Friday, July 30, 2010

Stacey Anderson & Jimmy Heck, Down Under

GOOD MORNING, AUSTRALIA! We see by our Web traffic that TV-Land's big hit "The Cougar" has finally made it to your country. By now you know she chose Jimmy Heck, but you can't figure out: Did they actually get married in real life?

Heck no, is my guess. But who knows? Hundreds of our readers have Googled some version of "Are Jimmy Heck and Stacey Anderson married?" And, like us, they can't find out. We suspect that's because TV-Land doesn't want us to know the answer until it has shown this piece of age-gap fluff all over the world. Thus far, at various times, our blog has seen a spike in hits from South Africa, Denmark, Sweden and Slovenia, among other countries, after the last episode airs. Of them all, Australia – Crikey! –appears to have been the most Stacey-Jimmy obsessed.

Meanwhile, you can probably figure out for yourselves what happened.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lynne Koplitz guest post! Sort of.

We got nothing.

Five days of painting the living room ("Fossil") and a stairwell ("Fennel Seed") have us tapped out. So we asked our good pal Lynne Koplitz to guest post. Except she's not our good friend, really. We just found this on Facebook. But we'll let Lynne guest post anyway. She's funnier than we are.
Lynne Koplitz - Younger Guys
Futurama New EpisodesIt's Always Sunny in PhiladelphiaRussell Simmons Stand-Up Comedy

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Seventeen years? That’s not the biggest difference.

On Saturday, we replaced the washing machine that came with our Baltimore house, the one that piddled oil on the basement floor and shut off whenever it wanted.

Sheri talked to the new machine. She smiled and said, “Hello, Washing Machine.” She ran her hands over the lid. She tucked it in and told it to sleep well.

The woman is a never-ending mystery. Her age isn’t the half of it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The doctor's daughter sees a future

My wife has a history of nosebleeds, and this week she got hit by a few gushers, including one that landed her in a hospital emergency room. Sheri’s such an old pro at nosebleeds she knows what can set them off. She told me: no bending over, no exertion, no blowing her nose.

A few days later, Sheri gave in to gardening’s temptations. She transplanted, shoveled, sneezed a time or two. Predictably, the nose bled. This one was minor, more a leak than a geyser, and after she’d pinched her nose closed for ten minutes, she found a chair in the yard and let me finish what she’d started. I planted flax, transplanted a petunia and some basil, spread mulch as needed. She pointed and watched and tried not to get frustrated. A doctor’s daughter, my wife has always been a lousy patient. Lately she’s suffered through a shoulder strain that doesn’t want to heal, a foot cramp so bad it bruised her arch, and the nosebleeds. She told me, “I feel like my body’s breaking down.”

Decades ago, a girlfriend told me that you can see how a woman will age by looking at her mother. Sheri’s mother was long-lived and robust well into her 80s, traits shared, it seems, by most women in her family. On the other hand, many of the men in my family have broken down young. Using the past to predict the future isn’t smart, but back then I figured that if you considered our age difference and our genetics, Sheri and I might fall apart at about the same time.

Now, as the younger husband carried a shovel around the yard and the older wife watched, she said something along the lines of: “This is what it’ll be like.”

She was kind of joking.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Making Babies: One Wish

Starting a relationship with a younger man when you’re trying to have a child on your own as a 40-something single woman can lead to some odd moments: odd as in sit-com funny, as in strangely coincidental, as in painful.

Like the time you explain to him that you’re trying to get pregnant but then ask him to use a condom.

Like the first time you make love: You have, just that morning, paid $110 for a small vial of frozen sperm and been inseminated by a nurse under fluorescent lights.

Like secretly hoping he’ll agree to father a child the normal way even though you know he’s only 26. Meanwhile, you’re 43 and your time is running out.

A recent article in the New York Times told the unlikely story of three women who faced 40 with no man in sight. The first of the three chose an anonymous donor, but before she could use the sperm, met a man with whom she had a child. She passed on the sperm to a friend, to whom the same thing happened. That woman passed it on to a third: same result.

None of them had the odd experience, apparently, of doing it the old-fashioned and the artificial way simultaneously. But then, the men they met, had children with and eventually married? Pretty much the same age, it seems.

When Michael and I decided, one March evening in my living room, that we were more than friends, we had not even — Believe this! It’s true! — kissed each other. But we did share things we thought the other should know. Mine was that I had been, for the last year or so, trying to get pregnant through artificial insemination.

He should have run out screaming, but he might have been too young to know what could befall him. My journal for the next eight months is full of references to Clomid, daily shots of Pergonal, ultrasounds, and the anonymous blue-eyed blond donor I’d nicknamed “Sven.” One Saturday night in June, we had what Michael called his strangest date ever: to the University of Connecticut Health Center so I could get a shot of hCG, which triggers ovulation.

What the journal also records: Disappointment. Sorrow. Grief. Pain. No baby. Not then, not later, after we married and tried the old-fashioned way.

Too old? Maybe. But I didn’t stop hoping until I turned 50.

Those three women who got pregnant wrote a book about their happy endings called Three Wishes. In one of the book’s blurbs on, a reviewer writes: “Three Wishes proves life is still a mystery and nothing, if we want it badly enough, is impossible.”

It’s true that life is a wonderful mystery, a shower of unexpected grace and delight, as Michael and I have discovered. But here’s what I’ve also learned: hoping for something — wanting it badly — can lead to action that may be empowering, but sometimes it is not enough.