Monday, April 22, 2013


We knew it was imminent. It just took a little extra time this year. Poor ole Punxutawney Phil has had to go into the witness protection program. But, I think we can finally, safely say that spring as arrived.

And, by the way, WTF Al Gore?


The signs are everywhere. In fact, I've been practically ambushed by some sweet reminders that warmer weather is indeed upon us.

Just yesterday my gal pal and I ventured out on a walk. It was still a tad chilly. We even remarked about the small amount of condensation hovering in the air. Not rain, thank The Lord. Just a little dew. And, just like that, a rather large amount of "dew" landed on my head. Only it wasn't that kind of dew. It was doo. As in bird doo. A freaking bird unloaded his morning meal on my head. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate birds. And, in the moment I felt compelled to share this fact with the entire neighborhood.

"Did a bird just shit on my head?"

"Oh. Ohhh my god. Yep hahahah! Sure did!"

I began to throw a fantastical fit, somewhat of a cross between a 2-year old tantrum and a grown woman going into anaphylactic shock.

"I FUCKING HATE BIRDS", I shrilled as I stomped around and attempted to wipe the bird dung off of my head. I was entirely unaware of the 2 men unloading a truck in the driveway across the street.

"Heyyyy. What's up?"

And then we giggled and ran off like a couple of teenaged twits.

Today's walk started off just as comically. No sooner had we exited the door of my house did a prehistorically sized wasp descend upon my friend. She screamed and ran as I bobbed and weaved. Apparently he fancied her because "he", I'm just guessing here, chased her off the front porch and into the drive way before she had noticed that he was hot on her tail. Next I know she's off like a shot into the street screaming, "HE'S FUCKING CHASING ME!!" Not the first time she's said those words. Again, I'm just guessing here.

I couldn't help but wonder if there wasn't bacon or jelly beans in the middle of the street based upon the velocity in which she moved. Nope. Just another sign of spring.

So, today I figured I would make it official. I would attempt to mow my yard. I was relatively apprehensive only because I was certain my mower would not start.

I geared up and put on my iPod for a little motivational music.I figured I'd need all the help I could get. I kept the mower in the garage for my attempt to start it to avoid any and all ridicule. Only the neighbor boy had other ideas.

The little darling was perched on his big wheel at the end of my driveway. I'm gonna guess him somewhere around 4 or 5. He was mouthing something to me but I feigned deafness thanks to my iPod. I'm not a fan of this kid. He's mouthy and rude. So, as per normal I ignored the little bastard and went in for the kill. I stopped just short of dislocating my shoulder and shoved the mower a couple of feet. You know, for good measure.

He was still there, taunting me.

I tried again. To no avail.

He was still trying to communicate with me. Though I played dumb, I got it. He was telling me that it needed gas. You think I didn't think of that you little wanker? Oh wait. Crap! I looked into the gas tank. Yeah, okay, it needed to be topped off. But, I'm sure that wasn't the problem. I only filled it up because that was my original plan. Had nothing to do with Nosy McNeighbor boy.

Lo and behold. It started.

I made the mistake of removing one of my ear phones only to hear him say, "told you it needed gas" as he triumphantly peddled home.


Fortunately the smell of fresh cut grass improved my mood. That is after all the surest sign that spring has arrived.

Yes, folks. It's here. Chalk full of bugs, bird crap and precious little children, running amuck and terrorizing the neighborhood. Wait, why was it again I was so excited about spring?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Funny and Handsome

As a young woman, this was my list of qualifications for a perspective boyfriend. Funny and handsome. That was it. That was all I felt was necessary in a suitable companion. He just had to be funny and handsome.

Oh my how times have changed.

I suppose as young women we should be allowed to be so carefree and simple when it comes to matters of the heart. Eventually we learn. And learn. And then learn again.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still a sucker for the funny and handsome boy. But, now that I find myself as a forty something single mom back in the dating game, I recognize that funny and handsome will only go so far. My list has evolved thanks to personal experience and the sage wisdom of friends and family.

1. Funny is still important.

This is still a top priority. It's just the type of funny is different. For example, when you're young and dating a boy and he farts, you laugh, because farts are funny. When you're dating in your forties and the man farts it's funny because you know that he has no control over it. These things happen. And it's funny. I mean, you have to laugh about the side effects of aging, so that you don't cry. And, frankly, there's nothing more attractive than a man who can laugh at his own expense.

A boy in his twenties works hard at being funny. He seeks approval for his shenanigans and story telling. He will slap his buddy on the back and give him the universal "that was some funny shit, right?" hand signal. Whereas a well seasoned funny man is completely confident in his finely honed humor. Basically, he's funny, he knows it, but he doesn't flaunt it. He is pure sexiness. Stick a fork in me.

2. He must be age appropriate.

When we are young we date our age. Because, well, we can. The older we get, the more challenging that becomes. So, you have to set parameters; an age range if you will. And this requires a tad bit of "research".

I recently had a conversation with a friend of a friend who is a professional singleton. She has a thick Chicago accent, a permanent smile and invaluable wit and wisdom.

"So, you're having a fling with a young one, huh?"
"Yep. That I am."
"Good for you! You know, younger men are like puppies. They're cute, fun to play with and they're eager to please. But you gotta let someone else train them. Have your fun and move on."

Wise woman that one.

I had a near miss encounter with a man 14 years my senior. My brother in law allowed as how I didn't want to date someone that much older than me. When I asked why he pointed out that I'd end up being his care taker some day. This coming from a man 13 years older than my sister.

Live and learn. And then set your age range accordingly.

3. He needs a healthy bulge.

To quote a very dear friend, "The bulge in the back pocket is more important than the one in the front."

Uh huh. Okay. Yeah I see that. But, I have to say that experience has taught me that a healthy bulge in the front pocket is an equally charming quality in a man. If not a novelty. If you happen to come across this mystic being who has healthy bulges in both the front and back pockets, then marry him. NOW, sister!

I guess the point is that at this stage of the game, a little financial security goes a long way. So does a healthy front bulge, but, okay, fine, beggars can't be choosers.

4. His background has to be clean.

This is important. Ladies, lets face it, you just can't be too safe. There's this little thing called Google. Use it, preferably before you sleep with him. Again, we live and learn.

And, do as much local research as you can on him. I live in a very small town, and the dating pool is very, very small. Tiny, in fact. And, as a friend ever so gently put it, everyone has peed in it. You can find out a lot about a man just by knowing who your predecessors were. Though, another good friend very earnestly said to me, "I don't care who came first, but I do have to ask why they left." Another point well taken.

5. Handsome still helps.

Though as my dear mother, and most all dear mothers, pointed out, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But, when we're young that's pretty much all we see, the beauty before us. The poor schlepp underdog boy struggles to let you know how awesome he is. He has a graduate degree from MIT, his mother raised him to treat women with respect and to have good manners, he can carry on a conversation without once having to say "uuuhh, I dunno" and someday his front bulge will likely be substantial. But, we just can't seem to take our eyes off the dim witted chiseled Neanderthal who keeps saying "uuuhh, I dunno" to us. Again, we do eventually learn.

Pretty really is as pretty does. As we get older we do figure out that sometimes it just takes a little time to get to know a guy before you can ascertain whether or not you find him attractive. We still have qualities we are drawn to. I still am mesmerized by a set of beautiful eyes. And I turn full idiot in the presence of tall, dark and handsome. But, if a short, gray haired, relatively attractive man with brown eyes came along and was funny, nice and polite and took me out for a steak dinner I'm certain I'd find him attractive.

It's still okay to be a bit particular in the advanced dating game, however. My friend with the bulge requirement also deems teeth necessary. Real or not, they just have to have a set of teeth.

6. He's got to move slowly.

Lesson nĂºmero uno in dating post divorce: do not move in on your first relationship after your divorce like a rat on a Cheeto. This is your rebound relationship. It is your gateway drug. You still have a significant amount of baggage to unpack. Do not let him convince you that he's the one. Maybe he is, but not yet. Take your time. My very good friend told me as much. "You make sure you like him. I'm sure you love him. But he may never leave, and then you're stuck with someone you don't like that much."

To be completely honest with you, I hate dating at this stage of the game. I really, really hate it. I avoid it at all possible costs. But, I greatly appreciate the valuable lessons and advice I have gotten. It makes it a little more tolerable. And humorous. Funny really is the way to go!

I owe a special thanks to a lot of people for this one: Sue Brosmith, Linda Standley, Stephanie Griffitts, Kim Mitchell, Mike Molyneaux, Joe Racey, Kelly Miles, Diane Turilli, my beautiful mom and of course my single sisters in crime, Gigi Patterson and Christine Grojean, because we are living it. Like it or not.