December 30, 2006

Do men have Bond envy?

Just got back from seeing Casino Royale, the new James Bond movie, with some friends. I was thinking that maybe men secretly yearn to be Bond, that dashing and handsome agent who always gets the bad guys, fights but never gets really hurt, and always easily woos the most beautiful women. Imagine a life where you guys succeed at your job and the women you desire never say no?

There was every guy-movie cliche, from a death by bullet and another by drowning in a bathroom sink before the credits,the chase high up in scaffolding, the chase through the jungle, and the first view of the first exotically beautiful woman at the beach in a skimpy swim suit climbing off a white horse. Still it was a fun movie to watch and that new James Bond? Ah, the chest, the abs, the pecs, and the deep blue eyes! No, I'm not drooling, thank you, but he was something to look at, for sure. Yet, he was the epitome of the "bad boy" whose charms we have learned to avoid, the cold unattainable hunk that woos us even though we know better. Another of the stunningly beautiful women, coincidentally the one he worked with to catch the terrorists, said that he thought of women as "disposable pleasures instead of meaningful pursuits." We need to remember that phrase when the next "bad boy" shows up in our lives, ladies.

So my dear single women friends, here's to a year of good health, great movies, lots of time with each other, and the wisdom to know the difference between the "bad boys" and the really good men.

December 29, 2006

Another year older and....

It's my birthday, you know, and what a day! My day started with a phone call at 5:15 a.m. that woke me up but I couldn't find the phone in time to answer it and couldn't go back to sleep. It was a tough day at work, ending me losing and then finding checks worth more than I can count and then I had the pleasure of seeing probably the year's best movie with a woman friend who is really like a soul-sister to me...I just feel really good.

I'm older...People keep wishing me a Happy New Year and I keep saying, wait, it's my birthday...It's a strange time of year to have a b'day, after Christmas and Hanukah and before New Years when everyone is tired and out of money and low on energy and just wanting to coast...But it was one of my happiest ones ever.

An old boyfriend emailed and wrote that he hoped I find what I am looking for in the New Year. It made me realize that, for the first time in memory, I am no longer "looking" for anything, but enjoying my life and just willing to experience what it brings me next. I am just content with what I have and who I am. Not that I've found the answers to all of life's questions, but maybe I no longer need to know. And that I just am so very happy with what I have right now. This minute. Lovely place to be, just lovely.

I had several different birthday celebrations with women friends this year, lucky me. Each a happy and joyful time, especially last night with the WOW ladies. I look around at the women in the group and just marvel at how different they are, yet how they each embrace their life and their womanliness so passionately. And how they seem to relish the company of other women so openly and joyfully.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I am happy. Life for me this year has been difficult at work and personally, but I am happy. Happy to be alive to feel pain and joy, happy that I have my sight and my hearing and my intellect, happy to have old friends that have loved me through fun and tough times and new friends that I am growing to love. Happy that my daughter is living a good and rich life and that my grandchildren are my greatest pleasure. Happy that my son-in-law takes good care of them and surprised me with a new wireless computer keyboard and mouse all set up and ready to go. Happy that I have a job that is fulfilling and provides for my needs. Happy that I'm alive.

Kinda corny, I know. But am I looking to find what I want? No, I have everything I need and am rich beyond measure. Thanks to all of you for celebrating this birthday with me - I treasure the memories of your smiles and laughs and hugs.

December 26, 2006

Wanna be a chick magnet?

OK, I admit I’m on Vicodin, having pulled something in my back wrapping Christmas presents. Don’t laugh, it happens. But now I’m in the mood, drugged though it is, to tell you guys using online dating sites how to get a woman. I know, you’re old enough to know how, but is it working?!? Ever think about how what you’re doing just isn’t getting you the lady of your dreams? Listen, it’s sooooo easy, so really easy to get us to want you, but if I tell you, will you get it?!? In the interest of all single women out there, I have to try. Here goes:

1) First, when you read a profile you like, don’t do that “icebreaker” or “flirt” thing, you know the ones that have a cute ready-made line (“I’m looking for a serious relationship, are you?” or “We have a lot in common – don’t you agree?”) and you just click on it and it goes to us. Geez, I hate that! Make up something! Say something about our profile that will make us think you actually read it and liked us from what you read. There’s that one that says, “I like your profile – how do you like to be contacted?” Is that just so moronic?!? Be original, I beg you. And stop all of that serial browsing – our pictures aren’t up there just to be looked at! We actually want to meet you, so write to us after you read our profile. What have you got to lose?!?

2) Put your picture on your profile. A nice, smiling picture that makes you look happy and handsome. Not a picture of your motorcycle. We know that men in their 50s have some need we don't understand to ride those things, but we want to believe you guys have grown up, even if you haven’t. No pictures of other women, even your secretaries. OK, a picture of your dog, I can live with that.

3) Be positive! Say upbeat things! Talk about yourself like you like yourself, but don’t go on and on and on forever about how fabulous you are and what your friends say about you. And we don’t want to read a list of the 50 things you don’t like about women. Say nice things about women. Make us believe you like women. Understand? And that guy who wrote a list of 25 books he read with the reasons they are his favorites or the guy who wrote a list of two dozen of his favorite one-liners? Don’t do that. I don’t have to explain this, just don’t. And use spell check, I beg you. Please!

4)OK, once you write to us and say nice things about us and say you’d like to meet us and we give you our phone number, just call us at a reasonable hour. Don’t ask, “what time should I call?” We like men with balls, don’t be a baby about this, just do it.

5) This is the most important. This, alone, will make you a chick magnet. I should charge money for this, but its value cannot be calculated. How much would you pay to have women adoring you and showing you cleavage? This is so simple, I beg you to take it seriously. I have told several guy friends about this and it has changed their lives. Even the drinker and smoker with bad skin had a date with different women every night of the week after he took this seriously, I kid you not. Ready? Here it is: Listen. OK, you’ve heard that before, I know, but I mean listen to learn. You guys are visual, see if you can picture this. When she is talking, it is like she is sitting on a chair with a spotlight on her. It is your job to keep the spotlight on her – every time you start talking about yourself, it takes the spotlight away from her. Keep her talking. Ask questions about what she is saying. Listen to learn. Let me say that again, listen to learn. Don’t be that guy who called me last night and talked for twenty minutes straight about himself and I thought, it doesn’t matter who he is talking to, he doesn’t care that he is talking to me. Trust me, I won’t be meeting that guy. Since you really want to meet us, act like you mean it. Act like there is something about us you really like and that you want to get to know us better. You don’t have to convince us you are fabulous – if you listen to us this way, we’ll believe it all on our own.

Hopefully, when the drug wears off, I won't regret writing this. It wasn't too bad, was it? Really, I just want you guys to relax, be brave, have courage, and go for what you want. You really might get it.

December 25, 2006

Personal ads....

I'm pretty much past the break-up and the swarm of emotions that come with it...I think of him fondly now, but know he's not for me. After him breaking up with me five, yes five, times, you'd think I'd get it?!? So I've been perusing personal ads to see what's out there - I'm not really so ready to date again, but if someone looked and sounded really good to me, maybe I'd go for it.

At the same time, just like when I was between relationships before, I'm geting those emails about my penis size. Now don't panic, I don't actually have one, but clearly those companies that email me don't know that. Although I have no current connection with anyone's penis, the advertisers seems to think that I can use products like the one that says it's a "100% tested effective penis enlargement device" that will give "permanent results, correct penis curvature, easy to wear in privacy with no additional exercises, and developed by a Medical Doctor," all with a money back guarantee. Do you guys really need this stuff? Is there something we women don't know? My favorite one has this in the email subject line,"Is your Dick can't stand up & not hard enough?" Geez, I don't think I'll ever have that problem and, if I'm with a guy who does, I probably shouldn't be the one to tell him!

What's up with the personal ads? Seems like the ladies talk about their children, how their family is important to them, that they appreciate men who think for themselves and are kind and, of course, seek men who will hold their hand while walking on the beach. They use words like witty, bright, creative, charming and say that they're seeking a man with humor, intelligence, and sensitivity. All and all, these ladies look really good, like women I'd really want as my friends and imagine that guys must be knocking down their door. Or their computer, at least.

And the guys seem quite different. They talk at length about sports, their jobs, how they want a woman who will wear jeans and dress up in that little black dress with heels. Many of them say that they want a woman who is beautiful inside and out, describe what their dress size should be, and how the woman should be be willing to participate in the activities that they like. The women show pictures of their children and the men should pictures of their cars and Harleys. The women ask for men near their age, a few years younger or older, and the 58-year-old guys ask for women between 30 and 45.

I wish we could just say what we really feel, that we yearn for someone to love us and accept us and treat us like we are the best thing to happen to them. That we want to be held and cuddled and get flowers for no reason. That we want great sex with someone who is tender and sensuous. That we enjoy our lives and our friends but that we want our last love and we want it soon so that we have lots of time to enjoy the beautiful life we can create together. Maybe we really all want the same thing.

December 21, 2006

A visit from Karolee Austin...

I went to Leon's Conversations again tonight in a quest to keep me from my strong desire to crawl under my covers and not come out until spring. Kinda experiencing a combination of the holiday blues, the upcoming birthday and its reminder of my mortality, the usual end of the year regrets, and the rest of the break-up emotions. Plus, it would be a good source of material for the blog, what with a room full of 50+ singles who are, at best, odd and quirky and strange.

So, we were treated to a presentation by Karolee Austin, owner of No-Waiting-Dating. I'm almost afraid to bring back memories of that fateful time when we met Karolee and participated in an unforgetable hour of meeting eleven guys who had four minutes each to wow us and instead talked about themselves, lied about themselves, and generally made us want to never go back to an event like that again.

But Karolee had something significant to say to us with her topic "Five Steps to Find a Perfect Match." She suggested that we re-evaluate, or throw out, our lists of nonnegotiables; open ourselves to less than perfect men, not judge a book by its cover, and give the seemingly less desirable men a chance; be feminine and leave our toughness at work, that our femininity will allow men to be more manly and confident; and look at what men bring to the table, instead of what they don't. She said that we women have the power in relationships and that we "magnetize" men with our "manner, scent, body, and voice;" that we don't hunt for love, but attract love; and that an imperfect match may be perfect.

The men were a bit cynical and sarcastic, but I think it was really their frustration showing. They asked, what about if the woman asks the guy for his phone number but won't give him hers, does that mean she doesn't want him? (How about we check it out and not assume?) Are men really "hard wired" to seek much younger women? (Or maybe they just read too many Playboys?) Is LA a place where anyone can really find love? (Maybe if we are more "real" then others will be, too?) Or that it's really good for us singles to have somewhere to go to meet someone who will make us miserable. (Ouch.)

What did I take away from this? That I like being single, that it would be nice to have a guy around but it's not necessary, and that the best indicator of whether a guy is right for me is really simple. When we're together, I can really just be me. My quirky, silly, smart, powerful, sexy self. Me.

December 16, 2006

Cruisin' WOW Style

As promised, here are some of the pix from our recent WOW weekend cruise to Mexico. There's something about women pals, how we laugh and giggle and gossip and relate to each other on a deep level, just because we're all women...

December 14, 2006

The way we love....

Breaking up is hard to do. Sounds like a song title. Gotta go through all the stages, like denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. There should be a pill for this. I know, I know, there's a lesson to be learned from every experience, bad ones and good ones. Did I say there should be a pill for this?

I read that we have something like 60,000 thoughts per day, most of them subconscious. Do we say to ourselves some uplifting things, like I'm lovable and fabulous and desirable and unique? Or are those tens of thousands of subconscious thoughts something like, this always happens to me or there's no good guys out there or why don't I just crawl under the covers and eat bon-bons 'cause no one will ever want me again?!? And what do the guys say after a break-up, something like good riddance and glad she's gone or....I'll never find another one like that, wish I'd done better at loving her...

A guy I used to know wrote about how men love differently than women and I just wonder if it's true. He wrote "I want to love like a woman. Men don’t love like that. Yes, we love, we feel it kindle inside and rather than succumb to the pure experience of it, we contain it, control it, hide it, use it to our own advantage, twist it, warp it, inflict wounds with it, especially the self-inflicted kind, and then we stand back and watch it die. We don’t open ourselves up and give the fire of our love the oxygen it needs to grow and warm our soul. Oh, how strong we are, we men. We stand powerful and alone, and live and die weak and lonely."

OK guys, I challenge you to love like a woman, with your whole heart, putting her first, treating her like a princess, overlooking her quirks and loving her like there's no tomorrow. The guy who wrote the words above ended it with this: "I want to love like a woman. But I can’t. I’m a man, and we are made of sterner stuff."

C'mon guys! Do it. Love like a woman. I promise we'll love you back, a zillion-fold.

December 12, 2006

Movin' on....

Now that I'm unattached, again, having done the exchange of stuff we left at each other's houses, I'm being urged and pushed and nudged to date again. Not so interested, thank you...Think I'll take a break, read a few (or more) good books, take in some movies, see my homies, or maybe just do nothing.

So just for fun, and to remind myself that there are men out there that might be worth meeting, I perused a few online dating sites to do some light reading. Of course, there are the guys I've seen online for the past ten years or so, with still the same picture and claiming to be the guy we really want. Golly, wouldn't someone have taken them if they'd been so fab?!? Ah, let's not be cynical, girl.

I've got a reasonable IQ, but there are some profiles I just don't understand. Help me here. "Wannabe chef seeks brave mouth to feed" says that, if his life doesn't improve soon, he's giving serious thought to joinng the French Foreign Legion. A woman will find that appealing? One guy who looks like he's maybe 350 pounds claims to be "a few extra pounds" and has titled his profile "I LOVE TO HUGGY BODY KISSES LIPS" and is clearly a lover of punctuation when he writes "I like going horse back riding with friends. and being in nature. and loving life." What?!? Another guy who clearly hasn't seen a razor in decades and titled his profile "let;s have some fun I;m a great guy" write that "one of my fun thing.s to do is travel on my harley. not so fun clean the garage." Common, guy, get a personality! And why hasn't "White Knight" who writes "I am a romantic and a gentleman, I will write you a poem, give you a great back rub and fix you a winning omlette for breakfast. I will treat you like a lady and tell you how much I appreciate you" been snapped up?

OK, OK, I promise not to enter the dating world until I return to my kind, compassionate, and uncynical self, when I can give some men, maybe not these men, a fair chance. Until then, ya got any good books to share?

December 9, 2006

The healing power of Craig's List.

Not a bad week. My new receptionist is good, efficient, and pleasant, so I'm not so stressed at work. My beautiful daughter and her 3-year-old twins stayed with me a few days again while their kitchen was being remodeled. Very cute and very tough age, those two, but I love their energy and how their forming minds think. (Gramma, did you know....?") And I did get some pix of the cruise emailed to me (they'll be on this site soon!) and it was fun to re-live those hilarious moments with my WOW ladies.

I also had the pleasure of spending a few hours this week with a woman friend, but not a WOW member, who is going through a break-up after eighteen months with a guy she dearly loves but had to give up. No matter what they did, they just couldn't be happy together. So, just for fun, we put a personal ad on Craig's List for her ("Need a rebound guy") and went to dinner and came back to 120 responses!!! Geez, that's like five years of being on or JDate and for free! Here's the totals: Dozens of twentyish and thirtyish guys, some of whom sent pix that were stunning (ah, those six-pack abs!); a few older guys who said they would be "generous" to her while she was getting over the break-up; one guy who wrote a lengthy dissertation on how women "over 45 were 'over'," like somehow on that b'day the possibility of future happiness ends (what does he know!!!); only three erect penises, one of which was next to a Red Bull can and was equal in size (I can't quite think of a cute response to that!); and dozens of guys who didn't sound crazy and actually sounded real and nice and serious about finding a good woman.

One guy wrote: "Well what can I say, My ears are here to listen, my arms are here to hold, my shoulder is here to lean on and my heart is here to feel. In other words, I'll absorb your hurt and make it less painful...And what did you mean by bad break-up? You didn't kill him did you?" And one guy, to whom she sent her picture, wrote back "Regarding your pic...You are nothing less than..A Goddess."

We laughed and giggled and said "aaaaahhhh" more than once, so after all the anger and disappointment and sadness my friend went through during the break-up, this was like medicine to heal the broken heart. Although she might not meet any of these guys, it was sure comforting for her to learn that there are some more good ones still out there.

December 4, 2006


That's the name of the ship. You know, that big cruise ship that we could see (It's right there!!!) but couldn't get to (We need to be over there!!!) and yes, we finally found. I got excited just getting in line, seeing the other WOW ladies and their guests holding their tickets and waiting to board. I did think it would be a fun and primarily relaxing trip, but I was wrong!!! Not about the fun part, just about the relaxing. Didn't exercise, didn't read a book, didn't sit outside and watch the ocean pass by. Nope.

But we did laugh. I figure we were on the ship seventy hours, out of which we slept sixteen hours and laughed and giggled the rest. Now if any of this is inaccurate, I blame the ladies who made me drink Tequila shooters. Ok, OK, they suggested. Strongly. But so delicious and then five minutes later, I'm on another planet. How does that work?!? But let me get back to what we did on the ship. What I can remember. We ate breakfast and lunch overlooking the ocean and dinner in the formal dining room and danced a lot. Did I say we laughed all day and night?!?

We did get off the ship in Ensenada on Saturday and were convinced by that charming tour guide Rebecca to take the bus to the open air market place to shop (better prices, no income tax) Jaime, the driver, was funny the whole way and the market was a cool place to shop. A few of us, and I'm mentioning no names but they spoke fluent Spanish, salsa danced with the waiters at a local restaurant where we could buy Tequila shooters and get free tacos. So what if we bought the wrong shooters, the tacos (very yummy)were only $1.00! And then we stopped for a few minutes in Downtown so that we could shop some more and I didn't buy a diamond bracelet but we did buy two bottles of Jose Cuerve Especial (what a bargain!) and then went back to the ship and had a lobster dinner. Oh, I forgot, before dinner we invited a few ladies to our room to taste the Tequila (after borrowing salt and lemons from the bar) and somehow, in our somewhat altered state, we spent a considerable amount of time discussing such important topics (well, they seemed important at the time) as bikini waxing (pros, cons,and techniques) and oral sex (pros, cons,and techniques). Some of us, again I'm not mentioning names but they were at my dinner table, danced most of the night. Could really just say it's exercise, you know.

After all that partying, I figured Sunday would be a day to relax, do that "watch the ocean go by and take a nap in the ocean air" but no, we ended up having a few of the other singles group guys join us for lunch and more serious discussions about the topics from the day before (yes, really) and then we went to our free cocktail hour (thanks Bev) and more drinking. Oh, did I mention the picture taking in our room and how some of us, again no names of the women at our table will be mentioned, and the "girls gone wild" (yes, one can do that at our age) with shirts being lifted (we had our bras on, don't go there) for the pictures?!? And then after dinner, I got a neck and foot massage and an offer to "come to my room later and we'll see what happens" from a very good-looking guy, to whom I said "I'm not that kind of girl" or "not tonight, but I'll take a rain check," although I can't remember exactly which one. And then another yummy dinner, more laughs at the table, some dancing at the lounge, and an x-rated late show. For the weekend, I counted three pink drinks, five blue drinks, and those shooters (after three I lost count)...

So? I had a seriously fabulous time with fabulously magnificent women whom I adore. With hearty thanks to Bev for arranging this amazing weekend for all of us, I say "Let's do it again!!!"

November 29, 2006

Going cruisin'.....

I've been sooooo stressed, like the pressures at work have not stopped for a minute. A new doctor added to the group, a receptionist who quit with no notice after three years, a new file clerk that lasted two days, a few very sick patients, and yada yada, I'm just at the edge. I cried at work, maybe the third time in decades, not counting the months after my mom died, and the docs got weird, like typical guys who don't know how to deal with an emotional woman. We'll all survive, I keep telling myself, over and over. When I'm not taking those deep breaths...

So, listen, we're going on a cruise, me and the WOW group. A weekend cruise on a ship called Paradise, with several other singles groups, and I'm gonna just forget everything. We'll eat, do some power walking on the decks, take a few yoga classes, sit and watch the ocean go by, read a good book, and eat and sleep whenever we want. And party! There is that late night off-color show that is so fun and a disco that starts after that! That is paradise, no question. Plus, I've got the company of my WOW ladies, those fabulous women who have similar stresses in life and always sail through. Silly us, we think that life's troubles are learning experiences and that life is a challenge that we enjoy.

So, wish us Bon Voyage! I promise to take pictures and put them on the blog! Happy trails to us!!!!

November 22, 2006


I reminds me of the children's story, how the little train chugged and chugged and said "I think I can" until it got to the top of the mountain. Sometimes life is really like that, a struggle against obstacles and difficult situations and sometimes ourselves. Geez, we grow up thinking that life is a fairy tale, that we will find Our Prince and have a house with a white picket fence and beautiful children and live happily-ever-after and then it doesn't turn out that way. Except for the beautiful children, since I do have a daughter who is lovely and wonderful and talented and a really good mommy to my two delightful grandbabies.

So we grow up and it's not so rosy. Our prince isn't so prince-like and our life is sometimes a series of problems to solve and sometimes we don't have enough money and sometimes the people who are supposed to love us just don't know how and we have stresses at work and sometimes we just feel defeated. And we don't seem to ever get to that age where we thought life would be trouble-free and we find that there are even new problems we didn't anticipate or thought they only happen to other people and when will it ever get easy?

But maybe life is supposed to be this way, so full of challenges and problems and disappointments so that we will appreciate our blessings. I've always thought that happiness is a choice. Challenges can be thought of as confidence and self-esteem builders, sickness can make us appreciate our health, loneliness can be considered time to reflect and renew, and loss can instead be a time to remember the lovely times that preceeded it.

On this Thanksgiving eve, I am thankful for the health of my daughter and her family and the immense joy they bring to me, the job that allows me a place to be productive and useful, the roof over my head that affords me safety and a place to nest, my new women friends who have opened their lives to me and given me so many happy moments, my old friends who have stuck with me through my ups and downs, and my continuing good health. I am clearly rich beyond measure.

November 18, 2006


She sat at her desk quietly. It was the end of a busy day, full of grandkids, hiking and laughing and climbing at the park and a bubble bath full of giggles. Now it was quiet and she was alone with her thoughts.

Break-ups just suck, she thought. She was lucky, though, and had a group of women friends who shared her sadness and were full of comforting words. How she should be grateful for having had the experience of being with this great guy, being so full of life and passion, and how they hunger for that themselves. How relationships were about learning and growing and that each one in our lives has a certain time to it, and no more. How she is a fabulous and wonderful woman who will attract another man some day who will adore her and cherish her and she will be full of passion again.

But, in the quiet moments, it still hurts. If only we had talked more and argued less, she thought. If only we had appreciated each other more and looked for issues less. If only we had seen more movies, taken more walks, talked more and listened more – then maybe it would have lasted. If only she had watched more and reacted less. If only she had hugged him more when he was upset. If only, if only, if only. If only she had loved better.

But it doesn’t bring him back, all this aching, and she knows it. It doesn’t make him willing to push through the pain and learn a better way to get along. It doesn’t take away his hurt and her hurt and the things they shouldn’t have said to each other. It doesn’t give them the courage to fight for what was so wonderful, to look at their own shortcomings instead of the other’s, to forgive and move forward. It doesn’t give them the chance to fix something broken, to create a new picture, to fall in love again. It doesn't give them a chance, after feeling such a loss, to make it beautiful again.

Books and love and happy times.

Ah, women. How I love this WOW group. After one year together of dinners and speakers and meals at restaurants, we got together tonight for a book exchange. The idea was to talk about books we've read and enjoyed and to loan or give away books we've already read. Our book choices showed us to be more than a group of fun and beautiful women, but also a group of women who think and feel and connect with the world. OK, some of us admit to enjoying our "chick-lit" books, those lovely diversions starring strong women who conquer their worlds. We read books on finance to ethnic literature to metaphysics - and everything in between.

No matter what events we share, we women bring great riches to the table. We share in the commonality that we all love, we yearn, we think, we strive, we succeed, we fail - but we go forward, risking more pain, hoping for more joy, with hearts as big as the sky. And we have fun together and sometimes we laugh so hard that we cry - this kind of pleasure that women bring to each other that can't be found with men. There aren't the right words to describe this women bonding, how we get together, even with newcomers amongst us, and can speak our hearts and comfort each other during sadness and share the joys of our sucesses, just because we are women. And we understand.

I'll say it again and again, that you have all enriched my life beyond measure. I find joy in your company, I cherish your comforting and encouraging words, and am honored that you bless me with who you are. You beautiful women.

November 16, 2006

Does a woman really want a man to be a man?

We took another trip to Leon's to meet Wayne Levine ( runs the West Coast Men's Center in Agoura Hills, CA. The topic was "Finding your Nuts: Does a Woman Really Want a Man to be a Man." Cute teaser, but Wayne's mission is to allow men to find out how to be the best men they can be by bonding and mentoring in groups with other men. It seems that men learn how to be men from their fathers, who are often lousy role models. Their fathers were often weak men who allowed their wives, these guys' mothers, to dominate them, so the men we meet grow up angry at both of their parents, causing difficulty in their own romantic relationships. And thus is the cycle of both men and women being frustrated, anxious, and depressed, more and more as relationships fail - and men typically have nowhere to go to with these feelings, except to lash out at their mates and the cycle continues.

So Wayne allows them a place to find their manhood by determining their N.U.T.S., their "Non-negotiable Unalterable Terms," and the tools needed to be successful in relationships. Ah, the tools: Silence the little boy, express feelings without defensiveness, cooperate without compromising N.U.T.S, run the romance department, be the rock, listen, don't argue, and develop trusting relationships with men. It's all in his new book, "Holding on to Your N.U.T.S."

Clearly, some of the men at Leon's were resistent and some even hostile to the concept of learning from other men. As a women who has met many angry men in my life, I am comforted and joyous to hear that there is a place for men to go to learn to be the best men they can be. I applaud men who take this often difficult and painful path in seeking wholeness. I know that men don't usually buy self-help books and that for some it's not "manly" to admit shortcomings and express feelings - but I can't help but think how happy these men must become as they find their confident and joyful real selves.

November 2, 2006

Love and Honor.

Tonight, a few of us went to Conversations At Leon's to hear a possible speaker for WOW. I know, I know, Leon's is that crazy place where the audience takes over and the speakers have little or no chance to present their subjects. But maybe, this time, it will be different? It actually wasn't so bad and, oddly, it was the women not so much the men who tried their best to run the show. Imagine that!

The speaker was Adam Shreve, author of the book "Love and Honor." His premise is that we all have relationships in every part of our lives and that certain techniques will help them be healthy and loving. Golly, we've certainly heard this before, haven't we? Still, he had a rather basic message, that love is an action. That love, matched with honor, is something we give as a gift to those we love and is returned "as a carbon copy" back to us. He suggested we start by writing "gratitudes," a list of things we love in the other person (and in ourselves), that by changing our attitude from blaming to appreciation we will see others differently and that they will rise to live up to how we see them. We must "come from" self-love, gratitude, forgiveness, acceptance, integrity, receptivity, and spontaneity. And that we tell the loved one the things on the list, the reasons we are grateful for them, the things about them that we love and honor.

Frankly, I was astonished at the simplicity of his message, like he was teaching "Relationships 101 for Dummies". The crowd was full of cliches and antecdotes and I admit I felt surprised that the listeners were finding his topic new and interesting and challenging, since it seemed so basic to me. Love thyself or you can't love anyone else. Your first relationship is to yourself. Let go of expectations. Think the best of others.

We've certainly heard all this before. But maybe a lesson on how to love by telling the other person the very reasons that we do love them is a message that can't be told too much and we too rarely remember. And maybe we smart people make it all too complicated. Life is pretty tough and challenging and sometimes troubling - it's a lovely reminder to keep it simple and remember what made us fall in love in the first place. And tell the one we love.

October 24, 2006


I've got a cold again, that achy, stuffy head, feel miserable thing that's going around. It's not fatal, it'll go away in a few days, but meanwhile I feel sick and isolated and kinda pathetic, like I'm alone in the world. Makes me think how sometimes what we do is based on what we feel and how what we feel can change with the wind. How my view of the world is usually optimistic and upbeat but when I'm sick, I'm thinking really negatively and, although I hate to admit it, I'm feeling kinda sorry for myself.

And, in all this quiet and aloneness, I remembered something I had heard, that we should make decisions of the heart with our head. Makes sense, since our feelings come and go and waver and change, often depending on the weather or our hormones or if we're eating well or if we had a bad day at work or if we had an unpleasant encounter with someone. But it's amazing how real feelings seem, like they're an indisputable truth, rather than just some passing emotion.

So how many times do we proceed with some action that is based on an emotion and is that emotion based on the truth or not? Should we base our actions on our feelings or should we rise above them and use our heads? And when should we throw caution to the wind and just roll with the feeling regardless of what we think?

Can we ever really trust how we feel?

October 15, 2006

The empty nest...

Several of my female friends have seen their grown children leave home recently and they go on and on about how they are enjoying having their house to themselves. You know, how they can walk around the house naked or wearing really sloppy clothes and eat whatever and whenever they please and not have to listen to music they don't like and how they just love the quiet. They miss their kids and sometimes the kids come home for weekends and that's OK, but the women really are basking in their new-found privacy. There's that mother guilt thing, of course, but overall the women feel like some weight has been lifted, that they finally can stop taking care of others for a while and be selfish for a change.

Until this house, I never lived as an adult more than five years in one place. I've really nested here for the past nine years and I feel like my house is my coccoon, my safe harbor from the troubles "out there." I am comfortable and happy here, lucky me, as I know that the majority of the world's population might not have a roof over their heads tonight. I'm very grateful for this peace and quiet and safety, my private sanctuary.

But we look for a man to love and to love us and we have to think that some day he might want to share a living situation and we realize that it might be rather difficult to give up our space, share our nest with anyone else day after day. I hear how we get set in our ways, like that's just a mandatory part of growing older, this being less hospitable to a mate, compared to our younger days when we yearned for this togetherness. Is that all it is?

Does this have to do with space or emotional baggage? Like when we're together for a day and they say something they think is innocent and we feel that painful churning in our gut and we can't begin to figure why or what caused it. Like when we react to something with anger or hurt and we really can't explain what we're feeling or why. If we lived together, where would we go to run and hide? Where could we coccoon and pretend that no one else exists? If we lived together, where would we hide from ourselves? With a lifetime of painful experiences with men, would we ever feel safe and comfortable if they are around us all the time?

After all we've been through, are we really capable of being this close?

October 8, 2006

What I am learning......

That sometimes old wounds affect my current relationship.
That I have to learn to walk through fear.
That there is a difference between being wounded and being damaged and that the damaged don't easily heal.
That sometimes our lover asks us to give more than we want and that sometimes it is good for us to give it.
That talking to our lover about who we are and what we feel and where we hurt is essential.
That good sex isn't enough.
That I still have places in me that I hide.
That esposing my insides to a loved one might help me heal.
That I have ways to keep people away.

That it feels good to be loved.
That I don't always trust words.
That my current lover isn't a former lover or my father.
That getting close to someone may not be as painful as I thought.
That being loved helps me love myself.
That love requires risk.

That love can be healing.
That some people can change and learn from their mistakes.
That being close to someone brings out my fears and insecurities.
That it is never too late to find love.
That love is a gift that requires great care.

That we all deserve to be loved.
That when we get that painful feeling in our gut, it is that something from our past is being resurrected and it isn't that someone is trying to cause us pain.
That relationships require attention and effort.
That appreciating a relationship is essential to its continued success.

That the pain of love is really just the healing of old wounds.

October 4, 2006

What do men want?

I don’t really know what men want. Like other weighty subjects, I used to think that I’d know it all by the time I was thirty. Now I’m in my fifties, and I sometimes just don’t get it, like I still don’t have much of a clue.

So I ask around. Many years ago, I was told that men just need the “2 F’s.” F..k ‘em and Feed ‘em. I heard recently, from what I think is a reliable source, that men just want three things – sex, toys, and to be left alone. These guys must be joking – there has to be more than that, doesn’t there?

But I come from a women’s view. We hear from relationship coaches and therapists and friends that we need to make a list of what we want in a man, divide it into what we must have and what would be nice to have, and then make a list of relationship breakers, that even if the guy has a ton of the things on our list, one thing, like being rude to waiters, means that we can’t keep them. So we have the lists that go on and on of the things we want, like they must be kind and gentle and like kids and be responsible and make a good living and make us laugh. And then we meet the guy that fits the list, doesn’t appear to have any deal-breakers, and we like him but we’re not attacted to him so we move on to meet the next one and do the evaluation all over again. And, from what I’ve heard from my poll, guys really do have short lists, mainly that the woman has to be good in bed and nice to them and not be critical of them. A short list, but maybe that really sums it all up in a nutshell.

But is there some commonality in what we men and women want in a mate? We could say that we really just want to be loved, but does that say it all and could that look different for each of us? For me, it’s finding someone who knows me, the bad and the good, the silly and the profound, the wounded places and the healthy places, and thinks I’m someone really special anyway. It’s someone who knows my insides and thinks it’s important to treat that knowledge respectfully and with kindness. It’s someone who is willing to share their insides with me, letting me see who they really are and allowing me the privilege of that knowledge, knowing that I, too, will treat them with tenderness when they are most vulnerable. It’s someone who sometimes will provide me with a safe place to fall when life is difficult and who will allow me to provide him with the same soft place, too.

So maybe the bottom line is that we can have feelings for a person, probably based on their look and how they make us feel, but that love is really a verb, it’s something we do for someone we care about. It’s our actions, like listening to them complain about their day when our day has been awful. Like rubbing their back when it's our shoulders that ache. Like cooking their favorite dish when we’d like to get take-out. Like trying to make them feel important even when we’re feeling low. Like loving them even when they forget to put down the toilet seat or when they don’t notice that we need some attention.

I still don’t know the answers to what a man wants. But maybe it’s really that simple, that we all want someone who sometimes can make us feel like we’re the most important person in the world. And someone we are willing to treat like a queen or a king, even when all we really want is to be left alone.

September 28, 2006

The Guy Panel Pictures

Here is a link to pictures from the guy panel. It looks like everyone is having a blast...and hopefully learning something, too!
  • Click for more photos
  • September 22, 2006

    The Guy Panel

    What an evening! From the first of you walking in my home, Carole with her beautiful hair in a new style and Mikki looking radiant, to my lovely curly-haired daughter Daria lighting up the room, to the last few stragglers not wanting to leave, the night was perfect.

    We had planned a "Guy Panel." After months of hearing relationship counselors and life coaches and profile writers, we invited the real deal to our meeting, three guys who were involved with three of us WOW ladies to answer our questions about men. I hoped it would be informative and interesting and, mostly, fun. Little did I know.

    So we asked the questions and they gave their answers and I thought I'd have great stuff for the blog, some quotes about their views on women and dating and sex. Details about why men do what they do. Details on what they like about us or wish was different. But I realized, a few minutes into their answers, that what we were learning from the guys was not in the specific answers to our questions, but who they really are as people. Three very different guys, different in age and education and style, different in size and looks and appearance. But so much alike in ways that touched our hearts.

    We learned from these three men that they feel deeply, that they appreciate the women who have chosen them, and that they are very grateful for the love and affection that have been given to them. We learned that we have to look past their quirks, like how sometimes they talk too much or listen too little, to see who they really are inside, to see the person they have become and so yearn to share with a good woman. That regardless of their age, be they young or many decades later, they have strong feelings and that they are surprisingly not hesitant or embarrassed to reveal them. And that what they want most is women who are real, who are able and willing to be authentic, who will let down their guard to let the guys into their hearts. And we learned that the perfect guy for us may come in a package that is very different than what we hoped for, that the guy can be young or short or in a different profession than we imagined but that he can be perfect for us.

    So this meeting marked the end of the first year of WOW and it's been a year I never could have anticipated. Seeing all of you amazing women together, so obviously enjoying each other and our times together gives me joy I can hardly express. It's heartwarming to see a few of us find the love of a good man. It's gotta be encouraging for those who still wait to see that there really are great guys out there. No matter what happens, we have been good for each other, we ladies. Growing and learning and having fun together. Life has been rich for me lately, having all of you in my life. It will be wondrous to see what happens next to each of you.

    September 13, 2006

    How to comment to the blog!

    I've been so busy posting to this blog and wishing and hoping for your comments to the blog that I didn't realize that it is a bit confusing to figure out how to do it!

    Here are your instructions to make your comments (silly, fun, cerebral, or heartfelt) to your WOW blog: At the bottom of each article is a link the says "(#)comments". If you click on it, it takes you to where you can read any comments that have already been left, and there you will also find a box for you to leave a comment of your own. Write your comment in the box. When you finish, go down to where it says "Choose an Identity," and click the button marked "other." The screen will change and the only thing you will be required to add is a "name." The name can be anything you want -- it doesn't have to be your real name, although it would be fun for the other WOW members to know who is saying what! After you enter a name, scroll down further and copy the security code into the "Word Verification" box. Click on "Publish Your Comment," and voila, your comment gets posted.

    I love the WOW group and totally enjoy your email comments to me - but wouldn't it be fun for the world (and maybe Oprah?) to read them too! Comment away, ladies!

    September 11, 2006

    The Wow Ladies....

    I recently wrote about one of the WOW ladies who has richly blessed my life with her friendship and her beauty and her caring. I'm equally impressed with the other ladies, each fabulous and wonderful in their own right, navigating the world as fiftyish divorcees in one of the world's largest and yet most isolated cities in the world.

    There is the beautiful tall blonde with three handsome sons she adores and who clearly adore her and who seems shy but radiates a quiet strength and was the first since our group formed to find what seems like a well suited man, one who shows his feelings with actions. There is that other blonde, the girl-next-door beauty who is having the time of her life to make up for the years she was unhappily married, who balances work and friends and family and volunteering and travel, and still makes time to bring her joyful spirit to our gatherings. There are the language teachers, all three of them, as different as can be, but sharing a joy for their profession and a love for their families that shines brightly in all that they do, regardless of its challenges. There is the multitalented business owner who seeks to make others beautiful and the best they can be, both in looks and spirit. There is our brave Chicago transplant who ventured only recently to this strange place to make a better living and has found her niche easily, both at work and doing her favorite dancing at many fine local clubs. There is another beautiful blonde, maybe our senior member, who is light-hearted, looks very young, and has a spring in her step and attitude that we all admire. And there is our travel planner who can talk about anything and everything, is genuinely kind to even the most obnoxious people, and makes me look forward to Monday so that I can walk with her around Chatsworth and spend one hour in her delightful company. There is our other entrepreneur who seeks to help us grow spiritually by helping us clean our cupboards and closets and who brings a refreshing and joyful attitude to everything she does...and makes the best margueritas. And our newest member who combines a curiosity and energy that is second to none.

    Why tell you about each of these ladies? Because each of them has changed my life, just by being who they are. It is said that, if any of us didn't exist, the world would be a different place. I can say that, because each of you exist, my life is richer and happier and far more meaningful. I just want to say thank you to each and all of you for being uniquely you - and for blessing me with your friendship.

    Warning - this is R-rated!

    I warn you. This is a posting about a subject we don't talk about. You know the kind when we have so much to say but we can't bring it up. We want to, but we think our ideas are really weird or that we’re the only one who thinks this way or that everybody knows all about it but us or that it’s all just too embarrassing to even think about. So, be prepared. Yes, it’s the blow job.

    There are a variety of reasons for giving a blow job. We know they like it and we want to please them. We want them to go down on us, so we think we’d better do it to them. We want them to think we are doing our share in the bedroom, so we do it from time to time. Or it’s a barter, like when they offer to wash our car or take us to dinner or go to a party with our friends that they don’t like if we’ll give them a blow job. Did you notice that I didn’t mention that we do it because we like it?

    And, yes, there are lots of reasons not to do it. We have to put their penis, no matter how big or small or hard or soft, in our mouths and suck and sometimes the guys just lie there like rugs and don’t move or make sounds so we don’t know if we’re doing it right or if they like what we’re doing. What if it’s just too big and we can barely get it in our mouths? Or so small, we can hardly find it and then it’s so difficult to maneuver because there is so little to work with? Should we suck it or lick it or both and should we rub it while we’re sucking it or reach under and do something with the hairy hangy-down things or what? And should we really put it way down in our throats while we rub and suck and then how do we keep doing all those things at the same time while we are gagging and trying not to throw up? And, of course, while we’re busy trying to figure it all out and do it at the same time, we’re also supposed to moan and oooh and ahhhh so they think we’re actually enjoying ourselves but we’re really just thinking that if we moan and oooh and ahhh, then maybe they’ll come quicker and we can stop. And do we really have to put it in our mouths if they say they took a shower this morning but then worked all day and played a few games of softball and drank beer with their buddies in the heat – are we really supposed to put it in our mouths if, um um, well, it doesn’t exactly smell good down there?

    And when do we stop? One minute? Ten minutes? Until they come? Who knows? And if they come, do we let them come in our mouths and then do we swallow it or spit it out on the sheets without them noticing or can we just get up and run to the bathroom and spit it out in the sink and rinse out our mouths without offending them too much? What’s a girl to do?

    I know, I know...they don’t call it a job for nothing.

    September 9, 2006


    Why do we have friends? They're fun and we have company when we are go out. They make life more pleasurable. It's good for us and our health to socialize. We can learn something about life and dating and men and work and kids and other things from them. And they are our mirrors.

    If they're good friends, they tell us when we are out of line or if we are doing something potentially harmful to ourselves or others. If they are good friends, they tell us when we are wearing clothes that aren't flattering or if our lipstick is the wrong color. If they are good friends, they will tell us when we look good and this makes us feel lovely. If they are good friends, talking to them or being with them makes life seem more rich and more meaningful. And if they are good friends, they are the mirror to ourselves, allowing us to see the ways we grow and change. And if they are good friends, they share our joys and our sadness and let us share theirs.

    Sometimes we meet someone who sees us in a way that changes our life. I had dinner with a friend like that tonight, someone from the group. We met just before WOW was formed and immediately it felt like I had known her all my life, like she was a sister and a female soul mate. Just like any friendship, ours waxes and wanes and we don't always make time for each other, but we know that the other is there and cares about us and that, when we do spend time together, it will be good.

    She watches me and comments on what I am doing and helps me understand myself and it makes me feel more valuable, that someone so special cares to notice those things. She is good company and is willing to share her real self and her insides with me. And that makes me feel important. And tonight she was different. Sure, beautiful and full of life, but tonight she was different in a subtle way. She was more centered and more real and more calm, almost as if her mind was more focused and steady, not distracted so much by the everyday stuff,like she had come to feel more comfortable with her skin, like life wasn't so perplexing to her. Like she liked, or even loved, herself more. And she was aware of this, aware of her own changes, aware of her awareness.

    So she was even more beautiful, this calmer and lovelier version of herself. And she gives some credit to the WOW group, that the speakers and new friendships and the path we've taken has somehow allowed her to grow in a way that has led to this serenity and self-awareness. I was selfish when I put this group together, hoping to make new women friends and have new experiences while I healed from a broken relationship. You women of WOW have enhanced my life in countless ways - some of you I know well and others I hope to know better, but I have learned about myself from each of you, like each of you allows me to see myself in a different light, and I am a better person for the experience. And lucky me, to have all of you in my life, especially this one friend, someone so beautiful and caring who allows me to know her and feel joy in the changes in her life. And see myself through her eyes.

    September 4, 2006

    It's a process.

    We band together, we ladies, to have strength in our quest for "the one." We listen to life coaches together and talk about what we've learned. On our own, we read relationship books and we see a variety of therapists and we talk about our past loves with friends and we think we know it all. And that we can do it really well this time. And then we do it and it just isn't so.

    We can learn how to fight fair and be kind and compassionate. We can learn how to keep the spark alive and be sexy in bed. We can learn how to listen and how to share. And then we have the chance to do it and we don't do it so well.

    We meet someone and we are cautiously thrilled at how much we like them and how much they fit our list and how much they turn us on and how much we want them. And then all that closeness and intimacy opens some long-hidden door in our heart and brings out all the pain and sore places and touchy spots that really haven't healed, even though we were sure they did. And then, against our best intentions, we hurt each other. We hurt that person who has come to know us and maybe even love us and then we are so sad again, this time not just for our own pain but for causing pain to the other. And we want to run away, to stop feeling that long-hidden pain, but this time we don't.

    So maybe the best relationships aren't those that proceed without conflict or in which everyone is just happy all the time. Maybe relationships are the final place to heal, to be forced to visit those wounded places, this time in the arms of someone who really, really cares, someone who himself has felt that pain of loss and wants with all his heart to make it right this time. And who allows us to face those hidden areas of our heart without judgment, knowing that it allows him to face his demons too. So maybe the best relationships are those in which we really see each other clearly, both our wounded places and our healthy places, our faults and our fabulousness, and love each other anyway.

    September 1, 2006

    He wants to write our profile for us?!?!?

    We had our monthly WOW meeting last night and had the pleasure of having Evan Marc Katz ( as our speaker. Evan is a smart and funny guy who worked in a customer service position for the company that owns when he realized his niche - helping online daters write a profile that showed themselves in a light that would maximize their chances of meeting their sought-after mate. He's been on a multitude of talk shows and is the Harlequine love consultant for 2006 - he's certainly got an intuition about people and daters and a wonderful way with words.

    So I got to thinking. We spend countless meals at our favorite restaurants and even more long phone calls with our girlfriends, complaining about the problems with online dating, how the guys browse and browse and aren't honest and don't respond to our winks or come on too strong and then go away and how frustrated we are with the whole scene. And we're really saying that we long and yearn to be in the arms of someone who sees us for who we are and loves us in spite of it or because of it.

    So, not to be a salesman for Evan or someone like him, but doesn't it make sense to take the time and the money we spend on those sad dinners with the girls and therapy-shopping and whatever else we do to fill the void and pay someone to help us write our profiles? Geez, we get our nails done and our hair colored and go to the gym and look for clothes that are just sexy enough and don't think we should spend the money to make our profile fabulous?!? Sounds like we have more to gain than to lose. Maybe much more.

    August 28, 2006

    All the advice in the world.

    I'm just thinking about Coach Rori's idea that there is only one woman and one man in a relationship, that we strong and independent women of the millenium can't be "the guy" and expect our men to be manly, whatever that is to us. And, from my past therapists, I know that one can read all the relationship books, but that we have to be in a relationship to learn how to be in one. I'm just now learning how real that is.

    I'm in a new relationship with a great guy who is a lot like me and some not like me. I'm so used to being on my own and making my own decisions and having my opinion be the only one that it's rather strange now to be part of a couple. I'm not willing to give up the Ellen that I've created all these years, but what do I have to give up or where do I have to bend to be the "woman" and allow him to be the "man?"

    Maybe it's individual, based on the identify, character, and desires of the participants. I know this one likes to talk, like he needs a willing and caring ear, so sometimes I don't share my opinion but just listen to his. Sometimes, if I'm not feeling well or share a problem with him, he wants to fix it and I'm not used to letting someone help me. Sometimes, he likes it when I stand up to him and sometimes he doesn't. I'm very sure there's lots more to learn about him. And me with him.

    So this relationship thing requires some effort. We have to listen and learn about the other person and for this to work, we need to not be thinking about ourselves when the other is talking. We need to sometimes give up our need to be heard and let the other have the floor. Sometimes we have to do the talking and be willing to share with them what is in our minds or hearts. Sometimes we have to make the plans and sometimes we have to let them lead. Sometimes we need to be contrary and sometimes we need to give in. Sometimes we need to tell the other of our disapproval and sometimes we need to let it go. It's knowing which one to do and when to do what - that's what can make the road bumpy or smooth.

    I have read a zillion self-help books from the Venus-Mars series to All Men are Jerks (until proven otherwise) to Getting the Love You Deserve and If the Buddha Dated. I've liked some of the advice and disliked some. Sometimes I'll read one book and think that it's got all the advice I need and then I'll read the next book and think the same of it. Now that I'm actually in a relationship, I feel like I've never read anything or heard anything or learned anything about men and women together. And maybe that's a good place to be, with a clean slate and a whole heart, unremembering the advice I have read and forgetting how my friends have told me to behave and letting go of the hurts created by my past disappointments. Maybe I'll just trust my gut, be the best person I can be, and learn to love as if it's the first time.

    August 26, 2006

    The Denny's Contract.

    So we've been on a zillion bad coffee dates, sitting there pretending to listen to the guy going on about something, all the time thinking in our heads things like how did I ever think I'd like this guy and doesn't he ever shut up and thank God we didn't do a dinner date and can't these guys learn to listen and how am I gonna get out of here and how soon can I make my move? Then one time you meet a really nice guy and you are having fun and laughing and thinking I really like him and I hope he doesn't turn out to be a jerk and when should I kiss him because you just have to know if he's a good kisser before you spend any more time with him and what about sex? And you do kiss him and it's really good and you think how do you enjoy this and still keep it from going further and should you really listen to those who say to wait and how can I enjoy the making-out without giving the wrong impression and can you really have a great relationship without great sex and shouldn't you find this out right away but shouldn't you really concentrate on getting to know him but then should you invest that kind of time in a guy who might not turn out to be good in bed? Whew. How can we enjoy him at all with our head spinning like this?!?

    So we made a Denny's contract. We agreed that we could fool around, knowing that going-all-the-way requires a discussion at a neutral location before proceeding. OK, OK, it sounds dry and too planned, but it has allowed me to turn off my head and enjoy each moment of the pleasure with him so far. I know, I know, Denny's? Sometimes ya gotta be silly to keep the drama at a minimum. And there's always a Denny's in every town. And some are open all night.

    August 23, 2006

    Is there room for a guy?

    Some of my women friends are so busy that, if I invite them out for dinner, it'll be a three week wait. They give me this list of things they have planned that goes on and on and on and all their plans sound like great fun. But then they say how there are no great guys out there and that they really want one but where are they? They have no time for a movie or dinner with me - how would they make time for a relationship?

    Recently, I Feng Shuied my bedroom. You hear about it, that one way to attract a new man is to make space for him in your bedroom. So I cleaned out a few drawers, took out the TV, and made the room welcome for sex. It apparently has worked for me, although we haven't done the deed yet, but then I have attracted a guy who swears that having a TV in the bedroom (and a remote with his name on it) is a really good thing. A guy CAN have it all - just have great sex, reach for that cable remote, and watch sports without having to change positions. See, you can still cuddle "after" and make the woman happy - and watch ESPN.

    We're so busy being busy that maybe it's time to slow down. Or even stop for a while. Sit still, be quiet, and just "be." What is it that makes us fill our schedules so frantically that we have no room for anything else? Are we afraid to miss something? Are we afraid of being alone? Are we afraid to face ourselves and really see who we are? What if we just stood still for awhile, learned to be quiet inside, and realized that it was OK, maybe really good for us to do nothing? Maybe we'd learn that being quiet and still allows us to mourn our past relationships, face our old pain and let it go, and gives us the peace we seek. And the time to Feng Shui our bedrooms!

    August 20, 2006

    We could go out.

    So, do we sit behind the computer, laughing at the guys' profiles but still hoping for "the one" to shine through? Or do we go out in public, brave our fears, and check out the options at a Singles Event? It's an interesting trade-off. Sitting online, we can learn things about the guy just by reading his profile, things like job (and income), likes and dislikes, and maybe a glimpse of his personality. But the profile might not be who the guy really is, but who he wants to be or who he thinks will attract the women. And, after some emails, we may never get to meet him, as he moves on to read the zillion other women's profiles. Meeting a guy in person, we don't know much about him, but we learn alot about him with even a short conversation. Is he interesting or amusing or smart or none of the above? And, of course, there's that chemistry thing, that spark we feel when we begin to connect.

    For those of you wanting and willing to be "out there," here's a few upcoming events. It could be fun experience and maybe that special guy will be right there, waiting for you to smile at him!

    1) - A few of us have been to one of her parties and were particularly unimpressed, but these new parties sound like fun. She hosts one in her home in Redondo Beach and another at Aphrodesiac (formerly Lunaria's), an "upscale" restaurant/night club in LA.

    2) - I haven't been to one of these, but I hear that the guys get a key and the ladies a lock and this is supposed to get the crowd mixing. There's a Vegas in LA event with casino, auction, and DJ. And there's an End of Summer Grand Opening of Club 705 in HErmosa Beach with mixers and dancing.

    3) - This is Rookie MacPherson's group, hosting dances and parties, but this is an offer to attend a TV taping and party afterwards. Remember, a few of us went to one of her dances in Pasadena, but no one got near us because we stayed together and didn't have Rori's advice yet to stand alone and seem more available to the guys.

    4) And then there's Leon's. He hosts discussion groups in his home, those crazy sessions during which the speakers just opens his or her mouth and the guys in the group start arguing about the topic. And look out for that young guy who attends to prey on older women. This one is a Saturday Night Mixer (August 26th) - call 818-986-9899 for info and to RSVP.

    None of the events sound like a day at Disneyland, but then we do have to kiss all those frogs before we find the Prince. Maybe it's time to take the plunge and show up. Couldn't hurt. Might be fun. We could meet someone.

    August 16, 2006

    A reading list for men and women.

    WOW is having a speaker at our meeting this month, Evan Marc Katz ( His business is helping online daters to write their profiles. And he's written two books, "I Can't Believe I'm Buying This Book: A Commonsense Guide to Successful Internet Dating" and Why You're Still Single: Things your friends would tell you if you promised not to get mad." I'll bet he's gonna be a really good speaker and fun guy.

    So I'm looking up his books on Amazon and click on "I love you, nice to meet diva extraordinaire" and up comes her list of books she suggests for men and women looking for "The One." Her list is called "Love Smart, Love Dumb, but at least Love" which, at the very least, takes the pressure off doing this dating this right, doesn't it? And here's a few on her list:

    Books For Women:
    1) Ten Commandments of Dating. If I don't get a date, at least I'll get religion.
    2) Never Kiss A Frog: A Girl's Guide to Creatures from the Dating Swamp. I don't know, we usually don't know they're a frog until too late...
    3) Dating Rocks!: The 21 Smartest Moves Women Make for Love. This is written by a guy, so I don't know if he'll advise taking off our clothes immediately or what.
    4) Body Language Secrets: A Guide During Courtship & Dating. So if I just lean into him, no wait, lean away from him like Rori says, I don't need to be beautiful or sexy or smart?
    5) Don't Call That Man! OK, is this the 2006 version of The Rules?
    6) Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl - A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship. For those who don't want to follow The Rules?
    7) Date Like a Man: What Men Know about Dating and Are Afraid You'll Find Out. Men know something about dating?!?
    8) Stop Getting Dumped! All You need to Know to Make Men Fall Madly in Love With You and Marry 'the one' in 3 years or Less. I can't even come up with a comment on this one, sorry.

    Books For Men:
    1) Understanding Women: The Definitive Guide to Meeting, Dating, and Dumping, if necessary. This is doomed to fail. Men can never understand us. Remember "men are clueless"?!?
    2) How to Succeed with Women. Can't wait to read that. It's really so simple. Treat us like a queen and be fabulous in bed. Sex doesn't end when you do.
    3) Stumbling Naked in the Dark: Overcoming Mistakes Men Make with Women. I repeat, treat us like a queen and be fabulous in bed! Sex doesn't end when you do.
    4) How to Pick Up Beautiful Women In Nightclubs or Any Other Place: Secrets Every Man Should Know. Like new pick-up lines? Wear a clean shirt?
    5) 1001 Ways to Be Romantic. Too bad only women will buy this.

    So we women read all the books and follow each one until the next one comes along and then we try the ideas in that one. And the men sit home and serial browse on their computer. A wise therapist once told me that I could read all of the relationship books that ever come out, but that I will only grow while in a relationship. Scary, sure. But could be a lot more fun than reading.

    August 14, 2006

    Thinking about it...

    By now, you know I have met someone I really like. And who likes me. Thinking back at what we've learned in WOW, whose advice do I take? I remember Hazel and her Conscious Dating tips, like Be The Chooser, Make the Lists, etc. and her words "if you feel very strongly about him right away, run away." Then there's the He's Not Just Into You guy who says to wait two months to have sex. And Rori who said to date at least 5-6 other guys so you will not be so available to the guy you really like and you'll be able to see him more clearly.

    I don't think it's fair to be having dinner with another guy or five or six other guys and be listening to him and be thinking about the guy I really like. I don't want to wait two months to be intimate, but I think it's a good idea that will allow me to learn more about him before sex makes me not see him clearly. And I don't want to run away from him. I feel more comfortable and natural with him than I've ever been with anyone else.

    Is there some middle ground? Is my intuition to be trusted? I don't know the answers, but I do know that being with him is a pleasure that I don't want to give up or screw up or play games with. How about if I just take it one day at a time and enjoy myself?

    August 12, 2006

    He said, she said....

    OK, OK, I'll tell you the details of the date! But in a little different way. He wrote the details of the date as if he were me - and I wrote the details of the date as if I were him. Confusing? Right. The He Said is written by me. The She said is written by him. Have fun reading!!!

    HE SAID:(written by me...)
    "I’m so nervous. What if she doesn’t like me? What if I don’t like her? What if there’s nothing to talk about? OK, I’m in her driveway, I’m gonna just do it, walk up to the door and knock on the door. OK, I’m taking a deep breath, waiting. Oh, she’s soooo pretty! And so soft! And she’s smiling and I can’t take my eyes off her. Oooooh, now she’s hugging me! Ooooh, I don’t want to let go but I think I should but I don’t want to. Oh, she let go. Phooey. I’m trying to make conversation but I’ve got this silly smile on my face and I hope she doesn’t think I’m goofy, but she’s so pretty, I just want to touch her.

    So we went to a movie. Wait, when we left and were standing on the front porch so she could lock the door, I said “I have to do the Woody Allen "Annie Hall" thing and kiss you now.” And I did and she seemed to like it but maybe she thinks I’m stupid and only thinking with my dick. Well, she seemed to like it.

    The middle is sort of a blur. We found the park, put down our chairs, ate the Chinese food, and drank wine. The movie was good, especially since she let me hold her hand and I think I kissed her a few times during the movie. It’s a blur. Sitting next to her makes me a bit crazy. She’s kinda sexy and I want to do things to her that I can’t talk about right now.

    So then we went back to her place, put in the CD and sat outside in the patio in the dark with our chairs across from each other and our feet on each others’ chair. I rubbed her feet. Well, at least I got to rub something. She’s really, really soft. And this part I do remember well, how we talked about stuff that was personal and I shared some feelings and she listened. She’s a good listener, either she doesn’t say anything back and just lets me talk or she talks about something I said to make me talk more about it. I really like her. I can’t remember feeling this comfortable with anyone for a really long time. Did I say she’s really soft?

    Then, we went inside and sat on this really big chair she has and talked and then kissed and I rubbed her arm (although I wanted to rub somewhere else, but I’m being a good boy – I don’t want to scare her away) and kissed and kissed. And then she sent me home. Geez, I remember those days when I was a teenager and the girls would only let us go so far and then we had to go home and take that cold shower. But she’s worth it. Really worth it. I really want her to like me. I think she does."

    SHE SAID: (written by him)
    "Well, last night I had the first date with that man I met online.
    Online and on the phone he was smart, and funny and adorable. I
    think I said that before, but he is, so I'll leave it at that. I was
    a little nervous, not that much when you consider I haven't had a
    date in over a year. He called when he was in the neighborhood, so I
    put Buddy, my attack poodle in his cage. Buddy barks at everyone and
    usually goes and jumps on anyone who comes in the house. I didn't
    want Buddy to interrupt our first face to face. He (the guy, not
    Buddy) promised me a hug, but I wasn't sure if he meant right away or
    later in the evening or at the end, so I wanted to be prepared.

    When I opened the door, he was standing there with a red Rose wrapped
    in some brown paper, We looked directly in each other's eyes, he
    said hello. I think I mumbled something but I don't remember. He
    gave me the flower, and a CD he made for me, and then he hugged me --
    one of those long, solid, heart pressed to heart hugs, although I
    noticed that the lower halves of our bodies were politely apart. I
    wanted to hold him like this for a long time, it felt so good to be
    in the arms of a man who knows how to hug, but I broke the hug or he
    did or I don't know. I didn't want to hold him too long and have to
    have him push me away. That would not have been a good beginning.

    He came in, and I went to let Buddy out. I warned the guy (I don't
    know if he wants me to use his name yet) that Buddy would bark and
    jump, but when I opened Buddy's cage, he calmly walked over to the
    guy and stood there waiting to be petted. Buddy has never done this
    before. Does he know something I should know? Of do I already know
    it and Buddy just picked up on my feelings? The guy said he loves
    dogs and they like him. Well, Buddy did, anyway.

    I tried to make some small talk while I put the rose in some water.
    The guy told me you are supposed to cut the stem under water to
    prevent any air bubbles from getting in the stem and blocking the
    flow of water up[ to the rose bud. I never knew that, but I didn't
    do it. I don't know why. I didn't want him to tell me what to do.
    I think I was trying to hold onto some sort of defense and keep my
    feet on the ground. To tell the truth, those first few minutes are
    kind of a blur. We were small talking and I kept having trouble
    finding the next word. Here I am, a strong woman, a writer to whom
    words are comfortable companions, and now they were flying out of my
    head but not out of my mouth. He was kind of grinning, and he said
    that my forgetting words was probably just nerves. I could see he
    was enjoying my awkwardness, but not in a one up, dominant sort of
    way, like he knew he had the upper hand, but in a kind and generous
    way. I like him. We kept making eye contact, more than most people
    do when they meet. It was funny in a way, like we were two kids who
    couldn't believe they were actually on a date with this other really
    cool person. I know that's how he felt. I just liked looking at
    him, looking at me.

    In the doorway, as we were leaving, he stopped and kissed me, not a
    big deal kiss, but a soft touching of our lips, lingering for only a
    moment. It was nice and sweet. He said he decided that the Woody
    Allen "Annie Hall" approach was a good one. He read that in my
    blog. I have to decide if I want to keep giving him explicit insight
    into my thoughts and feelings. It might make me hold back when I
    write, and I don't want to do that. Maybe I shouldn't have told him
    about the blog. We talked about that later, and he said he would
    stop reading if if I asked him to. He says he doesn't lie, not
    anymore, and I think I believe him. I don't know about the blog.
    I'll have to think about that. Did I mention that I like him?

    We drove off to Northridge Park where we were going to sit on a hillside
    surrounded by families with all kinds of kid, eat our Chinese food
    and watch Shrek. How's that for a different kind of first date. I
    had suggested it, and he surprised me by jumping all over it. So off
    we go to the park, but a few blocks from my house, he remembers that
    I forgot the chairs. Sitting in the living room, near the door, my
    collection of folding beach chairs for us to choose a pair from and I
    forgot them. Ok, maybe I am a bit nervous (still forgetting words)
    and just a little bit excited. The kiss, the flower, the Buddy
    thing. He doesn't gloat about the chairs but I know he is really
    enjoying the effect he is having on me. That's ok, I'll get him later.

    After going back to get the chairs, we finally get to the park, sit
    down, take off our shoes, and he offers me a plastic cup of red wine,
    not a full cup but you know me with wine, it doesn't have to be
    much. Against my better judgement, but without any protesting, I
    take it. Good wine. We sit and talk, and eat, and drink till the
    movie is about to start, then we lean back to watch it. Shrek is a
    funny movie. I forgot how good it is. When the Gingerbread Man
    says, "Eat me!" to Lord Farquard, we both laugh out loud. I am
    relaxed now, and I think he is too. Maybe it's the wine but I don't
    care. Not long into the movie he takes my hand, and for a very long
    time we touch, and stroke and play with each other''s fingers. I
    think Rori would approve, and I am enjoying it too. He also leans
    over to kiss me sometime during all this. Another soft kiss but with
    a little passion, and just a hint of tongue. This is a really good

    I have to stop writing now, I'm having a flashback and I want to stop
    and enjoy it.

    Ok, I'm back. After the movie, we go back to my house and we go
    inside. It was as natural as could be for me to bring him in, and
    neither of us was looking to end the evening early. I put on his CD
    and we go outside on my patio to talk and listen to his eclectic (his
    word) mix of music that he thought I would enjoy. We have very
    similar tastes in music. This is going very well, don't you think?
    We sit on chairs, facing each other. I think I put my foot up on his
    chair (not between his legs) and he got the hint and proceeded to
    give my foot a very nice rubbing. He said he wasn't all that
    experienced, but he was good enough. He reminded me about that
    other guy who I went out with who did this, and then disappeared
    (darn, he has been reading this blog) and assured me he was not
    going to do the same. We stay like that for over an hour, at least as
    long as it took to hear the whole CD. I liked his music, and I liked
    his hands and I liked his lips. I think I already told you I liked
    him. We got up to go inside and he hugged me again, a really long
    one this time, and I felt wonderful, and he felt wonderful.

    We were back inside, I made sure to point out my chair and a
    half, a wide armchair with ottoman. He took the hint and invited me
    to join him on it. I can't go into all the details now, but I will
    say that he held me and we kissed, serious kisses now, and I snuggled
    against him, and we did not have sex. He didn't even try to make it
    happen. That's because we have this agreement that we made on the
    phone before we ever met, but that's another story.

    Around midnight, we said goodbye and he left."

    The date from ........

    He brought a red rose and a CD he made for me and Chinese take-out.

    He drove us to the park for the premiere of Movies Under The Stars. We sat on beach chairs and watched Shrek.

    He drove us back to my house and we listened to the CD. We sat on the patio in the dark, talking about meaningful things.

    He kissed me and I had feelings I'd long forgotten.


    August 7, 2006

    Do we really want a man?

    So what is it that we are looking for? Do we want something as simple as Mikki says, a guy to hold our hand and watch the sun set? Someone to "be there" for us, whatever that means? Do we still wait for the prince on the white horse to awaken us and carry us to the castle? After years of bad marriages and desperate hours with strange men on bad dates and too many broken hearts, do we really want a man?

    Sometimes, like on Mondays after work, I'd settle for a guy who would push my three big trash cans out to the curb. I gave up, around 1968, the idea that a man should save me from the wild spider in the house after my first husband said, "If you scream like that again, I'm never help you." And thus began my learning to do everything myself. For myself. My needs are simple. Sometimes I feel like changing my online profile to read, "independent and smart woman seeks hairy guy to spoon with at night."

    After 14 months of not dating, I found someone I'd actually like to meet. He's smart, funny, caring, and rather adorable. On paper and on the phone. My friend Susan says, after reading some of his writings online, that he's a clone of me. My sometimes cynical and always lovely daughter says he's cute and witty - and probably 400 pounds. And I've agreed to meet him.

    So where does one do this first meeting?!? I don't do caffeine, regular or decaf, so Starbucks and its cute tables are out. How about a picnic at the park? No, Bev says we have to go to a nice restaurant, be served, and see how he treats the waiter. A museum, so even if he is rendered speechless by my beauty or just a dolt in public, I can still see lovely artwork? Do I do what Woody Allen did on his first date with Annie Hall on their way to a club when he just stopped walking and kissed her to avoid the eventual awkward moment at the car or at the front door in the light with the bugs flying around? How about I do a Samantha from Sex and the City and just meet him at a local Days Inn and have sex first to make sure that his parts are in working order and that he knows what to do with them? Then, what the heck do I wear? I'm not even gonna start in on that one.

    Clearly, it's a dilemma. Is it worth it, this anguish over a date? Maybe so. He might be that hairy guy who likes to spoon. I guess I'll never know unless I meet him.

    August 5, 2006

    I'm still drugged....

    While I'm still in a drugged state, recovering from an incident with my lower back, I must write about some things that puzzle me. Or I'm puzzled because I'm drugged. It's hard to tell. The last time I felt like this was in the 60s and I was at a Doors concert. Those were the days....

    Here goes. Why is it that I get email advertisements for "natural male enhancement?" I can gain "up to 30% in length, longer lasting erections, increased semen volume, all natural ingredients!" Hello, I don't have a dick! They ask "do you have a small penis?" No, I haven't even seen one for more than a year. Do you want "more cum volume and stronger ejaculations?" No, but I would like to actually have an orgasm some day, the kind where two people are involved. Or my favorite: "The benefits are: erections like steel, stronger ejaculations (watch where you're aiming), and up to 500% more volume (cover her in it if you want)." Ick, ick, ick. Who buys into this stuff? Do men really believe that this is what we want?!? Talk to us, woo us, treat us like a princess, be kind, be giving and passionate in bed - that's what we want. Kiss our neck, whisper sweet nothings in our ear, and act like seeing us is the highlight of your day. You'll be happily surprised at the rewards, I promise.

    OK, 'nuff said. Had to get that off my chest. To end this on an upbeat note, here is an except from my "cute profile of the day" from Milt:
    "Finally, as I grow older, wiser, and only slightly crankier,
    I have come to appreciate the little things that can best be
    appreciated when they are shared - a delicious meal, a beautiful
    sunset, a bottle of Advil, and the fine art of napping. Of
    course, those activities can be enjoyed with or without a partner,
    but all things considered, 'with' is much better."

    Ah, that makes me smile! Happy trails to all.

    August 4, 2006

    My turn as a patient.

    Ouch. I hurt my back. At work. I just turned a little, twisted a little, bent a little and then, something snapped and I saw stars. Now remember that I work for a neurosurgeon and for years, actually decades, I have tended to people who have bad backs. (And brain tumors, but that's a different story that I hope to never have to tell...) So I hobbled over to the docs and said "I have to go home" and they kinda laughed and said here's some work to take your mind off and I said, "I can't work when I'm crying" and then I cried. Twenty-nine years I've worked there and never one tear. OK, sometimes I've cried when I gotten to know and love a patient who doesn't make it. And then, after my mom died, I admit I was prone to sudden bouts of weeping. But never a tear for myself. 'Cause I'm tough!!! Well, maybe not so tough. I did finish some work, saying "ow" everytime I moved an inch and then decided to go home. I guess men can't take tears so easily 'cause the docs really got serious when they saw them falling down my face. So, I go home, take some Vicodin and Soma, a lovely cocktail of meds, and lie on my bed and can't. I feel like Goldilocks and the three bears. "This bed is toooo soft...this bed is toooo hard...this bed is just right." My waterbed was out of the question, the couch was impossible, and my grandbaby Quinn's bed was "just right!" About then, the drugs kicked in and I couldn't care less where I put my body and then the room went blank and I was out. Ah, now I know why people take drugs. It still hurts, but ya just don't care.

    That was yesterday and today I'm better. Or just drugged, I can't tell. Just to be sure, I went to my Chiropractor the "magician" and just like that, I can move without pain! He touches my neck and says "here it is" and makes it crack so loud that probably you all could hear it and then I get up and I can stand up straight for the first time in twenty-four hours! My neck fixed my back?!? And then I went back to work, took some more drugs, and hopefully didn't do anything to harm anyone. I was a little goofy, kinda silly I think, but I did try to restrain myself in front of my patients. Ah, drugs.

    What's the moral here? I don't know. Maybe it's good to go through such suffering to remind myself of my good health. Maybe the adjustment saved me from greater injury later. Maybe it's a way to avoid thinking about men and my lack of them. I do know that sometimes I want one and then, maybe hours later, I don't. Gotta figure that out. But I think I'd better wait to do that until I'm off the drugs.....and I'm me again.

    July 28, 2006

    Rori Changes My Life

    I was just beginning to think, maybe it's all too much work and maybe the girls are losing interest and maybe it's not worth the effort. But then we met last night and it was fabulous! We had a great dinner (thank you, Heather), the ladies were their lovely selves, we met a new delightful new woman Roseanne, and then we had a speaker, Coach Rori ( and My Life Changed.

    How often do we have those treasured moments, if we don't live in fear of them, when someone teaches us something that shakes us to the core?!? Rori did that. Her idea is that we have female energy and men have male energy but that we don't honor it. We women are so used to being powerful and assertive and taking charge that we forget to let the men be men. OK, it sounds like "the rules" or evangelical Christianity where the women are submissive and the men are "in charge" but it's not. It's about not doing so much work, sitting back and allowing men to rise to the occasion, allowing men to enjoy pursuing us, allowing ourselves to be pursued.

    I think of how I have learned to be like a man at work, how women sales people come in and the women apologize for intruding and the men never do and the men clearly ask for time with my boss and the women again say how they know he must be busy and they could come back and how I learned to act like a man, not apologizing or explaining myself but just acting tough and in control and without feelings.

    So, being "womanly" doesn't mean giving up my brains or my ideas or my needs, but sitting back and being soft and sweet and feminine. Boy, did I fight with that idea - it's almost like Rori was speaking another language and, at first, I couldn't comprehend what she was saying, that her words didn't make sense to me. Then, she described how we work sooooo hard to create and keep a relationship and I thought of all the times when guys didn't act like my picture of how I wanted them to be and I would sort of subtly coerce or urge or convince them that my way was better. "Wouldn't it be better it" or "Have you thought about doing it this way?" or any other way of making them "see the light." The thought of relaxing, not talking so much, allowing silences in which the guy has the time to speak - ah, that sounded right.

    So tonight I called a guy who had called me several times and I hadn't returned his calls - I wanted to practice what Rori had taught. I took a few deep breaths, sat on my patio and back in the chair, and decided to let him have room to reveal himself to me, let him find me appealing by my lack of aggression, and allow silences without trying to fill the time. And it was a delightful conversation during which I learned that he was a kind, intuitive, thoughtful guy who really listened and remembered what I said. When there was a pause or silence, I didn't rush to fill it, but waited and then he talked and I listened. I had been afraid that I would be a shrinking violet and passive and dumb, but I really felt calm. I wasn't trying to convince him that I was fabulous, I just allowed myself to respond to him and speak my mind and be real. I did my best to be in the moment, just listening and not thinking, and it was a peaceful, fun, and actually enriching conversation. I felt better about myself when it ended and, unlike the other times with other guys, didn't spend the next hour or so second guessing about what I should have said or wish I had been more charming or wondering how he felt about me. Rori had said that, if we relate on a feeling level, we would attract a guy who felt a pull toward us and clearly he wants to meet me and said he felt that we had already met and that he was "enchanted" by me. I was not worn out by trying to be something or someone, I just felt better for having spoken to him. Golly, I just can't wait to read Rori's book!