10/18/2011 10:27 am ET | Updated Dec 18, 2011

Best Laid Plans

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, does it make my asphalt look fat? Aging isn't for the pretty, but this is nothing new for someone who never was. I wasn't the cute girl who turned heads unless I tripped up the stairs or made boys swoon.

My hair was neither long nor flowing and it never cascaded down my thighs shoulders. I didn't get away with batting my eyelashes or pretending I was blond timid or weak in order to land a man job.

I worked my way up the food chain by eating right through it at some marvelous restaurants and am more pound-foolish than my big smart ass mouth has any right to be. Call me a man magnet. I'd tell you not to laugh but then there'd be no point for either of us to be here.

My dating and relationship history rivals the Six Day War. So much for being taken by surprise. My best-laid plans went unconsummated more often than not. For all the women who complain that they were always the bridesmaid and never a bride, I was neither.

I am simply poorer for always being the recipient of the wedding invitation and having to go out and spend money on gifts for a couple concept that I think is a gamble in and of itself where nobody wins, including the house. Why do you think it's called the hard way in Vegas? (Don't make me reach through that screen and wash your eyes out with soap).

If I would have wanted decades of conflict and tension, I would have gotten married 30 years ago and settled in the Middle East. Viagra produces a far more interesting uprising and it only lasts four hours before it's finally over. If I ever encounter a situation where it stands up to me for longer than that, I'm not calling any doctor. I'm advertising it on a jumbotron going to finally learn what the phrase "until the cows come home" really means. And then they can put me out to pasture.

In case you're just joining me in this paragraph, allow me to introduce myself. My reality is nothing like what you might see on TV and I should probably come with a warning label that reads: "Do Not Try This at Home." A few have and the results were disastrous mixed at best. I'm about as domestic as a gazelle and about as pleasant as carbon monoxide. At least I don't smell. Your mileage may vary. But if you decide to go on this ride (you must be this tall), be prepared. You are not in Kansas anymore, Toto and as far as I'm concerned, there's no place like Rome. Or Santorini. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I didn't sail through adulthood, ripen like fruit and become menopausal middle-aged overnight. For every person who seemingly breezes through life, there are thousands more that slog away at it and wake up only right before it's over and it's too late to do anything about the past. I'm not one of them. If I were a weather system my name would change every time I moved through a city, made a snap decision or fell in lust. For the record, I do howl.

My romantic life has sometimes looked more like a Twister board than a wine pairing. I didn't "acquire" laugh lines. I had them chiseled into my face and I'll be damned if someone will make me pay to have them surgically removed. They are proof positive that I have laughed more than I cried on this messy excursion called life. Each day begins with the plucking of chin hair hope that I can make someone laugh even if it's only myself or look at life from a different perspective. This is where you come in. You're still here, aren't you?

If you're anything like me (which you're probably not because that would be more scary than coincidental) you didn't turn 50. It was more like a head-on collision that slammed into you while you were busy cleaning up dog vomit, figuring out how to pay your mortgage and your kid's college tuition or taking care of an elderly parent while holding down a full-time job that hates you almost as much as you do it. Bless you if you're doing all those things at once.

Your 50th birthday probably came with witnesses (whose memories are better different than yours), reading glasses, some heartache, a family history, tons of information from WebMD that kept you up more nights than necessary, lessons you still need to relearn, photo albums you rarely look at, prescriptions for medications you can barely pronounce and a supportive bra cheering section. Maybe it came with cake and a big fat check party. You earned it and so did I. It's going to take the Jaws of Life to extricate me from this experience called sex middle age. I live to write about it.

"Oh really?" you ask?

Yes. Really.

Pleased to meet you.