Category Archives: Not marriage!

Single Ladies Unite!

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On June 4, 1948, Marion Richards placed a greeting card and a corsage on

some of her coworker’s desks. Inside each card, she left a special message

and in honor of her choice of words, there is a holiday on June 4th to celebrate!

She had chosen, you see, women who were over thirty years of age and were

unmarried at the time. She wanted them to feel loved and cared for, despite

their status.

This day is called, “Old Maid’s Day!!”

Oh my! Let’s see, in that time period my Dad was 16 years old and my

Mom was 20 years old.

Both my parents had aunts that were unmarried, due to choice, situation

or loss of a husband. They lived in separate homes, leading active and

productive lives.

My Great Aunt Marie had lost her husband to death while young. She had

worked until she was 67 years old at Gorton’s Fish Company in Gloucester.

She was one of the ‘highlights’ of my 16th summer in 1972. She had a little

red sports car and would take me to the drive-in movies, pick up young (and

cute) hitch-hikers when we were heading out of town. She would carry on the

liveliest and most interesting conversations. She was a good ‘role model’ for

my future dates by being independent and leading a positive life. I remember

one of her favorite outfits that she wore. She had a bright coral blouse and a

beautiful silk scarf with a floral design that included the color of turquoise.

She showed creativity and good fashion sense, which I liked to think about

as time went by She showed a ‘joi de vivre.” She will always be, in my eyes:

Forever young!

When my Great Aunt Marie was 92, I went to visit her. She still had her

own apartment, liked to walk to Bingo, to McDonald’s and the stores

in Gloucester.  When I woke up early to hear her lilting voice raised in

song, I walked slowly and quietly into the kitchen to find her dancing.

There she was floating on her toes, gracefully pirouetting and spinning.

When that song that says, “I Hope You Dance” came out, I carefully copied

all the words and mailed it to her. We were pen pals, and although she

never remarried, she always professed love for Pete, her husband who

had died. She never expressed regrets for not having children and truly

seemed interested in mine. I kept some of her letters, since they hold

such amazing positive words of encouragement. She was not lonely and

made friends up until she died at age 96! No worries for her being an

“Old Maid!” Not in her vocabulary or sensibility.

My Great Aunt Harriet was also a widow, a little older than my Aunt Marie,

but still would take her easel out Bearskin Neck and paint boats and the

infamous Rockport, Mass. red boathouse, Motif Number 1. She also was one

who would hop on her bicycle and go to the other ‘coves’ or inlets to use

her drawing pad. She was quite lively, intelligent and could get my 16 year

old self intrigued in everything from conservation, sea life, and politics!

Mom used to talk about her “elderly old maiden aunts,” which in reality

were cousins of hers. They were retired school teachers. They were not

related, so there were times, much later in my life, that Mom said one

time,

“I think they may have loved each other, choosing to spend their retirement

days, reading and volunteering at the library in Middletown, Ohio.”

Still later, while watching Sean Penn acting as the gay character with the

same name as the movie, “Milk,” she expressed thoughts that her maiden

aunts “may have been” lesbians adding,

“I guess we will never know for sure, since they never told anyone, that I

knew of, in the family.”

Tomorrow, (June fourth), is “My Day!” It may be “Your Day!”

In this world of crazy reasons to celebrate, rejoice in the feeling of being

‘free to choose whatever you wish to do,’ as long as you don’t go out and

break any laws, I don’t care if you even ‘play hooky from work!’

Many women, in today’s society, choose to remain unmarried well past

their 30’s. There is no ‘time limit’ or restrictions or even suggested age

that one must marry now. When women choose to focus on their careers,

their own paths in life, and possibly having children with no marriage

license. . .

I think, “Whatever works for you!”

If you haven’t found Mr. Right, he may just be around the corner.

(At least you have not settled for Mr. Wrong!)

If you are looking for Ms. Right, she may also be just around the corner.

(I hope you catch her eyes!)

If you are content in your ‘Single-dom,’

May it be a kingdom filled with

Joy, Independence and Tranquility!

Who needs an excuse to celebrate being single?

No one needs one, but it is fun to do so, anyway!

Any excuse for a Party of One!

In case you have forgotten the beautiful and inspirational lyrics of

Lee Ann Womack’s song’s lyrics are written by Mark D. Sanders

and Tia Sillers in 2000.

“I Hope You Dance”

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,

You get your fill to eat, but always keep that hunger.

May you never take one single breath for granted,

God forbid love ever leave you empty-handed.

I hope you still feel small

when you stand beside the Ocean.

Whenever one door closes,

I hope one more opens.

Promise me that you’ll give faith

a fighting chance,

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance,

I hope you dance..

I hope you dance.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,

Never settle for the path of least resistance.

Living might mean taking chances but they’re worth taking.

Loving might be a mistake but it’s worth making.

Don’t let some hell-bent heart leave you bitter.

When you come close to selling out– reconsider.

Give the heaven above more than just a passing glance,

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance,

I hope you dance…

I hope you dance.

Time is a wheel in constant motion,

Always rolling us along.

Tell me who wants to look back on

their years and wonder where those

years have gone”

(A couple of repeated stanzas and the “I Hope You Dance” repeats.)

If this song isn’t energetic enough, check out Martina Mc Bride’s

song, “This One’s for the Girls.” Of course, you can always rely on

the fun song, even sung by the little Chipmunks’ girlfriends can

be silly to dance to: “All the Single Ladies” by Beyoncé Knowles

and others.

A totally different song, a rowdy and controversial song with

anti-violence message and ending domestic abuse is called,

Independence Day,” sung by Martina McBride. This was not

played on radios because of the difficult subject matter of a mother

fighting back against abuse by burning her family’s home down.

The reason I support this song is due to Martina McBride’s being a

dual spokeswoman for the National Domestic Violence Hotline and

the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

“Independence Day” contains a powerful message for those who are

needing an ‘anthem’ to give them ‘backbone’ to get out of abusive

situations. I like it just to shout out the lyrics, “Let freedom ring!”

 

Insult to Injury: Reasons not to date a much younger man

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Just to start out with a bit of information I found out recently,

that Dick Van Dyke has married at age 87, a woman who is a makeup

artist, of 42 years of age. Now, I ask you, what will they have in

common? Will he “catch her up” on the oldies but goodies that he

enjoyed? Will she “fill him in” on all the new technology and new

musical groups that he may have never listened to?

This all is so upsetting! I was match made by my youngest daughter

with a man who is 47 years old. I have been 58 since November. I

think we would have a lot in common. We are not that far apart and

as I was driving to meet him at the Polaris (Shopping area, north

of Columbus, Ohio) Panera Bread, I was given a pep talk by my

youngest daughter.

First of all, she led with the fact this man had been ‘stood up’

at the restaurant that she works at on High Street. (Cameron

Mitchell’s The Pearl Restaurant.) He was sitting at the bar,

looking at his watch or his cell phone and seemed rather tired

and cranky. His impatience had led him to ordering a few drinks

while waiting, ultimately ending up with wings and French fries.

Not the typical healthy fare that the restaurant is known for,

and my daughter, the hostess with the ‘most-est” (the spell

check would not accept the word without a hyphen, it wanted to

make it moistest! Smile!) Anyway, she wandered over, asked

the bartender/server for a hot tea, she was like me all

week, voice-less or nearly so.

She introduced herself and asked him who he was waiting for,

he openly declared himself, “stood up.” He also looked within

a short time at my photograph. This is how my family and friends

approach absolute strangers… He said I looked ‘too young’ to

have her as a daughter. She was asked to ‘guess my age’ and she

guessed the man as ’61.’ I have to grin now, as I type this, since

alas, she ‘forgot’ my age and said I was ’55.’ He said he was only

47 and yet, since I looked ‘younger than 55’ he would take a chance

and he gave her his phone number.

Sunday morning, I did not have to work. I did not try to ‘earn my

Tuesday off,’ and just took my already ‘free’ Wednesday off. I

texted him, “Would you like to buy this girl a coffee?” He texted

back, that he did not have any plans, was relaxing and reading the

Sunday newspaper. I texted him at ten a.m. after my daughter had

let me know his phone number on Sat. into Sun. early hours. I

figured I would wait until I was ready to go brave the cold,

also allowing him to sleep in, if he were that type of guy.

After ten minutes of texting back and forth, trying to decide

where a halfway point would be, we agreed to meet at 11:00 a.m.

I drove across town in Delaware to feed my friends’ kitties,

then hurried back to S.R. 23 southward bound. I was sipping on

my second cup of coffee, having eaten a light breakfast. I was

nervous!

When I entered Panera, he had been told I was wearing a red,

down coat and he said he would have a gray and red sweater

on. He had chosen a booth, arriving a minute earlier. I had

texted him from my friend, Jenny’s house, telling him that

it may be closer to 11:15 but it was only 11:02, so I made

good time.

We shook hands and then went up to the counter, I offered to

go ahead and purchase my coffee. He said he would pay for it.

I glanced at the pastries, my ‘downfall’ and passed. He went

ahead and ordered what appeared to be lunch. He said I could

order more, but I declined.

Once we sat down, I mentioned that my daughter had told me

he was a political consultant. I asked if he had a particular

client? He answered that he had been closely affiliated and

liked Ted Strickland. I mentioned that I had met John Glenn

and his wife a few times, along with Gene Branstool. He told

me both politicians were ‘fine men.’ I told him that Gene had

presented my battered women’s children funding grant to his

subcommittee. That he is like the ‘salt of the earth.’ Turns

out that Bill knew his son. That was cool, I thought, I like

to hear about connections between people. Also, told him why

I knew John Glenn.

Bill was very understated and not a bragging man, but he did

mention that one of the pictures of himself on match.com,

(where the woman who stood him up had ‘met him’) he was

wearing a tuxedo. He says he has to own one to go to the

Inaugurations and Inaugural Balls. I was fascinated by the

subject, but he did not pursue or reveal much more.

When I told him my real age, he backed off, pushed himself

away from the table, leaning back to study me. I began a

short summary of my relationships. I have a very shortened,

humorous summary which usually gets a few smiles. When I

said I had three children and one of my children had

married a woman with two children and then had two more,

which made the total go up to four. He muttered, not very

quietly (if you watch, “The Middle” think of the character

Brick who looks downward, but you can hear his comments0:

“Four too many!”

I looked a little stunned, he looked at me, no blinking and

said, “I don’t have children, am an uncle and do that well.”

I went on to say that both my brothers didn’t have children

but were very involved in my children’s lives and also, now,

with the grandchildren. I did not pause, but I am a little

aghast.

Later, I did get up the nerve to ask, “Do you date anyone

with children?”

Bill said, “Most of the women I date have children in the

range of 11 to 15 years old.”

At that point, again emphasizing our age difference I should

have left…

But, I am kind of stubborn! I said, “This past summer I dated

a 46 year old man for about 6-8 weeks and we didn’t part due

to my being a grandmother. I enjoyed our trip to Cleveland

and we watched the Indians play.”

He did not pursue the subject. He did say that he had tickets

for the Blue Jackets that night.

I mentioned that I used to love watching the BGSU hockey team

play and had taken in a few Blue Jackets’ games.

When he was looking at me again, he said, “I wonder if we have

met.”

I told him I have that “girl next door” look, that I have been

blessed with a few complimentary comparisons to Marlo Thomas

and Sally Fields.

He asked me, “Who is Marlo Thomas?”

I answered, “She was the star in a television show called, “That

Girl.”

He shook his head, ‘no.’

I said, “She is Danny Thomas’ daughter and has been carrying on

in his support for the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital charity.”

He looked at me askance, like I was talking a foreign language!

I looked at him and my last two feeble identifying questions were:

“Do you know who Phil Donahue is? She has been married to him for

years!”

Head shaking ‘no’ again.

“I don’t suppose you have heard of ‘Free to Be Me’ a musical that

has several different freedom of choices in it. It was made for

children and there is a fairy tale where the princess wants to

choose her husband, instead of one that kisses her, or wins her

hand in marriage from the King.”

I smiled and said, “Oh well! My sister in law jokes around that

my brother was in junior high school when she was married and

having children.”

He did not smile back.

I told him I liked to blog, that filled up a lot of my thinking

processes while at my basic, manual labor job. He told me this,

I hope you get to this terrible comment, my dear fellow blogging

friends,

“Bloggers are twits and idiots.”

I looked at him, telling him that I write on wordpress.com.

He shrugged and did not retract the insults.

I said, “I have a byline that says, “Relationships reveal our Hearts.”

He did go into a few political areas of why he dislikes bloggers.

He added about the ones who ‘disagree’ with his politics, are

particularly ‘big mouthed’ and ‘not very informed before they

write just about anything.’

I did not try to tell him about the humor, essence of humanity,

creative forces that write posts or the friends I have made

through my blogging community.

I stood up and closed with my one of my final thoughts to get

us separating our paths,

“Well, you mentioned at least one good thing will come of having

to meet me at Polaris, you have a gift card from Brooks Brothers,

and you will find that across the street at the Mall.”

He said, “Nice to meet you,” and shook my hand.

As one of the first words I had said while asking him to meet me

for a cup of coffee settled into my mind and I walked towards my

car,

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

The latter part, unfortunately was true of my time and energy.

Fence Post Buddies

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My friend and coworker, Tammy, likes hearing about all the love stories

and my blog. I have bad news, folks, my friend Anna got fired! (She did

not use swear words, but assertive words and mouthed off to a clerk,

another coworker wrote a report, and she is fine looking for a “better

job.”) Due to our table being less crowded and a few absences, I have

a treasure of a story to share for you!

Growing up next door to each other from elementary throughout their

childhood, teen age and young adult years, Tammy always considered

Mike, her neighbor and brother of her best friend, Mary,  a good friend.

She knew all the details of their lives, where they vacationed, when they

had a small tragedy, when they got their haircuts and lots of intricate

patterns and habits one learns from being neighbors for years. She always

knew what their family was ‘up to’ and sometimes got to tag along, since

she was the youngest and last one left of her siblings in her family at

home.

Sharing a lot of good times, laughs, playing games and hanging out,

Tammy knew Mike, she says, (at least in elementary school) “like the

back of my hand.”

Tammy and Mike’s sister, Mary, were good friends from kindergarten

on. Mike was only two years older, so he was included in their inside

playtime. He was sometimes enlisted to play the “Daddy” in their

playing house and even, when it was a cold and boring winter day,

would allow himself to be the groom “Ken” doll for Tammy’s “Barbie.”

He also was chosen to be the “tester” of new recipes, concoctions

and helper in preparing things in the kitchen. There were times,

(rare indeed), that he would help set up a tent in the dining room, lie

down on blankets and chat with the girls. In junior high school, he

allowed himself to practice dancing with the girls.

I interrupted the flow of Tammy’s story,

“Wait! Did you say he played the groom and you the bride with your

dolls? Is that why you two have never married?”

Tammy laughed, “You are going to need to listen to the WHOLE story,

Robin! There’s more to this and why we never tied the knot!”

She recommenced telling her love story to me, saying that they were

living in a housing development, where there were side by side houses,

some looking like cookie cutter editions of the others. On the other side

of Mike and Mary’s house, new neighbors moved in during their middle

school years and they were from hence forth, called the “rowdy boys.”

Mike’s personality changed, partly from his older age and mainly due

to these boys’ influence. He was suddenly choosing to use squirt guns

or even buckets of water, to soak the girls while they were playing in the

yard. The girls were “telling on Mike” more and more.

One day, while they were in seventh grade, the girls had their one piece

bathing suits on, slathered Coppertone suntan lotion and were lying on

Mary’s patio in the bright afternoon sun. All of a sudden,the girls heard

some catcalling and rude comments from the boys on the other side of

the privacy fence. Then, there were tomatoes being pummeled over

the fence, landing on the patio and one even splatting on Tammy’s chest!

This was not funny! The “pranks” were getting carried away and the joke

was not a game anymore!

Poor Mike got “told on” and got a paddling by his father that evening.

Tammy said she never heard nor knew if the rowdy boys next door to

them faced any consequences. That fall after summer ended, Mike

was told by his father to join either junior high football or consider

running. He needed to get his energy out on something more productive

than the neighbor boys, who Mike and Mary’s father called the “trouble

makers!”

Every summer for a few years, the “tomato war” was mentioned as a

poor choice for the boys, the patio even had some reddish stains that

darkened like blood stains on the concrete. It was a reminder of the

change, also, in Mike. He was from that fall on, a “jock.” His haircut

was a sign of being in sports and during the seventies, a rare sight

to be seen. He was starting to get a stubble on his chin and chest hairs,

Tammy noted.

In junior high through high school years, the neighbor girls joined

chorus, choir and later, Glee Club. They were also members of Key Club,

a Kiwanis sponsored leadership club. Mike was president when they

joined and Tammy says, “a little bit of his ‘coolness’ rubbed off on us,

too. He also was very protective of me, as well as his sister, Mary.”

The front yard metal fence that separated their yards, now tended to

be where they would lean and talk. Mike would be getting home from

sports and hopping out of his old “beater” car, would see Tammy and

shout a big “Hi!” to her. If she had been to a party or on a date, they

would chat and review their lives for a short while. She looked up to

Mike now, listened to his opinions on who was a “good guy” and

who was a “stoner,” “loser” or “not worth wasting your time on”

guy.

They also, by the time Mike was in senior year, spent time talking

about their futures, dreams, college and plans. Tammy said she never

flirted nor did Mike hint at any interest in her, other than as a friend.

Neither hinted at each other being “good dating material.”

The year Mike went off in the fall to OSU to live in a dormitory, Morrell

Tower, Tammy said they were sophomores. Mary’s family never asked

Tammy to go to see the dorm or campus. Mike was not coming home

until Thanksgiving, she felt a twinge of regret but nothing really

noticeable. Two years later, when the girls graduated, Mary had chosen

Marion Technical College to study beginning nursing courses and Tammy

entered the same place to begin studying stenography, communication

and business coursework.

One hot summer evening, Mike was coming in from a day at football

camp down in Columbus, when he saw his sister and Tammy over in

her front yard. He stopped to say, “hi!’ and noticed the girls were all fixed

up and they told him they were heading over to a local Marion bar, called

the “O.K” but it was called, “O.K. Corral.” This was in the days where

you could drink something called, “3.2 beer” and you needed to be

18 or older.

Later in life, Mike told Tammy,

“Your hair looked like burnished copper, long and brushed, halfway

down your back. I noticed it being silky and even though I would never

had told you this then, I wanted to bury my hands in that hair!”

(Hot, huh?!)

He also told Tammy years later,

“When I looked at the two of you, I always used to see ‘two sisters’ but

on that evening, I saw my sister with an attractive stranger. My heart

gave a flutter, but I did not focus too long on it. Tired, went on in,

grabbed a beer and joined my Dad on the couch watching the Indians.”

Tammy remembers, though, a different look passing over his face, she

swears she noticed! She turned to his sister, Mary, and made a smart

remark, they both rolled their eyes and giggled.

She remembers his noticing the secret words whispered about him,

actually thought that they were saying he was a sweaty mess or some

other rude comment and stomped off. Tammy remembers he slammed

the front door behind him. He doesn’t remember slamming the door,

she says.

“At this point in my life”, Tammy says, she was thinking he was a foreign

person to her, enigmatic and godlike. He was an OSU football player

and she was (in her mind) ‘only a business tech student.’

When we went off that night, for some reason I did feel more confident

and I led a much better social life that summer. Mike noticed but said

not a word!

I started to date a member of a local band, he was dark, long haired and

very sexy looking. We spent a lot of time making out, sometimes in the

front of my house. We were lucky, I felt that there were no front lights

on the garage. We had so much more in common, music since I liked

seeing, and his band. I became a “groupie” and followed him to other

towns, with Mary and her boyfriend, at the time, too.

Fast forward two years later, the guy ended up going with his band

to California along with a blonde chick he noticed in his group of fans.

Mike was home from college senior year for Christmas. He had spent

the past two summers staying around Columbus, living with groups

of male students in big, ancient houses. Mary and I never went down,

not even once, to hang out with Mike and his pals. They were happily

dating other men in their classes.

Tammy recounts, “I remember it being their turn to invite us over for

a pre-holiday meal and it was just our parents and the three of us

present. Sometimes, in the past, it was more of an Open House and

we would bring dates to each other’s houses. People in the neighborhood

would be invited. We sang Christmas carols around their upright piano,

we played games of Charades. We had an odd number of people so

it ended up the team of us “kids” versus the parents. It was joyous and

I felt so at peace, I felt like we were all family. It settled down into my

heart and I felt a little differently towards Mike over this evening.

Mike had changed, he had longer hair, he was wearing older, more

raggedy blue jeans and a cream colored sweater. I thought he looked

very handsome. He no longer looked just like a “jock” or the brother

of my best friend. I thought, “if I ran into him somewhere else I would

want to dance with him or talk to him.” She went on…

“He didn’t look like anyone I had ever dated. He looked nice, REALLY nice!

I felt ‘butterflies in my stomach’ and I could not look directly into his eyes.

I was afraid he would be able to ‘read my mind!'”

Tammy told me she felt “Oh no! I am attracted to him!”

“I saw Mike head off to his room, as we were leaving and I asked if Mary

could come spend the night.”

My parents looked at us funny, we were in technical college and it had

been years since we had had a sleepover, but said, “Fine.”

Tammy confessed she had feelings for her friend’s brother and Mary

was very excited! She confessed to Tammy that she had always hoped

they would become sisters.

Although Tammy had older siblings, she also had the same feeling

about Mary, that they were ‘lifelong friends and sisters for life.’

It took almost six more years from then, Mike moved into his own

Columbus apartment, got engaged and his heart broken.

Tammy went from one man to another, always hoping that Mike

would notice that he had feelings for her, it was very similar to that

familiar 1991 song,

“Saving the Best for Last.” (Sung by Vanessa Williams. Please listen to

those lyrics if you haven’t heard it for awhile! So appropriate to this

almost frustratingly long back and forth interplay between Mike and

Tammy!)

I also like the song, “Patience,” by Guns N Roses, that seems like it

would  apply also to this relationship.

This couple has never married but they had cosigned for a lovely

house in the country (in a place called “Big Island” in Ohio.) They

have lived under the same roof for over 24 years and next year,

they just may celebrate that 1/4 of a century with a big party.

I could not believe that Mike’s bad engagement caused him to say

he would NEVER get married!

I have my fingers crossed that at the 25th anniversary of their life

they began together may be finalized in marriage. My happily

ever after wish has been told to her on more than one occasion.

These good, steady long enduring friends, have grown up, shared

a life where their beautiful house is where their families celebrate

the holidays. They have never had children. Tammy muses,

“Maybe that might have brought Mike to his knee to ask for my

hand in marriage.”

I like to point out that old expression,

“NEVER SAY NEVER!”