Laments About Midlife Romance

Valentine’s Day: The Prettiest Girl in the Room …

He Used to Say So All the Time .. Used to.

Happy Valentine's Day

It’s Valentine’s Day, a day fraught with all sorts of emotion, memories, and expectations. I personally have always loved the day. It follows by three days my parents’ anniversary and the birth of my first child. My father, who was quite the romantic, made a big deal of Valentine’s Day and so, it was very special around our house when I was growing up. As a dating young miss and Ms., I received flowers, cards, candies, and other delights with the best of them. It was all fun.

And as a special bonus, 34 years ago on Valentine’s Day, I was anointed one of the “10 Most Eligible Women in the World” by United Press International (UPI), the international news agency whose newswires, photos, films, and audio services provided news to thousands of newspapers, magazines, and radio and television stations.

I know. It’s hard to believe looking at chubby, middle-aged me today, but in 1984 the news service named me to that “Most Eligible” list along with blonde bombshell Loni Anderson; Christie Hefner, Hugh’s daughter; Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones,  niece of Queen Elizabeth, and Patti Davis, daughter of President and Nancy Reagan.

“Why me?” you rightly ask. Read more

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You Can Make a House Smart, but Not a Homeowner

And That Smarts

Smart House, but Not a Smart Homeowner

You can make a house smart, but not a homeowner. I know from first-hand experience. You see, I live in a smart house. “Live” is perhaps an inaccurate description. “Trapped” is a better word.

You see, I have a techno-wizard son and an enabling husband, who enthusiastically says “yes” to every new electronic device the “Techno-Wiz” wants to install and program into our house.

My friends think I’m lucky to have the Techno-Wiz on-call 24/7 to solve my computer needs, but I know the ugly truth: He and my husband are engaging in a modern form of gaslighting, ostensibly working to modernize the house in ways I don’t—and will never—understand. It’s driving me crazy and that’s their real goal. Read more

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Instant Pot Madness

Big Boys and Their Kitchen Toys

Instant Pot Madness

Christmas has come and gone, but Instant Pot madness lingers at our house.

Handsome Hubby (HH), a modest fellow of few wants and needs, had expressed a gift wish for an Instant Pot, a wish I failed to heed until it was too late. I should have realized he was serious when he started reading New York Times Instant Pot articles to me with the solemnity he usually reserves for stories about the environment and the Golden State Warriors.

What is it about men and their desire for gadgets? Read more

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Carson City Courtship – What Were the Odds?

Falling in Love with Handsome Hubby

Carson City Courtship

CARSON CITY, NV — Who would have thought they would stay together? The odds of them lasting much beyond that first fast attraction were small.

He was a small-town boy, who lived most of his childhood in one tiny house in Reno, Nevada, one tiny town. She was a Big City girl. The smallest “town” she had ever lived in was Las Vegas.

His life plan was to practice law in Gardnerville, Nevada (population 3,414) and take lots of time off to cross-country ski. She had big city dreams, wanted a brownstone facing Central Park and to win the Nobel Peace Prize for ending the Cold War.

For her birthday, he gave her four books. The first three were cookbooks including one titled “The Enchanted Broccoli Forest.”  To put it kindly, she was less than enchanted.

“Why cookbooks?” she asked with more than a hint of outrage. Read more

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8 Tips for Personal Holiday Fulfillment

Sure-fired Ways to Get the Gifts You Want

8 tips for personal holiday fulfillment

Halloween has come and gone. I’d better get started with my holiday gift list or I’ll be in big trouble. I’m not talking about my holiday gift-giving list. I’m talking about my gift-getting list. Oh, let’s be honest. It’s my “Really, Really Want, Gotta Have, Pretty Please, Will You Get Me This” list.

All year I’m on the hunt for perfect Christmas, Hanukkah, birthday and “just because” gifts for family, friends, and colleagues. I even buy “unbirthday” gifts for attendees at birthday parties, because I love shopping for others. I am such a dedicated gift shopper, that when my children were growing up, we celebrated the “birthdays” of their stuffed animals. Any excuse for cake, ice cream, new book purchases and gift bags!

But come the holidays, my “give unto others” spirit makes a U-turn. I lust for carefully curated payback from loved ones in the form of “just right” gifts for me.

And who better to pick what’s “just right” than me?

If you’re honest, deep in your heart, you’re a tiny bit like me. Admit it. You’ve endured a few too many years of ill-gift-gotten-gain in the form of toaster ovens, fuzzy slippers, and hand-held vacuum cleaners.

So, in the spirit of female solidarity, I offer these eight tips to make your holidays (plus Mother’s Day and birthdays) brighter and your gifts better. Read more

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Second-Hand Dope

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Lungs ...

Second hand dope

A recent Saturday night at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, Ca. Handsome Hubby and I went to the famed venue for the first time to see Beck, a musician I have long admired and long wanted to see.

The concert was sold out, but a friend gave us her VIP tickets. What a generous treat. Cool, right? Totally cool.

Well, apparently Handsome Hubby (HH) and I are not cool, at least we’re not Berkeley cool.

Second-Hand Smoke

It was a rock concert. So, yes, we should have known. It’s Berkeley. So, yes, we really should have known. But we just weren’t prepared for the magnitude of it all. It was overwhelming. Read more

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My Shout-Out Moment

Standing Up for Myself

Howard Beale's shout-out your windows rant

Hillary Clinton recently revealed how creeped out she felt when Donald Trump lumbered along behind her during the debates and how sorry she was she hadn’t told him to back off. Well, I recently had my own shout-out moment, and I’m proud to say I took it.

Now no one would ever accuse me of being a shy, weak and wilting flower. No one would ever say I’m one to hold back on my opinion. That said, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve mellowed a bit and try not to rock the boat quite so often. Yet, the other week in Reno, Nevada, I showed my true colors – and then some. Read more

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We Don’t Have a Special Song

Can the Marriage be Saved?

CD search for our special song

Something was lacking in our marriage and I hadn’t even realized it. Then it hit me. We don’t have a special song. Now I worry. Can the marriage be saved? Read more

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Scratchy Sheets and Thread Counts

We're Having Trouble Under the Covers

unhappy couple peering out from under marriage sheets

Early in our marriage, my husband and I kept track of who owed whom what. We kept itemized lists for most everything, but most of all, we counted movies. I liked foreign films, preferably with subtitles. He liked, no, loved, action films, preferably with lots of blood.

Usually, it was a zero-sum game. One foreign film for one action flick. If the foreign film was so boring that even I had to admit it was boring, I had to pay up with two action films in a row. If the bloody action film was so violent that even Handsome Hubby (HH) had to look away, I’d get two foreign flicks as recompense.

Then, at some point through the many years and the many movies, the system broke down. We stopped counting. As long as there was good popcorn and the seats were comfortable, we were a happy movie-going couple. No give and take required. A natural film equilibrium had been achieved. We both took this as a sign of middle-aged marital bliss and contentment.

The Battle of the Bed

But, of late, a new source of counting has creased our otherwise happy marital countenance. We’re having trouble in the bedroom, more specifically in bed. Read more

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Where Do You Keep Your Olive Oil?

Culinary Questions Meet Midlife Uncertainty

Olive oil in a dish

Both the mighty and the not-so-mighty worry. Shakespeare’s Prince Hamlet pondered lofty questions from his castle keep; I ponder less esoteric topics like how to keep olive oil.

Hamlet contemplated the unfairness of life and debated avenging his father’s murder by his uncle, now stepfather and king. He pondered life itself:

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Poor Hamlet. Everybody’s got issues, right?

Take me. I’m no Shakespeare, but I too face grave, indeed existential questions:

To refrigerate or not to refrigerate? That is the question.
‘Tis better to risk rancidity or clouded, solidified olive oil? Read more

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