Lieberman Center Afternoon Social

source: Harry Benson
source: Harry Benson

90-year-old Illinois resident Celia Goldie belts out a rendition of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” in 1988.

Two things I notice right off the bat:

  1. Old peeps are always cold and keep the cardigan market in business.
  2. Men die first.

Just look how even the gender population is at age 64. But by 85, the men are barely represented.


If you’re interested in moving in, the Lieberman Center serves kosher food, and the current daily rate for a room is $278. Wow–that’s more than double our daily household income! But keep in mind that most of that is covered by Medicare and Medicaid.

For her part,  Mrs. Goldie was quoted as saying, “I hope I drop dead before I’m here one year.” She was profiled in an October 1988 People article as such:

Nearby, a nurse spoon-feeds ice cream to a man strapped into a wheelchair. Beside him, a woman dozes, her head against her walker.

“Look at them—half of them are dead,” Celia says, waving her hand. “I’m alive. I guess I have to make the best of a bad bargain. What can I do? I can’t go back. So I have to like it here. You look around you, and you realize how grateful you are.”

Per, she died in September of 1989 at Rush North Shore Medical Center in Skokie. She had been a resident of the Lieberman Geriatric Center for 13 1/2 months.

For more on Celia’s story, visit:


Early Sobriety Tests

LIFE Jan 3, 1944
LIFE Jan 3, 1944

Betty Beach is one of the country’s thousands of women who’ve recently gone into necessary civilian service to release a man to fight. And she loves it! It has meant telescoping her life…making the most of every minute. For her beauty care, she’s sticking to DuBarry Beauty Preparations…first introduced to her in the Famous Success School Course.


I don’t get it. She uses make-up to keep her nose “pretty” so that the pilot will find her attractive? What on earth?

Bruce Jenner Laryngeal Shave Sparks Concern

Shreiner Institute 1967
Shreiner Institute 1967

So much for the Adam’s Apple.

I don’t know what’s finally prompted the transition of the former Olympian, if ex-wife Kris’s penchant for plastic surgery spurred his interest in mangling a perfectly good face, or if the overexposure to a house full of Kardashian estrogen seeped into his insides, the way it does in kids who eat too many chicken nuggets. I’m not here to mock Jenner; I just DO NOT GET IT.

No one can argue his 70s hotness. Perfect hair, white-toothed smile, testosteroney sideburns out in full force. I realize it’s not 1976 and that getting old sucks. Wrinkles and gravity and cancerous growths on your face, they all suck. But dangit, Bruce, why did you have to go and tamper with that? Couldn’t you just go gently into that good night? Everyone with surgery looks like a melting Yankee Candle.

Perhaps it’s harder to go from a 10 to a 4, then it is for us 7s to simply slip to a 5. It’s a longer fall, that’s for certain. Or did you never think you were a 10 to begin with? Tell me, is it a form of body dysmorphia that led you to all these nips and tucks and French manicures?


Perhaps Jenner has felt the wrong gender his whole life. But shouldn’t he have been honest with his wives from the get-go? I wouldn’t appreciate it if my husband decided in his 60s that he wasn’t going to ride this whole male thing out any longer. If we two are one in a marriage, I would have liked to have gotten a head’s up on that whole gender identity pre-engagement. Preferably before TEN children and stepchildren came into the picture.

Now I realize these surgeries are getting more prevalent by the second, and we’re all supposed to applaud their bravery and wear ribbons in the name of open-mindedness, but imagine if you weren’t just clapping for Jenner from the sidelines. What if it was your dad or your grandpa? You can say “It’s still the same person in there,” but the truth is, it’s not. Gender identity is a huge part of your sense of self. Women don’t look or act like men, and (right or wrong) they don’t get treated the same. Because they’re not.

Ultimately, you can’t change an XY into an XX. At least not in 2015. It’s mostly a botch-job mutilation, a best attempt at what the medical staff had to work with. Call me selfish and narrow-minded, but I don’t want my son to chop his body parts off someday. What a difficult decision to make. And I don’t want him to wade through a sea of shemales to find a wife, or to have to worry if the woman he is dating used to be a man and doesn’t share that tidbit until the third date. It’s a shame that anyone would be born one sex, feeling like their Creator got it wrong. What a complicated burden to bear. Perhaps  if Jenner had had his choice, he would have been a woman from the get-go. Then again, if he had his choice, strangers wouldn’t have opinions about his personal life. But such is the nature of celebrity.

So go ahead and bash my ignorance, LGBT community. Scold anyone who has honest questions and concerns and can’t quite jump all aboard this disconcerting bandwagon. I don’t hate people who transition. I hate the fact that anyone feels like they have to.

Girls Don’t Make Passes At Boys Who Crochet Doilies


Years ago, when I was single and determined not to repeat the sins of the past, I made a list of what I wanted in the next (and final) man. I have misplaced said list, but I recall that one was that he did not drive a Miata (apparently there were Miatas in spades at the time, and ain’t nobody got time to rebuild the confidence of a man who’s overcompensating), that he did not smoke (I was tired of doing laundry that smelled like a bar), and that he could change his own oil (preferably in his truck). He also could not be vegan nor vegetarian, and he would have to be quick on the draw if Enya popped up on the radio, because Heaven knows I hate me some Enya. Change that station pronto! Apparently I’m not the only one.


But nowhere on that list did it require that he be a skilled yarnswoman or masterquilter or whatever you call one who sews things (other than Chinese minors in factories). When I did finally begin dating my now-husband, he met about 90% of that list. So I took him. Only after we were married, did I realize that a deer-hunting, guitar-playing, camo-clad Texas boy could also operate the pedal of a sewing machine. And when our son inevitably ripped buttons off his clothes or tore his jeans, my husband could fix it. Like Rosey Freaking Grier.

roseygOkay, he wasn’t hunched over with a needle and thread on a shag carpet next to a gold couch, doing a self-portrait, but you get my point. On the seesaw of gender identity, the seesaw weighed heavily on the masculine. But he could still fix my hem of my Ally McBeal power suit if need be, so I could get back to my fluorescent-lit office job, bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan. Yep, that’s me in my Enjoli.

But don’t go thinking we ladies all want sensitive men. We don’t. You can use tools, but you don’t have to be one. Mostly we just want to talk. Sit next to us and listen while we TALK TALK TALK incessantly about whatever is on our minds. Just nod and “hmmm” periodically and let us use up our daily word count, which is approximately 13,000 more words than yours. Case in point:


%d bloggers like this: