September 29, 2007

Love, hobbies, and time.

What if you fall for the greatest guy ever and he's already married? I have a friend who has the nicest boyfriend and is so happy with him, except that he's married. Or it feels like he's married. He has a hobby, a fun and good hobby, and she's happy that he has something interesting to do and that he's not a couch potato, but it keeps him really busy and she feels like the hobby is his first love. It takes him away several nights a week and sometimes most of the weekend, and she's feeling "second class." He plans his week's activities and then calls her and asks to see her if and when he has an evening unplanned or for the part of the weekend when's he's not busy with his hobby. And she knows almost nothing about what he does or where he goes and she really feels quite left out, like its all a big secret or that she's not important enough for him to share this with her. She says it feels bad having his left-over time and wants him to put her first, just to have an attitude that she is more important, or at least AS important, as his hobby.

So I have to think about this, like how exactly do we fit a guy into our already busy lives. I have one female friend who is so busy that, if I want to get together with her, I have to plan three to four weeks in advance, and I wonder how would she ever have time for a boyfriend? Should we give up something or it is just an attitude shift? If we really say we value our boyfriend but we don't make time for him, real time and good time and time to do things and uninterrupted time to do nothing together, are we really making him a priority? Gotta think, how would I feel if I were getting the left-overs, whatever minutes or hours were left after he's made other plans?

I hear you saying that maybe we should participate in the guy's hobby, but he doesn't invite us and it appears we'd not be welcome there. And I hear the voice saying, "he's such an amazing guy, why not just tolerate this?" But I've been with guys like this and I remember feeling unimportant and unvalued and it's just not a good feeling. Love can't survive resentment.

Relationships require compromise, we've all heard that. My friend really, really likes this guy - he's fun and funny and attentive and kind. So what's a girl to go? I told her that she needs to have "that talk" about it, to sit down and tell him how she feels. Not point the finger at him or tell him he's been bad, but to share her feelings, that she wants to feel she's important to him and that she needs to see that in action. That she doesn't want to give him up because he really is a terrific guy and clearly she loves him and he adores her and their limited time together is really rich. That she wants to work it out and make this work well for both of them. That she wants them to be happy, him having time for his hobbies and her feeling valued. Maybe he just doesn't realize what's happening because she hasn't said anything about it and that her previous acceptance of their schedule has made him feel that all is well, sort of an implied consent for his actions and choices.

One has to be brave in relationships, willing to state the truth and be willing to lose it all. I hear over and over that honest communication is the key to a successful relationship. And this means really telling the other person what we need and what we aren't willing to tolerate. And this means listening, really hearing what the other person is saying, and being willing to hear something that might make us feel uncomfortable. It's tough to really tell the other person what we feel or what we need, there's such a fear of rejection. Really, what could happen? He could get mad and leave. He could listen and do nothing. He could do something and then revert to his old ways when he knows we're happy again. Or it could be the start of something even more wonderful, when both of you get what you need, when one person feels good about having spoken up and the other feels good at helping to make the other feel good. When both people feel important and loved. Sounds like a win-win to me!

September 28, 2007

Exercise, diet, and Al.

We have Wow meetings every month. We met last night for potluck and speaker and, as usual, it was a wonderful, nourishing, and fun time. The ladies bring yummy food and desserts and we sit and eat and laugh and share and generally just have a good time together. This meeting was especially mellow, just a very nice vibe all around. I really enjoyed everything.

Most of us ladies don't take good enough care of ourselves. Oh, we look good, especially for our age, but we often put others first and don't make the time or take the money to do the things that pamper ourselves. Or we do some of the things, like getting our nails done and hair colored, but we don't get enough massages or see enough movies and stuff like that.

The speaker last night was Al Deveyra, a physical trainer, who reminded us, in a variety of ways, that we need to take better care of ourselves. We need to watch what we eat, exercise more as the years pass, and get bone density scans. We need to get enough sleep and avoid sugar subsitutes. We need to watch our portion size, vary our exercise routines, and find ways to get and stay motivated. We need to avoid fructose, pay attention to how we feel better when we work out, and avoid stress. If you want a good trainer or more information, you can find Al at Thanks Al, we enjoyed you!

So, dancing is exercise, right? Do you know we're having another Cocktail Party on October 6th? You can see pix and details of our past parties on previous posts. if you want to come to the party, email me at Until then, eat your veggies, stay positive, take some deep breaths, and wake up each morning ready to take on the world. Whether you feel like it or not!

September 22, 2007

You are invited to the next Cocktail Party!

We're having another party. Yes, another party. It's hard to meet quality single people our age, and many of us are using online dating sites with little success, so I have hosted six or seven, I lost count, cocktail parties at a local hotel. There's no cover charge, the band rocks, and the room is made for mixing and mingling. There's a connected outside patio and a balcony full of chairs and lots and lots of people show up and it sure looked like they were having fun. I have some lovely ladies greeting the guests as they walk in and equally lovely ladies making name tags and saying hi. What's there to lose?

To get a list of single people our age, I have advertised on a dating sites and I continue to get a great response with pix and descriptions of guys who I know my ladies would like to meet. Most of you sound terrific, really good, and I hope you'll join the next party on October 6th. If you haven't received the details and you live near the San Fernando Valley (just north of Hollywood and Los Angeles), send an email to and I'll send you the particulars. There will be a few other singles groups invited, including my friend Rookie's - she has an email list of 1700! So, if the next one is like the last ones, we should have a really fun time, dancing and mingling and meeting some single people our age.

Thought I'd share some of the emails I've received from the new guys interested in joining the party. I asked for the guys to send a picture and tell me something about themselves that would make me want to invite them to the party, and most of the responses were just that, and the guys looked and sounded really good. Here are some of the others (and my comments):

---From "Nice and Sexy Guy":

----im a smoker, im 24 and ill give you the stamina and attitude guys lack at that age. (OK, maybe, but we all have children older than you and whatever would we talke about. Oh, right, we're not supposed to talk...)

----Hello, your proposal for a larger get together sounds intriguing and I would like to participate. I am in Orange Co., but don't mind driving to hopefully meet my last romance. (Good attitude! The ladies might just love you!)

---send pics? (Ah, honey, life is a risk! How can you lose when I offer you a room full of fabulous women and you just have to show up?!?)

----young oral stud has counter offer whats up? i am a sexy 23 year old man with a great body and an insatiable libido, and would love to have you and your friends over for an orgy. (OK, I really couldn't print the rest of his email, as he quite clearly referred to, um, um, let's see how can I put this? OK, a "buffet" of something that he liked to eat? 'Nuf said. And no, he's not invited to the party.)

----Not sure if I would be into a group singles thing, but I am looking for a romantic partner in life. (A whole room full of single ladies looking for a great guy? Should be worth the risk, huh?)

----I appreciated your candor as far as your ad. I'm not sure what angle to take so I'll just be straight. I'd like to have a passionate relationship. For example, one that means sharing things like a good joke, a great song on the radio and sharing eating ice cream in the bath tub. (I love ice cream and I love baths, just never thought of doing both at the same time!)

---I am non smoking. I live in your area, i work , have a job, no children, never been to jail. (Well, that's good to know up front, thank you!)

----im 50 sicilian goodlooking and very rich$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ (Ah, money can't buy happiness, sorry, but you're welcome to buy drinks for a few of the ladies!)

Whew! Guys are kinda weird, huh? But we do love them anyways. We ladies aren't weird or strange, right? Of course not. OK, see you at the party. xo

September 17, 2007

A great bunch of women.

Wow is almost two years old. Before I created Wow, I found myself recovering from a bad break-up and realizing that all of my single girlfriends had moved or married or were otherwise unavailable. So, at the advice (and serious pushing) of my beautiful curly-haired daughter, I emailed women on and JDate who were near my age and location and invited them to meet for dinner and the rest is history. We've had two amazing years together, meeting at least once a month for potluck and usually a speaker and I am a better and happier person for having these delightful women in my life. We've added a few ladies during the years and each has brought a unique view of the world. The speakers have made me think and grow, and the friendship of the Wowettes has brought me joy. I can't imagine these ladies not being in my life.

It's hard to really define the impact of friends on our lives. These ladies have shown me that I'm not alone in my feelings or struggles. They have encouraged me and scolded me and applauded me and I'm a much better person because of them. They bring delicious food to my house for the potlucks and they invite me out for meals to hear about what's new in my life and to share theirs. And I am grateful to be a part of their lives and thinking about the upcoming year together makes me smile.

They are a diverse group of women. A few have been through medical issues and have come through healthy. We've each had heartaches and joys. Some keep a list of their coffee dates with new men and one has been in a new relationship with a dream guy who she met shortly after Wow was formed. We have a travel agent who plans our now yearly singles cruise and always makes me laugh and giggle. Another is always smiling and spent her vacation this year working on an Indian reservation, a big change for someone who never misses her weekly facial and always looks well accessorized. Two have written amazing guest blog posts, sharing their lives with all of you readers. One misses meetings so she can take dance and singing lessons. Another new member invited me to the wedding of her son and shared with me one of the most special days of her life. I have grown to love them all.

The Wowettes have all have expressed an interest in having a new man, a new great love, in their lives. Many have used online dating sites and most are still looking, these smart and beautiful women just hoping to add romance to their lives. Thinking it would be easier to meet a whole bunch of singles guys in person at once, I orchestrated several free parties at a local hotel. We greeted the guests, danced the night away, and it seemed like it was a fun night out for all. And I met a man myself at one of these parties, a delightful and kind and wise and sexy guy who seems to think I'm a great addition to his life. I found speakers easily for the meetings and they've all given us something to make us stronger women and all have expressed their pleasure at meeting us. Whatever I've planned just flowed easily with no snags or aggravations, just like it was meant to be.

What's the point here? That friends, good friends, are like nourishment for our souls. That sometimes we have to listen to that little voice inside of us that tells us what to do and just do it and that we have to be willing to take some risks to make something happen sometimes. That money and fame and security are lovely, but it is the friendships that bring riches to our lives. So, I thank all of my lovely Wowettes for sharing their lives with me so generously and say that I cherish the memories we have created and look forward with great excitement in creating more.

September 12, 2007

This little light of mine.

There is something meaningful and nourishing about traditions, those ritualistic things we do to celebrate events and holidays. Think of weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and all the times where we perform certain acts, hear certain music, and recite certain sayings that really bring us together as we share what has been done for decades or centuries. It's a way to connect with each other, to remember those who came before us, and to think hopefully about the future. This is the season for the Jewish High Holidays, to celebrate their New Year and to atone for the sins of the past year. Rosh Hashanah is the New Year, followed by ten days of personal self-examination leading to Yom Kippur, one of the holiest and most solemn days of the year. Its central theme is atonement and repentance for sins against both God and one's fellow man. There are feasts and fasting, recitations of prayers and reading of sacred text, as Jews gather to perform rituals celebrated in the same way as their ancestors.

We have far more rituals in our life than we realize, and most are ones we have created and continue without thought. Consider the hug and kiss when we see a friend, the "have a nice day" we say here or the "y'all come back" that I hear when I visit the south. I have read from the same Pooh story book to my grandchildren since they were tiny, as they prepare for a nap or a night of sleep, and they won't let me stop or read a different book. When I come home from work, I take off my shoes, unhook my bra, and change into something "comfy" before I read the mail and make dinner. In the morning before work, I put on sweats and tennies, put the dog on a leash, grab my cell phone and a plastic doggy-poopy bag, and head out for a walk, the same walk every time. Rituals are comforting and help us to live ordered lives in the midst of a chaotic world.

But sometimes it's good to shake thing up. Remember when I stopped the home delivery of the LA Times, which I'd received for decades and my life changed? I really noticed the difference, how I found other things to do with all the time I had spent reading it. A little shift, even parking in a different place for work or doing things in a different order, can create bigger changes.

I think I'm trying to say that sometimes we get into ruts. Some are good and help us have harmony and order in our lives. Some we just don't realize we're doing. I keep hearing that quote from Socrates, that "an unexamined life is not worth living." Maybe at this time of the year when the Jews spend ten days in self-examination, each looking individually at ways to be kinder and more generous and more compassionate, when it would be good for all of us to take a look at ways that we could better our lives and the lives of those around us. It can just be smiling at the guy or gal behind the counter when you get your morning coffee or really listening and not talking when our friends or even strangers talk to us. It could be being aware of our negative thinking and being more positive. Everything we do creates an energy in the world, either good or bad, so I vote that we take this time to find a few places or actions in our lives that might be negative and replace them with something positive or even joyful. I'll bet this will make us feel better about life and even might add a moment of happiness to the lives of others. We can't individually end the war or cure cancer, but we can sure shine a little light into the little space and time we are given. Let's do it!

September 9, 2007

Meet my new friend, Nadine.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of spending the day with the mother of the new boyfriend. He's really a very, very good person and an equally good boyfriend. He's kind and thoughtful and attentive and affectionate and likes to plan fun things and makes it clear to me how he feels about me and that he appreciates what we have together. And this is his mother.

Nadine will be 94 years old this month. You'd never guess her age, just never. She looks young and has a smile that warms a room. When I first met her, I asked her what she attributes her longitivity to, and she admitted that part of it is her upbeat attitude, that she always looks for the best in people and life. Just like me, and maybe most of us, she has to push herself to do what's good for her, like eating healthy food and exercising every day and admits that ice cream is her weakness. She walks, either on her treadmill or about her town, and when I dropped her off after five hours of walking around a quilt show and having lunch, she said she was going to rest a minute or so and then take her daily walk. She goes to the local Senior Center, plays cards weekly with friends, loves to play the penny machines at the casinos, and participates in a book club with a dozen other women. She says that she tends to worry and will usually pick up a good book to read when that happens. She was a college graduate when it wasn't common to see a woman in college and had a career as an educator.

But most of all she is delightful company. She is smart and wise and shares herself freely with me. She's perceptive and sees right through me and surprises me with suggestions on how to surmount what she thinks are my difficulties, even when I haven't really told her the whole story. And she makes me laugh, she just will crack me up without warning. She says that her family gets together at Christmas and she is the one that plans the fun part of the festivities. She comes up with a theme and everyone has to act out some idea of hers and no complaining is allowed. Apparently, last year the boyfriend and another grown male relative picked the card that said they were to dress up in ladies clothes and dance. Oh, I wish I could see pictures of that. Can you imagine how much laughter was in that room, all the creation of this lovely lady?

She shared old newspaper clippings with me that told of her parents, her father a "successful minister and business man" who, with Nadine's mother, opened a small grocery in their backyard in 1911, a single room 12x18 feet, stocked with $37 of merchandise, which grew to seven groceries and many accolades by their community. Called a "living legend," Nadine's mother shared her husband's pastoral duties, managed her growing family, was a "kind and interested friend of her customers and was the "confidant of those in all walks of life," and was "never too busy to have an attentive ear for the troubles of others." Known as a staunch supporter of causes "she deemed right," apparently few politicians "ran for office without seeking her counsel." She shunned publicity and was "content to remain in the background when she performed many deeds of community and personal service." Nadine's parents were both college-educated, as were all of their children, most with advanced degrees.

Life is what we ourselves make it, I'm reminded again and again. We have this one chance to be happy, to have a positive effect on those around us, to leave our imprint in our community. What didn't I tell you about the lovely and wise and fun and caring Nadine? It's that her parents, the successful minister and the well-respected grocery store owner and community legend were children of slaves. It's my privilege to consider her a friend.