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“Rats In Cuter Outfits…”

I guess I cannot help but to utilize metaphors in describing this journey through ” senior dating”. Try not to laugh. Although I find it comical as well as frustrating. Admittedly, I do not know what it is I am in search of at times. The one thing I am clear on is that I certainly have NOT come into contact with it…so far. As amazing as it seems, I am still hopeful. There is the possibility of a miracle.

Here we are, figuring this “stuff” out. “IT” is not easy. Just when you think you have the answer(s) you seek, an exception/a variation appears. Now it seems we have formulated this set of “deal breakers” but then along comes the one who is checking off all of the boxes, so many of the boxes and as time goes on…one or two of the boxes.

What began as legitimate requirements and at times very superficial whims begin to degenerate. Try as you might, resist valiantly, after several failed attempts you find yourself sitting across from an individual that you aren’t sure can walk upright, let alone carry on a coherent conversation. Strict and proper upbringing makes you try to be polite and not literally RUN FOR IT! This is not funny/fun anymore; it is becoming scary. Yet as bad as this type may seem, there is one much worse.

The one who is worse gives off the appearance and demonstrates the temperament of a serious contender. He is the squirrel…he gets through the phone calls, he is familiar with eating utensils, he even has the right look. However, upon closer examination the truth about him comes out. You start to see through that fluffy coat and full plume covering his tail. The cute little twitching nose starts taking on familiar characteristics of a rodent. His bight eyes become beady. Suddenly you realize he is that rat, that same rat that you find repulsive and determined is unwelcome in your life. You ask yourself how he got past all of the screens you set up. Then it hits you, he was wearing a disguise. However, like any disguise, it eventually has to come off. In this case when he dropped his guard, the costume fell to the ground and revealed although you had been keeping company with a squirrel for sure, he was still just a rat in a cuter outfit.

Now Don’t Get It Twisted

The one that voices their opinion without concern for those who have opposing views. Yet, giving respect accordingly. The title or name that gives identity to someone in your life or presence. My late husband and I would often take notice and revel in the need of our society to give everything a label. Oftentimes the name alone did not suffice, it had to have a catchy little phrase to draw much more attention to this person or thing. Why? you ask…because it is our feeble way of trying to appear as though we truly understand. Remember the word appear.

This may already seem to be a collage of rambling thoughts. Thoughts of confusion; thoughts of disappointment and “being let down”, thoughts of anticipation and the need to “hurryup“, thoughts of “gut-wrenching pain” from loss and grief, finally thoughts of reflection forgiving and “letting go”. Each of these categories worthy of time devoted to them individually but instead tossed about in our psyche in no particular way, with no rhyme or reason that we can pinpoint. Well, it is understandable that one might not be able to make “heads or tails” of anything

The feeling of, “I’m not gonna show you mine until you show me yours, can sometimes overtake us emotionally. Yet it also serves as a warning. We have to preserve our dignity, our ego and that which is familiar to us. For without this familiarity, we are lost; and at this juncture in our lives, we can ill afford to be lost and possibly have to start over. The thought is ridiculous. Yet it plagues us. Is your head spinning yet?

Here it is the real twist. This piece is twisted because at times that is just what we are. We are bobbing and weaving through our lives. Afraid to move or sit still because we may miss something. Being painfully aware that we do not have our entire lives ahead of us, because our chronological age tells us odds are we now have a very finite number attached to us. Yet once again, things have always been like this. Our navigation process may have changed, but our ultimate destinations remain as they were when we began our journeys. Whether we see ourselves as taking a direct route, wandering off the beaten path, or floating about into oblivion many of us find ourselves questioning where we have ended up.

Good, bad, or otherwise it IS in our very nature to say, “What if….” That does not mean we want to or would change things; it just means that we entertain thoughts of the possibilities.

When It Just Isn’t Enough

You two said goodnight. You had spent hours together talking endlessly about everything under the sun. Ironically you could have gone on, but against better judgement the decision was made to stop here..for the moment.

It is NOT the way you recall it being so many years ago. We have changed on every level including but not limited to chronologically. We have truly lived a “lifetime”. Now that we are back in a familiar place it is not so easy to recall what was and what was not correct. Couple that with the rules of the game have been altered to fit the masses and we are no longer the masses.

Unlike the learning process we grew up with, feeling the confidence that comes with familiarity, once again we find ourselves stumbling through this obstacle course called “life”. This feels familiar and strange at the same time, perhaps that is why we are drawn to it.

It feels like a walk on the beach at Waikiki. In the moments we share the actual environment is insignificant. You ask why one would want to be any other place but in the company of this being? One cannot imagine. We are at a point in our lives where there may NOT be many more opportunities like this one to seize.

However, we still hesitate. For whatever the reason, we contemplate the “other” possibilities. We look at others who have acted in a fashion we deem hastily and try to justify what we are doing. Our way makes sense. To this I offer, while we go through all of the why’s and how’s to do things correctly or timely or both… the unthinkable CAN happen. Then we MUST realize we set our own selves up for this scenario in which there truly wasn’t enough….

The Good Ones Really Are All Taken….

Today the second man I loved sent me the sweetest message ever…

Loving him, shaped the way any man subsequent to him would be loved by me.

And yes, he IS taken. His sweet words are innocent, no threat of anything dishonorable happening… merely confirming what I always knew. That, however, does not change the facts. “Facts” utilized in this case that ARE both subjective and interpretive. For this, in and of itself, presents a debate. “Facts” like the title suggests and sums up all at once. I will not be so cavalier as to say. ” I hope she knows what she has”… what do any of us ever really know. Moreover, what I see, and experience may NOT be what she does.

If you are fortunate enough to marry, say your high school sweetheart and have managed to remain with them, you may understand the depth love like the love I feel for this sweet man. A love that began in innocence and evolved into family. Love that makes your eyes see Apollo and Adonis rolled into one. Love that gives you a sense that he knows more than Einstein and he has the heart of a child and peaceful soul of Gandi. What seems to be the description of a schoolgirl crush can still exist for a woman far beyond her teen years. Don’t feel bad or conscious about this. Embrace it, take in the joy it can provide for your mind, heart, and very soul.

However, as we return to the very real belief, acceptance, and title of this piece we invade a space that can be painful, disappointing, and disheartening. Who among us wants to visit such spaces? Are these beings real or are they a creation of our hearts that are edited by our loving souls? Do we one day wake abruptly and realize this person was the product of a dream.

Then it happens; he catches you as you stumble, he helps you pick up the bag you dropped. You cannot believe how kind and gallant he is, but you are forced to watch him walk away with his unmistakable “lady fair“. More proof that you are destined to live with the suggestion of this title. ____ years in the making and a simple song takes you back to a time when you were the one that others envied. Did you appreciate your position when you occupied it? Are all the good ones really taken or is it simply YOUR good one is seemingly out of your reach.

Senior’s Day Discounted

It had disappeared a few years ago to the dismay of many. Afterall, we have earned any little retail perk the grocers, clothing stores, etc. cared to bestow on us. We all know what the reversal was about; greed AND the fact our group, the baby boomers, are just too doggone big!

I could not believe it when one of the two markets I frequented decided the discount day was to be no more. I then decided I would take MY business to the other store for that reason alone. Low and behold a few short months later my second choice followed suit and my discount day was totally gone. I mean it wasn’t a huge savings, it really broke down to sales tax, but it was the principle of it all. I once again shifted my loyalty to another store, a store that did not give the discount either, but it felt like a “show of power”. This new store never had given the discount, yet I made the informed decision to spend my hard-earned retired dollars at a place that had no real care about where I was in my working career or chronologically in life itself. I told myself, “At least this market did not start something and then abruptly stop.”

Well, I can happily report our senior discount has returned. Here I am paying homage to store chains that are doing something that is a tiny step above dangling a carrot ahead of a racehorse. Yet, we will accept this perk. The parking lot which is normally pretty empty in the early morning of a weekday is packed. I find there is a shortage of the smaller shopping carts, but notice the large ones designed for parents with babies and toddlers are in abundance. I ventured inside; I did not really need anything much so I feel like I can make my selections without the aid of a cart, but I did find a lone abandoned one to utilize. My peers were out in force, moving up and down the aisles with purpose if not with speed. We smiled from behind our masks at one another as we approached the check-out area. I went to self -service to avoid the wait, after all I AM a busy retired lady. I asked the attendant if I needed anything to note I am to get the senior discount he politely scanned his barcode, and I was ready to go. I was not asked for I.D. nor was I questioned about my age to determine eligibility. I simply checked out and proceeded to the parking lot.

I casually glanced around, noticing once again the gray brigade out in force. In a passing thought I found myself annoyed at the speed in which one of my elderly brethren was moving, I wanted to return my cart to the designated area but continue to be socially distance. Finally, the way was cleared, I thought of my mom later in life and how she vehemently objected to going to senior centers, because as she would say, she did NOT want to be around a bunch of old people. What has our society done to us? Then it occurred to me that with that small break in price (given and taken at will) …the senior discount, we too were being slighted, reduced, and yes discounted.

Dating Karma

Dating karma, dating ,or just karma…whatever. Those words, the excuses and explanations all rolled up into one. For because we are truly at a loss and it gives us an “out”.

Let’s begin this journey. Thrust into the single life, because you have life, you have to go on. The creatures that we are… humans; social and sometimes needy, we venture into the dating world. Young and resilient you tend to be up for the challenge…but what of the older seasoned type. What is in store for us? Scarier than any thrill ride I have taken, we stand in a perpetual line waiting. What are we waiting for? There are no pictures of people smiling, yelling with excitement…there is just the line. The line is long too.

Feeling confident, feeling smart the search begins. However, the rules have changed and in spite of having basic knowledge of this there is no real preparation. One must dive in feet first. So many avenues, so many possibilities…it still a “turkey shoot”. Try to be honest and open, but by no means too trusting.

Not all matches and attempted couplings are successes. I know, you did not see that coming (pure sarcasm). We have to examine the bad matches because there will be far more of these than there will be good ones. If there is an immediate bad vibe, that is easy you throw it into reverse and back away/walk away. Here is where being as honest as possible comes into play. Then there are times that you keep telling yourself, “Well, this is not too bad..” You continue, hoping the good will outweigh the bad. It does not. As reasonably intelligent, definitely(according to chronology) mature adults you discuss and part ways in a civil amicable fashion. YeahRight.

No one likes rejection and simply not being a match for one individual or another is NOT a simple rejection. As sophisticated as we like to believe we are, we are still very primitive and basic. If I like dark skin and you are light.., if you like brown eyes and mine are blue..don’t take it personal, move on. Truth is, you may never know the truth. You may not be willing to share the truth. That HAS to be okay, for your sanity’s sake.

Then there is the coward’s way out…”ghostin”. As I mentioned before we are very primitive and basic…this is NOT working or is NOT going to work so lets cut our losses and move on. Plus you don’t have to really hurt anyone’s feelings (yeah about that).

To address the matter at hand, the dating karma. I provide all this background for the payoff. Well all I can tell you is another basic concept, if you dish it out be able to take it.

Because He Knows Me

He knows the curve of my spine as I arch it when we embrace. He kisses me and I hear music in the distance. I could not be more comfortable in my very own skin.

At this juncture in life little is “new” and that which actually is new, in terms of relationships, holds little charm. Reconnecting with individuals from your past feels soothing. You are transported to another time and place with the benefit of having a window into what can be.

He was literally the first man I loved. I loved him hard too. He took me to the highest of highs, just by existing. The day we met , he smiled at me and my heart stopped. I fumbled pointlessly, in an effort to appear calm. That smile though… 44 years later, 3 marriages between us, 5 children with other people, and he still has that smile. How sweet that our hearts allow us to keep those memories. We are completely different human beings now. Yet he smells the same, he feels the same, he tastes the same. He, however still is not mine.

I steal him for a few hours, in the measures of time, mere drops in a bucket. We walk around one of my favorite places, an amusement park, we ride some rides. The sights and sounds of youth and energy encapsulate us. At different points we catch glances of one another, we recall who we once were. In certain light the gray hairs appear to only be highlights or an aura. The marks time has left on our faces and in our hearts do not shine through so clearly. You have to search for the hurts, we both have endured. Ironically, loss of the same caliber, is visible when we look into each others eyes.

Now I gaze at the Pacific from my hotel room balcony, I see the white caps that seem to be dancing endlessly I smell the freshness of the ocean air. I am home. My attention is turned inward to the room, where I see his brown skin in direct contrast to the white bedding. He still has strong arms and broad shoulders. Smiling, I remember our first kiss, the first time he and I were together… even the realization that what he did to me was far from making love. Finally, the hurt of being forced to walk away from him, because he had walked away from me.Today there is euphoria and no regrets. He stirs, his eyes open and he smiles.. that smile.

If I am honest, I do not want to endanger whatever it is he has. I can tell myself it is not right or he would NOT be with me. I am being typical, justifying my acts with excuses. It is fun, it nice, it is sweet being with him because he knows me. That gives me a sense of escape and transcends time. I will board a plane in a few days and his life will continue being what it was before I came into town. I will not expect a visit, phone call, or even a text ….any time soon, if at all. The very thing I had with him, that made me feel so many pleasant things for a few short moments, will not be necessary once we leave each other’s company.

As we both know very well, this is not complex. It could hurt some feelings, but if thought through there should be a realization that this is a simple exchange in the universe. Nothing but a primal instinctual desire, that has been fulfilled and now LIFE goes on. No residual damage, no new life. And because he knows me he knows all of that too.

Not As An Afterthought

“I was just thinking about you… ” The Big Lie; Maybe the thought was,” let me get you out of the way”. As days go by you don’t make contact and neither does the other party. The more time that passses the harder it is to return to the place the two of you last occupied. Whether it be old relationships and connections or new budding friendships searching for definition, ALL require investing time and effort. Anything less is not worthy.

The time; in our fast paced world the need for immediacy is understated but overly expected. We impatiently wait in lines for the wants and need of life and often become annoyed that others are ahead of us needing and/or wanting the same things we do. We are not quiet with our disdain either. The individual charged with helping to provide us with the desired object will meet with sighs, dirty looks and even verbalized disappointment.

Now translate those factor into this current discussion….your established relationship is moving on, changes have taken place. These are noticable and expected changes,but there is a thought process that believes/needs to believe that your relationship will have minimal if any affect. You have history together. You must remember your history placed circumstance and individual in different positions and roles. Your current situation calls for switching up.

In the newer fledgling relationship a comfort level MUST be established. From that comfort level trust will be borne. However, we have to bear in mind, we don’t know one another. We may not have had a chance to discuss our true wants and needs. The discussion of “deal breaker” has NOT come up. Yet, these uncharted waters still exist, just the same.

There we have it, so much anticipating, so much second guessing, so much left to our own devices. Effort enters the room.. how important are these relationships we are skating over? I believe each in their own right ARE equally inportant. The old established give you a sense of who you are, where you have been, some of the things that make you work. The new explores the possibilities, what you are curious about, what direction your are going in and who you are evolving into. Neither can be taken lightly.

If you find yourself feeling dismissed or being dismissive, STOP and take time to look at and evaluate what is going on. If you decide against doing this you have already decided what your answer is and the path your relationship(s) take.

Attentive

It translates as.. your time is valuable but mine isn’t, your feelings, wants, needs, desires count but mine don’t. How we begin is how we shall end. In search of relationships or to kill time? The fact is we humans are social creatures, and for the most part we prefer someone be in close proximatey to us.That happens by making contact. How important is that? What are we really willing to compromise, or give up in order to obtain that thing we so desire.

I find in the information age many (including myself) do not bother to utilize the tools at their fingertips. Oftentimes words are used out of context or simply incorrectly, in either case the simple solution would be to take the time to do the research before your use them. Social norms are ignored; simple etiquette and manners seem to be archaic. While the simple solution would be to put oneself in the position of an individual we are in contact with. We are all so arrogant and we have little time to spend on technicalities.

Thus you will find yourself reading information, notes, and sometimes personal letters innundated with error. We upset and offend at what seems to be a drop-of the-hat. How often do we really take time to proof read what we write, then spell check intervienes and we find after the fact( the item is sent) it does not say or look anything like what we intended. How often do we ignore, disregard and not concern ourselves with the perpetual “other side of the coin”. While your intention was NOT to be harmful or offensive, that is what happened. How would I/YOU feel if this was happening to ME/YOU? Sometimes those simple errors can be quite costly.

Paying attention to what you say and/or do may in fact take a little more time and effort but what you may save or preserve in the long run will likely be worth that effort. Caught off guard…. simply step back slowly and regroup before moving forward. Take the little things into consideration.

Do I Have To Tell You,”You’re Fired”

Late again. I watch the clock, I check my phone for messages..Nothing that gives the most remote indication you deserve a second chance. You are an adult, an adult who is conducting business. Why do I have to call you and verify you are going to come as scheduled. I have tried to give you an opportunity, I have given you a pass… a break on more occasions than one, BUT you are a liar and you ARE unreliable. You clearly do not care about the business you have, the job you do, or me the client/patron.

When you hire an individual to do a job you expect that party to know the job, be capable of doing it, and taking care in providing all that is entailed. From customr service to the performance of said job. You don’t want to be hard, you don’t want to be a cynic, you want to give folks a chance, even when your gut feeling is to go with someone else. After each disappointment you still find yourself justifying the poor technique or performance… after all the end result is satisfactory. Yet you have to admit with each so-called pass the next time seems to be worse rather than better. Your benevolence is truly being taken advantage of. We are,by choice, beyond the babysitting/ child rearing stage of life. We are looking for things to fall into place and be easier. Therefore individuals we HIRE to perform whatever job are expected to be reliable and self-sustaining. We are NOT looking for another responsibility. If I have to help you do the job, I may as well do it myself OR find another who is actually wiulling and capable of doing that job. So when you show up late and the door is locked, the office looks abandoned.. take note and reflect. When you ask yourself what is going on, look at YOURSELF and realize YOU hold the key, YOU are the answer. While it is too late for this opportunity, take heed and avoid the mistakes made here in order NOT to repeat them.

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