Archive for December, 2009

Mr. Liberal Democrat

December 24, 2009

Mr. Liberal Democrat

            I’ve actually met a guy who’s a liberal Democrat. That’s miraculous in Arizona, a red state, the home of John McCain, and one where legislators just took away employee rights from teachers.

            Mr. Liberal Democrat and I met for a drink and dinner for our first date. I wrote about that in my “Home Alone Sick” post. The second date we went to The Compound and listened to a jazz quartet. The talk got more personal and soul-bearing. Our third date was last night. We went to dinner at Humble Pie (across from The Borgata) and shared a clam pizza (delicious.) There is definite chemistry going on. We’re feeling good enough about each other that we have three dates for the first week of January!

            I think it’s a good thing that we won’t see each other for a week. My friend is coming in for the holidays and so is his son. I could see this heating up very fast, which is scary for me. I’m still so naïve and trusting I believe everything he said. I just don’t want to repeat the experience with the Sedona widower who said we were meant for each other and then never called after he figured out I wouldn’t hop in bed within the first week I met him. Am I glad I didn’t! It was humiliating enough to realize what had happened, but I would have felt used otherwise. Yet there is a part of me that yearns for the old mores of the sexual revolution. Then I didn’t have to count how many dates or weeks before jumping into bed with a hot man. How did these days get to be so conservative? I guess it happened during the fifteen years when I was married.

            Anyone want to comment on the politics/ethics/etiquette of when to bed when dating as a single senior?

Max receives a reprieve

December 24, 2009

Max Receives a Reprieve

            My adult problem child dodged another bullet. He went to court and the public defender talked to him for about 15 minutes in private. His probation officer wanted him to be immediately taken into custody for 45 days. Max had told me he would ask to go after Christmas since this is the first year in the past four years he was invited to spend the holiday with his older brother. (This was huge breakthrough as it meant his brother trusted him again.) The public defender suggested they ask for a delay because Max was supposed to get evidence that he went to drug education classes and letters saying he was an okay person. The public defender at last week’s hearing failed to mention this. The judge granted the delay and indicated that if Max got back on the straight and narrow he wouldn’t send him to jail.

            I woke up during the night worried about Max’s compliance. I can’t do it for him although many parents wish they could. I have to fight myself to let him comply or fail and go to jail. Good note:  he registered for community college for January.

Home Alone Sick

December 22, 2009

Home Alone Sick

December 19, 2009

            This is not a plea for sympathy or pity.

            I had a date with a new guy on Friday night. We talked about national and Arizona politics, health care reform, our families, work,etc. He’s a Liberal Democrat in a state awash with conservative Republicans. And we have chemistry! At the end of a lovely evening we kissed. This is being revealed only because of the peril to which this exposed him.

            I went home light at heart. Although I tell myself each time I meet a nice guy with whom I have chemistry, “ take it easy,” I always think too much about a future of dancing, movies, kissing, reading the paper together, etc.

            About 11:45 I woke up feeling sick. The eruptions started and lasted five hours. There is no need to chronicle these but to say I took at least four showers and cleaned my tile floors several times. I even had to give the dog a bath the next morning. These are the times when I’m glad I’m single. How humiliating to spew all over someone else! How ignominious to have no control over bodily functions!

            I remember one time when my first husband and I were twenty-one and engaged. We were having a pajama party with a few other people in an apartment in the Hamptons where, for some reason, the walls didn’t go all the way to the ceiling. He drank too much and threw up violently in the bathroom. He was the loudest vomiter I have ever heard. (And I still married him!) We were concerned for his health, but he assured us he was fine. After that, our reaction, insensitive as it was, was to laugh hysterically every time he hurled. People up and down the building came to our door to inquire if someone was dying. So, better to have a stomach bug in glorious seclusion. I slept on and off for twenty-four hours after the last eruption and was ready for a workout the next morning.

I felt duty bound to text him about what he might have contracted. So far he’s still communicating with me and we have a date for Tuesday night. We’ll see if he changes his mind if he gets the stomach bug I had.

Sorry, Wrong Number

December 22, 2009

December 16, 2009

Sorry, Wrong Number

I emailed several of my “matches” on One fellow named Randy emailed me back his phone number. I wrote it down and put off calling him. Why do they want me to call them? I once had a man say he figured women wouldn’t give out their phone numbers. Maybe.

Finally, yesterday, I put calling him on my “to do” list. By two in the afternoon I had crossed off everything but that item. I took a deep breath and dialed. I got a recording that “Dave” wasn’t available but to leave a message. Hmmm, was Randy married and using a friend’s phone to make dates? I left a message with my phone number and forgot about it.

I was driving with my neighbor friend to the Sun/Spurs game that evening when the phone rang. It was Dave who insisted he had never been “Randy.” He said he went to bed late and to call him after the game.

Donna and I had a great time at the game. The Suns were winning by twenty points, but for the Suns, no lead is too large to blow. According, they let the Spurs come within one point. It was very exciting and the Suns triumphed.

On the way home, I called Dave. After speaking for just a few minutes, I realized that I must have misdialed Randy’s number originally and reached a different single guy! Dave went on to describe himself as forty-seven. I told him I was too old for him. He said age was a state of mind. When I asked when he could meet, he said anytime as he was unemployed. Also he didn’t have a driver’s license.

“Why not?” I asked

“DUI’s,” he replied.

Okay this is a younger guy who’s unemployed and had DUI’s. How could I get out of this?

“I’m getting into traffic, I’ll have to call you back,” I said.

“You probably won’t,” he said, but I wish you would.”

After I hung up, I got a text message from him. “im serious…as long as you’re not obese or psycho. im interested in meeting down to earth women. I hope you’ll take a chance. You won’t be disappointed.”

What nerve! I was very tempted to text back that I was fat and on anti-psychotic drugs, but refrained.

This morning I checked Randy’s email. Sure enough, I had transposed a digit of his phone number. I called the right number and left a message but haven’t gotten a call back.

Life is tough in the dating ditches.

Hannukah and the courtroom

December 14, 2009

December 14, 2009

     Last night was the annual Hannukah celebration with my family. Last year there was a bigger crowd. My former in-laws and my boyfriend added to the group. This year it was small but very sweet. My three sons were there with their wives/significant others, my granddaughter Abby, and my good friend and her husband. I am the first to admit that I am not a good cook. Last week I tried a new latke recipe and the results were edible. I froze them so my house wouldn’t stink like a fast food joint on the day of the party. I made a pecan pie on Saturday. Then yesterday I went to Costco and bought three rotisserie chickens. I rounded out the meal with peas and salad. The candles were lit in the menorahs and the meal was received warmly and gobbled up by my brood. I played dreidel with Abby and Nick. We opened presents and told family stories. My son Max slept over because I was taking him for his hearing today.

The criminal justice system is a bunch of hurry up and wait. Max wanted me to drop him off so he could go to court himself. Since he had rabbitted twice the week before last, I insisted on going in with him. We thought this was his probation revocation hearing and he would go directly to jail.

He refused to leave early. We got there just in time to find out we were at the wrong courthouse. We rushed over to the courtroom underneath the Fourth Avenue jail. A harbinger of the outcome? We took the elevator downstairs and found the courtroom. There were two spectators seated. A petite woman in her thirties approached us. She wanted to speak to Max alone. When he came back to the peanut gallery he was smiling. I asked to see the piece of paper she’d given him, but he resisted. Finally he showed it to me. He had failed drug tests in July through November due to marijuana. I was upset but relieved it was heroin, cocaine, or meth. Geez, how did I get here, thankful he was “only” using pot?

We waited while inmates stood before the judge. Their offenses, felonies, were possession of drug paraphernalia. Is there anywhere besides Maricopa County, Arizona where this is a felony? One fellow was reinstated for probation and another was hauled off to jail. Max’s case took less than a minute. He was given a date for next week in drug court. It’s still called “probation revocation” but I think he dodged the bullet of having his probation revoked and spending over a year in jail.

As we drove back to my place, I suggested he call his probation officer, find out where he could do some community service this week, and to register for spring semester at a community college. I am still trying to manage his life, putting my expectations on him. When will he learn? When will I learn?

Worrying doesn’t help

December 11, 2009

December 10, 2009
So I took Max downtown to turn himself in on Monday afternoon. Right after we parked at a meter on Jefferson Street, a large SUV tried to squeeze into the spot behind me. He crashed into the car behind him twice! I was going to put a note on the windshield but was intimidated by the large fellow who stepped out of the vehicle. Outside the courthouse Max and I stood under some sun screens, which didn’t block the rain, while he smoked a cigarette. I went into the building with him and watched as a deputy took him aside. I went back to my car with a heavy heart. What if he went to jail for a year?
I went to dinner with an old friend. We talked about our lives’ challenges, politics, religion, and education. I had a coupon for a free entrée at Eddie’s House so we felt free to order a yummy dessert. I have a sweet tooth and I use food to dull my emotions. The freshly baked chocolate chip cookie with ice cream fit the bill.
I went home and found out that my home phone didn’t work. This had happened before when it had rained a few months ago. I was frantic because I had told Max to call me from jail. The only way he could call was to make it collect on a land line. (There are rumors that our mighty Sheriff Joe gets a kickback from the company that handles the calls.) I called the cable phone company and talked to five different people for forty-five minutes to try to get my calls forwarded to my cell phone. That part of their website was down. I finally realized I could remotely call my home phone messaging. Indeed Max had called. Shoot! Did he know how long he was in for?
Around ten, as I was about to don my flannel nightgown, I got a call on my cell from Max’s cell phone! He wanted me to pick him up outside the courthouse. He had seen a judge who had released him OR (on his own recognizance) and he had a court date next Monday. I was relieved but knew the problem wasn’t solved. I got on my clothes with some trepidation. Would he ask to stay with me another night? The utilities were still off in his apartment and it was cold (for Phoenix) and rainy.
He was a very happy fellow when I picked him up. He didn’t have a clue that he could lose his freedom for a long time next Monday. He saw it as a sign that it will all work out. Maybe it will. But what I learned is that all that worrying was a waste of time. Why can’t I seem to get that in head? Worrying does not solve any problems or make anything better. Ah, the joys of single parenting an adult problem child.

Adult Problem Children

December 7, 2009

     I saw the movie Everything’s Fine on Saturday and wept. I have an adult son with a problem and I know many other people do too. I canceled my date to the Electric Light parade, in downtown Phoenix, because I could not put on a happy face. I know more people with problem adult children these days, not because there are more than other generations, but rather because we’re more open about it. When I was growing up, there were always “the black sheep” in families, a term which is politically incorrect these days. Most of the time I had no idea somebody’s relative did to deserve outcast status. Looking back, I can recognize the one in my family because he betrayed my father when I was an adult. He embezzled money from my father’s business although I was told few details. If the incident had happened when I was a child, I doubt I would have known about it at all.

     I have lots of friends adult children with problems. Certainly are unemployed and struggling financially. Two of my three sons are out of work. I have a friend who’s raising her three year-old granddaughter because her son and his wife are drug addicts. I have friends whose adult children live with them due to the economics of divorce. I have friends whose son has Asberger’s and they financially support him in his own place in another city. I have a friend whose forty-five year-old son is a paranoid schizophrenic and in and out of hospitals. Mental illness and drugs are so heartbreaking. The kids are fine until their late teens then all hell breaks loose. We put our hopes and dreams into our children. They break into a million pieces and it’s a miracle if they get it back together. So when do you stop being a parent? Never? How much help is too much?

     I know all about this. My daughters, ages six and thirteen, were killed in an airplane crash. I won’t go into detail, you can read about it in my memoir As One Door Closes, available on They represented my best and brightest but their potential was snuffed out.

     I have three sons now. The older two gave me a few scares and heartaches in their teens, but they’re now married and doing well. Well is a relative term. They’re well adjusted and happy though one is unemployed.

     My youngest son has big problems. He was a heroin addict for two years. During those dark times I refused to let him live with me or give him money. It was so hard! I went to China for ten weeks to work as a volunteer to get away from the situation. Now he’s sober but on probation for trying to buy drugs. They charged him with twelve felonies! This is Maricopa County, Arizona, with the toughest sheriff and an equally tough prosecutor. The police car bumper stickers say, “Do Drugs, Do Time.” My son was lucky enough to get into drug court. He has an “undetermined felony” which will be put down to a misdemeanor if he graduates from the program. He’s still sober, or at least I think so, but he hasn’t been going to court, taking his classes, or going for tests. Last week I turned off the utilities in his apartment. Why would I pay for him to do the wrong thing? He stayed over Wednesday night and I drove him down to the courthouse on Thursday. He didn’t go in and lied and said there was no court that day. He stayed over Thursday night, promising he’d go to court on Friday. I nmade sure he had the courtroom location. I again drove him downtown. He didn’t go in. I was angry and upset and turned him away when he showed up that night. I saw the Robert De Niro movie the next day.

     Now it’s Monday and supposedly today is the day. I’m taking him downtown but parking the car and going with him to the court bailiff. It would have been much better if he’d gone to court last week. I don’t know what will happen. He could be ordered to serve out the rest of his probation, over a year, in jail. Or they could give him another chance. I just don’t know if the judge is as forgiving as a parent.

Mr. Mobile

December 3, 2009

     Today I had lunch date with Mr. Mobile. I call him that because he lives in his very large motor home. I met for tea last week. He is a retired clerk. When I asked him what he did now that he was retired, he said he checks the calendar in the newspaper and decides what to do. Sounds good. We’re going to see Showstoppers Live at the Casino Saturday night. I’ve never made two advance dates before.

     Lunch went well. He was interested in the unusual cousin of my friends. He asked if the fellow wore the same thing both days. When I said yes, Mr. Mobile admitted to having ten pairs of the same pants in two colors. Hmm. After lunch we walked the Scottsdale Fashion Square mall to see the holiday decorations.  I was surprised at their austere nature. Are the shopping centers paring down due to the recession or thinking an ostentatious display would be in bad taste. I would think people would want to see lavish displays in the malls and stores since many can no longer afford to do this in their homes.

     I also emailed another guy from and will hopefully meet him for a drink or tea this week. I was going to leave Friday night open for this but decided to spend it with my three year old granddaughter instead. She is one of the lights of my life and I love spending time with her. We’ll make pine cone glitter ornaments and make a photo ornament for her parents. Definite fun!