Friday, August 28, 2009

Swimming in Tahiti

Out of four that day, only I—

the pool floater—had the courage

to plunge into the ocean to swim.

I have been told to be wary of shark.

You are an ocean swimmer,

thriving in the deep dark water,

sleek body gliding below.

I stay at the translucent surface,

trembling when a fin flips

and a circle begins.

You rise from the depths.

I smile at your streamlined power

but flee from the Tahitian waters

to the safety of a boat, knowing

I swam with a shark for a little while.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Back to North Carolina

I headed down the hill toward the water and the Mukilteo ferry terminal. The sign announced a three hour wait. I smiled. There was no hurry today. I had a great group of men with me; Billy Collins, Roger Rosenblatt, and Steven King. Van Morrison, my other traveling companion, sang his new songs over my car speakers. The sun shone across the water, sparkling at the bottom of the hill. After I took my place in the queue behind a big green truck, I settled back in my seat to listen to my Irishman hurl out a “hey”, and a request for some ice cream with a cherry on top. Over and over he sang his desire like a stutter. The idea of ice cream and the sound of his music punctuated this August day. With lots of time on my hands, I waited for “Brown Eyed Girl.”

After a while, I lowered the volume and turned my attention to poetry. I slipped into a book and found myself in Paris with Billy who was enjoying a bath. When I heard different music in the air, I glanced over the cab of the truck, to the patio of Ivars, and people enjoying their ice cream. I opened the door to my car in order to investigate. The music was not originating from the restaurant. Two cars up and a lane over, in the back of a white van, a man sat with his legs hanging out and the top of his fiddle visible while he played. I locked my door and wandered up. Leaning against the station wagon in my row, I stood opposite the musician and watched as he played for himself and now for me. I broke into applause when he finished, and asked if his song was Irish. He smiled and said no.

From the van emerged another musician. The two were traveling in my direction by ferry to play for a wedding. The fiddler’s companion opened his guitar case. He took the seated position in the side of the van and the fiddler stood by me. I asked if they minded my listening and offered that practice might be good for their gig. Would they like to play for me? They began a rendition of “The Staten Island Ferry,” a perfect song for our wait in the line.

I shut my eyes and could feel my feet moving, tapping to the rhythm of the guitar below and the fiddle above. The sun warmed my face, and the heat from the metal door of the gray station wagon warmed my back. I could no longer hear the gulls or the waves. The smell of the sea blended with the music around me.

After I opened my eyes, the owners of the station wagon returned with their son. They said to stay where I was, leaning against their back seat door, that they were enjoying the music as well. A white haired woman in a long print dress moved up to our little group. She kept time with her sandals as I did with my loafers, and we all slightly moved to the music.

The fiddler told me of a song he had heard recently in a bar from a French man. He recognized the tune as something familiar. It had come through Seattle by way of Wales in the early 1930’s. Both musicians agreed that the tune was obviously French and began to play it together. A family of five, a man and wife with their three children who were enjoying their ice cream, joined us from the direction of Ivars. All of us smiled, clapped, and tapped while the French ditty swirled in the air.

I asked the fiddler if he knew any Scottish melodies. I had just returned from Edinburgh and was beginning to learn country folk dancing. The musician winked and began to play. He bore down on the strings with his bow, and kicked his leg as played. The guitarist leaned into the neck of his instrument, and the music played out with force. More people came, and the music continued.

I had opened my eyes to watch the stings and the bow, but was no longer in the ferry line. The Scottish, French and country tunes blended together to regroup in my mind as the memory of North Carolina bluegrass. I was now in the sun in a dry field listening to the music of home. The fiddlers and pickers, with fast flying fingers, played tunes whose names I never knew. I danced in the field with my long brown hair, and with men tan and thin. We would swim without clothes in the dark waters of the Eno River and sun ourselves by its bank. I could feel the warmth of the rocks on my back. The music was always playing back then, either bluegrass or rock and roll, and everyone was young.

The low whistle blew the ferry’s arrival, and it was time to leave. The crowd clapped for the two musicians and said their goodbyes. As I followed the green truck onto the ferry deck, I was happy to have been back in North Carolina for a short while on this lovely summer’s day.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Application for a Personal Assistant

Writer and painter needs someone to organized her calendar, pay bills, handle telephone messages, type, edit, submit writings, mail packages, put away laundry, empty the dishwasher, water the lawn, weed, pick up the mail, make the bed, water the plants, balance the checking account, follow investments, communicate with attorneys, accountants and brokers, read the brokerage statements, handle the taxes, do the financial spread sheets, take the garbage and recycle out, wash the car, pick up the dry cleaning, go to the grocery store, clean the bottom drawer of the refrigerator, clean the brushes, clean her palette, varnish the paintings, and empty dirty solvent jars. Must be willing to hike and exercise. Cooking preferred but not mandatory.

I would like to be considered for this position. Although I have not had a paying job in 21 years, I am a hard worker and a community volunteer. I have been a successful fundraiser, although this is not part of your job description. Let me explain why it would benefit you to hire me. I will start in order of the items you have listed.

I have not been very successful in calendar management. I recently tried to attend a painting workshop on the wrong weekend. After my hard drive crashed on my laptop a couple of months ago, and my Microsoft Works Calendar was lost, I discovered that I had accidently mailed my lovely new gold leather bound calendar to my oldest son in New York in his birthday package. Without a calendar, I was completely frazzled. So…maybe I should skip the calendar, appointments and mailing packages portion of your application. Let’s move on to paying the bills and handling telephone messages.

I do pay my bills on time. I do most of this on line, so in effect, it is done for me. Most of my expenses are paid with my debit card. As for the telephone, I do not listen to any messages from my house phone. With a cell phone and a house phone, it is just too much of a time commitment. I handle this issue by not telling people my home phone number. Somehow they found out and starting using it. I still don’t listen to the messages. I do try to answer cell phone calls by pressing redial. I seldom look up numbers. Fifteen years ago, the telephone company sent me an engraved card and a free t-shirt as a thank you for frequently using their 411 service. I no longer dial 411. You will have to decide if I will be good at this job. Unfortunately, mail pick up is not something at which I excel. Last month my mail was returned to the post office, because the box was too full. In my defense, it is a really small box.

I can type. My speed is increasing, and the mistakes are decreasing. If I don’t have to type any numbers, or the letters Q, X, and Z, I should be OK. Luckily, spell check covers my mistakes. I spell phonetically with a southern accent. This has always been a problem. I received a D--- on my first paper at Duke University for misspelling the word “becoming” six times. The good news is that I now know how to spell “becoming”. I wouldn’t know where to start to submit your writings. I can surf the internet, if that would be of assistance. I surf well. I am an adequate editor. I am very intuitive when it comes to reading and writing, so I am sure that I could be of help.

I am good at making the bed, although I don’t always place the decorative pillows in an artistic manner. Sometimes, I just throw them in place. I can try and be better. I leave the clean laundry stacked on chairs and never put it away, but if required by my job, I promise that I will make the sincerest effort to be better. Emptying the dishwasher is a snap. How often do you need this done? I will also need to know how often you require my going to the grocery store. May I wait until the refrigerator is completely empty? As for that dirty bottom shelf, I really don’t think I can help, unless you have a pair of rubber gloves. I will be happy to take out the garbage and recycle. This is easy since the driveway at your new rental is flat and short. I enjoy picking up dry cleaning. I think this is because the dry cleaner actually does the cleaning. I usually wait until my Prius gets hit or has a service appointment to have it washed. It was serviced today, so it is very shiny. You can check this out for yourself.

Moving on to plants, I was quite the gardener at one time. I knew the Latin names of plants, was an authority on noxious weeds, and cared for a fabulous garden of several acres. Unfortunately, this cannot be verified, as the new owner ripped out many of the exotic species and planted builder hedges and grasses. They were from Miami. I should therefore be able to weed and water your tiny lawn with no problem. Do you have plans to put in a sprinkler system? I will also water your houseplants, but I request that you group them together in one location.

As for your long list of financial needs, you may want to retain your accountants. My mind goes blank, when I look at columns of numbers. I think the horror of my freshman Calculus Class at Duke traumatized me for life. You will have to continuing paying your accountants and attorneys for help in this area. And, without being too personal, why do you still have to pay so much in income tax? I think you should talk to your attorney about this as well. I don’t think those brokerage statements were ever meant to be read by lay people. If so, they would have been written in English. If you ask me, they are a money laundering operation. If the brokerage firms keep their clients in the dark, they will never be questions about their actions. You may want to ask President Obama to see about handling this.

With regard to your assistance in keeping your art supplies clean, I will need some further information. Do the brushes have to be cleaned before they harden? Where do you dump the dirty solvent? Can’t you just put new paint on your palette directly on top of the old paint? It’s just going to get dirty again. Since this involves handling dangerous toxins, I will require additional pay. I will no longer have health care in a year, and I need to be compensated, if I get sick. Not to frighten you, but I know more attorneys than any other category of professionals.

I am glad you don’t require cooking. I would rather not. If you would like to cook for me, I would be happy to let you. Otherwise, if you keep me past 5 pm, you will have to take me out to dinner, nothing fancy, just a salad. I adore movies and especially foreign films, so make it a dinner and a movie. I would love to hike with you. I especially love day hikes, but I am quite willing to travel to wilderness areas. May I suggest that you consider hiking in all the major National Parks while the trails are still in good shape? I would love to accompany you. As for the gym, I can spot you in the weight room, and jog on the tread mill beside you. I especially enjoy working out on the Precor Adaptive Motion Trainer. Do you have this at your gym?

There are some things that you did not inquire about in your job description. I would like to add more so that you will have a complete picture of how I can assist you. I have a great personality. Everyone tells me so. I have taken personality tests and blown the test takers away. In 1984, I did some personal investigation into Scientology as extra credit for a class on cults. After completing the personality test, the leaders of the New York Scientologist tried to recruit me. They wanted me badly, and said my thetans were great. I had to tell them no thank you, as I was the current President of the Women of my Episcopal church and on the Flower and Altar Guilds. Their test results showed that I had a perfect score for each one of my tested personality traits, with the exception of “accepts criticism.” I disagreed with them on that point.

I have digressed. I am also funny, friendly, happy, helpful, kind, generous, and I love animals even though my land lord won’t allow pets. I used to be smart. I write pretty well and am an OK painter. If you think that I am suitable to be your assistant, please let me know. If you don’t find me suitable, then I suggest that you start looking for a wife! Tula Holmes, August 20, 2009

Just talked to Henry..The workshop is in two weeks!.Going to Whidbey tomorrow.Will work on the "novel" rather than painting.

Painting with Henry

Within the old two car garage, Henry created a magical studio. The space was ample, but cars were no longer housed within the wood framed structure. One weekend, Henry lifted the ceiling with several of his neighbors, raising the trusses to create a two story room large enough for his huge canvases. The white clapboard building revealed nothing of the treasures inside. Only the cherry red door hinted that things special were happening behind the house at the end of the cement drive.

The multiple paned window to the left of the studio faced north and allowed the cool light of the day to illuminate the model stage. Displayed on the floor of the stage were all but 12 of Henry’s new robot series. The six inch squares, soon to be one hundred strong, held captive the tiny mechanical figures, each unique and each one seriously unaware of the humor in its existence. Gigantor’s powerful red fists clenched at his side, poised to crush anyone in his way. His large cobalt blue, metallic muscles strained to be released, and his enormous red boots had wheels which were ready to roll. The cadmium yellow coils on his chest revealed the energy source of all his power. But Gigantor was controlled by forces greater than his own. His tiny blue head with small glowing red eyes, showed that what he proudly flaunted by way of physical power was not matched with his brain. Gigantor had no idea that he was merely a pawn, destined to do the bidding of others. A six foot canvas of Gigantor hung as part of a triptych above the stage. One of his companions boasted red lobster claws, a clear glass head, and fat, ribbed, tubular arms. His turquoise metal sparkled as the highlights of cerulean blue and creamy white reflected on his head, biceps, and thighs. With a quick glance around the studio, Henry’s robots could be seen from every angle.

The shelf against the wall to the right of the studio held each individual robot toy. Gigantor posed in the front, 2 ½ inches tall, pressed in beside Rosy the pink domestic robot with her silver aluminum coils of hair protruding vertically from her head, her bright white apron with silver breasts, and a large metal key inserted at her waist. To his other side, and twice as tall as Gigantor, stood the famous mechanical servant to the Robinson family from “Lost in Space.” This collector piece still verbalized his warning to the family’s son Will. Poor Gigantor had never been able to speak. Behind on the back row rose space ships of various forms; rounded yellow ones, tall and slim rocket shaped ones, and ships with large spreading turquoise fins to hold them upright.

Ray guns hung on the wall, many fabricated by Henry himself. Old metal hair dryers and drills had been transformed with washers, coils, gold paint and wire into a deadly array of Milky Way weapons. With so many robots below, it seemed appropriate to have the weapons above, just in case.

But robots were not Henry’s only fascination. A box at the back on the floor of the studio held as an assortment of 1950’s swim caps. The mint green rubber cap had a floral pattern of nubs that begged for fingers to rub across the top. One of the most treasured caps had rubber daisies that would have originally emerged from a swimming pool like a floral bouquet topping a swimmer’s head. The once white caps with wide chin straps had the institutional feel of a college swim team and brought forth the feelings of fear associated with not being able to pass a swim test. Henry battled collectors from Germany and Japan to secure the choicest of his collection. The life sized canvas of the swimmer in her leopard bikini on the back wall of the studio wore the flowered cap and tiny dark goggles. Her warm orange shadows and green highlights gave life back into the swim cap, a gift that Henry would impart to all of his props and treasures.

Japanese cups of yellow and turquoise cloisonné, diner style salt and pepper shakers, 1960’s mustard and ketchup bottles, bright pink sunglasses with simulated diamonds on the rims, and an assortment of cocktail glasses filled the cabinet near the door. Henry did not drink. When he painted a glass in a model’s hands, a drink to show her opinion of the oven on which she perched in her animal print slip, Henry colored water to give the impression of intoxicating liquor. What came from his imagination did not require alcohol or drugs for stimulation.

High above the studio, in the two story extension, flew a skeleton with angel wings, the angel of death. The bony fingers of the left hand pressed to the chest where the heart would have been. Henry had also used the white feathered wings for his daughter Emma’s portrait, for the life sized painting of a lady with blue night cream, and for a miniature set of dentures in bubblegum pink. Henry laughed that his first painting at the age of 10 had been of a vampire, so why not angel wings, dentures, and skeletons now that he was in his late 40’s.

Henry had frightened me when I first saw him. He lifted weights, and his muscles were huge. A worn baseball cap covered his balding head with a pony tail tied behind at the base of his neck. He painted on the first day of the outdoor workshop in large noise cancelling head phones that blared with rock and roll. He looked like a Harley driver with a paint brush and terribly unapproachable. This could not have been farther from the truth. Henry had the intuition of an accomplished astrologer and the sensitivity of an expectant mother. He could tell after only a few moments of conversation if you put on your socks before your shoes, the zodiac sign under which you had been born, and how you needed to be taught. I required kid gloves. Henry had those in his prop bag as well. He easily reinforce and built confidence in students. Without being told, he sensed the trauma of my personal life, soothed and supported my efforts at painting, and took me away to the world of portraiture. My son’s leave from his Ivy League university seemed to momentarily fade, as I concentrated on the faces of each day’s model, the light of sun and the cool afternoon shadows that dappled their faces. By painting with Henry, a student learned to open the window into a model’s personality, and open that same window into their own being.

Now, surrounded by the magic of Henry’s studio, I had made the six hour drive to paint with the master again. Many more traumas had come and gone in my life over the past two years. My husband had left with an ugly divorce battle which has just ended. I had moved twice, and the last of the moving trucks had unloaded the remains of a previous life on the garage floor of my new rental house. I left the boxes unpacked and went to Eastern Washington to study with Henry, driving through snow, rain, and sleet. I crossed the pass through the Cascades, the high desserts near the Columbia River, and the moon like landscape south of Spokane,until I reached the rolling farmland near Pullman. I pulled my grey Prius into the driveway, and unpacked a car load of painting supplies as quickly as possible. I settled in behind the red door and was read to begin.

Henry set up a small still life with a bottle of Lady in Red wine, a large round wine glass, white leather gloves, the pink sunglasses, a leopard purse with brown wooden handles, and a black and white poster of woman with full lips for the background. The entire vignette was set on a cloth of bright red. I was excited to begin. My pallet was filled with four different red oils, from cool to warm. To impress Henry, I had piled all the colors with abandon. I couldn’t be miserly with my paint around Henry. There was no part of him that was stingy, and he was not charging me for my lessons. He had just invited me to come and paint.

I toned my canvas in French ultramarine and began.

“Loosen up. Don’t be so afraid.”

I was amazed that he could see that I was frightened. I was using red with my large brush. I thought I was exuding boldness.

“Look at the bigger picture. You can’t squint and see the color.”

Henry continued to urge and offer the lessons that I needed to bring me back to the bigger shapes, and the truth of the color. Henry’s was not a world of black and white value changes. His was a world that was bold and bright. It took a trained eye to see the greens and violets of a young girl’s skin, or the deep purples and oranges in the shadows of a still life.

“There,” soothed Henry, “Much better. That highlight was blue, not white. You are seeing it now.”

Through the window of the studio I could see the snow drops with their heart shaped centers emerging from the rock garden. The dark red shoots of young plants poked like swords through the newly thawed soil. It would not be long before the columbine and coral bells would fill the garden beds. I painted quicker and larger. I painted with stronger colors. I swished my brushed in solvent and mixed the colors cleanly avoiding the murky mess of a dirty palette. The Lady in Red emerged on her bottle with sexy orange hair and vibrant warm flesh. The wine glass sparkled with light Cerulean highlights. The luscious lips of the background photo hung just above the orange cork. It was a nice painting.

“It’s time to stop.” Henry’s watch quietly beeped twice. “We’ll work on this painting tomorrow. Let’s clean our palettes, and we’ll start with the model after lunch. “

I hated to put down my paint brush. The two hours had flown by. I forced myself to turn from the still life nitch to the model’s stage, a symbolic gesture of stopping. I would love the afternoon spent painting Annabel as well. The time would fly again. We painted in two sessions a day, for 3 more days. My colors grew brighter and truer. I returned to Seattle with the faces of the models on canvas, wet, clean and bright. I returned with the Lady in Red, perched on her bottle, sexy and happy. I said goodbye to Gigantor and his friends, and look forward to the day when I could return to Henry’s studio to relish in his colors. I took home with me the list of his paints from his palette, his recipe for painting. I took with me his recipe for living, and drove back across the Cascades, home to Seattle.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Believe the Ring Finger

This past January, I flew to Albany New York to care for a dear friend who was recovering from foot surgery. I felt I would be blessed for my selfless actions, which is why I was not surprised to be seated by Mr. X, PhD, on the plane to Atlanta, the first leg in my journey home. Mr. X, PhD, was from a large western state and looked a lot like Leim Neilson. I am not a Leim Neilson stalker, but X was cute in that Irish way, and I enjoyed flirting.

When he took the seat beside me, I smiled and introduced myself. I find it difficult to sit elbow to elbow with another human being and not be cordial. I told X that he may want to exchange seats, since a place beside me was the least desirable one on the plane. The stewardess hated my guts.

As I had tried to board the aircraft, the bulldog attendant who was stationed in front of the first class cabin, refused to let me pass through to the narrow aisle. I had three carryons. I am allowed to have three, as one is medical equipment. I have sleep apnea. My CPAP machine keeps my heart healthy. I love it. I explained nicely to the bulldog, that I had toted my machine through several layers of security, was allowed to do so by FAA regulations. She stood her ground and refused me entrance. I remained stationary, sweet and calm, and stated again that the machine flew with me. The passengers were patiently backing up behind me, the reason I was eventually allowed to pass.

“I will look up the regulation now. Just go to your seat.”

I never heard from her about my machine. I was right, and she was wrong. I did not order a soda on that flight. Her scowl told me to be wary. I settled back to explain to X, the symptoms of sleep apnea. I should be awarded an honorary MD in sleep disorders, as I am an expert now. X was mesmerized, and by the end of our conversation, he was convinced that he had the same condition. He typed a note on his blackberry to be evaluated by a sleep clinic when he arrived home.

As I interviewed him, I was impressed by all of his accomplishments. I am easily impressed. X had numerous graduate degrees, testified before congress, and had won awards from our government for his work in saving Scandinavia, the former soviet bloc countries, most of South American and several parts of Asia, from the nuclear and chemical destruction of their soil. I am weak in the knees for world savers. Place my heart on a sterling silver platter and serve it up. We talked about the classes he taught, and I told him that I not only had sleep apnea, but was a divorce survivor too. We had fun laughing and sharing. X told me about his three daughters, his sailboat, and his travels. I commented on the ring on his left hand that was gold with a blue stone in the center. He said that it was difficult to find attractive male jewelry, and that he had just gotten it in Mexico. He handed me his business card, X, PhD, NAE, etc, etc. It had all of his contact information.

When we landed in Atlanta, X asked me to have a cocktail at the private airport lounge. He was a few years younger than me and wanted to share drinks. I was excited and thirsty from not having a soda on the flight. We both ordered wine while waiting to depart. I poured what remained of mine into his glass, as I am a slow drinker. He chased it back and escorted me to my gate. After a quick kiss goodbye, X, PhD, flew out of another terminal. I arrived in Seattle and promptly began to throw up. I had stomach flu. I was sick for 24 hours. On Sunday I went snowshoeing with two friends who coaxed me, in my weakened state, up to the ice falls at Alpental. It was beautiful.

The next day, I emailed X to apologize if he had gotten sick from sharing my wine. I sent photos of our beautiful trip to the falls in the snow. He emailed back almost instantly. He was well, had spent the weekend sailing, and sent photos at the helm. He also sent photos of himself sailing in New Zealand, just because he knew that I had always wanted to travel there. It was a long email, but he said he had to cut it short in order to prepare for class. He joked about not having enough degrees after his name; otherwise he would be able to wing his lectures. He asked that I email him at his Gmail account, not at work. Gmail was for family and friends.

I looked him up on the internet. I saw his house on Google Earth. It was shared by his wife and three daughters. I did not respond to his email. He never wrote back. The lesson learned: if there is a ring on that left hand, chances are he didn’t buy it in Mexico for himself!

Who Does the Technical Writing for These Computer Companies?

The last time I wrote computer code was in 1971. Actually, it was the only time I wrote computer code. I had a summer job at the Research Triangle Institute, in the new technical park between Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina. I sat in an auditorium with other high school graduates, writing either zero or the number one on a sheet of paper. These were our only choices. We transferred our numbers from a punch card to a paper list. Or, was it the other way around? I can’t remember. I was so good at writing zero and the number one, that I was promoted to writing code.

Computers were enormous in the early seventies. Even though they occupied entire buildings, they operated with rectangular manila punch cards. To create these cards, I wrote questions that required a yes or no answer, two choices again. It was a simple linear math formula; A follows B follows C. I was smart and had never made below 100 on any high school math test. I planned to be a math major at Duke University. That was before I took a math course at Duke. Fortunately, I was blessed with a severe case of Mononucleosis in my freshman year, too much kissing. I was able to drop introductory calculus without wrecking my less than stellar C average. I immediately changed my major to Art History and Religion. Now I count on my fingers. But in my prime, I could write zero and the number one as well as any geek.

This is why I am so proud to have created my own blog today on my laptop. Although easy to use, the templates were not what I would have chosen. With my art background, a click here to increase the font size and a touch there to change the background color and upload a photo, made my blog attractive. But my laptop did not stop. It began to pour out pages of questions for me to answer. The word verification on the initial page was my first hang up. It took several tries to achieve success. The letters were wavy and distorted. I had to switch to stronger magnifiers. Finally I was able to move on to page two. This one was more difficult; Html something, texts via SMS or email via MMS, linkwertig, whoops, that’s in German.

The pages kept appearing, and the questions got harder. At the bottom of each page were two boxes, a top one that said yes, and a bottom one that said no. I was good at two choices. I said yes for 5 or 6 pages. Then a shadow of doubt overtook me. With what was I agreeing? For the next half dozen pages, I said no. Now I was confused. I tried to quit the questionnaire, or survey, or legal contract to which I had agreed. It was as if I had been pulled into quick sand. The pages would not go away without a yes or no answer. I resorted to clicking the red x at the top corner of the page. I was rescued. The questions stopped, and my desktop background appeared. I felt calmer, until the frightening realization that somewhere in internet space, I had legally agreed and not agreed to gibberish.

Who writes this stuff anyway? I am a writer. I use English. Do they train technical writers in computer school to be as obtuse as they possibly can? I will wait for the process server to appear at my door with my court subpoena, the legal ramifications of my gibberish blog contract. Or perhaps the process server comes on the internet, a server server, with pages of garbled words clipped together by that the Microsoft Office assistant, Clippy, that danced around my documents several years ago. A large paperclip, with a huge smile and a hand full of html coded pages, it makes me shudder. I am grateful that my Blog is finished, up and running. So tonight, savor these silly words and dream of Clippy, God rest his soul, he was laid to rest in Office 2007.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wear Your Glasses When Sending

It’s difficult being 58 and single. I started my search for a mate on eHarmony. I opened a Gmail account and thought of a perky name to entice men. I am Smileyface. I do smile a lot and have a positive attitude. In my college days, I never lacked for dates. Now the dating scene has changed as have my peers. With that little blue pill, the men my age are interested in women more appropriate for their sons. Since I am not ready to play nurse to grandpa, I made a worldwide search on line for a man. I spent many thoughtful hours describing my innermost desires and passions, my dislikes, and the last book I had read. I was exhausted and felt quite dissected when the questionnaire was completed.

The melancholy of being laid bare on line vanished as my eHarmony match maker sent me daily emails from interested men. Terrance in Tacoma wanted to know me. Stanley in Saskatchewan was curious. Fredrick and his dog in Fort Meyers requested communication. There was even a Santa look-alike in Hawaii showing off his speedboat. I must admit his Hawaiian location intrigued me. However, none of their guided communications could keep me from pressing the “close match” button on their submissions.

My hip friends in Manhattan suggested I pay to join The Nerve. This is where the hottest, most successful men could be found. They promised. I had to describe my favorite sex scene from a movie. I had no desire to mention The Last Tango in Paris, or 9 ½ Weeks. No telling who I would attract. I settled for sex on the stairs with Rebecca De Mornay in Risky Business. High school sex had to be safe. I waited and waited. I had no eHarmony cupid to send me my matches. I had to be more aggressive, with nerve, and check daily. My home page was complex with side bars, buttons for videos, chats to join, and sexy clothes to buy. The only faces displayed on my site were of women. So sad, I thought. These must be single women who were looking for men. All the men must be attached and having great sex. In college there were more men than women, and they had to wait in line to ask me out. Now, they had their revenge.

I decided to look at my Nerve profile one more time. There, in the box, was a large check. I was a woman looking for another woman. I had marked the wrong box. The female faces at the bottom of my page had found me sexy! It was nice to think that someone found me attractive, but I was looking for a man. I should have worn my magnifiers while typing. After all, my eyes are 58 years old. So if you find yourself on line, and see that Smileyface likes women, just remember, I am really looking for a man who wears reading glasses.