, i got some dirty looks. Surprisingly, mostly from other women. For some, sister solidarity doesn’t cover boobs. Not to be coarse, but i doubt unmated goats look at nursing goats and think “I wish she’d put her teats away or take it to the stall.” Yes, they are animals, but breastfeeding is mammalian thing. It’s how God/Goddess/Universe intended for us to feed our young. So why should we treat it as a private or criminal act. Believe it or not, there is still one state where it is patently illegal to breastfeed in public. (If a woman breastfeeds in public, and no one complains, is it still illegal???) Other states have statutes that exempt it from indecency laws, but a lot of the general public still cries havoc and lets slip the dogs of war over the ill assumption that breastfeeding is somehow porn. Any woman who has breastfed will tell you, it gives you a whole new appreciation for your boobs, and it has nothing to do with porn.

Boobs are mini (Or, for some of us, not so mini) food factories. They are able to make exactly what our babies need. Even in developing countries where food is limited, breasts will take nutrients out of mom to put in the milk for baby. Amazing! Miraculous! And while those perky supermodel tits in the Victoria Secret catalog might corner the market on sexy one night, and may get lots of stares and judging off the runway the next, don’t you dare judge me on mine. I won’t go around baring them to the general masses, but i won’t hide them either. They are part of who i am. I managed to feed three weedlings with these puppies, and that’s no small feat. So, you may think them too big. You may think them too floppy. You may think them unseemly…

But eff you.

My boobs are awesome.

Sex, Sundries, and Saturday Night

Being single is definitely fun when you’re 20. But when you’re essentially 50, it’s kind of a mixed lot. Most of us at this age are single for a reason, and it usually isn’t a meaningless reason. It is hard to meet people. It’s never a good idea to date coworkers, dating website profiles bear as much truth as your average supermaket tabloid, and the meat market bars… Well, no one wants to buy old meat. The rules have changed from when we first learned to date. Passing flirtatious notes rarely works when they are passed with your license and registration; and it’s hard to pass them under any other circumstance. You run out of places to meet people. Unless you are a flitting socialite, you are reduced to church or affiliations, mass transit, or the grocery. (Incidentally, i once asked advice on how to approach my handsome butcher… You can imagine the suggestions…) It just isn’t the chick-flick or comedy that Hollywood makes it out to be. It’s more like a lame cover of Eleanor Rigby.

I had always hoped that when i got “older” (In quotation marks because the meaning has been somewhat fluid over the years) , i would find a balance. Maybe even find a way to have the best of both worlds. But the older i get, the less i am sure of what the best of both worlds would be. I mean, obviously there are potential partners who don’t care what brand of toothpaste i buy, or get put off if i eat an entire head of roasted garlic while watching a movie. But it is physically impossible to bask in the glow of waking up next to someone without sharing the bed. To be honest, i’m so unused to sharing a bed now, that i can’t do it without staying awake to make sure that i didn’t hog covers, or sprawl, or snore my way to being single again. And how many nights can i stay awake to keep such things in check before i give in to my own fatigue?

For the most part, i accept the fact that i will likely be single from now on. I don’t really miss pulling a man’s tighty-whiteys out of his jeans so i could separate them for the wash. I don’t miss cleaning beard hair out of the sink. I don’t miss having to pow-wow before deciding on dinner. But i DO miss having someone to walk / play cards / watch tv  with after supper. I miss curling up together on the sofa. I miss long, thoughtful, late night discussions. And i miss regular sex (And before you say that you don’t have to be in a couple to have sex, i will point out that for most single people, finding empty sex is easy – especially close to closing time. But finding good and meaningful sex is harder than finding someone who folds the towels the same way you do.)

What would be perfect would be to have someone who only lived with you when you wanted them to, and vice versa. Solidarity when you needed it, and solitude when you needed that. Well, i suppose, really perfect would be to find someone who was exactly everything you liked and lived exactly how you wanted, but i am old enough and wise enough to know that what i like and want isn’t always consistent and would be an impossible role to fill. In any case, both of those things are very selfish.

Yes, i admit it. I am selfish. And my acceptance of this fact is why i have resigned myself to spinsterhood.

Mind you, i have no intention of becoming a dried up old prune who warns younger women of the dangers and evils of men. On the contrary, i intend to be the garishly stylish old broad who flirts indiscriminately and squashes her ducks against the salsa instructor at the Senior Center. I will travel alone to exotic places and have Roman Candle affairs with intriguing gentlemen who admire my chutzpah. I will show my legs and my cleavage until i have to search to find them. I will keep my own hours and sensibilities and habits. And i will throw my head back and laugh at the fact that i worried about being single at 50.

But until then, i will work my way thru this muddle; slightly disappointed at not having found, or been perfection to, someone in the second half of life, and yet slightly proud that i have found comfort in my own skin and with my own self. I will still keep an eye out for someone who makes me swoon, but i won’t lose any sleep when i don’t find them. I will feel pathetic sometimes, and then i will remember what i have had before, and what i have now, with others and with myself, and i will be thankful. I will wake myself snoring, and then remember that no one is complaining. (Thank God/Goddess/Universe that my dog doesn’t speak!) And if i visit the meat market (I will lie and tell myself that it’s just to people-watch), i will not buy anything unless it is well worth the price.

That last paragraph is a whole lot of wishful thinking.

But like most of life, it’s a “fake it til you make it” kind of thing. I will make these affirmations to myself over and over again until i am imbued with them and they become truth. Because realistically, having had both good marriages and bad, i know without a doubt that the one thing worse than being alone and lonely, is being a spouse and being lonely. And my selfish, spinster, sex-i-fied and sex-deprived self says screw that! I can have fun all by myself.

Take that any way you wish.