WHO AM I?

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Well, you can read the “About” page for some basic data. And if you hang around this blog for a while, you’ll find out more.  But curiously, a little over a year ago, when I was filing posts on dogs I had known and the cats in my life, someone complained, politely, that dogs and cats were all very well, but what she really wanted was “to hear more about you.”  “You” meaning me.

The last time there was such a clearly expressed interest in hearing more about me was in the fall of 1997, when I had just turned sixty-six. It was on a website called “The Silver Connection” that probably doesn’t exist any more. (If it does, I don’t want to know about it.  Nothing good came of it, except a funny story. Which we may get around to sooner or later, in another post, when I run out of better material. Or not, as the case may be.)

But it did seem a waste of time and effort to reinvent the wheel on TGOB when there was already a perfectly good “more about me” out there.  After all, I was still pretty much the same, even sixteen years later –minus a couple of inches, some stamina, and a burning desire to find a new man.  So where was that copy of what I told Silver Connection?  I finally found it — in a dusty red-rope folder in the basement marked “Personals.” (Am I well-organized, or what?)

You may be wondering whether or not I was ashamed, back in 1997, to be wasting time with such online nonsense. A classy lady like me? I cannot tell a lie, I was. But it was a free trial.  Plus I was being ashamed all by myself;  there was no one to see. And although my efforts failed to unearth usable quarry — I met Bill elsewhere, about three years later — they did eventually lead to a blog post. (You see, everything comes in handy sooner or later.)

I wrote it in answer to the reader who wanted to know “more about me.”  The post ran on December 3, 2013. That’s a long time ago in the posting world, so I thought I would put it up again,  slightly edited and re-titled, for all the new blogger friends I’ve made since then. Another year and some has gone by, but nothing essential has really changed, knock wood.

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The Silver Connection began its interrogation with many probing short-answer questions to determine if I was worth marketing. I won’t bore you with all my short answers, but here’s a sampling. I’m sure you can guess what the questions were:

  • Female
  • Heterosexual
  • 5’5″
  • 135-140 lbs
  • Full head of hair
  • Big brown eyes
  • Divorced
  • Living alone
  • All grown and living on their own
  • Northeast USA
  • Economy car
  • Avid book reading
  • Classical
  • I do not drink
  • I do not smoke
  • I am rather fashionable
  • I don’t watch television
  • I am usually on time
  • Professional degree
  • Buy top of the line brand names
  • A friend put me up to this. (Here I lied.)

However, I suspect that what anyone who wants to know more about me will find more interesting are the essay questions and my answers. (There I did not lie.)

Describe what you feel is your ideal relationship? A partnership of mind, heart and body with a man who speaks my language, understands my references, shares my sense of humor, my values and my appetite for life, has considerable and broad experience of how the world works, at every level, and is interesting and fun to be with.  He will know that we both need to be private at times.  He will also be a kind and trustworthy man.  He keeps himself in good working order.  If he doesn’t exist, next best will do.

What do you find “sexy” in a mate?   See above.

Share about your main strengths and weaknesses. I’m a survivor.  I’m smart and well-educated, and that has helped.  I’m also funny.  (If you didn’t laugh, you’d have to cry, no?)  People say I have pizazz.  I say I’m my own creation, and it isn’t over.  I continue to be a work in progress. I am considered attractive.  I am also a good and loyal friend.  For life.

I love life.  I may complain loudly about it at times, but I really love it, even the hard parts.  I also love people, for the most part.  Most human beings I’ve met are remarkably strong, and resilient, and courageous when you get to know them.  I love listening to people talk about themselves.  In fact, I think people’s stories, and how they’re managing with the hand they’ve been dealt, are just about the most interesting things there are — whether in literature or in life.

Although I didn’t start out that way, over the years I’ve become quite independent — financially, professionally, intellectually and emotionally.  Younger people also think me wise about life’s difficulties, and bring me their problems, which is sweet of them, as I’m still learning.  I continue to examine my experiences for whatever they can teach me.

Despite all of the above, raising my two kids, now grown, still counts as the best thing I’ve ever done, even though we experienced adversity along the way and even though I’ve done quite a few other, somewhat “glamorous” things as well.  It continues to make me happy to think back, now and then, to how they were when they were younger, and at home with me.  I also love them a lot the way they are now.

I am kind, warm, friendly, fun to be with, honest about everything important, and also at times silly, frivolous and astonishingly youthful.  [This question certainly invites self-indulgent nattering, doesn’t it?]  My weaknesses?  Plenty.  But you’ll have to discover those for yourself!

Is there anything about you that the questionnaire didn’t cover?  (I.e., physical disabilities, illnesses, allergies, strong likes or dislikes, shoe size?) I don’t tolerate material dishonesty, gratuitous unkindness, physical abuse and/or cruelty of any kind, or people with major control issues.  But of course, I don’t know anyone like that.  And I’m sure you’re not like that either.

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And now back to the basement where you belong, Silver Connection!  There are other more interesting things to write and read about. Now that I’m eighty-three.

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12 thoughts on “WHO AM I?

    • Of course they’ve changed over the years. When young, I was a real ditz when it came to men. But if asked, I might have said I was looking for “my other half.” (As in Plato’s Symposium, where four-legged four-armed two-headed creatures who had been chopped apart by an avenging god then searched frantically for their other halves, in order to be made whole again.) Also I grew up in times very different for women than they are today, so what was desired in a man — read “husband” — was also different. (If you’ve got time on your hands, take a look at the female protagonists in some of the stories to which you can link on the “Fiction” Page. “Sophie Before Feminism,” for instance. Sophie was essentially me. Or “First Husband.”)

      What I typed out for Silver Connection in the privacy of my den at the age of 66 was essentially a distillation of what I had concluded after surviving two unsatisfactory marriages. But of course, there’s no one really like the man I described. Writing about him, however, did help clarify any future decisions I might make about imperfect Mr. X or Mr. Y or Mr. Z — not that so many as three at a time present themselves to you at that age.

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  1. Great essay answers! Sounds as if you were “put together” well way back when you answered them. I wouldn’t think too much has changed over the years. Unless you just got wiser and more fun to be with! Christine

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    • Ah, Christine! Your young age is showing when you say seventeen years ago is “way back when.” To me it seems not so long ago. But what has changed since then (besides the diminution in stamina and physical ability to do many things I used to be able to do) is that if Bill weren’t here (and he just turned 87, so let’s keep our fingers crossed), I wouldn’t be “looking” any more. Who would I look for now? Do you see me as a jaguar — gobbling up “young” men in their sixties?

      I do try to make the blog “fun to be with.” (At least most of the time. Some of the pieces are more somber.) And it’s fun for me to do it. But each post is a controlled decision. So whether I’m so fun in real life — that I can’t really say! Thanks for all the approbation, though. You must know I just eat it up!!!

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    • Thanks, Maggie. Trust you to peek under the covers. Do you love it because it’s a standard to which almost no mere mortal man could possibly rise? Or because of the “keeps himself in good working order” part of it?

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      • Both. And the fact that I suspect the majority of online candidates couldn’t point-click-surf away fast enough. Those are standards that I would set if I were to be dating online (oh, god, heaven forbid!). I know however, many are looking for answers like “ever-ready” or “I like [insert favourite anatomical description]”. Yours is such a polar opposite answer.

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      • Unbelievably, it did reel in one man — retired in Maine, but I lived in Massachusetts then — who was funny online, funny on the telephone, and quite enjoyable to be with before we actually were “with” each other in person (in any sense of the word). Then he arrived in Boston. Looks? Meh. But the deal- breaker was the before-Boston-Ballet quick supper. I looked up from my salad and he had no front teeth! Funny, he’d had teeth before. I inquired. He replied: “My neighbor said I should wear my false ones to meet you, but I’m much more comfortable without them, so now that we know each other I’ve taken them out. They’re in my pocket. Is that a problem?” Me: “Well, yes. It is.” He: “It’s your problem, then.” We sat stolidly side by side at the ballet and never saw each other again. So even success at Silver Connection… wasn’t! But it did me good to write out on the screen those criteria for getting on with me. Although it did demonstrate I was (and still am) an outlier.

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    • Bill and I are both old enough now to know when to compromise, not about the qualities mentioned in the last paragraph written for Silver Connection, but in other respects. For both of us, even before we met — and perhaps for almost all older men — it was always better to be together with someone somewhat compatible than to be alone. But some women have decided differently, and even blog about it. The “criteria” were probably impossible to meet, anyway — except in some ideal world that’s not the one we’ve got!

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