They were born and live in the South. I was born in the North and now live in the South.
They’re born athletes. I only like sports if they’re playing or watching beside me.
They like video games. I like Facebook and TV.
They like to text. I like to talk to them.
They have black curly hair and brown eyes. I have straight white hair and green eyes.
I’m white. They’re multiracial.
Only the last difference makes me worry about them every day. The news is full of unarmed black people being shot by the police and people “standing their ground” even when they’re not committing crimes. It didn’t start with Trayvon Martin. It’s been going on for centuries all over the world. From slavery to apartheid those perceived as different have been persecuted.
I’m not saying that everyone feels this way. It’s quite the opposite. There are white people of all socio-economic classes who believe we’re all equal but how many of them speak out? I have a small voice but I’m begging you. Please help people of color and those with sexual preferences and religions other than our own. We’d all like to sleep at night and know that our babies are safe from prejudice and harm.
Most importantly though, my grandsons and I are alike for the most important reason.
I’ve always loved the Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and I’m an avid fan of the British TV and movie detective genre, in particular, the Morse, Lewis and Endeavor Series which were written by Colin Dexter. I tried to plan my own tour with a tour company for a group but ran into several roadblocks so I planned it with a friend. See my blog https://singleboomerlife.com/2017/06/04/single-baby-boomers-need-a-goal/ for how planning my trip became a positive short-term goal.
After a week in Paris, my friend and I took the Eurostar under the English Channel to London and then a train to Oxford, the fictional home of the equally fictional murder-ridden University city. I wasn’t disappointed. From the moment we got off the train it was like I was in the middle of a mystery. The first part involved finding our Airbnb. Since I have no sense of direction and am a poor listener we headed in the wrong direction. A friendly University student pointed us in the right direction so we rolled our bags down the street, past the Thames to our 2nd-floor room. I was happy I’d opted for a carryon and a backpack but my friend had been in Paris for 3 weeks and had a much larger suitcase. It took both of us to get it up the narrow stairs. We Americans are used to having everything supersized so when we travel to other countries the size of everything is an adjustment for us. However, the smaller food serving portions are a much healthier choice.
After we got settled, we went in search of my first Morse Pub, The Kings Arms. I told the bartender that I had waited years to say, “Please give me a bitter.” He welcomed me to Oxford and handed me my first half pint (I had to pace myself. We were there 3 days and I’m a lightweight.) As I savored my drink and meat pie, I looked at the familiar artifacts from the Morse TV Series and breathed in the rarified air of Oxford University. I felt like I’d died and gone to detective heaven. After dinner, we walked around several of the 38 colleges that compose the University. I was surprised to find out that no matter which college you attended you take the same final exam, are considered a graduate of Oxford University and attended its graduation ceremony. During our visit, we encountered students wearing their robes to exams and graduates of the Masters Program with caps and gowns just after their graduation ceremony.
An undergraduate student at the University of Oxford in subfusc for matriculation.
Academic dress is required for examinations, matriculation, disciplinary hearings, and when visiting university officers. A referendum held amongst the Oxford student body in 2015 showed 76% against making it voluntary in examinations – 8,671 students voted, with the 40.2% turnout the highest ever for a UK student union referendum. (Wikipedia)
I always like to get the lay of the land so the next day we took the Hop-on-Hop-off Bus for a city tour and then got off at Christ Church to see the grounds. We couldn’t go into the church because there was a special event. Little did we know that the members of all three series were inside for a memorial for the author Colin Dexter who passed away the preceding year. When I learned about it the next day from our tour director, I was so disappointed. Some of the participants had seen cast members and I was having a drink in the Morse Bar in The Randolph Hotel that very day. She did share some interesting insights with us from one of the cast and an important member of the creative team. It seems that the actor who played Hathaway in the Lewis series, Laurence Fox, said that a series about his character could be getting off the back burner. It may be filmed after the current series about the young Morse, Endeavor, is over. If you’re a fan you should check out Chris Sullivan’s blog at https://morseandlewisandendeavour.com/. He spoke at the memorial and is a real authority on all of the series. If you visit Oxford, I would also recommend the Inspector Morse and Lewis Walking Tour. You can book through Viator, at other sites and the Visitors Center. You can watch full episodes of Inspector Morse, Lewis, and Endeavor on YouTube. I guarantee you will enjoy them.
Of all the pubs we visited from the three series I thought The Trout Inn was the nicest. Located in Wolvercote, just a short bus ride from Oxford, it was the location of the episode The Wolvercote Tongue. Since it was a cold day, I treated myself to an Irish Coffee and the Sticky Crispy Duck Salad. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. I also stopped in the White Horse and had an interesting chat with the bartender and a regular. We ate dinner at the Eagle and Child. I chose the Beef Bone Marrow Pie since it sounded interesting and I have to say, it was delicious especially when paired with a half pint of bitter. It was a favorite watering hole of C.S. Lewis who held academic positions at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. He’s best known for his works of fiction, The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space. He was often joined there by his drinking buddy, J.R.R. Tolkien, an English writer, poet, philologist, university professor, and the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. I’d have loved to have visited all of the pubs but 3 days wasn’t enough. I’d like to return and take a summer class. Several of the colleges offer programs for adults and high school students where you can stay on campus and enjoy the real Oxford experience.
We had our own Afternoon Tea party after visiting Alice’s Shop which features author Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland themed souvenirs. See http://aliceshop.co.uk/about/. The sumptuous tea was more than enough for two.
While my friend went to Evening Song at one of the colleges, I went on Bill Spectre’s Ghost Trails which has a 5-star rating on Trip Advisor and is one of the top 10 ghost tours in the world. I highly recommend it. This was one of his many sleights of hand tricks. He also let us try it on ourselves.
I left Oxford sooner than I wanted and took the train to London where I met a local guide for a personal tour of the Marylebone section of London. The service was free, very enjoyable and informative. My tour guide sent me the summary below. https://londongreeters.org/your-tour
Here are a few notes from the walk around Marylebone. The area expanded along with the other areas of Westminster following the Great Plague and the Fire in 1666. You have a picture of the Sherlock Homes statue by John Doubleday. You have a photograph of Sherlock Holmes but here is another piece of work from the same sculptor.
After getting the tickets to the Museum we went under the Marylebone road via the Wonderpass to 94 Baker Street which was once the home of the Apple Boutique. Here is what it would have looked like.
The next stop was Paddington Street gardens which has a little statue of an Orderly Boy who is forever polishing his shoes. Orderly boys were road Sweepers during the Victorian era. Paddington Street Gardens was a burial ground before it was opened as a public garden by Princess Louise in 1886, and laid out by Fanny Wilkinson the first female professional landscape gardener.
Running alongside the gardens are Ossington buildings and Garbutt place. This, once known as “little hell” is where the social reformer Octavia Hill started her work. Financed by John Ruskin she went on to manage 3,000 families. She is also known as the founder of the National Trust which has been largely responsible for the preservation of green spaces.
My next stop was Harley Street where Florence Nightingale worked as a nurse in a hospital for gentlewomen. It was from here that she left for the Crimea and oversaw the hospitals in Scutari in 1854 when she became known as the Lady with the Lamp.
We then went to Station 39 in Wentworth Mews and had a look at the properties that were once used for stables and would have been the home to staff employed by the hoses they backed on to. Here is the sort of coach they would have housed which would have set you back £60,000 in today’s values. It was from this mews that many women volunteered during the Second World War as ambulance drivers.
I then took you to Portland Place, home of the BBC and RIBA. Both are art deco buildings built using Portland stone. RIBA was built by Grey Wornum, a WWI veteran who lost an eye at the Battle of the Somme. It was inspired by a visit to Stockholm where he visited the Town Hall. Between the two buildings, we stopped to look at the stature of Quintin Hogg, the Philanthropist who donated his life to the building of Ragged Schools.
Next door to the BBC is the only Church built by John Nash who is more famous for the Regency Terraces that surround Regent’s park. It’s a controversial piece of work, because of the mixture of Greek and Gothic styles. Across the road is where Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde met at the Langham Hotel.
We then went onto Cavendish Square via Chandos Street, so named because of Chandos House at the end, one of the few surviving houses built by Robert Adam. It was the home of the Duke of Chandos who lends his name to the Chandos portrait of William Shakespeare which was the portrait that started the collection that now is housed in the National Portrait Gallery. Also in Chandos street is one of the oldest medical societies in the World – The Medical Society.
And I finished off in Cavendish Square and showed you the Jacob Epstein sculpture of the Madonna and Child that sits between the two buildings on the north side of the square that was once a convent.
And that was Marylebone. I hope you found it interesting. There is a rich assortment of architectural styles that start off with the Palladian influences through Georgian and Victorian styles, finishing with the Art Deco buildings on Portland Place.
I worked in as many authors that I could including Conan Doyle obviously, but also JM Barrie, AA Milne, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde and George Orwell. There are many others.
After the tour, I visited the Sherlock Holmes Museum with hundreds of tourist from around the world. http://www.sherlock-holmes.co.uk/ After waiting in line for an hour, Mrs. Watson, his landlady, started our tour with a visit to his study and then let us roam the rest of the house where we viewed period pieces and vignettes of some of his most interesting cases. It amazed me that so many people pay to visit the home of a fictional character in a location that isn’t even 221B Baker Street but I patiently waited in line with the other Holmes devotees too and wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
The following day I was off on a tour to Devonshire, Cornwall, and the Cotswolds. It was a small group, only four women, three of us from the U.S. and one from Australia so we were able to ask a lot of questions. This tour had fewer frills than other more expensive ones I’d been on. It was a variation on a Hop-on-Hop-off tour of the countryside with personalized narration and traveler-guide interaction. I opted for the Bed and Breakfast option and didn’t regret it for a moment. The breakfasts were outstanding, the room more spacious than my previous hotel rooms and the service excellent. The view of the English Channel at the Cornwall B&B was amazing and better than the hotel view the other guest had. We toured in a Mercedes Passenger Coach and traveled the backroads so as to see the sites larger buses couldn’t reach. Two of the travelers arranged with the guide to see places where their ancestors lived. I was excited to walk the moors near the historic Dartmoor Prison where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle got his inspiration so Sherlock Holmes could meet up with the Hound of the Baskervilles. I found there were several monster legends in the area such as the Legend of the Hairy Hands in which something seems to take over the vehicle’s steering wheel and drive it off the road and the Beast of Dartmoor. Here’s a possible explanation for the Beast. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/21/beast-of-bodmin-mystery-solved-as-dartmoor-zoo-released-pumas-in/. Pixies are also said to live in both Devonshire and Cornwall. Pixie (also pixy, pixi, pizkie, piskie and pigsie as it is sometimes known in Cornwall) is a mythical creature of folklore who can be both mischevious and helpful. Pixies are thought to be concentrated in the high moorland areas around Devon and Cornwall, suggesting some Celtic origin for the belief and name. They’re believed to inhabit ancient underground ancestor sites such as stone circles, barrows, dolmens, ringforts or menhirs. The story The 3 Little Pigs was originally written about pixies. Read the report at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixie. It’s a lot of fun. See https://www.visitdartmoor.co.uk/explore-dartmoor/arts-and-literature/folklore for more information. See https://www.go-tours.co.uk/cornwall-and-the-cotswolds-tour/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwu_jYBRD8ARIsAC3EGCKqDBVluadxyjc0_SUrV7mwLqsrFOKqs9KpnzC_ZNoibRuVJG1XbmUaApNpEALw_wcB
We visited many scenic seaside villages in Devonshire and Cornwall including the filming site for Poldark and my bucket list item, Port Isaac aka Port Wenn, the village where Doc Martin is filmed. From the photos, you’ll see that it’s as beautiful as it appears in the show. The residents are very friendly even though their idyllic home is inundated with tourist during filming and from what I could see, year round. Doc Martin, played by Martin Clunes, is much loved all over the world even though he plays a surly doctor who doesn’t suffer fools in a village of eccentrics. Here’s hoping there’s another season. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doc_Martin. While these are not mystery series, they’re brilliant examples of the genius of British drama. In my opinion, these mysteries and dramas are more thought-provoking than those on American TV. If you’re interested you should also watch Midsummer Murders, Foyles War, Prime Suspect, Sherlock, Vera, Father Brown and a host of others on Netflix, Acorn, and Britbox. Some are no longer in productions but both Brits and Americans often lobby for spinoffs and reboots. Many of our most popular programs were created in the UK. Their sense of humor is fantastic.
Take a look at this episode. I didn’t realize this was on YouTube. I’m going to look for more things there rather than paying for streaming services. I can watch it on my TV with Comcast/Xfinity.
Next time I’ll tell you about my adventures in Gay Paree. Until then…
If you want an exciting and adventurous travel and learning experience I suggest applying to volunteer at VaughanTown in Spain. The program was designed by Richard Vaughan to advance the English skills of Spanish speakers. VaughanTown is a program of English immersion. It’s a concentrated dose of a stay abroad without leaving Spain. The website says, “You will make a noticeable jump in your English learning. In VaughanTown you will live with English-speaking native volunteers from all over the world. It will allow you to break the barrier that was preventing you from fully utilizing all your accumulated knowledge of the language.”
VaughanTown has 40 years of experience teaching English in Spain to 50,000 students annually and with the help of 2400 teachers. It offers many different programs to adults, young adults and children in several locations in Spain and some English speaking countries.
I volunteered at the 6-day Immersion in English in a Vaughan village. This is equivalent to 500 hours of class. They also offer:
FiftyFifty: A combination of classes using the Vaughan method and conversations with English speakers
Intensive English courses during school holidays for children and young people from 4 to 17 years of age in Spain and in English-speaking countries like England, Ireland and the U.S. You can also apply to be a host family.
My program supplied accommodation in a double room with a private bathroom, full board with excellent cuisine, materials and the bus transfers from the meeting point to the chosen location. The volunteers must pay for their airfare, hotel accommodations before and after the program and other transportation. Depending on the program the volunteers can be from 18 years of age and up. You can apply at http://volunteers.grupovaughan.com/.
While at the program I met volunteers from England, Wales, Scotland, New Zealand and the U.S. Some were educators, but there were Anglos from all walks of life with varied experiences aged 30-65+. The participants at my program were from Spain and included business people, police officers and teachers.
Palacio Del Infante Don Juan Manuel Hotel Spa
I was lucky enough to participate in a program in Belmonte, a small village or pueblo, and stay in a renovated castle along the path Don Quixote traveled. The hotel was next to a church and cemetery. Three windmills, reminiscent of the Man of La Mancha, and a castle sat on the nearby hills. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castillo_de_Belmonte
The day started with a buffet breakfast similar to the lavish breakfast bars you get in European hotels. Then we had our hour-long one-to-ones with our Spanish counterparts anywhere we liked. We could stay in the public spaces of the hotel, walk through the village or visit the local sites. We talked about many things and touched on English idioms which are difficult for the Spaniards to understand. We were told to try to talk about subjects other than their job and daily life but it was fun to find out about police work and business in Spain. One of the Spaniards was an owner of an olive oil company and we enjoyed his company’s products with our meals. We also did a phone call where I played the part of a customer service rep from an airline and the Spaniard was the passenger who lost his luggage. As a group, we had a conference call where the mayors of different cities tried to convince me that their city was the best location to locate a casino. The reasons they gave were very inventive. One offered my company ample room to grow and even threw in an imaginary lake for recreation when another mayor offered me a nearby police station and a school to train my employees. It wasn’t all talking and eating. We also had time to visit the castle and a winery.
I thought the entertainment which was provided by all of us was the highlight of our program. Our Master of Ceremonies took a group of people each day and prepped us for skits that were hilarious. Since most of the Spanish participants were men, they were good sports and took the female roles. One night our Master of Ceremonies brewed us the alcoholic concoction, Queimada, with the help of witches. She set it on fire and ladled the flaming liquid out of the clay bowl until the flames turned blue. Then we all made the toast “¡Arriba, abajo, al centro, pa’ dentro!” which means Arriba – up, Abajo – down, Al centro – center, andPa’ dentro or Adentro” – inside. We then drank the brew which didn’t have that much alcohol burnt off. See the toast at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dr3Q5H57kRU and the recipe at https://www.thespruce.com/queimada-recipe-fire-drink-of-galicia-3083122. We usually finished the day at the cafe playing a game or socializing. This was after the dinner at 9. Europeans eat later than I was used to but we had lunch at 2 and a siesta from 3-5 so we soon got used to the change. I’d like to show you photos of the entertainment but like Vegas “What happens at VaughanTown stays at VaughanTown.”
Video with traditional chant
I cannot say enough about how much fun I had at this program. At first, I was suffering from jet lag and after a conversation on the bus with a Spaniard who was struggling with his English, I thought that this would be difficult and tiring. Yes, the long hours wore me out, but the experience was so exhilarating that I looked forward to each day and laughed more than I have in years. It was not just immersion for the Spaniards, the Anglos were immersed in the Spanish culture and learned so much from the students. I have an invitation to Wales, Scotland and Trinidad and have been in touch with several participants. One police officer gave me tips for my novel and promised to answer any questions I have while writing it.
After VaughanTown I toured Madrid and southern Spain. I’ll tell you about that in my next blog. Right now I’m preparing for my annual Christmas trip to Minnesota. Since I live so far from my family, I found that planning a trip over a holiday like I did with Thanksgiving keeps you from being alone and maybe lonely.
I wish I could say that I was a Flower Child during the Summer of Love, but I was busy working and getting ready for college. I did have a boyfriend, but he was in the Navy. Love may have been the last thing on a lot of people’s mind because we didn’t want to focus on the horrors of the Vietnam Conflict that the government didn’t want to call a war. I lived in the rarified environment of a small town that was miles away from the action in Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco where as many as 100,000 young people sported hippie fashions and engaged in experimentation with drugs and free love. Although hippies also gathered in many other places in the U.S., Canada and Europe, San Francisco the most publicized location for hippie subculture.
Hippies, sometimes called Flower Children, were an eclectic group. Many were suspicious of the government, rejected consumerist values and generally opposed the Vietnam War. A few were interested in politics while others were concerned with art, music, poetry or religious and meditative practices which were often enhanced by drugs and alcohol.
The 60s and 70s are remembered for liberal attitudes toward sex and society. It also saw the beginnings of the peace movement, LGBT rights, the birth of the British Invasion and the decriminalization of homosexuality in the UK. The U.S. didn’t decriminalize it until 2003.
The media’s fascination with the “counterculture” continued with the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967, where approximately 30,000 people gathered for the first day of the music festival with the number swelling to 60,000 on the final day. The song “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” written by John Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas and sung by Scott McKenzie was initially designed to promote the Monterey Pop Festival. “San Francisco” became an instant hit reaching #4 in the U. S. and #1 in the UK. It transcended its original purpose by popularizing an idealized image of San Francisco. Large numbers of fledging hippies headed to the festival to hear their favorite bands, among them Jefferson Airplane, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Otis Redding, The Byrds, the Grateful Dead, The Who and Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin.
However, values were not the same everywhere. The Rolling Stones still had to change their lyrics in order to be allowed on the Ed Sullivan Show. Legend has it that when the Stones were booked to play “Let’s Spend the Night Together” on his show in 1967, Sullivan announced, “Either the song goes, or you do.” They compromised by changing the lyrics to “Let’s spend some time together.”
The music of the summer of 1967 gave us wonderful songs.
The Soundtrack of the Summer of 1967 included:
San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) (Scott McKenzie)
All You Need Is Love (The Beatles)
Friday on My Mind (The Easy Beats)
Creeque Alley (The Mamas and The Papas)
Carrie Anne (The Hollies)
Let’s Live for Today (The Grass Roots)
She’d Rather Be With Me (The Turtles)
Groovin’ (The Rascals)
Brown Eyed Girl (Van Morrison)
Somebody to Love (Jefferson Airplane)
Mirage (Tommy James & The Shondells)
Sunday Will Never Be the Same (Spanky & Our Gang)
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell)
Pleasant Valley Sunday (The Monkees)
Reflections (Diana Ross & the Supremes)
San Francisco Nights (Eric Burdon & the Animals)
Light My Fire (The Doors)
White Rabbit (Jefferson Airplane)
Up, Up and Away (The Fifth Dimension)
Tracks of My Tears (Johnny Rivers)
I Was Made to Love Her (Stevie Wonder)
Respect (Aretha Franklin)
Little Bit O’ Soul (Music Explosion)
You’re My Everything (The Temptations)
The Letter (The Box Tops)
The expression Age of Aquarius in popular culture usually refers to the heyday of the hippie and New Age movements in the 1960s and 1970s. Although more rock than new-age in genre, the 1967 musical Hair, with its opening song “Aquarius” and the memorable line “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius” brought the Aquarian Age concept to the attention of audiences worldwide.
When the newly recruited Flower Children returned home, they brought new ideas, ideals, behaviors, and styles of fashion to most major cities in the U.S., Canada, Britain, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The closest I ever got to being a hippie was going braless, joining an anti-Vietnam group and wanting to wear flowers in my hair instead of a veil at my wedding, an idea that was quickly nixed by my mother. However, I enjoyed the fashions and the music. Janis Joplin was my favorite singer.
This was a peak moment of trippy rock posters and social activism. It was cut short by an influx of violent heroin dealers into the Haight, subsequent overdoses and tourist buses arriving to gawk at the hippies. By the autumn of 1967 many of the flower children had decamped to rural communes and the original pioneers and visionaries were gone. On October 6, 1967, those remaining in the Haight staged a mock funeral, “The Death of the Hippie” ceremony, to signal the end of the played-out scene.
During a time of war and hate the hippies gave us love and inclusion. Maybe we could strive for their vision and make the coming years the Years of Love.
Welcome to 2017! Last year had some great high points and some lows that I want to forget. The end of the year brought an unexpected health issue. I’m still recovering so I wasn’t up to offering any coherent information to my readers. Things are looking up and I’m back to researching new information for single Baby Boomers. I hope to have a new blog out later this month. I know that I want to give you some more information on how to prepare for emergencies when you’re physically and cognitively impaired. We should all have a plan whether we’re at home or traveling. This was a wake-up call for me and I don’t want anyone else to be caught unprepared.
I hope you got to ring in the New Year with friends and relatives. Here’s to a productive, healthy and exciting new year with pleasant surprises and experiences.
Photo credit: GrampaKen via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA
Single Baby Boomers can’t do it all on their own. No matter how self-sufficient you are you sometimes need to call on friends for help or just to be there to share your life experiences. Friends fill several of the needs in Maslow’s Theory of Human Motivation. He identified five levels of motivation or needs that humans strive to satisfy; Survival, Safety, Social, Esteem, and Fulfillment. In the blog “Friendships: Enrich your life and improve your health” at http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/friendships/art-20044860 the Mayo Clinic lists the benefits of friendships. According to them friends give us a sense of belonging and purpose, boost our happiness, reduced stress, improved our self-confidence, give us support during traumatic times, and encourage us to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Good friends are necessary for our health. It’s good to have different types of friends to call on to meet our changing needs. Here are some examples of friends that we all need.
The Confidant-This may be someone who knows your life story and may have lived some of it with you. Sometimes a family member fits the bill. They offer a shoulder to cry on or a kick in the butt when you need it. You trust their judgment so when you’re a hot mess they can take over until you regain your ability to deal with the situation. Listening is just one of their strengths. Knowing how to keep confidence is essential. Just remember to be there for them when it’s their turn.
Photo credit: Celestine Chua via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA
The Cheerleader-A friend who cheers you on even if they’re not comfortable joining you on some ventures. They’re at the end of the zip line when you get off and are willing to go close to the edge of the Grand Canyon even if they have a fear of heights. If they can’t be there with you, they call or send a funny, supportive card, text or email to let you know they’re thinking of you when you believe your life has been shattered beyond repair. They’re often the comic relief in some of your most tragic situations and even if you come to them in tears, they buoy you up, bring a smile to your face and you leave feeling better about the circumstances and yourself.
The Caretaker-A person who’s always there for you in your time of need. You may be too sick to drive to the doctor or get groceries, so this friend steps in and takes over until you’re back on your feet. They’re compassionate and never make you feel like you’re a bother. Caretaking is their forte since they’ve had a great deal of experience at home or through their profession.
The Party Animal-You may not be able to stay up as late, party as hardy or as often as you once did but everyone needs a friend who’s available on short notice to meet you for a drink, meal, movie or a night on the town. You may be fine with going out alone, but sometimes you want a pal to dance with or drive you home when you’ve had too good a time.
Photo credit: eltpics via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC
The Adventurer-The person you can count on to go with you to exotic places and to explore ideas or activities that you may have been leery of trying on your own. They’ve some of the same interests but are willing to explore new horizons with you. A stamp on their passport is a badge of honor. Spontaneity and a sense of adventure are requirements.
The Sports Buddy-You may want someone who enjoys sports or someone to join you for a workout, swim, hike or other physical activity. It’s often easier to get yourself out of the house and to the gym or walking path if you’re not alone. They may also want to join you at sporting events or just watch the game on TV. It’s fun to cheer for your team with a like-minded friend.
The Organizer-They belong to your social group and have similar interests which may bring you together at parties or other organizations. These people have the ability to organize activities that everyone enjoys and knows how to get people to pitch in to make the event a success. They make everyone feel needed and appreciated.
Photo credit: The Big Lunch via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA
Some friends fit in several baskets. Feel lucky if you have friends who support you and your ideas. Be there for them when they need you. Friendship is a two-way street. Find ways to let them know that you appreciate their friendship even if they tell you that they don’t expect anything. If there’s no way to repay them, then accept their gift graciously and pass the kindness on to another.
Photo credit: DaveOnFlickr via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Do your coupled friends think you need a partner to be happy? Do you feel they consider your time less valuable than that of their married friends? These are just two of the questions single Baby Boomers want to be answered. They know that married people mean well and just want them to be happy, but singles want everyone to know that they’re doing fine on their own. Here are some answers to questions that people who are in a relationship may have about their single friends.
Couples may think that single Baby Boomers who want to date will accept anyone as a potential mate. They may not have the face and body they had in their youth. Being single doesn’t make you desperate. Single Baby Boomers still have the same standards when it comes to a partner or even a dinner date.
Married family members expect singles to use their vacation time to travel to them for the holidays or other visits even if the singles have better accommodations for visitors than the rest of the family. Singles enjoy the opportunity to entertain in their home and to show them they can be a good host.
Photo credit: ajschu via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA
Married friends may feel that you don’t want to be invited to couple’s gatherings or believe they have to get you a “date” to round out the number so you’ll feel comfortable. Most of the time singles don’t care if they’re alone because their friends have made them feel included just by asking them to join the group. If they’ve been single for a long time, they have a lot of experience fitting in with all groups and are happy to be asked to the party.
Marrieds often want their single friends to only meet them for breakfast, lunch or on weekdays. To them, evenings and weekends are for family or going out with other couples. While singles understand this, it may be more difficult for them to meet during the day if they’re still working, have children at home or a busy schedule for other reasons. They think it would be nice if couples could give up an evening once and awhile to meet with their single friends like they do with other couples.
Photo via Visualhunt.com
Singles don’t want you to drop them when you find a partner. They can handle it and aren’t a threat to your relationship. They want to keep you as a friend. Things change for a lot of reasons and if you need to spend time with a significant other, they understand and may have been in the same situation.
Some marrieds feel that singles are self-absorbed and not willing to give of themselves. They take care of a partner and a family while it seems their single friends can go home to a quiet, clean home where no one expects them to prepare dinner, listen to their problems and care for children or grandchildren. Singles often do have someone to care for. It can be a child who’s still at home or a parent who needs a caretaker most of the time. Some may not have those responsibilities, but chances are they did at some time in their life or may in the future. Very few Baby Boomers go through life without giving time and support to others in their family or community. Singles don’t go home, sit on the couch and do whatever they want all night. They have to clean, cook and do other household chores without any help. It’s not any easier to cook for one than two and you can’t eat popcorn or takeout every night.
Often people in relationships worry that their single friends won’t have anyone to care for them as they age. Couples may be in denial about their situation. No one knows how long their partner will be there for them. If they’re alone, they’ll want to know they have friends to help out just like singles do. Having children doesn’t mean they’ll take care of you. This often falls to other family members or friends. Singles know that they have to take care of their health and finances, so they don’t have to depend on others.
There are many issues that may cause misunderstandings between couples and single people. It’s important to not let them stand in the way of keeping and making friendships or cause a rift in the family. None of us wants to be alone in this world, but some of us are happy to walk life’s path as a single person and give and accept support when it’s needed. We want our decision viewed as a respected life choice by any group who has chosen a different one.