The story of an Old English

Let’s say you just got here, which continues to be absurd every time I say that. Blogging is over and no one’s just gotten here since 2011.

But maybe you’re on your Rumspringa or something. The English welcome you. And here, Amish person on a break, is my story. The story of an old English. If I were you, I’d be trying a McGriddle, not listening to me, but go ahead, if this is what you want to do. Go ‘head wich yer bad self. That is a saying from 2007, Amish person on a break.

[Amish person runs back to Pennsylvania]

I started dating when I was 14. My friend Beth fixed me up with her boyfriend’s best friend. He was, in fact, hilarious. She and I were in her basement, awaiting the arrival of the boys, who were 10th-graders as opposed to our 9th-grade selves. Her Hitler-youth-looking boyfriend came down like a normal, strong-jawed person. There was a pause.

And then my future boyfriend quite intentionally tumbled down the stairs to make his big entrance.

I also remember that night, he was over by a deck of cards. “God, I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” he said, scratching his arm furiously. “I might have the 7 of Clubs itch.” And then the 7 of clubs fell out of his shirt.

(I probably should have just stuck with him. He also came over once, on his way to the mall or something, and I told him to stay a minute, because my mother was on her way home and had wanted to meet him. He went to the bathroom, where my mother always hung her nightgown on the back of the door. My mother came home, and he emerged from the bathroom. In her nightgown.)

We dated I think four months and then it was over. He was my Facebook friend for awhile and maybe two years ago he unfriended me; I’ve no idea why.

After that, I fell in love with Giovanni Leftwich, my one high school boyfriend. Do you watch Victoria? He was a lot like Albert, with the intensity and brooding and floppy hair and so on. When I wasn’t with him, I was dating my other high school boyfriend, Cardinal. The least-intense person on our planet.

Neither of those worked out. They were both Facebook friends, until Giovanni quit Facebook. He can be found on Broodbook.

The last semester of high school, I met a Catholic boy, who went to the Catholic school where all the kids seemed rich but in retrospect weren’t, and we dated for two years. We went to the same college (his stupid idea), and he ended up sleeping with one of my high school friends, a girl who had also slept with Cardinal.

She’s still my Facebook friend.

Then I met Marvin, and originally that didn’t work out either, although I was berserk


about him. We dated for three terrible months in college (I Yoko’d him and he was indifferent),


and then we got back together 10 years later and married in 1998.

That decade between Marvins, 1986–1996, was full of a lot of relationships that…didn’t work out. The artist with long hair. The smoker with long hair. The recently-separated photographer. The drummer with curly long hair. The poet with long hair. The filmmaker with regular hair. (Oh my god, every one of those men are my Facebook friend. Facebook is my elephant’s graveyard.)

Then I met Marvin again, we got married, and?

It didn’t work out. It took almost 16 years to not work out, but it didn’t.

Then six years ago, I met Ned. We all know how that went.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed that lately I’ve had a dearth of dates. I think the last date I had was four months ago.

I’ve been kind of doing so on purpose (not entirely), but lately, I’ve been deciding something.

I give up.

Not in a bad way, not in a defeated way, and maybe not permanently, but for now?

I give up.

Ever since I fell in love with Giovanni Leftwich in late December of 1981,



Ever since then, I’ve been chasing that feeling. Because when I fell in love with stupid mean Giovanni Leftwich, I was on top of the world. And then I crashed to a halt when he broke up with me three weeks later.

And it’s been the same way ever since. I fall in love, I’m on top of the world, then boom. Failure. And I spend all my time obsessing about when I’ll meet the next person, then I do, and I start all over again.

The thing is, this last relationship was so all-consuming that, well, when I think about it, I guess I’m sorta traumatized. And here I am, 52, I’ve pretty much lost m’looks, and even if I were the hottest 52-year-old ever, 52-year-old men want to date 35-year-old women, because to tell you the truth, in my experience, men kind of suck.

So lately I’ve been noticing that I’m not dating anyone, haven’t for awhile, and I’ve been perfectly fine. I’m not lonely. I’m not crying into my giant pillow. I’m not requesting Nothing Compares to You on the radio.

I remember one of you telling me once, in the comments, how you were in, like, 7th grade, and you had the radio play Nothing Compares to You, because clearly nothing was going to compare to the boy you dated for 9 days in 7th grade.

I’m kind of sick of the up-and-down-ness of it, and of how annoyed I get with the person when he inevitably disappoints me. I sort of don’t want anyone else’s actions to determine if I have a good day or year.

I’ve got no trouble heading to the movies by myself if I feel like going at the last minute. Last night, I spent an hour on the phone with Alicia. It’s not like I don’t have anyone to talk to. I have all you guys!

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m giving up. I haven’t set a lot of rules for myself about this. But mostly I’m just not going to try to do things so that I “meet people,” which has worked zero since I moved here, because see above re 52 and lost her looks and 80-year-old men hitting on 25-year-olds.

I’m not going to keep track of “how long” it’s been since I had a boyfriend, and I couldn’t tell you that anyway, since Ned and I were so nebulous for so long.

My plan is to, oh, life my life without thinking about men and when am I gonna meet a man and


I do have one rule.

When I’m out with my friends, and the conversation turns to our single status, I’m putting the kibosh on it. No more long nights discussing why this one didn’t like us and why that one would be perfect if only he…whatever. Men never do that. When men are together, I imagine they talk about sports and music and spitting. But if you have a man in your life, go ahead. Ask him how often he and his friends talk about their relationships. Ima guess almost never.

I just feel like for the last few years, I’ve been swimming upstream, hoping to meet someone at this late stage of the game, and the truth of the matter is, most of the men I’ve met are broken in ways that I don’t want to deal with. If a man is middle-aged and single, it’s not because he’s fantastic and undiscovered.

Same with me. I think maybe my flaws are just not conducive to being in a relationship. So I won’t be.

And that’s that.

And I realize we’re hovering on too late, but could you try to stop me from becoming a cat lady?







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At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

64 thoughts on “The story of an Old English”

  1. Giovanni Leftwich is the best name I’ve ever heard. It doesn’t even seem real. Can you be grateful, at least, that your name is not June Leftwich? hashtag blessed. And you have NOT lost your looks. Stop with that. Your eyes, your hair, your bazoombas—all top notch. When in doubt, be you.


  2. Amen! I hear, I do, and I agree with every word. I have often thought the same thing, single at our age is not a good sign. When first dating someone, we notice an unpleasant characteristic, then think it won’t be such a big deal, and 4 years later, it is the thing you cannot live with. And after so much dating experience, we learn not to ignore that clue and end up not being able to really invest in a new relationship. At least, that is how I feel I have ended up.

    First time commenter, loving this not blog for nearly a year now. Thanks for being so brave to put yourself out here, both on good and bad days.


  3. All these comments are so awesome.Nothing to add except I’m jealous you don’t have to share a bathroom. I’m waiting until the kids all move out and then I will take over theirs. That’s only 6 years away.


  4. You sound really healthy in this post. And of course you are still beautiful. Way to go! Why don’t you get a black cat for me with all of your freedom. I really want one but I am living with someone allergic.


  5. First. OMG, I did not!
    Second. Single like you and happy about it too. The drama and annoyances just don’t seem worth it.
    Third. I did not!


  6. Fuck You, Joob.

    Remember the post last week where in the comments you wanted everyone to sign off with Fuck You, June instead of you’re so pretty, June or lovely post, June or nice job, Coot? Well, that is what makes you so special. So Fuck You, Joob and here’s to many more years of you being you.

    Having said all that, I mean really, between the hair (yours, not the pets), the dancing, the humor, the rack, the intelligence, the good looks, you ma’am have got it all. Well, you don’t cook but other than that, you’re the real deal.


  7. First, there is nothing wrong with having cats. Several of them. (Maybe not more than ten.)
    Lots of women come to the conclusion that they are happiest without a man in their life.
    Still, anyone can get married. Look around you. It all depends on what you are willing to accept. Some have higher standards. Some are needier. And, a few are very lucky.


  8. YAY! Your happiness doesn’t depend on anyone else. And Cat Lady? No, of course not. You are much too attractive and active! You are just a beautiful lady with cats.

    Lovely post, lovely June!


  9. I empathize. Although I gave up long ago. Since my divorce (five YEARS ago), I haven’t even wanted to get involved with anyone. And it seems to be true that men our age only want to date still-hot still-young things.
    I seem to be most content when I’m home, with just my pets, my art, and Netflix. With just an occasional coffee with a friend. That may be a bit pathetic, but it mostly doesn’t bother me that these are the things make me happiest (at least as of the last five years and who knows how many more).


  10. I had the join the chorus of folks and tell you how much I enjoyed this post. Whatever the future holds for you I hope much joy and peace comes from this decision to limit your focus on relationships.


  11. Dude, you’re hot. Lost your looks? Pffft. Come on now. I understand how you would FEEL that way, but nope. Not true.

    Admire the work you’re doing on yourself. Glad you’re mostly satisfied. Isn’t that what life is all about?
    Good things will come your way. Ambivalence is key.


  12. Excellent post. So glad you are in a good place. Lots of wise comments today. I’m so glad I didn’t have a mouth full of liquid when I read that your boyfriend walked out of the bathroom wearing your mom’s nightgown. Hilarious. What’s wrong with being a cat lady? If I lived alone, I can assure I would have more than one cat.


  13. I was single until I was 49. Until age 37, I was freaking out about meeting the right man and put a lot of energy into that pursuit. After 37, it no longer became a driving force in my life, and I began enjoying the splendor of me. There is something to be said about releasing that pointless energy. Ferris was right – life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.


  14. I couldn’t love this post more! You are a beautiful, talented, self-assured woman whose worth isn’t determined by a man. Other than procreation, there is no big reason to seek male companionship. Companionship with anyone or anyanimal is completely fulfilling. This reminds me of a story my friend told about her 5-year-old daughter playing Barbies with her friend. My friend was listening to their adorable imaginations when her daughter’s friend said, “Where’s Ken?” Without missing a beat, her daughter said, “Barbie doesn’t need Ken…she has a job!” Out of the mouths of babes!


  15. I saw a dish towel once that read, “The only woman looking for a husband has never had one.”
    Good for you, choosing to live a full life without looking for someone else to fulfill it.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Better to be alone than to be with the wrong person. I wasted a good long portion of my cute years on the wrong one. I would have been better off alone.

    So good for you Coot!


  17. You are the most attractive 52 year old I don’t know.
    Also this was basically my life until my mid 50s when I let it go.
    My only regret is wasting decades hoping and praying for the one, while I could’ve been enjoying the hell out of life.
    I’m doing that now, making up for lost time and it’s wonderful!


  18. ” I sort of don’t want anyone else’s actions to determine if I have a good day or year.”

    This is a very smart statement. Of course you haven’t lost your looks and your fun personality! But giving up pinning your state of mind (day, year) on someone else is just smart. Glad to hear that you are refocusing your attention on the other good things in your life.


  19. I like the sound of this post, but what it describes is not “giving up.” It is choosing what feels right over what doesn’t.
    Helping out by fostering happy kittens is not the same as being a cat lady.
    Not looking like you’re 13 is not the same as losing your looks.
    Yes, I know everything.


  20. I was divorced at 50 and could not imagine I’d be dating again and sure as hell did not want to get married again. So I bought a cute little house with my two precious kitty cats and was very happy that way. I could do what I wanted, when I wanted and not think I had to consider the other person. So I went about my business, doing things with friends just for my own enjoyment, not thinking a second about finding another man. The minute I stopped thinking about it, all hell broke loose, men were falling from the sky wanting to date me. They were mostly 10-15 years younger than me, because like you said, the ones my age wanted 20-year-olds. None of them were marriage material, but I had so much fun (because I didn’t care)! And suddenly, there he was…..I still did not want to get married, but he was my prince (and even in my age group). He convinced me to marry him, even though I liked the two separate living environments and we have been happy for 18 years now. So don’t give up, just quit thinking you have to have a man and the right one will appear. And, if not, who gives a shit?


  21. You have reached the age of enlightenment! Much better to be alone and very content than be with someone and wish they would go the hell away! Thankfully, my current mate and I just swim in our own lanes.


        1. I was a little envious yesterday that you looked great dancing around in your PJs, not done up fancy at all. That’s some ingrained good looks right there.

          I’m pretty sure if I were dancing around in my jammies the way you were someone would turn a fire hose on me to make it stop.


  22. You make a lovely cat lady! So much animal love in your heart! I love that about you!
    Men? Well, I had a friend who said they are like a bus – another one will come along in a few minutes… I stopped worrying about that a long time ago…but sometimes I do check the bus stop!


  23. Good plan, June, good plan. I was excited to see the title of this post because I thought you were going to tell us you got an Old English Sheepdog. I’ve always wanted one of those big, furry creatures.


  24. This is the most reasonable, healthy thing I have ever heard. At one point in my life I came to the same conclusion. I’ll spare you the “then I met my husband, we got married, and everything is perfect” speech because, although I did meet my husband, and we got married, his kids are a mess and his ex is CERTIFIABLE and mostly I’m miserable and want to be back in my little townhouse alone with my sweet cat (who I’m POSITIVE hates me for moving her out of our little cocoon). SO. What I’m saying is that I’m often jealous (in the best possible way) of you when I read your blog and see your nice, quiet (except for the kittens) little life. I definitely think you’re on to something!


  25. Even though the song kind of meanders in what its meaning might be, I am channeling “The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston on your behalf today. But performed by Maya Rudolph because I am immature and have the flu right now, so that’s how much sense I am making right now. Happy for you all the same.


  26. Agreeing with many of the above comments. Contentment with the non-relationship status is better than a string of weirdos. I have a good friend in her late 60s, divorced, retired from her career. She wavers from contentment of singleness to cruising through the many dating websites. That’s not worked very well for her, other than some sex.

    Your first boyfriend exiting the bathroom in your mom’s nightgown made me lol! What a great sense of humor! Sorry about the FB unfriending; perhaps his wife did that for him.


    1. Probably. He ended up marrying pretty much the next person he ever dated, and she and I went to high school together, and we’d been friends till they started dating. All of a sudden I was the enemy. Yes, those four months of 1980 where we got to second base are burned in my heart, lady. Whatever.


  27. Study after study shows that the happiest people are married men and single women. Unhappiest? Married women and single men. Let us take a moment to ponder the reasons for that. . . .

    At the end of the day (or the beginning of it for that matter), there is nothing worse — or lonelier — than feeling trapped in a bad relationship.


    1. Wow, you hit the nail on the head in your last paragraph. Been there, done that, will never put up with that again! My (2nd) husband went through the same situation. Our past has helped us know what we DO want, and that’s good.


  28. I totally get it. Although our situations are completely different, I am 54 years old and last year unexpectedly became a widow. My 2 daughters live away from me and I don’t have grandkids yet. I do have a dog, thankfully! Most of my friends are either in relationships or are married. I have always liked being alone and I’m gradually getting into a routine. I have zero interest in looking for a man, which is weird for me to say because I was very much like you when I was younger – always either in a relationship or seeking one! Maybe I’ll change my mind eventually, but if I do I’ll have to move because the crop of men I come across in my work life (legal profession) is NOT good. Maybe for both of us the right man will find us when we’re not looking. Or not. I really don’t care! And I had totally forgotten about those perfume doll pins! Enjoy your kittenses.


  29. “If a man is middle-aged and single, it’s not because he’s fantastic and undiscovered.” Ouch! Just for that I am going to give you advice! 🙂

    Don’t give up. It is too finite. Put relationships aside. You’d be open if a relationship happens but you are not going to try and force it. You are happy with yourself

    Oh and guys sometimes talk about relationships (too many of my conversations are about my soon to be ex) but we are also pretty good at saying “I don’t want to talk about it. Lets talk sports” Guys never force relationship talk

    Forcing a relationship is about as successful as telling your readers to stop you from talking about cats. Ain’t gonna happen


    1. Now, see, Enormous Member Steve, you are newly divorced. You had a very long-term relationship that did not work out, as these things do. YOU might actually be a good one. Which means you’ll get snatched up right away. I mean, if you can find someone who can stand all those fucking showtunes.


  30. You is kind. You is smart. You is important. And you have kittens, cats and Edsel. Contentment looks good on you, Coot.


  31. Yep. I haven’t taken myself off of the market necessarily but I am no longer hotly pursing anyone. I don’t think it has to do with where you live. Men in my area and the area I moved from were all seeking a hot 25 year old. Or very messed up. Or majorly financially broke. I do need to make some friends here. Almost my two year anniversary here and I still only hang out with my family. My lease it up soon and I think I landed that job interview. I hope to move into a place where I can foster kittens as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I think that feeling is called contentment. And it looks good on you. Oh, wait… maybe that’s cat hair. In any case, it’s a good place to be.

    Your first boyfriend sounds hilarious – but you probably would have been exhausted from trying to out-funny each other.

    And can I say there is no humor like Amish humor. Rumspringa… oh, man.


  33. I think your plan is wise. Live your very full life, concentrate on you and if something blows in on the wind, so be it. The only time I’ve known my husband to be discussing a relationship was when his best friend’s first wife left him and his three year old daughter but that was a major crisis, so. Some men will talk to a female friend about relationships but a bunch of straight guys going on about their failed relationships? Nope. You are right to shut that shit right down.


  34. I think it’s a grand idea. You are a woman in charge of her own life. You are surrounded by people who love you. P.S. is that a little perfume doll you are wearing on your dress in the above picture from Toronto?


  35. Good for you Coot! I’m not going to stop you from being a cat lady because I aspire to that myself. And look at those widdle nibblet feetsies! That black kitten is calling my name. They are such sweet little babies and people are afraid of them for no reason.

    I hate to ask but how is Ned doing after the loss of Nedkitty? It is hard to get over losing a pet (oh, who am I kidding. I think of them as family members.)


  36. I have been there, I think a time will come when you are ready to put yourself out there but by then you will probably have found someone, it seems to work that way.


  37. Being happy with yourself is a good place to be. I mean, i don’t understand why anyone in the great G’boro area wouldn’t want to hit that, so maybe you just live in the wring place to meet the right person? (HA!)

    Also, you seem to have a great collection of wonderful friends with whom you can go out on a moment’s notice for weeknight shenanigans, even — and that’s something that not many of us have.

    Also – kit-tens! you haz kit-tens! I may be married, but bc I am, I don’t get to have kit-tens! So really, who’s living her best life? YOU.


  38. I like your thinking. It will serve you well. You are strong and will do fine on your own and I’m glad you have come to that realization. It could be a lost cause on the cat lady thing. But, don’t worry about it, there are worse things you could become.


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