I am not Cagney or Lacey

I grew up on Starsky and Hutch, Cagney & Lacey, James Bond.. folks tracking down bad Old woman with pistolguys, hurling themselves in the path of danger,  armed only with a 9mm and some witty one liners. I loved them all. Of course I never thought I’d have the opportunity to grab a gun and run toward danger… until the other morning.

Picture this, 5.02am, a 45 yr old British spinster, wearing pink flowery pyjamas, bare feet, armed only with a cellphone and an unloaded 9mm Beretta, running out her front door towards some robbers.

(I think my pjs really owned the moment)

Rolling the camera backwards, it started with some noise. I woke to the sounds of scraping, metal on metal. I heard a window smash and immediately thought ‘someone’s breaking in my house’. Without turning on my light, I grabbed my gun (unloaded of course), checked no boobs were loose and crept out of the bedroom. Grabbing my cellphone off the counter, I realized the noise was right outside my bedroom window and immediately panicked,

‘the fuckers are stealing my bikes from the basement’

(priorities)

I ran down my basement stairs shouting ‘FUUUUUUUUUCK’, brandishing the gun and hoping they’d just take off running.

Nothing. Just a few depressed spiders.

‘Shit.. they must be breaking into my car.’

I ran back up the stairs, and pre dialed 911.. no way were those fuckers stealing my car. Its one of the few things the bank doesn’t own, plus its got my yoga mat in it. Those things take ages to wear in.

Running outside, I verrrryyy quickly realized that no-one was stealing my aging 4Runner, instead 2 idiots had decided my house, in a old residential neighborhood, at 5am, was THE time and place to try and open a stolen cash register by hitting it with a crow bar and throwing it against the curb.

Oh shit. Time to style this out.

I crept down my stairs (please don’t see me, please don’t see me) and got the plate numbers (see… tv IS totally helpful). The taller guy saw me, shouted something, then jumped in the truck, while the guy trying to crow-bar open the thing.. threw both in the truck bed and then himself. They screeched off, leaving coins, bills and gift cards all over the floor.

The rather good looking policeman who showed up found a distinctly less courageous women in her pjs, gun in pocket, sitting on her doorstep in mild shock. Yep, you don’t see that on tv.

I later found out the guys had smashed into a local store and grabbed everything including the un-openable register. I guess by now they opened the thing, but with a license plate, the cop seemed to think they’d be caught.  I was just relieved no-one shot me. He was too.

See, you might have a gun and something to defend, but only tv and movie ‘good guys/gals’ get to do it without breaking a sweat or getting killed. When shit got real.. I’m still a 5’2″ middle aged chick who’s scared of shooting herself in the foot and really, really doesn’t want to try out a citizens arrest while not wearing a bra.

Next time..I’ll be under the covers with the dog.

Can a boomerang ever stop turning?

I’ve talked about the boomerangs before. The people who never quite land, but keep on coming back over months or even years. Most of mine are on an annual trajectory but few land, and if they do, they really just skim the grass then are off leaving a vague outline in the dust.
One of my boomerangs recent skimmed by and it got me thinking – theoretically – can a boomerang ever really land?

A boomerang is basically someone who only contacts you as a ‘back of the cupboard’ flirt or a ‘god I’m horny’ late evening text every so often. You never date.. there’s just random texts or messages, and maybe, just maybe a one time hookup. Why ‘boomerang’? Because it keeps happening and the pattern is always the same. It just disappears for a while in between orbits. The nature of the boomerang is that it leaves as quickly as it arrived. So why try to catch the boomerang? Its against its nature.

The discussion I’ve had with my friend largely comes down to this; if the person really was interested in you, if there was any potential they’d stick around. Which they never do. Ergo.. its not worth thinking about. If a boomerang flies past and there’s nothing else going on.. awesome. If you’re busy, put your head down and move on.

But what if that boomerang changes shape? Feels different? What if the reason for the boomerang was just bad timing? And now the time is different, ergo, its not a boomerang any more.

This is where my friends tell me I’m high and roll their eyes.

There is a boomerang in orbit lately that seems to shape shift, offers new insights and lowers a few barriers every time he orbits. I am tempted to think that something has changed – me or him – but he still remains stubbornly a boomerang. And I’m still surprised. Its going on 3 years and I’m still surprised that nothing changes. He crosses my path at high speed and like a dog, my ears prick up and I chase what I think is a stick. My brain takes temporary leave of my head and I think – like a dog – this time I might get that stick. But its a boomerang. It doesn’t land and it just circles around my head, making me crazy.

He’ll never change. And despite my awareness of the fact, I keep thinking this time it will be different. This time it will be real. This time. It. might. just.work

Nope.

So next time, because there will be a next time,  I’m stamping ‘boomerang’ on his ass on his way out the door. Then I’ll have a permanent reminder of what I’m dealing with if my brain gets addled during the next orbit. Because a boomerang is a boomerang for a reason. You or him, there’s a reason it doesn’t work. And trying to figure out why is just a waste of time and heart ache. And at this age, I really should be smarter than my dog.

From here on out, I’m only interested in sticks. They don’t come back and they tend to go in straight line. A little more boring, but a lot more predictable.  And every dog loves to chase a stick.

I will be taking a lover

Given the decline in available attractive men over 40, I have made an executive decision. I shall soon be taking a lover. No, not a f-k buddy. I’m not 22. A lover. Someone to ..ahem… love me…you know… periodically.
Easy right? No strings, just occasional loving from a tried, trusted and reliable partner. It should be easy right? Lets just say you ask a man to turn up, be welcomed with a lot of enthusiasm, get loved up and then leave. No arguments about how you didn’t put the laundry away, who’s picking up the kids or questions about ‘where is this going?’ You’d think there would be a line out of the door. Sadly, no.

I don’t work in an environment rife with single men (I work at home), and my pursuits tend towards the gay and female friendly (yoga, gardening, dining out and movies). Even when I’m hitting the gun range, a very manly pastime, armed weapons at close range tend to be a prohibiter in meeting guys (unless you live in Texas in which case its hotter than crotchless panties to some guys). I’ve tried smiling at guys while on my bikes, but sweaty lycra isn’t that attractive, and on my motorcycle, no-one can see your rictus grin at 70mph.

So here’s my first hurdle. How does one identify, track down and solicit potential lovers? (do not say Craigslist). Its not exactly something you can put in an ad without sounding like you’re advertising for a hooker and I’m not. I actually don’t want to have to pay.. and even if I did, are there even guy hookers in real life??? Tawdry and I’ll put that one on the back of the stove for if I get desperate. Really desperate.
No, I think that since I don’t need to wear a bag on my head in public and I still fit into my college jeans, I should be able to do this without an ATM withdrawal. But how? My guy friends have suggested that I could find someone ‘by snapping my fingers’ but I spent the weekend doing that and the only reaction I got was a very alert dog. Maybe I should have left my apartment.

Ok, so if its so easy … how? Again, my extremely informed male friends ‘go to a bar, flirt and go home with someone’. Yes, if I were 25 that would work. But again, if I’m in ‘meat market’ bar, I tend to look like I’m someone’s mother coming to call them out on missed curfew. The bars I actually go to tend to cater to the older crowd and sadly, most of them are married or partnered up and nothing ends an evening like the threat of a knifing in the bathroom. Lately the only single guys I’ve met are behind the bar and waiting until his shift ends at 3am, well he’d had to wake me up first. Nope, bars are out.

Which pretty much leaves exes and, gulp, websites. Since my exes seem to boomerang around on an annual basis and if there is no requirement to eat my cooking or meet my mother, I guess I might be able to identify someone if I throw in a bottle of Oban. If not, I’m back on the dreaded online community which, if my dating is anything to go by, means I’m shit out of luck.

Ok, lets say that I actually leave my apartment and am able track down a willing participant. Here’s the next hurdle. How does one propose such an agreement? I am, after all, a pragmatic organized person with  very heavy Downton Abbey viewing schedule. Do you leave it to chance with a ‘call me for a good time?’ or do you actually schedule the thing ‘so…..ahem… Sunday afternoon say 3-6pm?’  That seems way too weird either way. I did try the direct approach once and the guy practically shrank 3 inches before I’d finished the sentence and I haven’t seen him since. How do people do this?

Maybe there’s a reason that most of the women I know don’t do this. Its too damn hard. Men don’t seem to respond to women who know what they want at the best of times. And I guess some chick coming at you with a proposition and a potential schedule might be considered terrifying at best.
So I’m throwing it out to the universe. I will be taking a lover…

(meanwhile I’ll be one snapping her fingers and waiting in apartment 1010).

Sluts and Spinsters

As a single girl in my 20’s I was confused. In my mid 30’s I became single and somewhat deranged. My 40s, well I’m still trying to figure that one out. According to the media I have two options as single woman these days – slut or spinster.
Watching TV the other night I noticed that all of the shows indicated that its cute and fun to be single in your 20s or early 30s (unless you’re turning up as a dead body on CSI) but at 40, if you’re single, you’re no longer ‘fun’ – you’re a slut or a spinster.

Think about any show on TV these days. Now locate the single woman. Slut or spinster? Weirdo or nymphomaniac?  (and yes, detectives who live for their work are still spinsters, especially as we watch them microwaving their Lean Cuisine). Seriously, I couldn’t find one who didn’t fall into either category who was single (though there was some chick who slit her own throat on ‘The Following’ which I think fell into the ‘psycho’ category) Slut, spinster or psycho?  Is my only role model on tv today the TMobile chick on the motorcycle? Jesus.

But everyone knows that tv is crap.. maybe I should be watching more movies. Yes, must be more role models in the movies right?

Lets look at some of the latest big movies and see if I can find some positive role models for single women over ..ahem….40:
Rust and Bone.. Single women in her later 30s? Check! Feisty and opinionated? Check! No legs? Fuccck. Ok, now I’ve got Slut, Spinster, Psycho or Legless.

Silver Linings Playbook?
Nope. The only single woman might be psycho, but definitely still falls into the cute and fun category.

The Sessions?
Nope. The chick is single, but f-ks disabled dudes for therapy. Kind of slut, kind of spinster, kind of psycho. And I have dated enough retards to know I’ve done my bit for the disabled community.

Life of Pi?
All dudes… (even the tiger)

Lincoln?
Old dudes and one old feisty married spinster type. And no, I’m not adopting Mary Todd as my role model, noble as she may be. The chick looked like she drank vinegar on regular basis.. and she was married. (Hmm might need to rethink the married = good archetype next week)

Les Miserables?
Well miserable is in the title, so its not boding well. But there are a few chicks… who die… so probably not.

Zero Dark Thirty
Finally! Feisty chick who might be 40 (in bad lighting and war zone type of way).. ok I can stretch it. Bold, strong, doing whats right? Check! Slut? No! Spinster? Didn’t see a Lean Cuisine anywhere.. Psycho? Hmmm questionable… she was chasing Osama Bin Laden. Ok, maybe I have a role model there… (and wouldn’t you know it, made by a woman).

So maybe I’m reading too much into tv and the movies but it the mantra of slut or spinster does seem to be backed up by real life. As a former ‘sluttess‘ I’ve dined out on my stories for quite some time and I’ve had more than one concerned conversation with a friend who is worried about my dating habits. I’ve had fun. But sluttess over 40 starts to feel like ‘cougar’, and I honestly don’t want to spend my salary on the plastic surgery and mini skirts that seems to require. So as I date less and spend more time hanging out with friends or just myself, the comments over dinner focus less on counseling bad behavior, and more on reassuring me that my spinsterhood isn’t forever and that someone will come along. When I mention riding my bike or afternoons at the movies, I hear that its ‘good to have hobbies’ to keep me ‘busy’. At this point I fully expect to receive a tea pot and some yarn for my next birthday so I can knit myself a spinster blanket. Frankly I’d prefer to live in the slut category but I fear my friends are much more comfortable with me spending weekends on the sofa, knees covered by a tartan throw as I listen to NPR. Hell to the no (sorry Ira).

So today I’m lobbying for a new category. Chick. Chicks ride bikes, travel on their own, take risks and wear what they like. They spend their weekends at the movies, hiking, eating brunch or reading a book. They garden. They write. They’re up for last minute suggestions to drive to Wyoming. They might be a little bit psycho and they probably drink too much vodka, but they’re not out to steal your man or your baby, work isn’t their defining characteristic and they’d doing just fine.

Somewhere between the slut, the spinster and the psycho. Here’s to chicks.

The Bermuda Triangle of the 40s’: The F buddy

I’ve heard about this phenomenon. According to most of my guy friends and any friend under 35, everyone has had one, has one or just got rid of one. The F buddy. The person you call when you’re lonely, when you have that itch or just want to warm up on a cold winter night. He (or she) isn’t not long term relationship material (since life isn’t a romantic comedy), and its purely a friends with benefits situation where you show up, ‘buddy up’ and then leave. At the age of 40, shouldn’t these things been normal? After all, we’re past having kids, we’re not insane enough to hold out for Mr or Mrs Right (unless we’re ‘protecting our junk’ weirdos), and its a human requirement to want to be with someone now and again.
But here’s my quandary. How does one find such a person?I’ve looked, I’ve asked and apparently I have a big sign over my head saying ‘danger’ because I can’t find one for love OR money. (not that I’m at the point of paying yet, but never say never).
I’ve been told that I’m ridiculous and that I could and should have one by now if I just put it out there.. but I have to say, no matter where I look, I don’t see how you find one. I’ve asked, I’ve been totally up front and all I’ve ever gotten is blank looks and men with very small bladders exiting very fast. Maybe I’m too honest, or maybe I’m throwing my not-so-subtle hints in the wrong direction  but at 40 I’ve yet to land this white whale.
So you might think ‘ but you don’t ask!!!’ in which case, how do you land one? And if the guy is too scared that I’m actually relationships hunting… why don’t they even dip their toe in the water to see whats what? I’m beginning to think that I’ve either got a sign on my head saying ‘relationship only’ or I truly did get hit by the ugly stick at some point. Maybe I became physically repulsive or scary cat lady and no one told me, but trying to find a ‘buddy’ is tougher than finding a damn boyfriend in this town. With no takers and no desire for a relationship I’m stuck facing a winter of Project Runway re runs and a lot of downward dogs. That might be good for my karma but it sure isn’t  finding me any buddies.