Thursday, July 30, 2009

Can I tell you something

Why are there so many rules to dating and relationships? Shouldn’t dating just come naturally instead of always worrying about what should or shouldn’t be done or said? Honestly, this day and age, I feel sorry for most men. Not all, but most. They just can’t seem to do anything right when it comes to relationships…they can’t seem to win when trying to enter into a new relationship. If he calls a woman immediately after a good date to ask for another he is often seen as spineless, and cowardly. But on the other hand if he waits several days to make the call, the woman often gets irritated because she has done nothing for those three days but analyze over and over again every moment of the date.

So guys, here is some, advice, not rules, to the dating front from a female perspective. There are hundreds of websites and blogs dedicated to this topic. Some of the advice came from these, and some of it is based on my own experiences.

If you like a girl, call her the day after your date if you want to see her again. It’s lame to wait.

Girls need to be told straight up what the deal is! We constantly tear apart everything you say and do. I’m begging you…to please help us stop torturing ourselves and be honest. If you like us, tell us. Even if you have made yourself clear, tell us anyway. We can never hear too many times how much you like us.

If you receive an email from a woman, please put some thought into your email responses. One word replies are unacceptable. We will just wonder what is wrong and make some story up about why your response was so short. We don’t expect a book…a few sentences is all we are after. This is your chance for you, especially the shy guys, to shine and be clever, witty and humorous!

Cutting an email short with phrases like “I will talk to you later” or “have a good night” will only drive us nuts. These phrases are like dismissals to us. You might think responses like those are fine, but we don’t interpret them the same way you do. (As an example, here is the thought process a girl puts into a term like, have a good night: “He told me to have a good night? What could he possibly mean by this? Why can’t he just call me and say good night? As a matter of fact, what is he doing tonight? Why doesn’t he want to go out with me? After all, we did have fun last night. Does he kiss a lot of girls like he kissed me? Is this a game to him?”…and on and on and on we will go until we drive ourselves nuts.

If you don’t like us and don’t have any intentions of seeing us again, then by all means, don’t wine us , don’t dine us, don’t stay out with us for several hours, don’t kiss us goodbye, don’t kiss us on the lips, and don’t, whatever you do, don’t say you will call us when you know you won’t! (My two cents on this topic: Men…do you not get it? We don’t want to be led on nor do we like to be led on! Don’t promise us things if you aren’t going to follow through. We are big girls and can take rejection. It’s ok if you aren’t into us. There are other fish in the sea. Chances are we probably aren’t into you either. So just say “Good night, it was nice to meet you” at the end of an evening is perfectly acceptable. Don’t waste our time or our feelings!

If you are on the fence about wanting to see us again, this is ok! We might be on the fence about you too. All you have to do in this situation is say “thank you” and whatever you do, make no mention of another date. Go home and sleep on it. The next day things will be clearer. (My two cents again: Please get comfortable with the fact that that, we can handle not getting a promise of a phone call at the end of the night. We won’t cry ourselves to sleep, we won’t slit our wrists, and we won’t die if you aren’t interested!

Now onto some basics for both men and women…again, these aren’t “rules” per say, but advice that I have either been given or given to my friends.

If you are in a bad mood, reschedule your date. Men and women alike don’t want to date grumps!

Men and women who come from picture perfect families usually have high expectations for their own relationships. Try not to get discouraged by this. Your goal is to get the other person to come to the present and stop living in the past.

Men and women who come from divorced families usually have a better idea of a good marriage. These people have seen the worst and usually know what they don’t want in their own relationships

Everyone has a list of must haves. Be willing to adjust the list of must haves depending on the person you are with. This is critical.

Men like pretty and well kept women. Women like men who are well dressed and can create a good appearance without much effort. With that being said, keep in mind that the clothes don’t make a man. Don’t ever turn someone down because you don’t like the way they dress. More than likely when you start dating they will start asking for advice and this is when you make your move on their wardrobe. Trust me…this always happens!

You get invited on a date…you go on a date! If you aren’t seeing anyone at the time you are asked out…always go. After all, you never know when you might meet your soul mate.

Don’t ever answer your cell phone on a date. If you are expecting an urgent call then make your date aware of it early on in the evening.

Even beautiful sexy men and women get nervous before dates.

Ladies, this section is for you. Here are some random thoughts for the times when you are thinking to yourself, “hmmmm, I wonder if he likes me”. And guys, if you like a girl, follow some of the advice below to let her know.

He likes you if he calls you early in the day to confirm your plans for the evening. He doesn’t like you if he texts you twenty minutes before you are supposed to meet.

He likes you if he is focused on you and nothing else on your date. He doesn’t like you if he does nothing but work the entire time you are on your date. (yes ladies, this actually happened to me…I’m sure it will be the subject of a blog post soon).

He likes you if he offers to come pick you up. He probably doesn’t like you if he texts you the name of a restaurant and asks you to meet him.

He likes you if he rearranges his schedule to fit you in and see you, no matter what. He probably doesn’t like you if he says he is really busy and will catch up with you in a couple of weeks.

He likes you if he remembers things that are important to you. He probably doesn’t like you if he takes you to a sushi restaurant on your first date even though you have told him several times you were allergic to fish.

He likes you if he stops running from party to party looking for the next new chick. He probably doesn’t like you if he keeps on running!

So there you have it…just some basic clear cut stuff for you to file away in that head of yours. No matter what, always remember that men and women communicate with each other the way they want to be communicated with. What do I mean by this? Take me for example, I am the kind of girl that likes to do special things for the special person in my life. I do this because I like it when that special someone in my life does thoughtful things for me. Bottom line…really “listen” to what your significant other is telling you and remember the important things. Show him/her a little love a lot of the time and you will go far!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Have you ever thought about chemistry? No, not the kind that involves periodic tables and Bunsen burners, but the kind that happens between two people. You know what I mean. It’s that involuntary need to touch or kiss the person you are with and not being able to stop yourself from doing it. It’s when five hours passes and feels like thirty minutes in this persons company. In a nut shell it’s that feeling you get when you know that the person you are with might drive you crazy once in a while, but will keep you interested for a lifetime.

I believe in God. I believe in fate. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I also believe that initial chemistry is what allows a relationship to blossom and grow, but I don’t believe that chemistry can sustain a healthy relationship. Longevity of a relationship depends on things like shared values, trust, honesty, communication, compromise, and laughter. I would venture to guess, if you asked any couple that has been in a successful long term relationship, what the secret is to making it long term, more than likely chemistry would be closer to the bottom of that list. I believe chemistry is what is created when all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

In my mind chemistry is a lot like “love at first site”. Everything feels right but nothing has been developed yet that acts as the glue to the relationship. Over time, the chemistry will probably die down and the glue that holds the relationship together ( honesty, communication, and laughter) becomes stronger. Chemistry alone cannot sustain a relationship.

I also think about compatibility when I think about chemistry. And when I think about compatibility, I often start to wonder which one, chemistry or compatibility, is more important to the success of a relationship. I definitely believe if you are missing chemistry in the beginning, then you’re wasting your time and compatibility cannot overcome a lack of chemistry, no matter how hard you try. Therefore, a good mix of the two with some friendship, affection, love and passion in the mix is ideally the combination to a successful relationship.

Bottom line, some of us, if we are lucky, have experienced chemistry ourselves. While some of us have witnessed two people that have this magic between them. Either way, it usually happens so fast that the two people involved do not even see it coming. That’s the beauty of it. And it’s because of this beauty that I feel strongly when I say that if you are lucky enough to have “chemistry” with someone special then you should not let anything get in your way, no matter what curves lie ahead. Consider yourself lucky and enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Relationship leftovers

I had dinner this weekend with an awesome friend of mine, Stephanie. She and I have only been friends for a couple of years but have really grown close and bonded quickly. We met because we have a mutual friend in common. Ironically, neither of us sees this mutual friend much anymore.

Stephanie and I have a lot in common, but the biggest things are the fact that we have both been divorced about the same amount of time, we each have two kids about the same ages, and we both love being single, but deep down would love to be in long term committed relationships. Stephanie and I have definitely had our man struggles these past couple of years but have always been there to support one another through the good, the bad and the ugly. Never have we uttered the words “I told you so” or “what are you thinking” or “WTF?” if we don’t agree with something the other is doing. We have both figured out how to be supportive while also giving our two cents with gentleness and kindness. I can always expect complete honesty from Stephanie when discussing issues in our lives.

She has also been really good about reminding me that being single does not mean there is something wrong with me, nor should being married be an expectation. She just helps me keep my life in perspective! She helps me remember to seize the day, take advantage of the opportunities that may come my way, and always see the positive in everything!

Now the reason I tell you this is because Stephanie recently had a hiccup in her relationship with her ex husband and his current wife. I call her “current wife”, because I am confident that he will not stay married to her either. I know this is harsh, but it is a reality that she may have to deal with sooner rather than later. The ex is a man with lots of issues who has been in and out of therapy and hasn’t changed his ways much over the years. I think that if/when the relationship comes to an end it will be because the “current wife” has had enough.

One of our topics of discussion at dinner this weekend was an email conversation that Stephanie had been having with the “current wife”. I feel really bad for Stephanie because she is a good person with a huge heart, that loves her kids dearly and just happens to be in a screwed up relationship with her ex. He is a lot like my ex in the fact that they don’t live in the real world. They are all about the “things” in life and the image they portray to other people.

Anyway the gist of the email conversation is that the “current wife” can’t let her husband fight his own battles. He can’t stand up for himself so she feels the need to chime in and stand up for him. Totally screwed up in my mind! The “current wife” took her comments way to far and pushed Stephanie over the edge. Stephanie replied back with some very hurtful yet truthful things. Stephanie felt very guilty for her comments, but I reassured her that she was only brutal in the heat of anger and after taking so many years of shit from these two, it was an inevitable response. These comments were based on Stephanie’s experiences with her ex and the fact that what comes around goes around. What the “current wife” doesn’t get is that she could end up being exactly like my friend one day.

This conversation was just a subtle reminder to me that the way a man treats his ex is a great indicator of how he will treat you. Keep in mind ladies, when picking your future dates, that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. If you are dealing with the ex-wife of your current boyfriend/husband like my friend Stephanie is, more than likely it means there is more to the story than what your boyfriend is telling you. I mean if a man does everything possible to get out of paying child support for the kids he has had with his ex wife, or doesn’t feel like he needs to chip in and pay for his daughters education, wake up honey, these are clear indicators of your future with him. Always remember that the way a man treats his mother and/or ex-wife is really a good representation of how he will probably end up treating you in your future relationship.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Four and four

I recently saw this on my friend Matt’s blog, The Blind Writer, and thought it would be fun to try. Here is what you do. Go to the picture file on your computer, open the fourth folder and the fourth picture in that folder. Now blog about it…

This is me and my friend Steve. Every time I see this picture, I have to laugh. We don’t go out often but when we do we have a blast. His friends and my friends all love the Flying Toasters, a local live band that we try to see as much as possible. This night we were at a Flying Toasters show and dancing our butts off. In this picture I think I was so hot and sweaty and he caught me pulling my shirt out and blowing on my chest to cool off. This of course brought on the hysterical laughter. Anyway, this particular shot often reminds me that I don’t spend enough time laughing. After all, it is the best medicine, right? So if it is the best medicine then how come we don’t do it more often?

What I have learned in the past is that laughter can do many good things for me. It can bring people that I love together. It makes me feel good. It sometimes makes me change my perspective. It is a natural defense against bull shit. It is healing and it can often relieve stress. If this is all true then why don’t we spend more time doing it? I have heard it said before that when you lose your laugh, you lose your footing. I think that this statement is so true. If you can’t laugh…then in reality, what do you have?

I often use this picture as a reminder to not take life so seriously, to enjoy the sillier things that may come my way. There is nothing better or more healing than laughter. So go ahead and try it…I dare you to challenge yourself to laugh more often and find the humor in every day occurrences! After all, the only downfall I can see to laughter is that if it is done to hard, it could induce sudden peeing of the pants!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Are these shoes cute enough to wear even though they hurt

What do one divorce, one semi-long term relationship and countless dates later have in common? Honestly, not much! The only two things that I can see them having in common are 1) they didn’t work out and 2) I am the common denominator in each of them. Those two thoughts alone scare the crap out of me. Could I really be the reason that all of these relationships didn’t work out? Am I that bad that I couldn’t make at least one of them work? In the past I have let thoughts like these consume me and bring me down. But it wasn’t until I completed several long hard years of therapy that I realized relationships are just vicious cycles. I have learned that I can’t completely open up and share myself, my hopes and my dreams with just anyone. I am uncomfortable talking about my childhood, sharing secrets, or sharing myself with someone who isn’t committed to me. I respect myself to much to have a sustained emotional, intellectual connection with someone who can’t see the beauty and wonder that I add to their lives. It doesn’t make sense and quite frankly, I don’t know if it will ever make sense. But this is the struggle I deal with everyday.

This is the struggle that makes it difficult to figure out how to adjust to this new way of dating that I can only describe as “instant gratification”. It is so different than it was 20 years ago when I was single. Back then it came naturally and with no pressure. Now, however, we are picking and choosing our dates from a menu…I will have an order of hot steamy sex, with a side of commitment, hold the love.

This vicious cycle then leads us to believe that every person, date and/or relationship is right for us whether it is or isn’t. Because of this, I have had to learn how to relax and go with my gut, my instinct seems to be right more often than not. We have managed to destroy the differences between sex and love and conversation from caring. We live in the moment and somehow think that that is ok.

The only way I know how to describe this type of viscious cycle is to compare it to that new cool chic “outfit” that may not be right for me at the moment but it is so stylish that I just have to try it on. The only problem with the “outfit” is that it is so far out of the norm of what I usually wear that I just never feel very comfortable in it. But I go against my instinct and buy the “outfit” anyway. I try my best to love it even when I know deep down that it just doesn’t fit me and my life style. But on the other hand I am so excited that I had the courage to go outside of my comfort zone that I just have to take a chance on it.

I continue to try my best to get comfortable with the “outfit”, but I am somehow reminded each time I wear it that I can love something, but that love alone doesn’t change the way I feel about the “outfit” that is just not right for me, no matter how stylish it is. After much consideration I give up trying to feel good about the outfit. Deep down I really believe that there is a woman out there that will look great and feel fantastic in that “outfit”. She will see the outfit and fall instantly in love with it. The “outfit” will then be in the right place at the right time. That is until the next “outfit comes along.

So you see the delima? Now the question is…how do we break this cycle of choosing what is not right for us, because we are so desperate to have something in our lives that makes us feel good, even if for a very short amount of time?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Could this be the perfect partner

I feel like some of my recent posts have taken a turn to the serious side, so today, I thought I would spice things up with another shopping excursion I had recently…enjoy!
The other day I decided I needed new pillows on my bed. I get this way every year or so, but I hate to shop for pillows about as much as I hate to shop for clothes that I actually need! Thank God for online shopping. I don’t know what made me think I would be able to find the perfect pillow online, but I did. You would think shopping for a pillow would be like shopping for a mattress, you would want to take it for a “test drive” so to speak. You know, check it out for firmness, stability, the ability to bounce back night after night. But I took a chance with this pillow and purchased it sight unseen, and I LOVE IT!

Here it is people…every single woman’s dream come true…the Hug Me Pillow!

No need to be sad anymore at the prospect of waking up alone day after day! This pillow is perfect for those of us that don’t want to spend the rest of our nights alone in bed. For years we have sat on the sidelines and watched the single men in our lives enjoy meaningful connections with blow up plastic dolls! Why not have our chance too? I have found the perfect pillow that not only snuggles with us at night, but won’t make us feel like crap in the morning because it can’t get up and leave without saying a proper good bye? Now we can enjoy all of the benefits of conventional love without the hassle! No sleeping in an empty bed again. Just think…for the low cost of $20.97 (plus tax and shipping) we can continue on with our ability to remain in unhealthy romantic relationships, at the envy of all our friends!

WARNING: don’t freak out if you wake up in the middle of the night and realize that the man you were dreaming about only has a soothing polyester arm and partial torso…remember it’s just a pillow and not a real man!

This pillow is perfect for a series of one night stands with no expectations! Just like a real man, you will be felt up in the middle of the night, however, with the Hug Me Pillow, you can just roll over and ignore him without the frustrating grunt of a horny man!

Read some of the fantastic reviews below before purchasing your own!

“I sleep with 5 of them…I can’t explain it, but now I feel like one complete person” -Anonymous

“It doesn’t matter why you need/want the pillow, what matters is you won’t regret it.”- AuthenticOpinion4u

“Doesn’t talk back or snore.” – Anonymous

“I gave this pillow to my ex-daughter-in-law and she thought it was a great gift. She even named the pillow ‘Dick’”- jazminjj

Hurry ladies, last time I checked, only had 1.5 million pillows left in inventory. One final note. It also says that the sleeping shirt is machine washable, but the pillow is dry clean only. Can you imagine the awkwardness of taking this pillow in to be dry cleaned? I’m just saying…

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I believe

I believe there are better days ahead.

I believe there is someone out there who will love me for me.

I believe that just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other.

I believe I am a good catch.

I believe I have a lot to offer someone.

I believe I don’t ever have to change my friends as long as I understand that my friends change.

I believe forgiveness should be earned and not expected.

I believe I could do something in an instant that would give me heartache for life.

I believe in love at first sight.

I believe true love can continue to grow, even over the long distance.

I believe true friends will be friends for life as long as I treat them like true friends.

I believe everything happens for a reason.

I believe it is taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I believe I may never be the person I want to be.

I believe I should always leave loved ones with loving words.

I believe a smile on my face can change my whole day.

I believe communication is the most valuable part of a relationship.

I believe everyone is good until they prove otherwise.

I believe raising kids is what life is all about.

I believe I can keep going long after I think I can’t.

I believe I am growing every day.

I believe I am responsible for everything I do.

I believe money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I believe my best friends and I can do anything or nothing and still have the best time.

I believe in happy endings.

I believe I should never go to bed angry.

I believe sometimes I have the right to be angry, but never to be cruel.

I believe if life was easy it would be no fun.

I believe my friends are the root of who I am today.

I believe God is the most important person in my life.

I believe relationships that are worth keeping are relationships that are worth fighting for

I believe maturity has more to do with experiences than birthdays.

I believe forgiving myself is the hardest type of forgiveness.

I believe no matter how hard my heart is breaking, the world doesn’t stop for my grief.

I believe crying and pain are good things because they are reminders that I am alive.

I believe secrets are secrets for a reason.

I believe honesty and integrity should be on the top of the list when it comes to successful relationships.

I believe two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I believe my life can be changed in a matter of seconds by people who don’t even know who I am.

I believe a man’s relationship with his mother is a true indicator of how he will treat me.

I believe people I care about the most in life are often taken away from me way to soon

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Are we really done on this island

I hate being single! There I said it. I know that is kind of a strong statement that needs some clarification, but bottom line is I do hate it! It's a day to day struggle to not only be single, but to be a single parent as well. Every morning I wake up and would say within the first five minutes of opening my eyes I have some random thought about being single. These thoughts can range anywhere from wishing I had someone waking up in my big bed next to me, to wishing I had someone to help me make breakfast for my kids so that I could sleep in, to wondering when I'm going to be lucky enough to have that connection with someone special. My singleness just seems to consume my thoughts from morning until night.

Bottom line, I think about being single a lot. I have come to realize that this lifestyle is not necessarily a bad thing for me. It may not be what I want for myself, but it's not bad. Nope...that didn't help, saying it out loud and writing it on paper does not make me feel any better about being single. Over the years I have been so focused on my kids and being a mom that I have lost sight of what I need and want. And being single is not it!

I have been lying for years when I tell people that I love being single, but ultimately I would love to find someone to spend the rest of my life with. Sometimes I feel like I am just supposed to tell people that I love this lifestyle. But in all actuality it has become the easy way out. I have figured out that it is a lot easier to carry on conversations with people when they think I am happily single. If they think otherwise, I tend to get the "oh, I feel so sorry for her, she must be so lonely" stare. And avoiding that reaction makes my life so much easier.

Shows like Sex and the City have glamorized being single. They write it in a way that makes everyone envious of that lifestyle. This show was written to show us how fantastic being single can be. But in reality, that is not how the typical single person lives his/her life. I know there are people out there living this lifestyle that absolutely love it, and I envy that. I wish it could be me, but it's not. I would be willing to bet that there are very few single women that are 100% secure in their singleness. The reality is that I loved Sex and the City, until I became one of those girls. Let's be honest, I don't want to be the single girl, sleeping with random guys, spending money, drinking cosmos and partying it up until 4am. It's not the life for me!

The worst part is that I used to feel bad about admitting that I don't enjoy being single. Not anymore! In all honesty, it is what it is and I just need to accept it and make the best of my life. It is sometimes difficult to be a strong independent single woman. I can't hold it together all of the time without support. I envy those women that can do it and love to do it, but it just isn't me.

I don't NEED a man in my life to make me complete, that I am 100% sure of. But I would like a man in my life to share experiences with. I am a much better person when I know that I am loved and needed. I need cuddles, phone calls, kisses and the moments when we learn to appreciate each other. In the end I have learned to enjoy being single more days than I just tolerate it. I do believe there is hope on the horizon that I will find that special someone some day...hopefully sooner than later. Who knows, maybe he has already come into my life and I just don't know it yet. In the meantime, I am committed to enjoying my singleness and all that it has to offer!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Things aren't like they used to be

I recently went on a date that I would definitely label “the best date ever”. Never, in my four years of being single, has any date ever come close to this category. This guy, who I swore I wouldn’t write about, was the kind of guy that could actually carry on an intelligent conversation while having fun at the same time, he opened doors, laughed at my jokes, asked me about me, and most important, was actually interested in what I had to say. The thing I liked the most was our ability to laugh the entire night. His sense of humor was right up there with mine, quick, witty and a bit sarcastic. Never was there a dull moment in our conversation.

As I look back on this date, I have realized that men and women don’t know how to date anymore. It’s all about meeting out somewhere and having fun but never getting the opportunity to actually have good conversation and get to know one another. This is the reason I believe that most relationships don’t work out today. We spend way to much time focusing on partying and having fun together but never take the time to actually learn anything of substance about each other.

Why can’t we take dating back to the time when women were ladies and men were gentlemen. There was no rush to jump into a relationship or bed, for that matter. Men respected women and women respected men. There were real rules to courtship and no one ever thought to go against these rules. The rules often led to real relationships and real commitment. Men knew how to treat women. They courted them properly. They opened car doors and genuinely got to know the woman they were with. They knew the process of courtship and they knew that the end result was commitment, love, marriage, and sex. Today, however, things have changed, everything is backwards. The end has become the beginning. Sex has somehow become the prize when the prize should actually be commitment and love. Sex, in my mind, should be the reward for getting to know someone and falling in love with them. It shouldn’t be given away in the beginning! Men and women are equally guilty of this.

The sexual revolution has made us who we are today. Both men and women at that time thought it was great. Men could have sex without commitment and women could have sex without hesitation or question. No one needed love, no one needed commitment. No one wanted love and no one wanted commitment. Guilt free sex…it was (and still is) all the rage. Women gave up their rights to be loved and cherished. The more partners the better, no expectations from anyone. And things haven’t changed much since then. Men and women are still using sex for the wrong reasons. I don’t believe this is how we were created to live!

I think we need a revolution of our own. Nothing major, it doesn’t need to be painful! We need to step away from a sexual revolution and into another, one man, one woman at a time. I once saw written that we need to stop our “Sex and the City” attitudes towards who we are and what we need. I love that! I think the men of our generation have been taught by us, that the goal is sex and that we all share that same goal. Well, I’ve got news for you…I don’t share that same goal and I believe there are a lot of women out there like me, but are to scared to step up and take a stand. We need to stand up for what we believe in! Don’t fall to the pressures of our friends, the media, the world.

I think it is time we start thinking about ourselves and our needs, instead of doing what everyone else is doing. I believe if we do this we will retain the relationships of the men and women who come into our lives. We will actually know our spouses before we marry them! Huh, what a crazy concept!

Friday, July 17, 2009

If only I had known then what I know now

Do you ever look back on your life and wish you had the opportunity to do it all over again? Maybe not all of it, but parts of it? I sometimes do. I only wish I had listened to my parents more often. I think if I had, my life would have probably turned out much different. Don't get me wrong, I love my life, but there have been hurdles along the way that I probably could have avoided if I had just listened!

This realization made me start thinking about stupid things along the way that I wished I had learned earlier in life and not as an adult. The "I should have known better" kind of things. For this reason, I have written some advice that I would like to have given the eighteen year old me back in the day. Advice from the older, wiser, and cuter version of who I used to be.

You will always manage to get from point A to point B, it's ok that directions aren't your thing.

Don't occupy yourself with trying to fit in where you don't belong. You will only regret it later in life. Popularity is not all that popular when you are in your thirties.

Listen to your mom, she is almost always right!

Don't obsess over tanning! It is not sexy twenty years later! Enjoy your God given pasty white skin!

Always dress your age! It's not appropriate to wear daisy dukes and a tube top in your thirties...even if it is in your back yard mowing the grass.

Be patient while looking for the "man of your dreams". Make sure he is the one. Don't ever settle for something just because you think nothing better will come along.

Don't allow the men in your life to pick you. You are the prize and should be the one doing the picking!

Self cut bangs and hair color are a bad idea! Waxing, by a professional, is a good idea!

Don't fret, you will find what you like to do in life! Be patient!

Self confidence is sexy!

Your gut is usually right, go with what you think it is trying to tell you!

Enjoy being single, don't just tolerate it!

If something is worth fighting for then FIGHT! Don't let the obstacles of life get in your way. Life is way to short! If it is what you want, go for it!

There you have it! Just some things that I have learned along the way. This list changes constantly as I am always learning. There will always be struggles and battles between the brain and the heart. Most important, always remember that you have to love and respect yourself first before you can expect that same thing from others in your life.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

So tell me about yourself

I had a friend tell me recently that I didn’t know myself as well as I should. I asked him what he meant by this and he challenged me to try to write out 101 things about myself that people may or may not know about me.. I wasn’t sure I could do it. But once I started, I couldn’t stop thinking about things. I would constantly be writing in my blackberry, while I was driving, working, getting cleaned up, doing laundry, playing with my kids, etc. . This was a good exercise for me. It really made me appreciate myself a lot more.

So here is what I have learned about myself. I challenge you to do the same…

1. I love Hamilton and Gibson to pieces and would do anything for them.
2. My initial reaction is to laugh when I see a big man in a little car.
3. I wish I had a college degree.
4. I don’t like it when people stare at me at the gym.
5. I thought I had married the man of my dreams when I was 26…but have recently learned otherwise!
6. I hate cleaning…I do it, but I hate every moment of it.
7. My dad is the most important person in my life.
8. One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone takes something that I have said and turns it into something that they want to hear.
9. I love my friends to death and don’t know what I would do or where I would be without them.
10. I’m grossed out by the fact that Golden Corral caters
11. Being a single mom is by far the most difficult/lonely thing I have ever had to do.
12. I think it’s weird that someone would actually name a waxing salon, The Naked Monkey
13. I secretly tell people that my kids want a dog…but the reality is that I am the one that wants the dog.
14. I always want to throw up a little in my mouth at the thought of a hot dog eating contest.
15. I am the middle child. (Alec, my twin is 7 minutes younger than me, and Mark is older).
16. I think that Dog the Bounty Hunter needs a reality check. He doesn’t have a sexy chest, he has man boobs.
17. I secretly wish that Clinton Kelly from TLC’s “What not to Wear” was my gay friend.
18. I didn’t used to think that Gibson needed to be a middle child. I am currently rethinking that.
19. Hamilton, my oldest, is way to picky about the things he eats.
20. I love to read, but find it difficult to read more than a page or two at a time before falling asleep
21. I love going to the beach for vacation
22. I am in the process of writing my first book.
23. I hate putting away laundry.
24. I like that my boys like to play with each other.
25. I only ran the mini marathon to check it off of my bucket list.
26. I need to get my life organized
27. I don’t consider myself a morning person or a night person. I love to sleep to much to be either.
28. I wouldn’t change anything about my life.
29. My heart is often to big for my own good.
30. It takes almost nothing for me to cry.
31. I am proud of the lives that my brothers have created for their families
32. I am embarrassed to admit I got misty eyed during the inauguration.
33. I love to see people smile.
34. I wish I could see my best friend more often.
35. I can’t wait to turn 40.
36. My favorite color is black.
37. I love sushi.
38. The worst and best day of my life was when my husband left me.
39. Hamilton was named after my ex-mother-in-law and Gibson was named after a guitar.
40. I love the feeling of holding someone’s hand.
41. I am afraid of dying alone.
42. I tend to give more than I receive. Sometimes this bothers me.
43. I loved being pregnant, but hate what it did to my body.
44. There is only one person in this world that has ever made my heart skip a beat from passion, and it wasn’t my ex-husband.
45. When my mind is made up about something, I usually don’t change it.
46. I am a true romantic.
47. My mother was my parent, and not my friend. I adhere to that philosophy 100%.
48. I love to watch my kids play sports.
49. I have never broken a bone.
50. I have never been attracted to money.
51. I got caught by the police parking with my boyfriend once, and this was as an adult after I was divorced!
52. I once had a “good friend” sleep with my boyfriend behind my back. I have never spoke to that “friend” again.
53. I hate it when people lie.
54. I think I have really good intuition
55. I had to have my friend from California show me around the city I have lived in for 36 years. I had no idea there were so many cool things to do.
56. I hate talking about politics.
57. I was a gymnast all my life through High School.
58. I never felt betrayed until my husband left and told me he never loved me and was never attracted to me.
59. I love food!
60. I hope to get married again one day.
61. My family is a very loud family.
62. I get upset when someone insinuates something about me.
63. I love to people watch.
64. I hate to cook unless I am cooking a romantic dinner with someone I love.
65. I am addicted to the Bachelor and Bachelorette
66. I weigh myself every day…why do I put myself through this torture.
67. I didn’t realize, until recently, how important laughter really is.
68. I love roller coasters.
69. I hate it when people refer to me as a cougar if I date someone younger.
70. I am addicted to FaceBook
71. I think personality and humor are a lot sexier than looks.
72. I love having conversations with men that know how to communicate
73. I hated my 10 year high school reunion…but I loved my 20th.
74. I secretly starved two beta fish (Batman and Ace) because they wouldn’t leave each other alone.
75. Cats are a deal breaker in a relationship.
76. I love PDA when I’m in the mix, but hate it when I am not in the mix.
77. I hate clutter.
78. I miss my kids every moment they are not with me.
79. I hate it that I am considered the ugly one when going out with my friends.
80. I love to take my kids to movies. But I enjoy going on Sunday afternoons by myself better.
81. I am addicted to my blackberry.
82. I struggle saying “thank you” after someone compliments me.
83. I miss my mom terribly every day.
84. I have a habit of rolling my eyes all of the time and don’t even know I am doing it
85. My kids were mad at me when I told them we were saving for a tummy tuck instead of a dog
86. I hate talking on the phone, I need to invest in a webcam
87. I feel fat on days that I don’t work out
88. I’m sad when I think about my kids growing up and going away
89. I want to go back to Hawaii again…soon!
90. I don’t get to see my girlfriends as often as I would like
91. I love that my kids love God, now if only they can get their dad to do the same!
92. I am so ready for school to start up again…this seems to be a very long summer
93. I once had a date with a guy that hadn’t cleaned out his car in a year
94. I love writing articles for my blog.
95. I like it that Gibson asks me almost daily if he can help me clean the toilets
96. I can hardly keep my eyes open!
97. I’m excited for football season to start again. Go Colts!
98. I Wish I had more faith
99. I am constantly worrying about the future
100. I only have $200 more to save until I am comfortable with the amount in my savings account.
101. I have a goal in 2010 to go back and get my degree.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

20 years of memories...

If you are anything like me you are probably very skeptical of High School Reunions. I have always thought that they were kind of cheesy and not worth going to. I went to my 10 year reunion with my best friend and our husbands and I thought that it sucked monkey butts! My friend and I decided never to go to another reunion again. The people hadn’t really matured much and the clicks were still clicks. It was like reliving high school all over again and I didn’t really think high school was all that great.

Flash forward another 10 years to present day…I am now single and have a total different outlook on life. I love being social and love any excuse to go out and party with my friends. So when I was asked to join the planning committee for my 20 year reunion I jumped at the chance. We started planning a year in advance and worked hard to make it a successful event. And I am so glad, not only that I was on the planning committee, but also that I gave reunions a second chance. I didn’t think the people would have changed much, but I had changed and was determined to have a blast. By the time the reunion weekend was here I was so ready for it to be over but now that it is done and gone, I’m actually sad that it is over.

My high school had a very large senior class. I don’t remember the exact number but it was somewhere around 750 students. Towards the end of our senior year we all had to put on our graduation caps and gowns and pose for a group picture. I was looking at that picture the other day reminiscing and familiarizing myself with faces. Looking at the clicks of people brought back so many memories. It got me pumped about the weekend. Woot Woot! Eaaaaast Siiiiiiide!

It is funny how times have changed but the people really haven’t. The only difference is that we have all gotten a little older and most of us have put on a little more weight, though not everyone. There were those bi-otches that look better than they did in high school. And to them I say kudos! I wish I looked that good and if I did I would flaunt what I had too. I loved seeing everyone so grown up, mature and responsible. But one thing is for sure…the clicks haven’t changed.

The Jocks
This is probably the group that I fell into but only because I was a gymnast. I kind of felt like I had friends from all clicks, and never really felt like I fit into one particular group, but this is where I felt most at home. Most of the people in this group are the ones that would say they were “athletic” if they were filling out a profile on Even if they hadn’t thrown a football or played one minute of basketball in 20 years, they would still consider themselves athletic because of their high school accomplishments. Most of the guys that fell into this category back in high school still have big egos to this day. They were still friendly and funny, but can’t seem to get rid of that “tough as shit” attitude.

The “In” crowd
These were the people in high school that weren’t very friendly to people outside of their own little click. They had been friends for most of their lives and were comfortable with each other and not very open to letting more people in their group. Most of the people that fit into this category were the ones that thought they were better than everyone else. I had some friends that fit into this category, therefore, I was kind of on the outside ring of this group. I tried so hard in high school to fit in with these people 100%, but I was never good enough. Looking back now…I can’t believe how important that was to me. Twenty years later these are the people that congregated in the back of the reunion and again didn’t really socialize outside of their click. A few did, but it seemed like every time I turned around they were hanging with each other.

The nerds/band geeks
This was the group in high school that I was afraid of being seen with. There, I said it...and it was hard for me to say! But as an adult I now realize that these are the people I should have focused my friendships on. These are the people now (especially the guys) who are very good looking, successful, and happy in their lives. They are friendly and love everyone. But I was to shallow back in high school to realize that this group of people included good people too. My twin brother kind of fell into this category but I always thought he was better than most of the people in this group. Turns out he was in the right group! It just breaks my heart to even put that on paper. No one ever wants to admit that they were shallow back in the day! It is for this reason that I am raising my kids to love everyone equally…whether it is cool or not.

The ones that didn’t get away from the east side
This is an interesting category. Most of you that read my blog know that I am from the east side. My high school was one of the biggest high schools in the state and has become a little rough over the past 20 years. My friend and I can spot someone who hasn’t gotten out of the east side within 15 seconds of talking to them. These are the people who still know all of the local hang outs and loooove going to them. They are secretly still living vicariously through who they were in high school. You can spot these people a mile away. It was funny to see them…most of them are still the same!

The ones that scared the crap out of me
This is an interesting group as well. These people are the ones that included the bullies/smokers of the school. They weren’t always necessarily mean, but some of the times they were. They thought they were to cool for school and would let you know it. They got in trouble a lot by their parents and teachers alike. They were always disobeying rules and going against the flow of what everyone else was doing. They were the ones that would sit on the sidelines and make fun of everyone else for doing what they do. Fortunately most of these people have seen the light of their ways and are great people now. There was one girl in particular who used to scare the crap out of me. She recently has become a good friend. We have hung out together a little bit and when we do we laugh our asses off. I look forward to hanging out with her more.

The theater/journalism/photography group
I didn’t realize until after a recent tour of my high school, how much of a part this particular group played in my high school. I was telling my friends that I thought the newspaper and yearbooks must have magically been put together. I knew that the journalism kids did some of it, but I had no idea the extent of what they did. And theater? I am so embarrassed to admit that I didn’t realize that many of my friends participated in this group. I had no idea that the seniors put on a play every year, or that we had a radio station, or that we had show choir, or that we had…well you see where this is going. I was obviously in my own little “Julie world” and thought that athletics was the glue that held the school together. I don’t think I attended one play during my four year career in high school. This realization made me very sad. I obviously didn’t use the high school to my full advantage. Funny, the ones that did are doctors, lawyers, nurses, writers, and actors. Hmmmm…just more experiences I can use to teach my kids…

The Cross Dresser
Does every high school have one of these? I only hope so because our cross dresser added so much color to the group. When he came to the 10 year reunion dressed in drag I think everyone was a little shocked. This year, however, was quite different. There was much buzz early on wondering if he would show up. When he pulled in the parking lot and got out of the car the chatter immediately began. I love it that this is what this guy does. I spoke to him a little bit and he performs as a cross dresser for charity and I think that is just awesome, a little awkward, but awesome. He, however, was one of those that maybe should have chosen a different outfit. The boy had on at least 4 inch heels the entire evening, on a cement floor. I took my shoes off two hours in…and he stood in his dominatrix, CFM boots for 5 hours straight. The boy has more gumption than I.

President/Vice President
My high school had Co-Presidents my senior year. I don’t know why…but that is how we choose to do it. Looking back now, it’s probably because Biff and Skip were so attached at the hip that the school didn’t know how to separate the two. They even came dressed as “one” woman to a senior year event. They were great guys in high school and are still great guys 20 years later. It does crack me up that one of them, Biff or Skip, I don’t know who is who, didn’t really remember who anyone was. I know we had a big class, but of all people, these guys should know who a lot of the students were. FYI…if Biff or Skip are reading this, it is YOUR responsibility to put on the next reunion! No pressure!

So there you have it! The people change, the faces change, but the memories are always there and fun to relive for a weekend! My only regret is that I didn’t nurture some of these friendships more than I did. I only hope that we can continue to be friends and create more and more memories together.

I know this post hasn’t been particularly funny, but it has been fun to reminisce. So many memories…so little time! Here’s to the next 20 years!

Monday, July 13, 2009

A womans poem

I'm working feverishly on my next posting but haven't put the finishing touches on it. Hopefully this little poem I found will hold you over until tomorrow...


Before I lay me down to sleep,
I pray for a man who's not a creep.
One who's handsome, smart and strong.
One who loves to listen long.
One who thinks before he speaks.
One who'll call, not wait for weeks.
I pray he's rich and self-employed.
And when I spend, he won't be annoyed.
Pull out my chair and hold my hand.
Massage my feet and help me stand.
Oh send a king to make me queen.
A man who loves to cook and clean.
I pray this man will love no other.
And relish visits with my mother.


I pray for a deaf-mute nymphomaniac gymnast
With big tits who owns a bar on a golf course
And loves to send me fishing and drinking.
This doesn't rhyme and I don't give a shit.

Friday, July 10, 2009

13.1 reasons why I ran a mini-marathon

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to run a mini marathon. Why, you might ask? I have no freaking idea because I hate to run! I think deep down inside I just want the satisfaction of knowing I could do it. Plus people usually think you are pretty cool when they find out you have run a mini marathon. In all honesty, I declared 2009 my year to a healthier me! I want to look hot before I turn 40, mostly to make my ex pissed that he left me, but really because I want to get into better shape. So this is my year. I know, I will only be 39 next year, but I didn't want to procrastinate to the very last minute in case something came up and I couldn't finish it this year. It would at least have given me another year to train if I needed it.

So I began training for 13.1 miles on January 1, 2009. This was the dumbest decision I have ever made. Who starts training for a mini on New Years Day? Nothing like running for the first time in months with a hangover...good times! Training was tough...especially since I HATE RUNNING! (did I mention that already) There is not one thing I enjoy about running. Oh wait, I take that back, I like the first hour after I have finished running. Why you may ask? Not for the runners high that most people enjoy. Oh no...that's not me. I enjoy that first hour after because I know I won't have to do it again for another 24 hours. Call me crazy, but that is the only reason why I enjoy running.

Anyway, I was getting frustrated with myself when I was telling someone the other day about my experience. I began to realize that I didn't have a lot of positive things to say about running. So I tried to come up with a list of the reasons why I ran the mini...not all of them positive...but he it's the best I could do.

1. Because I am to much of a wimp to do a full marathon.

2. Because I promised myself if I completed a mini marathon I would never ever run for distance again, so far I have stuck to my promise.

3. For the sense of accomplishment.

4. Because I got to buy a new pair of shoes every three months. What girl doesn't like to shop, even if it is for running shoes?

5. Because I can eat more! And for those of you that know me, you know I love to eat!

6. Because I got a free T-shirt, which was way to big for me and I may only wear it when I paint, but hey, it was free!

7. Because it made me feel like an actual athlete for a few short minutes, at least until I crossed the finish line, weeping in pain.

8. Because people think I'm some kind of superhero for doing it. And we all know I care what other people think about me!

9. Because it is a good source of conversation on a first date, sometimes it's the only conversation on a first date.

10. Because it teaches discipline...well for the four months of training anyway.

11. Because of the shear satisfaction of knowing I have completed it and will never ever have to do it again

12. Because I got to see all types of yahoos running as well. It's kind of inspirational and funny at times, especially when a guy dressed in a hot dog costume comes flying by.

13. For the pure joy of hearing my kids say, "what place did you come in mommy?" That's a reality check if I ever had one!

.1 So I can check it off my bucket list.

And check it off my bucket list, I did! So far, I have kept my promise to never ever run for distance again. And that is one resolution that I know I will never have trouble keeping!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Damsel Underdressed

Am I the only one out there that hates to shop? Why do I do this? Why do I wait until the last minute to shop for clothing that I need? Maybe it's because I am a single mom that sometimes struggles to find five minutes to myself. Maybe its because I have two boys, currently eight and five, that would rather be outside playing basketball or riding bikes than shopping with their mom. Maybe its because after a long hard day at work the last thing I want to do is take my clothes off in a store and try on clothes that other people have been trying on all day. Whatever the reason, I have got to learn to get over this hatred of mine for shopping.

I guess I wouldn't really say that I HATE to shop. I do have thirty-seven, yes you heard me correctly, thirty-seven pairs of jeans hanging in my closet. If I didn't like to shop would I really have thirty-seven pairs of jeans? Now, ask me how many pairs I wear regularly? Probably about 10 of them. I love jeans! I love wearing them after the first wash, but never seem to like them as much after the second wash. I don't know why this is because I wash them the same way every time. There is just something about the fit after the second wash.

Anyway, back to my original The reason I bring this subject up is because my 20 year High School reunion is this weekend. Because of this, I set out on an adventure to purchase the perfect dress and shoes for the event. I went to the mall, which I hate doing, and shopped for three hours before I got frustrated and tired. In that time I went to ten different stores, tried on fifteen dresses and only found one that would work, but I wasn't in love with it. And because I wasn't in love with it I couldn't justify spending $154 on it. I can't believe I actually tried on dresses. For those of you that know me, you know that I normally don't do this. I like to purchase things and then take them home and try them on. Why, you might ask? Well, I believe that the mirrors in stores are fixed to make you look great no matter what you are wearing just so you will make a purchase before leaving the store. I have found more times than not, if I like the way that something looks on me in the store, I won't like the way it looks on me when I get home. I think most stores purchase their mirrors from the circus. You know the mirrors I am talking about, the ones that make you look six inches taller and thirty pounds lighter. Now if I could just find a mirror that made me look like I had six pack abs, I would buy stock in that mirror company!

I'm mad at myself for procrastinating so long. I didn't have the focus to shop any longer. So here I am at the bookstore writing this silly article. Still no shoes, still no dress. I'm debating on whether or not to just throw in the towel and buy the dress that I am OK with or try again tomorrow. After another latte, I think I will wait and shop again tomorrow.

By the way, did I mention that I didn't have a problem finding (and buying) this cute little top to wear out tonight when I go out with my friends? Why was that purchase a walk in the park? Probably because I wasn't pressured to find something. I didn't need the top, I just thought it was cute when I saw it. Maybe it's the pressure I put on myself to find the perfect thing in such a short amount of time...I never work well under pressure! And if I never work well under pressure then why do I procrastinate and wait to the last minute? It's a vicious cycle and I can't seem to get a leg out. Mental note to self....NO MORE PROCRASTINATING!

My goal is to go to my reunion looking like the last twenty years have been good to me, but my hatred of shopping has somehow gotten in the way. Maybe I should just break out my puffy peach prom dress and 80's hair. At least that way I would be recognized by everyone!

I decided not to be so dramatic and sleep on it. I wake up in the morning refreshed, with a slight hangover, ready to conquer the day. Today, I have a game plan. And that game plan is VON MAUR! This store is a girls best friend! It is my go to for events like my reunion. It has never let me down in the past. I kid you not, when I walk in I am like a kid in a candy store. Within five minutes I have found eight dresses that could possibly work. I try them all on and to my disappointment I only find one that would work. It is a little dressy, but I decided it is worth the purchase. One hour after entering Von Maur I am out the door, dress in hand. Ahhh, my kind of shopping.

I walk to my car and immediately start to wonder if the dress I just purchased is to dressy for my reunion. I let this thought consume me my entire drive home. I am now grumpy when I pull into my garage. I go upstairs, hang the dress in my closet, take the plastic garment bag off of it and stare at it for a good five minutes. I run through every possible scenario in my head. I decided to keep the dress...screw the reunion...I probably won't ever see these people again, so who cares if I am a little overdressed. Whew, what a relief!

I decided to relax a little and check my email. Oh shit! I so wished I wouldn't have checked my email. Low and behold there was a message telling me that because so many people had RSVP'd to the reunion we had to move it outside. Uggh, 90 degree temperatures in July in Indiana. Now I definitely had to get a different dress, something a little less dressy and a little cooler. DAMN, back to square one again!

So it is now Monday and I have taken the dress back to Von Maur. I decided to ignore the cloud over my head reminding me every minute that I need a dress! I secretly hope this is all a dream and move on with my day. It wasn't until I couldn't sleep Monday and Tuesday night that I decided to buck it up and try one more time. After all, third time is a charm, right?

I suck it up on my lunch hour on Wednesday and hit White House Black Market. JACKPOT! The sales girl helps me pick out about 8 different dresses and I actually find two that I really love. I don't know if she was lying and just wanted to sell something, but she made me feel so good about every dress I put on that day. I felt like a supermodel every time she made a comment about how I looked. It is my opinion that they don't pay that girl enough money! It's because of her that I, for once, walked out of that store excited about what I just purchased! That sales girl made me excited about shopping again! And I never thought that would happen.

So it looks like I may look half way decent at my 20 year High School Reunion. I'm just thankful that I won't have to show up in my puffy peach prom dress and 80's hair. And I think my classmates will be thankful as well! Here's to never ever procrastinating on shopping again! Cheers!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The ABC's of Dating

I've learned some hard lessons about dating over the years. For this reason, I have created the ABC's of Dating. Please note that this is not a complete list, nor will it ever be a complete list! Just keep these in mind while dating, whether it be your first or hundredth date...HAVE FUN WITH IT!

Assets: Always compliment him on the things you like about him.

Booty call: Don't ever do it!

Cyber Stalking: I'ts fun...but don't get carried away.

Dutch: Don't ever offer to pay for half on a first date. Men are intimidated by this.

Enjoy: Remember bad dads often lead to good stories.

Flighty: Don't play dumb, EVER! You may think it's cute, but men quickly grow tired of this.

Gifts: If he gives these, he is a good catch. Hang onto him as long as you can.

High Maintenance: These men are a pain in the ass. If they take longer to get ready than you, then they will probably never ever like anyone else more than they like themselves.

Irritated: Most men get this way if they ask you where you want to eat or what you want to do and you respond with "I don't care" and then criticize them when they make a decision you don't agree with.

Jokes: Always laugh at his jokes, even if they aren't funny.

Keep: Always save notes, mementos and stories. After all you may be like me and have enough good stuff to put in a book one day.

Laughter: It truly is the best medicine. Make sure he can laugh at himself and that you can laugh at yourself.

Momma's Boy: If this is him, turn around slowly and run as fast as you can. DO NOT get involved with him.

Never: And I mean never ever have sex with him on the first date, unless of course you are looking for a one night stand.

Options: You have so many, don't settle for someone you don't want.

Prince Charming: He doesn't exist ladies, so stop looking for him.

Quit: Immediately stop being "picked" by need to realize that you are the prize and should be the one that does the picking.

Red flags: Be aware of these early on and then make the 5-5-5 decision (ex: how will the fact that he bites his toenails affect me in 5 minutes, 5 months and 5 years) in this case, disgusting at interval, RUN!

Sisters: These can be mysterious creatures...if you can't get along with his sisters or his friends your relationship will never work.

Texting: It's OK to text, but it becomes a problem if it is your main source of communication

Upstaged: Don't upstage them in your conversation, especially on the first date. When you continually try to "one up" them...they become intimidated by who you are.

Vibes: Use your gut, if you don't get good vibes from a guy early on then he is probably not right for you.

Whimp: Don't date this type. If he can't stand up for himself now or make his own decisions he will only be worse in the future.

X-Factor: OK...I couldn't think of anything that began with an "x" so I cheated. What this really means is the Ex-Factor. Don't ever let who your ex's are or were ever be a factor when making decisions about your future boyfriends (This is my biggest struggle to date).

Yes: Don't always be a "yes man". If you disagree with something he says or does, let him know. Speak up! Voice your opinion!

Zip it: Don't ever interject while he is answering a question you just asked him. Men hate to be interrupted when talking about themselves.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Through the doggie door of course!

"I need to tell you something" are words that you never ever want to hear from the parents of your kids friends. These exact words were said to me a few weeks ago at our neighborhood pool and every time I think of this story I have to chuckle.

Let me first preface today's post with a little bit about Gibson. He is my youngest son and is currently at the late end of being five. When he was born he came out kicking and screaming and hasn't stopped since. He has always been my more emotional, spunky, energetic one. Gibson is a great story teller...he gets that from me, and he is never wrong...he gets that from his dad! He is always asking questions and never likes the first answer you give him. He is a sweet boy that isn't afraid of anyone and can be friends with everyone.

Gibson loves playing with our neighbor boys Ben and Beau. To this day, I still don't know which one is which but I always assume that Ben is the older one since he is usually referred to first when they are both mentioned together. They are good boys that like to hang out with Gibson. He has become such good friends with them lately that I made a rule this summer that he could always go play at Ben and Beau's house. If he wanted to go anywhere else he would have to ask me first. This rule has been working well so far, or so I thought.

One day we were at the pool and Ben and Beau came with their mom Jonie. Jonie is a nice woman that kind of keeps to herself. We are slowly getting to know one another. This particular day as soon as she spots me at the pool she immediately turns the other way and heads for the main entrance. She comes right back with a chuckle and is very hesitant to let me know that she needs to talk to me about Gibson. I can tell she is uncomfortable but knows she has to share with me what is going on. I reassure her that there is nothing she could tell me that would shock me, while secretly thinking...oh no my son is taking his clothes off and hiding in the closet of his friends house when he goes over for play dates. You may laugh, but that was the first thing that popped into my head when Jonie approached me about Gibson.

The story goes like this. Jonie, her husband and two sons came home one day and pulled the car into the garage. They got out of the car and opened the door leading from the garage to the kitchen. When they walked into the kitchen, to their surprise was my son Gibson, exclaiming, "hey, where have you guys been" while standing in the pantry with snacks in hand. They were shocked and didn't know how to react. As I would have, they eventually started laughing. They asked Gibson what he was doing and he simply said "getting a snack and playing some Wii." They asked him how he had gotten in their house and he said "through the doggie door of course!" Sure enough they had gone upstairs to their game room and saw that the Will was on and that there were snack wrappers on the floor.

My first reaction was that I was actually proud of Gibson for being so inventive. I mean, how many five year olds do you know that would think to climb the fence and enter their house through the doggie door if his friends weren't home? Then it hit kid can't be doing this. I had to have a serious talk with him. Our rule meant he could only go to their house when they were home. But clearly he didn't understand that! In his defence, I never told him that either.

So we sat down and had our little talk. I started off with a positive, as all good psychologists would probably recommend. I said, "Gibson, I'm very proud of you for being so inventive and figuring out that you could get into Mrs. Jonie's house through the doggie door." He smiled and thought he was so cool! But then I put my foot down and laid down the law. When I told him he couldn't do this and asked him why he did it, he said, in the naivety of a five year old, "but mom, sometimes I know they are home and they don't answer the door. I know they want to play with me. They need to know its me at the door. If they knew it was me, I know they would come out and play." Seriously, this broke my heart!

That's my Gibby, he thinks everyone loves him and always wants to be around him. I secretly hope he thinks this way for the rest of his life. I don't ever want my kids to be hurt by anyone, especially their friends. For this reason, I hope he stays young and naive for a long long time!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A celebration of independence

Do you have friends that continually tell you how lucky you are to be single? I do, and sometimes (who am I kidding, most of the time) hearing them say this is like fingernails on a chalkboard. Don't get me wrong, I love being single, but it took me a long time to get to this point. And if I were being truly honest with you, if I had a choice, I would choose to be married. I do know that my friends sometimes live vicariously through my "fun" dating stories...but they just don't get the reality of it all, and that reality is DATING SUCKS!

My friends used to assume that every date I went on was perfect. They visualized the violins playing, while the happy couple drinks a bottle of wine alongside a fabulous Italian dinner. There is a handsome man and beautiful woman (me :-), both smiling, both laughing and enjoying each others conversations. Well, I got news for you...this NEVER happens. It may happen in the movies, but never in real life.

Thankfully, only a few of the dates I have been on have been labeled as disastrous. As we conclude another awesome Independence Day weekend, I am reminded of this story that took place exactly one year ago on the 4Th of July, 2008. This is a story of another Rick...I will call him Rick #2 because it is the perfect representation of what our date was...shitty!

Rick and I met online and had been chatting and IM'ing for a couple of weeks. We had never really connected on the phone because he had been traveling out of the country in those weeks and it was difficult to get on the same schedule. The holiday was quickly approaching and I did not want to sit at home. It had been one of those rare nights that I didn't have plans or my kids. The evening was beginning to look a little bleak. But thankfully after a couple of text messages, Rick #2 finally got up enough nerve to ask me to meet him downtown for fireworks and a couple of beers. I happily obliged, but learned after this horrible evening, never to accept a last minute can't lead to anything good. By this time, desperation had set in and I thought meeting Rick #2 was a better idea than sitting at home by myself.

We had decided to meet at an open air restaurant that usually has awesome live music, of which I have recently become a HUGE fan of. And of course, the venue was perfect because it was a great spot to watch fireworks. I called Rick #2 once I go close and he was walking right by an empty parking spot that was within a block of the restaurant. He was super nice and actually stood in the spot until I got there. I don't know about you, but this act just scored a huge "brownie point" in my book. Rick #2 was officially up one in my book! As I was pulling int he spot I, of course, was checking Rick out and was happily surprised at how much he looked like his picture. For those of you in the online dating world, you already know that 90% of the people on these sites don't look anything like the pictures they post. But Rick #2 actually did, he is officially up two points in my book! So far we are off to a good start! Unfortunately, that is as good as it got for Rick #2!

I got out of the car and he said "hi" and smiled really big. "Oh shit" were the first words I thought to myself. He had some sort of "mouth piece" in. Not like a retainer, but something that had some kind of metal work to keep his tongue from doing one of two things: either it was to prevent himself from swallowing his tongue accidentally, or it was to prevent him from constantly sticking his tongue out at me. Either way, it was not good! Then he spoke some more and I could hardly understand a word he was saying. I can only assume this was because he didn't have a fully functioning tongue. I knew I was going to need a beer quick to get through this freaking evening! Suddenly I was wishing I was at home in my comfy pajamas watching a chick flick.

We go to the outside of the bar to listen to the music and the place is packed. So unfortunately for me we have to stand very close together. You would think that this would help in my ability to understand what the hell Rick #2 is saying to me, but it doesn't. The only thing I can really make out is that he is totally making fun of some girl up front dancing to the music. I can never really place my eyes on her, but by the way he is describing her, or at least the way I am understanding his description of her is freaking hilarious. He is describing (and doing) this particular bird dance that reminded of a dance a friend of mine used to do in High School. I could only picture her doing this dance and had no choice but to laugh. Every time I get a glimpse of this girl that he is making fun of it is always from behind and she is never dancing. She looks pretty normal to me but after a few adult beverages and Rick #2's rendition of this dance I can not help but laugh.

At one point Rick #2 nudges me and says to look behind me because the girl he is making fun of is coming right towards us and eyeing him like she knows him. I quickly make it look like we are in the middle of a deep conversation because obviously he doesn't want to talk to this girl. He then says in a chuckle, "if she can't dance, she definately won't be able to carry on a conversation" and begins laughing at his comment. I'm not laughing, I'm just thinking to myself at this point that Rick #2 must be a horrible dancer.

Anyway, this girl comes up to back is, of course, facing her so I can't see her. She proceeds to give me one of the biggest bear hugs I had ever gotten. I can only imagine the look of horror on my face at this moment. Rick #2 is laughing hysterically(he has officially lost all brownie points in my book). I recognize the voice of the woman giving me a bear hug as my cousin whom I haven't seen in over a year. Can you imagine my horror, or Rick #2's horror for that matter, when he realized that the chick he had been making fun of all evening was actually my cousin? It didn't sit well with me and I can imagine it didn't sit well with Rick #2 either. I'm' sure he was freaking out that I was related to her.

By now, I am so over the evening and ready to go home. Rick #2 walks me to my car and I am dreading that awkward moment of "is he going to want to kiss me, if he does what do I do" moment. Oh man, dating sucks! As we get closer to where my car should be parked...and yes I did say "should be parked" I realize it is not in the spot where I left it. Panic struck as I looked over my shoulder and saw a sign with an arrow pointing to my spot that said "tow zone". You have got to be kidding me! Rick #2 of course laughed but offers to drive me to the tow lot to pick up my car. I'm very annoyed by him on the drive because he keeps chuckling and laughing at the fact that my car was towed from a spot that he saved for me. It may have been funny to "Mr. I have to wear a piece of metal in my mouth to keep from swallowing my tongue" but it was not funny to me!

We finally get to the tow lot and there is no one's only 11:30 on one of the busiest nights downtown...I can't believe no one is there. I finally get a hold of some girl with a raspy voice that says she will be right over to help me out. When she gets there she pulls my paperwork and hands me a bill for $250. I was stunned, two hundred and fifty freaking dollars!!! Conveniently, it was at this moment that Rick #2 decides he is just to tired and needs to go home. He quickly gives me a hug and leaves me stranded in a tow yard in the middle of downtown at 11:30pm. What an ass! I was pissed! I had to actually walk into the very far unlit back corner of the lot by myself to get my car.

I wasn't in my car but five minutes and I get the following text from Rick #2, "I had a great time, hope we can do this again sometime soon. I will go halvsies with you for the tow bill and pay you when I see you next. Call me." Seriously, three thoughts come to mind at this moment. First, why couldn't he just give me his half of the money before he left. After all, he did brag all evening about how he waited in that parking spot until I got there. Second, even if he didn't want to pay for half, shouldn't he have waited to make sure I got to my car o.k.? I mean...this tow lot was in the absolute worst part of town. And third, does he really think that I would want to go out with him again? Really? What a shitty night!

Friday, July 3, 2009 option

Have you ever been in a situation where the person you are trying to dump just doesn’t get it? I think most of us have experienced this in one way or another. Whether we are being dumped or the one doing the dumping, it can be very frustrating. In my own personal experience, the ones that just don’t get that they have been dumped are either controlling, wimpy, egotistical, or just plain dumb. Either way these aren’t the types of men I want to surround myself with.

I had one man in particular, Rick, who just couldn’t get it through his thick skull that I didn’t want him to be a part of my life any longer. Our relationship had just run it's course. It didn’t matter what I said to him, it never sank in. I literally told him, on more than one occasion, that I didn’t want to spend anymore time with him, dating or on a friendship level. But he just didn’t get it. I called him. I text him. I told him face to face. And I emailed him. But he still continued to ask me out. It wasn’t until weeks of me not returning his calls, texts and emails that he finally got the picture. I haven’t heard from Rick in years!

For this reason, I thought it would be funny to create a form rejection letter. Please feel free to use it at your convenience. Hopefully this will make your breakups a lot smoother than mine. I only wish I had thought of this earlier in my dating career.

Dear (insert the name, of the schmuck who just won’t go away, here),

It is with great sadness that our relationship has come to an end. Please use this letter as a means of informing you that you are no longer in the running of becoming my future husband. The list of potential candidates has grown tremendously in the past few months, and because of this, many other well qualified candidates, such as yourself, have also failed to make the final cut. However, please do not take this personally. I will keep your information on file should any openings become available in the future.

As you know, I am a big believer in helping people grow in their relationships. Because of this, I have compiled a list of possible reasons for your elimination. Please take these issues to heart and continue working on the checked items. Please DO NOT contact me for a recommendation or for a more detailed explanation on this break up.

You have been dumped for the following reason(s):

_____Your inability to show any interest whatsoever in the answers I am giving to the questions you are asking.

_____The fact that you purchase condoms in bulk from Costco clearly indicates to me that you are overqualified for this position.

_____Your total lack of consideration became apparent when you sat in my driveway and honked your horn to let me know of your arrival.

_____You did not meet the minimum height requirement. Six feet tall means at least six feet tall. I am not interested in becoming the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes of my neighborhood.

_____Your genuine surprise that I did not know who Johnny Mathis was or what songs he sang revealed to me that you do not meet my particular age requirements.

_____Your sexuality came into question when you told me the two television shows you never miss are Dancing with the Stars and your daily soap opera.

_____The fact that you broke out a buy one get one free coupon on one of our first five dates revealed to me that you clearly don’t understand the rules of courtship.

_____The fact that you asked me who my doctor was while eyeing my chest was both uncalled for and inappropriate this early in our relationship. For your information they are real!

_____Your response to my question, what is the last book you read was a clear indicator that you do not meet my intelligence requirements. For future reference, Legend of a Superhero, Volume 2, Issue 7 is not a book, it’s a comic book!

_____Your apparent inability to talk about anything other than your ex-wife/ex-girlfriend makes me think that you haven’t moved on from your last relationship.

_____I am out of your league, unfortunately it just took me a little longer to realize it!

Thank you again for the experience of dating you. I have learned so much. I hope the above suggestions will help you in your future relationships as well.

Good luck in your search,

(Sign your name here)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The evolution of my underwear

Never did I think I would one day be writing about my underwear. Even odder, I never thought there would be as much of an interest in my underwear or the underwear of my friends. I can’t tell you how many times this conversation comes up when I am out with my friends. What I have come to realize is that the type of underwear I wear greatly reflects, my mood, who I am and the stage of life I am in. I am sure this holds true for most women…now men, that’s a different story!

First and foremost, is it just me or do the girls shopping at Victoria’s Secret get younger and younger all of the time? This is one of the reasons that I am glad I don’t have daughters. Up until I went to college, my mom would take me to Kohls or JC Penny to buy underwear. And I would always get the three pack Hanes bikini briefs in pink, blue and purple. But my motherly instinct tells me that this is not the case in the new millennium. I see young girls buying thongs…with their mothers…call me crazy, but I don’t think I would never buy my daughter a thong!

Lately, every time I walk into a Victoria’s Secret (and trust me, that is not very often) the staff and customers either stare at me like I am some dried up old spinster that does not belong in the store. Or to the other extreme, they rush right up to me with that stupid tape measure around their neck and ask if they can fit me for the perfect bra. With the urgency that they approach me it makes me think that my boobs must be hanging to my knees. But it only happens at that store. Funny, but I get the opposite reaction from the boys working retail at Spencer Gifts. Call me crazy, but sometimes I even find myself going into Spencer Gifts immediately after leaving Victoria’s Secret just to get an ego boost!

It wasn't until I got to college that I realized how much my style of underwear really mattered. When I first met Gina, my roommate, I wondered if she had ever been in high school. She just had this aura of maturity about her. Kind of like the level of maturity exhibited by Betty in Revenge of the Nerds. She was the girl in college that looked like no one else. Gina was the person who unknowingly taught me about bad body image. She was so beautiful that I never wanted to change in front of her or be in the showers the same time as her. Gina also taught me about the importance of what I wore underneath my clothes and how it made me feel. She always told me I should wear underwear for me and not for anyone else. Gina was one of the most mature, beautiful girls I knew.

So college is where my evolution of underwear actually began.

My underwear did a drastic one eighty in college. I went from basic cotton bikinis in blue, pink and purple to cute little matching bras and panties. You know the ones in soft colors with matching bows, 100% cotton. Nothing to sexy, but coordinated enough that they not only made me feel cute, but they also made me feel sexy and powerful.

Serious Dating
Once I realized that I felt a certain sexiness with my underwear, I drastically stepped up my style. When I met my boyfriend (future husband) during my college years, I went overboard and discovered the really sexy stuff. Not only matching, but less material, sexy, lacy, leopard printed, garters…the whole bit. Sometimes I even bought the kind of stuff that my mom would have killed me if she knew I had purchased it, but the power it gave me over my boyfriend far outweighed that guilt.

Once I became a newlywed I resorted back to the cute matchy matchy comfy underwear that I wore in college. After all, I had already snagged my man! The only difference at this stage in my life was that I paired it with one of my husbands shirts or his pajama bottoms, anything to keep him close to me. There is something to be said about the sexiness of a woman wearing nothing but a pair of underwear and her husbands oversize button down shirt.

The delima with the underwear during my first pregnancy was that I struggled with still being a sexy wife and carrying our unborn child. At this point in my life, a moment of “I still need to be sexy” came over me. I decided I didn't want to wear the ginormous pregnancy briefs that come all the way over the belly. I didn't feel like I would have felt sexy enough. So I decided to wear the under the belly pregnancy underwear and my husbands t-shirts. They were ok, but looking back now I wish I would have chosen comfort over feeling somewhat sexy.

Post Baby/Married Life
By the time the baby arrived and my body got back to where it was before pregnancy I realize that my sexy underwear (you know the ones that now have cobwebs on them) didn't fit quite like they used to. So I reverted back to the Hanes bikini briefs in pink, blue and purple. Those were always safe!

This was the moment in my life where I hit rock bottom, not only in regards to my choice of underwear, but just in life in general. I wore unsexy, man-hating, “no guy is ever gonna set eyes on my underwear again” underwear. It was great because I could buy six pairs of these, in stark white for $1.99 at Walmart. You know this underwear! It's the stuff that fits so bad, comes up to your belly button, and has absolutely no rise on the thighs. The elastic around the waist and legs starts to shred and they stretch after one washing. But that didn't seem to matter because I didn't have the energy to go buy more. So I wore them until they practically fell off. But on the positive side, I eventually realized that I was starting to lose weight from the “Separation Diet” and decided it was time to make a change in the underwear department and get control of my life again!

A new me…a new beginning means a splurge on new underwear! Underwear just for me and no one else. I had a new body and I wanted to feel good about what I was wearing. This underwear was intended for my eyes only! The “not planning on any man seeing my underwear anytime soon” kind of underwear. No garters, nothing crotchless and definitely nothing edible…just sexy with a little comfort.

New Life
This stage was a very refreshing stage for me. This may be to much information for some of you, but most of you probably know me and know that I made a drastic change in my underwear choice. I have gone out on a limb in my “new life…new me” phase. I decided one day, at the recommendation of a dear friend, to officially go commando. And I haven’t gone back since! You know what they say, “once you go commando, you never go back!” Hmm…I don’t think they really say that, but I thought it was kind of funny!

There are some downfalls to commando, the major one being no wearing jeans twice before you wash them, but the free feeling I have not wearing underwear far outweighs the laundry aspect. It gives me everything I have been looking for in my life, freedom, power, sexiness, and a little “uh huh! I still got it” groove in my walk.

On a final note, is it just me or do men not put this much thought into their underwear? My experience tells me no. It’s either boxers, briefs, or boxer briefs all the way to the end! I have found the one thing that all men’s underwear has in common is that they wear them until they are so beat up that they can’t keep them on anymore.

Sexy, isn't it?

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