Driving in L.A. Dating Schmating

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Driving in L.A.—Dating Schmating

What is love? Do we have a soul mate or true love like Wesley and Buttercup, or do we simply blindly stumble through life with our arms open, seeking the “one,” eyes closed and heart vulnerable to all attacks foreign and domestic?

My husband now passed on, once told me we were soul mates. I never probed further to find out why he had drawn that conclusion since at that time we were divorced and he was happily ensconced in the arms of a new girlfriend that seemed like a good fit.

Begs the question were we soul mates? Or if we were than why weren’t we together forever? Isn’t that the meaning of a soul mate, the joining together of two parts of a soul to complete one?

So I imagine that if you don’t meet your true soul mate you are doomed to walk the earth with half of you missing. Although half of married couples would gladly be missing that other half, hence the divorce rate, I still choose to believe in that ancient myth about knowing immediately you have found your other half. Despite the fact I have been wrong on too many occasions, I remain a hopeful romantic.

Dating in what is laughingly referred to as the golden years is not for the faint of heart. There are few opportunities to meet a significant other save for dating sites or hobbies. Perhaps through a fix up by friends or just randomly minding your business and like in the movies you run into a building out of the rain, your eyes meet and you instantly know that’s it, they are the one and you live happily ever after.

Of course no one tells you that on your wedding night your husband drops his pants and leaves them lying on that floor for the next fifty years. Oh I’m sorry, am I corrupting the fairy-tale ending? I often wondered when Cinderella rode off with her prince; did he snore, pick his nose in public or hold the covers over her head when he farted in bed? Guess they left that part of the story out.

There have been moments when I was swept away by the notion of a soul mate. Not for the obvious reasons of a glorious exciting affair dancing through Paris at night in a montage of starlit skies and clinking wine glasses. No, because of the fact it seems it would be so damn easy!

Being of a certain age I have little patience for the so- tell-me-about-yourself bull crap that has become a necessity for getting to know someone. Then you must figure out if they are dating three other women besides you, if they are lying about their age, are after your money, a serial killer or whatever other horror stories one hears every day. If you knew right away you were soul mates how easy is that?

Okay, let’s forego all the other junk, get married or be a couple and move forward.

Easy peasey and made for the lazy at love.

I imagine that’s why many people hook up at class reunions because it’s so easy. Whew I don’t have to ask you a single question cause I know everything about you. My Aunt Marcia played bridge with your cousin Sue and I’ve heard all about you; simple yet effective.

But what if you have a soul mate and he’s a serial killer or drug addict or thinks monogamy is a dirty word?

If this man is your destiny or perhaps a lesson you are here to learn then is there a way to say, no thanks I’ll pass?

Or is everyone who comes into your life in a meaningful way actually your destiny? If we are here to learn lessons as so many believe, then a soul mate can be a real nightmare if there is a lesson to be learned from living with or loving them.

Wouldn’t life just be easier if could just use an x-ray machine on every man we went out with to see what’s going on inside his head?

Or perhaps a lie detector test would be appropriate on a first date?

You say your ex wife was a nightmare? Oops lines off the charts.

Okay, so you say you never would cheat on a woman. Lines again.

Uh Huh and you never take drugs. Running out of paper here.

So you are very wealthy and need no one’s money. Oops running out of ink here, guess that one is off the charts as well.

You spent how much time in prison??

That would be a short first date, but a productive one.

The trouble with the process is that one never learns these truths until it’s way too late.

Although it’s true some men are up front about their shortcomings because, believe it or not, they have no remorse for their misdeeds.

I actually went out for coffee with a man who’d been arrested and charged for swindling people in the penny stock scandal of the nineties.

He complained bitterly about how the government had taken away all his toys, money and other goodies.

I asked, “ What about all those people whose pensions and savings you destroyed and stole?”

“Shit happens,” he responded unapologetically. End of date.

I, as most others, would like to believe that a soul mate has to be the perfect person for us. But what does that really mean?

Maybe we’re far too trusting and we need a man to wake us up to stop our romanticizing everyone we fall for. So that soul mate may be someone who ultimately comes into our life to hurt us…in a good way of course. But can being hurt be good?

There is an expression I have heard countless times…You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet Prince Charming.

Well I assume that many of you, as I am, are covered with so many warts we have to wear long-sleeved shirts all year long.

And if that is true when is enough enough?

Are there a set number of frogs we must endure before achieving love nirvana? Who decides that amount? Is it ultimately up to us to decide when we’ve had our fill of warts?

I am a firm believer in two very crucial elements to this puzzle.

One: some people are just born smarter than others on this subject. They seem to know at an early age what they are seeking and ultimately need to make them happy.

And two: there is luck involved here as well. But I do concede that part of that luck could be attached to the smarts part of the equation.

Yes, I admit some people take longer to learn lessons than others. As my daughter has pointed put on numerous occasions, “Mother, lessons not learned will be repeated.”

And as an aside, yes we all want our children to be smarter than us, but it does come back to bite you in the ass sometimes does it not?

Anyway I digress. So what can we do to ensure we can get smarter and thereby luckier where love is concerned?

Perhaps it helps to reexamine a problem with a fresh perspective.

If you are always attracted to a certain type of man, maybe changing things up might work in one’s favor.

I am a sucker for a sense of humor in a man, but I always found after the laughter stopped the crying commenced.

So maybe someone sullen and serious is the ticket. I’ll do the jokes here, thank you.

Of course I have no idea if I could survive a man without humor, so that might not be the answer.

I guess what I’m ultimately saying is that there is no answer.

I suppose you must go with your gut and hope for the best. Perhaps we also need to understand that as we grow and change so does what we need in another person to make us happy. Then begs the question, shouldn’t we already be happy within ourselves and not look for someone else to complete us?

Dating at any age is brutal and the older you get the more set in your ways you become.
If true love is in your future I applaud you and I am one who believes the more love you have the better life is.

Good luck with finding Mr. Right to enhance and add more happiness to your life.

I will spend my time creating and building that frog-revealing lie detector machine. I’ll let you know when I’m ready to take orders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resolving to Remember Sara Lee

 

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Resolving to Remember Sara Lee

With the New Year comes resolutions. Yes, we all make them whether silently or out loud they creep into our mind with the stealth ability of a Russian spy satellite. And they are there, embedded into our psyche lurking and smirking while we valiantly attempt to live up to our goals.

Good luck with that one.

Talk about setting oneself up for failure. Of course we all wax nostalgic at this time and, of course, the smartest resolution would be to break all your New Year’s resolutions, thereby setting oneself up for achievable success.

How do you keep a resolution? If you ask most people, they don’t.

Because of all the craziness of the last year, one might ponder the best way to ease into 2020. A new decade filled with new hope, but for what? How easy does life get when one finally realizes that the force Obi Won wished would be with you is gravity, and it is no friend to anyone over the age of 35.

The passing of time, thankfully, usually goes unnoticed. Most people mark the passage of years with key events in their lives. A wedding, baptism, Bar Mitzvah, divorce.

Yet looking back, it’s sometimes the small things we remember most: a smile from someone we love, a first kiss, the first time our baby writes on the walls with a marker, the first insult from our mother-in-law.

If it’s true we don’t realize what we’ve lost until it’s gone and never wake up until it’s too late, this may be a good time to take stock of what’s important, what makes us happy. Things we have previously taken for granted, like privacy. Hold on, I have to re-tape the front of my computer because they, whoever they are, are watching.

Okay, I’m back.

Taking for granted the friends who are there for us through bad times is a normal human characteristic; some more than others are guilty of this transgression. Perhaps a good resolution would be to just love and appreciate the people in our life who make it better and eliminate the toxic energy.

Oops, just a second, there is a drone outside my window and I need to close the blinds. That’s better.

It used to be automatic to just reach into the freezer at the grocery store and toss the Sara Lee Brownies into my basket. I never thought much about the process. (We all do it—hoping no one notices that you are buying something fattening when you should be dieting.)

Once home, the brownies were always perfectly melted, ready to open and scrape the chocolate off the lid.

You’d cut a small square, but sometimes you found yourself cutting too deeply and making a slit in the aluminum tray. No problem, they never leaked through once back in the freezer.

So many memories, so many bad moments, so many broken things Sara Lee fixed.

She was always there.

Those chocolate brownies existed for a reason; they served a purpose and worked. They comforted and caressed each weary problem with a chocolate snuggle.

I can’t remember the exact moment I reached into my grocer’s freezer to grab a tray and they were gone. Maybe they’re out of them, I thought. I’ll try next time.

I searched the store for a substitute.

There was none.

How could this be happening?

The next week I tried again.

Not there.

A week later a different store.

No Sara.

I was filled with a sinking feeling, an inkling of doom that perhaps something bad had happened. Yet it was true.

No more Sara Lee Frozen Brownies.

No more help for a bad day, PMS, tight jeans or a haircut from hell. No chocolaty friend to comfort me in my time of cocoa need. No brownie shoulder to cry on.

I hadn’t appreciated what I had and now it was gone.

The thought still plagues me that perhaps more than Sara Lee Brownies have slipped out of my life.

What else have I missed? What other treasures have escaped my notice while I wasn’t looking?

Where am I most of the time? Where are we all? What are we paying attention to anyway?

What’s that? Oh my Lord, a pop up just jumped up on screen with a picture of a blouse I looked at online a week ago. “Get thee gone, Google!”

Okay I’m back, so if Sara came back, would I appreciate her now? Can any of these questions ever be answered?

Probably not, so I’ll just move on.

New Year is always a time to look back and take stock of what was, and plan for what may be.

How to best do this is a great feat and yet I shall attempt to do so.

I will strive to:

Start off the year happy. Make resolutions that are easily doable and resolve to be nicer to me and everyone else.

We all make mistakes; I have a list longer than Harvey Weinstein’s victims. Next time I want to beat myself up, I’ll remember there are enough people waiting in line to do it for me. Call someone to beat you up and there is always someone to oblige.

So how do we make it a great year, even without Sara Lee?

I’m going to download a favorite song from high school or college then play it in the car extra loud with the window down.

Reinvent myself. This is something so easy for a woman to do. A new hairstyle or color, a new lipstick, nail polish or new Spanx and I’m good to go.

Men well, not much to do there, but the proverbial new red sports car is still a good choice.

I won’t resolve to lose or gain weight! Pressure is the worst thing for diets. I have embraced what I call retail cardio. I go to the mall and walk around shopping for hours.

Great exercise and it’s fun. I don’t even realize I’m moving around and doing something healthy.

I’ll call someone with whom I’ve lost touch and wish them a ‘Happy New Year.’

I imagine it’s a good thing to take stock of the things that aren’t as I’d want them to be. If there are changes that need to be made in a job, home, appearance or relationships, make the changes. Nothing has to move in an instant; change does take time so I’ll have to practice patience.

Know the difference between what can and cannot be changed and find a way to deal with what cannot. That’s a toughie for sure.

Start each day with ten minutes for myself. Do yoga, meditate, pray, listen to a favorite song, have a special blend of coffee, but start each day on a positive note.

I always try to combine unpleasant or tedious routine chores with favorite things. While paying bills, I play a favorite CD or watch a favorite movie.

“What’s that SIRI? No, I don’t want to make a call right now!”

I shall attempt to eat one—only one—forbidden food a week and once a week won’t play havoc with my diet.

I’ll save a five dollars a week and at Christmas time buy some toys for needy children with the money.

I will compliment strangers, because they may be having a bad day and kind words may be just what they need to feel better.

Maybe a new hobby; it’s relaxing. Take up painting…what if Picasso had put things off this long?

I’ll buy beads and make that amazing necklace I’ve been dreaming about.

Eat more chocolate and try a new dessert recipe.

Resolve to see the glass ‘half full.’ Negative thoughts breed negative results. Life shouldn’t be such a battle. I’ll lay back and let life happen sometimes. The earth will revolve without me controlling it each second.

There is a lesson to be learned from the demise of Sara Lee Brownies. This year I’m stocking my freezer with Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia.

I must promise myself to appreciate the people I love and care about, before they too are taken off the supermarket shelves.

Just a minute, Alexa wants to tell me something. “Excuse me! I do not look especially bloated today.”

Sorry everyone, but I have to make a trip to the garbage to throw something away so have a fabulous new year.

“Come to Momma, Alexa, I just want to take you on a little trip…”

A very happy and healthy New Year and new decade, everyone!

 

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