Tag Archives: romance

Kissing, kissing, kissing!

ImageOh how I love the kiss.

For me, it’s a non-negotiable. The man I spend my time with has got to know how to kiss, or it’s over before it starts. I love kissing, I love the way it makes my body screee up into a level of high pitch, the way the thrill starts from the bottom of my spine and drags its fingers right up into the base of my head.

I love the gentle kiss, the touching of lips. One of my boyfriends in university won me by sweeping a kiss past me so quickly I felt nothing but a whisper of longing.

I love the deeper kiss, the one that speaks of lust and longing and the promise of delights to come.

I love the sneaky kiss, the one on my neck while I’m cooking, the one when I least expect it, the one outside on a cold day when lips are cold and mouths are warm.Image

Once, when I was lonely, I used to fantasize about stopping at a red light and seizing some hapless fellow waiting to cross the street and kissing him, just to feel that touch. Fortunately, I didn’t do this, and thus remain un-incarcerated…

It’s caused me no end of trouble, this kissing thing. Usually, when I date someone, if they seem interesting, I kiss them. It’s part of my assessment. If they are able to respond well, I might stick around. If they, like my poor ex, react in a totally startled way (he backed up into the wall and knocked a bunch of pots into a noisy clangle, god love him, but then he was young then and inexperienced and I probably frightened him), I might reassess. If they grab me and immediately go for the breast, I know they are more focused on getting than giving.

It’s a wonderful thing, kissing, when practised well. It’s worth learning to do properly, without sliming your co-kisser or trying to eat her face (men seem to like this. I don’t know why. Something to do with pheromones or something.)

A truly wonderful kiss adapts to the wants and desires of the participants, moving quicker or slower, shallower or deeper as the moments pass. 

It’s Valentine’s week. Pucker up, people. 


Happy Year of the Snake! Or is it?

ImageOr as many of my woman friends would say, “EEEEEKS!”

What IS that? Why does it seem more women than men are afraid of snakes? According to a bunch of reports, men and women are equally afraid of snakes, and it’s based on some rudimentary and ultimately sensible fear of things that can kill us. And/or eat us whole.

But we women get to wear the fear thing more openly. Poor men have to look fierce and not quiver as hairy spiders crawl up their legs or as snakes swim by them in the lake. We get to do the girlie thing and scream and point and get them to get rid of the thing.

Or at least, sometimes. I’ve had to rid my world of creepy crawlies solo a fair bit of the time – dealing with bats and crunchie bugs and spiders without recourse to screaming and begging for help. In one way, it’s empowering.

In another, it’s almost a good enough reason to take on a man.

So what does the year of the snake mean for romance, besides the urge to scream when you get one of the commemorative postage stamps on a letter?Image

According to one predictor, this year romance is only good for dragons. Everyone else is to be careful about love, affairs, and all that. There’s lots of infidelity, some coolness. Oh, and dogs (like me) are supposed to get married. I laugh. Even if I do like the spider removal…

In general things, this year of the Black Snake is supposed to be about caution and diligence, despite the urge to get in touch with your artsy side and spiritual innards. So, general frustration combined with hard work. Not sure how this will translate into romance and love…though keeping a relationship going is largely frustration combined with hard work, plus the spicing of love and lust and intimacy. And ignoring of soup slurping.Image

So maybe it isn’t all bad news, in this new year of slithery things.

As for me, I’m keeping my snake net handy. I am not counting on having anyone rescue me as yet.


Loving and the tummy

Okay. I’m round. I’ve always been round, pretty much. I’ve just varied in terms of degree.

It’s depressing, in one way – people judge me based on my weight and decide I am stupid, or lazy, or desperate for love, or have low self-esteem. None of those is true.

I merely enjoy life, and all the chocolate and wine and tasty things (primarily involving cheese) in it. I’m not greedy – I’ll bet I eat less than 80% of the people in North America. My MS means I can’t always exercise as hard as I’d like to, but I try. I’m fit, have muscles your average weightlifter might desire, and can and do swim many many laps without stopping to catch my breath. Add to that I am smart and confident and perfectly okay with myself, though I long for nicer clothing. But no one looking at me would think that.

ImageFunny thing is that once people actually get to know me, they adjust to all that. They seem to realize that this is just the way I was born and I can exercise and exercise and I’ll always look chunky. (Although presumably less chunky than I do right now, the fault of a medication I was placed on that guaranteed I would gain 25 pounds “on average”.) I have broad shoulders and ribs and my huge first pregnancy destroyed my abdominal muscles, (Children, drat them! And does she call? Does she buy me presents?)

But its funny about the first introduction thing. I met a fellow today and I have to say I worried a bit about whether he would take one look at me and say “too fat” and walk away, like one of my former dates did. That guy explained, helpfully, that he was a “visual person” and he couldn’t handle my appearance. He had crazy grey hair and was wearing Birkenstocks with socks.

It was kindof funny because once we started chatting (I forced him to say hello), he told me about all his weird theories of life and his food “allergies” and his strange background. What the heck made him think I would automatically want HIM? To be fair, I only wanted to meet him because he was an artist and we had a fascinating discussion about degrees of white. I knew it wasn’t going to work out.

Ah, men, men. You’ve got to pity them, sometimes. They believe, so totally, their own personal stories (or as my galpal says, their bulls**^). We women, instead, go about beating ourselves to a pulp and so are trained to feel grateful for any small attention.

Not all men, I hasten to add. Some of them are quite pleasant and wonderful and can understand that they probably have as many faults as we do.

Those ones are pretty darn refreshing. Even if they have a tummy.Image

Single and okay with it…

ImageIt’s still not approved of. Especially for women, but I’ve got to admit I’ve been guilty of it, too. When I see a profile on a dating site that says the guy is 50 or older and never been married, I have to admit it gives me pause.

Because, if we aren’t totally horrid, someone must’ve wanted us enough at one time to marry us, right?

If you get to age 50 and no one has, you must have mighty carbuncles or a secret axe-murderer personality or some wild collection of ephemera – or maybe you don’t believe in showering or doing laundry or you’ve been in the pen for the last 20 years…


As my single time lengthens, though, I realize that single-hood is, in fact, rather lovely. I don’t sit at home patting my 50 cats. I have good friends that I can see without feeling guilty that I’ve left someone at home, pining for my totally glittering company. I have hobbies that I can indulge without having to clear them away every time someone comes home. I can SLEEP IN. I can make a dinner of vine leaves and artichokes and love it.

If I’m having a bad day, I can sit about in my jammies all day and watch movies where I take out my essential angst or joy or sorrow on the screen without having to think about getting meals and having a discussion. Sometimes it’s good to be in my head.

And if I want to take off on an explore, I can just up and do so. I can go to movies about one thing with one set of friends, go with a date to another, go alone if I want.

It’s all pretty good.  I have the occasional lonely afternoon, but that’s only because I’ve momentarily run out of things to occupy myself. I can usually find something. And being comfortable with solitude is a true life skill.

There’s only this one problem – it has to do with my perceived availability/wantonness by others. Married women seem to think I am after their man. It’s pretty funny, that one, since usually I’ve learned about their man from them and know it’d have to be a cold day in hell before I took them on. Seriously, though, the thought of breaking up a marriage or encouraging cheating makes me totally uncomfortable. I remember going absolutely crazy when my ex came back from a deployment suddenly liking Shania Twain just because he had fallen for his driver. He never did anything other than enjoy her presence rather too much, and make the terrible error of sharing that with me. I was shattered.

I couldn’t do that to another woman.

The other supposition is that I must sleep around. I’m a cheery nurse who doesn’t know enough to keep her mouth shut, so most people know I’m not a tightly sewn gal – seen too much to not talk shockingly at times…besides, I’m a natural flirt, and love it, so people see the sparkle in my eyes and think its due to more than an enjoyment of the parry of conversation.

As Jessica Rabbit would say, “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way…”

I suppose it’s natural to try and figure people out when you meet them, but it’s a bit offensive these days to assume that a woman is single solely because no one wanted her. Or because too many did.

For a great article on this subject, check out Melanie Notkin’s “Single and Childless: I know what you’re thinking”


Dried up and sick to death of love…

LiverpoolStation-dWell, here it is, February 4th and already I am on the dried up and sick to death of love post. It’s from Elton John’s song, “This train don’t stop there anymore”, which has spoken to me ever since it came out, as I struggled through the last years of my marriage.

(I’d alternate between this and “The Bitch is back” depending on how feisty I felt)

There’s something quite horrid about the breakup of a marriage. It usually doesn’t end with a bang. It’s more like the years of piled up hurts gradually start an avalanche that is impossible to stop. And while it is piling up, there’s the heartbreak, the happy memories that crumble to the ground, crushed in the ugliness of what is happening right then.

It’s been many years and still his abandonment of me hurts.

He’s remarried, and I hope he is happy. I’ve not, and I hope I am. I think, overall, though there’s the need for touch, I don’t think I’ll let my heart be taken again.

You may not believe it
But I don’t believe in miracles anymore
And when I think about it
I don’t believe I ever did for sure

So what’s started this new onslaught of bitterness after my hopeful posting yesterday?

Ah. The online dating sites.

Gruesome. Totally gruesome. I don’t think I can stand them anymore, and yet, how does anyone meet anyone in their fifties?

It’s sad – all these men smiling hopefully into the camera, not noticing the gawdawful mess in the room behind them, matched by women done up to the nines, wearing push-up bras and enough makeup and hair dye to support a third world country. Men who are seriously 4’s on the 1-10 scale, demanding 10s. Smokers demanding healthy people. People who are substance-ly retired (e.g. alcoholics) sending me messages saying “Hi sexy” as if I am panting for attention and would take even them on for a night. And among them, me, probably feeling more like a loser than I ever have, being round and disabled and grey-haired in a perky breasted world.

It’s fecking ridiculous. I am worth more than this foolish tarting of my qualities to appeal to a dreg of humanity.

So I decide to back off, cancel my profile, step back, hide. Focus on the things that make me feel good about myself.

But it’s addictive. Like chocolates, I can’t help but peek, though I know it’s not good for me.

And even now I find myself saying, “not that there’s anything WRONG with the ‘dregs’ of humanity”, and it’s true, I don’t mean to sound judgmental. Well, except for about the “Hi, sexy” people who just want to get laid without having to pay for it. They need a good slap upside the head.

It’s all fine and good to get together for an evening to talk or whatever with someone totally unlike you. But there’s no staying power, and so it ends up being a waste of my time and theirs. (Although I do like to understand how people live their different lives…). And difference can add spice, as long as there is a connection somewhere, but too much spice burns the tongue.

When I said that I don’t care
It really means my engine’s breaking down
The chisel chips my heart again
The granite cracks beneath my skin
I crumble into pieces on the ground

My engine is tired. I think it may be time to close down this station for renovations.



One of the favorite men I’ve had the pleasure to know did this screen print for me when we were at university together. He wrote “that is not it at all” on the bottom, whether as a message to me or a title. I was too ashamed to ask what he meant – back then, and probably now, he was a much deeper thinker than I was. I didn’t get it, but back then I was too busy pretending to be sophisticated to be myself.
He, on the other hand, had to dig into himself. As an art student, he was encouraged to – I, in nursing, was learning to dissemble.
I got pretty good at that. It’s taken til now-ish to stop worrying about what others feel about me.
Well, at least until I go on the dating sites, where everyone seems to want a skinny mountain climber who knows and loves tantric sex and likes to watch NASCAR. (Happy shopping, fellahs)
Anyway, I digress. What I wanted to say is that the lack of communication and understanding in relationships erodes them. Eventually you end up facing each other, knowing its not working, and asking each other why, only to end up with the non-answer of “that is not it at all.”
We’re so good at pretense, happy families, thinking we have shared our dreams with our partners, while underneath the sand is shifting, moving us further from each other.
I regret not being secure enough to take this man for the treasure he was. He’s happily married and I love his wife, but he’s one of two men in my past that I sometimes think “what if?”
When he gave me this print, way back in 1980, he told me it would fade over time. It hasn’t.
Maybe the message is still meant to be bright and meaningful, as a reminder about what you can lose if pretense covers what you feel.
It is from Prufrock. Look it up…

“When you fish for love,

Bait with your heart, not your brain” said Mark Twain.
How foolish. Your heart can be so easily misled! It is easily fooled by scent, twinkling eyes, the touch of a hand, the feel of a kiss. I’ve had a few disastrous relationships in my time, and I have to say most of my missteps (thankfully, minor), have been because of the replacement of love by lust. I’ve never denied I’m a sensualist – I like to experience life in all its richness, from the feel of a rose to the smell of fresh laundry to the taste of an earlobe.
But if I didn’t use my head in romantic relationships, I’d have ended up with all sorts of inappropriate folks, most recently someone whose inner child still had control of the driving.
My ex, God love him, was a brain fishing, though the heart caught up quickly. He came from the same background as I did, knew little things like how to set a table or cook a meal, knew the importance of duty and caring even when you didn’t necessarily want to. He was, and is, a good man. Well, mostly…
Anyway, as we head into that most Hallmarky romantic month, I feel the pull towards that fishing for love (as you probably know, there’s that dating site, “plenty of Fish” which I resent because it makes everyone seem unspecial).
But I figure the temptation will pass. This is a bad month for the brain to win out. So much pushed romance, so many hearts and flowers and mad couplings – and besides, it’s cold! Tempting to curl up with someone.
Be careful out there, fellow singletons. Wait til March, when the pressure is off. And let your head rule, no matter what Mark Twain said…


A wonderful video from Disney – good for the onslaught of romance to come…I WISH they’d get different faces for their people, though – they all look the same, and the women are TINY waisted.
Still, isn’t it lovely to think the world is conspiring to set you up with your true love?

When things don’t work out…

Recently I took a chance. I took something I had been working on with greater or lesser success, and I made the commitment to finalize it. Now those of you who know me well know of the many unfinished stories I have cluttering up my computers, unfinished knitting projects that I abandoned when they weren’t quite what I wanted, my crewel piece that I started in the 70’s and still haven’t finished.
So making a commitment was a difficult thing for me. Worst of all, this was a romance story, my least favorite genre just cos I am such a total cynic about love and all it’s guises.
But. Wotthehell, as Mehitabel would say, why not try it on, take the leap, close my eyes and leap.
As with most of my foolish don’t look and leap decisions, it was doomed from the start.
What had been a series of short stories didn’t hold together well for novel format. The longer- term focus didn’t end any better than the short stories, which all ended in romantic disaster.
Always the flawed characters involved ended up with conflicts that were too deep to resolve.
So, the submission failed.
For a while I know I’ll take it personally, as a failure of me as a writer of stories. Eventually I’ll realize that this story just was never going to work, no matter who the author. I know I gave it a good honest try, in as many formats as I could manage. It’s time to give up on it and start over on a new story.
Don’t think I’ll try another romance just yet. Maybe I’ll aim for a “coming of age” story, or maybe an everyday life one. God knows I can’t write romance!
As for my co-author, Mr.T, best of luck with your next romance. You’re better at it than

Gordon Belsher, PEI, and seizing the day

I’m having a serious problem with delight.

PEI is figuring prominently and it’s odd because though I love PEI in its own way, it is far too tame for a wild soul like me. Give me the windswept shores of NS anytime, with their rocky beaches and spitting waves and preferably fog rolling in in a glutinous manner to enclose all in mystery and hidden rage.

Why, they don’t even have much wildlife in PEI – no rampant coyotes or wandering meese or whatevers. I like my pheasants stomping by outside, the occasional sound of a coyote-cat interaction, the feeling that nature red in tooth and claw lives, yea, verily, here in utter suburbia.

But I just spent a lovely restful, beautiful couple of days with my wonderful gal pals over in PEI and it was smashingly wonderful. We talked and examined our lives and ate fudge and altogether too much bad for us food and laughed and slept like dead things and wandered the beach (well, I sat on the beach as my MS-legs were uncooperative). Prior to that, the same pals and I attended a blissful house concert here in NS involving Gordon Belsher (guitar and many other thing player and a major source of warm thoughts for me – admit I have a crush!) and Richard Wood (fiddler extraordinaire and cutie pie). The coziness of the house concert made it seem like we were friends.

I had to buy a CD to recapture the feeling, and lately I’ve been listening to Gordon’s CD in the car and singing my fool heart out. I go through these phases where a certain CD just speaks to my heart, and I listen to it over and over like a teenager. For a while there it was James Hill’s Man With a Love Song…


but now that relationship is over (It’s a good thing overall, alas), I seem to be bonding on Gordon’s “I’m not old yet”, especially the song below, which unfortunately doesn’t have a recording online, but you can sample. It’s the words I love, and the way Gordon’s voice trills up on the chorus. It makes me happy. I don’t know what it is about his voice but I confess to a bad fantasy about grabbing him to sing a special song especially to me. In a field in PEI. With the polished Holsteins that are stood around there. And I wouldn’t mind that it was pristine and that he is married (for I don’t want him for that) and that eventually the song would be over, I’d just listen and soak it up with the sun and the grass and the smell of contented cows and the sea and then go forth and be a better person.

I want to be like the girl in the song. There are parallels, though I’ve never learned Latin.

So, unfortunately, stealing Gordon Belsher would likely land me in prison. I resorted to ordering another of his CDs. I love Richard, too, but Gordon’s voice reminds me of songs around the campfire back when I was young and sweet and lived for the moment. He even sings “Cockles and Mussels”, which my dad sung a lot. Right now I am wrapping him around me like a blanket and delighting. While I get right on with that seizing the day thing.

Seize the Day

©Carolyn Arends

I know a girl who was schooled in Manhattan
She reads dusty books and learns phrases in Latin
	She is an author or maybe a poet
A genius, but it's just this world doesn't know it
	She works on her novel most every day
	If you laugh, she will say...

	Seize the day, seize whatever you can
	'Cause life slips away just like hourglass sand
	Seize the day, pray for Grace from God's hand
	And nothing can stand in your way
	Seize the day

I know a man who's been doing some thinking
He's as bitter and cold as the whiskey he's drinking
	He's talking 'bout fear, 'bout chances not taken
If you listen to him, you can hear his heart breakin'
	He says "One day you're a boy, and the next day you're dead
	I wish way back when someone had said..."

(Repeat Chorus)

Well, one thing I've noticed wherever I wander
Everyone's got a dream they can follow or squander
	You can do what you will with the days you are given
I'm trying to spend mine on the business of living
	So we're playing our songs off of any old stage
	You can laugh if you want, I'll still say...

(Repeat Chorus)