Morocco, 1975. Venturing out into the open market one sun-drenched afternoon after tea, I became aware of the most captivating scent. Though I had never smelled it before, it was completely familiar to me and I somehow "recognized" it. I looked around, attempting to locate the origin of the scent and finally isolated it to a beautiful young Moroccan woman, dressed in native garb, carrying a basket on her head. She was purchasing some fruit in the stall across from where I was standing. I approached her, and through some mixture of pantomime and female intuition, managed to communicate with her. I will never forget her smile as she reached into her colorful, intricately embroidered satchel and pulled out a small vial which she then handed to me. There were no words exchanged, but I'm sure that she sensed my gratitude, as I sensed her intention for me to keep her gift. It all sounds so preposterous, years later, but it was one of those rare, ever-so-real moments in life. Months later, I returned to the US with the unlabeled vial and was able to have the scent identified. It comes from an Indian herb and though not particularly esoteric, will always remain exotic and layered with memory and meaning for me. I have worn it ever since. In fact, it is so much my "signature scent" that even though I wear it quite sparingly, others will sometimes remark that I have been present, long after I've left a room.
So that's the story of how I found my scent. How, then, shall I find you? And who exactly are you? Well, I can't fill that in just yet. Because I have always believed that we are attracted to people not primarily for qualities they possess (e.g., their riveting blue eyes, keen intellect, ability to make a mean omelet), but rather for how they make us feel about ourselves when we are with them. We are most drawn to those people who bring out the very best qualities and dimensions in us, maybe even those which have lain dormant or are as yet undiscovered. They awaken things in us and make us feel most alive. Consequently, I don't approach the dating/mating game with a checklist of attributes I'm looking for. Rather, I am hoping to find someone who stimulates and uplifts me, embraces all parts of me - even the shadows (maybe *especially* the shadows), makes me feel like I want/need to feel, and inspires me to my best self. How you look, what you do, what you own, mean relatively little to me. I have high standards, but require no particular "specs." Like my scent, I'll recognize you when I find you.
If, perchance, you're looking for me, I'm a well-grounded, well-rounded woman of substance who lives life both passionately and productively. I'm a long-divorced empty-nester with one young adult child, a classical actor/director/playwright living in NYC, and a deranged cat in residence who tries in vain to fill the void. I've worked as a clinical psychologist and university professor for 30+ years, with the exception of the "detour" I once took to revisit "the road not taken" by making my living as a musician, and the last year I took off to work on a book. After 16+ years of single parenthood, I moved from Louisiana to Massachusetts five years ago when my son decided to attend college "up here." I am well traveled, having lived in a dozen states and a couple of foreign countries. Consequently, I carry limited "baggage" and strive for simplicity in all things. To avoid becoming "fossilized," I reinvent myself periodically. I am healthy: mentally, physically, spiritually. I am rather intense/vigorous and have a high degree of emotional stamina. But I also know how to relax and decompress. I don't take myself or life too seriously. I'm a bit cynical, a lot philosophical. I appreciate irony. I live life with intentionality and purpose, have my sh*ttogether. I enjoy complexity, require order. I crave solitude and togetherness alike. I value relational intimacy and seek it. I'm a loyal and tenacious friend and lover. I'm a "natural" woman: warm, earthy, sensual, soulful, spiritual, intuitive, communicative, compassionate, and comfortable with myself, inside and out. Always classy, often sassy, sometimes trashy. I am highly adaptive/flexible and feel comfortable in any and all venues, even beyond the "jeans to little black dress" continuum people like to talk about around here. I can relate to anyone, no matter who they are or where they've been. I listen actively and intently. I speak the truth. Those around me tend to feel at ease in my presence. But I also have a quirky, offbeat sense of humor and a thinly veiled unconventional/outrageous/irreverent side that makes me quite a handful at times. I tend to swim upstream, run with scissors, color outside the lines, and even play in traffic. Consequently, my life has always been rich and full...every day a new adventure. I value dynamism over stasis, process over content. I am unafraid of risk. Experience is everything to me...and I am willing to tread unbeaten paths. Perhaps my traveling companion is to be found somewhere in this pond?
"We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it -- and stop there --
lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid
again, and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one any more." --Mark Twain
Q & A
Q: Is that a real cat?
A: As opposed to...?
Q: Why is your profile so long?
A: To test your literacy...and stamina. I figure that anyone who can't handle the profile probably can't handle the woman behind it.
Q: Why have you listed so many interests?
A: Because POF only allows 81.
Q: Why have you failed to alphabetize your list?
A: Thanks for asking. Will you marry me?
Q: Why does a fish need a bicycle?
A: If you're asking, you've probably missed the reference to the infamous feminist quote, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle."
Q: Are you a feminist?
A: Not necessarily, but I just couldn't resist the irony of a screen name alluding to the superfluousness of men on an internet dating site.
Q: But do you need a bicycle?
A: Nope, have one. And ride it lots. But thanks anyway, if you were offering to buy me one.
Q: What about a man?
A: Yep, could use one of those. Got one? Know one?
Q: What is that mysterious scent?
A: It's a mystery. And quite beside the point of the story.
Q: Why aren't you in a relationship now?
A: I'm in between relationships. And presumptuously optimistic.
Q: How have your offline POF experiences been?
A: Never ended up dead in a dumpster. Not even once.
Q: But don't you find the fish here to be swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool?
A: That's mean.
Q: How do you feel about that?
A: Why is that important to you?
Q: Why do you sometimes answer a question with a question?
A: I'm a shrink. Occupational hazard.
Q: Are you always such a wise-ass?
A: No, not at all. It's just a defense. Get past it.
Please don't let this non-exhaustive (though exhausting) Q&A dissuade you from writing to ask me a question that has not yet been posed and posted. If it's a really good one, I'll add it to the list. Anonymously, of course.
C'mon, you know you're curious....