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?