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As I began scribbling my novelita, the standard advice “write what you know” transformed into “write what you like” then “write what interests you” which mutated again into “write about things that you are interested in but at your age will probably never do–like raising a few pigs or owning a charming cafe in a a small, English-shire-ish village or becoming a superhero”.

But as I think about it, maybe it isn’t just the years with their slow graceless skid out of middle age into the Twilightenment that cause dreams to slip away. 

A cruel twist in my consciousness, not to mention my personal ambition, came when I realized, on a seemingly innocent spring morning, that when my husband retires, the world as I know it will come to an end. There is a very real possibility, indeed a probability of the best mathematical sort, that my tiny planet so happy in its own orbit, will get sucked into his world, and that my creative twinkle will dim in the blackest hole of traditional housewifery. I can see it now. With my husband home all day, my secret shopping excursions will be graffiti-ed with questions like “Where are you going?” or “When will you be back”.  Every morning, not long after a three course breakfast, he’ll look up from the Wall Stree Journal, smile, and ask “What’s for lunch?’ He’ll spout ludicrous ideas like, “Let’s get rid of the maid. I can help with the housework” or “Let’s go over the Visa bill together”. Then he’ll be a real party pooper at my girls’ happy hours, eating all the cheese and crackers and throwing the proverbial wet blanket over our well-meaning gossip. Yes, spending all day, every day, with my husband, or anybody’s husband, could be difficult and pretty dream-squashing.

I mean, certainly, he’d never agree to buy a pig farm or even a ranch with some cattle. And it is doubful he’d put any “capital” into a small cafe, even if it was cute as could be. And, really, if he did, I’d have to be an indentured accounting slave instead of a jolly chef in a starched apron. He’d require that I produce nonsense like income statements or I’d have to explain how I could afford that new pair of shoes when my little cafe wasn’t making any money.

And as far as my superhero aspirations, I can’t imagine he’d ever approve. My flying around in tights zapping bad guys with my perfectly manicured fake nails would be a little too far out of the mainstream for his wife.

But I guess I can’t worry about these things. I have a novelita to write and there’s time before he retires. Besides, I know there are plenty of couples who have survived life together until they died. I’m thinking of several right now. Well, one. No, not that one.