Middle Aged Dating

The Goose was raised in such a bland, 60s American household that he looks with distrust at anything that smacks of the exotic, such as bagels.  Croissants are suspect as well.  Goat cheese, avocados, Fiats, purple grapes and Brazil nuts are way out of his scope of well being.  God forbid someone suggest gelato, which he insists on mistakenly calling “spezio”, causing Cricket and me to snort water out our noses every time he does it.


For 18 years, while growing up, he knew to expect roast on Sunday, hash on Monday, Tacos on Tuesday, and chopped steak on Wednesdays.  You get the picture.  I’m happy to say this put no undue expectations on him marrying a good cook.  At 50, he still expects his food to be brown and white and finds brussel sprouts out of the question.

He is now trying to change his diet.  Not because he is overweight.  On the contrary, he is one of the lucky bastards who can awaken in the middle of the night, consume a sleeve of cookies and go back to dreaming the dreams of those with outrageous metabolisms and no body fat.  During the night, his calories creep across two dogs and a cat on the bed and over to me.  While I exist on the only foods that don’t cause me middle aged digestive trouble now, kale, gluten free rice crackers and chardonnay, he dives nightly into two bowls of ice cream, pans of brownies, and chocolate turtles all washed down with liters of Mountain Dew, the undisputed nectar of the gods.

All my preaching of vegetarian, water-drinking, low sugar lifestyle has fallen on deaf ears as I clench my jaws in a show of sheer will while I watch his free-wheeling sugar orgy.

Now, he’s read an article that says sugar isn’t good for you.  Oh, really?  You don’t say? And, in a turn of events as unexpected as him donning a dress, he has ventured into the organic and alternative section of the grocery store, without wincing.  Twice he has taken a walk and yesterday, just yesterday, he hiked with Cricket and me.


Middle age is a wacky time.  We’re both feeling a little confused as our parenting period comes to an end and we are faced with lots of hours to do what we want.  All these years our hobbies were our kids.  Yeah, there’s a lot of golf on his part and a good bit of running on mine, but now the horizon is wide and we are committing to taking a walk together most days.  I appreciate the fact that he suddenly cares about his health because I really don’t want him to die, causing me to have to go on a date.  Honestly, I am so thankful that he likes routine and has such ingrained inertia that he would never leave me.

I have several close friends who are dating again.  I have lots of questions about this that I am not too shy to ask.  Here are five:

  1. Are there bases at 50?  Are they the same as they were in high school, the last time I had a date?  I think there are new sexual things that have come into practice since then and so where do these fit?  Base second and a half?    Image
  2.  What about boobs?  I have a friend, Steve, who for years has said “Any boob is a good boob.” (Our mutual friend challenged this once by showing us her post mastectomy boob before she had a nipple tattooed on, but it’s all better now.) Middle aged bosoms though, are a little, um, changed.  Unless you were one of the lucky ones to get a boob job before you got old enough to know better, the rack might be affixed a little…lower.  Does one have to display it on one’s arm or, better yet, in a lacy number from the lingerie department? I guess this problem doesn’t just apply to women.  There are a lot of unperky manboobs at this age as well.  And along those same lines, do women have to lie only on their backs when naked so they can tuck the “extra” parts underneath them to look skinny and smooth? Image
  3. Just how truthful does one have to be?  I have a friend who has been married four times.  We only count two of them, though, because she was too young the first time and the third one was a rebound aberration whose name we don’t speak. Truly, these guys were jerks and she’s a remarkably normal girl.  In fact, she’s super cool.  I have another friend, twice married, who recently confided that he’s “PROBABLY” still married to wife number two.  This continues to make me laugh and I delve into this situation as often as I can without seeming creepy.  Apparently, they went their separate ways and just moved on without ever thinking about getting a divorce.  When should that come up in conversation?
  4. At what point can one pull back the curtain? My friend recently asked me when he should tell a girl how much he loves his cat.  Even I, animal person in the extreme, said NEVER.  A man also should not discuss the bathroom, how crazy his ex was, or the fact that he cries at movies.  I think, by middle age, women must surely be looking for normal and non-stressful, if it’s out there. Image
  5. What does one tell their kids?  If The Goose or I ever tried to date, our daughter would make sure every date failed.  She would be the step-daughter from hell.  Even though she’s almost 20, I can dig that.  I’m sure every kid wants their family to stay in tact.  Do middle aged daters spend as much time sneaking around behind their kids’ backs as we used to behind our parents’?  There really is nothing more disgusting than thinking of one’s parents, ANYONE’S parents, having a personal life.


Its scary out there.  Dating must surely mean that these friends are not able to put their jammies on at 6:00 during the winter.  While it does mean that they’re getting good food, in real restaurants, with waiters and bartenders, it also means that they’re having to keep their bras on during these dinners, I guess.  (Maybe not.  Those are the dates I really enjoy hearing about.)  What is exciting, though, is that these friends are putting their best selves forward, trying new things, going to concerts instead of just watching them on TV, making new friend groups, fitting into their “going out” jeans every day, not just twice a month.  I guess that’s what we old wives could take from this so we won’t become old wives.  Damn, I guess that means I should probably change up my flannels with the penguins on them.


Anyway, although I could spend hours on the phone listening to the exploits of my friends’ dates and envying their active social calendar, I’m off to blend up some vegetables, put some unsalted nuts with antioxidants in a bowl and pour The Goose a big, refreshing glass of water in the hopes of keeping him alive.  Truthfully, I’m scared about the type of old lady I’d be if I was turned loose on the dating world.



My Angry Rant against Comcast

Everyone has days where things go wrong.  Today I had one.  It wasn’t big stuff.  No one was gruesomely injured.  We didn’t lose our house, our dog, our children.  Nothing burned.  Still, my day just sucked.  I put all of the blame squarely on Comcast, my mortal enemy.


I believe that Comcast, married to Obama, could power a universe with their evil.  Set that to the music of Kenny G and it would form a trifecta from which Armageddon could be set into motion.

My family had been wailing daily of the slowness of our internet.  To me, it was fine.  I’m not running any power plants or controlling mutant dwarfs through imaginary lands, though.  I’m just tracking my calories, my steps, checking Facebook, ordering stuff and writing crap.  What do I know?

So, I got sucked into the Comcast myth.  The myth that it would be zippy fast and we would, indeed, be ushered into the world of the future.

This is its insidious path of destruction:

Since its installation I have seen The Goose shoot smoke from his ears.  I have seen him throw things that make the dogs run and cower. He has clung to our neighbor, begging for help.  The man has utilized his mighty powers of obscene swearing to the utmost.  Comcast shut his entire office down.  It has caused his printer (which is also my printer) not to accept things from me.  Apparently my sweet obedient Macbook is making romantic overtures, but the printer is in flannel pajamas.  Like an unhappy marriage, they can no longer communicate.

Our TV picture is now made of little squares, through which I must only imagine what is going on.  Our DVR doesn’t work.

Image To call Comcast, one must call the 800 number.  Oh, there’s a local number, but it routes one to the 800 number.  Sneaky.  Once answered, there is a series of digits that must be pressed to get to an operator.  This takes a good 45 minutes, if it indeed ever happens.  This is all done to the accompaniment of Kenny G.  It causes the equivalent of ice picks to my eardrums and goes on for eons. Dishwashers get unpacked and repacked. I stripped four beds, washed the sheets and remade them during one wait.  I think one day I drove to the grocery store, shopped and was putting away groceries before a human being answered.

When the operator comes on, the fun begins.


I have no problem with India.  I loved the Marigold Hotel movie.  I liked Eat, Pray, Love.  I like my Indian orthopedic doctor.  I have a real problem, though, with someone six million miles away telling me they understand, could I please calm down.  When I hung up from the last call The Goose said “The man on the other end of that call is thanking Vishnu you’re not his wife”.  Damn straight.

I got so frustrated, I cried.  Not from sadness, but from sheer rage.

Three times I’ve managed to get a service person out here. It took 11 calls and 3 full man hours waiting on hold to accomplish this. In 30 days, three service people.  Each time, they have told me the last one didn’t know what he was doing.  Ya think? Yesterday, I was told my equipment, which was installed 30 days ago, was old.

My bill, my first bill, has a mysterious $125 extra charge on it.  I still have not reached anyone to ask about this but feel if I just ignore them for a while, someone will eventually contact me about it.

So, in the midst of this misery, I needed to mail stuff.  Stuff I couldn’t print.  I’ll take my laptop to the UPS store, thought I.  On the way my phone died. This probably was not the fault of Comcast, but one never knows.  I think the very presence of that unholy entity in our home could be sending poison throughout each and every electrical appliance as well as my brain.  I dropped my phone in with my dry cleaning and figured that out about an hour later after numerous panic filled searches through my car and purse.  Had to go back to the cleaners and try to explain that. In Korean.


The UPS store couldn’t print my stuff. I still don’t understand why. I blame Comcast or Obama. I couldn’t call anyone and whine about it, though, because my phone still wouldn’t work.

Came home, tried to use the little printer that came with my computer two years ago.  Doesn’t work!  Keeps telling me it is out of paper.  I have told it, in a fatal move with a paper weight made of rock that it did, indeed, have paper after all, but that won’t matter to it where it’s going. I do blame Comcast here because I couldn’t use my regular printer because it is out, lost in the new internet stratosphere.

Image Why, you ask, do I waste time writing about this?  Because all of this started because my home office is FUBAR, all due to the inadequacy of Comcast. I’m hoping an angry mob will form.  A group that will complain loudly enough that someone will listen.  A sound loud enough to be heard all the way to India. Or even a group that will band together with me to systematically spray paint every truck and sign that says Comcast and change it to Combastard.

It’s 4:00 and I’m calling it a day.  I know when I’m beaten.  I am waiving the white wine, I mean white flag.  I find that these days are most often followed by a day where everything works beautifully.  I’m counting on one of those tomorrow and if I don’t get one I’m finding the first Comcast truck I see on the road.  You’ll read the headlines.

 Middle Aged Woman, in Cute Sparkle Boots, with Fabulous Necklace, Holds Comcast Employee Hostage.

Man is Made to Listen for Hours to Intense Whining and Bitching Set to the Tune of Kenny G.


Downton Detox


It’s true that I’m not a fan of TV.  While others discuss what went on last night on The Bachelor, I just smile and nod, exactly the way I did in math class.  I have never seen Survivor and I don’t know anything about any Housewives, no matter from which city they hail.  

I do confess to liking The Big Bang Theory and I do occasionally snuggle on the sofa with my giant son when Modern Family comes on.  (Okay, he’s not really snuggling me, he just watches it from the sofa and I will squeeze in next to him, clinging to the very cording of the cushion to prevent him from becoming aware and telling me to move on.  You moms understand.)

I had heard of Downton Abbey, duh.  I just thought it was another mindless show people tuned in to watch.  Never have I been more wrong.  It is surely a brainwashing time machine, made to make our very existences look dingy in comparison.  

On Sunday I came home from church and took to the sofa like a dowager needing smelling salts.  The weather was horrid, the house was cold and The Goose had said something VERY unchristian in the car that had made me despise his very soul.  The laundry was done, there was no sun to run, I had finished every book in the house, and so, I tuned in, to season 1, episode 1.  

At 11:30 that night, I went to bed wealthy, beautiful and dreaming of picnics and ponies after finishing the season.  


In the morning, I waited for my valet to bring me something beautiful to wear.  Apparently, he was not available.  My lady’s maid did nothing to make my hair look any better, so I resorted to a ponytail.  My breakfast did not arrive on a tray and no one plumped up my pillows.  There was no fire in my fireplace and no one to warm up the house. I am sure my yogurt would have gone down a lot better from a porcelain bowl. 

I spoke kindly to both dogs, with an aristocratic British accent, even whilst plucking a no-no from underneath the piano.  They ignored me.  

No chauffeur was available to take me to the feed store, so I resorted to driving myself, in the pouring rain, and no footman told me the weather was unseasonably dreadful and produced a wrap for the car so I wouldn’t catch a chill.  At the store, I was asked to produce actual payment rather than just putting it on the house tab.  Horrors. 

I waited all day for cook to bring me something warm and delicious for lunch, but, after sitting alone in the dining room for a half an hour, decided to eat peanut butter on Ritz. 

This afternoon, as I was washing out the garage where my swine and the dogs had made muddy tracks, and the back door, that the pig had belligerently thrown her angry countenance against, repeatedly, until it was splintered and muddy, I thought to myself, huh, well this just sucks. 

This is the danger with anything period and English.  The Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Rosamund Pilcher, for heaven’s sake.  They leave me feeling tacky and poor, with a bad accent and the make-up of a hussy.  Suddenly, my house feels small and dark and my family is horrendous.  It will take me days to recover from my Downton induced delusions unless I do actually awaken, in a country hospital, and this murky, shabby, cloud filled day has all just been a bad dream that came from a fall from my mount.   

Well, I must be off as I have to hurry and dress for dinner.  Ta!