Walk sexy and carry a big purse.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A different kind of anniversary

July 21, 2008.
Five days after my 32nd birthday. The Monday after a long weekend of silence at my house.
Do you know how miserable it to receive the silent treatment for nearly three days from your husband? To speak to him, and he doesn't respond. To anything. Silence. After a while, you ignore it outwardly, but inside, you're begging for just one word, a smile, or an acknowledgement that you at least exist in the same house. The silent treatment is one of the most passive-aggressive things I can think of to torture someone you love. It's just plain mean.
He broke the silence that July 21. By telling me he didn't want to be married anymore.
No matter how bad things were, it still felt like a punch in the stomach. The first time I heard those words, in late 2005, I went to the half-bathroom, sat on the toilet lid and wailed for what seemed like hours. But this time, the second time, there wasn't a deluge of tears or outburst of emotion.
The second time, I exhaled. Relief.
There were arguments to follow, and tears, and packing of boxes and sleepless nights. But on that July 21, I received my freedom, a late birthday gift, a chance to start over and maybe get it right.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bridal Blah

I've been to one wedding since my separation and divorce, and have seen several postings from friends on Facebook about people getting married for the first time.
I read them, I look at the pictures of beautiful brides smiling with pretty white teeth framed by perfect lipstick for their perfect day.
While I'm not much of a baby/kid person, I delight in hearing people's stories about the funny things their children said or did, the kids' accomplishments in school and just how lovable they are. It makes me feel good.
When I see the bridal pictures, I feel....nothing.
Remember that episode of Sex and the City when Miranda "fakes" a sonogram? "It's a boy, oh boy!" How I feel about the big, fancy wedding is something like that. Yep, I know I'm supposed to beam with happiness when someone gets married, but all I can think of for the happy couple is, "Oh, the hard, hard road they have ahead of them."
Then I calculate what money was spent on the dress, the decorations, the reception, those perfect photos, the gifts and honeymoon and think, "Man, they could have bought a house for that." I still feel bad about the money my parents spent on my wedding, only for the marriage to fall apart after four years.
But if I dig deep, I find a small glimmer of hope that maybe he's still out there, waiting for me, to show me that a partnership doesn't have to be so difficult. That one person doesn't have to do all the work in a relationship. That perhaps I could walk down another aisle (preferably on a beach or in a garden or art gallery this time) into a happy marriage.
But brides, don't toss me that bouquet just yet.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dating questions for the ages

I've been on two dates with Mr. Match.com.
He is a gentleman. He pays for meals, opens doors (and lets me go through first) and so far, I haven't seen him side eye any pretty girls we encounter in public. We talk and laugh a lot. He looks damn good in jeans.
I was excited about dating again. And then I remembered all the nervewracking stuff that goes with it.
Like, is it different now that I'm 34 and divorced, and he's, well, a little older? Do I still have to ask myself: I had a really nice time on our date last night, can I call him today? Should I just text? Should I wait five days? Wait for him to initiate the post-date contact?
Can't I just be real? I like you. I believe that I've reached the age and maturity that if I like you, I can say I like you and I'm going to at least say hello the next day.
Or not?
Grrrrrrrr......Seems I've forgotten how to play the game I didn't want to play in the first place.
Is it OK to say "I want to see you again" after the date or is it too forward? Do I reach for his hand? Why hasn't he tried to kiss me yet? Does my butt look big in these jeans?
So far, he's answered all my questions in the affirmative. Would you like to meet in person? Yes. Would you like to meet for dinner? Yes. Want to go for a walk downtown? Yes. Lunch and a movie? Yes.
So what am I worried about?
The time when he answers with a big fat NO.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Match.com = online bar scene

On a whim last week, I signed up for Match.com.
I've learned in a week's time that Match.com is a lot like an online bar. The men are just as shallow in this meat market, looking for the leanest piece of meat when they could have the juiciest, smartest, most fascinating, best-dressed cut.
I set up my profile, picked out my cutest pics, even posting a body shot so the guys could see my full-figured goodness. Choosing my body type for my profile was difficult. One man's curvy is another man's big and beautiful is another man's above average is another man's a few extra pounds...I finally settled on full figured.
I've spent hours surfing the men's profiles. Being close to Charlotte, there are so many men you can tell are part of that pretentious, trendy uptown bar scene. Click, back to search.
Then there are the guys who take a photo of themselves wearing no shirt in their bathroom mirror. Of course, I HAVE to click on the profile to get a closer look at those six-pack abs (I'm still only human), but then I've given the guy the satisfaction of looking, as Match tells you who checks you out. Shirt off at the beach or lake is fine, but in your bathroom? Come on, dude, I know what you're about - yourself. Click.
Guys wearing sunglasses in ALL of their profile photos. Click, next profile, please.
Guys wearing a ball cap and wife beater in their main photo? Click.
Screen names like "Sweetestkisses" or "yurnin4u"? Can we have a little less cheese, please? My inner monologue runs wild during a search.
But who am I to complain? As of right now, 128 guys have checked me out, me with my black hair, zombie t-shirt, cute specs and "mischievous grin" as one guy wrote me in an email, which is a lot more action than I've gotten since getting divorced two years ago.
And then there he was, the smart, sarcastic guy standing in a dark corner of the online bar...He wrote in his profile that he had been on the site 60 days and had made several observations, including that people on Match are rude, they're shallow, they'll never find what they're looking for and they're the kind of people you don't want as friends.
I couldn't help myself. I sent him an email....What happened next is another post for another day...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ah, this single life

My brother hates when I say this, but he's been divorced for two months and has found passionate love with a woman who seems well suited to him. Their posts on Facebook are sickening sweet but genuine and exciting as new love always is and I'm happy for them.
Me? I've been divorced two years. I've been on four dates. And my moment of excitement this week will come as I look for a new shower curtain to completely change the look of my bathroom. As I told a Facebook friend this week, hey, that IS commitment. I'm considering breaking up with the shower curtain - goldfish and lilypads - that I've had a relationship with for the last five years.
Seriously, what gives? It's been suggested to me that perhaps my intelligence, acerbic wit and love of high heels could be intimidating to men. I don't buy that. Could it be my looks, my weight? Nah, I've got plenty of men who like to flirt with me. So what is it?
It's hard to imagine myself in a relationship again, and a little scary. What happens when you have that first fight, or I stop wearing makeup or dresses because I've settled, or he starts leaving the bathroom door open while sitting on the toilet and things become so familiar that he gets bored and then cheats? Ah, looks like I'm getting ahead of myself...
But I would like to feel that little flutter of excitement for date night - painting my nails, fixing my hair to flat-ironed perfection, applying sparkly eyeliner and picking out the perfect outfit while anticipating that knock at the door.
We don't need to get married, but dinner and a movie would be nice.

Monday, August 2, 2010

I love New York

I wasn't sure how a country girl like me was going to like New York City.
Guess I'm not quite as country as I thought. From the moment we landed at La Guardia, I knew I was going to love New York. I flew there with my brother and met my mom, aunt, two cousins and a cousin's wife for a whirlwind trip through Manhattan over a course of two days in June.
I used to hate to travel. Too much hassle, too much money, blah blah blah. Thing is, I was a little scared of flying, until I got the opportunity to fly to the city of brotherly love for a once-in-a-lifetime viewing of a Frida Kahlo art exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2008.
Since then, I've hopped on a plane every chance I get. Flew to Columbus, Ohio, to see the parents, then to DC last November for only a day. What an honor that one day was, to see the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C. with 90 local veterans. I'll never forget that trip.
But New York! Just the thought of the streetscape makes me tingle with excitement. We stayed at the Westin at Times Square. I loved the throngs of people in the streets, walking somewhere with purpose with their smart phones in one hand and a coffee in the other. I wish I would have had more time just to sit and watch the people, all fashionably dressed, all on the go, walking to somewhere important.
In just two strides down the street, I heard a skateboarder's wheels on the pavement, cab drivers honking at each other, the air breaks of a bus and the sizzle of kabobs on a street vendor's grill. I feel lucky to have seen much of Manhattan by bus, the Statue of Liberty from a sailboat, Central Park from the top of the Rock, the lights of the city that never sleeps from the top of the Empire State Building at night, all in two very short days.
I can't wait to get back to New York. I don't know how I'm going to make it happen. But I've got to go back, see the art museums, shop at Century 21, take a walk in Central Park, master subway navigation and maybe risk death by eating a hot dog on the street.
What cities make you feel alive?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Larger than life

My version of porn came in the mail this week.
Yep, you guessed it - the latest Lane Bryant catalog. Too early for fall fashion hype, I guess you could call this edition late summer. Inside are big beautiful women wearing the hottest jeans and sizzling lace bras in colors like desert flower and raspberry sorbet.
I've spent a lot of money at Lane Bryant since becoming a size 14 about 12 years ago. There are less expensive places to buy plus-sized clothing, but nowhere else carries larger sizes in the very hottest styles. Dresses, pants, jeans, career clothing, sexy tops for play, jewelry and the best lingerie a big girl could ever ask for - you can find it all at Lane Bryant.
I went to Target last week and was dismayed to find about six disheveled racks of plus-sized clothing shoved into a corner next to the MATERNITY wear. A plus-sized woman and a pregnant woman are FAR from the same thing (thank God), but this is how plus-sized women are forced to shop. We deserve better.
And Lane Bryant knows that. They don't use size 0 women to model the clothing in their catalogs, as I've seen some stores do with plus-sized clothing. No, LB uses curvy women, women whose thighs brush together when they walk, women more like most of us.
The women in the LB catalogs look confident, not guilty that they have a little extra flesh on their arms or junk in the trunk. And when I pull on my favorite LB dress, my sexy denim pencil skirt or LB jeans for a night out, I don't see myself as a large woman. I see myself like those models in the catalog - larger than life.