Zoe & Sophia Resume Sexy Webcam Dancing and Dating, To Reduce Their Separation Anxiety

January 31st, 2010

January 31

Please send your ADVICE to two single women, whose lives are suddenly crashing in chaos! Zoe and Sophia, BFFs for thirty years, find themselves unexpectedly cast into the world of re-creation and redefinition after decades of being faithful wives to George and Marty. They need advice from anyone willing to help. For instance, what advice would you give your BFF if she said, “WHAT AM I SEARCHING FOR, AND WHERE WILL I FIND IT?” Any advice you can give to Zoe would be helpful, but this is what Sophia said.

Zoe lay in her cold bed, teetering on wakefulness. Her hand felt for the long, lean gorgeous man lying next to her. Wait a minute. What was that smell? Who was licking her hand? Her eyes snapped open, and she realized she was in her own bed in New Hampshire, with her beloved, incontinent Sparky on the floor next to her. His stroke-impaired body had purged turds in the night, and Zoe knew she would have to race her sweet Lab to the door before he left a yellow stream throughout the house. As she stirred, she realized her laptop was still on her stomach, where she’d left it the night before, after a Webcam “date” with Jackson from Florida.  He was the long, lean gorgeous man whose limbs were not occupying her bed. Gingerly, she began to remove the laptop, just as an incoming email blinged its arrival. Sparky still snored, so she risked opening the message. It was from a colleague saying Zoe was booked on a business trip to L.A. in a few days. Zoe smiled, wrote back the word “Yippee,” then flung herself out of the bed and made a mad dash to the door, with Sparking running sideways behind her.

Later that afternoon, Sophia sat in her own 1700s home shivering, despite the roaring fire in the dining room fireplace. Sophia was a mess. She slept very little her first night back from Florida. The toxic spirit of her cheating soon-to-be-ex husband Marty flew around the place, although in her absence, he had moved out most of his clothes and taken them to his girlfriend, Fugly’s, as Sophia called her. Only moments before, Sophia rummaged through the laundry basket and retrieved Marty’s bathrobe, which still carried his musk. She stood with the robe shoved to her face, sniffing deeply for several minutes–weeping, of course. Unfortunately, she stood by the front door, so when Zoe burst through it, with Sparky loping in her wake, Sophia didn’t have time to get out of the way, and Sparky caught her behind the knees, knocking Sophia off balance. Her foot then caught on the sleeve of the robe and she fell, face first, nearly igniting her hair in the fireplace.

“Fuck sake, Zoe. Could you let me know when you’re coming through the door?” Sophia asked from the floor.
“I did. You were bellowing too loudly to hear anything. What’s got you twisting in the wind now?”
“Marty moved a bunch of his shit out while we were gone.”
“That’s a good thing, Sophie. It’ll help you detach. Anyway, get the fuck up before your hair sets fire.”
“Okay, Zo.” Sophia hoisted herself off the floor, but it wasn’t that easy since over her pajamas she wore a sweater and a coat, plus a hat, gloves and snow boots.

“I have news,” said Zoe. I’m leaving for the L. A. office in a few days, and I’ll be away for a week.”
“OH, NO.” Sophia cried. “I mean it’s great for you, but what will happen to me?”
“You’ll be fine. I’ve already called Poppy to let her know you might be on Planet Nuts for awhile.”  Poppy was Sophia’s daughter who lived nearby with her husband they called Fonzi and daughter Lily. “I’m also gonna call your niece Lulu to make sure she Facebooks with you every day while I’m gone.”
“I’ll try to stay sane, Zo.”
“That’s a plan. But how will you spend your time?”
“Oh, probably back to the usual—staring and driving and meditating in the tanning bed at the gym.” Sophia was loyal, if unorthodox, about her meditation routine–guided by the teachings of Pema Chodron, the American Buddhist writer, to whom Zoe and Sophia were devoted.

“Sophie, maybe you should try to focus a bit more. I know you wrote a little in Florida. Try to work some while I’m away.”
“I’ll try.”
“And promise me one thing. Promise me you’ll shower and dress every day.”
“Well, if I’m driving a lot, I’ll have to get dressed.”
“Don’t delude yourself. It’s four o’clock and look at you. You’ve shown up at my house in your nightgown mid-afternoon plenty of times recently. You tend to smell like old cheese, your head looks like snakes are growing out of it, and often Nutella is smeared on your face.”
“Well, at least I don’t wake up with your ratty bed head every morning,” said Sophia defensively.

“Never mind, I don’t leave for a few days, so let’s hold off on the separation anxiety until then, shall we? By the way, I brought you lunch,” and with this, Zoe pulled from her purse a bag of half-eaten Chex Mix.
“Was this the Chex Mix that was stuck to Jackson’s butt a couple of days ago?”
“You mean the pieces you dropped and spit all over his sheets while we watched Sex and the City reruns in his bed? No, Sophie, I already told you I ate those. By the way, I had a Webcam “date” with Jackson last night and he said to say ‘Hello.’”
“Was that before…during…yuck…or after the date, Zo?”
“I’m not sure. The whole thing was a blur. God, I miss that man.”

At this point their conversation was interrupted by Sparky. He was whimpering, after having been attacked by Sophia’s cat, Tolstoy. Tolstoy was a big, burley Maine Coon cat, who didn’t like sharing his food. His love of food was evidenced by his enormous girth, which in turn allowed him to dominate most other animals, including poor Sophia. Whenever she lay in a supine position on her bed, Tolstoy would stalk his “prey,” land squarely on Sophia’s chest, and often pin her down until the next morning. She lacked the strength to defend herself, and anyway, Tolstoy was the closest thing to having a man around the house since her split with Marty. Just then Tolstoy took a big crap in his box, and Sparky was right there licking his lips until Zoe shooed him away.

“Zoe, why is it you have all the guys and I don’t?” asked Sophia as she dumped the cat crap into a plastic bag.
“You don’t make that good an impression on the guys we date.”
“What do you mean,” asked Sophia, hurt by the suggestion.
“You can’t cry and read Pema’s Buddhist teachings while we’re out to dinner with men we’ve just met, for fuck sake. Who wants to date someone from Planet Psychosis?”
“You don’t think anyone would?”
“Well, you can write that you are “insane with pain” into your Profile box on Match.com and see if you have any takers.”
“Ok, Zo. I’ll do that.”

Zoe rolled her eyes as Sophia turned on her lap top. It had been awhile since Sophia tried to find a date on her own, and Zoe suspected her luck hadn’t improved. But with Zoe taking off for a week, she thought the least she could do was to navigate Sophia through those rough seas.  Zoe was so adept at virtual dating that she could do it in her sleep, and before long, a line of faces popped up as possible dates for Sophia.

Sophia didn’t look too bad on paper. She posted a lovely picture of herself and having been a journalist for decades, before her layoff, she appeared interesting and credible. Zoe was also compelling, with a knock-out photo and the description of her job as a high-powered executive who negotiated contracts for film and television producers nationwide. Zoe knew that if Sophia could just be as fetching in real life as she was on paper, Sophia would find someone eventually.

“Hey, here’s a guy who keeps looking at your profile, Soph.”
“Where’s he live?”
“Tennessee.”
“Not too far. How old is he?”
“Twenty-five.”
“Zoe, that’s way too young for me.”
“He says he likes the cougars.”
“He dates wild animals, Zo?”
“No, “cougar” is another word for older women looking for younger men.”
“Ikk. That’s a horrible visual–really predatory. Kinda like Fugly.”
“Meaning?”
“Oh, you know how she went after Marty from the beginning of their “business” relationship. I guess since her husband is rich and famous and has a father even more famous, she thought she was entitled to anything she wanted, starting with Marty. Let’s face it, Marty’s weak.”

“Reset, Sophie, or pretty soon you’ll be in a psychotic break. Don’t think about that fucking coward and how he tortured you by lying for months. Anyway, I think I might be hungry in a couple of hours, so let’s see if I can find dinner dates for us with people closer than Tennessee.”

Zoe turned on her own lap top and began searching for local guys. Most people took virtual dating in stages. They clicked a button and sent a “smile” or a “wink.” Later they might do an email exchange for a week or so and advance to a phone call. Then, if things felt right, the potential matches discussed meeting for coffee or a drink somewhere. Not Zoe. If she felt a “hunger” coming on, she cut to the chase. The faint hearted, the reticent, the shy need not apply when it came to dating Zoe. She only needed enough time to shower, do her hair and make-up, dress in something alluring, and drive to a destination within the region that encompassed four States. If a man so much as hesitated meeting her on such short notice, then she deleted him and kept searching. When she found a guy who was game on, she always asked if he had a friend to bring for Sophia. If he didn’t, then she booked two dates for herself and let one of them be surprised when he showed up and found Sophia, and not Zoe, was his “match” for the evening.

While Zoe cruised the dating scene, Sophia checked her emails. She skipped over those that would force her to read too much, or worse, ones which required a response. To her delight an email from Lulu came in the night before. Lulu was Sophia’s twenty-something niece who lived in Texas. She was stunning, with long, thick dark hair, sexy sassy eyes, lips meant for kissing and a shapely, strong body. Part of her personality was much like her “Auntie Zo.” Lulu was articulate, brilliant, curious and possessed a razor sharp sense of humor. The other half of Lulu was more like her Aunt Sophia, vulnerable, tender-hearted and a bit clumsy when she got excited. Lulu was so much like Sophia’s beloved daughter Poppy that they easily could have been sisters rather than first cousins.
Lulu’s email said:

Hi, Aunt Sophie,
Auntie Zo wrote me about her trip and that I should be in touch with you on Facebook. I take it she’s worried that you’ll be unable to manage well in her absence. Poppy’s worried about you too. I know that you are struggling through the most painful of human experiences- worse than a death, because if Marty had died, you wouldn’t have to see him without being with him and be forever reminded of his betrayal. Aunt Sophie, one thing you’ve always modeled for Poppy and me is the gift of survival. You are the human version of the Phoenix: repeatedly reduced to ashes only to rise from the rubble, more glorious and resplendent than you went in. You WILL get through this. In the meantime allow yourself to feel each wave of pain; knowing that once that particular wave has washed over you, it will never be back. Give into it once and then allow yourself to let the pain go- one experience at a time. Better days are coming and only you have control over when you allow the light to begin to pierce the darkness.
I love you.
Lulu.

Sophia rose from the table sobbing. Marty was her current source of trauma, but Lulu unleashed memories about earlier losses of loved ones through death, the pain of which was never far from the surface. The beauty and poignancy of Lulu’s message overwhelmed Sophia, and she staggered toward the kitchen to avoid having to talk about it, even with Zoe. But the tears blinded Sophia, and she didn’t see Tolstoy who lay across her path cleaning Sparky’s defective hind quarters with his tongue. Consequently, Sophia tripped over both pets and landed feet first in the fire place which ignited the fake fur on her boots. Soon the room was ablaze with sparks and filling with smoke. Only then did Zoe reluctantly pull her eyes away from the lap top screen and come to the aid of her friend.

“Fuck sake, Sophie. You’re on fire.” And with this, Zoe ran into the kitchen, filled a pan with water and dumped it on Sophia’s smoking feet. Her flame retardant pajama bottoms saved Sophia’s legs from harm, but the boots would never be the same. With all the commotion, Sparky dropped a couple of involuntary turds, upsetting Tolstoy, who took a swipe at Spark’s head, which sent Sparky flying over Sophia’s torso. But Sparky didn’t fly well with his lame legs, and he ended up rolling into the wall and lying there wishing someone would feel sorry for him just once. Tolstoy, seeing that Sophia was in a supine position, leapt onto Sophia’s chest and sat like a king on a throne. Zoe crouched down, unlaced Sophia’s boots and slipped them off of her feet.

“Get up, Sophia. Go take a shower.”
“No,” said Sophia. “I need to meditate.” Sophia was pinned down by Tolstoy, but because she was a good Buddhist, she tried to assume the correct posture by lying there, crossing her legs, and placing her hands on her thighs as she breathed in and breathed out, seeking the open space.

“Okay, fine, but just keep it down, will you. I have a couple of live ones on the Webcam here, and I need to lock them down for tonight. Sophia ignored her.

For a few minutes Sophia quietly found a little peace, but soon she grew restless and stood up, curious about Zoe’s Webcam date. Still dressed as a mountain woman, she stood behind Zoe and started waving her arms and shaking her hips in what she thought was a sexy dance, but which actually looked more like a crazed monkey, owing to the maniacal look in Sophia’s eyes. Zoe’s Webcam date abruptly signed off, thinking perhaps he was in a little over his head.

“Knock it off, Sophie.”
“Why, Zo.”
“Never mind. Let’s go take showers. We’re meeting our dates at 7:00.

A few minutes later, the women stood side-by-side in Sophia’s bathroom, wearing only panties and push-up bras. Both had meticulously applied lotion to every inch of their bodies. Sharing a mirror, they blew out their blond hair and expertly applied make-up, while admiring each other’s Florida tans.
“Where are we going, Zo?”
“Two guys are meeting us at the Gaslight restaurant in Portsmouth.”
“Who are they?”
“I don’t know, just guys…Not like Jackson, that’s for sure. Hey, do you have a pair of skinny jeans I can borrow. I haven’t done a wash since we got back.”
“Dozens. Help yourself.”
“Sophie, what was your spell about today? What set you off?”
“Lulu sent me a beautiful email. You can read it for yourself.
“Later. I don’t want to be late. Let me borrow one of your cute tops from The Loft.”

As they walked down the hall to Sophia’s bedroom to get dressed, Zoe pointed to photos glued to the wall. “I see you still have pictures of Fugly covering the hole in the wall.” She was referring to a hole Marty punched in the wall a couple of months before he finally told Sophia the truth about his affair.
“You mean the hole Marty punched as he screamed, “WHY CAN’T YOU JUST FUCKING TRUST ME?”
“You’re yelling, Sophie. I know the story. He’s a troll-fucker, okay?”
“I hate using the upstairs bathroom because I remember the nights he spent hours in there “reading” with his fucking phone. He texted her so much, that when he finally came to bed, he had to recharge his phone. God knows what else he was doing. What a coward, trying to convince me and everybody else that it was my imagination and that I was crazy. I feel dirty that I ever knew him.”

With this, Sophia’s anger escalated beyond her ability to control it, and she screamed and beat her stomach with her fists, then crumbled to the floor crying.

“Fuck sake, Sophie. You are gonna screw up your hair and make-up.” Then Zoe’s voice softened as she stroked her friend’s head gently and said, “He’s a bad man, honey. He did terrible things to you, and you have every right to feel angry. Try to remember what Pema would say. These are the times we find our noble hearts. You’re a warrior of the heart, Sophia. BUT PLEASE, can you just get dressed now so we won’t be late for our dates.”

“Ok, Zo.”

Soon, the women were on the road driving toward Portsmouth.
“I know this guy from Tennessee is kinda young for you, Sophie, but you should start writing to him.”
“Why?”
“He needs an older woman to guide him. He’s gotten himself tangled up with some surly characters. Russian Mafia women or something.”
“What? Tell me about it.” But before Zoe could explain, Sophia’s phone blinged the arrival of a text message. She read it then replied. Another came in. She read that and replied again. Pretty soon Zoe could sense the steam coming off of Sophia’s skin, worse than the smoking boots earlier in the day.
“Who is it, Sophie?”
“Fucking Marty, who else.”
“What’s he want?”
“He says the house is costing him too much money if I’m the only one living there.”
“What did you say?”
“I told him that Fugly bought him with the offer of millions of dollars of her father-in-law’s money, so she can pay for him now.”
“What did he say?”
“Fuck you.”

Just then Jill Scott’s song, “Living My Life Like It’s Golden” started to play. Thoughts and words suspended as the women sang along with all their hearts.

Zoe and Sophia shimmered when they stepped into the restaurant a few minutes later. For a change they were early, so after being seated, they each pulled their laptops from their bags and turned them on to a dating site.

Zoe’s date arrived first. He was a handsome, but quiet, English professor from U.N.H.  Hard pressed to find someone last minute for Sophia, Zoe had chosen a guy named Bubba, who was covered in tattoos and whose long hair hung beneath a black leather cap. When he arrived, he shook hands with Sophia then pulled out a picture of his motorcycle to admire. Sophia pulled out her phone and texted Zoe. She wrote,

“Thanks a lot, Zo, but he’s not really my type.”

Zoe’s heart wasn’t in it either. Apparently, Jackson had moved in.

The women made polite conversation while they sipped their wine and nibbled at the small side salad they shared. But they kept their lap tops open and occasionally dipped out of the conversation in their quest for someone, anyone who might actually like Sophia. Zoe threw the professor a couple of her “special” smiles and explained in his ear that she didn’t mean to be rude, but her friend was having a hard time, so she needed to pay attention to her. Bubba told a couple of good stories about road trips on his motorcycle, but then left early, after consuming his ribs and french fries, which Sophia had to restrain herself from snatching off his plate when he wasn’t looking.   Clearly, Sophia wasn’t Bubba’s type either. The professor was interested in Buddhism and read a few passages of Pema Chodron’s book When Things Fall Apart, which Sophia handed him while he waited for his dessert to arrive. After the women paid for their own dinner, they left.

On the drive home, Sophia asked Zoe why she hadn’t put on her usual jazz for her date.  Sophia thought that he was nice and interesting. Zoe didn’t answer her.

“What’s wrong, Zo?”
Zoe turned to her friend and asked in a hushed voice, “WHAT AM I SEARCHING FOR, SOPHIE, AND WHERE WILL I FIND IT?”
Sophia shook her head, thinking about what to say. Then she sang. “YOU’RE LOOKING FOR LOVE IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES.”
“Huh?”
“ZOE, YOU NEED TO FIND LOVE IN YOURSELF FIRST. AND SECOND, YOU NEED TO FIND IT IN A WARM CLIMATE…LIKE FLORIDA.”

“Never mind about the first part, Sophie, but as for the second part, Jackson really sets a high bar for other men.”
“He’s a hard act to follow. I miss him too, Zoe. But frankly, I don’t miss all the heavy breathing and bed pounding.”
“Yeah, and I bet he doesn’t miss having Chex mix stuck all over his butt either.”

“Was that a Buddhist thing, Zo?”
“Sounds like.”

“Hey, let’s go to the all night tanning salon on our way home.”
“Nah, I don’t want to overdo. I’m leaving for California in a few days.”
“You bitch.”
“Let’s not start with the separation anxiety again, Sophie.”
“I want some french fries…NOW.”
“Okay, cowgirl. That we can do.”
“Do you think Lulu would like the guy from Tennessee, Zo?”
“Could be.”

Zoe pulled into the next truck stop they saw, and the women dazzled the truckers when they sauntered inside to split an order of french fries. And once again, the serendipitous, single fifty-somethings were off on another adventure as the Sublime Consumers of the Lightness of Being.

To be continued.  Read about a party offering objects of delight that baffle Sophia. And remember, if you want to read earlier adventures, start at the bottom of the Blog.

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  1. Maizy
    January 31st, 2010 at 12:18 | #1

    Hey Zo although I love your sassy style I agree with Soph on this you have to love you first. Easier said then done indeed. At the end of the day though it ends up being you and yourself so you better like something

  2. Maizy
    January 31st, 2010 at 12:22 | #2

    Giggles Soph honey I am here to tell you. Get out of the tundra before we find you smothered by all of your clothes in front of the wood stove. And old cheese is not flattering really I have to agree with Zo on that LUVS Sista

  3. February 1st, 2010 at 17:29 | #3

    Hey, sweet Maizy,
    Zo wanted me to tell you that Sophia didn’t mention the burning boots or smelly cheese because Sophia doesn’t think men will let her dance on the Webcam for them if they associate these images with her. Zoe also wanted me to tell you that she loves her sassy style to…and maybe yours, come to think of it. BUT Zoe doesnt’ want to be reminded of the fundamentals like self-love just now. It’s not that she doesn’t consider those things. She even meditates on those things just the Pema Chodrod teaches in her wonderful books. However, as you said, we learn the lessons we’re supposed to learn when we finally learn them. The one thing Zoe really wants you to know is that she thinks she’s a rockin babe with a knock out body. So, she’s asked that you point out those attributes the next time you write, or she’ll consider putting nightshade in your coffee. (Of course, she doesn’t know you or have access to your coffee, so Maizy, just ignore Zoe when she says silly things like that.) Meanwhile, you keep swinging and singing, sweet sister.
    And rock on every day.
    J/

  4. February 1st, 2010 at 17:30 | #4

    Smothered by what, dear fan? Piles of snow? Piles of Sparky’s mess? Piles of Marty’s shit? Sophia wants me to tell you that she has her eye on more sunshine soon. Florida Guy gave the girls an open invitation, and you know Sophia, she’s only shy about certain things…like sex toys…but not about visiting friends in distant, warm places. She’s working on her tan as we speak, and if people want to join her in Florida…bring it on, girl. She’ll always have good food and plenty of vintage M.J. Blige to groove to. Thanks for writing, sweet girl. Hey, Sophia wants you to know that your spirit is as pretty as your face and that she’s wicked jealous of both.
    Rock on, sister.

  5. AMI
    February 2nd, 2010 at 15:45 | #5

    Lulu just emailed me, and asked that I pass along a message: She is so glad that her thoughts were a comfort Sophia, and hopes that they provide the same peace they have for her when things go rotten. She also apologizes sincerely for the effect her words (and Sparky’s turds) had on Sophia in the moment; she would never want to be responsible for S’s burned boots (or worse…eyebrows and hair…shudder…) As for the twenty something cougar-bait, she thanks Sophia for her thoughtfulness, but declines; based A) on the fact that this guy would no more be into her, than he would likely to be into the idea of an armchair cushion (soft, welcoming, but not quite right…) Cougars and the boys who ‘love’ them are both devoted breeds. And B) she thinks that her own fella might not be thrilled to share her
    (even with men selected for her by her Aunt Sophie, whom he is most devoted to as well.) XOXOX

  6. February 12th, 2010 at 11:42 | #6

    Hi, sweet friend of Lulu
    Sophia wanted to tell Lulu that she owes her a new pair of boots trimmed in fake fur. Since Lulu’s coming up to Vermont for her ski trip next week, she can bring them with her on the plane. She also wanted to let Lulu know that burning her hair in the fireplace is much cheaper than a hair cut, and Sophia’s so broke now, that she may have to resort to “style by burning.”
    Zoe says to tell Lulu that she’s nuts not to want to meet Tennesee Guy, even though she already has Guy Guy. Zoe also wants to commend Lulu on inspiring a great idea. Zoe highly recommends eating armchair cushion as a weight loss strategy; in fact, that’s what’s on the menu for Sophie and Zo tonight. (Or they may decide they need to flirt with some cute Mexican waiters as they did the night before Zoe went to L.A. However, Sophia kind of wrecked the Mexican restaurant that night, so they have to call ahead to make sure they aren’t barred from the place.) Anyway, both of them wanted me to tell you that they can’t wait to see Lulu in Vermont next week. Sophia might pass on the skiing part though. She has trouble just walking.
    The “girls” send kisses and hugs to you and Lulu.
    Rock On Sister
    Julie

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