I Gave My Number to a Drug Dealer

“I got five on it. Grab your 40, let’s get keyed. I got five on it. Messing with that indo weed. I got five on it. It’s got me stuck and not go back. I got five on it. Partner lets go half on a sack.” ~Luniz, I Got 5 On It

As I have been navigating the single world, I have forced myself to talk to strangers. This is hard for me because of the lessons learned from Dateline, the fact that I am way too nervous to do this alone and…well…yeah, really just Dateline. I should probably ease up on the stranger danger. (I think I am going to write a Dateline Dos and Don’ts pamphlet.)

When I’m with my extroverted pals, they are great at encouraging me to talk to people. In fact, they actually physically nudged me into talking to a person. It turned out to be as weird as you’re imagining. My initial encounter didn’t send off any red flags. He was pleasant and funny. Funny goes a looooonnnngg way with me. Probably too long because I tend to overlook some things. We had a nice conversation, he was quick witted, nice smile, yada yada. He offered to walk me home to which I adoringly replied I had a huge can of mace in my purse. He asked for my number. I said ok. I didn’t really think he was going to call. (Also, I’m told guys don’t call anymore – they text. So much has changed since I was last single. I think only texting and not calling is dumb.)

Then it hit me. Oooohhh! His friend wasn’t a friend, and this errand wasn’t my kind of errand like running to Target to get a bunch of stuff I don’t need.

Wouldn’t you know, I received a text that night? (Yay!) With a smiley face emoji. (Boo!) I forced myself to respond anyway. It was fine. No butterflies with this conversation. I didn’t hear from him after that, so I figured that was the end of it. I didn’t care. He sent me a late night text on a weeknight nine days later asking me what I was doing. I responded with one word. Sleeping. It’s almost midnight, and I’m an adult. I have a job. What am I doing? Really? Also, I forgot about you because it’s been nine days dude. And then….

I ran into him at the same bar I met him the following weekend. This was his spot apparently. He was hanging out in the back. He did come over and say hi. We made some small talk. He left to meet a friend real quick. Then he came back. Alone. He came over and sat down at my table where I was just talking girl smack about him with my friend. You know that conversation…

Me: That dude took nine days to text me and it was super late on a weeknight. Oh yes, please, let’s hang out. (queue dramatic eye roll)

Friend: Fuck that dude.

He was his charming and funny self, so I nearly forgot I was supposed to give him shade. Then he left to run a quick errand asking if I would still be there when he got back “in a few minutes.” I had lost track of time and realized it was midnight. Who runs an errand at midnight? Was it to meet his friend that, I’m guessing, never showed earlier? Then it hit me. Oooohhh! His friend wasn’t a friend, and this errand wasn’t my kind of errand like running to Target to get a bunch of stuff I don’t need. He’s dealing. Awesome. I looked at my friend and said, “You ready to go? I didn’t get divorced to waste time with this shit.” My friend’s response was a spot on, “Yep. Fuck that dude. Let’s go.”

Still feeling the urge to be polite, I texted him I was no longer at the bar. (Why you ask? I have no idea.) I received a “boo!” text in response. I deleted his number. Hopefully he deleted mine. Can we make a phone function where you can delete your number from someone else’s phone so if you meet them under drunk or shady circumstances you can take back your mistake? Like a single lady number take backsies? Ghost number? I don’t know, we can wordsmith the name later. Can someone make that? I’m not capable of anything tech-wise other than ideas. I just recently found out I have a Do Not Disturb function so when assholes text you nine days later around midnight it doesn’t wake you up…


The Introverted Extrovert

“Went to where the people were on a Saturday night. Seems like it always seems. Where I go I want to leave. I surprised myself as my mouth started speaking. There was nothing left of my nerves as I leaned over to ask her. Pardon the intrusion. Could we leave before it gets bad? I might smash up all the windows. And set fire to the curtains.” ~Matt Pond PA, Halloween

I’m an introvert. I’m also an extrovert. Say what? Yep. I have done a lot of reading on this topic and taken countless online tests and quizzes. Every result is split down the middle. Half of my answers lean towards being an introvert and the other half leans towards being an extrovert. It’s very confusing. I envy those who lean hard one way or the other. There is no gray area of what you need to feel energized. For me, half the time I go out I wonder why the hell I left the house in the first place. Other times, I’m at ease and excited to embrace something new and meet new people. It’s a challenge.

I have good friends that are both introverts and extroverts. The beauty of being on the cusp of both is that I can relate and get energized from all of them. It’s great. No hang time is a bad time!

I have been paying attention to how I feel in my surroundings and discovered the line, for the most part, gets drawn between work and personal time.

I enjoy solitary work. Most of the positions I have sought out and held do require being part of a team, but my portion of the work are tasks and projects that are done solo then provided to the team for input…all while I am still sitting alone, behind a desk. The days I work from home? Sweet Denise Schneider! (That’s from the movie Safe Men.) I am so unbelievably happy. I don’t have to talk to anyone outside of work stuff. I am in the comfort of my home. I feel like I could run a marathon at the end of the day. Not really. More like a 5k at best, but still! I’m so energized from those work from home days that…

…yes. I immediately want to start making plans for the weekend. Out of my house. With multiple people. Somewhere that could be crowded or loud and people might look at me. Why?? Does this make any sense?

The ambivert struggle is real. Here are some things I do/have done as an ambivert:

  • I will talk to my friends at a bar until it closes. If I have to pee at that bar, I will make zero eye contact with strangers on the way to the bathroom and feel a sigh of relief when I get back to where my friends are sitting. A crowded bar can be too overwhelming sometimes. 
  • I love meeting new people…when I have people I know standing there with me. If you’re a friend of my friend? Even better. I’ll talk your ear off and want to know every detail about you. Otherwise, I’ll probably start and end the conversation with hello – if I even make eye contact with you at all. Please don’t stare at me.
  • I would love to go on a vacation with you…for like, four days tops. Then I need to go to home and not be by anyone. Actually, I probably won’t call you for a week, but I love you and had the best time!
  • My work colleagues probably think I’m a crazy pet lady who sits at home being responsible about all matters of my life. My friends know I’m both a crazy pet lady but also a chatty babe who likes to take over the juke box at bars when I’m comfortable and start dance parties when no one else is dancing. If they saw my work person, they would be confused.
  • At the end of a draining work week, I want nothing more than to be left alone. I’ll stay in all weekend because I need it to recharge. Then on Sunday, I panic because I spent the entire weekend riding solo. What have I done all weekend? Nothing? AHH!
  • If you’re quiet, I got you. I’ll do the talking. If you’re loud, I’m going to sit here and listen. Balance, my friends. I need it apparently.
  • I played sports my entire life and was captain of my high school and college teams. I put myself out there because I wanted to be a leader. After games I would go home and sit in my room with the door closed listening to music by myself. I was mentally drained and needed to reset. 
  • If you asked me to list some of the best times of my life, they would include days of late nights, rock ‘n roll, debauchery and setting things on fire in a wheel barrel with my loudest friends, some I only knew at surface level. They would also include hiking in the most beautiful scenery with old friends where barely a word was spoken.
  • Sometimes when I am at home with my animals, I feel this overwhelming sense of happiness; I can’t imagine being anywhere else. I need their peaceful energy.
  • Other times, I feel like if I don’t go out until the wee hours of the morning with my friends, I might not be able to face another work week. I need their crazy energy.
  • I’ve been called the life of the party, an old soul, a wallflower, someone who can talk to anyone, observant, intuitive, shy, outgoing, that I read people well and someone who lives in the moment. Did you follow that?

It’s weird, right? In the right setting, I don’t care if people are paying attention to me. Otherwise, please no one look at me. Don’t force me to make small talk. I can do it. I’ll do it. I don’t want to do it.

Three terms to describe people is pretty broad. I get there are varying levels to being an introvert, extrovert and ambivert, but there has to be more to describe complex behavior patterns. Please scientists and doctors, make a new term! Give the people what they want! How much is genetic, environmental, consequential…I don’t know. I just know I constantly toe the line. I’ve managed to trick some amazing people into being my friends from both worlds. I just wish there was a week where I didn’t feel like I wanted to take on the world, try new things while simultaneously keeping the covers over my head so no one could make small talk about the weather. I’m not asking for much, right?

Youngest of Four

“I remember way back then when everything was true. And when we would have such a very good time. Such a fine time, such a happy time. And I remember how we’d play, simply waste the day away. Then we’d say nothing would come between us, two dreamers.” ~Madness, Our House 

I’m the youngest of four. I noticed recently I say this rather than telling people I’m the baby of the family. The term “baby of the family” annoys me. Mostly because I feel like I got totally screwed on being treated like the “baby of the family.” I didn’t get away with shit! When people ask if I have siblings, I say yes. I have three. The conversation usually goes like this:

Person: Oh, you have three siblings?

Me: Yep. Two brothers and one sister.

Person: Oh, are you the oldest?

Me: Nope. I’m the youngest.

Person: OOOOOHHHHHHH! So you’re the baby of the family?

Me: No. I’m the youngest.

See?! I completely avoid it even when they technically got my birth order right. I tell them they’re wrong and then reword what they just said. I could agree to end the conversation, but I don’t. And I won’t. The conversation usually continues along these lines:

Person: I bet you got away with everything.

Me: No. I didn’t get away with shit. I’m the youngest. My parents knew all the tricks by the time they got to me.

Person: Oh, yeah right. The baby of the family always gets away with everything.

Me: Yeah, people always tell me that, but that’s not what happened.

Person: I bet your parents gave you everything they didn’t give your siblings.

Me: No. They treated us all the same.

The conversation usually ends there – mostly because they can hear a slight hint of anger in my voice. Sometimes they keep insisting I was treated better than everyone else, and I just get quiet. (It is true. I didn’t really get in trouble, but that’s because I didn’t do a lot of bad stuff!)

I have heard this baby tale my entire life. The baby of the family gets spoiled, gets away with everything, never gets in trouble, blah blah blah. I’m not mad because they’re calling me a baby. Ok, I’m a little mad at that. I’m mad because I feel like I got screwed in my birth order! My parents were so wonderful in their thinking of trying to treat all of us the same, and I’m glad those jerks did. I wouldn’t change a thing….but damn it! Other youngest kids in the family got later curfews? Didn’t have to get jobs? Their parents didn’t yell at them when they were acting like an ungrateful jackass? I can’t believe it because I can’t imagine it. That’s just not how things went down in my house.

What perks did being the youngest in my family get me? There were some:

  • My brother once told me that if I fell asleep with any of my limbs hanging outside the covers, a man comes in the middle of the night and chops them off. (I still sleep fully-covered.)
  • My other brother used to chase me, tackle me, put his knees into my shoulders so I couldn’t move my arms then slowly spit and suck it back up just before it hit my face. Sometimes, he didn’t suck it back up in time. (Consequently, I’m a tough cookie.)
  • I did get to hear my parents’ complain about my other siblings mistakes then offer up solutions. For example: “If they would just spend the night at their friends’ house, they wouldn’t get in trouble for drinking.” Oh, really? I was a rule follower, but I was not afraid to call their bluff. I did and was sooo looking forward to calling them hypocrites. They weren’t. They held true to their word. See? I got nothing! Where was the fun in that?
  • I got to watch my siblings go through high school, college, breakups, fights with friends, fail and succeed for the first time. I got a heads up on what was to come so it wasn’t so scary. (They owed me for the limb-chopping story).
  • I got all the hand-me-downs. That sounds negative, but it’s not. I was so pumped to get my sister’s clothes.
  • I got to experience what it was like to be an only child as a near-adult. That’s a perk the youngest probably only gets and remembers. Well, unless your older siblings don’t grow up and move the hell out. Being a near-adult only child was cool for like, a weekend. Then I missed my peeps. I learned I loved my siblings.
  • Support. I got a lot of support and encouragement. My sister was quick to threaten and offer to beat up anyone being mean to me. She still does. It rules.
  • My life got threatened a lot. If I got caught stealing toys, clothes, CDs, etc. my ass was grass. Did I stop? Hell no. I just got crafty at “borrowing” and putting things back very carefully.
  • I got zero turns at Nintendo when I was a kid. My brother’s hogged it. When I finally got a turn, I was so bad from never getting to play, I died within less than a minute. They would immediately take the controller back. I learned life is not fair. Truth!
  • I learned how to spot a cheater when playing games. When you’re the youngest, they think you’re naïve and won’t notice. In my family, they’re easy to spot. Everyone in my family is a cheater except my mom.

I guess being the youngest does have its perks, even if it isn’t the mythical perks of being spoiled and having no rules. I don’t have kids, but I am pretty confident if I am lucky enough to have more than one I would follow my parents’ lead on this one. It’s the way to go. Don’t baby your youngest. You don’t want them walking through life like a total pussy.

If you are the youngest, you have to pay attention to what’s going on around you or you’ll miss the whole show. If you miss it, that’s on you. Life’s not fair, kid.

Sugar is My Drug of Choice

“I have seen, I have seen what these changes mean to me. If you’re thinkin’ of changin’. If you’re thinkin’ of stayin’ with me. We need to agree. We need to make some changes. We need what we need. Do I need you? Do you need me?” ~Sugar, Changes

I’m embarrassed to admit, I recently had to curb my sugar addiction. It was awful, but it needed to be done. I craved candy like a crazy person. I knew every office and cubicle that had a candy stash. I went out of my way to take candy out of their bowl…when they weren’t there so they wouldn’t know how many times I was stopping by to take a piece…two pieces… I even had my own stash at work and home. Even after all of that, I would sneak down to the vending machine. My work vending machine has my favorite candy bar, Take 5. Once I wanted a Take 5 candy bar so bad, I went down to the vending machine and got angry when there was a bunch of Pay Days in front of the Take 5s. I remember thinking, “Fuck you Pay Day!” Super normal reaction, right? I didn’t take this as a sign to not eat candy. Oh no. I did the right thing and bought the three Pay Days to get to it. I saw no problem with this. I started running and working out more so I could swipe office candy and stay within my daily calorie count. I would get so excited on my long run days because this sugar fiend could eat some cookies!

When did I hit rock bottom? I think I hit it a couple of times. On the day after Valentine’s Day I got pumped for discount candy. That was not a typo. I waited ON PURPOSE to buy myself Valentine’s Day candy because it was 30% off. I texted my friend about it a week before, the day before and then sent a picture of me with my candy right after I bought it. I didn’t even wait until I got home to open it. I inhaled them like a crazy person and got mad (actually mad) when it was gone.

V Day Candy

I’m so excited like I won a prize. I took the picture before I even started my car! What is wrong with me?

It got worse. I went to the grocery store hungry and came home with a box of cookies. I ate a couple and went back 15 minutes later for two more…and so on. When it was half gone, I snapped out of it and threw them out. But then…I can’t even believe I did this…I pulled them out. I ate a few more while standing over the trash can like an animal. When I stepped outside my body and saw my sad self, I finally threw them out for good (I poured water on them and then immediately took the trash out). I told my friend about it because I felt like someone needed to know. In my sugar brain, if I admitted my shame out loud I wouldn’t eat trash cookies again. (Her response was not judgmental but one of laughter. She followed her laughter by recommending I watch the Sex and the City episode where Miranda eats chocolate out of the trash. This was surprisingly comforting. Someone must have done this before me to make an episode about it, right? Yes? Cool.) I haven’t done it since, but I can’t say I’ll never do that again. I don’t know what kind of shit the future holds.

Was work stressing me out? Nope. Sugar withdrawal, ya’ll!

When I couldn’t outrun my sugar calories, I decided it was time to get myself in check. I can’t afford to buy all new pants. Wouldn’t you know, my main man Steve Harvey came to the rescue again? He had a couple of trainers on his show doing a competition, and I paid attention to their meals plans. I decided to give one a try for a couple of weeks because it focused on limiting sugar. I thought this might help to curb my sugar addiction. Why not, right?

Did it work? Oh, yes. It worked, but it was not painless. I don’t mean it sucked because of cutting calories. I was already doing that. It’s just that half those calories were candy and carbs. It sucked because on day 2-3 I had a screaming headache. Pain meds did not help. At first I wondered if I had a stress headache. Was work stressing me out? Nope. Sugar withdrawal, ya’ll! (Sorry. I never say ya’ll. It just rhymed.) The headaches were so bad I never want to go through this again. It hurt to sleep. I was so mad at those mini candy bars lurking around my office. I was mad at myself, too, but mostly at the makers of all things delicious.

I have since maintained most of a low sugar intake because I lost more weight than I anticipated. Oh, and I feel good, yada yada yada. But realistically I will never give up candy for good. I have mostly kept myself in check. Except for one major free for all last week, I feel like I can safely say, I curbed my addiction. I still love all things chocolate and sweet, but for the love….no more slamming of cabinet doors because there is no candy in the house while I yell at myself to eat a vegetable and to get it together, woman!




Kind of a Bitch

“I want to say a little something that’s long overdue. The disrespect to women has got be through. To all the mothers and sisters and the wives and friends I want to offer my love and respect to the end.” ~Beastie Boys, Sure Shot

I’ve been in the workforce for quite some time. For the most part, my experiences have been positive. At one point in my career I found myself working in a bit of a boys club. At first I didn’t think anything of it. Half my friends are dudes. I have brothers. I’m not intimidated or uncomfortable in any shape or form being the only girl in a room. Do I like it? No. Can I handle it? Yes. Nothing compares to being picked on by your older brothers. I have thick skin.

Back to work stuff. I find most people do treat you fairly, focus on your performance and are open to your ideas. However, I have experienced some unfortunate things because I was female from a male colleague. One experience went like this…

    • He gave feedback on my work that included smiley faces and (as much as I wanted to pretend otherwise) flirty messaging. I thought…smiley faces? Is he grading my work like a school teacher? Is this the modern version of Way To Go stickers? Is this supposed to make me feel good about myself because it’s doing the opposite…
    • He talked to me in a way he didn’t talk to his male counterparts. The communication wasn’t professional so much as…you look nice today…I like your hair.
    • He questioned all of the data and information I provided for projects. He only ran with my ideas when another male counterpart backed me up. Then he would say, “Oh. That’s probably annoying that I am always questioning you.” I confirmed it was annoying. He would apologize. Then he would immediately question my data for the next project. He would follow up with, “Oh man. I can’t believe it. There I go again!” (I couldn’t believe this dude either.)
    • One time I held him accountable for his portion of a project, and he responded by calling me mean (followed by a smiley face)…you know…like he does all of his male counterparts…
    • When I ignored the name calling and held firm in my position, he tried a new approach of feigning respect. He respected me SO much that he hoped I started to get tough on everyone. IN FACT, you know what? You guys should make it a new goal to have someone call him and say, “You know what? She’s kind of a bitch.” Then he would know you really rattled some cages and put the hammer down on someone. (I was as confused as you are about this conversation. Why do I want people calling me a bitch? Rattle cages? Dude. I just need you to get your shit in on time!)
    • It became clear this dude wanted to sleep with me. (It took me a minute, but I caught on.) What year is it?

Did these things happen over the course of my time at that job? No. This was just a snapshot of four days with this person. Should I have reported him? Probably. I didn’t. Being older and wiser, this won’t happen again.

There’s a saying by Martin Luther King Jr. that I love. It goes: Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. I fully believe this to be true. There’s also a saying that goes: Without stupid people, we would have nothing to laugh at. I think that’s how that one goes. I don’t know who said that one. I laughed a lot at that job.

My initial reaction to being treated unfairly because of my gender is anger. It’s immediately followed up by being happy I’m not that ignorant. This experience wasn’t the first and, sad to say, won’t be the last. He will get his one day. Karma is a bitch. (I don’t know who said that one either.) Speaking of bitches, who was really being “kind of a bitch”, here?

Tip: Fellas. Unless you’re a teenager, do not use emojis when flirting with women. You look ridiculous.

Hating Yourself is Dumb

“You need rhino skin or you’re gonna give in to the needles and pins, arrows of sin, evils of men. You need rhino skin.” ~Tom Petty, Rhino Skin

If you were lucky enough to have parents that weren’t assholes, they tried their best to tell you how special you were growing up to build up your confidence. Mind did. Chances are you believed them. Chances are even higher those beliefs got lost somewhere along the way. Mind did.

Life happened and over the years I became a master at beating myself up. Like me, you may have had days where you couldn’t think of one nice thing to say about yourself. This is dumb. I should kick my own ass for being such a bad friend.

Self-deprecation and being able to laugh at your mistakes are totally different than being straight up mean. I want to blame so many things, but I can’t. Every time I said something rotten about myself, I made that choice.

I’ve been hood ready since I was seven. I suggest you do the same.

When I started to hear myself, I decided to change. Self-hate is a buzz kill. I still have my moments, but I am changing. How? Steve Harvey. I didn’t plan on this. It just happened. I’ve been given books to read and suggestions on ways to improve my self-image over the years. However, nothing really hit home for me. I started recording Steve Harvey’s show because I think he is hilarious. (I can pretty much quote Kings of Comedy from start to finish including the audience comments during the show. He kills me. I’m a big fan.) Turns out Mr. Harvey makes more sense to me than Oprah ever did. In terms of this issue, here are some of the things I’ve learned that have helped me identify the root of my problem:

  • Be accountable for your actions (This is a tough one when you’re hard on yourself like me for making mistakes.)
  • Not everyone that starts with you is going to end with you (I have a hard time giving up on people.)
  • Stop making excuses (I am not a natural whiner, but I do this when I’m scared. Look who’s being all accountable for herself?)
  • Embrace fear and failure (sigh….)
  • Get rid of the people holding you back (Did I mention I have a hard time giving up on people?)
  • You have to be in a bad relationship to understand a good one (If this turns out be true, I am going to be a relationship genius when this good one finally comes along.)
  • Be hood ready at all times (check!)

That last one is the most important. I’ve been hood ready since I was seven. I suggest you do the same.

Hood business aside, the results of not holding myself accountable, keeping the wrong people around and being afraid to fail were me feeling terrible about me. Feeling terrible is the reason I started picking on myself. It has done me no good. It will do you no good.

When you find yourself in my situation, take a deep breath and remember all those things your parents told you when you were little. (You are loved. You are special. There is only one of you. Quit coming home drunk and waking us up…wait…) Those things are still true. They were never not true. Life just happens, and life is tough. We lose perspective and allow it to take a huge dump on our personal worth. You’ll get it back. Because you are awesome.

That Time I Went On a Date with a Pussy

“Movies like zoos. Try another me and I will try another you or put my arms around you like I think you want me to. But tell me what you’re thinking I so often misconstrue.” ~Nada Surf, Treading Water 

When you’re going through a rough patch in life, sometimes you don’t always make good decisions. You’re sad, you’re angry, you’re lonely, you’re scared and full of resentment…a terrible mix of emotions. At times like these you really shouldn’t be making any decisions. But, you do. Sometimes those decisions come from a place of determination to get out of this shitty spot you’re in. You need something, anything to jump start a new phase. So much so that you agree to go out for drinks with a guy dressed like a cat.

Sad me thought: Well, this will be hilarious. Why not? He’s probably a good time. Meeting up for some drinks will be easy and painless. Up until now you’ve only been asked out by your Uber drivers, so…screw it.. You’re going. You’ve been so nervous about being nervous, this is the perfect chance to put yourself out there and get that long overdue first date out of the way. (Nervous about being nervous, you ask? Yes. This is my thing. I take nerves to new heights.)

So you go. You will be correct about ONE thing. This is the best type of person to rip the band-aid off if you are someone who gets nervous about being nervous. Why? Because deep down you know there is no way on this planet this is going anywhere. You can screw this up so hard, and it won’t matter. You can shake the first post-divorce pseudo-date out of the way. That way, when an actual man of substance and potential walks through the door, you’ve already got some of the jitters out. Perhaps it will make you feel better that you are trying to put yourself out there. When the 100th person asks if you started dating yet, you can finally answer YES.

He showed me a picture himself and pointed out his crotch. Actually, it was more like he zoomed in on his crotch and said, “That’s all me.”

You will be wrong about EVERYTHING else the sad version you thought this night might be. It is not easy. It is not painless. That tool in the cat suit is a tool in human people clothes, too. The night went like this:

  • He didn’t have a plan. I had to help make the choice of where to go on the date. (Not the worst thing, but I like a man with a plan.)
  • His friends “randomly” made an appearance pretty much within three minutes of me sitting down. (Although, can you really blame him for being concerned about my mental state? I agreed to go out with him while he was wearing a cat tail pinned to yoga pants…)
  • I realized I made a mistake making these plans as soon as they started talking. I was just sad and this seemed like it could be a good time. He was dressed as a hilarious cat! Wait…it wasn’t hilarious. It’s kind of weird now that your head is a bit clearer…
  • I had a drink with him and his friends (a couple) because they sat down. I was between him and the couple seated at a bar while they talked about things personal to their friendship. I clearly didn’t have much to say being that I didn’t know these people. I barely knew the cat. My best contributions were:
    • “Oh yeah? That’s cool.”
    • “Sounds like that was fun!”
    • “What? I’m sorry. Did you say you went to see Fall Out Boy?”
    • “Should I just get the next round of drinks or…what’s the plan?”
  • His friends paid for that round of drinks before they finally left. I guess they felt comfortable knowing I’m not the weirdo in this situation.
  • We had another drink.
  • We went to another bar.
  • He let me buy that round of drinks.

That about sums it up. Just kidding. There’s more. Throughout the night he made the following comments:

  • He showed me a picture himself and pointed out his crotch. Actually, it was more like he zoomed in on his crotch and said, “That’s all me.”
  • He told me how big his bed was. This was not a euphemism. California King.
  • Assuming I was going home with him he made the comment, while laughing, that I guess we better find out my thoughts on abortion!
  • When I tried getting to know him and talk about something of interest to me (running), he told me I should try running after smoking weed.
  • He told me he had a bottle of chilled champagne at his house. He loves champagne. It’s his favorite! He is so excited there is finally a champagne bottle emoji. He sends it to his friends all the time.
  • He made a lot of bizarre comments that gave me pause. I couldn’t tell if they were homophobic or just him being confused about his sexuality. My response each time was, “Huh.”
  • He doesn’t like “basic” people. (Can someone explain this to me? I’m still confused on this one.)
  • He has so much fun being him. I mean, his life is awesome.

Hoo boy! Being in a bad space can cause you to make some poor judgments. This was one of mine. When you are so focused on trying to get out of your rut, you tend to overlook some red flags and people you would normally stay far, far away from. You justify it as being a new experience, as trying to be open-minded or taking a chance. It’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up. And if after your uncomfortable experience, you make out with him anyway to rip that first kiss band-aid off, too…don’t beat yourself up about that either. You were trying your best to help yourself. You’ll snap out of it. And, when you do, drink a bunch of wine and laugh while you tell everyone about it.

Chopper, Choppy, Chips, Mama C, Muffin, Punky, Stinky Face, Best Friend

“Tonight I’ll dream while I’m in bed when silly thoughts go through my head about the bugs and alphabet and when I wake tomorrow I’ll bet that you and I will walk together again. I can tell that we are gonna be friends. Yes I can tell that we are gonna be friends.” ~The White Stripes, We’re Going To Be Friends 

I haven’t been lucky enough in life yet to have my own kids. We’ve already established my marriage didn’t work out, so it probably won’t be a big surprise when I reveal the following…

To date I have experienced love at first sight only once in my life. I was shopping with my ex at a store that primarily sells farming and camping equipment. It was a long drive to said store, so he asked if I would come with to keep him company. I said yes because I’m an awesome girlfriend (we were still just dating). Within minutes of being at the store I was bored to tears. When I get bored, I get tired. When I get tired, I can’t stop yawning to the point where it almost seems sarcastic. In order to not make him feel like I was trying to rush his shopping spree, I decided to take a walk down some different aisles alone while he continued looking for whatever the hell he was looking for. I didn’t know my life was seconds away from changing.

At the end of my aisle there was a break before the next long set of aisles started. I looked left. The middle of the store was full of animals. So many shelter animals looking for a home. I didn’t see my face, but I imagined it lit the fuck up as fate pulled me towards my version of heaven. I didn’t know who to pet first! There was lots of barking, lots of playing, lots of excitement…and then my eye caught a chunky ball of white and tan-spotted silence over in the corner. Just sitting. Watching and waiting. I walked over, stuck out my hands and as her head fell heavy into them my heart exploded. She found me. I was done.

“Walk away.” It was my ex. He apparently saw where I was headed when I took leave and followed me. “I can’t.” (That was me.) “I love her.” (Still me.) I meant it. I felt it. She was scarred from abuse on top her head and neck. I noticed a small bite taken out of one of her ears towards the back when I was petting them. Little slashes were where fur should have been on her front legs. It was clear she recently had puppies. They dressed her in a yellow vest that read Adopt Me, except the “o” was a heart. She was two and half years old, they think. She was perfect. That was a Saturday. I wasn’t looking for a dog that Saturday. The right thing to do was walk away. So, naturally…

On Monday, I found myself driving out to Elgin, IL to get her. She sat on my lap the entire way home with the famous “Pit smile” on her face. I think we both felt free that afternoon. Isn’t that how you’re supposed to feel when you love someone?

This is Chopper on her 10th Birthday. Her birthday is July 25th if you want to wish her a Happy Birthday. She gets ALL the presents on her birthday!



“If you want to get the feeling and you wanna get it right then the music gotta be loud. For when the music hits I feel no pain at all.” ~Rancid, Radio

She saved me, you know? She made me feel ok to be me, to love, to hate, to cry, to listen, to drink, to take it easy, to walk tall while wearing hoodies littered with pins and patches, to dye my hair, to pierce my stomach, to pierce my ears once, twice and then again, to feel ok removing most of said piercings, to put on a dress, to take off that dress…to feel pain, to drive, to sit, to run, to dance, to just be…to live. She took me across the country. She took me to Canada once on a whim. She gave my family something to bond and build memories over. She gave me my second family…my friends. She helped me focus before every sporting event I ever played. She consoled me when I lost and celebrated when I won. She gave me motivation to write. She gave me the best nights of laughter and debauchery with people I’ve only met once or twice but will never forget. She helped heal a broken heart and let me know I wasn’t alone. She helped me feel everything.

She taught me. She taught me as much as she made me feel. She taught me about love, pain, politics, race, war, poverty and excess. She taught me about neighborhoods I’ll never see, parts of the world I may never travel, people I’ll never meet. She taught me about fashion, the good and the bad. She taught me it’s ok to not give a shit. She told me what guys like and what they don’t…but that I should only absorb her lesson to be myself. She taught me to be aware, to stand up for those who need a voice, and she gave me my own. She taught me to fight for me. She taught me sometimes image is everything…and other times it’s not. She taught me playing the right combination of throats and strings at the perfect moment can completely change the trajectory of your night… She taught me she, too, can make mistakes. Nothing is perfect.

How do you repay her? You can’t. She only gives. The best you can do for her is keep her playing, turn her on. Be yourself, the person she helped shape. Let her be loud. Let her be quiet – whatever she needs. You go out and support her. Pay for her. Share her. Invite her to your parties, into your kitchen, into your shower and into your bedroom. Take her on your road trips, long drives or short. Love her like she loves you. Live in a way that inspires her to write another song and tell your story.

She saved me.



I Feel Like I’m Missing Out….

“I use to wear my hoodie like that, pile deep in the hoopty like that. Now I got black cards, good credit and such bae boy, cause I’m all grown up.” – Jay-Z, 30 Something

Being in your thirties can be a socially confusing time. Being in your thirties and single can add another layer to that confusion. Unless you are some freak of nature, you can’t party like you did in your 20s. You try, but you sure as hell can’t recover like the old days.

Chances are you have evolved into other habits and interests outside of the bar scene by now. If you have kids (which I don’t) your entire life has changed (says everyone I know with kids). Perhaps Friday nights aren’t as exciting as they used to be. You’ve noticed you are tired now come Friday at 5, so maybe you started staying in to decompress from the week. (If there is a new Dateline on, forget it. Don’t call me and only text me if it’s to talk about Dateline.) I mean…isn’t waking up on Saturday without a hangover NICE? Saturday nights have bounced back and forth between going out for drinks with friends or just having a nice dinner with a few friends. Sometimes you even see a movie instead or stay in again because cleaning the house and running errands really wore you out. Nothing too crazy. Sundays. Oh, Sundays. Every now and then you go to brunch and day drink to feel young again (if you start early and end early it doesn’t completely ruin Monday), but mostly you’re taking it easy and grocery shopping to get ready for the work week.

“You used to be in the mix of everything. Now it has to be worth putting on publicly acceptable pants.”

Where does the confusion come in? In the midst of being content with this pattern, your mind wanders to the good old days. Remember when so-and-so did that thing when he was wasted that was super hilarious? Man, that was funny. What is so-and-so up to these days? You haven’t seen so-and-so in forever. Come to think of it, you haven’t seen most of the old crew in forever. I mean, you email, “like” each other’s pet and kid pictures. You send texts here and there about missing one another with vague plans to grab a drink soon, but that was a month ago. Actually, that was three months ago. Have you become anti-social? There are so many new bars and restaurants, and you haven’t gone to a single one. Aren’t you supposed to want to go? You’re not old yet. You should really go out more. You need to see your friends before you totally drift apart. Have you already drifted apart or are you just busy? You’re going to regret not taking advantage of still looking somewhat young in 20 years. When is the last time you posted something besides of picture of your dog or baby on social media? Oh….fudge….

You feel it. You feel the self-inflicted pressure to go out. You are at the crossroad of growing up or going out. You don’t really care, but you also don’t not care. You used to be in the mix of everything. Now it has to be worth putting on publicly acceptable pants. What has been going on while you’ve been kicking it in your sweatpants with your partner on the couch?

This feeling of missing out is heightened when you’re single. You were in a relationship when you slipped into this pattern. Now you’re riding solo on that couch on Friday. It feels like you’re the only one of your old friends with nothing to do and no one to do it with. On top of the confusion you have the layer of possibly missing out on meeting your next partner. The ONE. Holy cats. You’re going to die alone. You’ve given up on you. How many friends do you still have? Wait…do you even have any friends?

It is hard to push through those lonely nights on the couch sometimes, but you know in your heart it’s better than being with the wrong person.

This is being 30. This is being single/divorced 30. It ain’t pretty, but it’s not ugly. It feels weird. There is a lot of gray area. But…it’s pretty comfortable. You’re fine with your life choices, you just feel like you’re supposed to be doing more socially. Once you talk yourself down you realize you still have plenty of friends who love the shit out of you. It’s just that they’re as tired, busy and not as willing to nurse a hangover like you. They also enjoy staying in and not having to scream at a bar inches from your face to catch up on life. You’re not dead. You’re actually getting more out of life because you’re focusing on your actual interests. Crazy, right? How fulfilling is blacking out and pumping yourself full of Gatorade, pain meds and fries to feel better? Don’t get me wrong. It gave you some hilarious memories, but you’re moving on as you SHOULD. You’re not missing out. You’re living. Cut yourself some slack. If you’re single, you’re fine. You’re more than fine. Yes. It is hard to push through those lonely nights on the couch sometimes, but you know in your heart it’s better than being with the wrong person. Meeting your next partner is going to happen when you least expect it. Do your thing so long as it makes you happy. When you do what makes you happy, you are beautiful.

Enjoy being thirty something. (Do you guys remember that TV show?) Embrace the gray. It just means you have options. You still get to choose between acting twenty something for a night or embracing the comfort and confidence of getting older. You’re in the perfect place.

When Only Your Uber Drivers Are Asking You Out

“There’s some lead in my feet now. There’s a little of me, but I don’t know where. I’m too young to quit now.” ~The Preatures, Is This How You Feel 

I can’t say I have had a lot of guys knocking on my door to take me out the past year. Part of me is certain I gave off negative energy for a while so approaching me didn’t seem welcome. The other part of me is aware half of my friends are guys and most guys will avoid talking to a girl hanging out with a group of dudes. I get that. HOWEVER, there are plenty of times I am out and open to someone new with girls only. Still, there was a solid 6-8 months where the only men interested in me were my Uber drivers. That’s a lie. The timeframe is more like since my divorce which is much longer than 8 months ago. I never fancied myself to be good at small talk. But apparently, I nail it when trapped in a vehicle. I actually hate talking to my drivers, but I am too nervous about getting a bad passenger rating to not talk back. So I talk and whatever nonsense I am rambling about is totally killing it with my drivers. I often wonder how many other women they’re asking out, but since most of my nights are not even met with eye contact from other guys… I end up chalking it up as a win. I’m fully aware this is sad.

“Still, there was a solid 6-8 months where the only men interested in me were my Uber drivers.”

My friends tell me guys don’t ask girls out anymore unless it is online. Is that a thing? If so, I am in big trouble. I have a fear of online dating. It’s quite possibly an irrational fear, but it’s a fear nonetheless. As I over-analyze why I am killing it with Uber drivers and not the general public, I find myself comparing the two. Is getting into your Uber that much different from a first date? You’re both strangers and only know what your profile says. You have to go off what their picture looks like. You’re both pretty much stuck with each other for a while. Ninety-nine percent of the time you kill the awkward silence by starting to talk about the weather. The only differences I can assume, being that I’ve never seen an online dating site, is that your Uber driver now knows where you live and you aren’t sharing a meal. I try not to over think the “knowing where you live” thing so I can sleep at night. That’s not to say your online date person doesn’t know where you live. It’s just that if my Dateline addiction has taught me anything it’s to not have that person meet me at my house. (Also pray you know a police officer who can conduct a background check. Don’t move in together within six months because you’ll surely be stabbed to death for your life insurance policy or his pregnant side chick before you celebrate two years together.) I’m rambling. See what my drivers are putting up with? Why is this attractive and not a red flag for them?

For the last year I have been mortified at the thought of going on a first date and getting to know a complete stranger. I have had a sinking feeling I wouldn’t have anything to say or talk about. I feared I wouldn’t be pretty enough, cool enough, etc. All of the things us ladies like to second guess. (I also worried about my head ending up in a freezer because Dateline….) But it has recently occurred to me, I’ve been going on two first dates each Friday and Saturday night for the last year. Who knew? I need to stop stressing and start taking a chance on a person in public rather than when I’m trapped in a super clean Toyota Camry with my Uber driver. (Or does modern love require me to join a dating site, find them in a search and request a date even though they’re standing right next to me?) Maybe I will do just fine if I turn around and just start talking to someone in public after all.

Thanks for the first date practice, Uber!