Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Here’s a sobering statistic:

56% of American’s over the age of 53 have been divorced or widowed.

I’m happily married, and my husband’s as healthy as a horse, but it got me thinking how so many seniors are being forced back into the dating game. I’d imagine the rules have changed since “the good old days,” when kissing was called necking, and sex was called—well, I haven’t a clue what they called it because I’m old, but not that old, and I have no intention of calling my mother to ask.

What is considered proper subject matter over the shared blue plate special at Denny’s on a Wednesday night? Is it okay for men to discuss erectile dysfunction and women their leaky bladders? Can men ask the question: real or fake? (Teeth, not breasts,) and women ask: Which is larger, your bank account or your…No, not that—and get your mind out of the gutter. I was going to say—his vacation home in Phoenix.

I did some research to see if there were books or articles on this serious matter that’s currently keeping me up at night, and this is what I dug up:

The first search sent me to a book on Amazon titled, Senior’s Guide to the Dating Game by Dr. Peter J. Shield. I have to say, the cover threw me because it showed a twenty-something woman standing in the ocean wearing a fuchsia colored maillot bathing suit and over-accessorized with sun glasses, a gold metal belt, and a colorful woven shawl. Nothing much senior about it, except, maybe, that shawl.

Dr. Shield’s bio said he was a retired archeologist who had been married 7 times. Who else but an archeologist can dig up a woman to marry that many times? His book was a lengthy 76 pages, one page for each year of the doctor’s life, and shared tips on how elderly men could pick up on sexy young chicks. The single Amazon review read, “Quite one of the most remarkable stories of sex and adventure of someone who’s obviously been there and done it all!”


That visual is less than appealing, and how much you want to bet the good doctor wrote his own review? Certainly it wasn’t from one of his half dozen ex-wives.

An additional search brought me to a senior website for online dating. It listed nine mistakes most men make on internet dating sites. I’m going to have to paraphrase here, because the information was copyrighted back in 2007 and there’s a strong chance the people I’d need to get permission from are all now dead.

1. Post a nice picture that reflects your style and sense of humor. Do not send pictures of your “privates.” (Didn’t they just say to send a picture that shows their sense of humor?) Women will ask if they want to see. (I swear that’s what it says.)

2. Women like an intelligent person, so take some time to make sure your profile contains proper spelling and grammar. (Unless you are rich. Just make sure you get the zeros correct.)

3. Because a woman likes a little class, don’t choose a name that has a sexual innuendo unless you are on an adult dating site. (Are they assuming the men are on a child-dating site?)

4. Don’t use negative words, women like a positive person.

5. Women can get up to 100 emails a day from all sorts of men, so put some thought into it. (Those are some popular seniors. I3 years ago I posted pictures of myself in a bikini and I only got 20.)

6. Show women that you’re a caring person by giving her a chance to talk about herself. (Would the hearing aid be on or off?)

7. If you are married don’t lie, tell them from the beginning. Woman can feel this. (How refreshing—an old married guy, on a dating site who’s going to be honest about his intentions.)

8. Don’t keep sending messages if a woman tells you she’s not interested. She can complain you are harassing her. (I guess this explains the 100 emails a day.)

9. Don’t pretend you are willing to fly half way round the world to meet someone you’ve met online. Are you really going to get out of the chair and go and meet them? (If the guy’s not willing to get out of his chair it’s pretty much going to put the kibosh on dating, period, whether the woman lives in France, or next door.)

And then there were some common sense tips listed.

1. Don’t post pictures more than 20 years old. (Darn!)

2. Try and do a background check on the people you meet online. TheBadge.org will do free background checks on convicted felons and married people who join their site. (Funny, rule #7 said to just be honest, and now they lump married men in with felons.)

3. Meet in a public place for the first date. There is much less likelihood that something will happen in a public place. (And if something had happened in a public place, he’d now be a felon, and you’d know about it from doing that background research.)

4. Con artists and predators are very skilled at getting the information they need. You can give information you never intended to give. (But you’d have to remember it first, and memory is the second thing to go.)

5. And finally, if something doesn’t feel right, don’t proceed. Listen to your hunch. It could keep you out of a lot of trouble.

Follow these rules and you will increase the chances that your online dating adventure will be a safe and memorable one.

Lord, am I glad I’m married!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I can’t figure out my TV remote, I can barely use a computer, and the only blue tooth I’m familiar with is what happens to your teeth when you don’t brush. And the whole Social Media phenomena? In the words of a New Yorker, forgetaboudit.

I understand the basic concept: To interact with family, friends, and perfect strangers. But here’s where it gets muddy—in an attempt to do what, exactly? Reconnect? Network? To share the details of my latest meal, complete with a before picture of what it looked like when it arrived, and a close-up of the last bite before the waiter took away the dirty plate and dusted the crumbs from the table cloth?

Social media as a way to get laid; now, to me, that makes perfect sense. In that situation a picture really is worth a thousand words. Sort of a, you show me yours and I’ll show you mine, (and I swear I wrote this post before the whole Weinergate debacle.)

Recently, I took a Social Media class, because one, people were suddenly speaking a language I didn’t understand, and two, my daughters told me they didn’t have time to call, and if I wanted to see what was happening in their lives I needed to friend them on Facebook.

And so, there I was, learning the ins and outs of Facebook, blogging, and Twitter. I even sent out my first tweet. Later that same afternoon, I went to work and bragged to my co-workers about my achievement. Only, I confused my past tense verbs and told them I twatted, instead of tweeted. Now there’s a strong chance Human Resources will be getting in touch with me to review the Sexual Harassment in the Workplace page of the work manual.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time necessary to keep up with all of it. I’m a nobody whose one step away from having to hire a social secretary to handle my correspondence with all these random strangers who suddenly are my “friends,”—few of whom I have anything in common with—like the man who’s a career diplomat, (I hate to tell him, but I wouldn’t know a diplomat from a laundromat) and those guys who follow me on Twitter and have that brewery in Texas, (I do, however, drink beer, so maybe I have something in common with them.)

I wonder if, years from now, someone will do a sociological study that reveals this new desperation to share our stories and connect with the world-at-large was due to a generation of children who felt their voices were never heard while growing up. Or maybe they had parents who never put up those god-awful grade school pictures on their living room walls, so they never felt seen. Maybe social media allows them the validation they lacked as a child, as they yammer on about the most ridiculous things and post those stupid pictures.

That’s all I have to say about social media, but stay tuned for my next blog. It’s going to be all about my extensive button collection, followed by a political rant and a religious tirade. I’ll get to it just as soon as I finish uploading to Facebook this terrific picture I took of myself facing the bathroom mirror.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


There’s an old expression that says: Don’t put the cart before the horse. It’s a saying that unless you’re at least a half century old probably makes little sense because the last time most of us saw a cart and horse together it was in a travel ad for Amish tourism and the cart was more than likely following behind. But in my era, (and yes, it was an era of the combustible engine) it meant doing things ass backwards.

Like planning where you’ll spend the honeymoon before you’ve gone on the second date, or sending off for a Harvard info packet when your kid is four years old and still in diapers. Or buying that size four dress for your high school reunion when you’re still a size six and the reunion is only weeks away. Not that I have of course, I’m just sayin’.

Yes, I’ve done things in the past equally as silly, but I’ve put a new label on it. I call it: “Visioning.”

Recently, when my husband and I were house shopping, my visioning made me suggest we purchase a home in a gated community to help guard against any obsessed crazy fans that might want to break into our home once I become a famous author. I believe it was he who used the term “cart before the horse,” right before he gave me a look that implied the only crazy to fear was me.

My other visioning involved being interviewed by Oprah on her show to promote my book. I’ll admit I even eyeballed some blue blouses at the department store because a Google search revealed blue looks good on TV. Never mind the fact I’ve never been published, nor seen my name in print—if you don’t count my birth certificate and those credit card bills. Plus, that vision is a total bust now that Oprah is off the air.

And I’ve wasted hours mentally reviewing what I’d say to Howard Stern on his radio show. I even had an emotional debate on whether or not to show him my breasts if he asked. The jury is still out, but if I’m not on his show soon there’s a good chance the point will be moot because I’m sure Howard is not interested in geriatric ta-ta’s, no matter how well preserved they are.

Now you’ll have to excuse me, I’m in the middle of another visioning moment. There’s a fabulous designer dress on Ebay that would look great on the red carpet when I get that Best Screenplay Oscar.

Monday, May 23, 2011


I admit it. I’m a chronic law breaker.

On any given day, I’ve been known to drive over the posted speed limit, dash across the street outside the perimeter of a crosswalk, or answer my cell phone without my hands-free attachment. And just the other day, I broke the law six times in less than sixty seconds by ripping off the “Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law” tags on some decorative pillows I’d purchased for my client.

Most laws are put into place to keep us safe from harm and to protect the lives of others. But there are many laws, both new and archaic, that are downright ridiculous. Here is a small sampling of some dumb laws:

It is illegal to sell peanuts in Lee County after sundown on Wednesday.
It is illegal to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church.
It is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle.
Boogers may not be flicked into the wind

Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship.
It is a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle unless the target is a whale.
Women may not drive in a house coat.

City Laws in California
You are not permitted to wear cowboy boots unless you already own at least two cows. (Are you permitted to wear them if you own at least two boys?)

A man can’t go outside while wearing a jacket and pants that do not match.

It is illegal to drive more than two thousand sheep down Hollywood Boulevard at one time. 

Indian Wells:
Drinking intoxicating cement is prohibited.

Palm Springs:
It is illegal to walk a camel down Palm Canyon Drive between the hours of four and six PM.

Los Angeles:
It is illegal for a man to beat his wife with a strap wider than 2 inches without her consent. (With her consent it’s considered S&M, which is also illegal.)
It is illegal to cry on the witness stand.
Toads may not be licked.
Zoot suits are prohibited.

It is illegal for a secretary to be alone in a room with her boss. (Is it legal for a boss to be alone in his room with his secretary?)

San Francisco:
Prohibits elephants from strolling down Market Street  unless they are on a leash.
Persons classified as “ugly” may not walk down any street.

It is illegal to sell your children.
A special law prohibits unmarried women from parachuting on Sunday or she shall risk arrest, fine, and/or jailing.
If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.
Men may not be seen publicly in any kind of strapless gown.
Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal.

One-armed piano players must perform for free.
Kisses may last for no more than five minutes.

City Laws:
Fort Madison:
The fire department is required to practice fire fighting for fifteen minutes before attending a fire.

Horses are forbidden to eat fire hydrants.

Within the city limits, a man may not wink at any woman he does not know.

Hollow logs may not be sold.
More than 8 women may not live in the same house because that would constitute a brothel.
It is illegal to use a lasso to catch a fish.

City Laws
It is illegal for a woman to call a man for a date.

Fayette County:
You may not have more than five inoperable vehicles on a piece of property. (Yeah, right.)

It is illegal for a woman to drive a car unless there is a man either running or walking in front of it waving a red flag to warn approaching motorists and pedestrians.
It’s illegal for frogs to croak after 11 PM.
Panhandlers must first obtain a $10 permit before begging on the streets of downtown Memphis.
Males may not be sexually aroused in public.

An ordinance forbids anyone to sing the song “It Ain’t Goin’ To Rain No Mo’.

It is illegal not to drink milk.
It is illegal to detonate any nuclear weapon.
Birds have the right of way on all highways.
A husband is responsible for every criminal act committed by his wife while she is in his presence.
No one may have sex in the back of an ambulance if it is responding to an emergency call…

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to run and make a citizen’s arrest. There’s a potential felony in progress between a labrador and a schnauzer on the front lawn of the school across the street.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Maybe it’s the hormones, or lack of them, but I have the most bizarre dreams. And not the prophetic kind you’d find in the Bible, like Jacob’s ladder or Pharaoh’s seven cows and heads of grain on a single sheath, a dream so profound he needed Joseph to interpret them. No, instead, mine are strange and defracted, with no meaningful correlation, sort of the Cirque du Soleil of dreams, and if they were ever interpreted I’d probably be committed.

One morning, in the early stages of writing the first draft of my memoir, I woke up after visiting the land of Nod with a vision that got my creative juices flowing. I dreamt I actually incorporated my nightly dreams onto the pages of my writing—and with brilliant effect.  And so, with pen and paper at the bedside, I recorded my nightly hallucinations upon waking each morning, sure the idea would make my book an instant bestseller.

Monday’s dream: I’m in a living room I don’t recognize that is over-filled with furniture. My daughter is a young child and has a cold. I wipe her runny nose with a tissue from my pocket, but instead of cleaning her face, the snot falls to the floor and instantly turns into scrambled eggs, which I sweep up with a broom I find in the corner of the room.

Tuesday’s dream: I’m in a deserted park, sitting in the passenger seat of an old VW bug, and a man is crying, begging me to marry him. The man is the comedian Tim Allen and he’s wearing a woman’s wig and a floral housecoat, and a shade of lipstick that doesn’t suit his complexion. I say no to the proposal.

Wednesday’s dream: The details are hazy, but it involved me, a bathtub, and a German Shepherd I swear was grinning.

Thursday’s dream: I’m stuck in a deep pit, sort of like that one from The Silence of the Lambs, with the character Eric, from the show Entourage. We take a brief pause from our escape efforts to make-out, before making a rope out of our hair and climbing out.

Friday’s dream: I’m hanging out with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This is possibly a continuation of a dream I had years ago (that my daughter’s will never let me live down.) In that particular dream I was dating the turtle Raphael. At least I think it was Raphael, all of those Ninja turtles look alike.

Saturday: I throw away the notebook, have two glasses of wine and some Nyquil so I can get a decent night’s sleep, and pray for a normal dream, the kind where someone is chasing me with a pick axe while wearing a mask of Ronald Reagan.

And to think—Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity was inspired by a dream.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


My poor husband is in pain. His back has gone out. I guess that’s what he gets when at our age he does something as strenuous as cliff diving and street luge, or in this case, lying on the floor with the dog watching Glee.

And as much as I miss him at night while he sleeps in the other room, the one with the firm mattress, I wonder if he has any clue about the amount of pain I have suffered through in the quest to stay looking young for him. (Okay, let me be honest…in the quest to stay looking young for ME.)

First, there was the “Lipo-dissolve,” guaranteed to dissolve the fat globules around the thighs and mid-section, a procedure where you are injected with some type of venomous poison that’s supposed to miraculously dissolve the unwanted fat, making you svelte and smooth. Instead, I returned home in more pain than is conceivably possible, swollen and puffed as a cream-filled donut, and tossed and turned for three nights straight, despite the Vicodin, while my beloved snored beside me. And the only thing it dissolved was the money in my checking account.

There was the Blue Chemical Peel, where blue dye is added to the acid they apply to your skin with the intent to smooth out the tiny lines and wrinkles. The dye is necessary so the doctor can monitor how deep the acid is permeating, lest they let it go too deep and you wind up looking like the Two-Face character in The Dark Knight Batman movie where DA Harvey Dent gets his face burned off. My husband missed that lovely experience where I was as blue-green as a lizard for twelve days until the outer layers of my skin peeled off in shriveled tendrils. And the reason he missed it was because he wasn’t my husband yet, and there is a good chance he never would have been if he’d seen me. That experience was so painful the procedure is done with full anesthesia. I vaguely remember someone in the operating room shouting at me to “keep breathing!”  FYI, the wrinkles are still there but the memory of the pain lingers.

Laser hair removal, billed as “painless,” was anything but. I left there hair free, but with burn marks in the shape of a heart around my…bikini line. I should have known there was going to be some pain involved when the technician handed me a tennis ball to squeeze and a box of tissues. That procedure is one that actually works, but I might have reconsidered if someone ever told me there are certain body parts—that as we age—are better off left hidden.

The plucking, the tweezing, the waxing, the pre-op, the post-op, and everything in-between, there is nothing painless about trying to stay looking young. Now excuse me while I head out for my monthly botox, and Honey, hand me your Percocet.