Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lesson In Leavin

Somebody's gonna give you a lesson in leavin'
Somebody's gonna give you back what you've been givin'
And I hope that I'm around
To watch 'em knock you down
It's like you to love 'em and leave 'em
Just like you loved me and left me

~ Jo Dee Messina

I DID IT!!! I DID IT!!! I got up and sang karaoke in front of a bar full of strangers. How's that for conquering fears? I am so proud of me!

Random hot drunk guy was right. I am stronger than I give myself credit for. Kit is going to rue the day he gave me up. I am the best thing that ever happened to him. I was the light in his life. I am a smart, sexy, confident woman whose heart was too big for him to handle. Wherever he is tonight, I hope he's sad, lonely and miserable thinking about how badly he screwed up and how much he misses me.

And just like that, the thought is over. It's not about Kit tonight. It's about me. My friends. My needs. My fun. My martinis!

People burst into applause when my song is over. Sara 1 and Sara 2 are screaming and clapping and I feel like a rock star. I have overcome something so scary that suddenly seems so simple. I can do this. I can do anything I set my mind to. I miss Kit in ways that I don't even want to acknowledge right now. But I can and will get by without him.

Not to quote the song or anything, but I Will Survive.

Safely back on my bar stool with a drink in my hand, my breath is still heavy and my heart is still racing. I have what can only be called a "shit-eating grin" on my face and the adrenaline mixed with alcohol makes me feel invincible. Perhaps this is a deadly combination. Perhaps it's exactly what I need: A little bad ass behavior to shake this good girl up!

I pick up my phone for the obligatory facebook status update when a tall, thin, much older man approaches me and slyly says "When you're done on your phone, sweetheart, we should go outside. You, me, my truck. I got pot. Know what I mean?" OMG. Please be kidding.

Me: Oh... yeah... wow... no, I'm good right here. Thanks anyway.

Old Dude: Naw, baby, you ain't hearing me. I got pot. Right?

Me: Yeah, no, I heard you. Thanks but that's not really my deal.

Old Dude: Baby, you don't have to worry about a thing. I ain't a singer. I'm a dancin man! Dig?

Old Dude then proceeds to bust out the absolute worst moves I've ever seen on the dance floor. Seriously, I was concerned for the patrons around him. Firstly, he had to have been in his 70's. Maybe 50's or 60's depending how many drugs he'd actually done in his life which by my calculation was a lot. Secondly, he had zero rhythm and almost fell over three times in his attempts to impress me with his style. Which might have been ok...you know...if he had style.

Old Dude: See princess? I told you, I'm a dancer not a singer so you's got nothin to worry bout. I'ma open my own dance studio and teach people everythin I know. But you baby, you get the first lesson for free.

Me: Again, really, thanks, but I don't really want a lesson from you. In anything. At all. Ever.

Old Dude: Ok, sweet thang, ok, I feel you. How bout just the pot then?

I am shaking my head, speechless, while the Sara's laugh at me getting hit on by the only stoned geriatric in the bar when a young, very cute guy walks over. I'd been captivated by his karaoke version of the Black Crows earlier in the night, actually putting down both my phone and my drink to listen to his incredible smooth and sexy voice. In this world, there are boys, guys, and men. This? Was a man.

You can imagine the look of surprise on my face when gorgeous singer man comes up behind my bar stool, drapes his arm around my shoulders and says "Hey baby, sorry it took me so long to get that drink." Then he nods at Old Dude and says "Hey man, I'm Rob."

Old Dude: Hey, brotha, what's shakin? Nice singin back there. Yeah, I'm not a singer. I'm a dancin man. Was just telling the lady here. So, uh...this your lady?

Man: Yeah, we're kind of a thing, you know what I mean?

Old Dude: I feel you, I feel you. I's just trying to get some tail. Can't blame a brother for trying though?

Man: No worries, bro. Just know that she's already going home with me.

Old Dude: You're a lucky man, you're a lucky man. See you later, sweet thing.

With this, he turns to the Sara's and says "Hey ladies, I got pot." They burst into hysterics and Sara 1 replies "Does that line actually work?" Old Dude gets all smug and leans into her with a secretive "You tell me..."

The girls are in stitches laughing at Old Dude and wind up dancing ridiculously with him to some awful karaoke song, leaving Rob and me alone at the bar. As I turn to get a better look at him, I'm kind of awe-struck by his features. To start with, I firmly believe that bald is the new black. I don't know what is so incredibly sexy about a man with a shaved head but I am unapologetically excited by it! If that's not enough, he's got those strong, muscular arms every woman wants around her waist, making her feel small and protected and safe. His eyes are intense, his smile is genuine, and I am instantly at ease.

Me: Thanks for the rescue.

Rob: No problem. Old Dude was kinda creeping me out too.

Me: He was just trying to get some tail.

Rob: Aren't we all?

This sends me into fits of giggles. Rob is more than gorgeous. He's sweet, funny, and insanely easy to talk to.

Rob: So this is your first time doing karaoke?

Me: Yup. How did you know that?

Rob: The DJ announced it when you were done with your song. I'm excited for you. It's always fun to watch a virgin.

Me: (((Blushes)))

Rob: A, uh, you know, karaoke virgin. (((Blushes)))

Me: It was fun. Scary. Terrifying actually. But I'm glad I did it.

Rob: Scary? Really? You don't seem like a girl who's scared of anything. I saw you dancing up there. That was sexy.

Me: Sexy? Me?

Rob: Hell yeah! Confidence is sexy. You've got some moves, girl. I saw you getting your groove on with your friend. Looked like you were having a blast.

Me: Wow. (((Blushes really hard.)))

Rob: Whoever that guy was that broke your heart, he's an asshole. Clearly didn't deserve you.

Me: Thanks.

Rob: It was actually really fun to watch you up there. You have this light about you. If your friend didn't announce you'd just gotten cheated on, I'd never have guessed in a million years you had a broken heart.

Me: Sadly, I do.

Rob: I know you do. But it doesn't show. The only thing I saw was your smile.

Me: My smile, huh?

Rob: Ok, your smile and maybe your butt. I'm still a guy!

Me: Tell me your broken heart story in sixty seconds or less?

Rob: Wow, alright, let's see. Together for ten years, married for five, two beautiful daughters. She's the best mother to our children but we're not really marriage material anymore. Not in love, not really good together. I'm on the road a lot, traveling for work, she hated it. I quit my job, head back to Kentucky and I'm only two hours away after a twelve hour drive and she calls and says she's serving me with divorce papers. Turned back around, hit the road, and that's how I ended up singing karaoke in a dive bar in Rhode Island on a Wednesday night.

Me: Wow, that sucks. I'm so sorry.

Rob: Your turn. Heartbreak story in sixty seconds or less. Go!

Me: Married at twenty. Divorced at twenty-eight. Met someone six months ago I absolutely fell in love with. Moved in together. Picked a wedding date. He was going behind my back with some ugly girl online the entire time we were dating. From our first date to the first time we slept together to sharing a bed every single night, all the while saying I love you to this fat chick and I never suspected a thing. Kicked him out five days ago and came up here to cry on Sara's couch until the pain subsides. That's how I ended up singing sad country karaoke and getting drunk mid-week.

Rob: What a jack ass! And you, my lady, are not nearly drunk enough. We need shots.

Four shots of cake batter vodka later, Sara 1 and I perform a heartfelt rendition of the Dixie Chick's "Earl Had to Die!"

Rob sings a beautiful Garth Brooks ballad as on point as the superstar himself.

Finally, Sara 1 and Sara 2 close down the bar with Wilson Phillips' "Hold On" - also known as the awesome theme song from our favorite film, Bridesmaids.

Tonight was amazing. I cannot express in words how grateful I am to the girls for the rockin night out! I didn't even know how much I needed this level of free-spirited fun until I was waist deep in it. The cherry on the sundae is Rob. His flashing eyes, calming voice, and soothing arms entice me to dream of a day when I won't be sad over Kit, when I may even be ready to allow myself to fall for another man, to trust again, to love again. Rob's reassuring smile and sweet words of encouragement have captivated my heart and my imagination. I find myself drawn into him but I'm still so freshly hurt, so raw from the pain, my wounded heart still bleeding. It wouldn't be fair to either of us to start anything now. Would it???

I recall the advice I was given earlier in the night from a man who will never know just how much his wisdom affected my life: Sometimes, you just have to smile and say Fuck It!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Tao of Karaoke



There comes a point in life where you just have to say Fuck It!

These words of wisdom brought to you by the very drunk (and very hot man) whispering in my ear at the bar. He's got a few years (and a few beers) on me but is incredibly good looking. He's leaning rather intensely towards my body, so close I'm about to wobble off my bar stool. He's commending me on the merits of being brave, getting out there, doing the things that scare me most. He's reminding me that I can do anything I set my mind to, that I am stronger than I give myself credit for, that I'm a beautiful woman who didn't deserve the heartbreak I am suffering through. He's sure that I know no one in this bar and therefore, I have nothing to lose by making an ass of myself on stage singing karaoke. He's inspirational. He's motivational. He's got his hand on a blonde woman's thigh the entire time he's whispering in my ear?!?!

Go fucking figure!

***Three days earlier***

Me to Sara: Kit & I broke up. The end.
Sara: WTF?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Me: He was cheating. The. Entire. Time.
Sara: I will murder him in his sleep! I will smash his head in with a baseball bat. He messed with the wrong woman!
Me: Not worth it. I'm going to hide under the covers til next year.
Sara: No, you're not. A) Get your ass up and blog. BLOG RIGHT NOW!!! B) Get your ass in your car and come stay with me. I mean it. Do it or when I'm done killing him, I'll hunt you down, drag your sorry butt out of bed, and bring you up to Rhode Island myself!

She followed that with a facebook message to Kit: "You don't deserve her love you piece of shit loser. I hope you crawl back under the rock you came out of, die and rot in hell."

The lesson here? Don't mess with Sara.

The girl is fiercely loyal, trustworthy, and incredibly protective of her friends and family. She's totally my bestie, but frankly, I'm a little scared of her. When I want cheese and crackers for dinner, she serves me a healthy and nutritious meal where every food group is represented. I dare not leave the vegetables on my plate for fear of her wrath. She is capable of hugging you one minute and raining down fire the next. For this, I am madly in love with her.

Sara got angry for me when I didn't have the strength to do it myself. She told Kit all the horrible, nasty things I couldn't bring myself to say. She started a viral facebook campaign saying "Kit is a Relationship Terrorist" and actually got other people to join! She's the woman you want on your side, cheering for you all the way when things go right and the fearless bitch whose shit list you pray your name never, ever ends up on.

Which is why when she told me we were going to sing karaoke at a bar, I wanted to say no and run away screaming. Then I remembered the baseball bat threat and decided that singing in front of strangers would be better than two broken knees!

This is how I ended up at a dive bar in Rhode Island at midnight on a Wednesday watching the Red Sox lose and the Yankees win their respective games. If there's one place a New Yorker shouldn't be, it's surrounded by drunk, angry Sox fans in the post-season. Fortunately, Sara was called up to the microphone for her song first and announced to the entire bar that I'd just gotten cheated on and had my heart broken. I credit this small act of kindness as the only reason I did not get my ass kicked for being a Yankee that night. I also credit this generous gesture of sisterly pride as the reason every single person after Sara got up and sang "he did me wrong" songs.

Seriously, everybody.

Out at the bar with us was Sara's other bestie, Sara. They go out together as Sara Squared or S2. They run marathons together, hang out while their dorky husbands play video games together, and twice a week, they sing karaoke together. Sara 1 has a beautiful voice. Sara 2 has an amazing, she should be on American Idol voice. (*Note: I found out later that she actually auditioned for Idol and they rejected her. Frankly, I think she was just too damn talented and everyone in America would've voted for her. Would have been unfair to ALL the other contestants. She's that good.)

Sara 1 sang Adele's Rolling in the Deep.
Sara 2 sang Adele's Someone Like You.

Good friends will take you out to the bar and let you cry into your French martini during a break up. Great friends will take you out, buy you shots of cake batter vodka, and sing songs about lying, cheating, bastards who never deserved you in the first place.

I have great friends.

As we were driving to the bar, I made the Sara's promise me one thing. They would not, under any circumstances, make me sing I Will Survive. I will not be the girl who breaks up with her boyfriend, gets drunk, and sings outdated, cliche crap in front of strangers. Will. Not.

I didn't have to. The minute Sara 2 sat down, this little old lady in cowgirl boots got up on the stage and sang it for me. Sara 1 dragged me to the floor and started dancing. I felt stupid. I felt vulnerable. I felt exposed. I was embarrassed. And that very moment, I decided not to care. I danced right along with her and it took almost til the end of the song to realize that I was, despite myself, having fun. We might have looked like idiots but we were laughing the whole time. Laughter is truly the very best medicine.

Still troubling me was the plain fact that I am not the world's best singer. Especially after both of the Sara's went, I was more nervous than ever. Yes, I belt out a ballad when I'm driving alone in my car, or sing along to the radio while I'm cleaning the apartment but that's not the same as singing in front of actual humans. Can't. Do. It.

Enter drunk man with words of encouragement.

His voice echoed in my head: You are braver than you give yourself credit for. You don't know anybody here. When you wake up tomorrow, will it matter that you got up and sang karaoke? Probably not. Will it matter if you didn't? Yes. Because you're letting your fears get the best of you. You are stronger than your fears. Come on, what have you got to lose? Nothing. Sometimes in life, you just have to smile and say Fuck It!!!

And that's when they called my name.

Gulp...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Perky Jerky


It's my first day out of the house since Kit & I broke up. I've been hiding under my covers, crying my sad blue eyes out, since Friday morning. I cannot live like this. I cannot survive another heartbreak this way. I cannot spend days / weeks / months feeling sorry for myself. The pity party ends now. Stand up, dust off, move on. I need a change of pace, change of scenery. It's time to shake things up and give myself the space to heal my heavy heart. Where better to start than a road trip with my girlfriends?

Kim, pack your bag, get in your car, come stay with me. We'll go out and get drunk, stay in and watch movies, shop til we drop, whatever you want. If you're gonna cry, do it on my shoulder. But please, please, get the hell out of Dodge. NOW.

In the last three days, I got some version of this message from every one of my girlfriends. Every. Single. One. There is something to be said for lifelong friendships - they are not fairweather. They are there when you need them most. When you are at your lowest point, when you don't have the energy to comb your own hair, they will show up, force you to shower, pick out your prettiest clothes and get you out of your own way. They'll sit on the couch with you despite your dirty hair and old pajamas, sipping wine and listening to every excruciating detail of your break-up. They will make you tea, give you hugs, and plot revenge on your former beloved.

What's that quote? Good friends will bail you out. Great friends will help you hide the body.

I say yes to every offer. Whether it be pizza, martinis, or a weekend getaway, I am putting myself first now and that means reconnecting with my friends. The car is packed. The gas tank is full. I may be back tomorrow, I may be back next week. Either way, I'm taking the time to sort out my head and my heart. The road to recovery is paved with cupcakes, cocktails and crying. Not necessarily in that order.

Monday night. SoNo, CT. Two girls, one prix fixe menu, four drinks, countless laughs.

Allie and I are devouring our pumpkin risotto and cinnamon donut muffins while I regale her with the awful details of Kit's betrayal. She has a psychologist's insight into his personality which, after digesting all the information I'm spitting out between gulps of Reisling, she determines to be that of a textbook sociopath. I am slightly consoled by this diagnosis. Makes me feel a little more normal, a little more sane.

The distracting part of the evening is the rather large group of people eating at the tables behind us. There must be two dozen or so friends of approximately our age gathered in the middle of the restaurant, all sharing plate after plate of food. Is is a singles group? (If so, Allie & I want to join!) Is it a bowling league? A meet-up? We can't figure it out. They look like they're having a grand old time. Allie and I take turns glancing over at them at making guesses about why they're out in force on a Monday night. Finally, I excuse myself to the ladies room and stop to ask one of the (admittedly cuter) male members of the group what all the excitement is about.

Me: Hi, what's going on here tonight?

Him: Do you like meat?

Me: Ummm, I don't understand the question.

Him: (Slowly) Do. You. Like. Meat.

Me: Buy me a drink first!

Him: (Exasperated) No, no, no. I have jerky.

Me: That sounds like a personal problem.

Him: (Even more exasperated) No, no, no. I have perky jerky.

Me: Congratulations?

Him: (Laughing) I'm a jerky salesman. We just landed an eight million dollar sale. This is a celebration dinner.

At which point he literally hands me a sample packet of Perky Jerky.

Me: Oh! That's fantastic. Thanks...for the jerky.

And I walk away blushing from ear to ear.

Being single again? Might be harder than I thought.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

12 Step Process


There is nothing more heart-breaking, gut-wrenching, life-changing or earth-shattering than an extremely awful break-up.

Except having to go to your little sister's bridal shower less than 48 hours post-disaster.

I am the very picture of a bad break-up. It's been two full days of tears for me. Two whole days of crying non-stop into my pillow. My poor mother has pulled her hair into a permanent ponytail trying to avoid me snotting on her shoulder. I have lost my shit more times than I care to count this weekend. The cool, calm, collected composure I try to maintain is long gone, flushed somewhere down the toilet with the sugary overdose of ice cream I puked up earlier. How in the hell am I supposed to put on a dress and act like a lady? The nightmares mean I've sweated through my hair. My ratty pajamas are sticking to me. I smell like cookie dough and depression.

Must. Move. On.

In every Cinderella story, there is a turning point, a reason for the chambermaid to become the princess she's destined to be. I don't need to be a princess today. I just don't want to look like an ugly step-sister. And I've got the perfect motivation...

My little sis Jess is the most beautiful girl you'll ever meet. First of all, she's drop dead gorgeous. If that's not enough, she's incredibly intelligent, sweet, kind, funny, generous, and the most loyal friend a gal could ask for. She's got a style all her own and carries herself with such strength and poise, I am often blown away by what an incredible young woman she's grown into. Not a day goes by that I don't recall that awkward, sporty little girl she used to be. I'm grateful to be blessed with such an amazing sister. Happier still that she found her own fairy tale ending with a lovely French man she's decided to marry.

Which is why I must now pull my sorry ass out of bed, stop hiding under the covers, and pretend to be human today. I swear, I wouldn't do it for anybody else. But my sob story shouldn't impact her day. My sadness does not take precedence over her joy. My heartbreak is no match for her happiness and I adamantly refuse to let Kit ruin one more thing for me. No. Freakin. Way.

12 Steps to Surviving a Beautiful Bridal Shower Post Traumatic Break-Up

Step 1) Get out of bed.

Step 2) Throw pj's in laundry. (Or burn them. Your choice.)

Step 3) Shower: Lather. Rinse. Repeat. (Repeat again as necessary.)

Step 4) Blow dry hair into something not resembling a rat's nest. (Check for actual rats first.)

Step 5) Discover - shockingly - that you haven't slept for 100 years (despite wanting to.) Your mascara hasn't dried up. Your foundation is still creamy. Your lip gloss still makes you feel better no matter how crappy a day you're having.

Step 6) Spanx. (To hide all the calories you've consumed post-break-up.)

Step 7) Dress. Heels. Purse. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

Step 8) Breathe. Smile. Drink a cosmo.

Step 9) Play bridal bingo. Win martini glasses. (These will come in handy later!)

Step 10) Breathe. Smile. Eat a cupcake.

Step 11) Clap for gifts. Do not cry over the Crock-Pot. Or the lingerie. Or the basket of love candles.

Step 12) Breathe. Smile. It's over. Pat self on back. Nap. Nap. Nap.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Excuses, Excuses

When I was a child, I used any excuse to get me out of trouble. When I got yelled at - or worse, grounded - it was usually something stupid that I could wiggle my way out of. No matter what the offense though, I always, always had an excuse.

Exhibit A) My mother told me I was not allowed to go to the ice cream truck before dinner. I bought Rain-Blo gum instead of ice cream. The excuse? Technically, I didn't go to the ice cream truck. I went to the candy truck.

Exhibit B) I got sent to bed and told "lights out" which was code for "no reading." (*Note: I'm a huge dork. Taking my books away is punishment for me!) My mother found me in bed reading The Nutcracker Suite under the covers with my flashlight. The excuse? The lights are out. That's why I needed the flashlight! Duh.

Exhibit C) When I got caught sneaking a peek at the Christmas presents before they were wrapped and under the tree, my mother went nuts that gifts are supposed to be a surprise! The excuse? How will I know how many cookies to bake for Santa if I don't know how many gifts I'm getting?

In every other instance of me getting in trouble, the excuse was the same. My little brother did it. (You'd be amazed how often that worked! Usually because it really was his fault. Love you D!!!)

I know, I know, I didn't wreak much havoc as a child. The point is though, kids are genetically programmed to weasel their way out of everything. We blame it on each other, we point fingers, we even - dare I say it - lie!!! My kid brother and I were the world's worst liars though. Seriously, my parents could look at us and we'd crack. Actually, I'd crack. My brother would burst into fits of hysterical giggles. (He got in trouble a lot!)

Perhaps this is why we were raised with a deep appreciation for telling the simple truth. First of all, the truth is ALWAYS easier to remember. Secondly, you'll never feel bad about doing it. Finally, even if your parents are hopping mad about whatever stupid thing you did, at least they'll appreciate you owning up to it. Being honest and offering an apology will get out out of almost anything. This is the lesson I've carried with me into adulthood.

Honesty: a lesson Kit never learned.

He is the master of excuses. Something always goes wrong with him and it is always someone's else's fault. I noticed this throughout our relationship but it really, truly hit me when we broke up.

Exhibit A) It wasn't cheating. We aren't married.

Seriously?!?! Cheating is cheating is cheating is cheating. We were together. We were living together. He moved into my house. We'd been dating exclusively for six months. Did he break vows he made before God? Technically, no. Did he break every promise he ever made to me? Absolutely. And that, my friend, is cheating.

Exhibit B) It's not lying. You never asked.

Technically, I never asked if he was a serial killer either but I assume that if he'd mass murdered people, it would've come up in the course of our relationship. There are certain things that you tell someone you love and they should never have to ask. Faithfulness is a given. Not something I should have to ask for. Oh, and let's assume I happened to pop the question one day: Hey Kit, are you cheating on me? He would've said no anyway. You know, cause we aren't married.

And my personal favorite...

Exhibit C) The internet made me do it.

Let me ask you this: you walk into a bank. Do you rob the bank? NO??? You mean that the money isn't just sitting there waiting for you to take it? Shocking. My theory is that any lawyer in his right mind would not take up the defense that "the bank made me do it" --- he'd probably get you off on an insanity plea instead. The internet isn't to blame for his affair. Online dating sites, porn sites, chat rooms, even Facebook is not to blame for him going outside of our relationship. He says he got "caught up in the fantasy" and "made a mistake." I say he made a choice.

No excuses.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Cup that Repeats on You

Hello! It’s the History Man here. The picnic at the mansion guy. The one who thought taking an Italian girl to an Italian restaurant in a shopping center would be acceptable. The one who dropped the ball and let a good girl get away. The one who, like Kim, still believes in love.

I believe in second chances, happy endings, living happily ever after, that sort of thing. I do. I like when things work out, good people come back in your life, or life takes an unexpectedly pleasant turn. Maybe I’ve seen too many 1950’s romantic comedies. Maybe I listen to the Sirius love channel too much. Life truly is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

So imagine my surprise a few weeks ago when trolling through the usual profiles on OkCupid when I find……wait. Is it her? The only girl who ever held the car door open for me? The girl I kissed on the boardwalk over Ralph’s Ices? The girl I dropped the ball with? Let’s peek. She looks as beautiful as I remember. Hopefully she won’t send me an angry message, not that I don’t deserve it. After all, I screwed up not once, but twice. Disappeared without so much as an explanation. Can’t say I’m proud of my behavior, but I have learned so much about myself since then and have really grown as a person. Cool! She peeked back. We start talking again, and that “zing” that was there last year hasn’t left at all.

We agree to meet on Thursday night at the same Greek place we met last year. After a crazy day at work, I ask if we can meet at the location closer to where I live. Not all that gentlemanly (I know) but of all people in this universe, I knew she’d understand. I’m not just saying this, but Kim really does have compassion, a heart, and a soul like no one I’ve ever met before. She just has this way about her that is so damn appealing. I get ready - favorite shirt, favorite date jeans (yes, I do have a pair of those, don’t laugh), date shoes (no, I’m not breaking any dating fashion trends), trusty old black leather jacket that I think gives me an edge but probably makes me look creepy. I’m all set.

Am I really seeing her again? Wow. Butterflies, how’ve you been?

She gets out of the car, and it’s a total shock: Radically different hair. What was bleach blonde and all the way down her back is now sleek golden brown and up to her ears! It becomes her somehow, it seems to make her even freer, more liberated, as if a weight has (literally and figuratively) been lifted from her. I tend to change after a big breakup, I grow a beard, shave the beard, rearrange the furniture, make a big purchase, that sort of thing.

OK, ok…..stop rambling about hair….how did the date go? Actually, as amazing as I thought it would be. Stop rolling your eyes, I mean it. I’m funny, she’s laughing, the chemistry is still there, and the food is still good. I made her a cd (yes a cd) of break up songs. She comments that I seem more confident, and there is a gleam in her eye (I hope it was a gleam and not an eyelash). We catch up, flirt like hell (man I love that), and it in many ways felt as if no time has passed since our last date the year before. You know the one? Where I made her try Red Mango and she almost puked?

Of course, the 800 pound gorilla was in the room, so I did ask about…..him. Chip? Kip? Kit? Why is he nicknamed after the Knight Rider car? As you all know from my e-mail, something similar happened to me when I was engaged an eternity ago, so when I said my heart went out to her…….I meant it. It did, it does, in every possible way. As she filled me in on Knight Rider car boy, the sordid details, what happened in the end, two things occurred to me: 1) she dodged the biggest bullet one could possibly dodge. How dumb could this guy be? 2) Kim is a uniquely genuine soul. I’d KILL for a girlfriend as good as she was to him. I really would. It’s what I’ve been looking for my whole entire life! (And yes, could have had with her last year had I not been an idiot, but I’m here with her now aren’t I?)

Many people claim to be the ultimate catch, right? The ultimate boyfriend, the ultimate girlfriend. Few actually come through on such lofty promises. Kim does. It’s as simple as that. What have I learned from my missteps last year? That I am not going to let such an amazing girl get away again. No fucking way.

Just like that, the date is over and I walk her to her car. Hmmm…..should I kiss her? I kind of want to. I kind of really want to. She did say she doesn’t kiss on the first date, but technically speaking this isn’t really a first date, it’s kind of like the fifth, just with a year and a half in between. Right? Can I not count the other dates; do those kind of things expire, like gift cards? I decide to be respectful, Kim is just not any other date, or cup, or anything like that. She’s worth waiting for and I have the feeling that the third time might just be the charm with us.


Guest blogged by Dan (#61 / 94)

Friday, October 7, 2011

History Repeats Itself

When one is depressed, lonely, hurt, confused, and in all other ways pathetic, one makes rash decisions. Some people get a tattoo. Some people head out West. I re-activated my online dating profile.

This might not sound rebellious to you, but trust me, it's the thing I was dreading most in the world.

Turns out that the universe works in funny ways. For those of you who were reading this blog last summer, you will recall a certain Jewish museum curator. The one who made the mix cd's? Well he's still on OkCupid and I found him checking out my profile. Seeing as he disappeared on me not once but TWICE last year, I simply had to find out why.

And you're checking out my profile again because???

- Kim

Because: I want to. I shouldn't have dropped the ball. Seeing you reminded me of the picnic, the one time I didn't screw up our dates. Let's not discuss the Italian restaurant in the shopping center. EEEEEEK! I'm curious how many cups you're up to. Life is infinitely better this year (new job, the works). I can. Hoping you're well.

- Dan


Dan,

I made it to 93 before falling in love with someone and moving in together. The wedding was set for a week from Tuesday.

That was until I discovered he's been cheating on me the entire time we've been dating. Hence I am back on, in the hopes of finishing my book.

PS: You didn't just "drop the ball" - you blocked me! My phone calls, my texts, my emails. You just stopped showing up one day. And when I gave you a second chance, you disappeared again. What the hell was that?

- Kim


Kim,

OMG, I am so very sorry. Really, been there, done that, and I can't tell you how sorry I am. I hope you're ok, but I'm sure you are. You're a remarkable person, despite everything, I do think that. He's a real schmuck, to quote my people.

I know I fucked up not once, but twice, all I can really say is I was dumb. Stupid, an idiot. I shouldn't have let you go. I kept letting the cups thing bother me, and I kept not sharing my feelings with you, and disappeared instead.

I never thought I'd find you on here, much less expect you to respond. I'm glad you did. I can tell you that I've made a lot of life changes since last we spoke, in every possible way. That might make you roll your eyes, but it's true. I'd love to catch up sometime, if you're willing, and hopefully try to make the third time the charm???

- Dan

Then I woke up to another message this morning...

Kim,

So I checked out your blog and I read what happened. From the bottom of my heart, I'm sorry. My heart really does go out to you. I mean that. I don't wish what you went through, to have your heart ripped out like that, on my worst enemy. Wow. I'd kick Kit's ass for you anytime, and several of my friends would as well, though I'm sure there's a long line of people wanting to do that right now.

I was engaged 8 years ago. Almost the exact same thing happened. Instead of facebook, I found cards, notes, gifts from victoria's secret, all in her underwear drawer, from someone she was sleeping with, when I was putting away laundry one night when she was out of town. This was someone I had lived with for a year, had given my life to, had asked to marry in front of strangers. Just like that, life does a 360. Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans. My point? I've been there, I know the feeling. I know the "do I really have to go back on online fucking dating websites again?" feeling. It sucks.

I just wanted you to know that, despite my two major strikes for being stupid, I very much sympathize with what happened to you. I've messed up in my life, but I've always been honest, and would never do a thing like that to you. Disappear? Yes. Cheat? Break your heart? Not a chance. We didn't know each other for long, but I did, and do, think you're a "comes along once a lifetime" type of woman. You're one of a kind. I fondly recall the long beach boardwalk, ralphs ices, a picnic at my old job, making you a cd and how every time I'd open the car door for you, you'd do the same for me while walking around to my side of the car. No one ever did that for me, and it always stuck out in my mind.

Meanwhile, now is your time. Take care of you. Do things to make you happy. Spend time with your friends, your family. You're an awesome person, this will work out. You will have a happy ending. I hated hearing this phrase when I was going through it, I hated it with a passion, but it really is true. Give it time, because with time, it will get better. I know it does. The other phrase I hated? Better you know now. That was like nails on a blackboard to me when people told me that one, but it is also true. I just had to tell you this.

You are welcome, and have my permission, to share this on your blog if you would like.

As for Kit? His loss. Pure and simple. You're beautiful, inside and out.

Best, Dan

For more information, please read:
A Jew Grows In Brooklyn
Picnic at the Mansion
Blocked
He's History

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Manswers


Dear Kimberly,

I see the heartbreak that you're going through and I'm very sorry. This sucks and you don't deserve the pain.

That being said, I hope I can enlighten you on a guy's point of view.

What happened with you wasn't cheating. It was online - not in person - and even if it was in person, it doesn't mean he doesn't love you. A man can love a woman and still be with someone else. Lots of someones. To a guy, sex with another woman has nothing whatsoever to do with his spouse.

Case in point: How many pocketbooks do you have? Purses? Backpacks? Totes? Etc? Even a guesstimate will do. Get a number yet? Now why don't you only have one? Also, how many have you seen and debated buying? Tried a few on for size? It's the same with guys and women. To a man sex with the woman he loves is extremely special. It's lovemaking. Not just sex. But that doesn't stop us from wanting something else, something different, even if those others aren't our favorite.

Sex to a guy isn't about trust. Trust with a guy comes from 1 million other little things. The way a guy shows he loves you is with those 1 million little things, not just the sex. Relationships aren't easy. A big part of them is overcoming stuff together.

Get it now?

~Just a Guy


Dear Just a Guy,

Thank you for your ever insightful perspective into my relationship. Now let me tell you why you're wrong.

Pocketbooks can be bought and sold. They have no say in who takes them home, what price tags are put on them, how much they're worth. They are man made and thus have no feelings. They go out of season or get damaged or their fabric rips and you can toss them aside with nary a second thought. You can change purses every day for a year and it affects no one. If you take one purse out on Friday night and a different purse out on Saturday, the first purse won't call you wondering what she did wrong. You can put a purse down for months at a time, wipe the dust off, collect the loose change, and feel good about slinging it over your shoulder again. A shiny new purse amps up an old outfit but its value does not add to yours. A pocketbook does not make you a better person.

A woman is real. She is flesh and bone, blood and tears. She is the sum of all her loving parts. She is fragile and vulnerable and susceptible to heartbreak. She has feelings that run deep. She is generous and thoughtful and passionate and playful. She will give you everything she is, everything she has. She makes you a better version of yourself. If you ignore her, it hurts. If you betray her trust, it hurts. If you leave her for a younger, cuter, taller, thinner version of herself, it hurts. You can't put her down for days / weeks / months / years at a time and expect her not to have noticed. You can't take her out when you want and leave her home when you want and have sex with someone else whenever the fuck you want.

Women are not like purses.

Kindly call yourself an idiot. I'm tired.

~Kimberly

Here We Go Again...

I re-activated my OkCupid account today. Partly as a joke and partly out of spite. I am in no way ready to begin dating again. I figured I would just "see who's out there." Let me share with you what it's like being back in the field:



Message #1) Hi. How are you?


Profile reads: 5'9, likes kids, has dogs, speaks Russian fluently, Income: less than $20,000.


His self-summary: I'M A SIMPLE GUY EASY OUTGOING UNDERSTANDABLE I LIKE TO MEET NEW PEOPLE FRIENDS I LIKE TO WATCH MOVIES GO TO MUSEUMS WATCH SPORTS ON TV. TAKING MY DOG FOR LONG WALK MY FAMILY IS IMPORTANT TO ME THEY THERE FOR ME WHEN I NEED THEM. I LIKE BOWLING I LOVE CHINESE TURKISH MEXICAN FOOD I LIKE TO LISTEN TO ALL TYPES OF MUSIC


Forgive me, I don't think that a shared love of moo shu pork is reason enough to date someone! Plus, his use of ALL CAPS kinda scares the heck out of me. Did I mention he's at least 60 pounds overweight and all his photos take place in the mirror which screams "I don't get out much!” Next...



Message #2) How are you? - Dmitriy


Come on! You can do better than that :-) - SophieRose


Good morning, My name is Dmitriy, I reside in Rego Park, Queens. I am intrigued by you and would love to know more about you. P.S. Thanks for not accepting a one lined response


Profile reads: Ill whisper that in your ear at the right time in the right place.

I

am really good at making people laugh, helping my friends with computers and electronics as well as cooking, writing poetry and kissing.

My largest sex organ is my brain.

This poor guy screams NERD in every way possible. And while smart is the new sexy, I don't think I'll be getting off on his "brain" anytime soon...



Message #3) Hi Sophierose I like ur profile I'm looking for a good down to earth girl who's knows how to have fun and u cought my eye so if you seem interested message me and well see how it goes ttul :Will


His profile reads: HI MY NAME IS WILLIAM BUT EVERY ONE CALLS ME BILLY, IM 5'10? 185 MED BUILT, SHAVED HEAD, BLUE/GREEN HAZEL EYES, IM A NICE GUY I DONT SMOKE AND I DONT DO DRUGS.


I’m really good at paintball, pimping out cars, sports, pool, swimming, bowling, and kissing so im told lol.

The first thing people notice is my eyes because they are beautiful so im told. I dont

read that much. My favorite food has to be brick oven pizza I love it so much.

I could never live without A loving and caring woman by my side, money, a job, my car, food, cat and my daughter.

I spend a lot of time thinking about: the purfect woman.

On a typical Friday night I am eather out with friends drinking and dancing, or home spending time with my daughter or playing ps3 online.

i sometimes cry during sad parts of a movie :"(

You should message me if you like to go and just have a good time and bug out and if ur down for a little some thing some thing that could happen to so if ur intrested holla.

I’m looking for new friends, long-term dating, short-term dating, activity partners, casual sex

Let’s pretend for a minute that he’s not looking for casual sex, or as he calls it “a little something, something.” Let’s pretend I did not count nine spelling mistakes. Let’s pretend he didn’t say he couldn’t live without his cat and is looking for the “purfect woman” - pun intended??? Let’s pretend I am the kind of girl who likes to “bug out” and wants to “holla back” and enjoys a man who “pimps out cars...” No, never mind. Even I can’t pretend *that* well.



Now that I know who’s “out there,” I officially give up. I'm going back to bed. Alone.

TLC

Dear TLC,

Hoarders is a show that scares the bejeezus out of me. Those poor people are living in absolute squalor and filth. Not throwing garbage away? That's horrible. Who could live in a mess like that? Why would anyone want the torture of being surrounded by every stinky, slimy piece of crap that ever came into their life?

Wait a minute. I am an emotional hoarder!!!

Sorry, TLC. Carry on.

Thanks, Kimberly


So it's true. I am an emotional hoarder. I didn't even realize that such a condition existed but a girl does a lot of self-reflecting at three o'clock in the morning. My suggestion, by the way, is to stay away from TLC at that hour. You may think you're watching Extreme Couponing and wake up to a Wedding Story / Baby Story --- talk about torture!

Anywho, I realized that I have been hoarding every past relationship since I was a teenager. In the closet in my old room are boxes filled with love letters from boyfriends past. (Don't even get me started on my wedding photos!) I can't bring myself to throw them out. I can't imagine letting go of the affection once felt for me by someone who has since moved on.

Sick, I know.

The difference between the relationships of yesterday and today is that in the mid-90's when a boy broke my heart, I could box up all his hand-written notes and cards and gifts, stick them on the top shelf of my closet and never think about them again. In 2011 however, the entire contents of my relationship with Kit - including our break up - is on my phone. It's on my computer. It's on my facebook. It's on my blog. I carry it around with me everywhere I go and every so often, I can't help but look at it.

I am an emotional hoarder, surrounding myself with every stinky, slimy piece of crap that ever came into my life.

Just to make sure I felt *extra* awful last night, I went back and read every single text message we ever sent to each other. Every. Single. One. See the thing about an iPhone is that it keeps all your messages for you. Six months of conversation in the palm of your hand. Thank you, Steve Jobs.

Was that enough heartache for one evening? No. Of course not. A good emotional hoarder also keeps every voicemail and replays them post break-up. Just to hear his voice one more time. Just to rub salt in the wound.

And finally, just when I thought I'd really had enough, just when I thought it couldn't hurt any worse, I went back and read the entire conversation between Kit & Erica. His betrayal burned into the backs of my eyes. The scab picked over. The wound freshly bleeding.

I might as well collect dirty dishes and moldy cheese and broken glass and strew them around my floor. It would be less painful than recalling love gained and love lost.

While I cannot guarantee that I will spend today deleting his texts / voicemails / emails etc, I have at least identified the issue and I do know how to fix it. After all, the first step is admitting you have a problem, yes?

Hello, my name is Kimberly and I am an emotional hoarder.