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Showing posts from 2010

Measure twice, cut once

I hate to admit it, and I probably wouldn't if so many of my friends are...well, let's say that getting older and making stupid mistakes seems to be happening more frequently. Please note that I want you all to know that I, for one, have made stupid mistakes on many occasions throughout my life. But, okay, I admit it, I'm making more stupid mistakes now. My friends are making more mistakes.

And here's what I think. What I think is, we don't think. We're used to acting on certain things without giving those actions much thought because in the past they never seemed to require that "moment's pause." Even if we screwed up in the past we didn't fear it was a trend. We didn't think it would happen again. There was a confidence in what we did.

But the other day as a friend of mine made what she acknowledged was a stupid mistake and began to recount a series of them over the past few days which then prompted me to recall a series of my own stupid…

The older, the bolder...

It's been a while. Went to the city (wait, just because I know what "the city" means doesn't mean everyone does). NYC. Manhattan. My home town. No, that's a lie. Growing up I was just a Manhattan wannabe. I grew up in The Bronx. Got married and moved to The Brooklyn. I know it's not "The" Brooklyn but I never have figured out why my particular borough is the only one with a The.

I digress. This is about my getting bolder as I grow older. Here's an example from last week in the city. I went to an Ebook seminar offered through mediabistro.com which is a super site and has a twice daily email about all things media. Now 25 years ago, while I might have attended such a seminar (I know, I know-there wouldn't have been an  ebook seminar back then) but anyway I would have been nervous. I would have wanted someone to attend with me. I would have dreaded that awkward feeling I used to have of being a stranger in a strange place. I'm basically shy…

Why are older women "cougars" and older men..."lucky"?

To set my family's minds at ease I'm not a "cougar". But...I just find it damn offensive that older women who are interested or involved with younger men get labeled. And you can argue that a cougar is not a derogatory term but why don't older men who are into younger women (take that as a double entendre if you like) have a label? Why do these guys get winks and slaps on the back from their pals? I think even younger men look up to them. They're probably thinking - hey, look what's out there waiting for me when I get "old". 


Too many older women get dumped by their husbands who then take up with a younger model. I know, I know - you can call it a cliche but really it got to be a cliche because it does happen so often. And isn't it downright eerie that so often these older guys literally find a younger woman who looks so like their once young wives? 


Is it sex? Do these older guys want hot young babes so they can have hotter sex lives? But how…

Can't do this? Do that.

I admit it. Sometimes my mind drifts into all the things I can no longer do. I watch my grandchildren and they move with such ease and flexibility. They seem almost boneless. I chat with my grown kids and they're making plans for their future and they seem to have so much of it. And it reminds me of when I was their age and there were always discussions about what we'd do, where we'd go, and while time was a factor I, too, felt like we had plenty of it.

Then there are all the commercials. I hate commercials. Who doesn't? But it's a toss up for me whether the commercials focused on "young" people are better or worse than those for "seniors." Commercials aimed at the older generation are always pushing pills, ointments, rejuvenating products (please- the only folks that get rejuvenated are the ones selling these products and taking our money to the bank!).

All I can say is thank God for the DVR - I can avoid commercials most of the time.

I think I…

Peter Pan didn't quite have the right idea...

Peter Pan was into the whole bit of not wanting to ever grow up. I feel the opposite - I want to grow up. There are those who would say I have grown up....a long, long time ago. But really when are we finished growing up? Is there a specific age? I remember desperately wanting to grow up when I was a kid because there were so many things I was told I couldn't do until I grew up! Naming just a few -staying up as late as my big sister, watching certain shows on TV or the movies, going to the store around the corner by myself. Then as a teen there were more stuff I couldn't do until I grew up. First there was dating, then when I was a bit older it became being alone in my parents' home or my boyfriends' home without a parent present (hah, like any of us listened to that!). Then came being old enough to leave home for college, then to marry, to have children.

So I guess I was finally grown up when I had my children. But really I didn't feel so grown up. And I didn'…

Five bucks may not get you a latte but...

A while back my son decided to take one of my thrillers and do a clever video and create an ebook for it. He had to have a new cover made and when I saw it I was quite impressed. I assumed he knew someone in the biz who did it for him and didn't charge much because I knew at the time he didn't want to over-invest. Recently I decided to take 3 of my mysteries that were never published in the English language (if you read German you can get them all!) and put them up as ebooks on Amazon. I needed covers for all three. I called my son and asked him who did the cover for CHAIN REACTION and when he explained there was this site called Fiverr.com a whole new world opened for me. An amazing world of commerce and opportunity. OMG, what you can buy for five bucks! Not only an awesome ebook cover (check out the three I had done by a fantastic guy named Eddie-all for $15.) but  almost anything else you can imagine. Talk about a "freelance life" to harken back to my last entry. …

Finally...A Freelance Life

I know there are people out there who look forward to retirement and even enjoy it once it comes. I talk to these people wanting to know what's so great about not working. Not working, they usually say for starters. Then comes travel, visiting the grand-kids, golf, tennis. Dig a bit deeper and they'll say no responsibilities, no obligations...well, you get the picture. You may even be living and loving the picture.

But for me...forget the money involved in all those "fun" retirement activities-it just seems...well either a hassle or dull. I'm not the only one in my age group who still wants to feel connected and productive, have a focus. And yes, make some money. I'm not saying you need to earn money from what you do. Plenty of my friends do volunteer work and feel useful, connected, etc. But plenty of us, myself included, like the idea of making money for the things we do. 

So what do we do? As a writer I guess I've been living a freelance life for a lo…

Whatever happened to the simple vibrator?

Okay, what comes to your mind when I say "rabbit"? I'll just guess it's the same thing that comes to my mind- a cute little furry animal with tall pointy ears. Now what if I combined the word "rabbit" with the words "sex toy"?

 I don't know about the rest of you older gals but until yesterday I would have had a blank look on my face.

The things you can learn from your kids. That could have been the title to today's blog. But I figured "vibrator" is more of a grabber!

My son enlightened me. He's a film and video producer and yesterday I got to view a video he produced in which four  professional, attractive young women are discussing the pros and cons (well there weren't any cons in this case) of a new sex toy on the market-Orgasm in a Box for Her. I won't go into details (although I imagine some of you readers might want me to) but lets just say it consisted of a mini device the girls  called a "bullet"...

L…

Do We Ever Leave The Playground?

I'm at the playground again. I have fleeting memories of being at the playground as a child - all metal and hard edges - swings, seesaw, slide - vying for my turn, being pushed, pushing, crying to my mommy, trying to play with kids that didn't want to play with me...You get the picture. Many of you have been there yourself.

Spin the clock forward a quarter of a century. I'm back at the playground. It's a nicer playground - wood structures, rubber mats, safer, prettier. I'm a young mom and I've got an infant and a four year old little boy. I now have two focuses of interest and attention - my child and how he's doing out here - and my peers and how I'm doing out here. I see my son casing the joint, figuring where he wants to go, where he feels a bit uneasy, who he will join, who he'll stay clear of. It isn't really about the equipment. It's about the social interactions. I could probably have learned a lot more then than I did about how my fo…

Let Me Count the Days

It used to be I defined my days into two groups - work days, weekends. Easy. I remember the joy of Fridays, the depression setting in by Sunday night, that Monday morning feeling of dragging myself out of bed to start a new day. It was a long time ago that I had a traditional "job" - nine to five, what a way to make a living. Not that I didn't like what I did because I did. My work as a psychotherapist, especially when I was quite young and worked in the prison system, was fascinating, sometimes rewarding, on a few occasions downright scary...But I digress. My point here is that I was well-grounded in the days of the week. I never had to stop and think, what day is this? There was a rhythm to the days, they rose and fell like a graph on a chart.

But then I started my writing career quite a few years back and the days of the week got a bit jumbled. I didn't write on a 9 to 5 schedule. I didn't have a specific rhythm. I didn't have the pressure of a boss, excep…

This is very confusing

It started this morning. I'm addicted to Masterpiece Mysteries (no wonder since I've written mystery novels for umpteen years) and this latest series is based on a Swedish mystery series that I've followed over the years. A bit of a SPOILER here if anyone is going to watch "WALLANDER" starring Kenneth Branagh. Ken has aged quite nicely. I find him quite attractive and it's admittedly part of why I watch the series although to give it its due I like dark, melancholy mysteries. So I'm watching the show and, yes, noticing how very attractive Ken is and then his father, i.e. the Wallender character's father dies. And Ken is standing at his dad's grave site and I notice the dates on the father's gravestone- mind you, this dad had looked damn old, almost decrepit - and I see he was born only eight years before me! And I start calculating in my head...

OMG! Kenneth Branagh could be young enough to be my son. And that starts a flurry of names running …

You Look Good...For Your Age

When did that start? I remember the times someone would say, Hey, you look good. Maybe at a wedding, after a long time no see, whatever. Whether you were once a beauty or not, you've all heard it. You look good. So when did the tag-on...for your age...begin? Forties? Fifties? Sixties? And beyond? And why is it on the one hand I take it as a compliment when I get the tag-on, and other times it leaves me feeling annoyed? Are we only supposed to look good when we're young and then when we get older we need the tag on because older people aren't supposed to look good anymore?


Men get the tag on, too, but I'm willing to bet not as often as women. I hear women and other men tell my husband, "you look good". It might be because he's lost some weight, is wearing a nice sweater, has a bit of color from the sun, whatever. But I can't tell you how many times I get the "You look good...for your age."  I get it from people my age but I especially get it …

It's a new world after all

I don't think my husband and I are the only ones. I'm talking about our relationships with our parents once we, the kids, were adults. I'm not going to get into individual issues here because I'm thinking of the whole not the parts. And the whole is that we never really viewed our parents as people. They started out and always remained our parents. We loved our parents, we saw our parents, we kept them up to date about general stuff but we didn't really have a relationship with them. An adult relationship. We didn't talk about real issues, emotions, concerns. I can't think of any of my friends back then doing it either.

I'm struck by the change I see in my relationship with my grown children. We do talk about real stuff. It's not that we don't respect each others' privacy and it's certainly not that we share everything. But there's not this sense of editing what we say or do. We're not wary or distrustful of each other. There'…

Friends With Benefits

We were at a gathering and I heard someone say the problem with some of these internet dating sites is that the guys are often looking for a friend with benefits rather than a girlfriend. A lot of us knew what she meant but one woman was perplexed. It was one of the men in the group who explained it to her. The guy wants a woman who he can have sex with and not feel any responsibility, obligation, commitment, or romance. Forget about love, he added. The thing is he didn't seem to think it was such a bad arrangement. In fact, several of the men found the idea enticing. No big surprise there. Of course, one of the wives gave her husband one of those looks and said even if you were single you'd too old to find a friend with benefits. But several of the women disagreed. They thought there were a lot of women our age who were single who would take him or any of the men in the room up on such an offer (if they were also single, she emphasized).

I was a bit surprised. Until they basi…

Older can be better

The plusses of being older don't spring to my mind without some effort which is why I'm focusing on the plusses first. This will be followed by the much easier task of listing the negatives.

Here are my 10 top positives:

1. Senior price at the movies (which means you have to purchase the tickets for your under sixty friends. I draw the line at anyone under 50.)

2. At my gourmet grocer, Monday, Tues, and Wed. are Senior Days which means I get !0% off on my groceries. (I was pretty excited about this and actually asked for the discount one week before my 65th birthday. The boy behind the counter asked me for proof and it wasn't because he thought I looked way younger than 65 he was just a butt-head. And when he saw I had one week to go he actually refused to give me the discount.

3. Sticking with my grocery store theme, it's always a plus when the cashier actually does comment that  you look too young to be 65. Of course there are the times they don't say a word and …

If It rains...put on a raincoat

This morning before I opened my gmail I was a woman filled with optimism. Here's how I saw it. First, I was going to win the fantabulous giveaway apartment on the 35th floor of the W Hotel and Residences courtesy of HGTV's Urban Oasis contest. I entered at least twice. And when my husband pessimistically pointed out that even if I won it I'd have to be zillions in taxes and zillions in maintenance, and besides he didn't like the way it had been decorated and we wouldn't have the money to redecorate, did I let him rain on my parade? Absolutely not. I blithely pointed out that I had also entered the American Express Sweepstakes where first prize was one million dollars. I would use the mil to pay the taxes etc. etc. on my posh NYC getaway pad. Oh, and my agent was excited about my new manuscript and we were anticipating (well, that's an exaggeration) all great responses. I fantasized a major book deal, etc.

So, I was going to have a swank pad at the W, one millio…

If You Can't Live With the One You Love...

My friends and I have had this discussion a number of times. What if...? We're superstitious so we don't want to verbalize actually losing our spouses. Instead we just say what if we found ourselves without them. What would we do? Eventually find another man? Well, who are we kidding? Older women have a hell of a lot harder time finding another man than men have finding another woman. And often enough it's another woman who's more likely than not "younger."

But even if we could find another man... We all thought about it. Meeting another man. Dating. Living together. Maybe even remarrying. It was curious. It sounded hard. It didn't sound like fun. It sounded like work. And if we couldn't live with the one we loved, well, did we really want to live with someone new? Someone with different quirks? Different habits? Different, period? A few of us decided we'd rather live alone. A few of us decided we'd rather live with each other, live with our c…

Life Support

So I was in a local bookstore (almost an acronym) yesterday and I was passing by the "Aging" section when a book title caught my eye. LIFE SUPPORT. Naturally I knew what the book was about but it got me thinking about my own concept of "life support." What and who do I need and want at this time in my life for support. It's not like I haven't always needed life support. Don't we all? But I don't think I gave it all that much conscious thought until now. I was busy with getting my career(s) off the ground, being a wife and a mom, getting together with friends. They were all important to me, they are all still important to me but now being older and having my support group all grow older, the relationships have changed, deepened, and have taken on greater value. I have to say my kids top the list. Don't get me wrong, I am far from slighting my husband who was been my rock, my support, my enduring love from the very start and continues to be all of…

I'm of an age...

All of a sudden I'm "of an age". At least that's what people keep telling me. It usually goes along with some issue re: health problem. eg. My back is killing me, I'll tell a friend and she'll nod sagely and say, We're of an age, sweetie. Well, I had backaches in my 20's, 30's etc, etc. and no one said we're of an age. I suppose if I get a cold, a headache, a splinter in my toe now it'll be because I'm of an age. Now it may be true I'm of an age although the implications are depressing.

But maybe it doesn't have to be. Can't I be of an age to be politically incorrect, maybe even socially incorrect? Can't I be of an age to do something wild (if I can come up with something wild)? I think I'm of an age to not go to functions I don't want to go to. I'm of an age to speak my mind. I'm of an age to be crabby, whine, act out if I feel like it.

In short, if I'm of an age I want to get the most out of it I c…

I'm either too old or too young for this

Okay, I know I'm not the only sixty-plus woman out there who's hooked on "American Idol." For one thing two of my girlfriends are equally hooked. But when we admit this to other friends we always make sure to add "we never vote." As one of my fellow addicts would say only the kids vote, mostly girls around the age of fourteen. I thought this was true.

So, here's what I don't understand. A few days ago - this is even more embarrassing than being an Idol watcher - I went with a friend to see a Taylor Hicks concert about 45 minutes from home. I'm making a point about how close it was and you'll see why in a minute. For those who don't know Taylor Hicks, a guy, was the A.I. winner a few years back - I do sort of lose track but it has absolutely nothing to do with faulty memory (well, it does but I don't like to admit it). So my friend (who will remain nameless because I don't out my friends) and I get to this cute venue that holds 32…

Facebook for the "elderly"

Okay, so today I go on Facebook and I glance over at the ads along the side and I see HELP WITH ALZHEIMER'S, WHAT TO DO ABOUT JOINT PAIN...I stopped there. Now I know that these ads are specifically geared to the person who's on their own site, so "they (probably some very young theys) know who I am, how old I am, and put ads up they think will be pertinent to me. And so let me tell you those ads are damn depressing and irritating. Okay sure I've had aches and pains, and like my real friends and my "friends" in BETTER LATE I admit the conversation of Alzheimer's does come up, but really I don't want to be pitched ads about this stuff. I felt so young and hip when I joined Facebook, so with it, I even joined Twitter and I'm blogging for godsake. Wake up you kids working at Facebook. I want YOUNG ads. I want ads about the latest designer wear even if I don't wear designer clothes. I want ads about hip bars and resorts. I'm on Facebook so I …

To diet or not to diet...

When I hit sixty I really had to decide, purely related to vanity, had I reached an age where what the hellĖ† I could let myself go...meaning eat, drink, be merry because let's face it time is getting shorter.. Or was I going to be one of those "seniors" who was going to keep myself in check, try to look good (good as in as thin as I could manage). I've switched positions endless times since then - when I'm in a stuff my face mood I think of Ginger Rogers (did you ever see photos of her when she was a "senior"?) Even the eternally beautiful Catherine DeNeuve has gotten a bit chunky. So what if I put on a few pounds and then a few more etc.? Then I get invited to some function and I have to go shopping. I don't care who it is, if you are or feel fat, shopping is excruciating. Even if I find something that fits it looks like ^%*% on me. When I meet my friends for lunch, we're all "watching what we eat". We're all always watching what …

So it begins...

Being a sixty something author I was encouraged by my thirty-something son who's a producer, director, writer, etc. to write a book about what really goes on with women my age. After all, he said in not these words, you and your friends aren't over the hill. And it's true. I don't feel "old". Romance, sex, intimacy, friendship...they're all still very much a part of my life, my friends' lives. But with a twist. We've got grown kids, some of us have grand-kids, elderly parents. We've got health issues, fears, unfulfilled dreams and time is definitely more of an issue for us.  In short, we've got issues that weren't a factor in our lives before. When we lunch our conversations run the gamut of all these issues. But none of us are done with romance, sex, passion, fantasy. If you're in your sixties you know. If you haven't gotten there yet, you will find out...

So I spent the greater part of the past year writing this manuscript ab…