Here’s the Story

IMG_3118 2Okay, now I get it.

For the longest time, I’ve been trying to figure out where they were, the guys my age. At least the ones who weren’t married and were straight.

As many of you may remember, I’ve spent a little time dabbling on I say “dabble” because I’ve gone ahead and created a profile, uploaded photos and exchanged a few emails with dudes and ultimately went on exactly one date. And it was totally meh.

But of all the emails, favorites and winks I’ve received on the dating web site, none of them are from men in their 40s. I’m plenty popular with the young guys in their 30s and the older dudes in their 50s and 60s, but men born around the same time as me are scarce.

Now I know why.

As I was trolling Facebook yesterday, something I am wont to do in my semi-retirement and looking for things to keep me busy, I saw the following tidbit posted by the Today Show:

All the young boys love Florence.

All the young boys love Florence.


The guys my age are trying to date 80-year-old Florence fucking Henderson.

That explains everything.

That explains why I not only don’t get any emails, winks, nods, pokes or whatever from 40-year-old men on Match, but when I actually send messages to men my age who don’t look like they want to keep me in a cage in their basement in Queens, I get no response.

Like, crickets.

And of course there is the possibility that the notes I’m sending are perceived as weird, my profile boring (one man did observe that it seemed I really liked to watch TV), my pictures are ugly or I have too many kids.

I get that.

But today, I am going with the notion that they’re just too busy trying to get it on with Carol Brady.

That’s the better story.











Risky Business

DSC02004At this stage of the game, even my therapist has had enough.

We met last week and she asked me how the dating was going, since I had been making such a big stink about being ready to get out and start meeting men.


“Um, not so good,” I told her. “I signed up for Match but, like, I’m just not feeling it.

“They’re all too, I don’t know … meh,“ I said, shrugging my shoulders. “Nobody is killing me.”

On the one hand, maybe it’s just that there’s too much jam from which to chose online.

Or maybe, just maybe, the problem is that I’m just not as open to love as I’ve claimed to be.

If there’s one person riding in the singles boat who I relate to right now, it’s not the recently-separated woman I know who is having a blast fooling around with men she’s meeting online, or another who’s already had a few relationships with dudes she’s met on Match since her divorce this year.

The woman I relate most to is the character Julia Louis-Dreyfuss plays in the movie “Enough Said,” who’s been divorced for 10 years and makes announcements like “There are no men at this party I am attracted to,” and admits that this is not unusual.

[SPOILER ALERT: As much as I hate to see you go, you might want to stop reading if you plan on seeing the movie this weekend. I’m about to give it all away.]

Anyway, she goes on a date with James Gandolfini’s character, even though “he’s a little fat,” and discovers she can actually get past the lack of initial physical attraction. But she starts to second-guess her growing attraction to him after she accidentally befriends his ex-wife, who can’t stop talking about the shlub she used to be married to.

Here’s a scene between Dreyfus’s character Eva and her friend, Sarah (played by the amazing Toni Collette):

Eva: “I have lost all perspective. I’ve been listening to this woman say the worst things about the guy that I’m starting to really like. She’s like a human TripAdvisor.”
Sarah: “Albert is not a hotel.”
Eva: “If you could avoid staying at a bad one, wouldn’t you?”

Eventually, her relationship with the two is uncovered – and it’s one of those scenes that makes you cringe – and Eva tearfully explains to Gandolfini’s Albert that, in so many words, since she’d already been divorced, she was making sure she wasn’t making another bad choice.

She was just trying to hedge her bets.

And that’s what I get. Totally. Love is risky business.

You guys, my heart was broken. Shattered into a million pieces. It hurt so much I didn’t think I would ever be able to get out of bed and move on with my life.

But I did. I swept up all the chunks and shards of what was left of that heart and dumped the pieces into a vault that’s keeping that sucker safe while it slowly mends.

Sure, my kids stomp on it all the time, but I know those assholes love me. I know they actually care if they hurt me (usually) and want to make me happy (most of the time).

Because our love for each other is unconditional.  I will still love them when they smack up my car or punch a hole in my wall. I will still love them when they slam their door or say snotty things to me. Even when they say they hate me. And they love me, even when I’m being a jerk or when another sibling seems to be getting more (money, cookies, love – fill in the blank).

Our love is not predicated upon what we can do for each other. It’s not tit-for-tat. I do things for those jerks because I just love them. And I know deep inside the core of their soft-and-chewy centers, underneath those hard-and-crunchy shells, they love me back.

So, how am I supposed to trust an outsider? Someone who’s not been completely vetted? How am I going to let him open that box and hold my heart in his hands without knowing, beyond reasonable doubt, that he’s not just another jackass who’ll drop it on the ground and step on it like it’s nothing?

Bottom line: I’m scared.

And I know, I’m nothing special. People get their hearts broken all the time and they pick themselves up and try again. I’m just letting my fear trip me up.

But when I think about all the things I’ve done that have scared the shit out of me – like giving birth, competing in a triathlon, getting a divorce – I know that while those things terrified me while I was in the midst of them, I felt like the fucking boss when I came out the other end.

I felt like I could do anything.

And of course, my therapist was quick to point these things out.

“What’s the worst that can happen?” she asks. “A breakup? You’ve survived that. You could survive it again.”

And it’s true: I can and I have.

“You don’t want to miss out on such an important part of life,” she continued.

And that’s where she got me, because she knows that I want to experience all that life has to offer. I don’t want to miss out on anything. Especially real love.

Then she directed me to go out and have 10 experiences — like coffee dates — before we meet again next month.

Whoa. That’s a lot of small talk. But I’ve accepted her challenge and am scrambling to dig up 10 bodies. Feel free to help, and I’ll keep you posted.

I’ll let you know if it’s worth the risk.






My sister gave me this tank top years ago and even though it’s worn out and my kids are way too old for me to wear it any more, I just can’t bring myself to throw it away.

I went on a date last night with an amazing guy.

Really, we were totally on the same page and I thoroughly enjoyed his company. I liked chatting with him and watching how he talked with his hands. And he was really cute, too, with beautiful blue eyes.

And it wasn’t anything fancy, either, our date. We grabbed some grub from the local pizza joint and then decided to ride bikes to the supermarket later to get some Ben & Jerry’s to accompany an Arrested Development marathon.

I mean, the guy knew just what I liked. But of course he would, we’ve been living together for 10 years and I’m actually the kid’s mom.

It’s just the two of us this week – with the two older kids back at school and Kid #3 away at the beach through Labor Day with friends – and a preview of what life will look like in two years when that third child goes off to college.

My son even referred to it as a date at one point and I started thinking about how fitting it was, having a quality evening with a great guy on the cusp of what I like to think of as Operation Date.

It all started, as these things often do (no, not on Facebook this time) in my therapist’s office. On her couch, specifically, which I’ve never lied down upon but where I have found myself crying on numerous occasions and a few times doing some role playing of assorted relationships in my life that vex me.

My therapist is the perfect combination of supportive, yet firm. Like, she always “hears what I’m saying” but she’s not about to encourage me to feel sorry for myself.

She also gives nothing away. She makes me work for my enlightenment. Like after I read a book she had recommended – among many she has suggested over the years – I walked into her office the next week and asked, “Why didn’t you tell me I was codependent?”

She just smiled and shrugged her shoulders.

And in response to questions I ask like “What should I do?” and “How should I feel?” my therapist calmy asks in return, “Well, what do you want to do?” or “How does that make you feel?”

The point is, she never tells me what to do. It’s maddening.

So, imagine my surprise when, during our last session in July, she threw down the gauntlet and issued a challenge.

“Do you think you can go on three dates before we meet again in a month?” she asked.

It had come to that. Even my all-patient therapist was like, “Start dating, already.”

I know. I mean, I’ve been legit divorced for three years and separated at least a year before that.

And to be honest, my focus initially was not on me but my kids and making sure they didn’t have that yucky rug-pulled-out-from-under-them feeling. Not to mention, I’d just come out of a 20+ year relationship – what was the rush? I had plenty of my own baggage to sort through, why start trying to shoulder somebody else’s?

But here’s the truth of it: for as much as I go on about my fear of traveling to Greece alone or how scary teens can be, I am totally terrified of dating.

It is scarier than snakes, zombies and spiders combined. All day long.

But of course, I’m not going to let these things hold me back so on Sunday, I signed up (again) on

I signed up probably around the same time last year, but my heart was never in it. I was freaked out by any pokes that came my way or dudes whose eye I had caught. Not to mention I lost the password to the email I had set up for the account and thus couldn’t access anything if I tried.

But this time is different. I was texting with a girlfriend yesterday and announced, “I am going to start dating like a motherfucker.” I am treating this like another job and going to sift through the duds to find some potential gems.

I got this advice from this pretty fabulous woman I met not long ago who married later and thus was better versed on the dating scene than someone like me who pretty much married her high school boyfriend.

We were sitting on the back deck of the local Irish bar, and after she finished encouraging me to sign up with an online service, waved her hand at the assorted not-impressive dudes standing around the bar, and said, “I mean, do you think you’re going to find someone here?”

But so far, it’s a lot of duds. It’s almost comical, really. One gentleman began his email, “Hi, Hunny” (stop, no please don’t say that to me) and another looks exactly like that prison guard on Orange is the New Black they call “Pornstache.”



I needed to give you the visual.

And they are all in their 50s and live in like Kew Gardens or Bayonne.

I suppose I could be the one poking or getting my eye caught, but I’m just not there yet.

This is not to say that I don’t want to find someone to watch Arrested Development marathons with and eat straight out of the Ben & Jerry’s tub (naturally we’d each have our own pint).

Someone who asks me if, instead of cutting through the soccer fields and bank parking lot in town, I’d rather ride our bikes the long way home.

Because with him, of course I would. All day long.