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Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday's Must Nots

This week has a bit of a theme.....I bet you can guess it :)

1. Do not confuse fun with love

He makes you smile and laugh. You have a good time one-on-one and with your friends. You can be goofy, silly, ridiculous and feel oh-so comfortable. This feeling is called happiness.  You are having something called "fun". Now, as much as this may seem like a bit of a foreign concept to you, this in and of itself does not mean that you have found love.  Remember that. 

2. Do not confuse respect with love

He holds your hand not your ass. She enjoys your thoughts as much as your kisses.  You've agreed to maintain certain boundaries and neither of you have tested the line.  He keeps his word. She speaks with respect. You can disagree without needing to call in a referee.  These are respectful interactions. These in and of themselves do not mean that you have found love.  Remember this, too.

3. Do not confuse sex with love

Something about kisses, endorphins and oxytocin that can make you forget that sex -- even good sex -- in and of itself does not mean that you have found love.  Remember this before, during and especially after. For reals.

4. Do not confuse the word love with the action of love

Ever heard the phrase "actions speak louder than words?" Well, take that to the bank on this one.  "I love you" coupled with disrespect is not the act of loving. "I love you" followed by abusive language or behaviour is not the act of loving. "I love you" without concious regard for your needs and wants is not the act of loving. "I love you" on its own sounds good, feels empty and is not enough.  Remember this.

5. Do not substitute anything for what you actually want

He or she may be fun, respectful and kiss like the french...may even toss the L-word out there every once in a while, but if it doesn't feel right, it isn't.  Don't stop having fun, expect to be respected and well, do what you want with our own body, but please remember never to substitute these things for what it is that you ultimately want.

Gotta remember these.....


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Six Word Saturday

How long to fall in love?

Those are my six words.....I welcome any number of words in your response.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday's Must Nots

The aim of this week's edition of Monday's Must Nots is not necessarily to be inspirational.  Should you be inspired by it - bonus!  However, this is a list of reminders for all the single ladies out there (sure, myself included) who wish to find themselves in a meaningful, respectful, reciprocal relationship of any kind.  The list was inspired by some interesting conversations that I have had with single friends, from my own past experiences and from story after story of counterintuitive behaviour patterns by women in every facet of my life.  Let's go!!

Things not to do this week:

1. Do not mess around with anyone who is married.

Let me define a few terms here: "Married" can be substituted in this case for "in a committed relationship," "living with a partner," "engaged to be married," and "planning to leave, but still in a romantic relationship." Also: "mess around" can be used interchangeably with "sleep," "have sex," "kiss," "date," "make future plans," and "physically or emotionally connect."  Now that we have that out of the way...it has been my experience that (a) more often than not, you stay the side dish and never move to being the main....after all, you're willing to settle, so why would they give up having the best of both worlds - comfort and excitement?? (b) If they do leave for your, remember: if they cheated with you, they'll likely cheat on you and (c) even if they are 100% faithful to you, your relationship started with a lie.  Can you ever really trust them?  Hey, this is only if you want to be in an exclusive, monogamous, respectful relationship....and this is just my opinion.

Moving on...

2. When you have a partner, avoid situations that kinda-sorta look (or feel) like they may be covert dates.

So the handsome pre-med student in your human anatomy class has asked you out to lunch five or six times now and you've communicated that you have a guy in your life.  He knows this, insists that he is very interested in you but respects that and asks you out to dinner anyways....at his house. No, no...its so we can go over the lecture notes after dinner.   *WARNING* Dr. McSchemey there wants to see what he can get away with...and if your boundaries aren't clear or maybe if your curiosity is a little piqued, things can get hectic. Quickly. Proceed with caution.

3. Do not add alcohol or any other mood- or decision-altering substances into scenarios one or two.

Do I really need to elaborate on why this is a bad idea?

4. Stop telling yourself the lie that you can't, won't and aren't able to find someone to meet your standards.

Lowering them isn't going to make you any happier. You'll just find that you're settling for a situation that doesn't satisfy you. My motto (which I really should remember to follow): keep your head, heels and standards high.

5. Don't forget that lonely moments are just that - moments.

They won't last forever, so try not to make decisions in that feeling that you know you'll regret later.

That's it for today, folks! Happy Monday!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

6WS: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

This week has been one full of setbacks.  Unforeseen financial obligations, business-building hurdles, I even spilled coral nail polish on my light grey carpet. It seems that just as my life starts moving in the direction I want it to, something pops up to remind me that it's not yet time to let down my guard and bask in the rays of my success.

...and then there's the silly little issue of falling into familiar, unhelpful coping strategies.  Yeah, I did some of that too.  But today is a new day and a new chance to move forward again.


~ ~ ~

Play Six Word Saturday along with CallMeCate and all her friends.  Six Words - that's all you need.

 (Oh, and this little button to get you there)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday's Must Nots....

I posted a list of 'must not do's last week and was pleasantly surprised at the emails I got from folks who felt that the message resonated with them.  So I'm bringing sexy back.....if you find lists sexy.  I appreciate  your comments, whether via email or right under the post :)

1. Don't underestimate yourself today

Mondays tend to do that to people. We're all carefree and confident on the weekend and then - BAM! Monday hits us in the face with sobering responsibility and we tend to get overwhelmed.  (Or maybe responsibility didn't quite sober us up and we're all still a little punch drunk from that Sunday brunch sangria....)  Either way, you've got what it takes to conquer that paperwork, rock that presentation, sell that cheeseburger...whatever you do - do it well! YOU ARE ENOUGH!

2. Do not try on those "thinspiration" jeans after a weekend of calorically dense food-ing

Seriously...why do that to yourself?

3. Don't let laziness/convenience/fear make you forget what is really important to you.

You want to tone up? Go to the gym.  You want to save for a house? Leave the Michael Kors store now.  You want an A on your paper?  Turn off the television and write!!  Choose between what you want now and what you want most. Act accordingly.

4. Don't worry about tomorrow. 

Today has enough issues of its own for you to deal with.  Plan for what is on the horizon, but fret not, m'love. Take this week one day at a time and you'll get there.

5. Finally, don't forget that you are loved

It is oh-so easy to do. But remembering that there is someone who absolutely cannot live without you sometimes gives you the push you need when it seems like you're all pushed out.  When your boss is ungrateful and your coworkers are inconsiderate and your friends and family seem too caught up in their own stuff to realize that you are standing in the middle of a crowded room, screaming for your life -- remember you dog Twinkles, who depends on you for his livelyhood.  Remember your niece who lights up when you come around.  Remember the lady on the bus last week who almost fell over when you told her to have a nice day, because nobody else had spoken to all week.  Please, please remember that your importance is not always spoken by the ones who value you......and carry that in your heart when it gets hard.

Or write to me and I'll remind you.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

6WS: Miss J to the L O

Jennifer Lopez.   

Some know her as J-Lo or Jenny from the block. Others refer to her as a triple threat of mediocrity - singer, dancer and actor. And still others will always remember her as the flyest of all Fly Girls (see: In Living Color circa 1991). As for me, Jennifer Lopez will always be Mary Fiore, Wedding Planner, in the role of my life.

You know the story: a freakishly chance encounter brings soulmates together. They face seemingly insurmountable obstacles and then (spoiler alert) the stars align for them and we are left to believe that they live happily and fatefully ever after.

It is the ultimate chick flick....and my eternal saga.  Well, except for the happily ever after, fateful conquering part. Everything up to that is a version of dead on.

Okay....let me paint the picture for you:

At one point in the movie, Mary is standing at the door of her apartment while the man she is falling in love with (played by southern charmer, Matthew McConaughey) professes his deep seeded and intense feelings for her.  At this point in the movie, he is engaged to another woman.  Mary looks at him and says, “I am a magnet for unavailable men. And I’m sick of it. Please go away.”

Tell him, sister!  I’m right with you.

I have dated/been engaged to every molecular configuration of unavailable that humanity has to offer.  They were emotionally unavailable, commitment-phobic, honesty-deficient and even out-and-out abusive. For years I’ve wondered if I’m displaying a sign that says “Come work your shit out here!!”

And then it hit me.  I wear that sign everyday....intentionally.  In fact, I get paid to do it. 

I’m a helper. I choose to work everyday with angry, hurt, often violent people who struggle with addictions, hygiene and sometimes even basic communication. And I love it. I have always said that God-given gift is my ability to genuinely love people who are difficult to love. (I bet you’re beginning to see where I’m going with this....)

It occurred to me that my attitude of acceptance of whatever my clients bring with them had extended into my personal life.  Beyond personal history and some skill deficits, they bring prejudice, abusive behaviour, disrespect and vulgarity.  I can easily see through the hard exterior to the hurt that is, more often than not, been the source of their lashing-out for quite some time. Many have suffered terrible loss as well as the same types of hurtful treatment which they now pass on to others.  So, I accept a few more profane conversations than the average bear in order to work on the real issues.

And then I come home.....to the same thing.  At least I used to.  I would keep my Social Worker hat on, see the pain in the poisonous presentation and look past it.  I accepted their shit and let the men in my life work it out with me, through me, on me.  And when they were all whole and healed (or when I was too exhausted to endure anymore) we parted ways.  

But yet my sign stayed up.

Well, now I’m choosing to take down the sign.  Like Miss Mary Fiore, I am deciding that I am sick of attracting into my personal life men who are not prepared to be in a healthy, relationship with a partner - not a therapist.  Feel free to make an appointment to see me when I’m working if you’d like professional help.  I promise to accept the brokenness, hear past the anger and help you with what you need.  But when I’m off duty....

Please, just go away.



Play Six Word Saturday along with CallMeCate and all her friends.  Six Words - that's all you need.

 (Oh, and this little button to get you there)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Throwback Thursday #tbt

Today's throwback blog post is a spoken work piece born out of a breakup letter that I actually gave a guy I was seeing once.  When I ran into him a year later he was still carrying it around in his wallet.  It was originally posted in 2010 on my first blog and was the second spoken word piece I ever performed.  Please keep in mind that it was written (and performed) during a much angrier time in my life.  (and also, please excuse the profanity....)


Dear Mr. Broken Promises,

A fuck buddy (much like luck money) is not the same as when you put in work. It is often used, discarded or lost; the user then regarded as an ungrateful jerk (not you baby, let the piece do its work). It's the tears and sweat, forgive and forget that make the bond grow stronger, longer, deeper and taller and measured in ways other than August 28th until....time stands almost still – frozen by the chill that now laces your tongue. Not like when your heat would lick and suck and make me hum. Right before you were an audience of one, when your words and my hands would make me cum....and then lie in our sweat and talk about that daughter and how gorgeous she'd be. Whether she would have my ass and your face or your charm and my patience – she would have been beautiful.

But now that promises have fleeted and my number (probably deleted) is to be called no more, I'm left to wonder how I got demoted from your queen to your whore. No, that's not fair, it was never just about ass. You and me, baby, we were much more than that. We had love, we were friends, could've been best, as a matter of fact.....yes, I remember, it was you who said that. You also said you couldn't be with her if we couldn't remain friends. But my, my how quickly that song did end....and you said you were never gonna dance again. Mr. Guilty feet. Well you and George had more in common than just your names, except he really got tired of playing games, while you just got tired of getting caught cheating.

Aww baby, now why'd you have to go there? Because I've got a point as sharp as that chocolatey brown suit you used to wear. The one you changed into the night of our last kiss in the first round. And my point is (ladies and gents, stay tuned for the finale), I never asked you to swoop in to play step daddy. Not as my saviour or chef, my meal ticket or my rent. I got that. I never asked you to take me in your arms or your eyes and understand my body in ways that I cannot verbalize. I just wanted us to be friends, You wanted more, opened and held that door and said that how you had treated me had hurt you all along. And now the scars are open, scabs ripped off and I'm lying here, bleeding love. (My God, Leona Lewis would be proud!)

Maybe one day you'll look back at this letter and our history together and realize that bargaining with you and crying for you and wiping even your silent tears was never part of a show. I never threatened to burn down all that you have because you said you would go....and maybe you'll wish it didn't end. You might want to rinse and repeat the tired old feat of typing "I'm sorry" and pressing send. But let me save you from remorse (and embarrassment, of course).  Mr. Broken Promises, we will never be friends.

Ms. Never Again



Monday, July 8, 2013

Manic Monday: A List of Sorts

Monday's Must Nots

1. Don't think about the ones who got away

...or the ones who let you get away. Regret is a useless emotion.  So is whatever feeling makes you call them all idiots and want to kick them in the shins when they tell you how much they loved you back then and what a mistake it was that they couldn't get their poop in a group long enough to lock it down.  Yeah, that emotion is a waste of energy, too.

2. Don't play the comparison game

Yes, most of your friends are married.  Yes, your mother was married at this age and had 2 children already...as did both of your sisters-in-law. (Well, one of them had three....but that fact isn't really helping anything, is it?) And so what if most of the people you work with - nay, ALL of the people you work with are in committed relationships?  Now that we've done that inventory, how much better off are you?  That's what I though.  Deal.

3. Don't forget about the good things

You own your own company.  You have a gorgeous son.  You are embarking on a challenging new career opportunity, just over the horizon.  And don't forget all the yummy eye candy you saw yesterday at the street festival, reminding you of all that this great city has to offer:  Music and food and handsome professionals.  Tally-ho!

4. Don't beat yourself up over the things you can't control...or (for that matter) the things you can. (For the latter - just do something about them. Details to come on a subsequent list.)

But for reals -- if you can't control it, worrying certainly isn't going to change anything.  For example: The Past.  I'll give you six million dollars right now if you can tell me anything you can do to change any single item from your past....or anyone else's.  I'll even give you time to think about it...

Go on....think.

Nothing, right?  Take a breath. Set your sights on something within your control. Resume productivity. (It feels so good!)

5. Don't miss today

You only get one of them and this is it.  Be here now. Savour it. Roll it around on your tongue and exhale it through your nose.  Enjoy the moments of nothingness that tie the chaos together. Smile at the cashier. Hold the door for someone and wish them a good day.  Give yourself permission to walk a little bit slower.

6. Don't forget to be grateful 

for everything.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

I think I'm just about done

I think I'm just about done being sorry
for wanting more than I get
for demanding less than I deserve
for being uncomfortable with the feeling of knowing I need more.

I think I'm over that feeling --
That maybe-I-shouldn't-rock-the-boat feeling
the one that worries about you getting wet
but ignores the nagging notion that I should just jump ship.

I'm pretty sure I'm through
and sculpting beautiful images from the bullshit
and calling it art.

And as much as there is a piece of me that wants you to return the feelings I've sent your way...

I think I'm pretty much finished waiting
for you.


Yeah....it was that kind of weekend.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Six Word Saturday

Make Up Your Freakin' Mind, Already

I went on a bit of a weekend road trip recently with The Professor. (Feel free to refer to my earlier post about my relationship resume for context.) We went to one of the USA's major metropolitan cities for a couple of days (as friends) and had a pretty good time.  We checked out the city, hit up a museum and popular park, went dancing and even took in a movie.  It was a good weekend.

On our last day in the city, when our bags had been loaded into the car, but before we hit the highway, we stopped for lunch.  Now, for the entire weekend, one of the trends had been our inability to decide what to do, where to eat and when to move. Over lunch, my semi-plutonic travelling companion asked me about my comfort level when it comes to making decisions.  This question evolved into a 30-minute conversation about the responsibility of being the "decision-maker" in a family or relationship.  I shared that, as a single parent, I make all of the decisions all of the time and it's nice to sometimes share that responsibility with someone else or, in some cases, relinquish it altogether.  He also shared his perspective of how that responsibility often becomes unequally distributed between genders in relationships. Blah blah blah....its was a good conversation.

Fast forward to yesterday, when it hit me - "it" being one of the (probable) reasons my relationships have never been.....fulfilling (to say the least).  I've taken the idea of compromise to new lows of spinelessness, accepted that which is unacceptable (with hopes that they will one day get better) and, essentially, allowed myself to settle for far less than I deserve or even want.

Let's take The Professor, for example: he's got all the checks and balances covered on my list - everything is even wrapped up in a big, strong and handsome bow, BUT I've somehow managed to convince myself that I am fine settling for some undefined, obscure "friends +" status (not to be confused for friends with benefits.....at least that I would understand).  In actuality, what I want is a way of relating to each other that has more clarity than he can/will provide.

So now the million dollar question is: what exactly am I hanging on to?  The hope that one day he'll wake up and realize how much he can't live without me?  Not bloody likely, lady....and in the meantime, he's made his decision and is contently living his life.  I think I should follow suit. And here is my decision: I need a clear position on one side of the line - just friends or building something more...

...and a turkey burger with a side of sweet potato fries for lunch.



Play along with Call Me Cate and all her friends every week. Six Word Saturdays is as easy as it sounds: 6 words, one day - explain it or don't, Cate's not picky.  Click on her cute-as-a-button button to head on over to ShowMyFace.com and join the party!