with Karli Larson
The transition from stay-at-home mom to divorced-and-working-full-time mom can be challenging, and sometimes very lonely. Throw in a few cats, an ancient dog and one very brave boyfriend, and life gets downright crazy. Join me as I talk through my thoughts and struggles, my miscalculations and my triumphs. We're in this together, you and I.
When I'm not writing here you can find me over at work on the TisBest Philanthropy blog.
We’re sitting on a rooftop patio in a chic section of downtown, the ocean breeze rummaging through our hair, the sun setting on the mountains. My son is at home with his beloved Unky, undoubtedly in his underwear, glorying in doing Guy Stuff: eating popcorn and watching Shrek for the seven hundred billionth time.
We’ve just finished eating a vast array of sushi, my dinner date and I, and as I finish the last of my water, our waiter drops off the billfold and tells us to have a good night.
“Thank you,”I say, and reach automatically for the bill.
I almost always reach for the check when I’m at dinner with a friend; it’s a leftover habit from the days when I was the primary (rather than the sole) breadwinner, and it’s hardened with the independence grown of two years self-sustainment.
My date hesitates and looks at me and I say quickly,”You can get it next time,” because I know he is kind of uncomfortable with my crazed insistence on paying. I’m uncomfortable with it, really, I wish I didn’t feel so compelled to take care of myself and everyone else because in all honesty, I’m often just making ends meet.
But I also have this deep seated fear that if I accept someone paying for me, buying me something - I will owe them something back. And I really don’t want to owe anyone anything.
“You’ll really let me get it next time, then?”he asks as our waiter silently slips back to take my credit card.
“I promise,”I say, and I’m really going to try. I have the feeling that my fierce insistence on paying is both off-putting and a little unneccessary. I’ve been feeling lately that it’s time to put myself out there a little more, take risks, pay attention to the magnet on my fridge that instructs: “Do One Thing Every Day That Terrifies You.”
OK, Dinner Date. Tonight pizza’s on you.
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