Rolling in Hay

What a subject. Can’t even think of any adjectives to use because they could all be construed as crude references to the subject itself. ! In fact, I struggle with the idea of even writing about it. And then hitting the publish button. But it’s a part of life, and it’s on my mind. So what does place does sex even have in my world these days? To be quite honest, it hardly exists as a thought, desire or concern. Frankly, I’ve been thinking it’s pretty much all over and done with for me in this lifetime. I mean, how exactly do knobby, arthritic hands and crepey thigh skin transport one to that place of tender seduction? Yeeps. It’s hard to imagine, really. Many are the times I’ve been very, very grateful that the burden of sex has been removed from my plate as I face these declining years. I’ve been secretly grateful and relieved that I was off the hook. Or am I?

Recently I had a chat with an old, dear friend. He was my high school sweetheart, and in spite of my breaking up with him in a most public and humiliating way, our friendship has endured over the decades (I was Best Gal at his wedding.) It was he who helped me most in the years that followed my separation from Fareed. He was there, night after night, for that same, tired conversation. He helped prop me up, slap me in the face and keep me moving when I just wanted to crumple to the ground and disappear. With great shame I realized the other day that it had been months since I’d spoken to him, so I finally picked up the phone and called (he called on my birthday, I rudely never called back.) Being one of those rare and true friends, we were just where we left off the last time. While we fell back into a conversation that was old and familiar, he threw something at me I hadn’t expected. “You need to have sex now. You need to get laid. You need a good man in your life.” I’d spent so much energy just healing emotionally that sex hadn’t even appeared on the radar. We joked that my parts were probably atrophying. ! Funny yeah, but no, I don’t need it, thank you. But might I want it? Might I? It just had not been on the list. Life, mothering, running a household, teaching, having chickens and a garden – it all takes energy, and I have so little left over. But even so, was I perhaps ready to consider it again? He didn’t convince me, but a tiny voice has continued to nag me on the subject…

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not jonesin. I’m so swinging busy I can’t even begin to understand how a sex life (doesn’t that usually come with an emotional love life too? Ich, so much time and energy!) would even work. I’m on 24/7. I can’t just drop off my kid and go pick up a guy. And as I’m feeling right now, I certainly don’t have the oomph for all that courtship that should precede said sex, so I’m still not convinced. And desire? Not a whole lot of it. But still, there’s that tiny voice now… Tonight, when we got home from another jam-packed day, I looked around my messy house and thought that tidying it up would make me feel better. But I changed my mind. No, that wasn’t going to do it. I felt as if I wanted something, but what exactly? A smoke. Yes, that’s it. (No, I haven’t gone back!) But I considered it for a minute, and realized that it wasn’t it either. What was that thing? That thing that I was missing? A wave of sensory memory came over me, and I remembered that whole, long-gone world. Really? But I don’t even know with whom that would take place! Maybe I was just a bit delirious with spring and all the celebrations of youth lately… and it was manifesting in misplaced yearnings.

Years ago, when I was in my twenties, I remember a friend saying that sometimes he and his wife got so busy with life that they could go two weeks without having sex. Two weeks!¬†Despite that active time in my youth I still didn’t consider sex to be at the very top of my priorities (unlike my husband who would have been happy to be so engaged most of the time) – I still couldn’t believe it,¬†two weeks? Were they crazy? Who on earth went two weeks without having sex? Man, we’d seldom gone without for two days! I remember my mind being opened up by that – and beginning to consider that the rest of the world didn’t all behave and live as we did. Wow. I’d lived in a very small, smug and satisfied world, I guess. (Later on in life I would discover that ‘two weeks without’ in a relationship wasn’t unheard of after all.)

Today I myself am part of that large, sexless world. And I honestly don’t think that it’s a bad place to be. You couldn’t have convinced me of this twenty years ago, but it’s just not that important to me in this moment. That being said, these days, now that I’ve finally got a bit of emotional distance from my ex, and now that I’ve lost a couple pounds, I can begin to vaguely imagine it again. Yet if it doesn’t end up happening again, as I feel right now, that’s perfectly ok. I’ve had enough sex – and romance – to last me, I think. Got it when the getting was good. Some might say I’ve got a case of sour grapes, but I say not. All in its time and place. And as things look right now, it still seems to me that hay is better off in the barn than in the bedroom.

Post Script: I can’t be the only one reminded of Teri Garr in ‘Young Frankenstein’…”roll een za hay, roll een za hay…” !

Cyber Chase Begins

I’m too tired to start this post. Really. Not sure I’ll make it. Why am I pooped? Been typing and uploading and answering and thinking and creating my ridiculously un-me profiles on a handful of dating sites – the ones that specialize in hooking up single parents with each other. Now I’m on the verge of regret. Oh just why did I? It can’t hurt, I know. And not a thing will change if I don’t want it to. I would simply like to go out on just one fucking date with a guy who has the ‘oomph’ to match mine. Ya know? There are many things about Fareed that are straight-out fucked up, but there’s one thing he’s got going for him – and it still works with me – is that he’s fully loaded. He’s got oompf. Yeah, he’s full of some other crap too. Mostly bullshit, but even so, it’s entertaining bullshit. He’s ever the charmer. And he’s always fully convinced about whatever it is he’s preaching at the time. And I like a man with conviction. But just maybe not as much conviction as my ex. The kind of conviction that tells his lover that his wife’s “not the jealous type” as he prepares to plant his seed in her garden. That’s a bit too much oomph. Ya think?

So while I don’t necessarily want a super-oomphie mate for a date, I’d still like a fellow who meets me energy-wise. Someone who can be comfortably irreverent. Someone who verges slightly on the edge of asshole (girls, there’s no way around it, assholes are attractive), but who is too insecure or too kind deep-down to ever be truly mean. Just a bit of edge is all I’d like. Sarcasm works well. Just not too much. Not the mean kind – but the playful stuff. You know. So that’s the profile in a nutshell. And if the guy is handy – woo! And if he knows the birds by their songs… mmm. And… if he puts his hand on the small of my back as he ushers me through a door…. well. Nuff said.

Who am I fooling, I wonder. I’m the largest I’ve ever been in a non-pregnant state. I don’t feel good about the way I look these days. Certainly don’t feel very sexy. But at the same time, I don’t feel horrible. Just not the way I remember feeling about my body for the past two decades. And I suppose if I put my back into it and committed to riding up and down these ghastly difficult hills out here on my bike (as I did last week and thought I would simply die on the way back) I might be able to fight my way back to that body. But since I still can’t get my fight back on, I don’t see it happening, and I need to just settle into some sort of comfort with the fleshy package I got right now. Guess that’s in part why I sought out the single parent sites. Those men gotta be a little too busy helping with homework and shuttling the kids to soccer to be wrestling their middle-aged bodies back into thirty-something submission. I figure it’s gotta be somewhat of a level playing field. Kind of.

I’ve done what I can. I’ve dropped a lone glove on the ground behind me. The clever and driven suitor will find his way back to me with my lost article, and I’ll tell by the twinkle in his eye that this whole dating thing just might be worth another try…