Sunday, November 29, 2009

Golden Nuggets

AC has been resistant to any efforts to potty-train her, much to my frustration. When she was 14 months old, in a random act of excretion, she peed in her Royal Potty. I praised her efforts, as did the Royal Potty, playing its regal melody to symbolize its receipt of liquid. This marked both the first and last time AC used the Royal Potty as a potty. It has had many uses since, including step stool and unfortunate instance of serving as bath toy. It later occurred to me that perhaps AC was appalled by the song the Royal Potty played, as I myself would not appreciate a toilet that cheerily announced each deposit.

Apart from the fact that I need to work to support us, I appreciate daycare as an opportunity to pay others to potty-train my kid. AC's current daycare has a potty in the shape of a frog. On a recent occassion, I picked AC up from daycare, where her teacher told me that AC had been placed on the frog and told to "make the froggy wet and dirty". It took virtually every ounce of strength I had to keep from bursting into immature and childish laughter over the thought of making the froggy wet and dirty.

Since AC's baby daddy and I separated, his mother has been working diligently on potty-training efforts, an easy task for her, since when AC is in the custody of her baby daddy, they live at his parents' house. Again, I have no complaints if someone else wants to train my kid, but it did sting to know that AC used the potty for the first time while she was with her grandma. For God's sake, I gestated that child for nine months, where she used to pee right inside my uterus. At the very least, she could appease me with being witness to her first use of the toilet!

Since that day, AC has been using the real potty more and more for everyone--except me. So today when she told me that she wanted her pants and Pull-Up off, I didn't think much about it, apart from encouraging her typical toddler exhibitionist traits. Much to my surprise, she soon sat down and actually used the potty for its intended purpose. Had I not known better, I'd have accused her of pouring apple juice in the potty, but since I knew that was not the case, I celebrated her accomplishment with much fanfare and cheering.

My parenting duties complete for the moment, I decided to check out my recently downloaded Britney Spears videos, hoping that I could perfect her moves so I am prepared next time I encounter a 'Womanizer'. AC realized who I was listening to--"That maybe Britney? My favorite!"--and proceeded to dance. And dance. And dance. I ran to get the camera to catch video of her shaking her bare booty to Britney. I smiled with pride, knowing that on my hands I have either a future exotic dancer or a budding pop starlet. I am hoping for the latter.

While I was laughing the video--and laughing until I cried--AC plopped herself down on her potty...and plopped down a generous handful of poo nuggets. When I say "handful", I mean it, as before I knew it, AC was running toward me with a handful of poo nuggets in her hand, proudly shrieking, "I went poopy!". Having no other choice, I graciously accepted the handful of nuggets as if they were golden nuggets. Hey, she might've been confused on what to do after the action happened, but at least she got her potty both wet and dirty today. Now that's what I call progress.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ouchie! I Need a Band-Aid, Please!

When AC was very young, she loved the "Itsy Bitsy Spider". It was virtually the only song I knew with hand gestures that didn't include the middle finger or Satan's horns, so we sang Itsy a lot. She became so well-versed in Itsy that she could do the hand motions by seven months old. Perhaps the cutest pic I have of her is sitting in a laundry basket, hands stretched above her head, imitating the climbing up the waterspout portion of the song.

At the height of AC's Itsy phase, I found an adorable board book based on the rhyme of Itsy, with a new rhyme on each page. My favorite was the rhyme where Itsy fell down and shrieked, "Ouchie! I need a Band-Aid, please!". Of course, based on the fact that Itsy has eight legs, she requested eight Band-Aids, but her mother only had six.

I, too, am having an eight Band-Aid sorta day. The day started out smashingly, with me packing up a bunch of my ex-husband's stuff, a task I refer to as "taking out the trash". However, after I picked up my daughter, my sadness started setting in. Holidays are never good for the newly-single girl. Your usual support system is gone, caught up in their own families and new boys.

As the icing on my heartbreak cake, I said goodbye to an online flirtation, who is deploying to Iraq in a couple of days. Sure, deep down, I knew that it was unlikely that anything would come of it, apart from the occassional sexting exchange. But what a fool believes is that what seems to be is always better than nothing, and he was always reliable for some occassional drunk texting.

The other victim of my weekly drunk texts is a married guy I like to refer to as my "one night stand that got away". Coulda, shoulda, woulda...but even 10 years after the fact, he still likes to play my game. I consider his receipt of my infrequent drunk texts to be a true honor on his part; I doubt his wife would agree, because I have typically found that while I don't care, most wives don't wanna share.

In thinking of this--why would someone as intelligent and beautiful as me continually throw myself at Someone Else's Husband?--the answer dawned on me: I can't trust the guy. If I know I can't trust him from the start, there is no reason for me to ever build trust in him. No trust equals no heartbreak for me, because I already fully expect him to break my heart. To expect it means that essentially, your heart cannot be broken. I have equated my broken trust issues to Santa Claus: I feel like I carry it in a huge sack tossed across my shoulder. The good thing, is that just like Santa delivering his gifts, I toss out a little bit of that mistrust each and every day.

But yet, the truth always remains...after saying farewell to my brief--but steamy--online military boy, my automatic defense mechanism was to text Someone Else's Husband, even though I know he is really no different from Itsy, though far more dangerous: a poisonous spider just waiting in the corner, fulling willing to silently and slyly break his wife's heart while playing with mine.

Ouchie...I need a Band-Aid--or six, or eight--for my scraped and scuffed heart.

Everything About Me is Fake!

Okay, I will admit it: what appeals to me the most is what is not real. I love fake eyelashes, and would wear them every single day, if it weren't for the whole cleaning part. Seriously, I barely make the time to clean my house. Should I really be expected to peel mascara and glue off my fake lashes every single night? I have considered writing the fake-eyelash company to encourage them to produce 30 packs of lashes, one for each day of the month, just like those contacts that you wear once and toss.

Keeping with my tradition of looking fake--fake hair, fake eyelashes, fake white teeth, fake skin, fake perfection--I insist on wearing acrylic nails. They are perhaps the biggest hassle in my life. I hate my twice-monthly trip to the nail salon the way some people hate their twice-yearly visit to the dentist. Not only do I resent the time it takes and the overall atmosphere of the salon, I resent that acrylic nail filling causes me intense physical pain. Now, I typicaly tolerate pain quite well. I barely used my pain med pump following my C-section. My gallbladder was so painful and so infected that by the time I sought medical help, I was merely hours from a luxurious stay in the ICU from the dang thing exploding and infecting my entire body. I have four tattoos, and barely flinched during any of them. However, none of these experiences even come close to the pain I experience during a nail fill. I literally get sweaty while the pain radiates through my entire body, thanks to the nail bed burn caused by the combo of power drill and primer. I liken it to what prisoners of war must experience when they have bamboo shoots shoved under their nails to make them talk. Only this doesn't make me talk. It makes me clench my teeth in pain to prevent crying out.

Nevertheless, I had to have my nails filled in anticipation for my double date this weekend. A guy friend once pointed out that he's never known a guy to look at a girl and think, "Wow, she has really hot nails.". However, in the spirit of maintaining my fakeness, I still continue to wear fake nails, though I doubt I am fooling anyone.

My nail salon is located across the street from the bank I visit daily for work. I am often the only client in the salon, so I am doubtful as to the real purpose of this business. Money laundering, perhaps? While focusing on controlling my pain yesterday, it dawned on me that the salon is located next to a locally-owned shop called the "Hip Stufz". Hip Stufz would appear to be going out of business, based on a sign in the front window advertising "Store closing!!! Everything must go!!! Last hurra!!!". Hip Stufz has been going out of business since I started my job, where I've now worked for six years. Alas, I briefly considered a visit to Hip Stufz to check out the "last hurra!!!", hoping for a deal on the "Tight Butts Drive Me Nutz" t-shirt I once saw in the window.

Instead, I turned my attention to the television in the salon, which is always playing a movie that would be considered inappropriate for some audiences. As my eyes focused in, I realized that today's selection was the Will Ferrell movie I was forced to watch on my ill-fated Piper date. The physical anguish mixed with the mental anguish of being forced into watching this flick not once, but TWICE.

In another stroke of irony, this morning I got a random text from a number I didn't recognize, wishing me a happy Thanksgiving. Because I cannot let it go and assume it was just a wrong number, I had to Google the area code, only to find it originated from San Antonio, the home base of Piper, who so eloquently dumped me via text several months ago. I went back to analyze the message, and sure enough, the phone number started to look more and more familar. And then I smiled, not in pleasure because Piper was thinking of me, but rather in scorn, because the text actually read, "Happy thanks giving".

I smiled as I sent back a "Happy THANKSGIVING to you, too", smacking of fake sincerity, just like my acrylic nails, highlighted red hair, fake eyelashes and too-white teeth.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Love of My Life

Society seems to impress upon us that there is that "one" person out there, waiting to be found--a soul mate. I knew early on in my marriage that my husband was no soul mate, and I doubt I hid this opinion from him very well.

Instead, I determined that I had another soul mate: a boy I dated briefly when I was young. He was a ANG pilot. It was bad timing. The loss of him caused me to hurt every moment that I was breathing, and for what seemed like years, I could not make my bed in the morning, for fear that the sheets would be so wet from crying myself to sleep that it would result in mildew.

Alas, since everyone in my life insisted that I was meant to be with him and that he was, indeed, my soul mate, I believed it, too. The cynic in me wanted to snicker, knowing that soul mates just don't fall from the sky (no pun intended--really!), especially when you are 19 years old. But deep down, I desperately wanted this boy to be my soul mate, and I have been guilty of passing my time thinking of scenarios in which we could re-unite and live happily ever after. Perhaps my favorite is that of the book signing: it involves me finding fame and fortune as an author, and him showing up at my book signing, where he would be forced to ask my agent for permission to approach me. Intense eye contact ensues, and usually the Jessica Simpson song "When You Told Me You Loved Me" is playing in the background. He realizes that I am his soul mate, too, and we can live happily ever after, even though, deep down, I know that his happily ever after includes a wife who is a good "homemaker", something I have been told that I am not.

One summer, my Soul Mate was on my mind considerably, thanks to an air show in my area. Thanks to my OCD, I can easily let something and someone dominate my every thought, and this was certainly the case. At the same time, I heard of some friends who a visited a local "psychic". I was told that they heard truths about themselves that the psychic could not possibly know about them, unless she actually was psychic.

I thought, a-ha! Brilliant! I will visit the psychic--for the low, low price of $40 for a 45-minute session--and the psychic will tell me that Soul Mate and I are meant to be together! This will be perfect! If the psychic tells me that Soul Mate is indeed my soul mate, I can live in peace, knowing that we will be together one day!

I eagerly made my appointment to visit the psychic's home for my reading. I discussed the situation with my boss, who was so amused by my enthusiasm for my psychic reading that he ponied up the $40, in exchange for me giving all details of the event. I happily agreed.

I arrived at the psychic's house, full of giddy anticipation. Upon entering her cluttered, stuffy house, I immediately tripped on an elevation that led to her living room. As a pyschic, shouldn't she be able to forsee these things and warn me of a possible injury?

After I gave her my $40, my psychic had to leave the room to "prepare". She returned, ready to give my reading. Her first insight was that she saw a baby following me closely, attached to my shoulder. She asked if I'd had a miscarriage. No, I had not. Had I had an abortion? No, not that either. Had my mother had a miscarriage? Nope. An abortion? Nuh uh. How about my grandmother? Any miscarriages or abortions there? Again, I answered no. Finally, she came to the conclusion that the mysterious baby was the stillborn brother of my husband. I began to question her abilities based on the fact that when she didn't crack one code about the mysterious baby, she kept going down the line. Had I not confessed to my mother-in-law's stillborn son, would the pyschic kept going? Would she have to made it to, "Has your second cousin's third wife's former sister-in-law ever had a miscarriage or abortion?"

I had to broach the subject of my Soul Mate. Her first question was, "Is in on Earth's Plane?" I thought, a-ha! I KNEW it! She said the word "plane"! "Plane" and "pilot" virtually mean the same thing! Alas, she dropped my hopes to the ground when she told me she did not believe in soul mates, thus Soul Mate was not--and could not--be my soul mate. This was not the answer I wanted to hear. I paid this "psychic" $40, and she couldn't at least entertain me by telling me what I wanted to hear?

I went home nearly devastated that night. It was like losing Soul Mate all over again. I spoke to my mom, and I sobbed about this, and demanded to know why, ten years before, she had told me that Soul Mate was the one for me when this really wasn't true? How could she lie to her flesh and blood like this? There was dead silence on the phone, followed by a motherly, "Oh honey...I don't know why I felt like that at the time, but you probably just still have strong feelings for him because it was the first time you ever had grown-up feelings in a relationship..."

I figured that if I could not get the psychic or my mother to relent to the fact that this was my soul mate, I'd best be moving on. A few weeks later, I was at the beach with my husband and my daughter, when a small metal fighter jet washed up on shore. Only moments before, I'd been watching a tourist helicopter, and thinking of Soul Mate, because after all, if it flies, it would make me think of Soul Mate. It could be a flying cockroach, and I would still think of Soul Mate, simply because of the flying parallels. I smiled to myself when the plane washed up at my feet, and tossed it back into the water, in a display of what I figured was letting go. A week later, I insisted on going to the beach, back to the same exact spot, so I could frantically dig through the sand and rocks, searching in vain for the plane that I was now certain was a sign that Soul Mate and I were meant to be. After all, why would something so random just happen to wash up to me?

Feeling certain that Soul Mate was the love of my life, and I'd let this opportunity slip through my hands ten years prior, I began demanding of each of my friends to reveal his or her Soul Mates, the loves of their lives. My boss--who has been married for all of three years of his adult life--is still involved in the day-to-day life of the woman he divorced nearly as many years ago as I have been alive. We all know that this is the love of his life. However, when asked this question--Tell me! Who is it?!? Who is the love of your life?!?--he smiled and said, "Me. I am the love of my life."

I was speechless, and after much thought, realized that he was probably right. After all, if you are your own love of your life, there is no one to let you down. It's taking that old self-help adage of "love yourself first".

After that, I decided that I would, indeed, be the love of my life. I will never let myself down. I don't ever have to worry about lack of trust in myself. Hell, if need be, I can even service my own physical needs, possibly event better than any real soul mate could.

Then, one day, I was stroking my daughter's fine hair, and smelling her sweet toddler scent, a combination of grape jelly, Play-Doh and Pull-Ups, and it dawned on me: SHE is the love of my life.

In re-entering the dating world, I realize this has taken a lot of the pressure off of me. I don't need to find a soul mate, or the love of my life. I've already got two--me and my daughter--and that's more than anyone could ever ask for in one lifetime.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Homemaker versus Homewrecker

My ex-husband is not thrilled that I am divorcing him, and honestly, who would be? A catch like me? For sure he should've straightened out his behavior in the seven years that we were married, so I wouldn't have had to find myself in the position of needing to choose between killing him or divorcing him.

For the purpose of making himself feel better and more like a man, he loves to hurl insults at me. He insists that I am a "homewrecker", despite the fact that the only home I've seemed to wreck is my own. That is not to say that I have not participated in some lecherous behavior that could've possibly deemed me a homewrecker, had I selected a less-honest man to seduce. However, my single endeavor in homewrecking, while momentarily promising, came to a halt when my womanizer--you know, as in Britney's 'Womanizer': "You say I'm crazy...I GOT your crazy"--decided that he had too much to lose if he got caught having a little planned but no-strings-attached afternoon delight with me.

In a recent tirade, my ex-husband was shrieking insults at me, which I calmly navigated, knowing that if I fulfilled my desire to actually kill him, I'd find prison much lonelier than divorce and life as a single girl.

By far, my most favorite insult of the night was when he looked and me and screamed, "You are sure no HOMEMAKER!"

I damn near fell over laughing at the fact that anyone would ever believe that I would aspire to the career goal of "homemaker" in the first place, much less that someone would consider me to be less of a person because I am not one. I am sure that my shrill and hysterical laughter only incited his anger more, but really...who did the guy think he was marrying? June Cleaver in a Pussycat Dolls costume? We married in 2002, not 1952.

In a discussion with friends, one pointed out that some men want their women to "seduce like a phone sex operator, f*ck like a hooker, dress and look like a model--all while putting on a perfect facade of devoted parent, devoted wife and "homemaker". Right that.

It's Britney, B!tch!

Okay, okay...I will admit that I like Britney Spears a little bit more than your average 32-year-old woman should. One of the things I like best about her is that typically, we go crazy at around the same time. When she was crazy and shaved her head spontaneously, I was also crazy with postpartum depression, and sobbing over the fact that I could no longer see my OBGYN on a weekly basis, a complete devastation to me as--much to my ex-husband's dismay--I was certain my OBGYN was my soul mate. When Brit was crazy and locked her naked self in the bathroom with her son, I was also crazy with depression that would later transpire into a "mood disorder" diagnosis, which, in my mind, actually means "bipolar". My mother adamently disagrees with my self-diagnosis, and frequently tells me, "It's not YOU that's crazy. It's that you are in a crazy situation with your so-called husband." Nevertheless, I take pride in the fact that Britney and I share a commonality, at least in my own mind, though my "bipolar" has all but disappeared since I made my now ex-husband disappear.

As a newly single girl with newly single friends in a town of transient "pipers", we discussed one night how we ought to assume names when we go out. We vowed to never, ever give the pipers our real names, because we really aren't looking for anything long-term and really only want to be wined, dined and pipelined. Because I like the opening part of Britney's 'Gimme More', I decided that I would go by 'Britney B!tch', because really...calling your friends and saying, "It's J, b!tch!" has far less impact than quoting Britney word-for-word by calling your friends and saying, "It's Britney, b!tch!", just like she does in 'Gimme More'.

When I was still married to my husband, I begged and pleaded for tickets to Britney's Circus concert tour--for my 31st birthday. He obliged and went, particularly because he thought he was going to get a great night of sex after the concert, since he believed I'd be all heated up by both the Pussycat Dolls and Britney. Unfortunately, what he really got was chaos, because Brit was staying at the same hotel; no dinner because all of the restaurants were too packed before the concert; me downing champagne and Klonopin to control my stress; and Britney's Lip-Synching Extravaganza. To top the night off, we discovered that there were no restaurants in the area still open at the late hour of 11:00 pm, and ended up ordering room service, so the only sex he got was a quickie in which I yelled, "Hurry up! Room service will be here any minute!" I enjoyed the room service meal much more than I enjoyed the quickie, and enjoyed my luxurious shower in the posh tiled doubled-headed shower even more.

After I got over my shock and horror that Britney did no actual singing at the concert, I decided that it was still fun, so I taught myself how to use iTunes specifically for the purpose of downloading each of her concert songs, in set order, so I could re-live the event over and over in my car. With my OCD traits, if I have something new like this, I tend to play it over. And over. And over. Eventually, I will tire of it, as I have now, when Britney comes up every other song when my iPod in in shuffle mode, because there's so damn much of her on there.

However, during my Britney phase, I took AC to Target, an adventure that, round-trip, takes us roughly an hour-and-a-half, so we had plenty of time to listen to Britney. It should've been a warning when AC shrieked from the backseat, "Hey Mama! You wanna piece of me?" Sigh...I told her, I did not want a "piece of her".

AC took her Britney obsession even further when we arrived at the McDonald's drive-thru to place our dinner order. She insisted that I "make it bigger!", and her favorite song was a less-than-innocent Britney song called, 'Hot as Ice'. For an adult, it is obvious what Brit is referring to as being "cold as fire, baby, hot as ice...never been to heaven? This is twice as nice...", but for AC, it quickly became her favorite song.

The line at the drive-thru was long and slow, and we had to wait with our car window down the entire time, with Aidyn yelling, 'MAKE IT BIGGER' while I had to play "Hot as Ice' over...and over...and over... I felt the glares from adults, who probably assumed that it was me, not a two-year-old, who insisted on playing the same obscene Britney song "bigger" and over...and over...and over.

But's Britney, b!tch. The kid's got good taste in music, and at least it wasn't Brit's current (and my favorite) obscene and even more suggestive hit, '3'.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You not a mans...anymore!

Last night I had to pay a visit to my hair stylist, even though I was certain that I just paid her a generous sum of money, like, when? Yesterday? It seems like that check just cleared! She pre-books all of my appointments, usually for a full year in advance, so I have no way of escaping her, because I don't have the balls to call her and dump her, and she knows she has me trapped with the pre-bookings. I receive a lot of flak from friends, who believe that I should just dump her, based on various reasons, including the fact that she has given me the exact same haircut for the entire time she has been my stylists, despite my protests and photos. But...we've been together for 13 years! That's twice as long as I was married! And in my divorce, it was agreed upon that I keep custody of the hair stylist, so I continue to see her, and might possibly for the rest of our lives, until death do us part.

Now, I am quite girly-girl and fastidious with grooming. Some people have real hobbies, like golf or hiking or music. My hobby is self-grooming. I love to color and wax and tint and make up and do anything else that requires altering of my personal appearance. I, of course, find myself quite adorable. I don't necessarily know if all people agree with this, but in my own mind, they do. How could they not?

While at my appointment last night, I was getting my usual eyebrow wax, when I announced that I would like my moustache waxed. My stylist snickered and insisted that I did not have a moustache in need of waxing. However, with some pleading from me, she agreed to wax my upper lip and through much pain felt on my part, managed to rip off the fine hairs that I considered my moustache. I felt gratified.

I like to believe that there is nothing manly about me, apart from my need for moustache waxing. I wear skirts, dresses and heels virtually every day. I would never dream of leaving the house without makeup or without my hair styled. I sometimes wonder if perhaps the reason that I do not get asked out on dates has to do with the reason that I simply look too high maintenance and men just don't want to deal with me, and really, can you blame them? All the same, I have no intention of changing that, even if it means having to find a man experiencing a mid-life crisis and needing a trophy wife.

However, apparently to AC, I bear a distinct resemblence to a man. When I arrived home after my appointment, she gleefully looked at me and said, "You not a mans...anymore!"

Huh? I'm not a mans, ANYMORE? I never knew that I was a "mans" to begin with, but perhaps it is through the mouth of babes that we learn how the world actually views us.

Monday, November 16, 2009

"I love love me...we're a happy fam-i-ly..."

On Saturday, I am relatively certain I nearly died.

I went to Target, and feeling in a particularly cheery mood, I bought AC a Barney DVD, dropping a whole $4.75 on this prize. Previously, Barney had been banned in our home, and I took pride in the fact that AC had never seen Barney...or so I thought. When I presented her with the DVD, she shrieked, "Oh! Barney!", so it appears someone in our inner circle has been breaking the Barney-free rule.

She insisted that we immediately watch Barney, and we climbed into the "Big Bed". Previous to my separation from AC's baby daddy, we had been sleeping apart, and in our small house, this was accomplished by me sleeping in an air bed in the living room. AC grew quite attached to what she called the "Big Bed", so sadly, it has become a permanent fixture in our living room. Very high class. It makes me quite eager to invite others over, be it friends or dates.

While lying in the Big Bed, AC became so engrossed in Barney that she began kicking me in the head. I told her to stop kicking me, and rolled onto my side, to prevent the unfortunate kick to the face. She continued kicking the back of my head. As I was on the brink of losing my patience, I told her she had a choice: I would stay in the Big Bed and cuddle with her if she quit kicking, or I would sit on the couch. She pointed at the couch.

I plopped myself down on the couch, and pulled out my iPhone, so I could work on my imaginary social life, the one that exists primarily through Internet contact only. Suddenly, I felt a strange feeling in my chest, like my heart bottomed out. I suspected a severe heart palpitation, and stayed put. I then started getting dizzy and lightheaded, and started to suspect that I might actually pass out. Up until this point, I had never actually "passed out" before. Sure, there might have been a night or two in my younger days that I don't actually remember going to bed, which could be considered "passing out", in an alcoholic sense. But I'd never physically passed out.

Meanwhile, AC hopped off the Big Bed and began demanding that I get a puzzle that was on the fireplace mantle. I did so, hoping that if I walked, the feeling would disappear. It did not. My last memory was that of sitting back down on the couch, and AC stuffing a green octogon puzzle piece in my face.

In my lack-of-oxygen stupor, I stumbled to get my estranged husband, who happened to be at my house, because he'd picked AC up from my mother's house. He was in the bathroom, removing ear wax from his ears. No joke.

On my way to get him to tell him I needed an ambulence, I blacked out. I have no memory, except that of everything going black. When I came to again, I was aware of blackness and of the room spinning...and of Barney, happily singing, "I love love me...we're a happy fam-i-ly..."

Once I managed to get to the bathroom, I knocked on the door, and was again reminded of the reasons that my husband and I were never a happy fam-i-ly: he stood there, and insisted I did not need an ambulence. I had to beg him to call the ambulence, which fortunately, he did.

When the ambulence arrived at the house, he did not wait for the first responders to come to me. Instead, he shoved me out the door. Fortunately, one of the first responders walked me to the ambulence, because I could barely breathe. Upon getting myself into the ambulence cot, sure that this would be my last memory of life on earth, I heard a voice say, "Oh, hi Jen..." What?!? Not being a religious person, I thought, oh's my higher power coming for me...I really am dying...

But naturally, in my small town, I WOULD have to know the ambulence guy, wouldn't I? I was mortified to see that it was an, *a-hem*, close friend of a friend, whom I've seen on a social basis. After determining that my heart was beating at 230 bpm, my buddy put in IV in me that resulted in my blood spurting all over me and him. Not cute. Guess that time he jokingly suggested a three-way with our mutual friend just ain't gonna happen...

By the time I arrived at the hospital, my condition had stablized and the doctors and nurses treated me as though I was a freak of nature. Had the first responders not presented the readout that showed my heart beating at 230 bpm, I doubt they would've believed it. After my chest x-ray, blood labs and EKG all showed normal, I was sent home and told to call my doctor, to see what would come next.

The next day, I saw the movie, "The Men Who Stare at Goats". I'd so looked forward to seeing this, as I love George Clooney and, obviously, I love dark, sarcastic humor. It was a terrible disappointment. The irony? The end result of the movie was the report that Iraqi prisoners held as POWs were forced to listen to Barney sing, "I love love me...we're a happy fam-i-ly..."

Lesson learned: should you hear this melody, run for your life. It is the theme song of both heart failure and Iraqi imprisonment.

...And I Don't Even Know His Last Name...

It's been a while since I last posted, for so many reasons...I forget. I work too hard at a job that pays me too little. I get run like a racehorse by a two-and-a-half year old child. I am terrified of cruel criticisms by strangers or stalkers. But after my nagging--err, encouragement--from my many Facebook groupies, I decided that if I ever want to be successful, I better get back to this blogging business of mine, and prove that I can actually put the money where my mouth is.

In early October, I separated from AC's baby daddy. It wasn't really that hard of a decision, considering I had not been happily married for roughly six-and-a-half years of my seven year marriage. This was a no-brainer type of decision, and over these rocky years, I have come to the conclusion that there is no one on the face of the earth who is actually happily married. The ones who claim they are, are probably lying to save face. It's like when I am at work, and someone says, in a saddened voice, "But don't you just miss AC so much when you are here?" Naturally, I have to answer yes, to avoid the stigma of being labeled a socially unacceptable mother and human being, but really, inside I am thinking, hell no, I don't miss that kid. Are you kidding me? Coming to work full-time allows me to avoid the realities of living with a toddler, like being kicked in the face, having my home destroyed piece by piece, and digging sticker residue out of the ceramic tile grout in my kitchen.

At any rate, as soon as I got AC's baby daddy out of my house, I was anxious to begin to date again. I figured I wasn't looking for a replacement baby daddy--lord only knows I learned that lesson once, the hard way--but rather just some casual dating. When I was at the age where people typically "casually date", there was no such thing for me. I dated only for the purpose of securing a husband. If a boy did not show husband potential, forget it. And for sure I would never put out on a first date, a second date--maybe not even a third date!--because girls who put out don't land husbands. Alas, I figured at 31, this re-entrance into the dating world would be terrific, because I am certainly not looking for a husband, and at this point, the joke is up: I was married for seven years and have a child. Everyone knows I put out. Why not take advantage of this new world?

The first problem is that I needed to find a date, as quickly as possible. In a matter of days after my separation, I decided that I needed to pursue online dating--what I saw as the quickest means to an end. No risk-taking in having to go out to bars to find a man, no time-wasting in waiting for these dates to come around. Within a couple of days, I got a nod of interest from a boy the same age as me, and I read through his profile. I was easily able to figure out what he was up to: there's a large number of temporary workers in my town right now, working on the pipeline. No question this was a "piper", in town for only three months. But I thought, why not? Pipers are known around town for their united slogan of "wine, dine and pipeline", so I figured I could take advantage and get some free dinners and maybe some gifts and possible some good, old-fashioned, Southern boy sex.

Upon our online conversations, the Piper did not disclose his name until I asked for it. When he told me, I was so mortified that I could not even save him in my phone with his real name--it was simply too unacceptable for northern Minnesota culture. I had to tag him as "Pipeliner" in my contact list, because even to have THAT name in my phone would signal social doom, in my conservative, professional circle.

When the Piper called me for the first time, I was stunned to silence. His Texas accent was horrific, very near to speaking to someone who uses a foreign language. He sounded so ignorant that when his profile said he had a "graduate degree", I became certain that by "graduate", he actually meant "high school graduate". Alas, my friends told me to give the guy a chance, because he probably found my Midwest accent grating as well, so I should not judge him based on that alone.

Piper and I agreed to meet for dinner and margaritas at a local Mexican restaurant. Because this was my first "date" in eight years, I had to spring for the new date outfit, and I thought I looked damn cute. So cute, in fact, that when my estranged husband just happened to drive by the restaurant as I was walking in, he later told me that his thoughts were, "Hey, who is that hot chick walking down the street? Oh sh!t...that's my wife!"

Now, I've never had a one-night stand before, but I figured that I was good and entitled to one, after living an entire lifetime without this experience. So, all afternoon, before I left for my date, I geared myself up for the sinful act I was about to commit: sex is an act, not an emotion; sex is an act, not an emotion; sex is an act, not an emotion...

When I met Piper at the bar, he was hot. Not white collar hot. Naughty boy hot, with lots of visible tattoos and earrings. I was instantly attracted. Now this was the perfect candidate for my one-night stand goal. However, as soon as he opened his mouth, I realized I needed to get him home as quickly as possible. His favorite word was "motherf*cker". Over and over and over. At least every other sentence, if not more. Motherf*cker.

The quicker I removed him from a public place where I could be spotted with someone like this and potentially ruin all of my social standing that I have worked so hard to maintain, the better. So, Piper and I went back to his place, to watch a movie. I thought, SCORE! Back in my young days, "come back to my place to watch a movie" actually meant "come back to my place to get it on."

On the drive, he told me of his two children, one named after him. Piper Junior. The other, with a nickname used in a Reba MacIntyre song, when the song's character is turned into a prostitute. The children had two different baby mamas, the first his high school sweetheart, an understandable choice. The second? In the words of Piper, "Some f*ck buddy who wanted to have a kid so I married her and got her pregnant. We were married for 10 months, so I got married and divorced in the same year!"

Upon arrival at Piper's residence, it was obvious that his truck cost more than his home. Worse yet, upon entering the home, a mouse skittered across the floor: an honest to goodness mouse. I still question if this was a mouse or a rat, having not actually ever seen a mouse in real life, apart from the zoo and the pet store. The mouse seemed to have an awfully long tail, and it seemed to have no real concerns over being observed by humans, which leads me to believe that there was a strong possibility that it was a rat. It took up residence next to a glass door, happily munching on crumbs. Admitedly, I had never been on a date involving the viewing of rodents, either caged or in a natural state. This should've been a warning.

Piper decided that he wanted to watch the new Will Ferrell movie out on DVD. I found it ridiculous. He laughed at all the inappropriate moments, in between conversing with me about what a "funny motherf*cker" that Will Ferrell is. At this point, I just wanted to get down to business. In my mind, I was there for one reason, and one reason only: I needed to get laid for the first time following my marriage.

Things were not looking promising as far as reaching my goal, and my hopes were diminished even more when he explained that he had to work late that day, and had to choose between washing his truck or taking a shower before our date. He chose to wash his truck.

After fielding text messages from my friends wanting to know how my date was going, I asked Piper to bring me back to my car. On the drive, he cranked up his Garth Brooks and sang along, as loudly as possible. I am a conservative sorta girl. I prefer that my dates communicate with me and show interest, rather than scream along to country western tunes, particularly on the first date.

When he walked me back to my car, Piper pulled his sweet Southern boy act, and kissed me on the cheek, before waiting until I turned and he really kissed me. By really kissed me, I mean "jammed his tongue down my throat while I attempted to back up to save myself from accidental choking." However, as a girl who just got her first "first kiss" in eight years, I decided I could forgive the fact that he cohabitated with mice, said "motherf*cker" every other sentence and would be socially unacceptable for any social gathering I could possibly attend. I figured I'd keep him as my dirty little secret.

Piper made plans to see me again, but thanks to my custody arrangement, that would not happen until the following Friday. I suggested a casual yet quaint brewhouse-style restaurant. He informed me that he only drank Coors Lite, not homebrews. Again, this was a fact that I was willing to overlook, because as a frequent patron of the brewhouse, at least I did not have to be seen with a man who said "motherf*cker", as though he had Tourette's.

Two days later, Piper sent me a text message: "Thought about it, and you just are not my type. Sorry." Huh. Well, as a newly-single girl, I am ashamed to admit that I cried over this rejection. Yes, I cried over a man who was so socially unacceptable that I could not be seen in public with him. I could not introduce him to my friends, coworkers or family. Yet, I cried over my "rejection". In my own defense, I was overly tired because AC had been sick, and I had just spent the past 48 hours covered in vomit, so I was feeling especially vulnerable.

After I got over the sting of my first rejection, I got to laughing about Piper. I mean...seriously? I was upset over the loss of this prize? First, who has to "think about" if you are his type or not? Second, in what region is "motherf*cker" a socially acceptable term? Third, I never even knew the guy's last name. If it was anything like his first name, I was pretty sure I didn't want to, either.

I wasted my cute Silver date jeans on him. I wasted my coordinated collection of Philosophy Amazing Grace products on him. I wasted four valuable hours out of my life on him. But at least I didn't waste a condom on him.