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Grand Tour of Her Mind: Wear Shoes for Walking & Pack a Lunch

"There ain't now answer. There ain't  gonna be any answer. There never has been an answer. That's the answer." ~Gertrude Stein~
“There ain’t now answer. There ain’t gonna be any answer. There never has been an answer. That’s the answer.”
~Gertrude Stein~

This morning finds me a little under the weather and feeling like the only friend I want in the world is my duvet and a few really, really good books. Maybe a cup of tea and a deliciously groomed man at the business end giving my freshly pedicured toes a thorough and proper massage that leads to lazy, sleepy sex. He may or may not have a beard and be wearing an Irish-knit sweater…

But let’s go back to the books before we add the hero, shall we?

When I can’t make up my mind about what to read, I know I’m in a state of creative hurricane.

If you are a creative type with slight control issues like myself, the  process can get unwieldy, kinda like a long silk scarf on a windy Paris evening.  You aren’t sure why you need it, and you haven’t got a clue where it’s going.

Underlying my jitters is the need to get to work on a creative project to satisfy a not-so-creative, rather logical A-to-B strategic business plan. Talk about an identity crisis!

I know myself. I know my pattern. I trust that my sub-conscious will work away at grooming and awakening the beast until she’s tame enough to bring out of the cave and introduce to the world. Speaking about ideas and engaging an audience always energizes me, and I know no matter how carefully planned, there is unique alchemy between a room full people. I like to bring enough energy and ideas to ensure that the magic is joyful and empowering.

It just so happens that when I’m feeling most creative, I also feel the most stuck. I procrastinate in a  zillion ways, mostly by entertaining the glittering, fleeting thoughts that my brain shoots off like fireworks on Chinese New Year.

Some of these thoughts include;

1) Packing up and moving to a boat on the west coast.

2) Pursuing a relationship with a man who I’m sure is scared to death of me.

3) Painting my little apartment.

4) Getting a fish as a muse at my desk in my messy office.

5) Finally getting a real start on my second novel.

6) Catching up on personal email.

7) Having an affair with a  long-lost love in a city I’ve never visited.

8) Having my teeth professionally whitened.

9) Reminding myself that I need to buy a large envelope to return a wrong-sized shirt that I bought on Jost Van Dyke with a kind note, self-addressed envelope and a twenty-dollar bill for return postage.

10) I forgot to set a hair appointment for a gala event next week.

11) Why I feel torn between identifying as blue-collar or white-collar, and why it matters anyway.

12) Thinking of a man who would enjoy sharing the coffee I just bought in Puerto Rico.

The thoughts are so exhausting that I inevitably get trapped in my fun-house brain, let the minutes turn into hours, and then find myself at the stove cooking dinner, in bed and waking up to my alarm clock telling me it’s time to go to work. “Maybe I should get that fish,” I think to myself as I pull on my suit pants.

I can be super organized and businesslike. I am super organized and business like in my professional life which has tentacles that reach well beyond Monday to Friday and 9-to-5. I believe that’s why the creative mess and magic of my home and writing life makes me so happy. Regardless of what I ‘produce’, my piles of unread and half-read books, bag of empty canvases and half used watercolors remind me that potential in life, learning and relationships is infinite, and that my darlings is what makes it worth living.

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Put your handbags in the air! This is a SET-UP!

“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”
~Albert Einstein~

Yesterday I thought I got theeeeee worst advice about men everrrrrrrr. That’s pretty bad considering I’ve had a whole lotta advice throughout the years by a whole lotta women. And men for that matter.

Yesterday, a well-dressed and well-meaning woman about 25 years my senior sat across from me and said, “What you need to do is fall in love with money first, and then try to fall in love with the man later.”  It may seem that the only appropriate  response was to screw up my face like I’d just smelled a skunk and said, “Are you for real sweetheart?!”, but I just looked at her, and with a straight face smiled politely.

You see, I know on which side my bread is buttered, and it’s on her side. To be less general and more specific, my bread is buttered on the side of acquaintances who are sincere in their efforts to add pieces to my dating game. You see, at this age, it’s not so much a game, but it’s still pretty fun.

When I first started dating after my marriage went up in smoke, more often than not, I ended up in the washroom, locked up in a stall desperately thinking of a way to end the evening in a hurry. I faked hives, food poisoning and a sick child. I declined offers to walk me to my car, didn’t pick up phone calls and did crazy things like go out without my hair done so he’d be turned off.

I remember spending the intermission of a live theatre production in the marble floored and chandaliered bathroom of a beautiful theatre thinking to myself, “OH. MY. GOD. I’m hiding in a place where people poop.” Now, ladies, when your dates are worse than spending time where people do their doody-business, you know you need to step it up a tad. So, after that date, I did. Many, many years later, I can honestly say that the men I date today are better than stranger’s doody places.

Last night I thought a lot about what that  woman had to say about falling in love with money first and the man later. Naked, except for my thin jersey knit nightie, nursing a dirty martini and a book about a landmark lesbian relationship between Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas, I decided the woman with the tainted advice about love wasn’t so bad after all. I mean, hiccup, she had my best interest at heart.  I finished my martini, swallowed my last olive almost whole, closed the book and drifted off to sleep.

A few hours later, I woke in a cold sweat, swatting at Richard Branson. “Oh good,” I said quietly into the darkness. I was alone in my room, my nightie damp from the effort of trying to get away from Sir Richard’s teeth and senior-citizen sunken chest. I walked to the bathroom and rinsed my mouth.  I’ve gotta stop looking at the cover of Zoomer magazine I thought to myself, looking at my sweat-curled hair and pillowcase scarred complexion in the reflection in the mirror. I switched off the light and shuffled back to bed.

I think it was a combination of the terrible Zoomer cover featuring a topless Mr. Branson and my friend’s advice to fall in love with money first and the man later that caused my nightmare. Could be that, and a couple of dates I had a while back with a man who was low-ded, but older and, well, looking older. Much older than the low-ded-much-too-young-27-year-old who courted me during the holidays….ahh, the memories, “What are you doing New Year’s Eve,” indeed! When I was 27, I loved dating older men – they knew where to eat, where to dance, where to make love, and how to make you feel like a woman. Now, however, I am the age of those older men, and the thought of seeing much older men naked has me concerned that I might turn to booze, drugs, or even worse,  inappropriately younger men to soothe my lonesome nights. 

Not if my gal-pals and gal-acquaintences have anything to do with it though. This morning over breakfast, one of my colleagues was talking about an event she attended and wouldn’t you know it? She knows someone who knows someone who is looking to date. I just happen to have some knowledge of that second someone, and would at the very least enjoy an evening of his company. After all, what have I got to lose?

This wouldn’t be nearly as dangerous as meeting the friend of a friend while I was chin high in a hot tub, one bottle of bubbly down, with only my bathing suit holding my middle-aged-rage-of-hormones back. Not nearly as dangerous at all!

So, ladies and gentlemen, when your friends give you really crappy dating advice. Just nod and smile. After all, they’re the ones who will be your conduit to greater things…or at least a few really good memories. As I get older my list of the three “BIG W’s of Dating “has been whittled down from wiener, wallet and wit to just one ‘W’ – wonderful.

So bring’em on ladies, the someone who knows someone, the ugly awkward guy who is loaded, the brother-in-law with tickets to a Broadway show and the cute guy you know who roller blades on the same trail that I run. My bet is they’re better than spending time in the loo.

It’s summertime, and this is a set-up!