Sunday, February 28, 2016

I Remember Me

In my writing group sometimes the prompt is an image.  I choose a black-and-white photo taken with an iPhone 6s of a very sweet freckle-faced young girl. This is what I wrote...

I remember pastel-pretty smocked dresses of lavender and blue 

        and black patent leather Mary Janes, sitting at a child-sized table 
with a dainty tea party, set with delicate white china 

decorated with pink flowers and green stems and 

lovely, lovely, triangle-shaped crustless cucumber sandwiches with their cool crunch and tiny luscious chocolate petis fours and ornate silver spoons and large folded cloth napkins gracing our laps...

I wish, wish, wish that little girl at that table 
                at that tea party 
                                         with all those beautiful things 
                                                                               had been me.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Year of the Monkey

I don't know what the monkey signifies in Chinese astrology.  In my family, the three of them are snakes and I'm a dragon.  I don't know anything about snakes and what I knew about dragons I'd forgotten, except that I wrote about being a dragon in a post,  The Newest Baby Dragon.  

This is not the original image but its spirit is similar to that of my tin.
For me the monkey conjures up an image of impishness and always has.  My first year in college I went to Harvard Square and shopped in a very fanciful 70s store called Truc (was it underground?) and somewhat uncharacteristically but actually characteristic of my urge to buy things for my "someday-children," I purchased a colorful metal tin similar in size to a cigar box except square.  The circus image on its cover starred a smiling monkey on a unicycle center-ring.  This monkey made me smile and being a student of Sociology 101, I decided to flash that tin at the unsuspecting riders on the T (Boston's transit system) to see how they wold react.  Nine times out of ten that monkey would elicit a simple smile or a big grin.  Only occasionally would the person frown or look away in annoyance.

Another impish monkey I think of is the one in Heidi the organ grinder's monkey who delights Shirley Temple by leaping in through the open window, swinging from the chandelier, and wreaking havoc on Frau Rottenmeyer. That monkey made me laugh with his mischievous ways. 

This bag is from Bloomingdale's in New York... 

I fear that somehow Bernie Sanders is a monkey in the minds of the electorate.  He appears impish enough with his straight-talking, spit-in-your-eye Bernie-truths about the ways things need to change. (Single-payer healthcare! Free college!)  And just like that organ grinder's monkey running amok, Sanders keeps upsetting those proverbial apple carts.

Then we've got Trump posturing, postulating, pontificating and preening  the epitome of monkey business.

And there's Ted Cruz  monkeying around with his position on immigration and even Donald Trump.

I guess no matter which side of the fence you're on, seems as if this truly is the Year of the Monkey...

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A River of Words

When I'm writing
It feels like a stream. 
A stream of words
pouring out of me
that create a river that
flows and surges
and carries my thoughts
of times past,
regrets not addressed,
and sorrows lost.

Sometimes it feels good
washing me clean
and other times
the muddy rush of debris
and mistakes
and missteps
drowns me.

february 5, 2016

This is a special-to-me thrift-store watercolor I bought signed Ellie Reiner, 1952.  It certainly seems to be Central Park in New York.  For a time I thought it might be done by Rob Reiner's mom, but I checked it out (via email) with Rob's son and it seems not.  
You're not seeing its simple, rounded, thick but elegant, gold wood frame because I needed to crop the image.

Friday, February 5, 2016


For the purposes of this post, all names have been altered to spare anyone embarrassment...except for ME.

Thinking it was finally time to start seeking male companionship I thought, "Why not try"

I already knew three people  all slightly older than I am and all people I liked  who found five, yes FIVE, successful, happy marriages between them.

Clearly this was an indication that through it was possible to find true love.

And  this is important  there was a free 7-day trial.  What was there to lose?

My sanity for one.

Not to mention time.

First, you answer a series of questions that categorize you and the person you're looking for  in the broadest of terms: physical characteristics, age range, hobbies, likes, religious and social habits.  Fair enough.

Next, you write a much or how little is up to you.  I simply said I was looking for someone to share a meal, movie or museum visit with  I wrote next to nothing because I just didn't know what I wanted to say. And yet soon my inbox was filling with all sorts of unknown and difficult-to decipher communications.  


a "wink
                 a "like
                                a "chat
                                                 possibly leading to ... an email.

At first, it seemed novel and fascinating...guys were reaching out to me, wanting to contact me, liked me!  Each communication I opened was a new possibility, an opening in the closed universe I'd been living in this past year.  I clicked on the link to view their profile, looked at their photo (if there was one), and then read how they described themselves and what they said they were looking for in a woman.

Some wrote gushingly; others forthrightly, some with humor.  Some put next to no effort; everyone was looking for the love of their life.  

Often when I'd click on someone who really looked promising, I'd get:

The profile you're looking for is not available at this time.

Instead take a look at these.
It made no sense. Where were they? Why weren't they available to see? 

And then there were the ones I was able to see.  Well, they were time-consuming.

I'd read through and be interested but then
  then I'd see that the guy was in his 30s or 40s or be living in Miami, Baylor, Texas, San Diego, even Nashua, New Hampshire or Butte, Montana! What the F**K? Why would anyone be trying to date someone that lived states away?  MY profile I said I was looking for someone within 20 miles of New York was this filter not working?

It took me three days to figure out that I wasn't actually seeing my "mutual matches." To see the guys who fit what I was looking for, I had to go to Search Mutual Matches...and then a whole crop of pics and profiles popped up.  And it took me that long to figure out that there were people who were just looking for an electronic pen pal. Someone to add a little vicarious excitement to one's life and "chatting" through match was a way to do this. 

Love2loveU thought I wrote "a lovely profile that makes me want to get to know you" and worldtraveller "enjoyed my profile and thinks "we could meet for coffee and start a conversation ..I'm looking for a serious relationship, but leave me a text and I will send you one." Or TruthfulOne who emailed "I wanted so much to meet you from your profile and pic. You have this intriguing and intense look about you that I love it. I would enjoy talking with you... " and more and more and more. But their emails often seemed as intense as a therapy session.  Way too much information for an opening salvo and far too revealing for my sensibilities.  It just seemed insincere and uncomfortable.

I went through those mutual matches but anyone who said they played basketball five times a week, or put camping and hiking first on their list of interests or said they were "God-fearing" or "NEVER" drank, well these were clearly not the best matches for me.

If they were looking for "athletic and toned," not me.

If they were looking for someone who wanted to settle down for prolonged kisses and a life together, well, that just wasn't me at this moment.

Eventually, after days and hours of sorting, reading, deleting, replying, "You look nice but you're too far away...good luck in the search!", I got down to three men that looked good to me, sounded nice, had similar interests and were in New York City. [Or so I thought.]

I decided to email a message expressing interest.  And they each replied.

All looking for true love, a "one-man woman," someone who wouldn't break their hearts.

One was in Shanghai on extended business.

The next was in Brazil.

The last was deployed in Iraq handling bombs and ammunition, not due back until end of March. (Or was he? Turns out there's a huge scam of men claiming to be in the military but simply wanting some electronic entertainment from the wife, and saying you're in the military gets you a free pass from any one-on-one involvement.)

It left me totally, totally, TOTALLY confused and disappointed.  I just want to sit across from another human being at a Starbucks and talk.  Is that so impossible?

How are people successful at this?  

What am I NOT getting?

On day seven, I was relieved to quit the whole thing and give up on the online version of the dating game.  The thought of trying eHarmony or OurTime made me squirm.

Time to go back to the old-fashioned way.

Tried going in to a neighborhood bar by myself for a glass of wine, just hoping to meet some other singles to talk to but couldn't do it.  I just stood outside the door looking in or walked back and forth thinking I'd propel myself inside, but didn't have the nerve to go in...

Know someone you want to introduce me to??