5 Ways to Ask Your Friends for Help When Your Parents Are Needy or Ill

My last visual memory of my always-a-step-away-from-hospitalized mom is from the passenger’s side mirror of the secondhand blue Geo Prism my husband and I owned. She was standing in the parking lot of her apartment complex waving as my husband drove us away from our Rochester, New York home to our new apartment just outside Washington, DC. I was filled with guilt for leaving her behind. My always-healthy dad had died unexpectedly two years before, leaving me as my mom’s primary support system.

Curiosity Drove Me to Try Friendship 'Speed Dating' — And Now I Think Everyone Should Try It

Frankly, I wouldn’t have attended the speed-dating-for-friends event if I’d realized that it was advertised far-and-wide in the Washington, D.C. area. The woman who organized it had indicated it was a semi-private event — or as semi-private as possible when it was advertised in a closed, area-women-writers-only Facebook group. “So explain to me again why you’re going to a speed-dating event,” asked my husband the morning of the event. “And why it costs $15.” I again described that the early ev

For Years, My Mother-in-Law and I Bonded Over Coffee — Until One Day We Didn’t

Mother’s Day can seem odd when you are childless by choice. It’s even odder when your own mom has passed away. You want to celebrate — something — but what? For me, it’s my mother-in-law. That hasn’t always been easy. It seems every mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship develops slowly. Mine moved at glacial speed — not because my mother-in-law was stereotypically bossy, old-fashioned, or set in her ways. Nope — the problem was that she seemed too modern. What was a 60-something, Indiana-

'Paint Nite' Is Like College Happy Hour for Middle-Aged Women

Most people think of me as a no-nonsense kind of person. I mean, really: How many people do you know who read Ogilvy on Advertising as a 10-year old kid? That’s the book written by the original Mad Men advertising king David Ogilvy. I don’t remember a lot of it, but I do recall the author and founder of the New York-based advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather told aspiring advertising execs to adopt a hobby. I’m not in advertising, not wildly successful, and not in New York. No matter; I live that a

The Pitfalls of Using Games Like 'Words With Friends' to Stay Connected

Your life just got exponentially better and more stylish now you've signed up for our newsletter. Fabulousness awaits! When I recently looked at my Words With Friends board on Facebook, it made me think of my childhood friend Diana, whose family lived just down the street from mine. She and I spent many rainy Saturday afternoons playing the Hasbro board game Scrabble, which is similar to the relatively new virtual game Words With Friends. I loved playing Scrabble with Diana. We were both vorac

How to Dress in Your 50s at Any Size and Still Have Fun

“My cute daughter-in-law is wearing a skort,” said my mother-in-law, who had just come to town, during an I-arrived-safely call to her sister. “Isn’t that something? Ayla wears skorts too.” Ayla was 6 at the time. I remember stifling a sigh. Clearly I had done it again — worn something she thought inappropriate for a 40-something woman. But her words didn’t sting. Heck, it was more polite than the gawks I received from some passersby or the giggles I was certain pre-teens directed toward me.

The Making of an Athlete | The Saturday Evening Post

Whenever I mention kayaking in Hawaii, or whitewater rafting in West Virginia or hiking in Death Valley, people ask if I have always been athletic. My husband Wayne, a very patient person, always lets me respond with whatever half truth pops into my mind – phrases like “dawn workouts” and “endorphin rush” pepper such statements — before he interrupts and I can graciously end by adding “but it’s important to ease into it.” See, I was athletic at one time. Okay, maybe until age 12. Then there wa

E-Learning Courses Great for Post-50 Education

Online courses — free or for a fee — are plentiful. Here are 5 of the top providers The site offers 500-plus courses. Most lectures are about 30 minutes, and courses range from six to 96 lectures (most in the 24-to-36 range). Courses can be purchased as online modules or on DVDs or CDs. Prices generally range from $15 to $230. There's also a subscription plan called the Great Courses Plus (thegreatcoursesplus.com), with access to multiple courses for $19.95 a month or $179.95 annually. Amazon P

How I Lost 100 Pounds At Age 51 And Kept It Off

The massive, wrinkled fat rolls pictured on the Facebook post repulsed me. I blinked hard before I noticed the middle-aged women who had flashed their abdomens for the camera were smiling. And then I saw it—the “fat happens” mantra beneath the photo. My immediate thought was to delete the post. As I kept studying the picture, though, I decided I had to respond. I couldn’t post anything—not even an “LOL”—that might signal agreement with the sentiment, even though a dear friend had shared it. As

For a Dying Woman, My Mother Sure Knew the Importance of Living

The last time I saw my mom, she was standing on the sidewalk in front of her apartment building, waving as my husband and I drove away. We had stopped for a brief visit with her on our final trip out of my hometown of Rochester, NY, as we made our way to our new life in Washington, DC. I was rushed and grumpy, using those attitudes as shields to conceal the guilt I felt leaving her behind with only a few friends and no family in the area. "Don't be ridiculous. Life is to live," said my mom, us

My Mom Pushed Me To Marry The Wrong Guy

My parents and I were sitting at the family dining room table midway through eating my mom's homemade spaghetti dinner when I let out a long sigh as she lobbied me to marry my boyfriend. "Mom, he's not right for me," I whined. "He's not ambitious enough for me. He's not into the same things I am. He's just not right for me." It was her turn to sigh. She never said it, but she likely thought there'd never be anyone "right for me," as far as I was concerned. While my two older sisters were much