Older Women and Younger Men

High-Res Stock Photography: Portrait of mature manIt’s basically unanimous babes – everyone agrees that women should be with younger men.  They have the virility, vitality and stamina to be adorable and often wisdom toting playmates for an older woman.  Women in their forties have less tolerance for games, are often divorced, and have seen the other side of happily-ever-after. They are at the peak of their earning potential and sexual powers.  So I ask, why should we settle for men with flagging flags who are lacking in the passion and exuberance that puts the “test” in testosterone?  We shouldn’t.  This is a conundrum because older men are still chasing women in their 20′s and 30′s blinded to the patience and maturity that an older woman may bring to the equation and the affectionate wink that she may toss at his faltering sexual abilities and squishy body.

Then there’s my sister, who is married to a 70 year-old that demands sex at least three times a week.  How I wonder, as she laments her thrice weekly “chore”, did she get so lucky.  I’ve met older men whose sagging bodies and other pertinent parts have left me to consider celibacy as the lesser of two evils.  Remarkably, these same men, who are fifty pounds overweight, incapable of supporting their heft, will point out that I can look like a 30 year old super model if I lost 15 pounds.  Has the sun been darkened forever and when did insanity take ascendency? I guess the answer to that is in the Middle Ages.  Get a clue and pop a mercy Viagra buddy because your body is softer than my pet ferret and your sex is becoming indistinguishable from mine.

I dated a, gulp, 68 year-old recently, really believing that the vast age difference was insurmountable.  He told me that he didn’t think he would ever live with someone again, after two failed marriages, and boasted that a 30 year-old had written to him online, even though it was a money scam.  Seriously?  Am I really competing with some phantasm that exists in your pre-senile mind.  Maybe we should all embrace senility.  I’d love to live with that kind of selective illusion.

Even though we’re conditioned to believe that men age better than women and maintain an essence of virility, all bets are off if your junk doesn’t work, and my experience is that it rarely does.  Please, I’d rather get a gel manicure and have a massage on a Friday night than suffer you ill fated intentions that can only result in well – disappointment. And yet women are fighting over these gadfly gladiators as if they held the key to some mysterious happiness.  You’ve passed your sell by date buddy.  Listen, I’m as reasonable as the next.  If you’re willing to spend time and are an affable fellow who can make me laugh, I’ll hang with you.  But if you’re looking over your dislocated rotator cuff for the next young thang in a thong – keep shuffling towards the nearest exit.

As it happens a stunning young man in his early thirties has been calling me for months.  Perhaps I will finally return his calls and invite him over.  I don’t want to die without experiencing passion again.  Is that too much to ask?  I was sort of “saving” myself for a relationship but instead, have been exposed to the emotionally maimed, arrogant, self-satisfied egos of men in their late fifties and early sixties who really just aren’t up to the task. They stumble in the pervasive illusion that any woman will be happy to have their “male” attention and often seek to bolster their egos with younger or “desperate”older woman.

One sad 60 year-old, still in love with his 28 year old Korean girlfriend for whom he left his country, family, and bank account, lamented that “women don’t want older men anymore”. Welcome to my nightmare friend.  Maybe women have smartened up.

Seriously, in my experience, “dating” older men is a soggy path that leaves you wet but unsatisfied.  Get to the gym, infuse some Juvederm and get thee hunting for a younger man.  At least they still know how to make a woman feel like a woman.  Then there’s love, but that’s another blog.  Still don’t know anything about that.

What Two Octogenarians Taught Me About Love

I hadn’t expected to find myself divorced and childless at 47.   Nor could I have anticipated that my 85 year-old stepfather’s devotion to my mother over the past twenty-one years would encourage me to review my choices and the men that had led me to this barren impasse.  I counted how often Bob extolled my mother’s beauty and sex appeal. During our visits he told me how he missed holding her since his recent move to the Paramus Veteran’s Home and I thought that my profusion of golden red hair and curvy Italo-American frame commanded at least as much admiration as my attractive 82-year-old petite blonde mother. However, instead of collecting verbal poems, I was cuddling my Himalayan cat who recently abandoned me and decided to sleep in the living room during the languid summer months.

I went to a hypnotist. “ Please,” I said, “purge my negative thoughts.”  I particularly enjoyed the session where he told my subconscious mind that I was intelligent, creative and beautiful.  I deserved love, intimacy and fulfillment.  His words were such a shock to my battered ego that I went home and vomited 7 times and then burned with a 102-degree fever.  Still, I thought that I had gotten something, other than nausea, from the session.  I needed to hear that. I listened to Louise Hay, downloaded pod casts from hayhouseradio.com.  I adopted her affirmation, “I’m beautiful and everyone loves me.” I complained to an artist friend whose personal freedom inspired and frightened me that the last man with whom I shared a combustible chemistry lived in Ireland and was I feared, still married, though he had told me he was separated.

My hypnotherapist was also a medium. I asked him if I’d hear from my Irish, almost boyfriend.

“I’m getting that there’s some deception there.  I think he’s still married.”  I went to Peter to break the pattern of deception in relationships.  I did not want to hear  that he thought there was deception yet again at work, wrecking my romantic fantasies.

“Are you sure?  Check again.”  I explained that he felt like the man that I was meant to be with.  If not him then who and when? I asked.
“Have you put out the call for your soul mate?” Peter asked.

Like some kind of cosmic email?  “How do you do that?”  I asked. Somehow I wasn’t aligning my energies with the cosmic vibration that resonated with love and happiness. That was hard to do when my friends were basically on a suicide watch for me.

“Believe in your heart.  When you’re ready, put out the call to him. But you have to be ready.”

I went under hypnosis again at which time Peter asked me to imagine a fire.  I would use this flame to burn the negative memories, emotions and situations that no longer served me.  I watched the flames sizzle as I mentally tossed in my childhood — that covered a lot but could basically be summed up in one word– horror.  Next I tossed my marriage, ex- in laws, bad work situations and relationships that didn’t serve me.  I watched the burning columns reach 10 feet, 20 feet and blot out the moon.  Eventually they expended their fury and lay sooty ashes on the cool midnight sand.  Peter prompted and I agreed that my past was gone.  He then asked me to open a beautiful new book.  That was my new life. He asked me to name and describe my new book of life.  “A Life of Service, Purpose and Love,” I answered further describing the violet cover and glinting, iridescent colors.

After twenty sessions at $220 per, my hypnotist declared me resistant to change.  I told my friends that I was demoted to the class for the spiritually challenged.  He reduced his rate to $150.  He said that we needed to eradicate my fear of change and erase the programming that I needed to earn my family’s love before I could accept a man’s love.  So in another hypnotic state, Peter struggled to remove the ties that kept me single.  He employed neurolinguistic programming.  He asked me if I was ready to let go of my fear of changing.  Was I ready to release the expectation that I could only find love once I experienced familial support and nurturing? My conscious self was down with the plan but my subconscious was attached to my misery.  Peter asked me to remember a time when I’d felt loved and happy.  When he patted my right hand the feelings would intensify.  He then told me to remember the panic associated with chasing people who couldn’t love me.  This time, as he patted my left hand, the feelings intensified.  Eventually he was rapidly tapping my left, then my right hand.  My overloaded synapses began to reel.  Peter ended each segment with a series of tapings on my right hand, as I focused on feeling content and loved.  I would remember these feelings each time I tapped my hand.  I felt literally tapped out.

I questioned whether I was resistant to change.  A desultory review of my romantic liaisons confirmed that I was a serial monogamist – with myself.  Like my parent’s marriage, I found that I participated exclusively in relationships that were mired in deceit.  I believed that my family didn’t want me and perhaps I was recreating these experiences with men as a way to heal or learn.  Peter regressed me to the in utero state.  He asked me what I was experiencing.  I said that it was dark and inhospitable.  I felt movement, tumultuous upheavals.  I thought that someone was trying rather diligently to dislodge me.

I’d been told that my mom became aware of my father’s illness after he collapsed from congestive heart failure when I was ten. But the recent hypnotic memories prompted me to ask my mom again when she realized that my dad was critically ill.  Then the truth was laid between us as we sat dining at Nicks, an Upper East Side local family-style restaurant. My mom discovered that my father was seriously ill when she was pregnant with me, her third child.

“How dare you saddle me with another child when you’re a sick man?  When were you going to tell me? I never would have married you…” my mom told me about her reaction to the news.  I forgave her honesty, and realized that her cognitive impairment allowed her to speak the truth after so many years.  Her unhappiness made it almost impossible to nurture me.  But she did meet Bob after my father died and he was able to love her in ways she couldn’t love herself or her children.

Their courtship was defined by their mutual love of poetry and a political battleground that subsided as my mom, a Republican, confessed – years-too-late, that she was sorry that she had voted for W in the last two elections.  Bob had fought in WWII and regaled her with his battle stories and reminisces about the day the Japs attacked Pearl Harbor.  They took long drives from my mom’s comfortable home in Marlboro, New Jersey, where Bob remarked that he knew all of the back roads – a result of his training in recon.  He greeted the farms that were their local landmarks.  They stopped for lunch.   They regularly visited a local pond to feed the ducks.  Their pleasures were simple – their situation more complicated.  Bob, who had been born to a wealthy family and who had called One Fifth Avenue his childhood home, had developed a severe gambling problem.  He came to my mother with a full heart but an empty bank balance.   She weighed her options and his 6’2” frame and opened herself to his courtly ways and manners.  He provided the emotional balance and ballast that she craved. My mom supported him and took him to the top New York oncologists when he was diagnosed with cancer weeks after I separated from my then husband.  They sustained and nurtured each other.  They shared a love for poetry and music  – fragments of poetry and Cole Porter provided the accompaniment to their unique duet.  The last time I visited him, he quoted Rudyard Kipling’s Gunga Din, and cradled his teddy bear.

My fear of abandonment, carefully nurtured during my disruptive childhood had prepared me for  – well – abandonment.   I learned to abandon myself by ignoring the gnawing intuitive flashes that warned against my pattern of involvement with unavailable men.  I trampled my urge to cancel my wedding two weeks before the scheduled nuptials.  I also convinced myself that my last companion was a probable life partner.  Even though I had initially decided that he was engaging, talented and would be a good entrée to the dating scene but not, husband material.  My hypnotist patiently told me that I wasn’t ready to meet my partner before I  learned to live with and trust myself.

“You won’t trust him because you’ll be too afraid that he’ll abandon you and you’ll ruin it,” he said.

Peter told me to enter a room where there were two seats.  I would occupy one and facing me would be people who had wounded and hurt me.  He assured me that they would be restrained. I was free to experience the closure and emotional release that I had been denied.  Peter encouraged me to demonstrate physically, verbally and emotionally what I felt.  My conscious mind initially balked but I was soon thrashing, smashing and socking my ex-husband’s face.  Peter asked me what he wanted to tell me.  I was surprised when he said that he was sorry and felt a mournful sort of closure for the two young twenty-three year old’s that we’d been.  I continued this exercise with my parents, sisters, and a boss or two.  At the end of each session with my chosen loved one, Peter asked me to repeat, I release you and set you free.  I release you and free myself.  I felt drained but also lighter.

I thought that he could cosmically reprogram me – through a hypnotic speed-reading kind of plan.  I realized that I alone had to embrace different choices.  I met a handsome blonde at the Brooklyn Shore Road pier after a recent session.  He told me that he was fighting a lawsuit for a work related injury and hadn’t worked in two years.  I looked into his clear blue eyes, admired his 6”1’ build and said that it had been nice chatting and sped towards my Toyota Corolla.

My idea of love has been tempered over the years.  I no longer refer to the flickering monochromatic images of movies from the 30’s and 40’s. Smoky voices, penetrating stares and forbidden kisses were, I thought, okay for the movies.  But I decided that I was ready for my life.  Two faltering octogenarians reminded me of what I had been missing

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Self Compassion

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Learning to live again is serious and exhilarating.  I’ve recently stepped back from the precipice of self-annihilation and am now experiencing a newfound compassion for myself and appreciation for life.

Coached and coaxed by friends and therapists, I engaged in any activity that held even the most remote possibility of pleasure.  I  took jewelry making classes, boxing lessons, studied the Kabbalah, went faithfully to therapy and of course, experienced the joys of my body’s ability to stretch and exceed my perceived limits at the gym.  Naturally I was employed as soon as I embraced myself.  And for this I am deeply grateful.

However, I realized with horrifying clarity, how serious I was about suicide after I’d been employed.  I’ve survived the death’s of my parents, my sister, my beloved. and precious pets.  I’ve withstood severe emotional abuse, abandonment and physical exhaustion that almost took my life when my appendix burst.  Still I could not imagine withstanding losing my New York apartment.  My sense of security resides in the luxurious home that I’ve created on the Upper East side in close proximity to a group of dwindling but essential friends.  I could not embrace the exigencies that I felt were forcing me to flee New York in search of more economical accommodations.  Somewhere, deep within, I had accepted suicide as a rational and reasonable alternative.  Leaving my h0me, the last bastion of security and familiarity, was something that i could not bear. God heard me at the penultimate moment of my despair as I trudged through the last of my savings before ravaging my “retirement” fund – about one year’s worth – if you don’t count my co-op.  Salvation was granted at the moment that I’d accepted my mortality.  And for that, I am deeply and profoundly grateful.  Perhaps there is an ultimate plan, perhaps my existence has not been conducted in  profound vanity.  Maybe I’m still here for a reason.

I’ve now trained in two new jobs, though I feel that my nascent self-compassion will allow me to relinquish one of my three jobs and live with lesser means for the sake of my sanity and life balance.  I was profoundly grateful, at the end of my first week as a digital sales manager for a thriving website, when I was told that they were amazed at what I accomplished during my first week.  Yet the hunger to share my success with a significant other lingered and I was disappointed as the plans with my x devolved into a parry and thrust about whom had given more in the relationship and had I appreciated all that he’d done for me.  I felt that this was conveyed in a bullying fashion that forced me into a manipulated confession of lasting gratitude which did not allow me to express my true feelings. The best defensive is a good offensive.  I’ve never forgotten that.  As my friend informed me that he would not be able to spend the holidays or my birthday with me, I was coerced into receiving this information with grace and gratitude for what he had done.  And I am grateful.  Truly.  But the holidays are about family.  If, after 15 years, he doesn’t consider me family, I am recusing myself from the equation.  There is nothing left to be said, shared or debated.  I received this information with an unexpected sense of calm and proceeded to make some jewelry which gave me pleasure.  I chose life. I didn’t engage in self-destructive, self-effacing behavior.  I’ve spent birthdays and holidays alone.  But the reality is that I have friends who have asked to spend my birthday with me and I have sisters with whom I can spend the holidays.  And even had I none of those, I have myself.  And that is something wonderful – finally – at last – I can count myself as friend.

I’ve learned that when I let go, something comes in.  I gracefully extricated myself from the laborious debate with my x and responded to a man who’d been calling me for the past few hours.  I invited him to my apartment for a celebration – for I felt that I deserved that – and allowed myself the pleasure of reveling in his admiration.  We sipped wine and sank our teeth into freshly baked bread and cheese.  I felt appreciated and respected.  I allowed myself to accept my situation and to find gratitude in the midst of accumulated blessings.  Perhaps it is as simply difficult as I’ve heard.  Close one door and another opens.  But one has to be prepared to walk into the unknown before the unexpected can arise.  I had to face the void of non-existence before I could embrace my life.  There are mysteries and paradoxes and the simplicity and joy of being.  And for this, I am deeply grateful.

A Shattering Realization

Romance is not a commodity that is guaranteed.  Nor can it be coaxed, coached, courted, or commanded  It alights, unbidden, on the breasts of the unsuspecting.  And I suspect that I shall never experience it again.

I’ve been a busy girl recently.  And all of my dating busyness has left me longing to hang with my girlfriends, gay friends, guy friends, my cats- anyone and anything that is not connected to the picked-over assortment of humanity that has presented itself as a potential romantic source.

A love coach has been courting my services.  She told me that healers don’t charge enough for their services.  Her fees range from 5k to 25k.  I think that establishes her firmly in the realm of someone who has a healthy respect for their services. She was offering a pittance for the sales person who was taxed with the responsibility of separating women from their money – all for a good cause – the fulfillment of a soul mate that we hear so much about.  I’ve dwelled many years amongst the imperfections of this creation and have spoken to a lot of people.  I haven’t met many who were living with, met, or who had otherwise engaged with the elusive soul mate creature – which I fear – is as mystical and unrealistic as the infamous unicorn.

One’s libido does calm down as one ages.  And even as I admire my fabulous, toned self, brimming with charisma and charm, I have to admit that I have always possessed a highly cultivated sexual selection process which has devolved into one that barely registers the opposite sex.  There was a foreign man, years ago, that awakened my desires and longing for a partner.  We met amidst the beauty of a soft autumnal Amagansett night and I was foolish enough to feel – soul mate?  I even dated a narcissistic  prof recently who briefly inflamed my staggering sex drive.  And there’s the 32 year-old that calls, voice brimming with testosterone and desire to recount his attraction to me and plan a visit to New York so that we can explore our mutual admiration.

I had rather hoped that I’d be looking into the eyes of my beloved at this point in my life.  I’d take in the craggy lines around his brows and labial folds.  Each crevice and indentation would be a memory that we’d shared, despaired over or had rejoiced in.  I’d imagined that his eyes would simply say, “home”.  Instead, I look into stranger’s eyes, framed by faces that are much older than the ones “advertised” in their dating profiles.  Seriously, men wouldn’t let women get away with such outrageous lying.  One man posted a pic of a muscular, tanned hunk, with blonde hair.  I didn’t recognize the middle aged, dark-haired, man spreading at the bar as the same creature.

The man that I dated last night hadn’t even bothered to dye his hair.  His pic must have been circa the 1990′s when he’d possessed some vigor and vitality.  So different from the tired, gray haired, overweight man who sat in my lobby, where I almost turned about face and retreated to my apartment upon visual contact. However, I pride myself on treating all with dignity, even those who in fact, do not posses dignity.  He was an affable fellow who shared a lengthy story of a libido that had destroyed his life, later in the evening.  It seemed that is career as an international consultant had taken him to Asia where he met and subsequently disassembled his life for a 28 year-old fashion designer.  He unapologetically walked out on his family, including two children, career, and moved to Shanghai, or such, I can’t remember, I was thinking about getting into bed with my cats at that point.  The much younger woman, as in criminally, what were you thinking your lecherous fool, took all of his money and invested it in her failing business, ignored him and five years later he returned to America, depleted, financially dissolved and heart-broken.  He loves her still.  I ask you, why is this man dating?  Oh, and he lives in a small one-bedroom apartment somewhere near the Whitestone bridge, don’t ask me for directions, with his son, a jazz guitarist.  He explained that he’s helping his son.  I wonder if the son is not helping the prodigal dad.

Then there was the Israeli physicist who lives in my building and whose acquaintance I mad in the midst of the Hurricane Sandy madness.  He took my number and called in multiples of five, leaving but one message in ten.  We managed to have a salad together one evening.  Then it occurred to me that the physicist was calling and rambling about physics and Israel, way to seduce a lady, with the hopes that he’d bore me into submission and I’d just invite him up to my apartment to end his monologues on quantum mechanics.

Of course there was another lost puppy whose wife died and who’d made a career of playing the sympathy card. I met him for the first time, after several long conversations, at the Metro North station on 125th street.  He’d trained into Manhattan with a twenty dollar bill and parked himself on my couch.  After hours of talking and boredom that bordered on paralysis, we went to the cheapest Chinese restaurant that I knew of and ate dinner.  He submitted his plea then that he couldn’t face the commute back to his friend’s apartment where he’d been living for one year and asked if he could crash on my couch. Horrors, one and all.  I’ll spare you the tale of the Harvard graduated engineer with fewer social skills than my cats, who was adamant that I view his before and after pictures on Facebook.  For some reason it was critical that I see  the proof of his body with an additional 60 pounds.  What did he want, some Facebook commendation?

Oh but I must add the 65 year old- way too old, yuck, psychologist, who grabbed my hand at the entrance to my building and placed it over his erection.  What buddy, you didn’t want to waste a Viagra?  I mean is this really what is circulating masked as available men?

As I back away from the financial abyss with God’s help, more rants on that later, I actually thought that it was time that I consider spending what remains of my years on earth with a witty, intelligent, soulful, and sexy-to-me, mate.  I get why men date younger women.  Who wouldn’t choose the passion and enthusiasm that youth offers rather than the gray haired disillusion that has presented itself at my doorstep?  Seriously, if you’re putting yourself out there, put yourself together first.  Don’t be crashing with your son, brother, Zen monk or other.  Have the decency to have put the past in the past and don’t expect sympathy votes for the last lady love that sucked you dry and spit you out.  I have my own horror stories to tell.

I had rather hoped that life would offer more than this monotony of loneliness where the deepest empathy and touch that I experience is with my cats.  I’m more involved in my hobbies and interests.  I no longer have to call my gal pal and ask her to coax me from my apartment as I had just a few months ago.  So overcome with depression and fear, I couldn’t find a reason to exit my apartment, or to live for that matter.  I’m much better now, but is this seriously all that there is?  Something, a la the brilliant Jack Nicholson movie, has to give.  So I thought that I’d never receive another job offer.  I just have to have another shot at love, don’t I?

Even Nosferatu has stopped calling or has been trapped in the depths of the Disney bubble, as he called it.  I’m not lighting any candles over here in his absence.  It’s just, you know, with another holiday approaching, without my mom, without a partner, I feel somehow cheated.  I believe that life is about love and connections.  I believe that we are here to learn to love, giving and receiving, at least that, I feel, is my lesson.  Boy, have I failed or what?  Does this place me at the back of the karmic line?  Will I reincarnate as a bat or something?

And finally, is romance just an urban myth?   Perhaps it’s all some hoax to keep the world populated.  What do you think?

Hope at the Violet Hour of My Despair

Royalty-free Image: Girl with arms outstretched at sunset on the…

My mother spoke comforting words into the pre-dawn night’s – her voice steady and calming through the phone, soothing my rampant, dark panic.

“It’s always darkest before the dawn.” My mother said.

“But it’s been a twelve-year dawn, Mom,” I would counter, smoking, nerves frayed.  Then…

“Even for us there will be a softening in the wind.”  She said, wisely, like a prayer.

And my spirit took comfort.  She, I believe, has found a softening in the wind, through death, though my spirit dwells with her still.  But at last, after a year of praying, meditating, howling, roiling, and raging at my destiny, I have three job offers on the table.  As the strain drains from my body, I find a softened, tired, grateful shadow, hands raised in a boxing position, still battering at windmills.

God came through at precisely the moment when I was drained, wondering how and if I could reinvent myself, fashion my being into something and someone that was marketable in this changing labor landscape.  I’ve sold 25k worth of jewelry and had about two months of liquidity left before hammering my meager stock portfolio.  A long over due bank loan against my apartment was the last resort and that’s scheduled to come through, though they are rechecking my loan since I am in Zone A – high risk area – post hurricane Sandy.

I need time to process the offers and to at last choose the one that is best for me.  I will take time to find gratitude in a battle wearied spirit.  I will thank the friends who have stood as encouraging banners against the winds of my despair.  At the violet hour of my discontent, there is relief.  I can rest without thinking that I may need to move, without dreading the next day.  Now I have to reapply myself to work.  This vast expanse of time has also given me some space to heal and pursue other hobbies, jewelry-making, boxing, writing….late nights and early afternoon mornings. http://tinyurl.com/a7m5ras

I no longer have an excuse to indulge in self sabotaging behaviors like refusing to eat because I can’t afford decent restaurants now; gnawing my cuticles thinking that is nourishment and protein; dating men who don’t interest me because I’ve lost interest in my tired story; driving through the hurricane soaked streets of New York with no gas left in the tank; waiting on gas lines during a blizzard; obsessively watching Rock of Ages because I find Tom Cruise unbelievable sexy in the role; waiting until dawn before trying to sleep.

My cats cuddle next to me in winter’s awakening dawn, fur-thickened Persian bodies comforting me and telling me that they knew all would be well.  I feel their silky purring reassurances and close my eyes – tonight there will be rest.

When you’ve walked the last mile on your road and can no longer see a clear path before you, believe in yourself and a higher power who holds you steady against the bruising winds.  A friend recently wrote that I should “keep knocking on those doors” and that “kindness rebounds.”

Thanks for the reminder.

Opera Rock Girl – Finds Her Rhythm

If you’re unavailable, I want to hear from you.  Naturally you won’t be inclined to communicate through text, video, Skype or any other of the reigning technical wonders, because you’re indisposed due to an emotional inability to connect; run from relationships like an elderly person from shingles; or have been trapped, since the 80′s, near the inner circle of thought. But I will wait for you, because I know that you won’t call.  I’m safe.  See, it’s simple.

My recent obsession is with a fictional character, Stacee Jaxx, the tormented Rock Star in the film version of Adam Shankman’s musical, Rock of Ages.  His complicated and brooding nature makes me wonder if there isn’t a compelling, deep man pulsing with passion and sensuality who is looking for me too.  Of course, he’d need to jump from the convolutions of an alleged fictional reality and materialize.  But could I stand that?

Stacee, played by Tom Cruise, (I know, I know,) but he simply sizzles in the role and is all about an unabashedly contoured chest and rolling hips that I’d like to roll into my bed. But he’s tortured.  Now that’s something that I understand.  He’s trapped by his talent and the illusions of fame.  His true desire – to communicate so deeply that his music will make people want to live – has ben obfuscated by his demons.  Anyway, one of his lines catapulted me into a nostalgia for the girl who sang opera with the full fury of her soul.

“I’m searching for the perfect sound, the perfect song, that will make you want to live forever.”

Usually I don’t want to live for the next five minutes.  But I know how it feels to be rocked with so much desire, the need to communicate my inner being, to lay bare the breasts of my soul, that I want to live forever, and take you with me.  Where is the man who could say something like that? Say something that pierces and reassembles my soul?  That’s what I’ve sought.  I sought it in opera where the characters’ passions were so outsized, so trembling with the ferocity of their emotions, that I felt at home there.  I felt immortal each time a phrase pulsed through my body.  It was a benediction and a blessing that some of the world’s most captivating music could, for moments, vibrate through my flesh and blood and convey all that I felt.

Imagine the joy that I felt when I sang Mon Coeur S’ouvre ta voix, from Samson and Delilah.  Literally, my heart opens at the sound of your voice.  When have you last felt that way about anyone?  I’m not talking about mothers and their babies, here. I’m very attuned to the sound of the human voice.  I know how the lead character in Jerry Maguire felt when she said, “you had me at hello.”  So when I speak to a man who emits a squeaking coloratura sound, all bets are off, even if he’s wrapped in a bod of sin.  Note: he isn’t.

Stacee Jaxx’s vulnerability was even more tempting than his body and diamond studded jock strap.  The character was so ludicrous that he seemed real, and inhabited, for a night, my imagination, ignited my  desire.  Maybe it was his confidence, that bought me to the knees of my passions.  Maybe it’s the performer in me who just wanted to follow the path of my desire to speak so intimately to an audience that I could, for a moment, change their lives.  Maybe it wasn’t Jaxx that I yearned for, but the unfulfilled version of myself that lived in me, and still does.

“I only know that summer sang in me, a little while, that in me sings no more.”

“I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride.  I’m wanted – dead or alive.”  That’s how Jaxx reveals himself to the woman who has caught his attention, focused with deadly precision.

Is it some inherent character flaw that I can relate to something so propelled by passion that it’s comical?  Yet that’s where I live, scouring the milky way for the extraordinary.  Mediocrity terrifies me even as it rules our world and governs our nations.

I’m a bubble girl, running around without the protection of her bubble.  Too sensitive for this world and the banal sentiments that reign, I find myself without a protective coating.  I’m really a performer at heart. I wanted to convey through music, the one truth, that could make you want to live.  For a moment, an eternal epiphany that let you know that you weren’t alone in the world.  Music does that for me.  I honor all great performers, rock, opera.  I honor their honesty and discipline.  And nothing, in my opinion, brings you closer to God or immortality, than music.

And maybe as I wait at the violet hour before Hurricane Sandy crashes into New York, I realize that I’ve always been drawn to men like Jaxx.  Those whom I’ve loved have had epic talents, insecurities and demons in hot pursuit. But when they were in the midst of creating, their confidence rivaled the gods, which is why they probably were burned alive.

I suppose we all fall in love with versions of ourselves. And even as I’m drawn to the Jaxx character, I know that that character lives in me.  She’s been bludgeoned by the mundane and unrelenting homogeneity that governs our lives, but she lives still.  Looking for love in all of the wrong places, that where I’ve been.  Maybe I didn’t want to find love at all, but needed to find my voice, or let my voice sing in the world.  The world has silenced my voice, temporarily, but I hope that I will be able to resurrect her.

That is the essence of the arts, they enable us to remember, even briefly, who we are.  They hold a magical mirror to our soul where we can briefly see ourselves illuminated in all of our imperfect glory.  If art doesn’t move you, it’s not art.  And on some level, we all want to move someone,  We want to know that for a moment, however briefly, that someone has heard us, that someone has recognized us and has borne witness to our journey.

Your Souls Are WIth Me Tonight

I was born with an ebullient soul believing that life was joyous, happy and free.  I believed that, at all costs, I needed to remain faithful to my blueprint.  I believed that life was kind.  But the ghosts are hammering and pounding at my soul’s door tonight. And may I say that I miss you?  My life has irrevocably changed since your passing and I’ve lost my bearings and parameters.

There is the brilliant flame who was my sister that I lost at 19.  Her soul and fire taunts me as I tread through a gray, misty landscape, bereft of her laughter and endless compassion.  There is the lover whom I have never forgotten whose heart failed in 2000, the year that I divorced.  Apparently the millennium demarcated a passage of solitude and fire that i could not escape. And of course there is my mother, a delicate soul who could not bear the burdens of her life’s journey.  She left me in 2011.

Vincent was a brilliant and poetic Emmy award winning film editor, whose soul was too sensitive to dwell within the human landscape.  Realizing his inability to cope or accept, I, seventeen years his junior, offered to take the journey before him.  So sure was I in life’s benevolent continuum, I wanted to go before him to lend a light to his journey.  But destiny dictated that he pre-decease me.  I’d had a nagging feeling each May 23 that the date had irrevocably changed my life.  When I finally had the courage to Google Vincent, I learned that his heart failed, May 23, 2000, the same year that I divorced.  Vincent understood the pilgrim soul in me and the changing sorrows of my face.  After drugs and self-destruction had claimed his essence, I left him.  I didn’t think that I would ever love again and chose a man whom I considered stable and loving.  He was a demon.  Vincent had begged me to marry him and follow his uncertain path to Australia where opportunities waited and where we would build a new life.  I didn’t believe in love.  I didn’t believe in him, or myself.  I later learned that a sycophant nurtured his nascent sobriety and folllowed him to Australia. She left, years later, saying that she could no longer live with my ghost  We inhabited each others souls in the silence and spaces that defined our destinies.

I hear you tonight, Vincent, and the cadence and familiarity of your voice and touch comforts me.  Were you my last opportunity to grasp completion’s golden ring? And years later when I met your tortured counterpart, I believed, that you’d come back to me in a healthier version. But he was as tormented and haunted as you.

Are these patterns that beg to be broken or are they remnants of past lives that beg for resolution?  I am deeply sensitive and lonely,yet, I can tolerate but a select few in the inner rooms of my life and psyche.  Still I search for you in stranger’s eye’s and hope that I will hear the melody of your voice.

And what of my mother whose gentle and innocent being was too sensitive for this world?  I wanted to parent you  I wanted to be your strength.   I understand that you didn’t want to live and you accepted the stroke that shrouded your beauty, with equanimity and peace.  Your beauty shone through a broken body that lay contorted and parlayzed, but you never complained.

You are all more real to me tonight than the shadow images and fleeting friendships that inhabit my life.  I wonder where you are and if you are faring well.  You have touched me in ways that I can not describe and your absence has defined the limits of my ability to love.

But you taught me through fire and pain, about life.  I will honor you in every encounter and say your name as a benediction, as a prayer.  You are with me always.  And I am stronger for your love.  I witnessed and treasured your lives.  And perhaps that is all that we can ask for.  Blessed be.

Beading my destiny – one colorful strand at a time

Reinventing myself, I find, is not as complicated as it seems.  It’s worse.  I’m at a skull and crossbones crossroad in my life, deciding whether I should follow the path of the skull or the other sign indicating poison.  Not pleased with either choice, I will allow myself to play.  I may be fiddling while my world is self-immolating, but at least I can listen to some wonderful music as I take the fall or jump to new heights.  Think of Pink’s superfab F’n Perfect.  Go to this link, dance and love yourself, because you are, I am perfect. http://tinyurl.com/cfu27pb

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So with more time on my hands than is emotionally healthy, I am avoiding rummaging through the trunks filled with memories, the shadows of regret, and clearing a space for self-expression.  I’ve been an opera singer, but stopped singing in an amazing display of self-sabotage, after my divorce.  I’ve written a paranormal romance series which I hope my brilliant agents will sell.  Recently, I added jewelry design to my toy chest.  I am passionate about personal adornment.  My accessories, the colors, shapes, textures, that I place against my skin please me far more than the men that I’ve been meeting, and the jewelry elements have more character and interest as well.

So while I am exploring supplemental employment opportunities, and thinking about opening myself to an integral relationship that has yes, integrity, passion, a kinetic intellectual attraction, spiritual resonance and the ability to communicate honestly and openly (anyone see the unicorn running down fifth avenue with the golden horn?); I am also trolling through jewelry supply stores.  I am choosing beads that please me.  I imagine the story that each bead conveys.  I feel their texture, individual energy and shape.  I mentally place them in a pattern that tells a story that I want to tell.  I am in love with violet hues, red-violet, blue violet.  I want to create designs that have an impact.  I am often complimented on my accessories and feel that they express my inner warrior priestess.  I am attracted to pieces that have an impact.  They make a statement, as do I.  My personal statement has not attracted the situations or men that interest me, so I will create another world.  I can create a destiny with each piece.  Each element, color, texture, will co-exist with another until a personal parable is realized and executed through jewelry.

Validation is perhaps the most basic, primordial drive.  We receive this through community, family, relationships, work associations.  I’ve annexed myself from the family portion of the primal program.  I work from home as an independent contractor. And community is fleeting in New York, a city so vast, and with such a rapacious appetite that one feels as though they are eternally running with the bulls

A brief foray into online dating has elucidated another passion – boxing.  Yep, my experiences have been as disheartening and disgusting as swimming in a polluted pond.  But, I am admittedly picky.  Of the hundreds of men that I’ve dated, I only hold one or two in my heart and memory.  My ex-boyfriend repeatedly chastises me for being so picky.  I don’t think that I am overly selective, just discriminating.  I know what pleases me and thankfully, no longer have to apologize for my preferences.

I will construct my beaded bracelets like strands of destiny whose colors and stories will delight.  In this, at least, I have control.  To view my new store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/beadeddestiny/

Fifty Shades of Sex

Men keep asking me what I think about E.J. James trilogy: Fifty Shades of Grey.  I think that it is a successful popular culture venture.  Stop salivating.  The author constructed the protagonist with deft sexy strokes.  He’s irresistible to most.  Here’s a hint: women want men to take control  - sometimes.  Who doesn’t thrill to the idea of someone who understands your body and psyche so well that they can take you to the other side of heaven?  What interested me about the first novel in the trilogy were the shades of character flaws.  Christian and Ana understood each other’s nuances and were so attracted to each other that they didn’t run screaming, but were willing to compromise and yes, explore.  So don’t assume that because women are reading the book that you should trot out your assortment of BDSM ware and be welcomed.

Now I’m puzzled.  Is there something about my face or language that has been inviting men to talk to me about their physical predilections in great detail?  I’m just getting to know you.  Cataloguing your needs like Mozart‘s famous catalog aria sung by Leporello, in which he outlines the breadth and depth of Giovanni‘s conquests, is not turning me on.  Too much information.  I don’t need to know what and which pill and which toy and when and why you need a certain kind of stimulation for a satisfying encounter.  Have a little faith in me and yourself.  If I’m interested, I’ll learn about your needs in time.  Wasn’t sex simpler a few years ago?  Ah, the unadulterated freedom in assuming that everything would work, be in place and ready when you were.  Sure I worried if I had lipstick on my teeth, that my hair had detonated in a full frizz attack, but I didn’t have to worry about your body’s ability to convey stimulation.  Well I did date, I later learned, a coke addict – a brilliant film editor, but a disturbed man, who did have chemically induced challenges. He was my first love.  I still love him, even though he died in 2000, the same year that I got divorced.  So even as a nineteen year-old I understood the delicate male sexual psyche.

I’m only suggesting that you get to know me before you assume that I want to know your penis as a pet.  I don’t need to hear a full accounting of blood flow, what does or doesn’t happen in the morning when you wake up, and how you need 45 minutes notice before a possible encounter.  Geez, what happened to passion and spontaneity?  Don’t serve up your sex with an egg timer.  Get a clue and leave some mystery, men and women.  Excitement builds in 50 Shades of Grey because Ana doesn’t know what Christian will do next, but she knows that she trusts him and that she likes what he’s done so far.

Sex isn’t, in my opinion, a calculated clinical play.  It’s a choreography that seduces and retreats.  Don’t circumvent the most stimulating part – the build up.  If you want me tied in knots, physically , psychologically, or other, appeal to me as a woman and not just a body part.  I’m pretty responsive, but I don’t respond to clinical details.  Show me your vulnerability.  Let me hold you for a while.  Let’s talk.  If you give me an inch, I may hand you the rest of the rope.  Just chill.

You can’t make this shit up – Return of Nosferatu and other Rants

May I just say that the boomer market is a flat line. i’d like to announce to the brilliant marketers trying to monetize Gen Boomer, that a generation who prides itself on youth, is not, doesn’t want to, and will not ingest niche media for the “boomer market”.  They are reading mass media. I am consulting for a network of boomer sites.  The twelve year-old media planners are not interested.  I learned this yet again after driving to a late afternoon mid-town meeting at a high profile media agency.  I paid a small ransom for the privilege of parking my car for an hour and returned home in less than sanguine mood.

Nosferatu wanted to treat me to an evening that would relieve my stress.  I haven’t been deluged by offers, poems or other overtures, and Nosferatu is lonely – I accepted his offer.  I wondered what he had in mind though I wasn’t exactly “dressing” for the date. Nos met me in my lobby and we cabbed it downtown to where I’d just been.  Our destination, the top of the Empire State Building.  You’d have to meet me to know how much I detest crowds, standing in cue, and pandering to touristic sensibilities. I’d rather have stuck hot pokers in my eye and have shaved my head.  I plastered a tolerant smile on my face and trudged through the lines trying to dislodge Nosferatu’s guiding hand at my elbow and back.  I gracelessly flew past the photographer who wanted to memorialize our experience and stepped into the gale force winds on the 86th floor.I’m not bragging but I have spectacular city and river views from my apartment.  I didn’t need to slog through crowds, shuffle on high-heeled shod feet, and brave pneumonia for the privilege.  Nos confessed that he’d hoped it would encourage me to cuddle with him.  Am I seriously this cursed?

Finally we descended to terra firma and head for dinner.  He had a place in mind and I was still determined to conduct myself with civility.  After a 10 block walk in 30 degree weather I lost it.  Apparently his dining choice was some deli with a salad bar, that he couldn’t locate.( he just moved to New York recently – single women rejoice.) Thankfully, I’m not a violent person and don’t carry an assault weapon.  I ducked into the nearest subway and said that I was going home.

Nos followed me and witnessed my altercation with a nine-foot African American who shoved me several feet as I boarded the shuttle.  A fury of expletives were unleashed, mine.  Nos sat next to me and held me steady against the train’s halting rhythm.  The thought of a morphine laced cappuccino was very appealing.  I struggled with my inner bitch and politely suggested that we could “dine” at an all night diner.  As we trudged another 7 blocks, in the cold, Nos told me that he wanted me to join him in his small business venture selling Disney pins on e-bay.  We could travel to Florida two weeks a month and collect Disney pins from theme parks and sell them online.  Now I have a garage in my building and would have cheerfully asphyxiated myself at that point, but the garage is too large and I would have only succeeded in enraging the attendants.  That would have implied a higher holiday bonus, I suspect.

Luckily my nephew texted me and joined us.  My blood pressure had regulated to merely dangerous levels and his presence soothed me.  Nos is just looking for friendship, though he did suggest some physical distraction, to which I responded with gritted teeth.  I calmed down enough to discuss  Nosferatu’s failed marriages with empathy and compassion.  I opened a space for friendship. The boundaries are set there.

Sometimes I want to throttle the God of my understanding and say “really?”  Note to women:  Don’t allow a man that you don’t know well, plan a date.  Get the information.  Buy into the plan or nix it.  My idea of a stress relieving date is a helicopter ride over Manhattan; dinner at Le Vieux Bistro across from the Notre Dame Cathedral and a stroll through Ile St. Louis. Let’s kiss in the dawn on a deserted beach beneath a sky that looks like a jewelers display.  I’ve done that and highly recommend this with the right person.  Or, if I’m into you, come to my apartment, set about 20 candles aflame and let’s rearrange the 15 or so down pillows on my bed.  That would have relieved my stress. So until you’re ready to enter my life, I’ll just be blogging and soothing my inner bitch with the thought of you.

Yours truly,