Mad as Hell that I was indoctrinated in school and not educated!!!

I’d like to go on a bit of a rant about how naïve I have been for so long and even though I am an educated person, my education was more akin to indoctrination. Now that I am finally waking up, I wish to share a few examples of what I was taught and what I now believe.

Christopher Columbus – I was taught he was a hero for proving the world was not flat, and discovering and bringing Christianity to the new world. In fact, he was a really a “bad hombre” and he was not the first explorer to reach the Americas – he was preceded by its indigenous people who came from Asia and later, the Vikings. As for the shape of the earth, scholars had known since antiquity that the earth was a sphere. Most shocking to me was learning that he started the transatlantic slave trade; used torture and mutilation; and initiated the genocide of the natives. Time to get rid of Columbus Day for sure!

Manifest Destiny – I was taught that it was the destiny of the ”white man” to spread the word of God to the “savages”. My school books read that European explorers were doing God’s work moving westward across the country but the books ignored the part about how the natives were robbed of their language, culture and heritage and religion was forced down their throats if they wanted to survive. In reality, the Christianity thing was really a ruse for plundering treasure and subjugating humans. Visiting the Herd Museum in Phoenix was a real eye opener for me – especially seeing the exhibits showing how young boys were taken from their homes, had their hair shorn, had their clothes burnt, were forced to wear the clothing of their subjugators and were forbidden from speaking their own language. I’m proud to know the lawyer who successfully argued before the Illinois Supreme court to retire the disrespectful “Chief Illini” mascot of the University of Illinois – time to retire all other such vestiges of overt racism!

Capitalism – I was taught that capitalism was good and it is what differentiates America and makes it great. I was also taught that socialism was bad. The rags to riches story was the concept that anyone could do anything in this great nation so long as “he” just pulled himself up by his bootstraps and worked hard. No one explained that not everyone had boots much less bootstraps! The great industrialists were heralded for their significant achievements such as manufacturing, the railroad, oil, coal and automobiles, which improved life for some and advanced the U.S.’s position in the world order, but other than a cursory mention of the term “robber baron,” there was no focus on working conditions and monopolistic power. The so-called “trickle-down” theory of economics didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now. Left unregulated, the rich get richer and the rest of us suffer. Socialism, in my opinion, is good. It means providing a safety net for those without boots and establishes certain basic rights such as clean air and water, education and healthcare. I’m proud to have supported Bernie Sander’s brand of socialism and hopefully it will become more mainstream as our country rebounds from the ravages of Trump.

Religion and the Role of Women – I was taught that I should be feminine, not too smart, allow boys to win, not have sex before marriage, learn to type, sew, cook, clean, and find a husband. Raised Catholic, I was taught to cover my head in church and that using birth control and having an abortion would cause my spirit to go to hell. I was taught that a woman’s role was to be a mother and raise children. Now I realize that religion is really men’s way of keeping women down. Other religions, including Orthodox Judaism and Islam have sects that continue to require women to cover their heads. Other religions, including the Latter Day Saints, ban birth control to expand their ranks and keep women in the role of procreator in chief. Most religions are controlled by men and restrict women from positions of authority. I confess to no longer being a believer but nonetheless I am still appalled at how many women continue to devoutly follow the dictates of their male religious leaders with little or no challenges. The continuous attacks on women’s reproductive freedom, frequently done in the name of religion, in my opinion, are merely a ruse for keeping women from gaining power in society. Now, more than ever, separation of church and state is critical for women to escape this kind of religious persecution.

Modern American Government – I was taught that our democratic form of government represents the people. I was naive enough to believe that this representation meant all people. I now believe that it has been sorely lacking in representing all who have been marginalized – that’s everyone except white males.

I know what it’s like to be discriminated against because I am a woman but I am just beginning to understand how my white skin privileged just about everything I did in life. The Black Lives Matter movement and the “justice” aspects of the environmental and reproductive rights movements have opened my eyes to the extra burdens that have been placed on the lives of those who have not been born white. Our government continues to be controlled by white males. Given the Citizens United case, white male controlled corporations are now also being represented. The only good news since the last election is that people are mobilizing more than ever to fight for a government that represents all the people – including those who have traditionally been marginalized. 

There’s more indoctrination versus education to rant about but I’ll save it for another time. . .

 

My 10 Core Social/Political Beliefs

The election of Trump has caused me to focus on my core beliefs and work toward advancing them. I recommend this exercise for everyone. It is a useful way to clarify where you stand and to focus your energies.fullsizerender

So, in no particular order and subject to further additions, here they are.

 Reproductive Rights and the Right to Die. 

Nothing could be more fundamental than the notion that the government has no place making healthcare decisions for individuals. As for reproductive rights, these are perhaps the most important rights women have to gain equity in any society. Without the right to decide if and when to have a child, women are relegated to child bearing and will not be able to pursue their own destinies. In addition to reproductive rights, adults of sound mind should also have the right to end their lives if they chose to – particularly if they have lost the health to enjoy.

Income Equity. 

The disparity between the incomes of workers and the financial elite is obscene. All workers should have a living wage so that if they work full time, they can afford housing, food and life’s essentials. The incomes/bonuses for the executives in the financial services industry should be restricted to a reasonable percentage more than their workers. There should be laws with criminal penalties prohibiting executives from resorting to self-interest over common good (as in the recent recession). History has proven that left unregulated, the financial services industry will resort to greed and self-interest. This needs to be stopped. 

Climate Change.

Our climate worldwide is in danger and steps must be taken locally, nationally and globally to curtail climate change. These steps should include penalties for failure to follow strict regulations. The fossil fuel business should be highly regulated and given incentives to change to clean energy.

Freedom of Speech and the Press. 

Public supported news is important to avoid bias. Fact checking has become more important than ever. Media that is opinion rather than merely factual, such as FOX and MSNBC, should be labeled as such. The press should strive to report facts rather than opinions so that their audience can form their own conclusions. All persons should have the right to speak their minds in public forums. Hate speech and violence-inciting speech should be prohibited.

The Role of Government.

Government should provide for an orderly and fair society as well as a safety net for those who are unable to take care of themselves. International peace should be pursued. Sharing our resources with people in need from other countries should be encouraged. Government should  serve as an example to the world with respect to the intrinsic value of following the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We should not pursue regime change in other governments and we should not interfere in other governments except to help prohibit genocide and other serious abuses to people. 

Equal rights for all in all things. 

All people should be treated equally and should have equal access to good education, health care, employment opportunities, housing, family life (marriage, divorce and child rearing), food, clean water and clean air.

Elections. 

Eliminate the Electoral College. Establish term limits for congress. Eliminate corporate and PAC money in elections. Eliminate compensation for office holders after term expiration.

Immigration. 

Refugees escaping war and danger from their native countries should be welcomed and helped to establish themselves in this country. Other immigrants should be subject to reasonable vetting and quotas. Dreamers should be granted citizenship. Deportation should be restricted to felons. Amnesty should be allowed to family members of citizens.

Religion.

All references to “God” should be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, governmental events (including swearing in ceremonies) edifices, documents and currency. Non-believers should have the right to be free of religion just as believers should have the right for all religions to be treated equally and none favored by the government.

Diversity. 

Women and minorities and others who have been traditionally marginalized should be proportionately represented in all aspects of leadership in society.

 

Five Reasons Why I Love My Life More Without Alcohol (Even Though I Used to Really Love to Drink!)

My first memory of alcohol was as a little girl tasting my dad’s beer while sitting on his lap on Saturday afternoons after he mowed the lawn. I loved the taste of the “forbidden” golden, sparkly and fizzy-bitter tasting liquid that sometimes made me hiccup.

My next beer memory was at a friend’s house after school in 10th grade. Since no one was home, we downed a couple, I got my first buzz and loved it.

In college my first date was with a senior who took me to a bowling alley where I drank two beers and got the whirlies, which I didn’t love, but with practice, the whirlies went away and I loved the extra fun drinking brought to parties.

Junior year I studied in Rome and learned to drink wine that was available for the equivalent of $1 from the school’s vending machine in the dining room. Didn’t take me long to learn to love both red and white.

As a “working girl” in the 70s, I followed my mother’s advice to drink scotch and avoid the sweet “girly” drinks that caused hangovers. An acquired taste, but a quicker high, I learned to love scotch.

In my late 20s, night law school wouldn’t have been the same without a wine before and a scotch after class four nights a week for four long years. I loved the interludes these drinks provided.

When pregnant, my doctor told me that a little wine now and then was okay, so I reduced my consumption to a couple glasses of wine per week and loved that I could still imbibe, albeit on a much reduced scale.

For the next 18 years, while raising my daughter, I loved the time of night after dinner and homework, when I could relax with a good book and my vino.

At 50, and a partner in a large law firm, nothing was as much fun as gathering after hours in the bar on the first floor frequented by local politicos and power brokers and loving the buzz of intense conversations and grey goose martinis.

At 60 I retired from full time work and spent more time with wine. Over the next few years, my love affair with wine began to wane. What used to make me feel good was now  necessary to not feel bad.

At 67 I quit. It’s been almost a year and here are five reasons (in addition to health, longevity, appearance and money) why I now love my life MORE without alcohol!!!

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1) Waking Up Bright Eyed – So this is what it feels like to be a normal person. Clear-headed and bright-eyed, I enjoy a cup of coffee and a light breakfast, check my emails, FB and Instagram, watch TV news, take a walk with my grand dog, or take a swim –  all before really beginning my day’s adventures.

2) Feeling Lighter, Both Inside and Out – So this is what it feels like without a monkey on my back. For years I worried that I might be drinking too much and often stopped but later started up again. It became an obsession. Drinking was on my mind way too much. Now the negativity is gone and my mind is free to think about things that matter and that bring me joy. In addition to my inside, my outside is also lighter having shed the extra pounds and belly fat that came from drinking so many empty calories.

3) Realizing the Sky is the Limit – So this is what an optimist feels like without the chemical depressants found in alcohol raining on her parade. Intellectually I knew that alcohol was a depressive, but I never thought it would really affect me. Guess it’s like that joke about how good it feels when someone stops beating you. My outlook is now happy most of the time, my self-esteem is palpable and I do feel that the “sky is my only limit” in living a full life.

4) Living Rather than Watching Life – So this is what it feels like to be full of life and do the things I always said I wanted to do if I ever had the time (and energy). I’m now writing, volunteering for the causes that evoke my passion, reading non-fiction, studying women’s history, taking other history classes, sailing, traveling, making new friends and am even open to potential romance.

5) Being Free to be Me – So this is what it feels like to be comfortable in your own skin (wrinkly and sun-spotted as it may be). Finally free to be me, I decided to go public in the hope that my story may encourage someone else who may “love” drinking a bit too much to find out how much better life without drinking can be. One of my biggest surprises about life without alcohol is that I’m still fun and you can be too!

 

 

 

My Neck

I love Nora Ephron’s book, “I Feel Bad About My Neck”. I have been feeling bad about my neck since I was about 55. As the years passed, my feelings grew as my weight increased and my necked sagged. All my photos are full face – no side shots allowed.

At 62 I had a consult with a plastic surgeon. When I told him I wanted to lose weight, he told me to wait on the surgery until I reached my weight loss goal – no point in sucking out the fat, cutting the muscles and stretching the skin just to have it sag again on an otherwise svelte neck – assuming I actually lost the weight.

Soon I’ll be 68 and my weight loss goal is almost complete (btw, eliminating alcohol can do that for you). So I decided it was time to head back to the plastic surgeon (who btw, seemed to have gained the weight I lost). I learned that the procedure would cost $8500 and I’d need to spend at least 2 weeks recovering. Incisions would be made to suction out the fat, tighten the muscles and pull back the skin. There would be pain and suffering and I’d have to keep my head bound and elevated even during sleep – assuming I was lucky enough to catch a few winks in such an altered state.

So now that I’m just about ready to go under the knife, something unforeseen happened recently while reading in bed.

As I do most nights, I was lying on my side in bed reading my kindle before going to sleep. Rather than pull my nightgown sleeve down to avoid looking at my arm (the reason I wear long sleeves to bed), for some unknown reason, I pushed it up and began to study this appendage as if it were not actually mine but rather part of a sculpture in a museum.

I noticed that when I lowered the hand, certain veins popped out. I also noticed random wrinkles lining the skin over its knuckles and finger bones. I followed the patterns the brown spots made around the web between the thumb and forefinger and around the wrist. The recently suntanned skin accentuated the changes wrought by time and the little wave-like wrinkles covering the part of my forearm that sagged while held upright.

Looking at the hand reminded me of looking at my mother’s hands years ago. I remember how I liked all her wandering rope-like veins, spots and almost translucent skin. I would tell her how much character her hands conveyed. She’d retrieve her hands and shoo me away with a comment about wishing she could cover them with gloves.

As I studied my hand, I noticed the same crisscrossed vein that my mother had. It was in the same spot on each of our right hands. Why was it that I thought this vein design was beautiful on my mother’s hand but ugly on my own? Why was it that “character” in an FullSizeRenderaging body was a badge of honor for others but shameful for me? Maybe I was looking at my body through the wrong lens. Maybe it was time to change my perspective. Maybe it was time to appreciate rather than criticize.

Contemplating my new insight, I remembered a pencil sketch that I bought many years ago at a roadside stand in Baja. It was a portrait of a wizened old man wearing a sombrero and smoking a cigarette. Deep lines circled his eyes and jutted out from his mouth telling the story of a life lived hard in Mexico’s sunbaked climate. I loved that drawing because in the face, and particularly the eyes, one could imagine the story of how a young boy became an old man – a tale of survival in each crevice on his face.

It occurred to me that no one gets old without his or her body showing wear. Smooth skin, without the marks of living, has no tale to tell. Sun darkened skin with spots, ruts, veins and wrinkles could be considered the map of that person’s life journey.

Having stumbled upon this new truth, I am beginning to learn how to embrace the body that has carried my spirit these past 68 years.

I wish to embrace the legs that helped me explore the world while I walked, biked, skied and danced.

I wish to embrace the hands that clapped, wrote stories, trimmed sails and held other hands.

I wish to embrace the arms that held my baby when she was born and my father when he died.

I wish to embrace the face that has laughed, cried, and witnessed love and loss.

I wish to embrace the body, both naked and clothed, of a 68-year-old woman who is still able to enjoy a full life.

And lastly, as my perspective is changing, I wish to embrace my neck as it holds my head high savoring my last act (and spending that $8500 on new adventures both near and far).

 

Sunrise . . . Sunset

“Let me help you tighten your helmet. Is the seat okay? Do you know how to shift the gears? Let’s stay on the sidewalk until you get the hang of your new bike. . . . .”

Sound familiar? These could have been my words 25 years ago but they are not my words . . . they are my daughter’s as we get ready to take our first bike ride together on my new bike.

Helmets secured, we take off . . . my daughter in the lead so she can pick a safe route with little traffic. When we start up a hill, she turns around to keep an eye on me. When I topple over, having unsuccessfully tried to turn while going too slowly up the hill, she is right there to help.

As I lie in the street with my bike on top of me (and my ego bruised more than my knees), people seemed to materialize out of nowhere asking if I was okay. My daughter lifted my bike off me and soothingly said, “poor momma, let me help you up.” Had a crowd not gathered, she would likely have offered to kiss my boo-boo.

Dusting off my pants and the crowd, I get back on and ride off behind her to the closest coffee shop outdoor table to chill out with some caffeine and keep an eye on our bikes and my bloody knees.

Waiting outside while she goes in to buy our coffee, our recent role reversal is not lost on me as I ponder the symmetry of life between this mother and daughter.

I first noticed the change when I moved to San Diego 7+ years ago after retiring from my law practice in Chicago. It was a subtle change at first, such as carrying my canvas bags after filling up on groceries at Trader Joe’s.

Then there were the times she’d reach out to take my hand when crossing the street mid-block as we took a short cut to our favorite neighborhood tavern for happy hour.

On airport trips she carried my luggage and did the reminders to put my ticket and id in my pocket and finish my liquids before going through security.

At some point, daily morning texts became a ritual checking on how I slept and my plans for the day. Once she taught me how to Bitmoji, texting became a contest of who could be most outrageous expressing daily moods and thoughts.

Due to her encouragement, I eat my vegetables – I drink lots of water (instead of lots of wine) – I take my vitamins and I floss my teeth!

As I ponder life’s cycles, that song from Fiddler on the Roof begins to play on the soundtrack of my mind.

“Where is the Little Girl I carried . . .Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers, blossoming even as we gaze.”

 

 

True “Grit” – Madam C. J. Walker

In today’s jargon, psychologist Angela Duckworth, who studies the trait that leads to high achievement, calls tenacious and dogged perseverance “true grit” after the young girl character in the movie of the same name. This concept of “grit” characterizes the woman who would become known as Madam C. J. Walker.

Imagine a black baby girl born in the Deep South in 1867 . . . her mother dies when she is 5 . . . her father dies when she is 7 . . . orphaned with no formal education, she’s taken in by her sister and brother-in-law to support the family by picking cotton. Imagine further that young girl is abused by her brother-in-law and marrys at 14 to avoid further exploitation. Lastly, imagine this young woman with a baby at 18 and widowed at 20.

The woman we are imagining is Sarah Breedlove a/k/a Madam C.J. Walker – a woman believed to be this country’s first self made woman millionaire. She was an extraordinary entrepreneur having developed a business model that thrives to this day. She was also a civil rights activist and a philanthropist. In her day, what she accomplished had typically only been accomplished by men. Today we would call her a gender non-conformist.

It was just 2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Sarah, the 6th child of newly freed slave/then sharecropper parents, was born in a small, run down, rural cabin.

Her life before and after being orphaned was difficult – both emotionally and physically. Her early marriage, which was her escape from abuse, only lasted 6 years. After the death of her husband, 20 year old Sarah and her 2 year old toddler set off for St. Louis to be near her brothers who had established themselves as barbers.

After arriving at her new home and working as a washer woman, Sarah began to lose her hair – not surprising given her challenging living circumstances, high stress level, and the customary use of lye soap for bathing, shampooing and laundering. The combination of losing her hair and exposure to barber brothers caused Sarah to look for and find answers. As with others with “grit”, adversity became a catalyst for success.

She looked for hair loss remedies and experimented with various products. After a short stint selling hair products for another, Sarah decided to develop and sell her own products. During this time she married Charles J. Walker, who worked in advertising and became her business promoter. He suggested she market her products under the name, Madam C.J. Walker.

Once Madam C. J. Walker got started, there was no stopping her. Neither her race nor her gender kept her from realizing her potential. In her own words in July 1912, “I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations . . . I have built my own factory on my own ground.”

Hard work and determination spurred her to create a business model (later replicated by Mary Kay Cosmetics) that provided opportunities for up to 3000 women – opportunities to be commissioned sales agents with access to education and training and the dignity of working for themselves rather than as domestic or farm help – the only other viable work options for black women of the time.

Sarah divorced her husband and moved her business to Indianapolis setting up a factory and a research center while her daughter expanded the enterprise setting up a mail order business to complement the door-to-door sales business. Sarah valued her employees providing prizes for their profitability while also encouraging charitable giving – encouraging them with a favorite phrase – “lifting while we climb”.

Ironically, Indianapolis was also the home to the Ku Klux Klan. This may have contributed to her early civil rights activism supporting the NAACP with its anti-lynching campaign. At the time, lynching of boys and men (and girls and women) was not uncommon. In fact, a black man could be lynched for simply looking at a white woman.

Sarah was ahead of her time in many ways. Her work with hair products led the way for black women to begin to recognize their own racial beauty. In support of this, she used her image on all her products.

Once she became of person of means, she shared her wealth. Her philanthropy included gifts to the YMCA and Tuskegee Institute. When she died, she left the vast majority of her estate and future business profits to charity. When she learned that the black soldiers in WWI did not receive the same level of medical care as the white soldiers, she bought ambulances specifically for the black soldiers.

Later in her life, she bought a mansion in Irvington, New York. This home, which is now a national landmark, was a meeting place for NAACP and other black leaders of the day. Sarah’s daughter, who entertained widely in this home and hosted a cultural salon, was a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance.

Never one to conform to gender stereotypes and expectations, including the fact that the recently invented automobile was considered a man’s machine, Sarah bought three different cars and drove them herself for both transport and entertainment.

She died in her mansion at 51 from kidney failure and other complications of hypertension. She was buried at Woodlawn cemetery in the Bronx. Her legend lives on in her family and in her products which are still being sold!

Unlike the grand white industrialists of the time such as Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller, who were largely motivated by power and greed, Sarah’s traits included honesty, integrity and desire to make the world a better place.  She became a role model for other women to follow.

Today’s psychologists would give Sarah Breedlove a very high score on the “grit” scale. Her life story is one of tenacious and dogged perseverance in the pursuit of a better life for herself, her daughter and her community.

If interested in learning more about Sarah Breedlove, please check out the website, madamcjwalker.com which is hosted by Sarah’s great, great granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles.

 

 

Sexual Non-Monogamy . . .is there a case for it?

I “met” a very interesting man on Match.com who meets all my criteria – he’s smart, well educated, healthy, 69 to my 67, has a good sense of humor, financially comfortable, likes to travel, and most importantly, we have similar values and outlook on life (not to mention, he’s taller and weighs more than I).

We’ve been having fun communicating via phone and email for the past month. We have not yet met face-to-face because he hasn’t suggested it (and I’ve been trying to play a bit hard to get). There is also the fact that he lives in Sacramento and I live in San Diego – about an hour flight or a 10-hour drive.

After sending him an email on Saturday responding to his inquiry about which comedians that I like, and not hearing back for 5 days, I sent him a rather direct email with a subject line labeled, “Question”. It read, “Just wondering if you are interested in pursuing a relationship. I am, if you are. If so, I’d like to meet in person. What sayeth you? “ (the “sayeth” is because we are both lawyers and I thought it was kind of cute).

I pushed the “send” button before I had time to chicken out. Then I sent it to my daughter for comment. It didn’t take long for my phone to ping her message, “well mom . . . this might scare him away, but if so, what the hell . . . he’ll miss out on the ride of his life! . . . followed immediately by my message back, “yep”.

As the day wore on, two very noisy parts of my brain carried on quite a dialogue – alternatively regretting and defending my impulsive action. I was prepared to go quietly into the night if I never heard back from him or if he emailed that he did not want to “pursue a relationship.”

Half way into my bowl of popcorn and my recorded episode of The Good Wife”, the phone rang and my caller ID announced his name on my TV. I picked up the phone with a cheery “Hi Will”, trying to act nonchalant. He laughingly said, “so you don’t want to just keep writing and calling for the next few years?”

Joining in his laughter, my retort was “guess we could, but it might be a lot more fun to actually meet and hang out”. As we talked, I could feel the muscles in my neck relax as I stretched out on the sofa in preparation for a nice chat.

And chat we did. Turns out he’s 4 years separated and 2 years divorced after a 37 year marriage and has been having fun dating a few local women . . . but all is not well. He is experiencing some push back – the women he is dating want him to be exclusive and want to work toward a 24/7 relationship. He’s not ready to be either exclusive or 24/7 but when he socializes, he prefers the company of women to men – acknowledging that, in general, women are far more interesting than men.

He asked me what I thought about his conundrum and whether or not I date more than one guy at a time. I answered that I am more of a “serial monogamist” – being exclusive for as long as things are good and breaking it off when things head south.

We also talked about the geographic distance between us. Will likes to go to movies and likes to call a gal last minute to join him. This obviously wouldn’t work for us.

Basically, he likes convenient women who are good company. I sure can’t blame him for that. But I did suggest that a long distance relationship has advantages too – most particularly, one can have time to one’s self. I told him that my ideal set up would be for each of us to spend about half of the time alternating visits to our homes and traveling and the rest of the time apart.

We ended our chat after we set a time frame for his visit and confirmed that my sofa could accommodate him (his query about my sofa was probably to assure me that he doesn’t expect sex right off the bat).

Even though, I’d prefer that I was the only woman he is communicating with, I have to say his candor is a breath of fresh air – and I won’t be blindsided should things progress with “us”.

Will’s question about dating more than one person at a time got me thinking about what that might mean. At first, I dismissed the concept out of hand – after all, I had always maintained that if I liked someone enough to have sex, I’d want him to be exclusive – and of course, I would be too.

But just maybe, I am being too old fashioned about monogamy among single people – particularly those who live far apart. (although I do believe that monogamy should be the standard for married people).

So, I start imagining what this novel concept might be like. The first thing that comes to mind is STDs (since pregnancy hasn’t been an issue in many years). I guess condoms can help (but not eradicate) this issue.

The next thing I think about is possible comparisons – I don’t want him comparing me sexually to other women – although this could still happen in serial monogamy, it has never bothered me. I might worry that my body is not as nice or my lovemaking is not as erotic or as “good for him” as my competition. (yes, I do have a competitive streak).

Then there’s the issue of enough to go around – let’s face it, at this stage of the game, we are all a bit less energetic than in the old days. If he has limited drive or performance problems, I’d want to get my fair share.

Because I am no longer religious and no longer believe that sex outside of marriage is a “sin”, I have no moral issue with the concept of non-monogamy – so that’s not an issue.

The final issue is my life long belief that sexual monogamy is part and parcel of a committed relationship. Would I hold back part of me and who I really am if I were sharing? Or, could I be in the moment and “mindful” rather than thinking about the others and the future?

Could I be turned-on (sexually and otherwise) by a man who is also having sex with other women?

And what about him? What issues might he have dating a woman who has other sexual partners? Do guys care as much as girls do about this?

Is there a feminist issue here?

These are some of my questions as I contemplate dating a man who is dating other women . . . and I’m sure there will be more questions if this becomes a real choice.

As I ponder my future just maybe it’s time for a new way of thinking about a relationship. Who said monogamy rules?

As boomers we grew up knowing that the times, they are a changing . . .

Maybe a version of “really good friends with benefits” could work.

Who knows? Just maybe sexual non-monogamy might be the answer for two open-minded and vital oldies with lots in common, who live in separate cities, who want a relationship but are not interested in either marriage or cohabitation.

I don’t know – what do you think?

WE’VE COME A LONG WAY . . . . but the journey is not over!!!