That Time with The Ex

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‘THE BREAK-UP’I am notoriously bad at actually ending things. Saying goodbye is never the problem, ending it is.

I am not sure why this is. I have moved a lot in my life. I have had the pleasure of having lots of friends come in and out of my life without much drama. But when it comes to relationships, I seem to have this problem letting go.

When that Taylor Swift song “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” came out I actually remember thinking, first this is a silly song and second I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say that. Something in my brain, no matter what has happened in the relationship, thinks well maybe it can be repaired. Maybe romance and love will win out and whatever prohibited us from being together in the first place won’t matter.

So here I am well into my 30’s, with this never say never approach to love, some dating history to learn from and an ill-advised ex as a good friend. THE EX. The one that got away. The one that if we had just done it differently. The one that if we had just met a year sooner or three years later. The one that I think about when I am stuck chatting to a lame guy in a bar.

He called me on a Friday around 6. Sadly, I was still in my office. It was weird that he called because we usually just text each other funny jokes or lame things we remember about our relationship. He started asking about my life and talking about us. How great it was when we were together. “Remember that time we….”

Then, and I don’t know how this happened, we were having phone sex. Now normally not a big deal, but he has a girlfriend. One that he is thinking of moving in with and that he regularly proclaims his love for on social media.

I didn’t really know how to feel about the whole thing. The romantic part of me thought that maybe this was us realizing we were meant to be together. If we can’t say “it’s over” after three years, maybe that’s a sign. The other part of me realized that I was still friends with a needy douchebag who kept dragging me back to the past.

Two weeks later we’re talking on the phone and suddenly I light bulb went off in my head. He said something to the effect of “I want to make sure you’re ok after what happened. I didn’t want to lead you on. “ To which I replied, “I don’t have a significant other, you do. Shouldn’t you be the one concerned about what happened?” Honestly, mid-sentence I realized this guy is a loser and I am a loser for dragging myself back into his constant drama and uncertainty. Why on earth am I still doing this?

So I am going to try this new goodbye thing. When I say goodbye to a relationship, I am going to mean it. The romantic, Hallmark movie watching part of me will have to die a little bit but I think it’s for the best. After all, if he doesn’t realize I am the ultimate catch from the beginning, why would I give him the happy ending?

Isabel

WTF. When did I get old?

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You never think it’s going to happen to you, and then suddenly, you got “old”. I say suddenly, but the reality is, it’s a slow build over time that you don’t really even comprehend is happening until you wake up and realize your 39th birthday is but a few weeks away.  Thirty-nine… that’s like a year away from forty. Christ.

When you are young, there are many milestones to be had: getting your driver’s license, voting for the first time, buying cigarettes (just say no kids), gambling, and buying alcohol (without your friend’s, cousin’s fake ID). I saw a sign at the airport recently that said, “If you were born on or before today’s date in 1939 you can leave your light jacket and shoes on during the screening in this lane.” Is this the next milestone I have to look forward to?

There’s that sweet spot in your late twenties when you aren’t the youngest person at your job anymore, you’ve survived the “quarter-life crisis”, and even though you have real adult responsibilities, you can stay out until bar time on a weekday and still get up for work the next day. You know thirty is looming, but people your senior still tell you on a near daily basis, “You are young, enjoy it while it lasts.” You smile, and laugh because in that moment, you really think it will last forever. The next thing you know, you are telling a new hire at work you were at Lollapalooza in 1991 and he perks up excitedly and says, “That’s the year I was born!”

Getting older definitely comes with adjustments. Your bedtime has slowly shifted from midnight, to falling asleep on the couch at 9’something o’clock trying to power through the end of Law & Order SVU. The food-to-drink balance has dramatically changed: PBR’s have been replaced with manhattans, and food has become the priority instead of an after-thought. You finally have the time and money to take vacations and liberally apply sunscreen that is only 15 SPF or higher. A friend of mine pointed out, “Getting older means having the same amount of fun, it’s just different. Less destructive.” Nailed it.

The physical changes are a little harder to get used to. I’ll never forget a text I got from my friend Kelly a few months after she turned forty, “UMMM… I WOKE UP WITH A ONE INCH HAIR GROWING OUT OF MY CHIN. OVERNIGHT. WTF.” There are the usual complaints of a slowing metabolism and casual mentions of aching knees, backs and joints.  I looked in the mirror about six months ago and realized my neck was starting to resemble a rooster’s wattle which made me instantly regret my sun goddess years (age zero to the day I saw the wattle). I definitely pay more attention to creams and “miracle solutions” than I ever have in the past.

Coming into your forties has extra meaning for women. I was out with a couple of girlfriends a few nights ago, both forty, who were talking about their window for having children. One is married and trying to have her first child, and the other single and doesn’t want kids. All three of us agreed on not having an overt motherly instinct and the unwanted commentary from outsiders. “You’re not getting any younger.” “You do know the risks of birth defects increases as you get older.” “Not having children is really selfish.” And my personal favorite, “Halle Berry had a kid when she was 46 – you can totally do it!” Uh yeah, because I compare myself to Halle Berry all the time. We are basically twinsies.

The bottom line is, we aren’t dead yet. We might have a few more gray hairs, but with that comes a knowledge and confidence we thought we had ten years ago, but realize now was merely a stepping stone.  For every Lena Dunham there is a Tina Fey, and for every Tina Fey there is a Betty White. Life is a journey and we need to embrace it from GIRLS to the Golden Girls.

~See you over the hill~
TJ

Wanna date a professor? Think twice. Some fantasies are best left in the classroom.

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matt dillonNow I have definitely had my share of crushes on teachers and professors. In high school, it was my handsome science teacher. I hated science and he knew it. The beautiful thing was, he tried to help me enjoy science and believe me, I loved all the extra attention, extra explanations, winks, etc. Freshman year of college, it was my English 112 instructor. He was a tall, young, hippy scholar with a ponytail (of course). When he offered the class extra help, I didn’t need it, but you bet your ass I took full advantage, meeting him for coffee to ‘discuss my work’ several times. Junior year, the crush on my 64 year old Shakespeare professor snuck up on me, and before I knew it I was in full on ode’s and sonnets mode for Professor Xavier. I spent way too much time fantasizing about he, who looked as adorable as Frazier’s dad, reading me Shakespeare in a Gazebo, whilst resting my weary head on his lap.

There is just something handsome about the confidence and wisdom that comes with watching a professor do his thing. Everyone knows this, just turn on the radio: The Police “Don’t Stand So Close to me”, Van Halen “Hot for Teacher”, and of course the ever mesmerizing “Art Teacher” by Rufus Wainwright. That last one is apparently in part, about an art teacher he met as an adult, hence, no matter how old we get, the allure never stops. The thing is, crushing on a professor, an actual professor you have for a class, the unattainable, is amazing for classroom daydreams and usually remains safely unrequited. However, in the last 10 years I have gone out with a few professors, none of which I met through school. I have to say, it was nothing like my college day professor crushes. These gents where much more bizarre than I’d expected. I like a confident man, so when they initially said they were professors, it was a major turn on, but that turn on quickly turned into the stuff stories are made from.

Felipe was a handsome, university instructor with a very sexy accent. I was 27 and he was 34. Our first two dates were great; dinner, drinks and goodnight kisses and a little tongue action at the door. On our third date, we went to dinner and then he asked me back to his place for a nightcap. When we got there, he fixed us drinks and turned on techno, which seemed an odd choice for chilling out, but I’m down. He lit a joint and offered me some, but I declined. I’m the type of woman that when I drink too much or indulge in those types of things, I am fully aware of what I’m doing. I’m just not fully capable of saying no when my body says yes. My body and I have these fights all the time. Anyway, he inhaled the joint in one huge movement, and then pulled out a Charles Bukowski book. He read me the poems of Bukowski, standing across from me, to the repetitive thumps of techno. I felt as if I was living some strange Hunter S. Thompson world. Somehow, Felipe managed to chaotically dance me into his bedroom, nudging me onto his bed. He excused himself, then moments later, popped out of the bathroom into the bedroom like a flying Mexican wrester, completely naked. From the foot of the bed, he pretty much frog hopped all the way up to my face. All of a sudden, there was this uncircumcised skin mic dangling in my face. I seriously was tempted to tap it three times and say, ‘check, check, mic check… one, two, one, two!’ I did not speak into the microphone, I was laughing too hard. So hard that I playfully pushed him off and told him it was time for me to go. Our last date was as disastrous as you can imagine it would be, watching Barfly with a guy who was stroking himself over his jeans like a pornstar. I kicked him out fifteen minutes later.

My most recent ‘education’ from a professor’ was a guy I met at a bar last winter when I was in Chicago. We were both getting drinks, started talking, and hit it off. He was dressed edgy, funky and was good looking. He had traveled extensively, and was this gentle speaking urban, eclectic, yet rugged guy. He got my number and we made plans for dinner. For our dinner date, we spent three hours together. Of that time, my voice occupied maybe 30 minutes, and only in random interjections and attempts to excuse myself early right after dinner, all which went unheard. He proceeded to tell me everything I didn’t need to know. He had a history of dating his students, demonstrated his talent of self-indulgent arrogance, and he explained how easy going he was. He told me he liked a woman that wasn’t too clean, that he liked women that were au natural (hairy pits, hairy bodies), and that he likes that ‘natural’ smell they have. Whoa, ok, I get it but the way he worded it sounded way to granola pervy for me. At around hour 2, he proceeded to tell me he hooked up with both dudes and women, but only dated women and didn’t consider himself bi. The implication was that when dating a lady, he’d ask for special ‘extras’. Perhaps my forehead says, ‘will wear strap-on if necessary’, but I promise you, if it does it’s because my friends wrote it on there when I was drunk. There truly isn’t anything wrong with what he’s seeking, it’s just not my thing. In truth, I wasn’t sure why he didn’t just date an effeminate man since his taste seemed to go that way. He was a nice enough man and I greatly appreciate his candor; I honestly don’t think most people are that open. But it was clear and obvious that he was confused about his sexuality and what he truly wanted, versus what he was allowing himself to want. It’s an understandable struggle and I have great empathy for that. The thing is, it certainly was nowhere near what I expected on a second date, plus I have plenty of friends trying to figure themselves out, struggling with their own sexuality and simply trying to live life, who I am happy to support, but taking on strangers when I’m looking for love doesn’t seem necessary at this age.

So, my point is this, if you are thinking about or considering flirting with your professor or a professor you meet at the bar, the library, Whole Foods… give it some true thought and be prepared. They are not all like Colin Firth or Michael Vartan in Never Been Kissed, some of them are kinky ass people. Don’t rule them out, just be prepared for a potentially funky education.

~KIR, I know I will, Bay

 

Garrison Keillor vs. Michael Jordan: Interracial Dating in the Midwest

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romance1 (1)“Mom, Dad, I just want you to know I’ve met the man I’m going to marry.”

It was 1985 and I had just gotten home from my first day of fifth grade. My Mom looked at me intrigued, “Oh really? Tell me about this special guy.” “Well, his name is Kevin and he just moved here from Texas. He is a really good basketball player and so sweet, smart and friendly. He looks just like Michael Jordan. I think I’m in looove,” I said as I skipped around the living room. “He looks like Michael Jordan?” my mom asked, “So he’s black?” “Yes, and he is soooo cute!” I answered. My mom and dad looked at each other and asked me to sit down. They explained that while they were sure Kevin was a great kid, they would prefer I marry someone “like us.” My mom began to outline the difficulties surrounding interracial relationships but to me Kevin was just… Kevin. His family moved to Ohio in eighth grade, so a marriage there would never be, but I never stopped thinking about what my parents said.

I grew up in Lutheranland: home of Garrison Keillor and the “Minnesota nice”. We were a middle-class, white family surrounded by the same. I was taught to treat everyone equally and to NEVER EVER repeat the few racist remarks uttered by my grandparents over the years. As a child, this all made sense, but as I got older, certain comments made by my parents seem to contradict the very basis of what I was told.

When the 18 year old girl next door got knocked-up, the story always ended in the whisper, “The father is black”. Asians were referred to as “Orientals,” and talking about someone who was gay, always ended with, “But, we don’t agree with that lifestyle.” Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents. They are good, honest, caring people. Racially, they are strides ahead of where their parents were, and instilled in my sister and me the tools to take it even further.

Most of my friends growing up shared the same liberal viewpoints I did, but could we really put them into practice living in Midwestern suburbia?

I went to college in Milwaukee which, in the social sense, was like taking Diversity 101. The real cultural awakening happened when I moved to Chicago shortly after graduation. I remember telling my mom my first job was in Skokie and her saying, “That is a really Jewish neighborhood.” I took this to be more of her subtle racial commentary, but in all fairness, this statement was actually pretty accurate.

Chicago truly was a melting pot of different cultures, races, foods, and traditions I had never been exposed to, and I ate it up with a spoon. Some aspects of this exposure, however, left a bad taste in my mouth. Hearing friends making outwardly racist comments, many of which my “Minnesota nice” ears had never heard before, was uncomfortable to say the least. Was this a result of upbringing? True beliefs? I remember hearing a Caucasian friend refer to a certain type of nut with the “n” word followed with, “I can say that. I had a lot of black friends growing-up.” Does that really make it OK?

Living in a city of diversity also opens up the dating pool significantly. I wouldn’t say I’ve ever necessarily had “type”. If you are nice, smart and funny, you’ve got my attention (being good looking and tall doesn’t hurt either). Initially upon moving to Chicago, my dating pool was made up of mostly Caucasian men. As I’ve gotten older, however, this has changed. And with that change have come challenges.

I met Deon at happy hour. Some friends and I had met for drinks; he was sitting next to us waiting for buddies of his own. We got to talking and he asked if I’d like to go out sometime and I said of course. He was nice, charming, tall, a former Arena Football player, and currently was working with under privileged youths. Oh, and Deon was black. My mom called the afternoon of our date and asked what I had planned for the evening. When I told her I had a date she immediately launched into the third degree: “What is his name? What does he do? What does he look like?” I answered the first two questions and paused at the last. “Um… well… Deon is African American.” Silence on the other end. I hurriedly launched into all the other great qualities he had, but I had lost her. “Well,” she said, “I hope you have a…. nice time.” A month or so later when I told her we were no longer seeing each other I could hear her muffled joy as she said, “Oh honey, that’s too bad.”

A couple of years later, I met Michael. We clicked immediately. He was in his early 40’s, had two kids, was tall, extremely funny, personable, dressed impeccably, owned a house close to me and in general, really had his shit together. In addition to studying for his PhD, Michael also had a prestigious job working for the City of Chicago. He was the full package. OH, and did I mention, Michael was black.

After dealing with the judgment of Deon, I kept Michael under wraps from my friends and family for a while. This being my first “serious” interracial relationship, however, I thought about the challenges my mom had outlined years earlier. Did these still ring true even in 2013?

On our second date, Michael took me to an art gallery featuring an African American painter he had read about on blackartistnews.com. As we were leaving, an older white woman working at the gallery asked us how we heard about the exhibit. Michael said he read about it on the website and in an instant the woman retorted, “Blackartistnews.com? Huh. Never heard of it. I bet there isn’t a whiteartistnews.com.” Michael, without missing a beat responded, “I think that’s actually just called artistnews.com.” In that moment I knew this guy was a keeper, and that ignorance and bigotry was still prominent, despite the year.

As we continued to date I would tell my mom about Michael’s amazing qualities (sans race) and she, in turn would ask questions. Mom: What does Michael look like? Me: He is tall, has dark brown hair and brown eyes. Mom: What is his nationality? Me: I’m not sure we’ve never really talked about it. Mom: Does he have a religion? Me: I think he’s Buddhist? I’m not sure. Ok that last bit threw her a bit but the nationality thing kept coming into play. “How can you not ask his nationality? I mean that seems like something you would eventually talk about?”

After hearing the last question for the 300th time, and feeling confident in my three plus month relationship, I decided it was time to drop the race bomb. After the initial, “I knew it had to be something like that!” response, my mom was surprisingly calm. I think it finally began to resonate that her daughter wasn’t dating a “black” man, but a man who treated her in a manner she deserved.

When we broke up six months later, I could still tell my mom was somewhat relieved but I felt like we had taken baby steps from that conversation 28 years ago. I know my parents still would prefer I dated someone “like us” but perhaps what is being slowly realized is “us” is who we are on the inside, not the outside. Hopefully these baby steps turn into great strides within my family, our community and beyond.

~Equality Now~
TJ

What is “the perfect mate” anyway? Just relax, love & be merry!

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perfection

Life’s too short. It’s time to stop looking for and expecting the perfect mate and relax. Something amazing might be right in front of you.

Some people in life are just those people. By those people I mean the people who if they’re single, they just want to be married; if they’re married, they just want a child; if they have a child, they just want a better house; if they get a better house, they just want to lose weight; if they lose weight, they just want to have an affair… The “just’ list goes on forever. The people I’m talking about will just never be satisfied, at least not for very long. It doesn’t make them bad people. I have friends and siblings like this. It just makes life a little harder for them. It’s just different.

We all have just moments here or there, I sure do. If he was just taller, just liked this a little more, just did that a little less; I annoyed myself with my just wish list and stopped cold turkey. The course outlined above is legit, at times, too; good things happen then go to shit or someone cheats and divorce ensues. It’s the nature of the beast. I’m not talking about those folks. The ‘just’ people know who they are. It’s like an addiction. They want to be satisfied, but they can’t. They will almost always default to wanting more, wanting the non-existent perfect.

Roughly two weeks ago, I went to the movies by myself and I suppose I could say, I got picked up. It felt great, it’s been a while since I’ve had a good old fashion, in person pick up. An attractive guy came up to me and asked if the seat near me was taken. I said no and he sat down. We got to talking and in my mind I was thinking, “Ok, if he gets up and leaves right after the movie, he’s not interested. If he lingers and talks to me, I’ll ask him out.” My next thoughts were a flooding stream of what might be wrong with him. I ran through the list of stupid, lazy self-sabotaging demands, simply because I got a glimpse he may not be exactly what I was looking for. Well, he lingered and before I could ask him out, he asked me out. We went out last week, and while it was nice, the romantic chemistry just wasn’t there for me.  He was a nice guy though, and I’m glad I went.

The thing is, I wasn’t NOT interested in him romantically because he was too short, because his hands seemed small, or any other stream of lameness I could have come up. The chemistry just wasn’t there. It happens and it’s ok. Had I not gone out with this less than perfect guy, and the chemistry was there, I would have missed out! I don’t want to take that risk anymore for some shallow, greedy, or even fear-based reason. I do have a type, but trust me, but sometimes the guy we think is our type is the absolute WORST person for us.

I spent five years with the ‘perfectly’ wrong person, waiting for all the red flags to turn white. Red flags are red for a reason. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to meet someone who you are physically and otherwise into, nor is there anything wrong with communicating with your partner to improve your relationship. I’m more so talking about looking a gift horse in the mouth, which I’ve also done.  Sometimes we hang on to stuff that isn’t working too long and let the good opportunities pass us by. I, for one, don’t want to do that anymore.

If you just started dating someone, even if you have been married for decades, when things are good, let them be good. Be present enough to realize it. Don’t raise the stakes higher and higher. Love is not a limbo stick or a pole vault. If it’s good, but stagnant, take a minute to really get to know your partner again. Fall in love with the sound of their voice again, their embrace, the way they’re a horrible cook but how adorable they look trying to impress you. Catch them off guard with that smile. We all know that smile. It simply means, ‘I’m glad you’re the one here with me, even though you’re an ass sometimes.” There’s a great quote that was partially read aloud in the ironically titled movie, ‘Unfaithful’:

“Drink wine. This is life eternal. This is all that youth will give you. It is the season for wine, roses and drunken friends. Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”  ~Omar Khayyam

It’s true, this moment IS your life. The time is now. I feel this more than ever, these days. So if you’re seeking perfection in your relationship or mate, take a break, you must be exhausted. If you’re single like I am and seeking a mate for the end of the world, try what I committed to Jan 1st of this year. Pull a Costanza (yes, as in George Costanza from Seinfeld): I committed to doing the opposite of my usual for a year when it comes to dating. In the process I’ve had my face licked, tried lobster for the first time (yum), gone out with a bisexual guy (a little out of my comfort zone, but not as much as I thought), and well, you read the blog. To the same token, if I want to sabotage a situation with a good guy, I do the opposite and stick it out for a bit longer. If I’m too nervous to go out with the sweet, super good-looking guy, I force myself to go anyway. I turned off the part about worrying what anyone else thinks about the age, race, height, weight of someone I’m out with. I simply go to have a good time. But, BUT, if I want to go out with an asshole a third time because even though I know he’s a prick and the absolute WRONG guy, he’s really hot and funny, I turn him down. That last one simply isn’t worth it. That guy will never be what you’re looking for.

Trust me, it’s not easy. It takes some discipline and self-respect to actually pay attention to our own rules, fears and role within dating and relationships, but it is worth it. Far more often than we realize, there is plenty of perfect enough right in front of us, we just have been too busy looking everywhere else to notice it. So take the pressure off, slow down, something amazing just might be right in front of you. Matter of fact, I’m looking closely ahead right now!

~Bay

“Bro Code” exposed. Buckle up, ladies, it’s harsh.

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This weeks guest blogger unveils the rules of the “Bro Code”. His identity will remain anonymous, wanting only to be referred to as, The Sheriff. Your comments welcome. Without further adieu:

masquerade

The Man Code or “Bro Code” is a term familiar to most women.  It’s usually brought up in casual conversation or in social settings where, more often than not, females laugh it off as if it is some kind of stupid “We are men so let’s give each other high fives and slap asses!” mantra.  I’m here to tell you it is not.  It is very real.  It is a living, breathing, ever-evolving set of rules by which all men must live.  Here is just a small sample.  Keep in mind I am breaking Bro Code by discussing such things – hence the anonymity of this blog entry. I’m warning you ahead of time that you may not want to hear some of these rules, and I accept zero responsibility for ruining your marriage or relationship.  Proceed with caution.

1)      Men must always have their bro’s back.  ZERO EXCEPTIONS.  It doesn’t matter if your man gets into a brawl with the 2am drunken douche at their favorite watering hole or is blatantly lying to you about getting his c$@k sucked by some 2am drunk chick, we will ALWAYS be there to support him in any way possible. Trust me – this happens. Bros always help bros.

2)      Men never reveal the whereabouts of other men.  If your man hasn’t “checked in” with you in what you deem as an appropriate amount of time or he is out a little past bar time, don’t bother calling his bros. Bros know nothing. They see nothing. We know where your husband is. He’s most likely trying to get some time with his bros, hammered at the bar acting like an idiot, or pounding some average-looking skank in the back seat of your minivan – just because he can. You’ll never know and we won’t tell. Deal with it.

3)      Men have an obligation to play wingman.  It’s not always fun and it’s not always convenient, but it is just what bros do. Hypothetical: I’m out with your boyfriend.  He’s bored with you and sick of your bitching and nagging. He decides that he wants to make a move on an attractive woman who is posting up at the bar with her fugly friend.  Bro code states that the wingman has to take one for the team. It is what it is – and sometimes the fugly ones are best. They try really hard and put forth one hell of an effort.

4)      Men never directly interfere with a bro’s family. Wives and girlfriends are off-limits. Sisters are off-limits. Moms are off-limits. Step-sisters, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, and extended family are all fair game. When your husband’s bro is at your 5 year old’s birthday party and suddenly disappears along with your god-mother – there’s a good chance they are in your spare bedroom taking care of business. Don’t bother asking your husband. Refer to rules 1 and 2. We have no idea where he went or what he is doing and we will defend his honor til death.

5)      A woman will never be included in Bro Code or informed of its sacred rules.  I’m putting myself out here ladies. We have the ability to treat women as bros if they earn the right, however she is not to be told the rules of said code. If a woman was in a situation where she was receiving bro treatment and infringes upon a rule of the Bro Code, we will simply inform the bro-ette that she is being rude and disrespectful.  Common courtesy, if you will.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. If all of you wonderful ladies want to hear more about our sacred code, I’m more than willing to share. Just don’t tell your significant other.

Don’t ask, don’t tell,
The Sheriff

Who Wears The Panties In Your Relationship?

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pantiesEver since seeing the movie Secretary, I have had a fascination with fetishism. I distinctly remember the scene where Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character is bent over a desk getting spanked by James Spader, secretly wishing it were me. I half-jokingly mentioned it to my boyfriend at the time, thinking it could be something fun to try, and in one look, I knew it was never going to happen. In hindsight, I wish I had asked why. Would this make us “deviants”? Was it just too “weird”?

The Internet is a haven for fetish groups, videos and chat rooms. There is a subculture for just about any fetish you could possibly imagine (and many you never knew existed). But the question remains, how do you introduce a fetish to your real life partner? Assuming, of course, you didn’t meet at a furry convention or a sadomasochist dating community.

Before writing this blog, I pulled up the aforementioned scene on YouTube. The first comment I read summed up what I think most people feel, “I now want to spank a cute girl. Too bad most find it creepy.” Perhaps I am more adventurous than most, but to me, open communication and a willingness to try new things is extremely important in a relationship (within reason of course).

Sex and the City tackled a couple of fetishes over the years: paraphilia (shoe fetishism) and urolagnia (golden showers). While I think most women can relate to many of the issues addressed in SATC, I can honestly say not one of my close friends has ever relayed a fetish request. Has it really never happened? Are people too embarrassed to talk about it? Or are they worried you will forever look at their partner as the “guy who likes to wear diapers” or the “mannequin lover”? I too had never been privy to the wonderful world of fetishism, and then I found Charlie.

We met on a popular dating site and began chatting over instant message. He disclosed to me rather quickly, he had an affinity for panties. Of course I equivocated this to him enjoying seeing women in panties, which he did, but Charlie also liked wearing women’s panties. My initial reaction was not of shock, more of curiosity. He explained this had been an issue for women he had dated in the past so it was important future partners were accepting. I assured him I was, and to prove it, I sent him a picture of my panties. This definitely helped break the ice.

One of the things Charlie stressed when explaining his fetish, was that it didn’t make him gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Hearing him say that reminded me of another story a friend had told about a female colleague. In typical TMI form, my friend’s coworker explained how she had come home to find her husband wearing women’s clothing, and because of this, she asked for a divorce. The initial questions were, “Was he gay? Trans?” The answer to both was a resounding no; he just enjoyed how it felt to wear women’s clothing.

I told Charlie this story and he jokingly said there should be a support group for survivors of possibly gay men (PGM). We had a good laugh about it but the truth is, many times people don’t disclose their inner most fantasies, fetish or not, because of judgment by others. My feeling is, if it’s not hurting anyone, what’s the big deal?

So the next time you hear someone tell you they have a fetish for nebulophilia (fog), knismolagnia (tickling), or katoptronophilia (sex in front of mirrors), keep an open mind. Perhaps the fetish could become mutual or open the door to others. I know I never thought in a million years I would hear myself tell a guy, “Your ass looks damn sexy in my panties.” And now that Pandora’s Box has been opened, the possibilities are endless.

~Let your freak flag fly~
TJ

This is a man’s world, ah, not so much these days… Let’s call it even!

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kate mossThere can definitely be a double standard when it comes to dating in regards to men’s interpretations of things. Like when a guy says, “Well, men actually have it harder,” well actually, not so much. It’s just as hard for women. I hear men say, “Women can get laid any night of the week.” Maybe by the desperate guy who doesn’t have a job, or Judy’s weird horny uncle, or the guy that’s our would be son’s age who is looking for an education. But you know what guys, so could you, and sometimes… you do. More married men don’t wear their wedding rings when they’re out than married women, so kabing, it’s harder for women simply because we don’t know who’s REALLY available. So let’s stop tallying who has it harder and stop whining, OK guys?

Two days ago I was planning to write about something completely different, then last night I had a first ‘meeting’ with someone I met on online. As we were talking he said, “I think it’s actually a lot harder for men because we’re expected to make the first move and there’s so much rejection. If it’s not rejection, then we don’t even get a response.” OK, I get it. Some guys are still living in the world where they think they are the only one’s feeling pressure to make a move, be it online OR in person. My date spoke of how women expect men to make the first move. I don’t, nor do many women I know. We’re sick of waiting for wishy washy first moves to be made; we make first moves too now. If you haven’t been the recipient, I’m not sure what to tell ya. I’m a single woman in my forties and I have single and divorced friends in their thirties, forties and fifties. If we all waited for the guy we’re eyeing up and semi-interested in getting to know to make the first move, we may never have another date. Seriously, life’s short.

So my date was nervous about making the first move, but I’m not sure why. Considering what I’ve experienced, his attempts couldn’t be any worse than this sampling of first moves men have launched my way online. And for the record, the site I am on is not a Tinder or a Grindr site. From what I know, those are mostly DTF focused sites (Down To F*CK).

“How do you feel about a discreet friends with benefits situation?”

“You’re hot, wanna have sex?” Perhaps I do, just not with THAT guy. And by THAT guy, I mean any guy who approaches me with that as an opening statement.

“Hi.” I almost hate the empty Hi more than, “Wanna have sex?” At least the ‘sex’ guys  are goal orientated.

“Hey. Do you like oral” Oral what, oral hygiene… yes. Oral sex from a stranger… no!

“Do you like younger guys?” Typically, this comes from guys who are the equivalent of how old my grown son would be if I had him at 20. No thank you.

And my favorite… “NO CHANCE.” I think this one came from an ex-boyfriend I broke-up with in May. I laughed; it was clever. I think he created a fake profile to get that final jab in. Good one, ya got me.

All this got me thinking. Over the years I’ve dated guys who have subtly unfolded double standards on me and here I’m just realizing it now. I once dated a guy who, if we had a female waitress, were both friendly and social. Conversely, if we had a male waiter, he was stoic and my same friendliness was interpreted as flirting. Another guy acted very laid back, but had a specific idea of how he wanted me to dress (he enjoyed the showing of cleavage) even though he was a slightly sloppy dresser. Just imagine if women walked around and told their husbands and boyfriends, ‘Hey, it’d be great if you could show a little more cock. Wear those tight jeans I like so much, so I can be proud of you when we walk down the street.” It would make for a really weird world. The last guy I dated, mister suspected “NO CHANCE,” mentioned above, was defeatingly competitive with me. When we did just about anything, he didn’t like it if I did better. I was constantly telling him, “This isn’t a competition!” I recall him saying to me once when we were playing around, “Well, I don’t want you to be stronger than me,” and crap like, “Well if you win, what does that say about me?” Hmmm… it says you’re a pussy for being a chauvinist thinking only a guy should win at a game, and if you lose, your masculinity is at stake. Unless of course, a woman ‘got lucky’. Puke! Women don’t win against men in things because they’re lucky, well maybe once in a while, but more often they win because they simply excel in that particular thing. Not all men are like that, but the dinosaurs out there are annoying.

On the same token, old fashion women, ease up just a little. It’s OK to spoil your guy once in a while; hold him if he’s sad or exhausted, but don’t mock him if he doesn’t like sports, just like you don’t want to be mocked or stereotyped if you DO.

My point is, it’s no easier or harder for men to meet women or be in a relationship than it is for women, regardless of who makes the first move. It’s about putting some fun and personality into it. We all struggle with wanting to be validated, seen as attractive, wanting to win, wanting to give the other the orgasm of their lifetime, etc. It’s equally amazing, difficult, frustrating and wonderful on both sides of the sexual platter. Straight, gay, man, woman: it’s the game of love.

There are two gentlemen I am conversing and engaging with at the moment. One a little younger, very cool, flirty and digs I know a bit about football, am active, yet a flirt and a lady. The other, a little older, doesn’t care about all that ‘gotta be a man’ crap. He’s fully comfortable with himself for the most part and just wants a cool woman to hang out with, regardless of what she’s good or bad at. These are handsome guys; equal opportunity men.

So dudes, if you don’t mind when you take us to the sheets and we take the lead all cowgirl style, ease up and be comfortable with your femininity and masculinity when we’re out and have our clothes on too. It’s not a man’s world, or a woman’s world, it’s a human world. We’ve all got enough BS to deal with. Let’s make love, not war!

~KIR~
Bay

 

 

 

 

Ease Up: Dating Ain’t No Disneyland

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cinderellaNot long ago, my single girl friend Laura came to visit for the weekend. Over coffee one morning she said, “I never told you about the horrible date I had.” She proceeded to explain she had recently joined Eharmony (again), and though the pickings were slim, she decided one was decent enough for an actual date.

He showed up and was shorter in person (shocker), wearing Dockers and a polo shirt that looked like it had been washed approximately a thousand times. The new black shiny shoes that went with were a little off-putting, but she blocked them out, convinced his personality would win her over.

“What’s your favorite ride at Disneyland?” he asked. Laura, thinking what an odd question for a first date (or really ANY date) responded, “I’m not sure, I’ve never really thought about it. I guess Pirates of the Caribbean.” To most, this would be a question of opinion, not right or wrong, so Laura was quite surprised when he responded, “Nope, you are incorrect.” Bewildered, Laura asked what the right answer was. He said he preferred fast rides so she said, “You probably like Space Mountain then.” “I’ve never been on that one,” he shot back. The correct answer was never actually revealed, nor did my friend Laura pursue a second date.

For anyone who has dated, especially online, this story probably sounds all too familiar. What sounded even more familiar, however, was the commentary a friend of hers had regarding the date. “You are too picky Laura. You should really have given this guy a second chance, you just never know.”

Her friend’s comment hit a nerve and we both began firing off “dating advice” and “encouragement” heard from friends and family over the years.

— You are in such a good place. I know Mr. Right is just around the corner.
— My friend was on Match and went on like five dates a week until she found the guy she married.
— It always happens when you least expect it.
— You should try a cooking class – that would be a great place to meet someone!
— Men don’t like it when you play hard to get.
— Men do like it when you play hard to get.
— I don’t think you are putting yourself out there enough.
— Grocery stores are a great place to pick up guys.
— I just know you are going to meet a super-rich guy who is going to sweep you off your feet.

This advice/encouragement has come in many forms over the years: long-term relationship people, people who have dated years before meeting “the one”, and people who married the first person they dated. It’s obvious the advice comes from a good place; they just want you to be as happy as they are, but the question both Laura and I asked was, “Why can’t people just realize it’s a journey and celebrate where we are?”

Romance novels and movies have also not done us any favors. People want to fantasize you will meet your mate by some unlikely coincidence or circumstance so they have a good story to tell their friends. “Did you hear? My friend was walking down the street, slipped and fell into this guys arms, and as soon as they locked eyes, they knew it was forever.” I mean that could happen, but with my luck, instead of finding love, I would give the guy a dislocated shoulder.

Encouragement and advice by loved ones is often a space filler because let’s face it; there is no easy answer when it comes to meeting someone. It’s great to be encouraging, it’s also important to remember dating is an emotional and difficult process. Much like Space Mountain, it is full of highs and lows. Hearing things like, “You really need to put yourself out there,” when you aren’t feeling your best, can really just make you feel worse.

So my advice for those of you with single friends or family is to listen more than you talk and celebrate the individual. Also, I am really good at embellishing, so if and when I do meet the man of my dreams, I’ll make the story a good one. I promise.

~Now it’s time to say goodbye~
TJ

Who’s bringing sexy back? For me, older men are. Meow!

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Pierce Bronson

There’s just something sexy about older men. I find myself once again, more and more, attracted to them these days. The last guy I dated was a few months younger than me and pushed me to my limit: cranky, crotchety, always tired, body aches, needy, vanilla  in the sack and whiney. Believe me, he put on a good façade at first, but when I caught him not washing his hands after taking a leak, and at one point, mushing food crumbs into the carpet instead of cleaning them up, dating-up seemed like a good idea. I don’t think an older man could be much worse.

Lately, I can’t help notice even Donald Sutherland looks a bit sexy (at least on film), and he’s 79, more than 30 years older than me. Now, there’s definitely a difference between lookable sexy and doable sexy. Donald Sutherland is clearly lookable sexy. Blair Underwood-50, Colin Firth-52, Kevin Costner-59, and my all- time favorite, Pierce Brosnan-60 are all doable sexy. In truth, Pierce Brosnan could be 104 and I’d still sleep with him. I know I speak of sex, and while it’s definitely important, there’s so much more to older men being sexy, and it goes far beyond their face and body.

Back when I was 15 and a salad girl at a popular restaurant, I had a super crush on one of the chefs I worked with in the pot-smoke filled kitchen. He was 36, dark hair, sweet mullet, and gorgeous blue eyes. The night of our work Christmas party, I somehow convinced this guy, (who saw me as a little sister), I needed a ride. When he came to pick me up, my mom laughed and gave me that, “You’re outta your fucking mind,” look and politely told my chef I wouldn’t be joining him. Now in my forties, it’s been about 15 years since I’ve dated an older guy. Some of them were great guys and others total odd balls. In my 20’s, I dated a 38 yr old who acted 18, and basically wanted me to milk his nipples ferociously like a cat while he moaned out like a female porn star and randomly poured a gallon of water over my head. I’m hoping men have evolved at least a little bit since then.

Between online dating and the real world, there are a few handsome potentials hovering around their 50’s that I’ve had my eye on. There are a few things the one just under 50, with a Clooney-esque swagger, the one just over 50, with the calm, cool ambiance of Clive Owen and the one lingering just below 60, casually suave and nonchalantly dapper and sexy like Joe Mantegna, all have in common. They are handsomely attractive, settled in their demeanor and have a carefree confidence that I truly believe comes with age. They know how to behave in public, wash their hands, cook, clean, and carry on a conversation. You know, those basic, “I’m an adult and know how to take care of myself” stuff that not all men catch-on to. These three aren’t looking for someone to save them, and good or bad, their self-esteem is mostly settled. They have a cool whisper of disengagement about them with regard to trying to impress people. They’re over it, and to me, that’s very, VERY sexy.

When I mentioned my interest in a triumphant return to dating older men to friends, so many words came out of their mouths: AARP, Viagra, walkers, Senior Citizen Discounts… along with wrinkly balls. Though my guy friends made the point that all balls are wrinkly, regardless of age, and it’s true, every set I’ve seen have been pretty prune looking. Wrinkly or not, I say whatever, I’m giving it a shot. I’m not here for the balls anyway. Besides, there is just something very freeing about expanding the search criteria in that all-important age range drop down menu. Why narrow things at this stage of the game? I won’t be having kids, nor do I need a guy who will go techno clubbing every night.

All of that said, the actual possibility of dating any of the three men mentioned above is anyone’s guess. Who knows if I’m their type, and at the end of the day, they may not be mine. I do know, as long as no one needs to take teeth out to make out with me, I’m open to the possibility. It would be a nice change of pace. Until next time, keep an eye out for me at Perkins or sitting in the front row at the new Brosnan flick.

KIR ~Bay

Are you ready for some football? We are.

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Aaron Rodgers 1It’s football season, a time for love and passion of the sport, and who throws a prettier spiral than Aaron Rodgers. Now if it were up to me, in light of all the concussion problems, I’d suggest the NFL go to shirtless flag football and stop the tackle. But that’s not football as we know it here in the US. I like football. I actually know a decent amount about the game; I can watch it and understand it. My favorite team is the one that belongs to the aforementioned extremely good-looking QB. I was torn on my excitement for the season this year. It always starts this way. If the weathers nice, I have a hard time holding up inside to watch a game. Once the weather cools, and believe me it cools where I live… it cools a lot, that’s when the rest of us fans hunker in and watch.

Back in the day, I used to go to a good amount of college games with an old boyfriend. We did the routine: day drinking, watching the game, followed by night drinking, pizza eating and attempted copulation which usually resulted in someone falling asleep or falling out of bed. Our deep sleep was interrupted a few times by an exploding can of soda I’d misplace in the freezer. Refrigerator? Freezer? Who knew. If that didn’t wake me, the sudden feeling that I was sinking into a lake would as on several occasions, my BF wet the bed. I’ve heard stories, so I know he’s not alone in this, but nowadays, I don’t have the stamina for that much drinking…or “waterbeds”.

There are some things that will never change about us football lovers, male or female.

-Yelling at the TV is something we can’t help. Roughly two weeks ago, in the building where I live, a woman was heard screaming ‘NOoo!’ (a blood curdling scream sources say) and the police were called. Turns out, the screams were the result of a horrible play during a college football game. People who love football and their teams, love football and their teams.

-Half-time is your best bet to get lucky, but you better be organized and quick about it. You’ve got roughly 15 minutes and best not mind the beer and nacho cheese breath.

-If your partner’s team loses, the disappointment can carry on for days leading to excessive sleep, PFSD (Post Football Stress Disorder), crabbiness, excessive cursing and outbursts of lingering frustration from missed points, bad plays, and bad calls.

-If your partner meets up with friends for the game, don’t text or call every five minutes to check in to see if they’re having fun. Believe me, they are.

-Just because we don’t watch or post about every game doesn’t mean we aren’t fans. Sports fans have a Jedi ability to know the score of a game no matter where we are (we women are especially good at this).

If you are single…

-A perfect pick-up line is to play dumb. Sorry, but it is. Go up to a cutie and ask, “Can you explain what just happened? I’m totally lost.”

-Wait until the person you’re interested in goes up to the bar, tap them on the shoulder and ask if you can squeeze in and order a beer. Or, ask if they can order for you since the bar is so crowded (I’ve used both and they work well).

-Even if you don’t like football, go to your friend or cousin’s football party. You never know who’s going to be there. Those parties are fun, even if you DON’T meet someone, it’s a good excuse to get out and be social.

In closing, hunker down because the season is here. If you’re not a fan, it’s the best time to go to the mall, Home Depot, or get a mani/pedi. If you are a fan, game on!

KIR ~Bay

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Ev’ryting gonnabe irie single ladies.

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bridesmaids

Not long ago my dog walker was hit by a car. I felt horrible hearing about this but later, while still at the hospital, she texted me her paramedic was, “super-hot, just my type, and expecting my call.” At that point, I knew she was going to be just fine and clearly, there is no bigger guilt trip someone can pull to get you to call a guy than getting hit by a car.

I didn’t know too much about the paramedic as we had only exchanged a few texts before our date: he was ten years older than me (48), had two children that were over 21, lived near my condo and he worked at a fire house in Edgewater. Suffice to say, there were a lot of “get to know ya” questions during our first, and subsequently last date. Over sub-par Chinese food he told me he had been married once and asked if I had ever been married. I said no and he kept pushing. “You’ve never even been engaged?” Nope. “Are most of your friends married?” As a matter of fact yes. “Does that make you feel bad about yourself?”

Hopefully the last question explains why it was our last date.

I explained I had ten college girlfriends I was still very close with, and the last one was getting married this fall. I found it strange he would ask me if that made me feel bad about myself. Should it? Did it?

Ten years ago I got dumped by a fireman I was dating (see a trend here?). I was somewhat devastated and decided to see a therapist to figure out what was “wrong” with me. During one of our sessions I explained that I would be fine if I never got married. I will never forget her response, “Well, if you say that then you probably never will.” This struck a chord then and still does today. Am I a self-fulfilling prophecy? Is this really what I want? Or am I just preparing myself so I’m not disappointed if it never happens?

I know I’m independent and love having my freedom; I have a successful career, lots of close friends, an amazing family and dog. Perhaps I truly just have not met “the one” but I’ve also never been the type to want a wedding. I remember sitting next to my dad at my sister’s wedding whispering, “If I ever meet Mr. Right, I think I’ll just go with the cash option and forego the ceremony.” In my day-to-day life, I don’t feel bad about not having a husband, I have so many other things to be thankful for and that fulfill me.

That said, I realize I am not the girl who went to college for an MRS, but I have also not given up hope there is guy out there who can deal with my distaste for tradition, and willing to tie-the-knot at a tiki bar in Jamaica officiated by a rastaman named Renardo. Perhaps just by writing that I have changed the course of my self-fulfilling prophecy?? Time will tell. Now let’s talk about the paramedic asking if I want children… uhhh… or maybe not. That is another blog entirely.

~Hasta Rasta~
TJ

Is Staying In The New Going Out?

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elaine stays inSometimes it’s just more fun to stay home…

I declined an invitation to go have drinks the other night, because at the time, I just felt too lazy to do the necessary work. Take another shower, get dressed, do hair, drive in car, find parking, pay attention to others, come up with conversation, then find parking again upon returning home. I mean… I’m exhausted just typing that! That same night I was watching Seinfeld and realized I never saw an episode where they went to a bar or club (aside from comedy clubs). The characters were in their 30’s and 40’s so it got me wondering, is that the age we become hermits?

With advanced technology, the majority of what we use to go out for we can do from home: shop, talk, watch movies, even have sex… sort of. And there are perks. We don’t have to look for parking, we won’t get annoyed with our drunk friend Marsha and it doesn’t cost a thing to stay home cuz the drinks are free. Now I still go see bands and concerts as often as possible, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve talked recently with both my male and female friends and we agree it’s as if a subconscious questionnaire was imbedded in us somewhere around age 35. Each time a standard invitation comes, I find myself going through this questionnaire unintentionally: How much do I have to dress up? How far do I have to drive? Is the person (group) fun? Are said people going to be annoyingly texting their spouse or lover all night? Will they demand to bring their annoying spouse or partner and ‘schoompie’ it up all at my expense? Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no. Sometimes we can tolerate it; sometimes we bypass and stay in.

The after marker to this brings up another question I’m not too familiar with but I know friends (both women and men) who ask themselves, “Will I have more fun staying home and sexting my internet lover I haven’t met yet and may never meet?” Yes folks, it’s come to that. Some of us don’t even want to go out to find love anymore because we can find it temporarily on the internet with very minimal effort. Shit, you don’t even have to shower. Plus, if there is rejection, there’s no walk of shame, just on to another profile.

Sometimes we stay in because our neighbors are awesome, or maybe we’ve found the perfect romance and don’t want to be around other people, and sometimes it’s simply because that particular night we’re just not into it. I can’t say I’m going to make a stronger effort to go out or not, but I’m definitely going to pay closer attention to when and why I decline. With that, if you choose to hermit, hermit well. Enjoy the night in, I will, there’s a Portlandia marathon on.

~Bay

 

 

Love, love, love, love… crazy love!

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 lloyd-doblerThe ladies asked a while ago if I would be open to doing a guest blog. At first I thought, blogs are for chicks. Then earlier this week, I’m sitting at a bar waiting for a business associate when Seals song “Crazy” started playing. “We’re never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy!” This got me thinking. I’m a divorced man in my forties; my marriage wasn’t long because we simply had too many differences from day one. But before and after my marriage, I’ll admit, I dated every type of crazy woman out there. From sexual deviants to plain old kooks. At the end of the day, I’ve come to understand that women are crazy, but us men, we’re nuts. It’s true, we are.

Now I’ve spent some time as the party boy, the charmer, sir-dance-a lot, the jock, the entrepreneur, even ‘the next big thing”. All, to some extent, to try to meet “the one”. The thing is, I wasn’t completely being myself. I was playing a role and only putting part of myself out there, not wanting anyone to see my crazy. What it came down to for me, and what I learned from my divorce (which in truth I knew before hand), is that I just didn’t want to bother with the risk of showing my crazy. What if it’s boring, or weird, or nerdy or any of those things we worry about when we are vulnerable and showing our true colors. I’m getting older and I’m tired of disguises. I just want to meet someone cool. In truth, it’s our crazy parts, the fun weird stuff we try to hide, that often times keep us sane.

The thing is, any relationship that ends up working involves one or both people “working” with the crazy and going outside of their “normal” space to do or accept the crazy things the other person does. Sometimes this leads most of one’s friends to call them crazy to put up with them. For instance, that Jenny takes a shower right after sex every single time. Dave has 3 cats. Barbara loves dressing up for Civil War Reenactments. I’m even guilty; I like to be spooned and held. Us guys like to cuddle too! Now, I don’t want a woman to take care of me, but I love to know my woman supports me. And please note: the friends and people that tell you you’re crazy to put up with those things deemed “crazy”, those are the people who are typically single or chronically in bad, dysfunctional relationships.

Relationships are all about bending and flowing with someone who is imperfect and diametrically opposed in some ways. Hence why it’s called opposite sex. It doesn’t simply mean opposite physical sex parts, it goes deeper then that. But, if you do want to get into some box, you’re gonna have to get outta yours. If you wanna stay in a relationship, you’re gonna have to be ok with a little crazy, and so will she. Embrace it together.

The key isn’t exactly to look for someone sane, just to find someone that’s your kinda crazy and let your freak flags fly.

Love well, Zak

Office Wife Confessions

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Joan_HollowayFor the past eight years I have had, at any given time, between 5 and 10 office husbands. Being the sole female in an office full of males, it is almost impossible not to play the role of “wife” in one capacity or another. Now I know what you are thinking, and it’s never been like that:  no physical lines have been crossed and there has never been an emotional affair.  Instead I am a cheerleader, devil’s advocate, nurturer, provider of comic relief, but more often than not, I am the housekeeper.

At our annual Holiday parties, I have been tempted on many occasions to approach the “real” wives of my office husbands to compare notes on their behavior at home vs. the office. Questions that have popped into my mind include:

“Does Kevin leave his bowls around the house until the yogurt becomes a cement like substance before putting them in the sink to “soak”?”

“Is Gerald’s aim for the toilet so poor that he has created a urine stain on your floor?”

“Does Nathan always use his chair cushion as a napkin?”

“Can Max carry a used coffee filter from the pot to the trash without leaving a trail of grounds?”

“Does your husband know where the paper towels are in your house after living there for six years?”

“Is every drawer and cupboard that Frank opens left ajar?”

I mean, I am a modern day single woman and I would suspect the spouses of these men are modern day wives; expecting their husband to share responsibilities around the house. So why am I tending to their messes? Am I just that good at it? That anal? Or perhaps they view their time at the office as when they can get away without doing even the simplest of household chores (such as putting on a new roll of toilet paper).

I’ve told many stories to my male and female friends over the years and what follows the laughter is an overwhelming, “You cannot be serious. This really happened?” Here is just one of the many.

Patrick is the only male in my office who is as fastidious as I am. We often exchange notes on the worst offenders and the ridiculous tasks we are forced to perform because clearly, no one else is capable despite the monthly (sometimes weekly) emails regarding “office etiquette.” A while back, Patrick took a four week vacation to Italy. As he was leaving he stopped by my desk and said, “I just used the last pump of hand soap in the men’s bathroom. I know this is gross but let’s just see how long it takes the guys to either replace it or ask you where we keep more.” We chuckled, thinking it might be a few days or even a week; I said a quick bon voyage and off he went.

While he was gone I forgot about our little joke, or in hindsight, perhaps I blocked it out, but a month later Patrick returned. “How was your trip?” I asked as he popped his head into my office. “Who cares about my trip, get ready to throw up.” I looked in horror as he revealed the still empty soap bottle. What flooded through my mind as I began to uncontrollably gag were images of my office husbands eating, shaking clients hands, handing me documents, opening doors… which spawned the only response I could think of, “FUCKING DISGUSTING!!!!”

When confronted with the situation at hand (pun intended), we heard all the excuses in the book. “I washed my hands in the women’s bathroom.” “I washed my hands in the kitchen.” “I never use that bathroom.” “I didn’t touch it.” Uh yeah, ok whatever guys. I have eye balls, I saw you all walk in and out of there without making a separate stop. But, I digress…

So I guess the moral, if there is one, is that sometimes you need to be an office wife. If not for your office husbands, for the innocent souls who are shaking their hands.

~Keep It Clean~
TJ

9 Signs You’ve Found Your “Soul”mate

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Jerry Macguire“You complete me.” It was 1996 when Jerry Maguire declared these three most talked about (at least in my circle of girlfriends) words to Renee Zellweger’s character in the film Jerry Maguire. Even some years later, these three infamous words are still cemented in my brain. I remember watching this scene blubbering and secretly hoping that one day my boyfriend would profess his love for me exactly like Jerry! Watching this scene eighteen years later, married and in my 40s, the romantic notion that my husband was put on this earth to complete me seems utterly ridiculous. If my husband completes me is he considered “The One”? Were we destined to be soul mates? And if you believe in soul mates, how do you know if you’ve actually met him? The Huffington Post recently published an article “9 Signs You’ve Found Your Soul Mate.” However, I’d like to provide a new perspective: 9 signs you’ve found your “soul”mate.

9 Signs You’ve Found Your “Soul”mate:

1. You can read each other’s thoughts without speaking—What this means is that you are in a conversation with your husband, upon expecting a reply, you turn and to your surprise realize that you’ve been talking to yourself for the last five minutes while he’s been taking a dump in the bathroom.

2. You know in your gut he’s The One.–What this means is that you had a night of debauchery celebrating your anniversary by excessively eating and drinking only to find the next morning that you have a horrible stomach hangover from eating too many potato skins at TGI Friday’s.

3. The physical chemistry is palpable.–What this means is…I don’t know, really. I failed high school physics.

4. You’ve been comfortable around each other since day one.– What this means is that you can fart, burp, and he can even scratch his balls without any hesitation.

5. The relationship isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. He challenges you like no one else can.–What this means is that no matter how many arguments you have, you will never convince him to like unicorns. Ever. 

6. You may not see eye to eye, but are on the same page.–What this means is that your husband is a man of leisure who likes to experience the high/low brow culture. He enjoys drinking a Hamm’s tall boy beer at the local neighborhood degenerate sports bar and eating a six course tasting menu paired with bottles of champagne and Pinot Noir.

7. A sense of inner calm.–What this means is that even though Sting and Trudie achieved multiple orgasms by staring at each other for hours during tantric sex, let’s face it, who likes staring at their husband longer than three seconds unless you’re a Criminal Minds sociopath with bodies in the basement.

8. The two of you have separate identities, but face the world as one.–What this means is that you decided to take your husband’s last name and after two and a half years of marriage when your students call you Mrs._____________, there is such a delayed response that even the crickets have stopped chirping and gone home.

9. You may have known each other for years, but suddenly you find yourselves ready for love at the same time.–What this means is that you don’t believe in the old cliché’ that timing is everything, but you married a man who is punctual. Even the Germans are envious.

And possibly one day, just like Renee Zellweger’s character, Dorothy Boyd, you may find yourself sitting in the living room enjoying book club with your girlfriends and your husband walks in and says those three infamous words, “You look kicked.”

AJ
guest blogger

Friendships, why we walk, sometimes run away with age…

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boyIImenIn the words of Boys II Men, “It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday,” or is it? I’m talking about ending friendships and in some cases dumping friends, as we get older.

As I entered my mid-thirties I noticed some of my friends distancing themselves from each other, more so than when I was younger. So I starting asking co-workers, people at parties, people I’d meet traveling… all the same question, “Have you ended more friendships as you’ve gotten older?” The answer among both men and women was a resounding, “Yes.” So naturally, I had to ask, “Why?” Here is a random sampling of answers from both men and women:

“I just dumped a friend because she always brings her nasty sick kids around and never tells anyone they are sick. F#@king a-hole”  – woman

“Betrayal” – woman

“They wouldn’t have sex with me.” – man

“We had sex.” – woman

“My quick response; negativity. I have been letting go of friends that thrive on gossip, are uber- judgmental, etc.”- woman

“She went up to my ex-husband and told him lies, then proceeded to hit on him and ask him to take her home and f#@k her” – woman

“I recently broke up with a friend because he lied to me about talking to my ex-girlfriend when I know he was f#@cking’ her. It was lying that broke up the friendship, just to be clear.” – man

“They wanted a number one fan. I’m your number one fan. NOT! I’m just saying reciprocation is the equation.” – woman

“Availability; emotional availability; time availability; where people are in their lives. People, friends, lovers… they all have different needs.”- man

“Too self-absorbed, Zzzzz.” – woman

“Couldn’t handle the negative energy anymore!” – woman

“People are always changing — I miss you!! Wait? Did you just dump me!?” – woman

I recently ended a friendship because the person was a narci-pessimist and relied on me as a cheerleader. The egocentric, “poor me, no one has it worse” syndrome. Unfortunately, I know many that do, who still manage to be real, solid and find the good and optimism in life, usually.

There are a few bright sides; less phone numbers and birthdays to remember, we’re getting older, after all. And sometimes, letting go of a wobbly friendship means the return of a more honest, enjoyable one later on down the road.

If you do end a friendship, do it simply and kindly if possible. And treat your besties well, they do more for us then we know, and well, they love us! At least for now…

KIR~Bay

Cat Pants: The man, the myth, the legend.

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180663_1705681514748_713063_nFreshman year in college my friend Kathy was obsessed with a sophomore at our neighboring dorm. Mind you, I never knew his real name as he was always referred to as “Goatee Man” (yes, this was the 90’s).  It was the first, but definitely not the last time I would hear a moniker bestowed to a guy that was clearly not given to him by his mother.

The nickname phenomena, which started well before “Mr. Big”, typically represents the guy you are casually dating, hooking-up with, not hooking-up with but want to, or someone you might be getting serious with but aren’t 100% sure. The consensus for most, is when you do genuinely like someone or are in a serious relationship, the nickname becomes a thing of the past or may have never existed at all.

Throughout our dating history, my girlfriends and I have created quite a list of characters: “Shovel Cowboy”, “Tall Small Paul”, “Mr. Awkward”, “Little Pony”, “The Fireman”, ”Eiffel Tower”, “Guy Friday”, “Baby Boy”, “Moose Balls”, “R&R”, “Mossad”, and “Johnny Bravo”. Clearly, some of these meanings are more obvious than others.  What I hadn’t considered is whether guys do the same thing. Have I garnered nicknames by men I have dated in the past?

After asking a random sampling of ten straight guys I know (young, old, single, married), the overwhelming consensus by all but one was, “No, not really” and “I think that is more of a girl thing.”  But I had to wonder, is this part of the guy code? Do guys not want you to know they refer to you as “Bearded Lady”, “Stinky Feet”, “Backdoor Sally”, “Teeth”, or “Gorilla In The Midst”? I guess in this instance, I can only choose to believe this to be true, and breath a heavy sigh of relief knowing that to “Cat Pants,” I was just a cool chick he briefly dated.

Ahh yes, it all circles back to “Cat Pants” doesn’t it? This story is often requested within my group of friends. It’s that, “I know the whole thing but please tell it again,” kind of story.

In my late 20’s, a friend of mine convinced me to go on match.com. In the three months I was on match, I only went out with one guy. His name was Michael and for our first date we met at a local bar to watch football. Initially, he seemed harmless enough though a couple things stood out. Namely, his overly corrected posture and “two drink maximum”.  Fair enough, no one is perfect so I decided to go out with him again. Our second date was at a local dive bar, and after our “two drinks”, he asked me if I wanted to go back to his place. I honestly can’t remember anything noteworthy about hooking-up with Michael except his place was exceptionally clean (even by my OCD standards) and he had a cat he had acquired from a previous relationship named “Piggy.”

*It’s worth mentioning that I am highly allergic to cats but was not bothered at all being at his place because I’m sure there was not a drop of cat hair anywhere.

Third date was sushi. The night of our date, I got home from work and called to confirm.

Me: “Hey Michael, still on for tonight?”
Michael: “Yep, I just need to change and I’m ready to go.”
Me: “I hear you. I need to change out of my work clothes too.”
Michael: “Oh I already changed out of my work clothes. I’m wearing my cat pants.”
Me (confused): “You mean like pants with cats on them?”
Michael: “No, no, nothing like that. I have special pants I wear when I play with my cat so I don’t get cat hair on my regular pants.”

Suffice to say, I did not become Mrs. Cat Pants as that was our last date, but that was not the last I heard of Cat Pants.

Two months later, I received a call from my friend Gina who was at a wine tasting. Her friend had brought a male coworker and as the night progressed, certain mannerisms were setting off triggers in the memory vault. “Oh my God TJ, I think I am at a wine tasting with Cat Pants! I mean it has to be him. He has insane posture and refuses to ingest the wine. He is using the spittoon for Christ Sakes! I’m texting you a picture.” Sure enough, there was Cat Pants in his arched back glory, not a Piggy hair in sight.

~meow for now~
TJ

From Hickey to Hip Hop

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Hickey

Just say no to hickeys!

The unfortunate part about what happened a few weeks ago on a fifth date wasn’t that chin licking was part of his make out style, it wasn’t because of his romantically intimate ‘spitting’ during what seriously felt like a 90 minute HJ, nor was it that I had gone through half a bottle of lotion in the process… both per his request. It wasn’t even that I was pretty sure we wouldn’t have another date, nice guy, just not for me after all that and more. It WAS that even with my pushing him away, he managed to octopus a HICKEY on to my neck.

There I was last Monday morning, my forty-something self, going to my professional job with a fricking hickey, blazing like a black eye on my neck. So I found myself wearing a thin decorative scarf, which while feminine and pretty, is not part of my usual work wardrobe. Throughout my day it only drew more attention to my giraffe like neck, especially considering it’s July. Several older women in my office complimented me on my scarf. I mumbled thank you, praying the scarf wouldn’t slip to reveal the juvenile hook up stamp, slut mark, ‘curling iron burn’, tomato stain on my neck.

BUT that wasn’t the worst part. Right after work I had a dentist appointment. You can’t really wear a scarf while getting dental work done. So, sometimes you just gotta smile, do your best with it and rock that hickey till it fades.

Now I looked into this and found a fun little link just in case you find yourself in hickey town: http://www.wikihow.com/Remove-a-Hickey (Warning: some of the tips listed seem worse than an actual hickey, i.e. rubbing a penny on your neck?)

Based on this experience, here are 4 things I wish some lovers would realize:

  1. Most of us don’t like it when you lick our face.
  2. Most of us don’t like it when you spit on yourself or us… unless we’re on fire.
  3. Stop watching porn and figure out your own style, we like that! Porn is called porn for a reason. Just because you see Superman changing in a phone booth, doesn’t mean YOU should start changing in a phone booth. Make sense!?!
  4. And don’t give us hickey’s!!!

Now, for the hopeful part of the week. I had exchanged an online wink with a guy I’ll call Mr. Question a few weeks prior. I was intrigued, but not enough to send him a message. Exhausted from a series of not so great dates, no pun intended, I decided to cancel my membership. I had 5 days left on the month. The next day, I checked my messages on the fly only to find a message from Mr. Question. I didn’t have time to read or respond because I was off to a hip-hop show. My friend and I were at the venue not even 15 minutes when a guy came up to me, cute, smiling, pointing at me and says, “I emailed you today, you’re (my username here).” All I could do was smile, because he was kind, polite to my friend, and hitting on me. What more could you want out of a first online meeting? We’re going out next weekend.

The hickey was gone by Wednesday, thank god, because I met Mr. Question on Thursday. That’s going from Hickey to hip-hop.

KIR ~Bay

Plenty of catfish in the sea.

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Two-cat-fish-tattoosLast week I was home sick, surfing the dismal week day television selection when I decided to check out a show a friend had recommended: Catfish on MTV. Like most people, I first heard this term when Notre Dame Football player Manti Te’o lost his online girlfriend to cancer before a big game, only to find out it was a hoax. Not only did she not die; she did not exist. I remember overhearing commentaries asking how someone could have a “girlfriend” they never met. Admittedly, at the time, I thought the same thing. Who does this?

In my teens and twenties I was an extremely dedicated watcher of MTV. In fact, I remember declaring multiple times, “I will never not watch MTV; it’s how I will stay young and current!” Flash forward to my thirties and I couldn’t even tell you the channel number. So in my “old” and “irrelevant” state, I assumed Catfish was just another reality show from the brilliant mind of some little shit executive at MTV until Bay texts me:

Bay: So are you dying or what?
TJ: I think I’ll live. Watching Catfish.
Bay: TV show or movie?
TJ: There’s a movie?!
Bay: Yep, the host Nev got Catfished it’s how the whole thing got started.
TJ: Downloading.

So the jist is there’s a successful, attractive (real) guy living in New York who falls in love with a woman through Facebook. His brother and his filmmaking friend decide to film the journey from online to reality and what unfolds is kind of unbelievable. I won’t ruin it for those of you who haven’t seen it (and if you haven’t I highly recommend you do) but it spawned a new definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

cat•fish: a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes

Couch bound and fascinated, I proceed to watch a handful of TV episodes. What dawns on me is how easily this could happen to me or anyone else who has online dated before. The movie and show portray relationships that last months/years, but what about the typical online dater who exchanges a few emails with a person who seems like an attractive, all around great guy/girl only to meet in real life and realize they are:

a) older
b) shorter
c) fatter
d) socially awkward
e) unemployed and live with their parents
f) all of the above

Case in point, a friend of mine called a couple days later to tell me about a guy she had recently met online who lives in North Carolina (she lives in Colorado). He’s incredibly attractive and their chemistry, though only through email and phone calls, was “off the charts.” Of course my catfish-o-meter is in the red zone hearing the details until she says they were going to meet in person. Phew. Ok, catfish-o-meter in yellow zone. So she is on the phone with said guy, about to hit “purchase” on United’s website when he says, “Before you buy this ticket, there’s probably something I should tell you.” RED ZONE, WARNING! “If we meet and become serious, I am going to need you to sleep with a black man while I watch on a regular basis.” TRANSACTION TERMINATED. OK, so thankfully for my friend she found this out before making the cross-country journey but I couldn’t help but wonder had she gone, would that have been the only surprise?

Throughout my personal online dating history, I’ve met most of my dates within a week or so from initial contact. That is until recently. In April, I experience what most people call, “life shattering heartbreak.” Ok well it wasn’t that bad but I was pretty bummed out. So one Thursday night, about 7 glasses of Chardonnay in, I decide to join Tinder. Almost immediately, one of my “matches” sends me a note. Turns out my match Charlie and I have a mutual friend so we get to chatting. During our three hour conversation I suggest meeting but he wanted to chat one more time.

Cut to two months and countless conversations later (yes that includes texting, sexting and all that pulses in-between); Charlie and I have still not met. Throughout this time, we have both been dating other people, but haven’t pulled the trigger on meeting each other though we only live 3 miles apart. Time will tell what our fate will be, but what I have realized is how easy and fun it can be to form a bond with someone online, regardless of the outcome.

So in the end, I guess that annoying saying remains true, “There are plenty of fish in the sea”. Some you catch and throw back; some you filet and throw on the grill; others you stuff and hang on your wall. OK, I’m veering off course here but you get what I’m saying. There are a lot of fish out there and how you meet is all part of the experience. So keep fishing, and if you haven’t caught it already, hopefully the “big one” is coming your way.

~peace and love~ TJ
(btw that sign-off is an amazing Catfish reference for those who caught it)

The Joys of Menopause, not…

Meno fireman

There I sat, sandwiched between my sleeping BF and a sweet, sleeping elderly lady. Five hours into an 11-hour flight home from Tokyo, we were on the final leg home from vacation. It seemed as if everyone on the plane was asleep, except me. I sat watching a horrible episode of Friends. I was sober, Xanax-free and slightly content, close to drifting off. Then, out of nowhere, I felt intense sheets of heat radiating from my back, neck and butt. Soon, the heat moved through me, and settled in, happily creating a clammy stickiness of sweat throughout my entire upper body. Carefully, I got up and quietly went to the middle of the plane where I could fan myself and cool off. The flight attendant, who spoke minimal English, smiled at me and held her hands out, instructing me back to my seat. I smiled back with a ‘woman to woman’ grin and said, ‘menopause,’ thinking she’d understand. I stayed put and continued fanning myself with a smile. Again, she smiled and held her hands out directing me back to my seat, my forehead sparkling with sweat. I asked for a cup of ice and sat down. 10 minutes later, my hot flash was gone, my shirt was damp, and I was ready for a glass of wine.

At 41 I had a full hysterectomy for medical reasons, leaving me with one lone ovary. The thought of it reminded me of Charlie Browns Christmas tree that had only 1 ornament. At times I feel sorry for my lonely ovary. But like an empty nester, she is slowly but surely getting acclimated to the new environment that is now, all hers. Six month after my hysterectomy, it was confirmed by tests and my OB that I was definitely in Menopause; that was 2 1/2 years ago.

Hot Flashes

These are real. It has nothing to do with a momentary flash where you feel hot and sexy, that is NOT a hot flash. More often they present as a cookie sheet of heat radiating out from your body and over all areas of your back. Mine use to come in sets that would ebb and flow for approximately 5 to 10 minutes. First the massive sauna like back sweating, then the heat would roll up over my scalp and drop into my forehead in the form of a massive heatwave, creating a lovely, clammy, glistening appearance. The biggest downside of hot flashes, in my opinion, is going through all of this sweating and not losing a lb. If I sweat that much at the gym, I would definitely be walking out several pounds lighter. Hot flashes by no means, result in weight loss. I know, it’s a bit of a cruel joke. As of the last four months I’ve been getting them a lot more frequently, but, now that I know what to expect, they are easier to maneuver through. These aren’t as bad as you may think. I DO sleep with the windows open and a fan directly on my body, though (even when it’s only 28 degrees out).

Mood Swings

These are like drinking an invisible bottle of ‘QuikBitch’ that lasts for 1 – to 3 hours straight. You’ll cry, you’ll whine, you might fantasize about punching things, you’ll pick an argument about stuff you don’t even care about, but suddenly makes you crazy. Example:

“Did you wear that shirt just to piss me off, cuz it seems like you did.”

“I thought you liked this shirt, you bought it for me?”

“So now you’re just wearing it because I bought it for you?”

*Partners of menopausal, these aren’t arguments you can solve, just walk away. Menopausals, you will feel like a defeated, pouty child. Menopause may cause massive overeating; moments of feeling overwhelmed and taken advantage of when you hear simple things like, “Can you get that report for me?” You’ll discover you’re out of detergent right before you do a load of laundry, which may result in an empty red jug of Tide being launched, skipping across the laundry room floor at high speed like a bowling ball. Normal, cheesy jokes that come out of your partner or friends mouth that usually results in an eye roll and dry laughter will come will a viscous scowl, furrowed brow anMenopause 2d the response, “Are you F*cking kidding me? Did you really just say that to me?” Most of us know PMS, the beast of menopause, which may vary in intensity, is one that is untamed.

 Menopause Mood Swing Hangover

These mood swings will be followed up with what I refer to as menopause mood swing hangover. It usually lasts 5 minutes to 1 hour. It’s the period of time where you first look around at the devastation you just caused in awe, wondering how the hell you did all that destruction in such a short amount of time. It feels like in your mind’s eye, you’re looking at an emotional hotel room that looks like it’s been trashed by Johnny Depp. The mayhem is laid out before you and in somewhat of a fugue state, you apologize, saying, “I don’t know why I said/did that.”

Crazy Periods

Because I had a full hysterectomy, I haven’t gotten a period for 2 1/2 years and never will again. Prior to it though, I had more than my share of crazy periods. Periods that lasted a month, periods that ride around your uteral block, stopping in once a week or every several days just to say ‘Hi’ and piss you off. Then there are the ones that pop up at random like an ex-boyfriend calling for a bootie call, unpredictable and uninvited. My suggestion, iron supplements, if you have excessive periods talk to your OB, though probably normal, the blood loss will cause lethargy, fatigue, possibly irritable sleep, and brain fog. Always good to check with your OB when something changes drastically.

Your New, Schizophrenic Body

Your weight and body will make you feel like a buoy in the ocean, sometimes firm and steady, but more often wobbly, submerged and bloated. Some Natural Herbs and Supplements may work so look into what you’re comfortable with, but the best thing for weight, I’ve found, is simply smaller portioned, well-balanced meals.

This brings me to the moment when my OB filled me in on what may go on with my vagina during the ‘menopause’ phase. She gave me the Menopause 411, but then she said, “If things get to the point where you want to do hormone replacement call me.” I was intrigued by this. I mean, how bad could it be? I figured it was just like turning the lights out and closing up a room you didn’t use anymore and that was that. But then my OB said, “And if things get dry, just call and I can recommend something.” Caught off guard I said, “What do you mean dry?” Without hesitation she said, “If sex starts to feel like razors.” Well, my vagina ran up into my body and hid behind my rib cage like a scared hiker in the Rockies after I heard that. I wanted to close my eyes, shake my head and cover my ears, screaming NO, NO, NO!! It was weird enough when I was 9 and didn’t know anything about periods only to have my mother tell me and my older sister that soon, we would bleed from our vagina. After that I hid in my room for hours and cried. Now I was being told a place that has allowed me quite a bit of pleasure, may at times feel like I am being screwed by the dick of a Mad Max character? Seriously?!?! I love my OB, but I stopped her and said, “Don’t ever say anything like that to me, again.” I wanted to add, “You’ve offended me and you’ve offended my vagina. We’re leaving.” But I didn’t, I stayed. I need her.

The most important thing, give those you are close to, close friends and lovers, a heads up on what’s going on. Secrets suck and it will make it so much easier for all involved when the gifts of menopause DO strike, and they will.

Menopause Preparedness Kit:

*Handkerchief for random daytime bouts of sweating (HF)

*Get earplugs for your mate during mood swings.

*Dress in layers – so you can repeatedly remove clothes and put them back on again.

*Stay hydrated.

*Bags of snickers for your mate to give… or throw at you, when you are acting insane.

*Keep having sex, it’s healthy, just buy a water based KY if you encounter problems.

*Time your outbursts, it will help you to know when they’re on their way and what to expect.

*Naps are good, because sound sleep is never promised

*Wine is delicious, but drink modestly because it may exacerbate your hot flashes

*Same with Coffee, drink modestly because it may exacerbate your hot flashes

~With Sweat & Tears,
Bay