Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Dating, Getting Dumped, and Having Incredible Sex: My Top 10 Posts of 2014

On this last day of 2014, I thank you for hanging out with me for another year of my life post-divorce, including reliving old pain with my ex, my happy times with friends and family, and my search for hot sex and love, preferably from the same person.

In the grand tradition of all kinds of media at year-end, here's my very own list of my 10 most read posts of 2014.

10. My Return to Online Dating -- Too Dull, Too Exciting, and Just Right

In January, I went full force into the wild world of online dating.

9.  One Year Later: Why I Love My Divorce

I counted my blessings on the first anniversary of my divorce.

8.  Incredible Sex is Turning Me Into an Asshole

I was intoxicated from Incredible Sex with a guy who was wrong, wrong, and more wrong for me. But DAMN the sex was hot...

7.  Keeping Facebook Photos of Your Ex -- Just Documenting the Past or Harming Your Future?

Is it so bad to keep Facebook pics of you and your ex?

6.  What Should A Blogger Do When Her Identity is Revealed?

The guy I was seeing found out about my blog. Shit.

5.  I Want My Ex-Husband When I'm Not Fully Conscious

Ever woken up in the middle of the night and wished your bed weren't empty?

4.  Why Silence Makes Me Scream

Want to break my heart and make me lose my mind? Then, please, don't say a word.

3.  I Got Optimistic About A Guy. Now I Feel Stupid.

Two fantastic dates and then... he disappeared.

2.  7 Steps to Getting Dumped While Still Looking Like a Grownup

If you're going to date, you're going to get dumped sometimes, so here's how I save face.

1.  How to Dump Someone You Aren’t Really Dating

I learned how to nicely dump people after my non-dates because even morons and bad kissers have feelings.

Thank you again for reading, commenting, and sharing your perspectives! A very happy 2015 to you!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

What Was Your Most Miserable New Year's Eve?

New Year’s Eve is a week away, so like many people over the age of 25, I haven’t a clue how I’ll be ringing in 2015. (Remember when you used to start planning the NYE festivities in October?!) 

While I was lying in bed this morning, I reflected on what I did the past few years.

The past two years, I was in Manhattan with my dear friend Sue. Last year we did a blowout formal party (it was very Sex & the City) and the year before we hosted a low key dinner.

In 2011, Max and I had a quiet night – we just went to dinner and saw a movie in Ford. That would be our last New Year’s Eve together.

It was New Year’s Eve 2010 that got me out of bed and to my computer. I need to tell you about it so I can let it go.

My Husband Disappears into Depression

In late 2010, Max had been fading away into a shell of his former self. He was losing weight and his fair Irish skin became even more washed out as he hardly moved or ate. He wanted nothing to do with me; he wouldn’t speak to me, much less touch me. If I tried to engage him in conversation, he would look at me with exasperation and sadness, his face dark and distant. If he responded to me, it was as brief as possible. Other times, he just ignored me entirely.

I was utterly beside myself. Who was this sad, cold man?

Not that you would ever want to see your loved one in this state, but it was all made worst that this was happening during the holiday season. Reminders to rejoice and count your blessings and believe in the goddamn magic of the season were sparkling everywhere around me. I just prayed that my husband wouldn’t hurt himself. (He never did, thank God.)

We slogged through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my 31st birthday, doing our best to look like a normal couple. Though, on my birthday, I had a glass of wine too many. In the restaurant bathroom, I accidentally tearfully mentioned to my mom that Max and I hadn’t had sex in a year or whatever it was at the time. I then told her not to tell anyone. She never breathed a word about it.

This was nothing like my New Year's Eve.
Thanks, Hollywood.

I Have the Audacity to Kiss My Husband

Needless to say, the idea of trying to make merry for New Year’s Eve was out of the question.

So, we were spending New Year’s Eve with Max’s family, which sounded very boring but given Max’s state – which we were both keeping secret – I was trying to say yes to him as much as possible.

We went to Max’s sister’s house for some tasteless Chinese takeout and belated Christmas gift exchanging. Conversation with his sisters never came easily, but I remember it feeling even more awkward and forced. After a polite amount of time, we headed back to Max’s parents’ house.

It was probably around 10 p.m. when Max and I were upstairs getting changed for bed (yes, 10 p.m., New Year’s Eve, 31 years old).

I made a mistake. I had the audacity to try to sneak a kiss on my husband.

He pushed me away with disgust and disinterest. It was like I’d offended him by trying to kiss my husband on fucking New Year’s Eve.

I was hurt and humiliated. “What the hell is wrong with you?!” I asked in a hushed tone, knowing the walls were thin. “Is it so terrible that I wanted to kiss you!”

I honestly can’t remember what he said because I must have blocked it out. But the message was clear: he wanted no part of my love or affection, so I should stay away from him.

Not long after, I cried myself to sleep on an air mattress, Max and I as far apart as possible while still technically sharing the bed. I was asleep when the clock struck midnight. Happy New Year.

The next morning, Max’s mom, Sara, and I were alone in the kitchen while Max and his dad watched football.

“Is everything OK? I heard you two arguing last night,” Sara whispered. She was not being nosey; she was truly concerned.

I couldn’t speak without sobbing, so I just locked eyes with my mother-in-law and slowly shook my head.

She put her hand on my arm and didn’t say a word. Like with drunken birthday confession to my own mother, Sara and I didn’t speak of my New Year’s Eve argument again.

During the three-hour car ride home on New Year’s Day 2011, Max didn’t speak to me.

I haven’t thought about that in so long. Tears are falling as I write about that holiday, almost three years into my history. I can’t believe how the pain is still so real, even though I have moved on with my life and never doubted my decision to divorce Max.

I write this to leave it in my past. 

What was your worst New Year's Eve?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Being An Easygoing Wife Helped Destroy My Marriage

“She’s really… easy.”

Yoshi, Meredith, and I were at happy hour, asking our friend Connor about his trip to Asia. Connor and his girlfriend had spent two weeks hopping planes and filling their passports with stamps. I wanted to know how that was, that kind of 24 hours a day time with his significant other while traversing foreign lands?

“Easy” was the word that Connor chose to describe his girlfriend. He meant it as a compliment – his girlfriend has a relaxed, welcoming way about her that conveniently translates into any language.

My mind wandered to my defunct marriage. I scribbled, “Is it good to be easy????” on my cocktail napkin.

Would Max have ever used that word to describe me? 

You should know that no one would ever call me a pushover or lacking in opinions. I have always stood up for myself. But it might surprise you to know that I'm conflict avoidant. What can I say, I’m a middle child who likes to keep the peace!

I sure did try to be what I thought was an easy girlfriend, then fiancée, then spouse. (Hell, I even tried to be an easy ex-wife in our months of forced cohabitation.)

In my marriage, my quest to be an easy spouse translated into avoiding arguments with Max at all costs. FYI, this is a really dumb tactic. 

Examples of Kat the Easy Wife:
  • I said little when I felt our apartment needed to be cleaned more often. Instead, I finally hired a cleaning service, which helped lessen my resentment of Max's lack of participation in housework. I was still pissed off that he never scrubbed a toilet.

  • Sometimes on Friday nights, I would go to happy hour with friends until Max got home. When he texted that he was close to home, I would head home for the night, whether I was ready to leave or not. We’d spend the evening the way he liked it – chilling on the couch, maybe watching a movie. Of course I enjoyed spending time with him… but, well, I was often sort of bored. I’d wish he would have come met me out. Not like I asked him to do that though.

  • In 2011, I wanted to go on vacation just the two of us, but when Max’s buddy wanted to get a beach house, I went along with it. Nevermind that we were renting a house with two couples that each had two children under the age of 5. Nevermind that we hadn’t been away alone since our honeymoon. I didn’t want to disappoint Max or be an unaccommodating wife by saying no. So we went to the beach for an unmemorable, orgasm-free week of stepping on Cheerios and tripping over beach toys. (This ended up being our last vacation together.)

My version of trying to be an easy spouse meant keeping quiet and ultimately losing parts of myself to this rather dull – but easy! – version of Max’s wife.

The way that I finally stopped being easy was in dealing with our fading sex life.

I tolerated our disappearing intimacy for two years before I got Max to a doctor who recommended therapy. Then, after some progress had been made, we backslid, so I again demanded we get help. As scary as it was to push Max to address his issues – and try to save our fledgling marriage – it was the one area where I just couldn’t back down. I was not on his case 24 hours a day, because I did give him some space to figure himself out. But the issue was always in the air.

By 2011, I was not easy anymore. I refused to go with the nonexistent flow of our sex life. I had to have the courage to allow conflict to happen. It was scary as hell. In my heart, I knew that not being the easy spouse would likely lead us to divorce. I was right.

So, whenever I get into a relationship again, do I want to be described as "easy"? I want to be laidback where I can be. I want to be open to trying things that my significant other wants me to experience. I want to be that girlfriend who you can bring into pretty much any situation and she’ll be able to hang.

But if being easy means ignoring the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship for the sake of avoiding conflict, no thank you.

(And speaking of not easy, I do still have on my leg brace as I recover from my broken kneecap. 61 days and counting…)

What are you like in relationships? Do you strive to be easy? Do you let arguments happen? Do you think it's a compliment to be described as easy?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Why Do Guys Who Dumped Me Come Back to Apologize?

As I look back on my dating experiences in 2014, I have discovered a theme: 

I acted too hastily. I’m sorry.
I was selfish. I’m sorry.
I regret letting it end like that. I’m sorry.

No, I'm not the one apologizing -- it's the dudes I've dated. I have had it up to my ass with I’m sorry!

I have been single for less than two years, and only really been dating for one, but I think it’s safe to say I am back in the dating game. I’ve gone out with all kinds of kinds, from the vegan who didn’t drink to the former Navy man to the pot smoking bartender. I’ve gone out with guys seven years younger to 10 years older.

Here is what I don’t get: 
Why do guys keep coming back to apologize?

Andrew probably didn't expect my response. Tough noogies.
(His misuse of "literally" is so not hot.)
In the past year, Todd, John, Aaron, one of the 27-year-olds, and just on Saturday, Andrew have all come back around to apologize for their unique versions of ditching me.

(If you’re keeping track, Carl is the only one who has not. But I told him that he hurt my feelings and made me feel stupid, so he avoids eye contact with me now. I probably won’t be getting a late night text apology any time soon!)

Somewhere between a few weeks and few months after The End, my phone has chirped to reveal an out-of-the-blue text message, usually from a contact who I’ve deleted from my phone, saying "blah blah I’m sorry."

Sometimes they wanted another chance to date me, sometimes they just wanted to clear their conscience. And who knows, maybe some of them just wanted to get in my pants.

None of the breakups/male disappearances were all that dramatic. I never shed one tear over any of them. When shit ended, I might’ve expressed disappointment (if I even had the opportunity), but that is about it. My point is, certainly no guy I’ve dated since my divorce ever walked away from me thinking he’d broken my heart or scarred me for life or turned me into a bunny boiler.

So there’s me, gaping at my phone. 

An apology, after all this time…
do I even care?

Fine, I admit it. My ego loves the apologies. I’m like, hells yeah, you realize that I am kind of awesome and now you’re missing out!

The downside is that I’m often tempted to recycle, and recycling DOES NOT WORK! I know this. You know this. And yet I sometimes try again (see: Todd; John; and most recently Aaron). By the way, recycling for sex/booty call purposes is different and totally acceptable (see: Jason).

Again, I’ve only really been dating for about a year, but I feel like this is an abnormal amount of apologies. Do you agree?

But, the more mystifying question is just why these dudes apologize to me? 

No one has really owed me much of an apology – like no guy has been guilty of more than being an idiot with me. Do their apologies say something solid about my character, that they want to win back my respect? or do I remind them of their guilty-dishing mothers? Or maybe I’m just good enough in the sack that they want to take a shot? (Not that I slept with all of the apology distributors, but they could use their imaginations based on the data they collected.)

What is your experience with former flames apologizing?  And can you shed any light on my experience?!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

7 Reasons Why I'm Grateful for My Broken Kneecap

It’s been 43 days since I broke my kneecap.

My knee is bigger than my quad!
43 days since I have shaved or properly bathed my left leg.
43 days since I slept on my side or stomach.
43 days since I wore a skirt or dress or high heels or pants with a zipper.
43 days since I drove a car or carried a bag of groceries or climbed on my kitchen counter to reach a mixing bowl.

Going from being a single and very independent woman to needing help with everything – in the beginning, my mom had to dress me – has been hard on my pride and my self image. I have watched my strong legs turn pale and soft. I miss exercise so much that I have literally dreamed about it and started crying just talking about running with my physical therapist.

But, as I do start to see progress, thanks to time and physical therapy, I have started to gain some clarity.

Not unlike with my divorce, going through something challenging and shitty reminds me of just how many blessings I have.

My broken kneecap has made me pause and be grateful because:

  1. I am close with my parents, both emotionally and geographically. I would have been absolutely lost without my parents. I stayed with them for 24 days when I needed help with, well, EVERYTHING. Thankfully we have a good relationship, my parents are in good health, and they only live an hour away from me.
  2. I have built up a wonderful group of friends where I live. After almost 12 years in the Ford area, I have the kinds of friends who cart me to physical therapy and book club and the local bar; help me change my bed sheets; bring me apple cider and Fireball; take out my recycling; make me dinner; and stop at the grocery store to buy me Silk Light Soymilk.
    Love, love, love my friends!
  3. I have great coworkers. My team made me feel missed and important through my weeks of working from home. They even sent me a thoughtful gift basket with wine (because, duh, I’m me); fruit (because they knew I would want to be super careful about my eating); and a little chocolate (because I freaking deserved it).
  4. I have extended relationships from friendly acquaintance to actual friendship. When I returned to Ford, I found myself with more free time that I expected. Without going to the gym, my evenings are open, giving me time to reach out to several women who were just friendly acquaintances, but I’d always wanted to get to know them more. Those evenings out with them were awesome!
  5. I have excellent health insurance. One trip to the ER, two visits to the orthopedist, three physical therapy appointments, and some prescriptions for painkillers and I’m not up to my ears in bills.
  6. I have not been able to pursue some fun booty calls. OK, this sucked in the moment, but it’s for probably the best. So weird, but several 20-somethings from my past suddenly had me on the brain – including Jason, the Incredible Sex.
    All I had to do was send a picture of my leg brace and away they went. Just as well, I think.
  7. I have a sweet ex mother-in-law. It’s been two years since I told my in-laws that I was divorcing their son. No matter. Since I fell, she has sent me two get well cards, called once, and emails to check in.
    As she wrote to me in an email, “Thank God for parents and friends. Even ex in-laws will help if needed. Don’t ever forget that.”

The Terminator brace.
(And, I can’t put this on the Why I’m Grateful list, but interestingly, since I have been on crutches I have met two cool guys in real life. I think seeing a woman on crutches brings out a man’s desire to be the knight in shining armor. And hey, I do need someone to open the door and help me with my coat and assist me with getting on to a bar stool, so it works out nicely! One guy is moving back to Ford in two weeks, and the other lives in western Pennsylvania. I’m not ready to share details yet, particularly on the Pennsylvania guy, so let’s just see what happen in the coming weeks.)

So, while I cannot wait to get this damn brace off my leg, at least it can remind me that this is just one moment in my life. Permanent damage has not been done. I will heal and bounce back, and I will have the love and support of my family and friends… just like when I got divorced.

What misfortune have you endured that made you more appreciative of your life?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Why Did I Dump A Smart, Cute Guy Who Thought I Was Super?

"Wanna go out, Kat? I'll drive!"
After weeks of texting  and FaceTime chats with Lucas, we finally saw each other again.

Last Sunday and then again on Friday, Lucas came over. (I’m still in a leg brace while my broken kneecap heals, so I can’t really go anywhere.) We ate takeout, we watched 80s movies. He held my hand, he kissed me good night. He said he wanted to see me again – and soon. 

After he left on Friday I just knew. I was sure of it! So, today, I told him:

“I have really enjoyed getting to know you the past few weeks, but I don’t feel that we are quite the right match for dating.”

Bummer, right?!

Why didn’t I feel that Lucas and I were the right match? He seemed to meet the Requirements for Dating Me. He is tall with a great smile, has earned not one but TWO master’s degrees, and thought I was super.

Don’t tell anyone, but I’m a grownup.  After months of dating guys who were too young for me, I want to date a grownup. I mean it.

Once my relationship with Lucas moved from texting and FaceTime to real life, I discovered that he was a 23-year-old trapped in a 33-year-old’s body:
  1. Lucas sleeps like a 23-year-old. He prides himself on sleeping until 11 or 12 on the weekends, then takes a nap around 2. By noon on a weekend, I will have gone running and/or attended a yoga class, cooked and ate breakfast while watching a rerun of Beverly Hills 90210, and folded a load of laundry.
  2. Lucas drinks like a 23-year-old. Lucas described a night out with a friend as awesome because he got “shitfaced.” His social activities seem to revolve around his quest for getting wasted, including Thursday nights.
    If you’ve ever read my blog, you know that I enjoy kissing, exercising, and drinking. I very much enjoy alcohol, but really it’s that I like spending time and talking with others; a glass of wine in hand complements the experience nicely. Sure, sometimes I do get drunk. But I have not gone out specifically seeking “shitfaced” status in about a decade. BECAUSE I’M A GROWNUP.
  3. Lucas dates like an (inconsiderate) 23-year-old. The two times he came over, he was wearing a random t-shirt and jeans. Yes, I was in drawstring pants (thank you, leg brace), but I had on a cute top and makeup! Effort, you guys, I expect a man to put in a little effort if he is going to date me.
    But here’s the kicker. Before he came over on Friday, he asked me if I liked plum wine. I said I wasn’t sure, but I don’t usually like sweet wine. He said I wouldn’t know unless I tried it. Fair enough (but a touch condescending, no?). So what did he do that night? He showed up with ONE bottle of wine – the plum wine – which lo and behold, I hated. His solution was to suggest I open one of my bottles of wine. I had one glass as he proceeded to drink almost the entire bottle of his gross plum wine.
    Oh, and I should also mention that I paid for our takeout and he never said thank you. Rude and tacky.
Last but not least, I did not like the way he kissed.  Oh HELLS no.
I love to kiss way too much to settle for a guy whose kissing style
is inspired by Hannbal Lecter.
Funny how a guy could have seemed like he had such potential over text and FaceTime until real life revealed how incompatible we actually are.

(And no, he did not reply to my "thanks but no thanks" text.)

In the meantime, let’s hope this damn leg brace comes off when I go to the doctor tomorrow! I am so over sweatpants, unshaven legs, and sleeping motionless flat on my back.

Have you ever thought someone could be a good match for dating in the virtual world until the real world wrecked it?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

My Great Date Didn't Require A Bra or Shoes

Two days before I broke my kneecap, I had met Lucas for a non-date [Kat's term for meeting someone from a dating website in person for the first time]. We met for a beer on a Sunday night and chatted and laughed for about two hours. It was fun, but I wasn’t positive if he would ask me out again. Well, he did!

But, yeah, then I went and broke my kneecap. FYI,  a full leg brace and crutches are not conducive to dating. I walk like your grandmother while wearing giant sweatpants and two different shoes. I’m totally the stuff of fantasies.

I thought for sure that Lucas (and my other friends with benefits, such as Aaron) would disappear from my life while I retreated to my parents’ house to recover.

Well, remarkably, Lucas didn’t want to disappear. Over texting, I tried to give him an out so he wouldn’t have to feel guilty about cutting things off with the girl on crutches for weeks. He assured me that, no, he didn’t want an out and he wanted to keep getting to know me. I texted back that I was cool with that... but we couldn’t just text for weeks.

So... I asked him on a date.

I Go On A Date Without Leaving My Couch 

This is a good of example of how I did not look for my
FaceTime date.

The Friday after I was off of Percocet, Lucas and I planned to meet for a drink.

For the first time since my injury, I applied blush to my pale cheeks and brightened up my eyes with some mascara and eye shadow. I piled my unwashed hair on top of my head in an attempt to look deliberately messy and adorable. I wore a zip-up hooded sweatshirt, XL sweatpants, and one slipper and one shoe. (I can’t wear matching shoes until my knee immobilizer comes off.) I didn't bother putting on a bra. I looked down at my ensemble, part amused and part embarrassed. Normally for a second date, I’d be sporting tight jeans and heels and I'd be adorned with jewelry and some liquid eyeliner. I would wash my hair for a second date. I would brush my teeth and I would definitely wear a bra.

This was not the typical date though.

With my glass of Cabernet in hand, I waited for him to appear. Butterflies fluttered in my gut. I checked the time nervously. I was sure that he would arrive soon...

Then my iPad starting chirping.

There was Lucas glowing on my iPad, sitting on his couch with his beer, and me on my parents' couch with my wine (my first drink since I fell). For the next hour, we chatted and flirted, and it was almost as fun as meeting in person.

Of course this date was lacking the thrill of touch and smell of being side by side. There was no growing hope of a kiss good night.  But I liked his voice and his smile and his laugh. Over the course of our FaceTime date, I felt more connected to him.

Since then, we have continued getting to know each other over text and we met for another FaceTime date. He tells me he wishes I were home and ambulatory so I could go out with him. It’s funny, I have only met Lucas in real life once, and yet I feel like we’re sort of kind of almost dating. Maybe without the pressure of a real date (What should I wear? Who will pay? Does he know I just farted a little?), we are having a more genuine opportunity to just get to know each other for who we are. No pretense, no distraction, no risk of getting physical too soon.

All of this said, I’m excited – and curious! – to spend time with him in person. Will the fun and flirtation of texting and FaceTime translate to real life? We will find out in seven days…!

(Meanwhile, MORE guys from my past have reappeared, include Jason, John, and even a 27-year-old who blew me off back in May. What the heck is going on?!)

Find out what happened when we were reunited in real life.

Have you ever had a date over FaceTime or Skype? What did you think of the experience?

Epic Mommy Adventures

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Divorced Woman Breaks Her Kneecap. Who Will Take Care of Her?

I call it my Terminator Brace.
You should see how I fill out sweatpants. HOT!
“Emergency contact is Max?” the receptionist asked without looking away from her laptop screen.

I was in Urgent Care at my local hospital with my friend Pete. Three days after running my third half marathon, Pete and I had gone to a wine tasting in the afternoon in Manhattan. We had a fun, tipsy time day drinking, but afterward, I somehow tripped on the sidewalk (probably over my own foot) and l apparently I broke my entire fall with my left knee. By the time we were on the train back to Ford, my knee was so swollen that my jeans were tight around it. So, we went straight to Urgent Care.

During the intake, the receptionist reviewed my file. We updated my address (the one I shared with Max), my name (Max’s last name), and, of course, the emergency contact.

“No, please change the emergency contact. It’s now my sister, Katherine,” I said evenly, trying to focus on the pain in my knee and not the small lump forming in my throat.

Once my file was updated, Pete rolled me in my wheelchair back to the waiting area. He tried to make me laugh as I flipped between worrying about the shooting pain in my knee and my disbelief that in this moment, it was happening again.

I missed my ex-husband.

Over and over, even now two years after I filed for divorce, these moments crop up when my divorce unexpectedly kicks me in the gut.

I called my mom. If I couldn’t have Max, I definitely wanted to talk to my mom. I started telling her about my knee, but assured her I’d be OK. She told me to keep her updated.

A few minutes later, I was in an examining room and the medical attention [torture] began.

The attendant needed my jeans to come off. The pain of trying to stand was terrible, like nothing I’ve ever felt. I couldn’t put any weight on my leg so it took a team effort to get my pants off. The team included Pete, and through my start of what would be hours of tears, I gasped out, “Don’t enjoy this too much!”

The doctor tried to examine my knee, but every move was putting me in greater pain. When he left the room, I cried harder.

“Pete, please don’t take this the wrong way, but I want Max! And I’m so fucking mad that all this time later, I still want him!”

I sniffed. I thought about it for a moment. I didn’t exactly want Max, not for real. More like I wanted the Max from about five years ago. His mom is a nurse, and he inherited her calm in medical situations, like the times when I burned my hand on the toaster oven, when I had a small skin growth removed from my back, and when I sliced my finger on a shattered pint glass. He quietly and confidently dressed my wounds, making me feel loved and safe.

I was scared. I had never so much as sprained a finger, and I haven’t even been sick in years. I don’t know about you, but being scared like this just made me want family. The harsh reality was that Max was no longer family. 

No, it was Mom who I needed.
Right. Now.

When I was a child, I had severe asthma. During my late night nebulizer treatments and many trips to the emergency room, it was always Mom who was there. (Dad is awesome too, but he doesn’t do medical; Dad’s motto was, “wait until Mommy gets home” for all matters of injury or bodily fluids.) She would let me squeeze her cold hand as I sobbed from adrenalin shots.

In hindsight, Mom must have been pretty scared sometimes, seeing her daughter gasping for breath. But, like Max, Mom quietly and confidently made me feel loved and safe.

Through my tears, I asked – let’s be honest, demanded! – that Pete call my mom. By now it was 9:30 p.m. and she lived an hour away. He asked her to come as soon as possible.

Next, they had to X-ray my knee. I have never given birth, but I sure hope the pain isn’t as bad as this was! I couldn’t hold back anymore. As the technician made a futile attempt to straighten my knee, I started wailing.

“Call my mom again!” I cried desperately to Pete.
 “Where is she?!”

Turns out it had been about 20 minutes since I’d last demanded that Pete call her. Whoops.

Finally the doctor came in and told me I had fractured my kneecap. The next step was to put me in a full leg brace.

The positioning for the X-ray was bad. Straightening my leg and strapping it into the brace was worse.

Poor Pete. I made him call my mom again.

Finally, I was given a Percocet and we were told to go home. Can you imagine what a nightmare it was to get me into my apartment?!  I was wobbly on my crutches and all in all a miserable sight to behold. Again, POOR PETE.

Finally, Mom arrived. 

She and Pete hoisted me into my king size bed. At last, Pete could go home.

I thanked him again and then cried myself to sleep.

Breakfast of Champions.
Thanks, Mom!
At 7 a.m., I called out for Mom, as she had slept on the couch. She came rushing in with Percocet in one hand, and Halloween Peeps and Twizzlers in her other hand.

Even through my pain, I laughed a little.

Mom, clearly exhausted, smiled and shrugged. “When I went to the all-night pharmacy, I saw these and thought you should have them. I know the Peeps aren’t stale yet but we can open them now and they should be the way you like them in a day or two.”

Hells yeah, you guys. I love stale Peeps, and leave it to my mom to remember that, even at 2 a.m. at the pharmacy.

I took my Percocet and then Mom got in bed with me. Not long after, we both fell asleep in the bed that I used to share with my ex-husband.
Mom was who I needed, and no one else. 

When has your family supported you in a moment that would have previously been handled by your spouse? 
Skip To My Lou

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Is It Ever Worth It to Recycle a Former Flame?

I always say not to recycle guys, but it’s a hard rule to follow. When a guy you found fun and attractive comes back around saying he regretted how he handled things with you, it’s really hard to say, “Sorry, I only recycle paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum. Men are not available for recycling.”

Let’s talk about Aaron, a guy I recently kind of tried to recycle.

Aaron and I met on OKCupid and dated for about a month last winter. He was cute and fun. He was good in the kitchen and in the bedroom. We were really enjoying dating each other until he stopped enjoying me. (To this day, I don’t know why, but I think he might have met someone else.) He was a wimp about dumping me, which was totally annoying. I get it, a person can get bored of someone or he meets someone else or whatever. Just man up and tell me “thanks but no thanks” so we can both go our separate ways.

Then, a few weeks later, he contacted me to apologize for how things went down with me. I was surprised and accepted the apology. I thought that was that.

Then, late one night in June, I got a text from an unknown number saying we should get together sometime. I had deleted Aaron from my contacts, but not our last text conversation. Still, what the heck? So I wrote back “Sorry, but who is this?” No answer. Ha!

So, when Aaron got in touch with me at the end of my Dating Diet, literally hours after I got back onto OKCupid, I was surprised indeed.

After a few flirty messages, I agreed to meet him for a drink, though I was totally confused why I was even going. Not recycling guys is a thing with me!

I Recycle Aaron for Dating Purposes

Two days later, I was sitting at the bar when he came on to the patio. Shit. He looked even better than I remembered. And shorter. But hot. Blue eyes, sweet smile, and totally jacked body.

The conversation just flowed naturally. He remembered everything about me, too, which was both charming and flattering. (He even asked if I was still blogging!)

Then he went there...

“So, Kat, what brought you back to OKCupid?” Aaron asked.

“I took a break from online dating for a few months, and I thought I’d give it another shot,” I answered truthfully.

“But the real question is why did you contact me?
Why am I here?”

(Hey, he dated me once, he knows I don’t do bullshit.)

Aaron rather sweetly rambled that he had a lot of fun with me and we all do things we regret and he thought I was cool and the sex was good and when he saw me on OKCupid he had to try contacting me.

“Really, you’re mentioning the sex right now?!” I said, eyebrow raised, kind of incredulous but also admiring his honesty.

“Well,” he said, sheepishly grinning, “It was good.”

I shrugged and nodded. Can’t disagree there!

“So I now know that you’re the one who contacted me in June,” I said bluntly.

“Yeah. You deleted my number?!” Aaron said, looking embarrassed.

“Of course I did. I delete anyone who doesn’t deserve a spot in my phone anymore,” I explained simply.

With all of this out of the way, we went back to chatting and flirting. Aaron paid for our drinks, then walked me back to my car. In the garage, he kissed me.  I leaned up against my ex-husband’s car and let him kiss me more. Oh, MAN, I like kissing him. Being the lady I [sometimes] am, I said good night and got in my car.

I started to drive away, then I turned around. I found him walking to his car.

“Aaron!” I called out my window.

Startled, he looked over, then he smiled. He approached my passenger window. I shook my head and beckoned for him to come to my driver’s side window.

“I decided I wasn’t done kissing you,” I said. With a grin, he leaned in and kissed me again.

When I drove away, I was fluttery... kind of. 

I mean, I’d just kissed a hot guy. We flirted and had pretty good conversation. I was post-date smiley… kind of.

But… I was so guarded, and I don’t like being super guarded. I just kept thinking, “This guy dumped me. This guy dumped me. This guy dumped me!

He promptly asked me out again. (He made me dinner!) And again. And again. All were fun and low key and totally PG.

But the last time that he came over I just knew…
this isn’t my guy. 

I would never get over that he lost interest in me before. More importantly, seven months later, I have a better idea now for what I’m looking for in a guy; as cute and fun as Aaron is, he isn’t quite… enough. It’s hard to explain. Like I could totally picture snuggling with him on my couch and bringing him out my local friends, but I couldn’t imagine ever being at a point where he would come with me to Virginia to meet my brother, sister-in-law, and their kids or Ali and her family. Some level of connection just wasn’t there.

Can I Recycle Aaron for Sex Purposes?

But, you guys know how I am about physical chemistry. I value that shit like nobody’s business. I wondered if I could transform Aaron into my new option for no-strings-attached sex, since I have fully closed the door on Jason and the Incredible Sex (aren't you proud of me?), and Steve, the guy from my building, has kind of disappeared (maybe he got a girlfriend? Good for him!).

I like Aaron and I too remembered the sex being good, so why let him go? When I know the sex is good and My Number doesn’t go up, I’m all for recycling.

So, 24 hours after our last date, I texted him.

Woohoo, I got me a new friend with benefits!

I got to take advantage of this great new set up exactly one time before this shit happened:
12 hours after my fall.

Ninja fight? A fall in a sewer? A car accident on the autobahn? I’ll tell all next week!

What do you think about recycling former flames? Has it ever worked to give someone a second (or third or seventh) chance?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

My Dating Diet, Part 3 -- Did I Stay Away From Men? Did I Meet My Goals?

Experimenting with color! What to choose...
Dear readers, I HAVE MISSED YOU.

I have been so stupid busy that I haven’t written in two weeks, and not for lack of stuff to share! I won’t bore you with the details of why I’ve been absent from the blogosphere, so on with the show...

As you might recall, my Dating Diet concluded on September 25. For 30 days, I aimed to focus on bettering myself, in part by dating a break from dating.

How did I do with my goals? Let’s grade me!


  1. Lose five pounds.  – C
    I lost 2 or 3 pounds. I don’t know why I didn’t lose the full 5. Oh well.
  2. Drink alcohol no more than two days a week. – B+
    This was surprisingly rather difficult but I did it. Well, the weekend of Maureen's wedding I obviously indulged one extra day, but otherwise I stuck to the plan!
  3. Deep condition my hair and apply a face mask. – A
    Totally did this. It was awesome to take a few minutes here and there to just indulge in ME. Love it.
  4. Go to six yoga classes.  – A+
    I went to seven classes! And I got through my half marathon training and race without injury.


  1. Update my resume and cover letter. – F
    I was so busy at work I just couldn’t make time or space for this.
  2. Go to my therapist. – A
    I went once and am going again tomorrow. It’s always good to check in with someone who I’m paying to listen to my crap.
  3. Donate two bags of stuff. – A
    This was not difficult. We all have more stuff than we need, and it feels good to give it to someone who needs it more.
  4. Thank my friends for being awesome. – A
    Read about them.
  5. Finish my book on time for book club. – A
    Not going on dates on Sundays gave me back reading time. (Now if I can just hurry up and finish this month's book...!)
  6. Meet with my financial planner. – B
    Some rescheduling held this one up, but we are meeting tomorrow!
  7. Hire an electrician and a painter to spruce up my apartment. – A
    I have light AND color! So worth the money! Next up – rehang all of the photos I had to take down. I haaaate hanging pictures...

Bags of stuff. I honestly can't even remember what I donated.
Clearly, this was the stuff of memories!
And as for men, I had sex one time during the Dating Diet….It was a dirty, dirty booty call and hot as hell. (And by “dirty,” I don’t mean unprotected.) Absolutely no emotion or commitment. HOT. I’ll give you a hint who it was with…

But otherwise, I stayed away from men and my plan worked; by the end of the moratorium on men, I was excited to get back out there. I signed up for OKCupid again a few days before the Diet was over, and on September 25, I had a date… with Aaron. Yes, the guy I dated in the winter got in touch with me through OKCupid! But we’ll get into that next time...

If you have ever taken a break from dating. did it help recharge you when you got back in the dating game?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Shedding Tears and Finding Hope at a Wedding

View from a lighthouse in Edgartown
Last Saturday afternoon, the sun was shining on Martha’s Vineyard, a preppy, swanky island off the coast of Massachusetts. I sat on a hard pew in a Catholic church among my old crew from high school, waiting for Maureen, one of my oldest friends, to walk down the aisle.

The music transitioned. The parents of the bride and groom. The flower girls. The maid of honor.

My stomach was slowly starting to knot.

Then Maureen, on her father’s arm. They glided down the aisle as the music swelled. She was beautiful, and not because of her gown. She was full of joy, optimism, dreams, thanks to her love for her groom, Jason.

I once felt that way. Now I was sitting here alone (and without tissues, dammit).

The readings from the Book of Whatever began and the knot in my gut moved up to my throat. Max and I had a Catholic wedding. We had readings from the Book of Whatever.

I couldn’t sit there anymore. I had to leave.

I slipped out of the church into the sunshine and hurried across the street to a bench. The tears welled in my eyes as I thought about five years ago, when I was engaged, so full of hope for my marriage.

Look at how that turned out.

I hung my head. Five years ago I was preparing to walk down the aisle on my parents’ arms, and today I sit here divorced and alone. What bullshit!

Then, I told myself it was also bullshit to sit here wallowing. Shake it off, Kat, and get your ass back inside.

I did it. I was in time to hear a few more words from the priest before Maureen floated back down the aisle, this time on the arm of her beaming new husband. They were so happy. Though I still ached a bit, I am so happy I didn’t miss that moment.

So then we headed to the reception. It was at a picture perfect golf course. I mean, you wouldn’t even believe how lovely everything was. I grabbed a glass of champagne and smiled to myself. I figured I was in the clear since I’d already gotten weepy at the church, so time to just enjoy this celebration.

Of course, I was wrong. 

Divorce just loves to throw a brick at your heart, particularly when you’re not expecting it.

After my friends ate every miniature shrimp, spanakopita, and bacon-wrapped somethings at the cocktail hour, it was time to take our seats under the tent to welcome the families and the newly married happy couple!

There I was, clapping away, a happy woman cheering for my dear friend and their elated families, when the first dance song started. Of course, it was my first dance song, "Can’t Help Falling in Love." Of fucking course.

I turned to one of the girls at my table and blurted out, “I’m leaving!” and ran out of the tent onto the golf course.

As tears blurred my vision, I found a bench as the sun set. This time, the tears weren’t gentle. They were forceful. Just like at Nora’s wedding, I started sobbing, that icky gasping kind of crying that adults rarely do. What the fuck?!  This is my third wedding since I got divorced! But I guess I’m still not used to going to weddings without Max. We went to soooo many weddings in 2006-2008, and we traveled for many of those – Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Seattle, and the list continues. And further, Max had always wanted to go with me to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket. We actually had a trip to Nantucket booked for December 2010, but he was so sick with depression we had to cancel the trip.

Breathe, Kat, breathe.

I pulled myself together and went to the restroom. Shockingly, my makeup was intact. (Thanks to 2010-2012, I am quite skilled at crying in public without smearing my makeup.) Again, I took a deep breath and went back to the reception.

I had a wonderful time, dancing, laughing, and drinking champagne. I left my tears on the golf course.

But, there was one really special moment I didn’t see coming.

When I stepped off the dance floor to kick off my high heels and chug some water, Maureen’s mom (whom I haven’t seen or spoken to in over a decade) approached me.

“Kat, I know that life has dealt you a tough hand. But, I really want you to know… it gets better.”

I was stunned. Maureen’s mom was divorced prior to marrying Maureen’s dad, something that we have never spoken about. It was so thoughtful (and vulnerable) of her to reference her past pain to give me hope. Afterall, this was her daughter's wedding day!

For just a moment, we talked about divorce without actually saying the D-word. I confessed to her that I don’t understand why I had to go through the heartache, but I know that I will someday.

“Yes,” she assured me, “you will eventually.”

This from a woman who has been remarried for nearly 40 years. This from a woman whose brand new son-in-law is on his second marriage.  Both unions truly give me hope of finding love again.

I believe her. Someday I will understand my heartache. And with each passing day, divorced life does get better.

If you are divorced, do you feel that you understand why you had to go through it?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Is Getting Remarried My Dream or Nightmare?

“Would you ever get married again?”

If at first you don't succeed, try try again!

People love to ask me this. Well, probably just in general, people love to ask divorced people this complex question.

Here’s the thing about me and marriage – I never pictured myself married.

For as long as I can remember, if I thought about what my life would be like when I grew up, I pictured myself writing. That’s it. No husband, no kids, no dog. (Maybe a hamster though.) I never pretended to be a bride. I never planned my imaginary wedding. I never started the description of a dream with, “Someday when I get married…”

My vision of my life as a grownup did change when I was 22 years old. I volunteered at one of the Paul Newman camps for children with serious illnesses, and for the first time I realized that I wanted to be a mom someday. (I have always adored children, but actually wanting to be a mom hadn’t occurred to me.) But, oddly, the husband/dad aspect of the equation still didn’t register in my mind.

It wasn’t until I started dating Max when I was 25 that it occurred to me that it was maybe a touch unusual that I’d never wanted marriage. I come from a family of long marriages, including my own parents who got hitched in 1970. (Rock on, Mom and Dad!) I honestly don’t know why I never imagined myself married.

But then then there was Max. He made me feel loved and unique and important. He was smart and funny and dependable. I wanted to be around him as much as possible. I wanted to create a home with him, and eventually raise children together.

It absolutely floored me.  For the first time in my life, I was imagining myself... married. The difference was Max, my first (and still only) love as an adult.

When you’re a grownup, you’re supposed to want to marry the person you love, right? 

When he asked me to marry him, of course I said yes!

Well, if there is one huge lesson I learned from the end of my marriage, it’s two people can love each other but that isn’t necessarily enough to keep a marriage strong and healthy. I think I intellectually always knew that but now I’ve lived it. I married someone who was not a good fit for me for a number of reasons beyond our lack of a sex life, but I guess I naively believed that love was enough. (You’d think that Patty Smyth would have gotten through to me, but apparently not!)

So, would I ever get married again? 

As what would have been my fifth wedding anniversary creeps closer, my short answer is:

 “…yes, I think so.”

I do still believe that marriage can work and be a wonderful gift. I want to find love -- who doesn't? -- and if love paves the way to marriage, I would be open to it. There are things I would do differently (read: better) if I were to marry again. I know plenty of people in perfectly imperfect marriages, and it just delights me that these two individuals found each other in this big, crazy world. Maybe my would-be husband is out there!

All of this said, just the way marriage was not my goal before I met Max, it certainly is not my goal today. I do not feel that marriage is the only way to show love and commitment. I do not believe that my life will be incomplete if I never marry again.

And I will never again believe that love would be enough to sustain a marriage.

Oh, and I'm never, ever, ever changing my name again. Case closed!

If you are divorced, how do you feel about getting married again?

P.S. I'm two-thirds of the way through my Dating Diet. I'm doing pretty well in some ways (home improvement projects are done, hair is deep conditioned) and not so much in others (weight loss! WTF!).

Skip To My Lou

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

5 Simple Pleasures of Being Married . . . and 5 Joys of Being Divorced!

You know what I totally miss about being married?
Holding hands while walking to dinner. That was pretty awesome.

You know what I don’t miss about being married?
Compromising on what to have for dinner. That was pretty annoying.

Ahh, Max and I loved annoying each other!
I have been divorced for 19 months (wow!) and living on my own for a year. I can clearly remember – and sometimes, even ache for – the simple joys and pleasures of being Max’s girlfriend, then fiancée, then wife. He was an awful partner in the biblical sense, but sweet and fun as my significant other.

But other times, when I’m out with friends or blogging on my couch with a cup of tea, I revel in my single/divorced status (I’m never sure which word to use to describe myself). I feel so pleased with my life that I can’t even imagine how a boyfriend would fit in!

It’s the everyday pleasures that make up our lives, so let’s take a look what made me happy when I was married, and what I’m embracing now.

Simple stuff I took for granted when I was married:

  1.  Snuggling and hand holding anytime. I’m physically affectionate, and the truth is I don’t get much contact these days. Just last night, I woke up in the middle of night and my barely waking thought was, I wanna snuggle. Dammit. Pooh Bear and my assortment of pillows just aren’t the same.
  2. Being part of an automatic team. Carrying the groceries up from the car. Putting up the Christmas tree. Attending events when you know no one but your significant other. No problems when you’re married, but challenging (or even depressing) when you’re not.
  3. Getting opinions on how I look. Max is definitely a guy’s guy, but he could be quite useful with helping me decide what clothes look good on me. Now I have to text selfies to my girlfriends and await their verdicts.
  4. Talking about my workday. Max’s brain works differently from mine, so I really liked being able to share my workday and listen to his perspective. He would really help me sort through challenges and frustrations and focus on my goals. 
  5. Not worrying about locking myself out of my apartment. I am super paranoid about locking myself out of my apartment. Like I put my key in my purse a moment before I leave and then look for it like six more times before I close the door. It’s pretty weird. At least when I lived with Max, I knew I’d never have to wait that long for him to return should I ever lock myself out (which I never did in our six years living together). My solution today? Jen and Tina both have copies of my keys.

Simple stuff I embrace about being divorced/single:

  1. Cooking whatever I want. Now that I don’t have to look for recipes that could work for my vegetarian requirements and my meat eating significant other, I’m getting better at cooking. I try more stuff, like this and this!
  2. Sundays. After I moved into my own apartment last year, Sundays were hard for me. I often felt lonely, and even worse, bored! Like, what the heck do I do with myself? No more. Now I love Sundays! They’re great for low pressure dates, or hanging with a girlfriend, or doing alone time. This past Sunday, I ran 9 miles and then took a yoga class, read a book on my patio, and was in bed by 10 p.m. PERFECTION.
  3. Not turning on the TV. I am pleasantly surprised that I sometimes have entire days when I don’t turn on my TV at all. That never happened when I was married. Max is a channel surfer (I hate even watching people do that!). There was always a football game or show on the History Channel that Max would watch. TV came to symbolize noise pollution in my home, not to mention a way to mask the silence between me and my husband.
  4. Making my bed. It’s funny that this makes the list because I always HATED making my bed. As an adult, I tried to force myself to make my bed a few times a week. But Max always got up after me, so that meant our bed was made maybe twice a month. Now? Every single day, I take pride as I smooth the Crate & Barrel duvet cover (wedding gift, of course) across my king size bed.
  5. Having an orgasm. I was in a sexless relationship and I didn’t masturbate, so for years, I had no orgasms. NONE! How freaking sad is that?! I was completely depending on someone else to provide me with the most basic human desire, which is just silly. I'm currently on a break from dating, but no matter -- I have my goody drawer, as every adult should. 

I am proud that I can fondly remember and even miss the little joys from my marriage, but that they don’t cast shadows on my single life.

What are the little things you miss about being in a relationship? And what’s are your simple pleasures about being single?