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Grace; Clothed in Strength & Dignity

"Nude" by Julian Mandel
“Nude” by Julian Mandel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For a big ol’Buddhist, I have a rather scholarly knowledge of the bible, which some folks in my home town liked to beat each other over the heads with on Sunday afternoons.

One of my favourite biblical-quotes-almost-always-taken-out-of-context is; Proverbs 31:25 – She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she smiles at the future.

Part of Proverbs 31 is an ‘Ode to a Capable Wife’. Wife schmife. Let’s go with plain old ‘capable woman‘.

We live in a culture rooted in capitalism. The collective ‘we’ praises independence and individuality. We also live in a culture where the number of single parent homes is on the rise, and the majority of single-parent homes are headed by women.

Women also happen to be paid statistically less than men for the same work .Even if you’re a starlet. Please see the recent letter to Miley Cyrus from musical legend Sinead O’Connor

You and I may not be mathematicians darling, but it doesn’t take a genius to realize the financial and emotional stress that can affect women who, as my bra-burning sisters before me like to say, ‘have it all’.

Without our network of girlfriends, life would be a lot less tolerable. Proverbs may have expounded on the wonders of a ‘capable woman’, but I think in today’s world, capable translates to grace.

I hate to disappoint you wonderful women out there who think I’m all that and a glass of wine, but I must confess, I too suffer from ‘single-parent-home’ overload on occasion.

Growing up in an environment where money was used as a power and control mechanism,  I have worked hard to not owe anyone anything. I have spent sleepless nights wondering how I will pay this bill or that bill, or make sure there’s enough milk in the fridge.

I have always counted myself very lucky to have not one, but three post-secondary pieces of paper hanging on my wall. I have never, despite sleepless nights, anxiety attacks and a genetic disposition to lunacy, stopped working, and trying to provide for my household.

Despite my work ethic, there have been times when working hard wasn’t enough. Being organized and prepared didn’t stop flu bugs, chicken pocks, pneumonia, torn ligaments, and surgeries.

During those times, my girlfriends have come through. It has always been with great difficulty that I am able to say to someone, “I need your help.” Those are the four most difficult words for me to say. They devastate my pride, and make me feel weak, vulnerable, and indebted to someone else.  But there have been times when I’ve had to do just that.

You will be shocked to know that I was not born with a boatload of natural grace. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe my sweet, delicate flowers.  Life, has an amazing way of giving us what we need, and it has indeed given me a number of challenges.

I like to think that as I age, I meet these challenges with just a little more grace, a little better sense of humor, and a lot more faith.

I believe deeply that if  I maintain my own moral compass through the storms, I will indeed arrive stronger, with more wisdom and grace on the other side.

It was not only my own experience that taught me this, it was the wonderful mentoring of my “Mumster”, and other older, wiser women who had travelled the path before me.

We are all clothed in strength and dignity my  darlings, and if we love one another we shall all smile at the future knowing that we are in good company.

Remember that when you see younger women struggling. Raise them up, help with their practical needs, and be the kind woman whom they strive to become.

Be grace in motion. Be fabulous 😉

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Why We Need Men

Jeff Bridges admires Julianne Moore at New Yor...
Jeff Bridges admires Julianne Moore at New York LebowskiFest 2011 (Photo credit: ChrisGoldNY)

You must be over 18  and an Open-Minded, Sexually Liberal Adult to enter this blog….

“Why We Need Men”…or women, whatever your particular gender identity or sexual preference, you get what I’m going for here…

One of GQ’s covers this month, featured fellow Buddhist Jeff Bridges. He’s  on my I-Would-If-I-Could list.

Old gnarled up Jeff Bridges really lights my fire ladies and gents. His rugged two-day beard, the way he holds his jaw, and fills up a big screen with his raw laid back machismo makes me want to be close to a MAN. Meow!!!

The mouth-wateringly sexy cover was a good enough excuse to pick up the magazine and bring it home so I could slobber over another interview with the famous, intriguing ‘Buddhist’.

While flipping through the pages, I happened upon an article intended to reassure men that our ‘small bedroom appliances’ would never take their place. I’ve reached that tender age where reading the article would have been a tad elementary.

After all darlings, at this stage, we’ve all made the foray into the land of I-Never-Want-To-Be-Bothered-With-Man-Crap again.

This little journey into the dark forest of what I like to delicately refer to as ‘self-care’ offers an education in B.OB.’s (battery operated boyfriends), lifelike models of the phallic landscape, slippery prosthetic tongues, the ‘cone’, gags, ties, whips, slips, chains and canes, lube, tube and, ultimately, disinfectant. Le sigh….

Alas, it’s kind of like buying a long skipping rope with no other playmates to turn it for you.  This is precisely why we need, or choose to keep the company of our succulent and satisfying men.

There is no more powerful antidepressant or anti-anxiety than the comfort offered by human contact. Whether it’s a sincere hug, or a full-on-body-contact-bedroom-bonanza, having a real life partner to connect with is priceless.

At the end of the day, after all is said and done, we’re all trying to connect. Why else would there be a zillion toys on the ever-thriving adult market trying to make up for the simple miracle of human anatomy?

So, gentlemen, do not let a lady’s collection or experience frighten you.

Consider it a compliment that an experienced woman who has a choice of suitors has invited you to join her on a journey into that warm, wonderful, slippery slide into a full-on intimate relationship.  Consider yourself blessed if it’s accompanied by a deep friendship and lifelong commitment.



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Ladies Friday Night Drinking Song

At home alone tonight? Rinsing off a stressful week in a hot, candle-lit bubble bath? Go ahead, pour yourself something smooth and red. Get lost in the memory of that one fabulous lover who is your best friend….TGIF ladies…

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Advice for Men Who Love Strong Women

maeIt seems like bubble-heads and bra-fillers are the only class of women who hang off the arms of men these days.

It’s not easy being a woman, and it sure as heck isn’t easy being a straightforward, Hunter S. Thompson-bourbon-drinking-ball-of-hot-passion-in-her-panties female  like myself either.

Needless to say, I feel a bit screwed, without having been screwed if you know what I mean.

Wouldn’t it all be easier if all women were more concerned with their hair than global politics, our crumbling bee population, and a  career? Likely.

It’s easy to find a man who likes his woman to be physically stunning, yet an intellectual mouth-breather.

Alas, that’s not the kind of man that we Hunter-S-No-Shit-Taking women find attractive.

No, we like the strong silent type that take you by surprise and have a little all-night-cowboy-giddy-up in their gitch to share because our stimulating conversation has aroused more than little Mr. Wiggles. Meow!

I lack the tittering giggly demeanor of women who live to shop and see their physicians for tranquilizers because they can’t keep up with the latest  cupcake design for their children’s school parties.

For intellectual women who love a good stiff  drink, and  challenging political/spiritual/philosophical conversation, bold, brave, lion-hearted male lovers are hard to come by.

Pun absolutely intended my juicy, little figs.

Harder to come by, unless they are younger, foolish and fearless, and quite frankly, very few younger men have what it takes to entertain us older broads in the sack. You really need charm, stamina, and a circus trick or two if you can’t hold up your end of the conversation my darling young gentlemen.

Frankly, we’d  rather buy full-priced batteries and risk breaking a nail satisfying ourselves than having to put up with ignorant conversation. But I digress…

I have dated, and test-driven my fair share of the tall-dark-and-handsome sex. I have wined, dined, cooked, brooded, and fawned over them (although, I’m sure my fawning appears more like the symptoms of a mild stroke).  Yet, I have not managed to find my ideal partner. Queue the bourbon.  You know, the kind of  man strong enough to be socially, professionally, or perhaps, sexually less dominant. Ah-hem…

I sense a few of my gentlemen readers may be a bit squeamish at this point. Don’t fret my luscious dollops of man pudding, I’m getting to my point, and you’re going to find it absolutely dee-lish, I promise.

For men who find themselves attracted to strong, independent women, I have one piece of advice – GO FOR IT!!! Pin her to the wall, raise her hands over her head, kiss her from the inside out, and feel every inch of her.

Financially independent, educated  women STILL want a manly man.

We love that you don’t chatter our ears off. We love that you keep your wardrobe simple and like to stay home at night.  What we don’t want is to have to be making the first move  with our men. We want you to make the first move, to hold our hand, move in for the first kiss, and straddle us with your strong, naked thighs…

My good gracious! Is it getting warm in here or is it just me? Bring me more ice darling, won’t you?…

For men who find themselves attracted to strong women, don’t make the mistake of thinking we’re all just keeping in touch because you’re such a good friend. Get over your nerves and ignorance. Strong women keep you wonderful, kind, beautiful men in our lives because deep down under our business suits, short haircuts and 9-5 dedication, we want you to sweep us off of our well-pedicured feet and remind of us of how wonderful it is to be a woman with a man.

If we make time to keep in touch, you are a sensual priority, not just a charitable kindness. Our time is precious. You should feel honoured. Consider your ego stroked, if you will.

For you gentle, kind, hopefully horny men out there, it will pay off if you take a leap of faith with that wonderful gal-pal in your life.

If you don’t, well, all I have to say is – invest in your local sex shop, ’cause that’s where she’s headed next.

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The Wonder of Man-Pals

Ripe Plums on a plum tree
Ripe Plums on a plum tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During one of our famous, rambling conversations one of my man-pals dared to criticize my blog posts.

Imagine that my luscious little plums?! A man brave enough to make a suggestion to the woman who is known for her scathing tongue and hot sexy temper.

But that’s the kind of friendship we have. We talk about EVERYTHING. Like everything, EVERYTHING. Yesterday the conversation started with me saying, ” I hope you’re on the toilet because what I’m going to tell you is going to make you….”. I’m sure you have a good enough imagination to figure out how that sentence ends.

My friend, let’s call him _________________, suggested that although 55% of my readership is male, I frequently direct my posts to ‘gal-pals’. Just to clarify, when I use terms of endearment such as darling, sweet little peaches or plums, I am indeed including my mysterious man-pals in the group.

Just a note to my male readers, I picture you all as cowboys, sophisticated southern gentlemen in smoking jackets, or cute little younger kittens who are mute and have washboard abs.

Although I give loads of credit to my dear gal-pals for keeping me out of a permanent psychiatric facility for the fabulously insane, I do have some pretty darn incredible man-pals. As a matter of fact, the past few days have been man-pal packed. I’ve had lunch and coffee, relaxed and watched a movie and had long, sprawling telephone conversations with my man-pals. They too keep me sane, and nurture my very natural and dominant tom-boy side.

There are indeed obstacles to overcome if you have friends of the opposite sex, or the ‘sexual’ persuasion that you’re attracted to. In fact, some of my man-pals and I have test-driven the highway of carnal hell and decided to keep things on the ‘let’s stay clothed’ side. Once pride is knocked out of the way, we’ve developed wonderful friendships.

Unlike my gal-pals who see my stubborn nature and my ferocious ‘go for it’ attitude as motivating, most of my man-pals get a little kick out of my temper. Coming off of a huge passionate rant, one of my man-pals once commented, “I get such a kick out of you when you lose it. It’s hilarious man.”. The same man-pal takes the battle of the sexes to a fun-at-the-fair-muddy-tug-of-war level, and we have hysterical conversations. God bless him.

If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m a pretty straightforward gal. I like to put my cards on the table, and expect my friends, acquaintances and colleagues to function without pretence. In the past I’ve been accused of being blunt, naïve and having high expectations.

Yes, I think, as I nod my pretty little head, I am indeed all of these things. Of course being blunt, naïve, and having high expectations can be troublesome, it can be wonderful too, especially when you find kindred spirits who share the same expectations, disappointments and joys as you.

Would I say that my man-pals are a good check and balance to the strong-feminine energy that my gal-pals and I exude? Perhaps, but I don’t see it that way. My pals are my pals regardless of the shape of their underpants, soft and frilly or masculine and tight ( oh sweet love of Mary, now there’s a thought to make your hearts go pitter-patter!). In fact, I could care less how my friends gender-identify, they  are all human, lovely, and wonderful! I think some of my pals don’t even wear underpants most of the time….but I digress…perhaps that last bourbon didn’t have enough ice?

My man-pals help me with my man-issues. I can run by the ultimate single in your 30’s and 40’s question, “What the hell was that?! Was that supposed to be a date?”, and trust them to give a no-nonsense answer. Usually it’s one of the following;

1) Yes you dumb ass, he was trying to be romantic.

2)Hell if I know, he sounds screwed up.

3)No, don’t be stupid, he just wanted to get in your pants.

My man-pals can be counted on to soothe my fears and tears and provide the same solutions as my gal-pals to my rare weepy rants;

1) Oh sweety, I wish I was there to give you a hug.

2) Are you crying? You never cry.

3) Hahaha. Don’t be silly, you’re fabulous and you know it! Fuck’em.

My man-pals do often give beauty advice much different from that of my gal-pals. When I make negative statements about my body;

1) Who cares about a couple extra pounds, you’re jiggliscious and lots of guys want to jump your bones.

2) So what,work it off with a little sex.

3) Get off your ass.

My man-pals are as glorious, wonderful and priceless as my gal-pals. They offer me a balanced male energy, and maybe, just maybe, one day, one of them might turn into the man of my dreams. More bourbon please.

So, for any of my man-readership who have felt marginalized or offended by any of my posts, I sincerely and deeply apologize. Regardless of what treasure you hide below the belt, you are all my sweet, succulent little plums, and I wouldn’t change any of you for the world.

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Popping the Question Again: Marriage At Middle-Age

I don't think I ever actually took a photo of ...
I don’t think I ever actually took a photo of them together since getting married last fall. Here they are. It’s a matched set from Diana Classic in platinum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where to start with this minefield of possible opinions? Likely a bourbon on the rocks and a direct prayer to the universe.

My first thought, when I look deeply into my sensitive feminine intuition is, “Why bother?”.

My obvious second thought darlings, is, “Why not?”.

A recent article in the Style section of the Globe gave a no-brainer instruction sequence to the young lad preparing to wow his girl with a surprise proposal.

I cant’ criticize the article, however, being a woman of a certain age, I got a  kick out of it. First of all, most marriages at middle-age are either a second marriage (or third, or….). Secondly a surprise proposal at middle-age, as romantic as it may seem, really wouldn’t be that surprising.

I mean, come on my cute little rhubarb custard pies, at this stage of the game no one jumps into a life-long commitment without doing their research and talking it into the ground. Nobody with an ounce of common sense anyway.  By middle age, we’ve all taken stock of our resources, have kids, or parents with failing health, and quite frankly, enough attitude to take a round out of a biker bar.

The article went on to discuss permission from parents. Not necessary at middle age. Permission from young adult children – absolutely not, but perhaps a courtesy call, as in , “Heads up dude.”

The Globe article discussed the importance of dressing appropriately. Quite frankly, I hope that by the time I meet a man with enough character to get down on one knee to pop the question that we’re somewhere that fashion doesn’t really matter.  Perhaps in bed. Maybe in the backyard reading the paper. At the beach.  Out for a walk. I’m assuming I will have the good taste to choose s gentleman who is aware of the no socks with sandals rule.

Planning the ceremony? Not such a big deal at middle age. Catered in the backyard. A short beach holiday with our besties. Perhaps at the park under a full moon.

The bottom line is, that by the time you’re middle-aged, you likely have the good common sense to have given your relationship the ‘live-in’ test drive it deserves, complete with flannel, flatulence, flu-bugs and sports vs. chick-flicks on the tube.  Well adjusted men and women  are pretty content with their own company by this stage of the game, so having another person around full-time is testament to their solid character anyways.

If a middle-aged (ok, maybe past middle-aged) man has the kahonas to pop the question, who really cares if he’s sporting the latest style, rehearsed in front of a mirror, or exhumed your father’s body to get permission.  He’s made an attempt at romance, even after the reality of a prince-not-so-charming has taken root.

My advice for popping the question to middle-aged gals;

1) If she criticizes you for your cutesy efforts take the ring back. Real women appreciate your effort, or at least a good laugh.

2) Size doesn’t matter. It matters that you know what style of ring she will look at and know you thought of her.

3) Make sure you two are solid, have talked it to death, and are committed before you pop the question. Don’t scare the hell out of her.

4) Keep it to yourself. No jumbotrons, no popping the question in front of a crowd, no telling the world. Tell your best pal if you need to shake off some of the nervous energy, but other than that keep your trap shut. Announce the wonderful news together.

5) Be near a phone. I know that my friends have a running bet that I will never get married again. If it ever happens, I will be on the horn faster than a mustang on a mare.

6) Be scrubbed and ready to go. Women of a certain age have an, um, er…..well, insatiable appetite. Be prepared, that’s all I’m sayin’.

7) Ignore #2. Go big or go home.

8) Do it on a day when she needs to remember how lucky she is. Crappy day at work – voila. Fixed!

9) Don’t tell her what you spent on the ring. Middle aged women don’t want a show piece that’s going to take you a year to pay off, we want you to have the deal sealed and be a gentleman about it. Shh!

10)  Smile. You’re about to wander into a lovely part of life with a woman who knows what she wants, and you’re him. Congrats!

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Older Women & Younger Men

Pulp Portait: I wonder if she goes to my church?
Pulp Portait: I wonder if she goes to my church? (Photo credit: Terry McCombs)

It’s taboo. It’s frowned upon, and more often than not over-romanticized. Younger women and older men go together like cashmere and lambskin leather. They just fit.

Younger men and older women on the other hand have a social fit a little more akin to vinyl pants clinging to sweaty thighs – not so comfortable.

But, my darlings, for the single woman, younger men have their place. I’m not talking a few years younger. No dears, that’s nothing. I’m talking a decade or more.

This weekend I did a little experiment. Something to push me out of my comfort zone, and away from the unrelenting pace of all-work-and-no-play. Yes, I succumbed to a much younger man’s invitation. I know, I know, what on earth was I possibly thinking? Stamina perhaps? A wild romp through the bed linens? Perhaps some nostalgia for the beautiful-taught young bodies that we all once had?

No, it was none of that really.

It was boredom. Sheer, I’ve-gotta-take-a-break-from-this-all-work-and-no-play year.

After having been romanced by lovely, cultured older men, I feet it is my humanitarian duty to ‘pay it forward’, and tutor the occasional enthusiastic young gentleman. There’s nothing sexier than learning something new from a lover, and most younger men don’t have much to offer in this department.

As a woman-of-a-certain-age, I finally understand why men have so long coveted younger women. Yes, it could be their hot bodies, but most likely, it’s the doe-eyed, breathless, the-world-is-my-oyster attitude. It’s charming to be around, and reminds us that the joyful essence of our youth has no expiration date.

What they do offer is a reminder that life is fun and fresh and new. They offer us a reminder about how far we’ve come, and how thankful we are not to have to do it all over again. A simple (pun intended) chat over a glass of wine can bring a smile, a little tweak to our self-image that serves as a reminder of how much fun we are.

What happens when you’ve lost your joy? Maybe your heart has been broken (again). Perhaps you’ve been managing your home life, and you’ve forgotten how to play? You may have cultivated a deep inner peace, a wonderful meditation/prayer practice, a balanced harmonious way of showing up in the world….but what is life without unbridled joy, deep belly laughs, and the occasional throwing it all to the wind and living, not just peacefully, but fully in the present moment?

Although my lovely little ‘French Enfant’ is not the love of my life, he reminded me that there is silliness, fun and humour out there still.

Your laugh may be buried, but it’s still there my sweet peach…somewhere.