I read George Orwell’s 1984 in school, but I had no idea back then I would one day be living it. I’m sure none of us did.
I went to the grocery today. I went at 7:15 in the morning, and by myself, because I’d already heard they weren’t going to let Bruce tag along with me. The parking lot was full when I arrived. There was one door letting people into the store and another ushering people out. I was counted both on entry and exit because only a fixed number were allowed to shop at a given time.
For once, the store was partially stocked with food, instead of being mostly empty as it had been on my previous trips during the last month, but there were signs over most items stipulating the limits of what I could buy. I pushed my sanitized cart through the aisles and waited for my turn when multiple people hovered near something I needed.
People were watching me shop the entire time to make sure I stayed 6 feet away from other shoppers. Some shoppers wore masks. Some wore gloves. Some wore both. Others like me–Baby Boomer rebel that I am–wore neither. I’m blaming my youthful years for my resistant attitude, but I’m sure my mental state is a lot more complicated.
I’m not going to apologize for my stubbornness or my need to be a little in denial. Please–no lectures. I get enough of those from my always prepared Marine husband. Next time I go, I probably will wear a mask, but today I was winging it. I hadn’t gone anywhere alone in weeks.
Okay… well… I’m not a complete rebel. I did have a tiny hand-sanitizer in my pocket, one of those “mini” ones from Bed, Bath, and Beyond that I’m sure someone got me for Christmas. I used it before I went into the store and after everything was loaded into the car. I don’t like it. I think in the big picture sanitizer and all anti-bacterial products compromise our immune systems. But the virus alternative is worse. I guess. Unable to mentally wade through all the daily bombardment of information and misinformation, I’m choosing not to listen to the news. I prefer to rely on common sense and caution and trying to keep my husband from being insane with worry.
However… despite the danger… I refuse to live in complete abject fear of every human interaction I have. I was raised to be nice, and friendly, and polite. I’m not saying all my choices this morning were smart. I’m just sharing how I felt about what happened today.
At the checkout line on the very clean floors of the store I shopped, there were do-not-cross lines which were precisely measured for maximum safety. Not a single rebellious person was in sight as I waited my turn. I think the other rebellious people were all like me–hyperventilating with panic on the inside while lecturing themselves about acting like a grownup instead of being freaked out.
Most of inspiration for the romantic lives of older characters I write was inspired by personal experiences, friend’s experiences, and talking to older people I have met. But just like I don’t divulge my personal truths in their nitty-gritty form, neither do friends and acquaintances–not even in interviews that I swear to never share.
In the search for braver souls who are more honest than I have managed to be up to now, I read a lot of articles about sex. Some are yawn worry. Some are more prudish than their titles indicate. Huffpost50 gives me good leads several times a week, but sometimes their articles have me rolling my eyes. Medical sites make sex over 35 or 40 sound like you’re forcing something broken to work again.
Recently I found an Huffpo article called “Middle-aged Prude Asks An Important Sex Question“. The woman mentioned in the article was 60 and definitely not a prude, but by the end of the article I believed the article author was actually talking about herself. Commenters to the article chastised nearly everything in it, including many who debated whether or not 60 was middle-aged. This is how my research goes. I read. I roll my eyes. I laugh and look for something else. This time though, I clicked one of those sneaky secondary links in the article, where I found a unique podcast called “Our Better Half” which was focused on our sex lives after 50.
This podcast is a refreshing approach to honest communication. I will admit it made me both blush and laugh. And I learned I was more of a prude than I realized, despite what I write for living. It is put together in short segments, including one called “Explain THAT to Grandma” which was vastly entertaining. But the reason I am sharing this with you is I find there is such a shortage of this type of real person-to-person dialogue. While some of the content might make you wince more than I did, I guarantee other parts will delight you regardless of your sensibilites. The podcaster is wonderful, over 50, and I’m glad she is doing this.
For those of you who have read my Never Too Late series, Dr. Regina Logan would adore this woman’s chutzpah just as much as I do.
I have included Episode 1 in this post. I’m working my way through them. They seem to get better and better.
I’ve always been a writer. It was only a few years ago that I became a published author. Being creative is ageless.
Last Saturday I gave a self-publishing workshop at one of my favorite local libraries. They frequently invite me to be on panels and carry nearly my entire catalog of print books. I have become a patron favorite because of local librarian, Laurel Keller, who is also a published Young Adult Paranormal author working on Book 3 of her series. I helped Laurel get her first book published. Now paying it forward, Laurel hosts a writing group at the library. I visited them at one of their meetings and them promised them the workshop.
Her writing group is eclectic. There are retirees, a published author struggling to publish again, and a college student majoring in English. There is even a whole family of writers. Mother, father, and teenage son all write. Several of them—maybe even all of them—are up to their elbows in a story of some sort. Some have more than one. Their commonality is that all of them are writers in the best sense of the word. They have taken on divine inspiration as a writing partner.