Love Stinks

I had to return his sweetest flowers...

I had to return his sweetest flowers…

I fell in love this summer, and I fell hard. Not just a fun summer love, but a deep guttural, soul wrenching love. I would have eaten him alive just to get him in belly I loved him so much and he seemed to love me the same.

As a single mom, I take great care with who I bring around my boys. I’ve made previous mistakes and try not to repeat them, but there was something about this guy that made me want him around us at all times. My kids loved him and I loved him with my kids. He claimed to love them as well. He fit in right away. My kids have never had a father and this male bonding thing warmed the shackles of my heart. It also created an insane fear of losing the “family” we were creating. Once this family bonding bridge was crossed, it was crazy what I would accept and forgive from this guy. (It’s also crazy how other people all have an opinion on what I should accept or forgive and how freely they offer their opinion.) It seems that most of my married friends are only still married for the kids. I now understand the need to keep the family together. For me, however, it was more than just the family. i really loved him.

Where is the line drawn between being a pushover and working on a relationship? I don’t know. I have never had a healthy relationship so I can’t see the forest from the trees. The last month was a rough one. He had cold feet and dumped me. It was only 2 weeks and he came back admitting he made the biggest mistake of his life. It was the longest two weeks of my life, so of course I forgave him. He swore it was forever if he was to come back and that he really wanted this. We were spending every second together and talking about getting engaged (again). He started looking for flights to Florida in November….he was allegedly planning on asking me then.

Recently, he had a bit too much to drink and asked me to grab something out of his car. When I went out, I saw his phone was left in the car too, so I brought it in. The nervous look on his face when I handed him the phone was so puzzling, that after he fell asleep, I had to peek. What could he be hiding? We had been spending all of our time together. There it was…. he had been planning on meeting on ex girlfriend. There were a few days of inappropriate texts between them. Thinking about each other in the shower, etc. He was literally texting her and I at the same time. He called her my pet names. They must have been talking about why he second guessing our relationship,as she made references to it, but at the end of the text exchange, he did the right thing. He backed out of meeting her because he wanted to make us work. I know he did because he was with me the night of their “arrangement”.

I laid there all night wondering what to do? Part of me wanted to suffocate him with a pillow, the other half wanted to pretend I didn’t see it. I was so afraid of losing him, and I loved him so much, that I really considered pretending I didn’t see it. I’m also a hot head, so instead I texted the slut from his phone and told her I knew, and then I went through every text he ever sent to anybody and forwarded every shady thing said about me to my own phone. I was crazed. I was hurt. I was broken.

Once confronted, he was sorry. He made a big show about how is dick didn’t actually go inside of her, but that wasn’t really the point. He betrayed our family again. That weekend was torture. He had friends in from out of town and we knew we weren’t going to see each other, but I still knew that if he made an effort to see me, I would have forgiven him. He never made that effort and actually ignored me. This makes him either an asshole or too immature to deal with the issue. Again, such a fine line and I’m not sure which is his truth. I was left alone with my thoughts and these stupid texts that I had sent to myself. I read them over and over again. Still wishing I never knew.

A few days have passed, and I find myself staring at my phone hoping for some contact. Does this make me a pushover or does it just mean that I was in love? I’ve had lots of people ask why I would have given him a second chance? Don’t people make mistakes and can’t we forgive? A good friend suggested that I let him prove himself to me and make sure he is sincere in his apology. What could a man ever do to prove that they won’t hurt you or your family again? I don’t know the answer to that one either. I always assumed that a woman who stays with her man after he cheated was weak…maybe they are the strong ones. The knowledge is an insane burden to bear. I finish this post with the realization that I when it comes to relationships, I have never liked being in them, but I really did like this one and I will miss it very much.

Not the Momma…

the good ol' days the good ol’ days

Ok, so I am the Momma, but seriously….how did this happen?  I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, so how the hell am I supposed to guide another human being? Am I doing this right or screwing up my kids for all eternity?  I could ask my mother, but then I’d have to hear her tell me exactly how I am messing them up for all eternity, so cross that resource off the list.  This parenting thing is a lot harder than it looks.

My oldest is a Junior in high school and was recently diagnosed with adult ADD and depression. Many people ask why he didn’t get diagnosed until now The truth is that he was so smart that he could mask it. When I look back at his childhood, there were probably signs, but they weren’t neon glowy signs screaming “GET YOUR KID HELP!” Instead, the signs were more subtle; like a soft warm glow.  For example, I’d receive a call from his teacher around March saying that he has spring fever and could I please ask him to settle down in class?  I would talk to him, and he would correct the problem. He never missed homework, always completed reading projects and was a very well-mannered kid.

Around his Sophomore year that all changed.  He couldn’t keep up with his work and at times was missing up to 20 assignments in certain classes. When I would ask him why he wasn’t doing his work, he would mumble “I don’t know.”  UGH.  So frustrating.  I had reached out to all of his teachers and begged for them to allow late work.  After getting approval, my son and I sat together, and I would watch him while he completed all of the missing assignments. It was exhausting. The next day, he would forget to turn them in.  I really believed that he was not turning work in to be spiteful.  We fought like crazy and it was ruining our family dynamic.  My youngest was starting to be affected by all of the fighting and we needed to find another way.

I had him tested for learning disabilities and he did not have any.  His IQ tested between 125-130, so we knew he was more than capable.  Throughout the testing process, I also had him working with a therapist to help him with his depression and anxiety issues.  Once that was corrected, and homework was still not being turned in, we were able to come across the ADD diagnosis.  He was put a daily medication and was literally better the first day. (sorry haters, I know you all think our kids are overmedicated, but keep that opinion to yourself….this kid needs it!)  He said the world felt clear for the first time. The guilt I had for not realizing sooner crushed me.  His grades improved, the fighting stopped and life went back to normal (as normal as it gets).

This year, I decided not to monitor him as much and see how he does on his own.  I hoped that he would appreciate the freedom and would keep working hard on his assignments. It’s also a way to stop the fighting. Here’s the big problem; if I don’t monitor him constantly, he starts to slip up again, and now I’ve put myself in the position where I allowed it to happen.  I don’t want to have to moniter a 16 year old constantly, but I also don’t want to see him flounder. He seems too old for any real punishment and I was raised with the theory if a kid fails, “oh well, that’s thier own fault”.  The thing is, I don’t really subscribe to that theory. I’m his mom and I feel that I am letting him down if I am not there helping and pushing every step of the way.  I always wondered why I wasn’t being pushed harder, and I don’t want my kid to wonder someday why I didn’t push hard for his success.

For the record, I am not a helicopter parent.  I don’t think all kids should receive participation medals and I believe that they should learn how to properly lose.  I also don’t believe that this is the same thing as allowing them to fail.  As a teenager, my mom would always remind me that if I failed it was on my shoulders.  I was even told time and time again, that they didn’t think that I would get through school. That message is dangerous and can become a self-fulfulling prophecy.  At times, I didn’t feel worthy of success, so I pretended not to care and she believed me. Of course, internally I did care and felt horrible most of the time.  I can’t do that to my kid.  He needs to know that he isn’t allowed to fail on my watch and that I will fight to help him succeed. So, now I have to backpeddle from granting my son some freedom and get back to the constant monitoring/nagging, and sadly, fighting…..sigh.

I was about to write that I hope we look back at his school days with some good memories and laugh about it, but that’s bullshit.  I know we won’t.  What I really hope, is that we make it through this last year of high school alive and without damaging each other’s pysche for good. In the meantime, I will fight for him and with him to get through this. He will know that I believe in him and will not allow failure. If nothing else, it will give him years of good stories for his future therapy appointments….

Lucky to be a woman

Yesterday, was International Women’s Day and social media’s reaction really made me stop and think about a woman’s role in society today.  I saw some beautiful tributes made by men to thier wives or mothers.  I saw the usual tea party jerks posting offensive “jokes”, and I also saw a few women wonder out loud, “when are men are going to get their day?”  Because, clearly men don’t have enough perks in the world today.  Sigh.

My answer to all women who believe we live in an emasculated society; Stop!  Please, take a look at congress.  Women hold only 20% of the seats in the Senate and just about 5% of the seats in the house.  The gender pay gap is just about 77% and women hold only 4.8% of the CEO positions in all fortune 500 companies. We aren’t even close to getting the same teatment as men. This is only a statistical snapshot of the United States, where women enjoy more freedom than most.  Imagine having to cover your face in public, or living in fear of getting gang-raped on public transportation, or even being forced to marry your rapist at the young age of 14.  This is the sad reality for many of our sisters across the world. We American women can consider ourselves lucky.

But, are we “lucky”? Sure, we get to vote and work, but are we really that valued by men in society?  I recently ready Amy Poehler’s novel, “Yes, Please,” and she references how “lucky” she has been as a women in a man’s world.  Basically, every demoralizing thing that happens to women in society, has also happened to Ms. Poehler, but because she hasn’t been raped, she sarcastically calls herself “lucky”

“On the other hand, men are sometimes wildly inappropriate in the way they share with women. By a show of hands, how many of you have seen a strange penis on the street? On the subway? At a sleepover? I was once walking with my friend Keri in the middle of the day and some guy asked us for the time. When we looked down at our watches, his dick was in his hands. We giggled and screamed and ran away. We were probably ten. I have been really drunk in high school and had a guy try to fool around with me. I have been called a bitch and a lesbian when I rejected a guy in college. I have locked eyes with various subway masturbators. I have been mugged but not raped, pushed and spit on by someone I knew, and forced to pull over in a road-rage incident where a man stuck his head into my car and told me he was going to “cum in my face.” And I count myself very lucky. That is what “very lucky” feels like. Oof.”
Amy Poehler, Yes Please

I was recently invited to a concert with a male acquaintance. I did not know this guy very well, but it seemed harmless enough, so I accepted. What I learned on the drive to the show: He is a classic narcissist; cheats on his wife, only hears himself talk, needs constant positive affirmation, etc. This is a newer acquaintance and the narcissist red flags were flying high. We had just arrived to the show and I mentioned that I knew a friend sitting in a Suite and that maybe she could get us in…. he called me a “Bitch” for bringing it up when he was trying to tell me that he knew someone in a suite as well. I thought he was kidding, until he threw his full beer as hard as he could into the trash can. I guess he wasn’t kidding.  He was actually pissed.  We left at that moment….I at least saw 1 song.

A few months ago, I ran into an old friend and a very powerful CEO in town.  I mentioned that I was looking for a new job and he offered to meet me for a drink to discuss potential opportunities.  I can’t even put in writing how excited I was to meet him.  I really want to find a new career.  I was the first to arrive and grabbed a seat at the bar. When I saw him approach, I stood and extended my hand. Instead,he went in for the hug and whispered in ear “let’s just get this over with and f*^k.” I was so deflated.

Once, I sold a huge advertising program to a very popular local home improvements company.  It was my biggest sale to date. It was going to pay a ton of commission and help me get promoted.  We signed the contracts earlier in the day and agreed to meet for a celebration dinner later that evening.  We had a delightful dinner. The business owner was quite a character with some very funny stories.  While I was signing for the dinner, he said now that the contracts were signed and the dinner was complete, he could tell me why he really did business with me…..he wanted to make me his mistress.  Sigh.  I smiled politely, because that is what us “lucky” girls do in society, and made sure he knew I wanted to keep our relationship professional.  To retaliate, he never paid for his advertising, and I got stuck paying back the commission.  He also cost me my promotion.  My male boss knew he harrassed me and did nothing about it. I am so “lucky”.

Like Ms. Poehler, I have been called “slut”, “bitch”, “whore”.  I have also been taken advantage of after too many drinks and called a “tease” when I didn’t cooperate.  I have been fondled in a dressing room when I worked retail, and told by a male boss that I had to keep helping the customer.  I have been called a “floozy” by a boss (I was 16) because my earrings were too big.  I have been hit on by a therapist, told my mom, and she said that I exagerated the story (I didn’t exagerrate the story, btw). I was once slipped a roofie. I work in a typical “boy’s club” industry and frequently get called sexist nicknames by clients (ie: blondie, sweet cheeks, eye candy).  I smile politely and imagine punching them in the throat, just as society has taught me. I’ve been asked to wear short skirts on sales calls. On certain summer days, when no men arrive at the office, we realize that they are at another golf outing, of which we weren’t invited. I could keep going…

No, our men are not emasculated.  That is ridiculous. In fact, I wonder how evolved they have become?  I know that my boys will not use any of the offensive words listed above.  While they are being taught to love and respect women, they are far from emasculated.  Women need and deserve to have a day of empowerment.  A day in which we celebrate each other instead of tearing each other down.  A day where we aren’t called any negative names or worse.  Most importantly, giving one day per year to the empowerment of women does not take away from our men.  It has nothing to do with our men.  It should only be about us, the Lucky ones.

America, we have a selfie problem…

image

As a single woman, I have no choice but to try to meet men through on-line dating sites.  Some are better than others, but I still find all of them exhausting.  They are so time consuming with the constant texting and emailing…..can’t we just get to the point where we want to hang out and watch TV together?  I already work full time and raise two kids on my own; on-line dating feels more like a third job than a land of opportunity.

Online dating is so manufactured and prefabricated that any sense of authenticity has completely vanished from the first date. You have already read what their favorite restaurant is and found out what music they like. It’s almost too familiar when you meet in person.  It feels very much like running into a Facebook friend that you haven’t seen in 20 years, but already know exactly what they have been up to.  Except, now you have invested a lot of time into this person, and you have never even met them.

Dating profiles make it very easy to reduce people to nothing more than your checklist and to quickly swipe left (say “no” to them, married peeps).  For example, I don’t give men a chance that show the following pictures on their profile:

  • Leaning on their car/motorcycle- ugh
  • Too many selfies- murderer
  • A bathroom mirror selfie- gross
  • Too many pics with a dog- sappy
  • Holding a kid that is not theirs- too premeditated/definitely a murder

The Huffington Post recently released an article stating that men who take too many selfies are more likely to show psychopathic and narcissistic tendencies.  Obviously.  I don’t think we needed a study to prove this, but it’s nice to have some back up documentation.  I mean, where are their friends?  Why are they always alone?  Why are they thinking about how hot they look while they are alone?  There are many mysteries about these guys, but I like living, so I am not going to be the one to solve the mystery.  Sorry ladies.

Another issue with the “selfie generation” is the guy that asks way too soon for a “private pic.”  Listen up psychopath, “I DON’T KNOW YOU AND I AM NOT SENDING YOU A PICTURE!”  You really would not believe just how many times I have been sent this request.  Men that haven’t even bought me a cup of coffee yet, are already asking me to send them a pic.  As if.  First of all, I have no idea what you plan on doing with my picture.  If it’s what I think they want to do with my picture, then especially NO.  Secondly, do men think that we sit around our houses at night looking cute?  News Flash:  we don’t!  I am in pajama pants and a sweatshirt.  No makeup.  Headband.  Probably some zit cream and you want me to send a pic?  Hell no.  Even if I have been dating you for a while, and I like you, I am still not sending you a pic. The effort to get cute alone is totally not worth it. Nor, are the repercussions when you release the picture on-line after we break up.  Really, who do you think you are?

I learned not to date Selfie Guy the hard way (Dad, stop reading now).  He was charming enough, at first.  He texted a lot.  Too much,now that I think about it.  He also sent me a few silly selfies throughout texting conversations that made me laugh.  You know funny faces, in response to sarcastic comment, etc.  Selfie Guy seemed witty and jovial.  We had met twice.  Once for a quick lunch and second for a happy hour.  Both were very fun and we had agreed to meet for the third date. An actual Friday night dinner date.  We were joining the big leagues!  I woke up Friday morning to a text that went something like this:

Selfie Guy- “Can’t wait to see you”

Me- “Me too”

Selfie Guy- “Already shaving my face to get ready”

Me- “It should be fun”

Selfie Guy- “Here’s how excited I am”

-attachment

Now, please remember, that up until this point, Selfie Guy had sent nothing but silly faces.  So, when I see an attachment, I naturally click on it believing that I am about to see a pic of him shaving.  NOPE.  Selfie Guy sent a video.  A VIDEO. I was so shocked that when I tried to shut it down, I just kept hitting play over and over again. Consequently, watching the happy ending over and over….it’s still burning in my eyes and I may never be OK again. You can use your imagination.

The on-line dating community is small enough that this story made it’s way through several of my single girls. They also had similar encounters with Selfie Guy. Turns out, the creep sends the same video to all of his on-line conquests. We aren’t even special!  He just stores it in wait. Somehow, that made me feel dirtier.  Be safe out there ladies.  And remember, don’t open any attachments.

We All Have a Type…

winery

Recently, I published a blog post and stated that bald men were not my thing. It was a fairly innocuous statement, and I was simply referring to my type. We all have types, right? Well, I like a thick head of man hair to run my fingers through. Sorry bald dudes. I’m sure you are great guys, I am just not into it. No worries, there are plenty of women out there that love your bald heads….as you so forcefully pointed out after reading my post. Actually, it is unbelievable how many bald men reached out to me; publicly and privately. One thing is certain, you guys are super sensitive about your baldness. I certainly didn’t mean to ruffle your feathers. The responses ranged from lighthearted to down right mean-spirited and it made me wonder, what if women were this sensitive about your type?

Women have been forced to listen to endless debates from men regarding a preference of big boobs or big butts. Blondes vs. Brunettes. Can you imagine, if after you admitted to being a boob guy, that every flat chested woman privately contacted you to let you know that she had a great personality and you were being unfair? WAHHHHHH. Well, that ‘s what happened to me. Seriously, several bald men privately contacted me to let me know that they are great guys and I am missing out on a great opportunity. Dear sensitive bald men, I am sure that you are all great catches, and if I were to get to know you better, we would be on our honeymoon right now. Just like I am positive that a man whose dream date is Sophia Vergara, would totally fall in love with me if he got to know me. Right? Don’t worry, gentleman, it’s ok for both of us to have a type. We are totally used to you objectifying our bodies, and putting us into categories. Is it a newsflash that we do it to you as well?

I have one friend that feels compelled to tell me how much he hates my short hair every chance he gets. You know when you get a new look and you can’t wait to show it off? Well, I cut my hair off prior to attending a wedding with this friend last year. I strutted into the bar, feeling really beautiful, and as soon as he saw me said, “what did you do to your hair?” I get short hair isn’t his thing, but couldn’t he have complimented my dress, instead? Nothing like an insult to suck the confidence right out of the night. I laughed it off, as I have been trained to do, but that comment repeated in my head on a loop for days. He really hurt my feelings. It’s one thing to talk in generalities (boobs vs butts), but it’s another to insult a human being personally (you are too flat chested for me). Men, do you see the difference? About 6 months after that, I posted a picture on Facebook of me and my friends enjoying a GNO at a local winery. As soon as the picture was posted, we started getting fun comments from all of our mutual friends. We were having a great time reading through and responding to the comments, when this one friend mentioned above wrote, “Grow your hair out.” Talk about being deflated. The whole table stopped laughing for a few, and looked at me to see my reaction. I sat there quiet and felt humiliated. My friends read it and wondered if this person was a mean ex? Nope, just some guy that feels he is entitled to insult me and my style personally.

Men, don’t be so defensive and stop being so hard on us. The best thing you can do is make a woman laugh. That’s truly the way to our hearts. In the end, little things like boobs vs butts, hair vs bald, blonde vs brunette don’t matter. They are just the spark and it’s laughter that fuels the fire. That being said, if you are over 6’, super thin, and have a thick head of hair….call me!

I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me

Ringling Days

Ringling Days


20 years ago, I was performing with Ringling Bros. and we were enjoying an afternoon off in Kansas City. A few of my fellow dancers and I went shopping in this great bookstore…I have since forgotten the name, but I remember the girls bringing me a self help book titled, “I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me.” They were crying laughing and knew they had found the perfect book for me. My God, were they right.

This week alone, I suffered from this strange affliction. My friends were hosting a Sugar Bowl party and invited me along. Anyone who knows me understands that I don’t do sports, but I do love a party! So, I borrowed my 8 yr old son’s OSU sweatshirt, and got ready to go. Meanwhile, my friends decided I should be set up with the other single guy that would be in attendance. Here we go….

They sent him my pictures (without me knowing) and he approved… I internet stalked (don’t judge) and discovered he was cute. Not my normal guy, but cute. So, I headed out to meet Single Guy. Now, before I arrived, I was extremely hesitant. I already knew he wasn’t my type:

-bald
-marathoner (20 of them so far)
-outdoorsy
-iron man competitor
-bald

So, I’m at the party, and Single Guy walks in. We hold eye contact just long enough for it to be a little bit sexy. He’s wearing a ballcap, which is great, since I don’t usually like bald dudes, (Sorry bald dudes) and he has a cute smile. List above? Forgotten. It takes a while for Single Guy to come over, and when he does, it’s completely awkward. Too many knowing eyes watching us to see if we are getting along. The entire room must have been in on it. I notice he’s wearing really bad running shoes and horrible jeans. Not my type, but I suck it up and proceed to ask him a million questions anyway. He asked me nothing. Nada. Zip. He’s either socially awkward or not interested. I was being fairly charming and looking really good in my skinny jeans, so, I’m going for socially awkward. I hate socially awkward guys. At this point, I need to know if it’s me or him. Single Guy works in PR, so as an excuse to get up, he says he needs to walk around and take pics for his promo page.It was painfully obvious. He just got up to get away. OMG….IT IS ME!

Did I mention that the whole room was watching, so now I’m not only feeling the shame of being publicly dissed by Single Guy, but I’m also getting pity glances from the entire room? It was the worst! I wanted to hide under a table. As always, that fake confidence of mine had other plans. I was going to make Single Guy like me! Who cares if he’ll expect me to go jogging at some point? Or that he’s uninterested in me? Or bald? Or outdoorsy? I can’t handle the rejection. I’m even ignoring the bad jeans and shoes. I went full on flirt. I was totally embarrassing. I couldn’t laugh enough at his bad jokes or stop pretending to be completely enthralled by his presence.

I found out he grew up in the mountains, Bleh. White water rafting, Bleh. Fly fishing, Bleh. Camping, Bleh. Was a corporate fitness trainer, double Bleh. Still, I was so pissed that he wasn’t asking me anything! Why didn’t he care to hear about me? But most importantly, why did I care what he thought????

He left even more awkwardly than he arrived. Our mutual friends were trying to give us some space so he could ask me out. (None of them believed me when I said he wasn’t into me). Again, it was all so forced. When Single Guy was given that split second of privacy to ask me for my number, he instead took it as a sign to break for his car, and walked away as fast as possible. Leaving me to yell, “Nice meeting you” into the wind. I walked in shame back to my car, wondering what the hell just happened?

Go Bucks!

Go Bucks!

“Why are you single?”

am i right? STOP! This question is the worst! I am single because I choose to be, not because of some deep seeded flaw. Maybe it’s because I have commitment issues or maybe it’s because I really like being single. Who knows? But, please stop asking as it is so rude.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been times in my life when I have started to question myself, as well. I mean, I am cute, in shape, fun to hang out with, and successful. I can even cook! My kids don’t suck (at least usually), and my house stays fairly clean. So, why? It’s during these unfortunate times that it becomes easy to believe that I have set my standards too high. I trick myself into thinking I am too hard on people and maybe I am the one that needs to become more tolerant. This is a huge mistake. Single ladies of the world….THIS IS A TRAP! DO NOT FALL FOR THE HYPE! Our standards aren’t too high, and the minute you lower them, you settle. DO NOT SETTLE!

I was once engaged to a guy during one of these “episodes”. We’ll call him, Schmob. Schmob was very blue collar. Spoke in double negatives, wore carpenter jeans on purpose, and drank way too much Miller Lite (the horror). He was also an annoying Brown’s super-fan. One day after a game, I found him passed out on the floor next to his bed with his pants half off. He fell down trying to change and stayed there. I was so proud. He was the exact opposite of me. During one of these “episodes”, however, one can talk themselves into believing that maybe this is totally normal behavior. This must be how guys act and I have been the jerk for not accepting them for who they are. Yea, right. With every “ain’t got no” I died a little inside. Obviously, this one got called off. I never missed him one day once he was gone. I was settling and didn’t even know it. He’s probably still at the Muni-lot drinking Miller Lites waiting for the next tailgate. UGH.

During another one of my “episodes”, I tried to date an old boyfriend that in college had cheated on me with one of my sorority sisters. It’s easy to make yourself believe that guys can change when you are in an “episode”. You start to think, “Perhaps, I’m the person who is too judgey. Give them another chance.” Not only was he a cheater, he was also arrogant, rude and embarrassing to bring around friends. He would look at the hummus put out for entertaining, and make a gagging noise, and exclaim his hatred for the food being provided him. This guy also was poorly spoken and wore carpenter jeans. On purpose! What is it with poorly spoken men in carpenter jeans? Ladies, red flag alert here. This guy was so rude. Once I asked him if he thought our relationship was headed anywhere? He replied, “Just keep it fun and I’ll keep coming around.” Ummmm, whaaaaaaa?????? GET OUT! OMG, I”M SETTLING!!!!!!

Today, I have no aversion to finding somebody. I have learned my lesson on settling and it’s never going to happen again. If I do find Mr. Right, he’s got to be everything I want him to be. Not just the pieces parts. My mother on my 40th birthday said, “You know, Prince Charming isn’t coming.” Maybe not, but he better be able to complete a proper sentence, eat my friends hummus and rock a great pair of form fitted jeans.

Biggest Misconceptions of Turning 40

40th bday with my greatest life long friends!

40th bday with my greatest life long friends!

Remember when you were a kid and thought about becoming a grown up? We believed certain things would be true: People will be nicer. Bullies will stop bullying. Money will be easily accessible. You will become totally confident and won’t care what people think. Now that we are all adults, we know that this is all bullshit.

People don’t become nicer. Jerks stay jerks. They might even grow up to be bigger jerks. At least in school, they could only ruin your day. Now, they can destroy career, become your boss or coach your kids tee ball team. Hereby, ruining any chance your kid had at liking sports. The mean girls of the suburban moms can stop you from meeting new friends or have too much of a say in who calls your kid for a play date. They ruled the school and now they rule the community. I think they still wear pink on Wednesdays.

Grown-up bullies are the worst. The mean girl in my office once told a co-worker that she wouldn’t hang out with them anymore if they stayed friends with me. True story. Can you imagine? What’s worse is the co-worker listened and stopped hanging out with me. They even thought it totally reasonable to explain the situation to me, as if by knowing the truth behind their sudden departure, I would somehow hurt less. Needless to say, that plan didn’t quite work. Sometimes, ignorance IS bliss. I know people like to say it’s jealousy, but I don’t believe that to be true. Some people are just assholes. They don’t need a reason. In fact, maybe as parents we need to change how we teach kids to handle bullies. Maybe, we just need to prepare them for the truth. “Some people are assholes, and you will have to deal with them every day for the rest of your life.” If anybody wants to help me start that campaign…call me.

And what about that misconception of financial stability. Did my parents struggle like this? If they did, I never knew. I assumed that if you worked hard, you then lived comfortably. When does that “comfortably” part kick in? Do we all worry so much? Maybe that’s the biggest shock of adulthood: so much worry.

Also, I’m still waiting for that grown-up confidence to kick in. You know, that confidence you read about in every woman’s mag, that states women over 40 stop caring what other people think? That is such crap. Of course, we still care about what other people think. It might be less extreme, I mean I’m not succumbing to peer pressure at 40, but I sure do hate being blatantly whispered about. Or left out of an office gathering. Or seeing that my friends are all hanging out without me. Or having someone sneer at my outfit. That all sucks! Who are we kidding….it hurt at 16 and it still hurts today.

The good news is we do gain a certain power as we grow up: the power to weed out the bullshit. Learn to spot the mean ones and do your best to ignore and avoid. They do still get under your skin, and even hurt your feelings, however, we can choose to be surrounded by love and true friendship,instead of the insecurities of fake people. That’s a powerful choice. The picture above shows my best friends from kindergarten and middle school. The great ones are out there and they are to be cherished. I love these fantastic ladies with all my heart and love that we have chosen each other as forever friends!

Would it have turning 40 easier to know that the cliques and mean girls never go away; that they just become co-workers and fellow soccer moms? I’m not sure. I do think my “people are just assholes” campaign is brilliant and might be the way to prepare our kids for the future!

You never know who you’re talking to…

Opposing political views are what make this world go round. I love a good political debate. But here’s the thing, if your views have led you to be discriminating, disliking or oppressing, then chances are you have become an extremist, and you should re-evaluate your belief system. We seem to have lost empathy and too many of people have their congregations to blame.

I spend a good portion of a day with a person that claims to be a good Christian. Church twice a week, dinner with the their pastor, marital counselling with pastor, etc. I once heard this person compare gay rights to bestiality. So, you know, a true born again.

While discussing our kids and their Christmas lists, it was revealed that their teen has asked for Tyler Oakley merch. He’s the biggest LGBT advocate on YouTube. He’s pretty amazing. Not gonna lie, I love that this child, whose parent once equated a gay support group to a bestiality club, was able to break the mold. Also, the irony is hilarious. I had to bask in the glory of this moment, and really dive in to see how this made them feel…

The answer was the same as every other homophobic person, who thinks that they aren’t homophobic, “I have no problem with gay people, I just don’t approve of their lifestyle.” At this point, my face must have contorted around my botox, because they sensed I didn’t approve, and went on to say, “It’s not that I mind that they exist, it’s just so annoying when they always want to talk about their rights.” More botox contorting ensued….and then they dropped the ultimate phobic line, “you know, I have a gay friend.” I was literally screaming inside. I somehow kept calm and replied, “well, maybe when they get equal rights, you won’t have to hear them complain about it any longer….”

At the end of conversation, they logged onto Tyler’s website and ordered the Tyler Oakley sweatshirt. A small victory for equality, but a victory nonetheless. I didn’t even have to let her know that my own son is gay. I’ll save that bomb in my back pocket.

Straight, white conservative people seem to think that all straight white people have the same phobic beliefs. News flash peeps; we don’t. Times have changed. You are now the minority. In fact, you should no longer feel comfortable talking about your phobic beliefs, or dropping your racist one liners. If you have to look over your shoulder to see if what you are about to say will offend anybody, then maybe you shouldn’t say it. Rather, feel ashamed of those beliefs. Think of yourself as one of the few smokers left, that have been relegated out to a dark, rainy alley for a smoke. Keep your phobias and racism to yourself and leave it in that dark alley with the dirty cigarette butts. They don’t have a place in today’s society any longer.

An Extroverted Introvert

Growing up, I was always trying to make myself the center of attention. My family has this horrifying old 8mm movie in which they are trying to record my delightful 2 year old brother doing something super cute, but instead, I jump in the frame, push him out of the way (by out of the way, I mean to the ground) and start singing and dancing. Terribly. It’s so embarrassing. The good news is that I did not grow up to be an asshole, I just played one on tv.

As I grew older, the need to be the center of attention became more of a defense mechanism than it was my true self. Honestly, I grew into a bit of a loner. However, I vividly remember my first day of High School when my defense mechanism reared its ugly head, and ruined my chance to have people like me. We were all called into the auditorium for a “welcome to high school” speech. It was the first time my class, coming from 3 different middle schools, would all be together as one. The principal said she would like to introduce some classmates as potential leaders in the school, or as I remember it, future targets for hatred. She introduced the team captains of various sports and members of student council. I was announced for Cheer-leading and Student Council. As I heard my name, a very awkward and uncomfortable feeling happened inside of me; I wanted to crawl under the chair and hide. Instead, I decided to exude a fake confidence, and I did something so stupid that it has haunted me over since. I jumped up from my chair, put my hand high into the air, faked the biggest smile you ever saw and gave a huge parade queen wave. Everybody else that was announced stood up awkwardly and quickly sat back down. Not me. I waved and waved. I even turned my body around to be sure to wave to EVERYBODY in the auditorium. All the while, my inside voice screaming, sit down you asshole! But no, I didn’t sit. I kept waving and waving until I saw the looks of disgust staring back at me and classmates jaws literally dragging on the ground. I felt how much people hated me in that moment and I was not wrong. People really did hate me. I would have hated me to.

They did really shitty things to me. One day, I walked through the main lobby of the school and saw that somebody had taken a playboy centerfold and glued my face to it, and then stuck it in the main showcase. Everybody laughed and pointed at me as I walked past. It was mortifying. Another time, a rougher group of girls decided to vandalize my house. They didn’t just tee-pee my house, nope. Instead, they took ketchup and mustard and wrote “slut” and “whore” on my parents house which, if course, stained the paint. So, we all got to read the words for weeks until the house was repainted. My parents were so proud. You get the drift….

I started pretending like I needed to take a nap during the Friday night football games, so that I didn’t have to endure any name calling. I had friends, don’t get me wrong, but I became accustomed to going places by myself. I would meet friends out rather than drive together, so that I had an easy escape if the situation became too uncomfortable. Introverts always need as escape. I was fun….it just had to be on my terms. Herein lies the biggest misconception about introverts; we aren’t all socially awkward. Actually, I was often the life of the party…just as long as I could escape if needed.

The whole experience definitely had a very lasting effect on me. I continued to be able to fake that confidence, but in less annoying ways. At some point, fake confidence grows into real confidence. I still need to take a breath to calm my nerves before a date or walking into a sales call. Don’t we all? But, if I had a choice between going out or staying home, I would really rather be home reading a book or binge watching a show. (Broad City currently…it’s ha-larious).

Today, I’m a great public speaker. I love to perform. I can work a room (if I have to). I hate large crowds. I can handle meeting strangers, but prefer to be with my own crowd. When I do go out with friends, I meet them out, in case I feel the need for an easy escape. I enjoy coccooning all winter and emerging again in the spring. I’m an extroverted introvert and that’s ok.