Loretta's Countdown to 60

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Category: The Story (page 2 of 6)

Book Excerpt – November 2011 – When Sparks Fly

This is a book excerpt from November 2011. John and I had known each other for about five months at this point. Though we had started out as friends, we were now both single, and sparks were flying.

November 2011

One evening in November sitting together on Loretta’s deck, which overlooks a tree studded hillside, the conversation turned to personal matters. She told me of her life – and of how big a role her kids played in it. My stories paralleled hers as I told her how I wanted my life to look, and how important my kids were to me.

We’d been having these conversations for a while now – at least since September – and I think we were both getting the same sense from them. The one that tells you that, hey, there’s got to be a reason why this person always feels so comfortable to be around.

John was desperately trying to keep me at an arms distance, especially when it came to his heart.

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When “Just Friends” changes into something more

For those who have been following along on my blog you know when John and I first met, through online dating, we became “just friends”. We both started dating other people, but because of his columns that I was editing, we talked almost daily.

He would come over and sit on my deck and we’d talk for hours about our lives. We played tennis and met for coffee several times a week. We shared our stories with each other and helped each other through difficult breakups.

Just Friends

My favorite times together where when we sat on that deck and John talked about his childhood, his family and growing up. He had some of the funniest stories to share, and they found their way into his columns.

His readers loved it as much as I did. 

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Bella – A Girls Best Friend

Sunday was International Dog Day and it got me thinking about my little dog, Bella. Remember I’ve written about her a few times. I got her just after having a hysterectomy and she was my perpetual baby until the day she died.

I had her for eleven years, which wasn’t long enough.

When I first brought Bella home she was a tiny, blonde, one-pound Chihuahua. My sons said she looked like a stick of butter with legs, and I had to agree. I was so worried about stepping on her or shutting her in a door. But I never did. Continue reading

Players Follow a Script – Just Makes Sure it’s Yours

John’s first column about Players…there would be more to come.

Players Follow a Script – Just Makes Sure it’s Yours

I was getting so many questions about ‘players’ I had to tackle the topic.

(And, I also wanted to get my thoughts on players across to Loretta).

I wanted women to worry less about whether he ‘is or isn’t’ and more about the part they play in the equation.

Here’s the truth: Women can be in control – for the most part – at the early stages of relationships because they have what we guys want. And I don’t mean just sex. Okay, I do mean sex – but I also mean what sex can lead to: A good, warm relationship with the right woman.

If you let us go too fast – like Betty – which we will do given the chance, the opportunity to slowly find out who each other is, and whether or not we fit, gets lost in the tussle.

If you just want a roll in the hay that’s fine – you go girl. But if you want more, then make him wait – like Loretta did.

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What the hell just happened?

In September 2011, John and I continued our friendship and tried to hold each other up while the people we were dating were letting us down. Here is an excerpt from his book, Romeo’s Dilemma, with some commentary from me.

September 2011 – Act 4

By now Loretta’s pilot had adopted a policy of radio silence – she was hearing from him less and less. You know the drill, where the guy who was once texting all the time now isn’t. I took that to mean someone else was now on his radar screen.

John was so right about this. Mike went cold on me so fast my head was spinning. He was still stringing me on though with lovely emails, but I was also getting the “I’m out of town, or busy” signal way too much. And I had no idea what in the hell happened.  Continue reading

Who Orders Pina Coladas at a Bar Named O’Malley’s?

It’s Friday, so time for another column from The Online Dating Coach. John wrote this one while I was gone and when he sent it to me I had to laugh because it’s so cleaver. He was trying to convince the ladies in his life that dating was supposed to be fun. And when he’s lonely he tends to listen to music and get a little sappy.  Continue reading

Romeo, Romeo…

I left off with my story telling you I had met a guy named Mike, who I started dating just before leaving for Florida to help my son, and his family, move. When I returned home, Romeo had dialed up the charm a notch…or two.

I thought I’d share with you what John wrote about that time, with a little commentary from me.

Here is an excerpt from his book, Romeo’s Dilemma

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Us and Them – The Real Reason You’re on Different Sheets of Music

While I was off visiting my first-born grandchild, John was back home stewing over hurting Betty’s feelings when he told her (after just one week) that he no longer wanted to be exclusive. He told her that before I’d met Mike and started dating him.

But after seeing me having fun and going on dates, he was kind of backpedaling with Betty.

He wrote this one while I was gone and sent it on to me to look over. It made me laugh. I was learning a lot about him, while keeping a safe distance.

I’ll admit I edited out a bunch (man, that guy is wordy!). But I left the part that pertains to him and dating advice.  Continue reading

Flying high

My final trip to Florida to visit my son and his wife Amber was August of 2011. I picked that time to go for two reasons: One to help them move to Mississippi but more importantly, to meet my first grandchild.

In May of 2010 my son graduated from the Naval Academy and married his high school sweetheart the very next day. Then they started their lives together as a military family. By August of that year I was back to help them move to Florida, where my son would begin training as a pilot.  Continue reading

Great Expectations – Rating the Dating Sites

As I was busy dating someone else, and flying to Florida to meet my very first grandchild, John was dealing with his own emotions about dating.

After just a week of dating Betty from the coast, John told her he didn’t want to be in an exclusive relationship with her. He had told me that the minute he said yes to being a “boyfriend” he felt like an elephant had stepped on his chest.

So, while I was off getting to know my granddaughter and helping my son and daughter in law move, John was busy “Rating the Dating Sites”.  Continue reading

Dear little girl…

Tomorrow is a big day for me.

I don’t mean in the sense that something exciting is happening, or I’ve got a bunch of big plans. More in the way of it’s a calendar date that I never forget and always reflect on.

It was August 3, 1970 when the world changed for me. And for the last 48 years, it’s August 3rd that I still feel the pain of that day and our loss.

I know there are a whole lot of you reading this now, that know exactly how I feel. Losing a parent, especially when you are a child, is something you never fully “get over”.   Continue reading

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Here is the very first post John sent me to edit (his fourth). I’m pretty sure I am “Debi” and “Tracy”

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

“The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.” -Gloria Steinem

Gloria wrote that in 1970, and while I’m not a fan of starting my words by using someone else’s (feels a bit like cheating) I really couldn’t put it any better. Women and men have learned to hold many misconceptions about each other – here’s a couple we’ll deal with this week:

Men think women don’t know what they want.

Women think men don’t mean what they say.

And often both sides don’t fully trust each other. Does it sometimes seem as though we are two different species, cohabitating out of necessity, and only really coming together to make more males for one side and more females for the other?

Though it appears that way, it’s just not the case – so let’s see if we can’t dispel some misconceptions… Continue reading

Introducing The Online Dating Coach

When John told me he was dating someone else, I wasn’t surprised. I could tell from our very first meeting at Starbucks that he’d been on many such meet and greets.

He was tall, dark and handsome, smart and witty. And I had been online dating long enough to know he was a rare find indeed. But just because he was one of few, that didn’t mean I wanted to jump into an intimate relationship with him.

So someone else did.

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Friends First

First dates are fun, and exciting – and nerve-wracking and scary. But I didn’t feel nervous or scared to meet John for our official first date. As a matter of fact, I think we went to see a movie.

Which is a weird thing to do on a first date.

It’s not like we would get a chance to talk and get to know each other. And, I don’t remember which movie we saw, but I do remember he ordered Raisinets.

Raisinets? Who orders Raisnets?

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The meet and greet

After I got back home from Pensacola I decided to get back on Match.com. Things were going good for me, and I wanted to find someone to play tennis with, ride bikes or go on hikes.

I dated a few guys here and there and even made a friend for life with one guy.

But for the most part, I went on a lot of disappointing “meet and greets”.

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How to become a magazine editor

My oldest son started a magazine.

Adam saw a need for a place where artists could showcase their work and themselves, and so he created it. Out of nothing.

His goal was to give artists a free published forum and get businesses to sponsor them. He literally had nothing to show local business owners when he went asking for money.

He walked in with a blank piece of paper the size of his magazine, which had yet to be produced, and asked for money. And he got it.

I’m so proud of him for doing that.

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A job to do

I am a task-oriented person.

If a job needs to be done, I identify it, find a solution, and then go about getting it done.

It was easy to fix all of the things around me after Judd left. One by one, I got my life back and found peace in my little cottage by myself in Napa.

And as hard as it was, being by myself was exactly what I needed.

Working from home with no one else around, and living in an area where I had no family or friends created the perfect arena for some major reflection. But that’s not how I saw it at first.

I wasn’t just lonely – I was alone.

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We did it together

Today’s “Let’s do this together video” features My John, because it just so happens to be the 7th anniversary of the day we met. We were both on Match.com years ago, and John saw my profile and sent me a message.

He has a way with words, and his profile was very well written, so I decided to meet him for coffee. That, and his photos were pretty handsome too.    Continue reading

Just Loretta

Pick yourself up Loretta, dust yourself off, and start over.

This has been the theme my entire life. And I’m good at it. I’ve had to do it a bunch of times.

Does that make me a bad person?

Should I be judged because I’ve loved and lost too many times?

It doesn’t matter what the answers are to those questions. What matters is, I needed to get back up. After my crying fest, I decided I needed a fresh start. So many things had gone wrong and I needed to clean up my mess.

The day after dropping Judd at the train station, everything started to get better. Continue reading

Just push off – part two

Learning how to push-off in other ways…

My best friend trusted me to take care of her dog, and I lost him. I was desperate to find him so I ran and ran calling out for Chico, but saw no sign of him anywhere.

By the time I got back to the house, I was exhausted and in tears. How in the world was I going to tell my best friend I lost her beloved Chico?

I called the local Humane Society to report him missing. Bella sat next to me, looking at me with her big eyes, as I called the radio stations and local newspaper. Then I printed up fliers to post and hand out.

By this time, it was dark out and all I could think of was how was he going to stay warm and dry that night. Had someone picked him up and was he safe inside? Continue reading

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