Happy New Year!
I thought it would be a good time to reach out via the blog and check in. I know you hear from me with each Single Because Podcast episode, but I’m in need of this sort of contact with all of you.
I’ve been on and off dating apps over the last year. I’ve even had a few experiences that have gone beyond a date or two. Alas, in the words of U2, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. It’s not for lack of trying, though.
Who am I kidding? Here’s the truth, I’ve been half-assing it most of the time, even with men who might be mistaken for the models on the over-50 dating site ads.
Sometimes it’s just a boatload of aggravation getting dressed up, applying makeup and then squeezing into fucking shapewear to make small talk with a stranger. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to look across the table at a gorgeous man, and I’ve dated quite a few lately. But, here’s what I’ve discovered and it’s likely because of my age:
It’s not enough.
Now, I don’t mean it’s not enough long-term, what I’m saying is a pretty face won’t cut it even for the casual horizontal hula. Sex just isn’t fulfilling if the person doesn’t grab me—and by grab, I mean all of me. I need smarts, humor and someone with an interesting life. A little swagger doesn’t hurt either. Sheesh, I’m not asking for the moon. All right, the section of my dating profile that states, “Must have given a TED Talk and, don’t try to squeak by with TEDx,” might seem, um, delusional to some.
C’est la vie!
I’ve also found I would rather focus on my writing. Coupling up just isn’t as important as it once was. I often feel that I’m living my life backward and when I hear people my age speak of retirement I can’t help but shudder.
I married and had my daughters quite young, got divorced, raised them and worked a job I enjoyed but it wasn’t my passion. It was satisfying enough and it paid the bills.
Then, I had a great big beautiful love and was widowed—all by the time I was 45. I didn’t have my twenties to find myself, act irresponsibly then begin to establish a career that was based on work I loved. I’ve only had that for the last eight years and I still haven’t really accomplished anything, dammit! Well, maybe the irresponsible part, just a bit.
I want professional success and that’s really where I’ve been laser-focused. I finished the book about my year of online dating. I’ve sent it out to agents and small publishing houses not requiring an agent submission, but haven’t had much interest. I’ll keep trying and may eventually self-publish if I can’t sell the darn thing.
I worked with a friend of mine, Michael, a talented screenwriter who’s had an amazing career and worked for several major studios. Together, we created a scripted series based on the blog and book. Michael was a wonderful teacher as we wrote the pilot script and bible and although he’s not one for collaborating, he was kind enough to make an exception. The series, a dramedy, is made for streaming services or cable (lots of swearing). It is called, “Broken Heals” and we’d love to find an audience.
I’ve also been writing a memoir based on the two years my husband and I lived in Russia called, “Mudderland.” Since I had a crash course in screenwriting and wasn’t sure how much I’d retain, I went ahead and created a scripted series, a comedy, based on the book that I’m still in the process of writing. This is a comedy because our life in Russia is a ridiculous gift that keeps on giving–if one is writing about it after the fact instead of living in the craziness, of course. I have the pilot script and series bible finished. “Mudderland” is another project I would love to sell. It’s hard (some have told me impossible) to sell these projects as an unknown, and that’s exactly what I am. If I could finagle a way to get the right eyes on either or both, who knows what might happen? I’m not sure how, but I’m going to keep pushing. With all the female-driven work finally getting attention through people like Reece Witherspoon and her Hello Sunshine production company, all it takes is one person to read it and believe it’s a story that should be told.
So now you know all that’s going on in my life–lots of work and very little lust. BUT, I’m happy and busy and I’m feeling fulfilled. Not as content as I would be if I could actually figure out a way to support myself with my work–but I’m doing everything I can to get there.
I was recently in a DatingAdvice.com article, and if you’re interested, you can read it HERE. It was an unexpected and wonderful surprise and while you’re there, check out the site. DatingAdvice.com is the leading web authority on dating and an excellent resource.
I hope you had a wonderful holiday and New Year. I don’t know about you but I was glad to put 2017 in the rearview mirror. I haven’t slept through the night in over a year. As my grandmother used to say, “Every night I’m up and down like a whore at a picnic.” The cause of my insomnia is clear: the fucking nightmare that is Donald Trump and his insane administration. I never thought I’d worry about nuclear war. I can’t even get out of bed without looking at Twitter. I need to know what that lunatic will destroy next.
*takes a deep cleansing breath*
Here’s wishing everyone peace, joy and restful sleep in 2018. What’s new with you? Feel free to dish some dirt in the comments section. I always love hearing about your lives.
PS: I’ve really missed you.
“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Jennifer Clement says
Your work is great and very funny. “Mudderland” sounds like something I would love to read and watch. An authentic behind the scene humorous account of Americans in love, living in Russia (what could go wrong?!?) Come on producers, his content sounds perfect esp. for Reese Witherspoon.
Thank you, Jennifer! Kind of a “To Russia With Love and Catastrophes” sort of vibe. Would love to get have the opportunity to get it in the right hands!
A good time st be writing since you can’t go outside unless you want to freeze paws. Hope the Mudderland gets published. Remembering the stories I have heard from there about your life in Russia , I know it will be a funny and illuminating read for those of us who have never been there much less lived in Russia. So, get ‘er done and they will buy.
Love you, June. Thank you. Russia was ridiculous, but also entertaining. Yes, writing during a snowstorm is productive. Not much else to do except drink wine, right?
Mavis Brantley-Lloyd says
I’ve enjoyed reading all your blogs and the occasional podcast (when I can get online in my neck of the woods) very much and look forward to seeing more. I, too, have lost sleep ever since the waking nightmare that is our administration came to being. Every day, it seems my soul is crushed just a little bit more by some insanity that has been tweeted out that day. I remind myself to keep the faith, and remain being a light in the darkness
to the best of my own ability and pray that someday soon this will end and the wheel will turn again towards a bright future instead of the gloom and doom I fear so much these days. You are a light, Melani. Keep shining and thank you for your words. We can hope together!
Thank you for writing, Mavis. I know what you mean. It’s a perpetual bombardment of horror with Trump in the WH. I’m just starting to read “Fire and Fury” and it’s even worse than we’ve been told. A shockingly incompetent man with what is either some sort of psychosis or dementia. All we can do is keep the faith that it will right itself in the end. I don’t think he can continue to run the country much longer in this state. We’ll one day look back on this and be so relieved it’s over. Thank you, again, for taking the time to write, Mavis. Happy New Year.
I started following your blog way back when and am glad to see you are still at it! Your writing is great and all I can say is to persevere! I would love to read any of your books that get published, not to mention see a TV show that talks about dating as an older woman. Fingers crossed for you! Also, and kudos for you for staying creative and productive through 2017….as a creative myself (I make jewelry) I got precious little done the first 6 months of last year. The Orange Assclown in the White House also kept me up many nights and stifled my creativity during the day because I too couldn’t stop checking social media every day with the thought of “what fresh hell will I encounter today?” I am feeling pretty optimistic about 2018, every day I am more and more certain he will be impeached or forced to resign. Hang in there!! xo
Thank you so much, Annette! You made me laugh with “orange assclown”. #DemensiaDon is trending on Twitter. Crazy mofo. It is so hard to work with the dread so many of us are filled with. I have lots of friends in the same place and a lack of ability to focus is the common theme. Sometimes I get up and write in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep. The good news is there’s not going to be lots of Trump-damage reported at 3 am. I would love to see your jewelry. Do you have a website? If so, please post it. Thank you, again, for writing. I do believe there’s an audience for both of the series and I won’t give up trying to make it happen.
Happy New Year!
Again, great blog! Will keep my fingers crossed and can’t wait to see your series on Netflix!!
Hugs from Amsterdam
Thanks, Jan! Happy New Years. Hugs back to you. xxoo
Happy New Year, Melani (a little late). I can so relate — I literally have not watched any late-night comedy shows since the election. I’m not in a laughing mood about it, save the SNL spoofs. Meanwhile, I had a pleasant diversion with my Eagles winning the Super Bowl…I even flew up from Tampa for the parade…it was awesome and I am still in heaven about it. Also, a few of my GFs (late 60’s/early 70’s) are doing the over-50 dating site…they’re trying to talk me into it, but every time I look at anyone’s picture who’s my age, I barf thinking about kissing, much less sex. I’ve decided I have my own life and my own interests, and really don’t feel like getting involved in someone else’s life and interests. Oh well. I will live vicariously through you! xo
Ha, you won’t be doing much vicarious dating with me, Nancy. I’ve been avoiding it for the last several months. It’s nice to take a break. Congrats on those Eagles of yours! What an incredible game that was. Happy New Year to you, Nancy, and thanks for taking the time to reach out. Apologies for the delayed response. For some weird reason, my website notifications were going to spam? The nerve!