Tapping along the keyboard, her knotty knuckles rose and fell like tiny mountains heaving in time-lapse photography. Rivers of blue veins crossed the terrain from her fingertips to disappear into the ocean of ribbing along the cuffs of her sweater. Unpolished nails revealed the ridges of some vitamin deficiency yet to be repaired. Wrinkles that no amount of starch or ironing would ever smooth again, shown in the reflection of light emanating from the laptop screen. A wedding ring spun ’round and ’round with each movement—too small to slip past her knuckle, and too big to stay in place. Whose hands were these? To whom did they belong? Certainly not to the young woman, once fluid with life and energy, envisioning a future she could not yet even imagine. Nor to the young mother suckling her babes at her full bosom in blossom. Not even to the middle-aged woman who wept as she waved to her last bird leaving the nest. The tapping of the keys was hypnotizing . . . mesmerizing. She was lost in the dream of a past fully lived, fully loved, fully released from her hands. But were these really her hands? It could not be so, for these hands surely belonged to her mother.
It began as a writing prompt given by a fellow writer in her e-newsletter, of which I am very fond of reading every month. The prompt she gave was, “Study your hands closely. Now tell me their story.” Too often such juicy bites of inspiration get filed in a “To-Do-Later” folder in my email box, yet “Later” never seems to provide the time to return to them. In this case, however, I managed to get the words “HER HANDS” into a word doc and leave it open on my desktop where it sat for several days while I worked on other projects—some days into the wee hours of the night.
There are other wonderful golden nuggets that sit for weeks in my inbox when my dayplanner permits no time to enjoy opening and reading the many blogs and e-newsletters I’ve signed up to receive. After all, I can’t file something in my “To-Do-Later” folder until I’ve opened it and decided there is actually something in it To Do . . .
A few nights ago, I wrapped up the day at midnight (an early night for a change) and opted to take another hour to read some of those yet unopened email items. One was a blog update from a gentleman whose blog posts make me laugh out loud, a lot! A little laughter pre-pillow-flight seemed like a healthy prescription for a good night’s sleep.
We are so close in age, he and I, that his post intrigued me. He “had me at hello” with his title, “Desperately Seeking Gloria” . . . And so, I read and I laughed, and I frowned and I laughed some more; and I sighed a few times, and even felt a tear spill over my left cheek at one point (though I can’t tell you if it was there from laughing, crying, or simply having toasted-tired eyes).
He talked about his rage at aging—in particular that he’d be turning the dreaded “60” at the end of this year. He went into his marital status—”single”—and explained the reason (or at least one of the reasons 😉 )—”commitment-phobe”—and the challenge of dating at such an ancient relic of an age. I BEG YOUR PARDON!
He described his trepidation about dating—albeit with apologies in advance and great care taken to critique without being disrespectful—ladies of a more menopausal stature (i.e., “the over-60 crowd”—and, btw, he had the good taste to not mention the word “menopause” but I, myself, could not resist). These “Babes of Boomer age”—of which I am proud to be one—are often beautifully creased with the rolls, folds and wrinkles granted by life’s persistent swats and stressors remedied by a few gallons of Rocky Road ice cream. A debt of gratitude we share for death’s willingness to wait patiently on the sidelines while we “Boomer Babes” continue to stubbornly step around, over, and into the never-ending pitfalls of our own very personal sagas on planet Heart.
Plenty of us “Boomer Babes” have suffered the slings and arrows of loving a commitment-phobe or two, or three . . . or more. Many of us married young—some happily growing old together, and others not so much. Some of us were made widows somewhere along the line. Some of us threw in the towel and dialed 911-D-I-V-O-R-C-E. Some of us never married at all. Surprise! There are commitment-phobic ladies too 😉 . And some of us simply prefer the companionship of women to having to deal with the strange species of HU-men. A-men. Ah, men. Uh, men. We are very different, you know—women and men, Venus and Mars. But that book’s already been written (quite a jolly good read actually!) by a man who knew how to make those differences work well together, and whose marriage ultimately ended in divorce. Hmmm…..
But I digress. On to “Match.com” and the search for “60-99” year-old ladies who might want to date a fabulously funny, extremely insightful, extraordinarily introspective, commitment-phobic, “almost 60” Sagittarius (if my math is correct) writer/blogger desperately seeking Gloria . . . or someone closer to his own age.
I would go there myself (although I’m not really sure where “there” is since, much like his fellow HU–men species’ aim in the bathroom, he isn’t very specific about location—I mean his residential location), if not for the fact that I (one of those commitment-phobic ladies I already mentioned indeed do exist) am married to a magnificent man who has the supernatural capacity to tolerate my nonsense, neuroses, insanity, and run-on sentences such as this one has become.
I am simply here to assist this lovely gentleman writer caught between the covers of Gamophobia and Gerascophobia, and whose proper name escapes me (probably because we have never been formally introduced and I cannot find it anywhere on his website), in his quest to go where no man has gone before—to another galaxy where wisdom arrives before wrinkles, and bladders are made of an immortal, non-degradable material as yet undiscovered by HU-women as well as HU-men here on earth. Of course, that depends. Maybe some women already possess such a bladder. I can only speak for myself. Whereas laughter may be the best medicine, I personally find it to be best with an empty bladder and/or nearby loo.
[As a side note: Someone out there could make a fortune selling Depends at the door wherever the over-the-top hilarious Menopause, the Musical is playing, as the show is over two hours long and there is no intermission.]
Back to the point of this blog. Dear YOUR AUTUMN YEARS, please understand that wrinkles come with wisdom and vice versa (hopefully some wisdom comes included, anyway). Other perks of our age group tend to include the opportunity to engage in intelligent conversation, along (possibly) with a long-since tossed “bashful-in-the-boudoir” attitude, and less of a yearning to “possess” (the stuff of youth and demons), and more of a yearning to stretch out in a yoga class or curl up with a good book than to spend our final drops of energy desperately seeking Geoffrey (or whatever his name might be). So, if you have 20/20 vision, I recommend you dim the lights and enjoy the blissful engagement of a Boomer Babe! On the other hand, if you don’t have the luxury of 20/20 vision, simply take off your glasses and go for the gusto!
Remember Jimmy O’Hara’s song “Older Women” as so passionately performed by Boomer Boy, Ronnie McDowell? Ronnie is now 66 years old, has five children, and although I don’t know him personally to be at liberty to state his case unscandalously or unlibelously (neither of which is a word in the dictionary but ought to be), I’d be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that he’s still getting his fair share of lovin’. Sure, he may have money, but ATTITUDE is his true fortune—and he’s a handsome old HU-man even with his crows feet (older women know how to make you smile 😀 ).
CALLING ALL SINGLE AND AVAILABLE BOOMER BABES READING THIS BLOG! I appeal to you to send your selfies and bios to YOUR AUTUMN YEARS —wrinkles, tinkles, and all! I cannot, in good conscience, spend another night lying awake knowing that such an AMAZINGLY talented and wonderful Boomer Boy is out there suffering anonymously in some undisclosed location, raging in his soul about soon turning the majestic and magical age of “60”! I’m counting on ALL OF YOU to show him the best of the best of us Boomer Babes!
And, if your name happens to be “Gloria”—all the better!!!
© Jennifer Sweete, January 2017
Look for my future Jennifer Sweete blog posts right here!
Books I have enjoyed reading this season:
Plato and Aristotle. A fascinating study of two philosophers somewhat at odds . . . but maybe not really as much as it looks on the surface!
Diane Duane writes YA books and my grandson has started me reading her So You Want to Be a Wizard (first in a series). Finished that one and started her second in the series called Deep Wizardry. Interesting study on Suspense Writing for YA!
Until we meet again, keep reading, keep writing, keep dreaming!
Jennifer Sweete is the author of Dear Sandy: The letter that wrote itself into a Book (2015) and The Poet & The Widow (2016). She is a Certified Massage Therapist and Usui/Holy Fire Karuna Reiki® Master and teacher, a small business and writer’s consultant, self-mastery coach, musician, poet, and author. And they all fit snugly into the same hat! She’s currently serving her 2nd term as President of the Chaffee County Writers Exchange while assisting other authors through the processes of editing, self-publishing and marketing their books. She resides with her husband, grandson, and furry friend in sunny Colorado. For more info, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.