When You Spend Six Months Pulling Off the Biggest Event of the Last Two Years …

And Now You Feel a little lost.

I have worked in special events nearly my entire professional career. Whether it was on the brand side, or the agency side; even off and on and now back on again the side that ensures the brand and agency have all the permits and permissions to do what they want to do…. this has essentially been my life.

I left an agency, a small but noted agency, to go back to a smaller company that I initially worked for, back in 2017, while also holding down a contract job for a mobile marketing agency. At one point, that meant “experiential/sampling tours” but eventually with the evolution of smart phones; it came to mean marketing to people via their mobile of choice. It was challenging. I kind of enjoyed the challenge, but it was probably also the most challenging and bizarre period of time I’ve ever spent in the workforce.

I was meant to report to not only the company founder, who hired me, but also the VC point of contact and the second in command who appeared to have a bit of a better command on the reality of the situation … the founder’s partner (who was a programmer, but also a musician, which spoke to my heart since I was married to one) and a ton folks that I sort of knew through other agency relationships I’d forged over the years.

It became apparent to me about 6 weeks into the assignment that this wouldn’t be a contract to perm position. It broke my heart, but the agency was so divided, there was really no way to bring everyone together. We had a few outings, I tried to bring people together in our two connected, yet separate, WeWork spaces, as well as connecting everyone in the CT office; but it just wasn’t going to happen. I saw the writing on the wall, I realized what I could affect, what I wasn’t going to be able to do from a big picture; tried to convey that to the people I knew would be there longer that I would be, and just went with the flow.

I learned a lot in those 6 months. One, I was in a WeWork space during the prime “ramp up investment phase” which I just learned about watching the series on Apple TV+. Our team was lucky, we reaped the benefits of the golden era. I didn’t LOVE that space, but it wasn’t horrible. There was some great people that had offices in that space, but there were some absolutely AWFUL and MISERABLE people just looking to take advantage of everyone around them in the same way that Adam was, they were easy to spot but difficult to avoid. Something I am happy that I have knowledge of, but didn’t necessarily love. Not a bit. Such an obtuse place to be in so many fucking ways.

When my contract ended, and it ended in an abrupt and completely surprising way, I was bitter. I remember being called to a TINY conference room on a floor that we NEVER used. I met with the “Fun Guy” the guy that was supposed to be the guy that made the whole place sing and hum; he sat in my little space when he wasn’t traveling. We got along well, it seemed. It appeared we had a rapport, that we liked each other and got along well. We traveled to a couple of conferences and had some good times. He was a “country loving guy”, and I, having grown up as country and country gets; appreciated that. I even went so far as to order him some hand-tied flies from one of the best known Maine Guides, for his fishing addiction; just days ahead of what, I assume he knew was coming weeks in advance; of the day he me into this tiny, air deprived conference room on an unused floor, to let me know that my services were no longer needed 2 months early.

I was unwavered. I sat across from him at a very tiny round table where he sat, drinking a draft beer from the now well-known Taps that WeWork locations were known for. I asked him exactly what the reasons for my release were. He stared down, red-faced, at a piece of paper that clearly had nothing on it; and stammered that I hadn’t met the requirements of my contract; I had failed to deliver (an absolutely impossible list of deliverables without any support, assistance, direction or feedback) over the last 12 weeks and therefore it was decided by the founder and VC board Director (former Military and person that had recommended me for the position, but also warned me that this guy was a bit unhinged) that my services were no longer needed.

I looked at him, waiting for him to meet my gaze but he would not. I said, “Fine, you have a marketing department now which I have structured for you; if you no longer wish for me to lead that department I understand. I do, however, have strong ties to a number of your clients, why not put me on client services? There is really no need to waste my talent, which I have proven, and you have all witnessed on numerous occasions; I have value.”

Just when I thought someone could not turn any redder without having spent an entire day on South Beach under the influence without sun block in July, he went there.

He said that he didn’t have a place for me on that team at the moment, but if one opened up, I would be the first call.

Mind you, they were actively trying to hire 2 people in that role. It would have been a slight reduction in pay, but I’d have taken it in return for the reduction in stress and ability to sleep.

He didn’t want to shake my hand, but I insisted. That’s bullshit, you fire someone that you know you have no grounds to fire other than the one sentence in the contract that says you can; and you don’t have the balls to look them in the eye while you’re doing it? And this, just a week after you’re partying with me in Chicago and telling me how fantastic the conference presence, I created, was at a client location for dinner? Grow a pair.

Fast forward three weeks later, I am back at the company I spent the majority of my early years with; the company founded by the guy that was my very first supervisor out of college; and I haven’t looked back. I left that place to go to another agency and work for a couple of brands for about a 10-year period, but I’m back home.

A few years ago I began chasing down an agency that I really admired for their creative work. I cold called the founders. I emailed that creative directors. I commented on everything that they did. I wanted to be a part of making it happen. And now, finally, here we are delivering one of the largest activations to happen in years – Projecting “Stranger Things Season 4” teasers on the Empire State Building.

Lots of stressful weeks, long nights and hard work – but it really paid off. I was able to take the boy and his kids to this wonderful event (they had just finished binging the first 3 seasons a few weeks prior to this event) and sort of explain what I did to them. They had a great time and that, well … that was the best feeling in the world.

The guy that had to give me my termination speech reached out, he wanted to say “great job” … I appreciate that. Another coworker from that time let me know that he was really broken up about having to do that dirty work for the company founder, (this guy actually split off and created his own agency about 8 months later, so I believe it…) and I let him know that I truly appreciated him taking notice.

A few weekends later we worked on a Westworld promotion, which was the entire reason I began chasing down this client in the first place, and it was really satisfying to come full circle, But I never could have known in the end, the best feeling would come from giving those two boys a late night out on a “school night”, and something to brag about when they went to class the next day.

My, how life has changed. And I absolutely love it.

When You Think Meeting The Kids Is The Big Hurdle…

But it’s simply just another speed bump.

It’s true, meeting them was like walking through a gentle spring rain, but little did I know that their mother would have one final and highly effective trick up her sleeve.

She ended up in the hospital again and that stay lead to a much-needed psych evaluation. Everyone in her life agreed, it was the intervention that was needed. She stayed at a facility for 2+ weeks for a continued evaluation and requisite meds. She was finally allowed to return home, but with certain conditions from CPS; this now concerns my boyfriend as well since he is the father of two of her children.

She also has a 3-year-old daughter by another man, which took place while my BF was doing the difficult work to become sober in rehab; for nearly 6 months. He found out that she was pregnant when he was on his way out of rehab and ready to come home; she told him not to come back to their house because she had met someone, and they were having a baby.

While he was shocked and thrown off, he was also surprisingly relieved. It meant that he was finally free of this woman that he felt he’d made a mistake with. He was grateful for his children, but always regretful of becoming entangled with her. It was a difficult situation. The longer they were together the more it became apparent that while she was the forward one, the one that had initially taken the initiative to ask him out and had appeared to be someone in command; she was really just a narcissistic sociopath, hiding behind a facade the sweet but forward girl next door.

It turned out that her boyfriend and baby Daddy was an enabler. He was feeding her substances that, when added to her mental illness, made her a horrible person. So, he did the difficult thing and drove the guy to his sister’s place, a 500 mile round trip. He’s been – once again – living in the basement of the ex’s home to make sure that the boys make it to and from their bus stop every day; and someone manages to handle the needs of this little girl even though she isn’t his.

Meanwhile, she hides in her bedroom, rarely emerges, and only does so to either blather or criticize. In fact, he alone took the boys to her brother’s second wedding this weekend, which I felt was really a very kind gesture since her parents are expecting him to take care of her, and ALL the kids, because at one point in time he had an addiction even though their daughter has had a mental health issue and addiction issues of her own explained away by some phantom “pain problem” that no one seems to be able to solve, and the only way she has been able to manage it is through elicit narcotics: which is completely different from his addiction. His, according to them, was simply recreational. She needs to do these drugs to manage her pain because no one in the medical community will help. (Good God, no one needs to do street narcotics to manage pain unless that is what they prefer; I’ve been under the care of a pain management doctor for something very similar to what she describes as her problem; I wasn’t doing street drugs…)

Anyway, this latest setback has resulted in us seeing each other 3 times since May 26th. I won’t lie, I love him, but this is not ideal. It’s not what I signed up for. I have told him I cannot do this again for another year. Not like I have for the last year.

I said that he should just get the boys through the school year, get them off to their grandparents’ place upstate for summer camp; and then start moving their stuff into his place. While they are at camp, we should look for an appropriate place over the summer to be together, something that will give them their own room/space as well as ours.

He said that he’d been thinking about that for a while. Probably longer than I’d been considering it. If that’s true, I hope he follows through. If this summer passes and we do not move forward, it will break my heart to have to leave him and those beautiful boys behind. They are all truly special, and I feel lucky to have had them in my life, even if only for a brief moment.

When You Finally Get To Meet The Kids

And it’s like you’re just another old family friend or, in other words, it’s no big deal…

I’ve made no secret of the fact that the man I have been seeing for well over a year brought up the idea that he really wanted me to meet his children a bit early on, once we embarked upon this journey, affectionately referred to as, “dating”. I didn’t read into it; I knew that his ex had some pretty deep issues, and I just took it as a very simple compliment. I told him that I’d love to meet his children when the time was right.

Fast forward to November of last fall. We weather quite a few storms that his ex created with her bad behavior, which often meant we would go long stretches of time without seeing each other. At one point it was nearly two months, and I won’t deny that at that point I was a bit more than frustrated. He had taken the kids to the west coast to visit with his brother’s family and his Mother, who’d relocated to the south west, flew in to spend the week with her sons and grandchildren. They had a great time, I gave them a few suggestions for kid-friendly activities since I spend so much time in the LA area for work; and they came up with several day trips on their own. When they finally got back and we had a chance to speak (a few days before Thanksgiving) it was rather apparent that everyone had an incredible time. I was thrilled that it had all worked out.

Before he left, he promised that once they returned, he would make arrangements for me to meet the boys so that it would be easier for us to spend time together during the upcoming holidays. There had been similar promises prior to that but given the events that had transpired leading up to this trip I was rather inclined to believe him. I looked forward to their return and finally meeting the boys.

He did not follow through. Rather, he mentioned it to his ex, she had a childish tantrum about it, and he deferred to her. However, he failed to mention that to me, and just kept telling me that he was trying to figure out dates and appropriate places to meet.

I finally pulled the truth out of him, and when he admitted to me what had happened, I lost my shit a little, and simply broke down and cried. I didn’t want to speak to him for a a couple of weeks. I felt like I’d been led on by a very convincing conman. I beat myself up for a good while. I spoke to my best friends about how stupid, lead on and ridiculous I felt. My friends agreed; he appeared to be stringing me along and I needed to set a solid boundary.

We finally reconciled to a degree and met up to see a concert (a bit of a holiday themed show that a favorite indie artist does every year in downtown Manhattan…). We had a wonderful evening; he really ended up loving the music, and we just took enjoyed every moment we had in each other’s company. He spent the night and I drove him back to his place so he could be home before the boys arrived for the weekend a bit later the next day.

I left in just the nick of time, once again, so as not to cross paths with the boys. It was a lovely evening together and we had so much fun, but it was more than two weeks before we could connect again. I saw him for a short time before leaving to visit my family and best friend in northern New England to celebrate the Christmas Holidays.

We spoke while I was in the NE, he promised me that we would all meet once I returned. But we got together for a few days when I got home, and I did not meet the kids. We didn’t even get to see my dear friends, which was something that I was looking forward to, since they had come up with a new game to play.

A few more weeks passed, we saw each other another day or two … I spend a few days at his place alone while he spent days on end in the ex’s basement caring for his boys while she spun out again. I finally made him tell me when he thought we would finally be able to meet. I was at my wits end. Emotionally, in the worst place I had been since my biological mother had been murdered by her estranged husband when I was 19. I didn’t even get to this place when the twat was fucking with me, trying to manipulate me with emotional abuse and physical violence.

Because I blamed myself for sticking around as long as I had…

Things would eventually work out, but not before I spun out and nearly made a number of very poor decisions …

To Be Continued….

When You Start To Date Someone Seriously Again ….

And try to put all of your collective baggage in the attic, but it doesn’t quite fit.

Dear sweet Jesus. Where do I begin?

A little over a year ago I met a really funny, intelligent, clever, quick-witted, attractive, sweet and seemingly sexually-compatible guy my age on a dating app.

NOT TINDER. Sweet Jesus, it wasn’t Tinder. I just watched The Tinder Swindler, and no, it wasn’t Tinder.

We started exchanging messages in January. They were cute, clever, snarky and kept me on the hook. He was cute, there was a photo of him with two incredibly adorable little boys. After a few days, I finally asked about them. We had a few more days of exchanges on the app, then phone numbers were handed over, and I think it took one more day before we both decided that it was time for a voice conversation.

We’re Gen X, we grew up with stretched out curly phone cords slammed in garage doors, or lodged under kitchen dividers … we were the phone generation. We talked everything out. For hours. We didn’t even think to “FaceTime”. We just found a mutual time that we’d be available and decided to talk.

Yeah. We actually spoke within a 7-day time frame of connecting on a dating app. Believe it.

His voice, his cadence, the fact he laughed at my dark humor reassured me that I was correct; I’d been right about his character … it seemed we were compatible. From that very first moment I had a good feeling about him. We had very similar tastes, our sense of humor appeared to be similar (so fucking dark it’s nearly unable to be seen by most, it’s so dark ….) and we made plans to get together.

It was supposed to be the Monday of Martin Luther King Junior Day – he had his kids over the weekend – but then they went home early for a reason we didn’t discuss, which turned out to be because a storm was coming. We talked about our plans, it was still early after the COVID nonsense, things were just beginning to open up again and the “middle” meeting point between us was a mall. We talked about getting together the day before instead, which unfortunately, was Valentine’s Day. I had no idea if I could get a reservation anywhere near or around that location, for dinner and I sure as fuck didn’t want to sit on a mall bench with a cup of coffee and “chat”.

So, when he said he was up for anything, I suggested he come to my place for some wine and conversation, and he was happy to oblige.

I made him promise {LITERALLY PROMISE} on his LIFE he would never tell anyone, if we continued to see each other, that we met on Valentine’s Day. He actually giggled. I found it endearing, but still made him PROMISE.

He came over with a bottle of wine, which was actually quite lovely. We ordered some food. Watched something, I can’t even remember what it ended up being, on TV; and had a wonderful evening. But our chemistry was undeniable.

He went home the next day, I went out (the storm wasn’t that bad, after all) and got a blowout. He texted and asked if I had any plans, would like to get together again later that day. I did not have plans and I was extremely excited he wanted to see me again; because I was feeling the same way but; as a woman, we’re not supposed to say “such things”; as they may end the world, or some other nonsense.

He came over a little later, we had dinner and talked some more. We had a great evening again, just chatting and getting to know each other. It was just another lovely day spent with one another; and then “BOOM!”, back to work. It took about 45 minutes before we were both missing each other’s presence and hoping to see one another again as soon as circumstances would allow.

Aaaand, that has sort of been the story of our relationship. Wishing, hoping and praying to see each other as soon as our (well, primarily HIS) circumstances, will allow.

He kind of left out of our initial conversations, for about 4 months, that his divorce wasn’t final. Or that once he’d filed the initial paperwork, she’d manipulated him into revoking it.

Yeah, we’re dealing with a very toxic, drama-loving, ex; sadly.

So, here I am waiting for him while he once again, does the right thing by his children. She is clearly emotionally disturbed, which I would never want to put on display for the general public or keyboard warriors to judge. He has had his own, (well in the past, but he did the hard work and came out on the right side of it). Something his former in-laws really seem to enjoy reminding him of it every opportunity, especially when their child does something irrational, illegal, or that could/will endanger their grandchildren. It’s horrible; but he takes it, because he still harbors guilt over the depths to which he fell when dealing with her emotional needs and the places she was willing to go to claim she had physical pain and required VERY specific pain meds. He simply intended to be a good parent. All the while trying to also be a good companion to the person that wanted to hide from responsibility and adulthood when it served her purposes.

I am trying to be a supportive and loving partner. It’s not an easy position to be in, his ex has contacted me several times trying to claim that “they are working on their relationship and that he has not been honest with me about their status….” I have come across plenty of people like his former partner over the years. I know the kind, the mental status, the desperation. I don’t acknowledge her messages, certainly don’t respond; no matter how much I would love to….

But it doesn’t make this journey any easier. I have lost my shit, on more than one occasion over the last several weeks. I have discovered myself becoming the kind of woman that I do not tolerate well, the kind of person that I despise; and I really hate it.

Would I have done anything differently had he been immediately forthcoming about everything, from his relationship circumstances to the mental status of his [ex] wife once we connected? I cannot say for sure; I’d like to think that I would have still been there for him because the chemistry that we both immediately recognized; the ease of being with each other that doesn’t come often. It’s something I’ve not experienced before. It’s undeniable.

Adulting sucks balls. BIG. JUICY. DONKEY. BALLS.

I hate it. I hate that he did the work he needed to do to be the best verson of himself again and be the great Dad that he is. I hate that the person he was married to is trying to skate by, not doing any work and letting her elderly parents and her ex-husband do her work while she attempts to pretend that she is, indeed, making emotional and physical strides towards becoming a whole human being again that is capable of caring for her kids.

I hate to think that once the collective group gets her through this “period of need” it will only last a few weeks, perhaps a few months at best; and she’ll be right back to her old antics… stressing everyone out, worrying not only her elderly parents but her young children and in turn; their father, about her ability to function a very basic level.

And yes, I worry how that affects me as well, from a selfish POV.

It’s been over a year now, since we have met and been together exclusively. Approximately 7 months since he’s told me that he would like me to meet his children and I told him that I would like to do that (when the time is right). He’s allowed them to know my name, my likeness, the fact that we have been dating… If I send money or gifts to contribute to their birthdays, certain holidays, etc.; he has disclosed that to them. My personal take on that is: it’s very sweet but if you have no intention of introducing us, then you should really leave my name out of it. Allow me to help/contribute but leave me out of it. He believes that is wrong … but I disagree.

I’ve asked him to please find a way to introduce us within the next few weeks, or I will certainly feel that something is wrong. Knowing full well, of course, that I must be prepared to walk away … whether I really want to or not.

I don’t want to, but I also realize that I may very well have to; because his priority has to be his children and he is mostly likely dealing with a narcissistic sociopath. And there is no winning when you’re up against one of them.

And I am a good person.

When You’ve Just Finished “The Lost Daughter” …

And Gone Right Into “The Luminaries”…

It makes you think about the fact you were born a woman; the world has historically been programmed to despise you, and there’s not a goddamned thing you can do about it.

We owe it all to that ridiculous piece of historical fiction that everyone has taken so seriously for the last few thousand years, The Bible, that tells the tale of A GOD (we don’t know whose GOD, specifically) creating the world, making MAN first (sure, because it’s easier to make something that sticks out first rather than something that caves in, one would guess…) and then making woman by ROBBING MAN of a fucking rib. Seriously? You couldn’t come up with something better than that? Good God people.


Talk about having three strikes against you before you even get started. Then woman became the Temptress, the one that got man to eat the forbidden fruit, the human doing the bidding of the Devil on Earth … sure. Seems legit. Blame the human that “stole a fucking rib” from man. Why not?

From that moment forward, most societies viewed women as slaves. As something that should serve man after creating such a horrible outcome in the Garden. Women were not allowed to own their own destiny, for if they did; they were under an evil spell and not following the word of God or being obedient wife servants.

This ridiculous myth has been perpetuated over thousands of years thanks to religion. Cavemen may have been the hunters, but it was the women of that era that were the gatherers, the nurturers, the people that held the clans together and ensured safety in numbers. Men had only two purposes, provide progeny and meat.

Religion drew us into a paternal society. Women had no place in it. Not until recently, anyway. And even now it’s still very limited.

The strongest women are still viewed as a threat to the most religious sects in both Christianity and Judaism. If they do not want to be obedient wives and produce children, they are worthless. They have no value.

Since the beginning of time, women have wanted and been very capable of doing great things. They have, however, been limited, by much less intelligent and capable, men. Any threat and suddenly something new pops up. For example, Lilith, made of filth and dust prior to Eve, she would transform into men to impregnate women to explain away “mysterious pregnancies”. There were others but she was probably the most well-known. The later on we had Witchcraft. Burn them at the stake! How many witches were there? Too many. God forbid you grew up near the water and learned to swim or had the innate ability to float, you were seriously fucked. Burn, you would.

Cleopatra was an evil whore. It goes on and on and on ….

The film “The Lost Daughter” finally creates the ability for us to have a public exchange about something that SO MANY women have felt but are forbidden to speak about …. the fact that they were not born to be a Mom. And if you fall within that category, you are NOT supposed to ever mention it. Never. Not in small groups. Not out loud. Not ever.

Sure, women are born (for the most part) with the ability to produce children, but not all women are born with the innate ability to be mothers. It’s not something that always comes naturally. We act like that’s a problem. Why, WHY, is that a problem?

We have known, witnessed, watched, and waited while men have run off on their families for centuries. Why is it so much more egregious when a woman finds that she needs to take a break? When she discovers, or comes to term with the fact that she’s NOT, perhaps, a natural mother; and needs to leave the situation to ensure the sanity of bother her and her children?

Men are rarely held accountable for leaving. Women are ALWAYS held responsible, and that shit never goes away. Never. But, why? Why are women judged so much harsher than men? I want that question answered and then I want it fixed.

I was not blessed with the ability to bear children, though I was pregnant 6 times. I wasn’t born a girl that felt she was that person who was put on Earth to be a mother, but I also never believed I wouldn’t have a family. You’re kind of raised to believe that’s what happens, you get married, have kids, raise a family … that’s just the way it goes.

But here we are.

It’s 2022 and people still believe that women aren’t great leaders. When in positions of power, it’s because they “failed up” or it’s because they’re bitches that no one wants to deal with. And when I say people, I mean men AND women. It’s ridiculous. Absurd. Obtuse. Outdated, Fucked up. And wrong.

Today was actually Holocaust Remembrance Day. I hope that fewer people will one day stand up to proclaim that it didn’t happen, than those who ask us to never forget. I also hope that one day we, as a society, can stand up to say that women are precisely equal to men, without any kind of ifs, ands: or buts about it.

No asterisks, please. We’re just women.

We’re not Pete fucking Rose.

When You’re Watching “And Just Like That”…

And suddenly experience suffocating PTSD flashbacks during episode 3…

While I did watch this episode a few days after it was available, I realize that this could include “SPOILERS”, so if you do not want to hear about a story line, please stop reading. Honestly, it’s not like I have hundreds of thousands of followers that I could possibly ruin this episode for, but as a responsible, streaming-series-viewing human, I will still provide the warning for the 10 or 70 of you that are still casually dropping by.

This episode shows Carrie attending the reading of her husband’s will. It appeared relatively straightforward until he leaves his ex-wife $1MM. Carrie is shocked, Big’s secretary (that is what she preferred to be called, please refer to eps 1 & 2…) is shocked, and the attorney calls over his shoulder while taking a call from his wife (whom he was desperately trying to avoid) that, “in his experience that means there was unfinished business”.

Carrie is shocked, shaken, and begins to question her entire relationship with Big. To her, they had been happy, the happiest they’d ever been, before he died. When this bomb is dropped, she wonders what else she didn’t know …. As I watched I felt a lump rise in my throat and a dull throb begin to take up residence in the pit of my stomach. I remember that horrible white-wash of ache, sadness and horror; and I hope to Christ I never feel that way again.

I felt like I hit the “love jackpot” with my first long-term relationship. It was amazing. I was in my mid/late twenties, full of hope and promise; the future looking incredibly bright. The world was mine. I had travelled extensively that summer and finally, for two weeks in August, I went back to my hometown (the longest stretch I’d been back since HS graduation) for my little brother’s wedding. While I had a great time by hometown standards, I was very happy to be on my way back to NY the day I left. I attended a Yankees game the next day with my best friend at the time, then spent the following day, Saturday, catching up on errands. By the time evening fell I was exhausted. I ordered take-out and sat down to tackle email.

Back then it wasn’t nearly as easy to check it (I was an AOL girl) when you didn’t have access to your desktop. Now we all have handheld computers and barely anyone communicates that way anymore. I’d been back for a couple of days and after having been with my extremely extended family (French Canadian, Catholic …. you get the idea) I had initially welcomed the peace and quiet; but 48 hours of not speaking to another adult was about all I could take back then.

While checking mail I was simultaneously logged in on AOL Messenger, something you really couldn’t avoid at the time. As a single young woman, I had placed an ad up on “Love @ AOL” several months prior, so I was still receiving blind messages from people that had seen it. I ignored 99.99% of them; but that night I received a message that caught my eye and for some unknown reason I responded.

I was dying to have an adult conversation, so my usual standards and alarms went out the window. We struck up an interesting conversation. Before I knew it, we’d been chatting for over 2 hours. I finally took his phone number and called, continuing the conversation for another 5. The last hour of which was spent trying to convince me to let him come over. I kept saying, “One of my roommates is home, if I let you come over and you killed her I’d never forgive myself!”

“Don’t you think if I was going to kill her, that I’d kill you, too? You wouldn’t be alive to feel any guilt.” He laughed.

“My spirit would roam the land / wherever the fuck we end up, carrying the weight of that guilt for eternity. No can do, Muchacho.”

We finally agreed to meet for lunch the next day and finally went to sleep.

I did give him my address so he could pick me up. He came over, rang the bell; and we never made it out of the house to have our date. We were together, (eventually engaged) for over 9 years from that day on.

Over the next 9 years we had our share of ups and downs, but not once did I ever think that he could, would, or had cheated on me. I am not the suspicious type, I never had any reason to question or even suspect that he’d been unfaithful. It wasn’t until almost 9 months after I’d broken off our engagement that I found out, or should say I was contacted by a woman that claimed she’d slept with him.

I remember that moment clear as day, it felt like someone had sucked the air from my lungs.

Not only did she call and tell me that they’d been together, but she also began to call and hang up. Then she would call and bark short phrases describing things they’d done in bed. I can’t ever recall having been so rattled. All the while, she was a “well-liked” football Mom that, (I discovered much later on) had the police called by neighbors every 4-5 weeks for locking her kids out of the house while she had loud, obnoxious sex for the everyone to loathe/enjoy.

I confronted him, he told me I was making shit up, she would never do something so asinine, but didn’t deny being with her. Eventually he did tell me that he had flirted with her while we were together but didn’t sleep with her until after we’d split. I wanted to believe him, but the damage was done.

From time to time, I wonder why this woman, (who was in a relationship by the way), felt the need to do what she had done to me. It was obvious that the engagement was off, there was no longer anything romantic between us; we were simply friends at that point. I have since (with many hours of therapy) worked through the trust issues that resulted. It took me a while, but I eventually became myself again.

And every now and then, something reminds me of those awful few months all those years ago. But the white-hot flash doesn’t long, and in the end, I simply remind myself that had I not been loved so well she wouldn’t have bothered with me in the first place.

And hey, maybe he’ll leave me a cool million to make up for it someday….

When You Haven’t Seen Your Concert Buddy For Over A Year & Brandi Carlisle Cancels Due to Illness….

THE night before you’re planning to see her 2 hours away, you say fuck it, and head upstate anyway …

So, the boy was incredible after the Hall & Oates fiasco. His kids were arriving for the weekend the next morning, so we lounged as long as we could and then I drove home and continued to nurse both my constitution and bruised ego. As I was flopped on my bed I thought to myself that I should reach out to my friend, the one that I attended shows with the most often, as we hadn’t seen each other in well over a year thanks to COVID; (and hadn’t attended a show together in more than two), I missed her and her family dearly and wanted to see if she was up for a visit sometime in the next couple of weeks.

“But first”, I thought, “More coffee…” so I ran out to the place that has us all hooked on some form of espresso and picked up a refreshing, iced, extremely caffeinated beverage. Not long after I returned to my bed in the similar flop position, she texted me.

“HI! I did a thing…. and since you’re usually up for the spontaneous I thought I’d ask you before anyone else if you’d like to go with me to see Brandi Carlise upstate next weekend, I’m currently attempting to book a very cool looking Yurt about an hour away from the venue because I have a shit-ton of Air BnB credits and I have to use them at some point this year.”

Well. These things, these “coincidences”, seem to happen to me often. I think of something, someone, a situation and not long after (anywhere from 2 hours to 2 weeks) something which seems very bizarre happens. There it was, my “bizarre coincidence”.

Of course I was in. I had felt bad that I missed her show earlier in the summer at Forest Hills while I was zooming back and forth to Maine for family commitments, so this was an amazing opportunity for so many reasons. Also, I had the opportunity to redeem my sad self after ditching H&O the weekend prior.

We made plans for the following Saturday and I basically lived out the week like a 5 year old trying to make it through the last few days leading up to Christmas. I was nearly giddy. I was so happy to see my friend and be getting out of Dodge for a couple of days.

We were touching base to make final plans the Friday evening before when we both realized around 7 PM that Brandi had cancelled due to “illness”.


Having read her book and seen “From Cradle to Stage”; we were both aware of what that meant. We respected her ability to continue to maintain those boundaries, but couldn’t lie; we were disappointed. However, we refused to let it ruin our weekend to reunite and get away. She has kiddos and I have “life”. We were going to make the most of our cute little Air BnB if it killed us.

It was so nice to reconnect. It really had been too long since we’d seen each other. I’d missed her terribly, as I’d also missed her wonderful, incredibly music savvy and nerdy children. (Her hubby is a pretty good chap, too.)

We got to the place late afternoon and walked around this cute little village that was perplexing as it was adorable. It was clearly extremely LGBTQ+ friendly. There were amazing antique, thrift and second hand shops strewn up and down the main drag. The boutiques were very unique but they were also very “upscale”. There were some very upscale restaurants beside a couple of casual bar & grills …. and it became clear rather quickly many did NOT approve of the more casual establishments, (even though if you traveled more than three blocks off of the main drag in either direction, it was easy to see what the entire town had been before gentrification), but not much indication of what sustained the “good life”.

We shopped and took in the eclectic sights, asked for dining suggestions and finally settled on a place. Dinner was incredible, and though we had both ‘laid off the wine’ over the last couple of months, we indulged a bit that evening. We walked around some more before retiring to the rental and immediately regretting not having picked up a bottle of something to share the rest of the evening.

My friend immediately set to work looking for a secret stash of booze. Sadly, the only thing we found was Rumchata (I think the date on it was 2015) and a sad bottle of white wine containing a glass, at most. With no ability to attain any other alcohol, I told her to go ahead and have the remaining wine, I would be fine. We sat and chatted while re-watching Ted Lasso episodes before retiring around midnight.

Henri seemed determined to dampen our spirits, but we refused to allow that to happen. We got up the next morning and headed into MA to visit an equally quaint town that was home to a gorgeous dispensary, among other interesting little shops. Along the way we did some more catching up and agreed to head back to our rental around Noon to beat the expected heavy rain and winds dominating the headlines.

We both did a little “shopping”, drove the 45 minutes back to our host village and enjoyed a rather gourmet lunch at one of the “casual” dining establishments. By then, she was determined to find a bottle of wine to replace the one she had emptied the evening prior. While shopping at a cute, if not extremely pretentious, wine shoppe we picked up several bottles based upon the owners’ interpretations of what we both tend to drink most often as well as something for the host.

Once back at our Air BnB, we cracked open one of the recommended vintages (it was supposed to be very similar to a NZ Sauvignon Blanc) put on some comfy clothes and searched for a Netflix show to binge. By this time the rain was looking a lot like “movie rain”, coming down in torrid sheets with no sign of letting up. After settling upon the newly released Sandra Oh series “The Chair”, we cracked open a bag of artisan chips (jambon flavored, oh my), hit play and took a sip of the wine that came recommended with such high regard.

What. The. Fuck.

We both had that expression on our faces after the first sip, but understanding that a new wine often requires more than one taste to fully appreciate, we both went in for the second. Our expressions didn’t change.

This white couldn’t have been anything further from a NZ Sauvignon Blanc. First of all, it almost felt slightly carbonated once it hit your tongue. Like, it was pop-rocky. I can’t describe it any better than that. It also tasted very much like grapefruit juice. Grapefruit juice mixed with an indistinguishable, high-proof, clear liquor.

We decided that we were going to make the most of it, though. We put the bottle in the freezer, following the simple theory that the colder a shitty wine is, the better it tastes, and were grateful for the ham flavored kettle chips. They balanced out the grapefruit flavor magnificently. In the meantime, we paused the show while we waited for the freezer to do it’s thing; and did a little ABNB sleuthing.

It was imperative to try and figure out who this man was, that owned a lovely refurbished duplex in the Hudson Valley with only a single glass of French white wine and an [old] bottle of Rumchata in his fridge.

He was very tall based upon the shoes we found on a rack near the front door. He had some stylish casual clothes in one of the closets, almost like a modern day Mr. Rogers. We already knew that he was gay and spent most of the week in Manhattan, so I imagined him coming in on a Friday and changing from something out of a high fashion photo shoot into these more casual choices and big, comfy shoes before heading into the village to complain about the casual dining establishments in a secret speakeasy under the boutique hotel.

He was also obsessed with Edgar Allen Poe. Like, stalker-vibes obsessed.

Then, the gummies kicked in and I began to play the game I often do in these situations; and began making up reasons why he’d left a bottle of wine with a single remaining glass in the fridge.

“What if his lover left him and that was the last bottle they had shared before he departed? Maybe it had been a wonderful evening together, dinner and an evening out with friends here in town, they returned home to crack open that bottle and continue their discussion about film noir… things took a passionate turn and they retired to the bedroom. His lover went out for bagels and coffee the next morning but never returned. What was left of the bottle has been in the fridge ever since, he simply couldn’t bring himself to dispose of it.”

She just looked at me.

“OR, what if it was incredibly tragic, what if his husband died and that was the last bottle they had shared together before he was instantly killed by a wrong-way driver? I mean, that’s pretty plausible, it happens a lot in NY State…”

Still staring…

“OR, perhaps our host is a recovering alcoholic and he was leaving that in the fridge to remind him of the last time he drank and why he’d given it up!”

She rolled her eyes, and started laughing. “STOP,” she said. “You’re killing me.”

Of course, I couldn’t, and this went on for most of the evening. Even now I’ll come up with a new scenario and text her yet another tragic reason he was saving a single glass of wine.”

We succeeded in putting away the odd grapefruit wine we’d been sold, discovered that none of the restaurants in town delivered after 7 PM on a Sunday, (especially when it’s raining hard) which meant ordering from Domino’s for the first time since college; and binged the entire series before hitting the hay. A first for my friend since her husband refuses to watch more than two episodes of anything in a row.

On the way home we spent 2 1/2 hours at an enormous antiques warehouse 5 miles out of town. It was filled with amazing treasures; furniture, collectibles, vintage clothing, closeouts and one especially creepy corner that displayed exotic hunting taxidermy. Seriously, it was one of the most bizarre things I’d ever seen; from a stuffed kangaroo, to tiny African mammals and even a full giraffe head and neck. We could hardly believe it was legal to resell these things, but there they were.

We got home a few hours later and honestly, it was one of the best weekend trips I’ve probably ever taken. I’m so glad that we decided to just go and make the most of it even after the show was cancelled. I know plenty of people that would have stayed home, but that’s not how you make great memories.

For me, there’s nothing more valuable than an incredible experience. I always have and always will take that over material possessions. Memories last longer.

Except for Rumchata, maybe.

Music Has Been My Life …

As long as I can remember, music has somewhat dictated my life. My earliest memories involve music. Whether it was my Mom singing along to the radio, a record, being dragged by my Mom to a “festival” in the middle of a field in northern Maine or by my Grandmother to a concert of her liking (usually country before the age of 7); every memory involves music.

But do I really know as much as I think I do?

It’s no wonder I eventually ended up married to a former musician-turned-engineer/record producer in my early 40’s. We divorced after 5 years but we remain extremely close friends. A testament to the fact that we probably were meant to be just that, best friends.

Tonight I finally began the Netflix documentary, “Pop Music”. I got as far as the 3rd episode, which touches upon the “Country Music” genre. While growing up, I had the fortunate experience of being exposed to a large variety of music. My family listened to everything from standards, to traditional Country & Western, to R&B and Soul, to Rock and finally honed in upon the Elvis and The Beatles.

My Mom was a bit young when she had me, so we were kind of “friends” as I grew up. I also became my Nana’s little “bestie”; she took me everywhere. From movies, to weekend yard sales and flea markets, to films I had NO business seeing; she was the shit. I still think about seeing “Grease” in the theater with her and my Great Grandma to this day; and how embarrassing that “Blue Moon” scene must have been for them with their 4 year old great/grand-daughter in tow…

But, the other thing that everyone on that side of the family had in common was a deep, deep love and appreciation of music. While I was a latchkey kid, I was also the child of a music obsessed woman. I learned to turn on the radio as soon as I woke up in the morning and turn it off at dinner, just before retiring to the living room to watch TV, or put it on at a low volume in my bedroom so I could fall asleep. Music became the center around which my family began to revolve.

I loved it.

I have spent the majority of my spare time over the last 20 years enjoying live music in one form or another. When COVID hit, it really took a toll on my psyche. When things began to open up again, one of the event profs groups I belong to circulated a rally to buy concert tickets for some of the first few shows that went on sale. I didn’t have to have my arm twisted, I bought tickets and it almost felt naughty. That was March.

Fast forward to August, the show date finally arrived and of course it is one of the hottest, most humid days of the year. I take the boy I’ve been seeing with me to the show. I’m expecting rain, which I actually welcome, because the tickets I have are under the canopy at the venue. Of course, it didn’t rain … the slight breeze stops and I suddenly feel as though I might die. There I was, finally back at a concert after nearly two years, and I was going to have to leave early…

The boy was gracious. When I asked if he would be ok leaving early he immediately replied that he wanted to ask me to leave earlier because he knew I was in distress, but he also knew how much I was looking forward to it; so he didn’t want to do anything to make me feel worse than I already did.

He’s a good one.

We got heard the majority of the set. The sound sucked anyway. It’s been said that one of the members of the group refuses to participate in sound check and as a result, now, often throws tantrums on stage (that happened) and gets pissy about the sound (three times before we left).

I felt bad for having to leave and was already thinking about what to purchase tickets for next so I could redeem myself, when my old “concert” buddy texted the next day to invite me on an adventure upstate to see Brandi Carlisle ….

That would end up being quite a weekend …


When You’re 40something, Divorced and Finish Netflix

Do You Have To Remarry?

The abundance of free time we had during quarantine, coupled with the lack of desire to interact with the twat I was living with at the time, allowed me the opportunity to binge watch pretty much everything that I hadn’t when I first got separated in 2018. And I do mean everything.

I have watched ALL the foreign language crime/procedural series. I now know how to dispose of a body in about 5 languages and two sexy accents. I watched All the good stuff on Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Also Starz, epix …. Crackle …. yeah. I finished it.


I have not been able to go home for ages thanks to this bullshit virus, which in some ways has been a blessing, for but it’s also been difficult. My parents are late 60’s-ish now. My brother and sister have kids that I love and really missed. I finally got to travel home to the extremely rural twilight zone I grew up in recently. It was a whirlwind trip, but of course, the entire state is under construction and I got a speeding ticket.

I stay with my brother when I go home because my extremely beautiful mother is very European and still smokes (my Dad quit about 10 years ago, thank God) in the house. One of my very best friends moved back to our hometown a while ago, and we were able to spend time together. She gets up around 5 AM, though, so I was always back at my brother’s place pretty early each night but they were always in bed with all the lights off when I returned. All I could do was retire to the guest bedroom and stream more content.

While I was there, my entire family and my best friend, all asked about my ex-husband. Not that I mind, I love him (maybe not as much as my family, I am coming to realize) he and I are and always will be very dear friends. We talk frequently and often provide each other with viewing recommendations. My nephew even invited him to his graduation party in a few weeks, which I thought was very sweet. But, I had been talking about the really great guy I’ve been spending time with from the moment I arrived, and while everyone seemed interested and really happy for me, they still couldn’t stop asking or talking about my ex.

I couldn’t help but wonder, where do I go from here?

The transition from the man to whom I was first engaged, to my now ex-husband, was easy. As it turned out, everyone ‘liked’ my first ex, but they ‘loved’ my ex-husband (clearly). As I mentioned, the guy I dated after my divorce was not a great guy, he got physical with me and it was a bit of a nightmare. No one but my local best friend and my ex-husband met him; and they weren’t impressed.

But, now he’s gone. I’ve dated a bit (all mostly younger men) and now have finally met a great guy. He’s my age. I really, really like him. We have a lot of fun when we are together and I’ve been enjoying getting to know him. He doesn’t have a lot of free time, though, so two or three weeks can pass in between our visits. It can be difficult to fill the hours when we can’t be together for the longer stretches. So, once a week I see my best friend for drinks and/or dinner; but mostly watch more, “stuff”.

Until we decide to take the next step forward, maybe have me meet the kids, (which means we can spend more time together because our hours together can slightly overlap with a bit of the time he spends with the kids) or call it quits …. I am not sure what to do.

Because I’ve finished Netflix and my ex has no more viewing recommendations…

Son of a Whore

It’s May…

I know I’ve been gone for a while. It’s been a crazy late winter/spring. I kind of worked through the hot younger guys, or so I thought. One started to gradually ghost me for a few days at a time, and the other had dropped off as the face of the Earth.

But … The first kept springing up again. Apologizing, but explaining that he was going to be moving in a few months and while he really liked me, a lot, he was afraid to get too deeply involved. He simply didn’t want to find himself wishing he, “hadn’t moved” or that he “regretted us getting close”. I found it a silly cop-out and it became a huge bone of contention. I finally decided to just let it go, allow it to be whatever it may be for however long it may last.

It’s still “lasting”.

The other hot, young guy just so happened to “pop up” again out of nowhere two weeks ago. I hadn’t heard from him in months (to be honest, I think he accidentally texted me the last time we spoke) but, that’s the story of my life. He wasn’t the only one that appeared out of the woodwork that week, but by far he’s the most beautiful and interesting. He said that he “sort of ended up back with the ex. He’s not exactly ‘happy’, he wanted to continue seeing me, but …”

But what? I remember being his age and sometimes thinking I had to try salvaging a shitty relationship simply because the guy was attractive or I had already invested time and emotions. Thank fucking GOD I grew out of that. I hope that he has the same come-to-Jesus moment I did, too.

In the meantime, I started talking to a guy my age (the horror…..) one of the very few men my age that has shown any interest in me at all since I started using dating apps again. He was sweet, cute, a little cheeky, a tad bit cynical with a dark, NY style sense of humor. I immediately felt my cold, black little heart grow a size and melt a little at the same time.

We talked, I mean actually talked (a combination of texting and actual phone calls – whah!?!) from early January until the second week of February. We were going to meet the 15th but with the storm that had been announced and not being quite sure of the hours that places were keeping, we decided to “wing it” and he came to my place on Valentine’s Day.

Yeah. The irony was not lost on me.

Fast Forward to now. Due to his work schedule and the fact he’s a good parent; and my recent work schedule, we haven’t seen each other for almost three weeks. It’s been difficult having to go 2-3 weeks at a time without seeing him, but I kind of like it in a way. It reminds me of my 20’s. That point in my life when I was dying to find that “escape time”, just a few moments to be alone with that special someone. Only, back then we were trying to escape from parents and roommates. Now, we are just trying to steal moments away from children and formal obligations.

Adulting is rarely pleasant.

In the meantime, I have GOT to stop putting wine in the freezer.

Can someone please remind me to get a new wine fridge?