Archive for July, 2010

Not a Man-Hater

July 28, 2010

Not a Man-Hater

By Annie Weissman

                I got feedback from someone in Munds Park, asking if I was a man-hater. I am not a man-hater. I love men individually and as a group. My three sons are probably my favorite men in the world. I rue the fact that I have only a few male friends. And I certainly miss having a special man in my life.

                When I spend time with men they give me a different perspective. That’s a good thing since almost all my friends are women. I tend to do different activities with men. My women friends never ask me to golf, go listen to music, or dance. A few women friends will go to Suns or Mercury games, but I’d go to more if I had a guy to go with.

                I especially miss the cuddling and intimacy of a special relationship with a man. My dog Sparky does unconditionally love me, but he can’t comfort me in the same physical way a man can. So why aren’t I dating? I don’t have the emotional energy to date.  It takes confidence to put yourself out there, even on the Internet. And it takes emotional reserves to deal with the rejection. If I were to happen to meet a fellow I think I would be able to handle it, but the hunt just seems overwhelming now.

Why? My son, age 21, has come home. He still needs parenting, though I’m optimistic this will only be required for a year.  I’m sure there are plenty of single seniors who are dealing with adult children who are not yet ready to be independent. Sometimes they come back after a bad marriage, or they can’t get a job, or they have ISSUES.

ALERT:  I have a part in the upcoming Pinewood Players’ production of “Leading Ladies.” Buy a ticket and watch me kiss a guy on the lips!

Why Am I Not Good Enough?

July 14, 2010

Why Am I Not Good Enough?

     Do you ever get times when self doubt takes over? In the last few days I finished a quilt, created a crossword puzzle, worked on my play, and wrote for the blog, and read children’s novels and for committees on which I serve on. What was the sum of these activities? I feel like a no-talent slacker. I think of the things I haven’t done: critiqued some friends’ manuscripts; finished the play or read more books on how to plot it; or finished revising the novel. The quilt has a place where I didn’t catch the fabric and has to be mended. The window panes of the pattern don’t match up.

    What makes me think I could write a play? Or a novel? Am I kidding myself with this writing thing? I should take a “real” job and stop playing. I thought it was just me, but I’ve confessed this to a few other people and they get bouts of the same lack of confidence in their work.

     When I was a librarian and a principal I was confident in my effectiveness. I could measure it: circulation figures, increased attention spans, a child’s face of joy when told a story, decreased referrals to the office, etc. When you’re a writer, the only measure that counts is whether your work gets published.  

     There’s always the option if self-publishing, but that doesn’t ban the incompetent thoughts because the work didn’t have to be “vetted.” I do get a little feedback from comments on my blog, or people in Munds Park who read my column in the newspaper. That lasts for a day or so. Anybody got any ideas on a more permanent fix?

      Of course this also ties into being a single senior. Why am I not good enough to keep a relationship going?

When Adult Children Return Home

July 6, 2010

When Adult Children Return Home

     Today my youngest son, aged 21, is moving back in with me. My middle son and his girlfriend, now his wife, did this when he was about 23 and it worked out fine but he didn’t have any major problem. The youngest son is a former addict.

     I have many friends whose children have returned, most for the free room and board. The reasons are across the spectrum: divorcing, changing careers, saving for a house, foreclosures, in-between jobs, etc.

     I know people think adult children returning home is a new phenomenon, but in 1972 my brother moved back into our family home when he graduated college. He brought with him his girlfriend and another friend. They occupied the second floor of my parents’ home. He and his girlfriend stayed seven months and then moved to California. The friend stayed a few years worked for my father before moving on to Alaska.

     The quandary is how much parenting should I do? I’ve given him some rules:

  1. He has to find a full time job.
  2. No alcohol or drugs
  3. No smoking in or near my house. (He quit but he might relapse.)
  4. No one stays overnight. (The girlfriend’s father hates my son.)
  5. No painting or graffiti on furniture or walls. (This was a big issue in the past.)

      Yet I wonder how much would be guiding and how much nagging. I hate the nagging but recognize that I fall into that trap.  My son needs to start with a clean slate and establish trust. I’m in the valley with him for a few weeks until he’s settled in. Hopefully he’ll find a job and develop a schedule so I can return to Munds Park. I’ll drop in at least once a week, but the real time of adjustment will be when I return to Scottsdale full time in October.