Monthly Archives: March 2015

The Amish break up

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The Amish break up

So yes, I ate a roll-ish of cookie dough yesterday. I’m not admitting that it’s relationship related, maybe my diet simply lacks enough chocolate chips.
On a, probably, unrelated note, let’s talk about break ups.
When I was 15 and Tim “somebody or other” broke up with me (he was 17 after all and about to go off to college), I spent the better part of three days laying face down in a pile of discarded acid washed jeans and neon stirrup pants inside my closet. One day, while trying to put clothes away in my room, my mother insisted that I get up and move on with my life. But Tim was the first boy I ever “really” kissed, I had picked out bride’s maids dresses for our imaginary wedding. They were drawn in ink pen on a piece of spiral notebook paper. This was serious.
But I never really saw Tim very much. We didn’t go to the same school, the one phone in my house was on the wall of the kitchen, and there was no internet, no Facebook, Instagram or snapchat. We weren’t ” friends”. Stalking an ex required hiring a private investigator, or asking our mutual friends. My babysitting gigs didn’t really provide the kind of income that would afford me private investigator money, and we didn’t really have mutual friends. So, when I finally did see Tim with another girl, it was months later and at 15, my heart had healed.
Now, it might seem that as an adult, IF I were upset over the break up of someone, I’d have the common sense not to look them up on the inter webs, to block them from my feed, or whatever I’m sure real grown ups do. But apparently I’m not a real grownup. I blame having to start over at 40, but I’m not sure that’s fair.
The internet essentially allows a person to gaze into the sanitized version of your ex’s life without you. Man, does it look like you were holding them back! Look how happy they are, how social, how utterly ecstatic that you are out of their life (but not their newsfeed) for good. Who even knew they liked to travel? And drink so many exotic drinks, and dance with sooo many women.
If you’ve broken up with someone, but would like to remain a part of their lives, Let me give you some advice that I should have taken myself, go back to a simpler time. I’d like to call this the Amish break up. Pretend the Internet doesn’t exist, especially Facebook. If you have to be on there, BLOCK! BLOCK! BLOCK! Do not, under any circumstances just glance at their page. It’s the olden times equivalent of standing outside their house and gazing in their windows or tapping their phone, the difference is, they know you’re watching and listening, and they get to control what you see. So, even if in the dark of the night they too are eating cookie dough, on Facebook their life couldn’t be better or happier and it’s more than a little torturous.
We’d all like to believe that it is impossible for others to go on without us, not just in relationships, but with jobs, and friends too. But, regardless of how accurate an expression of reality Facebook is, it’s in print and picture. And like art, it tells us plenty and leaves plenty up for interpretation, tortuous interpretation. So just don’t, go there. Go back to 1980. Use only cordless phones, pretend computers are only for evil geniuses, use a camera with film, lay in your closet if you have to. And eat cookie dough if you need to. Not that that’s what I was doing, I’m just trying to help you.

Closure

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Closure

Dating still has to be the most bizarre creation we’ve come up with in society. Seems like everyone is trying to get into a relationship, get out of a relationship or get over a relationship. And very often it seems we are trying to do all three at the same time. But I’ve accepted the yolk of responsibility and I’m trying to remember it’s a learning experience and as m’lynn said, ” that which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”
Apparently, I’m learning, I’m very eager to trust my instincts, open and honest to a fault and fairly delusional. Meaning, if I were a hunter, I’d probably be slaughtered by a rabid deer, because I had stopped to feed it berries. Fortunately, I’m not hunting for food and I’m up to date on all my shots. This is to say only this about the squirrel taxidermist with whom I spent a few weeks, sometimes it’s best to just accept that yes, I am kinda judgey and frankly, I have no idea what I’m doing.
So I’m just hoping that with quantity, eventually I’ll figure it all out. But know this, it’s brutal and I’m on something of a time restraint. I’m trying to squeeze in all this learning between raising three girls alone, a couple or twenty jobs and a couple or twenty hobbies, and oh yeah that whole grieving healing thing. It’s like binge watching a bunch of documentaries on relationships and then trying to pass a 200 page exam all in a few hours. Mistakes are being made. And I’d love to be able to just give up and become a hermit (which my friend M and I concede is frequently the only answer when things get tough). But I like people, and I’m discovering more and more, that though I’m very proficient at being alone, it’s lonely.
So, I’m going back up to bat, with what must be a very bad batting average ( is 3 a bad batting average? I don’t follow baseball.) God, now all I can think of are ball throwing analogies. So, I’ll get back on the horse, or the bicycle, or out where the fish are in the sea and cast my rod of love. Ok evidently my relationship troubles are affecting my ability to come up with proper descriptions of my relationship troubles. But you probably grasp that I’m not giving up, not because of a few cat herders (actually just one), because I am gaining so much knowledge about who I am in relation to other people. And that is what will thrust me into the sea of passion, no-catapult me into the crockpot of love stew, no- wedge me in the soft-spot on the cradle cap of love.
Well, clearly this is a process, and I’m not where I want to be, but I’m getting there and hopefully I don’t get downed by rabid woodland creatures in the interim.

Management 101

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Management 101

Love is a fickle bitch. You think she’d just recognize an amazing person and then settle in for a lifetime of romantic montages. But no, apparently she has a twisted sense of humor instead.
Part of the joy? of dating the second time around is figuring out what it is I want as a grown up and recognizing what I can’t manage. Which to the casual observer might obviously be something very different than what I wanted when I was in my early 20s. For me, that has taken some trial and error to figure out. And frankly, what exactly this is seems to be something of an enigma still.
Maybe love was just simpler in the 90s, all those John Hughes films from the 80s had fueled a fairly concrete picture of who I should spend my life with–Emilio Estevez. Or some other jock with a heart of gold. Or perhaps I’m making it more difficult than it needs to be.
Somehow the part of me that longs for a slow motion run into the arms of a shirtless hero won’t reconcile with a weirdly practical sense of time management. Meaning- I’m a busy woman and I’m no longer looking to build a family with someone. I have a family, and for the most part I fear that the nuclear family ship has sailed for me. I suppose what I mean is, I’m raising my babies and I can’t seem to make room for anyone else to do that with me.
So I’m just like, regular dating, whatever that means, but on the side of being a single parent. So the scenario is like this, I’m dating, but I’ve got three roommates ages 14, 12 and 9. And they are less like roommates and more like nagging wives. ” why are you never home? “, ” why don’t you ever take me out?”, “how come you never get dressed up for me?”, ” but you get to see your friends at work all the time. “.
Never a day off–ever. I’m phenomenally lucky to be able to afford a regular babysitter/nanny/hired wife. She’s wonderful, but she can’t be a second parent no matter how great she is. She’s more like a big sister in that way. And the girls let me know it. Plus they spend a lot of time assuming I’ll never come back if I leave, so I get it. It’s complicated.
I might have mentioned that this struggle is just one in a long line of how do I participate in life as a grown up, who’s not entirely “grown-up”, be a parent and role model, and make space for me as a single lady. Imagine that the majority of your social interactions are being scrutinized by a trio of people who know you very well in one specific way, but collectively have the emotional maturity of kimmy Schmidt. Imagine your employees live with you, are dependent on you and feel very free to share with you how disappointing you are to them as a boss. By the way, you cannot fire them.
I’m not really complaining. I do love my daughters intensely and recognize that we are in this pickle vat together. We keep each other afloat. And when they are busy and happy, they don’t much mind that I work, or even go out for a drink with friends.
So it’s just part of where I am, which I never imagined I’d be. I’ve never really been great at thinking stuff through, I mean seriously, Emilio Estevez ? I was way more Anthony Michael Hall’s type anyway.

On line dating-a brief rant

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On line dating-a brief rant

Do you know what the number one adjective on Plenty of Tinder Christian Cupid Match.com profiles is…? “Honest.” Seriously. Couldn’t I just assume that you’re not a pathological liar? That you actually are truthful. Doesn’t that seem to set the bar extraordinarily low? “Hey, I’m a breather, who won’t lie to you much, I have a head and arms.” Jesus, where has this guy been all my life!?
The second most frequent descriptor is “laid back”. Now I’m not totally down with the vernacular of dating site profiles, but that just sounds like “lazy” or ” frequently could not give two shits”. Hey baby, I’m laid back in my BarcaLounger, get ready to swoon and make me a sand which.
And seriously guys, get somebody to take a proof of your profile picture. If the only picture you have is a dark, blurry picture of you staring blank faced into the bathroom mirror, just don’t bother. Everything has a camera on it now, walk outside with your buddy, or your aging neighbor, smile and take a picture with your pencil phone. And by the way, take off your mirrored sun glasses and camouflage hat. You look like a serial killer.
Now, I get that this is all very complicated, this whole selling yourself to the world, but if you’re not willing to put in the minimal amount of effort it takes to present yourself in a decent light, why would you expect me to care? And for God sakes, just be honest, don’t say you’re honest, that’s code for ” I don’t know many adjectives and this sounds like a good one”. If you don’t know what to say, or what you’re looking for, sit back from the computer and consider it for a minute. Don’t write, “I don’t know how to describe myself. ” Because, guess what genius, that was obvious from your blurry profile picture. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’re probably going to find a ton of randomness and I don’t really have time to figure out if I’m what you’re looking for. I’m a busy lady, there’s Friends episodes I haven’t watched yet.
I believe the greatest gift online dating gives to us is not finding your soulmate (though I do know people who have done just that). It’s deciding who you are and what you want. I can recognize that it is a process, but no one likes to see the sausage being made, no pun intended. So go through the first couple of steps offline. Then for the love of all things holy, have someone take a look at your profile, edit it. Stop saying you’re honest and laid back, it makes you look like a lazy creep. And do not post a bathroom selfie, this is a numbers game, bathroom selfies should not win anyone a date. Figure out who you are, breathing and honesty can be assumed. Figure out what you want. And if you keep coming up with, ” a maid who likes causal sex” maybe it’s time to do some deep soul searching instead of online dating.

Alone time

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Alone time

Recognizing that I am the emotional equivalent of an appliance crash and dent sale has set me free to spend some time on my own. Much like Pee Wee Herman, I am a self-proclaimed “loner and a rebel”. Perhaps exactly like Pee Wee Herman, minus the uber bike. But it’s an unusual station for me, I’ve always been in pursuit of coupling, looking at every available man as the opportunity to fulfill my destiny and uncover my soul mate. I could hardly breathe at local bars playing out relationships from meeting, through the fabulous vacation to Aruba, to the romantic top of the Eiffel Tower proposal, to the horrible gut wrenching break up that sent me seeking refuge in the arms of a my new friend Jimmy Fallon, who I’d met in a chance collision in a local subway restaurant while he was passing through to visit family in Florida.
To be sure, being a single mom of three (nearly all) teenage daughters limits my free time. Coupled with my introverted side ( yes I am a 50/50 balance of introvert and extrovert, which means I love the idea of going out but am typically panicking inside when faced with a one on one conversation) and the fact that I grew up an only child, I’m fairly comfortable with alone time. Sometimes I actually get a little itchy without alone time. I’ve also adapted to living alone so well that I’m not certain I could ever co-habitate again. Every one of my closets is full and I might have mentioned in the past that I like to sleep frozen in the jumping jack position and I require 4 pillows, two on each side so as I roll around in the night I can lay on any of them. There’s not much room for a partner unless they have a California king-sized bed, or a mother in law suite.
Maybe all of this is really just a way to justify my current situation, including an appalling lack of emotional empathy and a self-centered ness that I haven’t embraced so completely since I was 2 years old. Besides, dating is an awkward sport, best suited for pretty people who are great at small talk. I’m more of a “hello, here’s your awkward hug, do you mind if I randomly speak in a British accent while telling you about my vast knowledge of Wizard of oz trivia”. I’m probably going to end up being an old cat lady with really great abs, a penchant for a decent Pinot Noir and a vast knowledge of Netflix shows. That’s fine, I’m not ready to share my closets yet anyway.