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February 25, 2013

Comments

Susan

Ah, I swear I would enjoy reading a laundry list that you wrote. You have a gift.

Jennifer

oh dear I have missed you! So odd not to really know you but to have stayed up praying while your daughter had her latest liver transplant, cried at the cruelty of your crappy ass situation and not know you or how you have been these months. you are a talented writer and an engaging writer! Missed you!

Taly

"I was built for marriage" - repeated twice, with the verb used for inanimate objects in the passive voice? A belief to put pressure on yourself in dating, which doubles as a date repellant when subconsciously successfully communicated. Here's to healing, relaxing, and taking it easy one step at a time - wishing you the best, as always. Recently I had some fun with http://www.owningpink.com/ - thought I'd share. Take care

hannah

The whole concept of dating, whether at 25, 37, 42 or 57 is a difficult one, I think. One wants coincidences, being swept off ones feet, the idea of chance, maybe even some weird kind of destiny being matchmaker...it's far easier to accept flaws and mismatched traits and traumas from previous relationships (also one's owns) if one did not intend to fall in love in the first place and not had a pro-con list in mind, I think.

Having said this, I know some great matches from internet dating or internet forums where people got talking and than realised there might be more to it than online conversation. And I know a lot of second marriages / serious relationships that definetely helped to deal with any 'ouchiness' of the heart. (My own parents are proof of this...)

Your writing is so clever and beautiful and deep and funny that I like so many others completely fell in love with it - despite all the difficulties of meeting someone in real life, all these qualities will make it very easy for people to fall in love with you, too. Keeping my fingers crossed the right ones do...(or maybe a singular form is more appropiate here!)

esmeralda

Hello! Esmeralda here again.

1. YOUR BODY IS FINE. STOP FREAKING OUT ABOUT IT. IT WORKS GOOD AND YOU ARE A NICE-LOOKING WOMAN WHO HAS LIVED A LIFE AND IT SHOWS. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS. SHEESH.

2. And have you seen men? I mean come on. (And what's their excuse? I mean besides age, and life, and ordinary vices. You know, like being a person.)

3. I have to tell you that every single man I've come across in midlife has this fantasy of monogamy being useless. That's all it is: fantasy. It's unkind to the women they involve themselves with; it's almost always a delusion on their part, anyway. What guy doesn't want a harem? But the truth is they don't want and can't handle multiple adult relationships; one is already a stretch. And they want home, and they want a woman to care for them. They're just off the leash for now (and worried about disease), and someday a woman will come and put one back on them, and they'll welcome it.

It's still very early to be dating. Usually women wait a good long time before venturing out again after divorce, not so much because they're afraid, but because they're generally the ones left with the real responsibilities. Of raising children, of helping children through divorce, of providing most of their own and the children's support while doing all the home and child work. And they'll take time to put themselves back together. A year or two is not unusual. And that's under ordinary conditions, without life-threatening health problems in the family, or the exhaustion of having dealt with them for a decade. Cut yourself some freaking slack, lady.

4. See (1).

5. Please, please, please do not be desperate when dating. There's a whole world of men out there waiting to take advantage of you, because they know that women will run themselves down at the drop of a hat and believe themselves to be worthless and needy, and they look specifically for this. Also because they're insecure themselves and are looking for someone to look down on and pity, and their favored target is "divorced single mom", because at heart they're sad misogynists, and they figure single moms are bottom of the heap & therefore should be desperately grateful for any scrap of attention. Baby, you just saved a child's life several times *while having another one and taking care of a man-child* and without going into the loony bin yourself. You are FINE. You do not need a man. Men can be nice. But you're much stronger than most of them are. Want, yes, need, no.

Incidentally, you will find those sad misogynist men in all walks of life. Some will come well-groomed and with solid CVs and nicely prestigious jobs. Just be aware that there's a tremendous number of men out there who need nothing more, esp. in midlife, than to feel that they're better than someone else. Don't let them use you, no matter what goodies they dangle.

Fairy godmother out -

Andrea

oh god. Esmerelda is so right about the sad misogynist men. I have recently learned this lesson in a very direct and painful way. I do not wish it on anyone else, and definitely not you.

This is hard, for anyone, and you are handling it with grace. And I too find myself telling married friends not to get divorced--unless there is addiction or abuse in the picture, good god, stay married, it is just not worth it.

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Falling Down, November 2004

  • Balloon in hand, my 4-year-old
    twirled across the kitchen floor,
    singing nonsense words
    in her own key.
    "It's my gift!" she declared
    to the world at large, which
    was really only me,
    sitting at the table. Enough
    twirling, and she lost
    her balance, tumbling
    to the floor in a theatrical
    slapstick of elbows and knees.

    She lay on her back
    for a few seconds,
    staring
    at the textured ceiling
    with the mysterious
    spaghetti sauce stain.
    Suddenly she
    began
    flapping her arms and legs
    there on the floor, as if to swish
    the imaginary snow
    into a snow angel.

    "Falling down is also a gift!" says she.

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