The Relationship Catacombs….the most frightening place??

They say the Catacombs of Paris is the most frightening place on the planet. It holds the skeletal remains of more than 6 million Parisians. It was created in an old quarry on the outskirts of the city when the Cemetery of the Innocents, the Parisian burial site for more than ten centuries, became an infectious danger to the population in the 18th century. It took 2 years from 1786 to 1788, to excavate the remains of ten centuries of burials and transfer them to the newly created Catacombs. So, there, in neat piles far beneath the surface of the earth, more than 6 million skeletons represent 6 million lives – all real people. Some had long lives while others died in infancy. Some led healthy and happy lives while others were full of woe, drama, and sickness. Some were happy and some were not. Some were good and some were evil. Some contributed to the society in which they lived and some took from it and transgressed against it. Some are missed and some are not. Truly the place is a spectacle for the curious, a dreaded place for the fearful, and a final resting place for many.
It occurred to me that we all have Relationship Catacombs with the same characteristics! For me, my Relationship Catacombs may be the most frightening place on the planet. That place where we bury past relationships of all kinds…romantic, friendship, family. The good ones and the bad ones. Every skeleton in our Relationship Catacombs had a life at some point. Likewise, we are skeletons in the Relationship Catacombs of others. Unlike the physical skeletons in Catacombs of Paris, our relational skeletons rest in many piles in many catacombs belonging to all that have known and loved us.
Dare we enter the dark chambers of our romantic Relationship Catacombs and really take a look at the faces of the skeletons? What would they say if they could talk? (By the way, I hope my skeletons reading this do not choose to speak ill of me but sadly I know that some may…oh well). As I descend the stairs into my own catacombs, I recognize some faces.
There is the high school boy whose name and jersey number I spelled on my wall with large bubble letters cut from Sports magazines. As with most everything I had in those days: straight A’s, cheerleading, big hair, there was no containing my enthusiasm and obsession over him. I wrote him notes, wrote about him in my diary, obsessively talked about him to my friends and cried into my pillow if he slighted me even the least little bit. I just knew that I would love him forever! Then, in the 11th grade, I met a frat boy. The demise was quick and a skeleton was added to my tiny catacombs as the name on my wall was changed and the jersey number was replaced by Greek letters. Because my heart had never been broken (notwithstanding the gallons of tears cried over perceived transgressions I can’t even remember), it had no caution and pursued this new love with the obsessive intensity that can only exist in the heart of a 17 year old girl. We dated but he didn’t return the intensity and (you know it) “true love” that I felt. I confess that I probably chased him right off the cliff of a pink heart to his death but probably would have suffocated his Greekness if he hadn’t jumped. When I finally got to the same University that he attended, I saw him once or twice but he was already dead and placed in my catacombs. He looked different and it was then I realized that I don’t like recycled skeletons.
Let’s keep exploring. I see a few skeletons I hardly remember or remember with an indifference or platonic fondness at best. A few good people who just couldn’t exist in my eco love system and became part of the catacombs in a most peaceful manner. Oh, there is the boy I loved as I neared my graduation from college but I was too full of myself to listen to anything he needed to say. I left him for dead and couldn’t recessitate when I came to my senses. It was just too late. Is that a hint of sadness in his face or simply a reflection of my sadness in his remains? I know that he went on to marry, have a family and I heard he is living his happily ever after and will hopefully never be placed into another catacomb. I am truly happy for him.
Oh, I see my ex husband in the pile of bones but I lived that misery, boredom and unhappiness for way too many years and don’t want to revisit that demise. Let’s move on, shall we?
Oh!, there is the skeleton of someone I loved with such an open and tender heart. My entire world was pink swirling hearts and dreams of happily ever after with an obsessive “walk through coals”, “nothing can stop us”, “can’t wait to be with you”, “conquer the world” love. You know that one, right? I see a look of sadness and bittersweet apology on that skull’s face. I don’t find it very attractive anymore and actually feel badly for this poor damaged skeleton. He professed that he loved me with all his heart and soul but sadly, it’s chest cavity is just so much smaller than most, and as it were, his heart just wasn’t big enough for me. I knew it and he knew it too. It should have been a peaceful death but in a rage of disappointment and hurt, I managed to drive a dagger through the small hardened heart. I can’t help but think that the punishment for my crime of passion was to have my own heart shrink a bit and have it wrapped and entombed within my living and breathing chest. It is hard to realize that someone I loved just didn’t love me enough. Period. Nonetheless, I was glad to lose a little of my emotionalism and tender hearted nature as I went on to live my life and meet other people who have added something to both my life AND my catacombs.
Let’s keep going. Oh!, I remember that one with the swiveling neck, small cerebral cavity, and moving jaws. That skeleton is probably in the catacombs of many. He cannot survive real relationships for very long. He talks a good story, but is constantly on the prowl and just wasn’t smart enough to fool me for very long. His death was quick and not of much consequence to me or anyone else. Liars and cheats are rarely missed.
Oh! There is the one with the large chest cavity for his big heart and generous spirit. I couldn’t love him like he needed and wanted and starvation placed him into my catacombs. I was sad and disappointed with myself but I know that he deserved a better existence. I hope he found it.
There are a few clenching cash in their skeletal fingers and hopefully they found a heart and happiness that could be bought. In my world, they drowned in their misconception of me. My love currency is serenity, adoration, companionship, passion, and trust and for those, not cash, will I gladly trade my heart.
Look! There are a few skeletons holding balls and video games! There died trying to reach my heart via my children as wise men know this is a good path to a woman’s heart. Some had sincere intentions and good hearts while others were playing chess and my children were the pawns. Some hold Captain America’s dream shield defending them against children they never wanted but it was no match for a mother’s love and sadly some men were left behind.
Among these skeletons, some were frozen by my cold heart, others just never quite reached it or never penetrated the the protective walls. A few bruised it a little and caused some pain when they died. Some were brief “meet and greets” and some lasted a bit longer. Some died painful deaths at my hands while others actually chose to end their lives in my world. Some remain friends in spirit and some are just “somebodies that I used to know”. Most were never physical as I live a non promiscuous existence but they held possibility of romantic passion else they never would have been here. I suppose it is all part of living and finding love.
The catacombs and the skeletal remains of our failed relationships are indeed frightening! They force us to look at ourselves, our patterns, and our impact on the lives of others. I realized that I am also a skeleton in a few catacombs. Am I the same in each? Or do my skeletal remains have different characteristics and causes of death in each one? Am I a fond memory for those catacomb owners? I can only hope that I have been more positive than negative and have not contributed to hardened and entombed hearts.
I know that for most of us, underneath the protective wrappings and walls, there still beats a heart with an obsessive passion, hopes for enduring romance and love, and dreams of happily ever after. Dare we express these things? Dare we give someone the power to put us among their skeletons at some point? It takes so much courage to put yourself out there, dream of happiness and take the path that could lead there. It is so hard to face possible relational death and put your own heart at risk. It certainly is NOT for the weak of heart but it IS for the hungry heart. The heart that still believes in happily ever after. (and no, this is not about marriage but more about long lasting serenity and unconditional love). The catacombs are frightening and we all have them. I see the missteps and patterns and never want to add to the burials. Now that I’ve been there, it really doesn’t have to be frightening or sad but rather a chance to return to the living possibilities in my life. Yes, I dream big happy dreams.
I’m not sure how to end these musings but as I’ve put words on paper, I have been repeatedly taken back to Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Ulysses. Here is but a few lines but I do love the entire poem. Please send a copy with me when I am placed in the catacomb!

“I will drink life to the lees:
all times I have enjoyed greatly,
have suffered greatly, both with those
that loved me, and alone…..
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates…..
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world.”

Continuing to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield…..Girl Goes On!

The Life GPS System

GPS For My LIfe

Aren’t GPS systems just great? You simply input your desired destination and voila, there is a confident voice telling you how to get there turn by turn with contingency plans in place for any mistakes that you may make enroute. I want a GPS system for my life! Wouldn’t that be great? Just think, you enter your destination, let’s say “Happiness” is where we want to go and then you are directed to the destination! You then have a few options: Shortest Distance for those seeking immediate gratification, Fastest for those who want it NOW, Scenic for those who want a little adventure, Avoid Hazards for those who know what that’s like, Avoid Tolls if you simply can’t pay the price for the convenience of a shorter or faster route….you get the idea.
Calculating Route…… proceed to highlighted job, children, boyfriend, neighborhood. The life GPS has calculated your route to blissful Happiness! The confident and knowing voice will direct you turn by turn!

Toll Road Ahead – no financial surprises because your life GPS knows what household items will break, what unexpected little expenses occur. You can budget wisely because you know the toll is coming!

Change jobs in 1.4 years – there is no need to worry about your career moves or options. Your life GPS tells you when the change is coming and allows you to prepare for the “turn”.

At fork in road, send children to private school – We all worry about our children and how to best prepare them for life. Our life GPS system would confidently tell us what to do at any fork in the road.

I think the life GPS for romantic relationships would be the best part. Here are a few commands you may hear:

Breakup in 3.4 weeks – unlike our emotionally attached mind, our life GPS system knows what lies “on the road” ahead. Your confident GPS voice tells you what is coming.

Make a U-Turn as soon as possible – the life GPS knows that you have made a mistake and are now off track for reaching your happy destination. Before you travel weeks, months, years off track, the life GPS instructs you to turn around! Get off that path to the wrong destination. Now!!

Recalculating Route – okay, maybe you made a misstep and went a little too far for the U-turn. All is not lost and you are not forever doomed to miss your destination. The life GPS just recalculates things based upon where you are at the moment and directs you to your next turn.

Take an immediate left turn – even the right route can have some sharp turns and we know that is inevitable. Sometimes, we are out of our comfort zone and must make a new turn and change our direction. The unknown is often filled with angst; however, with our life GPS, we know exactly when and where those sharp turns occur and in what direction we should go.

Continue on the highlighted path – oh, those sweet words of affirmation! The life GPS reminds us that we are on the right path and that we should continue. The road may be bumpy, deserted, filled with construction debris, unfamiliar, nonetheless, we can continue with confidence knowing from the voice in our life GPS that this is indeed the right path and that the obstacles or frightening elements are what we must journey past in order to reach the ultimate destination.

Ahhhhh…..where or where can I get one of those?

Girl Goes On…..you have arrived!

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Happy ValenWhines Day…Reposted

I seem to have lost my pen. Perhaps, I’ve lost my mind? I have words swirling around in my head but haven’t been able to find my passion for writing. I am working on a few things but as I dodge the artillery from fat naked babies and those who have lost their minds in creative expression of pink and rosey love, I thought I might repost Happy ValenWhines Day. …..some called it bitter. They don’t get it. I rather think it is evolved and enlightened….what say you, Darlings???

You would think that a girl who chose a site with swirling letters and pink hearts and who refuses to give up on finding and living her happily ever after, and who loves romantic poetry and chivalry would find Valentine’s Day a blissful celebration of love, right? Well, between you and me, I think Valentine’s Day is for children and those who need the public validation from others, or worse, something about which to ValenWhine. Am I jaded or enlightened? Let’s consider…..

The history of Valentine’s Day came from St. Valentine, a Christian martyr. Some say he wrote a love note signed, “Your Valentine” just before he was executed. (Some modern Saints barely miss execution on this day because they neglect to send dancing cupids and other cutesy red and pink nonsense) Others say the day was to celebrate the first pairing of the birds. I’ve never aligned well with martyrs and since I watched Hitchcock’s film with birds attacking Suzanne Pleshette, I have always found fowl to be foul. I don’t buy that the deep romantic history is the cause of such frivolous passion.

When I was younger, I loved it when my Daddy brought my Mother, sister and me chocolates. Then again, I loved getting chocolates pretty much any time as a child. As an adult, I have had my fill of contrived, rushed, themed, pink heart gestures of “love” among the masses on February 14th. A few memories are forever etched on my mind. There was the otherwise elegant and sophisticated restaurant that on Valentine’s Day offered an overpriced fixed menu of cold pink passion fruit soup (aka jello mixed with milk), heart shaped goose liver pate, Cornish game hen (which one may argue resembled road kill on a day when birds were pairing), and a tepid lumpy chocolate fondue for two. If I had any thought of eating the heart-shaped pate with toasts, it was quickly erased when the gangsta looking brow pierced waiter brought me a rose and slobbery kissed the very hand that was to lift the toast point to my lips. I thought I would die and sign the bill, “Your Valentine”! YUK!

As a former marketer of chocolate candy, I know for a fact that most candy and flowers are purchased by men on Valentine’s Day after 4 pm! The grocery stores offer “express love lanes” for Don Juans on the dash. The poor guys know that they cannot go home without the jelly and cream filled chocolate nuggets and roses priced double for the day. I am sure the jewelry stores staff up for the day as well. Most of the guys in my life have welcomed my philosophy. Nonetheless, having been programmed by ex-loves and Hallmark for many years and possibly feeling some notion of “damned if I do, damned if I don’t”, none have been willing to completely forego romantic February gifts. I have gotten Happy Mid-February roses and fabulous jewelry on Groundhog Day. Both were clever and perfectly irreverent for me!

So, my girly girls, do not ValenWHINE if your lover does not deliver love on demand for this trivial day. Do not ValenWHINE if you don’t have a Valentine with whom to spend the 14th day of February (remember he was the guy who was executed!). Think about it. Does it mean anything if your “love” is being forced into the masses of pink hearts and red roses on a day when he is “expected” to do so? Bring me a single wildflower on an ordinary day and I will swoon. Send me a book of poetry from your travels when no one else is getting sappy cards and I will melt like a heart shaped molten lava desert. Boycott contrived, silly “hallmark endorsed” holidays with me and I will consider you a kindred rebel spirit. Love me and surprise for no reason at all. Most importantly, give me the confidence and serenity of real love and loving actions with or without the pink hearts.

Returning Cupid’s Fire….Girl Goes On!

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Christmas Past, Present and Future…..Random thoughts on Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas Eve! Hooray! I have always loved Christmas Eve. Yes, some have been sad, especially the one spent burying my paternal grandfather when I was seven but mostly, they have been fun and special. When I was little, we would gather at my grandparents’ house with all my cousins, aunts and uncles. My Mother is one of five girls and we gathered at her parents’ house around 4 pm for food, family, and gifts. Later, neighbors, more distant relatives, and friends would drop by for Christmas cheer and good tidings if not a toddy or two. It was a welcoming, warm and lively scene with music, love, and lots and lots of laughter. It all changed in 2001 when my Grandmother died and took another dramatic change a few years later when my Grandfather grieved himself to death. I didn’t fully realize just how much it all meant to me or how clearly it defined me until it was all gone. My Mother, siblings, cousins, and aunts try to keep the memories alive and describe it to our children. It is nearly impossible to do but it does my soul good to know that we are trying to hang on to such wonderful memories. Life goes on and the children are forming their own meaningful traditions as we spend time at my Mother’s home. To go on and create new memories is part of life.

Christmas Past: Last year, a few of my cousins, aunts, and siblings gathered at my Mom’s house. We took turns sharing our favorite childhood Christmas memories. My cousin, “K” was one of the first and she mentioned a Christmas, probably when I was 10 years old, when my Grandmother got a new stereo. We all chimed in! Of course it was the best Christmas Eve ever as it was very lively and loud with lots of dancing, swirling, and twirling in our festive Christmas (not gay) apparel. “Everyone was having so much fun,” my sister yelled. “We were dancing to everything from Beatles to Patsy Cline!” I added. “Even the uncles and Paw Paw were dancing”, my cousin Deb added. My aunt Sue chuckled and shared, “The men were all drunk on moonshine!” “Huh?” we all said in unison. Well, doesn’t that explain a lot! My Mother tried to stop her from telling the story but my aunt explained that my grandfather had gotten moonshine from some one . That someone was probably his first cousin who owned steel mills in Alabama and Louisiana. This is the same rebel cousin who had the balls to drive a Mercedes in a family of Ford loyalists and who in the summer brought chests full of crawfish from Louisiana and with the predictability of locusts in the summer, would ceremoniously hold one up before the boil commenced and announce as he rubbed his not so large belly, “When this son of a bitch left Boston, he was a 6 pound lobster. Damn I need to start swimming!” We all laughed as if we had never heard it before and carried on with our barefoot revelrie. That was summer and this was Christmas so I digress. No matter from whence the moonshine commenced, it provided my grandfather with a chance at mischief. He certainly loved mischief and a good laugh. He challenged all of his son in laws to a secret “who can outdrink the old man” challenge. My grandfather was the true patriarch of the family so the younger bucks were ready for the challenge. My Dad was always a tee-totaler so he did not participate but the others were in RARE form. They didn’t outdrink him but they out performed him. Needless to say, the girls all drove home. Putting together Santa Claus at 1 am and getting up at 6 am after drinking moonshine must have been a sugar plum treat! “The girls” all brought their favorite albums the next day and were very happy to for once to play loud Christmas carols on Christmas Day. I’m not sure what the moral of this story is. Perhaps, it’s “you just never know the real cause of someone’s joy!”
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Christmas Present: Christmases are different these days. They are still special and fun but I think we are all getting a little nutty. Maybe life is just getting bizarre. Divorces, dementia for my Dad, teenagers, tornadoes…yes, tornadoes. We arrived at my Mom’s this year late night to find a Moorish fog shrouding the house and property. With my Dad’s illness, my Mother has some one at the house for at least a little while each week day. We awoke on our first morning to her instructions, “Get up! Tonya is coming!” “Straighten the bed, Tonya is coming”, “She will be here any minute, move your things!” OKAY! We sprang into action and were ready for Tonya who is amazing by the way so I am not complaining. She does so much more than clean and bathe my Dad and we appreciated her offer to stay with my Dad while we went to lunch and ran errands. We later left my children to stay with my Dad as we finished some Christmas shopping. We stopped at the bank and that is when things got weird. Tornado sirens sounded. They were ignored by all but me. I live in Florida and am not accustomed to tornado sirens. Like some apocalyptic Bruce Willis action film, a male voice coming from speakers mounted on power lines, buildings, and God knows where else started issuing a warning and location of a tornado. Holy Ruby Slippers Batman!, there is a freaking tornado 30 miles away and if I am not mistaken, they travel about 60 miles per hour. No one flinched but rather kept chatting, banking and bantering. I wanted to go! If there is one memory that is forever etched on my mind, it is that if you interrupt grown-ups while they are talking, you will most certainly feel the sting of a pink plastic Stanley brand hairbrush on your derriere. I did not want to interrupt Martha’s tale of failed divinity (candy not religion) as we stood in the bank with sirens blaring and warnings from the speakers, but a tornado was on its freaking way! Finally, for the safety of my children, I decided to risk the hairbrush, “Mom, there is a tornado on its way, can we go check on the boys and maybe hide under mattresses in the basement?” We left but not with the hair on fire urgency that I felt. We got to the house to find that no one was watching tv which in itself was weird since we usually argue over football, basketball, movies and the Weather Chanel. I tuned into the Weather Channel to learn that the funnel was spotted just 10 miles from the house! I began the controlled panic evacuation to the basement. The boys started gathering their gaming equipment, my Dad with his dementia had no clue what we were doing to him and refused to attempt the stairs. My Mom announced that she was going to make a fresh pot of coffee before we adjourned to the shelter. The weather guy was having a stroke as he urged all in our area to seek shelter immediately! As it turned out, the funnel passed us without touching ground, limbs were down everywhere, the coffee was good and my Dad finally agreed to go downstairs AFTER the storm. The moral? Maybe it is that “Disaster is an outsider seeing the bed unmade. Tornadoes are just inconvenient interruptions to a good story and even if there is damage, we always survive the storm.”
Yes, these are random thoughts with no real theme and I would finish but I am going to make divinity over which everyone will swoon despite the clouds. Who knows what Christmas Future holds…… Do we really want to know??
Life is a Whirlwind and Girl Goes On!

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Let Me Go, Let Me Go, Let Me Go

On a recent business trip, my plane was delayed. It was then that I realized some people have brains wired to invent Post It notes or tiny little computers and phones that take the world by storm while other people have brains wired to play little tunes with lyrics that most likely will never change the world. I am in the second group. Instead of inventing the world’s next great widget, I spent most of the five hour delay catching up on correspondence and composing lyrics while dancing to the drummer playing in my head. The drummer was playing “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” perhaps influenced by the live band playing Christmas tunes in the airport atrium. I began singing…
The Weather in Atlanta is frightful and all the flights are booked full.
Delta cancelled some flights I know. Let Me Go! Let Me Go! Let Me Go!
Security has made us all strippers and TSA guys aren’t big tippers.
Since I’m not making any dough, Let Me Go! Let Me Go! Let Me Go!
When we finally board the plane a first class seat I’ll hope to gain
but with these platinum guys in line the back middle seat will be mine.
Oh, the bar looks so enticing as the plane they are de-icing.
In Orlando it doesn’t snow. Let Me Go! Let Me Go! Let Me Go!
My computer battery is dying and my gosh we’re still not flying.
Updates are coming in slow, Let Me Go! Let Me Go! Let Me Go!
Well I finally got to board and my bags are securely stored.
But then air traffic told us no. Let Me Go! Let Me Go! Let Me Go!
All day I’ve been in a meeting and now it’s started sleeting.
I am one tired and crabby ho. Let Me Go! Let Me Go! Let Me Go!
Will we finally get libation when the flight attendant appears in aisle
Not according to Fed regulation, she cheerfully says with a smile.
Two hours on the tarmac talking to a guy called Billy Mack
Finding love in the exit row? Let Me Go! Let Me Go! Let Me Go!
Now the baby in back is wailing and my kidneys have started failing
The seatbelt sign is aglow Let Me Go! Let Me Go! Let Me Go!
We’ve just been cleared for takeoff, now give me some Smirnoff
and a beer with whiskey for my beau. Let Me Go! Let Me Go! Let Me Go!
When I finally crawl in bed, it’s 2 am and the morning I dread
But at 7, I’ll be on the phone, Girl Goes On! Girl Goes On! Girl Goes On!

Okay, Sinatra I’m Not….Scarlett

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Good Housekeeping Seal of Disapproval

It is Thanksgiving and I am home visiting my parents. My Mother is brining turkey, mulling cranberries, arranging harvest themed decorations, and generally living up to her “Martha Marie Stewart” reputation. She makes homemade marshmallows, has chickens that lay pastel eggs, sews evening gowns from curtains and all manner of “guilding the lily” ideas. I grew up in this environment and while it does not come naturally, I have tried on many occasions to emulate this creative domestic genius. She has begun writing a book of her ideas and recipes for our benefit. I have a few entries that may work for a different book or maybe even a case study. Either I have gutter minded friends or a bad case of domestic Freudism! Here are a few pages from my book of opportunities.
Wine on the Deck Birthday Celebration – My neighbor was celebrating a birthday and I thought it might be nice to have a few people over for wine and a casual cook-out on the deck. It was a perfect Spring evening and the group was to be larger than my supply of wine glasses. I bought the clear solo cups. We started the evening with a beautiful golden Puligny Montrachet. My neighbor, the physician, exclaimed, “Scarlett, how festive to serve urine samples in honor of my birthday!”
St. Patrick’s Day 4 Leaf Clover Bread – For my son’s church preschool St. Patrick’s Day celebration, I was assigned to make the bread. I had this great idea to color the dough green and make 4 leaf clovers. It was simple. I rolled quarter sized circles and put four of them together and attached a stem at the bottom. They were sooo cute! The four year olds all broke off the top two circles leaving two circles with a stem in the middle. The church pre-school mommies and teachers looked at the bread balls and stem and tried not to giggle but everyone saw the anatomical resemblance. On the 8th day, God created Pillsbury. Girl blushes.
Halloween Costume Idea – One year, when my son was about three, I arrived home from a business trip to find that his green Teletubbie costume had not arrived. He had his heart set on that costume. I was not going to disappoint. With hotel sewing kit in hand and my Mother’s inspiration, I was ready to improvise! I took his green rain suit to use as a base. I ripped apart a green cocktail dress for the trim and hat. I will admit that the hat portion looked like a giant green penis on his head but the 3 year old was happy and felt like a Teletubbie (albeit a “happy” Teletubbie). Of course, there was no avoiding the trick or treating at our very dry humored candy generous neighbor. As he doled out sugary treats, he looked at me and exclaimed, “What the hell is on his head?” I answered, “It’s a Teletubbie thing, you wouldn’t know about those.” He answered, “A Teletubbie Wang??” I screamed, “No! No, it’s a Teletubbie head, they are…” He roared with laughter as he interupted by giving my son three full sized candy bars and saying, “Here man, you are going to need these and probably more. Your Mother is a crazy girl. Come back when you’re old enough to drink.”
Pool Party Fun! – For my child’s birthday pool party at our house, I wanted to be creative but given my past, I didn’t want to chance making up too much on my own. Our pool parties include lots of children and their parents so I wanted a festive presentation. My Mom told me that freezing lemonade in decorative ice trays with fruit or flowers is a great way to keep lemonade cold in the pitcher wthout diluting it. What a perfect idea! Because I don’t own ice cube trays, I improvised and used the egg tray that came with the fridge. I added marschino cherries and froze my lemonade. Of course, I was running behind schedule and dumped them into the pitcher without much notice. One of the dads poured lemonade into his glass and said, “Nice ice cubes! Are they boobs? Nice!!” OH NOOOOOO!!!!
With the Good Housekeeping Seal of Disapproval, Girl Goes On!

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With a Cup of Joe and Kindness to Go!

I am not a morning person unless of course my morning starts around 8:30, then I am wild about mornings. My oldest son is a morning person if his morning starts at 10:30. The tardy bell at his school sounds at 7:20 am. Can you believe that? We have a few challenges. I have been driving him to school and the world’s most inefficient carpool circle makes the 4 mile commute take 40 minutes round trip! This week, we decided he could ride the bus. Today was day one of Operation Big Yellow and I was ecstatic that he made it! Yes! My commute was cut to five minutes as I agreed to drive him the mile to the bus stop. Yes! Yes! Yes!
Still in my jammies and robe, I was doing the Snoopy dance into the front door and through the kitchen to my Jura coffee machine (aka one of the greatest inventions EVER) with visions of my first cup of frothy, hot black coffee in my hand on the porch in quiet morning bliss. I pushed the button and heard the “whir” of an empty coffee chamber. What? The Jura always tells me when she needs water, a filter change, grinds emptied, cleaning, COFFEE BEANS! There was no notification at all. Jura, the best communicator I know, with her digital sensory technology, failed to tell me she needed coffee beans? I was ready to forgive her betrayal as I reached for my backup coffee canister to find it EMPTY. I kept panic at bay. This has happened before and that is why I keep an emergency bag of Peet’s coffee beans in the pantry, top shelf, far right behind the emergency box of Tazo black tea bags and in front of the emergency bag of semi-sweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips. The tea bags and chocolate were there but the coffee was not. Nooo! How could this happen? There was no coffee in this entire damn house! Not one hand crafted and carefully roasted bean. I began to employ yoga breathing then graduated to Lemans as I searched my memory for possible coffee bean stashes. The cupboards were bare and there wasn’t even a single bean lodged in Jura’s chamber for a quick fix drop. We were in a state of emergency.
The snoopy dance became a frantic flight as I grabbed my purse and keys, opened the front door, and realized that I was still wearing my jammies. Grr. I quickly pulled on yoga pants and a sweat shirt and made it to Starbucks in 3.567 minutes, a record. Not only did I break the Southern rule of never leaving the house without at least powder and lipstick, I walked into Starbucks with bed head, no makeup at all, my pj’s crunched and hanging out of my sweatshirt, and mismatched flip flops. How could these people be so happy at 6:50 in the morning? They were laughing at me. I could tell! I glared for a second and almost said something snarky to this overly perky, perfectly made up chubby chick in tennis attire but decided she wasn’t worth it. I knew what I wanted and I was going after it. I got the bag of Verona blend beans and headed to the counter. I don’t really love Starbucks but my supplier of Peet’s was not yet open. I would manage. I knew that despite the most recent betrayal, I could count on Jura to make Starbucks delicious.
The man at the counter asked if I wanted the beans ground. “No!” I nearly shouted, “Jura does that just before she makes the frothy perfect brew”. He smiled and nodded knowingly and said with sincere empathy, “So you ran out of beans?” There was no need to answer. He understood. I paid and he asked me to wait. He quickly filled a cup of coffee from the brew in process behind the counter and said, “It’s not Jura but it may take the edge off until you get home. My treat” If I was the sensitive type and wasn’t at that moment a pitbull in pink jammies and yoga pants, I am pretty sure I would have cried. This short, fat, bald, middle aged man with bad teeth and a crappy job understood me better than anyone on the planet. Could this be the love gods telling me that my quest for a handsome prince was misguided? Was this the man who would know and love me in my darkest hour? I stared for a moment, imagined him without his shirt and decided without a doubt that this was not love but rather one of those pay it forward things. This guy had showered me with kindness and now, I should do something wonderful for someone else. So, as soon as I’ve had my second cup of coffee, I will be looking for a good deed to perform. It has to be a really good one of equal proportion to this extreme act of kindness from the Starbucks stranger.

With Cup of Joe and Kindness to Go…..Girl Goes On!

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Trick or Tramp!

It’s almost Halloween and you know what that means…….otherwise conservative women dress like bizarre fairy tale tramps and parade around in outfits that they normally wouldn’t wear beyond their own boudoir. I must confess I have been guilty of that on one occasion and this year looks like it will mark the second. Of course, there is no “Trampometer” so the level of trampiness is subjective at best. Quite a few people in the past few weeks have brought forth the question, “Why do women do this? Is there a recessed desire to be that which we dress to be on All Hallow’s Eve? For me, that is a bit frightening when I consider some of my choices.
When I first arrived in Wonderland (my world post divorce and post long term relationship) and met Holly who had just emerged from a horrible 14 year marriage, we became fast friends. We met for Happy Hour one evening and stumbled onto a new bar that was to celebrate grand opening on Halloween weekend. The bar was not officially open the evening we discovered it but the doors were open and they had a couple of managers discussing plans, bartenders stocking, and other people doing whatever it was they were doing. There were stripper poles on the corners of the bars! I had never seen them in my life and thought they were hysterical. Fully clothed, Holly and I asked to try them. He was only slightly amused but the manager granted permission. Our bumping and grinding was more like bumbling and giggling and it was fun! It didn’t take long for the bartenders, managers and a few people who saw us from the window to take their turns on the poles. We had short people, tall people, men, women, big and small. It was a riot! The manager gave us passes for the Halloween soiree and free drinks. That Halloween party was one of first full blown SHEnanigans and there are plenty of stories to be told at a later time for the costume selection is the topic at hand. We debated and discussed what our costumes would be. We knew in a place like that, we needed to be sexy. I chose to be a naughty school girl with a very short Burberry plaid skirt, stiletto hot pink Pliner Couture boots, tight white t shirt with a pink bra, and a Barbie backpack. Holly was a witch with a very short skirt, plunging neckline, black stiletto boots and lots of glitter. We were va va voom! We were a bit stressed about our appearance as we departed my house and we kept asking one another, “Is this shirt with the pink bra showing too slutty?, Is this skirt too short? I want to look cute and sexy but not slutty. People are going to think we are sluts?” In the end, we decided that no one would know us anyway. We arrived at the bar to find we could have been school marms! The fact that we were wearing bras made us conservative. We were worried about our skirts being too short? Most girls weren’t wearing skirts but rather thongs! Wow! Grown up Halloween is frightening! It was a bizarre collection and skin parade!
So, why do grown women choose sexy cop, French maid, naughty school girl, etc.? Are these our fantasies and Halloween gives us a green light to express that without losing reputation and self respect? It seems the guys love Halloween parties because of the flesh parade but most only chuckle if asked why women dress like bizarre fairy tramps on this occasion. If the costume choice is some deep reflection of our fantasies, I can’t help but worry about some of my choices since that night. Let’s see, I showed up at a party wrapped from head to toe in bloody bandages as unidentified victim, Jane Doe. Everyone else was a sexy cat, bunny, flapper…I was a murder victim. Last year, I wasn’t feeling very festive so I found my son’s old batman cape and ears, donned black tights and a turtleneck and went as fully clothed BATMAN while everyone else was sexy Wonderwoman, Catwoman, etc. Am I balanced or in need of therapy? What is a girl to do? This year, I will don a sexy Mad Hatter costume with short dress and stiletto heels just to cover all my bases if not less of my body. When in Transylvania……
Trick or Tramp….Girl Goes On!

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Online Dating..You’ve Got…What??

I know that I simply cannot write stories about dating unless I keep up with trends like online dating. Sometimes, that gets extremely tedious and I find little thrill in the hunt. At times, I’d rather surf for sport. Since, I don’t plan to devour my kill, I surf, respond, tag and release. Some online profiles and headlines on the dating site are wickedly entertaining, unintentionally of course. Also some of the correspondence is equally entertaining. Here are some favorites from the Dating Hall of Shame.

Dating Site Headline: I am a passionate king looking for my beautiful princes.
My Response: Princes? You are looking for Princes? Did you register as a pedafile? Should you consider michaeljacksondating.com?

Dating Site Description: 48 year old man looking for women between ages 18-50….(this one actually found me and wrote to me that he believed we had a lot in common)…
My Response: You are 48 and would date an 18 year old? Really?? I don’t think we have much in common at all…I don’t go to proms.

25 Year old emailed me even though I set a range of 35-50.
Response: I am very flattered and you are very cute but I would be terribly embarrassed if I caused an Amber alert on our first date.

Headline: “Herpes Free” (I am not kidding, it said that)
Response: That is awesome! The last guy charged me waaayyy too much!

Posted by a 63 year old “okay” looking guy: Looking for beautiful blonde, Age 22-32, athletic, tanned and toned, educated and intelligent, successful and independent who isn’t materialistic.
Response: No Virginia, there isn’t a Santa and he is not bringing you a Barbie.

Email sent to me by the vile looking Neanderthal or missing link: “You are woman for me”.
Response: No Tarzan, you need a zookeeper and a group of nuns.

I got a nondescript email from “Lookin4Wub”.
Response: Dear Elmer, Lookin for Wub?…did you grow wearing of hunting those Wascally Wabbits?

Then there is the guy who keeps changing his online name. Same guy, same description, no pic, new name. I love Holly’s line, “the names have not been changed to protect the innocent because in our world, there are no innocent.” From whom is he running?

Some guys get creative with the names. There are times you really may want to phone a friend: spoil4u (like milk past the expiration?), FitFirFun (Well hot damn Jethro!), Wadsoft (what????), Repete101 (aka reeks geek), Howlinwolf (Call of the Weird), MeatUSoon (you wish), SoberTony2yrs (Yeah, okay, does your AA Sponsor know you just winked at an avid wine collector?), AH4U (Sorry, I divorced my AH, don’t want another one), Avidgolferami (did you buy that on late night tv for $4.95 + S&H?), lifeliver (transplant?), Pweed (in your pants?), Doinitnow (TMI!)…..Oh, trust me, there are more…the list goes on….

The Girl Goes On!

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GGO Dating PROtocol

Well, the recently aired comedy of errors on arranging what should have been a simple date with Andrew has illuminated the need to discuss dating protocol. Of course, I don’t claim to have all of the answers but I do think I have been on the dating scene and have enough friends on the scene to make some suggestions for protocol. I am sure that I am missing a few and there may be some who believe my protocol is in error. Let’ s have a GGO chat, shall we?
IT Girls are not NOW Women!– By NOW, I am referring to the National Organization of Women, that militant tribe of women who don’t like being girls. They want to be members of traditionally male country clubs (i.e. Augusta National), do battle with men on a daily basis for EQUAL everything. While as a career girl, I do think that equality in business is good for everyone, I don’t want to be EQUAL in everything at home. I love tradition, gentility and chivalry. I like a man who takes charge! In romance, the man should ask the lady out for a date, unless of course, she is inviting him to a prearranged, organized function. This is not a time for mealy mouthed indecisiveness. Make a plan and go with it! We will be giddy with delight! My best experiences have gone a bit like this. The man asks me out for a certain day/evening. I say yes. He then says something like, “How about Roy’s near your house at 7:30? I’d love to pick you up at your house or we can meet there if you are more comfortable with that.” At that time, if I have a conflict or need a different time, I can say, “Roy’s is perfect! I volunteer at the orphanage until 6:30, can we make it 8 o’clock? I shall meet you there.” We have an understanding! We have a time! We have a place! We had a great time!
And the Check Goes To…..the person who invited! Yes, this will typically be the man. Men should initiate the date. Girls, do not call boys, ask them out, or be the desperate female hunter. You look foolish. There are exceptions for planned events, parties, charity functions, etc. If the girl invites a man to fundraiser party, concert, etc, she should not ask him to pay! There are elegant ways to handle the few exceptions to the dinner check rule. If it is the boy’s birthday, the girl should offer to pay, unless of course, he has insisted on going someplace out of your budget stratosphere. If a girl really wants to pay on occasion, which is fine by the way, she can avoid awkwardness by quietly slipping her credit card to the waiter on her way to “powder her nose.” I know that some will disagree on this one but tradition is good.
First and Last Place – Real men do not allow a woman to split the tab on a first date! Period! This is happening far too often with me and my friends! I will offer because it is a wonderful revelation of gentility and upbringing. If the girl offers, a gentleman will look almost shocked and will reply, “absolutely not!” to which she smiles graciously and thanks him. On the other hand, the dating Neanderthal will grab your card with joy and think he has found the woman of his dreams! I actually have a story that I will share in an upcoming Dating Hall of Shame post. I actually have two if I include Holly’s Neanderthal date who requested that they split a $20 tab!
Your Baby, Your Sitter – Girls, I cannot believe this is actually happening but I have gotten three emails from men who have gone on a first date with a woman who asked him to pay for her babysitter! That is just wrong on so many levels! The child(ren) are YOURS. If you are on a tight budget, then ask a friend to sit or barter sitting with a friend but DO NOT ask a man in your early stages of dating to pay your sitter. In the best light, you are taking advantage and in the real light, you look like a call girl mommy. If you have a real relationship and the babysitter is causing budget issues or preventing you from going out, you can allow him to pay IF he offers. I will absolutely die if I get comments from guys who have been date extorted by chicks having them pay for manicures, new clothes, boob jobs, etc during early stages of dating.
Halfway is Halfass . If you are meeting someone for a date (and in 2011, with online dating, weirdos, and paranoia, we often are better off meeting dates until we know them), HE should come to you. This is chivalry. I agreed to go on a date with a guy who lived over an hour away from me. He did indeed take charge of date planning but charged full speed ahead….in the wrong direction. He sent me a text message stating that we should meet at a Chili’s in an area 45 minutes from my house and very unfamiliar to me. On a first date, he would have me drive far away in a strange land to eat Cougar Chow? I’d rather stay home or GO FISH.
Quality Assurance on a Budget – I know the last point sounded materialistic on the surface but it really isn’t about the place but rather it is about the experience. I realize that in these dire economic times, dating can be a strain on the budget for men. A girl of quality will be happy meeting you at Starbucks near a park for conversation and a stroll. My point is that being a chivalrous gentleman does not have to break the bank. Some girls will insist of fine dining and of course, we all love that, but run from those who EXPECT that from you. A romantic second date may even include a picnic lunch with a bottle of wine near a park or beach….sweet romance without breaking the already “broke”. It is fine..chivalry is not about wallet.
Mind Your P’s and Q’s! – I can see where some men are feeling used and abused these days. It seems that girls can be so demanding and take good manners and generosity for granted. We must NOT let this happen. ALWAYS, thank your date and I am NOT implying physical thanks for those of you with minds in the gutter! A simple thank you with a follow up text to sincerely thank him for the date is perfect. This is a good time to let him know if you want to see him again or not. “Thank you for dinner. I had an absolutely wonderful time. Have a great day!” means I like you. “Thank you for dinner. You are very nice and I enjoyed meeting you. Maybe we will run into one another again” means you are not for me.
Our Toolbox Contains Mascara Wands and Shimmer Not Magic Wands and a Sledge Hammer: Sometimes the chemistry just doesn’t work! If you get a dismissive hint like the one above, “maybe we will run into one another again”, don’t ask the girl out again. It is awkward. There is no magic spell that can create chemistry. It is either there or it isn’t. Inviting her to an over the top date may get her to go out with you if she is shallow but she won’t be infatuated with you. We have started applying mascara for the next card in our Go Fish game so don’t make us locate the Sledgehammer….it just isn’t pretty.
With Primer in Hand…..Girl Goes On!

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