Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Senior Sex(less) and the City: a Final Word...Um, Okay, Maybe a Whole Lot of Them

Lest you think I’ve been mean talking about the odd men I’ve met, be assured that I have left out a lot. For example, I have it on good authority that one of the ones I poked fun of a bit has had two restraining orders placed against him by old girlfriends. Scary. But I leave out a lot of other stuff as well…like the good ones. Fortunately they are everywhere, but they are simply not that funny. And even if a guy is great, it doesn’t automatically mean I’m attracted to him. Or him to me, certainly. And sad to say, there very well could be some man writing about me somewhere. I’m sure I would fall under several undesirable lists.

I did briefly think about writing about some of the single women I’ve observed. And although there are definitely the clingy types and the man-haters and the sort of scary ones, the bottom line is that it forced me to think about which categories I would fit into. And that is just not fun at all.

One happy discovery I’ve made is that, contrary to what those infamous dating ads suggest, all men of a certain age do not necessarily want younger women. In fact, I’ve met a surprising number of men who don’t seem to mind older women at all and one who actually prefers his women on the mature side. Really.

I also met a man who was funny and witty and handsome and oh my the air around him felt right and he just smelled good. But our meeting was far too brief. Since then I haven’t run into him again. Sure hope I do in the future.

Here are a few others I’ve left out. When I complained about my deck falling in (it was structurally unsound in the first place, and now it’s literally crashing in), one very nice man offered to come over and fix it. Several times. I haven’t felt right taking him up on the offer, but people like him make me feel happy about humanity.

When another one heard that a woman’s ex husband broke in and hit her, he was there to help her and drive her to the hospital. He bought groceries for a woman who couldn’t afford them (because it is absolutely shocking how impoverished Missouri law leaves some women in divorce cases). He then got her in touch with the correct social service agencies to help her get future meals and medical care. Whenever a woman shows up in his single’s group looking devastated, he goes out of his way to make her feel at home. Oh, I suppose some might call him a rescuer, but he is always a gentleman of the finest order and truly a good human being whom I admire a great deal. Here is a real-life Superman in a world that desperately needs heroes.

I started to write about another I called Down in the Dumped Dude, who said he’d had two spouses run off with other men (presumably not the same one). What made me ache was that I witnessed him telling all of this to a woman who may well have run off from a few spouses herself. I started to wax on about how affairs are no more about sex than brownies are about hunger for a lot of people; they are often about self esteem. In many cases, it’s not so much the sex that the dedicated non-monogamous lust after, but the sexy—that is, the need to feel sexually validated by as many people as possible. And I still think that’s true for many serial cheaters, just as it’s absolutely necessary to be an accomplished liar in order to cheat successfully. But I also know that adultery is a roiling stew with far too many complex ingredients for me to tackle with just a taste. So…forget that one. Besides, I’m happy to report that “Down” seems to have found someone who is perfect for him, and he seems neither down…nor likely to be dumped.

I wanted to write about bad hair. Bad hair is funny. But fortunately toupees no longer look like a piece of greasy black road kill that decided to expire on the side of a bald guy’s head. And although I did see a dye job that was apparently done on Pandora and glowed with a radioactive half-life (it was an odd yet vibrant color), the worst hair I can think of is Donald Trump’s. For pete’s sake, can’t the man buy new hair? But I also get quite a shock when I get a look at my own. Oops. No more hair jokes, people! That’s just mean!

And I couldn’t bring myself to write about a man I met who has an obvious mental illness. I’ve been close to someone with a mental illness—I find that an awful lot of women who write have—and that kind of illness is no more funny than diabetes. Okay, maybe this particular guy’s was just a little. BUT I’d take an obvious imbalance of brain chemicals any day over their truly dangerous counterpart who’s not nearly so easy to spot: the sociopath.

But I’ll save that one for another day. Suffice it to say that every single man I’ve mentioned here is worth far, far more than one of those—with the possible exception of those I suspect could very well be sociopaths themselves.

Fortunately for me, I am genuinely blessed with wonderful children and friends. Although society seems to dictate that we are somehow incomplete without a spouse, I simply don’t agree. Whether I meet someone and fall in love again or not doesn’t bother me too much, honestly. I am having far more fun than I had twenty-five years ago. Again, really. Why? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go back, but go back knowing everything you know now?

Yup. It might be in a much older, fatter, and wrinklier package, but…I’m back.

The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy.  What a caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly. ~Richard Bach, Illusions.


  1. So, this IS the prelude to your upcoming Nano, right? Your writing never ceases to amaze me. Never stop, even if you stumble upon Mr. Maybe, fall head over hills for Mr. Right or socialize Mr. Sociopath (yeah, like that could happen).

  2. Hi Tammy,
    What a thought-provoking post. I agree with Linda; you are an amazing woman and writer.
    You're doing NaNo? Now I really am impressed.
    Donna V.

  3. "But fortunately toupees no longer look like a piece of greasy black road kill that decided to expire on the side of a bald guy’s head." Okay this made me laugh so hard I had to go to the bathroom, :D

    You know I think you are great.
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  4. Hey Tammers. Loved this....so what'cha gonna write about next?! Can't wait to see...and read!

  5. Since you aren't really looking for a man, that probably means you'll find one right around the bend. Mr. Right always seems to walk in when you least expect it. Good luck with your NaNo!

  6. Sorry, Donna, you'll have to stop being impressed...I'm not planning to participate in NaNo. But I am very touched that Linda apparently thinks I could!!! Thanks, Linda! :)

    Jules, I really did see a toupee that looked just like that. It was slipping off his head and everything. Fortunately it was about 15 years ago.

    Thanks, Bec. I do have something in mind, as a matter of fact. Stay tuned....

    That's true Lisa! And thanks for the good wishes, but see above!


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