As I rode back from my condo on the corner at the shore this evening with my male friend L, I was reminded of my younger self as he put his Cat Stevens’ Greatest Hits CD into his car’s CD player. The last time I had heard Cat Stevens I was twenty-something.

What great songs they were then, almost 30 years ago, when I listened to them in the 70s and now I was listening to them again…30 years later and the melodies and words were still so familiar, despite my forgetful menopausal mind, I remembered them all.

I remembered when my friends and I used to sing along to Moonshadow, Wild World, and other Cat Stevens’ tunes, as we sat around our dorm rooms and pondered where our lives would take us after college. Would we have fabulous careers? Where would we work? Would we get married? Who would we marry? Would we have kids? Would they be boys or girls? What would our lives be like when we grew up and got older…30, 40, 50, 60?

And here I was again, three decades later, listening once again to Moonshadow, Wild World, and other Cat Stevens’ tunes, pondering once again. Only this time I was pondering about the next 30 years of my life. Will I become a famous author? Will I write my book (yes, stop saying it already and just start writing)? Will my empty nest stay empty? What new adventures and what new friends will I meet in my 50+ years?

“It’s so nice,” said my girlfriend L at dinner Friday evening, “you have a boyfriend.”

“A what?,” I said back to my girlfriend L.

“You have a boyfriend,” she said.

“Are you still seeing your male friend L,” said another friend D last week, “that’s so nice that you’re a couple.”

“A what?,” I said back to my girlfriend D.

“You’re a couple, how nice,” she said.

As I drove back from my condo on the corner, I pondered what to call my relationship with this this new male friend L who entered my life a few months ago. Boyfriend is not something I can say at fiftysomething, that sounds so twentysomething. Couple, I don’t know if we’re a couple. Let’s see what Websters’ dictionary has to say: a couple is defined as “two of the same sort considered together.”

Hmm, hmm, hmm…maybe we are a couple. Maybe we are of the same sort. We both like Cat Stevens Greatest Hits, and walks on the beach, and we both like Egg Creams (which I made this weekend with U-Bet Chocolate Flavored Syrup, milk and seltzer).

This is all so new for my 50+ life. I think I’ll just check the box as ‘nice’ and keep pondering.