A. I've been blogging about them on my other site.
I've neglected Forty Fabulous this week for my other blog over at True/Slant, for which I am actually paid (not much) to write. But the topics I've been covering are perfect Forty Fabulous material, so please check out my recent posts by clicking on these links.
Iris Robinson, Northern Ireland Parliament member and wife of First Minister Peter Robinson, had a tawdry love affair with a much younger man that has landed both she and her husband in a heap of trouble. Check out my other site, True/Slant's North Shore and Next Door, to see why I'm actually feeling good about this one.
Back at the Happ Inn, I continued my conversation with Sam, a divorced North Shore contractor who had numerous affairs when he was married.
"My best buddies are married and they're all cheating," said Sam. " They come home from work after a tough day and all they get from their wives is nagging. So they go out to get some attention and have someone treat them nice. Look."
He gestured to a couple of his apparently married pals who, sure enough, were flirting and laughing with a group of vivacious women who were a lot younger and cuter than those wormy cheaters deserved.
Bunny came over to join us and Sam put his arm around her seductively.
"Hey. Remember when we made out in the bathroom that time?" he asked. "You were hot."
Bunny nodded. "I'd just broken up with my boyfriend and I was a mess. First I made out with Sam in the bathroom, then I made out with Regina at the table. Then I threw up."
Sam grinned. "Bunny is a very attractive woman," he told me, then turned back to her. "You should go on a date with me. You'd probably like me."
Bunny shrugged. "I probably wouldn't. But I'll go on a date with you." She flitted off again.
This bar talk was all very flip but I knew there had to be more.
"Do you think you'll ever fall in love?" I asked Sam.
"Yes, and I'll tell you how." His said earnestly. "I have a lot of woman friends and I'm trying to learn from them how to become a perfect guy."
Wow, that was pretty ambitious. How was he doing that?
"I go shoe shopping with them and stuff, hang out. I listen to them talk, hear what they want from guys. I fucked up all my past relationships because I was so naive. I didn't get the picture. Women need to be stroked. I get the picture now. "
Sam seemed genuinely baffled by women and sincere in his efforts to figure them out. My heart melted a degree or two.
"My friend Denise says I'm a great guy," he said, shaking his head. "I just need to find the right woman."
It was sort of pathetic, but it was also kind of sweet. At least the guy was trying - unlike his ringless friends over in the corner. I waved goodbye to Gracie, Bunnny and Warren.
I've got some catching up to do. Before the holidays I arranged for my divorced pals, Warren and Bunny (one of the Posse chicks), to meet. Fellow Posse member Regina met Warren a while back, but I was especially curious to see how Warren and Bunny would get along because they are both very funny and - as you know from my prior posts - quite naughty. So, on the Thursday before Christmas we all met at The Happ Inn in Northfield. Even though it was early, the bar was packed.
Bunny was cute and frisky in jeans with a flowered knit cap pulled over her long blonde hair. Warren looked dapper in a cashmere jacket and funky specs. And as a bonus Gracie showed up too! Ooh, this would be great material. I pulled out my Sharpie no-bleed pen and notebook, and prepared to take some juicy notes.
But it wasn't so easy. The bar was really loud and even though Bunny and Warren seemed to hit it off, I couldn't hear a word of what they were saying. Plus, Bunny kept skipping off to corners of the room to greet all the people she knew. Gracie was deep in conversation with some guy, and I myself was attracting a lot of interest from men at the bar.
"What are you writing about?" they asked. "Are you a reporter? Where can I read your work?"
Bunny bounced over with a tall, good-looking dude in tow.
"Do you know who this is?" she squealed. "It's Man-Who-Needs-Haircut!"
The Posse chicks assign tribal names to guys they see regularly out on the town. Man-Who-Needs-Haircut looked just like Sam, the bartender played by Ted Danson on Cheers - lanky, athletic, with a good (but disheveled) head of hair. He looked to be in his early 50s.
"Sam" was a few drinks ahead of me and feeling talkative. "You should interview me," he said. "I'll tell you anything. What do you wanna know?"
I looked longingly over to Warren and Bunny who were cracking up and acting all flirty. I knew I was missing out on something good. But it was loud and crowded and I was lucky to have a stool. I turned to Sam.
"Okay, tell me why you got divorced."
"My wife never wanted to have sex, so I left," said Sam. Uh-oh.
"You mean she never wanted to have sex," I asked, "or just not all that often?"
"She said I was lucky to be getting it once a week - I told her I needed more sex than that. I said, look if you don't satisfy me, I'm going to go out and get it." He took a swig of his drink. "She told me good luck. So I did."
Then Sam explained that even though his relationship with his wife basically ended then, they stayed married for years until their kids left for college three years ago. During that time, he played around. Frequently. And close to home.
"I provided the women in the neighborhood with a service," he told me. "They weren't getting enough, I wasn't getting enough. Everybody's needs were satisfied. I saved a lot of marriages."
I gulped. "You're like a woman's worst nightmare!" I said. "You're confirming all our fears about men."
"You should fear. You should fear for your lives," said Sam. "I've got married friends and when we go out together, they take off their rings. They're just like Tiger. He's a regular guy -and regular guys cheat."
On that ominous note, I'll put my conversation with Sam on pause. But there's more, oh yes, there's more. Check back in a few days and I'll give you the surprising wrap up!
In the early morning hours of December 30th, I lay in my mother's guest room listening to the deep breathing of my daughter sleeping in the single bed next to mine when it hit me in a searing flash of insight. I was going to die.
"I'm going to die!" I stifled a moan and wrapped my arms tightly around myself. Someday my body - which I'd been taking completely for granted - was going to give out, break down, shrivel up, and when it did I'd be dead.
I'd be gone forever.
After this horrifying realization, sleep was impossible. Later that morning, gripping a cup of coffee, I shared my profound discovery with my mom. She didn't seem all that impressed.
"We're all going to die, dear," she said, turning a page of the newspaper.
"I know that - of course I know everybody dies," I said impatiently, "But I don't mean everybody. I mean me! ME! I'm going to die, Mom. It's awful."
"Yes it is." agreed Mom, "Think of how I feel."
I looked at her. "Why? Do you think about it - about dying?"
"I think about death all the time," she said, matter-of-factly.
Until now, I'd never given a single thought to my own mortality and here my mom had been dealing with hers on a regular basis. And my mom is a healthy, vibrant woman. For that matter, so am I. But...
"Dying really sucks," I muttered bitterly.
A few days have passed and I'm still digesting the fact that I'm gonna die. It's changing my perspective. I don't think life is meaningless, but the fact that I'm going to die no matter what I do makes some things less important. Like dieting. I mean, since I'm going to be dead, shouldn't I enjoy McDonald's french fries while I still can? On the other hand, maybe it's time to take care of myself - get all holistic and healthy - to postpone that appointment with the grim reaper as long as possible.
And there are much bigger issues to rethink - like my relationships, my life's purpose, and how to dispose of 30 years of really embarrassing diaries. My inevitable death is confusing and upsetting. I'm not sure if I'm having a midlife crisis, an existential crisis or a divine revelation!
I know I'm not alone. Many of you, like my mother and my husband, apparently, have already come to grips with the fact that you (and by this I mean YOU, not everyone in general) are going to expire. I'm curious - when did you first gain this knowledge? Does it make you live more cautiously or with more abandon? Do you eat bacon?