hafacenturyncounting

Motivated by a lack of material.

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.

Pedestal

As I sat in the audience, listening to him sing my heart raced. The first time I met her in person, I was all smiles and tongue-tied. These beings, these people can/shall remain nameless and faceless because I am sure my readers can fill in the blank spaces with individuals that fit more personally. The point here IS that they simply are.

Feeling so excited, feeling elated for the simplest of things and experiences is NOT the issue. It is what we do with these same experiences in regard to people in our lives. There is nothing wrong with recognizing greatness, it is wrong when we place this greatness in direct conjunction with an otherwise flawed human being. YES, I said flawed, for minus the thing we become in awe of/with, they, just like us are human; weak and vulnerable. They have the same propensity to error as we do. Yet in those moment in time, we ignore this fact, and we can only hear the producer of that angelic sound, we can only see that possessor of that magnificent face, we can only inhale the intellect that flows from the individual’s words. Then we identify that which they do as, them. It is with this assignment that we lose sight of the fact that they ARE just like us. The difference is by virtue of hard work, a relentless spirt or luck-of-the-draw their innate super-power has emerged.

Greatness is all around and within us, it is around the corner at the grocery store, it is in our local classrooms, it is at our dining room table, we need only to recognize it. Therefore, continue to admire and respect the ones that have caught your eye, the ones you have lent your ears to, but always remember…IDOLS HAVE CLAY FEET. Those we regard as great should sit beside us not above us.

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.

Vintage VeeJay

This piece is rated___, well the subject matter is for the mature, and mature is subjective. Therefore if you are not chronologically or mentally of age, stop reading now, cause you aren’t gonna understand.

Not worn out but experienced. There are things that the years have taught. The numbers are not nearly as important as the variety of characters. She does not “kiss and tell” only the next one that comes along will be privy to the secrets and talents she has acquired.

The “boy” was 55 to her 61, seemingly it was working. Amidst a pandemic they figured out a way to connect. He was a liar and she knew it. She did not care because all she wanted was a simple connection, anything more would have to be determined at a later date.

It is a challenge to be in the world of the singles when your classification contains a word that defines you as senior… when you are a woman the smiles and smirks are everywhere. It was almost comical as the scores of “suitors” proclaimed “age aint nuthin but a number”. However what made these “junior flips” think they could say, do or even be something she had not seen before.

The boy was fun and entertaining at first. As time went on, he seemingly had read a book or two. He even seemed to be on-top-of current events. This was becoming a distinct possibility. Then he began sharing secrets, saying things he did not intend on, he was becoming anxious. Was it the intoxicating effects of alcohol or was it her? Still for the purposes intended, he would do.

Clearly he was out of his league. She was experienced, he thought he liked that. Then the question of how many partners she had came up. This from a man who said/felt society placing unheard of requirements on a woman to be a lady was ridiculous. He was pursuing this relationship, this lady, this sexual encounter full-force. He tried to act like the double digit number did not bother him, but it did. He thought even though he did not say, ” some lady“. However, it did come out of his mouth. He was intimidated. He did not know how to view or accept a seemingly sexually free woman. Yet he longed for this woman who came off as intelligent, informed, and classy. He liked her look.

Truth be known she was really not that sexually liberated. By society’s standard, women are NOT to be free sexually. They must save themselves for marriage, and if not virgins have limited encounters. Double digit lovers, that is unheard of. Even though the barometers say it is NOT unheard of to have 1 lover per year after the initial encounter, until something serious occurs( committed relationship). No different than the woman who gets pregnant the first time she has sex, the result of the act was all that was clear, at least in visual terms. Her past had a variety of relationships, there were serious relationships, there were casual ones, then there was marriage and after the marriage the number stayed the same for decades, “till death did they part”.

After the boy blew it, he still could not stay away. He tried to recover from his ill-fated remarks. He did know the minute the comments left his very lips, it was over. Oh how he wanted to experience her and the vintage veejay that intoxicated his mind, body, and soul. Too bad, it WAS now too late. He would forever be left wondering what experiencing HER might have been like.

A Temporary Shelter

It was a calm day, taking on typical characteristics of summertime. A warm early morning with a clear sunny sky. Round about 11 it started happening, the temperature began dropping and that clear, sunny sky grew dark rapidly with it’s menacing clouds. Soon the rain began to fall, the wind started whipping and whirling, thunder claps, lightening flashes and we must not forget the hail…

The gazebo had barely been erected, the furniture was in place, final touches were all that remained. This entire space had been planned. The instructions claimed it was an “all weather” structure, it would be tested very soon. It provided a cover. The rain did not fall directly on the furniture, but as it fell more rapidly the water pooled. The weight of the water soon proved to much for the small hollow beams, the structure’s roof collapsed.

Much like the afore mentioned weather condition and gazebo, there was a feeling of security and protection in their friendship. Their time together gave a sense of safety and protection. It was warm and familiar. Then it changed, it evolved, it put a smile on their respective faces for very different reasons. There should not have been any surprise; for their “romp” was much like the weather which was unpredictable, and the gazebo that was dubbed “all-weather” Nothing that could be counted on and everything IS temporary. They provided one another with the required dynamic each of them needed. Shelter.

Then it happened the proof started coming into focus. She always knew it would not work, but now the signs were too enormous to ignore. In an instant, all the good feelings were whisked away. That, in and of itself, was the strongest indicator any hope for more was NOT possible. He had violated her in a way that he could not recover from, she would not ever forget it and she came face to face with those facts. He did not even realize it , because it was NOT meant to be hostile nor was it meant to sting. If it had been his way “they” would slow to a trickle and then disappear unnoticed. He was a conqueror and his friend had crossed the line, with his aid of course, now he simply did what he did. There are no innocents here, each moved forward with eyes wide open. The question now is, can their friendship survive the violation.

The Temporary Shelter is erected and waiting to received them, either one of them or both. It shall stand and provide what each needs, but those needs will only be met for a short time and then they will have to move on.

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