Dear Mrs. Crabby,

I am nearly sixty years old. And living in America. Here in America, when you are sixty years old and you live alone and need a job, you are no longer considered relevant to the society. At least this is my experience.

I have tried everything to find a job. I dyed my hair brown and got some really good makeup. I lost 15 pounds and went to a thrift store to update my wardrobe. At every interview there were hundreds of other people applying, most of them under the age of thirty.

I let my hair go gray and dressed my age. While I was remarkably more comfortable and at ease, I found that this scared the living daylights out of those who interviewed me. One even told me that I reminded him too much of his scolding grandmother.

At my age I’m either over qualified or not qualified in the areas they want.

And that’s just work.

Personally, I would like to have the companionship of a nice fellow. I went onto an over-fifty dating site to see what that was about. OMG, Mrs. Crabby! The photos all looked like criminal mug shots from my days working at a police station! My girlfriends tell me I should hang out in sports bars. I tried that once and was hit on by a forty-year-old looking for a rich cougar. It turned out that I had gone to school with his mother and knew all about his bed wetting in high school episode.

I tried joining various churches just to find a community to fit into. But being marginally employed, none were interested in me. Apparently, even though there are no “dues” per se, there are still dues, per se.

I’m still a fine lookin’ gal, in good health, with lots of energy. Where is a good place to live and find work? I think I’ve given up on love or at least moderately interesting groping affection.




Dear Cheryl,

Hon, I hear these woes quite often. It is really beyond me how no one has figured out how to create and provide centers of solace and networking for your age bracket. Even with marginal employment, this would be a gold mine of entrepreneurial possibilities. But, such does not exist. You’re not going to find a big job, hon. They’re not there for anyone other than relatives of stinkin’ rich people. Try your hand at selling crafts on Etsy, like every other gal our age.

On the romance and friendship side, you need to change your point of view, hon. It will be the same no matter where you live. Go aggressively solo. Make a conscious decision to love yourself up vigorously. Start with small steps so as not to overwhelm yourself. Buy some lovely bath salts and some incense. Target has big old bags of scented salts at really good prices. At least twice a week, preferably three, take a long soak in a lovely tub, with some nice incense going. Read, if you’re a reader, or listen to some lovely tunes. Stay in there until you are all wrinkly pruney. Now and then indulge in some lovely chocolates while bathing. That’s a wicked pleasure too. Though make sure to clean out the tub thoroughly when you’re done. Once Fenwick thought he’d had an accident when it was his turn in the tub.

In the summer, go skinny dipping somewhere. I don’t care what you look like. Nothing feels more deliciously empowering than being naked in a swimming pool. Just look at how much fun these RAF folks are having: (Goodness I love this photo. I stare at it a lot for ….inspiration)

skinny dipping

Even more fun is to get caught doing this! Hi-jinks can be so invigorating. You might meet the man of your dreams in the process. I’ve  met some lovely friends I still talk to in this process. Though Fenwick really doesn’t care for Sylvia, who always shucks her clothes when she comes to visit us and boob smacks Fenwick in the face when she turns around too fast.

Take yourself out to breakfast, and read the paper in a lovely coffee shop. Dress up as a different character than yourself. Pretend to be a visiting dowager countess and speak with an accent while ordering. Though be careful if using another language. Was my face ever red when I pretended to be a direct descendant of Marie Antoinette at DuPars one morning, white powdered wig and all, and the waitress spoke to me in fluent French! Pouvez vous dire « le visage rouge ? » (I’ve since learned just a little for future such scenarios)

Buy yourself a vibrator and give it a name. Change the name up every week just to be naughty. If you live in an apartment or condo, your neighbors will give you saucy winks at the mailbox when you call out a different name regularly while using it.

Time to date yourself, hon. You may well be all alone the rest of your life. There’s no reason to be lonely. Be your own imaginary friend.

IB Crabby


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