Liz sent this email: “Happy First Day of Spring!”
Hey Friend,Read this. Thought of you. Taking after your dad, do you thing we should get this quote tattooed on our calves?“I’m alone because I have friends who laugh and go out to concerts and play Scrabble and keep me occupied when I want to go out and we seem to laugh more than our married friends and we even look happier, even if we aren’t, but I suspect we might be, at least more so than many.”
[the bold phrases Liz thinks are particularly specific to the two of us.]
“You gotta be a really good man to be better than no man at all.” — Blues song
People have asked me why, eight years after my husband died, I’m still alone. Here are a few reasons I can come up with:
I’m alone because unlike men, when a woman reaches a certain age, no matter the packaging, she seems to pass her shelf date.
I’m alone because I find myself sitting in front of the computer, and three hours later I look up and the sun is down and it’s too late to ask someone to go out to dinner, so I spread some cream cheese and mild salsa on wheat crackers and watch Olbermann. And I’m fine with it.
I’m alone because I married a special man twelve years older than I and he died and I’m told it’s off-putting to be a widow who loved a special man.
I’m alone because I sometimes like it, so I won’t go out and beat the bushes for some nice enough fellow who votes Republican and belches so loud I jump, but who doesn’t make me smile enough to put up with strange noises and smells.
I’m alone because I ‘m now used to getting up when I want and drinking from the juice bottles and not shaving my legs and leaving dishes from the night before on my bed and getting up at 3am and seeing a movie and going back to bed at 5am and not hearing a word of scorn.
I’m alone because I don’t want a bikini wax.
I’m alone because I appreciate solitude.
I’m alone because I had an aunt I admired when I was a child. Her name was Hilda, and she drove a pink Caddy with fins and carried a pistol and had blonde hair and was a Harlem slumlord. She lived alone after my Uncle Arty died. She ate out at the Jaeger House in Yorkville and the waiter knew she liked Pinch neat and a veal chop, and she traveled by herself to Bermuda and it all seemed so glamorous.
I’m alone because no one wants to hang out with somebody who might take off at any minute for Zanzibar and leave them to take care of the cat.
I’m alone because that big cat rubs against me and sits next to me and follows me around all day and sleeps with me all night, and feels like a small furry man when she spoons my legs. So I don’t feel alone. [This one is only particular to Liz while cat-sitting, to which she added in the email FUCK THAT NOISE!]
I’m alone because I have friends who laugh and go out to concerts and play Scrabble and keep me occupied when I want to go out and we seem to laugh more than our married friends and we even look happier, even if we aren’t, but I suspect we might be, at least more so than many.
I’m alone because I can watch movies at home and don’t have to drive to the Multiplex anymore, which I hated to do.
I’m alone because I had cancer a while back and I don’t think it’s fair to me or a date because if I like someone I can understand why he won’t want to take a chance yet, so I avoid dating.
I’m alone because I’m independent and outspoken and most men don’t much care for women who debate them and who don’t hope to get married and cook for them.
I’m alone because my libido doesn’t itch much lately. And if it does, I can scratch it myself, thank you very much.
I’m alone because I have an iPhone that I can play with anywhere I go to keep me company.
I’m alone because grandchildren provide the passion, and I long for them like I longed for a lover.
I’m alone because Huffpost gives me a place to vent anytime, day or night, and the company is better than I’d find in a bar.
I’m alone because I’m satisfied that I’ve sowed enough oats to make oatmeal for the New York Yankees and the Knicks and still have some left over to feed the Miami Chamber Orchestra and the waitstaff at Joe’s Stone Crab, with a few spoonfuls to spare.
I’m alone because I don’t want to be a nurse for the men who still run after me, who can’t even run.
I’m alone because I don’t want my heart broken again. Ever.
I’m alone because I don’t find it easy to trust.
I’m alone because I choose not to get on the Internet because it’s humiliating to be turned down by someone I have no interest in when ten years ago I wouldn’t have been turned down by that person, or even one I did have interest in.
I’m alone because I have exceptional memories and dreams that I return to when I want a thrill, and some of the memories are X-rated.
I’m alone because I’m comfortable in my skin.
I’m alone because I have a website called sololady and if I wasn’t solo I’d have to get another domain name.
I’m alone because you’re more alone in an unhappy relationship than you really ever are without a relationship at all.
I’m alone because my friends don’t introduce me to anyone anymore because they know that unlike some women my age who will settle for a male mammal with white whiskers, I want a bit more.
I’m alone because life doesn’t always wind up the way you expect it to, and you roll with it.
I’m alone because I choose to be.
I’m alone but not lonely.
And yes, still open to options.