never married, over forty, a little bitter

the jackpot

I was reflecting on online dating the other day and came to the conclusion that it is much like playing the slots.

We all know people who have won big and small playing slot machines, but we would never tell someone who is in financial distress, “Well, you can always try gambling.”

And yet, people who are having trouble finding a partner are often told, “You can always try online dating.” Sure, it’s an option, and I’ve known people who have found partners online whom they later married. But online dating is far from foolproof, and while one doesn’t theoretically have anything to lose, I think time, energy, and pride are worth something.

The older one gets, it seems that online dating is more akin to a diversionary night at a casino than, well… I guess I can’t come up with safer methods, other than just living one’s life to the fullest and hoping for the best.

the seven year itch

I met a woman in dance class the other day who, after seven years here, is also planning to move back to the same city I am planning to move to. She said she wants to return to an area where she has family.

Ditto one of my yoga instructors– same city, same reasons.

I’ve gone from being reluctant to return, to a little excited, to anxious to get out of here and back there! My friends in my former city have, for the most part, moved on or moved out, but I think that’s a good thing. Although I’ll be returning to the same place, it will still be a fresh start.

california dreamin’

That was another thing about the East: the interlocking nature of society there, wrapped about itself like a grapevine. Whereas life in Los Angeles had the infinitely branching pattern of exploding fireworks– lines moving on a dark field, which never crossed, or crossed only by accident. In the East you had to go three thousand miles to disappear, but in L.A. you could do it by changing jobs and moving a few blocks. The way people treated each other there seemed to imply this: there was something anonymous, after all, about it.

Seeing the people he knew in Cambridge again, Paul realized that most of his relationships in Los Angeles, for instance with Fred Skinner, were comparatively shallow, acquaintances of convenience…


The basic thing about L.A…. was that it lacked the dimension of time… there were no seasons there, no days of the week, no night and day; beyond that, there was (or was supposed to be) no youth and age.

Alison Lurie, The Nowhere City, pp. 266-267

And, of course, when you leave L.A., it’s a little bit like at the end of the book where Paul is on this plane and going back East. The last line is something like Los Angeles disappears into a smog bowl. It’s just gone for him, and he is certainly no longer there for people he knew. They will have forgotten him too.


An idea that has stuck with me recently is that every conversation is really just one Conversation that the Universe is having with itself ( It’s a comforting thought, that we all represent one part in the evolution of the Universal dialogue.

Being a non-parent, in this sense, in no way precludes belonging in the melody.