I think there is, for knock-’em-dead, and that’s when you’re young and you have all that energy and invention, and you adore it. That’s one peak. What happens to those talents and abilities over time get burnished. It’s not an effort to know how to structure a story, where to put the quotations, what the pacing of it should be. I know now. That took years.
Some things were a whole lot harder when I was younger, because I knew less. Some things are harder now because I know all that other stuff but I don’t have “earlier” chops, the quick chops.
I get frustrated. Darn, darn, I can’t remember the name. Also, my husband died five years ago, and he was half my memory. We had a long history, over 50 years of marriage. We could always fill in each other’s blanks. He always did it better — my theory is because men don’t go through menopause. [She laughs.] Then, I had a complete memory.
How do you cope with that loss?
I can’t take his voice off my answering machine at home. I won’t. Even my son says, “Mom, it’s time.” But it’s really nice. That’s one way I preserve those things. I was talking to a friend who had lost his wife a year ago. And what I was saying to him is the first year was just a blur to me. I can barely remember it, but what I do know is I traveled a lot. My way of coping was to keep as busy as possible and to never sit down. Luckily, I felt up to that. I was traveling and doing lots of speeches, keeping very busy. I felt if I stopped, I would collapse.
What about dating?
I am stepping into that, but I’m not sure I want to talk about any of that.
I haven’t been on a date in 50 years. [She laughs.] So I don’t know the rules anymore. [She laughs again.]
Men my age are not as used, as younger men would be, to the kind of woman I am, which is very confident, professional. I have been out and around in the world, with an opinion, which I am not afraid to express. Men of my generation — my husband was certainly not like this; we went through women’s liberation together — many men who are a little older than I did not. It is a little off-putting for them in ways that wouldn’t be for younger men.
What about your
I don’t have those digging kinds of discussions, philosophical or whatever, that I did when I was younger. although the other night with a new friend, I had a long talk about capital punishment. It was interesting this was coming out, because I haven’t talked about that in years. We talked about the issue of waging war and the state taking a life in the case of capital punishment. I really felt I was stretching myself to come up with the arguments I wanted to. It was good.
Do the same stories interest you?