That moment when you get home from the dentist, the numbness has worn off and you’re trying to decide if the new crown is right or if it’s maybe a little too high? Knowing you can’t go back now, you’re looking at your inbox and then your calendar for the rest of the week, wondering how you got so old to have such worries and mainly when it will be 5, because today you’re really looking forward to 5.
A friend once commented he couldn’t believe how many people just let themselves go, referring to all the lazy unfit people in the world. His words have clunked around in my head longer than I’m sure either of us imagined they would, when he uttered them to me twenty-some years ago. We were workout partners and had just ridden some crazy long-ass ride in the Marin Headlands. Standing there next to our bikes overlooking the Golden Gate bridge, feeling invigorated and proud of our hard sweaty bodies, he said that. Like most people, I like to be in control, but I also have this Midwest voice in my head that says you’re a bad person if you’re lazy. So, when he said that, I remember thinking to myself, I’ll never ever be one of those people who just “lets themselves go”.
Well, right now, I’m sitting here wondering how terrible it would be if I let myself let myself go? I mean not completely of course, just a little. Would it be so bad to sit around in the sunshine on my deck and luxuriate over the Arts and Leisure section of the New York Times and maybe skip yoga for like a month or two or six? At what point of “letting myself go” would that idea change from good to bad… would there be a point where it would mean risking it all…would I get too smart-mouthed (I tend to get crabby and mean and depressed when I don’t exercise) and/or too curvy that nobody, including myself, would love me anymore?
It has been exactly six days since I got any real exercise other than walking my dog, which frankly doesn’t count, but I have no desire to move from this spot I’m in at all and I don’t see that changing any time soon. I guess what I’m really wondering is whether I will instinctively know when it’s time to move again? or will I have to wait until my favorite jeans are too tight or someone tells me I’m acting like a complete jerk? Or I’m crying? And maybe most importantly, either way, will I still be lovable?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not sick. I’m not depressed. I don’t need someone to lift me up and drag me to do anything. I’m just tired, damn it. It feels like I carried around a heavy rock (okay a few) for years and I finally put them down for good. And now it’s like I’m sitting at a vista point looking out, pondering my desire to simply sit still with myself and read, write, listen to music and soak it all in (for an unknown period of time) which may mean, God forbid, I “let myself go” for a bit.
Funny, as I write this, John Legend is on Pandora singing “All of Me”. The lyrics make me long to be with someone who loves all of me… all my curves and all my edges. You know someone who doesn’t care if I go to yoga every single day to maintain my flat abs. Someone who thinks I’m beautiful even if I’m crying, around through every mood. Maybe someone who says I’m their downfall and their muse, their one desire, their worst distraction, their rhythm and blues. Someone who will love my perfect imperfections. I swore I’d never say this again, but I’d totally put all my heart cards on the table for someone who thinks like that….
Conveniently, as if on cue in some sappy movie, the beautiful vantage point of being a middle age, post-divorce woman becomes crystal clear. Ha! Suddenly sitting here on my deck I can see that this someone is already right here. That someone I desperately want to do all that loving of me with all my perfect imperfections… is me. That’s so awesome. And so, then I say, yes, let yourself go a little Julie. Enjoy the sunshine. I’ll always love you no matter what.
And don’t worry, you’ll know when it’s time to move again… probably when the fog rolls in (it never is this nice for longer than a day or two anyway). Then the only place for refuge from the damp chill that will go straight to your bones, is the hot yoga studio where your friends will welcome you back with open arms like they always do, even if it turns out to be six months or six years from now.
Maybe instead of thinking of it as letting myself go, I can think of it as letting myself be, here in the sunshine without worry or judgment, at least until the fog rolls in again.
Morning. Hey pretty U. Goodday dear. Hi. Beautiful :-). Hello. Hi dear. Hey you look so beautiful. Hi Ms. Hot Damn! Hello there! Hey Gorgeous! How about we chat?
My best (guy) friend said it would happen. He has been telling me to get going with the on-line dating thing for years. Annoyed with my insistence to stay with the familiar, he started begging me to stop obsessing about this one loser guy in particular I’d been seeing, and go find someone more deserving of my time. “You’re acting like you live on a Greek island in the 13th century with three men to choose from Julie. Will you just set up your on-line profile and start entertaining yourself with the emails that will come pouring in?” HAHAHA… pouring in? Yeah right! Screw you I thought. I’d rather be miserable.
But now, several years later, and just 48 hours into it…I’m laughing about his prediction and thinking, I should’ve listened to him when I was so upset with loser. Not that I’m finding anyone all that interesting to replace loser, but at least I feel somewhat less hopeless about the thought of dating. I mean there are so many fish (many of them oddballs, yes) in the internet sea and needless to say, if I can avoid getting depressed over it, I am, and will be, totally entertained by them. Here’s a sampling of what I’ve received so far…
The first guy, apparently a nerdy cook, asks if I like accents? He tells me the most beautiful ladies are from Michigan. He’s Eastern Eurpoean, 27 and wants to buy me a drink… or if I don’t want to go out, he’ll happily come to my house and rub my feet.
There’s Angelo from Cuba who thinks I’m “stunning!!!” He’s tall, dark and does research in a lab. He’s 30. He says girls in his age group play a lot of games and bs and that older women tend to know what they want and are more open, adding that he’s a “huge little perv in bed (wink wink)”.
There’s the noname with the lovely torso but I’m not sure about his head (his only photo is without one)? He says he’s “in a sexless marriage looking for a like-minded playmate for his insatiable sensual side. Not looking for a long term love affair but not a one-nighter either. More of an on-going FWB sorta thing”. He says he’s doing this on-line thing on the “down low with no plans to fall in love. This is about nurturing his need for regular good sexual and passionate compassion.” I felt sad for him because well a sexless marriage is sad but I only wrote to say I wasn’t interested in such a silly arrangement. I suggested he consider a divorce. He liked my candor but said it would be a “terrible time to break up the family”. Well, hello Torso, is it ever a good time? And how do you think this plan of yours is going to help matters anyway? He has since deleted his profile. I found myself wondering if maybe his wife is dying? Oh god.
And there’s CasssanovaBeastieboyz with unusually broad shoulders and a freakishly skinny waist. His profile is a shot from behind without a shirt making him look like a cartoon. Curious but horrified, I didn’t read his profile. Both Beastie and a guy called Chris or Christen678 say they are “Speechless” after reading my profile… and in fact, they say nothing but that and “hello”.
There’s Todd who wants a little bit of my time to chat, but says nothing else and his profile is empty.
Daniel who goes by Ima_headaches says “a beautiful woman originally from the midwest, has kids and volunteers as an art teacher” makes me one of his favorites. Sadly his profile sucks.
Ross likes my green strappy sandals and wants to spoon under the blanket I knit by hand. (He’s actually the only winner on this list. Not that my bar is super low or anything, but I honestly liked that he noticed and mentioned liking my shoes. I also am partial to anyone who both notices my knitting and wants to spoon. Spoon. That’s so much more appropriate to say to someone you don’t know than some of the other things people say they want to do under my blankets. Take notes boys.)
Jackson, the estate lawyer, knew about how critical it is to massage raw kale in a salad which was impressive. Then he said he needed a knitted scarf and added a (hint hint) which was a turn off. Knitters don’t just knit for men, especially men they don’t know. Hello!? (boys take notes). I told him that and he said he’d trade a ditty about my grandmother’s love life or an updated will. I paused and considered an updated will but decided no. In his profile he says he likes to swear. I like to swear too, but he has a photo of himself eating ice cream with his daughter titled “don’t I look like gangster fuck?”and I don’t know call me a prude, but I didn’t really like that. I didn’t get it really. Plus he looked at least 25 years older and much different than the first picture in which he looked like a young strapping Greek god with blue eyes. I took an average of those two shots (being generous as I should’ve probably just thrown out the first as a ploy to get women to even look at his profile), and I weighed the title with the little girl in the shot and decided I didn’t need to update my will or hear anything about my grandma’s love life… at least not that badly.
Then there’s the African American guy with a pink octopus hat who says “something feels dirty about summarizing myself, like if I do it too much I’ll go blind”. LOL. I actually loved his entire profile– if he were a standup comic…just not my date. Or maybe I can go back to him at some point? He was hilarious!
There’s the guy called areopresssvitamixx who likes my garbage cans, but then his profile was deleted.
There’s Edward who thinks we have a lot in common, being divorced and having two kids and all. He rambled something about his joint custody fish and said I’d look better without a hat.
There’s the crazy looking 65 year old man originally from Chicago who thinks, because I’m from from Detroit, we’d make a handsome couple.
There’s Longmanny in Calgary who can’t do without his bible and wants to talk.
There’s the guy from Texas and the one from Maryland… and several from New York.
There’s Shawn the doctor who said ” your genuinity makes your profile easy to read”. (Say that ten times real fast. LOL) He likes my knitting and would love to “know me”. Call me picky, but I just couldn’t get over the fact that he used the word genuinity in a sentence and didn’t put it in quotes. And you call yourself a doctor?
There’s Toby with an introduction (one he admitted in an immediate follow up message was idiotic) that said it looks like I mostly “knit, lie in a chaise lounge and kiss my dog”. He wants to know where to sign up? and if he can be my dog? (At this point I wasn’t responding to losers so I just figured this one is going on my blog…)
There’s the guy from Sonoma in a light blue tux. He likes to sip red wine and play with his three boys. Sorry but more than zero kids and the Brady Bunch theme song starts playing in my head…you know the one… “There’s the story, of a man named Brady, Who was busy with three boys of his own, They were four men, living all together…” I can turn it down for up to two kids, especially if at least one is a girl, but then it’s hard to hear anything else plus, I sort of hate light blue tuxes (boys take notes).
There’s Lawrence who likes to be dominant and Sam who is submissive. Oy.
There’s John who is in a “very healthy happy marriage to his beautiful dream wife” and he’s looking for another. (Hello John, Are we in Utah?)
But seriously, I had no idea there were so many amazingly darling men out there who have traveled (random question: unless your a Brit doesn’t that word have one “l” or did I miss the memo?) the world, love to cook healthy meals (and do the dishes!), who love their mothers, have successful careers, enjoy living life to the fullest, play guitar, like to rub feet, enjoy long intimate emotion-filled conversations with their female partner, do yoga, fly airplanes, hang glide and ski and on top of all that they even list “sex” in the things they are good at. Yawn.
I hope this gets better because right now, boys, 48 hours into it…Detroit chick, she ain’t impressed.
(note: All true except I changed the names at least somewhat… though man there are some serious winner user names out there and I hated altering any of them. I bet some of these guys have no clue how good their user name is. LOL. Also, I feel compelled to say, in case anyone wonders, the referenced “loser”, who will never be named, is absolutely not my ex-husband. My ex-husband is not a loser.)
After the dentist appointment we decided to browse the local Goodwill to kill time. We needed to wait for the numbness to wear off and the bleeding to stop before my daughter could drink a milk shake from the ice cream place down the block.
It wasn’t until we got home that evening that she realized she was missing her tooth necklace, the one that contained her newly extracted tooth. If it weren’t for the tooth fairy thing, she probably wouldn’t have cared, but instead, naturally, she wanted to find it. Fortunately it didn’t take long for her to recall hanging it up on a hook in the Goodwill dressing room while she tried on clothes. It was too late to go back that evening but I was able to call and they said they’d hold it for me until the next day. I promised her I’d go get it first thing in the morning.
When I got there in the morning I told the clerk I was there to pick up a necklace my daughter had left there the day before. He said he remembered me and proceeded to announce fairly loudly over the store PA system “the lady who left her teeth here yesterday is here to pick them up”. Did he really just say I was here to pick up my teeth? Suddenly it felt like everyone in the store was trying not to look at me but couldn’t help turning their heads to stare and I couldn’t blame them. A lady showing up at the Goodwill to pick up her teeth she left the day before? I would’ve taken a look at her too!
As I was standing there waiting, I felt like grabbing the speaker to clarify, “Sorry that was a mistake. I’m actually here to pick up a tooth necklace– you know the kind dentists give kids– a white plastic tooth box on a red string? My daughter left it here yesterday after a baby tooth was extracted. We were here killing time and she left it on the hook in the dressing room. I’m not here to pick up my teeth. Knock on wood I still have all my originals in my head…just sayin’. You can go back to shopping now.” But instead I stood there, imagining what I would say while running my tongue over my teeth and silently thanking my parents and my adult self for all the years of investing in good dental care.
When the clerk returned with the necklace and handed it to me I thanked him with a big toothy grin that I flashed around the store for longer than I might normally while I put the necklace around my neck. I brought it home to my daughter along with a good laugh.