March 30, 2008

Music, good food and drinks, and you!

Oh, that was SO much fun! Another fabulous party at the Warner Center Hilton! You looked good, you danced hard, you mixed and mingled, and sure looked like you were having fun. I lost count of how many of you told me that you were enjoying yourselves and wanted me to plan another party. You were fabulous!

Really, it continues to amaze me how I just book a room with a great band, do a lot of emailing, and then just let it happen and it turns out so good. I hear from so many of you, in person and in email, that there are just so few, if any, events like this that I am delighted to make it happen. But really, you are the ones who make it a success. You dress up, you bring friends or come alone, and you have a great attitude that lights up the room. From the fun conversation at dinner to the last song of the band, I enjoyed all of you!

I'm working on three hours of sleep here, so this will be short. I'll plan another party soon and let you know and, don't forget, if you want to join us on a cruise in November, call Bev at the Northridge AAA at 818-313-7671. There will be two other singles groups on the same cruise and neither Bev nor I make any commission on this -it's just another way for us to have fun! Imagine a whole long weekend of fun like last night? Enjoy the pix of the party!

March 29, 2008

The heart, pain, and a little music.

The heart is a strange place. It is the motor that makes the body function, pushing blood throughout our bodies. It beats and pumps and is something that we can't live without. We talk about broken hearts and happy hearts like it's our emotional center and maybe it is. It can malfunction and it can beat irregularly. We can shock it into normal rhythm and we can clean out its arteries, we can fix holes in it and we can take medications to make it function more strongly. We can hear its beat and we can see it beating on a pregnant woman's ultrasound. We use it allegorically in songs, like an achy-brakey heart or that we left it in San Francisco and it seems to be the center of our emotions, like it has feelings of its own. We talk about giving away our heart or holding someone close to our heart and speak about it as if it has a mind of its own, like "It is the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance." We read studies that show that bad relationships can literally hurt the heart, that those with worst close relationships are 34% more likely to have heart attacks than people with good relationships.

Yet, we crave intimacy, even though our past relationships may have been difficult and caused us pain. We have a strong innate desire to bond with another human being, a great pull to be known and loved for who we are. We want to fall in love, to lose ourselves in another's arms and heart, regardless of our past experiences or our current fears. We stay in bad relationships and often seek the same type of person who caused us hardships again and again. When our heart is involved, we seem to stop thinking, or we think but we ignore what we know and proceed full speed ahead into a relationship that is obviously doomed to fail. Or we allow past pain to hold us back from love, wounded by loving the wrong person, yet still failing to recognize that we can just change our choices and be more likely to create fulfilling relationships in the future.

What made me think about this, how our heart is so involved and our head so absent when it comes to love? I've been receiving emails about the upcoming party, emails from men who are anguishing over whether to come or not. One guy wrote that he was thinking about the party all week and decided that he wasn't up to going, that a party situation would be difficult for him because he's depressed and just needs one person to talk to. Another wrote that he was afraid to attend because he didn't have the right clothes to wear and was afraid to be rejected because of his lacking wardrobe. But to me I think it's just a party, a fun place to spend a few hours, with the possibility of finding someone we find appealing and who would find something in us that makes them want to know more. I think these guys are making excuses not to participate but that maybe it would make them feel more alive to be part of such a fun social time. I can't know into their hearts or believe I know what's best for them, but I can't help thinking that a time socializing with other single people their age would be good for them, maybe lift that sad guy out of his funk or show the wardrobe-challenged guy that he is worthwhile, regardless of his outsides.

Fear is such a motivating factor. Sometimes I think that many or most of our decisions are based on fear. Fear that we will fail, fear that we'll be rejected, fear of being made to look foolish. Yet the most gratifying things in life are not the easy ones but are those that make us stretch or bear the possibility of failure. Succeeding at the easy stuff can hardly equal the times when we pushed through the fear and did it anyoway. I remember one of my Wowettes coming to the last party, staying only for one hour because she was so anxious about socialing, yet she recounts it as a victory, that she didn't stay home but went out and did something so difficult and even that one hour was a great success, making her more willing and able to do something scary the next time.

I'm not sure the point here, except that we are all human, that we all feel the same emotions and pain, that life is for the living and that we might have some obligation to ourselves to enjoy it fully and walk through those fears. I have a tendency to want to stay home and avoid people, but I know I am most alive and happy in social settings, that being with people is invigorating and often a time when I feel great joy. So I hope that those out there with trepidation about the party will just do it, stop thinking about what might happen, and just show up and be open to what the night will bring. You never know, you might just have a good time, meet some other single people with the same issues and feelings as you and leave feeling more excited about life and who you are. It might be just what the heart doctor ordered!

March 28, 2008

Sparks, smart women, and Joy.

Another absolutely wonderful evening was had by the Wow ladies last night! It's always a joy to have my women's group into my home for potluck and speaker and last night was even more fun and meaningful than ever!

We had the pleasure of having Joy Chudacoff as our speaker. When I first saw Joy's website (, I had a hunch that what she had to offer was just what my Wow ladies and I needed to hear. Joy advertises that her services will help you identify what is most important to you, set goals and create actions plans, turn your dreams and big ideas into realities.... and those words really struck a chord in me.

From the moment Joy began to speak to us, we were entranced. She started by saying that all women are smart, but that we are so busy nurturing and taking care of others that we don't have time to realize just how smart and capable we really are. We may desire a life of passion and purpose but we're often just too busy to figure out how to make it happen. We can tell we are, indeed, living a life of purpose and passion by determining our energy level. If we are living such a life, our energy level will be high and we will feel it, getting out of bed each morning looking forward to what the day may bring. The reality is that we CAN do and create whatever we want in life and that we will have unlimited energy to make it happen.
She suggests that we just pay attention to our daily energy levels, identifying what we do for which our energy is unlimited or not will help us realize what it is that we enjoy and what we don't.

Joy says that there are three elements needed to create a spark or fire. The first is oxygen, which is really self-care in the areas of mind, body-health, relationships, and creativity. For the mind, she suggests we learn ways, such as meditation, to be able to hear our "inner voice," that voice that guides us and tells us truths about ourselves; that we exercise and eat well to have a healthy body; that we build relationships and seek "nutritious" people who encourage us, people who are "possibility people," those upbeat and positive people who help us visualize and accomplish our dreams; and that, to be creative, we learn to see things from a different perspective, through a different lens, so that we can realize what we already do that is creative and find more ways to be creative.

The second thing needed to create passion in our lives is fuel. Joy says that we need to identify our "PBAs," our "personal board of advisers." These are people who, without judgement, allow us to express our dreams and desires and encourage us to actualize them. These are our mentors and coaches and should be of all age groups, older and younger, to keep us fresh and have perspective. I love that Joy said she wakes up every morning thinking "who can teach me something today," and finds those pearls of wisdom from friends and the cashier at the market and co-workers and clients and her children alike. She says that "anyone can teach us something new."

The third thing needed is heat. She suggests we start by buying a small book of lined paper, 99c at the the office supply store, and put it in our purses with a pen so that it is always available we have a bright idea or the beginning of an idea. She then asked what she called "the Big Questions," which are: What is the most important thing missing from our lives? What do we need to let go of to move on with our lives? What could I change or add to my life...or, if you knew you could not fail, what would you do in your life? She reminded us that letting go is very uncomfortable but that we need to just do it, but to stop at each step of the journey and re-assess if we are still feeling the spark and passion before we move on.

Joy really made me think, which is the mark of an excellent speaker. I realized that, although my work has lately become difficult, it really is where I feel very worthwhile and valuable. I realized that I actually am very creative in my own way, starting this women's group and organizing the singles parties. And I certainly do have friends who push and encourage and make me feel loved- the room was full of them last night. So thanks to you, Joy, for sharing your own story with us and encouraging us to think and grow - I vow to spend some quiet time allowing that "little voice" to tell me what areas of my life might need change or growth. And big hugs to all the Wowettes and others who encourage and push and walk with me on this path of life!

March 22, 2008

Dinner, art deco, and fairy tales.

I had the pleasure of an evening with one of my favorite people. I met her a few years ago, being invited to join in on a small gathering of women who met regularly and we've been friends ever since. She is like a real sister to me, a beautiful and smart and kind woman who radiates life, and she listens to me and cares about me and I appreciate her more than words can say.

We had a nice dinner and then went to see the movie "Miss Pettigrew For A Day." I knew it would be light fare which made it especially appealing to me. I work hard, too, in a profession where I'm constantly reminded of my own mortality, so I enjoy times when I don't have to think and when I can escape my own particular life's angst.

The movie took place in 1939 and starred two wonderful actresses, Amy Adams and Frances McDormand, and a few rather gorgeous men as their co-stars. It was a fairy tale, really two fairy tales, about women and love and their prince charmings. I don't want to give away too much, but the ladies were struggling in different ways and had to make choices about who to love. Their decisions involved choosing between money or love and between sticking to what's safe or being brave. It was a fun movie to watch, full of great clothes and architecture of the period, a bit of history, and great art deco decorations. Kind of a feast for the eyes, for sure.

I remember thinking, at one point in the movie, that women love these fairy tales, that we are programmed to be moved by a man's sweet words toward us. We love to hear that a man thinks we are the woman of his dreams, and in real life we are often swayed to make bad decisions when we hear such sentiments. It's almost like it really touched my own heart, hearing these men in a movie profess their adoration of their co-stars, and I wondered if men hear this and are moved like we are. If these words don't do it for them, I wonder what makes men feel the same kind of tug at their own hearts. Is it when we flirt with them or when we say how much we appreciate their efforts or when we make the first moves in bed? Is it just being with us in public, realizing that a loving couple is an envy of others? Or is it just knowing that we are there, waiting for their call or their next advance? We women like to think that men think like we do, but I know it's not true. I'd love to know how guys think, I really would.

March 20, 2008

Who said there are no nice guys out there?

So the party is coming up soon and I put an ad on Craigslist to get more new guys for my ladies. I got lots of replies, some cool, some weird, some strange, and some guys I'd like to meet myself. Gotta share them with you, just gotta!

In the ad, I asked that the guys write back and tell me details about themselves and send me a picture. Here is the "can't you read instructions?" category:

hello sweetheart

do i know you, or do i know of you?

this nice guy Would like to know where and when is the party?

interested please call fredy 310-xxx-xxxx

sounds very interesting!

I am interested - send info please.


In the "I'm just too busy but I want to come anyway" category:

My name is Gary, divorced since 1997, fit, fun, high energy, 58, positive outlook on life, 5'11", well educated (BSBA and MS), live in a two bedroom flat in Redondo Beach (33 minute walk to Manhattan Beach pier), work in Cypress (Yamaha Motor Corporation), member of MOCA, Highways, Skirball, Hammer..... well traveled (3 months in Australia; 10 weeks doing New Zealand; lived and worked in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 1994-1996; 4 weeks in Egypt, 2 weeks in Israel, 6 days in Petra, Jordan, and 8 days doing the Gaza, Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus, and other Palestine territories; Italy twice (last time was in Naples for 6 weeks); Switzerland for 5 weeks; Spain for 4 weeks; Costa Rica for 4 weeks; last Christmas and New Year holiday was in Dusseldorf, Brugge, Rotterdam, and from 12/22/2007 - 01/06/was enjoying ; two years ago did Paris over the holidays for 3 weeks; Hong Kong twice; and so on. What may I bring to your party? I have a busy schedule as I treat myself constantly (doing Sequoia next weekend, and then doing Catalina the following weekend; and so on...

In the "Gee, maybe you aren't the party type" category:

I am a great guy. But am a tortoise and not a hare. That is why I don't go to your parties. I excel at a mile race not a forty yard dash. Hence I don't go to the parties. Any of your friends interested in that kind of guy?

Hi, thanks for the invite. Sounds like fun but I have to tell you I am uneasy about this. I do not dance, drink or do drugs (sober 18 years). I have been single a long time and have been retired for 4+ years due to heart attack. I am easy going and rather boring and wardrobe limited

In the "It's never going to happen" category:

Would you be interested in hearing from guys who are very successful, healthy, handsome, have a huge zest for life but are not single? I'm looking to broaden my horizons and CL seems the only place to do this. You're ad has intriqued me and I would be interesting in meeting someone.

I'm very kinky...interested?

I know this is a long shot, but are there any older ladies in your group that are discretely Dominant? I am a clean cut white, ucla grad, funny and polite, and I also used to be a personal submiisve boy to a member of LADS (los angeles Dommes and slaves). Are there any domm ladies in your group? that might also be loking for a discrete boy toy? house maid, boy

In the "Just take a risk, silly" category:

sounds like a fun event. please send me your photo. it's only fair.
I shared me with you. your turn. peace and joy

This could be interesting. Not sure how this would play out.
It could be a bunch of gals out kicking tires in the car lot, or a good mixer.

Lets have an eazy going party, as I am an eazy going kind of guy.

I am divorced and work in Real Estate I am into outdoors hiking and horseback riding indoors coffee and museums other fun events. I do not smoke or drink I am vegetarian and 48 years old. This could work possibly.

In the "You need to party" category:

hello seen your ad, and i am tired of the coffee dates myself, decent guy here, italian, 5'11 160 clean single drug free, ....kind, careing, respectful , romantic, passionate, own my biz, from sherman oaks... pic bellow....

I'm 55. I'm always mistaken for 40, but I am 55. I'm Asian, 5'8" and a fit 155lbs. I love participating in sports. I'm a good cook, creative in landscaping and good handy man. I'm currently going through a divorce after a 22 year marriage. I'm really at a crossroads and would like to find some direction. I hope that is enough.

In the "What the heck are you saying?" category:

I'm talking about fate here,do you know that love is a hard rock between two people and can't be torn apart and i believe when feelings are so powerful it's as if some force beyond your control is guiding you to someone who can make you happy beyond your wildest dreams...i like what you got in your profile how are you doing today? how have u been and wat have u been up to?could you please tell me more about you.. you care to chat?am here to meet the woman of my life tired of being lonely that's why i gave a mail. reply back soon am ready for serious relationship.

stop looking uve found what your looking for.hate to brag but ive been
married twice an can handel any 78 an want my last love easy to get
along with like everything but liver. can send u to heaven an back screaming all
the way i think. please call me ive been told im handsome an a great

I think I know you from Mr. Bill?

In the "I think I love you already" category:

Sounds like you have a great little group of ladies. I
am interested in meeting your group.

very nice - that would be great --- my name is Barry - I am 5'11" - bwn hair - hzl/green eyes - 51 yrs old - avg build - here is my pic please take a look and let me know - this is by far the best way to meet people yet ----

Thank You, see you there, I will help you set up.

That Ellen she's the H O T T E S T ! , Ellen can you please keep me on your emal list , Thank You

There ARE a lot of cool guys out there!!! Most of the guys had cool jobs and interesting hobbies and some travelled and all said they would really like a great woman at their side. My ladies and I are really looking forward to meeting all of you! I can't wait!

March 16, 2008

Craigslist, parties, and you.

I'm planning another free Cocktail Party. We meet at a local hotel where there is a live band and we dance and drink and meet new people and have fun. There's not many places here to do that, amazingly. When I was single in my 30s, there were so many great clubs and happy hours and places to meet that it was hard to choose, but now there's really no where to go. There are a few singles groups, but they're over-the-hill or they're those 10 minute date events that we tried and said we'd never go back. So last year, wanting to get a lot of guys together to meet the ladies in Wow, we had these parties and each one was more fun than the one before.

How do I find people to invite? Yes, I put an ad on Craigslist, offering men the opportunity to meet a group of women at once at a free party. I have more than 600 on my email list, men and women both, and we've had more than 100 people at each party. Imagine a whole room of people who just met and are laughing and dancing and talking and just enjoying everything!

So I put another ad on Craigslist, asking the guys to send a picture and let me know why I should invite them to the party. I received 40+ responses the first day and thought I'd share a few with you:

Im 51 dont smoke or drink and Im single, when is the party?
Well, hopefully I'm one of the ones.

Hi there. Well I am sure I am not "the one" but I thougt I would put myself out there for you and your friends.

Sounds like fun.

hi i am 48 nice looking and in good shape please send me some info about the party

I'm 52, 6'1", average build, professional, and live in Pacific Palisades. I'd love to know more about your party. I'm looking for a serious relationship - and the internet is a tough way to search for that special person. Maybe your party is the answer . .

I am out in the desert so I don't see myself going to any group event. And I still might want to participate.



No problem. I invite everyone who writes to me, except the guy who described what parts of me he would like to lick and the guy who is unhappily married and wants to make sure I won't put his picture on the 'net and the guy who sent me a picture of a body part. Everyone else gets an invitation, and so far they all sound like nice guys. So, if you are single, live near the Valley, and want to come to the party, just let me know!

March 9, 2008

Loss, feelings, and moving on.

I had lunch yesterday with two girlfriends who just broke up with their boyfriends. I've just gone through it myself, so it was good to talk about it with others going through it at the same time.

We're each handling the break-ups differently. One woman is sleeping a lot, and she admits that she's avoiding the feelings, hoping that when she wakes up she'll feel better and ready for dating again. She says that she knew it was coming and should have done it sooner, but she's sad at the loss. The other woman is going at record speed in her social life, filling every moment with friends and parties and going-going-going, and she, too, admits that she is doing it to avoid the pain. Myself, I'm somewhere in the middle, alternating between keeping busy and holding still, not quite knowing what to do next.

It's sad to break up, and the loss is palpable. We mourn what could have been, how we met a great guy and thought this would be our last love, that it would be wonderful and easy and fun and go on forever. We picture ourself as old folks, still holding hands and laughing and it isn't going to be that way so we get sad. We get mad at ourselves for what we did wrong, even if it's just picking the wrong guy again or not paying attention to the obvious red flags. We have fear about the future, thinking we'll be alone or never find anyone else again to love us or for us to love.

It's important to feel the feelings, think about what went wrong, and cherish the fun and joyful times. Each person comes into our life for a time and we don't know how long or short that time will be, but there is a meaning and value to whatever time it is. I learned a lot about myself in this relationship and I'm glad to have spent a few months with a nice guy. No matter what, it's important to live in the moment, not dwelling on regrets or worrying about the future, enjoy the day and make new memories. So today I'm off to an extra yoga class and practice my new work-out routine and then, who knows? Maybe I'll take a nap or call some friends or read a book or check out a new movie. And enjoy the moment, as best as I can.

March 3, 2008

Profiles, psychics, and heat.

I'm single again and my girlfriends are doing their best to keep me company. I'm doing fine but I appreciate their efforts. Nothing as good for the soul as laughing with the girlfriends, for sure.

One of the girls invited me to her house for Sunday dinner and to show me the responses she's received from some guys online. She has a really nice ad posted with a really pretty picture and has received a ton of responses. She saved the weird, silly, and just plain awful ones for me.

One guy sent a really ugly picture of himself, like he was nose to nose with the camera and wrote I AM OLD AND UGLY, WRIGHT TO ME ANYWAY FOR A LAUGH. At least he's honest, huh?

Some ladies get upset when a guy reveals something unpleasant about himself right away when meeting, but I'm a firm believer that it's a blessing to find out these things before we get more involved. One guy did it in his first email to my friend: I can be difficult. I don't care much for new age, alternative, postmodern, or touchy-feely stuff. I read a lot about politics, technical crap, and wide variety of other topics. I don't believe in ghosts, spirits, gods, miracles, psychics, astrology, UFO's, or GWBush. I don't go out much, don't want to quit smoking just now, don't want to get dressed up, and don't particularly want to meet lots of exciting new people or go places I haven't been. And what exactly about this would make us want to meet you?!?

Some guys just come on too strong too soon, like this one that wrote: That, and all you describe sounds wonderful.I am a romantic man with a sensual soul in search of a paramour.I am a right brain/left brain renaissance man.A man who loves kissing and cuddling and sexual heat. peace and joy. Slow down, big guy, and take it one step at a time!

Some guys just don't know that there are certain things they just should say to us, like the very young guy who wrote: hi i love mature women who are slim and sexy.. own your sensuality.. A fact, young man, we ladies don't like to be described as older, mature, or any other word that infers our age. We know how old we are, but we'd rather you not remind us.

It was a yummy dinner and a fun time with my friend. Think I'll pass on the profiles for a while and take some time to myself. Would love to hear about YOUR experiences online!

March 1, 2008

Snouts, fairy tales, and sharing.

Ah, Girls Night Out! We Wow ladies went out last night for dinner and a movie and it was wonderful. It's so interesting how each gathering is different, as each time there is a slightly different group of ladies attending and the picture we create is uniquely us. Just as relationships should be, we learn a little more about each other each time we meet. One of the ladies has had a rough week, working hard and dealing with issues in her condominium community, but feeling empowered by taking action. Another is dealing with health and finance issues, but still manages to smile and hope for the best. Another has a son who teaches at a college where there was recently a shooting, and we all could feel the anxiety she must have felt waiting for news. Another just returned from a snow weekend with the kids and had a great time, but realizes again the need to take time just for herself. And we learned, for the first time, that one of the ladies had been shot by a boyfriend and spent five long months recovering in a hospital, being fed intravenously and dreaming of Pina Coladas on a beach. A lovely, warm group of ladies who shared and laughed and uplifted each other, something we women just naturally do.

The movie was "Penelope" and I was a bit perplexed about what to write about it. For sure, it was a delightfully whimsical fairy tale about a girl born with a pig's nose, brought on by an old family curse. (Many generations ago, a male relative had gotten a washgirl pregnant but married a blue blood, and the curse was put on a future girl baby in the family by the pregnant woman's witch mother.) So our heroine, the lovely and talented Christina Ricci, lives with the facial deformity, sequestered in her house by her mother, and has to endure scores of men brought to be her husband but who run from the sight of her face. Of course, there is a Prince Charming (the amazingly sexy James McAvoy) and I can't tell you more details so I don't spoil the twists and turns.

It was fun to watch, really fun, but there is so much more to the story in terms of morals and values and meaning. Such as some people see only our outsides, but we have riches of personality and character below the surface. Some people respond positively to our differences, knowing that it brings spice and even joy to their lives. And we need to love ourselves, really acknowledge who we are and love ourselves. Curses, as in life's difficulties today, can only affect us by how we view them. There was lots of food for thought in such a fanciful story.

But I asked the ladies what really should I write about the story, what really did we learn or gain from watching it? Being a fairy tale where the handsome prince rescues the lady is one of the things we learned as little girls and has haunted some of our adult relationships, how a real man can't measure up to that fantasy. Imagine being kissed by the scraggly, but immensely sexy James McAvoy who finally brings true love? You get the picture. But my very wise and beautiful curly-haired daughter, who joined us for the evening, said that it's that life is tough and having a few hours of watching a hopeful and joyful film is really a delightful break from reality, that we need time away from our daily issues to restore our spirits. For me, an evening with my women friends is a sure way to accomplish that, every time.