Single Mom: Another day, Another year.

By Melissa Mensavage

IMG_2939

Today is the last day of 2013 and I feel like its just any other day.   I have been sad the last couple of days because though its just another day, it has pretty big significance.

We are getting older.  My boys are getting older.  After this year I will no longer have any kind of baby in my house.  This era of baby-making and baby-caring is over for me.  This era comes to an end for every mother and father, but its front and center for me now.

I am wondering if I have some regrets for not being smarter when I was younger and found Mr. Right, so that I could have had more years with my kids.  But then had I had my kids earlier in life, who’s to say that they wouldn’t be the kids I have now?  They might be different kids and our life path could be in a different direction.

I have been hugging my boys a lot more lately.  I have been putting down the phone, staying off the computer and just embracing their all-around awesomeness.   Yes I am sad the baby era is coming to an end, but I am more than excited to embark on all the fun things we can do together as they get older and are capable of being just a bit more independent.  (I am talking water parks, hiking without the stroller!!, movies, etc)

I’ve never really written any personal goals for myself, and I have always had the same New Years Resolutions, financial health, physical and emotional health, have a date or two, etc.  This year I am putting together a plan, in writing, and I am going to do my best to stick to it to make 2014 one of the best years we will have as a family.

It sucks getting older, and ending eras in my life but I look in my boys eyes and I can see a vibrant future and I want to do all that I can to help them embrace that future.

Happy New Year Everyone!  Max, Theo and I wish you much health and happiness!

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Walk the Line

By Melissa Mensavage

crazy_woman

For the last few months I’ve felt stretched very thin.  No solid focus on any one thing.  No completion of a task fully.

I hate unfinished projects or tasks.  I mean literally, I’ll wash half of the dishes.  Or get one of three loads of laundry done.

Is this motherhood in general? Or is this single motherhood?

Either way, its driving me crazy.

A perfect example is the due date for my writing.  It comes every month and its on my mind, but a three year old and an 18 month old suck the life out of me playing referee.  Mind you, we are getting better at playing together, but that is only roughly 15% of the time.

I love this task.  This lets me take what is on my mind and in my life and put it into words.  LOVE IT!!  Brandy has been very kind, and I swear I will do my best every month to be on time.  I know as a mother she gets it, but as an editor … she has a responsibility to get content published to keep her readership.

I digress.

They say raising a child takes a village … or whatever the saying is.  I’ve been trying to do it all on my own lately because I feel like I rely too much on my village.  I don’t want to burn that bridge for when I REALLY need them.  So here I am doing all of the doctors appointments with two kids, referee, illnesses, parties, household chores, etc, all on my own.  And I guess that is why I am stretched so thin.

Will this burn me out? I am pretty sure of it.  When?  Don’t know.  I do know that I am seeing the signs – I’ve been yelling at the kids quite a bit lately.  I hate that I yell.  Or I get frustrated with the fact that they don’t know everything.  (I mean how stupid is that?  They are kids, babies still and they shouldn’t know everything!)

As you can see this post is short this month because I am multi-tasking my passion for writing with my passion-less job.  Need to cut it short so I can make sure I still collect a paycheck and have insurance.

Maybe someday in the near future I’ll be able to focus again, or maybe this is the new way of life.  I am so unfocused right now I cant even come up with a closure to this jumbled post.

Le sigh.

Happy Holidays everyone.

(Where’s the egg nog?)

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Single Mom: “I Was Bitchy”

October 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Evie Peck, Family, Single Parents

By Evie Peck

Single mom

Have you ever run into someone you used to know and they aren’t nice to you?

My friend Marie just told me that happened to her. She ran into someone she had known for a period of time who pretended she didn’t remember her and at first I was like, “Ugh, what a bitch.” And then I remembered… ooops. I did that, not too long ago. It had nothing to do with the woman I ran into – it was all about me.

I was in my baby class, feeling a little nervous about being the only single pregnant woman in the room. I tried to exude confidence and security. Fake it till you make it. I reminded myself how excited and happy I was and it didn’t matter what any of these expecting couples thought of me.

As I was relaxing a bit, a very pregnant woman came up to me. “Evie! Hi, remember me from high school? I’m Tanya Lester?  I was a few years younger.”

OK. First of all, reminding me that I’m so old was off putting and second of all now I’m reminded how high school Evie didn’t have a boyfriend, didn’t really even date and felt weird about it – it was as if I was the same single person.  When I was 17 assumed I’d have a conventional family and a successful acting career…. Would Tanya think I’d failed at both? Was I a failure? I felt like a total freak.

All of a sudden, I felt defensive, like I had to prove that I was better than old high school Evie… except, was I?

“Oh, hi,” I said, in a distant, bitchy tone, as if I didn’t remember her but I was humoring her and being friendly to a stranger. So many levels I was playing – (I was such a good actress.) I remembered Tanya. I didn’t know her well, but under other circumstances, I certainly would have been more friendly. My instinct was to act cool and I guess, superior – like I was so awesome and successful, I didn’t have room in my brain for old high school acquaintances. I needed to feel stronger, so I was a bitch.

She introduced her husband and asked me when I was due. We were due days apart. I was distant and well, bitchy. I just really shut it down. I just kind of nodded and didn’t say much and let her feel foolish as she tried to bring up ways I might remember her.

I didn’t want her to see I was scared or think I was a failure or feel sorry for me.

For the strangers in the class, it didn’t matter so much what they thought of me, but this girl knew me in high school. I wasn’t prepared for that.

Maybe I missed an opportunity to have another playmate for my son.

I guess the real point of this story is if someone you know is rude or bitchy to you – it’s probably not about you… it’s about them.

That was over two and a half years ago. I was a different person back then; so excited but also scared and nervous. I was learning how to be a Mom Solo and what that meant to me.

Being solo isn’t such a huge scary thing anymore at all. I don’t really give it much thought – except when I blog.

Now, it’s all about my son. It’s all about being nice, setting a good example and making the world a wonderful place for him to live in. I don’t have too much time to worry about what people think of me. I like it like that!

Photo credit: www.maracaseyshoots.com

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What Do You Want To Do When You Grow Up?

By: Melissa Mensavage

boys backyard

Is this career burn-out, just plain ol’fashioned boredom or a midlife crisis?

I sit here at my desk in an office cubicle that has beige walls.  I hear the pounding of keyboards all around me.  People are huddled by the coffee machine, moreso now that the company has decided to offer free coffee, albeit crap coffee.   The world is gray in my eyes.  People are overweight here in corporate America because they sit all day long.  People are grumpy for having to do the same thing day in and day out.  People are always rushing in from being late due to traffic or oversleeping, and rushing to leave to get to their next activity whether its with kids, parents or the couch.

I started in corporate America right after college because I needed a job and health insurance.  And things just evolved since then.  Being so ‘I need to find Mr. Right’ focused, I never took an interest in my career.  Then my thirties hit and still no Mr. Right, though one failed marriage was behind me, I threw myself into my job.  However, I still viewed it as a job, and not something I was passionate about.  I traveled the world, something I was passionate about.  Then I became a mother, still with no Mr. Right around.

So I sit here today, most likely bored out of my mind with the mundane of corporate America.  I am done sitting at a desk.  I am done with staring at a computer for eight hours a day.  Yet, I am locked to this desk and computer because of my chidlren.  How can anyone make a career change with children?  And on a sole income?

I bet people do it all the time.  I bet people throw caution to the wind and jump.  My analytical and practical self cannot do that.  I chose to be a single parent on my own without a partner.  That means no breaks from the boys, as in every other weekend or one night a week.  That means I am the sole provider for the boys.  That means I need to make sure I have health insurance for them, and myself, and other benefits to keep everyone safe and secure.

That also means, corporate job for now.  It is here that I can get those necessities.

Yet, every day as I drive to work I feel an empty feeling in my stomach and my heart.  This isn’t what I was meant to do.  Recently I had a conversation with my sister about jobs and what I was meant to do kind of slipped out.  I wasn’t expecting it, it wasn’t something I was hiding, but it just surfaced.

Early childhood education, preschool or working with the elderly in senior centers or nursing homes.

Working with people.

Writing.

I Googled salaries for those types of careers and estimated starting salaries would put me in a poverty situation.  I wouldn’t make enough to cover my necessities, especially with two children.  And I am torn, why cant I have the job I love?  Why cant I be doing what I really want to do?  Is it true that things find a way of working out when doing something you love?

I don’t know the answers to those questions and I am not sure if I’ll ever find out – probably by choice because I am too chicken to jump.  Knowing at the end of the day when I leave my desk and I get to walk to the other side of the company campus to pick up the boys, this is worth it.  My commute home with them in the backseat and we talk about the day or what we are going to do when we get home, worth it.

As a parent, you have to make hard choices all day long.  For me, one of them right now is to be in a job that I am not passionate about.  A sacrifice I am willing to make for my two boys.

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Moms That Judge

July 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Evie Peck, Single Parents

By: Evie Peck

judgmental moms

I was at my friend Kelly’s party; mostly moms and kids. I didn’t really know anyone there. Spenser was the youngest kid by far so I watched him as he played happily by himself.

Kelly introduced me to some of the moms and at one point told them, “Evie has a great blog.” The moms seemed interested, “It’s a single mom blog,” Kelly told them.

“Oh! Terrific! I should tell my single mom friend about it,” a woman named Anna said, as she walked over to me.

“Yeah, great,” I said, expecting her to ask for the name of my blog.

“I’m a single mom… only for a few months, anyway,” Anna said with a laugh. “I know that’s not the same.

I smiled and shrugged. I didn’t really care if it was the same or not. If it feels hard to her to be on her own for a few months, who am I to tell her she doesn’t feel “single” … because I don’t actually  feel single.  I forget all the time that the norm is to have two parents. And also, I’m not a martyr about it; I really don’t need people saying “you’re so brave,” or “I admire you” or “It must be so hard” or whatever.

I CHOSE this because I wanted to be a mom.

“My friend just adopted a baby,” Anna explained. “She adopted as a single mom.”

“Yeah, I chose to be a mom on my own too,” I told her. I said it with enthusiasm, to encourage her to pass my blog along to her friend. I expected her to ask for my blog name now, but instead, she said:

What fun.”

It took me a few moments to register her tone; sarcastic.

Not like: “I can’t have toppings on my frozen yogurt because my teeth are too sensitive to chew them… What fun,” kind of sarcastic.

More like: “My house burned down, I’m filing for bankruptcy and my dog is lost… What fun.” Like the worst.

As soon as her judgment sunk in, I responded as calmly as I could… “Well, you know, I’ll bet you at times, it’s easier than having a partner.”

She seemed taken aback, “Well, huh,” she laughed in a it’s not funny way, “I guess…  But you have nothing to compare it to.”

Weird. Why did this woman need me to know that she thought choosing to be a single mom was so horrible? I had to assume Anna was having some kind of struggle with her husband; maybe she was secretly jealous of my freedom.

“True,” I said. I said it as cheerily as I could. “I’ve got nothing to compare it to.” I’d had lots of boyfriends but I’d never co parented.

“It’s nice to be able to hand your child off once in a while,” Anna said… in kind of an angry way.

“I guess,” I smiled, walking away. Why get into a thing with her? I never really felt like I needed to hand my son off. I figure out ways of getting stuff done.

A few minutes later I overheard Anna talking to the other moms about their friend’s new boyfriend, “Where did they meet?” Anna asked.

“At a bar,” a woman answered.

“Oh. Well at least that’s better than on the internet.”

 

WHAT??? I mean, yes, I had no luck on the internet but some people do. It’s not a whorehouse. It’s just OK Cupid.

So judgy, that Anna. I didn’t understand her need to critique single people and their choices. Maybe she was just very angry at her husband for leaving her alone with their child for a few months.

I decided to let her have her judgment and to not care about it. She didn’t need to understand why I love my life, and why it actually, it IS fun.

 

 

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Fertilized Egg for Adoption

July 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Adoptive Families, Family, Meika Rouda

By Meika Rouda

egg for adoption
I have a good friend who is single and in her early forties and wants to be a mom….now. She is divorced, just moved to the Bay Area leaving her comfortable apartment and lucrative career in New York. For two years she has tried to conceive both the natural way with different partners and with IVF so now it is time to move to the next phase which is adoption, just not the typical kind.
She would like to adopt a child but is worried she won’t qualify since she just moved cities and has no job currently. So she is going to adopt an embryo. The clinic she found near Sacramento will give you three tries for the price of one IVF cycle so it is a good deal. When she first told me about it I had trouble understanding why anyone would do this.
“Just go adopt a baby.” I said.
“I won’t qualify. Besides who will pick me, I am a single mom in my forties?”
“You will be picked, it might take time but you never know what resonates a birth mom. Or do the closed adoption route and get matched.”
“I still don’t think the state will approve my home study. I am living in a studio apartment the size of a closet and have no income.”
“You can get a job.”
“I will. But I also want to be pregnant, it is nice to have some control over how my child is growing in utero even if I have no biological connection.”
“So it is the same as adoption except you are giving birth.”
“Yes but I can bond with the baby while pregnant and make sure I am eating well and taking my pre-natals. You can’t make sure a birth mom is doing everything you might do if you were pregnant.”
This is a good point. A birth mom may not make the same choices you would if you were pregnant and giving birth is an amazing experience to share with your child.
Yet is also confounds me in many ways, how medicine has totally changed how we create families. It used to be adoption was the only other way to have children if you couldn’t conceive naturally, then IVF, then donor eggs and donor sperm and surrogacy and now both donor eggs and sperm and even then sometimes a surrogacy..
“Do you tell the child that you aren’t their biological parent?”
“I don’t know.”
When she went to the clinic the first time for her interview, she was given a questionnaire on profile characteristics for eggs and sperm; for her baby. She chose a very tall sperm donor because she is short and likes tall men and was open for her egg donor as long as she was healthy.
She was just matched yesterday with an embryo that has a 6’4 college student sperm and a 22 year old mixed Latina and white egg donor. This embryo is fertilized and is ready to go, just waiting to be placed into her uterus.
I was with her when she got the email describing her baby, “Mom is 5’3, dad is German and Irish 6’4…”. It felt a lot like reading a profile of a prospective adoption.
“Should I get two eggs implanted or one?” she asked.
“Do one and then if it doesn’t work, do two next time. You get three tries for the same price right.”
“Yea.”
So that is the plan. Next month, this embryo will be implanted into my friend and hopefully by Mother’s day next year she will be a mom. And if it doesn’t work she still has two more tries for the price of one. You don’t get that in adoption.

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Bradley – One of the reasons I’m happy to be a single mom

May 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Evie Peck, Family, Single Parents

By Evie Peck

JawDroppingDog

When I was about 29, my best friend from high school, Tia, set me up on a date with Bradley, a guy from her husband’s work. Tia was obsessed (as only a best friend can be) with the fact that I wasn’t close to finding a husband and starting a family. She had a one year old son and she was very happy with her new family. “What are you going to do when you are older and single and want to have kids?” she asked… like she was some kind of fortune teller or something.

We decided we would double date. We all met at a Bandara; Tia and her husband, with a sleeping child in a car seat carrier and me with my best game face and Bradley.

So Bradley arrived. He was a short, curly haired blonde, in a tight, black, short sleeved, nylon t-shirt that accentuated his biceps. “Hey,” he smiled at me. He and Tia’s husband shook hands. “I didn’t know you had a kid,” he said, pointing to my sleeping one year old godson. I realized then he didn’t know Tia’s husband very well. It was a nice summer night and it was still light outside at 7pm.

We all followed the hostess into the dark, atmospheric dining room. Bradley and I walked behind, slowly. “I had a lot of shrimp last night,” he said to me. Good opening line.

“Oh, wow,” I said. “I love shrimp!”

“No, I don’t think you understand,” he said, “I ate a LOT of shrimp.”

“OK,” I said, “I get it, because shrimp is delicious.”

“No. But I ate A LOT of shrimp.”

“It’s OK. It’s good protein.”

“No, no, no,” he said, dismissing my efforts to be agreeable, “I ate… SO MUCH shrimp. I mean SO MUCH!”

“OK,” I said.

We approached the table. “So I probably won’t eat much tonight,” he said, “because of all the shrimp.”

“Right,” I said softly. Was there any way this guy could turn things around and become someone I wanted to hang out with, let alone, love?

The waiter came over and Bradley informed the rest of the party that he wasn’t going to order because he’d eaten so much shrimp last night. I sat quietly.

“Get something,” Tia said, trying to be encouraging.

“OK,” Bradley relented, picking up the menu. “Come back to me.”

We all ordered and I wondered if Bradley really didn’t want to eat because he felt sick from the shrimp or if he thought he’d eaten too many calories. Like maybe they were fried shrimp?

“I’ll have a side of mashed potatoes,” Bradley announced, happy with himself.

Butter, cream, potatoes…. that’s how you make mashed potatoes. Bam. this guy had food issues.

The conversation flowed as I noticed Bradley eyeing the table bread. He played with the cloth napkin in the breadbasket.

“Where do you live? Do you live alone?” Bradley asked me.

“I am living at home with my dad, right now,” I said.

“Evie’s mom died 3 years ago,” Tia told Bradley.

“Oh wow,” Bradley said, “You’re so lucky. I hate my mom.”

We were all silent.  That could have been the moment I got up and left. Was he joking? When he started ranting about his awful mother, we had our answer.

Then Bradley thought of something really important he needed to share with the whole table. “I used to be really fat.” He ate his mashed potatoes with delight.

Muscle flexing, tight shirts, food issues, mirrored elevators, a side of mashed potatoes, too much shrimp… made sense.

“Wanna know how I lost all my weight?” he asked.

We did. I was guessing there’d be a story of exercise and eating right, but I was wrong.

“Besides being fat, I also used to have this really bad under bite.” Bradley pointed to his now well aligned jaw. “Most of my teen years I begged my mom for jaw correction surgery, but she was too cheap to get it for me.” Bradley’s disdain for his mother was sharp and unapologetic,  “But when I was 19, she took me to a medical facility at the Army base near our house. She got some kind of deal, letting medical students do the operation. After the surgery, it got infected and I had to go back. Turns out they’d left a surgical sponge in my sinus cavity! My fucking mother.  And they had to shoot this blue Windex-like stuff up my nose. It was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced.”

I ate my BBQ chicken salad, horrified and also riveted.

“My jaw was wired shut for about 2 months and I had to eat everything in liquid form, out of a straw so I lost a ton of weight.” Bradley was so proud.

We Oooed and Awwed.

But his story wasn’t over.

“About five years later, I was over at my girlfriend’s parents house for dinner and as I opened my mouth to take a bite of food, my jaw unhinged and my chin dropped to my chest. I looked like I was giving a blow job to Godzilla.”

Bradley wiped the remnants of the mashed potatoes, out of the dish with his finger and sucked it with a smack.

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The Challenges of Dating as a Single Parent

my last boyfriend, three months prior to my first pregnancy.

I think I’ve talked about this before.  Its always on my mind.

Dating.

I don’t even know where to start with it.  Even sitting down to write this I have many long pauses between sentences and thoughts.

I should probably start with I never was a big dater, even in high school.  I remember clearly my first high school crush was on this boy Mike.  Mike was tall, thin, curly mullet hair with a big smile and big brown eyes.  But he never wanted to get to know me.  Probably because we ran with different crowds, moreso I was still trying to find my place in that world seeing I had just moved to the area.

The boys I did date I always felt like I had to date them because they were interested in me, not because I was interested in them.  I also felt ashamed to be dating them because they didn’t meet the match of the ‘popular’ people – the crowd at the time I desperately wanted to be a part of.

My insecurities kept me back from many things, let alone a good solid boyfriend.  Even to this day, they are still around holding me back from meeting the nice guy.  My frustration with them is exhausting.  The questions are never-ending and play over and over in my mind, I cant believe I am actually going to say these out loud – how do I know I am doing ‘it’ right? Or is this what I am supposed to be doing – holding hands in public, saying this or that?

These foolish insecurities that I’ve been carrying with me since my teens, that probably attributed to the demise of my marriage when I was in my twenties, are getting to a point where they either grow up or move out.  I can feel them surfacing now, when I am starting to entertain the idea of dating.

How can I expect to even meet someone when these stupid things are hanging around?  Why at this age should I even care what other people think?

I go back and forth with these all the time.  I also worry about dating takes time and that is time away from my kids.  My kids are young right now and they are changing every single day, and I waited far too long to become a mother – especially in an unconventional way – that I am not sure I want to miss these days.  So unless I know right away the guy is a possibility there is no point in my dating.

But then I get real lonely at family functions or especially as of late a work banquet where everyone was there with their spouse or significant other (literally I was the only person without a ‘plus one’).  Talk about awkward and it is then I know for sure I want to be with someone.

So how do I do this?  On the recommendation from a friend, I joined a dating site.  I’ve viewed profiles, found a few interesting, took time to write a few and I’ve heard nothing.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve received interest from what seems like the clan of Duck Dynasty, I’ve learned that what they say about black men is true (clear pictures and all were included), and know that men are definitely interested in women younger than them, like 20 years younger.   It is with this I close my computer with disgust and defeat and crawl into bed and want to cry my eyes out.  Though as quickly as I find myself in this funk I am just that quicker brought back to reality with the cries from the boys bedroom.  As I pick up my teething infant I figure dating can wait just a little bit longer.

**picture is of Stefan, my last boyfriend.  This was three months prior to my pregnancy with my eldest son. 

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A Park and Some Dads

April 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Family, Single Parents

By Evie Peck

dump truck

It was an overcast morning.

“Wanna go to the park?” I asked, when I saw that my 19-month-old son Spenser had pulled everything out of his kitchen cabinet (all the stuff that is child safe like my Gladware, boxes of jello, bags of pasta etc.).

“Yeah!” he said, but he would have said that if I had asked him if he wanted to go to the doctor for a shot. He’s just enthusiastic.

So we went. We went to the nicest park near me, which is in a super rich neighborhood. This park is just a little cleaner and it’s smallish and I just convince myself it’s great because it’s surrounded by mansions.

There was no one there.

About five or six utilities trucks and one Prius stopped at the park and different men over the age of 50 tried to use the men’s bathroom, but it was locked. Creepy or smart? A little of both, I think.

Spenser and I played. We went down the slide together and I got soaking wet (from the drizzle and dew).

Then a dad and kid came along. “We love this weather,” the dad said to me. He had a British accent.

“I like it too,” I told him.

British dad’s child was 2 and so S played with her and British dad and I chatted. He seemed like a nice dad. Then he asked, “Are you going to have another child?”

OK, um, so personal!! But thank you for thinking I’m young enough to have that option (who knows, maybe I could).

“Maybe,” I said. I wasn’t going to tell him I was a single mom or anything.

Well, British dad wanted to really get into it with me. “My wife wants to, but I don’t.”

Wow. That was super personal!

“It’s hard to believe you could love another child as much as this one.” I put words in his mouth, so he wouldn’t horrify me.

“Yeah,” he said. “Right.”

“Well, everyone I know with two children says they felt that way, but they love the second as much.”

British dad nodded.

I think it would be really hard to be married to someone and have such a huge disagreement where one person might be really unhappy with the outcome. I mean, that’s part of marriage, I know, I’m just saying, marriage seems so difficult; like how are you expected to live your whole life with someone and compromise all the time??? I can’t help but think about how if I wanted another baby, I could just have one (or try to). There’s a lot of freedom in being a mom solo.

Another dad and child came along. This dad was pretty handsome -tall, rugged, athletic, lots of nice hair… his child had brought a bunch of trucks that Spenser wanted to put sand on and push around.

“Share, Patrick,” Handsome dad said to his son.

Patrick reluctantly let Spenser push around one of his toy trucks.

“You have the dumpy,” Handsome dad said to Patrick, pointing to a toy dump truck.

Dumpy? Eww.

“Thanks, for sharing the truck, Patrick,” I called as I saw S was not going to give it back anytime soon.

“Sure,” Handsome dad said, “Patrick’s fine. He has two dumpys.” He pointed to another dump truck toy.

Ewwwww. You are calling it a dumpy, to me?

“Patrick, get the dumpy!” Handsome dad called.

Patrick pointed to Spenser, pushing his truck. His non dumpy truck, I guess.

“Patrick, there’s a dumpy here and a dumpy there. You’ve got two dumpys! Go get a dumpy.”

He must have said, “play with your dumpy,” 25 times!!!

Handsome dad was looking so much less handsome. What if I were married to a guy who kept saying dumpy and probably called other things gross names too like during sex and stuff like “nippies,” or “yum yums” … I don’t know. I guess you can say, to your husband, stop saying that word, but once the damage is done…

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Three Dates with Men with Colds

March 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Evie Peck, Family, Single Parents

By Evie Peck

 

soup

 

Lois

When I was 29, I dated a guy named Louis for a few months. I liked him. He was nice and cute and sexy and had a real job (he was a lawyer, not an artist).  We saw each other about once or twice a week. He wasn’t my boyfriend; we were just dating.

One day, Louis came down with a terrible cold and I decided to send chicken soup to his work. But there was a $25 minimum delivery so I ended up sending him 2 orders of matzo ball soup, two orders of French fries and a slice of chocolate mousse cake, so I could get to the minimum.

When he called to thank me, he kept saying, “Wow. This is a lot of food. I mean, it’s SO MUCH food.” His thank you was awkward. I felt ashamed that I’d sent him enough French fries for 5 people. The enormous food delivery changed everything, I think, because we broke up on our next date, like this:

Me: So…. What do you think about what’s happening with us (inspired by the unpleasant thank you for the gallon of soup)?

Louis: Yeah, I don’t think this is really working out. Wow, thank you for bringing this up. If you didn’t bring this up, I never would have. I mean, we probably would have gotten married before I would have ever brought this up. Whew, this is a relief.

So…can I count that as a marriage proposal?

Simon

Simon and I had been on 2 dates. He was a 35-year-old struggling jazz musician and cute. We met on line.

I got a voice mail from him saying, “I’m sick. Could you bring me soup?”

I barely knew the guy, but I decided I’d bring him soup – I mean, why not; maybe he would be my boyfriend someday. Maybe me saying yes would progress this relationship.

When I called to tell him I would bring his soup, he said, “I also need: cough drops, Kleenex, fruit, juice, and Popsicles.”

I was quiet for a moment. Then I said, “So, you need me to go shopping for you?”

“Huh? Oh and Dayquil,” he said.

He never actually admitted that he was asking me to shop for him and yet, I did. I showed up at his germy place with two bags of groceries, for this guy I’d met twice before.

“Wow, this is great,” he said, rifling through the bag of things he’d ordered me to get and NOT actually ever saying the words thank you.

“Can I….pay you?” he asked, as if he was sure I’d slap his hand and shout your money’s no good here!

His groceries had cost me about $60 and since we’d gone dutch on our 2 dates, it’s not like I owed him. But how the hell could I say Yes, please pay me $60? 
I couldn’t.

“It’s OK,” I told him.

“Wow! Great!” He said, again not really saying thank you. “Here, take some chocolates.” He reached in a drawer and gave me a handful of those Ferrero Rocher chocolate that are sold for cheap in fine drugstores.

“Do you want to watch a movie with me?” He asked (with a stuffy nose so he said “boovie”).

I’d driven about 30 minutes to get to his house, not to mention the travel time and shop time.

“OK,” I said and I sat on his couch that smelled of sick and watched a bit of “Shaun of the Dead,” while he utilized all the booty I had brought him. I wondered if this was all a ploy to get free stuff. I watched the move for about 15 minutes thinking, how soon can I go? To this day, that movie makes me feel dirty.

When he was well, we had a few more dates, but I never got over this whole weird cold-shopping incident. When I ended things with him, he got mad and called me a moron.

Ian

While I was trying to get pregnant, I had a date with Ian and I thought I might be pregnant.

“Let’s meet for margaritas,” Ian said. As I’ve mentioned before, I like to let the guy plan; it gives me good insight to his character.

Ian ordered his margarita and I, a geek on a first date who thought she might be pregnant, ordered a virgin.

It took a while for the bartender to truly grasp that I wanted lemon lime mix blended with ice, as I avoided Ian’s eyes.

When I finally looked at Ian, he asked, “You don’t drink?”

“Um, not right now,” I mumbled. I hadn’t really thought this through. I sounded more cryptic than intended; though it was a pretty major conversation for a first date. I should have just said,  I’m taking antibiotics. That’s a good one.

I sipped my disgusting margarita mix as we chatted. Even though it was a hot, summer night, my drink was not refreshing. The conversation was.

Ian was really nice and smart. We talked about things that were actually interesting to me. But, after a few minutes, Ian pulled out a huge wad of Kleenex and blew his nose in a very productive way.

I must have given him a look because he said, sweetly, “It’s just a summer cold.”

For the rest of the night, through our conversations about work and art, all I wanted to do was talk about the difference between a cold and a summer old. Did that mean it wasn’t catchy? Did that mean it is actually cured by tequila? What the hell was a summer cold and why was it ok to be on a first date with one?

The nose blowing continued right up to the moment he tried to kiss maybe pregnant me. It was just all too much. I didn’t want to get sick and it was too soon to tell him that I was trying to be a single mom and this might have been my first virgin cocktail with child.

As he kissed me, I tried to keep my mouth closed to minimize the germ contact. He seemed pretty into it. I was completely freaked out and I made an awkward exit.

I wasn’t pregnant at this point, by the way.

A few years later, I crossed paths with Ian again and we met for a cup of coffee together. I brought Spenser. Here’s the crazy part; we never talked about me being a single mom. I don’t know if he thought I was in a relationship or not. Maybe it wasn’t really a date, but whatever it was, I don’t think he had fun. I barely sat with him, because Spenser was running around nonstop and I complained about my drink (that he bought me.) After maybe 15 minutes, he said, “Well, I guess I should let you go.” Which meant he wanted to go.

I recently had the best date of my life and we were both getting over colds. We split a burger and fries and he didn’t even offer to pay. (I’m speaking of my 2-year-old son, of course.)

 

To read more about Evie’s life as a single mom, visit MomSolo.Com

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