O Man! Overcoming an Occasional Dyspeptic View of Male Humanity

This winter has been brutally hard on all of us. Well, most of us: there are those people (I consider them freaks of nature) who love very cold weather. Most of them are probably skiers. As I write this I have not been outside for three days. Yes, I am getting a bit of cabin fever. But at least I have work to do to keep my mind occupied. My two tiny dogs are more restless than I, even with the dog walker who takes them out in their carriage at midday, dressed like Charlie Brown in bulky miniature snowsuits. Their tiny paws never touch the frozen ground, oh no: Daniel is charged with finding scaffolding where he can let my precious pair out to do their business. Yes I am one of those who consider my canines my "dog-ters."

What a wonderful world...

I tell you about my cloistered time because it has caused this normally high-spirited, always wake-up-happy woman to hear Louis Armstrong's iconic song from a newly skeptic point of view.

As anyone who has ever indulged in the practice knows as well as I, online dating clearly has its own unique, sometimes seemingly endless challenges and "wintery days." But there I remain, perhaps against all odds, a perennial optimist. My man is out there, and we will find each other. My mantra in life has always been "Miracles just take a while longer." This attitude has done well for me, so why change it now?

Well, "some people" can make you doubt that the journey itself is worth it. The liars, the cheaters, the deranged. Make no mistake, they are out there. Sadly, they make it so much harder for the good guys and gals -- because the distaff population, we women, are far from innocent. Among the sincere, transparent, loving, generous women who are seeking a male counterpart are floozies of all ages (yes even "older women") who want someone to support them and are playing games to find a vulnerable divorced or widowed man who will be taken in by their lies. When these women are young and attractive, they actually have a great chance of finding those men who are foolish enough to not look beyond outward appearances--until it's too late. These are Moral Madoffs, both men and women, who use today's dating technology in an age-old game of deception.

But shame on them! You know the old postmen's credo: "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." Well, neither liars, cheaters, crazies nor advantage takers shall stay this woman from her online search, and the hopefully swift completion of her appointed rounds, to find the man she will happily spend the rest of her life with.

Yes, there is someone new about whom I am quite optimistic... shhhh! Let's not spoil it.

I still think of one special man. It was almost exactly a year ago that he asked me to pull up stakes and move to Florida permanently. That was last year, when I was 72. Most people are retired at that age, or anyway many are. Looking out the windows at the standstill in the streets these last few days, seeing my little terrace covered with snow, feeling the cold, stuck inside, I have wondered if I made the right decision.

He was an incredible man, but I am not finished. I have new books to write. Soon I will fly to China on a writing project. My friends are often younger because my energy is still youthful. I am still ambitious, focused, proving something to myself. Maybe I am still waiting for the next big challenge and next big hit. I am also, so help me, still very much in love with this city, which I call "the planet of Manhattan." Certainly you can cite the current weather, right here, right now, but if there is a better place than this, I don't believe it's Florida. I especially don't believe it's in an adult community built around a golf course where, from my picture window, hour after hour, day after day, I could watch others play a game I find boring -- to play or to watch.

Ghostwrite books, publish them, promote them, and fly off to China and other parts of the world to meet with prospective authors or... watch retired people play golf. But wait: no cold weather ever again, no need to work another day in my life. The big dilemma each day would be what to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner, where to have it, and with whom.

Which life do you want for me? How about for yourself? I am sure many of those advantage-taking types of women I mentioned earlier would love "the Rappaport Diamond." The only problem is that it comes with a curse -- Mr. Rappaport. That, by the way, is from a very old joke.

The man who offered me this "other life" was beyond great; I truly adored him. But the life he offered, which made perfect sense for him, since he was long retired, just would not work for me. Isn't that often the way: one aspect of an otherwise promising relationship proves to be the spoiler, the deal breaker?

You know what, I am not going to dwell on the possible disconnects right now. I am going to be courageous enough to keep going on my appointed rounds...despite the snow, and all the other obstacles, both natural, and unnatural.

It truly is the only way.

What say YOU?

Let me leave you with this....

"What a Wonderful World"

I see trees of green,
red roses too.
I see them bloom,
for me and you.
And I think to myself
what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue,
And clouds of white.
The bright blessed day,
The dark sacred night.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow,
So pretty in the sky.
Are also on the faces,
Of people going by,
I see friends shaking hands.
Saying, "How do you do?"
They're really saying,
"I love you."

I hear babies cry,
I watch them grow,
They'll learn much more
Than I'll ever know.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.

Yes, I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.

Oh yeah.
-- Louis Armstrong