Archive for March, 2010

The Single Senior Crosses Something Off Her Bucket List

March 30, 2010

The Single Senior Crosses Something Off Her Bucket List

            I haven’t written a bucket list, the things I want to do before I die. I just know some things that would be on one. I want to jump on a trampoline and dunk like the Suns mascot, the Gorilla. I haven’t worked on that one yet.

            I went to a Paul McCartney concert on Sunday night. Seeing an original Beatle was definitely on my bucket list. The last time Paul McCartney was in Phoenix I didn’t go because the tickets were $250. I was sorry I hadn’t gone. When I saw that he was coming again, I decided I was going to sit close enough so I didn’t have to watch the giant monitors to see him. One morning I saw in the newspaper that American Express cardholders could get pre-sale tickets. My internet was acting up so I went across the way to Donna’s to try for tickets. I managed to get 2 tickets at $250 each. I realized I didn’t get the “best” seats because very special American Express card was needed for that access. I’m sure the price of tickets was beyond my splurge.

            I didn’t even consider asking one of my friends to accompany me. None of them would want to see him that badly. I texted Mr. Liberal Democrat and he accepted! Then it hit me, would he think I was treating him? We talked later in the day and he thanked me for getting the tickets.

            “I planned on each of us paying for our own tickets,” I ventured.

            “Whew!” he said, “I was worried I was paying for both tickets.”

            I got more excited as the concert date neared. I bought a sixties shirt with beads to wear to be in the right frame of mind. We decided to go out to the arena early as a traffic jam was forecast. The stadium next door to the arena was hosting the superbowl of wrestling the same day.

            We went to a sports restaurant to watch the Suns game (they won but had to rally after they blew a twenty-two point lead) and eat.

            The concert exceeded my expectations. Paul paid tribute to Linda, John, and George. Even in the cavernous arena it was a personal concert. He sang what he wanted. He sang the old songs as well as the midyears songs and the newer ones. He sang and sang and sang for almost three hours. He still soooo cute. He looks good but not like he’s had any plastic surgery. I liked that. He’s a great example of someone who remembers the past while grabbing the gusto of the present.

Birthdays

March 22, 2010

Birthdays

I had a birthday last week and reflected on how birthday celebrations have changed over my lifetime. Everyone remembers my birthday because it’s on St. Patrick’s Day.

The first birthday I remember is my fifth. I had chickenpox and could only invite other children who had it or had had it. There were five kids besides my family. I wore a black velvet dress with tiers and ruffles my mother had made me. She made my sister, four years older than me, the same dress in purple. All I remember of the party itself was everyone wearing those conical party hats, the cake and ice cream, and blowing out the candles at the dining room table.

After that I remember elementary school birthdays as giant endeavosr, with fifteen to twenty girls in my basement, playing musical chairs and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey which was tacked up on the cork-tiled walls. And of course there was homemade cake with store bought ice cream and blowing out the candles.

My thirteenth birthday was held at a restaurant. I don’t remember why. There were seven or eight girls. My best friend Linda helped me take my presents and crashed her bike, giving her a scar on her eyebrow for life.

Junior high birthdays are no longer clear in my memory bank but I think they had something to do with boy-girl parties in my basement and spin the bottle.

I had quite a blow out for my Sweet Sixteen party. I was the manager of a rock and roll band and they played in my basement. I had a crush on a guy and he made out with my best friend. Think Leslie Gore’s “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To.”

I went to college four hundred miles from home. That did not daunt my mother.

She mailed me a green cake with green frosting. It was bashed in when it arrived but my friends and I devoured the homemade delicacy.

When I married and had children, I usually had two celebrations: one with the family and one with friends. Friends and my kids would attend the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Phoenix.  I was divorced when I turned thirty-five, and a friend gave me a huge party, reminiscent of my childhood.  When I turned forty my oldest friends came to Phoenix. Linda of Nantucket brought a five pound lobster. She showed off the sczr on her eyebrow.

For my fiftieth birthday, my friends put on a great party with entertainment about my life. And for my sixtieth four of us went on a trip to Costa Rica.

 All of this brings s me back to my celebration last week. I went to an Irish bar with a group of friends. I hadn’t been out for St Patrick’s Day in many years. One of my favorite local bands, The Sugar Thieves, played while I drank much more than I had for decades. Mr. Liberal Democrat was the Designated Driver. What fun!  And the next night I went to a family party at one of my son’s homes. There weren’t any conical party hats, but a great meal and homemade cake and blowing out the candles. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Why I Date

March 6, 2010

Dating Can Be Fun

Today I got an “aha” that reminded why I bother to date. I date because I find a person fun to be with and tend to do things I like to do but would never take the effort to do. Case in point is the last twenty-four hours.

An artist friend, Laura Cohen-Hogan, sent me an email invitation to an open studio event near downtown Phoenix. I wanted to go but probably wasn’t going to go by myself or use the energy to ask someone. I had a date with Mr. Liberal Democrat to go to the Rhythm Room , not far from the artist’s studio. We combined the two events. The art part of my brain was stimulated by the different artists and their works at the studio. The music and dance part of my brain was in overdrive listening to and dancing to the music of the Sugar Thieves. If I hadn’t been dating, I wouldn’t have done either of these activities I enjoyed immensely.

This morning I played nine holes of golf with Mr. Liberal Democrat. I like to play golf, but never find the time or person to do so. I had a fantastic time. He’s not competitive, doesn’t count strokes, is better than me, and enjoys the ambiance of a golf course and the fun of the game.

So that’s why I date. It takes me out to do things I want to do but don’t bother to arrange. And I end up having a great time. For me, the companionship, fun , and intimacy is worth the rejection and the occasional heartache.

When Adult Children Move Home

March 5, 2010

When Adult Children Move Home

I have several friends whose adult children have moved home this month. One child is mentally unstable and must be watched. That is a scary situation. The grandparents have to share the care of two tiny children. She may always need support from time to time, moving in and out as her illness waxes and wanes.                        

Another child wants a career change. He graduated from an excellent university with a degree in industrial engineering several years ago. He had three job offers and took the most attractive. He worked there for two years and then got disenchanted. He and a few friends quit their good jobs, in the middle of this recession, and spent six months exploring South America. I know this sounds irresponsible, but my view is when else can someone take that kind of risk? Certainly not when he’s got a family and a mortgage. Now’s he’s moved in with his father and wants to change careers and be a chef. My friend is taking it well. He’s also a single senior and enjoying the company. He is a bit worried about privacy issues and boundaries. And he’s savvy enough to know his son needs to pay for Culinary School.

And my son Max. He’s still in jail but he’s been placed in the Alpha drug program. He says it has a concentration on life skills. I certainly hope he gets it. He has done detoxification programs and an outpatient rehab program but it hasn’t been totally successful. I believe he is done with hard drugs. Now he needs a rehab program to be done with weed and develop individual responsibility.

The rub comes when he gets out of jail. My address is his permanent residence. Will this program find him another place to live? What is the best living situation for him? For me? I have resisted him moving back home as it has not been successful in the past. My work ethic wants him to get a job for a year and support himself. Realistically will he be able to find job? He wants to go to school full time but I am reluctant to have him so dependent on me.

Last month I picked up his clothes from the apartment I still have to pay for even though he’s in jail. One more month and I’m free of that lease. I finally started to do the laundry so the problem of the living situation has been on my mind a lot. Where should he live? I think I won’t know until he’s finished with the drug program. I’m frustrated because I’m a planner. I want to know now. This is a good life lesson on flexibility.

So the question remains:  how much help assists adult children and how much damages their independence?