Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

I am Mommie Dearest to three
daughters. Evamaria, Anna Marie,
& Marybeth. Evamaria's blog is "Dailey
Dose of Diva" where I often comment
under anon because until today I had
misplaced and forgotten my pass word.
Today I changed my password and hopefully
I will remember it. Today, as you can see,
I am also starting my own blog.

I am most certainly "lolwa". Not your
average little old lady. I indeed have
"attitude". I was born in 1939 and
consider 39 to be my age. Consequently
all my daughters are older than I am.
Would you believe some people actually
believe me and ask if my three daughters
are step children. DUH. Geez, look at my
wrinkles, of course I'm lying!

I am twice a widow. Gene died in
Feb. 1997. What a shock. I was only 58,
the love of my life was gone and I was alone
and deep in debt. I had retired when I was
49 via a buy out from the RCA/GE merge,
not presently working, and not old enough
for retirement benefits or social security.
I thought I was set for life. Gene and I
would spend our time in our silver bullet
(Airstream) and float around in lakes and
rivers in our little putt putt boat waiting for
a good fishing day.

Now, on his $1200 a month annuity there
was no way to pay the mortgage, utilities,
and payments on five maxed out credit cards.
I knew Gene was a financial disaster and had
been squirrling away money for 20 years just
in case. Now, what I hoped would be future
travel money would now have to be used just
to survive. And those five maxed out credit
cards? I was only aware of two... how did he
hide the other three?

All of the insurance money went to pay
off the credit cards and for his funeral.
So what would be the wisest financial plan?
I found a bag of quarters that Gene used for
his weekly poker games and decided to invest
it in video poker at the Hilton in Atlantic
City. As fate would have it that bag
of quarters hit the grand jack pot.

So I graduated from quarter poker to dollar
poker and kept winning. In the end I was
over 60k ahead. Then I had two loosing days
and quit because I wasn't about to give it all
back. But this had some nice benefits. The
Hilton was intent that I would eventually
loose it all and endlessly awarded me with
free meals, free shows, and free rooms any
time I asked. I was having a grand time on
their money.

Bought some gold jewelry, paid for materials
to build a new porch on the back of my house,
and paid for almost half of my new car and still
had change left so invested it in the stock market.
You ask.... Half of a new car? Okay, so I blew
10K of my IRA on a new car.

During this time one of my daughters convinced
me to buy a computer and go online. What
happened next I am sure still shocks at least one
or two of my daughters. But then they didn't
know what Mom was like before I was married.
Going back to my old habits was far easier than
I imagined. No, I wasn't TOO old. The old me was
there waiting to be reborn back to the younger me.
I even surprised myself.

I started to surf the vacuum of the internet
and discovered meet and date sites. Most of the
men seemed to be real loosers. But there was one,
from NY, who claimed we had previously met
at more than one financial conference.

I had been talking for a few months with this
curious man from NY. He did not meet my
criteria of being single and retired. He had been
separated from his wife for 18 years but still totally
supported them. After he retired from IBM he
went into a consulting business with several
other retired IBMers. And worst, he was living
with another woman for the past 15 years and
they had a mortgage together on their home.
a good prospect. But I was lonely and
bored and finally agreed to meet Arthur at the
Hilton Hotel/Casino in Atlantic City. I told him
we would meet at the bottom of the main
stairway by the grand piano scene with the
dummy. You'd have to have seen it to know
what I'm talking about.

Arthur had never sent me a picture and
although I knew a lot about him and we talked
easily and endlessly, I had no idea what he
would look like. There, at the bottom of the
stairway was this skinny little man, probably
no taller than me, with gray hair and thick
brown rimmed glasses. I asked, are you Art?
He said yes, I am Arthur.

Oh my god, a total nerd!

We went upstairs to a little bistro and over
coffee we talked non stop for at least 5 hours.
I had met a soul mate. How could this be?
Every man in my life had been the he-man
type, sports minded, the strong silent type.
And here I was totally knocked off kilter by
this little nerd... but a little nerd who was
actually interested in what I think, totally
interested in me, and talked. I had lived with
Gene for 35 years and in 5 hours I had more
conversation with Art than in my entire
marriage. We ended up spending the weekend
together. And cover your ears and eyes
daughters.... it's true that nerds are far more
detailed about everything! EVERYTHING!

He went back to NY and immediately left his
girlfriend. The next year is a blur of occurances.
For Art and I it was lots of travel, he sold his
house as well as signed over the mortgage on
his 2nd house to his ex girl friend. Then Art and
his son moved in me. We immediately started
plans to totally downsize and started fixing
up my house to sell.

Then we went to see my adopted sister in
San Diego County. I immediately fell in love
with the beauty of SoCal and the wonderful
weather. We got back and put my house up
for sale, sold my Airstream, the Suburban,
and the boat. Houses in my area were taking
9 months to a year to sell. We thought we had
plenty of time. To my shock the first couple who
saw the house offered the asking price. I had two
months to get out.

And the rest is history. I rented an apartment
sight unseen via the internet, gave most of my
stuff away to my daughters or charity, packed up
a truck, stuck Baby on a trailer and moved to
sunny California. I've been here since.
But unfortunately Art is no longer here with me.

That is my next blog.

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