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Male Point Of View  

The Male Point Of View

B o b . . .

53; Recently an early retiree from the corporate world

Currently doing my own thing as a self employed computer consultant. I live in Ohio (native Buckeye) but plan eventually to retire to the warmth of the South....very likely in South costal Georgia. I'm divorced (10 years single this time) and have been involved with women of all ages over my lifetime.

Dearest: When women mature, do you find their behavior changes?

Bob: I generally find that women over 40 tend to be more realistic in their outlooks and more "adult" in dealing with men. The (sometimes) coquettishness of the younger woman has been replaced by a more mature outlook. Their perhaps unrealistic expectations of the younger years have mellowed to a willingness to interact with men on a plane of mutual acceptance.

Dearest: What is your general impression of the "over 40" woman of the 90's?

Bob: Being the age I am (53) I relate (generally speaking) better with women 40 and above. They are "my" generation and share many of my outlooks aspirations, and life experiences. I find them to be much better conversationalists (generally) than women of a younger age. There is little substitute for experience, and only the accumulation of years allows that experience to develop. I'm tempted to cite the "fine wine" analogy, but that has perhaps been a bit overdone.

Dearest: And, how do you interact with more mature women?

Bob: I relate better to women in the 40 and up age bracket. This goes along with the answers to the two questions above. I find it much more satisfying to discuss current world news, classical music, opera, etc., than to try talking about superficial things, the latest rock group, or other things that the younger generation is attuned to. The "game playing" of the younger years has been replaced with honest and open discussion, especially in the arena of relationships. We (men and women), as mature adults, generally have a better grasp on who we are and what we want (and expect from each other) than the younger versions of us.

Dearest: What changes have you noticed among your friends or partner?

Bob: The changes I've noted in my women friends as they transition into this phase of life closely mirror the changes that I've gone through, too. I like to think that the process might be called maturity. Those self doubts, fears, and trepidations of the younger years have slowly "ripened" into what I am....and what they are now.....more thoughtful, insightful human beings with a greater depth of concern for others and less focus on self. And a greater acceptance of life as it is, not as we would wish for it to be. The rose colored glasses have been discarded, and we can tell that the sky *really* is blue and the grass *really* is green, and that grass is not necessarily greener on the other side of the fence.

Dearest: What other changes have you noticed?

Bob: The uneven and sometimes violently passionate flames of youth have given way to a more gentle and even warmth of understanding and acceptance. The passions may be as deep, but they have become more reasoned with maturity. In a real sense, quality has replaced quantity as a desired objecive."

Dearest: Do you have any recollection of your mother, or another female going through a particularly difficult time during midlife changes?

Bob: Memories here are somewhat vague. Depth of observation and evaluation takes time to develop. Impressions from my teen and early adult years are sketchy at best. I really cannot remember my mother having been any different over the course of her life (and mine) at any stage of her life. She always seemed to me to be even tempered, cheerful, and always looking to the bright side of things. She was 27 when I was born, so would have been menopausal during my middle and late teens. My focus during those years was on many other things and nothing stands out in my mind that was remarkable in her life.

C h a r l e s . . .

53, NY, Department Administrator, Health Care System

Dearest: Do you like mature women . . . women over 40?

Charles: In my experience, I do enjoy being in the company of woman over 40. Since I am over 40 myself, it is easier for me to relate to a woman who possesses the maturity that most over 40 women possess. They seem to know who they are and where they want to go with the rest of their lives.

Dearest: Do you find as both you and your women friends mature, your behavior/attitude has changed?

Charles: I do not think I demonstrate any noteworthy adjustments in the way I interact with women today as compared to how I have always interacted with them. Mutual respect is where I start and go from there.

Dearest: Did you have any knowledge of menopause before your personal experience with a partner, friend or co-worker?

Charles: I am very aware of the menopause process, both from women I know and from the media. I do not however think it should be a primary defining factor of who and what a woman is. Although I do symphathize with the changing life cycle that I know presents many new problems for women, it is part of life and not something I want to dwell on in conversation.

Dearest: Do you recall anything of your mother's experience at this time of life?

Charles: When I was growing up, I had no knowledge of my mother's experience as regards menopause; this is true for my older sister as well.

D e n e e n, M a r k . . .

47, SF, CA, Advertising And Communications

Dearest: What are your feelings about how women over 40 interact with their male counterparts?

Mark: I find an increased sensitivity to almost everything, but in particular things of the human or personal nature. This sensitivity is both intriguing and yes, at times, frustrating for one who needs to respond to it. One has to be aware of this sensitivity at all times.

Dearest: Yes, as men can be frustrating to women as well :) .. but, what is your general impression of women over 40 in the '90's?

Mark: I love woman over 40. Period. Wiser, more charming, savvy and infinitely more sexy. What else can I say?

Dearest: Women are fascinating, aren't they ... have you had to adjust the way you relate to us?

Mark: As I pointed out in the first answer the real adjustment is "tuning in" to the higher degree of sensitivity and awareness that is so apparent. I think the key word for me is patience. The second key word is more patience and the third is well, patience. However, it will be well rewarded!

Dearest: Yes, I can relate. Women have had to be patient with men, no matter what their age :)

F r a n k. . .

53, Safety Consultant with an insurance company, Nebraska

Dearest: Your thoughts in general about theover 40 woman?

Frank: I'm impressed. Considering that there are probably up to 50% of these women that are single, I think they deserve major kudos for coping with life (not always fair to the "fairer" sex), often raising children (or having raised children) in a single parent home. I think they are to be admired and honored for putting up with a generally "male" world."

Dearest: Have you experienced male menopause or mid-life crisis.?

Frank: I suppose so. I hadn't really considered or thought of it, but being in my mid 50's, as I reflect on actions and thoughts I've had in the past several years, I think some of "them" could be attributed to male menopause."

Dearest: Can you think of common situations in which more older women interact differently from younger women? If so, how?

Frank: I'm not sure what this question asks. I'll attempt an answer based on my understanding of it. I think what is meant is how do "older" women interact differently than younger ones. "Older" women (and I hate using that term - I prefer "mature") most generally exhibit a good deal more understanding and compassion than do younger ones. They've lived longer, experienced more of life and have a better understanding of human nature than do younger ones. They (the mature woman) also has a better propensity for "working" with others than do younger ones. In my experience within corporate America, I would much prefer dealing with a mature woman than a younger one, and even more so than many of the males I've had to deal with."

Dearest: What do you think of when you hear the word, "menopause?"

Frank: A time of life (primarily for women) that denotes change, maturity, and stress. This, of course, in addition to the physical changes associated with that period of a woman's life. I wish more men had a better understanding (including myself) of what goes on both physically and emotionally for a woman at that period of her life. Not that "men" would necessarily understand, but it would help.

Dearest: Have you noticed specific changes in your partner/lover/friends as a result of menopause or aging in general?

Frank: Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately - I'm not sure which), I've not been directly involved with any specific woman going through this period of life recently - on a personal basis. I'm sure I've encountered women going through this period throughout my life, but don't recall any particular changes in behavior, emotion, or the way they've interacted with me.

Dearest: What specific changes have you noticed women go through during menopause or the aging process?

Frank: Actually, other than the "usual" aging processes - graying of hair, aging of the skin, you know, the usual processes that all humans go through, I've not noticed any other changes peculiar to women.

Dearest: Have these changes altered the personality of the woman you know?

Frank: Not that I can tell. I do know of a couple of women that know the aging process is proceeding, don't particularly like what it's doing, but accept it - as we all must ultimately do.

Dearest: Are you aware of a co-worker 40+ going through the Pause? If so, has it impacted the working relationship?

Frank: Yes, my administrative assistant is of the "right" age. I don't know if she's going through the Pause, but assume she likely is. I've not noticed any "difference" in our relationship at all. She has worked with me for about 12 years, so I think I could easily tell if there was.

Dearest: Do friends, lovers, colleagues communicate openly about the fact that they're going through changes?

Frank: No. There is only one woman I know that has discussed it openly.

Dearest: Do you try to communicate with your partner about her feelings? About your feelings? About what you can do to help her through this time of life? How you can work together to help one another?

Frank: Yes on both counts. We do/have worked at an understanding of this process and how it effects emotions and physical changes.

Dearest: Do you ever find yourself thinking that your relationship will never be the same as it once was? Think it will be better? Worse?

Frank: Not really. I found it to get better with more closeness and menopause not really a factor in intimacy.

Dearest: Why do you think many older men become interested in younger women?

Frank: Because they're jackasses and don't appreciate what they have. They have perception problems thinking they need a younger woman to look at and treat as a trophy rather than really understanding their and their partners feelings.

G r i f f i e s, J e r r y . . .

38, WebGuy, Alabama

Dearest: Your thoughts about general interaction with mature women?

Jerry: Being under 40 does not give me "that" much time with women over 40. Remembering back in the past, however, I have known and been involved with you as well as Mom, Grandma, ect. Generally, to me, women over 40 have been kind and nurturing, gently instructing on the proper care and respect of women in general.

Dearest: What comes to mind when you think about the "mature woman?"

Jerry: I am mostly impressed and drawn to women over 40. Maybe it has something to do with the "been there, done that" look and attitude. Women 40 and over are deserving of admiration on many levels. One of my closest, or rather my closest online friend, is 48, and we have some of the best "conversation" that I have with any kind of a regularity. We talk art, history and all manner of other things on a deep level. Does say anything about the online world? Maybe. I truly respect women of any age. As the perceived age gap closes, women over 40 only get better. In all ways. You are classics."

Dearest: If you've noticed changes during the time you've known us - as a direct result of this process called menopause, what are they?

Jerry: I have not been aware of what to "notice" until now having looked at Power Surge.

Dearest: Oh, well, if you haven't noticed, don't go out of your way to notice now :)

J i m   B . . .

59, Independent Consultant, Texas

Dearest: Do you ever think women over 40 communicate with men differently from younger women?

Jim: People under unusual stress tend to behave differently than they would otherwise. Trauma tends to cause us to react in an argumentative, arbitrary, illogical manner. Some women, who have not become comfortable with their sexuality when they enter the pause years, react to the situation in an insecure, fearful way. This tends to bring on stress followed by trauma and all the adverse side effects associated with these pressures. Trauma is mostly caused by change. Even good or positive change causes trauma and earns you points on the trauma chart making you more susceptible to illness and accidents.

The pause is one of two times in a female’s life where change is the norm – pubescence is the other. Both can be growth and a flowering. Females tend to metamorphose during these two times in their lives. Youthful to fruitful to barren. Barren is such a harsh word for this beautiful time in a woman’s life. Even the words that float to the surface in the thesaurus don’t sound too good. It has the connotation that somehow a woman’s value or worth is solely to propagate the species.

Is this a vaguery of the English language? The western world? Mammals? It must be rooted in the same misconceptions as male inadequacy is inevitable past a certain age. So much of both is in the mind. Well at least society doesn’t still put us out to die. However, we are forced to retire.

Dearest: "Barren" sounds so archaic. I can't remember when I last heard anyone use that expression in defining older women. I believe menopausal and postmenopausal women think of themselves as evolved, not barren. Barren denotes an emptiness and loss, while so many women come out the other side of menopause with a renewed spirit, many of whom are just beginning to embark upon new careers with a sense of freedom from children and responsibilities that have tied them down for years.

Jim: In my experience many women become desperate when they begin to lose their youthfulness. A fuller figure, loose muscles, wrinkles have as much impact as the pause itself. The more a woman tends to rely on her appearance before the pause, the higher the stress and trauma during the change. The result is mostly a butterfly, but sometimes, a dragonfly.

Dearest: Women change as they age. Noone can remain a young whipper-snapper forever. I wonder why men take such notice of women's physical changes, while some seem oblivious to their own less than stellar baldness, enlarged gut, and bouts of impotency. Why do you say women become desperate? I gather you feel some women are miserable at the concept of aging.

Jim: Desperate women are often demanding, spiteful and insecure but very easy. Where they may have flirted and then refused earlier in life, now they feel they must "put out" to maintain a relationship. Women who have a finer sense of themselves are much more fun, stimulating and not willing to trade sex for comfort and compassion. The former tend to be relegated to one night flings (that may last for months depending on the couple) while the latter develops into long time relationships (either friendship or partners).

Dearest: Demanding, spiteful, insecure... easy? As for a woman "putting out" as a way of holding onto a man just because she's become older, that doesn't seem like a woman with a very high sense of herself."

Jim: I love women of all ages – to look, to talk, to feel, they are walking breathing works of art to be cherished and appreciated. My wife understands my passion for women and has developed friendships with several of my women friends. She has little in common with the ones who were flings and doesn’t care much for them from the getgo. When I met my wife, I was going through a phase my children call the long legged blond of the quarter period. Not that my partners were all long legged or blond. It was an image. I was very much into hedonism. When the warts started to show, both sides were ready to move on. My wife’s patience and resistance, won me over to a different perspective – a new monogamous phase.

Dearest: Your wife must be very patient to put up with your flings with and passion for women. I don't know many women who would. Tell me more about how these women act differently.

Jim: My experience is with women who are waiting for the pause or who have completed the change. I have never been intimately involved with a woman, other than my mother, who was going through the pause. I was far too insensitive at the time my mother was changing to even pay much attention.

Dearest: Interesting phrase, "waiting for the pause." Kinda reminds me of "Waiting For Godot."

Jim: No experience, but my wife and I are ready for the pause to start, so the change can complete.

Dearest: I see. Do you communicate with your wife about what she's feeling? Do you ask what you can do to help her through this time of life, and how you can work together to help one another?

Jim: We discuss it often, but until the experience starts it is all academic with us. We do not feel that any emotional or physiological pressures will occur. We have five children and do not want any more. She continues to be physically and sexually desirable to me in the extreme. Other men respond to her beauty and grace. She is a very secure and lovely "personnete." :>)

Dearest: Menopause doesn't generally occur in a text book-like manner, unfortunately. Any thoughts about whether your relationship will change for the better? Worse?

Jim: We have moved from plateau to plateau throughout out relationship. The relationship continues to get better and better. We have gone from friends to lovers, partners, spouses and now old married couple. We have experienced dating, blended holidays, living together, death of my father who was living with us, death of a child (26 year old of AIDs related), loss of job, unemployment, new jobs, promotions, buying new house, many, many life experiences that translate to trauma. This has been without degrading our relationship. We have been supportive and there for each other and our children. The pause holds no fear for us.

Dearest: Heavy loss, a child of 26. Sorry to hear that. Such a trauma might be responsible for all sorts of illogical behavior.

R i c k. . .

37, Machinist, Texas.

Dearest: Do you think midlife women interact differently because they're going through menopause?

Rick: Certainly. I think that it has nothing to do with the pause though. Women I have known begin acting differently at approximately 35. It is my personal belief that most of them were looking forward to and regretting having their children leave home either soon or recently.

Dearest: What is your general impression of women over 40?

Rick: Older women seem to be more thoughtful of how their actions affect others. They are generally more refined and confident than their younger counterparts.

Dearest: If and how has her pause caused you to adjust your behavior?"

Rick: I have cleared the brush from almost 5 acres since the onset. Sometimes it is simply wise to give her a wide berth. As much as I love her, I would rather leave her be sometimes than cause her torment with an arguement. At other times (often closely spaced) our romantic escapades would cripple an ordinary man.

Dearest: "Have you noticed changes in your partner, and how has it affected your relationship, behavior, and feelings?"

Rick: Unfortunately for myself and your questionaire, I have only a few short months of experience with the lady in question. It would seem that she is full of surprises, thank God.

Dearest: "What specific changes have you noticed?"

Rick: I have noticed that she sleeps with every bit of cover she can get and will still complain of the cold. At other times she is kicking them to the floor.

Dearest: "Have you found her personality has changed?"

Rick: No, she is the same person, just a little more susceptible to radical mood swings!

Dearest: "Have there been noticeable changes in your sex life?"

Rick: From the time we met, our sex life has been great. It has only gotten better. Jamie has been cursed all her life with erratic periods, and this was a blessing in that regard.

Dearest: Do you talk to her about what she's going through, and how do you help her get through this time of life?

Rick: First of all, it has been a change in both our lives, there have been times when I felt as if I were tied to a whipping post simply for her enjoyment. We talk and try to figure ways to make this change in our lives go as smoothly as possible. We both work, so we try to get together in the evenings to water the garden together. We could always do better, but we definetly have a line of communications open.

S p a r r o w,   T o m . . .

62, Retired school administrator, active lobbyist
and active entertainer Vermont

Dearest: What are your general impressions of women past forty?

Tom: I love the "over 40 woman" ... much more fun than the "under 40 woman."

Dearest: Have you found yourself adjusting the way you interact with us as we (and you) mature?

Tom: In the online world, I probably try to take advantage of the over 40 woman, especially since chatting on AOL and on the undernet. In chat, the level of communication is very intense and the woman (and I suppose the man, too) is very vulnerable. Now, "take advantage" is probably the wrong phrase. I try to be what I think the woman wants me to be.

And, I think the over 40 woman is beginning to face the notion that "someday I'm going to die." I think she thinks things like "am I still attractive," "am I still sexy," "can I still be passionate," "is this all there is to life," etc. Scary kinds of questions ... ones her significant other usually doesn't want to talk about. So, it's fun for me to "be what she wants." :) Both on-line and in-person I have found my new over-40 friends to be caring, warm, loving, sensitive, passionate, sexy, and wonderful. I also think that maybe we should have "permanent companions" but allow each other the opportunity to have "encounters."

The whole thing is interesting to me. Ah, youth. It's wasted on the young.

Dearest: I guess we all find the aging process challenging and a little scary at times. What specific changes have you noticed among your over-40 women friends?

Tom: I've only noticed more moodiness. But, I am not necessarily willing to attribute this to menopause. I think it is more related to the notions I discussed above.

H e r l a c h e r,  T o m . . .

48, Professional Engineer/Environmental Consultant, Illinois

Dearest: Do you notice differences in the way older women interact as opposed to younger women?

Tom: Yes, I believe so. Older women seem to have a more realistic viewpoint of life in general and don't seem to spend much time chasing rainbows. By the time a person reaches 40 they have experienced quite a bit in life - happy times, disappointments, etc. By that age women seem to have a much better idea of where they are going and where they want to be both personally and socially. They have a more extensive bank of experiences to draw from, they have worked, lived and loved enough to know what works for them and what doesn't. I don't notice the "game playing" mentality that seemed prevalent with younger women, especially those in their 20's.

I might also add that I believe older women seem to be more forthright and truthful when dealing with questions and concerns about relationships. Usually when I have a question or concern about a problem with a relationship an older woman seems to be more willing to tell me straight out what is wrong and I don't have to spend a lot of time second guessing. This is a great advantage to me because I never was very good at reading between the lines. Another item concerns children and family. Most women over 40 that I have dealt with have children but I have none. So, I tend to have a tough time dealing with kids. Older women usually have children that are old enough they don't need constant attention. I have found that young children, at times, tend to create a strain on relationships. If the children are older then there seems to be one less problem requiring the woman's attention. That is not to say that older women ignore their children's needs and don't show concern for them. I'm speaking more in terms of immediate and constant care such as changing diapers, feeding, etc. that is required for infants and toddlers.

Dearest: What are the advantaged to a woman's being over 40?

Tom: When women are older then there seems to be one less problem requiring the woman's attention. That is not to say that older women ignore their children's needs and don't show concern for them. I'm speaking more in terms of immediate and constant care such as changing diapers, feeding, etc. that is required for infants and toddlers.

Woman? She seems to be more aware of the world around her and has a better understanding of who she is, where she is at and how to get where she wants to be. She also seems to enjoy intimacy more and is more comfortable with her sexuality.

Dearest: Have you noticed any of your co-workers going throuth menopause and a change in their behavior?

Tom: I haven't had any direct contact with any menopausal women so far as I know. I am aware of the fact that many women in my age group may be going through that time of their life and I need to be able to accept it if that is the case.

Dearest: If you've noticed changes during a relationship your women/partner while going through the Pause, how have those changes affected your relationship, behavior and feelings?

Tom: I know when my mom was going through menopause I was only about 14 or 15 years old and I didn't know what was going on at that time. I was told she was in the hospital for a hysterectomy but I didn't know what that meant either. I remember when she came home though, she and dad seemed to continue to have problems getting along and they got divorced about 7 or 8 years later.

Dearest: Are you currently in a relationship with a mother, aunt, sister, friend or co-worker going through the Pause?

Tom: Not that I am aware of and I would probably be too shy to ask even if I thought someone I knew was going through that. I know someone who might be but, there again, I'm reluctant to ask her. I think she would probably feel insulted if I were to ask her directly and, without some distinct external symptoms that i might recognize, I will probably remain in the dark.

Dearest: Do you try to communicate with your partner about her feelings? About your feelings? About what you can do to help her through this time of life? How you can work together to help one another?

Tom: Not that i am aware of and I would probably be too shy to ask even if I thought someone I knew was going through that. I know someone who might be but, there again, I'm reluctant to ask her. I think she would probably feel insulted if I were to ask her directly and, without some distinct external symptoms that i might recognize, I will probably remain in the dark.

P r i z e l,  Y u r i . . .

48, Federal Bureaucrat/Engineer, NYC

Dearest: What comes to mind when you hear the word "menopause" and think of "women over 40?"

Yuri: I know many women in the right age group for menopause. However, I don't usually know whether they are actually going through menopause, or, if they are, at what stage they might be. In many cases I do not know them well enough to ask such intimate questions. Therefore the changes I have observed in the women I know might be due to other factors -- general Zeitgeist of the 90's, change of attitude that comes to one with age regardless of gender, whatever. It could be menopause, it could be something else."

Dearest: How would you characterize the differences in their behavior, if any, as a result of the maturation process?

Yuri: One change I've noticed in women's behavior is that they seem to be much less willing to put up with games. When I was younger, I sometimes met women with whom I wanted to have a casual dating relationship, without going into a heavy romance. In most cases they were intelligent and perceptive enough to recognize this, and in many cases did not mind. However, even if they were perfectly agreeable to casual dating, they expected me to •pretend• that I was there for an LTR [long-term relationship]. They put on the same charade. Thus, we both knew what the relationship was, yet we both pretended it was something else. Nowadays, the women I meet do not pretend, and do not expect me to pretend either. They prefer total honesty. This makes a relationship easier to maintain, since there is no emotional and mental strain connected with keeping up silly pretenses. I like it this way."

Dearest: Interesting. What other thoughts do you have about midlife women?

Yuri: Women in my age group seem to be less obsessed with meeting 'Mr. Right'. If the right man were to come along to establish a monogamous LTR, they would be glad. However, unlike many women I used to know 10-15 years ago, they do not sit there moping and denying themselves any life at all until he comes along. They seem to be much more willing to take things "as they come," rather than to put their lives on hold waiting for "Him." This particular change has not affected me very much -- it is more of a personal factor in their lives. It does, however, make it easier to get a date :)

Dearest: So, you're saying mature women avoid the head games and are more up front in their social interaction with men?

Yuri: Women these days are much less hung up on appearances. Take having a date on a Saturday night, for example. Years ago, while in college, some friends and I decided to drop in on a close friend. We called first because it was ten o'clock on a Saturday night. The woman was home, alone -- meaning she most probably did not have a date. Still, she was angry with us for assuming that she would be at home on a Saturday night. These days women are much less concerned with false facades. This makes life easier because the fewer facades she puts up, the fewer facades she expects of me. This lack of pretence reduces any intellectual/emotional strain that might be present in an interaction/relationship. Another positive change.

Dearest: It's always a pleasure to hear men who are more comfortable with women their age.

Yuri: I have noticed is that women are less concerned with what is expected of them. They seem to be more interested in what they are comfortable with. Many years ago a female friend told me that while she was in high school they had an unwritten "price list" -- for lack of a better name. If a boy took you out for burger and fries, it was worth a hug and a kiss. If he threw in a movie, he merited a grope or two, etc. She explained that there were many times that she did not want a boy to either kiss or grope her, yet she felt obligated to let him do it as a way of "compensating" him for his trouble and expense. She also told me when we were in our late 20's that this same approach applied. When a man asked her out, she felt obligated to "reward" him according to his expense and trouble. These days, however, if a woman is intimage with a man, it is because she wants to. Personally, I find this very refreshing because now if a woman is intimate with me, I know that it is most probably because she really wants to - that, at least for the moment, she is enjoying herself, and not because she feels an obligation to "reward" me. And, knowing that my partner is enjoying herself, enhances my enjoyment as well.

Dearest: So, intimacy with women over 40 is different, better, improved?

Yuri: Of course, it happens at times that the woman I am with is not up to intimacy. I might be in a different state of mind tomorrow. (BTW, by intimacy I do not necessarily mean sex, per se -- intimacy is a much more complex concept.) One positive result of this is that she realizes that I am subject to similar mood changes, and respects them, the same way she expects me to respect her feelings of the moment. This, of course, redices the pressure to "perform" (again, NOT necessarily sexually), making the encounter much more easy going and .enjoyable.

Dearest: So, it's true, we're not getting older, we're getting better ...

Yuri: I think one can summarize the above by saying that women in the 40's-50's age group are much more •honest• than younger women. More mature women are more honest with with themselves and with the men in their lives. While honesty can at times be harsh, difficult to deal with, and sometimes bruising to one's ego, when all is said and done honesty is better than the silly games of our youth.

Dearest: Do you have any recollection of your mother going through her changes?

Yuri: Personally, my only encounter with menopause was my mother. It started with a perfectly trivial accident, which unexpectedly set off a fit of crying. At that time my parents had been looking for a new apartment. One particuar morning they saw an apartment they liked a lot. When they came home, mother went into the bedroom to call a friend of hers to tell her the news. Suddenly she burst out of the bedroom crying about something her friend, Ann, said, "Ann says that any decent apartment must have a Hollywood Kitchen." Then she just flopped on the living room floor and started crying for over and hour. This went on for several months. Every small, trivial things such as not being able to find her keys, would provoke a long crying spell. It took my father, my brother, and me about two days to catch on to what was happening. Once we realized what it was, we tried to make allowances and to be as understanding as we could, although it was not always easy. One thing we learned -- the best way to deal with her when she was crying was to leave her alone. Any attempt to talk to her or to touch her only brought on a fresh outburst of tears. I really do not know whether her behavior was typical or not."

. . . and the dance goes on

Midi/Audio:"You Send Me"

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