Who’s old? Take on Betty White in a game of touch football and find out …

Last week, I had a scare. Maybe scare isn’t the right word.

It was more like an incident that made me angry enough to realize that I’m really not good with limitations that may influence how I live.  Allow me to explain.

Last week, I experienced a little discomfort. To be exact, I had a pain on my left side, right under my armpit. Let me first say, I’m not the best patient.  I’m actually a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to being sick, or having to go to the doctor or hospital.

So when the episode was occurring, the former,  “oh-I-will-be-fine” me, would have ignored it. But the mature, aware “me” that knows what can happen when people ignore the signs, decided to have it checked.   Besides, having my co-workers hate me for having to scrape me off the floor—should I pass out—was not an option.

I went to the medical department. And after the poking, prodding, and wading through the five inches of grass that had grown beneath my black bow flats, I had to endure an embarrassing ride to the hospital by way of an ambulance. (I’m not good with unnecessary attention, either)  Oh, the pain.

Two EKGs later, I was given a green light that all things were normal. No, heart attack or stroke.

After plopping my cantankerous butt in the car, I drove home with my oldest offspring following close behind.  Like any good daughter, she left work to be with me and to listen to my constant grumbling, “I don’t want to go the hospital. I’m okay.”

She looked at me and asked, “Is this what I have to look forward to when you’re older?”

“Damn straight,” I told her. She shook her head and laughed. But after all was said and done, I was relieved that everything was okay.

The next day, I followed up with my doctor.  (See? I care about me!) I told him everything that happened and he said, “To be safe, he wanted me to see a cardiologist.”  I grimaced. But I knew he had a point. He wanted to rule out everything. Okay, fine. I can do that.

Then he proceeds to justify his recommendation by adding, “You know you have a few risk factors here: “You’re over 50 …”

Excuse me?  

(Stop here and insert expletives that would make a sailor take notes AND give you a high-five)

Call me high-strung. But by the time he finished with his rationale, I felt as though I had one foot in the grave and the other in quick sand. My immortality was slowly being flushed down the toilet, and for a moment, I felt as though the best of my life was over.

I was furious. Okay, let’s keep it real, shall we? I was pissed.

Don’t get me wrong. I value medical advice, and I know all about risk factors. But don’t tell me because of my age I’m more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. I’ve known healthy people in their 30s and 40s, who have suffered heart attacks.  Don’t put a number on it.

Still huffing and puffing, I shared what my doctor said with a friend at work. She thought it was ironic that I should tell this story at that very moment.  Apparently, on Facebook, the night before, she said someone referred to a 61-year old woman, as “elderly” and the stream of comments such as “Since when is 61 elderly?” went flying.  People were in an uproar.

And rightly so.  Don’t they know 60 is the new 50?”

Perhaps at one time, when I was growing up, (Yes, I’m a Baby Boomer), 60 might have been considered elderly, because the life expectancy in the USA wasn’t has high as it is today.  But haven’t they heard that people, with proper diet and exercise, are living long, productive and fulfilling lives?

Didn’t they hear Carrie in, “Sex and the City 2,” propose a, “To Fifty and Fabulous” toast to Samantha on her birthday?

Okay, I will admit I need to exercise more, and cut back on the gummy bears, and I will. But, come on!  Don’t try to scare the crap out of me!   My great-grandmother lived to be 96. So,  take that “over 50” rationale and shove it. Longevity is in the genes.

I will see the cardiologist and do what needs to be done, if anything. After all, I’m gearing up for the second half of my life and the last thing I need is to be limited in what I do. I have books to write, a grandson to spoil, a dog to take long walks with, a trip to Italy to plan with my sisters, and a Zumba class to take without consulting with my doctor.

Oh, and I’d like to see someone tell Betty White (I want to be like her when I grow up!) that she’s too old, and then take her on in a game of touch football.  That would be something else. 😉

Pfft. I’m done venting.  Going to watch Golden Girls.


An Affair to Remember: I Met Joe Black in Australia and he became my Bodyguard

If you haven’t guessed from the blog’s title, I’m a movie nut.

Okay, let me start over. (Remember, confession is good for the soul.) I’m a movie fanatic. I’m a movie fanatic. I’m a movie fanatic.

Ahh …just breathe. But hold on, there’s more.

This condition has been perfected over the years. When I was a pre-teen, I kept a notebook (five one-subject brown notebooks to be exact) of all the movies I’d ever watched, rated them and noted (with stars, in ink) whether or not I would watch them again.  My records were so meticulous that Siskel and Ebert, now Roeper, would be jealous. Yeah, I know no life. (Hmmm …I wish I knew where my old notebooks were.) 

But later on, I discovered that I wasn’t alone. For most of us, movies—like books—are a means of escape. Movies often deliver messages, influence behavior, spark reflection and literally change lives.  

Now, that’s a powerful medium.

I also find that movies serve as a vital and (wonderful) source of information and research. I recently blogged about my favorite fictional heroes and heroines of the silver screen who influence my writing. However, there are a few movies that also get me in the mood to write romance. They have a way of continuing to make me believe in happily ever after. (I also have to keep a box of tissues nearby.)

I tried to limit my list to the top 27 movies for writing romance and I can’t tell you how difficult that was.  Why 27 movies?  Because everyone always does the top 25, and I wanted to stay below 30. 🙂

So, here’s my list of favorite romantic movies. Each are special and have had an influence on my writing, and in some respects, my life. Perhaps there’s a few here on your list of favorites. If so, tell me about a favorite scene or line or why you could watch it over and over again.

  1. The Way We Were, Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand
  2. Somewhere in Time, Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour,
  3. Australia, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman
  4. An Affair to Remember, Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr
  5. Bridges of Madison County, Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep
  6. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton
  7. The Mask of Zorro, Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta Jones
  8. Sabrina (remake) Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond, Greg Kinnear
  9. Someone Like You, Hugh Jackman, Ashley Judd, Greg Kinnear
  10. Legends of the Fall, Brad Pitt, Julia Ormond, Aiden Quinn
  11. Meet Joe Black, Brad Pitt, Claire Forlani
  12. Love Jones, Larenz Tate, Nia Long
  13. The Notebook, Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams
  14. The Bodyguard, Kevin Costner, Whitney Houston
  15. The Wedding Date, Dermot Mulroney, Debra Messing
  16. Romancing the Stone, Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner
  17. A Walk in the Clouds, Keanu Reeves,Aitana Sánchez-Gijón
  18. The American President, Michael Douglas, Anette Bening
  19. Message in a Bottle, Kevin Costner, Robin Wright
  20. The Wedding Planner, Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Lopez
  21. Pretty Woman, Richard Gere, Julia Roberts
  22. Sweet Home Alabama, Josh Lucas, Reese Witherspoon, Patrick Dempsey
  23. You’ve Got Mail, Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan
  24. City of Angels, Nicholas Cage, Meg Ryan
  25. Ever After: A Cinderella Story, Dougray Scott, Drew Barrymore
  26. Hitch, Will Smith, Eva Mendes
  27. Out of Africa, Robert Redford, Meryl Streep

Uh oh it’s only the beginning of the week and I feel a movie weekend coming on. Better go stock up on popcorn. 😉