Sexy texty and the single mom

Adriennes blog 8 oreosHi, I’m Adrienne.  The last time I was single, there was no such thing as sexting.  I doubt anyone would care if shown evidence that I have dirty thoughts, but I can’t help but mistrust men who want to get right down to business.  I sense potential blackmail in my future.

I have a problem with Oreos and pretty much everything else made primarily of carbs, so when I’m feeling virtuous, I keep an online food diary.  Since we dieters need support, you can meet other people crazy enough to keep journals of everything they eat.

I never thought of this as a place to meet guys, but boy, you better be careful of what picture you post in your profile.  Workout clothes are apparently quite the turn-on these days because a lot of guys on this site want to be “friends.”  The first time I got a friend request from a man, I figured the guy was on this site for the same reason I was, which is trying to lose those last ten pounds (okay, fifteen).

However, it got weird when my new diet buddy started asking me more personal questions, like, “If you could sleep with any actor, who would it be?”  Wow, to be honest, I had never even considered that because the possibility of sleeping with any actor was not on my radar.  I tried to be nice about it until he asked me whether I fantasized about him… uh, I don’t even know you, so… NO.

Then he proceeded to say a few explicit things to me involving parts of his body and mine.  I was kind of flattered, because let’s be honest, no one had talked to me like that in a looong time, but on the other hand, I was a bit alarmed.  At this point, I was really glad he didn’t know where I live.

Am I that out of it after being married for so long?

I stopped talking to that guy because he seemed too aggressive and even though he was older, it made me feel old to be so put off by sexy talk.  He didn’t even bother to ask my name before he got to the nitty gritty.

But because of him, I realized that texting men who live far away has its advantages and I began to be more open-minded.  I realized this was a safer re-entry into the world of dating than actual dates, both physically and emotionally.

Plus I have two kids at home and I don’t have to arrange babysitters or explain why I’m going out for dinner with a man who is not their father.  The only explaining I have to do is why I occasionally have a goofy smirk on my face for seemingly no reason.

Maybe I’m not ready for a relationship, but writing suggestive texts to a guy makes me feel like I’m still a woman with some charms.  You can read all about how I got dropped back into the dating pool in Giving Myself Away, being released next month.  Thanks for reading, and please share your thoughts on sexting.

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Your family stickers make me feel bad

Adriennes blog 7 sticker family picHi, I’m Adrienne, the sometimes bitter divorcee.  I’m sitting behind you at a red light and I have to stare at your happy family outlined in glaring white decals on the back of your minivan:  Dad with his grilling tools, you with your shopping bags, and your sporty boy and girl, flanked by an obnoxiously cute dog.  Yes, I get it:  Your family is perfect.  Intact.  Whole.

I’m not going to put my family layout on my car because what would that look like, with me on one side, my ex and his new wife, her three kids, and their new baby on the other, and our two kids pasted to the middle, halfway between us?  Maybe we could even put my ex’s new wife’s ex somewhere on there too?  Who can keep up?  The whole lot of us are a family of some sort, but it’s not the kind you brag about.

Let’s be real:  I know your family isn’t perfect even if it is really great.  Even if your marriage is going strong, you’ve faced hardship and strife.  Your kids may be wonderful, but I’m sure they drive you around the bend at least some of the time.  Maybe your stickers are just your way of showing how grateful you are for the best parts of your life.

But I feel like you’re showing off.  Your family is superior to mine because you have a spatula-wielding dad in the picture.  It’s your right to decorate your car however you wish, but keep in mind all the families who are families, even if there are no kids, even if a parent or child has died, even if the grandparents are raising the child, even if the family configuration is one of many other scenarios that don’t play out well in stick-figure form.

You can read about my family, a little worse for the wear, but definitely not broken, in Giving Myself Away, coming soon from Assent Publishing.  Thanks for visiting, and please let me know how you feel about family stickers.

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If I get married again, I don’t want new dishes

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If I get married again, I don’t want new dishes.  The first time I got married, everything had to be matching and new.  I remember taking that handheld scanner at the department store and zapping the things we wanted to add to our shiny married life – vases and plates and platters, beer glasses and grilling tools and gadgets.  All the right stuff would make us the perfect couple, charting a course together through housewares and beyond.  The first time I married, I was young and idealistic and unrealistic.  When things got broken, I believed they couldn’t be fixed.

If I get married again, I want a mishmash of mixed-up sets of plates from both of us, chipped and old, tokens of the perfect marriage we were supposed to have the first time.  Every day when I open my cabinet to pull out a cereal bowl or a coffee mug, I want to remember the hardships of life and where I’ve been.  I want us to sit at a table with jumbled place settings, plates and kids not matching but fitting together nonetheless.  I want to remember that I’m not perfect, he’s not perfect, we’re not perfect.

If I get married again, I’m going to appreciate what I have a whole lot more.  This time, I’ll know that cracked doesn’t mean unfixable.  I will know that the things that get cracked just need to be treated with greater care.

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Even moms need their mommies

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The kids and I recently found a baby bird lying on the side of my parents’ driveway.  It was probably old enough to fly, at least a little bit, but it wasn’t moving very much.  I didn’t say it to my children, but I thought it was dying.  A few hours later when we were leaving, the bird was gone.  “It flew away!” the boys exclaimed.

I’ll never know whether my mother moved the bird so they would think that, but I didn’t ask her.  I wanted to believe it flew away too.  I still wanted my mom to take care of me.  When you get married, you feel like such a grownup.  When you get divorced, you need your mommy again.

All the things I did when I got married made me feel like an adult.  Referring to “my husband,” signing the papers to buy a house, giving our first dinner party – I believed I had crossed some threshold into adulthood, never to return to dependence on my parents.

But when Drew left, I suddenly felt like a little girl again.  Getting up to make breakfast for my kids, I felt like a fraud – like I was trying on my mom’s makeup and heels – even though I had made them breakfast a thousand times before.  When I made an appointment with an attorney to represent me in the divorce, I wanted to bring my parents with me.  I realized that wouldn’t look very mature, and I reluctantly went alone.

A spouse fills so many spaces left open by parents.  My husband gave me reassurance that I was loved, like my dad.  He told me my outfit was perfect on the first day of my new job, like my mom.  He let me be the baby sometimes when life seemed too much and I wanted to stay in bed rather than get up and fulfill my adult responsibilities.

When you’re suddenly the only parent in the house, it can be scary.  I have to pay all the bills.  I have to decide who to call when the pipe bursts.  I have to tell my kids, no, they can’t watch that movie that “everyone else” saw.  The worst is those late nights when one of your children is sick.  No, the worst is those late nights when you’re sick AND your kids are sick.

The fact is, getting divorced made me grow up much more than getting married ever did.  Getting married meant going from the support system of my parents to that of my husband.  Getting divorced meant I was finally going to have to figure it out on my own.  Luckily, my parents are only an hour away, and my mom still lets me be a kid sometimes, even if it’s just preserving the fantasy that nothing bad happens to baby birds.

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Best Advice for the Newly Divorced

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Hi, I’m Adrienne.  I’ve been divorced a few years, and I’m starting to come to terms with my new life.  I’d like to share with you the best advice I ever got from an acquaintance who tread the path to singledom a few years before I did.

We were at a picnic and she pulled me aside.

“How are you doing?” she asked.

“Fine,” I said, trying not to notice all the intact families around me.

“No, really, how are you doing?” she asked again.

“It’s hard,” I said, my voice cracking.

“Listen.  You need to get new sheets.”

“Really?  It makes that much of a difference?”

“Trust me.  You’ll see,” she said, before walking off to find her son and her new husband.

When I left the picnic, I asked my sister to babysit so that I could go shopping.  I held back the part of me saying “This is a waste of money and you can’t afford it anyway.”  I bought really soft, 400-thread count sheets (in a muted shade my ex hates, but I always loved) and I went home and washed them and put them on my bed fresh out of the dryer.

I washed the old sheets too and put them in a bag for Goodwill.  Goodbye to the sheets my husband and I cuddled under to plan our future and dream big before it all fell apart.  Goodbye to the sheets where our children were conceived.  Goodbye to the pillowcases I cried countless tears upon.

I slept that night between my new sheets and I slept so well.  The sheets were nicer than any other sheets I had before, but more importantly, I was refeathering my nest.  I was accepting that this is “my” bed now, not “our” bed anymore.

Everyone has advice when you’re getting married, but no one tells you how to get divorced.  What’s the best advice you ever got?

You can find out why I needed new sheets in Giving Myself Away, coming out this fall from Assent Publishing.  Thanks for reading!

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Someone has to wear the pants…

Adriennes blog 2 wedding dress pic Hi, I’m Adrienne.  I’ve been a single mom for a while now, but sometimes the reality hasn’t quite sunk in. Last night I had this dream that I’m going to marry a woman.  I feel disappointed when she tells me I have to wear a pantsuit for the wedding…  I wanted to wear the dress.

“Couldn’t we both wear a dress?”  I asked.

“No, someone has to wear the pants,” she said.

I’m often the one wearing the pants.  Who else is going to deal with the spiders and the clogged drains and the lawnmower now that there’s no man in the house?

It’s not all bad.  I realized I can handle a lot more than I ever thought I could.

What do you do now that you didn’t have to before?  I’ll tell you all my favorite chores on my “Things for Which it Would be Helpful to Have a Husband” list in Giving Myself Away, my story coming out this fall.

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Why it’s great to be single

Adriennes blog 1 trash can picHi, I’m Adrienne.  I know I’m getting over this whole divorce thing because some mornings I actually wake up and feel relieved to be single.  I love to make lists.  My favorite kind of list is the one you write when you’re feeling really upbeat and motivated – the kind I fold up and tuck in a drawer to look at later on the days I’m feeling anything but upbeat.  Here’s the latest:

Things you don’t have to worry about anymore when you’re single:

  1. whether or not I snore when I sleep on my back
  2. who’s going to take out the trash (I already know it’s going to be me, so there’s no one to nag)
  3. consulting anyone else on what I decide to buy
  4. not having to share the closets or the dresser anymore
  5. ???

Help me out here… what would you add to my list that’s great about being single?  I don’t want to sound all bitter about marriage or anything, but really, we need to make the best of our situation and enjoy the good parts.

I hope you’ll want to read all about how I ended up where I am in Giving Myself Away (coming out this fall!).

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