Monday, January 25, 2010


It's funny how certain words or phrases that first develop when kids are developing their speech stick with you. For example, nok in Cole language meant snack. Sure sure he knows now that snack= nok, but for us the words are interchangeable. Sprouts is our local health food store and we have a tradition. I say we're going to Pouts and Cole knows he's getting a nok. Simply put- he gets to pick one of the bulk candy or chocolate items that the good people of Sprouts have pre-measured and put in uber convenient, environment destroying plastic packaging. The nok is his special sweet treat after dinner if he does a good job on his veggies and eating something somewhat nutritious. I also let him partake of a piece or two of it while we're shopping.

Swaying the Jury
Three year olds love to be en-powered. Ask them their opinion or if they can do something and generally they are equal to the task. I generally let Cole pick which nok he wants...but when reaches for the cinnamon fire candy or the chocolate covered espresso beans- obviously, there is a bit of swaying of the jury that has to happen. Simply put: Encourage my kid to make the "right" choice. Not the stuff that will make him a hyper freak show or cause him to projectile spit a piece of cinnamon candy in the middle of Pouts.

Every time, it's the same scenario and if I really think about it's noks at Pouts but all too soon it will be a whole new level of encouraging and swaying.

So I had a pretty strict disciplinarian in my mother. I received my fair share of spankings..was making my bed by age 5, wasn't allowed to bring home anything but A's & B's on my report card and you could hang it up if she ever caught wind of you misbehaving in school or being disrespectful to an adult. Really my mother just had certain expectations of my brother and I in terms of our behavior. Discipline she was fairly strict about it.. Allowing us to make our own choices? Well she walked a fine line on that one.

My brother and I both had friends, or activities my Mom didn't approve of.. but instead of putting her foot down and proclaiming " You can't be friends with that person..or you can't be in the Flag Corp or in the Jazz Band or get in the car with that crazy kid or whatever" She attempted to sway the jury. She knew just making the decision for us and saying "NO"..would make us want to do it all the more. So sometimes she'd give us just enough rope to hang ourselves.. Then we'd get disappointed by that friend she knew was bad news...or wouldn't be accepted into a certain clique..or didn't make the team. Then she'd be there to help us figure it out.

These life lessons don't really end once your parents have launched you from the house. I'm 32 and just last week I received a concerned email from my Mother. At first my response was "No she didn't.." I had to call my brother and talk it out. But she's just looking out for me and still trying to sway that jury...and encourage me to pick the right nok.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The First Date

I got to blog on my vacation!!

So Marketing Boy was one of my matches through eHarmony (thanks eHarmony)... I saw his picture, read his bio, and though it looked like he once wore a leopard print jacket with a pink shirt in one of his photos- I still decided to send him a message. Truth be told, I thought he had a nice smile and I liked his glasses.

We started into all of the guided eHarmony communication..made it to "open" communication within a day or so and before I knew it- he was my email buddy, and he gave me a call. By the end of the week- we had a date set to meet. Saturday night- dinner at the Porch.

I found myself actually excited about going on the date with Jay, instead of my usual dread. I got a sitter, got myself dressed, and took myself to The Porch. Where I found him, already there, beer in hand, jockeying for a position at the bar and re-arranging the bar stools. He was definitely my kind of cute... and thus our first date commenced.

We drank Corona Light and got to know each other. I learned he had two kids (Abigail 7 and Hudson 5) was married for 12 years..Adored his kids.. Owned his own creative company Marblehead... and was trying to make it in the world of life post divorce. Somewhere in there we had dinner. I remember commenting on the fact that he had this start up Company and that it must be stressful.. His reply was " I love it..but I have two employees and sometimes all the mouths to feed keeps me up at night.." I was intrigued. Here was a guy (not wearing a pink shirt and leopard print jacket) that felt a real responsibility to his employees and their families... He asked if I'd like to get another beer and I definitely did so we went across the street to the Old Monk and had another drink. We ended up talking for four more hours. He walked me to my car..we said goodnight... and I think I knew I'd met someone special. The two kids part scared the living crap outta me ( I know it's a complete double standard) but there was something about him.

So I won't bother to tell the entire world how he sent me a text message on Monday morning thanking me for dinner Sunday night...(I was the Saturday night date not the Sunday night date)..I almost deleted him right then. I take back what I said about meeting someone special.

OK not really, when you meet someone on eHarmony you kind of assume they are casually meeting other people too.. I was having dinner with someone Sunday night as well.. I couldn't be mad for too long.

Besides, he put on the full court press and lined up the next date fairly quickly.

The Background

The Background:

To begin the story of Marketing Boy, I guess we need to rewind… To August a long time ago. I was in full hermit mode. It had been six months since Cole's Dad and I had separated… My divorce had been final for a while. I was doing better, but solely focused on Cole… He was getting fairly rotten.

My therapist, my friends, my family were all advising that I needed to get out. That I couldn't’t just lock myself away raising Cole, and ignore the possibility of a functional relationship.

It was another Saturday night, Cole was in bed, and through all the heartbreak, loneliness was kicking in… There was wine involved and I trudged into the office to fill out an eHarmony profile with my girlfriend on the phone with me, guiding me along… Several hours and several glasses of wine later I had a complete profile and more matches then I knew what to do with. I simply turned off the computer and went to bed. It was too much...

When you’re a single Mom, dating is an entirely different level of scary. Instead of will he like me? It becomes will he like my son? If it gets serious, will he love my son like his own? Will he like the fact that I have a little boy TOO much, meaning he’s a creepy pedophile… How will I trust anyone or myself ever again?

My situation also makes dating difficult.. You see, I don’t ship Cole away every other weekend to visit his Dad. He’s with me, all the time and my one rule was certain: I would not date in front of my son.

Thus my dating woes began. And wow, dating had changed in the last eight years while I was with Cole's Dad. I learned some valuable lessons:

  1. Make use of your lunch hour: wear something cute to work, and you’re good to go. You also have a reason to cut the date short
  2. If I guy asks you out for coffee you’re not on the “A” list.. you’re on the “maybe” list
  3. If you merit a weeknight date for drinks only…you’re not on the “A” list
  4. If you merit a weeknight date for dinner…you’re on the “B” list
  5. One friend encouraged me to make use of having a babysitter and being dressed up: stack a couple of first meetings on the same night. Happy hour, then work your way to dinner (Save this trick for first meetings only- I learned the hard way)
  6. The no. 1 thing I learned is that if you “click” on the phone, he gets your crazy sense of humor via email, AND asks you out for not drinks but dinner on a Saturday night…there IS potential and you just might have made your way onto the “A” list.