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One Is Good; Two, Even Better

One Is Good; Two, Even Better

“Mmmm…Butter Pecan or Chocolate Praline? Oh, my – I love them both; how do I choose only one? What the hell, I can’t. Just give me two scoops – one of each – please.”

“You know, teal is one of my favorite colors; I have so many suits with which I can pair that shirt. But the maroon is absolutely gorgeous on me, as well. It brings out the mahogany undertones of my complexion. I’ll take them both. Thank you.”

“Hanukkah…or Christmas? My girls and I are Jewish. But the rest of the family calls that other holiday ‘the reason for the season.’ However, celebration is a good thing – you know, the more the merrier! We do both.”

My name is PD…and I’m a double-dipper.

So many women go to incredible lengths to find the loves of their lives – bars, online dating sites, friends. They dress up to impress and dress down to do bugs, dirt and sleep on the ground. They color, cut, weave. They torture themselves with jeans so tight they can’t breathe (in the hope they will take his breath away), stilettos they pray won’t drop them on their asses and even – ugh – underwire bras to make their headlights flash their high beams. All this for…him. That one love who’ll enhance their existence and make their hearts sing.

And some of us double-dip.

Very early in my life, in fact, I’d just barely tipped over that line marking the age of majority, I found Mr Right. He was that proverbial tall, dark and handsome man of mystery hiding behind a bushy mustache and beneath a bright red “sly hat” that made me giggle. His mind was even more brilliant than that hat; on each date we solved another of the world’s many problems. We shared the same values. And together we double-dipped in the progeny pool; we created two phenomenal daughters. His loss was devastating; the world will never know what it missed, but our girls and I know all too painfully well.

Convinced I’d never fall in love again, I was blindsided years later when another proverbial tall, dark and handsome man of mystery hiding behind a bushy mustache entered my life. We shared the same values, the same profession and he made me laugh, despite the absence of a floppy red hat. At that first of many meetings, he sat across from me at my desk and delineated what he expected my role to be – as I let him know what it would be. Mr Intractable resisted my persistent attempts to set him up with my single girlfriends, as he had other plans. He convinced me to remove my shell and take that second dip in love’s pond. Alas, he is also no longer with us, but the love he left in his wake daily lifts me, makes my toes tingle…and my heart sing.

And all I can say to the universe is “Thank you, Thank you.”


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 …

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.

WE Do!

I'm Lilli

Bark-Bark! Bark-bark-bark!!

Oops!  Where are my manners?  You don’t speak Doxxie, do you? I’ll switch to English so you can understand. Sorry about that.

Hi, I’m Lilli (yes, half of the pair of “vicious guard dogs who can be bought for a good cookie or two”). I’m here with my brother Cliffie (the other half) to respond to last week’s post  — I Do!? — on the possible re-hubbing of our mom. Oh, and to set the record straight, we can’t be bought with just any old cookies — we’re very partial to dried duck breast.

As much as we love her — and, as you can tell, we’ve spoiled our Alpha Bitch completely rotten — she can be a bit selfish at times. Not once in that list of reasons did we hear the impact the addition of a man to our household would have on us. And we are two-thirds of this pack! So we’ve decided to share with you our reasons for approving — unanimously — this idea.

Reason #1 – More vacations! Of course, Mom and NewAlphaMale will want to get away more.  This is a win-win-win for us as our options are three. First option, we can go with them — and we love exploring new places (Cliffie is especially fond of new trees and fire hydrants). Second option, Grandma babysits (all the rules — especially that stupid two-cookies-a-day rule — go out the window when Grandma walks in the door). Third option, we go to doggie camp (we get to run wild and play with the other dogs; it’s a head-humping-heaven for me). Either way, vacations are nice.

Reason #2 – More doggie car rides!  We love it when we all pile into our car — Hans  — and go for a DCR.  It really excites me when the wind blows through my hair and makes my ears flap in the breeze; Cliffie just loves riding with his mouth open. But Mom doesn’t like to drive — she prefers to ride.  Adding to our pack a dog who loves to drive means we could take longer DCRs more often. Cliffie says he can already taste the bugs — nice, crunchy bugs.

Reason #3 – More cookies!  Seriously?  Do you really think Mom and NewAlphaMale will sit down and say “you give them cookies in the morning and I’ll give them cookies at night?”  Yeah. Right.  We’re talking hot and cold running treats here. We’d be too stuffed to beg. Oh, this would be nice.

Reason #4 – More butt-scratching! When we plop down on the sofa  to watch television, Cliffie sits on Mom’s right and I sit on her lap. She only has two hands — one for each of us. Now, you do the math.  Another lap comes with two more hands. And that means double the rubbies. Oh, oh, ohhhhhh yeah … Very nice.

Reason #5 – More walkies! There aren’t many things in the world to love more than walkies. Patrolling our territory, staking our claim, sniffing out invaders — and what they ate before they arrived — is a joy you hair-challenged dogs don’t appreciate nearly as much as we do. Oh, don’t feel bad.  We think it’s because your noses are so far from the ground.  Totally not your fault — it’s just the way God made you, poor things. That lap we mentioned earlier? Well it comes with two more legs as well.  And that means double-dooty-duty!  Yaaaaay for us! Nice!

Reason #6 – More snuggling! This one could be a little tricky.  Right now, once we get all comfy on the bed, there’s just barely enough room left for Mom. She’s a big girl, you know. We’ll have to super-size to a king bed. That way, NewAlphaMale could fit on the bed too and he can take over the cold night mom-warming duties. Of course, it means that occasionally we’ll have to sleep in our own beds but, unlike a certain selfish someone else we know, we’re more than willing to make a sacrifice or two. How nice is this?

Reason #7 – More leftovers (this one deserves two exclamation points)!! Mom’s a fabulous chef, so when she cooks there are no leftovers. However, sometimes she goes out for dinner just so she can bring home a white-box for us! NewAlphaMale will take Mom out for dinner a lot.  More dinners out for Mom mean more white-box goodies for us! All four paws in the air! Very, very nice!!

Reason #8 – NewAlphaMale will leave the toilet seat up (Cliffie insisted I add this one). Now, I’m perfectly happy with Mom’s Evian.  But Cliffie? He likes the City of Simi Valley toilet water.  Yuck — of course, Cliffie also likes the kitchen trash.  And Alpo. Because he has such short little legs, the extra width of the toilet seat makes it hard for him to get his face in the bowl (he’s really funny when his fat little butt tips over and he falls in).  If the toilet seat is up, however, he can get that face of his all the way down in there!  Ugh, boys!  Only Cliffie says this is nice.

Unless we’re missing something here, we don’t see a downside for us. While Mom howls and whines about what she’ll have to give up to expand the pack, we give the acquisition an enthusiastic two tails up!  In fact …


Wait, Cliffie!  I’m still typing!


What? Two bunnies and a squirrel!? A trifecta!


Sorry!  Gotta run!  New squeaker toys in the back yard!  

Oops, so excited I almost forgot about Mom!

Sunday Silver Singles?

Where do we sign her up?

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 …