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Why I'm Alone

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"It takes a hell of a good man
To be my Mr. Right.
It takes a hell of a sweet man
To see me every night.
It takes a hell of a good man
To be better than no man at all." -Hell of a Good Man, blues song

People ask me why I'm still alone, and why I don't seek to date much, eight years after my husband died. I thought about it the other day, and came up with a few of the reasons.

I'm alone because:

... unlike men, when a woman reaches a certain age, no matter the packaging, she seems to pass her shelf date.

... I find myself sitting in front of the computer, and three hours later I look up and the sun is down and it's too late to ask someone to go out to dinner, so I spread some cream cheese and mild salsa on wheat crackers and watch Olbermann. And I'm fine with it.

... I married a special man twelve years older than I and he died and I'm told it's off-putting to be a widow who loved a special man.

... I sometimes like it, so I won't go out and beat the bushes for some nice-enough fellow who belches so loud I jump and doesn't listen and who doesn't make me smile enough to put up with strange noises and indifference.

... I 'm now used to getting up when I want and drinking from the juice bottles and not shaving my legs and leaving dishes from the night before on my bed and getting up at 3am and seeing a movie and going back to bed at 5am and not hearing a word of scorn, and not that many people can deal with that kind of thing.

... I appreciate solitude.

... my Aunt Hilda drove a pink Caddy with fins and carried a pistol and had blonde hair. She lived alone after my Uncle Arty died. She ate out at the Jaeger House in Yorkville and the waiter knew she liked Pinch neat and a veal chop, and she traveled by herself to Bermuda and it all seemed so glamorous.

... I can scratch my own itches.

... who wants to hang out with somebody who might take off at any minute for Zanzibar and leave them to take care of the cat?

...that big cat rubs against me and sits next to me and follows me around all day and sleeps with me all night, and feels like a small furry man when she spoons my legs. So I don't feel alone.

... it's peaceful.

... I have friends who laugh and go out to concerts and play Scrabble and keep me occupied when I want to go out and we seem to laugh more than our married friends and we even look happier, even if we aren't, but I suspect we might be, at least more so than many.

... I can watch movies at home and don't have to drive to the Multiplex anymore, which I hated to do alone.

... I'm independent and outspoken and most men don't much care for women who debate them and who don't hope to get married and cook for them.

... I have an iPhone that I can play with anywhere I go to keep me company and I can always share experiences with someone.

... my adorable granddaughters provide the passion, and I long for them like I used to long for a lover.

... Huffpost gives me a place to vent and open up anytime, day or night, and the virtual company is better than I've found most anywhere.

... I'm satisfied that I've sowed enough oats to make oatmeal for the New York Yankees and still have some left over to feed the waitstaff at Tavern on the Green, with a few spoonfuls to spare.

... I don't want to be a nurse for the men who still run after me, who can't even run.

... I don't want my heart broken again. Ever.

... I don't find it easy to trust.

... I choose not to get on the Internet because it's humiliating to be turned down by someone I have no interest in when ten years ago I wouldn't have been turned down by that person, or even one I did have interest in.

...my memories and dreams are often X-rated and I can return to them when I want a thrill.

... I'm comfortable in my skin.

... I have a website called sololady and if I wasn't solo I'd have to get another domain name.

... you're more alone in an unhappy relationship than you really ever are without a relationship at all.

... my friends don't introduce me to anyone anymore because they know that unlike some women my age who settle, I want a bit more than "mammal" on my wish list.

... life doesn't always wind up the way you expect it to, and you roll with it.

... I choose to be.

... I'm able to be.

I'm alone but not lonely, but I'm still open to options, and do understand the beauty and wonder -- and blessing --of a good relationship.