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Still Hot, Why Not?

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Okay girls, are you ready for this? (because I know I’m not):  My son here in NY thinks it’s time for me to get fat!!!  And he is not alone.  My other son in LA thinks the same thing.

How do I know? The boys tell me so.  They say, “Mom, isn’t it time to just relax?” (when I am, for instance, trying to resist that second cupcake at my granddaughter’s birthday party).  “Enjoy yourself, Mom!” they add.  “Who are you staying skinny for?”

Me.  Me.  I am staying (well I would never call myself) skinny for Me.  A woman without a man is like a bicycle without a cupcake.  I Am Staying Knish (I mean Thinnish) for Me!

Like the other day.  I am talking to my son in his chock full o’kids home.  He asks if I can watch the children Saturday night.  I admit to being cowed by the prospect of caring for a baby, a toddler, and a little boy whose favorite word is “Pchuu!” and who can rattle off all seven classes of the Undead (vampire, zombie, ghost, skeleton, ghoul, mummy and werewolf).

A six year old isn’t really a date but at least he’s alive.  My alternative is lying on the couch at home, watching shows about hoarders (the 8th class of Undead) and eating precisely half a container of coconut milk ice-cream (370 calories).

My brilliant handsome son adds, somewhat ironically, “Unless you have a date, mom.”

I fall off the chair, pound the floor and scream, “Date? Date? Me have a date? How can I have a date when all the men my age have been whisked off to another planet by an insatiably horny Amazon queen?” (The 9th class of the Undead.)   “Sure, I can babysit.”

And thus I find myself, Saturday evening at 7, arriving at my son and daughter-in-law’s house (and may I take this opportunity to say that she is almost good enough for him?)  I wear loose baggy clothing that can get smeared with finger paint and big socks impervious to the crunch of cheerios.   My son pats and thanks me.  I know he feels most comfortable with this version of his mother:  Grandma.

I know this because he says, “You’re such a great Grandma.  Now all that’s left is to get fat.”

Fat!?!  What is this thing with fat!?!?

If you will say this every time I come to your house, I will not come to your house.  That’s not true.  Of course I will come to your house.   But please.  Get a grip.   Your mother is not that fat happy grandma!   She gambols out in the pasture.  She chews her cud, and takes upon her pillowed knee the baby, who falls asleep on her parapet bosom.   Her many chins frolic like playground swings.

I know you admire her. That gray-haired, grandmotherly grandma who doesn’t give a fig how she looks and surely doesn’t care about being sexy.   I take this opportunity to say to my sons, whom I have forbidden to read this column: Boys, those other grandmas are far better men than I.  And also, they are married.   

Your mother is vain.  I will wear lipstick on my death bed.  Even if I do find my Bashert, I will still keep my figure, do my face, and swing my hips.  With or without a man, I will take pride in my appearance.  I will visit the Grandma Pasture but don’t expect me to live there.  I don’t like grass.  I’d much rather gaze longingly at the cupcake.


Diana Amsterdam is a published and produced playwright, screenwriter, scribe and branding guru; and former ghost writer for the Emily Post Institute. She is the mother of two brilliant sons and five exceptional grandchildren.


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  • Mike says:

    Diane Amsterdam; Thank you for responding with: “Mike–Get both oars in the water.”———Now, maybe you would be gracious enough to tell me the decipher code on the meaning of you eloquent response. Because I am sure it was not capricious as that would defeat your entire women’s over 50 dating blog. So maybe you would endeavor to elaborate on your dictum! I hope my comment was not too literary profound for comprehension.

  • susan says:

    OK…. what about us late bloomers who still have kids at home? Who are in the half century decade but are are NOT grandmas? Where are the men for us? Where do we find them in a sea of men who talk of traveling the world and kicking back now? I am no where near ready to go out to pasture and chew my cud. I still have a second career to build… elementary school, middle school, bat mitzvahs, sweet sixteens, first dates, high school and college to steer my children through….

    Are there men in their 50s who don’t want a twinkie or men in their 60s who aren’t waiting to play golf and then die? I don’t ever want to get that old that I give up on living life.

    This is what I’d like to hear from you.

    I do agree that, at this age, dating for dating sake is not worth the cost of the babysitter (or the mascara)…. I’m interested in a man who would be interested in making a new life with me…. not just go out to play without any substance. Are there any out there?

  • How I enjoyed reading this…
    At the ripe old age of 55 (and my third and youngest son aged 11!), I’d never-ever-ever-ever give up that youthful feeling. Not for me the surgery, the facelifts, no no no… Just running around all over the place (I ADORE bombing down the streets of Paris)- oh, and: swimming, yes, definitely. But natural, relaxed aging- we can’t stop time, but we can stay proud of our bodies and our smiling faces.
    By the way: I’m French, live in Paris, and am completely unsophisticated.
    But! If you love books, and ideas, and keep thinking and moving- how could you possibly AGE?!

  • Sandy says:

    So far, no grandkids, but when they come, I’m going to love every minute of it. One thing (grandkids), has nothing to do with the other thing (my weight).

    I want to live my life to the fullest. I want to be healthy and have my wits about me to the very end. And a large part of health is staying thin. Fat comes with infirmity. Bad heart, bad knees, diabetes, etc.

    Sorry, to kids who want squishy, cushiony grandma laps, squishy, cushiony is not in my future if I can help it.

    Oh yeah, and… I’m still single. Staying thin doesn’t hurt with the opposite sex, either. And that goes for you gentlemen, too!

  • Mike–Get both oars in the water. To Kathy–Yes, I would definitely call the men “boys,” or “guys”! The word “woman” can rarely be flirty, playful, or, for that matter, short. Humor is a way to arrive at serious. Tragedy is funny. It has to be. Mark–Yes, send me your poem. And Freddie–Hope you find someone soon.


  • Rick says:

    Dear Diana,

    From what I can see and every column I’ve read (and I’m a fan so I’ve read them all), you are a cupcake.
    So no worries about eating one from time to time. Even a second one. I mean, how many grandchildren’s birthday parties can you be going to? Unless you’re going to your grandchildren’s friends birthday parties too. Which would be a bit much, I think. Unless you’ve discovered a way to meet hot or even lukewarm single grandfathers. Which is fine–we do what we have to do, am I right?–though the image of you hanging around a cupcake bar wth a bunch of 60somethings, admiring the fine motor sklls of a 4-year-old on an X-box just to get a shot at his grandfather? I don’t know. Now, pin the tail on the donkey–there you’re talking fine motor schools PLUS hand-eye coordination PLUS peripheral blindfold vision, the kind of sly cheating that will make him a success some day. I guess I’m just an old-fashioned guy that way.

    It all comes down to this: Tell your sons they’re stuck with a modern grandma who wants it all–nursery rhymes by day, that hilarious new book that just came out with the cursing nursery rhymes by night, plus the occasional bite from a big bar of semi-sweet chocolate.

    After all, a woman without a bicycle is like a man without a cupcake. Am I right?

  • Freddie Bryan says:

    Hi I think that you are very Beautiful.I am Divorced, I have two kids that are grownup, and they live in Alabama. I live alone and its been with anyone. Im like a teenager again. And Im lookig for someone to take my loneliness away. Im always reminded that I need to get someone to be with and enjoy each other.I am retired, and it gets lonely every day.I would love to meet you, and talk get to know each other.

  • Mark says:

    Dear Diana Amsterdam,

    Very impressed by your wit and direct style. I am a poet and recently wrote a poem that, I think, you would find interesting. If you want me to send it to you, please let me know and I shall translate it into English. And I am amazed by your energetic blog. Best wishes for a healthy, happy and THIN New Year.

    Mark, Beersheba, Israel

  • Kathy says:

    1. Get thin if it makes you feel good.

    2. I’m really interested in a reality based discussion of dating in one’s 50s. I have lots of thoughts about it.

    We aren’t biologically driven as we were when our bodies wanted to procreate. We are wiser people in our 50s (hopefully) Perhaps we’ve had some therapy and aren’t driven by unconscious needs…. I didn’t want to take anyone too seriously when I first divorced in my 40s because, as a child of divorce, I didn’t want my sons to be adversely affected by MY relationship with a man (not that I didn’t have relationships or men in my life–just that I wasn’t going to comment unless he was STELLER because my children deserved that!)

    Let’s be real: I live in L.A. Meeting a great man who is appropriate for me (I’m not a cougar, I’m not looking to explore my sexuality, because i know how my body works) is not so easy at this time in life. And even on JDate–you’d think…these guys want a date! But what kind of responses am I getting? (And I can’t play games with the glamour shots because although I’m an attractive woman, I’m a person who is more than that! I’m over half a century old–I’ve lived, I’ve loved, I’ve cried….I’m real now (like that bunny in the story-book.)

    it’s easy to get all cutsie over dating–but where are the meaty discussions? What about how to address/deal with the fact that in middle age, you’ve no shared past? What about the issues about health and longevity? I never see that on JDate–or anywhere else! And also, what about acknowledging the issues involved with forming relationships when one is going through divorce (especially when kids are involved.) (That’s not an issue for me know–but I know it affected what went on with the men I dated when I was freshly divorced and they were freshly divorced.)

    Dating is fun etc.—-and mindless–when you are in your 20s and 30s and driven by hormones! What does it mean to look for love when one has the opportunity to be mindful as a “wise person” (even at a young 50!)? That’s the type of thing I’d like to see explored in articles!!!! I don’t see it addressed in that particular way (with maturity–and still with fun) anywhere!!!

    It’s easy to be cutesy about the situation–but–for smart women–and men, who aren’t silly…well, what’s a “girl”–oh cross that out!!!!! What’s a woman to do? (You wouldn’t call the guys “boys” would you?

  • Mike says:

    Diana, If your interested in a man’s perspective:

    You, as most other women in your age group are confused with how males think and communicate. First of all, your sons said loud and clear to you: GET A LIFE. But you chose to hear what you wanted to hear, as most women do. And you further use the standard cop out for women in your age group of: “men in my age group”, as men always have and always will date younger. Your grandmas knew this and they were probably happily married. Next is your Freudian slip; “I take this opportunity to say to my sons, whom I have forbidden to read this column: Boys, those other grandmas are far better men than I. And also, they are married”. OR DO YOU really think —-”grandmas are far better MEN then I”? OR that ‘ALL other grandmas are married’?

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