May 31, 2008

Men, sex, and the city.

Nice couple of days. My daughter and I went to see the movie Sex and the City on its opening night. The theater was filled with women, mostly in groups, and there were maybe four men total. When the movie started and the familiar opening music from the series was heard, the crowd clapped and cheered, like letting out a unified sense of relief that the movie was finally here.

It was a lovely 2 hours and 15 minutes of our ladies, Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte, in their lives four years after the series ended. They looked beautiful, wore amazing clothes and shoes, and were living fairy tale lives. I'm not going to give anything away, but suffice it to say that any problems or disappointments they faced were solved more easily and quickly and simply than in real life. We women have friends who know our hearts, we share each other's ups and downs, and we laugh and cry together with no hesitation. I think we all related to their long friendships, envying their clothes and relationships and closeness. My beautiful curly-haired daughter summed it up perfectly when she said that the movie showed the women living their dreams but staying true to who they were, not allowing men or relationships rob them of their unique selves. And yes, we went out afterwards for the series' famous Cosmopolitans and they were delicious.

And today, my daughter said that she didn't have enough Mommy time and invited me to go shopping with her to the Camarillo outlet mall and I was delighted to go. I have been trying to find the right word to describe the feeling of having a daughter who has grown into a woman I admire and love deeply and who still wants to spend time with me, her less-than-perfect mom. It's more than joy, more than satisfaction, more than pleasure, and I just don't have the right word to describe how much I enjoy and appreciate that my daughter wants my company. Just amazing. And I am grateful.

Then I got home and was going to get ready for a date tonight when I got a phone call from an old girlfriend who was stranded at the airport so I had to cancel my date and pick her up. She's a tough one, likes drama and has emotions that run strong and hot and cold. She's got a boyfriend of several years who she adores, but he has a flaw that she can't tolerate. It's not drugs or abuse or anything like that, but something he does that's like a previous boyfriend and just pushes her buttons. She's in a turmoil about whether to stay and hope that he changes or keep him for the affection and attention until something better comes along or just leave him. So she got on a plane and flew to Los Angeles and here she is. She says if she could turn off her head and just enjoy him it would be wonderful, but she isn't able to do that so she's taking a break and wants my advice.

Yah, right, like I'm an expert? I don't have a history of successful relationships myself. I'm a pushover for a guy that is smart and good-looking and witty and gives me affection and attention, just like her. I have this constant battle between my head and my heart, with my heart saying to love and enjoy him and my head saying to move on. So I turn to you, my loyal readers, for advice. What should she do?

May 28, 2008

Nighties, Cars, and Cleavage.

I want to get published. Someday. Before I die. I said that about getting a college degree and I got one at the age of 51. So, these things are possible. And tonight I was told by an almost perfect stranger (actually, I don't know how perfect he was, but he was a stranger before our conversation) that my writing would have to be on the erotic side in order to attract the attention of a publisher. Is that true? Do I have that sort of side? Would I be willing to share that with the world (or you, my very faithful blog readers)? I asked for help in getting this started and he said to use the word "diaphanous" in the third paragraph and to write about a sultry, slutty, 62-year-old woman and mention a white Jaguar S, a train station, being a figment of someone's imagination, and doting. Yes, doting, not dating, but doting. That's what he said. Really.

I usually think of eroticism as something shared between two people who know each other well, kinda like each other alot, and don't mind making messes, so I don't think I'm ready to write that kind of stuff here yet, but it does bring up some interesting subjects. Like does a woman really have to wear something see-through to turn on a guy, like spend money on this itchy garment and show up wearing it and then hear "Oh, that's nice, take it off"? And is it OK to fall for a guy because he's driving a cool car when we pride ourselves on our lack of materialism but we just swoon when we see its curves and hear its motor? (Oh, memories of that guy who spoke Spanish, called me Elena, and drove an E-type Jag.....oh, oh, oh...) And just where is the point where sultry becomes slutty, I ask? Like how much cleavage is Ok before we become sexual objects? (Oh, I forgot, we're always sexual objects. Not that I mind that, of course, but there's a time and a place. Oh, don't start with me that any time and any place is good. Don't go there.) And what the heck is erotic about a train station? It's noisy, busy, and people are coming and going? Oh, there's that word, I get it.

So clearly even thinking about this subject puts me in a silly mood. I do like talking about this stuff, even though I haven't done much of it on this blog. Or in real life, actually, but that's another post. A sad post. Gotta correct that. Oh, really I worry that my readers may expect me to be this upright respectable mother and grandmother and free party-giver and may be alarmed, or even aghast, at hearing this side of me, so for now I will stick to my usual fifty-single-dating stuff until I get the OK from you guys to be risque. Or not.

Come to the art show!

Thought I'd do something different. Usually I post stuff about me or my events or my women's group, but I'd like to let you know about a community event. One of the Wowetttes Kathy Keane is a nature photographer, among her many talents, and is exhibiting at a free community event in Chatsworth this Sunday June 1st. You can see pix of Kathy on my April 22nd post (or clicking on when you're done reading this one!)

It's a free event and it sounds like there would be fun for the whole family with lots of free parking and easy access. I'll put the official invitation below so you can see the details. I'll be helping Kathy in her booth, so come by and say hi!

Here's the scoop:

June 1, 2008
Sunday 10am to 5pm

Chatsworth Metrolink Depot
10040 Old Depot Plaza Road

An Interesting Variety of Original Art Works
Created by Valley Artists
Including: paintings, prints, watercolors, collage, sculpture,
fused and painted glass, photography, and jewelry

Horse Tales
A special equestrian themed art exhibit
and People's Choice Art competition

Silent Auction
A fundraiser to benefit the community art activities
of the Chatsworth Fine Arts Council

In Addition...
A Free Children's Art Project Booth
People's Choice Favorite Artist Award
And the Whistle Stop Cafe will be open

Live Music Performed by
Pianist John Corliss

Free Admission & Free Parking
10040 Old Depot Plaza Road is located in Chatsworth
Between Devonshire and Lassen
West of Canoga, and East of Topanga Canyon
Additional information: (818) 772-1639 or

May 21, 2008

Running water, brain tumors, and blessings.

Interesting week so far. I was besieged yesterday by public relations people at the Hospital where my docs work, looking for them to do TV and radio interviews about Senator Kennedy's brain tumor. I work for a group of neurosurgeons, so brain tumors are common in our vocabulary. If nothing else, working for these specialists has made me appreciate each day of life. I can't count how many patients I've met who have gone along with their daily stuff and then, in one very tiny moment of time, everything changes and life is never the same. Life is short, we know that in our office. I'm blessed to be healthy.

My daughter and her family were visited this week by her husband's step-sister on her way to Nepal to work in an orphanage in the poorest country in the world. She's doing work for her PhD, studying the effect of street children on the population. I can't even imagine how these next few months will change her life and thinking. She's a lovely young woman and I was blessed to be invited to have lunch with her and the grandchildren today. I think of how we take for granted the roof over our heads and the running water and that we have cars and jobs. We fuss over our own particular troubles, but I have to remember that there are countries where people have no food, where there are no bathrooms, and where children are often killed or kidnapped on their daily walk of maybe ten miles to fetch water for their families. Yet my daughter is healthy and happy, her husband is a dear, and the children are so very delightful. I am a mother and grandmother of really wonderful children and I am really blessed.

And I'm seeing a really special guy. I'm most turned on by how a man thinks and expresses himself and this guy is the most self aware and articulate person I've ever met. Plus he's easy on the eyes, makes it clear that doing things for me makes him very happy, and he seems to think I'm pretty special. He's giving and loving and just wants to be close to me but, because of past wounds, it's a struggle to allow myself to get close to a man like this, but the opportunity to know him and be challenged by what he shares with me is a blessing I wouldn't want to miss.

And I had the pleasure of meeting a new Wowette for dinner this week. She's beautiful and lovely and smart and down-to-earth and shared herself and her experiences with me like we'd been friends forever and I'm a changed person for that few hours of being with her. She's a lot like me in so many ways that it's amazing. I'm looking forward happily to getting to know her better. A new friend is a blessing that grows and grows.

So that's what's happening lately. What's the plan for the future? The Wow meeting this month is a get-together without a speaker and the ladies are being slow in RSVPing, which I don't understand. I won't beg or nag, and my policy is to let it happen as it will, but it's frustrating to make the effort and look forward to seeing the group gather and have them drag their feet in making a commitment. I don't understand it, but I know that whoever does show up will create a lovely and lively evening for me and bring joyful energy into my home. But I know that,no matter how few or how many ladies participate, I'm blessed to know these ladies and that they share their lives with me.

Next month, I'm planning another Guy Panel. We get a few cool guys to come to a Wow meeting which is usually all women and ask them questions about men. Like why do men do this or that and how do men think and what do they really want. I asked the guys in my Party Group to volunteer for the Panel and I got quite a few who responded. I thought it would be a learning experience for my ladies but one guy wrote that it would be the same for him. Listen to how cute he sounds: I think I would give up a body part to participate in your panel. It's not so much that I can speak for all the XYs out there, but I can speak from my experience. The most interesting factor would be hearing the questions. What is on the XX mind and what concerns they have. It's so much easier to just go to work and come home and watch TV since I have a natural inclination to be a hermit, but it's so rewarding and enriching to meet these new people and provide these experiences for my ladies that it's worth the effort. These are rich experiences for me and I am blessed in ways I never anticipate.

Geez, I could complain of my money woes and how expensive life is getting or that my body isn't what it was years ago or that I still have angst and anxiety sometimes or that my job is increasingly stressful or that I had one nasty time growing up or that my birth family doesn't get along, but I'd rather count my blessings, one by one, and revel in the pleasure and joy of knowing that life is what I make it, that I am one lucky person to have such kind and giving friends in my life, and that I am healthy and energetic and that I have a roof over my head and enough money to keep it there. Wow, I am one lucky woman, aren't I?

May 14, 2008

Options, questions, and love.

I like to understand things. The meaning of life, how men think, what should I do with my life, why is the sky blue? I try not to struggle with these issues and live fully in the moment, but I have a questioning mind and sometimes I just wonder about all of it. I think I have some things figured out and then I realize I just don't.

Like this dating thing. I have one friend who tells me to date five guys at once so that I won't get attached to the "wrong" guy and will keep my options open. I have another friend who calls me when her husband is behaving badly and tells me how lucky I am not to have a man in my life. I have another friend who, after four years of dating one guy and never knowing how she stands with him, is finally hearing him talk about how they could sell their respective homes and live together. I have another friend who just decided not to date anymore at all, how she has been much happier in her life when she is single and not looking for a romantic interest. But then you can see from my previous post about the party that many of us still want to make connections, to find "the one." And I don't know the answers again.

For me it's a mixed bag. I love that feeling of excitement when I'm with someone I care about, how I am happy when I see his name on my phone caller ID and that feeling in my gut when I open the front door and he's standing there. I like the giving and the taking and getting-to-know a new person. But then relationships like that make me see myself more clearly, both my healthy places and my wounded places. I was told a long time ago that relationships are meant to rub off our edges, that being close with another person makes us better and healthier and more confident people, but that process can be difficult and painful as we face those places in us we don't like to see but become obvious when we get close to another person. And that realization can hurt.

I met a guy recently who says that a good romantic relationship can make him feel "safe, warm, appreciated, cherished, and loved" and I know I'd like that. Yet, I've seen only a few long term relationships in my life that are happy and fulfilling and free from pain. Still, I like to think that a good relationship can be a safe place to fall, a sort of neutral zone where we can temporarily put aside our anguish about life's tragedies and just live in the moment, experiencing our senses and feeling loved. A place to laugh and giggle, even though the economy is bad and the war rages and life can be tough. Maybe I should just stop thinking so hard, just enjoy whatever life brings, and not shut any doors. I'd hate to miss something wonderful.

May 12, 2008

The party fun and some missed connections....

That was another fun party. Thanks to all of you who showed up looking so good and smiled and danced and met knew people and looked like you were having a really great time. From the pre-party dinner to cool band and their amazing music, it was a pleasure for me to watch you all enjoying yourselves. A big hug and thank you to the lovely ladies who greeted you and made your nametags! Here's some comments from the party goers:

Hi Ellen
A really fun party! You deserve a big vote of thanks from the singles who attended and had a fun place to go! There are not a lot of cool places available
for the diversified age groups and you have made a great one. I got off the wall and danced!
Thanks again, Bill

You go, Bill! You're a nice guy, a gentleman, and a good sport for putting up with me nudging you to get out there and meet some of the lovely ladies! Good going!

Thinks for inviting me and the many others were in attendance. I enjoyed myself and met someone called Olga, a cancer technologist. I like to thank her for the dances and pleasant conversation we exchanged She neglected to give me her email address which I am sure you have, but may be hidden in the many hundreds on your list.
externally I am

I hope she emails! Be sure to keep me posted!

Hi Ellen,
Yes it was a great party even though I couldn't dance with my leg cast still on. I did meet someone. "Jason" and his friend but they left to go to another club after they talked with us for about 2 hours. I would like to talk with him again, or however you post those things!.
Thanks for a terrific party, and what a band!!!!

OK, Jason, send me an email ( and give me a way to put you and Sharon together. I just met her and I liked her immediately, so I can imagine how much you must have enjoyed your time together!

There was a swing dancer named Mark, who didn't get to dance with or spend time with. Would have liked to have gotten to dance with and talk with him. He was late 40's to early 50's, a little overweight, and balding; seemed very nice. Debbie (blonde 54 year old in white dress with large turquiose flowers)

Hey Mark, Debbie wants to dance with you! Let me know how she can reach you!

Hi Ellen,
Thanks for organizing such a great party.
You rock!

Thanks, Paul! It's cool to hear that! I'm delighted you had fun.

Hi Ellen,
It was great to meet you and talk with you a bit at last night's gathering - another fun party. My friend Rosie enjoyed herself as well and we both thought the band was fabulous! Loved their music selections and their sound!
I enjoyed meeting the others we sat with over dinner earlier - all very nice people.
I hope you're feeling better and I look forward to connecting again soon!
Thanks again for the effort and time you make to pull these events/parties off!

Ah, Chris, it's meeting people like you that makes it all worthwhile. I'll look forward to getting to know you better soon!

I welcome any of your comments or thoughts about the party. I just think these parties attract the nicest people possible and I appreciate how you all come with such an upbeat attitude. You make the parties fun for everyone!

May 6, 2008

Music, laughter, and you!

I'm having another Cocktail Party! Picture a great band and a room full of single people in their 40s and 50s dancing and laughing and talking and having fun! The band this time is Sidetracs (check out to see what a cool band they are!) and I've got lots and lots of new people on my email party list, so let me know if you haven't received an invitation and I'll send one right out to you! (My email is

Meanwhile, here are the pix and details of some of the lovely ladies who will be greeting you at the door and making your name tags and wishing you a fun time:

This is Gail. I only met Gail recently and almost right away felt like we'd been friends for a long time. This is a picture of Gail at her son's wedding last year. I was a guest at the wedding and had a great time. Gail is smart and wise and kind and obviously lovely and I'm glad she's my friend.

This is Kathy. I've written a lot about her in recent posts. She is a wildlife biologist and nature photographer, has a really cool dog Onyx, is a really giving friend, and is a lot of fun to be with. She wrote a guest post a while back and was the host for my recent vacation in Baja, allowing me to share the beauty and fun of her home there. She's fun and funny and smart and, again, obviously lovely.

This is Cher and here's what she said to write about her, Nice, friendly 54 year-old woman looking to make friends to hang out with who share same interests/values. Looking forward to Saturday's event! Be sure to say hello when I greet you!

This is Chris. Honestly, I don't know Chris but I like her already. She recently found out about my women's group and the parties and wants to participate in all of them! And she volunteered to be a greeter for the party, so she must be a fun person!

There are lots more ladies like this coming to the party, I promise, so don't miss out on this free event. Great music, happy partygoers, and a perfect room to mix and mingle - it's a promise of a really fun Saturday night!

May 4, 2008

Men, dating, and desserts.

I'm home today with a head cold. That stuffy, icky, no energy feeling. I don't like to be sick, even with a cold, but I will rest and allow my body to heal and maybe I'll read a good book or take a nap. Sometimes I think my body gets sick to make me hold still and stop moving so fast.

So while I'm down, I'm thinking again about this dating-in-our-50s thing. I had dinner with a few of my single girlfriends last week and we talked about it, like how to really know if a guy is for real and not just trying to win us over, where we should meet a guy, how to decide when to have sex, and when to decide to move on to the next guy, etc. etc. etc. and so on. It was interesting that the general consensus is that we are all pretty happy, that we don't really feel a strong hunger to have a man in our lives, and that we'd be OK if one came along but it's not necessary. Maybe we're just tired of looking and being disappointed or maybe we just don't want to make the effort, or maybe we just don't want the drama of it all.

For me, it's a mixed bag. I like my life and I'm busy. I work, I have the Wow group and make an effort to stay in touch with my friends, I create the singles parties, I have time each week with my grandbabies, I have to keep up my house, and I exercise and take care of my health and all that goes with each one. Where would I put a guy in this schedule and what would be the advantage?

Yet I really think we all have a strong innate need to love and be loved. There's nothing quite as satisfying as having another human being know us well and love what they know. To be able to share our deepest selves with another person and be appreciated and respected and loved in spite of our flaws is powerful and energizing and encouraging and uplifting. And, if we find that person to be someone we admire and respect and we grow to love them back is even more satisfying and meaningful.

So I say that it's pretty terrific that we women have created interesting and fun lives for ourselves and that really don't need to have a man around to be happy. But, although we don't need a guy at this point of our lives, I have to admit that having a great guy to join us in this path might make our journey even richer. It's a good place to be, being in a position where a great guy would be like a delicious dessert, not necessary to the meal but making it all the more yummy.