Saturday, October 22, 2011

Senior and Single

Since turning fifty, the only thing more fascinating than the vast array of offers I receive from AARP is the email I receive with the subject line reading "Sexy Senior Singles Searching for You."

As if dating isn’t strange enough at 49, now we are seniors and somehow sexy and senior don’t seem to go together unless you’re in one of those May-December relationships and only one of you is senior. Or you are Suzanne Somers.

These sexy guys are searching for me? Really? Where are they looking? Do they still drive? Are they yearning to take me out to the early bird dinner?
With so many of us so-called seniors being single I have to wonder why the Bachelor and Bachelorette shows only seem to exist for the young and gorgeous.  If they have to court on reality television to meet people, what are the chances for us more mature ones?

We "seniors" need love too, and if we promise ‘til death do us part, it’s more likely to be a reality. Lack of time is on our side.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happiness Planning

If I wait a little longer I can celebrate the two year anniversary of my last blog post. Sometimes things put you on hold (besides the satellite t.v. people). People we love die, their pets we don't love come to live with us, organs in our bodies start acting up and need to be surgically removed, children decide it's time to plan a wedding, jobs are lost.  It doesn't take a big event to make me stop writing, just seems like the bigger the excuse, the better.

I did write a few things, but didn't post here after some trusted writer friends told me to stop giving it away when I could sell. Sounds kind of dirty to me.

So I return with a little story about (appropriately) Happiness Planning. I got an honorable mention at Humor Press for this:

My friend Kelly once found herself so overloaded with activities and all the usual stuff – work, children, volunteering, kitchen gadget parties – that she narrowly escaped needing a two-week beach getaway. She knew it was time for change after a coworker asked if she might cover a shift, because her father was dying and she needed time off. Kelly, usually kind and generous, leaned in close to the distraught woman and said “NO! If I do one more thing I’m going to have a breakdown.”

After recovery from the breakdown she had due to saying that, Kelly learned to say no graciously, and now when necessary for her to do so, her husband reminds her “It’s not like their loved one is dying or something.”

While many of us are socially overloaded and trying to find ways to say no before snapping, I, for one, am searching for more groups to join. I’ll tell you why. Good Morning America recently reported that adding just one group activity that requires leaving your house, even if only once per month, increases your happiness level as much as doubling your annual salary.

I am not greedy. I figure three new group activities per month will be sufficient, giving me plenty of happiness to bank, with some left over for helping out the kid and some for donating to folks less fortunate – the groupless.

All that potential joy is great but happiness bucks won’t put food on the table and gas in the tank, so I plan to join groups right here in my neighborhood so I can snack at home, then walk.

So what groups to join? I briefly considered the runners group, but my homeowners’ association does not allow lawn mowers, barbeque grills, trashcans or middle aged women in Spandex to be within view. From anywhere. That and the fact that I’m a little bit nervous about the bobcat I regularly see near the exercise trail. And I don’t run.

I could join a homeowners’ association committee –maybe the one that walks around noting the addresses of all of our rebel neighbors who dare to leave their grills outdoors. Or I could start up a new committee – the Car Committee – and propose changing the bylaws to require keeping all vehicles out of view. It’s fun to imagine 300 homeowners trying to balance their trashcans on top of their grills, on top of their lawnmowers so they can also hide their cars in the garage.

Seriously, I don’t think a homeowners’ group would add much happiness to my bank, but the report didn’t say anything about the necessity of the group being fun.

Maybe I’ll join one of those dinner clubs where the gang prepares enough food to feed France and then you divvy everything up and take container after container of deliciousness home and eat leftovers until time for the next fry-fest. Yes, this sounds good. It would sound better if I liked cooking.

Pondering all the options is so exhausting. I feel like someone has made unauthorized withdrawals from my happiness bank. So I’m going to join one group only and try to get by on less.

Or who knows? Maybe the Wine Tasters can meet weekly. We’ll be the happiest group in the hood.

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