Entry Number 1

February 25, 2024

Last Fall I began the 4th quarter of my life. I’m presuming that I will live to reach the ripe old age of 100 years, or, at least I’m hoping that I will. I do what I think I’m supposed to do to help make that a reality. But, I fear, that no matter how much time is left in my hourglass of life, some questions will never be answered; as well as the fact that much of my life experience and/or lessons will never benefit or be understood by anyone else other than little ol’ me.

I was watching a movie the other night (I think it was from the 80s) and it struck me that the theme, as with many movies, was one of infidelity and random acts of sex. The lead male actor was portraying a married man who was in bed with his mistress. When he finished the carnal act, he was up and out the door within just a few minutes. As he left the mistress’ apartment, he entered the elevator at the same time as another very attractive female. Before the elevator hit the ground floor he was attempting to get things started with the fresh flesh in his presence.

My question is… when did the act of sexual intercourse become so unsatisfying to men that they have to repeat it every few hours within body parts that are unfamiliar to them? Has it always been this way? Did my 1960s indoctrinate me into not really paying attention?

Now, getting real, I admit I am a child of the 60s. It was a time of “Make Love, Not War”, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with”, “Free Love”, and music from Elvis, the Beatles and other groups. After all, remember I’m in the 4th quarter.

To further complicate the experience I lived in both San Francisco and Berkeley, although not at the same time. I marched for equality and the woman’s movement both at the same time. As a result, I had my share of meaningless encounters, admittedly not as many as most of my friends, but I had my share. For the most part it was just a way to say goodnight after a Saturday night out. I can’t remember any of them leading to something really memorable.

I suppose that was the reason I fell so hard for the first man who really rang my bell. He ended up being my husband which somehow seemed to “moralize” an immoral act.

I think I’ve gotten a bit off track. It’s OK. In the 4th quarter it’s sometimes hard to stay in the right lane.

My question, which I should have asked way back in the 60s after those Saturday night dates, stills stands. Men seem to be constantly searching for the ONE woman who can keep their attention for longer than ten minutes. But they don’t stick around past that ten minutes to find out if they have already found that ONE. The ones who DO have that ability to stick it out through the “getting to know you” phase, usually find that what develops is something far more satisfying and enduring than the “five minute fling,” which some assume is “love.”

Let me be clear, in my opinion, LOVE isn’t even about sex. It’s something far different than a physical act. In my opinion, (I say that a lot because I can’t speak for the world) when sex happens between a loving couple it is the ultimate communication between the two.

Love is different in the 4th quarter. I’ve been in love several times through the years. I’ve been lucky enough to have experienced love several times over the past three quarters. Each time I fall in love it’s different – but still love all the same. For me, 4th quarter love seems simple. It’s not that I love one man less that another. I just love them differently.

I have no desire to get married or to live with any man. It has nothing to do with love. It’s my 4th quarter and I deserve some privacy and the opportunity to have what I want, the way I want, when I want it. If I find a  4th quarter love that wants what I want at the same time I want it, that’s even better. I’d be lucky to have such a man at just the right time for as long as this quarter lasts, or our desire, extends.

I look around at young couples today and see a change in the attitude they share about their unions, relationships, marriages. More and more I see couples marrying and actually committing to a life together. It’s far different from the 60s. I’m not seeing as many horny tom-cats sniffing around for their next conquest. Even the theme on the big screen seems to have changed without so much bed-jumping.

It’s a good thing that I’m still within my comprehending capabilities to recognize and appreciate what has happened to our society in this subject matter. My dementia has not set in – yet. And if it does, maybe this pleasant discovery will be a pleasant discovery several times over.

Now…. What’s with all these violent movies with all the foul language? What the fuck? And, what about not teaching my grandkids to read cursive? Deplorable! There’s so much for a 4th quarter person to discuss, criticize, and question. Till next time…

Entry Number 2

March 24, 2024

From last , time… Last Fall I began the 4th quarter of my life. I’m presuming that I will live to reach the ripe old age of 100 years, or, at least I’m hoping that I will. I do what I think I’m supposed to do to help make that a reality. But, I fear, that no matter how much time is left in my hourglass of life, some questions will never be answered; as well as the fact that much of my life experience and/or lessons will never benefit or be understood by anyone else other than little ol’ me.

Back in the dark ages, when I was in the process of getting an education via the public school system, it was my job to learn as much as was presented to me. There was no questioning or negotiating about going to school. Until you reached the ripe old age of 16 there was no choice.

From September to June your little behind was firmly seated in one of those little chairs designed for behinds just your size. You know… the ones that the teachers forced your parents to sit in during parent-teacher meetings. An action I believed with the intention of letting the parents know, they weren’t REALLY in charge but still back at the mercy of the teacher. As a parent, I hated those meetings which always left me with feelings of inadequacy as my role as a parent.

On the other hand, I don’t believe neither me or my parents were told that I must sit down with my kids and help them do their homework. Everyone involved knew there were jobs both outside and inside the home. What was expected of parents was a reasonable amount of discipline to enforce the homework rule. Homework must be done every night and turned in to the teacher the next day. No negotiations, no excuses, just the fact that it was to be done. End of discussion.

However, if a child asked a parent for help, most times the parent could supply what was needed or, at least, direct the child to where the information could be found. In my house, we had a set of encyclopedias and a dictionary or two, including a Webster. Back in the 1960s the TV show, “Laugh-In”, told us to go look it up in our Funk and Wagnall’s.

As with most things, it’s different now. Besides there is no longer a “Laugh-In”, I haven’t seen a current version of a Funk and Wagnall’s in more years than I would like to count. We still have Webster’s and Encyclopedia Britannica. At least I think they haven’t been replaced by Wikipedia. Anyway, getting back on track…

One of my great-grandsons is 9 years old.  Recently his parents were summoned to the school, sat down in one of those child-size chairs and told that they must spend at a minimum of one and a half hours a day helping him with his homework. So with two boys in the home that’s THREE hours a day that’s being demanded of them. Huh?

Well… let’s do the math. The father works 12 hours a day at his day job. The mother works 6 hours a day at one job and then 4 hours a day at her second job. That’s so they can survive financially in today’s economy. The father comes home from work and cooks dinner while the mother is attending evening college classes to get her nursing credentials. In between times there is laundry and other housekeeping, transporting the boys to and from outside school activities. I know my math skills aren’t that great, but I don’t see an extra THREE hours of available time in the day. I don’t even see one and a half hours.

As with most young couples, they will find a way. But, when the teacher says, “Your son is severely behind in his math skills and you will need to help him learn how to do the math problems.”

In the old days, that would mean flash cards and multiplication tables, learning the little tricks like what you get when you add the number 9 to any other single digit number. But, now-a-days that doesn’t work. The current education system doesn’t want the parents to teach kids that 2+2=4. The teacher doesn’t care that 9+5=14. They want you to teach the kids some long version of nonsense that will eventually get them to the number 4. The mother politely pointed out to the teacher the teacher’s request would not be happening in their house. She is perfectly able and willing to help her child learn math but she hasn’t a clue how to do math the way it is taught in today’s school system.

My 14-year old great-grandson can give you an answer quickly for a long algebraic equation but must count on his finger when adding two single digit numbers or use a calculator. I’m amazed at his ability. Of course, that amazement is from someone who claims that the only thing standing between me and a college degree is algebra. I’m in the 4th quarter, so I’m not too worried about my life going in the dumper because I can’t figure out what “X” is in the grand scheme of things or that I do not have a college degree.

Parents from the 1940s-50s-60s did not have it easy. They didn’t have the conveniences that current parents enjoy – like an automatic washing machine, microwaves and dishwashers. But that doesn’t mean that today’s parents don’t have a tough road to go. It seems that the time saved from using all those time-saving gadgets, is used in just keeping their heads above water in the midst of financial and family responsibilities. I do not envy them.

In many ways the old days were not always better days. Today’s days aren’t better either. They are just a whole new set of obstacles. If I had to choose, I’d deal with the old days rather than the new. It may be because they would be familiar to me of maybe I’m just too old and stubborn to try to learn a new way.

Until next time…