April 19, 2010

The gift we leave behind.

I just heard that a friend of mine died a few days ago. Larry Painter was a boyfriend from the late 80s who I saw every few years since then, catching up on our lives like we'd never been apart. Tall, blond, good-looking with dimples, always with a smile on his face. He was the only person in my life who called me, not Ellen, but L...N. The initials, said with affection.

He wasn't the usual guy in our materialist society. He never had much in the way of possessions, but he really appreciated what he did have and did not seem to desire more. When he was with me, I always felt that he was fully there, concentrating on being with me, for whatever time we were together. There was something in him that kept him from deeper commitment, but he was content with his life and never sought the answers to what it might be. He made friends easily, he loved people, and most of all he loved his daughter. I always felt there was some unexplained sadness beneath his wonderful smile, like he never quite knew why he didn't achieve many of his dreams, but he lived like each day was enough, that he was grateful for whatever pleasures that day might bring.

I don't think love goes away. I think that we carry a piece of everyone we meet, that the minutes or years we are together change each of us, make us different people. Larry's joy and love softened me, made me more relaxed, allowed me to breathe in life more deeply. I'll bet he did that for lots and lots of people lucky enough to have known him.

April 10, 2010

The fog lifts and the carpets get cleaned.

Picture a really foggy day. You can't see the light, it's cold, you don't know where you are, and you're scared. OK, that's been my life for the past few years, but I didn't realize it. And then, I had a melt-down, couldn't stop crying, and my assistant at work made me go to my doctor. Since my regular doc is out on maternity leave, I end up with a handsome temp doc with the loveliest Italian accent and the very, very kindest manner. He didn't know me and there I was crying in his office and he talked and listened and talked some more and gave me some nice meds and said to come back in one week. Then he said that I needed to stop rescuing my employers, to just agree to do what they asked, even when I knew their ideas wouldn't work and might even cause them harm. And then I started getting better.

There's this thing with momentum. Either you are stuck in one place or you're moving forward. How did I get moving? I got my carpets cleaned. Simple, huh? But now I was moving, feeling more in control of my life, starting to feel empowered and strong. I cleaned closets, sorted through the garage, and had a garage sale. Got rid of dirt and clutter and old stuff and I feel like a big weight has been lifted. Along the way, I did update my resume and start thinking about how I really could, after 32 years in one job, get another one and that it might be really good for me and a great adventure. I went to the doctor again and he said I have reclaimed my life. Nice. I'm sure feeling better. Still have some moments of panic and fear, but generally feeling strong.

Now that the fog has lifted, I'm feeling like dating again, so I create a personal ad, telling a little about me and asking for the guy to be over 50, live near me, be unattached/unmarried, and asking that the guys write something about themselves and send a picture. Pretty simple instructions, I think, but the replies? I'll just let you be the judge:

In the “what about unattached/unmarried don’t you understand” category:

I am peter 60wtm, 5.6" and 170 lbs. very healthy and active and like your ad, very open minded, but before we start i would like to say something as an honest man. My wife is disable for 11 years and my first time I decided to start a life. is this acceptable? I live in Burbank. I appreciate your honest answer

hi im 52 years old im from n.hollywood im unhappy married lets meet


In the “I’m only going to write one line and I just know you’ll want me anyway” category:

What are you doing ? Blessings G

if you like lets hook up

i wouldn't kick you out of bed.

do you have any tats?

Hi,looking very nice lets strike up a conversation lv.a no.

Hello, Want to know if your real? Don't mine send a pic

my lucky day...i just turned 50

Hey I will love to get to now u

how about an ongoing casual relationship...


hello i am 55 i am 6ft 2'' i am 215 lbs i am interested in you we should talk

hey my name is Jessy...please respond

I'm 40/m LA close to pasadena. You Make The Call?


In the “I’m leaving town for a long time but I’m just so sure you’ll want to wait for me” category:

I'm 57 years old and live in the West SFV. I wish I had more time to spend communicating this reply but I'm very busy right now trying to put business and personnel things in order before leaving on Wednesday to spend a month exploring The Yucatan. I liked what you had to say in your post and would like very much to get to know you better. Please send me and email or give me a call and let me know how to contact you when I return in the beginning of may. I hope to hear from you,

In the “I refuse to use good grammar or spelling but aren't I fabulous anyway?" category:

well i see your looking for a older man well i am older (55) and getting older by the day i am a privet body guard and own a security business i travel all over the world with clients and would love to find a strong woman to share my time with i am sending a pic of myself so you tell me..

ok now talk to me what you arent a 1 and done type are you you got my pic but still i have not recieved yours all i ask is that you be up front with me ok if i dont make the your cut just tell me ok so i can at least move on is that to much to ask for ????

wow I like the way you look, my name is emilio I have 41 yrs old 5:06 (tall) 135 lbs. I like to go 3 or 4 times to the gym I like to do Sport E. so I want to be honest w/ you I realy like to meet you I love the people like you honey w/ more age them me please I just neet to meet you I live close to you lest give me a change I not desapoint you please thanks and have a nice day I hope you hear of you

In the “I’ll bet my anger will make you hot” category:

In the order mentioned: I think I'm real, divorced 15 years ago, not
attached and 66. Done drown spiritually, like to lauch but what is there to
laugh about in this economy, who is emotionall healthy in this economy
screwed by the Republican deregulatinist. How is that for putting you on the

I am ready for a good, solid relationship with any intelligent person.
Period. I am somewhat solvent at the moment provided the economy does not
tank dramatically even more. I am a realtor which explains all. I do not
think that it was the subprime loans that did this economy in but the credit
default swaps that were widely sold by AGI and others that did us in.

And finally, in the “Let’s get right to the point” category:

I Like to Kiss and F--- and Dance