The one thing that will make me dump a guy right away….

I have a dating deal-breaker. When I ask you what your favorite album of all time is, you better have a good answer. We don’t have to have an agreeable answer, but it better be a well thought out answer. In fact, I want to see a passionate response. A reaction that indicates you get truly excited when talking about your memories surrounding music. I don’t think anything can transport a person back to an important place in time, more than a song.

A few years ago, I started dating this super-hot guy. Let’s call him “Hot J.D.”. He was REALLY hot. We had dated for a while and I wanted him to meet my brother. My brother, Adam and I are 7 years apart in age, but super close. Adam also lives out-of-town, so it’s like magic if I’m actually into a guy while my brother is home. This was one of those magical times,so we made plans to meet that night for a beer. My brother and I had just finished loading the jukebox with some of our favorites and came back excited to share the stories surrounding some of the songs. In particular, we love the Black Crowes. We both remember a particular drive, when we listened to “Hard to Handle” over and over again until he nailed the lyrics. It was a great day. Windows down, music loud and such a binding moment for Adam and I. A great memory.

We shared our story and then asked Hot J.D. to share his favorite. His answer? YANNI. whaaaaaaaa????? Surely, he was joking? Nope. Not Joking. He thought YANNI was a genius. I lost the respect of my brother in that moment. So embarrassing. YANNI. On a side note, I found a box in his room containing gay porn a few days later. And, no Hot J.D., I don’t think you were really “holding onto that box for a friend.”

This summer, I dated a guy that I believe to have been on the spectrum. Let’s call him “Shmeith”. He was the least emotionally in tune person I have ever dated. He admitted it was his biggest problem and could not pick up on any social queues. We drove from Cleveland to Chicago and I was determined to figure out his likes and dislikes. He appeared to have no opinions. On anything. I loaded my iPod full of story telling memories and hit the road. When I asked what his favorites were, he replied “I’m not really into music.” Whaaaaaaaa? I tried to get anything out of him… greatest song? Band? Concert? Nothing! Who’s not into music? Not even a favorite song….So weird to me. Next!

Today I found myself driving with my 16 yr old, Jake. He requested Matchbox 20 for the drive, and I was thrilled to oblige. During that hour, I went from nostalgic, to sad, to happy all because of the memories attached to so many of their songs. This band has literally had a hit song for every major event in my life. I can’t listen to “Push” or “3am” without tearing up. And if I’m seeing them live, forget it. I’m a hot mess. It takes me right back to when the love of my life, let’s call him “Shmenny Shmucha”, left me the day after I told him we were pregnant. I have never felt so afraid and alone. I couldn’t believe that it was over. Not only did I have to raise a baby alone, but how was I supposed to get over him? You know when you feel like you can’t get any air? That’s how it felt. Good luck hearing Rob Thomas sing, “And I don’t know if if I’ve ever been really loved, by a hand that’s touched me” without ugly crying all over yourself.

Their next album, Mad Season was released 2 years later and I still never heard a word from Shmenny. Again, Rob was totally in my head. “Can you help me I’m bent, I’m so scared that I’ll never be put back together.” I wasn’t sure if I could ever recover from what Shmenny Shmucha did to me. To this day, I’m still unsure. I listened to “If You’re Gone” so many times, that my Jake called it “Mommas song”. He still does. I still couldn’t believe that Shmenny was gone for good. He had to come back, right?

When MB20 toured in 2002,Jake was 5 years old and ready for his first concert. It was awesome. My brother, and his now wife, and Jake and I went together. It was a perfect night. We knew every word to every song and sang at the top if our lungs. An older rocker chick Sat behind Jake and cat the end of concert, she tapped him on the shoulder and said,”Littlefield, you rock out” She made his night. “Bright Lights” was the song of my soul at the moment. I mean, how did Rob know to write a song about me wishing I had made it on Broadway? Get out of my head, Rob! Today, hearing it makes me smile. “Yea, I gotta scar I can talk about.” Better yet, the night was so fun, that it turned a sceptical Adam into a fan.

They went away for a while, and came back with “How Far We’ve Come.” By this time, my little one, Max was born and this became his favorite song. He loved to watch the VH1top 20 every weekend morning and would get so excited when this video would play. The video had fireworks! FIREWORKS!!!! Ahhhhhh!!!!

Finally, MB20 released North. The lyrics are no longer gut-wrenching, rather uplifting instead. I was ready to be uplifted by Rob. Too many years spent waiting for Shmenny to show up. Too many tears wasted on what could have been. He’s clearly never coming and I stopped wanting him to come back at some point. My head knew but it took my heart a bit linger to catch on. Today, Jake and I ended our drive singing along to “Overjoyed,” smiling and realizing “How Far We’ve Come.”

the thing about my job…

wpid-20141028_120403.jpgI have received so much concern from my family members regarding my “shitty job” comment in my bio that I felt the need to address it. I also broke down and cried at work today about how horrible I feel in my new position, so that needs to be addressed as well. Ugly cried. At work. So embarrassing. Anyway, I get that I need my job. I’m a single mom and am the sole provider of this family. (So much pressure.) It’s important to note that my issue isn’t with the company as a whole, but my role within that company that is sucking my soul dry. So readers, how should I honestly address a job that I hate, and stay employed? Very carefully.

Let me backtrack a bit to explain that I really believed that I was going to “make it”. Whatever “it” was going to be, was yet to be determined. Broadway,tv, SNL (I would’ve been great on SNL). I have toured with Ringling Bros, waterskiied for Sea World and performed in tons of local theatre. I had such cool jobs/experiences that anything other than “it” was never to going be “it”.

Flash forward to modern times, and I, like so many other people, find myself doing what i have to do and not what i want to. This is always the part when annoyingly cup-half-full people say,”you can do whatever you want” or “you are such a great decorator, you could totally start a business” or “what is it you WANT to do?”. As if. That’s not a luxury provided to me in this lifetime, and I’m totally ok with that. I became a single mom at 26, and needed to make money. So, instead of having the time to invest in a dream career, I became a really great salesperson. No, it’s not what I hoped to be when I grew up, but I do provide a nice life for me and my boys, and I’m very proud of that. I’m even really good at it. I love closing a big deal! I had just started to have fun with my career and began to develop really great business relationships and connections within my field, when the bottom dropped out. Industry changes equalled downsizing.

Over the last few years, we have experienced cut backs and downsizing. Through every cut, I have been lucky to keep a chair with my name on it. (Many of my friends haven’t been so lucky.) The chair keeps moving further away from a window, and is accompanied with less and less responsibility, but it’s still mine! It feels demoralizing and lucky all at the same time. We no longer work in an era where companies feel lucky to have great talent, instead we work in the “you are lucky to have a job” era.

YOU WILL WORK HOLIDAYS
YOU WILL ACCEPT WORSE BENEFITS
YOU MAY NOT LEAVE 30min EARLY FOR A DR. APPT

Welcome to corporate America in the “you are lucky to have a job” era. And what really sucks? We are lucky! I am very lucky to still have a chair, further from the window, but mine all mine. I’m very lucky that I still have benefits for my kids…a huge deductible, but we’re covered nonetheless. I only wish that this corporate America realized they were lucky to have us, too.

It feels so selfish to think about what could have been. I feel horrible that my friends are still searching for a jobs while I have that far from the Windows chair. Also, I really love raising my kids and totally own my financial responsibility, so please don’t think that I have regrets… Of course, if Lorne Michaels stumbles upon my blog, and invites me to an an SNL audition, then I am so outta here! Later suckers!

In defense of turning 40 and finding a love for cats…

I know…I’m a total cliche. I’m a single 40 yr old woman and I have 2 cats. 2 adorable cats. Not your average mean, passive aggressive cats, but 2 sweet, cuddly cats. I can sense the look of disgust coming from my 30 yr old cousin as I write this. (hey Riss 🙂

The thing is, I never really loved pets. Other people’s pets always grossed me out. (I’m also not fan of other people’s kids…more on that another day.) I tried to bring a puppy home for my oldest son to love and bond with, but it never took. My son didn’t get attached and the puppy was kind of an a-hole, and I really didn’t have the time. Maybe, I was the a-hole. Bygones.

Not loving your pets made me feel like a really bad person. Clearly, I was the one with the problem. Everybody else seemed to LOVE pets. I wanted to feel that bond too, but I just couldn’t. So, I just shut down completely when they would get near me. The unconditional love and neediness that they exuded crippled me. Actually, this is still what I do when I date a guy longer than 3 months and he wants to get close emotionally. hmmmmm

Fast forward 10 years and my second son was ready for a pet. He LOVES them all…just like you all do. Full on love. Effortless and unconditional. He totally deserved that love back from a pet; however, no way in hell was another a-hole dog getting into my house. So, we started cat shopping. This is when I found Larry. A 10 yr old tuxedo cat with vampire-like yellow eyes. He looked very cool. Also; “Larry”. It took the agency 20 min to remember they had him solitary because he was eating all of the other cat’s food. ha! No-brainer. BOX that cat up!

We brought him home and he immediately took. He is a 20lb monster and really cuddly. Also; “Larry”.

larry buddha

I am not sure that I realized until this very moment how my fear of commitment to pets was so connected to my fear of commitment with men. Maybe now that I have overcome that fear of unconditional pet love, I can try to date somebody longer than 3 months…..stay tuned.

weekend in chicago

So, I spent the weekend celebrating my cousins 30th bday. I was the old lady (42) with a gaggle of 25-30 yr olds and oh boy, was it enlightening. These millennials spend a lot of time on self-reflection. I mean, A LOT OF TIME. At first, I as all “they are sooo ridiculous” but then I thought, “OMG, is this why my life is so stagnant?” I don’t self-reflect???!!! I mean EVER! I survive… I raise 2 kids all by myself, I go to a shitty job every day. I come home and help with homework, take care of my house and watch tv. Is this not what I should be doing?

At one point they all turned to me and asked what have I learned as a woman so far at 40. I wanted to curl up under my chair and die. I didn’t have an answer….

Today, begins my journey to find that answer. I welcome you to join me on my self-reflection ride.