Friday, June 26, 2009

There Will Never Be Anyone Like Michael Jackson

I will never forget sitting in my living room watching Michael Jackson perform at the Apollo Theater for the 25th anniversary of Motown Records. I had never seen anything like it. Those moves were like nothing we'd ever seen. As he moonwalked across that stage I knew I had just seen history being made.

Even though I was a young mom at the time, I was still very into music and bought "Thriller" which I played constantly. I was awed by his talent.

It saddens me that for many young people that the impression they have is of "Wacko Jacko," trials for child molestation and his children shrouded in scarves. I hope that in time the bizarre behavior will fade in memory and that his talent as a song writer, singer, dancer and producer will be what we remember him for.

I don't think Michael Jackson ever had a chance to have a normal life. Thrust into the spotlight by an abusive father, he achieved a level of fame as a child that no one can ever fathom.

He truly did seem like the lonely man at the top. I heard someone say in the midst of this media blitz that the reason he befriended children was because they were the only people he knew didn't want anything from him. They didn't want to hang out with him because he was a star or would be looking for a check. But I wonder, what about their parents?

Yes, he was an odd man, but he was an amazingly talented one. No one will ever know if the horrific charges levied against him were valid, or perhaps just more of the leeching off of a vulnerable man.

It's particularly sad that he died now, just as he was poised to rebound from the trauma of the last few years. We will never know what he would have shown us next, and how he might have, once again changed the landscape of music.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Breaking Up Is Sometimes Pretty Easy To Do

After years of having George Clooney as my make-believe boyfriend, I decided to break up with him. He of course knows nothing about this, hell, he doesn't even know me, so he's taking it very well.

I've been reading about George's newest alleged girlfriend (I say this because we all know you can't believe everything you read) - a 23-year-old cocktail waitress from Miami.

Two things struck me about this news. One, my daughter is 23-years-old and do I really want to be crushing on a man who is close to MY age but dates women (well, girls kind of) who are my daughter's age? Um, no.

The second thing that struck me is that while I admire George's work - both on the professional and humanitarian fronts, it appears from the outside (I do not pretend to know the man so I'm only going by what I've read)that there's a chasm between the personal and professional that I find unappealing.

We all know George could date anyone he wants. And he should date whomever he wants. I just find it interesting that he's rarely if ever linked with women close to his age, or even close to as accomplished professionally.

I'm reminded of a line from the Diane Keaton/Jack Nicholson movie, "Something's Gotta Give." Nicholson plays a man in his 60s who's never dated a woman over 30. When Keaton asks him why he says, "I like to travel light."

Women of a "Certain age," (over 40 perhaps?) have more baggage. We have homes, careers, children maybe and our own strong wills. We can't necessarily drop everything for a summer in Italy or a stint in NYC while a certain movie star makes a movie. Younger women are more malleable and flexible - in oh so many ways.

I like to think though, that those of us who have been around for more than two decades have a lot to offer. We're smart, sassy, funny and confident. I'm not looking to hook up with someone to make my career, to get me connections so I can get my picture in a magazine or walk a red carpet. I just want a partner who's hard-working, passionate, ambitious, funny, caring and smart. Is that really too much to ask for? Don't answer that.

I'm heartbroken that Craig Ferguson recently got married, because he would have been my next choice. Even in my make-believe relationships I have ethics and will not pick a married man as my make-believe boyfriend because within the make-believe there HAS to be a hint of possibility, and in real life I would never date a married man. So I'm taking my time, looking around and thinking about it.

I'm thinking George is really missing out, not with me, (oh all right, I do think I'm sort of a catch:) but by not looking to women who can stand toe to toe and give him a hard time, question him and challenge him. But, that doesn't appear to be what he wants in a woman. So it's time for me to move on and find another make-believe boyfriend, well at least until the real thing comes along.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Why Does Dating Make Us Stupid?

All right, maybe I should qualify that headline and say dating makes ME stupid.

In the Huffington Post today there was a great column by Dr. Alex Benzer about how important it is to toss toxic mates. Sounds like common sense, right? Then why do women and men (including me) often keep trying to make it work even when we know it's NOT working?

We can get all Freudian if you want, but I'm starting to think the why isn't as important as just saying no to relationships that don't feel good.

I have never been in an abusive relationship - I've never been hit, verbally abused or humiliated. That's a whole different thing than I'm talking about. Anyone who is in that type of relationship needs professional support in help getting out of it. I'm talking relationships where you don't feel adored, appreciated and are constantly questioning what's going on. I've been there and it's no fun. I'm not proud to say that I've turned myself inside out trying to make relationships work - much to my daughter's eye rolling chagrin - and I've made a vow to NEVER do that again. As Dr. Benzer says in his column, everyone has issues but it's not your job to try to fix them (that's me - Miss Fix-it!) what is your job is to look out for yourself.

My friend Laura's mom always used to say, "Better to be alone than wish you were alone." Thank you, Adie! We all deserve to be loved for who we are, just as we are, and should not be second guessing what someone else is thinking or feeling.

In the now-classic, "he's just not that into you" episode of "Sex and the City," Miranda is sitting on some steps eating her lunch listening to two women who are strangers talk about why a guy hasn't called, "He's working hard," "He's stressed out," etc etc etc. No. We're not doing that anymore. If it's not working for you, if you're spending time analyzing what he's thinking, what he's doing and excusing his behavior, and if you're talking to your girlfriends ALL THE FREAKING TIME about him/her, it's not good!

I think it's time to stop being stupid, to stop trying so damn hard to make it work when it's not working and just move on (of course I'm talking dating here, not marriage - so don't inundate me with comments saying I'm condoning divorce!).

Stop compromising yourself and start realizing what you're worth and expect the best. If you settle for anything less, well, you're just settling.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Why Are Women Always Cast As The Mean Mommy?

Just a little while ago I was cleaning up my kitchen while watching the news, and this damn Yoplait yogurt commercial came on.

In the commercial a husband is on the phone talking to a friend about how he's been eating Boston cream pie, Key lime pie and all sorts of treats and losing weight. While he's talking the wife is looking in the fridge and sees her yogurt is missing. She gives him THE LOOK and he sheepishly gets off the phone.

There are others as well, and the woman is of course - a mean mom.

Why oh why do we always have this stereotype of the mean mommy and the doofus man/child? Women are so often portrayed as punishing bitches and men are cast as stupid in need of a grownup to make them tow the line. Left to their own devices they will blow up the house, feed the children a steady diet of cheese curls and Yoo-hoo and never bathe.

I don't know about other women, but I don't see myself as the person who keeps a partner in line and acting like a responsible adult. That's his job. Any guy who needs me to be a mommie, mean or otherwise should be looking elsewhere for companionship.

In the "Sex and the City" movie, Miranda, while looking for a Halloween costume says to Carrie, "There are only two choices for costumes for women, sexy kitten or witch." To which Carrie replies, "You said a mouthful sister."

Do we really only have two archetypes - sexy vixen or bitch? Hmm, I don't really think so. I know lots of women and most are neither. I just want to know where our yogurt commercial is.