Friday, July 20, 2012

It never occurred to me. . .

It never occurred to me - never for a moment - that I would be a sixty-three-year-old single woman.

But - here I am - I'm still adorable - still charming. And alone.

Recently I realized I have been single as long as I was married.

I remember when I thought I'd remarry in a hurry. It never occurred to me that I would sleep alone, eat dinner alone, go to the movies alone - for the rest of my life.

No.  Not me.  I was not supposed to fade away - I was born to live smack-dab in the middle of everything -  a deep, strong, important life - with a wonderful man who loves me.

And so it never occurred to me - not for single moment - that I wouldn't marry again.
The realization came slowly.
I dated for five years.  I wrote a book about it -  "AFTER HIS HEART: The Foolish Women's Guide  to Dating After Fifty."

My new play SWEET TRUTH is based on my brief soiree into the wild world of mid-life dating.

And I discovered something along the way.  Men age differently than women.  That should not have been a surprise - but it was.

I was looking for simple things from a man; love, affection, passion and adventure.  Every man I dated wanted only one of the above.  Yup.  You guessed it.
A way out of the confusion
One of the most helpful things anyone said to me, back in the dating days, was said by my old friend Bobby Olson.  Bobby and I met at a Halloween party in 1962.  We were thirteen.  I was dressed as Wee Willie Winkie.  He was in drag.

Every woman needs a gay friend.  Bobby is mine.

And so when  the dating devolved into a series of horror stories - Bobby asked me a question.

"Why you doing this?" he said.

I reminded him I was alone.  I reminded him he has a thirty-year relationship and cannot possibly know what it feels like to face the future - single.  I reminded him I was all by myself - that I needed someone.

"What am I? " he asked.  "Chopped liver?"

For a long time, I considered that to me the title of my play - "CHOPPED LIVER."
Chopped liver ain't all that bad. 
Bobby's question brought me home.  In dating, hunting, chasing, yearning - I had forgotten an important lesson. 

People are precious.  My friendships are irreplaceable.  My ex-husband is irreplaceable too

Will I ever marry again?  Will I ever fall in love?  Heck - will I ever go on another date??

I don't know.  Maybe.  Someday. 

Until that time, I'm fine on my own. Until that time, I'll keep doing what I'm doing.  I'll live deep, strong, and important - right here.

All alone.  All by myself.

Smack-dab in the middle of everything.

1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful, thoughtful reflection. I remember thinking something quite similar about 11 years ago. I hadn't been single but about a year and a half and I realized that my life was full of loving friends, abundant in the extreme, and that life as a single woman was still a good life. Not too long after I came to terms with the thought that I would spend the rest of my life as a single person . . . I met someone and have since spent the rest of my with her. Love comes from the most unexpected places. I wish you well in whatever life brings you. Thanks again for sharing this powerful reflection.

    A certain Macalester Professor You Know.


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