The Crush Letter No 87

. 7 min read

I'm Dish and I write a weekly newsletter about friendship, love and sex in midlife.  Because midlife is so much cooler than they said it would be.  Hell yes, sign me up for the Dish.

Hello Crush,

Sometimes a theme for the week seems to appear organically. This week we are evolving.

I know you're all gearing up for Thanksgiving - make sure to open us up next week as we share our Grateful Playlist. If you missed that call out, slide down to the end because we'd love to include your song.

And speaking of gratitude, thanks for being here.


If you're new here (welcome!), I'm Dish, the Master of Ceremonies. For more about me and why we're here go here.


In This Letter.  +Healing Through Change. By Lauren D. Weinstein I decided to leave New York and my apartment that I lived in for 40 years (I stayed too long at the fair, as my mom would say) and move to “The Land of Enchantment.”  +Love/Sex/Moon Magick. By Lynn Eaton Sometimes, you just have to let go. And it’s hard. And you don’t quite know how to do it. You can become stuck in a never-ending loop of frustration.   +Book Review: Maurice by E.M. Forster. Reviewed by Evie Arnaude It’s a beautiful book about human nature, self-discovery, and, of course, love that defied labels, genre, and the test of time.   +Our Song of the Week In other words, hold my hand


Healing Through Change.  By Lauren D. Weinstein

One PrimeCrush writer speaks candidly about the tough transition of starting over in midlife

When I relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico from Brooklyn, New York, I was literally running for my life. COVID had ravaged and killed my ex-boyfriend, who I’d broken up with three months prior to him contracting the virus. When my dear friend informed me that he had passed, I found myself lying on the hardwood living room floor, screaming in disbelief and in agonizing sorrow. It felt as if an axe was plunged deeply into my chest. I was gutted. I couldn’t hear or speak. I was a raw, wounded animal. Initially, I was mourning the loss of a 10-year on and off the relationship, that I finally had the courage to release myself from, only to abruptly lose him forever to a deadly pandemic. It was a surreal and tragic life-altering event that I was not remotely prepared for.

Due to the pandemic, my work as a television makeup artist came to a screeching halt. Religiously, I sat glued to the television set, listening to our governor's report on the daily hospitalizations and death tolls. I cried and wailed, numerous times a day on the phone to my parents, aunt, and sister to vent and hear their comforting voices and words of encouragement. I swear I was not in my right mind during those tearful and angst-ridden conversations. I couldn’t catch my breath; I paced the length of my living room like an anxious lioness locked in a cage and panicked every time I heard the sirens from ambulances racing up and down Cropsey Avenue. I imagined a petrified COVID patient gasping for air while on their uncertain way to Coney Island Hospital.

In the weeks and months that followed, I decided to leave New York and my apartment that I lived in for 40 years (I stayed too long at the fair, as my mom would say) and move to “The Land of Enchantment.” While packing my belongings, I found myself digging through the contents of my life: childhood drawings and headless rag dolls, handwritten report cards, mangled cassette tapes, scratched albums (Elton John and Donna Summer), frayed love letters, and now-faded photos in plastic-sleeved albums. The arduous task was an emotionally-charged and dust-filled walk down memory lane.

Continue reading here.

Love/Sex/Moon Magick.  By Lynn Eaton

Cutting Ties or Stitching Lovers?

Our resident witch offers the perfect recipe for keeping or letting go of anyone in your life.

Relationships are hard. They morph. They take weird twists and turns. They ebb and flow. And sometimes, they break. So how do you deal with that?

Personally, I find the process to be overwhelming. I keep replaying discussions—confrontations--over and over and over, trying to understand what went “wrong” in the relationship. Did I say something inappropriate? Did I use the wrong tone of voice? Are my expectations too high? Too low?

Sometimes, you just have to let go. And it’s hard. And you don’t quite know how to do it. You can become stuck in a never-ending loop of frustration.

Here’s an easy spell to help, and most of its “ingredients” are probably in your very own kitchen, right now.

GATHER:
3 pinches Cayenne pepper
9 drops peppermint extract (or three pinches of dried peppermint leaves)
3 pinches of dried rosemary
1 teaspoon olive oil

MIX: the above ingredients together in a small bowl.

ADD: 3 inches Black satin cord, cut into small pieces.

LIGHT: A black candle and allow the wax to slowly cover the mixture.

SAY: “Our ties are cut, our time is done. While it lasted, we had some fun. No more drama, no more scorn. No longer shall I be forlorn. No hard feelings, just set me free. As I will so mote it be.” (Or words that feel right to you. They don’t even have to rhyme!)

REPEAT: Those words until the wax has completely sealed the cords and spices mixture. Roll the wax into a ball.

DISPOSE: If you’re lucky enough to live by some water, toss it in! You could also bury it or burn it in a bonfire.

See? Simple!

Continue reading here.

Book Review: Maurice by E.M. Forster.  Reviewed by Evie Arnaude

Maurice is the story of Maurice Hall and his trials as a gay man in early 20th Century England, as only E.M. Forster, one of the most exquisite writers of all time, could tell it. The story follows Maurice through his boyhood and into university, where he meets fellow student Clive Durham, and the two falls in love. At a time when homosexuality was a crime, punishable by imprisonment, their affair becomes fraught with very real fears of persecution--as well as loss of property, status, and reputation. Maurice is a romantic and wants to keep Clive at all costs. Clive decides he will marry a woman to keep the peace. But Maurice does find love in Alec Scudder, a workman on Clive’s property, and somehow the story ends happily.

But the real story of Maurice lies within its making—and its time. By the time E.M. Forster first wrote Maurice (1913 – 1914), he was openly gay to his friends, though not to his public. It’s believed that the relationship between Maurice and Alec Scudder was inspired by early-20th Century gay activist Edward Carpenter and his “lower class” lover. At the time, you didn’t associate outside your class—never mind fall in love with someone of the same sex. In fact, the story that we read now isn’t the original ending—originally Maurice ditched his stockbroking job to run away with Alec to become a laborer. But by the time the novel was published in 1971, a year after its author had died, we were left with a more hopeful ending.

Merchant Ivory produced a subtly stunning adaptation of the novel in 1987, at a time when everyone involved was still so young and vibrant. James Wilby gives a beautiful performance as our title character, which High Grant plays love interest Clive Durham. Rupert Graves is Alec Studder, Ben Kingsley is the doctor who tries to hypnotize the homosexuality out of Maurice—unsuccessfully—eventually advising him to go to another country where his true self would be accepted. Helena Bonham Carter makes a cameo at a cricket match, appearing two years after her incredible performance at Lucy Honeychurch in A Room with a View.

If you’ve read Maurice in school, or when you were young, read it again. It’s one of the books that become richer as your worldview grows wider. Not because it’s a “gay book”—it’s actually not. It’s a beautiful book about human nature, self-discovery, and, of course, love that defied labels, genre, and the test of time.

Song of the Week

Fly Me to the Moon By Bobby Womack

2011 Live performance at Jazz Cafe

Fly Me to the Moon 

Grateful Playlist! Do you have a song that says “grateful” to you? That makes you stop time — and all your worries — for a moment, and live in a state of appreciation. For our upcoming Gratefulness Letter, we’d like to add yours to a playlist we are working on. We will publish your contribution in our Thanksgiving issue. Let us know here

PS: Mine is Heavenly Day by Patti Griffin.

Dish Stanley XO,
Dish

You Won't Want to Miss A Thing. Here Are Links to Some Favorites.

+The PrimeCrush Toy Tester Report Actual PrimeCrush Readers have agreed to try out and review for the rest of us a range of sex products (toys, lubes, books, vibrators, you name it).

+Field Trip: What Five Married Couples Learn on One Powerful Weekend Away With A Renowned Sex Therapist. By Dish Stanley. For their 20th wedding anniversary, one couple organized a (pre-COVID) retreat with a leading marital and sex therapist.  In this candid q&a with the woman who organized it, we learn why they went and what they brought back.






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