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Sally was an extension of Nora Ephron - single-minded with a certain way of ordering a sandwich exactly the way it needed to be for her. For countless hairdressers rendered clueless and incompetent by the state of my hair, I unfolded that page as though it were the Shroud of Turin, while I beseeched them to grant me a Meg Ryan haircut. Seventy was out of the question - definitely not a new 50. Even though I recently found out that it’s bad for the car, I only buy gas after the “empty” light comes on.
And, most people will remember Sally in the throes of a spectacular fake orgasm in Katz’s Deli. Not until I turned 50 did they ever get it quite right. By all accounts, 40 was the deadline for letting oneself go. I can finally go on record and confess that I don’t like , and I even fell asleep during a performance of the musical version.
There was a time when, without glasses, I could read the small print on the back of a shampoo bottle (in French and English); now, I spend less time reading than I do searching for one of the pairs of cheap reading glasses I bought at the carwash or found on a desk, forgotten by some other woman in the same predicament.
In a flurry of box-checking, I could filter out men who didn’t like my politics, my hair, or my taste in music and who didn’t care if I was as comfortable in jeans as a little black dress but did care about when and how to use “you”, “you’re” and “your”. Time to take stock of all I have accepted about myself, the “alternative facts” if you will.
The circumstances around my husband’s death shattered my sense of certainty and made me cautious. A fragile guardedness reminiscent of a temperamental garage door. A quick study, I had filed away the important bits - he was a liberal, a non-smoker, and a music-loving musician who was divorced and had a little girl. Who knew if his pictures were current or if he had built his entire profile on a foundation of fibs?
At the end of the day, it’s all about survival and control. You get the idea, and you’ll therefore understand why I abandoned the idea of online dating - or it abandoned me. I dismissed the interest in football (the American kind, for God’s sake) and golf (eye-roll), hoped he meant it when he checked “no preference” on hair colour, and held on to his mention of integrity - and the picture of the Harley Davidson. He said he worked out every day - of course he did, who doesn’t? Maybe he didn’t really like Bob Dylan (a deal-breaker) and maybe he went to the gym thrice daily.
If Mr Right cares about punctuality, he should probably know I have a stellar capacity for getting lost.
Although, with factory-installed GPS navigation systems de rigeur and knowing there is most certainly an app for that, I am much better today at finding my way around the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.