Sunday, May 24, 2009

I was out of town...

Have you ever gone to a restaurant while you were on vacation in another state? Somewhere very different from where you, Illinois or something. You look around, and you see an unusual shortage of people wearing red GO HOGS shirts. You don't hear anyone saying "ya'll" and you don't hear any talk of how the Panthers are looking this year. It makes you acutely aware that you are not in your normal element, and that you are not the "norm."

Friday night, J wanted to go out to eat to celebrate her graduation from preschool. Of course I said yes, and I gave her the pick of where we go. She settled on Dixie Cafe. We were led through the restaurant, towards a table in the back. As we walked, I looked around and noticed an overwhelming absence of people like me. There were at least 2 adults at every table. So I sat at my table in the back, and I looked around at the families that surrounded me. It made me painfully aware of what I was missing out on, and it made me angry. And sad. And resiliant, all at the same time... Maybe I'm not permanently in my position...maybe I'm just out of state, and I'm temporarily out of my element. And someday soon, I'll be back in my comfort zone. I'll have a protector and a provider. And I'll be right back at home, comfortable and familiar...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Who wants a Vera Wang gown, when you could have roadside daisies?

It’s hard to stay sad when everyone around you is so happy! With the Arkansas boy taking AI last night, everyone around here is just plain giddy. That’s awesome! I’m surrounded by smiley people, and I like it! My work spouse just brought me a fresh diet coke, and I have my heater on under my desk keeping me nice and toasty. Life’s good.

A friend of mine told me yesterday that my “man hunt is like a good book that you can’t put down.” Apparently, I have several friends that are living vicariously through me, and are thoroughly enjoying my daily updates of the men circling my single mama camp. I’ve been reading Ms. Single Mama (MSM)’s blog for a while now, and I’m constantly amazed at the men who actually prefer women who are mothers over childless single women (CSW).

At first, I had the same mentality that Peas had when she was newly single. I wondered “Who is going to want THIS?” I mean, having a child consumes a HUGE part of a woman…her time, her heart, her resources…and it was baffling to think about what man in his right mind would want a part of that. However, the more I date, the more I find that men are not put off by that at all…in fact, MSM is right. They seem to prefer it. Single mothers have a lot of qualities and mannerisms not found in CSW. When a man calls a CSW, he has her undivided attention. She can talk all night about herself. When he calls a single mom, chances are, he’ll hear:
Kid: “MOOOOM!”
Mom: “um, can you hang on a second?”
Him: “Uh, sure.”
Mom: “What, baby?”
Kid: “I’m thirsty.”
Mom: “There’s juice in the fridge. You know where it is.”
Kid: “I know, but I want YOU to get it.”
Mom: “Ugh. Ok, but for real. You know how to help yourself next time, ok?”
Kid: “Ok mom. I love you!”
Mom: “I love you too!”
Mom: “ok, sorry, I’m back.”
And if he has any amount of heart at all, that whole little detour didn’t annoy him, but made him smile. He regularly gets a glimpse into the most important part of her world, just from listening to her go about her life, while he sits, watches, and waits. It’s like watching something so beautiful that you just can’t look away. And she won’t talk all night about herself…without a doubt, less than 5 minutes will go by before she mentions her kid, or she’ll come up with a story that she just has to share because it’s just too precious not to. When she’s talking about her kid, the sound and inflection in her voice changes. She softens, she relaxes, and she gushes about that one little person who makes her world go round. He sees her strength, her courage, her endurance…and what he doesn’t know is that she’s sitting, patiently waiting to be swept off her feet by someone who wants to make her life easier because she really is just THAT amazing… A CSW dreams of a man who will buy her a new house and watch her walk down the isle in an amazing Vera Wang wedding gown. A single mom dreams of a man who will do the dishes and take her kid for a walk, returning with a bouquet of hand-picked flowers. So yeah…what man wouldn’t want a woman like that?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Testosteroni with a pickle on the side...

I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to fully understand testosterone. I mean, really. That stuff makes guys do crazy things…like, play sports that make them sweat, kill animals, and chug frosty brew for bragging rights. I’ll admit that the sweaty stuff is pretty hot, but the other effects are just plain strange…being a girl seems to be SO much better.

The Surrogate Moms

The environment where you work is probably very unique and different from any other place you’ve been…I haven’t had an overwhelming number of jobs as an adult, really only 5 since I was 19. Today, I was reflecting on the dynamics of how a work environment can be so drastically different from place to place.

My work environment here is different from any other that I’ve ever been in. I have the big boss, who is like my dad. He pesters me, but clearly cares about me as a person. Then, in my immediate area, I have my Moms. Yes, my moms. I work with 5 women who have literally worked here longer than I’ve been alive. Each of them could feasibly be my mother. I’m the young ‘en in the roost. So, if someone needs help figuring out their cell phone, email, or other tech gizmo, I’m the go-to gal. (not that I know much about them, but I seem to help them out…) At any rate, my Moms take a very active interest in my personal life. Every few days, they get an update on my Basket Cases.

Today, we talked more about Mr. Starfish. I spent most of the day with him yesterday, and I’m thinking that maybe he’s not such a wrong match after all… I have no doubt that he would treat me like a princess, each and every day. I know he thinks about me all the time, and he knows how important the little things are. One example is Tuesday. This past Tuesday, while I was in class, I got a text from Mr. Starfish. Out of the blue. All it said was “Has anyone told you today just how beautiful you are.” I mean, wow. It totally melted me. I have always wanted “that” guy, and now that he could be possibly dangling right in front of me, I don’t know what to do!

Part of the job of being a Mom is taking care of your young and trying to make sure they do what is right. One of the Moms is very vocal about the fact that she thinks Mr. Starfish and I should just spend time together, but that I should keep my distance. The other Moms haven’t really had an opportunity to give me feedback. I know he wants me to be his girlfriend…all I have to do is get there myself. It means that I have to trust again, and that’s effin’ hard to do.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tulips, piano bars, and stuntwomen.

So I survived my first single Mothers Day. I had my moments where I had to change the radio station after hearing a story written by a husband to his wife about what a phenomenal woman she is, and how she’s a great mother to his children…but for the most part, it was very nice. I will go ahead and give kudos to the ex, though. J wanted to see him yesterday so he picked her up, and when he returned with her, she came with a homemade necklace for me (although his mom made it because J was busy making a card), and a vase full of my favorite flowers.

I went out with my best friend Saturday night. It was the first time we had gone out since I became single. When she was single, we went out several times, so I remember feeling excited for her, yet happily secure in my relationship. I danced with guys, but only in fun, and it never went any further. So, it was interesting to be on the other side of things. It was different this time, however, because her husband came with us. We’ll call him Mr. Peas. I used to like Mr. Peas. I really, really did. But now, Mr. Peas has become an irrational, insanely jealous bastard. Case in point came Saturday night. Apparently, we were “checking out guys” and he got all pissy and walked out to sit outside until we were ready to go. Talk about a buzz kill. Nice job, Mr. P. What makes it even more ridiculous is that we were at a freaking piano bar. No dancing, no shaking any tailfeathers, nothing. I seriously want to kick him in the junk for sucking the life out of my best friend and making her life so fucking miserable. I mean, really. Who wants THAT? Not I.

The situation with Mr. Peas really made me wonder about my next phase. I mean, right now, I’m in my “whoring around” stage, as Joy calls it. But, what next? I don’t want a serious relationship, but it would be nice to just hang out with one dude and settle in to really get to know him. Girlfriend is tired, mmmkay? The dating thing was fun, but it gets old quick. I am not even sure now how many times I’ve gone through the interview. (Yes, the interview. You know it. “So, what do you do? Uh huh. And do you have kids? What about pets? What do you do for fun?”) I think I may start trying out new personas, just to see if it changes the equation. Here’s one I’m thinking of trying next. “I’m a stuntwoman! Yes, really! I mean, I specialize in the less risky moves, like folding laundry and walking the dog, but you would be surprised at the adrenaline it produces! I have six kids, all with different dads, and for fun, I like to ride roller coasters topless. Um…wait…where are you going?” Yeah, maybe not the best idea, but the look on the poor guy’s face might just be worth trying it once…

Thursday, May 7, 2009


blog*ar*rhe*a [blog-uh-ree-uh] -noun- The uncontrollable urge to write about trivial things that matter to nobody except the writer, yet are oddly entertaining to the morbidly curious.

I have a self-diagnosed case of blogarrhea. Now that I’ve decided to write, it seems that I just can’t control myself. So, today is lovely randomness. Release the hounds!

~ This weekend will be my first Mother’s Day as a single mom. The meaning behind this holiday is changing for me. To me, it used to be a day for moms to relax while the rest of the family kicked in to take care of things and show her how much they appreciate her. However, the sheer logistics of being a single mom just don’t allow for that. In reflection, it’s now more about the bond. Jayna and I are tight, and I like it that way. So, it’s not all about what I do to keep our little machine running, it’s about how we hold on to each other.

~ I learned something new last night…I’m a catch…a great buy! However, I may have been found in the clearance aisle. I'm not sure yet. I’m still getting used to the flow of attention that comes with on-line dating. It’s more challenging than I thought! I’ve gotten better at weeding out the creeps, but managing conversations with those that I’m potentially interested in remains a skill that I have yet to completely refine. I still don’t like saying “we met on-line”…I mean, that just sounds pitiful. Eww. While I think it’s completely acceptable, especially with the lack of feasibility in meeting men the “conventional” way, some people do not. You say you met on-line and the eyebrows go up and the creep factor immediately and exponentially multiplies. So, I think I’m just going to develop a code system. On-line=Wal-mart. “We met at Wal-Mart. We were both reaching for the last bunch of bananas.” Sounds completely redneck, but you get to side-step the creep talk later. People don’t question your love for bananas, because, well…that would just not be right.

~ I’m wondering what to do about my basket. A few (3 to be exact) new prospects have surfaced over the past few days. Pretty good prospects, too. I don’t really want a bigger basket, though…I’m thinking I might just need to downgrade from a shopping cart to one of those baskets you carry through the store when you only need a few items and want to avoid the cart traffic jam. I will probably be meeting 1 of the 3 in the next few days, and I’m not sure about the others. It would be pretty sweet if I could work like the DMV…have a counter, with one customer at a time, while the rest take a number and wait patiently. Sadly, real life doesn’t work that way. Hmm…what to do, indeed…