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.
1) SINGLE NETWORKING
I find that a lot of us Re-Singled Folk turn to Facebook and other social networking sites to expand our sphere of friends again. It makes sense. If we’ve been in a relationship for years, really “in” it, we may have forgotten to surface for some time. Our friendships may have evaporated like a vodka gimlet on Aunt Betty’s lips. No! you gasp! Not I!
Ah, friend, the unexamined single life is not worth living. I’m not convinced the examined one is worth the trouble either, but, anyhoo. Maybe you were just quietly, modestly, demurely coupled, like my idol, Caroline Ingalls. Maybe you kept in touch with all of your friends — single or married, kids or no kids — and did your part in life. You smooched when it was smoochin’ time and milked when it was milkin’ time and shot bears when it was bear-shootin’ time, amen.
But consider this: Most of us are no Caroline Ingalls, sirs and mesdames! Face it, many of us who were in partnerships left irritated friends by the wayside over the years. Once, we were the ones saying about our single pals, If only they could be happy, like us!
Perhaps we spewed out a sickening stream of glossy holiday photocards that marked the highlights of our perfect marriage (or our wondrous partnership or our gorgeous Wiccan polyamorist commune):
“HONEYMOONING IN TUSCANY!!! WE’RE JUST SO BLESSED!!!”
“JUST ADOPTED FIVE MORE BOYS FROM HAITI AND NAMED THEM ALL ANGELINO!!! SO BLESSED!!!”
“LOVE, LUST AND LIGHT!!! BLESSINGS FROM US ALL!!!!!!! VIXEN, HECATE, AMARAH, CEDWEN & FRIGGA”
I personally think, now, that each time a newlywed sighs with happiness, God eats a kitten. But that’s just me, just this week. Check back next week, when I might be back to Hope Is the New Black.
They tell me even chimps can talk, with sign language. Let’s see how much the chimp feels like talking after his divorce! BADABOOM! The past few years, I’ve been hiding out on one three-sq-ft stretch of quilt in my bedroom. Finding friends again online — especially ones who are single by choice, or who have gone through divorce — has been pretty helpful. The empowered singles empower like Energizer bunnies on meth. The divorcees recommend support sites and tell me life stinks before it gets better. If anybody’s fidgeting and rolling their eyes at my tale of suckiness, I can’t see them. And the best part? These friends all make me want to sit up straight and wear underwear again. Which brings me to the downside of single social networking, WTUCO: When The Underwear Comes Off.
2) THE DANGERS OF PREMATURE SEXTATATION
Dear Guy I Knew When We Were 14 and Never Even Couples-Skated With,
Remove thy tweets and Friendtacles! Cease and desist! Close the laptop and spend some quality time in YourSpace, speed-dating your trouserworm!
First, you find me on Facebook. I was down with that. You, boy, you were from my hometown, and seemed far enough away in time and location to be harmless. We had suffered through the same crappy grade school for eight years. You’re even behind me in line in my First Communion photos. I figured I’d friended people for less mojo, so, heck, sure.
We exchanged cursory hello emails. Nothing to indicate that you type with your pants off. When I found out you were single too, with daughters, I thought, Ah, he gets it, he knows the life.
New email. Click. “I AM COMING TO YOUR TOWN C U NAKED I AM VERY PERSUASIVE.”
Wha? Oh. Ew.
I was suddenly 14 again, except suddenly my skinny daddy was real big and tattooed and drove a Dodge pickup truck and had a shotgun pointed at you and was telling you to put your pants back on, and I was yelling real loud, THAT’S WHAT YOU GIT! YOU AIN’T EVER GONNA GIT NO COUPLES SKATE, JOHNNY DAWSON!
And then I was 39 again, and my head snapped back into place, and I thought, It’s not just the newlyweds. God also eats a kitten every time Johnny Dawson texts ‘C U NAKED’.
I may be single, and you may be single, Johnny Dawson, but ain’t nobody gonna C nobody naked here. Ain’t nobody gonna C nobody, no time.
100 feet away or the dogs come out to play,
The Nice Girl, 14 or 39, Single or Not
3) EPILOGUE, OR WHY IT ALWAYS GOES BACK TO CAROLINE INGALLS
I told him his “C U NAKED” was nuts, and no, thanks, I didn’t ever want to see him, or his nuts. He didn’t apologize. I unfriended, defriended, and would have deloused, degermed and decootied if I could have. If he had come to my town, my giganto-dogs would have eaten him, and then I would have deloused, degermed and decootied them. So creepy crisis mostly averted.
Until he tried to re-friend me on Facebook, and began following me on Twitter. Click: block. Click: block. Click: go back in time, become Caroline Ingalls, do not pass go, do not enter the 20th century, don’t even THINK about the 21st. It’s a real doozy.
I’d give my right arm for a barn-raising with the Ingalls. (Although I don’t suppose a woman with a missing arm would be a real sought-after guest at that particular event.) What’s happened in your single social networking world that’s made you wish for simpler days?
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