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I have been a student of self-help reads since I first read Gail Sheehy's groundbreaking book back in the seventies and thought to myself : "Self, can you even IMAGINE being fifty??" At the time I was in college and had my head stuck so far up the boyfriend's butt that I couldn't see the trees for the forest. In my Daddy's words " At least he stuck with you 'til you graduated." Even though he cut me loose right after I got the degree, I can thank him for an early interest in the psyche and what makes it do that funny stuff to us. That breakup wounded me to the core of the soul and I wasn't over it when I met the man who was to become my husband just two years later. I met him in the restaurant/bar where he worked and we shacked up for six months before deciding "why not get married? Seems like the thing to do." I was 23 and he was 22. Way too young for a lifetime commitment.

We played for about five years at being adults and then the Babygirl forced us to grow up quick. At 29, I was an older mother than most and the fatigue that hounded me through nights on call at the hospital forced me to recognize that the younger moms were way ahead of me in physical stamina. Looking at things now, I realize that I tried to do it all at once....be a wife, friend, mother and family member while over-achieving at work. I was good at all of it, except for being my own friend. The way it plays out today makes much more sense to me...get after that career while you're young and energetic then take time to focus on the family and yourself.

It all began to unravel when I hit the early thirties and "fell in love" with someone who hooked into every issue that I had stuffed into my baggage. The result was two hard years in therapy to figure out exactly what my deal was and how the hell I thought I could be loveable without giving myself away on a whim. That was, long story short, the beginning of the end of the marriage of convenience. It lasted 22 years, more or less, and then became too much of a drain to maintain once BabyGirl was on the downhill slide out of high school. All three of us suffered tremendously seeing that decision through. I hold no grudges or bad feelings. BabyGirl has good relationships with both of us. It simply wasn't what either of us needed.

Which brings me to the walking wounded man-pool out there. The only "available" men that I've run across still haven't done what they have to do to get over being done wrong by a woman. We are bitches and control freaks..not to be trusted except in the role of fuckbuddy or friend, sometimes a nice easy combination of both. An old friend and I were chatting the other day about what I really want. "A husband?" he asked. Nope. "SugarDaddy!" Nah..that's just a joke that keeps me going during the perpetual lean times.

"You want love." Bingo. Ain't that what makes the world go round? According to Scott Peck, love is hard work. I'm not sure I'm up to it anymore. My inner child has had her ass kicked and embraced herself and now she's ready to be treated like a princess.

If the shoe fits, wear it I say.

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