Where Did All the Good Men Go?

When I started dating again, I threw myself into it, like the Kool-Aid man goes after a wall. I expected to break through into a room of mature men, just waiting for a relationship with a smart, savvy, slightly dorky woman, such as myself.

What I found, was a plethora of men who had reasons for being single in their 30s, and it wasn’t because they were waiting for the right woman to come along. Well, maybe if by the right woman, they meant someone worth knowing for an evening.

Too bad there weren’t too many of them who made that proposition appealing.

lion

Wow. Who’s the new piece of meat on the dating market? She’s hot.

Starting out, I used a certain infamous dating website where the lurid tales of sex ran rampant, and it was filled with men who were trying too hard to be pick-up artists. And there were a few who were in a very special class all on their own. They probably deserve an anthropological study.

Some of my favorites…

  1. I’m here for the hookups* (but I won’t come out and tell you that). I’m the tortured artist who will share the darkest tales from his Kerouac-esque existence and gaze soulfully in your eyes until your underwear fall off of your body. Then, I’ll text once the next day to make sure I don’t seem like a total douchebag, and end it all by ghosting.
  2. I like to swipe and wipe.* Yeah, I’m just a bro who loves to find his ladies while I’m sitting on the toilet having some thoughtful me time. I mean, who doesn’t want time with me? Just don’t choke on the cloud of Axe surrounding my ripped torso.
  3. I’m married and just looking for friendship. My wife knows I’m on here, and doesn’t mind. I travel a lot, so it’s hard to feel connected to people. Ignore the fact that my photo isn’t actually what I look like, and I won’t confirm or deny if that’s my real name, but it’s totally cool. Just ask my wife. Or don’t. She really doesn’t like to be bothered.
  4. I’m old enough to be your father, but really, we should go out. Yeah, I know I’m slightly older than what you said you prefer, but what’s 20 years when I’m sure we will have a deep, meaningful connection. You can connect to my money and I’ll connect to your vagina. Cool? I’ll meet you at that upscale steakhouse where you’ll order a salad and I’ll order a $100 bottle of wine to look good.
  5. I am young enough to be your kid, but really, we should go out. We’ll meet at that dive bar on campus where this underground, local band is playing. I’ll impress you with my deep understanding of karma and the connectedness of the universe (thank you Comparative Religion Class), and you can tell me all about that one trip you took to Phuket in college and how it totally changed your life. You’ll feel young, until you start yawning into your beer around 9:30 and realize that when you left college, you left crunchy hippies like me behind for a reason.
  6. I may not post any photos, but if I do, it will be of me, my three best friends, and you’ll only see the side of my face. Even better, I’ll post one of me, with a woman obviously cropped out. And of course she’s my sister. My sister always wears halter tops and lays on my shoulder. Doesn’t yours?
  7. I love talking to you and getting to know you, and then going inexplicably silent. I really don’t know why I do this, but it’s most likely because I’ve been sucked into an alternative dimension, because, really, what asshole takes the time to create a connection with someone and then vanishes?
  8. I won’t say boo even after you’ve worked up a sweat trying to get me to talk. Yeah, we both swiped right, so that means we should get along, right? Maybe. If I could muster up anything that vaguely resembled conversation. But, honestly, your beauty and staggering intelligence has rendered me mute, and I cannot possibly form sentences longer than three words. It’s just not going to happen. You are too amazing for me. Again, what other explanation could there be?

*actual line from a profile.

Despite being many, many years removed from college and the atrocious dating habits of 20-year-old men, guys in many ways, are still very much the same. Then, they reeked of Natty Light, and gave each other sweaty high fives after they made out with you. Now, it’s whiskey and desperation, mixed with the egotism that comes with being a seemingly stable adult.

But, once in a great while, when the moon is high and you’ve done the ritual “Sweet Baby Jesus, Please Let There Be Something More” prayer, you meet someone who is the right mix of smart, talkative, and handsome, and it reminds you that, after all, not all hope is lost.

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Dating is Not For the Weak

Prior to my separation and subsequent divorce, the last time I’d had a first date was in 2000.

You know, way back before Twitter, Facebook, and pretty much every other thing that could have documented the foibles of my youth. Praise Jesus.

So, when I decided to head back into the foray, I was pretty clueless how dating worked in the modern world. Are bars still a thing? Is Tinder as skeevy as it sounds? Am I going to end up a lonely, old spinster with 50 cats?

I started out like any good nerd would by doing massive amounts of research. I Googled things like, “Online dating etiquette,” “pros and cons of dating websites,” and “how to text while dating.”

The articles I found were as useless as tits on a snake, to use my mother’s vernacular. It was chock full of tips like, “Tell a friend before you meet with someone you met online,” or, “Keep conversation light and don’t overwhelm someone with too many texts.”

No shit, Sherlock. I may be out of practice when it comes to dating, but it doesn’t mean I lost all of my street sense and social skills. I am a divorced woman, not a shut-in.

Dating is Not For the Weak | Ponies and Martinis

This is me, in my natural state.

At my core, I am an introvert. I like spending time on my couch with my dogs and a glass of wine. I think that’s what appealed to me about online dating. You can wear yoga pants, meet cute boys, and never leave your home. It’s a chocolate dipped piece of nirvana wrapped in rainbow unicorn poop.

Alas, I found out that online date is not as easy as it seems. First, you have to give yourself a screen name. I haven’t had to do something like that since my AOL Instant Messenger days when I was PoohBear 79. I certainly couldn’t use that now. It was already taken. No, it wasn’t. I checked.

I agonized over this, trying to find something that summed up who I was as a person, but didn’t make me sound like a mega dork. Pretty sure I failed, because after I created my profile, I realized most people just used their initials or first name with some numbers after it. Where was the creativity, dammit?!?!?

The name really comes in second to the photos. I searched all of mine and had a hard time finding:

  1. Any of me
  2. Me without my kids
  3. Me without my ex
  4. Me wearing makeup, and something other than a tired expression because I have two kids and don’t sleep anymore

I ended up with random selfies (making me look like a narcissistic twat), a few with sunglasses on (so you have no clue if I’m a hideous troll beast or not), and one my mom took of me on vacation (but, you look so pretty in front of that lion!). At least they were taken in the last year and I wasn’t pregnant in any of them. I call that a victory.

Once I started typing up my profile, I realized that I hate taking about myself, and have no idea what to say even if I did enjoy talking about myself. Which I don’t. Frankly, I’d rather roll naked on a hill teeming with fire ants.

One of the questions was about the last book I read. Do I say something smart, like The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand? Or, am I honest and say it was Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan? Or, am I REALLY honest and say it was Surprises According to Humphrey because I’m in a book club with my kid and that’s what he’s reading?

I vacillate between wanting to show how smart I think I am, but yet not come off as too smart and dorky. Although, I really like the dorky part of myself. My favorite TV show is Doctor Who, but do you hit someone with that right away? Won’t they think you’re going to kidnap them in a TARDIS you’ve built yourself and make them cosplay as the 10th Doctor and Donna at Comic-Con?

(Although, seriously. How cool would that be?)

It’s hard to decide who you’re going to be. I know most people would say, “Just be yourself.” But, sometimes, it’s hard to be yourself. I am putting myself out there for the first time in over a decade and I feel very aware of every flaw, and finer point, of my being.

I am a mixed bag of smart, dorky, caring, weird, and wonderful. While I love my couch, I also love the idea of going out into the real world with someone who is a lot like me. And, if he thinks bowties are cool, then that’s a bonus.

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I Need a Decoder Ring For My Kids

When I found out I was pregnant with my son, I felt a great weight of responsibility because I was bringing a life into the world and I didn’t want to fuck it up.

When a serial killer is caught, the mother is blamed for raising him incorrectly. The same goes for bad politicians, inept doctors, and that one motherfucker who can’t fold a Chipotle burrito without having the guac seep out of the bottom.

The mother is ALWAYS to blame.

Since I didn’t want to be responsible for anyone losing the guac out of their burritos, I read, researched, and came up with a flawless plan. I would raise my son perfectly.

Science-of-Parenthood-Cover

Where was this book when I was pregnant?

I would eat all of the right things while pregnant, exercise every day, and when he came into the world, I would wear him, while he wore organic cotton onesies.

He’d never watch TV, or play video games; he would build palaces with blocks, and read educational books, but not Goodnight Moon, because I don’t want him learning that he can get out of bedtime by saying goodnight to every flipping thing in his room.

It would be beautiful. He’d be perfect, and I would be relaxed knowing I had done so well as a mother.

Obviously, my dreams exploded like an h-bomb the moment he left my womb. I was a hot, sleep deprived mess, and that really hasn’t changed. Frankly, things got worse as he aged. At least you can count on an infant to eat, sleep, and poop. Toddlers, on the other hand, are a slippery, strong-willed bunch, just as likely to kick you in your boobs as they are to lay a slobbery smooch on your cheek.

I remember thinking one afternoon after my son burst into tears because I cut his sandwich into triangles when he wanted to halves, “Why isn’t this crap in the parenting books? Wouldn’t that make life easier? At least you can prep for it.”

Well, Norine Dworkin-McDaniel and Jessica Ziegler did create that book, “Science of Parenthood: Thoroughly Unscientific Explanations for Utterly Baffling Parenting Situations.”

In their words: “Science of Parenthood started nearly three years ago as an illustrated humor blog. We use fake math and science to “explain” the stuff that puzzles parents every day. Things like …

Why are broken cookies “ruined?”

Why does it matter what color the sippy cup is?

Why can’t you put the straw in the juice box without your kid having a melt down?

Why will a kid whine-whine-whine for a toy, then lose all interest in that toy once they have it? 

Where the eff is my phone?  

We’ve come up with some pretty hilarious theories.”

Seriously. Where the hell was this book when I was in the trenches with my kids? There were times when I didn’t think I would survive. My soul was battered by the constant tantrums and meltdowns over ridiculous things and my sanity was frayed to hell.

For the record: yes, the banana is the same exact one I gave his sister, sadly the goat brushes belong to the zoo, and no, boogers are not a food group.

Obviously, this book won’t solve life’s toddleriffic problems, but it will help you realize that you are not alone in the daily battle over invisible itchy tags.

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There’s Nothing Like an Old-Fashioned Divorce

Once upon a time, I dreamed that I would meet a prince, get married, have a closet full of yoga pants to accommodate the ass stretched out by birthing a litter of babies, and live sleepily ever after.

Truth be told, reality wasn’t too far off. I did meet a great guy who ran away with me to Las Vegas to get married, and I owned two pairs of yoga pants; one for each kid I had.

This past year, the bliss-induced glow around my marriage turned a patina of green as I made a harsh realization; I was miserable.

I don’t know how it happened. At first, I thought it was stress or exhaustion and I told myself if I could just pull myself together I would be all right. But, even after 8 hours of sleep and rage-releasing exercise, the ennui remained.

Day after day, I tried to “be better;” to be the wife and mother I thought I should be. And every day, I failed. I snapped at the kids, argued with my husband, and yelled at the dogs when I tripped over them.

I was in full twat-mode and barreling down a self-destructive path.

When I found myself acting like single 22-year-old, going out of town and waking up with a raging hangover, I knew things had to change. This was not the normal behavior of a 36-year-old mother of two.

I turned the bright light of introspection on myself and damn near seared my retinas out of my head.

The perfect guy, was actually absent emotionally from our marriage, and I, in turn, closed myself off from him. 

I felt relegated to the same status as the kids; something to pat on the head and be told how good they are. 

Instead of playing the part of kid number 3, I decided to slap on my big girl pants and separate from my husband.

Holy sweet baby Jesus in a tree. That was a horrible time. I questioned every choice I made, sure I was screwing my kids up and ruining my life. 

Should I save up for therapy, or incarcerate them now, Minority Report-style, because they would end up serial killers with the trauma I inflicted?

Eventually, after spending a soul-stripping amount of time with myself, I knew I made the right choice. 

I was lighter than I had been in months, because I no longer felt the weight of indecision pinning me down. 

I also began to realize that I was a pretty amazing woman who deserved to have someone ever-present in their life. 

Is everything perfect now that I am divorced? No. My kids are still sad that I am not married to their father, and truth be told, there are times when I am too. Not because I think I should still be with him, but because I grieve for the 26-year-old bride who thought she was running away with her prince to live happily ever after.

I wish to God she had been right. Even though she wasn’t, I am ok with that, because her 36-year-old self is more than capable of taking care of everything.

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Nair, And My Beautiful Depilatory Accident

In the last gasp of warm Summer weather, I decided to take my kids to the beach. They could frolic, and I could… watch them from the comfort of my beach chair.

Seems idyllic, no? But the one thing tI didn’t count on was the presence of a giant afro growing between my legs.

Usually, my ladyland is neat, tidy, and fresh as a newly bathed baby. But, lately, I have… let myself go.

Chalk it up to the stress of divorce or general laziness, but the fact remains, there is an out of control jungle in my pants and your average machete won’t be able to get rid of it.

I tried to think out of the box. I didn’t want to shave because razor burn always looks like an STD, and as a single woman, that’s something I must avoid at all costs if I ever expect to get my kitty petted.

Nair, And My Beautiful Depilatory Accident | Ponies and Martinis

Oh, Nair. What would I do without you?

Now, I could wax, but, confession time, I have never waxed my nethers. And, frankly, the thought makes my clitoris invert. Yes, I have survived two vaginal births, but when the tape that was holding my IV in place was removed, I unleashed stream of invectives that never sprung to my lips while I was in labor. So, I really don’t think I am a good candidate for waxing.

What’s a girl to do? I certainly couldn’t scare the other beachgoers with what I was smuggling in my bikini bottoms. I decided to turn to an old friend my teen years; Nair.

You remember Nair. It smells like rancid roadkill, burns your eyes, lady bits and everything else it comes in contact with.

Sadly, it also didn’t work very well. You’d leave it on for an hour, and end up removing three pubes and some random cat hair that had been stuck to your thigh. But, I was between a rock and a hard place, so I figured I would give it one more shot.

I pulled the tube out of the box and it was exactly as I remembered it. Suddenly, I was a teenager in southern California buck naked in my bathroom, grooming an area no boy had seen and wouldn’t for many years.

Layering the cream onto my errant hairs, I realized how far I had let myself go. I mean, it was bad. My poon could have started in a 1976 porn film, and been given a Porncademy Award for its realistic portrayal of a disco dancing vagina. I decided to bring my bits into the present and caked on a little extra of the spectacularly putrid depilatory.

Since I had some time to kill, I poured myself a glass of wine and walked around my living waiting for the moment I could wipe away my sins with a washcloth. Giving it a couple extra minutes, and a spare glass of wine, I gave my labia a little rub down, not really expecting too much to come off.

Oh. Sweet. Mama. The hair came out in clumps, some of it singed beyond recognition. WHAT THE FUCK, NAIR? What did you do to the recipe? Add Hulk-like steroids? Am I going to be bald once the horror of your product is wiped away from my body?

When it was done, I couldn’t bear to look at myself. I knew it would be hideous. HIDEOUS.

I forced myself to look… and there it was…. a perfect Brazilian landing strip ready for some sexy Latin man to lick. I even managed to get my undercarriage perfectly smooth. I was so relieved, and shocked. I am a walking Pinterest fail, and somehow I had taken a catastrophe, ripped it from the clutches of failure, and made a beautiful little island of pubic hair.

I felt pretty gangster as I stripped off my shorts at the beach. I wanted to throw my vajayjay into the faces of the beach goers and say, “Do you see that? No! You don’t! Because there is nothing there! MUWAHAHA!”

Instead, I sat on my beach chair, watched my kids frolic in the water and silent praised Nair and my magical vagina.

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Pennies From Heaven – 7 Rules of a One Night Stand

Friends! I am over on BLUNTmoms today, with a topic that really lights a fire under my ass; one-night stands.

It irks me to no end that a woman is judged just because she decides to engage in a little carnal activity after a first date. Catch my entertaining rant over there.

Here’s a preview:

There are women all over the world who believe the “Third Date Rule” is written in golden tablets and stored at the top of a mythical mountain. 

This is the rule that decrees a woman may not have sex with anyone she is dating before the third date has come to pass. If she defies this law, she will be branded as a “whore” or “slut” and will suffer the ridicule of all whom she meets.

I call bullshit. BULLSHIT.

Go inside the mind of a foxy woman who does engage in one night stands, and feel free to comment, share, and pimp the hell out of that shit.

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