Joe Cocker died today. 70 years old. I love him, one of my favorites. I love his music and I am sad that he died. However, the outpouring of shock and grief on FB about it, about any celebrity’s death, for that matter, is weird to me. I’m not talking about genuinely shocking celebrity deaths like Robin Williams; surprises. But when a 70 year old dies, I don’t now. Is it wrong for me to just think “godspeed”, say a little blessing and move on? Not wail on social media about the unfairness of it, how he was too young, blah, blah, blah? He had been sick for a while with lung disease. Often people die.
Of course it is a different matter when we know and love someone. I would hate for any 70 year olds I know to die. But I know them, I love them, they are important to me. I also hate it when people I know have loved ones die, I sympathize, I am sorry for them, I see who they are and can extrapolate that out into their parent or spouse or friend, that bond and that spirit, and it feels more personal to me even if I didn’t know the one who died at all. Joe Cocker is certainly important to his friends and family, and I am sorry for their loss. But for me? Well, I can still hear his music whenever I want to, he lives on for me and for countless others via oldies rock ‘n roll stations. However I am not personally affected nor do I pretend to be. People die, that’s what they do. I’m going to die. You’re going to die (sorry if that’s a surprise to anyone ). We are all on an inexorable march toward death.
My other thought today was about online dating. I have had a lot of new messages lately, and it makes me feel kind of sad. I guess people are feeling the loneliness of the season without someone special. I get it, I feel it too. It’s weird though, for me this is the absolute LAST time I would choose to go out on a date with someone new. It feels weird and awkward to me, needy. Not dating because you look interesting and I’d like to get to know you, but out of a need to not be alone. I am alone this holiday. It’s awkward sometimes, uncomfortable. But it seems to me it would be much more awkward to be out having coffee with someone new, busily trying to distract myself from the fact that I am alone, and it’s the holidays. AND let me clarify that I am in no way truly alone, I just don’t have a “significant other” (is that still a thing?). I am blessed with friends and invitations and love. There’s never a good time to be “alone” if you don’t want to be, but for me, the holidays is a good time to be authentically who I am, a single person, not busily trying to impress someone over a cup of tea. That’s like adding insult to injury, in a weird way.
And besides, I am completely re-thinking my approach to dating for the New Year after reading Anne Lamott’s description of what she wants in a match (something I am building up courage to write on my actual dating profile) .”What I missed was checking in all day with my person, daydreaming about him, and watching TV together at night. There, I’ve said it: I wanted someone to text all day and watch TV with”.
Amen Anne, amen sistah!
I wonder how that will work out for me? Men? what do you think? A good tactic? It’s honest, you gotta admit that.
If I do it I’ll let you know.
I’m worried that this is a very cynical post but it will probably never be published, or spell-checked. Just as well, it’s not really me talking. It’s the M&M’s.
WHY did I open the M&M’s? They were for Wednesday, when the family comes over! I think I opened them in some sort of self-defense: eat some or think about them every damn second, like I have since I bought them on Friday.( FRIDAY! It’s Monday, so I guess I can feel good about that) Those were my choices and I caved. And, Mr/Ms Judgey! Not booze! I’m just going to forgive myself and move on. The fact is that the sugar does not make me feel good in any way…well, in my mouth it tastes good, but otherwise, BLERGH! And so I will eat it during the holidays and let it go again when the time seems right. And then take it back and let it go again and so on. Because I don’t judge myself too harshly about this kind of thing anymore (usually). I have bigger judgmental fish to fry and forgive myself for, holiday sugar is a meaningless blip.
Oh, I know why I opened the M&M’s. I opened the M&M’s when I found out that my son is working all day Christmas Eve, which means he misses the annual gathering of the Huns, otherwise known as my family. Here, at my apartment. UGH! I’ll see him on Christmas day; I’m actually attempting to drag him to yoga with me, we’ll see about that. But the Eve! I am disappointed. The thing is that my family comes over at noon for lunch, and then they head out to all of their other extended families. However MY family, one dead, the other working, won’t be here. I’ll be alone (this does feel alone) with the others.
Whatever. We’ll eat ham and chat about nothing, open a few gifts and disperse until next year. Because seriously? I have not seen either of my brothers or their families since last Christmas, and my sister only once or twice. It does beg the question, why do we bother? But we all know the answer to that question. Because we are family, because it is what we do and it will be nice, it always is. And it’s a blip, a nice, gentle blip. And another reminder of that inexorable march, right? We are all going to die, some sooner than others, and we should and must hold our families and friends close, even if only in our hearts.
Full circle. See how I did that?
OH…and just so I make this a little holiday-ish, since I did spell-check and intend to publish…here’s a sound cloud rendition (probably from the late 1990’s?) of the famous duet originally sung by Bing Crosby and David Bowie.
This version has my dear friend Jon, along with my dear, departed husband, Tom….I hope you like it!