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Saturday, 30 July 2011

Sad.... not even a little funny.

Ran out of steam this week... Had nothing witty or funny to say, and I'm coming to the realization that most of the things we worry about really have zero significance...

A dear friend of mine, a man I've known for more than 25 years, had a horrible tragedy occur last weekend.  It's really putting all the "crises" I face daily in question.  I can't fathom what they're going through, and frankly I don't want to. 

This friend of mine is a tall, lanky, easy going man who has appeared not to age. Ever... He was one of the "older" people in my college class, having a big 4 years or so on me, but back in the day that seemed to be a loooooong time....He was just always sooo much more worldly than the rest of us... He looks EXACTLY the same as he did back then, and now appears younger than many of the "kids" he went to school with.  

He is brilliant, funny,with a keen but quiet wit, thoughtful and kind.  His heart has always been about three sizes too big even for his 6 foot 6 frame. When we were in college, he dated two of the hottest girls in school.  NO not at the same time... he wasn't that sort of guy.  He wasn't classically handsome, but certainly was charming... and the women he chose to spend his time with were not only gorgeous, but smart too.  That hasn't changed.

He elected not to marry until he was over 40, but when he did, he landed yet another hawt blond.  When he became a father to a set of stunningly beautiful twins 5 years ago, everyone who knew him felt he'd be a great dad.  That fact was evident to me many times over, watching him patiently play with his son and daughter, showing his pride on his face, and his heart on his sleeve. 

His wife is about 10 years his junior I would guess, and they chose to have her stay home with the kids.  She is a doting mother....  I have been getting to know and appreciate her over the past couple of years.  I give her credit, she's managed to hold her own with my tight knit college class...

Last weekend, she took the kids to a lake about an hour and a half from town, where her parents have a home.  They'd spent a lot of time there in the past, and while my friend had just started a new job and couldn't be there, she took the kids up anyhow to have a break.

One of the days there, they decided to spend the evening outdoors... and the events that followed are still unclear.  One of the twins, the son, slipped into the water off the dock, and was later found by his grandfather, floating face down in the lake.  His mother, screaming for help started CPR in anticipation of the emergency crew, who arrived and took over. 

The boy was transported to the hospital in the nearest city while police here located my friend... I am so glad the person in charge of the medical emergency helicopter service elected to transport my friend to his son's bedside.  What an amazing gesture of compassion....Otherwise he would have been on the road for an hour and a half.  The decision has been questioned by some of the general public here.  I'm disgusted by that to be honest.  The trip cost the city $750, and while it could set a precedent, I would ask what those people would want if they were the father of a 5 year old boy clinging to life...

I suspect many of these people aren't parents because they've questioned the commitment of the parents to the safety of their child.  It's easy to sit back and be sanctimonious when you haven't had to parent 5 year old twins.  EVERY parent should know they've had situations happen where but by the grace of God their child might have died.  EVERY one of us has had close calls in our own lives where we could have died despite the best efforts of our parents to keep us safe.

Our little college community will likely raise far more than the helicopter trip cost, and will put that money toward the service they provided.  I am so grateful my friend was able to get to his family.  His boy lost his fight for life that day, and so the next weeks and months will be bleak for this family. 

I'm proud to be part of a group who will support them through the dark days and months to come.... we love one another.  We are a strange group of creative types who put people before tasks, ALWAYS... and therefore are not wealthy, but we're rich in friendships.

Rest in peace little man, and rest assured your parents loved you every second of your short life... and that both of them would take your place given the chance.  Your sister will have to make her way through her life without you to be there to have her back, but she's been left in good hands.

Later...

Friday, 29 July 2011

Scarred for Life....

So... being the worst mother in the world has it's perks... I have to say, I am getting a real kick out of grossing my kids out... haha....

Remember some time ago I told you how grossed out I was at the thought that my parents might still be "doing-it" in their 50's?  Well, I'm really enjoying creeping out my kids... is that bad?

Today, my youngest came home hung over.  He'd gone to a party, and spent the night at a friend's place rather than drive home.  I thought that was rather responsible of him, but seriously, it's my day off, and I have things to worry about besides a hung over 19 year old. 

CG and I have a 'date' booked this afternoon and evening, because I haven't seen him since Tuesday because of a business trip he had to take.... and Tuesday's visit was for about 15 minutes to say hi between work and his committment to pick up his son, "CG lite" at the golf course.... Thank GOD we live 9 minutes apart... He left Wednesday for his business trip, so this has been a super long week for me... especially since he leaves this comingTuesday with his kids for his two week European holiday.


He got in last night, but my older son actually booked a beer with him before I booked him... little bastard...   Actually, I am glad they booked this beer, because Number 1 Son is moving away for school in two weeks... so I have appreciated the time CG has taken to try to get to know him before he leaves.  No. 1 says he feels more comfortable leaving his mother alone knowing the guy he's leaving her with... how cute is THAT?


So this afternoon is the first chance we've had to be alone in almost a week... anyhow...back to the story.  My younger son was moping around here for a while before a friend of his came over.  I told the friend to take my kid with him when he left, because I just had the house cleaned, and I don't need him lounging around here all day... then I threw in that CG was visiting this afternoon....

Me:  "When you leave here, please take 'Toby' with you..."

Friend:  "Ok - you need him out of your hair?"

Me:  "Yup!  I'm not waiting on my little prince this afternoon... I have other things to do..."

Toby:  "Like WHAT?"

Me:  "CG is heading over for a while this afternoon.  I haven't seen him for a few days."

Toby:  "Oh, GOD Mom, are you guys gonna "DO-IT"?"

Me:  "MAYBE!... I told you, I haven't seen him in a while..."

'Toby' and his buddy vacated so fast it reminded me of a cartoon where they leave the little dust clouds behind their heels.... So... here I am, sipping a coffee, drinking in the peace and quiet.  Sigh...

CG is coming over, but not for a few hours, so I'm going to sit and relax, and listen to the silence in my still clean house... which will only stay that way until about half an hour after the "little darlings" are home....

Later...

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Life in the ‘Burbs…. The real version of 'Pretty Woman'.


So the other day I told you Pretty Woman is a MOVIE.  That’s true… and it’s a movie NOT based on real events, and that’s still a fact….
Now I have to tell you a story that IS in fact true.  Really.  You’re not going to believe it when you hear me out, but I cross my heart…TRUST me, this is no bullshit.
When I was married, my husband and I had a home built for us.  It was in a nice, move-up neighborhood, and for the most part we had nice neighbors…well except for the weirdos living next door… the wife was a complete psycho, and because it takes one to know one, she found a perfect match in her hideous much older husband, but that story I’ll save for another time….
THIS story is about the fairy tale that was the life of my neighbor two doors down.  Her name was one of those innocuous names from the late 50’s baby boom… let’s call her Debbie, because she sort of looked like Debbie Reynolds.  Petite and a little round, with strawberry blonde hair.  Debbie was the stay at home mom of an only child she doted on.  This kid looked very like her mother, and was a bright little thing.  She was the apple of her parents’ eye.  Debbie spent her time teaching little Debbie how to read and write before she was three years old.  Little Debbie was kept so shiny clean she almost squeaked when she walked, and she could carry on a very intelligent conversation by the time she was 7.  With adults.  She had no real clue how to relate to kids.
Big Debbie was married to a guy we’ll call Gord… not their real names… Gord was tall and lean, with a full head of dark hair and a handlebar moustache.  He owned a mechanics shop, and made a good living.  These were the people who would greet every neighbor on our end of the street as they moved in, and asked if there was anything they could help with.  They were who you called if you needed a hand, or if you were throwing a potluck because they were always there to help out, and Debbie loved to cook and entertain….. Picture the Cleavers….
Now picture the Cleavers covered in tattoos and biker gear…. THERE.  Now you have them… Debbie and Gord were a little bit of an odd fit for our little corner of suburbia.  I think it was Debbie's tattooed on earrings, wedding ring and bracelet that started that…. The diamond imbedded in her incisor added to the mystique… Gord was missing a couple of teeth, but had that fixed while he was living in the house.  My ex and I became fast friends with them over time, because they were kind and generous…..
Gord and Debbie built their house with the same builder I did… and when we started having problems with some leins put against our house by the trades who’d worked on it, I passed that information on to them… The builder story is another that would take too long to go into today, but suffice it to say, they were unscrupulous, and ripped off several of their customers, including Debbie and Gord….
When I found out there were MANY leins against my house, and Gord and Debbie’s as well, I went to the police to state my case.  A couple of months later, they came to question me about the situation.  The policeman who interviewed me was a good looking man in his 50’s, with thick salt and pepper hair and a trimmed goatee.  He had nice arms and wore a heavy silver chain bracelet, and a beautiful ring on his wedding finger.
Shortly after the interview, he went over to Debbie’s place to hear what had happened in their circumstance.  They chatted for about an hour.  The cop had parked at my place, so when they were finished talking, he came back, chatted with me for a few minutes and left.  The nanosecond he walked out the door, the phone started to ring in the house.  When I answered, it was Debbie.  She wanted to see if what I'd told the cop and what she'd told him was the same.  So, I invited her to have a coffee with me.

When we started to compare notes on the situation, she asked what I'd thought of the cop... so I told her...   I thought he was an attractive guy. He was well spoken, dressed in crisp pressed clothes, and he smelled GREAT. Let’s just say being interviewed by him didn’t seem to be a huge hardship for me.  Our conversation went something like this....

Debbie:  "So, he's really good looking, isn't he?"

Me: "Ya - I thought so, and his aftershave is really nice."

Debbie:  "Well he was a client when I was on the street.  He's cute but weird."

Me (Inside voice) "Wait.  What? Did she just say she worked on the street?... really?  No, I must've heard that wrong."

Me: "Really?............"

Debbie: "Ya - he used to just pay me to jerk off and call me names." 

Me (Inside voice)  "Wow.  She really DID mean 'on the street'... close your mouth, and try to nod.... jeez-US...stop staring at her...."

Me:  "Really.  Wow, that is a little weird...."

Me (Inside voice) "Well that just killed my picture of him... Wait.  He's MARRIED?   Close your stupid mouth, and quit with the deer in the headlights eyes... that's better, now smile and nod....."

I can't even tell you how the conversation ended, because I was really shocked... I do know she went in to telling me how when she was a prostitute she'd had the highest SDT count in the city, as though that was something you share with everyone... and she told me how her husband had been a client, but they fell in love, and he 'rescued' her from the street..... They were a very strong couple, and while I haven't seen them for years, I would bet they're still going strong.  She worshipped the ground he walked on in his big black biker boots, and he looked at her as though she was a  princess...

THAT folks is how the REAL version of how a 'working girl' gets rescued.  It ain't Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.... but I guess sometimes twisted fairy tales do come true....


Later...

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Time for a little REALITY check....

I've armed you with a couple of books to read, and share amongst your girlfriends, and I've tried to warn you about the million mistakes I've made in my dating life, and STILL there are those among you who insist on asking my advice....Here's some for you.  I remind you, in the realm of lasting love, I couldn't find my butt with both hands... You were misguided enough to ask, so I'm gonna give you my $.02, and that's about what my advice is worth.

First of all... Date lots... if at first you don't succeed, try again.  If you don't work out with the next person you date, that's ok... date AGAIN... you will find someone you can love and respect it may just take some time...so don't waste your time on some loser you know isn't right. 

There is more than one person who could potentially "fit" with you and your baggage.  You have baggage, he is gonna have baggage... your job is to figure out whether his baggage is manageable.  If he has an ongoing substance abuse problem, or a "sex addiction" Oedipal complex, or any other whack job issue, in my opinion, his baggage is too heavy.  If YOU have an ongoing issue with substance or sex abuse or daddy issues, quit inflicting your sorry ass on other people until you get your shit together.  Seriously. GET HELP...and because you ASKED me, and I now feel omnipotent in the whole giving advice forum, here are a couple more little pearls of wisdom...

I have a couple of friends who are doing their best to move ahead in the world of dating, but need a little butt kick reality check... I have wonderful friends.  I've said that before, and I'll say it again.  BUT - there might be some things you should do differently in order to have a fighting chance with a person of substance....

My friend "B" is a great guy.  He's fun to be around, thoughtful, kind and sweet.  Because he's a great guy, I set him up with a friend a couple of years ago.  He went on the date, and enjoyed himself, laughed all night long, asked for her number, kissed her goodnight and then decided she wasn't for him... that's fine, I have no problem with that part of things, sometimes you just feel things are a little "off". 

What I DO have a problem with, is while "B" is a sweetheart, he is a "husky" guy.  He is not bad looking, but needs to drop about a hundred pounds.  Even then he's no George Cluny.  The rub here, is he decided my friend was too fat, and therefore he wasn't going to pursue the relationship.  He just couldn't see himself naked with her. 

She probably carries about 30 pounds more than she should, but she's very, very pretty.  She's also smart, successful and fun.  She's since found a guy who loves her to death, while "B" is over 46 and is still single... hmmmm... So this advice is, if you aren't Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, you have no right LOOKING for Brad or Angie....Pull your head out of your ASS... if you look like Donald Trump, the only way you're landing the super model is if you're super well endowed in the WALLET appendage... and trust me, she is earning what she gets....

Another friend is wondering why she can't meet her own version of "Cute Guy"... Well, HELLOOOOOO!  The fact that she's banging every guy who messages her on the dating site she belongs to, and getting her KINK on by sending skanky texts to people she's never met could be the main reason. No guy worth his salt is going to get into a meaningful relationship with someone who values themselves so little.  Really. 

A quality man won't want to picture you doing some guy in attendance at his company Christmas party.  Can't you just imagine that?

Company President:  "Hey, Bill, Merry Christmas... I'd like you to meet my wife Sally."

Bill:  "Yes... we've met before....Hi, uh... Sally... nice to s-s-s-see you again.  Have you met my wife Helen?"

Sally:  "Oh.  Hey Bill....On your KNEES!  it's MISTRESS to you, you festering pusstule!...Oh.  Helen... nice to meet you... we should get the kids together for a play date... "

Act as though you have some dignity people... if you like things a little "adventurous"  you can talk to your partner about that once you know him a little better than 3 - 4 sentences exchanged on a kinky sex dating site.  If you're not into farm animals or hanging him from a meat hook, maybe he'll be excited by the idea that you're a freak in the bedroom... Now I know there are probably some Fortune 500 companies that are run by guys who are into goats in lipstick, but they're not going to want that broadcast, and we're talking about the rule not the exception.

We've all seen Pretty Woman where the the successful, handsome guy rescues the hooker from herself.  She acts as though she has some class once the 'Come Do Me' boots come off and they live happily ever after.   Here's a little newsflash for you... that's a fucking "MOVIE".  Not even a movie based on a true story either... so GET A GRIP ON REALITY. 
My last piece of advice for today, is to remember respect is a huge part of any relationship... even with yourself, but take a realistic look at your own baggage before you make judgement about that carried by someone else...  Oh and another teeny detail?  If you keep asking my advice, I will keep giving it, so seriously.  Stop.

Later....

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Nothing like Humiliation for a little perspective....

So, Friday, I had tickets to go see three 80's bands at an outdoor venue with some friends. It's an annual concert, and has become a bit of an event for us.  The big headliners were INXS, so you get the drift... Sometimes you just have to embrace your past and go shake what your momma gave you with the other old folks in order to feel 24 again.... It was a gorgeous day, so that was just a plus.  If you've ever seen the movie Music and Lyrics, it was like that...

CG is out of town with his kids for the weekend, so I figured it was a good opportunity to hang out with my buddies from work, who rank among my favorite people in the world.  I told you before, I'm in IT which is a great joke if you know me, because the temperment of the group as a whole is very smart, analytical and thoughtful.  They are logical thinkers, and so there is no drama in the group...ok, well mostly no drama, but what happened at the concert could be construed as drama for sure.

Because there would be no parking near the venue, and since some of the people attending were gonna be working on Friday while it was my day off, I decided to go and park near the office and take a shuttle bus with one of the work peeps. 

As I've told you before, I have been trying to lose my annual 15 pounds... Managed to lose 7 of them in the last two weeks, which means I've been eating mainly lean protein and veggies. I knew they were going to feed us at this event, so I budgeted for a bit of a cheat...

Booze has a ton of calories, so I knew I would only be having maybe 3 drinks the whole evening, which even sounds more scandalous than it actually was, because the event started at 2:30 and ended at 9.... I only actually had two and a half drinks, and here's why....

One of the potential side effects from being on a low carb/high protein diet, is that some people can develop gallbladder problems... I had mine out years ago, but have had the odd attack afterward.  Apparently it's due to a spastic duct they left in, and isn't as uncommon as you might think... anyway, if you haven't seen it coming, the next part of this story wasn't much fun for me.

 I started to get some pain during the concert, even though it's been over three years since I had a problem.  I was hoping it would go away, because there were only outdoor bathrooms, and the thought of having to go lock myself in a porta potty for an hour to let it pass wasn't appealing... it was already super hot, and just the thought of being in one of those things surrounded by the smell of other people's poop was nauseating enough. 

You GOTTA know the pain's bad when that alternative became preferable to sitting in plain view having a full on attack.  Basically gallbladder pain puts your body through the ringer.  Generally speaking, you get severe pain on the right side of your abdomen, then you get really hot and sweaty, to the point where you can soak your hair and a t-shirt through, and you may be writhing around on the ground moaning with pain.  It will pass within an hour or so, and once it does, beyond being exhausted and feeling a little bruised under the right side of your ribcage, you're good to go.

As we were sitting there, the pain got worse and worse until I figured I couldn't ignore it any further. I told my good friend "D" I was headed to the porta potties because I was having a gallbladder attack, and started to walk that way.  I had told him if I wasn't back in half an hour, to come look for me.  I think he figured I was joking.  I stood up without my purse or anything and started to walk.

Problem was, I waited too long... I made it about 100 yards from my friends, in a crowd of 17 thousand people with no cell phone and nobody with me.  I started doing that pinball walk you do when you're completely loaded, and started feeling super faint.  I stopped in place, hoping my head would clear, but it didn't. 

Thankfully, there was a hay bale beside me, and I dropped onto it, probably hitting the person sitting on the other end.  I know I dropped hard, but at least I was sitting, because what happened next is a blur.  I know there was a woman who asked me if I was ok and asked what was wrong.  I told her I was having a gallbladder attack, and the next thing I know I was on the ground.

Now here we were, in a venue with booze and music, 17 thousand people and hot weather, so I know people were looking at me thinking... "Wow!  Look at that pathetic old drunk broad!"  I know I've done the same when at those things and watching some person drop.  The next thing I heard was someone saying "OMG, are you okay?!" knowing it was one of the people I'd come with.  Thankfully I'd been wearing a super bright green tank top, and she saw me fall.

EMS arrived on the scene, took my blood sugar, asked if I knew my name and where I was, and when it started to pass, took me to the ambulance they had backstage.  Once my blood pressure came back up I started feeling much better.  The paramedics were teasing me, asking if I'd faked the whole thing to get a backstage pass to see the bands... I told them that 20 years ago, flashing my boobs might have done it, but that at almost 50 I have to resort to more drastic measures... They said it was the end of their shift, and they were hoping I'd stay there to finish the last few minutes with them... It was actually as pleasant as it could be under the circumstances... they even "sent out" for a fruit plate for me to get my blood sugar up.

Once the attack fully passed, I was actually able to go and watch the rest of the show.  I was quite the celebrity in our little corner.  The people who don't know me must've wondered how I sobered up so fast...  20 years ago, I'd have been so mortified I'd have slipped out of there and changed my name and haircolor, but I actually sort of embraced it... I gave people a little excitement in an otherwise run of the mill concert...

When I sat down on the hay bale I badly bruised my tailbone, then bent my sunglasses and scraped and bruised my arm when I fell flat on my face, but mainly the only real damage was to my pride.

My thanks go out to my IT friends, because they never left my side, except when I really did have to go to the bathroom, and insisted I could make it there unescorted.  They sat outside the ambulance, and made sure I was fine.  They are a wonderful bunch of people, and I am reminded of that daily.  I am privileged to work and play with these people, and I hope they know I'd do the same for them....

Later....

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Boobs 'n Booze...

So last night I headed out to the pub with some of my amazing girlfriends for a night of general misbehaving….
It’s a super fun group of women, who can always keep me laughing, and that’s always a good way to spend a couple of hours…. Problem is, they live completely on the opposite end of the city from me and I can’t convince them to move South…. Even though it’s CLEARLY where the cool kids should hang out….
I have to say, today my cheeks hurt from laughing so hard.  Laughter has to be a good calorie burner… I also have to say, that I spent about half the night laughing WITH them, but the other half laughing AT them…

Today I am heading in for the weekly weigh in...UGH!... so had to behave last night… I did cheat, but the weigh in coupled with the loooooooooong drive home, kept me limited to one beer and two chicken wings…and the big over the top cheat, was a bite of someone’s dessert about the size of a nickel. 
They, meanwhile, had been into the waitress for two drinks and three shots each before I even got there, so needless to say, it was getting close to that place where you need someone translating between the drinkers and the sober….  You know, someone only half in the bag, so they understand both people…
Sober:  “So, Sue, who’s your friend?”
Interpreter: “She said ‘Sooze hoozier fren?’”
Drunk: “Dishes smell!”
Interpreter: “She said ‘This is Mel’”
The group I was with last night, is a pretty tight group of friends.  Three of them work together and they allow the other two of us to be Cling-ons… We started the girls' nights when we signed up for a Zumba class together a year or so ago. 

That’s a whole bonding experience in itself… a group of decidedly ANGLO girls trying to shake our booty to the Latin beat… as I’ve told you before, I’m very attached to that whole Latin culture, but God didn’t see fit to give me hips that move sensually...
I guess I should explain three of these girls are married, and two of us are dating.  I’m in a relationship, but the other single girl is looking… We've spent a few of these "girls' nights" looking over the profiles on the dating sites, laughing over our "matches"... and finding potential matches for the married girls if they ever had to go looking.  They never will, because they're lifers.

They all know about my struggles, and that’s been fodder for a few jokes, but that's not the only thing they laugh at me for... Last night they started comparing boob sizes… as I’ve told you before, I’m not well endowed in that area… this group STARTS at a double D…

I always keep a pocket camera in my purse, and had taken it out to have a snapshot of the group of us taken… Next thing I know, I have photos of each of their cleavage to commemorate the event… That was good for a few chuckles…
The full on giggles came when I was told one of them had made the comment that if she was a guy she’d be interested in me…
With the booze flowing, though, it got translated to me by my wonderful and fabulous Miss “L” as… “Hey! Before you showed up “M” said if she was a GIRL she’d DO YOU!”   
I just paused and raised my eyebrows… and said… “Wow!  You’d never guess  he...she... had work done…”  I took off at 9:30 to make the long trek … and left them there to have a few more cocktails…

I think every woman needs a group of friends like that… they’re fun and a little naughty, but not to the point of getting in trouble.  It’s fun to remember how much fun you were before you were someone’s wife and someone’s mother…
On the way home, I gave CG a quick call to see how his “Men’s night” had gone.  He goes golfing with a group of friends every Wednesday, so it just happened to fall on the same night as my outing.  He’d told me earlier his son was planning to golf at the same course with a friend, so he was happy when they decided to golf the other side of the course. Wednesdays are his chance to drop the DAD gig and “just be a guy and spit and swear and talk about boobs and stuff…” without having to worry about his son listening…
He told me about his game, and then asked about my night… I told him I bet the girls had done more talking about boobs than his guys group did…

Later…

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The LIST...

CG and I had a very interesting conversation last night.  We have discussed a few dozen topics in the last two months, and I can see having a couple million more to cover with him before I get tired of hearing his viewpoint.  Did I mention it's our 2 month anniversary... Already?

We had a discussion regarding how your past shapes future choices and behavior.  When I got home, I was thinking about how my past could limit me.  I don't want to completely change my nature, but  I've embraced the idea that if I behave exactly as I've always done, the outcome will be what it's always been. 

My thinking is, If I go into full on rescue mode, trying to smooth the path of the person I'm with to the detriment of myself, I will end up at the bottom of the list of priorities, which is where I've put MYSELF if you catch my drift.  What I mean is, if I put myself last on my own list in order to make things easier or better for the man in my life, then he has no choice but to let me be last on his as well.... That has proved itself to me over and over....

Putting myself at the top of my list is difficult for me.  I told you before, if the Betazoid race was real, that's what my species would be... for those of you who didn't watch Star Trek the Next Generation, let me explain.  A Betazoid is a being who's extremely in tune with feelings and emotions.  Their every move is governed by how the people around them are feeling.  My kids, my family, my man, my cats and my job seem to come before me if I'm left to my own devices. 

Logical thinking says if you don't take care of yourself, you have nothing to give to others.  We all know just how logical I am...NOT... so what resonates with me is how it would affect people I love... that's the only way I can justify putting myself closer to the top. 

I'm extremely in tune with subtleties and the nuance of human body language and expression.  I want people around me to be comfortable and to feel good. 

I have to be careful about that though.  With a romantic partner, you don't want to come off as his mother...THAT could, and SHOULD cool things off in a big hurry... I will never forget being horrified when the wife of a good friend told him to come back and finish his milk when he left the table.  I had one of those terrible knee jerk reactions thinking "Wow...I bet their sex life is HAWT!"....

They are long divorced, and he's now married to a sexy, independent woman.  Most men don't need or want another Momma...Ok - Most NORMAL men...

This leads me to discussing a book that was recommended to me by another fabulous Miss 'L'.    We'll call her "Princess"... because that's what I call her in real life."

Princess went through the demise of a marriage, and subsequent navigation of the single world... she took some time, did some soul searching, and discovered a couple of good books meant for the "rescuer" type... They proved to be a real eye opener for her, so she recommended them to me.  The books are written by Sherry Argov, and are called "Why Men Love Bitches", and "Why Men Marry Bitches".

Princess is the furthest thing from a 'bitch'.  She is kind, absolutely stunning, funny, sweet and makes me want to go save the world every time we chat. She is now blissfully married to a guy who suits her perfectly... in other words, she has joined the ranks of the nauseatingly happy.. Her husband "Coach" is also a good friend to me, and the pair of them have been a bright light in my life. 

In the books, the term 'Bitch' isn't used in quite the same context as is implied in casual conversation.  I think the author actually refers to it as "Babe in Total Control of Herself"... ok... I am not a fan of acronyms... you can make the simplest "word" into something really stupid doing that...

Here's my favorite...gag..."LOL" .  It means Laugh out Loud, NOT Lots of Love... ugh!  I did hear one I thought was pretty good the other day..."SAYCRAP".  Translates to Stupid Acronyms You Can't Remember Anyway... um...Pumpkin!

Wow... SUPER magpie diversion there... let's get back on track...

The basic premise of the books is that men evolved to be hunters, so when a woman becomes too available or is too mothering, she reduces her value in his eyes, because he enjoys the chase.  I mean, really... hundreds of thousands of years of evolution can't be wrong... right?


Princess was smart enough to put the learnings from the book into practice... basically that meant keeping up her own life, rather than morphing into what some guy said he wanted....and being at his beck and call.  It meant keeping her identity, and voicing her opinion. 


Smart girl... now let's look at my initial response to the books... Nobody said I was smart.... well, except my Mom...once.... so don't judge me.... 

I read both books, understood the premise,  and even took a highlighter to the parts I found most relevant.  I realized the value of keeping my own interests, and then promptly turned myself inside out to "help" someone who needed a hand, moving things around to handle all kinds of tasks here for him.  


In other words, even though I read the book and understood the logic behind the messages, I didn't use what I learned, and allowed myself to be used.  We all know how well that turned out for me.   

Needless to say, I read the books again, and am trying to take the relevant parts to heart, which  leads us to today's lesson....

Most women will morph into what they think their current squeeze is looking for.  Why is that stupid?  Well, first, you lose your own identity, and then you lose your allure, because you're no longer a challenge... I mean think about it.  The things you likely value most are those you had to work for.   Makes sense to me.  My favorite car remains the 1974 Toyota Celica I bought for less than $2500.00 when I was 19... I scrimped and saved for that little thing for almost a year...

Ladies: Stay yourself, and voice your own opinions... if you have plans with a girlfriend, don't blow her off if your man suddenly becomes available, and good GOD don't be dropping everything at midnight to "pop by" his place for a "visit".  We all know that's nothing but a booty call.  Keep your own life and do things you like to do... it makes for more interesting conversation with your guy later....Oh...and DON'T try to mother your man....


Guys:  Seriously.   "GPHIYHFYM"... Get Professional Help If You're Hot For Your Momma!

Another little tip for you... if you're dating a guy or girl who has a spreadsheet to split expenses from cup of coffee they buy you, it's time to cut and RUN.  Later....

Monday, 11 July 2011

Estrogen...what a beautiful drug....

I have to say, as a single mother to two very very male boys, I love getting a little estrogen fix every now and then...

When I married my ex husband, he had a 6 year old boy and a 4 year old girl.  They were such beautiful little kids, I fell in love with them over our first weekend visit.  The boy was adorable, with thick dark hair and the sweetest smile.  He was a little more shy than his sister, who was the most beautiful little girl I have ever seen.  She had long wavy blonde hair and the most gorgeous big blue eyes... she was a little princess for sure... she knew just how to bat her eyes to get what she wanted... and since my parents had 5 grandsons and no granddaughters she had my parents, especially my father, wrapped around her cute little finger....

She and I were often left to our own devices because my ex would be off "male bonding" with his son, so I got to have a little estrogen fix with her... generally that meant heading off to the beach, baking, doing her hair, or playing with makeup...  All the things I didn't get to do with my boys.... She has remained my only "daughter" since the demise of my marriage, and my introduction to those two kids remains one of the bright spots of that time in my life.  My beautiful step children are now in their mid 20's and my "daughter" has kids of her own now.  Sadly, she lives 1200 miles from me, so we haven't seen each other in a while....

I told you my parents had 5 grandsons... well with the addition of my step-son and then my two boys the number grew to 8....As you might imagine, I have learned not to react at the sight of spiders, snakes or lizzards and will happily hold almost any of the above... I draw the line at worms... Those little bastards are just obscene. Shudddddddder....

Even exposed to all that testosterone, I still have trouble with the sight of blood, especially when coupled with a blood curdling scream and trips to the hospital due to the latest skate boarding incident.... There are a few goodies I can share, but will save those for another day.

My mom never really was into make-up or fashion, and neither were my sisters so we didn't do a lot of girly bonding...I'm not sure you've gotten this from me so far, but I'm a real girly-girl in some ways. 

 I love to wear pretty things, and I freaking hear ANGELS singing when I go into one of those make-up specialty stores...I get sucked in to all the cutesy little boxes and packaging make-up comes in too... I have more gift with purchase eyeshadows and lipsticks than should be allowed by law, and I get all excited at the little mini samples you can try.  I swear to GOD I would live in one of those places if they'd let me.

 I've had my hair almost every color they make.  I've had it long enough to sit on and short like a boy, I've had bobs and shag cuts, and have even had hair extensions.  I was a hair model in my youth, and even did a couple of fashion shows to model clothes.  That whole girly world is heaven to me. 

Sadly, my boys don't share the passion.  They used to love having their finger nails painted when they were under 3, and I do have to keep an eye on my diamond earrings because they both have their ears pierced, but other than the occasional blue clay masque, or hair highlights, they really aren't into anything like that.... sigh.... Don't get me wrong.  I love men, and love hanging around with men.  I love to play catch or go to the car or bike shows,  I love hanging out with my boys to watch a good blood and guts horror movie. I even like to fish as long as I'M not expected to take the hook out of the fish or bash the poor thing to kill it...Ok or even to touch the slimy little buggers.  Seriously?  That's just revolting, all that cold slimy-ness, and the smell it leaves on your hands is...well... EEEEEW!...

There are just times I just want to do things that involve less scratching and farting.

CG has a 17 year old daughter who also grew up in a testosterone filled domicile, so I'm hoping she and I might get to do a few little girly things in future while he's hangin' with the boys...

I know she has a mom, and so I am not at all interested in stepping on those toes.  I just hope she's open to a little estrogen intervention every now and again.  I won't tell her I can beat at least one of my kids in a belching contest any day of the week... then again, growing up in a primarily male household she may give me a run for my money...

Later...

Sunday, 10 July 2011

A little High Maintenance....

My gorgeous, talented and amazing friend, the fabulous Miss "L", is one of those women you want to dislike because she is still breathtakingly beautiful at 49, has amazing fashion sense, a smile to kill for and is just the most gorgeous thing.  The problem with disliking her is that she's just so....well.... loveable. 

My favorite thing about her, is while she is stunning, she is also really, really smart.  She will play up her beautiful, blonde, Barbie-doll looks and allow someone to assume she's not all that bright.  She'll bait them for a bit ...and then SLAM.  She'll latch on to something they said, and come back with a brilliant zinger.  Oftentimes the receiving person has the most priceless stunned look because they just didn't see her coming. 

"L" is a beautiful soul, but she recognizes that at our age, a little upkeep may be necessary to stay looking your best.  At least if you weren't born with the wonderful genetics of Demi Moore, who...hahahahahaha... hasn't done "anything" to look so great... RIGHT!

At nearly 50, we commiserate over that 15 pounds that wants to creep on, muffin tops or backfat or how our skin has changed... We both work at trying to be the best 49 we can be, but the fact remains our best body days are behind us.  I find talking with her about all of this is a relief because I think she's stunning... and she's facing the same crap as I am.

This being "middle aged" is a weird time for a woman... you slowly become invisible. That's changing with the women in the entertainment business... I mean, look at the women on shows like Desperate Housewives. They are changing the face of the middle aged woman... but how does the average person compete with that? Well, my friends, I'm going to tell you, without a personal trainer, make-up artist, cook and amazing plastic surgeon it ain't gonna be easy... I'm not gonna lie, I am NOT going to just lie down and let nature take its' course with my looks, but I want to age a la Helen Miren or Sophia Loren NOT like Joan Rivers.

I am happy with me, but I will do the little tweaks to keep myself looking as good as I possibly can.  Miss "L" feels the same way.  She is married to a great guy, has three beautiful kids.  I'm single and dating, but our reasons are the same.  It's not done to make some man feel better about us, we want to feel good about ourselves.

"L" and I try very hard to keep our weight reasonable, and we do what we can to maintain our look to be current but appropriate for a 50 year old who doesn't want to look matronly...

right now I am over my magical high weight limit, so I'm back on my annual diet.  UGH!  I love salad, but GOD giving up the wine and all the yummy croutons sucks.  Frankly, though, to fit in my clothes without having to test the spandex stretch limit would feel fantastic.  BTW - in my personal opinion, there should be a weight limit for wearing spandex leggings... if you're above a size 0 back away from the short shirts and leggings people... Oops, sorry, magpie moment there....

Another thing both "L" and I have discussed at length is the value of a good dermatologist..... We have both done a couple of little tweaks... my thing is Juviderm, she likes Botox... both are fairly non-invasive, but give us that little oomph we need to pass a mirror and not shudder at what we see...That is, if we've gotten our sleep the night before, and are having a good hair day.

Today's lesson is for people who love to be a little subversive....

Listen, if you're comfortable in your skin, that's all that matters, and I'll have your back.  I'm completely onboard with you if you feel you don't need to do anything to maintain yourself and you're happy with how your body is dealing with middle age... seriously... but making snotty cracks about how "lucky" I am to be able to wear clothes in the size I do is not cool.  I'm not "lucky".  I have to work to keep myself within that 15 pound window. Trust me, if I were given the choice, I would be on a diet that consisted of Italian ciabatta bread with unsalted butter, full fat dairy products wine, beer and chocolate....

If you want to wear a smaller size, start by choosing to put less in your mouth.  Don't be chowing down on sliders and sweet potato fries pretending they're a healthier choice, watching your skinny girlfriend eating a salad with dressing on the side, telling her she's "lucky".  We all make choices.

Another little trick I've had played on me, is for a "friend" to disclose MY choices when someone compliments me to say I don't look my age.  Why is it necessary to jump in and say... "Well, she's had EVERYTHING done."  Really?  WTF is that?  I certainly have not had "everything" done, TRUST me.  I still have to buy clothes with the boobs built in, and my freaking bra could hold up the titanic with all the buoyant padding I have to have to make me look female.  The woman in question is more than 5 years younger and very attractive, but had a nose job years ago... how do you suppose she'd like it if I brought that up in casual conversation? 

"Gee - you are so beautiful"

Her:  "Thank-you!"

Me: "Ya - She's pretty now, but you should have seen her with the schnoz she had 10 YEARS ago...."

It's so great to have girlfriends.  Some you need to give you a good ass kicking when you deserve it, and some to support you in a more nurturing way when you're licking your wounds.  If you're as fortunate as I am, you have some girlfriends who are capable of both... You're old  enough to jettison the "frenemies" who try to subtly sabotage your self esteem, and wise enough to differentiate between the diamonds and the turds. 

Anyhow, my dear friend "L" and I will continue to support each other through this time of change in our bodies and skin... thank GOD.  I only wish she lived closer so she could tell me if I start to sprout some whisker I can't see because my close up vision is going too... mind you, I still have that fantastic set of friends who will only allow me to have spinach in my teeth for a little while before telling me....

Later...

Friday, 8 July 2011

Profile Thesaurus

So the other day I had drinks with an old friend I hadn't seen in years.  It was fantastic to catch up with her.  She is just a great girl, who always has a smile on her face, but she's been through the same hardships we all have, so life is good but not perfect.  She's divorced and searching for her own version of Cute Guy.

She's been following my navigation of single life via this blog, and for some reason, she decided I could give her dating advice... Again, a phenomenon I am absolutely amazed by...

Like, seriously people... I've been extremely unhappily married and divorced, I'm a single mom, I moved in with an alcoholic, split up with him after staying 7, count 'em 7 years, and then fell for a guy who was moving 9000 miles away and STILL got tired of me...

So you want ME to give you dating advice?  Are you f-in kidding me?!... I'm certainly not a role model... I'm just a terrible warning of all the things not to do. 

I guess I can live with that....

Anyhow, she was asking me if I would help her write a dating profile.  I am happy to do that, because I've read a billion of them, and mine morphed over time to be the profile that captured CG's eye, so I will help where I can.

That got me thinking about what some of the things on a dating profile actually mean....

So... Here is a little glossary of how MEN define some of the words commonly used in a women's profiles:

Fun = Fat.
Funny = Fat.
Cute = Fat.
Curvy = Fat.
Happy = UGLY.
Intelligent = High Maintenance
Attractive = High Maintenance and Expensive
Independant = Bitchy
Average = Fat.

There are things women should know too though...If a guy says his body type is either "husky" or "A few extra pounds" he probably has to rent an extra seat when he flies. 

There are men who truly love big women, and so conversely there must be women who like heavy guys, but be honest and upfront about your size.  You don't have to talk about it, but at least have a picture that's an honest representation of you.  I know a woman who has herself listed as "Curvy" and then has a single profile shot of her face only that totally masks her size. 

She gets tons of responses to her ad and actually has a pretty um... busy... life... but my guess is a lot of that is because she also calls herself "Adventurous"...

When a woman reads "Adventurous" in a profile, that means a guy who likes to ride motorcycles and drive fast...

To a guy that word takes on a whole new meaning...She likes kinky sex... so for a guy to use the word in his profile can be a good thing... for women... Um... unless you really like being called "Mistress" you might want to avoid the word.

For men, if you say you're funny, happy and well adjusted, women will believe.. you are funny, happy and well adjusted.  If a MAN sees that in a woman's profile, he will believe she is ugly, fat and a compulsive liar....

Personally, I think the most important thing in a dating profile, is to be honest, but don't bash your ex or be negative... and for God's sake have someone ELSE take your profile shot so you at least LOOK like you have friends...


Later...

Thursday, 7 July 2011

The ABSINTHE Incident

Well, CG was away on business this week, and I missed him.  He called twice while he was away... actually three times because our first call got dropped.  Stupid cellphone.  I have assigned a fun ring-tone to him, and it makes me smile every time I hear it... it's the theme song to Charlie Brown.  Never really liked the show though...

Yesterday he was supposed to get home at around 11:30 pm... I got a cute note from him at about 8 saying he had come home early and was just leaving the airport... then he called to ask if I wanted a him to swing by on his way home to give me a hug... that has to be good right?  A "drive-by hugging" sounded like a good plan, so he popped in and we had a visit before he went home to the teens. NOT a booty call....really. 

His baby girl is turning 17 today, and it's interesting to hear her plans for celebrating, which, incidentally don't include him... He's a good parent, and therefore worries about her.... Having BEEN a 17 year old girl, I have to say, he's right to worry a little...

I remember being 17 VERY well.  While you have that moral grounding your parents have given you, that's the time you really start to push their boundaries and question their limits.  It's also when you still think your parents had zero life before you came along so who the hell are they to tell you what to do... and GOD KNOWS they have no life now....

From the Parental Unit's viewpoint, it's hard not to get into lecture mode...you try to bite your tongue as you watch your little darlings mess up...Problem is, no matter what you say, your kids will make some of the same stupid mistakes you did, and they'll make different ones.  

It's also time to reflect on the fact that whether you like it or not, YOU are doing just what you hated your parents doing to you when YOU were 17...and then you thank GOD your kids don't know what you were LIKE at 17, because Holy SHIT if they do HALF the stuff you did you're gonna be horrified, and you'll never be able to sleep... at least for the next 5 - 6 years....

This is where you have to take a step back and allow them to fall flat on their pretty little faces, and sometimes that's really hard to do.  Sometimes though, it's kinda funny to look back on later...

A couple of years ago, when my younger son "Toby" was 17, he asked if he could spend the night at a friend's place.  I wasn't too keen on it as I didn't know the kid or his mom.  Of course I got the big argument from my son, saying that I was "So GAY", because I'd MET the kid some time ago amongst the gaggle of teens that always seem to be around my house.  He called the kid, and asked him to talk to me to let me know they were working on a project for school, and that there would be a parent home.  My spider senses were tingling, but against my better judgement I allowed him to stay there to get caught up on this schoolwork....

About three hours later, I get a call:

Schoolwork buddy:   "Um.... hi.  Can you come and get Toby...he's not...um...feeling well." 

Me:  "Wha'd'ya mean not "FEELING WELL"?"

Schoolwork buddy:  "Well... he had too much to drink and he's sick..."

Me:  "WTF!  You know he's 17, right?  What were you drinking, and how much did he have?"

Schoolwork buddy:  "Well, we split a bottle of ABSINTHE..."

Me:  "Seriously?  ABSINTHE?  You KNOW that stuff is a halucinogenic and was outlawed for like 100 years, right?  Perfect.  I thought you told me your mom was gonna be home."

Schoolwork buddy:  "She IS."

So, when I got there to pick up my little darling, "Mom" had made herself scarce.  My baby was absolutely green, and was carrying a trashcan SHE had been classy enough to give him for the ride home... it was about a quarter full when I got there....  Found out later it had been about half full, but he had a little spill on her pretty new carpet...ain't Karma a bitch?

I always told the boys if they were ever drinking and needed a ride that I'd be there, and I really did try not to lecture, but I had a new car, and the last thing I needed was etched paint down the side, or for it to smell like "Eau D' Kid Puke" for the rest of eternity, so I only managed to bite my tongue for about half the ride... and when he started heaving again, I told him he'd BETTER not miss the damn bucket....

When we arrived home, I was also less than understanding when he told me he didn't think he could walk into the house... we lived on a cul-de-sac with some neighbors who always knew what was going on at everyone else's house...

I said "Frankly, Toby, I don't give a SHIT how you get in the house... crawl if you have to, but don't you DARE spill that F-ing bucket getting out of my car... and you get your butt inside because the neighbors are NOT gonna see you splayed out on the lawn...." 

What I didn't tell him, was that I had an evening rather similar after my first son was born...and I was 29 at the time...  although I wasn't spending the night at someone's house,  I was at a party with my ex-husband, and it involved a bunch of lawyer, draft beer and a hot tub... I was the one puking and leaving permanent etch stains down the side of the car... As always, he was the lecturer, telling at me to crawl in the damn house,   but that's a WHOLE other story....

Isn't it amazing what your gene pool will do?   I am a lot more like my dad in temperment, but I found out there's a lot of my mom in me too... that little epiphany came as I planned out my actions for dealing with my hungover little prince the morning after the "Absinthe Incident"... I took perverse DELIGHT in banging pots and pans, vacuuming and cooking snotty eggs and greasy bacon,  All family traditions in my house growing up when there was a hungover kid in the house... I never realized how much fun it was to torture your kids... THANKS Mom!


Later....

Monday, 4 July 2011

...and the Verdict is?

Well, the votes are in, and Cute Guy is, actually, CUTE!

We made it through his second "sniff test" as he calls it... meeting my friends who have a vested interest in me being happy...another analogy to the dog park I guess, but fairly apropot...

When we first started seeing each other, I invited him to a party with my college friends... we had been dating exactly a week, so while he was delightful and charming at that party, neither of us was sure whether or not we were going to "stick", so it was sort of a no pressure litmus test... More to see if he'd be able to deal with my "magpie" nature.  You know, easily distracted by shiny things... I figured being in a room FULL of my broadcasting buddies would expose whether or not he could deal with that non linear thinking that is my hallmark pretty quickly.  He seemed to enjoy himself, and they all seemed to like him, so that was encouraging for me.  He even handled himself with grace when one of my close friends from that group basically told him he'd better take good care of me... "or else"... Or else what, I'm not sure.  My friend is not a confrontational guy, but throws a great party, so maybe it meant he wouldn't get an invite to the next gala...

He met my sons and there were no halting silences or awkward conversation...

My turn came next, when I had my first exposure to his world, meeting his kids, and then shortly thereafter going to the very entertaining Jamaica party with his friends.

This weekend though it was the first small group introduction.  I had one of my very best friends, Miss "L", her husband and 3 year old, little "C" over for a barbecue to celebrate the long weekend.  CG managed to keep everyone entertained, including me, as I put together a nice dinner.  The guy can tell a great story, and has a quick sense of humor, so even my friend's husband, who is notoriously quiet with people he doesn't know well, even threw in a couple of his own stories.

After dinner, we decided to put on a movie so the little man would be entertained.  CG and I were sitting on a couch together, when little guy decided he wanted to sit with us... that, of course made great points for CG... he made a big joke of it, asking if Little C was "muscling in" on his woman, and then added to the adults in the room "Well, I guess I'm gonna have to stop trashing all the emails from "The Site... if you're leaving me for a younger man...." 

How am I so sure things went well with Miss "L" and her family?  Well, about half an hour after they left, I got a text telling me how great they thought he was, and even more importantly, that they thought he was "Perfect" for me...  I guess that was her way of saying he's a "little bit special" too...

So back to the point about THE SITE...they are STILL sending both of us matches and notifications, even though we are shut down.  We're going to have to figure out how to block the messages, because that could be a cause of suspicion down the road.  Really... I wonder how many fights are caused by residual emails and matches coming in after you've shut 'er down on the site... and how would that even come up...

"Um, Skookumpups, I saw that you were listed as active on THE SITE within a week... WTF?"

The answer would inevitably be:

"Really Darling?  And WTF were YOU doing on the site... checking up on me, my little "stalker"?"

It doesn't make for great pillow talk.

Anyhow, being a long weekend and all, I was given my own more intimate "sniff test" the following night when we ran into friends of his at the golf course.  Right now I'm trying to drop that extra 15 pounds that seems to have settled into my belly and thighs, so while they enjoyed beers I had a soda water... I do better with a beer under my belt, but I kept the two husbands entertained while CG was regailing the wives with stories of our dates... This time at least, we weren't looked at like martians when we admitted having met online... one of the wives knew someone who had met her husband the same way... whew!

The only question about my dating status that I've found more uncomfortable than the "How did you guys meet?" question was asked about a year after the alcoholic and I split up.  I was at a party, where one of the married guys I didn't know came up to me and said "You're really gorgeous, and you seem pretty smart and you have a great sense of humor, but I heard you're still single, what's WRONG with you?"... of course my head is going a mile a minute trying to determine just what IS wrong with me...

I was so taken aback I couldn't even answer.  You know how those answers come to you about an hour after the conversation, and you're going "I SHOULD'VE said ______?"

Well, I came up with the perfect answer for that... 

I should've said "F*CK OFF!" but of course that witty retort came to me after the moment had passed....

So, today's lesson is actually NOT for the singles out there, but rather for their married friends... STOP asking stupid questions, making stupid comments and stupid jokes about your friends who are single....

Why? Because unless you're in a perfect union, there is that chance something could happen to your relationship, and you could end up on the receiving end...


Later....