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April Horoscopes for Single Moms

Categories: Best Practices, Hoping for Love

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Aries
You feel the urge to purge! Clutter is your worst enemy this month, Aries, and getting rid of unused items will give your home and your soul a fresh start for Spring. The second trip to Goodwill will contain a toy your child hasn’t played with in years, but which they will desperately search for three days later. Do not tell her you have given it away- this would bring much bad luck upon your household. Instead, tell her you think it might be in the car and then distract her with a cookie. 

Taurus
It’s a good month for love, Taurus! For other people, that is, not for you. You will meet two eligible bachelors this month, but when they find out you have children they will tell you that they really like you, but they’re just “not in a place to handle responsibility” right now. Your friend from work will get engaged and then her engagement video will go viral, showing up in your Facebook feed once an hour for the next three weeks. You will spitefully steal her Greek yogurt out of the work fridge and then feel bad about it and secretly purchase a replacement from the grocery store during lunch.

Gemini
Your duplicitous nature comes back to bite you when you blow off the PTA meeting because it’s your only night without kids that week and you’d rather spend it at the wine bar. A group of PTA moms will stop by for a glass of Pinot after the meeting and catch you flirting with the bartender. “I thought you said your son was sick and that’s why you didn’t make it to the meeting tonight,” they will say. “Yes… he is sick. Very sick,” you will say, trying to cover your tracks. “In fact, he’s in the hospital. The, uh, babysitter is there with him.” The moms will then look at you as if your face has suddenly turned into dog shit and you will spend the rest of the school year avoiding them.

Cancer
Great news for you at work this month, Cancer: a promotion is on the horizon! But be warned- the added responsibility will not come with a raise. Frugality is your friend! Keep buying those generic Cheerios, and you’ll have enough saved up by the end of the month to splurge on a much-needed manicure that you’ll ruin in the car on the way home.

Leo
All your hard work pays off this month, Leo, when you finally find a shade of lipstick that doesn’t make you look like an angry clown. An entire lifetime spent wearing only ChapStick leaves you unprepared for this new facet of femininity, however, and you’ll attend an important meeting at work with lipstick coating your front teeth. But remember Leo, there is a silver lining in everything: this unintentional slovenliness will prevent Icky Isaac from the office down the hall from asking you out. Phew!

Virgo
You will have sex on Wednesday (for the first time in seven months, you poor thing) so don’t forget to shave your legs tomorrow. You also need to shave your armpits and your bikini line, and you’ll need to do it with the rusty Bic you keep in the shower because you’ll forget to get a new one, so take care not to nick yourself because your tetanus shot isn’t up to date. Afterwards, when you’re laying next to each other and your partner gazes into your eyes and asks what you’re thinking, go ahead and lie. Yes, your library books are overdue, but that’s not a romantic thing to say and you don’t want to wait another seven months, do you?

Libra
An unexpected encounter with a handsome stranger will leave you dizzy this week, Libra! It may raise a few eyebrows, but just explain to the other mothers that your child is the one sitting on the bench playing games on her phone and she hasn’t let you push her on the swing for years, so you were drawn to this chubby-cheeked toddler on the tire swing like ants to a forgotten piece of popcorn under the couch. Resist the temptation to smell his hair though, Libra, because his parents won’t understand and will call the police.

Scorpio
A long-awaited package arrives this month, Scorpio, but you won’t be home when it gets there so you have to ask your boss if you can leave early the next day in order to pick it up from the post office before it closes. Your boss reminds you that you need to be there all day to train the new intern, and tells you to ask your husband to pick up the package for you. When you remind her that your divorce was final three months ago, she’ll look at you with such sickening pity that you’ll need to excuse yourself to go vomit in the restroom. But lucky you: there’s one stick of half-unwrapped gum left in your purse that will cover up the puke smell! When you dig for it you’ll also find that earring you thought that you lost last year. 

Sagittarius
You’ll finally lose those last few stubborn pounds this month when your preschooler brings home a stomach virus! It will be a rough few days, but you’ll look amazing in that pair of pre-baby jeans you’ve been waiting to fit into for the last four years. The recovery will be slow, so don’t take on too many new projects in the next few weeks. You’ll have gained back the weight by the end of the month, plus five extra pounds, so take a new Facebook profile picture between the 10th and the 14th while you can still zip up the jeans.

Capricorn
An unexpected visitor arrives this month. In fact, there will be 37 unexpected visitors and they’ll be laying eggs all over your daughter’s head! Although you’ll quickly evict these unwelcome guests, you’ll suffer psychosomatic itching for the next six weeks. Since there’s no one there to check your scalp, you take measures into your own hands and douse yourself with a chemical-laden shampoo that makes your nostrils burn. As a result, the left side of your hair inexplicably and permanently loses all of its curl, leaving you with a persistent case of bed-head. An old woman on the bus will offer unsolicited advice about how to get more “bounce”. Do not listen to her; she thinks you’re a four-foot blue rabbit named Stan and has had zero reliable training as a hairstylist.

Aquarius
Your anxiety catches up to you this month, Aquarius, and you begin waking up several times each night. Resist the temptation to research your symptoms on Web MD at 2:00 am because you will become convinced that you have SARS and then you will cry. Your best bet for relaxation will be to watch every episode of Doc Martin on Netflix. When you run out of Doc Martin you can switch to Ally McBeal. Hang in there, Aquarius! Things should start looking up in about 8 to 12 years.

Pisces
An exciting twist of fate will leave you trapped in an elevator with the adorable IT guy from downstairs! Unfortunately, you won’t have had the energy to make your own dinner the night before and the dinosaur-shaped “chicken” nuggets you wolfed down will not be sitting well. You’ll spend the entire 15 minutes concentrating on holding in the gas that rumbles like a herd of one thousand elephants every few moments, causing IT Guy to eye you with alarm. When maintenance finally frees you, you smile sweetly at IT Guy and rush for your office but your shoe will squeak just as you exit the elevator, sounding exactly like the thing you were trying to hold back. You’ll avoid IT Guy for the next eight months.

The Relationship Ride

Categories: Fighting the Stereotype, Hoping for Love

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So 2011 was a bit of a ride in the relationship department, in case you hadn’t heard. Facebook doesn’t yet have a diagram that would accurately convey my relationship status changes for 2011, or I’d copy it here. I’m thinking it would look something like a squiggly fat black line scrawled by a hyperactive toddler, a dark surly maze of crayon scribble. I went from attached to single to dating to attached to engaged to confused to more confused to oh crap to single again to single forever to time to revisit dating women to dating that’s not really dating to single again.

Whew.

I’d like to think that everything happens for a reason. It sounds good and it’s reassuring, and if you say it with enough certainty at a dinner party or in the checkout line at the supermarket, whoever you’re talking to might just leave you alone about the miserable, sordid, mortifying details of what went down.

When the engagement became unengaged in late 2011 (like a car out of gear, drifting backwards down a hill, slipping into a dark lake, never to be seen again), my first reaction was OH THAT’S JUST SWELL, THAT’S AWESOMESAUCE. Because, really, there’s only so much character a 40something single mama can take. At a certain point, character-building becomes overkill, and you wind up wishing to God and the Universe to back the hell off so you can attempt life as a happy, shallow bee-yotch. BUT NO. For nearly five years, I’ve felt like an unlucky foie gras goose, being force-fed Character and Very Unwanted Wisdom. I’m sick of the stuff. JUST EAT MY F@CKING LIVER, ALREADY. Like most single mothers, I am now so full of character, I can practically puke it up onto crackers on demand.
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Frogs, rabbits, and my bod

Categories: Fighting the Stereotype, Found Love, Hoping for Love

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Post-40 is the new post-30, I know, I know. But the only “post-” my body got the memo about is “post-partum.” There ain’t no turning the clock back on that one. The combination of babies and SSRIs and time has exacted its toll on this body. As a mama of daughters, of course of course of course I try to rock a good body attitude. I don’t hide the softness, with the girls. Flab, cellulite, wrinkles, veins, scars, sag—I tell them what they see is what they will get, someday. I tell them that this is part of growing up, that this is part of being a real woman at the beginning of her fifth decade on this planet.

I do all right, with them, but I can’t seem to keep that fab attitude across the board.
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Cooking for one

Categories: Fighting the Stereotype, Hoping for Love

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I peer into the supermarket basket on my arm, straining to remember what other items I’ve written on the list I’ve forgotten to bring with me, as usual.

A can of garbanzo beans. A head of broccoli. Berry seltzer. Rice vinegar. Hot sauce. One red onion. A few lemons. A Diet Pepsi. One pint of Ben & Jerry’s Key Lime Pie ice cream.

Yup. Most decidedly single, I think.
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Home-less

Categories: Best Practices, Fighting the Stereotype, Hoping for Love, Tentative Steps

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My mind staggers, trying to wake itself. I blink again and again and try to catch my breath. Again, I find myself sifting reality from dream rubble.

Another nightmare.

Enough, already, Mind.

*****

“What’s the worst nightmare you ever had?” S asks me the other night, at bedtime.

I contemplate her question. “That a hard one. I used to dream over and over of losing people I loved, chasing after them in dreams—”

I stop myself.

She gives me a quizzical look. “And?”

“The worst nightmares are when you wake up and realize that it’s already happened. That the people you love are already long gone.”

She nods. This seems to make sense to her.

*****

I would have told you there was no way in hell he and I could have become strangers like we are. He is long gone, in every way.

*****

Now my nightmares are without hope that I will catch up to anyone. In my dreams, I don’t bother to go looking for help, for the people I think should be there.

The latest nightmares: I am completely on my own, searching for a home. I am not homeless, but I am without home. I have something less than home: home-less.
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Holy Hollywood, or on hope vs. experience

Categories: Hoping for Love

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My goodness. What a week it’s been for marriage on the Left Coast. Laura Dern and Ben Harper. Christina Aguilera and Jordan Bratman. David Arquette and Courteney Cox. Welcome to the Singles’ Club, gang.

I don’t feel any more for them than I do for the usual suspects, the non-celeb couples breaking up. But I don’t feel any less for them, either. People are people. And nobody, nobody, nobody wants to find out that her ex-husband has blabbed on-air that she and said ex hadn’t had sex for four months before he got served by a waitress (intriguing move, Arquette—hang in there, Courteney, I hear the Seychelles are nice this time of year).
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Something missing

Categories: Fighting the Stereotype, Hoping for Love, Tentative Steps

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Melancholy and I have maintained an uneasy truce, for a few months.

Then, yesterday, just like that—it edged a foot through the door.

All at once it washed over me. The familiar sense of missing…what?

Someone, something. I’m so familiar with missing what came before, I no longer recall exactly what it is that is gone.

*****

Yesterday: He has dropped off the girls’ autumn coats and jackets, unexpectedly. I hear his voice in the hall, hesitant, calling to us. When are we? For a moment, I forget, can’t say. Could be ten years ago. Could be today. Is today.

The girls run to him. “Daddy!”

I measure my steps carefully. I walk to him. I accept the bundle of pink and purple and magenta warmth. We speak politely, as we often do, for a few minutes. Then he must leave.

“Goodbye, Love,” he says to one daughter, kissing her head. I envy her, although I instantly deny the emotion, stamp it out. I struggle to recall if he ever called me this: “Love.” I was Sweetpea, Petunia, Honey. Wasn’t I?

It matters not a bit, not now.

This is what I marvel at over and over again: that something that mattered so much once can shift, transform, dissolve—then matter not at all.
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Don’t ask, don’t tell: dating post-divorce

Categories: Fighting the Stereotype, Hoping for Love, Tentative Steps

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My ex and I have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding our dating lives post-divorce.

It is not a policy that we discussed beforehand. It is not a policy that we discuss now. It simply is. At some point, it seems like it’s got to change. But for now, for better or for worse, this is where we are.

The girls, of course, carry information back and forth like pollinating bees. I know which names they have mentioned to him; I know which names they have mentioned to me. They speculate as much as I do. I can see them working it out in their heads: their parents will be with other people. Some grownup friends are just friends; some are friends with potential to become much more to Mommy and Daddy.
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I’ll be Lost without Sawyer

Categories: Fighting the Stereotype, Hoping for Love

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I had a dream last week, much better than my usual dreams, which generally include

1) poor starving rodents

2) ex-loves I chase through mazes of dark rooms

3) dead relatives who stare at me skeptically but offer no helpful information, i.e., career advice, winning lottery numbers

But in last week’s dream, I hit the jackpot. Once I was LOST, baby, now I wuz FOUND.

Sawyer from “Lost” had finally found me. Sawyer, of the REEE-DICULOUS hot-tub-deep dimples, the knock-you-senseless bad-boy grin, the cocky confidence—and need I even mention his shirtless castaway appeal? Yah. Sawyer fought his way through the space-time-good-evil continuum to wind up in my brain. Mine! Me, of ample Polish rump and crooked bottom teeth and nose that officially fits into the “strong” category.

Oh, heavens, I love good dreams.
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Don’t date the playa; date the game. Or, dude, just don’t.

Categories: Hoping for Love

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MY ODE TO ONLINE DATING AS A SINGLE MOTHER OF A CERTAIN AGE

When the screen door detaches

from its hinges at night,

I muse on imperfect matches,

lid-less cookware, and flight.

Great-Granny said for each pot

a perfect lid awaits.

This particular cliche?

How it smarts! How it grates!

But Great-Gran had a throne:

a bar stool in West Philly.

When pure Irish marries pure English

the results can be silly.

Marriage wasn’t her thing.

I thought it was mine.

Now I am doubtful

all the damn time.

I asked my online posse

about online dating.

Here are their answers:

plenty for hating.
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