samedi, février 09, 2008

Middle ages

For those of you in the mood for luuuv, nota bene-it's almost V-Day!

Although my focus on this deluge of sentiment has been scanty (sexy, huh?), I've noted that there are tons of advertisements for jewelry, candy, flowers, cell phones, undergarments, jogging shoes....Merchants don't care how idiosyncratic the ways in which you express your appreciation, but they want you to express that affection by shopping at their store.

Read the linked story out of today's NYTimes on why middle-age seems such a miserable time for so many. Happiness in love seems to peak in early adulthood, dip in our middle decades, and rise again with old age.

The writer, who has read thousands of entries for the Modern Love column, notes the disappearance of the partner or the spouse in many narratives. Middle-aged men and women, whether married or not, are often walking that thin line between younger kids and older parents-which may sometimes lead to frustration and depression.

Middle age also carries with it a recognition of our shortcomings and mortality.

American society, to date, has also been one of seemingly endless choices. When we realize that loving partnerships are a hell of a lot of work, we get disillusioned. Then we try to find a way to make it easier on ourselves-most often, I suppose, by finding a new partner. The stress of poverty and lack of education also apparently play a role in our breakups-some data shows a lower rate of divorce among college-educated men and women.

In old age, perhaps we are more grateful for the simple pleasures-and don't take them for granted anymore.

As a middle-aged single mom, I find myself craving some of that simplicity in the moment-without the arthritis and the assisted living. Relational games (the withholding and giving ones) have no allure for me. I'm ready for a straightforward, honest, humble relationship-one in which we are both aware of the wonderful impossibility of having found the other person in the greys and the garbage and the honkytonk hearts strewn behind us.

jeudi, février 07, 2008

Loosening up

I just got back from a day or two in the hospital. What was probably, said the neurologist, a migraine, could have been a stroke. When you walk into a hospital with any strange symptoms, they run pretty much each test known to woman.

So they did pretty much all of the these on me-and came up clean! Thank God.

I need to follow up with my opthamologist. And I need to follow up with myself.

What came through to me while lying awake wondering how to block out the lights that are on day and night in the hospital was how I try to control situations by getting all stressed about them. Majoring in the almost-minor. Acting as though I was able to make it better by feeling worse. Stupid, huh? I'm not quite sure what to do to unclaw my fingers and lighten up a bit.

Yet I need to find creative ways to do jest that. Any ideas?

lundi, février 04, 2008

A few weeks ago I read one of the five million articles written about last night's Superbowl. The Inquirer writer argued that if he had to choose a team, it would be the Patriots. After all, the Giants were like the Eagles-and we all know that the Eagles should have been there instead of hated New York.

I haven't read his column today. Hopefully he has apologized for the vaguely surly tone of his editorial-and rejoiced with everyone who appreciates fabulous football.

Who would have ever thought of a New York team as "the underdog"?

But we were, going into last night's game. And, in the last quarter, it looked like the Giants would be another victim of the Patriots persistence and skill.

Even after 9/11, people still love to mock New York, sometimes rightly. Yes, some of us can be parochial, arrogant, and argumentative. But we came through last night-not just for anyone who has ever called our town their town, but for Americans who love a victory against what seemed almost ridiculous odds.

Don't worry, Philly. We New Yorkers, former and present, will root for you when your moment arrives-if we can do it, you can, too.