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February 2011

Valentine's, Love and Friendship

I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, I know many people say “It’s too commercial;” “I don’t want to be told when to buy flowers;” “Valentine’s Day Sucks!” (a recent quote from a dear friend in Iowa), or, “It’s too much pressure to be romantic on demand!” Blah, blah, blah. Well, come on now – if you don’t want to participate in the spirit of Love, which includes giving, receiving, being a part of . . . . on one specific day of the year -  then don’t. But please, don’t ruin it for the rest of us.  Thank you.
Now we all know there are many kinds of “love” and one of the nicest, with the potential to last a lifetime, is the love between good friends. I had the privilege of hosting a party Sunday for several good S.S.O.F.F* friends!  It was our first official get together since the release of my book “How to Survive in the 21 Century as a S.S.O.F.F.*  And, of course, my friends are the ladies who contributed their personal experiences and observations to the books “S.S.O.F.F* Vignettes.” 
It was such fun to see the camaraderie between them, even though many hadn’t seen each other in years! Granted, they all have being “suddenly single and over forty” in common, however, each differs in background, careers, and lifestyles, to create a unique, diverse, fascinating group of friends. I am so grateful and honored to be a part of this circle, and truly hope we all keep the connection “alive and well” for a long time to come.
So. . . .  to the Valentine Scrooges out there: “You need to take a minute to really think about those you love and how often you acknowledge this without the help of a specific day to remind you. And if it’s not often, or maybe never, then for goodness sake, let Valentine’s Day give you the nudge you need to ensure your love lasts a lifetime!”

There Is No "T" in S.S.O.F.F.*!

The acronym S.S.O.F.F.* was created by pure serendipity. Being “suddenly single, over forty and female” was my situation – and the alliteration was irresistible!  I was pleased with the reaction I received from others when I defined S.S.O.F.F* for them. However, a few of my friends had suggested adding a “T” to have it read as “ssofft.” But that would be misleading. The S.S.O.F.F.*’s I know are not soft!  Quite the opposite. It takes strength to survive as a S.S.O.F.F.*  My fellow S.S.O.F.F.*’s have an amazing amount of inner strength and resilience, which isn’t always obvious on the surface. May I remind you of Sandra Bullock and Camille Grammer?
The S.S.O.F.F* chose her lifestyle of wife and mother and really enjoyed the feeling of
warmth and security this environment provided. She worked hard at making it appear effortless. Believe me, it takes a very strong woman to pull that off! And even greater strength and fortitude is required when that lifestyle is destroyed.
The word soft is often equated with being feminine, having a gentle quality, soothing, graceful, etc.  And this is great!!!  But soft can also be seen as weak, ineffectual, or malleable. And that is not the definition I want associated with a S.S.O.F.F*!
So, please leave the “T” off the S.S.O.F.F.  Hey, maybe I should add another “S” for Strong.  S.S.S.O.F.F.?  Think about it!

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