Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Miracle

I am definitely kissing this guy on the first date.

Ummm...sorry. Maybe I should start from the beginning???

This week has really gotten me thinking about my last few dates. This project is coming to a close and I've only got a couple of "cups" left. What could I do to spice things up? (Pardon the play-on-name.) Then it hit me: LEAP DAY.

As I explained in Married, Gay, or Dead yesterday, Leap Day is the one day every four years when - according to British tradition - a woman can propose to a man. But who would I propose to?

After scouring my friends and family for prospects, only ONE person could give me the name and number of a "great single guy" in his thirties. I thought for certain all hope was lost. What if I called this guy and he said no? My brilliant plan of asking out a dozen guys looked bleak at best. I was certain there was no hope for a Leap Day Love in my future.

This morning, I woke up to a message from a dear girlfriend I haven't seen in a while. We're theatre pals from our improv comedy days. She gave me the name and number of a fellow improviser friend with the provision that he's leaving for Paris for a week but would enjoy being asked out before he goes.

Oh great. The memories of the guy who "moved to China" to escape a second date with me have not faded from my memory. I shudder at the thought of another man who might put an ocean or two between us rather than involve himself in a romance. Still, I have no other truly promising options, so I make the call.

One thing you should know about me: I have a weakness for any man named Mike. Those who read this blog two summers ago will recall my extreme disappointment with the first Michael I dated, but I refuse to allow his loser-dom to taint my belief that I am destined to be with a man named Michael. (That's a blog in and of itself.) So when Jess said, "My friend Mike is game for the asking" I knew that I was calling him no matter what!

First of all, I'm exceptionally grateful that Jess had given him a heads-up that I'd be calling. Didn't want to blindside the poor guy! I introduced myself on the phone and his voice quickly picked up into a smile and I felt like he was incredibly glad (if not surprised) to hear from me! I'm guessing it's not every day that a random girl calls and says "Hi, you don't know me but I want to go on a date with you." Actually, if that does happen to you every day, Congrats and please tell me what you know that I don't!

We got into a fun, light-hearted, interesting conversation about his work flying around the world and my work on the book. We chatted about our favorite spots in Europe and how New York would always be home. He made me laugh more times per minute than I could have dreamed and I was instantly at ease with him. Mike felt like an old friend on the phone, not some guy I'd never met.

Life has a funny way of working itself out sometimes. Mike was one of the actors in a play Jess wrote last year that I attended. His humor and charming good looks made him wonderful to watch and it was strangely comforting to know "we've already been in the same room together," as he put it. Makes us feel less like strangers and more like friends who just haven't met yet.

Have you ever experienced a moment so surreal you're not entirely sure you're really in it? Like being in a dream world but you know you're awake? I was driving to Starbucks to write this very blog and had called Mike from the car. My plan was to call, chat, ask him out and get it over with as quickly as possible. Ten minutes max. I arrived at the home office in those ten minutes, parked, and stayed on the phone with him for a half hour longer.

The rain pouring down on my windshield looked like a movie set. It was cold and wet and miserable outside, but in my car, with Mike's voice in my ear, my laughter ricocheting around the seats, I was warm and toasty and completely happy. We giggled like small children about our favorite Disney movies. He can speak French and wear huge boots and stomp around like Gaston for me anyday! He offered to break out the Jack Sparrow vest on our date so we could play pirates which almost had me in a When Harry Met Sally diner moment. The only thing I adore more than Disney princes are Disney pirates!!! He's got the same silly sense of humor that I do and I felt all the nerves melt away as I relaxed into being my ridiculous self with him.

Then it came time to pop the question. The nerves kicked right back in! I knew it was dumb. We'd already been on the phone for thirty minutes. I had no reason in the world to think for a second he'd say no. But I had to say the words. I had to ask him out on a date.

"So, Mike - aka Gaston - aka Captain Jack Sparrow - I was wondering, upon your return from overseas adventures, would you like to go on a date with me?"

"Yes. Hell yes. Let's do it!"

HUGE sigh of relief! He did not hesitate in the least with his enthusiastic response. I felt this crazy smile come over my face. One of those ear to ear grins you only see in cartoons. We made a date for next Tuesday when he gets back from Paris. I'm planning our date (a million ideas pinballing around in my brain) and I'm trying SO hard not to count the minutes between now and then. I've gotten my hopes up before. I've put all my eggs in one basket. I've counted my chickens before they've hatched and I am NOT doing that this time. We are going to take it slow, have a good time, and enjoy the hell out of getting to know each other.

But you can be damn sure I'm kissing him on Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Married, Gay or Dead

There is a hilarious book from The Sweet Potato Queens entitled Every Man I've Ever Loved is Married, Gay, or Dead.

It's a financial planner with recipes, but that's not the point.

The point is that I cannot, for the life of me, find a straight, single guy to date!

Not. One. Guy.

I posted on my personal facebook page, my 100 Cups of Coffee facebook page, and twitter, as well as sending a text message to twenty of my friends that I want to ask a guy out tomorrow. In keeping with Irish tradition, a woman may "propose" to a man on Leap Day (February 29th) which occurs only once every four years.

For more information, just watch the movie Leap Year. It stars Amy Adams who is cute as a button so you'd want to watch it anyway. Oh, plus the super adorable guy she falls in love with is pretty easy on the eyes... Just saying.

Sorry, where was I?

Oh, right. Leap Years! According to English, Scottish, and Irish lore, a woman may propose to the man of her choice only during a leap year. If he refuses her hand, he owes her a payment of one hundred pounds (roughly $158 today). If he cannot afford the hundred pounds, he may grant her a silk gown and a kiss.

I don't know about you ladies, but I'm in dire need of some extra cash, or at the very least, a new dress. Not that I'd mind the kissing either!!!

That being said, I'm certainly in no rush to propose marriage to a man (hell, I don't even have a date this weekend!) but I would like to propose coffee. Dinner, maybe? Perhaps flying kites in the park or messy ice cream sundaes or mildly satisfying phone sex --- SOMETHING! I don't really care what at this point. All I know is that I need to get my head back in the game and I want a real person to play it with.

I figured that if I had a personal recommendation from a friend, the quality of male candidates would be higher. Frankly, I can't get much lower than the guys I've met online this year. Picks his nose? Check. Mommy complex? Check. Never left Brooklyn? Check. Cracked open his Darth Vader piggy bank to pay for our date? Checkmate.

Seriously, where are the single, straight, smart, successful, funny, cute, tall guys in their thirties with good educations, great families, and a desire to settle down???



Or Dead.

Alright, alright, I hope they're not dead. But it seems to me upon closer inspection that all the good guys, the guys actually worth having, are already taken. This boggles my mind. I know plenty of amazing single women in their thirties. Ladies with careers and apartments and cars and friends and hobbies and they are interesting and witty and most of them are incredibly beautiful. These girls are a dime a dozen. I know because I'm one of them. Yet find a man with a job??? A man with his own place??? A man who meets the bare minimum of qualities we're looking for and we fawn over him like he's some great catch!

Wow, he paid for the movie tickets? Swoon! He held the door open? Swoon! He walked you to your car? Swoon!

Where the hell is romance in all of this? Why aren't we being the ones who are courted anymore? I got an email from a guy online the other day that read: "Do u shave?"


Here's what's wrong with the world today: This Leap Year tradition is supposed to empower women to take charge one day every four years. Sadly, we've taken charge every day for the last forty years because men aren't men anymore. They're cowardly. They're chicken shit. They realized that we now outnumber them so they don't have to put the work in anymore. They make no real effort to court us! There is no wooing.

Whatever happened to wooing?

I said to my mother earlier, "Why can't I just find a nice, normal guy who enjoys cooking and snuggling and being romantic and taking road trips and dresses nicely and has great manners and is generous in bed and takes me out dancing every once in a while?"

My mother replied, "Because those men already have boyfriends."

I fear she might be right. All those ladies I asked? They can't think of a single, straight guy to send my way. But if I'm ever in need of a gay boyfriend, they can definitely hook me up!

Single, straight men of the world, I implore you to come out of hiding. Valentine's Day is over, there are no more major gift giving holidays for at least ten months! You can date freely and without cause for concern about your precious wallets. Women today aren't asking for much. Maybe you take us out to dinner every so often. Maybe you let us meet your mothers. Maybe you share control of the remote every other evening. Maybe you just say YES when one of us fantastic ladies asks you on a date every four years. Because if you don't, please know that I am always in need of a new dress and a kiss.

Monday, February 27, 2012

This One's For The Girls

If there is one thing that breaks my heart, it is seeing the amazing, intelligent, funny, successful, thoughtful, compassionate, wonderful women get their feelings trampled on by insensitive douchebags. 
Pardon my French.
It just really tears me up inside that there are some truly incredible girls out there that any man would be lucky to have. I'm not just saying that because these women are my friends. I'm saying that because for one reason or another, I am in AWE of each and every one of them. The paths they've carved out for themselves. The strength and confidence which helps them stand on their own two feet. The grace and poise with which they carry themselves. The hurts they've survived, the losses they've suffered, the friendships they've never turned their backs on. 
I'm not kidding when I say that the women in my life are a particular strain of resilient!
So when one of them is hurting, I want to kill the limey bastard who tossed her gentle heart into the trash. Since knee-capping is kind of illegal, I resort to the best revenge I know: helping his victim become stronger, smarter, and more secure than ever before.
Here is the response to an email from one such friend. Her boyfriend had broken up with her "out of nowhere" and ended their relationship with no explanation. She was asking me how I got through my break up with Kit, what I looked forward to every day, how I even got out of bed. I won't lie and say it was easy because you all know that it wasn't. BUT it does get easier with time, tears, and good girlfriends.

If you want to know a secret, I'm not 100% over Kit, despite what he did. My motto is "fake it til you make it." If you act like you're over him, one day you'll wake up and actually BE over him! 

#1--- The first thing you have to do is acknowledge whatever feelings you have for this guy. Admit them. They're real. Even if the relationship is over, we are women and we can't turn our emotions off overnight. That comes with time but they will diminish a little each day. Don't feel bad that you still care about him. Forgive yourself for it and just accept that it's part of who you are *right now* but the feelings, just like the pain of the break up, won't last forever. 

#2--- Next, I had to clear my mind. I spent the first three days in bed, sobbing my little heart out. First I didn't eat anything. Then I only ate junk food. I refused to get out of my pajamas and generally felt worse about myself. It was horrible. On the third day, I showered and texted back every single one of my girlfriends who had called an offered me something, anything. I spent 10 days visiting friends I hadn't seen in a while, sleeping in guest rooms, having normal dinners, showering (a new concept!) --- it gave me a reason to get out of bed every day. My friends wouldn't let me wallow. They comforted me but also knew when to kick my ass.

Important break up recovery tactic #3 is having a good support system. Like a buddy in AA! Lol every time I thought about calling Kit, I called my "sponsor" instead and told her how I was feeling. The road trip was perfect. It distracted me, cleared my head, got me OUT of the place I'd been sharing with Kit for 6 months and also surrounded me with strong women who totally understood what I was going through. 

The #4 thing I did was write it all down. Obviously the blog was super helpful as 39,000+ women read my heartbreak and were supportive. They've all been through it in one way or another but the really deep stuff I kept in my journal. It seems strange but I wrote down every awful, horrible, cutting down to the bone feeling I had. That way whenever I am tempted to go back to him (which insanely, I sometimes am) I re-read the awful way I felt when we broke up and that keeps me away! 

#5 - I shook up my look. Darkened my hair, got a free makeover at Mac, got my eyebrows threaded and bought a whole new wardrobe! The shopping spree felt good because I wasn't trying to look pretty for anyone but me. I loved feeling beautiful for myself and not for some boyfriend. The change in appearance gave me a change in attitude and boosted my confidence tremendously.

#6 would be focusing on me. I wanted to know the things that made ME happy - not the things WE liked or what made US have fun. I wrote a list of 101 things to do in 1,001 days! This gives me 3 years (more or less) to complete goals that are only important to ME!!! Being selfish - imagine that! I want to learn a new language so I'm teaching myself Italian on a website. I wanted to take a dance class so I signed up for salsa (alone! Gasp!) I bought a gorgeous new pair of heels (I have never splurged on shoes before.) My stunning new Prada mules were the fix my feet needed to feel fabulous! I am reading Jane Austen and writing letters to people I haven't gotten to really speak to in a while. I learned to make 3 new desserts, ate at a restaurant I've been dying to try, and spent a whole afternoon at a farmers market taking pictures of fruits and veg. This might not sound life altering but they all have 1 thing in common --- they've got nothing to do with Kit. It's MY list of things I want to do for no other reason than I want to do them! Who knows if I'll meet an amazing man at my next cooking class or roller skating but at least I'll have fun doing it!

#7 was to change my surroundings. I moved some furniture, redecorated a bit, and hung up pictures of people, places and sayings I love. I framed 22 postcards of Rome circa 1950. They're black and white and I found them up in an antique shop in Massachusetts. They're special and beautiful and a once in a lifetime find! I bought little plaques with various sayings like "believe in love" and "love is not who you live with, it's who you can't live without" and "we build our tomorrow by what we dream today" and "it's about learning to dance in the rain" and "coffee and love should both be served hot!" I got new bedding and cleaned up all those messy little piles of things that were nagging me. It just feels like being in a different apartment, one he didn't live with me in. 

#8 break up strategy is to do something out of your comfort zone, something that scares you. It sounds silly, but I was terrified of karaoke. After I got up there and sang (with a lot of help from French martini's) I felt amazing. Yes it was a tiny dive bar in rhode island on a rainy Wednesday night but I could've win the Olympics I was so damn proud 

#9 (((I do not condone this one))) They say the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else!!! 
That guy I met at the karaoke bar? I slept with him! I have to tell you it was the best sex of my life. I was sooooo nervous but he was great, totally relaxed me, and I felt comfortable enough to just enjoy it. We went all night and at first all I could think was "Kit never did this" or "Kit didn't pay attention to me like that" or "you know, in 6 months, Kit never gave me an orgasm as good as this one" but by the end, all I could think was "Kit who???" He didn't matter. I'd given myself to someone else who make me feel incredible in ways Kit never could and that made me miss him a whole lot less. 

#10 is simply believing in all those plaques, sayings, phrases and cliches. It's hard sometimes because they're the most obvious. But there's a line in Eat Pray Love where Liz has really been through the wringer and she thinks she's had enough. Richard (her friend) tells her simply "believe in love again." I do. Some days it's harder than others but I DO believe in love! I've had my heart trampled on and thrown back in my face but if we go with the "everything happens for a reason" platitude then this just wasn't meant to be. I don't know the reason you're hurting now but I know that someday you will look back and it will all make sense. Have faith. Let you heart bend but don't let it break. Stay strong. You're worth more than whoever he was or whatever he gave you. Listen to music that makes you feel powerful and don't let anyone treat you with less respect than you deserve. God is looking down at you right now and saying "I'm saving this girl for someone special!!!" 

Call me anytime. Oh, and read Eat Pray Love if you haven't already. Actually, read it twice! Then eat a pizza and go out with your girlfriends. Maybe even sing some karaoke :-)

*This blog is dedicated to D, A, S, and L who all deserve love more than I can possibly tell them.*

Friday, February 24, 2012

Plenty of Fish

Hi Kim,

It was a long weekend here in Saskatchewan so I and a couple of my closest girlfriends took full advantage of that. The three of us have had an annual ice fishing trip - this was our 4th year. It was great! We caught a few that weren't worth keeping, caught a few that didn't want us and ended up getting off the hook and swimming away, and we also caught a few really good ones! 

I learned that fishing is a bit like dating. As I sat in that ice fishing shack for 16 hours over 2 days, not catching a damn thing, I realized: if I can have this much patience fishing and not have it bother me to catch one or not, what the hell is the difference with guys? I still had my good friends around and we had an amazing time. So maybe it's a weird analogy, but I'm going to stick with it!

I just finished reading your latest blog, Less Is More. I totally feel like sending responses like that as well. Here is the amazing first message I received from someone today:


Yep, that was it. Right then, I took the hook off and tossed that fish back down the hole without a second look :)

Really proud of myself right now,

Dear Sara,

Dating is definitely like fishing. It has inspired all those phrases like:
   Plenty of fish in the sea
   He's a great catch
   Throw the scrawny ones back
   Lure him in
   Time to fish or cut bait
   Cast a wider net
   He's a guppy. Honey, you want a shark!

I'm sure there are several I'm missing but you get the point. Both require patience, determination, and a little technique.

When we were kids growing up on the water, there would be a twenty-five cent prize for the first fish caught and another twenty-five cents for the biggest fish caught. Nowadays, to lure me onto the boat for an entire afternoon of wiggly worms and no place to pee, you'd have to promise me more than fifty freakin cents! Still, I always pissed off my brother and cousins by walking away with no less than two quarters. How?

The fishy call!

Yes, it's ridiculous but hear me out.

"Here, fishy, fishy, fishy. Here, fishy, fishy, fishy."

This is my adorable younger self calling to the fishies. Please bear in mind that I was under ten years old and the only girl on a boat full of manly men. Therefore, my cute factor alone allowed me to get away with such silliness as talking to the fishies. Leaning over the side of the boat, bobbing my line in the water, asking them to come up and bite my bait so I could collect my small fortune and be on my way.

Worked. Every. Time.

This past summer, my mother went out on the boat with my dad and uncle. She came home with a bag full of fish she had caught and as we sat around, basking in the glory of her catching the dinner we were eating, I asked her how she did it. 

"Simple," she replied. "Fishy call."

You can sit on a boat (or in an ice shack) for hours, baiting your line, hoping something will come along. You can have faith that the fish will find what you've got to offer and come to you. In my experience though, calling to them, putting yourself out there, is the best way to attract a fish.

And by fish, of course, I mean man.

In the meantime, enjoy your girlfriends. Be patient. Have fun. Make time to do the simple things in life. Disconnect. Enjoy being you and all those little traditions that make your world a special place to be. Toss back the little guys, the ones who serve you no purpose. Let go of the ones who didn't want to be caught. And stay alert --- you never know when you're going to land your next big keeper!

And always, always, do the fishy call :-)

I'm really proud of you too!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Sacrifice of Sex

Sitting in Starbucks on Shrove Tuesday was a highly entertaining experience. 

I over indulged in pancake brunch mid-afternoon, complete with sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs with cheese, mandarin oranges, white grapes, chocolate chip cookies, juice, and tea. Needless to say, I wasn't hungry when I got to "the office" however I did walk in with a huge box of chocolate candies. 

Why, Kimberly, Why? Because I'm giving up chocolate for Lent. 

There are certain things that come easily to me. Sacrifice is not one of them. Giving up something I love - I mean really and truly enjoy - is overwhelmingly painful for me. The silly little things in my day, those small pleasures, those are the things that make me happiest. Dolling up with some gorgeous jewelry. Tipping back a full glass of chilled moscato. Sparkly lip gloss. Hour long phone calls to my bestie. A hot cup of rooibos tea. Steamy, relaxing morning showers. Driving with the windows down and the radio up. Reality tv. Chocolate truffles. Crazy good sex.

Like I said... it's the little things!

Anywho, I sat down at the home office and the very cute guy next to me was working on his laptop so I offered him first choice of candy from my stash. Kit Kats, Butterfinger, Twix, Tootsie Rolls, Hershey bars, Mr Goodbars, Rolos and even Lindt truffles! Yes, I know, I was pretty irresistible. Still, we are trained from birth not to take candy from strangers so he was hesitant to accept my calorific offering until I smiled sweetly and explained "I'm giving them up for Lent starting tomorrow." 

Well that got his attention.

Cute guy: Really? You know you're supposed to give up the thing you love the most?
Me: Yup. Chocolate.
Cute guy: So chocolate is the thing you love the most? You can't think of a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g you enjoy more?
Me: Oh, I'm sure I could think of a few things. (((Ring check: He's married.))) But nothing else I'd be willing to give up!
Cute guy: Oh really?
Me: Well, I know plenty of people who give up sex for Lent.
Cute guy: But not you?
Me: Nah. I'm single. I'm not having sex. So really, I'd only be giving up the opportunity to have sex with someone and a single girl's gotta take what she can get when she can get it.
Cute guy: Wow. You've really thought this through.
Me: Yup. Plus, I figure that by giving up chocolate I'll look even better for when that opportunity arises. It's a win-win-win situation.
Cute guy: Three wins, eh?
Me: Yup. God gets my sacrifice, you get my chocolate, and I get laid.

I really have to stop making people laugh so hard they choke on their coffee.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Two Tear Drops

There's nothing true about love that can't be said in a country song. Right now, the song playing in my head is Two Tear Drops. The chorus goes:

Oh the ocean's a little bit bigger tonight
Two more teardrops, somebody cryin
One of them happy and one of them bluer than blue
The tide goes out and the tide comes in
And someday they'll be teardrops again
Released in a moment of pleasure or a moment of pain
Then they drift on down and ride to the sea again

It's the story of a woman who gets married crying tears of joy, and the man she left behind crying tears of pain. She was so happy to be in love again and he was so sad to have lost the girl of his dreams. "One of them happy and one of them bluer than blue." The thing that amazes me is that they both shed a tear for love. 


I think about the love I've lost and the love that's come into my friend's life. She's just gotten engaged to the most wonderful man. They're exquisitely happy together, sharing a fantastic little apartment, planning a wedding, living on love and leftover noodles. Her ring is the most stunning I've ever laid eyes on. They kiss at every single opportunity. He is her best friend and she doesn't miss a chance to tell him so. They're the kind of cute that would nauseate you if you didn't already know and adore them. They're Kit and I before the fallout. 

The difference is that her fiance is the real deal. He's attentive, affectionate, committed and strong. He brightens up her darkest days and I do not doubt for one single minute that he would ever abandon her. She makes his world a better place to be, as evidenced by the way his face lights up each time he says her name. They are a young, vibrant, sweet couple and I sit here, bitter, jaded, divorced, and envious of their innocent enthusiasm.

I've realized along the way that I do not begrudge my friends their untainted relationship. I do not hold their happiness against them. It would be easy to look down on love and all those in it, hating their smug smiles and wishing it was me in their place. What good would that do though? How would that help anyone? I was in their place just a few short months ago and I kid you not, people unfriended me on facebook because they didn't want to see my super excited status updates. Who does that??? Who hides the happiness of others from their newsfeed? Did they not share in my joy? Or was my exuberance a constant reminder of their own pain?

It would be easy for me to ignore my newly engaged / coupled off / happily married friends. I could snub them and pretend that their bliss simply did not exist. No one is shoving their smiles in my sad face. No one is forcing me to celebrate with them. I choose to celebrate the joy of my friends because someday soon, I hope to join their ranks once again. 

This is not to say it's a simple task. This one particular girlfriend has asked for help planning her wedding, and I have volunteered my services on more than one occasion. We've already been looking for dresses, designing invitations, and registering for all the stuff she'll need in her new home. I know that I am not obligated in any way to accompany her to Bed, Bath & Beyond but the truth is: I want to go. 

I know how important this time in her life is and she deserves a friend who will be there, who will be genuinely pleased for her, who will be excited when things are going well, and let her vent her frustrations when wedding plans go slightly awry. (Ok, sometimes they go more than slightly!) I know the difference between A-Line cut versus sheath dresses. I know which blenders, food processors, and stand mixers get the best reviews, last the longest, and are the best value for money. I know how to throw a themed bridal shower, how to plan the ideal seating chart, how to arrange seasonal floral displays. In short, I would be the perfect bride. Only problem is I am not the bride.

It's hard for me to believe I got married almost a decade ago. Of course, I didn't know any of these things then. I was the first of my friends to get married thus having no real guidance. The wedding I had was exceptionally beautiful, but it's nothing like the wedding I would plan now (when the occasion arises.) My tastes have matured, as have my friends. What I need and want in a celebration for my 30 year old self is different than what I had for my 20 year old self. Ten years ago, I wanted princess perfect with a splashy party. Now, I am content with tastefully simple, understated elegance. 

Indulging in my own romantic fantasies comes so naturally. I have been in love before. I hope to be in love again. My fairy tale no longer includes a sparkly white dress, passed hors d'oeuvres, and the electric slide. Instead, it revolves around a promise of forever, morning in and morning out, night after night sharing a bed with a man who would stop the world for me if he could. These friends getting married in ten short months get both of these things. The wedding. The marriage. The whole shebang.

With conflicted emotions, I watch her try on gown after gown, search the aisles for the optimal toaster oven, choose her menu and write her vows. I am happy for her but I'm sad for me. I treasure the love she's found yet I wonder why I haven't found my forever partner yet. I ask myself how I could have gotten it so wrong the first time around and if I will ever get a second chance. I am simultaneously hopeful yet concerned. I am optimistic yet skeptical. I am open-hearted yet worried. I have no idea which way is up and can only cross my fingers and toes that life has a funny way of working itself out. 

Tonight, she will go to sleep with a tear in her eye and a song in her heart. She lies in the arms of a man who loves her, who treats her with respect, is honest, trustworthy, and loyal. She will wake up next to him knowing that their life together won't always be easy, it won't always be perfect, but it will always be together and that is enough for her. 

I will also go to sleep tonight with a tear in my eye and a song in my heart. Except that my tear is one of loneliness, one of sorrow, one of pain. My bed - and my arms - are empty. My only prayer is that the next time I shed a tear, it will be one of joy, one of love.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Less Is More

Some of you may recognize this email from two years ago when I first started this project. (If you don't, please see here: GREETINGS) That's because this guy is clearly the King of Copy & Paste.  I got this message from him (again) on a completely different website. Needless to say, he was kind of unforgettable and not in a good way. The thing about online dating is that LESS IS MORE. Be quick, witty, complimentary, and let the other person respond to your flirtation. 

His email??? Nothing like that. I've honestly seen less information on a resume for a full-time job with benefits.

My ideal message is something along the lines of: 
       Hi! I noticed _something about you_ and think that we'd get along great because _I also eat / listen to / watch / travel around_ that awesome thing / place. Pay a compliment. Make a small joke. Here is an interesting tidbit about me. Ask a question. Smiley sign off. 

Here is the reply I wanted to send. *Please note: Don't worry. I stopped myself. Barely.*

Hey there, 

How are you doing today? My name is Kevin and I like your profile and picture very much and find you very sexy and attractive and it would be great to know you better. 

Hi Kevin. I'm great, thanks for asking. 

A few words about myself: My name is Kevin. I am 38 years old and was born and raised in New York City. So tell me about where you were raised and born? 

Ummmm, I know. You just told me your name was Kevin like 30 seconds ago. 

During the week I am working at a Web hosting company as a Networking Engineer and I love working in the IT Computer field you know. What kind of work are you doing? 

I am a writer, focusing on online dating relationships and disasters. For your sake, I hope you never find this out.

As you can tell from my pictures my nationality is Irish, German, Swedish and a mix of Russian from two generations ago as I’ve been told. So tell me about your Nationality? I’m very close with my family and love them all very much with my full heart and everything. Are you close with your family? How big is your family? 

Shockingly, I cannot tell your nationality based on your pictures. I see that you're a tall, white guy with green eyes, but you could be from anywhere. My dad's side is Sicilian so I should be short and tan with dark, curly brown hair and chocolate eyes but I'm tall and blonde with the complexion of a Twilight vampire in the sunlight, so I don't think that's a fair indicator whatsoever. 

At night I’m attending the University of Phoenix and majoring in Computer Networking going for my Bachelors degree. So what college and degree do you have if any? 

I have several college degrees but mine are from brick & mortar institutions. I applaud you going back to school to further your education but really, don't tell anyone you're a Phoenix. Those commercials are embarrassing.

What I love about your profile is that your very interested in many different things and I am looking for a lady that’s well diversified and can talk to her about anything in general. 

And yet, you don't mention a single one of those things, leading me to believe that you did not, in fact, read my profile, or that you know anything about me at all.

Now when I am not working or doing the online classes on the internet some of my interests are watching movies, eating out, watching or attending sporting events, visiting museums, biking around New York City, playing a game of pool or bowling as well. At times enjoy going to concerts, art galleries, going to the beach or pool and traveling to different places as well. What do you like doing for fun? What are you passionate about? For me its discovering new placing to bike, learning new foods to cook, learning how to be a better dancer, learning more about the Titanic and why and how the ship sank so fast. 

A) The Titanic sank because it hit an iceberg.
B) For fun, I go on dates with guys who like doing everything, which basically means they have no real opinion on anything.  You could be such a great catch if you weren't so generic!

I wanted to be honest with you and let you know that I’m looking for a lady to meet and have a relationship and I’m only interested in meeting a lady that’s interested in having a romantic relationship and is going to want to see me again and know me more after the first date and being happy and everything. 

This sentence is not coherent English. I literally have no response.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon, Cheers! Kevin 

Doubt it. Seriously, doubt it. Cheers, Kimberly

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Bad & The Ugly

Hi Kim,

There is something that I wanted to share with you.  Your blog has helped me in more ways then you know.  I have laughed, cried and my hope has been renewed.  It has even been a big wake up call for me.  When you first posted about finding out what Kit had done, I was so angry!  I have been cheated on and now, I am ashamed to admit, I have been the cheater.  

I met Mark eight years ago and it started out as friends because he told me he was married.  As the years went on we got closer and closer.  I honestly didn't think anything of it because we have never had sex.  We would e-mail daily and talk on the phone occasionally.  We did go out to dinner one night but that's as public as it ever got.

When I read your blog about finding those IM's, I was angry at Kit and I was angry at Erica.  How could he do that to you and how could she do that knowing there was someone else in his life.  Then I began reading those instant messages and I sat back in shock.  I was actually sick to my stomach.  I was in a "Kit and Erica" relationship.  As I read your other blogs about the pain you were going through, I knew what I had to do.  I never want to be the cause of someone's pain. Even though his wife didn't know about me doesn't change the fact that what I was doing was so wrong.

I quickly typed out an e-mail stating that I could no longer continue in this type of relationship.  I told him that I hope he and his wife could get their relationship back to the way it use to be but that this was not fair to any of us.  I hit send and then immediately went to my inbox settings and blocked his e-mail address, then did the same with his phone number.  I don't want to know what his reply would have been because there is nothing he could say that would change my mind.

I just wanted you to know how much your blog has meant and how much it has helped me.



There is absolutely nothing I can say in response to this email besides THANK YOU. I am so incredibly proud of you. You stood up not only for yourself and for Mark's wife, but for women everywhere who simply refuse to betray each other. If I played any part in that decision, even in the smallest way, I feel like this blog has served its purpose and maybe - just maybe - the hurt and confusion and heartbreak I went through served a greater purpose. I could never have known that at the time. I couldn't see anything past my own pain. While I wasn't obligated to share it with the whole world, something inside me shouted "You have to!!!" I've been an open book about all my relationships: good, bad, and ugly, since the beginning. I couldn't stop there. I couldn't just share the good, the lighthearted, the funny situations. I had to share the bad and the ugly. I had to let you know what I was going through. And while what you read on here was bad, it was the tip of the iceberg, trust me. But there are women like you who needed to read it, who needed to know what was going on. My goal is to make my friends - new and old - feel less alone in what they're dealing with. Their joys, their sorrows, their silliness, their lust, their loneliness - all of it! So thank you for letting me know that what I'm doing matters to just one person. Thank you for making a difference :-)

BIG hugs, 


My Space


I just finished reading your latest blog "You and Tequila Make Me Crazy".  I can relate to it so much!  I am a 43 year old divorced woman with two children.  About six years ago I began dating a guy younger than me, never been married, no scared me to death.  We dated for six months and it was fantastic!  It ended the way I had feared, he met someone his own age. It not only broke my heart but it broke my children's hearts as well.  He & I still had feelings for each other, and we ended up having sex on two different occasionsWe tried to remain friends but I now know that being friends is just not possible. The relationship has to move forward or end, there is no going back to the beginning. 

He eventually married his new girlfriend and my heart was freshly broken.  I really truly believed that he would pick me. Two years after they got married, he contacted me via MySpace. I waited a week before accepting the friend request.  I remember going through the album of their wedding pictures and feeling the pain all over again. 

We started talking and it was all your basic everyday stuff until this past New Year's Eve.  This was my first NYE alone since I have been divorced, so I was feeling a little lonely.  He sent me a text just to say hi and hoped I had a good night.  It turned into a texting session about the past and all the good times we had together.  He started telling me that he and his wife were having troubles, that he missed me and he loved me.

I really don't know what to do.  I don't want to lose the friendship but I can't go through being the other woman.



First of all, THANK YOU for writing to me. It helps me knowing that there is another woman out there in the same situation I am in, as I'm sure my blog has helped you. 

I'm sorry for what you're going through with this guy. Believe me when I say I completely understand the feeling. Caring about someone is never easy, especially once they've moved on. (Doubly so if you haven't!)

For me, knowing that Roger was taken was all I needed to know. He has had a girlfriend for two years and that was enough for me to back away. That being said, he did date me *first*  --- as though that gives me any sort of leverage! Also, he's not happy with her and they're doing things long distance. She would never need to know I even exist. She wouldn't have to know anything about me. Our late night phone calls. His sexy text messages. How he thinks he'd be SO much happier with me than with her...blah blah blah. 

I'm certain you're hearing something similar from your man. His wife is nothing like you, he misses you, he loves you, etc etc. Here's the cold hard truth (as I've had to remind myself many many times) - If he wanted me, he would be with me. He's with her. The choice is made. 

Until he chooses you, totally and completely, he's not worth wasting your time or energy on. You deserve 100% of someone. Nothing less. 

As my very dear friend put it, any man who makes you cry isn't worth ruining your mascara over in the first place. 

I don't think that age has anything to do with love. It's an easy scapegoat in your situation but please don't think that he wanted to be with another woman just because she was younger. Plenty of people stay with someone despite a large age gap. You can't help who you fall in love with. You can help who you stay in a relationship with. It's called a break up because it's broken and you are absolutely right - the relationship has to move forward or end, there is no going back to the beginning.

You need to consider what his "friendship" is worth to you and what having him in your life again really means. What pleasure does it bring versus the stress it causes? What happiness do you enjoy together versus the angst you feel about being "the other woman"? Finally, if you were her on the outside of this relationship looking in, would you think it was cheating? I can't bring myself to do anything I wouldn't want done to me. Been there, done that and it's awful. Besides, as one reader pointed out: you lose them the way you got them. If you did win him back this way, you could just as easily lose him to someone else in the same manner. 

Stop allowing him to hold you hostage. Pay attention to yourself. Be affectionate with your friends, family and children. Love the people around you and lean on them for support, entertainment, and the confidence boost you need to get back out into the world and feel good about yourself. Treat yourself to that extra special little something you need to make it through the tough times, especially when you're at your weakest. It will be hard, but it will get easier every day. You never know who else is out there, waiting to hold on to you, until you let go of the safe and comfortable. You. Can. Do. This.

Keep me posted <3


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cupcakes & Vibrators

Dear Mom,

Don't read this blog.

Love, Kim

I MISS SEX. Alright, there it is. I said it. I miss sex and I think about it all the time. (Seriously. ALL the time!)

What is it about sex that's just so damn good? What is it I'm missing so much? Sure, the physical stimulation is fantastic but that's not the best part for me. It's the connection to another person. It's the attentiveness of my partner. It's being made to feel as though I am the most special, beautiful, wonderful, sexiest woman in the whole world. I miss that feeling. I miss the intimacy. I miss that for a few minutes (hours if I'm lucky!) my partner's entire goal is to make me feel incredible, and vice versa. I miss the bedroom being the center of our coupled off little universe. I miss a man adoring me, holding me, touching me, pleasuring me. I miss the smile on his face knowing how happy he's making me. I miss sharing those naughty little secrets that only the two of us know about. I definitely miss kissing.

Don't get me wrong, being single has its perks. Complete control of the remote. Tons of time with your girlfriends. Cereal as an acceptable dinner option. Curling up in bed with a hot cup of tea and a deliciously good book. Yet there are nights (and mornings) when I'd rather be in bed with a hot man and deliciously good sex.

I try not to focus on it. I try to think about something, anything else. I try to avoid situations, movies, songs, etc that would make me want it more (if that's even possible!) Yet after surviving single life for as long as I have, it's time to take matters into my own hands.

Pun intended.

As part of my I Hate Valentine's Day (but I love LOVE) weekend, I wanted to do something super fun and exciting for not just the single women in my life, but for all my girlfriends. Married, divorced, separated, dating, engaged, happily single, unhappily single, gay, straight, tall, short, blonde, brunette, bubbly, quiet, outgoing, shy, experienced, curious, confused, overwhelmed, understated, passionate, creative, reserved, and hopeful. Every one of these women are different - I have no two friends the same. It's part of what makes my life so completely enjoyable. Yet get them together and it's the best of all worlds colliding. Monday night was the most fun I've had in a l-o-n-g time.

Monday night, I hosted a Passion Party.

Abby, our Passion Party consultant had on display the items from the "nice" catalog first. We rubbed pheromones on our wrists which works like perfume, except that ten minutes later, every one of us smelled different. Talk about bringing out our animal instincts! She showed us lotions, creams, plumping lip gloss, even candles that melt down into edible massage oil! We played a game shouting out the dirtiest words we could think of and I have to tell you, in all the years I've been friends with these women, I have never heard those words come out of their mouths. There were prizes involved and our competitive natures took over. Twelve ladies --- no holds barred!

The second half of the night was the toys from the "naughty" catalog which is when things got really interesting. We were ever so slightly hesitant at first about touching, feeling, and passing these gadgets around but there was no denying we were all intrigued. A few bottles of pink champagne got the girls to let go of those inhibitions because there was not one speck of judgement in that room. We were all there for the same reason - to love ourselves and our partners (where applicable) and to make our sex lives the best they could possibly be. If there was any doubt at all that these vibrators and other gizmos would bring us pleasure, we only had to follow Abby's instructions to touch them to our nose and times the sensation by four. I'm relatively certain that's when we all went from "I'm not sure if I'm buying anything" to "I can't decide which one to buy."

If I've learned anything about myself from being single, it's that I have to take the time and make the effort for me now because there's no one else to do it. It's the perfect excuse to be selfish, in a way I might never be able to again. Plenty of us girls were treating ourselves to a something special. Many others bought toys to share with their partners. For the first time in my life, what I buy, what I eat, what I wear, where I go,  how I spend my time --- it's all about ME. I don't have to think of anyone else. At all. It's incredibly freeing. I can have all the cupcakes and vibrators I want. There's no one to stop me.

Now if you'll excuse me, there's a plain brown box in the mail with my name on it. Date night with myself. Bottle of wine. Box of chocolate. Extra batteries. And no socks left on the floor!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Please note: This blog entry has been updated for 2012!

No date strikes fear into the hearts of single people everywhere so much as the dreaded February 14th.

Yes, we all want someone to smooch under the mistletoe at Christmas time and yes, we all want to kiss someone at midnight on New Year's. It's true that 4th of July fireworks are far more magical when you watch them with someone you love and even Thanksgiving turkey tastes better when you have a partner to be thankful for. Amazingly, I have never been single on V-Day and yet, they have always sucked. You see, I have had 19 crappy Valentine's Days in a row!

My daddy was always my Valentine. He'd bring home a red, heart-shaped box of chocolates for me and I was absolutely thrilled. Yet from the time I turned 11 and he stopped being the only man in my life, it has been one disappointment after another.

*Please note: Some names have been changed to protect the guilty - but not all!*

1992: I have had a crush on Stevie since the 2nd grade. He gives me a Valentine which I believe means he likes me. I stare dreamily off into space all during lunch, making doe eyes at him on the playground. I find out that afternoon that his mom made him give me one. He still thinks I'm a dweeb. Am heartbroken.

1993: Gary passes me a cute note in English class. He smiles at me in the hallway. He kisses me on the cheek (my first kiss!!!) in the stairwell by the cafeteria. I'm in love. We're totally boyfriend / girlfriend. After school, I hear him laughing with some other boys about how he'd never go out with me. I spend the entire weekend in bed with the Babysitters Club books and a hot cup of tea.

1994: It is a Friday afternoon. Chris asks me to be his girlfriend. I am on Cloud 9 for three whole days. I return to school on Monday and discover that he was set up to ask me out as a practical joke. Am not amused.

1995: Have a crush on a very cute boy named Knox. He is the best looking person I've ever met in my young life. During science, the heart shaped lollipop fundraiser people come around to our class to deliver goodies. I anxiously await my delivery as every single girl in our class gets a lollipop from him. Except me. I spend the rest of the day crying in the bathroom.

1996: I am in a new school and have a proper boyfriend. Liam and I have been dating for a few months and he brings me flowers for Valentine's Day. Unfortunately, he dropped them in the slush at the bus stop that morning and they got a little run over. They're muddy and droopy and very sad looking. He gives them to me anyway. I carry the most pathetic bunch of daisies anyone has ever seen, figuring the crappy flowers are better than no flowers at all.

1997: This year will be different. Anthony and I have been dating for months and his sister is away at a cheerleading competition, leaving his aunt short one bridesmaid for her V-Day wedding. She throws me into his sister's dress which is a hideous shimmery mauve. Anthony and I get to walk up the aisle together, arm in arm. We dance and eat and drink Sambuca out of chocolate cups. I say "I Love You" to him for the first time. He throws up.

1998: Senior year of high school and I am head over heels for a boy who lives in Massachusetts. It's hard being so far apart from Chad but we write to each other several times a week and call when our parents let us use their long distance plans. *Please note: this is before email, cell phones, and texting. We did things the old-fashioned way - we wrote letters!* I've sent up a package of lovey-dovey items to him for Valentine's Day: chocolates, candy, Hallmark cards to last a week, love letters with scrawly handwriting and hearts dotting the i's. I even scented the paper with my perfume he loves so much. I check the mail religiously all weekend. Nothing comes.

1999: College is going to be different. I've had a boyfriend for six months and we are very serious about each other. This is my first long-term relationship, as everyone before him petered out at around three months. David scatters rose petals on twin bed in my college dorm room. He borrows my roommate's grandmother's ring, gets down on one knee, and asks me to marry him. I am shocked. I don't know what to say. I'm seventeen years old - that's a good age to get married, right? But before I can answer, he starts laughing and blurts out "Just Kidding!" I slap a man across the face for the first time in my life.

2000: David and I are still dating and now it's been a year and a half. I took the winter semester off from school and decide to surprise my sweet boyfriend by driving the two hours upstate to see him for the holiday weekend. The surprise was on me when I found him in bed with my roommate and another girl. Yuck.

2001: I haven't had a boyfriend since David and I broke up because men suck and I cannot bring myself to look any of them in the eye. Yet I tentatively started dating a friend from work and things are going well. We are supposed to go out for V-Day dinner and I meet him at his place. The closet is open and I see several women's outfits which baffles me. I ask if they are his mother's or his sister's and he says "No, they're mine. Just a hobby." Cross dressing. Did not see that coming.

2002: It's been six months since I met John in England. We couldn't fathom breaking up so since I got back to New York before Christmas, we've been doing the long distance thing. I keep a sharp eye out for Air Mail envelopes in the post as he writes to me as often as he can. Phone calls to England racked up hundreds of dollars in bills last month so I'm down to the bare minimum talking time. He sends a Valentine's card which is really sweet. Unfortunately with the delays of overseas delivery, I don't get it until February 22nd. This sucks.

2003: John and I are engaged and getting married this year! I'm so excited, I can hardly breathe. I know that my fiance will do something amazing for our first engaged V-Day together! I just know he will. Ok, well he kinda forgot. I guess there's always next year.

2004: Guess who forgot again? Yup, that would be my husband.

2005: I take the day off of work to stay home and make him a special Valentine's Day dinner. I clean the whole house, shower, dry my hair, dress up really pretty, put on lots of make up, set the table with candles and pour delicious wine. He does not walk in at 5:00 as planned. Or 6:00. Or 7:00. He took on extra hours and comes home exhausted and a little drunk at 1:00 am. I lock the bedroom door and make him sleep on the couch.

2006: This husband thing is supposed to be a guaranteed gift for Valentine's Day. Married people aren't supposed to scramble around, wondering if they're going to have a date or not, if they'll get a gift or not. I put a lot of thought into his present this year. He bought me a video game. I asked him to spend less time playing on the PlayStation. His argument was that if I had a game I liked, we could play together. Not exactly the romantic evening I had in mind, asshole!

2007: There is a terrible ice storm with obscene amounts of snowfall and blizzard conditions. I have to go to work but they send me home halfway through the day. I return in the hopes of having a lovely afternoon with my husband and a romantic Valentine's evening. He hasn't made any plans. With the weather this bad, we can't really go out to a restaurant. We trudge to the supermarket and buy some food. I cook dinner and we eat in silence in front of the television. I cry myself to sleep.

2008: My husband moved out four months ago. A friend I'm sort of seeing asks me to visit New Orleans with him for a few days so I hop on a plane and go. We have a great time and I almost forget about the impending doom of V-Day. Yet one dinner at Emeril's Delmonico makes me sick. There is cayenne pepper in the macadamia nut cookie during dessert. I vomit for hours that night and the entire plane ride back to New York the next day. I really hate this holiday.

2009: I have a migraine that lasts for five months. On the plus side, I don't remember anything about Valentine's Day!

2010: Amazingly, not the worst V-Day ever. Had dinner with a date down in Little Italy and then enjoyed the late night opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, including drinks and jazz music. Felt very cultured and totally away from the sickening forced romance of the Hallmark holiday. We just acted like normal people, like it was any other day of the week. First time in 18 years I haven't wanted to kill someone. Progress, I say!!!

2011: I've decided to face this holiday with as much grace and charm as I can muster. I've been busy making chocolates to distribute to my single girlfriends everywhere. I plan on hitting the gym in the afternoon (which should be fairly empty) and going to improv rehearsal at night, then the ladies and I will grab drinks and snacks at the most unromantic lounge we can find in midtown. If nothing else, I know my fudge won't let me down!

2012: Kit & I broke up five months ago and yet, it feels like yesterday. We would have been together for eleven months, looking forward to our first V-Day together, and instead I am sitting in Starbucks alone, updating this blog about how much my Valentine's have sucked every year.

ON THE PLUS SIDE: I threw an I Hate Valentine's Day Party on Friday night which was completely awesome. We hung out at the bar, went bowling, and decorated huge heart shaped balloons with our Anti-Love sayings and cartoon figures. There were red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and chocolate chip cherry brownies. Last night, I hosted a Passion Party (totally different occasion - blog to follow!) and it was utter bliss. Getting together with the girls, both single and attached, playing games, drinking pink champagne, eating double dunked chocolate cake bites, and laughing so hard our bellies hurt...I needed that.

This morning, I woke up to cat vomit on my blankets, the floor, and my clean clothes pile which roped me right back into reality.

An hour later though, I had hot pink roses from my sister, a text from my brother, facebook messages from a ton of friends, and a Hallmark card that made me laugh til I cried from my mom.

On the kitchen table sat a stuffed dog with his arms stretched open wide. On his tummy was stitched I LOVE YOU THIS BIG. Next to the puppy was a heart shaped box of chocolates from my dad, the kind he got me every year until I was ten (after which it was all downhill!) Dearest Kimberly, You are the light in my life. I will always be your Valentine. And I love you, Daddy

I do not have a boyfriend this year. I am not out on a dinner date wearing a new dress at a fancy restaurant. I am not curled up by the fireplace at a Bed & Breakfast with my handsome man, a plate full of strawberries and jazz music on the radio. I am not in love with one particular partner right now. But I am not alone. I am not lonely. I am not miserable. I am not giving up on love - today or any day. I believe that love finds us when we are good and ready for it and the right partner could be just around the corner, not just on Valentine's Day but any day.

Tonight, I plan on having a nice meal with my parents, curling up with my Netflix and my Whitman Sampler, and appreciating my single status instead of cursing it. I will continue to be the champion of romance on random Tuesdays, the cheerleader for love in times of trial, and the everlasting believer in Happily Ever After.