The Single Woman’s Single Short Lament

It’s not the absence of sex. Sex is a young person’s game. It’s wonderful, yes, but messy and ragged and unsettling, to say the least. And it involves a whole lot of body parts which may not work so well any more, or not nearly so well as they used to. Men have performance anxiety, yes, but women have pleasing anxiety. At least 70-year-old women do. And I’m a grandmother. I wonder– Was my grandmother still actually, you know? Huh.

Anyway, it’s not sex. In a word, it’s intimacy. But not the hand-holding, walking the beach at sunset and afterward sitting by a fire toasting vegetables variety. (Marshmallows is out, so put in something healthy there. Kale? Roasting kale by the fire? Never mind.)

It’s having someone there to tell me the little stories of his/her life and to care about those little stories. To share my own little stories. So then I thought- Speak Without Interruption. I’m going to send this out and hope somebody will share back.

My little story is this. I was headed out for dinner with a friend in Seattle and from there I was going to visit a friend in Olympia (old Nisqually, but that’s hair-splitting) an hour’s drive. I was putting together some pills for the double overnight. (The list holds steady at multi-vitamin, echinacea, selenium, baby aspirin, a melatonin for sleep problems, and (new, recently) a hormone pill to stimulate my sagging thyroid.) So I had the pills in my hand and one dropped into the toilet.

I keep a clean toilet because my dog likes to drink from the toilet bowl so I hesitated a moment, then fish out the hormone pill and realized (it was dripping) I’d better take it right away. So I did.

Then as I was putting the rest of the pills into my Go-Tub (my son invented these; they’re wonderfully handy little things) I saw that I had not dropped the hormone into the toilet, I had dropped (hence, swallowed) the melatonin. Egad.

So off I went to dinner and regaled my friend (I hope it was regaled not bored to tears) with visions of my head falling into the soup and, less entertainingly, crashing my car into a tree. We debated and decided Turkish coffee (we were at a Turkish restaurant) was just the thing to keep me awake. So they brought me the coffee but it was Very Strong and Very Bitter and I couldn’t quite manage it.

So my friend drank the coffee and I had Turkish tea which had a nice mint taste but (I was assured) was nonetheless chockfull of caffeine. So off I went, Driving to Olympia (sort of like Sailing to Byzantium) with melatonin and caffeine (as I thought) battling for control of my body.

When I arrived in Olympia, and told my friend the story, she decided I should have some camomile tea to counteract the effects of the caffeine I’d taken to counteract the effects of the melatonin. I felt remarkably normal.

I went to bed after ingesting the camomile tea, and when I went to take the rest of the pills for the night, I discovered I still had the melatonin. What I had taken was the baby aspirin!

The whole “hormone not a hormone melatonin not melatonin baby aspirin” saga was a little nerve-wracking. Plus the tea my friend had given me turned out to be black tea not camomile which made me wonder about the effects of that. So I took the melatonin. At least, I think it was the melatonin.

I slept fine.

That’s the kind of incident I’d like to share with a part.ner. If I could make him laugh or at least smile at the “Great Adventure of the Pills,” it would make me feel good about myself. Then maybe I’d have the heart to read what’s happening in the world, most of which seems to be bad. Maybe I’d even have the energy to do something about it. Volunteer work, maybe.

Then I wouldn’t need the melatonin.

Do you live alone? Or do you live with someone who doesn’t care to hear your little stories? In either case- in any case- would you share the little story with me? I’d really appreciate it. Just a little incident out of your day. I’ll put on the coffee, get out the biscuits, and we’ll talk.

Don’t worry. The coffee is decaf and the biscuits are gluten-free

A Short Blog on Living Long

A SHORT BLOG ON LIVING LONG

            I remember a decade ago, when I was 60. (Yes, I still remember that far back.) One of my adult sons and I were talking on the phone and he asked me when I first noticed getting older. I said, “I don’t know. When did you?” We laughed.

The process that gets you from “young” to “middle-aged” is a series of inch-by-inch changes. You can’t run or ski or stay up quite like you used to. It takes years and mostly there are no events, no moments that stand out to tell you “Yes, I am middle-aged.”

But yesterday, at the doctor’s office for my physical, there was a marker to let me know I had moved on again. It was during my physical. He was examining my legs and feet. “Your circulation is excellent,” he said. “You have the circulation of someone who is 50.”

So now it’s official. I’m old.