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.
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.A way out of the confusion
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.