Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Where Is My Ex-Husband's Wedding Ring?

As you know, I’m on the prowl. I’ve been dating, which inevitably includes pondering the mystery of the “two great dates and he disappears” phenomenon. I’ve been doing a little making out with guys who are too young for me (I gotta stop that!). Hell, I even went on a total setup/pseudo blind date (still waiting for him to follow up properly). But, so far, nothing much to report on my dating life.

No boyfriend material means I have been admiring the goods just about everywhere I go!

The other day, I was checking out guys when I was… um, someplace and breathing. The mall? The grocery store? The library? Who knows. A single woman on the prowl must keep her eyes peeled, folks. And what do I notice first? His hands.

Since I was about 20-years-old, whenever I’m checking out guys, I always, always, always do the WBC.

WBC is Kat speak for "Wedding Band Check."

My eye automatically drifts down to any guy’s left ring finger. Then my next thought would either be “Game on (possibly!)” if his finger were vacant or “Damn. Next!” if his finger were occupied. It’s funny, even when I was married, I would find myself checking, just out of curiosity.

(For the record, I just look at his finger. I rarely actually approach the guy with the naked finger, though I’m working on my courage. And I stay far away from a guy with a ring!)

So anyway when I was scoping out some cute stranger’s hand while shopping or picking out cereal or selecting a book, a thought struck me: I bet women check out Max and his naked left hand all the time. I mean, why wouldn’t they? He’s just about six feet tall, a lean but strong build, a good head of dark hair, and an amazing smile. A handsome guy who’s not wearing a ring? He’s prime for the picking!

Whoa. Other women are looking at Max. Does he notice? Does he care? Has he dated at all? Has he kissed anyone?

What did he do with the elegant platinum wedding band that he selected five years ago?

(He was still wearing it when we met with the mediators. It was so sad. My rings had been off for weeks.)

I looked down at my naked left ring finger. Max never once asked me what I did with my engagement ring. (I sold it last year and bought myself a right hand ring.) He certainly has never asked me about dating. So I guess I’ll never know what became of his wedding band.

Do you regularly do the WBC? Do you know what your ex did with his or her wedding rings?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Am I Ready to Buy A Home On My Own?

“We are planning to put the apartment on the market…”

Yes, my landlord was talking about my beloved apartment, the apartment I yearned for during the long months of co-habitating with my ex-husband. It felt like our condo would never sell (and for six months, it didn’t). When I walked into this apartment, I hadn’t even turned on the lights when I turned to my realtor and exclaimed, “This is it! This is my apartment! Call right now!” 

The day I got the keys, I strolled into this empty apartment and laid down on the bedroom floor, my arms and legs spread like a star. I smiled ear to ear as tears trickled down my face.

My apartment,” I thought. “All mine. I did it. I’m back on my own!”

I can't leave this view!!
Over the past eight months, this apartment has symbolized my independence and joy as I have moved on without Max and redefined myself. The collectively shitty experience of living in a condo I didn’t want in a town I didn’t really like has become a distant memory, thanks to this apartment in Ford.

And now my landlord wants to sell it?! I almost puked and burst into tears.

So, now what?

I have two options: move again or… buy this place.

(Actually, my first thought was that episode of The Golden Girls when Blanche handcuffed herself to the radiator at her grandmother's plantation, but I thought that might be a tad overdramatic for me.)

Being a Homeowner Sucked Last Time

I was kind of traumatized by my last home ownership experience. But can you blame me?

We bought our condo in March of 2010, five months after we got married. To be honest, I have almost no happy memories of living there. Plenty of good things happened in my life during those years, but within those condo walls, it was mostly sadness, loneliness, and rejection. Once my relationship with Max was over, those feelings were overshadowed by overwhelming frustration of being trapped as we waited for that damn buyer to show up.

We dropped the condo price more than once, each time tens of thousands of dollars flying away from us. So not only was I terribly frustrated with my living situation but I was also actively LOSING money on it? This is the American Dream? I call bullshit!

When we finally signed over the condo, I was an emotional wreck (but relieved too). I remember thinking, “If I never own a home again, it will be too soon.”

Is It Time To Buy?

Yoshi's plan for how to buy my apartment.
Yeah, homeownership did suck with Max… but it largely sucked because the condo was my scapegoat. It symbolized the sadness of a crumbling marriage.  The curveball of divorce and a slumping condo market in G-town were things we couldn’t have predicted.

But I did learn a lot from the experience. I will ask more and better questions this time (like, hello, the policy on renting out the unit).

I have downpayment money in a savings account called – you guessed it – “Downpayment.” I know I love this apartment. I know the people in the building are normal (there were a lot of grumpy weirdos in my previous building). My commute is only 20 minutes. I can walk to everything I need.

Unlike last time where we were buying in a town I didn’t know, I love Ford. I have done a lot of thinking over the past year about where I want to live, and I’ve come to the conclusion that for the foreseeable future, this is where I want to be.

So… why not commit to buying? 

I’m doing it! I’m going to make an offer to buy my apartment! 

What was your post-split living situation like?

Epic Mommy Adventures

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Boyfriend is NOT an Insecure, Sleazy Vegan Who Doesn't Drink or Eat Gluten

"If I wuz ya boyfriend, I'd never let ya go!"
Dear Boyfriend,

I can’t wait to meet you!

It’s been just about two years since my relationship with Max ended, the day he told me that he wasn't attracted to me. Since then, I have cried in bathrooms, gone and still go to therapy, blogged and tweeted, ran two half marathons, and dated my Mr. Right Now. I continue to soul search and grow from my divorce so I can have an open heart and mind when I meet you.

In January of 2014, I decided I was ready to find you.

You might be anywhere, which is very exciting. I could meet you in the bagel shop, at my office (that’s where I met Max), at a gas station, on a dating website, or at Chipotle. So, I have been trying extra hard to talk to strangers. After all, you are probably a stranger to me right now.

Well, Boyfriend, last week I met two guys and I learned some things about what you will not do. 

1. You will not treat me like Foursquare.

I met this guy, Steve, at a bar. I didn’t really think he would be you, but I guess I was feeling friendly and optimistic. The night after we met, Steve asked if I wanted to meet him out. I said I had plans with friends. He then texted me four more times over the next 90 minutes, checking in with his location! What was this, reverse stalking? What the hell did I care which bar he was at? I said I was busy! 

Boyfriend, you will not be so needy and insecure or desperate to get laid or whatever.

2. You will not make sexually suggestive comments (until we are dating, of course).

After Steve got my number, he noticed pink streaks on the underside of my hair. He proceeded to make comments in person and then repeatedly over text about wanting to see my “wild side.” Ewww. ( I broke plans to meet him for drinks. He was clearly not you, dear Boyfriend.)

OMG, you're gorgeous.

3. You will not shun delicious wheat and eggs and cheese.

I went out twice with Bill, a short, small man who I met through OKCupid. Bill is smart and interesting but once I found out that he was a vegan who doesn’t eaten gluten, I knew he wasn’t you. Yes, I follow a strict vegetarian diet, but I am not vegan. That’s just too big of a pain in the ass. AND he doesn't eat gluten?! (And no, he does not have celiac.) I pictured him nibbling on grass. But maybe dirt has gluten?! Sigh.

Mark my words, Boyfriend: you and I will eat amazing egg and cheese bagel sandwiches on Sundays. And yes, you can have bacon on your sandwich.

4.     You will not order unsweetened iced tea… at a bar.

Bill asked me out for coffee for our first meeting, and I thought, “Shit! Coffee dates are for losers! They never work!” So I said I’d rather go to a bar. We did meet at a bar, and it turns out that not only did Bill not eat animal products or gluten, he doesn’t drink. At all. 

Boyfriend, I know you’re laughing that I even bothered going out with him, but I had to try! I know now that you and I will drink together, with my friends, and with my family. Every once in a while, we will drink too much and have hot sloppy sex or a stupid argument. And some nights we’ll snuggle on the couch while sipping our glasses of wine, and then nod off while watching “Back to the Future.”

These might sound kind of horrible experiences, but I never see it that way. When I meet people like Steve and Bill, it helps me know more surely that I will know you when we meet. 

Boyfriend, we will be secure in our relationship and we’ll never worry what the other one is doing when we’re not there. You will be appropriately flirty with me (and eventually we’ll have hot, sweet sex). We’re going to eat carbs and drink alcohol. I know I'm not asking too much, so I know you're out there.

We are going to have a great time together!


P.S. I hope you show yourself soon. Just saying!

Monday, May 5, 2014

"Hi, I'm Kat. I came here alone!"

A really cool thing about being married was having that built-in date, buddy, +1, partner in crime, whatever you want to call it. You have a go-to person for every wedding, barbecue, and brunch. You never have to do anything alone if you don’t want to.

Now, I’m not Kat + Max. I’m not even Kat +1. I’m just… Kat.

I’m an extrovert and very social so I’m usually fine going into any situation alone. But on Saturday, I had a small freakout.

Missing My +1

I was heading to a Cinco de Mayo party in G-town, the town where I shared a condo with Max. I came to despise G-town, the town where my marriage weakened and then collapsed. I’m working on not hating the town, but it’s still full of sad, bitter memories for me.

Anyway, as I drove through the familiar streets in Max’s former car, I remembered the first party that Max and I attended at this couple’s house three years ago. With the exception of my friend Candice and her husband Greg, we weren’t going to know anyone at that party. No matter though, Max and I had each other. He parked the car in the long driveway and we strolled in together, hand in hand.

Now, I was alone.

I called my parents.

“Can I vent?”

Of course, they said. (Yes, both were on the line.)

I hate going to stuff alone, I told them. I know this party will be great once I’m in, but first, I have to walk in. Alone. I can talk to a potted plant if I need to, but I have to get inside first. Candice and Greg are coming but not until later, so I won’t know anyone. This is bullshit, I whined.

“I wish Max were with me,” I confessed. “Not because I want to be married to him, but because I wish I had him to walk inside with me.”

My parents both agreed, completely understanding. My dad had a good tip:

“Find a single guy. Any single guy in his right mind should find you, but if he doesn’t, find him. He’ll be really excited to talk to you.”

I thanked them for listening. I parked the car then checked my reflection in the rearview mirror. (Hey, I’m getting pretty good at applying liquid eyeliner!) Enough is enough, I told myself. There are margaritas and guacamole in there. Go, Kat, go!

I walked up the long driveway alone.

...unless you're walking into a party by yourself
and the strangers aren't wearing wedding rings.
Then it's OK.

Walking In Alone

I took a deep breath and walked in the house. I looked around and knew no one – I didn’t even see the hostess. (Ohmygod why am I doing this?!) Obviously, I made a beeline for the bar and then ordered a margarita. And what do you know? There was a group of three men, none of them wearing wedding rings, right behind me!

“Hi, I’m Kat!” I blurted out, big smile plastered across my face.

They looked at me, slightly confused.

“I’m sorry to interrupt, but I came here alone so… nice to meet you!”

And with that, the ice was broken. Introductions and chatter all around! They were very friendly and good company until Candice and Greg arrived.

Receiving The Best Compliment Ever

An hour or two after facing my fear of walking in alone, I was chatting it up with Candice and Greg. They are a lovely couple, together for 12 years and proud parents of a toddler. As they told me about their daughter’s latest shenanigans, they paused.

“You’re so independent,” said Greg earnestly.

“You really are,” Candice agreed. “We would love it if our daughter were as strong and cool as you.”

I blushed a bit and thanked them.

Best. Compliment. Ever. And to a woman who required a parental pep talk to walk into a party!

What was it like for you to start going to things alone after your divorce or breakup?
Epic Mommy Adventures