Monday, December 31, 2007
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 ............ HAPPY NEW YEAR
The bar erupted.
"ERRRRANNNNTTTTT" went the noisemakers. "Smooch smooch" went the lovers. "Click clank" went the champagne classes.
And "GULP ULP" went my boyfriend.
Not realizing my 29-year-old would turn into a frat boy at the stroke of midnight, I closed my eyes and went in for the kiss. What I got was an elbow to the face.
J.'s first 2004 thought was "Yum. Corona." He sucked it down without pause. Meanwhile all the other couples were canoodling.
I wish I could say J. made it up to me in 2005. But after being stood up at Oasis in New Paltz, my 2006 resolution was to never let another loser ruin my fun.
In honor of J. and my other experiences, I've put together a WHAT NOT to do on Dec. 31st list together. Share your own advice in the comments section.
A) Don't drink out of glasses that have been given to you by strangers. I did this once and ended up the first Benedictine Hospital patient in 2003.
B) Don't leave a good party to see an ex-flame. It will be a scorching mistake!
C) You can't do a U-E on the Mid-Hudson Bridge to avoid unfriendly men in uniform.
Blame New Guy for Old Guy’s flaws.
If I’ve learned anything in the years of being single, it’s that no two men are the same.
And although a lot of men are jerks...
they all have their own unique way of showing it.
Just because your ex cheated, lied, or posted your home phone number on Craig’s List in an XXX rated classified… that doesn’t mean your new man will follow in his footsteps.
So here's a New Year's toast to all the diamonds in the rough...
let's not dull their shine with blame.
What's your relationship resolution?
Saturday, December 29, 2007
These are just a few of the names I call C.
In public too.
I do it out of love. Love isn't a secret. A booty call is a secret. A frienefits is a secret.
I don't think love should be hidden or disguised or ignored.
Nope. Once you've found that man or woman who you know deserves your love, really and truly deserves it, you should tell the world. Remember this?
"Umm excuse me world. I just want to say, I love my peanut, I do."
The world certainly could use a lot more love and a lot less judging.
So if you are a public name petter, then you've done your job well. You've improved the world.
Next stop on the love train? Opera!
Friday, December 28, 2007
“Peeeee Nutttttttt” actually. Drawn out, exaggerated and as “cutesy wootsey” as it comes.
But apparently they’d never had “the talk,” before.
The one where they determined it wasn’t necessarily okay to put those pet names on public display.
After hearing “peanut” more than 100 times, I asked Mr. Planters how he felt about his new identity.
ME: “You really don’t care if she calls you "peanut" (a name usually reserved for small, unimportant things) in front of everyone all the time?”
HIM: “Well, I wouldn’t say I like it…”
And so I wondered… how many people go on letting their significant others nearly embarrass them in public without ever saying, “Don’t call me that unless it’s just us okay"?!?!?!
Because judging by the look on his face the next time she screamed the familiar epitaph...
I'd say that my assumption he wasn’t too keen on being babied publicly wasn’t nuts after all.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
WHAT I LEARNED: NYE is about doing something UNIQUE, not just champagne at midnight.
After spending nearly every Saturday night at Mahoney’s with my then roommate, we figured what better place to ring in the New Year? WRONG! By 11 p.m. I was wishing to be home in bed, the experience was so “last weekend” that I vow to greet 2008 surrounded by friends rather than “the regulars.”
WHAT I LEARNED: Valentine’s Day is for Lovers, not for EXES.
I received one gift, an “I LOVE YOU BEAR” from the Sunoco, from an EX. You can’t find new love if you’re still holding onto the old stuff.
WHAT I LEARNED: You CAN choose a McHottie and get him.
On St. Patrick’s Day I chose the hottest guy in the bar, made eye contact and vowed “If anyone is dancing with me, it’s THAT guy.” Sure, it amounted only to a few minutes of gyration and no number exchange, but it proved that you can get what you want, if even for a moment.
WHAT I LEARNED: April showers don’t bring “flowers” of any kind.
I should have trusted my instincts, I should have kept my phone number to myself. I should have listened to my own voice when I said, “He’s cute and everything, but he’s not smart enough for me.”
WHAT I LEARNED: You can’t expect anyone else to make your birthday special.
The big 2-5 came and went without a bang. (Did I mention how I was stood up at my own birthday dinner?!?!)!!?!?
WHAT I LEARNED: Roommates aren’t forever, but friendships can be.
If you want to maintain a friendship, you’ve got to know when to stop sharing a home. From dirty sinks, to mounting bills, I’m glad I escaped with my friend and my own new place.
WHAT I LEARNED: Living alone is GREAT, and lonely.
Coming home to a cable box instead of a living, breathing, entertaining friend is sometimes less than spectacular... but Tila Tequila helps.
WHAT I LEARNED: Hiking does not make you slim.
At least, it doesn’t when you follow your morning jaunt around Vanderbilt Mansion with a trip to the diner for pancakes.
WHAT I LEARNED: No matter how much you want something to work, that doesn’t mean it will.
After questioning and answering, forgiving and forgetting, some things are just wrong no matter how you wish to perceive them.
WHAT I LEARNED: You can find “him” in a bar.
The first argument between Sarah and I stemmed from her finding C. in a bar and my insistence that good guys don’t dwell there. I’ll admit, I was wrong. (However, I still believe that good guys, don’t work there;)
WHAT I LEARNED: That time I thought it was “it” it wasn’t.
Nothing can make your last relationship seem rockier than a smooth transition from “casual” to “committed.”
WHAT I LEARNED: …
………. hey, there’s still a little time for this one.
What did '07 prove for you?
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
There was a puddle of yellow goo on the chair next to me at Social Services today.
"Don't sit there," I warned the lady. It had to be pee. It looked just like pee.
"Don't sit there," the lady repeated to her own child, a boy of about five.
He opted for the seat next to the soiled one and she went to stand in the line for social assistance.
With her back turned, her boy took his pointer finger and waved it in the air, with a rascally grin. The finger dove straight into the liquid and took a direct course right into his mouth.
I felt my insides tighten.
Surely he learned his lesson. But the little chemist wasn't content with his first taste test. He went in for a double dip.
I tried not to think about it. I pulled out my cell phone and started texting.
Half way between "What did you" and "get for Christmas," the child lunged for me, his hands about to touch my arm.
Apparently, he thought my cell was a PSP.
"AHHHH!" I shouted. My entire body flinched.
Heads turned. People frowned at me.
At that moment, I realized I looked like the crazy one. "He hand urine hands," I wanted to say. But it wasn't THAT kind of place. It was the kind of place where you don't speak. You judge with your eyes.
While my eyes wondered, "How did they end up here: unemployment? drugs? divorce? medical problem?," they thought, "What kinda of person screams at a little kid?"
For the rest of my SS visit, I kept my eyes shut and my thoughts quiet.
(Have you ever had to humble yourself and ask for assistance? How did it make you feel?)
Friday, December 21, 2007
We're celebrating the birth of Jesus a few days early this year because Christmas doesn't fit in with everyone's schedules.
I'm sure Jesus won't mind.
He's a pretty understanding guy, especially when it comes to putting ourselves before him.
There's traveling. There's work. There's transporting oodles of packages. There's (insert excuses here).
Tuesday is just not convenient. Tuesday is just not a good day for me.
Dec. 23 is much better. In fact, while we're shuffling around religious holidays, why not combine Christmas and Easter into one, you know, to save on gas money and groceries.
Yeah, I know how this sounds. That's why I'm saying it.
(* The Odd Couple Bloggers are taking a much needed break these next few days. We wish you and your families the very best.)
Are you SURRRRRE you don't want to upgrade? said the slithering Verizon Wireless salesman.
Nope, No Thank You, No.
But you won't be taking advantage of the coolest features on your new cell phone.
No. I'm sure. I don't want to pay $79.99 a month. No.
But you can't use VCast.
What the hell is that?
You don't know what VCast is?
No. And unless it can give me abs of steel and walk my dog, I'm not paying 30 bucks more a month for it!
Who did this salesman think he was talking to? A teenager equipped with dad's credit card?
I paid $35.99 per month for the past two years for a phone that couldn't receive pic messages. And (let me check), yup, there's a pulse, I'm still alive.
It couldn't play music. Ya know what? I didn't care. I still have a TAPE DECK in my CAR!!!
I couldn't check my e-mail. Ya know what? I know how to spot a good thing.
So no. I didn't want to upgrade nutt'n.
Unless, of course, it was free.
I left the store with my new phone (that was free), totally OK with the fact that I wasn't "taking full advantage of its fabulous features." Then I heard a noise.
Oh man don't let that be my car engine, I thought.
I heard it again and I saw my new device light up.
1 new pic message it read.
Receive yes or no.
Then WOA... A naked Santa Claus appeared on my screen jingling his bells.
MY EYES! I screamed. MY EYES!
I turned my car around and revisited that salesman.
DOWNGRADE, I yelled. DOWNGRADE DANG IT! RIGHT NOW!
The following things have tested my Christmas spirit and ultimately turned me into Scrooge.
1. NEIGHBORS: The plow comes, I move my car so he can clean my spot. I park in my spot, I work a 12 hour day, and I come home to my neighbor PARKED IN MY SPOT because THEY WERE TOO LAZY TO SHOVEL THEMSELVES OUT in time for the plow. (Keep in mind, “my spot” is the furthest from the front door, because I was NEIGHBORLY enough to let the people who lived their longer have the better spots). NOT ANYMORE!
2. MEN: Say “Good Morning” or “Merry Christmas” to my FACE instead of ANYTHING BELOW IT please. I’m a person, not a holiday treat.
3. UPS: WHEN THEY ONLY DELIVER YOUR “SIGNATURE REQUIRED PACKAGES” DURING THE HOURS OF 9-5 . WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT?!? I can afford GIFTS because I WORK. I LIVE ALONE... RUB IT IN, I KNOW THAT NO ONE IS THERE TO "SIGN" FOR ME. I'll be lucky if can get those gifts by December 2008.
4. TIGHT PANTS: Too many brownies, cookies, and “treats.” The buttons are popping and I’ve got no one to sew them for me.
5. NO PLANS: Asking all my friends what they’re doing for New Years Eve and they say “I don’t know, what are YOU doing?” We’ve had an entire year to plan SOMETHING and somehow the evening’s events are still non-existent. I’m buying a bottle of 4 dollar champagne and sitting home ALONE where no one will ask me “what I want to do.” Hell, maybe I'll even be there when the UPS guy finally shows up with those gifts I ordered in October.
What dims your holiday spirit when you should be merry and bright?
Thursday, December 20, 2007
1 in 5 men have not started shopping.
that explains a lot.
that explains boyfriend-to-girlfriends gifts like Witman's chocolates, electric toothbrushes and basket of checkout aisle trinkets.
that explains the retractable clothesline I got from J.
the holiday sweater from M.
the cashmere socks from R.
Sure, it's nice to get something, anything from the person you like.
But, once you've swapped more than digitals and saliva (I love yous and whatnots), you better put something a little more personal than Trident gum in her stocking...
Rule # 1
You shouldn't repeat date, so you shouldn't repeat gift. She deserves something you've never given anyone else.
Rule # 2
Romance. Romance. Romance. And not in the leopard panties kindaway. In a gift certificate to the spa, reservations for two at Mohonk Mtn. House in January, etc. kindaway.
Rule # 3
A disappointing gift is excusable. Once. When repeated over time, she'll either give you a list, or the boot.
Rule # 4
If she said she loved it, strutted it around on Dec. 25, and then you never saw it again, your get out of jail free card has been spent.
(if you care) below are a few of my top gift ideas for her:
— a personal note; framed photographs; bedding from Brookstone; "the notebook" DVD or novel; earrings (check out Options Jewelry in Rhinebeck); a homemade CD of her favorite music; a dvd-recorded video message; homemade furniture (maybe a bench or a wine cabinet); tickets or gift certificate for a romantic date you have planned out (couple massage and candlelight dinner — check out Buttermilk Falls Inn in Milton); pretty much anything from this store; personalized t-shirts; ok I'll stop there!
Whether it’s first kisses, first sleepovers or the first time you meet the parents, new relationships come equipped with questions about etiquette and the importance of timing.
As Christmas approaches, and we’re forced to buy all those we “care about” something they’ll remember, exchanging GIFTS FOR THE FIRST TIME can be somewhat nerve racking.
SO TAKE MY ADVICE, if your relationship falls in the 0-3 month range...
The following gifts are completely inappropriate:
1. THE RING: Your girlfriend of three years would be ecstatic, your friend-with-benefits of three weeks would be concerned for your mental health.
2. A PET: Sure, she thinks pugs are cute... and that teeny weeny kitten at the pet shop made her melt. But regardless of her passion for pets, DO NOT GET HER A LIVING THING! A dog could live 20 years, and if your relationship doesn't last 20 DAYS every time she feeds Pugsly, she'll be reminded of that crazy guy who moved way too fast.
3. THE SCRAP BOOK: If you’ve been collecting ticket stubs, receipts and the first gum wrapper she wrote her phone number on since day one, that’s sweet. But it will seem sweeter in the YEARS to come so save your Elmer’s glue and stickers for a future holiday. (This way you can ensure that it’s not used as “evidence” against you when she decides you're crazy and asks for that restraining order).
In all, I think it’s best to keep the early days simple and thoughtful. Spending too much money or too much time on something creates too much pressure for a new relationship.
Wouldn’t you prefer to remember your first Christmas as “the day you spent necking under the mistle toe” instead of the day you argued over the discrepancy between your gift of precious stones and hers of your new performance fleece?
Comment and tell us what good/bad gifts you received early in your relationship.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I love him, I thought. I love him so much.
I turned to him. He turned to me. He got ready to say something. My heart throbbed like a deep cut.
"I feel sick. I'm going to go lay down," he said. Then vanished.
PoppppP! The moment burst like bubblegum, leaving me in a gooey glob of mess. Stuck with my love thoughts. Alone.
He did say it a few weeks later. He swayed into it, like a gentle breeze.
"I'm falling in love with you," he said, with me in his arms. Falling? my inside voice asked. Then he added, "No, I am in love with you."
It was a love that we built on, added to, and continue to grow.
Now he says, "I love you more." And I know exactly what he means. More.
Is there a right time to say I LOVE YOU to someone?
I've always been rather guarded with those words…
I've said it to 2 men and I waited to hear it from them first.
I remember getting an E-Card from my first boyfriend that said, "YOU, I LOVE," at the end of it and I almost puked.
Even in that out-of-order-way I knew what it meant.
The pressure was on.
Feel it or bolt.
Say it back, or ruin everything.
Years later, after 6 months of courtship and infatuation with boyfriend number two… I heard it again. Not the "You, I love," but something equally original.
It was like a secret, a quiet utterance of what we both knew.
"Psst... I love you, you know," he said
And I knew.
I had known for months but couldn't bring myself to change what we were.
Because those words bring a commitment not otherwise there.
Those words change e v e r y t h i n g in the blink of an eye.
And the expectations ensue.
I hate expectations.
Because until now they've a l w a y s seemed to end in disappointment.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
And while some men might be giving in to tradition, I’ve got my own ideas about what’s appropriate for popping the question with a shiny diamond in tow.
MY RULES FOR THE RING
DO NOT SPEND 3 MONTHS SALARY ON “THE RING”: This idea originated from De Beers, it’s strictly a commercial scheme to encourage unknowing men into wasting their money on a diamond. You can say “I love you" without going broke.
DO NOT BUY ME A BLOOD DIAMOND: There are ways to figure out if your ring purchase comes with the arm of a little boy. Check out “CONFLICT FREE” diamonds or “CONFLICT NEUTRAL” diamonds by donating a portion of the ring’s cost to an appropriate charity.
DO NOT BUY ME ANYTHING BECAUSE YOU THINK YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO: If you want to get me a emerald because it’s my birthstone, or a sapphire because it means something special to OUR RELATIONSHIP, then do it. I’d hate to think that our relationship's individuality is set aside in the name of De Beer’s and their clever campaigns for your money.
DON’T ASSUME THAT BECAUSE A DIAMOND IS FOREVER, THAT WE ARE: Don’t drop three month’s salary, drop to one knee, and propose, only to drop the personality of the man I said yes to. If “marriage” really scares you and will turn you into a different person, than let’s NOT DO IT.
What do YOU think?
Is "the ring" the thing, or can you ask someone to marry you in your own unique way?
the ring has been the topic of many conversations... mom: "when are you getting a ring from that boy?" the best friend: "he better have me help him pick out the ring" even the taxi cab driver back in April: "how come there's no ring on that hand?"
with everyone weighing in, it dawned on me, i should be better prepared. seriously. there are things a girl should know that i haven't begun to ponder...
like, what if he asks me what i like? do i like square or circle? is that what they are even called in the gemological realm? do i like silver or white gold, 1 carat or semi-precious?
not to mention, i should probably know what a blood diamond is, before he puts one on my finger, no?
wait... am i allowed to say what i like? attach prototypes in e-mails? cut out magazine ads and put them on his car windshield?
or is that a diva-like don't? shouldn't i be content to receive a green bread bag twisty tie from the man i love, because he is, the man i love.
i actually googled "engagement ring etiquette." what a NOT help! the rules are very him-oriented. ask her mom, make sure it's a surprise, take her somewhere nice, practice what you'll say... all these him-rules were make me sweaty.
surely, there must be decorum for the deed for me.
monkey see, monkey do would lead me to the nail salon and to the wedding gift registry at bed, bath & beyond... i think i swing from another tree.
when i asked my mom, she said, "don't get married in the summer. we already have RV reservations" and "whose going to babysit the children? i'm not driving two hours..."
woa, woa, woa! can't anyone tell me what to do in the here-and-now?
except for the one thing i've learned in the last few days... keep your mouth shut.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Then more torture came.
Instead of driving me home, my mother took me to visit the grave.
“Let me show you,” she urged. “It might make you feel better.”
It had been years since she had died.
We stepped out — mom at the lead, as I tried to be strong.
Her plot was at the end of the row. We stood there looking down.
“Remember I love you.”
These were the last words she left us, etched into her bronze headstone. They made my breathing patchy and my eyelids close.
As I felt my knees wobble, my mother pulled me into her, to shelter my sorrow, and so I could share her own. Then she sat on top of the grave, with her hand on the stone.
“Hi mom,” she said. “I miss you.”
We all do, I thought.
I remember her. Especially at Christmas.
She would sit on her legs, at the foot of her sparkling tree, and hand out gifts to her giddy grandchildren. We bounced like kangaroos at her feet.
After the gift wrap had been collected, she would rush into the kitchen to check on the turkey. It was always overcooked, but it never mattered. She was the glue. She kept us all a family.
When the dishes were washed, she would sneak me into her room and slide $5 into my pocket with a “shhhhhing” finger to her lips. Then she’d stare at me and say, “You are a beautiful girl.”
I remember her. She was wonderful.
After her death, I thought I’d never meet another woman like her. But when I was introduced to my boyfriend’s grandmother, Dolores, I felt that same adoration — from her and from her grandchildren for her.
Her home was filled with family and friends on Christmas, too. She was their queen.
Last year, when she went into the hospital on Christmas Eve, I cried. For her family. For her pain. For my grandmother.
How sad it is to lose someone you love. How horrible it is to lose someone you love on Christmas.
This year, we will feel the heartache that comes when a great woman, or family member, is missed. It will make our knees quake and our throats ache.
It might be unbearable. At least for awhile.
But then we will remember. It is their love they want us to feel.
(Originally published Saturday, in the Poughkeepsie Journal)
Friday, December 14, 2007
skids off the face of the Earth at Mach 10?
Most couples enjoy at least a year of electric charges when they touch, kiss and (for the purposes of this blog) cuddle. There's a current of excitement that races through our bodies, a giddiness that sends our thoughts spinning, a surge of urges that is explosive.
There is attraction.
But what happens when those feelings start to falter, and instead of trembling from his touch you find yourself shivering from the cold in your heart?
X. was perfect. Smart. Athletic. And the nicest guy. Even my mom approved.
X. was perfect in every way. Except one. The spark fizzled into a friendship. He became my best man.
After several years as X.'s sidekick, I found myself wondering, can I be with someone I loved, but wasn't ravenous about? Would I ever be satisfied by the man who was perfect in every way but one?
He wasn't attractive.
Would you have stayed with X. and considered yourself lucky? Or have searched for the man who could keep you sizzling?
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
How my new man disposed of an EX right before my very eyes.
I’m naïve to all things “electronic.”
And when it comes to any of the myriad game consoles, I’m like a 90 year old man who’s just been handed a laptop with a wireless card… I simply don’t get it.
So imagine my surprise that something like the WII exists…
That a tiny little remote can be your gun, your guitar, your tennis racket, AND YOUR EX GIRLFRIEND REMOVER.
That’s right, gone are the days of burning old love letters and spreading rumors...
Bring on the murder of girlfriend-avatars via the WII!!!
ME: “What’s that mean? Oooh! A little cartoon-girl that looks like me!?! Can she be 5’2 like me and have bangs?!?!!!!”
HIM: Of course, let’s do it!
HIM: This one! (He pointed to the little guy with the goatee).
ME: “Wait! Who’s the CHICK!?!
Living, breathing, and walking around his apartment like she virtually owned the place.
On the screen came the prompt:
DO YOU WISH TO DELETE THIS AVATAR FOREVER?
She was gone.
But I couldn’t get the "futuristic Wii-induced image" out of my head...
The idea, that he might one day be prompted to “REMOVE THIS AVATAR FOREVER.”
And I too will be deleted.
It was like watching botched plastic surgery. One minute the Playboy-Bunny-in-training is flashing her perky pair. The next minute she's crying over her worn out eggplants.
But on "After the Vows," these married women had made their life-time commitments to squash-types who couldn't be surgically "fixed."
Quote from one bride: "I was so busy planning my wedding, I didn't think about what would happen afterwards."
What did happen? Couples therapy.
Quote from HER groom: "I don't think divorce should be an option for people married less than a year."
Woa. I didn't want to hear this. Bring back the $500,000 wedding extravaganza, with the 7-tier wedding cake and 5 piece orchestra. I want to pick out my color schemes, not my divorce attorney.
What do you think? Are these wedding shows skewing the reality of married life? Is it more like THIS?
ME: “I dunno... I’ve got an arsenal of past experiences that might make for good reading.”
FRIEND: “Yeah, but your experiences with jerks were what made your posts interesting...
ME: “So you’re saying that I can’t blog anymore because I’m happy?”
FRIEND: “No, I’m not saying that at all! You can blog all you want, I’m just saying I’m not going to read it.”
What's there to do when conflict is your muse and you find yourself content?
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
A guy who can fix my car.
A guy who answers his phone when my car breaks down and is nice enough to call a tow truck.
A guy who can “support me.”
A guy who can support my decisions about being independent.
A guy with a retirement plan.
A guy with a “plan” for Friday night.
Someone 25-29 years old.
Someone 30-35 who knows what THEY want.
In the end, the only thing that Dad and I can agree on is that we both want me to find someone who makes me happy…
And I guess that’s all that really matters.
At least until I bring him home for his “interview.”
How does your “LOVE WISH LIST” differ from your parents idea for the PERFECT MATCH?!
Monday, December 10, 2007
My first "French" kiss was had in the woods. It was the opposite of what it should have been — rough, hard, unpleasant. His tongue poked at my mouth like a strep culture. When we stepped out of the trees, we were spotted by a crowd. They laughed at our secret, but it made me want to cry.
My most memorable kiss occurred the second time I kissed C. The first time, alcohol numbed us both. But the second time, the lint between my toes tingled and the souls of my shoes swelled with goosebumps. I saw fireworks explode in my black eyelid landscape. I know that description is overused, but it was exactly what happened. Eye sparks.
My worst kiss isn't stored in my hard drive. It's more a montage of clinking teeth, mouth rot and unfelt passion. There's not one particular face. Just a Mr. Potato Head of bad kissing elements.
My funniest kiss does standout however! I was in jr. high. After swapping saliva, he told everyone in school, "I didn't even get a semi." I thought it was code back then. Now I just find it deliriously funny.
Friday, December 7, 2007
He just hoped that I knew how he felt.
And I did.
Because as they say...
“When you know, you just know.”
And, God… we knew.
We knew that in our silence was our promise and that promise was everything to us.
We knew it all.
I’d know that however much he’d hoped,
In the end, the only thing I knew for sure was how it felt to be abandoned.
To no longer know…
But to question.
To question everything.
Because our heads were too busy knowing…
Knowing it was wrong.
Knowing we were over.
And now, I hope you know.
I hope you know our finish line was meant to be crossed.
A tie, we both won.
And after we crested the final hill, my ears popped upon our descent and now I just can’t listen to what they say anymore…
Because after all that...
How can I ever again believe
That when "we know, we know” ?
Because that certainly felt like knowing…
but no amount of hope could make it last.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
ME: "I have trouble letting him pay all the time, after spending all of my free time touting how INDEPENDENT I am, it's hard to just keep mum when he drops another 100 bucks on a meal."
FRIEND: "Well, think of it this way. You probably bought a new top for that dinner date, spent twice as much time getting ready as he did, and if all goes well and you end up living happily ever after, you get to bear the children."
ME: "Hmm, I never thought about it that way."
And honestly, I hadn't.
I figured, I beg for equal rights (and although most professional women STILL aren't paid as much as their male counterparts for the SAME JOBS) and to me that means equal expenditures in the expensive world of dating to mating.
But in all honesty...
I had bought a new top.
I'd also invested in new hair products, make up, and perfume.
I spent an hour getting ready when I can usually find myself at work, hair still damp and wearing last night's mascara, in 15 minutes tops.
So I try to let it slide.
I try to be appreciative and thankful for those free meals.
But how do MEN feel about paying for our meals when in all other capacities we want nothing more than to be considered "equal?"
Is there something to be said for a woman who quotes Susan B. Anthony while she shoves her free prime rib in her cosmetically plumped pucker???
And if so, what is it?
Maybe women are looking for men who want to take care of not only them, but their offspring, and a guy who doesn't flinch at shelling out a few measly dollars for the sake of his "family" seems like just the type we'd want to stick around.
So I say, pay for me.
(and not only because I can't really afford to)
But because it means you can and you want to.
In all, when we consider what other species give up for love your spare change shouldn't matter...
Because a Paying Man may "TSK" at the the incoming check... but he shouldn't lose his head.
So far, so bueno.
Then a smaller box. With a girl's handwriting. The loopy scribbles read: "Note: Maybe get a bigger tree next year." A heart dotted the "i".
I repeat, a heart dotted the "i".
Her cutesy note. Her hearts.
"So what!" C. said. "When I met you, your boxes said 'Sarah and J's X-mas stuff.' "
Crap, he had me there.
But wait. Checkmate. "Those boxes don't exist anymore," I said.
Then I laughed. I found this ornament in HIS box that was so HER and so NOT ME. A fashionista figure on a shopping spree.
C. was right. I had nearly 3 amazing years with him. She had one Christmas. He had one ornament of hers. But I had his heart.
Forgetting his past isn't always as easy as he wants it to be. But SHE is insignificant and it's time to let it go.
Remember, a little soap will get out her scent, but your mark is much much more permanent.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
But one line in particular got my blog gears going…
“He promised to forgive me of my past, if I could forgive him of his.”
And although it’s not the most poetic or original idea ever, it does have some “real life” foundations.
While the characters in that movie didn’t have more than one dimension, and their “pasts” were never discussed at a length that would encourage audiences to actually care about them.. real life isn’t so simple.
We all have pasts, some good things and some bad.
We all want to be forgiven and eventually be given the chance to prove we’re who we want to be rather than who we may have been.
So we beg…
“Forgive me and I’ll forgive you.”
But if we live by this rule, then we must be willing to know a little less about who our partners were, and concentrate instead on who they ARE to us.
And while it may bother us to wonder where they may have been or who they may have loved…
I say, promise.
Because now, is the real life after all.
Monday, December 3, 2007
I didn't sleep last night. My dog was stirring and visions of snow-capped Rockies danced in my head.
Tomorrow I will curse the 6:30 a.m. departure flight out of LGA that requires a 2 a.m. wake-up call. Tomorrow I will celebrate my arrival in a place where I have never been, a journey I have never taken. Tomorrow I will be in Colorado. Denver, Colorado. It's my gift to C. for turning 30 and my gift to myself for having to tell people, "Chris is 30 now."
Wow. Chris will be 30 tomorrow.
People handle 30 differently. Some dread it. Some salute it. Chris is taking a Switzerland approach.
I want to tell him, don't be so calm. Don't you realize, it's time to be that man. Time to, time to, time to! But who am I to say that 30 isn't more than just a number. It is, indeed, just a three followed by a zero.
I know this, but I still can't sleep.
30 is as strange a place to me as Colorado. It has its own peaks to climb and slopes to slide down. I consider us Lois and Clark on an epic adventure that will either create or erase our history as partners. I can only put on my ski pants and hope not to fall on my arse.
The EX-ROOMIE and I took a little trip down memory lane this past weekend and ended up at our old “haunt.”
Still full of the ghosts we’d remembered. (Peter Pan, Mami-Man, and the rest of the gang whose nicknames aren’t quite PG13 enough for this blog).
But where I once found shame and boredom in the musty smell of booze and sweat, I discovered something different this past Friday night.
As we ordered our second drinks...
She asked for them “weaker,” while the familiar bartender assumed she said “bigger.”
And as I soberly walked into the bathroom...
I thought of all those times I made fast friends with the girl fussing over her hair next to me while I haphazardly applied my lip gloss.
The familiar faces caused no discomfort or disgrace.
The wooden planks were simply walls and floors, not acquainted ledges to jump from.
And in spite of myself, I ached for the days when that was enough.
When fun was enough.
When distraction wasn’t weighted down with regret.
When “our bar” was the place we haunted…
Rather than the place that now haunts me.
The Cray & Dempsey Experience ROCKED Darby's in Hyde Park Saturday. I was there celebrating my boyfriend's 30th birthday with our friends. Perhaps you saw us, drinking Blue Moon with freshcut oranges and dancing like drunkards. It was the kinda night Billy Joel needs to write a sequel song about ... "Early December Back in 2007. What a very special time for me. What a crowd, what a night"
The What a Night ballad would recall:
An eclectic Celtic band that sang Snoop Dogg's Drop It Like It's Hot but substituted their own hilarious lyrics about hot sisters and stuff that I can't write about in this PG-13 blog...
That there was a fire-hair boy standing next to the microphone with his fist in the air the entire time, chanting the old Irish songs about drunken sailors.
That we all pretended we were elves from Ireland.
That outside, the College Drunk Bus arrived, and a girl stumbled out, smashed into the glass windows of a store, then slid down it like a fly on a windshield. I heard her friends shout, "Lean over so you don't get any on you" and the bouncer respond "Get her back on the bus. She ain't coming in here!"
That we sang in the cab on the ride home.
That it was the kind of night when 3:30 a.m. felt like midnight. The kind of night when you couldn't remember a fraction of a second when your lips weren't turned up, when your feet weren't shuffling and when you wished for a better group of friends.
Not even hearing that my most recent ex is married from a mutual friend could ruin a night like this!
Friday, November 30, 2007
Gone are the days of asking your friends, “Do you know so AND so?! I just started dating him!”
You no longer have to rely on word of mouth to get dirt on your new love interest, instead just GOOGLE them.
Most inquiries direct you to their MYSPACE page which may or may not have them listed as in a relationship (with you;)
But you can also find pictures, videos they've posted online, and their social history.
Maybe he was a rockstar in the 90s.
Maybe he has his own blog where he writes about you.
Maybe he has a family web page where you're listed as "the future daughter in law."
Or maybe he's a liar.
Because you may not always like what you find out…
CHRISSIE TO PETER PAN:
“So, you’re 27 huh?”
PETE: “Yep, twennnnnnnnnnnnnnty seven.
“I have a feeling you were born in 1975, which I believe makes you 32.”
PETE: YOU GOOGLED ME!!!???
“Yes, actually I did. And your REAL date of birth was found right next to the reason you were arrested.
(We'll leave out the part where I continued to date him;)
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I know what you did last summer. Well, maybe it was like six summers ago. But that doesn't change the fact that I know what you did. I saw the photographs. I caught you riding the KINKY express, shopping at the FreakALeek Department Store, flying the SEXaHolic Airways — and I'm still not sure how to get over it.
You went on vacation and left your dirty secrets on top of the washer. OK, they were tucked inside a brown paper bag, placed in the far back corner of your sink cabinet, and I shouldn't have been looking there. But I needed some soap (or something better to do than stare at the TV).
So here is this lunch bag under your sink. Of course, I opened it. And that's when I saw you, X's Mom turned Marilyn Monroe. Your back was pressed against the COBRA sports car I went to the PROM in. You belonged on some beach in France. Only in the background was your country home and the basketball hoop where we played PONY, wearing shirts, not skins.
I wish I could say I put these prints back in their cover and returned them to their rack... But I couldn't help myself.
"Miiiiike!" I yelled to your son. "You gotta see this!!!!"
You should have seen him curl up in a ball and cry like a sissy. Priceless.
Well, that's it. That's what I wanted to tell you. Oh yeah, and that I learned something from you, that not all passions eventually turn to ash. Some people know when to get out the lighter fluid. It's just too bad you didn't set those photos on fire after the heat of the moment passed.
"OH MY GOD!"
I floundered... "Wait, what?! Ex girlfriend alert? Choking on your fish dinner? WHAT IS IT!!?!?! YOU LOOK TERRIFIED!"
"OH MY GOD THAT'S MY PARENTS."
And his parents it was.
Just 3 booths away, sharing their own meal together, tangled in conversation so interesting that they didn't even notice their son sitting so close by, on his own date.
"If you wanted me to meet your parents, you could have just said so... not that I would have said yes but this is just creepy."
And just then...
They noticed us.
I knew a little wave wouldn't suffice since he was forced to walk over and actually greet them in person.
"Are you coming with me?" He asked, as I thanked myself (again) for not wearing a more revealing shirt and patted myself (again) on the back for having only one glass of wine.
"Well I'm certainly not going to be the girl to sit over here and ignore them."
(Despite the fact that girl seemed so much more me at that moment in time).
I met the parents, a whole 2 weeks after meeting him.
But awkward introductions were avoided, since they knew who I was.
They already knew my name...
Where I worked...
AND a whole slew of other things I thought I'd have to confess over dinner, in the distant future. A future in which I would have prepared my BEST SPEECH about my life's goals, my educational past, and my plans for "their son."
But that speech was avoided.
And the only one who seemed the least bit uncomfortable was him...
Could it be because it was so obvious he'd been talking about me?
Could it be because it's always difficult to have your date "meet the parents," no matter how well she knows their offspring?
Maybe... but regardless of his discomfort... in the end I'm just glad I wore the right top.
Because if I'd ended up in some tight, red, v-neck thing I would have asked him to introduce me as "Sarah."
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
“Do you want me to cut that for you?”
He asked with kindness.
But a glance at his face proved to me that he was just irritated with watching me struggle.
The cheese was nearly frozen (because I can’t turn the temperature down in my refrigerator) and the knife was probably sharp when I first bought it, 7 years ago.
“No, I got it.” I replied.
“But you seem to be having a really hard time with it… just let me do it.”
“I’ve been cutting my own cheese and using knives long before you came into my life, I’m pretty sure I have it covered.”
Was that me… refusing help because "I’m the 'independent woman' who has it 'all figured out'???"
Was that me… lashing out because I knew I didn’t have it covered and his presence just proved me right?
Or was that him
Being a man
Who thinks he can do it better?
Whether it's about the cheese or the change, I have to wonder...
When do we let ourselves really go?
And give into someone whose capabilities may outshine our own?
When do we accept that having it all figured out…
Isn’t as important as having someone to figure it out with?
And if we're not willing to ask for help, or to accept it when it's offered... do we just continue to cut our own frozen cheese into tiny broken pieces?
Pieces that used to taste better when we were alone...
Before we realized we didn't have everything figured out after all.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I try to jog a few times a week. That and my morning coffee are two daily events I know I can count on.
In the summer/spring it's no problem. I have my routine. Change after work. Grab a baggy for dog waste and water for the desert that my mouth becomes. Drive to paved path. Start my workout.
During the DARK AGES however, I have one exercise goal and it doesn't involve burning off last night's burrito. It's Do Not Die. Seriously. Winter workout goal No.1: Do Not Die.
Yesterday, as I prepared to leave my apartment, I told my roommate, "If I don't return, you know where to find my carcass." Then I set out to see if my destiny was lurking in the shadow of the giant maple tree, with a knife and a GLAD bag.
The path lamp posts — all two of them — DID illuminate my way for about .3 seconds of my 30-minute sweat-a-thon. The rest of the time, I couldn't see a dang thing. I couldn't see the tributaries at my feet, or the suspicious man with the hoodie over his head until I almost plowed him over. I couldn't dodge pot holes or other doggie droppings.
Yet I pressed on. I finished the race of my life (and tossed out my sneakers afterwards). I felt like Rocky on the steps of the Philadelphia art museum. Ok maybe it wasn't that dramatic. BUT I did something most females would be too afraid to do.
Afraid is something I've tried to avoid. My mom is afraid of everything. To drive in the fog. To get on a plane. To drink caffeinated beverage after 1 p.m. To fall in love with a dog. To be alone.
I know this isn't a particular thrilling recount, but I share it because I think it's symbolic of the way we should live our life... in a Robert Frost kinda way. Frost is famous for this poem (parts of) that I share below and his words explains why I don't just go out and get a gym membership.
"Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference"
But there ARE things you can do to bring back the spark:
1. READ THE NEWSPAPER: Sure, this is coming from someone who works for the industry, but there’s something to be said for having an interesting story to tell your significant other when you get home from work. “Hey baby! Did you hear about the little girl with 4 arms and 4 legs! Let’s do a Google Image search!”
2. CALL YOUR FRIENDS: They were there before your mate, and they will be there if it all ends in upheaval. But calling them also brings back the YOU that was there before HIM. *** Extra points if your friends have interesting jobs/love lives to discuss with him afterward.
3. HAVE A HOBBIE: Wednesday night is Zumba? Thursday is “Girls Night at the Pub?" Don’t stop these things when you meet “him,” and if you DID in your early months when you could think of only HIM then get back into it. It gives you something that’s all your own and gives him time to do his thing too.
4. NEW UNDERWEAR
5. DATE NIGHT: Remember when every night was a date? And you spent hours getting ready because you didn’t want to repeat shirts “already?” Well, there’s something to be said for getting all dolled up for a night on the town. Maybe it’s once a week, maybe you only have time once a month, but it sure beats wearing your sweats, sitting on the couch, and watching reality TV in silence AGAIN.
6. LISTEN: It doesn’t seem like the most excitement inducing thing in the world, but you might be surprised at how listening to what he says, and then later bringing up something that inspired HIM, can spark conversation between you two you thought had dwindled. And with sparked conversation comes sparks in general;)
7. NO UNDERWEAR
8. SOLO-VACATION: It’s undeniable, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and a weekend getaway with the girls or your family without HIM will make him miss you.
9. TRY SOMETHING NEW TOGETHER: Maybe it’s as small as a new restaurant, or as big of a deal as sky diving, either way, creating new memories is exciting.
10. STAY YOU: If you end up with the same house, the same friends, the same job (been there), you won’t have much to talk about. Stay true to who you were in the beginning when things were blissful, and maybe that bliss can carry itself all the way into happily ever after.
Monday, November 26, 2007
What would you say to your partner if he or she suggested you live in separate places... forever?
According to the Census Bureau, more than 3 million married couples are doing just that —
living apart but together.
Sometimes they live across the street, while others prefer their solitude in different cities, states and countries from their spouse. Usually they have this in common — a desire to keep their independence even after they've taken their vows.
From the Nov. issue of SELF magazine, one LATer jokes about the commitment irony: "Marriage and kids are one thing, but moving in together? Don't rush me."
The LATer states reasons for gladly living apart — both her and the hubby aren't into change. His NYC apartment was rent stabilized and her place was too small for him and his pianos. They have nothing in common (she's messy, he's clean; he's into modern art; she likes antiques...)
She said a common wrong perception is that their lives aren't entangled. "Yet our lives are entangled, hopelessly, irrevocably and, for the most part, happily. To us, living together in the same physical space has nothing to do with living in the same emotional space. In my more hippie-granola moments, I like to think that there is a certain purity to our arrangement. I am married simply because I happen to love the guy."
What's your views on dual dwelling duos? Should couples get married and have kids if they aren't willing to share the same bed, couch or bathroom?
Friday, November 23, 2007
2. You can save A LOT OF MONEY since you only have to buy for your immediate family, and not his as well.
3. No waiting around in Best Buy for an adolescent salesman to explain the difference between X-Box and The Wii.
4. No spending December 25th, glued to the TV while your man sits like a zombie in front of his new "toy" you couldn't afford to buy him... but settled on because a sweater felt so insincere.
5. No arguing about why the Christmas lights weren't put away in a more "appropriate fashion." (You'll simply buy new ones if they are too tangled).
6. No exasperating encounters with the in-laws. You can avoid uncomfortable questions, poorly made ham, and the inevitable whining toddler.
7. You can buy yourself what you want with your extra "spending money" and not have to worry about feigning a smile when you open up the 14K gold locket you will never, ever wear.
8. If you burn the cookies, no one will know... and you know you'd rather just eat the dough anyway.
9. Holiday parties: You won't have to drag Scrooge along with you, so you can go and enjoy yourself solo, by impressing everyone with the myriad dresses you were able to afford (again... because you're single;)
10. GUILT FREE FLIRTING: The mistletoe holds a lot of promise for you as does "Santa's lap." Go out and ENJOY it before you're caught in a relationship void of PDAs.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
But in a relationship that's not quite so set in stone, the holidays can bring out the all important questions of:
1. Should we stay apart and see our respective families?
2. Try to mix up our day by seeing both and eating two dinners?
3. Pick one family to visit (with the larger spread) and disappoint the other?
4. Fight about it, break up, and get back together in January?
Once we've established ourselves as part of the other's life, the holidays became more convoluted.
And we can't all spend the holiday weekend in a glorious cabin, playing charades and checkers the way they do in the movies.
In the holiday spirit that Sarah's previous post has THRUST upon us, share your stories of holiday drama (or trauma) as it relates to the all important question:
Whose turkey should we eat?!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I've taken your loved one hostage. I've secured his ankles and wrists, buckled him in my Jeep and will be driving him 100s of miles away from your Thanksgiving celebration so that he can be with me and my family. I promise you he will kick and scream the whole way. He will be force-fed instant mashed potatoes and reheated turkey bits (from a paper plate, no less) while he dreams of your piping hot lasagna and aged Merlot. He will cry out, "It's time to leave!" And I will pretend I didn't hear him. He will watch back-to-back Disney movies with kids, even though his football team is playing a game on TV. They will crawl up his back and knee him in places where knees don't belong, and he will see stars. We won't even have his favorite kind of pie. Only cherry. And store bought. Then I will make him drive me home, while I sleep the whole way.
Thank you for understanding.
We'll see you on Christmas.
Do you rotate holidays or try to be at two places at once?
Everyone wants to know, when are you moving in? You aren't. (at least in theory)
No way you'll play house wife again. Not unless it's real this time.
You give yourself the title house guest. Then you wait. And wait. And wait for it to be official.
A year goes by.
Meanwhile, You clean. You cook. You do his laundry.
You spend the night when you should say goodbye.
You feel the apron strings tighten around your neck.
Soon, he says. Soon.
You trust because you love. You believe while you hope.
Are you wrong?
Monday, November 19, 2007
So you live together, you share everything, you’re “practically married,” but you’re STILL NOT.
As this article states, here’s a list of his most prominent EXCUSES.
1. They can get sex without marriage more easily than in times past.
MY TAKE: Who wants to marry the guy who thinks this way anyway?!
2. They can enjoy the benefits of having a wife by cohabiting rather than marrying.
MY TAKE: Sure, and they can enjoy reading a book at Barnes and Noble without actually buying it too, but a TRUE BOOK LOVER/AVID READER will spend the 25 bucks. A guy who LOVES you will go the distance if that’s what you want.
3. They want to avoid divorce and its financial risks.
MY TAKE: “Financial Risks,” like buying an expensive car when they turn 50, or sending their less than stellar student off to an ivy league in hopes of them getting “in the spirit of studying?” Everything is a financial risk, even signing that lease with your “JUST GIRLFRIEND.”
4. They want to wait until they are older to have children.
MY TAKE: This is all well and good, after all they CAN wait. Bottom line though?! Women CAN’T. Our clocks don't tick into perpetuity, if she wants kids and you love her, give them to her before she turns 40.
5. They fear that marriage will require too many changes and compromises.
MY TAKE: Wait, weren’t we just saying that cohabitation has all the “perks” of marriage without the paper statement? What exactly is going to CHANGE SO DRASTICALLY?!
6. They are waiting for the perfect soul mate, and she hasn't yet appeared.
MY TAKE: GET OUT NOW! IF he’s still looking, you should be too.
7. They face few social pressures to marry.
MY TAKE: If all their “boys” are single and 35, and they still refer to them as “boys” anyway, you might be waiting a REALLY LONG TIME for him to come around… if not FOREVER.
8. They are reluctant to marry a woman who already has children.
MY TAKE: Well then, they shouldn’t date her OR LIVE WITH HER EITHER.
9. They want to own a house before they get a wife.
MY TAKE: God forbid the wife have a say in where the house is, what the neighborhood is like, or what the school system has to offer.
10. They want to enjoy single life as long as they can.
MY TAKE: Since when is “COHABITATION” synonymous with “BEING SINGLE” ?!!?! I mean… sure it may have been in MY LAST RELATIONSHIP but if anyone is using that has a “healthy” example, they might want to do a little more research.
What do you think?
Are men really not buying the cow because they can get the milk for free?
And rightfully so.
At the risk of sounding "old," or "boring," or "judgmental," there is something to be said for trading in your pint glass and pub for a wine glass and your sofa.
As we enter the 9-5 doldrums, we're forced to say goodbye to the following:
1. Flashing your friends as they drive by. Sure, it was funny when you were 16, but if your boss is accidentally driving the same car as your BFF, you might not get fired... but you might want to quit.
2. Public intoxication: Our lips get a little loose after 2 drinks, don't consume more than that in a public place or your extent of "loose" might be something worth mentioning in the company newsletter.
3. Late TUESDAY nights: Being hungover at your 8 a.m. class is one thing, being hungover at your job, while dealing with the public is quite another. You can sleep through first period, you can't sleep through an 8 hour work day.
But in spite of all you're giving up, you gain some perks as well:
1. Keeping your clothes on: Means keeping your self-respect, secrets, and imperfections to yourself.
2. Staying sober while out on the town: Not only are there fewer regrets, but you'd be amazed how many bottles of wine you can get for the price of that glass you just paid for.
3. Welcoming the weekend: Saturday and Sunday hold a new promise when every day isn't a party.
What do YOU think? Should we say goodbye to our "partying" selves in favor of more "professional" fun?
Once you step into that knee-length skirt and chin-high sweater, gone are the days you got so hammered, you fell down on the dance floor. Here are the days when that behavior will land you with a pink slip. At least, that's how your Human Resource director feels.
Unfair I say! What happens between 9-to-5 is one thing. What happens between midnight and 5 a.m. is another.
But since my face and voice are plastered all over Poughkeepsie, I feel like I'm going to get caught for even thinking about getting plastered. Recently, there was a case where a teacher got spotted in a public photo acting "unteacherish" — whatever that means.
Here's some stereotypical examples of how a career can impact your nightlife to spur some discussion on whether you think it's OK for young professionals to act their age. Or should they become one with the suits they go to work in?
A teacher who tells stories about his drinking days. "Back in my hay day..."
A teacher who hits on 18 year old college girls at keg parties.
A politician sipping some wine at a tapas bar in an upscale eatery.
A politician seen leaving the bar with a prostitute.
Running into your co-worker and buying them a shot at the bar.
Running into your blitzed co-worker and having to talk them out of driving home.
Hanging out with your friends at the bar.
Bumping into your boss after you've had 10 too many.