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Wanted: Wife?

Men, I get it.

So far this morning I’ve: done my banking, paid bills, washed the car and filled its tank, gone grocery shopping (then brought everything home, unloaded the trunk and put it all away), taken my critters to the groomer and gone to the dry cleaners. Fortunately, I didn’t have to do the laundry, clean the house or take care of the lawn. Thank goodness for housekeepers and gardeners.

I understand why you live longer when you get a wife. All you have to do is put in your 40 hours. Hell, your wife does that on a long weekend. During the week, she likely puts in as many hours taking care of your ass–and your spawn–as you do at work. And, if she has a job outside the home, oy vey… Yeah, I know–compromise, sharing household duties, blah blah bullshit–I’ve heard it all and it really does sound good, in theory. To top it all off, you get laid regularly and by the same person.

Dayum, if I were a man, I’d get me one of them there wives, too.

Alas, I was born with parts that exempt me from a career as a husband; I’d get the shitty end of the marriage stick. Uh, no thanks.

But, you know, maybe I can have the groceries delivered and hire a hunky personal assistant to handle everything else (uh, including me). I could get all the benefits of being a husband–without the worry of drama, community property and spousal support.

I think I’m on to something here…

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Ahhh…The Best Love Story

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Grab your hankies, dear readers. I’m still bawling as I share with you a video created by my friend, Keith Kropf of Simi Valley, in celebration of 27 years of marriage to his wife, Maureen.

Ladies, take a look and imagine the way it could be.

Guys, take a look and see how it should be.

Thanks, Keith!

Ja, Man! – Day 6

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Slowly the golden slivers of the Caribbean sun melted into the sparkling blue sea …

“What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.”

And with that my favorite nephew Sean took his beloved Jessica as his wife.

Wow — this crap  romance does seem to be contagious! One by one the people I love are being infected with whatever it is Cupid fails to wipe from his contaminated arrow. No zone is a safe one; no ‘victim’ is immune.

Take my friend Mary, for example. The Thursday night line of homeless — men, women and far too many children — at our local community center stretched halfway around the block.  As she worked furiously to get them all fed, a voice behind her whispered: “looks like you could use a hand, little lady.” Only a few months later, she gave him her hand in a private ceremony on Maui.

Slightly more than a year after the death of her husband of 61 years — her soul mate and her one and only true love — my friend Laurie was befriended by a visitor to our synagogue’s Friday evening service. At 83 there was, according to her, “no way on God’s green earth” she’d ever go there again. But apparently God had other plans. She and Bob have been happily married for nearly three years now.

Thank goodness for Al Gore and his invention — the Internet. For without online dating, my colleague Wendi and her girlfriend Renee might never have met. They lived on opposite coasts, but geographical inconvenience was no match for Cupid’s tainted arrowhead. A year into their romance, Renee was offered a promotion — and a transfer from New York to, of all places, San Francisco. And they’ve lived there happily ever after.

… and now Sean and Jess.

It seems I’m surrounded by it. No matter how I duck and dodge, bob and weave, float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, someday Cupid’s arrow is going to miss whichever of my friends at whom it’s aimed and hit me.

In all honesty, however, my attempts to avoid it are half-hearted; I really do welcome its barb. I’ve taken down my shields. As a woman who enjoys the heady fragrance of love, I look forward to once again being awash in its redolence with that special man who does not complete me, but who complements me perfectly.

Now would someone do him a favor please and kindly point him in my direction?

I’m waiting …

Shut, Sesame!

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“Oh! You’re hot!”  Hmmm … for some reason I was thinking “excuse me” is the proper response when one, while rounding a corner, accidentally collides with another — particularly with a married other. But what do I know? I’m just an old dinosaur; and with that big stick firmly lodged up my butt, it’s already a little crowded — no room for a married winkie in the other compartment. Silly me. It seems that among quite a few of us, however,  there’s nothing wrong with spreading our legs for a man married to someone other than ourselves (for at least one of us, a man whose wife lay at home dying of cancer). And there’s nothing wrong, for that same one of us, with becoming his baby mama and publishing a book chronicling the whole smutty story for those of us who care to share.  A book which, by the way, details their trysts for his older children, she says,  “so they can know the truth” about their dead mother, her marriage to their father and why she (the author) stepped in to rescue him from her. Oh,  and so that she can finally achieve the celebrity status that has eluded her until now. I think I’ll be giving her book a big miss.

Yes, we all know who I’m talking about, but I will certainly not mention her name here.  I don’t want readers so badly that I’ll have my blog come up when her name or his are googled.

Female persons (sorry, those of you to whom I’m referring I won’t call sisters — because you’re not.  And, certainly, I won’t abuse the word ladies either), today I’m screaming at you; sometimes we need to remedy or remove an ‘attractive nuisance’ so men have no choice but to fix themselves. I’ll go back to yelling at them another day.

But back to you, girls — exactly what are you thinking when you pursue a relationship with a married man? Are you thinking at all?  Men have a quasi-excuse — God split their intellectual capacity between two brains. Sometimes, especially when they’re already starting out with peanut hulls, they lack the capacity to think clearly. But what’s your excuse?

What’s that he said? His wife doesn’t understand him? They’ve fallen out of love? That sounds like an issue the two of them should be discussing with their therapist.  What does that have to do with you?  The man is married!

Oh, his marriage is dead? But he can’t afford a divorce? Or he wants a divorce, but he’s waiting for the right time? Or he’s not getting a divorce after all; but he’s only staying for the children? What does any of that have to do with you?  The man is married!

Oh, poor thing — his wife cut him off? Or he’s tired of cake every night and he wants to switch it up and try pie? Or his is an open marriage (hmmm … wonder if his wife’s marriage is open, too)? Honey, what does any of that have to do with you?  The man is still married!

That man’s dipstick has an engine it belongs in — and it ain’t yours!

But I have another, deeper question for you. Assuming you’re looking for more than a romp in the hay and that — for whatever masochistic reason — you want a future with this jackass, what thought have you given to his character? At the very least, we know he’s a liar (unless, of course, your affair exists in some alternate universe in which he goes home to his wife and tells her about his adventures in your velvet cosmos). We certainly know he’s a cheating sonofabitch. Surely you’re not fooling yourself that yours is the magical snatch that’s going to resurrect his faithfulness? Should you be so unlucky as to marry him — by the way, odds are against that happening — guess who he cheats on next? Yes, sunshine!  Seems you’re brighter than I thought you were.

What’s that you say? Please tell me you didn’t go there.  He’s the one who’s married — why am I blaming you? Well, it’s very simple. Your twat is not Ali Baba’s thieves’ cave.  Just because the scumbag whispers “open sesame” in your ear, doesn’t mean your legs have to part and let him in. Show him that you are better than the company you keep — and that while he might be lacking character, that flaw is not contagious.

Respect yourself — and the sister who was so unfortunate as to fall in love and marry him.

Oh — and the movie about you-know-who (yes, we all know it’s coming)?  I’ll be giving that one a big miss, too.

Maybe Just One More Time

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Bill … junk … bill … junk … junk … junk …

Oh Jeez!  The pile of paper in my hands cascaded onto the hall table as I held a single heavily embossed French vanilla envelope in my hands. I turned it over anxiously to see which of my dumb-ass friends had succumbed this time.  Suicide by matrimony had been a particularly virulent epidemic that ran like butter’s proverbial hot knife through my cadre of friends lately.

Hmmm … Maui — I didn’t recognize the return address; I flipped the envelope over again to make sure it belonged here.  This wouldn’t have been the first time my heart had come to a halt due to mail carrier malfunction.  Crap! ‘Ms. PD Williams’ — it was mine alright. I steeled myself as I prepared to see which of my friends was the most recent fly to drop.

“John Michael Roberts and Ana Cristina Gunther request the honor of your presence …”

Ana?  Really?  That’s certainly a blast from the past.  The last time I’d seen her – several years ago — we’d gone for coffee after we’d run into each other shopping. Over some incredibly delicious lemon madeleines we caught up on our lives.  Her wedding? That means she finally got rid of that slimy, snarling jackass she was married to at the time. I never liked him. But why would she have invited me to this one? We hadn’t spoken in eons. As I opened the invitation, a handwritten note fluttered to the floor.

“Hi Sweetie,

I do hope this little surprise finds you well. And close your mouth!  I’m laughing because I know you’re reading this with it wide open.

Do you recall the last time we met?  We were having coffee and I asked how your husband was doing. Your answer I remember as clear as if it was yesterday: ‘Don’t know and don’t care. The sonofabitch formerly known as my husband didn’t leave the building; I kicked his ass out of it’.”

Among the things Ana and I had in common were a pair of husbands who didn’t deserve us. Mine was severely allergic to work. Ana’s – true to his Teutonic nature — knew nothing but, at least that was what he would have her believe.  As it turns out, it was only Mr. All-Work-And-No-Play’s little sausage that was still going like the Energizer bunny at all hours of the night. Of course, Ana knew – and, embarrassingly, so did the rest of us — but she felt powerless to do anything. He’d taken over her business — and she’d become a housewife. She was stuck with him.

“I was so miserable.  But as we laughed, the strangest thing happened.  I actually felt like I was growing taller. By the time we said our good-byes, I’d decided that if you could do it – and be so happy about it – I could too.  I filed for divorce that very next week.”

Wow!  She never told me that!  And I’m glad she didn’t – I would have felt so guilty. Jumping the nest and flying under one’s own power is not easy.  As much as I would want my friend to experience the freedom I enjoyed, I would never have wished on her the stress and uncertainty of having to start over and support herself again after having been taken care of for so long.

“It wasn’t easy, but every time I found myself crumpled in the corner crying, I’d hear your voice yelling at me to ‘shut up, buck up and go kick some ass.’  I know you never said that to me, but I pretended you did. Because I knew that had you seen me, you would have.”

She was right. And I was flattered that she knew me so well.

“A little while later, I was in the dog park with my Chiquita (speaking of which how are your little doggies; I think their names are Lilli and Clifford?) when I met Jay. You would love him.  He’s very smart (he’s an architect), he’s so handsome (you would approve) and he’s almost ten years younger than we are. I’m so very happy; he’s the love of my life.  And I owe it all to your kick in the butt.”

My heart did a little happy dance as I thought about Ana replacing her perpetually red, swollen, tear-filled eyes with laughing, smiling, sparkling ones. Of course, other parts of me did a little happy dance, envious of her cradle-robbing nights.

“The date is in May, so you have no excuses – and I will tell you – we did that on purpose so you can be here (and so you’ll feel very guilty if you say no).  We will be your after-tax-season vacation this year! Jay has a little condo here on the island; you will be our guest. I can’t wait for you to meet him! Call me and we’ll make arrangements!”

While I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve treasured my freedom these past eight years, the possibility of sharing my life with a man somewhat imperfect — but nonetheless perfect for me –  is, in fact, titillating.

Perhaps it’s time to stop being so fearful of screwing up and getting hurt again that I deprive myself of some potentially incredible experiences. Perhaps it’s time to stop pressing my nose against the cold glass of that one restaurant I so love — but whose door was never open to me — and explore warmer, more welcoming venues. Perhaps it’s time to stop starving myself — time for my palate to smile again with a new chef’s amuse-bouche.

Maybe — just maybe — it’s time for me to shut up, buck up and go kick my own ass.

After all, if Ana can do it — and be so happy about it — I can too.

I Do!?

What on earth possesses a successful, accomplished woman — independent, with no one who’s the boss of her — to get a bug up her butt and get married — again!? It’s almost as if at 62 some demon — a wrinkled, white-haired three-legged one — simply grabbed her soul’s remote, plopped his ass into her LazyBoy and started pushing buttons. Had it not been for the deliriously happy grin that spread across her face as she uttered those fateful words, I’d have felt sorry for her.  But she was my friend.  I forced myself to be happy for her instead.

She’d met him at a Sunday morning “silver singles” group and they’d been joined at the titanium-replaced-hip ever since. Our regular yentafests miss her share of the gossip. Our regular Saturday shop-a-thons are now one piece of plastic short. Our regular poker nights are minus her contribution to the winner’s spa fund.

No sooner had my better-you-than-me kicked off its Choos and settled comfortably into my gray matter’s chaise, than a try-it-you-might-like-it leaned insistently on my doorbell. And I had to admit it.  There could be good reason to (gulp) trip over jump the broom yet again.

Reason #1 – I love good food.  Everything about it turns me on — the sight, the aroma, the taste as it slowly teases its way over my tongue.  And I enjoy watching my guests enjoy the dishes I’ve created.  I tingle as they close their eyes and that smile of satisfaction only a chef could appreciate slowly spreads across their faces. But I’m sorry; I could really use a little help in the kitchen. I love shopping for ingredients; I hate unloading the car and putting things away.  I love creating incredible dishes; I hate the torture of the prep work. I love messing up the kitchen as I work; I hate cleaning it afterwards. Yup, some testosterone in the kitchen doing the crap I hate would be nice.

Reason #2 – I love to travel. One of the greatest pleasures in the world is traveling to other parts of it and experiencing the people, the cultures and, of course, the cuisines that make us all so very different. Many of the most wonderful memories of my life were born from vacations with my daughters.  But now that they have lives, a handsome onsite travel companion would be nice.

Reason #3 – I love to shop. But I could do without the labor of schlepping my finds from store to store. A little muscle to manage the movement of goods would be nice.

Reason #4 – I love snuggling.  California is gorgeous and the weather is great — for most of the year. But for our ‘bone-chilling’  below-sixty nights, I could use a little extra warmth.  My dachshunds, Lilli & Clifford try really hard, but at less than twenty pounds on either side of me, there’s not a lot they can do. Being wrapped in a couple hundred hairy pounds spread out over six feet would be nice … very nice.

Reason #5 – I love security. Yes, I have a pair of vicious guard dogs — who can be bought for a good cookie or two. And although I can shoot a hair off a gnat’s ass at twenty paces — as long as I’m wearing my glasses — a man who can do it at forty would make me happy. Besides, shooting is much like cooking. While I enjoy it and I’m good at it — I hate the maintenance. A sportsman who enjoys the oiling and the cleaning and the cleaning and the oiling would be so nice.

Reason #6 – I love romance.  I love little texts, notes and voice mails that say someone special is thinking about me. I love impromptu kisses and embraces just because. I love getting flowers (especially my favorites, lilacs, in the spring) and little sparkly things  for no reason at all, except to say that someone loves me very much.Yes, I know romance has a different meaning for men than for women. And as long as he doesn’t wake me when he’s done, even his version of romance would be nice.

Nice? Indeed. Free? Hardly. There is that toilet seat issue — men just don’t get it. And I’d have to give up at least one of my half-dozen closets.  And I’d have to share my garage. But while I love my solitude, even more wonderful are the tingles that travel my spine when that shared garage door opens … and he’s home.

Hmmm … Sunday Silver Singles, huh?  It appears perhaps my Sundays are free after all …

All Sizzle; No Steak

Almost as much as I love vacations, I hate jet lag. It’s approaching lunch time in Paris, but it’s 3:00 AM in my bedroom, I’m wide awake and my satellite dish is failing me miserably.

Flawless Face … Awesome Abs … Brazilian Butt …

As a business owner, I understand the importance of marketing – of selling the sizzle, so to speak. But does it really matter how enticing the wrapper if there’s no product within? When you leave the Louis Vuitton store on the Champs Elysees with your shopping bag in tow, you know that its contents will serve you – and turn your friends a bright pickle green – for years to come. Imagine your disappointment should you get home and discover you have nothing but tissue paper. Wait, I’ll make it even easier (so you men can understand). When you hand the dealer a check and take the keys to that new BMW, you expect there to be the ultimate driving machine within that beautiful body, do you not?

Why then do we so lower our standards when it comes to choosing a life partner?

Across the crowded dance floor, your eyes meet. Her Hairlights glisten in the reflection of the stars in your eyes and her Miracle Mineral Skin creates a stirring in your– uh, heart. As you scan her body, your fingers tingle in anticipation of what lies beneath her Best Bra Ever. So you buy her a drink and she takes you home. That the foundation of your relationship has less strength than half-beaten meringue is irrelevant.  That your conversation outside the bedroom consists of little more than breathless nothings has no importance. That she has the character of the snake with the apple is invisible to you. When she wraps her Gorgeous Sexy Legs around your Bowflex Body, you are in heaven. That’s all that matters. And you know it will always (or at least for Pfizer’s forseeable future) be that way.

So, the two of you jump the broom. Or tie the knot. Or whatever it is you do.

A couple of years – perhaps merely months – pass and life drizzles on your sparklers. You have little in common, conversation is practically nonexistent and the thrill is long gone. All that’s left is that foundation of friendship you laid before you laid her. What? You didn’t? Oh. Now the two of you are rapidly and very unhappily crawling down the road to the Dr Phil Show. And one  — or both — of you pulls out the matches and ignites new fireworks with someone other than that old ball and chain.

And you become contributors to marriage’s 50% failure rate.

Perhaps a better plan is to develop the product first so there’s actually a lily to gild? Hmmm…what a novel concept!  I‘d actually like to see the following as late night infomercials:

24K Character … Fabulous Friendship … Incredible Intellect …

I know; you’re right.  Ain’t gonna happen.

Oh well, back to my boob tube:

Best Vacuum Ever! … Bake, Broil, BBQ … Best Dog Training Secrets …

Good Lord! Anybody got an Ambien?