Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Horse Wins a Race, A Guy Wins My Heart

I am 35 years old and I have only been someone’s girlfriend twice in my life.

The first time was in 1998. I was a senior in high school and dating Dave, an absolute sweetheart. I lost my virginity to him the summer before we went away to college. We stayed together until Spring Break of freshman year when the distance between our universities just made things too hard.

The second time was in 2005. I remember the moment when we addressed it. Max and I were driving to a professional basketball game after dating for a couple of months. Because I loathe uncertainty, I had to ask, “If someone asked me if I had a boyfriend, I should say ‘yes,’ right?” I chose to ask this while driving over the George Washington Bridge, just to ensure all of my anxiety levels were as high as possible. He looked at me like I had just asked him his name. “I sure hope you would say ‘yes!’” he answered. And that was that. 

If I ever want these, please smack me.
(Three years later, he asked me to marry him, and four years after that I would ask him to divorce me.)

A decade since that moment in the car with my ex-husband (and three years since my marriage died), Rick expressed that he wanted me to be his girlfriend. Whoah.

Unlike with Jason, when I wanted no part of being his girlfriend or any else’s, I actually like Rick too. We have been spending as much time together as we can since we met in the end of April and it’s been great.

When Rick brought up the G-word, I got skittish because that’s what I do. Yes, I’ve been hoping to find a relationship again for awhile now, but I’m one of those people who is perpetually single.

I really like being single. I’m good at it. I know what to expect. I know how to take care of me.

But I also know how wonderful it can be to be in a healthy, balanced relationship. Sure, it’s been long time since I had one of those, but I do remember the early days with Dave and with Max – the cuddling, the handholding, the first birthday spent together, the first road trip. And of course, the joy of sex with someone you really care about.

I told Rick I wasn’t quite ready for the labels yet, but I was getting there. 

I wasn’t seeing anyone else and I found myself thinking about him an awful lot. I felt excited about the possibility of… something… with him. Fortunately, Rick has been wonderfully patient with me every step of the way. He told me that he understood and that he wasn’t going anywhere.

Things changed a couple of days later at Belmont Stakes, the famous horse races.

American Pharaoh Wins the Triple Crown, Rick Wins My Heart

Rick had invited me to join him for the big event. He and his friends are into the racing and betting. Me, on the other hand, well I was tagging along for an excuse to day drink. Oh, and to meet his friends, of course!

I knew absolutely nothing about Belmont or horseracing, which made the day even more exciting for me. We rode two different trains to get out to Belmont Park on Long Island, just outside New York City. When we arrived, I was just in awe.

The facility was huge but still charming, with all kinds of seating both indoors and out. (We were in the Backyard, AKA the cheap seats.) Something about the park felt like a throwback, as if I were in a Disney movie like Mary Poppins. The people watching was incredible! The outfits were Vineyard Vines meets Kentucky Derby. To put it in perspective, there were men wearing seersucker suits and women wearing those huge hats like Kate Middleton wears. The crowd consisted of everything from the super wealthy to the hard up gambling addicts. The energy was palpable as we got closer to American Pharaoh’s shot at winning the Triple Crown.

Given that Rick actually understood what was going on, you would think it would be sort of annoying to be at such a big race with someone as clueless as me. But nope! He proudly introduced me to his two best friends from growing up. As we wandered the grounds, he explained the races and the betting (which was totally intimidating and confusing, hence my gambling all of about $25) so that I might appreciate the madness. And the entire time, Rick held my hand.

I had never seen or done anything like the Belmont Stakes, and I was experiencing it with a kind, loving man who thinks the world of me. How lucky was I?

It was a hell of a day! Even I understood that American Pharaoh’s win was a big deal.  

(Confession: I didn’t get out of my chair to watch that race because I was busy eating a soft pretzel with mustard. I didn’t want all that perfectly good rock salt falling on the ground. My love affair with carbs wins again.)

Much later that night, tired from alcohol and snacks and sun, Rick and I strolled from Penn Station to Grand Central. Hand in hand, I found us talking about my terribly conflicted feelings about motherhood. I won’t share the details of that very personal conversation, but I knew in that moment that things had changed for me. Rick wasn’t just another guy I was dating. This man actually meant something to me. 

It was a big day for a horse, and a big day for this divorcee. 

The next morning, while we laid in bed chatting about nothing in particular with our arms wrapped around each other, Rick paused.

“You are my girlfriend, right?” he asked.
There was only one thing for me to say.


When was the last time that you realized you were in a new relationship?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Art Of Dating Someone Who Is Not "My Type"

Well, this is an interesting twist of events.

I like a guy. Like for real. Like we hold hands and have sleepovers and we have made each other dinner. He calls me “baby” and it doesn’t make me throw up in my mouth. And guess who is not freaking out? THIS GIRL!

Because I actually like this guy – and he digs me, too! – I have been really hesitant to write about him here. In my blog world, someone ends up a punchline (e.g., the guy who dumped me because I’m allergic to dogs, the guy I dumped because he baked me brownies and then he gave me flowers).

But it’s exciting to finally feel this way, some 18 months after I decided I was ready to look for a relationship, so, I have to dish to you, dear readers.

You're not my type! Go away!
Wait, come back! I changed my mind.
As you might remember, I had put dating on the backburner, but I kept Tinder and Hinge on my phone because why not? Swiping left and right can be amusing while you’re waiting for your burrito or whatever. So, one night in late April, I ended up chatting with Rick on Tinder. 

  • Age – My criteria has been maybe a year or two younger or up to 10 years older. He’s 37, so that’s perfect. (And, how weird is this… we have the same birthday!)
  • College educated – Sort of. He didn’t finish undergrad. But, since he’s an electrician, he has a ton of related education and certifications. 
  • Salary – Hard to say, but he definitely has more expenses than I do, which leads me to . . .
  • No roommates – Well, she’s not a roommate. She’s his nine-year-old daughter. Yup, he's a single dad.

No, he wasn’t my usual type, but given that I’ve been single for as long as I have, perhaps my type is worth reevaluating. Rick asked me to continue our conversation over a drink. I said yes.

As I walked into the bar to meet Mr. Tinder, the usual online dating thoughts ran through my head: “Please be cute. Please be smart. Please be normal.”

My dating prayers were answered.

Relief #1 – he looked just like his photos (and he’s actually tall, for real!).  Good, because obviously I thought that he looked cute!

Relief #2 – it was just… easy.

We had a nice mix of small talk and real talk. But the best thing for me was my immediate sense of his warmth. He felt kind and open in a way that you don’t often encounter, especially from a man on a first date.

At the end of our date, he walked me to my car and asked to see me again before I left for my trip to Germany. I agreed. Again, he was not my usual type, but this was fun and so relaxed. He hugged me goodbye, and I got in my car with a big stupid smile on my face. What a gentleman! 

Three days later we met for dinner. Three hours later, he walked me to my car and kissed me in the street. It was a great kiss – that make-me-melt combination of sweet and sexy. I knew I might be getting myself in trouble, and in a good way.

Rick was definitely making me rethink the rules I have been trying to stick to for two years.

Outdoor country concert = best date ever.
Since I returned from my vacation, we have spent as much time together as our schedules (particularly his) allow. Each time that we have hung out, whether it’s date (dinner! bowling! Jason Aldean concert!) or just hanging out at home, we get closer and closer. It’s really cool. I have to admit that despite how very different our lives are (I'm at happy hour while he is coaching his daughter's lacrosse team), we have many similarities in how we view life. We have been able to talk about past relationships (we are both divorced) and our hopes for the future.

Rick is much better at articulating how he feels about me; I’m still guarded. But oh how refreshing to be with a man who is secure enough with himself, his masculinity, and his feelings to be so open! (Ahem, Ryan, take note!) And those other more closed off men were the guys who were "my type" -- at least superficially.

We are both crushing hard. It’s really scary… I have a million questions [fears], particularly because I have never dated someone with a child before. But I'm doing my best to be very present and just go with the flow. 

Next step -- meeting each other's friends. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

By the way, since I’m finally dating someone where I see relationship potential, of course, this means that yesterday Zach contacted me out of the blue to ask me if I wanted to fuck (he never wastes words). Then tonight Jason, the Incredible Sex – who I have not seen in nine months! – texted me to see if I wanted to have a “platonic drink.” I told them both that I’m seeing someone, so no. Much as I love me a good booty call, I would never risk a potential boyfriend for a frivolous fuck or allegedly platonic drink.

Have you dated someone who wasn't your usual type? How did it go?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Very Worst Kinds of Goodbyes

Non sequitur: Here's why I'm asking you to log in with Facebook.

As I sat in the Munich airport after Melanie dropped me off, I thought about how much saying goodbye sucks.

Melanie and I went to Verona, Italy, for two nights.
We just thought this staircase was cool,
so I thought you'd like to see it.
I had just spent a week with Melanie (my first college roommate and quite possibly a soulmate) and her family. We hadn’t seen each other in three years. We understood each other just like we always have, even though since our last visit I got divorced and she and her husband welcomed their second son (my absolutely delicious godson, who’s six months old).

During my visit, we strolled through city and country roads, blabbing nonstop about everything and nothing. Our lives are pretty different now, but that doesn’t matter when the love is there.

As tears rolled down my face and gate change announcements in German blared over the loud speaker, my heart ached terribly. (And why the hell don't I ever have tissues?) It had only been an hour and I already missed my friend something fierce.

What is worse than saying goodbye to someone when you have no idea when you might see them again?

I started thinking about some of my saddest farewells, all of which I now associate with moments of huge emotional growth:

  1. The last day of summer camp as a camper. There is something just magical about the friendships I formed at sleepaway camp, as if each day were a year of hugs and inside jokes and arguing. It didn’t matter what kind of towns were from or what sort of grades we got in school. At camp, those superficial barriers were all but gone so we could connect based on who we were on the inside. Oh, how I used to sob on the bus ride back home after camp!
  2. The last day of summer camp as a counselor. In 2002, I was a volunteer counselor at a camp for kids with HIV. There was one 13-year-old in particular with whom I really bonded (probably too much, in hindsight). I knew she had a really screwed up home life in addition to having HIV. She and I both cried our faces off on that last day of the session. To this day I still think of her and pray that she is healthy and that she stayed out of trouble. Sadly, I have no idea what happened to her.
  3. Leaving my exchange family in St. Petersburg, Russia. In high school, I participated in an exchange program with a family, and I really connected with the student, Yulia, who was my age. We were fortunate enough to see each other several times between 1996 and 2002, but I have not seen her in 13 years. I still remember Yulia’s blue eyes turning a stinging red with tears as we clung to each other, promising that this wasn’t good bye, it was “see you later.” (She did recently find me on Facebook! Praise the World Wide Web.)
  4. The day when Max and I sold our condo. After living in separate bedrooms for almost a year, our condo finally sold in September of 2013. After we signed the paperwork, we went to lunch a beerhouse that we used to frequent in our early days of dating. When it was time to go our truly separate ways with two separate sets of house keys, I cried in the parking lot. [Are you sensing a theme with all of this crying?] For the first time in eight years, I had no idea when I might see Max again. This wasn’t necessarily bad, but certainly unsettling.

As my plane flew west over Europe, I dabbed my eyes on my cocktail napkin.

I realized that there is something worse than saying goodbye when you don’t know when you’ll see them again.

Those other goodbyes were so difficult because I wasn’t just anxious wondering when I would see these people again – it was if I would see them again.

With certain people in your life, you know that it’s never a questions of if; it’s always a matter of when. Melanie is one of those people.

What are some of the hardest goodbyes that you have had to say?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Do You Miss Me? I'll Be Back Soon!

I am writing from one of my bestest friend's guest room in her home outside Munich, Germany!

My love affair with carbs goes international.
Leading up to this trip, I had a busy week with two dates with the same guy (!), figuring out where the heck I left my passport, and last ditch effort workouts before departing for my long awaited reunion with Melanie, one of my college roommates. And, I got to meet her six-month-old son -- my godson!

The last time I saw her in person was three years ago, right after my ex-husband told me he was not attracted to me and before I accepted the inevitability of divorce. Amazing how different my life is now.

Anyway, I miss you, dear readers, and I will post as soon as I return from my trip! Tschüss!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Want to Know Why You Have to Log In With Facebook?

Dear reader,

If you’re a returning reader of my blog, I love you!, and allow me to explain the new Facebook login.

As you might remember, I have had some issues in the past with people from my real life – and I’m not talking selected friends and family–  reading my blog. While this is certainly flattering, it also makes me very self-conscious.

The reason why I love blogging is because I don’t hold back. I have shared everything from my raw post-divorce pain to my first sex (finally!) to getting dumped (more than once!). For me to write freely about my life and the lessons I’m trying so hard to learn, I can’t be worrying about what others think. I need to write for me, and it’s a huge bonus if you read what I write and even more awesome if you connect to my words.

This is an icky way to feel when writing about
really personal crap.
The past few months, I have gotten word again that people who know me – but I don’t necessarily know them – are reading my blog. It's a mind fuck; this feels like a cross between being someone walking in on you masturbating and getting caught crying when you thought no one could hear you.

These are not people I would talk to about heartbreak or orgasms in real life, so I am not comfortable with those people reading my blog. 

Lucky for me, I have a genius programmer friend who would be an amazing criminal if he weren’t an upstanding guy. He has been super supportive of my writing and this blog. When I told him how upset I was about the situation and that I was considering pulling the plug on my blog, he wouldn’t have it. Instead, he came up with this great solution: require a Facebook login simply so I can know who’s stopping by my blog. If there are visitors that I’m not comfortable with, I can talk to them directly. He built it, and here we are! (I told you I have awesome friends.)

So, this is why you are now being asked to log in with your Facebook account. 

To be clear:
  • I will never friend you
  • I will never post anything on your wall
  • I will never invite you to play Candy Crush with me (is that what people are playing?)
I know it’s annoying to log in, but know how much I appreciate your readership and comments, so I hope you will stay with me despite this extra login step.

Have any questions or concerns about logging in? Leave them in the comments and either I or my genius friend will respond.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

From Happy Hour to a Lap Dance: How I Earned My Hangover

It started off innocently enough. On Friday after work , Yoshi, Connor, and I were going to happy hour at our neighborhood bar.

“Now, Yoshi, I only want like one glass of wine. Two at the most. Not our usual happy hour turns into staying out until 11.”

But do you think I’d be writing about a typical happy hour? Of course not.

One glass of wine turned into three. Oh, and there was some tequila. (The tequila wiped out poor Yoshi early.) By this point, my empty stomach and boozy head was up for anything.

Connor gave me a sly look.

“Want to go to a strip club?” 

I had never gone to a strip club, but I have always thought it could be fun under the right circumstances. My conservative, sexually mute ex-husband would never, ever have would have participated in something so sexually overt, so I never bothered to ask.

Going to a strip club on a random night with my friend and two of his buddies – were these the right circumstances for my strip club experience? Conditions were not totally ideal. I was in my work clothes; let's just say I wouldn't have picked a cardigan for the occasion. Also, I have been told it’s best to go see strippers with someone you’d want to get it on with later, but there was zero chance of that with the guys I was going with. No matter. You know how I answered Connor.

“Sure, let’s go!”

We grabbed some sandwiches then off we went. There I was, 35-years-old sitting the middle seat of a cab with three guys in their 20s. Going to a strip club. Because WHY THE HELL NOT.

As we walked in to the club I was excited but kind of nervous. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. 

Would it be skeevy? 
Was it weird that I was going and without a boyfriend/special friend? 
Was I going to feel ugly/fat/unsexy?

The answers turned out to be: no, no, and no! The place was remarkably not gross. It was pretty clean and the clientele mostly looked like normal guys. There were a handful of women, and they looked pretty normal too.

We took our seats next to the stage/walkway thing, right by the pole. (Wow, so stripper poles are a real thing?!) Connor handed me a gigantic pile of ones. I guess I had a confused expression on my face, because he felt the need to state the obvious.

“Kat, you tip with that.”

Oh, right. That.

With a couple of dollar bills in hand, I started watching nearly naked women strut, crawl, and pole dance. (I kept thinking of that Wyclef song, Perfect Gentleman.)

I turned to Connor, my eyes huge. “Holy shit! Look at her ass! Her legs! How can she do that in those shoes? I did NOT expect the women to be so hot!”

He grinned. Silly, naïve Kat!

I stared at the strippers. I stared at the patrons. I was utterly un-subtle about the entire experience, but I couldn’t stop! There was so much to take in.

At some point, I was told it was time to go to the VIP room. (Good thing I trust Connor, because I was so buzzed with booze and amazing people watching that all I could do was follow his lead.)

Next thing I knew, I was getting a lap dance from a beautiful Eastern European woman. 

There’s no doubt that I’m straight, but damn. She was insanely hot and it was a full contact lap dance. (But dammit, I was going to be going home alone!) I was too shy to get really into it but I have to say, I really enjoyed the experience!

After my lap dance, I took a moment to just look around this so-called VIP room. 

I have never seen anything like it. The room was electric with erotic energy. Gorgeous women were on top of men of all shapes and sizes, grinding, dancing, giving bedroom eyes. I was just fascinated. My sexual experiences have been at least somewhat private, and here were all these people getting themselves warmed up for who knows what.

It’s been almost three years since my ex-husband told me he was not attracted to me and I realized I had to get out of my sexless relationship. I guess I still have moments of shock that the world is indeed full of men who are comfortable with their sexuality and are not afraid to express their desires.

And thank goodness, because that is HOT!

At closing time, we hopped in a cab and headed back downtown for the food trucks. As we stood in line for gravy fries, I marveled at my totally unexpected evening. We started at my old reliable watering hole, then ended up getting a lap dance, and now we were back where we started getting snacks.

Walking arm-in-arm, Connor and I walked/stumbled back to our respective homes. I collapsed into bed. It had been a hell of a night.

The next day, when I was lying in bed hideously hungover, I kind of didn’t mind. I had earned this hangover! My hangover was the price you pay for a night of a new experience – one I never would have had if I were still with my ex.

What is a wild post-breakup experience you had?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

I'm Going to be a Fabulous Godmother

Here's my big sister and me chilling with my beloved godfather.
(Notice the beer and cigarettes behind me!)
In 1980, my Catholic parents asked their friend of a couple of years, Frank, to be my godfather. They could have asked one of my uncles, my Pop-Pop, or another friend, but no, they choose Frank. For the next 23 years, he truly never got over the thrill of having been asked.

Frank was an unlikely candidate for my parents’ friendship or my spiritual guide. He was a trucker who swore and cussed. He drank too much wine/margaritas/Tia Maria and lived in ratty t-shirts. He referred to his ex-wife only as The Bitch.

Despite that rough around the edges exterior, Frank had the biggest heart. Contrary to his politically incorrect humor, Frank viewed the world through his big blue eyes as being full of friends he had yet to meet. He loved and he loved big.

And he was my godfather. Mine! Of course he loved my parents and my siblings, but they could only call him “friend.” I got to call him “friend” AND “godfather.” That made me special.

Maybe in part because he didn’t have kids of his own, Frank always made me feel incredibly important, like no kid in the history of the universe was as awesome as I was. He would clap his hands together in delight and tell me how cool I was. He was endlessly amazed by my fabulousness. Can you imagine how that felt – for him and for me?

I have so many wonderful memories with Frank, like riding in his boat on the Atlantic Ocean, eating French toast at his house after my family had slept over, and smoking a cigarette with him and my dad (my dad! smoking!) on my 21st birthday.

But more than any of these moments, I will always remember Frank’s catchphrase with me.

Frank would ask me, “Who loves you?!” I would get super embarrassed and roll my eyes. So he’d say it again, amused by my embarrassment. “Who loves you?!” I would give in and say, “You do.”

As I got older, I wasn’t embarrassed to say I loved him. Instead, I would kind of shout my response! I wanted the world to know what Frank meant to me.

He would grin from ear to ear and laugh and say, “Ha! You’re cool.”

The day Frank died, I lost my number one fan. It's been 11 years and I still miss him terribly.

Given my relationship with my beloved godfather, I have always wanted to be a godmother. However, since realizing that I'm not down with Jesus and therefore am no longer religious, I figured I had no shot at being a godmother. 

I'll try to be as cool as this lady.
Well, I am honored to share that in the past five months, I have been asked twice to be a [non-Catholic] godmother!

The day her son was born – and what would have been my fifth wedding anniversary – my dear friend Melanie asked me over FaceTime from her hospital room in Germany if I would be her son’s godmother. (I will meet him in May!) And then, last week, I stood with my two-year-old niece during her child dedication ceremony and promised to love and support her through her spiritual journey.

It is a great honor of being asked to play a dedicated role in a person’s spirituality (Catholic or otherwise). Now, I am understanding more and more why Frank was so thrilled at having been asked to be my godfather. Especially since I don’t have children of my own, I am grateful for my roles as godmother and aunt.

Now it’s my turn to embarrass my godson, goddaughter, and nieces and nephews when I ask them, “Who loves you?!”

Have you been asked to play a special role in someone else's family? How did it make you feel?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Time to Stop Wasting My Precious Time on an Unworthy Guy

Do not squander time for that is the stuff life is made of.
-Ben Franklin
I loathe wasting time. Life can be wickedly and deliciously unpredictable, and I want to use every minute I have. There are many things I want to do and people I want to see, which require scheduling; ever since I can remember, when I see an empty space in my calendar, I am inclined to fill it.

I consider myself fortunate to have a job that doesn’t require me to be on call, a couple of extra dollars in the bank that I can choose to waste on my entertainment, an assortment of awesome friends to hang out with, and a healthy body that can exercise (I really appreciate this since my knee injury). So, I can and often do pack seven days a week with fun/fulfilling/intoxicating activities.

This is how I do my life and it works for my type-A self.

With this understanding of my values and personality, I have been struggling a bit the past few weeks. I have been seeing this guy, Mike, and thanks to him, I have realized that being with new people, particularly when dating, means gambling my most precious commodity. Sure, sometimes it pays off, but what if the guy sucks? That time spent with him could have been spent doing something that could have been guaranteed enjoyable time, and therefore my time can feel wasted. I HATE THAT.

(Yes, with an attitude like this one, I probably shouldn't be dating anyone right now. But anyway...)

Gambling My Time with a New Guy

Admittedly, from the start I described Mike as arrogant and spoiled, but also seeming to have a very sweet and generous side. So, why not give him a few tries?

A couple of dates later I was bored of hearing him talk about how super he was. I decided he was a good kisser but kind of a dick so I wanted out. I told him thanks but no thanks. Well, his response was so sweet that I completely second guessed myself and said nevermind, let's keep hanging out! This was extremely unlike me -- I'm usually quite decisive, almost to a fault.

What made me start accepting that Mike was not worthy of my time was when being with Mike meant losing time with people I care about.

A few days ago, I was hanging out with Pete and his best friend Kyle. These two guys have the most genuine bromance you have ever seen, so I love hanging out with them. (As a sidenote, I have a killer crush on Kyle, but of course he lives seven hours away. But I digress.) We spent a Sunday drinking bloody marys, eating french fries, and telling stupid stories about each other and just laughing a ton.

But, because I'm a compulsive calendar filler, I had plans to see Mike that evening. After Pete teased the hell out of me for double booking my Sunday, I had to tear myself away from him and Kyle. 

As I drove to Mike’s, all I could think was how much I was enjoying my minutes with Pete and Kyle, and now I was trading those minutes to be with a guy I was lukewarm about.

I was right. My time with Mike was fine, but whatever. My time with Pete and Kyle was great.

I gambled and I lost.

I saw Mike last night. I could have come home after my volunteering commitment and written a long overdue blog entry. I could have read for book club. I could have thrown in a load of laundry, caught up on People magazine, or gone to bed early. I could have done a bazillion other things that would have made me feel happy and/or productive. Instead, I spent a few hours with a guy who wasn’t that good of a match for me. I am now certain he isn’t going to be my boyfriend. And he was totally trying to pressure me in to having sex. What is this, West Beverly Hills High School?!

Why the hell did I bother? In my gut, I've known all along this wasn't a person I should choose to share my time with.

Again, I gambled and lost.

I’m done seeing Mike. He’s not worth the gamble.

Epic Mommy Adventures

Sunday, March 8, 2015

When Your Ex-Husband Tells You His Girlfriend is Pregnant

My ex-husband, Max, has brown eyes and long, black eyelashes. (I always said those eyelashes were wasted on a man.) Through our eight years together, I saw his eyes light up with joy. I saw them darken with secrecy. I saw them dull with shock and denial.

This time, I was seeing something I had not seen before. Could it be fear?

Max stood in front of me, shifting his weight, fidgeting his hands. He stood seven inches taller than me, but felt smaller. What was going on? We have been divorced for two years. What on earth was there for him to say to me that could reduce him to this?

“Kat,” his voice quivering ever so slightly, “I have to tell you something.”

“OK…” I replied. “Go ahead. You can tell me anything.”

“Well, we are engaged…”

Engaged?! I didn’t even know he was dating someone. In fact, I had assumed he hadn’t even kissed anyone since me. We got divorced because of his lack of desire for sex, so it didn’t occur to me that he would even want to date. He was so resistant to working on himself when we were in therapy. But I guessed this was good, right? Maybe this means he was coping with his problems and moving on? I can be brave and make myself happy for my ex-husband.

But there was more.

“…because she’s pregnant.”

Oh god. No. No. No!

Everything started flashing. I couldn’t breathe. My stomach filled with ice.

We were supposed to have children together. We were going to be amazing parents. When he took away sex, he took away our shared vision of parenthood. How the fuck could he already be in a romantic relationship complete with physical intimacy? Seven out of our eight years together I was desperate for intimacy. Five out of our eight years together we were in therapy. I wanted him to want me, and for seven years, he rejected me. 

Now I’m 35, single, and unsure if motherhood is something that even makes sense for me anymore. All because my husband would not (could not?) make love to his wife.

And now some other woman is pregnant with the child that was supposed to be mine?! It was more than I could bear. Like a pipe filling with ice, I was on the verge of bursting, a flood of fury and sadness and longing and jealousy.

I dropped my head in my hands as vertigo set in. 

“This isn’t real. This isn’t real. This isn’t real!” I shrieked.
I couldn’t tell if the words were firing in my brain or if they were escaping my mouth.

Then, I woke up.

My heart was pounding and tears hovered in my tear ducts. I was all alone in my bed

I was right. It wasn't real.

How do you feel about your ex moving on? Are you happy for him or her?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Do You Have A Five Year Plan? I Don't.

On their first date, my friend Tina’s now boyfriend asked her a big question:

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Much to her credit, she told him the truth, that she plans to be a mother, regardless of whether she is married.

“I knew I might scare him off,” Tina told me, “but I figured it would come out eventually anyway. If that was going to scare him, may as well scare him now!”

Very good point.

Anyway, this has had me thinking about My Five Year Plan. (More specifically, that said plan does not exist.)

Not being married certainly changed my perspective on the future. When I was with Max, it wasn’t My Five Year Plan, it was Our Five Year Plan. I thought that would include parenthood and getting dragged into a house (I’m so an apartment kind of person) and... ummm... I don't know. We'd do married stuff, like grow old together and talk about the good old days when we rented movies from Blockbuster and no one had a phone on the dinner table.

So much for Our Five Year Plan.

But now, I’m 35, unmarried, and living a pretty comfortable existence.

I have a stable job that I like. I own an apartment that I love. I love the town I live in; it’s the kind of place that allows for families and singles to coexist. I have solid, fulfilling relationships with my friends and family. I’m Putting Myself Out There. (I actually met two cool guys last week!)

Given the overall healthy place I’m in now, what should I be hoping and working for by the time I’m 40 in 2020?

Do I want to relocate?
Do I want to change careers?

Sitting here right now, my resounding answer is… eh, not really!

Honestly, I’m happy with how my life is today, therefore I think I would be happy if my life doesn’t change much. (Though, I would love to find love again.)

Based on the information I have right now, 

my Five Year Plan is for 2020
to not look at that different from 2015.

But, is that a good thing or a bad thing? Am I living a blessed, charmed life? Or am I not pushing myself hard enough? 

Do you have a Five Year Plan? What does your plan look like?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How To Have a Fun, Safe Booty Call... If You Can Handle It

My real life friends and today a Twitter follower ask me:
How does one do a booty call?

I admit to having a fair amount of experience in this area since my sexless marriage ended two years ago. No two booty call arrangements are the same, but they can be super fun, sexually exciting, and even a boost to your self-confidence – if you know the secrets.

Now, before I disclose my secrets to fun, satisfying booty calling, there are a two things we must establish:
  • My booty call companions are not Friends With Benefits because I have no idea how those arrangements work. If I’m friends with you, you don’t get to see me naked.  If you are my booty call, you are not my friend. (And I think I could end up with hurt feelings in a Friends With Benefits situation.)
  • This is very important: a person is not a suitable booty call companion if you might ever, even a little bit, hope for anything resembling a relationship with this person. You are not dating and, in all likelihood, you never will date your booty call. Be honest with yourself and make sure this is completely acceptable. (Now that you read that, please reread it. Seriously.)

OK? OK. Let’s move on!

My booty call companions have come from various places. Two I met at bars (like Zach). Two were guys I used to date until they bored me but they were good in the sack. One I thought I might want to date then I changed my mind (and I was absolutely certain of this when I changed my mind).  So you can find a booty call in a number of different ways; you just have to make it known that you’re receptive – but be subtle about it. You might be surprised at who else is game for this arrangement.

Now, here are my secrets to successful booty calling.


First and foremost, you and your booty call must both be single. Cheating is not nice. 

If you’re not sure if your potential companion is single, ask directly.  If he says yes, that’s the end of the discussion because it’s game on!


Sexting is a fantastic way to build up some anticipation to your hookup.

I had never participated in sexting until two years ago. (Yes, life after divorce has been interesting indeed.) Learning how to flirt and get a little dirty over text is really fun! I like that I learned about this with a guy where I had absolutely nothing to lose.

Sexting tip: if you are going to cross over from sexy words to sexy pictures, never include your face in the photo. As a woman, I have occasionally sent a picture of something like the side of my neck and my bare shoulder. It leaves something to the imagination and you can't see my face. (As a bonus, I can take a picture like that from my couch without changing out of my sweatpants.) Gentlemen, we don't like dick pics. Thanks!


Admittedly, I haven't always been totally sober when I have made or accepted a booty call. But there's buzzed, and then there's the kind of drunk where it's unsafe and/or going to lead to regrets. A dash of liquid courage might be OK, but not much more than that. Got it? Good!


You must completely go with your instincts on this one. If anything about being alone with the person does not feel safe, do not proceed. Don’t question yourself, don’t apologize, just stop it.

So let’s say you are feeling frisky and comfortable with the person. If there's even a chance of having sex, BYO condoms. Since my divorce, I have been utterly appalled by how many attractive single men don’t have condoms! Didn't any of these guys take Sex Ed? 


If you do have sex, again, be safe. A booty call companion has no loyalty to you and vice versa. This person could be sleeping with other people (hell, maybe you are, too). So, condoms FTW.

But, you don’t have to have sex for a booty call to be fun. I have been hooking up off and on with Sean for two years, and we have never had sex. He was great for my self confidence (he was the first man to call me sexy) and for practicing my other moves. I learned a lot about my sexual preferences and talents without ever actually having intercourse.


No sleepovers. Period. Sleepovers lead to cuddling, and cuddling is for relationships. Cuddling can also get the oxytocin flowing, which can confuse you about the arrangement with the person who just got you off (hopefully).This person will never be your significant other, so once the fun is over, kick him out or get your ass home.

(This was extra important when a guy I used to date became my booty call.)

Do not confuse yourself or your booty call companion!


A booty call arrangement is always temporary and can end anytime. You need to be completely fine with this.

Here’s the thing with booty calling – there is no real predictability. Sometimes you’re arranging to meet up often, and other times you might go months without communicating. Then, you might contact him and he doesn’t reply that night or ever again, or you might pull the same thing with him. Yes, this is acceptable behavior. 

Embrace the silence as freeing you from having to bullshit a friendship or feigning interest in dating when you really just want to get some nookie.

(By the way, you do not get in touch to see how the person is doing or chat about the weather or invite him out for your birthday. That's what friends do, and I'm not talking about Friends With Benefits. Communicate with one purpose: building up to or arranging your next rendezvous.) 

If these tips make  you think:
  • “Wow, I would never want to get it on with someone I don’t really know or have feelings for.”
  • “This is terrifying. What if I got murdered/kidnapped/contracted a raging STD?!”
  • “Kat is weird/secretly a dude/a little slutty.”

Then booty calling (and maybe my blog) is not for you. That’s OK, I’m not offended. Like a booty call, it was fun while it lasted!

On the other hand, if these tips make you think:
  • “Wow, this sounds hot and exciting, and all I can emotionally handle.”
  • “I haven’t gotten laid in weeks/months/years and I’m going to wear out my vibrator if I don’t do something about it.”
  • “The person I went on a few dates with last month but we had nothing in common with might be perfect for this.”
Then booty calling might just be the answer to your sexual needs when you're between relationships. Now go grab yourself a box of condoms and have fun!

What is your opinion on booty calling? A good idea or not worth the risk? Any fun booty call stories to share?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cards, Candy, and Booze: Why I Love Being Single on Valentine's Day

You don't need a valentine to enjoy Valentine’s Day.

I realized this in high school, and many crushes and flings, two boyfriends, and one (ex) husband later, it’s still true:

Valentine’s Day is best spent single.

When I’m single on Valentine’s Day (which has been the majority of my life), I focus on the good stuff about the contrived holiday:

  1. CANDY. I’m big on eating healthy but I have a huge weakness for seasonal candy. Red, white, and pink M&Ms. Heart-shaped Yorks. Conversation hearts. Red Hots. Crappy Russell Stover chocolates. Bring it on! Enjoy for two weeks, and then it’s over for the next 50.
  2. CARDS. I absolutely love paper mail, and Valentine’s Day cards are among my favorites to select. They are about expressing gratitude and love for all kinds of relationships, from lovers to grandparents. I can spend hours picking my Valentine’s Day cards. Ever since college, I exchange cards (usually ones with Winnie the Pooh) with my parents and my BFF Ali. My other BFF Sue doesn’t send me a card but she gets one from me anyway because I'm nice like that.
    Beyond these annual card recipients, I sometimes feel the need to remind other loved ones that I'm thinking of them. One year Nora was feeling blue and unlucky in love, so I found her the perfect card that told her how much her friendship means to me. This year is Pete’s first divorced Valentine’s Day, so Pete got a card.
    It truly warms my heart to give my loved ones written expression of my affection for them.
  3. BOOZE. I discovered in college that Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to go drinking with your fellow single pals. And, you know, I like drinking and I like friends, so let's raise a glass!

When I was with Max (my only significant other as a grownup), other than having an excuse to buy him a romantic card and eat candy, Valentine’s Day was lame:
  1. PRESSURE. This dopey holiday that had no particular significance to us put this pressure on us (well, mainly him) to be romantic. Max was a decent husband, but all in all, not the romantic type (with some exceptions, like how he proposed). And even though my expectations were low, I admit that I was usually disappointed by his lack of effort.
  2. RIPOFF. I’m very practical person who’s careful with money. Yes, I love flowers, but flowers on Valentine’s Day are way pricey, not to mention cliché. And yet, several times Max came home with a dozen roses. Red. Obviously. The real downer was that he didn't even seem excited about it -- this bouquet was just something he had to buy. So not only was he unoriginal and unexcited, but he just blew a wad of cash on a flower I don’t even love and that would be it until the next overpriced bouquet a year later.
    (Yikes, do I sound like a super brat??)
  3. SEX. Meaning, I didn’t get any. Not getting laid on Valentine’s Day (or, you know, any day) isn’t such a biggie when you’re single. When you’re in a relationship, there’s pressure to perform. If you’ve ever read my blog before, you know I was not getting my freak on, not on February 14th (or 13th or 15th).

This Valentine’s Day, I’m happy to say my four cards are in the recipients’ hands. I have already eaten my conversation hearts and pink M&Ms. I have plans to hit up half price wine night with friends on Friday AND go out for drinks on Saturday because I don’t mess around!

As the second anniversary of my divorce draws near, in all my single glory, I will revel in the love and friendship in my life.

(And perhaps I'll spend a little time with my battery-operated Valentine!)

What do you think about Valentine's Day? Are you marking it this year?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

“For what it’s worth, I think we could’ve been a cool couple.”

“For what it’s worth, I think we could’ve been a fucking cool couple.” 
I'm going to go tease my hair and
sing into a fan until I feel better.

And then we hung up.

But I know you want to hear more about The Talk, so let’s start there.

Last week, Ryan came over (finally) to discuss what had been going on with us. He had been pulling away, and I assumed – correctly – that the idea of a relationship for a man who says he’s never really had one was too scary/unappealing/boring/suffocating/fill in your own negative adjective.

We sat on my couch, the site of our first kiss, and we had a remarkably respectful and mature conversation. 

The exchange took an hour and looked something like this:

Him: I am fine with how things are.
Me: I know we are still getting to know each other, but I like the idea of being open to the possibility of things progressing.

Him: I know you’re looking for a relationship.
Me: I’m look for a relationship with the right person. I’m interested in the idea of one with you, not because you have a pulse, but because you’re you and I like what I know so far.

Him: I don’t think I’m going to get there. I don’t want to string you along and have it be two, three months down the road and nothing has progressed.
Me: Well if that is how you’re going to come at things, then that is exactly what will happen. I’m not in any rush for anything relationship-wise, but things cannot be stagnant either. I know you haven’t had much relationship experience. Other than being married, neither do I, oddly enough. So let me ask you: Have you been enjoying our time together, hanging out, talking, having sex, the whole thing?
Him: Yes, definitely. And when I go out, I’m not looking to meet anyone else.
Me: So, why not try doing things differently from how you’ve done them in the past? Why not trying on for size the possibility of seeing where things go with me? I have a life, so do you, and dating isn’t a threat to that. It could be fun!


After an hour of me making excellent points (if I do say so myself) and him essentially saying he doesn’t want a relationship, we agreed to take some time to think. Later, I texted him, thanking him for coming over and being honest. He responded that he would not play games with me, and I said that I knew he wouldn’t, and neither would I.

So, I asked myself: could I just leave things as they are? Like I said, I’m not in any rush to find me a baby daddy or anything. But, over the weekend, I thought about my other relationships.

I love people. When you are my family member, my friend, whoever, I want to just care about you. I don’t know how to express my affection for others under any sort of limitation, and that is exactly what I would be agreeing to with Ryan. I cannot do that.

Ryan and I didn’t communicate much over the weekend, and then on Sunday he suggested that we “touch base” on Monday. Dammit. That tiny unrealistic romantic in me, the part that is secretly sad when couples from The Bachelorette break up, was hoping that maybe by some miracle Ryan would come to his senses and realize how idiotic it is to walk away from a person you connect with on so many levels. But you wouldn’t make a romantic confession like that when you “touch base.”

So, on Monday, true to his word, we "touched base." We talked for four minutes while I cooked fajitas. I asked him if we had come to the same conclusion. He said yes, and reiterated that he didn’t want it to be two, three months down the road and I would feel like he wasted me time or led me on. (Interesting fixation he has on this specific time period.) I said I didn't know how to restrict the way I'm going to care about a person.

Then, I said this was disappointing, but I accepted it. “But, Ryan, for what it’s worth, I think we could’ve been a fucking cool couple.”

(Yes, I used to the F-word. Seemed to drive my point home.)

And then we said we would see each other around town. Bye.

I put my phone down on my kitchen counter and sighed.

I have known all along that this was a very likely possibility. He’s 44 and never had a relationship; by his own admission, he’s never had his heart broken. Clearly, this is a man who, for whatever reason, will not allow himself get emotionally intimate with a woman. For the past two weeks, I could see the writing on the wall, so this was hardly shocking.

But as I stirred my fajitas, I got that telltale lump in my throat. What the hell is this? A few tears slid down my cheeks.

What? I’m crying over a guy? Well. Isn't this interesting.

Of all the guys I have gone out with, through the various ups and downs and men disappearing, this was the first time I cried over a guy. Ryan was the first guy that I was actually floored at times by how much we had in common. Then I had wondered if he’d be too tame in the bedroom, and I was wrong – we were super compatible there too! I mean, this was finally a guy where I could really, truly see something happening.

Keeping it real with emotionally unavailable men in their 40s.
But nothing was going to happen.

Not because he didn’t like me – I could accept that better because I’m fully aware that I’m not for everyone and that’s OK.

Nothing was going to happen because he simply will not allow his heart to open that far.

How very sad.

So, I called Jen. With my mouth full of fajita and my tear ducts filled to the brim, I babbled for a few minutes, and like the good friend she is, she listened and assured me that I did nothing wrong, my time with Ryan was fun while it lasted, and it would be OK.

I wiped my tears away. Then I fired off a bunch of texts to tell the masses, and they all responded with the love and support I knew they would provide. 

So, I’m still feeling a little blue and I miss him already. But I’m OK because I’m proud that I stuck to my motto of keeping an open heart and an open mind while also keeping my eyes open. I saw the signs that he would probably pull away, and I didn’t pretend that they weren’t there. I didn’t downplay my readiness for a relationship just to appease him. I really enjoyed my time with Ryan, and when I’m ready to date again, the right person will be out there.

And in the meantime, I'll play some 1980s ballads and sing at the top of my lungs in my car. Total Eclipse of the Heart, anyone?

What was your last breakup like? How do you feel about the way you conducted yourself?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I'm Not Afraid to Walk Away From A Guy I Really Like

I am ready for a relationship, and I don’t apologize for it. Hell, I'm proud of it! It’s taken a lot of post-divorce healing/therapy/yoga plus a healthy dose of pointless – but fun! – dating. I know I’m ready and emotionally healthy enough to open my heart to a man… but he must earn and be worthy of something so precious.

I really like Ryan, the guy I've been seeing since December. I see so much potential for a relationship with him, more so than with anyone else I have dated since I got divorced two years ago. But for all the ways that Ryan and I are compatible in our personalities, lifestyles, and even sexual styles, none of it matters in the slightest if we don’t both want a relationship right now -- not eventually, not next month, right now.

Last week, after days of my doubting and questioning (and a long overdue trip to my therapist), I decided that maybe I’d been a crazy female. I needed to chill the fuck out and just enjoy.

So, when Ryan and I spent last Friday night together, it was lovely. We got takeout, snuggled, watched a movie, had hot sex, and slept together. He held my hand, he called me babe. The next morning, we got breakfast together (bagels!!!). I was loving it. All felt boyfriend-y. It felt nice and real.

But, I asked if he wanted to come to my friend’s birthday drinks that evening, and he said he had already made plans. That is fine of course, and actually very attractive that he has a life. But, it dawned on me that in all the weeks that we have been hanging out, he has never once suggested I meet his friends or coworkers. Not that I need to meet his best friend yet, but even a casual, “come meet us out for happy hour” type thing.

Then on Sunday, I asked if he wanted to just hang out, super low key, in a close the gap between Dating and Relationship type way. He said yes… then an hour later, he said no, he just wanted to chill (read: alone). The big "ouch" factor was that he didn’t ask when I would be free in the week.

We hung up and then I realized, I can do better than this. 

I like Ryan a lot, but I’m not interested in hovering in this almost-a-relationship-but-not-quite territory indefinitely. I do think he likes both my personality and appearance, but I have felt him slowly throw up a wall the past few weeks. I don't know why, and I'm not particularly interested in playing armchair shrink to find out. If he doesn’t want a relationship, I completely understand and respect that (I've been there!), but I also respect myself enough to walk away.

So, I called Ryan back. I said, “I’d like us to get together and talk about what’s been going on between us. Are you free tomorrow?” (Totally stole this approach from this article.)

He agreed, and we were supposed to meet last night, which is why I was holding off on this blog post. However, the faux blizzard hit our area, so The Talk is postponed until tomorrow Thursday.

I recognize that in all likelihood, this will be our kiss-off, which super sucks. But we need to talk so I can stop guessing, and we can either move forward together or go our separate ways.

The bitch of all relationships, whether platonic or romantic, is that you have to want the same thing at the same time for the relationship to work. I have learned that I must be loyal to myself, first and foremost. I don’t settle for subpar relationships with anyone, so why start with someone who I want to date?

(And next week, I'll obviously dish on what happened during The Talk.)

Have you had to walk away from someone you were enjoying dating but felt you wanted different things?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What Happened When I Got Brave About Forging New Relationships

Is your wedding ring off, like really off, not even trying it on once in awhile when no one’s around? Are you past the point of bursting into tears driving home from work? Are you curious to see what dating will be like?

Perhaps you’re ready to Put Yourself Out There, one of those platitudes that divorce/single people have to hear. A lot.

I know it’s really scary to take the padlock off of your battered heart and bruised ego to let new people in, but let me tell you  -- it’s worth it.

I got to thinking about this because of last weekend. I hung out with lots of new people – we’re talking four girls on Friday, six girls on Saturday, and two guys on Sunday. Only one of these people had I hung out with more than a few times. I thoroughly enjoyed each day and each new person I met.

As I walked home Sunday night, quite amused and pleased with how my weekend had transpired, I thought of a great compliment that Nora recently gave me:

“You have a cool life, and you did it yourself.
I have a great life with my husband, but I share the credit with him.
But your life, your new friends, your condo… that’s all you.”

I hadn’t thought about things that way, but she is right! My divorce was finalized almost two years ago. The way I have set up my life is all my doing, and one of the coolest parts has been the new people I’ve been meeting, thanks to Putting Myself Out There.

When I think back on my years with Max, I was putting so much effort into trying to save our fledgling relationship that I had no extra energy for forging new relationships. Hell, I am fortunate that I didn’t lose any friends during this difficult time.

Since I have been free of my troubled marriage, I am proud to say that I have been Out There plenty. Sometimes it has paid off beautifully, and other times it has ended in heartache. 

In the past year, yes, I have done a lot of dating. (In fact, I counted and I kissed 13 people in 2014. Yes, I’m secretly 16 years old and I make lists like this.) I have had some wonderful highs from the early days of dating when you see much promise, and I have had the sting of having it collapse and you have no idea why. After years of rejection from my ex-husband, I have FINALLY had some great sexual experiences with both guys I have liked and guys who are just my Special Friends. I’m coming into my own in the sack – better late than never!

Admittedly, parts of dating have made me want to hide under my bed or swear off men entirely. But I’m so proud of myself for experimenting with dating, even now while I hover in the gap with Ryan. (Sadly, I think our days are numbered, but I’m trying to be brave and not sabotage what’s still there.) Eventually, I will find love again, but that will only happen if I stay Out There.

But it’s not just in my dating life where I have taken emotional risks. I have made new friends since I moved back to Ford in 2013. I was already blessed to have wonderful friends in my life, but there is something to be said for challenging my heart and mind with new company. These days, I do not shy from building new friendships with women and men. I have taken friendly acquaintances and elevated them. Or, when I meet someone who I think will enrich my life, I seize the moment. I ask for the person’s phone number and suggest getting together. Sure, some of those phone numbers end up eventually getting deleted from my phone, but in plenty of cases I have formed new friendships, such as Yoshi, Mandy, and Meredith.

When I think about how I want my life to look, I truly feel like I’m on the right track. Unlike when I was married and sinking energy into a doomed relationship, it’s empowering and exciting to expend energy on cultivating healthy relationships.  

So, thank you Nora, I will take total credit for this cool life of mine, thanks to Putting Myself Out There!

What changes have you seen in your life from Putting Yourself Out There?