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?

Sliding Into 2021 Like….

My ass is on fire, the ground is ice, and I am Wonder Woman.

I mean, as we look at the end of January/beginning of February in the northeast, I could be sliding into anywhere at any given moment. Seriously.

Dating again.

Oooooheeeee! There’s a pandemic out there folks and even without the added burden of that bullshit; a woman of my age only has a few options and 99.9% are apps. Therefore, I went ahead and activated Tinder and Hinge again; and decided to add Bumble to the mix.

I’ll say that I have met several men from Tinder. Two of them were complete liars (unabashedly so: about what they were looking for, likely also not single now that I look back on the circumstances under which we met, and the other crap that they told me). There are still TONS of scammers out there. They are definitely alive and well. If you need some help to hone in on when someone is lying about who they are and where they are from; keep an eye out. Those will be coming soon. Of the rest; I have met three really great people. They are all younger than I am, the range in age varying between 5-16 years.

I never bought into the BS that women have floated for year about men in their late 40’s/early 50’s not being interested in women their own age, but it appears to be true. When women hit my age, we seem to attract men that are either at least 5-10 years older or at least 5 years younger. However, since I’ve been attempting to date again, the most common age of the men I interact with is seems to be 36. Does this bother me? Hell no. I care about the way they carry themselves, their integrity, character, passions, how kind they are to others, whether or not they can laugh at themselves, are passionate about something, etc. When it comes right down to it, age is just an arbitrary number.

I mean, unless it’s been determined by the court to be the age of consent. Then that shit is not arbitrary in the least.

Learning to take a compliment from a younger man has been a bit of a challenge. That generation was brought up to say things to people and not necessarily do things for people. I’ve had to learn this the difficult way since I do not have children. My nieces and nephews have been a huge help where this is concerned and I really appreciate that. So, when my smartass wants to retorte, I have learned to pause and simply say something like, “That’s so very kind of you,” or, “You’re really too kind to me, thank you.”

It seems to work. But, then again, what do I know? [Nothing. Nothing is the answer I’m looking for. Because, I feel like I know nothing at the present time.]

No one likes dating. Certainly no one likes using these ridiculous dating apps, but they are the new evil. [I don’t give a shit if anyone knows how I met someone that I’m with. Do people really still have hang ups about that shit?] I just wish it were a bit easier.

Over the last few weeks there are only two guys that I care about seeing and speaking to, which scares the living fuck out of me. I’m trying desperately not to overthink or self-sabotage. But it’s really not easy for me to believe that not only one, but TWO[yes, TWO] attractive, intelligent, younger men appear to be genuinely interested in me.

I am working very hard to get out of my own head and just go with the flow. I’m trying to enjoy whatever comes, and learn to be happy in the moment. I know that not all men have an “older woman” fantasy, that a lot of them are mature and intelligent enough to evaluate women much in the same way that I view men; but when it comes right down to it I know that it’s really about looks and the shit that was ingrained when they were a kid.

I just don’t feel like I was born with any of the physical stuff.

Damn. I really wish I looked like Lynda Carter….

Hello 2021

Are We Going To Be Okay, or What?

It’s certainly been an interesting few months, hasn’t it? We have elected a new President (depending upon who or what you believe), we have approved not one, but two COVID vaccines, and while infections are on the rise due to the desire to be with loved ones during the holidays, the curve will once again flatten and with the vaccine we will be able to find our way to a new, but somewhat recognized normal.

I for one, cannot wait to be able to leave and walk about freely again.

I have been lucky enough to be in long term relationships. First I was engaged to someone for four years but I was with him for 10+. His family was everything to me, and the biggest reason I put off breaking off the engagement. Though we’re not as close, I still have some contact with m God Daughter and her parents, and for that I am grateful. After some time alone, I was with the next person for just about 10 years, (I married him – we were together for nearly ten years though our marriage only lasted for 5), and his family is still very precious to me. I then had the miserable relationship after the divorce, which afforded me a place to spend last Christmas. So, this was a very difficult year for me when the holidays hit, but I’ve heard this from a large number of people.

As a woman of a certain age, this is the first time in my life I have ever spent Thanksgiving, neverminded Christmas, alone. It was one of the most bizarre experiences of my life. Perhaps in the future I’d be better position to spend the holidays alone again, but I honestly hope that it will never happen again.

Like many others, I feel as though I’ve watched just about everything that there is to watch on every single fucking streaming platform available to us. I’m talking EVERYTHING. Older stuff I didn’t watch, all the new releases, the obscure stuff; hell I even watch – no scratch that – I LOVE all the foreign language crime/drama/procedural series, too. By now I figure I’ve learned how to dispose of a body in about 6 languages and at least 3 sexy accents.

I’ve also learned that when in Belgium, France and Denmark that I should stay the FUCK out of the goddamn forests. Nothing good happens there, regardless the time of day, time of year or how educated you are. Yep. Lesson learned.

I’m attempting to date again. Admittedly, not the best time to be on these dating apps. Well, these dating apps are always a bit more entertaining than useful, are they not? Now, with everyone locked in, locked down and showing a bit more of their crazy than they normally might; it’s become just as fucking fun as watching an unexpectedly great new series on Netflix or Prime but I’ll save that for another day.

How did you all fare over the holiday hiatus? Hopefully you managed to keep track of the days and your livers. I am expecting mine to return from the “spa” any day now.

Happy New Year!

Things To Do In LA When There’s COVID…

An Unusual Business Trip.

This trip had been planned for about a month, but I wasn’t due to get in until this past Sunday. Suddenly, I realized that perhaps I had misjudged how much assistance it would take to get this done. I sat down at my desk on Wednesday morning at 8:00 for our daily team Zoom meeting and by 8:45 AM that morning I was trying to change my flight so I could leave that day and get into LA for an initial inspection the following morning.

It turned out we made a sound decision.

Things have been managed, thus far, but we’re breaking “new ground”, so to speak, thanks to all the new COVID protocols. I was busy on Thursday and Friday, but then the weekend hit. Normally I have no issue travelling. I’ve done it since I was in my early 20’s. I’ve enjoyed visiting museums, aquariums, even zoos in the cities least known for them. I was in LA just about this time last year and had a great time exploring during the few hours I had to myself.

This year, though, nothing is open to explore.

SO, what does one do when they are in another city all the way across the country with little but a few restaurants, pharmacies and convenience stores open?

Not. Much.

I did get to visit my dear friend for a socially distanced breakfast on Saturday morning. She has four beautiful rescue pups. Two are from the Beagle Freedom Project, one she plucked from the middle of the street when she was working for Goodwill of So Cal., the other was supposed to be a short-term foster; but her sweet little face, medical and emotional needs as a tri-pawed lady made it impossible for my friend to give her up. I love that amazing little pack.

Saturday night hit and, for once, LA was … well … dead.

I called and texted folks, even reached out to aquantances and resorted to tweeting celebs that I’ve had interactions with online begging for recommendations that perhaps, as residents, they might be able to offer.

Nothing.

With no restaurants, no spa, no ancillary services available; I bummed around my hotel talking to my friends and family back home as I might on any other day of the week. I was trying to keep myself occupied and moving. The lobby held a small fridge full of beverages, including a few of my favorite wine offerings; albeit in significantly smaller sizes than I was accustomed, but still something for which I was grateful.

I zipped down one last time to grab a bottle of prosecco and on my way up, was asked by several lovely looking gentlemen to hold the doors. Lo and behold, they were with the Carolina Panthers.

Finally. A normal occurrence, something that I am used to encountering. Athletes. Well-known people. We chatted for a brief moment. They were several floors below me. I knew that under the circumstances what may have turned into a fun (but short) evening of conversation wouldn’t be occurring on this odd weekend. Thanks to strict COVID protocol, everyone was locked down on their floor, in their own rooms, and socializing was prohibited.

I said goodnight as they exited and made my way back up to my room. It was early by “free weekend hours” go, but it’s a new world. Thus, at 10:45 PM I re-entered my hotel room hoping to find something worthwhile to watch on TV and fall asleep.

While I’m happy that my industry is finding ways to adapt and evolve; I do miss the usual socializing and sightseeing I’m used to doing when I travel. I am so anxious to have that aspect back.

Moving forward, I hope that soon there will be plenty to do in LA while we keep COVID in check. In the meantime, I still have a week to fill. Most nights I will be with my clients, during the day I will have the usual work to do, but I won’t event be able to escape to the Grammy Museum for a nosh and a wink during lunch, and that makes me sad.

It’s nearly Halloween. Mask up. Be a caped crusader. Be a hero. Let’s get this shit under control so we can all live a bit more freely again.

PS

We lost some pretty great fucking people over the last few days. Gayle Sayers. Helen Reddy. Mac Davis. Keep their souls and loved ones in your hearts.

https://giphy.com/embed/PO0FXIjrPkEOlMmQ3l

The Greatest Spectacle In Racing

FINALLY happens tomorrow….

The Indy 500 is tomorrow. A race that, under normal circumstances, happens the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, was postponed due to COVID-19. I’m an auto-racing fan and I’ve done quite a bit of work with NASCAR over the years. Some of it has been promotional for clients, some has been as support for a dear friend that was a car owner, and some of it was just happenstance. Regardless, it was a tremendous amount of fun that I often find myself reminiscing about the incredibly things I experienced over the years. I watched Indy 500 quals last weekend and I have to admit that when it became clear that there would be another Andretti starting on the Pole, it gave me chills.

For a kid from the sticks, I have had some pretty incredible professional opportunities. I have to say, I am most grateful for the time I was allowed to spend working in stock and open wheel racing. I can honestly say to anyone who deems NASCAR just a silly pastime, please allow me to accompany you to any track (once these COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, of course) and I promise that you will leave feeling completely different about this type of auto racing.

I was a kid in the 80’s, what my dear friend Dick Bahre liked to call “the Good ‘Ol Days” of racing. The sport was finally coming into itself; it was growing in popularity with the first few million dollar sponsorship deals being put in place, TV deals being negotiated, and fantastic new talent finding their way into the field to challenge the original guys that elevated the series to the level of popularity that France Senior always imagined it might enjoy.

Raced were broadcast on TBS and TNN. The idea of sponsorship was still new in this arena but everyone understood that the more screen time your sponsor received, the better it was for your team. Eventually they the came to realize that it was also better for the sport, and track promoters realized just how many opportunities existed to leverage the brands and companies supporting not just the drivers, but the entire series and the individual televised races each week.

My company got involved in promoting a healthy beverage that had never before been sold in a resealable, to-go, container. They wanted to find a driver to partner with in order to promote this new innovation to Moms and families; and fortunately for us the marketing director understood the power of NASCAR and the sport’s demographic. We jumped in with both feet and rolled up our sleeves, we knew a few popular, successful drivers that represented family values each of whom did not have a beverage sponsor of any type.

It took a few weeks but we signed a deal with this amazing driver (he happened to also be a Ginger from the great state of Maine, and that made my heart very happy) and negotiated the terms of our contract for the promotion. The client wanted to sample at key retail locations in each of the regions where their dairies were willing to contribute to the marketing budget and NASCAR had regularly scheduled Cup races over the course of the summer. They didn’t know how to “hook” the consumer into the trial and purchase on-site. They had coupons to offer, but not much else. We had, of course, offered up a “show car” with the brand’s pain scheme but didn’t have it fully fleshed out. I suggested allowing kids (which turned into more adults than kids) having the opportunity to sit in the show car and have a photo taken, which we would post to a website for family and friends to see and a copy to send home with them as they left the store. (This was MANY years ago, we didn’t have the tech to simply text or quickly email the photos to consumers then).

We also had 1:64th replica cars made, limited to 10,000, which consumers could receive with 5 of the new resealable “tops” from the product and $1. (To this day, nearly 20 years later, we occasionally still receive a random email asking if any of these collectibles still exist and if they do, how they can be purchased.)

We attended races in 4 markets over the course of that summer, but 6 of the client’s key regions were allowed to redeem “tops” for the replica cars. At two of the races, we had a day or two of driver autograph sessions, which were so incredibly popular we had to turn people away after the first 45 minutes of opening because we knew that the driver would never be able to meet & greet the entire line. It was a highly successful promotion. So much so, in fact, that the driver’s primary sponsor took umbridge with the success and asked for a meeting to determine exactly HOW we were achieving this success with the small budget allowed by the client. (A very popular CPG brand that has been with the sport for at least 3 decades.)

Over the course of these few summer and early fall months, I found myself in the enviable position of spending an enormous amount of time with our show car driver (retired team/car owner) Dick Bahre. He would tell me stories, and what stories they were! Crazy things from filling the hollow tube chassis with ball bearings to meet the weight pre-race only to let them “go” mid-race which benefitted the driver two-fold: 1) the bearings would send cars behind the driver into a skid and 2) the reduced weight of the car allowed it to achieve higher speeds. Such crazy-but-true things that made me laugh so hard that at the end of the day my stomach was sore.

He would take me around the tracks we visited and introduce me to the drivers, team owners, broadcasters and other usual suspects that had been around the sport since the early days. I would sit and listed to them talk, gaining valuable knowledge and becoming privy to them “spinning tales” of the now crazy shit that happened once-upon-a-time during the sport’s infancy. Each story more unbelievable and goddamned funny than the next.

We talked about all kinds of racing stuff. He appreciated open wheel racing just as much as he loved NASCAR stock car racing. When I told him I really loved Indy and F1, he said that he knew I was a good “kid”. We all knew the owner of the Procono Track back then, and I had the rare opportunity to meet a few Andretti family members one weekend. I walked away feeling like I was floating. Not only had I met The King (Richard Petty), Kyle and Kyle’s son Adam before he tragically passed away after wrecking (coincidentally, Adam died at the track that Dick’s brother owned in NH); but I also had the chance to meet a few Andretti gentlemen.

This season has been a challenge, without doubt, for drivers, track owners/promoters, sponsors, drivers and teams alike. However, NASCAR figured out how to bring racing back as soon as they possibly could and I respect their tenacity and leadership in returning to competition with a plan to keep COVID at bay.

Tomorrow will make history for several reason. Not just because the Indy 500 was postponed to a later date, but also because P1 was claimed by Marco Andretti. His Dad and Grandad will be leading the field to green in a two seater and Michael will be driving (much to Mario’s dismay). They’ll honor the rich history of Indianapolis, but their family, including John, who passed away in January after a serious battle with colon cancer.

I look forward to watching the race. I hope you all do, too. It’s a wonderful reminder of what can be accomplished when you refuse to listen to the critics and persevere. Keep pushing. Keep thinking. Keep creating. Keep looking ahead.

Keep innovating.

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines ….

When You See A FB Friend Suggestion

And You Have NO Idea Who They Are, But It Scares The Fuck Out of You….

I’m not on FB nearly as much as I used to be. I don’t have a reason why, I just don’t seem to give a shit anymore. I log on now simply to see my favorite people, posts about their freaking incredibly brilliant kids and what is going on that might not be shared in my ongoing FB Messenger chats.

Tonight I saw a suggestion. We had a number of mutual friends.

He is a PRIEST.

I tried like hell to place him. Did I really know him? The name sounded so goddamn familiar. It used to be that I never forgot a name OR a face. Now … well, now I seem to be able to forget both. It fucking sucks. I did a screen grab and sent it to one of my besties and asked if I knew him. She responded that we had gone to school with someone by that name to a certain point until our school districts had split.

I dove into my closet and dug out our yearbooks, looking for the pics of the kid I thought this person had been when we were young. After a few minutes I realized that it wasn’t the person I was afraid it might be. But, I did find a few great pics to share with some other friends and snapped some quickies to send off.

However, when it comes right down it to it, yeah … I was a little freaked out that I might have been hooking up with a dude that was now a fucking priest. Warranted? I don’t know. I mean, I’ve known a few dudes that I made out with that came out as gay, that doesn’t bother me. Why would knowing someone that I hooked up with before I was legal becoming a priest freak me out? I wish I had the answer. I think it has everything to do with the indoctrination of the Catholic Church. Those fuckers. [if this offends you, please skip to the next entry … my experience with religion is crazy for my age, but the Catholics left the most sourest of tastes in my mouth].

I moved to a very Catholic town when I was in the 5th grade. It was a bit strange. I was in the same Valley prior to living there, but before moving to this town NONE of my teachers were part of the clergy. Yes, the school prior would walk us across the lot to the church for a class once a week, but that was as close as we got to religion.

When we moved to this town, I was almost immediately visited by a Nun. She taught in the grade school and I quickly came to realize she was just one of many. I wasn’t raised Catholic, and everyone in this town [really the entire Valley] was French Canadian unlike me, so I had a couple of checks against me from the very beginning.

When I attended my first day of school, I was so confused. They placed me a grade behind and I sat there wondering what the fuck was happening. I kept saying that I had already completed this grade, they just kept shushing me. Finally, the teacher took me aside right before lunch and said she’d sort it out. She was married to the Principal and took me down to the office during lunch. They confirmed I was definitely NOT in that grade and found a place for me in the class which I belonged.

WOW.

My teacher was a *spinster* as they may have called her at one point in life. She had a very European hair style, incredibly flamboyant handwriting, she often brought unblessed hosts in for snack time and smelled terrible. I mean, she probably had a gland problem that she tried to cover with awful perfume, and no one was fooled. She also had a spitting problem.

That doesn’t mean she wasn’t a good teacher. I learned a great deal in her class. The school had an open classroom system and we were allowed to excel at our own pace, which was wonderful. I won a number of creative writing and science contests. Unfortunately, that meant I had to attend events with her. One of the great joys of my childhood was meeting Lois Lowry and having her tell me that I had a unique writing style; she loved my perspective and hoped that I would continue to write. That really meant the world to me and is something I will never forget.

That being said, I was one of a handful of kids that grew up in this place without a French Canadian heritage or stake in the Catholic Church. It was really difficult. Most families looked down on me because of it. I was intelligent, talented, athletic and well-adjusted. I’ll give them credit, they weren’t accustomed to having foster kids in their town like me. I plugged on like I was normal, I insisted they treat me like I was normal and eventually they had no choice but to treat me like I was a normal kid. After all, that’s exactly what I was a normal fucking kid.

I did find myself excluded from some things, such as Varsity Cheerleading. The Coach was afraid I would ‘report’ her for praying before each game. Thus, I was delegated to the secondary team where no one cared. I was still the best fucking cheerleader the secondary, AKA the GIRLS Varsity Team, ever fucking had. I used to run out and hit three pointers before we all ran drills. It didn’t take long before I was recruited by the coach and I was playing on the basketball team.

Honestly, when I try to explain where I grew up to people, it’s part Twilight Zone, part “Fucking Nuts”. School , well I explain that as attending a public parochial school. At least 50% of our teachers at the time from K-12 were Nuns. I will give credit to those who taught science. They did it appropriately and they did it well.

All in all … I am honestly just happy that I didn’t do anything with a kid that ended up as a Priest. I really resent the people that tried to keep me down. The people that tried to make me out to be some sort of degenerate simply because my parents had issues and I unfortunately ended up in the foster system. They treated me like it was my fault, like I’d done something to deserve that placement and I was less-than as a result.

Now, of course, they all pretend that never happened. Everyone likes to think they were my champion. It pisses me off. It really pisses me off when they press it and I have no issue reminding them how they treated me when I was in school. I don’t give a fuck who they are, who they were or what they fuck they are doing now. It’s unacceptable for adults to treat a child the way that so many adults treated me back then. Even if it hadn’t happened I would have still donated, helped and looked out for foster children; but honestly the treatment I received has given me reason to try even harder to make things better for as many children as I can.

In short, I will never forget where I came from. I may have difficulty explaining where I went and the place I currently am. I just want kids to know that their parents mistakes are not who they have to be.

A Glimpse of Normal

A Fun[ny] Thing Happened When I Spoke to Vegas

It’s no secret that the events industry, among others, has been all but devastated since we identified the novel Coronavirus and orders to SIP were issued. My company is small, agile but has a wide range of capabilities, so we were lucky to continue working this entire time. The projects were COVID related until recently and with the pivot to drive-in and drive-through experiences, we’re onto providing a new type of service for some of our clients.

However, some things never change. Temporary structures still require specific permits and that’s a service that we have always provided and provided well. I recently received a referral from a dear colleague. The new client was tasked with setting up some temporary structures on the East and West Coast. During the initial conference call I sensed a “comradery” in his voice. I slacked my co-workers that I felt like this person was Canadian. One of my co-workers is currently spending time with his family north of Montreal (Yes, he is also Canadian) and replied, “We’re everywhere!” I laughed.

We had a great call and when it ended I looked up the person we were speaking with. Sure enough, he was not only Canadian, but he played in the CFL. I grew up on the northern border of Canada, Canadians are my thing. (Actually, I have always had a knack for recognizing accents and dialects, but this was like Shaq standing under the rim.) I sent him a quick email saying that I “knew” he was Canadian and made a quick joke about his CFL days. He immediately wrote back, saying that had been so long ago he couldn’t believe his accent was that thick. A few minutes later I received a text with a pic of him from his playing days. I loved it.

Suddenly, while a tiny little connection, I felt like we were back in the days before COVID when I would have worked on a relationship like that face-to-face. I’m a huge sports fan. I’ve always been “just one of the guys” when it comes to being able to speak a little bit about a lot of things. I’ve never had a problem making friends and I can get along with just about anyone. I can roll with the punches and I know enough to plan for something to go wrong, so it’s never a surprise when/if something does. I was meant for this type of work (or possibly the CIA, languages come rather easily, too) so I’ve missed the personal connections.

I’ve had the privilege of meeting a number of amazing people over the years. I was a little girl that came from a nothing, tiny town in the middle of nowhere. I’ve been pretty lucky. I really felt good that I could recognize and appreciate what this new client had done earlier in his life. Probably something that he doesn’t find a lot of women in this business tend to know about let alone care to discuss. We both had a good laugh and now he is absolutely a client.

A human connection.

I didn’t think I really liked people, but these last 5 months have taught me I actually like people, I just hate assholes.

We’re Free …

But Do I Want To Be?

The State of NJ lifted the order to shelter in place this week. We are, of course, still expected to maintain social distancing and wear masks/cloth face coverings. Personally, I have probably only left the house about 4 times since the order to stay the fuck home was issued back in March. I have ventured out to the pharmacy and that is about it. Because I was making masks for friends and family; and the company I work for was involved in setting up testing centers, I was very good about wearing a mask.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 103718988_10219879606913363_8102034787133724435_o.jpg
When you want to look dapper for the ladies, but don’t want any of the dudes to forget just how badass you are.

This past week my ex dropped off our dogs (yes, we share custody of our two dogs like most divorced couples share custody of their children), and suddenly I found myself going outside more in one day than I have since March 15th. Most days I remember to mask up, but I do find myself doing something like walking the dogs which I haven’t done since before the Pandemic, and completely forgetting about a mask. Luckily, there aren’t too many people out and about on my block, so it’s not been an issue, but I realize I must do better.

I’ve been so bored these last 6-8 weeks, I’ve tried everything to find some relief. From making masks for friends and family and to list in my Etsy shop; purchasing an inexpensive violin and teaching myself some simple songs, making a matching KISS Mask and bow tie for my ex and our dachshund respectively, filling up a Clean Out Kit from Thred Up, to binging everything possible on Prime, Netflix, Hulu and Britbox that I haven’t already watched, I’m not sure what options I have left.

I’ve done just about everything except make a Tik Tok video.

I’m SO over it.

I cannot wait to get a haircut. I am so excited for the next opportunity to get a mani/pedi. I really need a a nice, long massage. I know this all sounds superficial, but I find so much solace in these little moments of relaxation and pampering. They are important to my well-being.

I’m fairly certain I’ll keep on sewing after this all blows over. I hadn’t used a sewing machine since my senior year in HS, but it came back to me so easily I can’t see why I would stop now.

What have you all been doing to stay busy? What’s the most bizarre thing that you’ve found yourself doing and enjoying so much that you may keep going after this is all over?

PS

Matt Smith 11Th Doctor GIF by Doctor Who - Find & Share on GIPHY

Love in the Age of COVID-19

If you have a chink in your relationship armor, there’s nothing like a pandemic with orders to shelter at home for 60+ days, to test whether or not it’s going to make your connection weak enough to break.

These last several months have been stressful, there’s no arguing that. Because of what I do, when given the choice to stay home, I almost always will choose to stay in. If we can get a meeting done just as effectively over an UBER Conference line, I vote for the conference call every time. Now, of course, we have no choice but to substitute conference and Zoom calls for anything that was originally meant to be face-to-face. It’s great, but if you had asked me 6 months ago whether or not I’d attend a video conference without make up; I’d have said, “HELL NO!”. Now I can’t remember the last time I actually applied mascara. It’s a bit bizarre.

The video conferences leave the opportunity for significant others to walk through the background, attempt to involve you in conversations that have nothing to do with you and are of little importance, and introduce small moments of PDA into the video. Some offenses are more egregious than others, of course, but mine always seems to find ways to end up in the background.

It’s quite possible this is my Nana’s “X” 😉

It’s also pretty difficult to find personal, alone time right now. I have locked myself in the bathroom, sat on the stairs, organized the crawl space in the attic and just laid low in the bedroom all day on Saturday or Sunday. I nap during the day, yet he finds reasons to bust in and try to engage me in something he finds exciting, such as how “awesome” the infused butter he is making really looks/smells. Sometimes he just wants to tell me that someone responded to something he posted. Other times it’s something so fucking stupid that I want to throat punch him, but I’m so groggy I know that my arms won’t move that swiftly.

I’ve tried to pull up everything funny, romantic, serious, or otherwise sexy to get the partner into the mood, but nothing works. He’s just focused upon why his company is getting away with not closing down even through it’s not considered “Essential” and making treats for people that have anxiety. I’m just about to lose my mind. I can’t even remember the last time we were intimate or how often he’s actually slept in our bed rather than on the living room sofa. If this doesn’t end soon, it may actually end for me in a very sad, sucky way.

I hope that you are all having a better relationship experience during this lockdown than me and most of my friends have been having.

Any tips for coping?

We’d all love to hear them.