Who’s The Flake?

I’ve been seeing a guy I used to date four years ago. Let’s call him Repeat. I broke up with Repeatrepeat in 2011 because I couldn’t see anything long term. We literally had only one thing in common *wink*. He loves watching sports- I’d rather have a root canal. He loves to travel- the idea of jet setting 24/7 makes me queasy. I like to read, write and express myself- he hasn’t read a book since it was mandatory in college.

The point is, we both agreed we’ll never be serious. Quite frankly, I have no time to have anything other than fun until I graduate my masters program.

Last weekend, we had a good time at a wine bar, which led to the inevitable. Repeat promptly asked for a follow-up date for this weekend. I agreed. He had to babysit his brother’s kids on Saturday night, so I offered to come over with board games and keep him company after the kiddos scampered off to bed.

So, last Friday came and went. No text or phone call. That’s okay, I reasoned. We already had plans, right? Saturday in class, not one text to confirm plans. So, I did what I almost never do- tried to confirm via text. He skirted the issue and mentioned he was at a baseball game that would end at 10pm.

To me, that sounded like a flake move. I resolved to make other plans with friends. At 11pm, I received this message:

“Hey, I finished up a little late here. Still down to come over?”

Doesn’t that sound like a booty call? It did to me, so I didn’t respond.

So, my fellow bloggers- Who’s the flake?

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Would You Like More Eggs & Bacon With That Waffle [ing]?

There’s this big shake up happening with my group of girl friends lately. It’s the called the “waffling” man. Most of us are now newly single after quick flirtations with relationships.

The waffling man makes a great politician. He makes these large pronouncements and espouses his ideology of how things will be under his care. Cue evil laughter once he has secured your vote.

How do you know if he’s a waffle? Well, in short order (no pun intended):

1. He’s interested in immediate intimacy (3I’s).

Like that alliteration? I just made it up. It’s the old bait before the switch. It’s like a lure, bobbing above the surface, right before it ensnares you for a fresh gutting.

2. He operates like a broken faucet.

His emotional faucet only operates on two settings- scalding hot or icy cold. One minute he’s sending you selfies and cute kitty pictures to brighten up your afternoon. The next minute, he’s cold ghosting you for days.

3. He loves the “I’m busy” excuse.

Not like I’m posting from experience or anything…but when you need to vent or celebrate, his unavailability is because “I’m busy.” He uses this excuse like a well-worn pair of undies, because how can you argue “busy?” You’d be crazy to.

4. His neediness is endearing. Yours is crazy.

Women are clearly irrational. Any hint of vulnerability is a bumpy ride to the local insane asylum. Guys who express neediness are just “living in the moment” or “getting caught up in it.” Accept and learn to love these double standards- they will never change.

5. He wants to take it slow after a month of rushing to get you off dating apps.

This one is my favorite. Beware the man who excitedly wants you off the market. Chances are his profile is still active and suffering from a serious case of WOBO- Waiting On Better Opportunities. A waffler is the definition of WOBO.

Hey, now that I have my waffle, where’s that side of bacon and eggs?

How To Break-Up Like A Boss

After my birthday dinner, my best friend and I got on the topic of break-ups. By sheer happenstance, we were both undergoing simultaneous break-ups with very similar personality types- selfish and emotionally immature- older men (35+). The emotional fortitude of Shelia is something that I admire the longer I know her. She is truly unbreakable.

I’ve probably been in about 10 short and long-term relationships in my life. As I take my life’s inventory, the broken relationships I rebounded relatively quickly from involved one action and two words:

“NO CONTACT.”

Here are some tips I’ve learned on how to reduce the amount of emotional energy spent on a break-up.

How To Break-Up Like A Boss:

1. Pedicure (indulgence) + dating app (validation) = Happiness.

No matter what I’m doing, I take some mommy maintenance time right after a break-up. I schedule it as soon as I have a free moment and allow myself to be pampered. I also remind myself that I am still desirable and have plenty of prospects by perusing my dating app visitors and messages. It’s okay to feel a little vulnerable right now.

2. Clean house.

I mean this figuratively of course. No one likes to fucking clean their house. I go through my text messages and delete the ex’s sweet nothings and mean ramblings. I delete his messages and block him from the dating app. I also permanently delete his number from my phone. There will be no desperate texts from this chick at 1:00 a.m.!

3. Exercise!

The best revenge is living well. Feeling fit and getting a nice rush of endorphins to improve your mood is invaluable.

4. Getting lost in the moment.

For me it’s writing and reading. For others it might be gardening or home improvement. Getting lost in activities that nurture the mind and body is how you let go of fear and loss.

5. NO CONTACT.

No matter what he/she says, it’s broken. It won’t be fixed. It’s probably not worth saving. Don’t. Respond.

6. Letting go.

The most important tip. Only you have control of how you respond or don’t respond to your break up. Good relationships should be effortless. Spending time trying to fix the same issues is energy better channeled elsewhere. Take a deep breath. Succumb to what isn’t and what will never be. Stop over thinking. Let go. Move on.

A Few Safety Tips Before You Ride The Emotional Roller Coaster: How The Hot Hipster Became A Hot Mess

The reason I love blogging so much is that it records the promises you keep to yourself. This post is a perfect example of learning, maturing, refusing to make the same mistakes and never settling for less than you deserve.

So before I take you on my emotional roller coaster ride of the last month, here are some safety tips:

  1. Keep all emotion and confusion inside the ride at all times.
  2. Make sure your “vulnerability” safety harness is secured before the ride begins.
  3. Please note that there will be several high drops.
  4. Enjoy the ride while it lasts, but know that we have very few repeat riders.

So, now that we understand the safety procedures, here we go:

Before we began our exclusive relationship, Hipster literally wined and dined me. He brought me flowers on our lunch date, he cooked me a wonderful dinner, he made large pronouncements such as calling me “love,” “future life partner,” “stunning” and that we would be a “power couple.” I even helped him think of ideas for promoting his catering business. It all seemed idyllic, even with the red flags of living with a slightly unhinged female roommate and the weird relationship with his ex wife, who he said was still “waiting for him.”

After we became “official,” I noticed the romancing started to fade. It seemed that because he had “won” my affections, the charade of wooing was no longer as important. Questions about my life and inquiries  about my dreams and life experiences faded into the background and were replaced by his obsession over his business and interests in wealth accumulation. Every conversation began and ended with his stories, frustrations and feelings. It was a one-sided start to a once promising relationship.

Then came the insistence on unsafe sex- something I was definitely opposed to. I was made to feel guilty about not taking birth control (the pill reeks havoc on my body). I also didn’t want an IUD because of the horror stories I’ve heard from friends. Hipster was frustrated that I preferred condoms because his sexual experience was more important than being safe.

The next disagreement ensued last Friday. He refused to talk about my feelings on birth control, but I eventually agreed to go to the doctor for a prescription. He also let me in on the fact that while he was married, his wife gave him a “hall pass” to “improve their relationship,” which he used and wasn’t opposed to repeating in future relationships. I nearly walked out on him until he stopped me to say “I was just joking.” When I left early Saturday morning, I thought we were on the same footing. I clearly was wrong. For four days he ghosted me, citing that he was too busy. Fine. Last night I sent him a text asking for us to talk about a few concerns. He called me on his way to an event. The conversation went something like this:

Hipster: So what do you want to talk about? When you send a message that you “want to talk,” it’s never good.

Me: Well, I just feel like you’ve been so scalding hot and then so icy cold these past few days and I want to understand what’s been going on.

Hipster: I’m busy! I can’t just text you every hour on the hour when I’m working. When I’m not working, I’m freer to text.

Me: Okay. I just feel like there’s been a sharp atmospheric change between us.

Hipster: I have to say, that for lack of a better term, you’re just trying to nag me and frankly it’s off putting.

Me: I’m just trying to tell you how I feel. If that’s nagging to you than you’re misusing the term.

Hipster: I’m on my way to an event and my energy has now completely changed, so thanks.

Me: If you’re energy has changed, that’s about you, not me wanting to talk.

Hipster. Well, I guess we both need to do some pondering “about us” and what we want. I need to go. You have a nice night, Penny.” [Click].

Yes, he hung up on me. Just like that.

So I pondered. And pondered. Not only was Hipster a poor communicator (kind of a non-starter in my relationships) he was also selfish. I decided I didn’t need to be with someone who wouldn’t be able to stick through the tough times or disagreements. As you’ve probably gathered from my blog, I’m no waif. I am strong and independent and have no time for men who treat their women with disregard and disrespect. Been there, done that.

So I decided to end it with this:

Text Part 1

Text Part 1

Text Part 2

Text Part 2

I never received a response, and I’m okay with that. I allowed myself about 12 hours to feel upset and disappointed. I then deleted his number and information. I want it to be a clean break, even if the shelf life was for one month.

I leave you all feeling optimistic. In my heart, I know I did the right thing for me. In the end, all I can do is love and protect myself and Andrew. I owe it to him to be with a partner who will respect his mother.

Ex Files: The Man Who Talked Too Much

Usually my dating “strategy” consist of one first date, where I can deduce if the chemistry is there or not. If not, no second, pity date for me or a second chance. This is such a case where my dating prospect immediately becomes part of the Ex Files. It’s not as if this guy was a necessarily “bad date,” rather an instance where the guy was having way more fun than I was. I guess someone could accuse me of leading him on, but my motivations weren’t that insidious. I just didn’t want to hurt his feelings.

We meet at a Mediterranean cafe (which as you know, is my fav first date location). He was a gentleman and reserved a table ahead of time. Upon arrival, he was short. Very short. I felt like an ogre. Leading up to the date, he texted every day and several times a day; fearful I’d be a no-show.

Between hummus and chicken/cheese appetizers we exchange funny icebreakers about dating online. I was his first date after many years in a serious relationship- so sort of a first date rebound. Uh oh.

I wasn’t immediately attracted to him, but I was hoping his shining personality would win me over. Instead I received a run down of his crazy ex girlfriend, an indifferent ex wife, an equally crazy, inept mother and eccentric, hoarding father.

By 11:15pm I was looking for the check. I knew entirely too much about this man and what I found out made me want to bolt. There comes a point in time where Mumz The Word on information overload…

Notwithstanding, he was a gentleman and walked me to my car, albeit with some ulterior motives- namely to kiss me. We did this awkward two-step shuffle. He step forward, I stepped back and sideways. We did this little dance until I gave him the second hug of the night and a quick goodbye.

I awoke the next morning to a flurry of texts recounting our little “inside jokes” of last night. My responses couldn’t be shorter or more distant.

I guess I’m going to have to stop shuffling on text and actually be honest… …eek…cringe…cry…

Ex-Files: Buh-Bye Fashionisto

If you followed my first date with Dan (RE: A Fashion Show, Too Many Margaritas And Two Ubers Later), you know I wasn’t really that into him. In fact, I was so not into him that I rescheduled four dates because of finals, my “meh” attitude and the hectic schedule of a single parent. To Dan’s credit, he’s an incredibly nice guy. So he does what incredibly nice guys do: sends a “break up” text message to a girl he went out with once:

Text from Dan

Welcome to the Ex-Files Dan! You’re one of the better guys out there :-).

Gabby’s Story: Her Marriage To A Narc And New Journey Into Single Parenthood

By sheer kismet, I saw an old work colleague, Gabby ( her name has been changed) in the same office meeting. Five years ago we worked at the same company and flew in the same circles. After our meeting, we ducked into the nearest vacant lobby to catch up. I noticed her engagement and wedding ring were absent.

After our interlude of swapping war stories from our old company, things got personal. She shared her journey as a parent with a special needs child. I shared my story as an accidental, single parent. Since I am “owning” my new lifestyle, I come across people doing a “verbal dump” about their journey, maybe because they feel like they are in good company.

Gabby’s story is nothing but shocking and certainly a case study in the various forms of narcissistic emotional and mental abuse. Gabby married a close friend from college about six years ago. They went on to have a little boy with serious developmental disabilities. Her husband lamented this fact to his family, her family and pretty much anyone who would listen. The rhetoric was so cold hearted and selfish it’s almost too despicable to write the words.

About six months ago, Gabby unearthed a lifetime of secrets. One fateful day, she discovered a local hotel receipt in her husband’s office while tidying the house. This single artifact prompted her to probe further into their finances and phone records. Their finances were isolated, however the statements were carefully cataloged in her husband’s files. The irony probably wasn’t lost that as an accountant, he was hard wired to save and file statements – a mountain of evidence boring a hole into her dysfunctional marriage.

After finding credit card charges to a massage parlor, an account on a prominent cheater’s website and random bank account withdrawals of hundreds of dollars, Gabby confronted her husband. He denied everything, accusing her of paranoia and delusion. It wasn’t until she took a long look into his cell phone and 2,000 texts later (which she professed to never doing before), it was clear he had been cheating with dozens of women over the course of their marriage.

The way Gabby described it, her husband was unfazed. He merely suggested couples counseling to find the root evil of why he was “forced to stray.” He went on to state that no one person could fulfill every need in a marriage. He wanted an open relationship and found a counselor willing to discuss a new arrangement.

Faced with financial uncertainty and sadness for her son’s new, disrupted life, Gabby decided to give the open relationship a try. In counseling, they agreed to completely transparent communications and the opportunity to veto an undesirable girlfriend or boyfriend. I didn’t judge her. Single parenthood is incredibly scary. Also, sometimes open marriages do work, but often they do not- either way, I kept my thoughts to myself.

A few months went by in the new lifestyle and Gabby started to feel the hallmarks of lies and deceit manifest into her husband’s considerably late working hours. He’d come home at 3 am during tax season. Or he’d send a text that he was grabbing a drink with a male friend and arrive home at 2 am. Either way, Gabby found evidence her husband was back to his old habits (he’s not a very bright fellow, is he?).

Our two hour “catch up” session reached culmination with her legal separation. I could see the anxiety and sadness pouring out of her as she questioned all things related to child custody and living as a working, single parent to a special needs child. I gave her my number and email address, promising to schedule drinks so that we could talk more.

Sometimes the best medicine to recovery is an open ear.

RX infographic 2

A Fashion Show, Too Many Margaritas And Two Ubers Later

Dan meets me at a hip, modern Italian restaurant at the end of the bar. I later find out he’s strategically placed because he’s partially deaf in one ear.

He looks exactly like his picture: tall, thin, handsome and WASP-y. I arrive seven minutes late because my Uber driver was slow and fiddling with his GPS.

We make pleasant conversation, but nothing requiring rapt attention. I’m not sure there’s chemistry. He’s 36 but drinks like a someone ten years younger- his glass is always full. I have three glasses of wine and try to come up with interesting conversation topics. Inevitably, we talk about online dating and swap horror stories. It’s about two hours into the date and Dan suggests we check out a fashion show in the local mall. I’m game.

The fashion show is amateur hour, but I help Dan pick out ties from a local designer. To his credit, the ties are pretty crisp and artistic. I poo-poo the all the pink ties. I hate pink. We decide on a few purple and red ties. I’m pretty sure Dan over pays. The “models” are dawning Lady Gaga-like pink hair and bright pink lipstick. They are stoic in cotton candy patterns- they look gaunt and miserable. The male models are wearing suits cut a little too high in the leg.

The last designer sends his models in all black leather, midriffs exposed, with sheer skirts. It screams the latest trends from Elle magazine but with all the trappings of cheap material.

We leave the fashion show- I’m not interested in buying clothes for outrageous prices that might rip in the ass. We head to a tapas bar and I order some delicious margaritas. In my drunken stupor, I talk about the pink elephant in the room, something we haven’t touched: that I’m a single mom.

He is surprised, but it’s clearly in my profile. Had he not seen it?

I end the date because I feel queasy. I’m not used to the alcohol. Dan invites me to his place (down the street) for a nightcap. I can’t stomach another. I want to go home, so I say no. I call an Uber and struggle into bed. I think he was generally interested until he learned I was a parent. I haven’t heard from him since. I didn’t feel the chemistry, so it’s all a wash.

And another one bites the dust…

I Lied…Even The Good Ones Suck: The Two Hour Cancellation Notice

So I totally lied. The really great guy I was talking about:

Potential Date Alert: The Guy Who Loves Kids – How Refreshing!

He pretty much stood me up two hours before out date, citing a work emergency at 7 p.m. On a Friday. OOOOOHHHHKay. Douche:

Not actual picture

Not actual picture of the dating demon

He tried to reschedule. I told him that if he can’t even keep a first date, thanks, but no thanks.

A Bermudian $2 Note With Cosmic Significance

It has taken me a long time to write this post, even with its lack in richness.

Almost three years ago, in a time far away it seems, I went to Bermuda with the love of my life, Ron. He’s still my one great love.

After we broke up and I became involved with my abusive ex-fiancee, I divulged my innermost thought: Bermuda was the best time of my life.

SH (abusive ex) didn’t take too fondly to this memory. He sought to stomp it out.

One day, quite out of the blue, SH informed me we were taking an all-expense paid vacation. On his dime. To Bermuda.

We jet-stetted to Bermuda, my old haunts exposed to my new boyfriend. He proposed on our last night. Pregnant, nostalgic and lonely (I suppose), I said yes.

I have the Bermudian two dollar note from Ron and I have another note, only less tattered, from my trip with my ex-fiancee.

Both are constant reminders of love, loss and recovery.