For All the Single Moms Out There

So inspirational and candid! I had a VERY similar OMGosh moment when I found out I was pregnant.


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.

On Being a Single Mom

A wonderfully real letter about being a single parent!


Today I feel like I need to focus on the intricacies of being a single mom. I am a single mom of 5. Whether your’e a single mom of 4, single mom of 3, single mom of 2, single mom of 1, or single mom of some other number not listed here… I can relate to just about every emotion you’re feeling.

Before I was divorced, my husband and I were separated for 3 years. THREE YEARS! Crazy, right. I kept hoping and praying things would come back together for us. I prayed, I cried, I went to marriage counseling (alone), I did everything I could do. It was all an illusion. When I finally filed for divorce, he drug his feet to make it even more difficult. He wanted me to be miserable. He wanted me to stay in the marriage and be miserable, even though he wanted other…

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Why I WON’T Be Seeing Fifty Shades of Grey

No, it’s not because I abhor the BDSM lifestyle, or because I believe the idea should stay in the dark dungeon of society, or because I’m a feminist. Feminism has nothing to do with my critique.  I haven’t read the book either, so my opinion of the characters and plot is solely based on pop culture, my friends, reviews and the trailer.

First of all, whomever put together the film’s trailer could not have made Anastasia and Christian more one-dimensional and boring. Both characters have horrific, monotone voices. It’s devoid passion required to excite viewers.

The “playroom” Christian alludes to in the trailer is a laughable moment, which isn’t the intention, but it’s SO lame (paraphrase):

Christian: Behind this door is my playroom.

Anastasia: You mean, like, for your Xbox and stuff?

[Cut to a smirk from Christian]

Rather than striking the nerve of intrigue, all I can think is “Ugh, this Anastasia chick is such an idiot. Please gag her from ever talking again. Or gag the writers of the script.”

The trailer also shows gratuitous sex scenes and body parts that can easily be found in porn. Why would I pay $15 for a theater seat when I have free access to the internet?

Clearly, a man is responsible for the promotion of this movie. The writers are also unimaginative. It doesn’t resonate with women. There’s nothing mysterious about a narcissistic billionaire who has the emotional capacity of a five year old by replacing authentic love with physical objectification/possession.

I know there’s supposed to be this “love” story woven into the plot. All I see is two self-absorbed, naive, kids gallivanting around with no basis in reality and no chemistry.

Codependent + Narcissist Characters and Plot= Pass

Mary’s Story: An Egyptian Wedding

I’m with my friend Mary at our usual cafe and she’s gushing. She gave me permission to talk about the newest developments in her life. After not seeing each other for about a month, I was getting worried; mostly concerned she somehow went back to her abusive ex. Mary lives on impulse (like many suffering from bipolar disorder) so I was waiting for the worse, hoping for the best.

Sitting down, she tells me that her mother arranged a marriage to a man living in Egypt, Whaleed. I’m gobsmacked. At first, Mary recounts that she hardly remembers Whaleed as one of the neighborhood boys.

“He was the little boy who always teased me that my nose was too big,” she laughs.

The two grew up in their old neighborhood of Alexandria, Egypt on the same street. As puzzling as this sounds to me, born and raised in the U.S., this type of arrangement is typical of the Egyptian community. In one emotional call, Whaleed’s mother in Egypt and Mary’s mother in Maryland, the two tearfully arrange wedding dates and celebrations. Since then, Mary calls her finance ten times a day, whispering “I love you” in Arabic. Every night, she sleeps to the sound of his voice.

The last few months of Mary’s story developed with a bang. Before her engagement, consisting of a dowry and gifts from her husband to-be, she was briefly planning a different wedding to a man 15 years her senior. He was a Christian and managed to weasel his way into her mother’s good graces on his “virtues.” Unbeknownst to Mary and her mother, he was already married with kids of his own. He wanted a one-way ticket to the U.S., a new life and a pretty, young bride at his side.

Mary confides to me the older man lacked emotional depth and his pronouncements of love were starting to wane.

“I felt hopeless,” she says to me, eyes downcast.

Mary’s new engagement is by sheer happenstance. She is a long time friend of Whaleed’s sister. Once Mary proclaimed desire for a husband and talked about her recent failure, Whaleed’s sister went to work setting the two up on Skype dates. They hit it off almost immediately. Whaleed sent the most beautiful poetry in Arabic. Weeks went by and Mary started to slowly forget about Sahib (by the way, I ran into Sahib last week at another cafe. He was alone, drinking a coke and obsessed with his cell phone. It was clear he had gained weight and hadn’t slept for days. We said nothing to each other).

weddingMary is traveling to Egypt in two weeks (20 days, to be exact, since she’s keeping count). They will have a traditional wedding and come back to the U.S. to celebrate in March.

“I am getting my hair and nails done with eyelash extensions and I’m picking out my wedding dress soon,” Mary exclaims.

I am asked to plan her bachelorette party, which will include a gay stripper (don’t ask).

Although I am happy for her, I don’t know what to make of such a shot-gun wedding. It’s not a custom I have familiarity. As her friend, I can only smile and listen when Mary scrolls through pictures of her fiance, take selfies with her, and overhear the two speak Arabic, which I only can imagine is full of love, hope and excitement.

Here’s hoping this type of true love exists and it’s lasting. For now this is the conclusion to Mary’s story. I wish her lots of love and only the best.

Love always, habibi.

Save HarsH ReaLiTy!!

Love HarsH ReaLiTy. It’s not spam.

Linda G. Hill

No one likes spam. In internet terms (as opposed to the stuff you find on the grocery store shelf) it’s the bane of our existence. Its sole purpose is to get our attention and once it does, it either begs us to buy something or gives us something we would never pay for – something like a virus.

Then there is the exception to the rule. In fact, there is only one exception that I’ve found in over a decade of browsing the web. It may have seemed like a “spam follow” at the start, but when I followed the cookie-crumb trail that led me back to its source, it ended up benefiting me beyond my wildest dreams: it was HarsH ReaLiTy.

Jason, also known as Opinionated Man, has a huge (over 50,000 blog, twitter, and Facebook combined) following on his blog, HarsH ReaLiTy. His passion for connecting with other…

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