Archive for May, 2011

Meeting our public

May 30, 2011

Earlier, I promised a report on my first public appearance with Dr. Whelihan to talk about our book. The event took place in mid-May at a private country club in a retirement community, with more than 100 men and women attending. Many in the audience had enjoyed a glass of wine before the talk began, which the Doc tells me tends to dramatically increase the fun factor. I spoke first, for 10 minutes or so, about the concept of the book, and then shared a few stories from the dozens of fascinating interviews I’ve had. And I quickly learned the Doc was right: In spots where I’d hoped for a few chuckles, the crowd erupted in prolonged laughter — something I could get used to, by the way.

And then Dr. Mo got up. Man did the retirees love her. She has a power point slide show she knows backward and forward, and it’s filled with enough humor, information and shock value to keep everyone entertained. The woman sitting in front of me kept turning to her husband throughout Mo’s talk, her face a changing canvas of delight, hilarity and shock at hearing someone say aloud the things the rest of us only think.

In fact, it was a little surprising the Doc didn’t get a standing ovation. If we’d had books to sell that night, I honestly believe every person would have taken one home.

So. That’s a good start, yes? And then, just this past Thursday, we talked with a much smaller group at The Breakers Hotel on Palm Beach. We’re honing the order of how we present things and figuring out how to make the book relevant to various audiences — all of which is sure to pay off when we have something to sell.

Speaking of something to sell, I am doing my best to stay on track with my goal of finishing a chapter a month. Last month was a difficult mark to hit, what with all the stress emanating from my deadbeat tenants in Texas, which probably shaved a few years off my life. Adding to the challenge is the fact that I found the 20s the toughest decade yet to write, what with their whole transformational subtext. But I made my deadline! And Mo liked the work, saying “if this is a bad chapter, we’re in great shape.”

Thus, I have happily turned my attention to the 70-year-olds.

We selected 6 women in this decade to interview, and I already have 5 meetings either set up or completed, which is fortunate since I want to finish the chapter early so I can go on vacation with a clear conscience. My accelerated schedule translates to 2 weeks of research, and 1 week of writing, so I can’t waste any time.

Of the two women in their 70s I’ve interviewed, I’ve already encountered both ends of the spectrum in terms of the number of partners. One has been with more partners than anyone I’ve spoken with so far (50+) and the other was a virgin when she married and has had sex with the same man for 61 years. An amazing variety right off the bat.

Complicating my ability to meet that deadline is a decided lack of cooperation from my Mazda SUV, which has decided it no longer wishes to steer. I tried to back out of my parking space last night to go to a pet sitting gig, and the vehicle won’t turn. And that nasty little undercarriage light comes on. Fortunately, I could walk to the job — it’s that close. But now it’s Memorial Day and my auto shop is closed. Sigh.

As my friend said: Cars are great — except when they aren’t.

Thank goodness I was able to reschedule the book interview I had today for Friday, and am still on course. But tomorrow morning’s hair appointment for a trim? It’s looking like I’ll have to ride my bike to that one. I wonder just how many miles away that is …..?

Meanwhile, for anyone interested, I invite you to visit the website Dr. Mo set up for our book. It’s at and has a feature where you can sign up to get an email when the book comes out. Hard to believe — but it seems our dream of publishing a book may actually come true. How cool is that?


Life gets in the way

May 13, 2011

Good grief.

I would like to right now go back to being the innocent, trusting person I was when I last posted a blog in this space. There I was — on April 21st according to blog records — rocking along, happy in my ignorance, actually believing that people who rent a house from you feel obligated to, you know, pay rent.

But I am not that person anymore. My eyes are open. I have heard all the excuses, swallowed all the lies and granted all the extensions and exceptions I can stand.

So. Yes, I descended into the darkness of middle-of-the-night panic and recriminations of ‘if only’ and ‘why didn’t I do such and such,’ but …. that’s all over now.

I’m back! Fortunately for the book and all its fans (yes, the number of fans is growing!) I was in an interview phase rather than a writing phase when these financial worries beset me. So I was able to (heroically in my humble opinion) carry on, despite the many and necessary outpourings of my grievances.

To recap, I’m working on the chapter dealing with the decade of women in their 20s. History with younger interviewees has taught me I’ll likely have to arrange two appointments, since the first is often cancelled. This held true for my 20somethings, but I did manage to get 5 personal interviews (out of 9 initial, promising contacts). I don’t mean to complain; it’s just worth noting that young women have jobs, school, enticing social lives, etc., and aren’t actually thrilled to sit down with some research lady to answer a bunch of personal questions.

Fortunately, I confounded their expectations. Several of the charming 20somethings ended our interview by saying, ‘This was really fun,’ or ‘Wow. I had a good time.’ We’ll ignore the fact that they sounded incredulous and focus instead on how happy I was not to be equated with a college essay.

Now. What fun tidbit did I learn from the 20somethings that I can share with you? Here it is: The majority of the women, when asked, ‘When in your life do you feel like you learned the most about your sexuality?’ said that it wasn’t during their experimental period, but rather during the time of their deepest, most long-term relationship to that point.

“When I was dating around, I think I thought I learned a lot, because of the ‘practice,’ ” said a 26-year-old woman. “But I learned more when I was with guys for a long time, and the guy I’m with now, I’ve learned the most from. We’ve been having sex for a while (2 years), and we trust each other, so I’m open to trying new things. I’m not afraid to tell him what I want and he tells me what he wants and if it’s totally crazy we’ll laugh, but we’ll try it.”

She candidly admits she wanted to experiment with multiple partners, and said during that period she might learn new things like, “that feels good in that position,” but she found she “didn’t get to the bottom of it until I dated just one guy. I’d learn things on the surface … (but) until I found that connection with somebody, I didn’t learn as much as now.”

It’s not unusual to hear a woman say this, but it was surprising to me that almost all those in this age group echoed her sentiments to one degree or another. In fact, one woman called back and said she decided against an interview because the longer she was with her husband, the more distant her former sexual self seemed to her. It wasn’t “what she was about” anymore, and she didn’t want to dwell on it.

I told her not to think twice, that I completely understood and wished her the best.

See? I’m still having fun!

Tenants from hell will NOT keep me down!

And, to preview my next blog, let me just say that last night Dr. Whelihan and I had our first joint public appearance to talk about the upcoming book. Was I excited? What do you think?

Details will be coming soon, but the television beckons. Friday Night Lights won’t wait.