Our job is to love the unlovable

The Calm meditation leader said loving the unlovable doesn’t mean sentimental love. It means loving someone or something that we don’t even know and perhaps don’t even want to know. So I looked around my mind and the only one I could think of is Donald Trump. He is the most unlovable person I can think of, and there is no way I want to try to love him. Unsentimental  or sentimental, he doesn’t evoke any love from me whatsoever. It’s a shame that one person could be so despicable in his words, deeds, crimes, appearance – the list goes on and on – that I consider him to be below unlovable. So I need to let him go and think some more to find an unlovable character to love. Maybe my ex-husband. He was a real piece of work. He didn’t know how to be husband. He would rather go out drinking and play pool with his boyfriends than spend time with me. And before we were divorced I found more of his bad habits. He stored a gun in his bottom dresser drawer and bags of pot in the drawer above … [Read more...]

Listening to myself

Listening to Myself: Has there been a time in your life when you thought you knew what you needed to do, but an inner voice kept telling you to go a different direction? Did you wind up “trusting your gut”? And if so, did your hindsight later validate your decision? If you didn’t listen to your instinct, did you have regrets?  How were you changed by the experience? Sometimes, listening to ourselves means being able to discern which of our several inner voices to listen to. How do you know which to trust?’ My reliable intuition told me immediately not to marry the handsome guy who swept me off my feet during the summer of 1961. We had just met, and we were so, so different. And sure enough I ended up with huge regrets. Thankfully, I was able to put an early end to it, but that marriage decision changed my life forever. It was the summer between my junior and senior years of college. I was student at the University of Wisconsin, a well-established journalism student, a member of … [Read more...]

My smoking story

I wrote this piece for my memoir class last week. I don't think I've ever written about this subject before - so I thought I'd share it here. Bottom line: I feel very lucky I was able to quit smoking when I did and be able to live and write about it. ***  In the mid 1950s fifties when I was in high school, the thing to do was smoke. No one thought anything was wrong with it. Even our major movie and radio stars smoked and looked so beautiful or handsome in their cigarette ads. And doctors endorsed certain cigarette brands. I hung with a smallish group of girls and boys. We didn’t go on many real dates, but we knew how to party. Most Saturday nights my best friend Sylvia would have us over and we’d gather in her dark basement to dance, eat, smoke, and make out. Either her parents were not home or didn’t pay attention to us if they were. We also went to one of the boys’ houses after school. It was there that I first heard Elvis Presley sing Blue Suede Shoes. Every time we were there … [Read more...]

The No Good Ex

I hadn't thought much about my ex husband until I heard he had recently died. We were divorced in 1965. If you’ve had an ex-husband or wife you’ll probably get this. That no matter what happens it’s always the ex’ fault, right? Mine did everything wrong – aside from being as handsome as a young Marlon Brando and having, at least in my mind, a terrific job as a film editor at MGM (he won an Oscar for "Towering Inferno"). He drank too much, he smoked weed, he went bar hopping with his high school buddies instead of staying home and paying attention to me, and he also fucked around. But none of those things were why I decided to leave him. I got pregnant. And at first he seemed to like the idea. So did his parents. They believed my having a baby would mean I finally would stop working and become a real housewife and mother. After all, it was the 1960s and that’s what most women did at that time. They didn’t have good jobs or think about their careers. Except I liked my job and I … [Read more...]