2006 Sexy Back/Promiscous Girl

31 Mar

As it seems to be the trend, the summer often gets the most air time for these posts.  Sure, the rest of the year was fun, how could it not be with bookends-of a trip to Cabo in January and another European escapade in September?  However, the summer of 2006 was an unanticipated season of debauchery–a needed respite from the real world for four 30-somethings.  Little did we know that a random night in Maynard’s would change the entire rhythm of that summer.

You wanna get in my world, get lost in it
Boy I’m tired of running, lets walk for a minute

From the first time we met the nephews (aka “the little boys”), we acknowledged our age difference.   We were veterans.  They were rookies.  They were embracing their 20s, psyched for a summer at the shore.  They spent their mornings at the gym, days at the beach, and evenings pre-gaming for the “best night ever!”  We were well-established in our careers trying to balance our own expectations and the curve balls that life seemed to be throwing at us.

I’m a big girl I can handle myself
But if I get lonely I’ma need your help

We each had our own demon to contend with- failed relationships, frustrations with dating, Peter Pan syndrome.  I welcomed the escape back to a time when going out was just for having fun, and not the pressure of finding Mr. Right.

I’m bringing sexy back
Them other boys don’t know how to act

They greeted us with warm welcomes, fluffed our egos with lavish compliments, and booked our dance cards every weekend.  I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that I Iiked the attention.  After seeing men my own age canoodelling with ingenues, it was empowering to be on the other side.   We didn’t quite realize it at the time, but we were on the verge of the sexual re-evolution, the rise to power of the cougar.


2005 Uh Oh (Never Leave You)

30 Mar

Kos Island, Greece
June 2005

I hate it when girls call dibs on a guy at a bar.  It’s so stupid.  But when I saw him walk in, I immediately turned to Cindy and said “Guy in the white shirt- Mine.”  Our eyes met across the dance floor–no exaggeration, no alcohol-induced delusion– and the guy in the white shirt smiled, walked over and we danced.  We made our way to the side, making out against the wall.  It was that young teen type of kissing, when kissing was just about kissing.   When guys were just happy to get kissed,when they didn’t really think too much about scoring.

He pulled away and suggested that we all meet at the beach the next day.  “Sure.”  He kissed my cheek and left.  On our way home, giddy with a school girl crush, I answered Chrissy’s questions with giggles:
“Where is he from?”
“Spain, I think.”
“What’s his name?”
“I’m not sure.  I couldn’t really understand him.”
“Are we going to meet them?”
Cindy quickly interjected, “As long as she promises to talk to him.”
Fair enough, I thought  I had a history of frozen feet when it was time to close the deal.

We made the trip, 30 minutes on the bus.  I was nervous, excited nervous like how you feel before you do something you know you really want to do but you have always been too scared to do it.   With my wing women by my side, I made it to the sunbed without buckling at the knees.    We sunbathed for awhile, until the shadow asked, “Want to go for a swim?”  He was somewhat tall, dark and handsome.

I learned a lot that afternoon.  My mystery man’s name was Johnny (go figure).  He was from London.  He spoke English, obviously.   And I was really bad about lying about my age.  “28”, I answered hesitantly, instantly making Cindy my big sister.  She played the part expertly that afternoon.

After the beach, we piled in their rented jeep driving along the coast for a quick pit stop for them to change before dinner.  Johnny recommended “a little place by the sea.”  The waiters brought bottle, after bottle of Retsina as the sun set into the Aegean.  We laughed, discussing girls and guys, and the stupid things each of us do.  In between courses, we gave out nicknames, shared our treasured “What I like about….” list, and argued like lifelong friends.  It was one of those nights that would carry the vacation even if the rest of the trip sucked.  But no one was ready for it to be over.

Salt-stained, sticky from sunscreen and still in our bathing suits, we went to the club across the street.  In minutes, the biggest drink I had ever seen–a punch filled watermelon–arrived at our table with the fanfare and dazzle of a small parade.   We danced around, sipping from long straws, and later doubling the straws so that we can sit and sip.   I remember laughing so hard, I actually did cry.  And then I heard the beat.   It was my and JDR’s song. Th Uh-Oh song.  It was Lumidee.  Cindy knew what I was thinking.  She looked at me straight in the eyes, “It’s time to make new memories.”  I grabbed Johnny’s  hand, went to the dance floor, and changed the memory of song– with a, well many, kisses.

Special thanks to my Johnny Angel.  And my guardian angel, Cindy.


2005 Mr. Brightside

30 Mar

2005 Mr. Brightside

Post JDR Break-Up

The best thing about breaking up in January is that it gives you five months to get back in shape for the summer.   And the best thing about going to the gym at lunch during the work day, is that you have an excuse when you get back to the office and your face is red and puffy.  Needless to say, I was pretty torn-up about the whole break-up thing and I would not have survived the first few weeks without a fantastic network of friends.

Coming out of my cage
And I’ve been doing just fine

I spent so much energy during the day putting on my brave face that falling asleep at night was usually not a problem.  Staying asleep was another story.   Inevitably, I would wake up around 3am, stressed that I would be exhausted the next day, and desperately in need of something to help me fall back asleep.  I turned on the TV, flipped past informercial after informercial warning “wait, there’s more!”      VH1 became the obvious choice –except the top video in rotation was Mr. Brightside by The Killers.

Now they’re going to bed
And my stomach is sick
And it’s all in my head

Ever since I was a teen, I would latch on to songs that seemed to mirror my life.  This song haunted me.  JDR and I broke up on a Monday.  By the next Friday, he was on a date.  I got a call that Jill had seen him walking arm and arm with a tall girl down 13th Street.  I explained that it must have been his friend HeatherI didn’t even believe this lie.

Choking on your alibi
But it’s just the price I pay

I did see JDR that same night.  Drunk and furious, I called his cell phone giving him no choice but to talk to me.  Whether or not he owed me an explanation may be up for debate, but after wasting 2 years of my life, I thought it was the least that he could do.  He mumbled and muttered about this and that. Unbeknownst to me, there is some loophole in the 6th and 9th commandment that absolves guilt if you are a professed Jesus freak pledging your tighe to the Church.

Open up my eager eyes
‘Cos I’m Mr Brightside

2004 Betterman

29 Mar

Foreward:  All puns are intended.  And the reference to SATC is deliberate.

Pearl Jam was huge during my college years so it seemed fitting when they released a greatest hits album just in time for our 10th Year Reunion.  All of the songs reminded me of that time.  I can practically hear Black playing on the jukebox at Smoke’s as we sat around drinking beer and wondering what was next.

But the lyrics of Betterman really struck a chord, or a nerve, after a conversation with my sister.  She had just completed the long process of a break-up.  The song came on the radio, and she turned to me and said “This song reminds me of “xx.”   I didn’t realize it had been that bad.  It got me thinking….”Why do we stay in relationships when we fall out of love?”


By the Spring of 2004,   I had struggled through a Christmas vacation in Paris; I attributed the conflict to wishing I was with the girls in Brazil.  For my birthday, he booked a room at a B&B; I soaked in the jacuzzi tub questioning the email from an ex.  I would get migraines and colds often; I chalked it up to late stage allergies.  But despite all of this, I must have been in love with him.  I remember mornings, as he got dressed in his suit, thinking how handsome he was.  I remember rushing home from a night out with friends and not barely being able to make it up the steps without stripping down.  But I can’t forget the night, when I woke up next to him, looked over and thought “What the fuck am I doing here?”

As he opens the door, she rolls over…
Pretends to sleep, as he looks her over

I questioned myself daily in this relationship.  Having been on my own for so long, I figured I was out of practice; that I didn’t know how to be a good girlfriend.  It had to be me.  After all, JDR had been in several serious relationships since he was a teenager.  Was it really wrong for me to go to Hawaii with my sister for a week?  Yes, the timing was sucky.  I would be leaving immediately after a girls’ weekend for our college reunion.  But seriously, it would just be like I was away for 10 days instead of 7 days.  No big deal, right?  For JDR, it was a big deal.  We broke up three hours before I was to get on the plane.

She dreams in color, she dreams in red, can’t find a better man…

I did want the relationship to work.  I did not want another failure on my hands.  JDR came over when I got back from Hawaii.  He sat next to me, he told me he was working on some issues.  I thought “I could try or I could walk away.”  Leaving seemed to be the coward’s way out.  Wasn’t it easier to stay on the course by repairing cracks instead of building a new road?

Can’t find a better man
Can’t find a better man

We stayed together for another 8 months.  I was completely devastated when I broke up with him in 2005.  Technically, he broke up with me by checking out, but he was too much of a p**** to actually do it.  I had to be the bad cop.  The night it ended  was two years to the day of our first date.  I cried that first night in 2003 sad because I had high hopes that he could be the one.  I cried the last night in 2005 because I wasn’t the one.

Memories back when she was bold and strong
And waiting for the world to come along…

2003 Crazy In Love

28 Mar

(The horns begin)

Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh no no
Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh no no

It’s like the siren the summons volunteer firemen to the station.

Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh no no
Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh no no

Cindy has approximately 30 seconds to disengage herself from a conversation, get out of the bathroom, or whatever she is doing to meet on the dance floor for our Say What? Karaoke booty pop performance.   It’s a disaster when we’re dancing, our hips don’t quite move like they should and our arms flail instead of sail into the air.   But who cares?


So after watching the video, I can really appreciate how bad we are at the dance.

2002 Escape

27 Mar

Let’s take a moment to acknowledge how caliente Enrique is…
…I must have danced to this song a thousand times that year.


I can say in the last few years, probably from the time I turned 28, I am finally “owning” myself.  I have accepted my prettiness level (I always wanted to be prettier).  I no longer feel the need to make excuses and apologize if I get drunk and say or do something foolish.   I have the confidence that eluded me in my teens and 20s.

And as quickly as I talk about my maturity level, I revert back and admit “I felt like a popular kid in high school” for most of that year.   For the first time since college,  I didn’t need to make plans to go out. I got to choose who I wanted to go out with.  There were planned and expected events, like Quizzo every Monday; unplanned but expected events, like Old City on Fridays with the requisite lap through the Continental; and unplanned & totally unexpected events–hmm…I’ll keep these secret.     

I loved turning 30 so much that I celebrated it three times- in South Beach, at a shared surprise party planned by my mom & Diane, and at my own annual birthday fete.  That was by far the best party I ever hosted.  I was the cheerleader.  I was Cindy Mancini (Can’t Buy Me Love reference), tanned after a weekend in South Beach and dressed in my camel suede halter top.  We danced on my new hardwood floors and sat on my first grown-up couch –purchased from Macys and not bought at a thrift store, Ikea or handed down from an ex’s mother.

Looking back, I anticipated that this single life would soon end.  I remember thinking during our trip to Croatia that it could be the last with the girls.  We quickly planned a trip to Sicily because it would probably be the last time we would be able to go as a “little family.”   I was expecting that the 30s would bring me what I always wanted out of life.


2002 Complicated

27 Mar

A random day in 2002
Another treat from the journal….it represents only 1 day of 365 that year.  It was a fantastic year but there was a little trauma for the big 3-0.

Today, I’ve got the 30s blues.   But that’s okay because I really haven’t officially had them since I turned 30.  I had twinges of them at 29, but for the most part I haven’t been brooding over the fact that I am in a career-less job, that I am alone, and that I am in serious danger of never having kids, not because of medical reasons but because I can’t seem to find anyone.

I can’t shake this funk.  It’s not a funk; it’s my reality.  It’s the reality that I choose to escape on a daily basis because I made a pledge to myself to not “sweat the small stuff,” and  to “not waste the days stressing as I had when I was younger, worrying about the things I could not change.”   But as much as I try and ignore it, it sneaks up on me.  Some nights when I’m out, I look around and everyone looks so sad.  They’re dancing and drinking, but it’s like I’m in a bad movie and only I can see their lonely souls.  I know it’s crazy talk.  I know I am projecting.

My mind is racing.  I lie in my bed naked, or at least almost naked.  Why should I only do it when someone is next to me?  Isn’t it one of those simple pleasures of life?  But I can’t fall sleep.  I’m afraid of nightmares.  No, I’m not afraid of nightmares.  I’m afraid of waking up from a nightmare and there being no one there to rub my head, to comfort me.

John used to rub my head.  Since 9/11, I find myself thinking about him more, like I was given a second chance.  I keep thinking about one of those stupid zen emails with the wisdom of “Just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to, doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.”   Ok I get it but I have this  inexplicable, overwhelming need to see him.  It’s like I need to see that John Londono really exists and that he is not just in my memory.  But he has avoided me the last few times I was in the city.  He even tried to explain himself in an email.  A very simple, pleasant note (read between the lines: let go of what was, please don’t contact me).  He said, his fiancee “understands that the first big love always stays with you” and “she knows that from experience so I guess it’s tough for her.”

But what about me…it’s tough for me too.  When do I get a chance to explain?   To tell you that I am sorry.  That I didn’t do it right—that I didn’t love you like I should. That I couldn’t really love you because I didn’t really like myself at the time, and I kind of despised you for not seeing that.  I thought that if you really “got me,” you would know all this.  But your love was blind.  And my heart was deaf.