Uncategorized

How Do You Know You’re “Home?”

There is a reason “Home” is called “Home,” and I’m not quite sure where mine is right now. I’m sort of in between worlds. See, I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio (don’t make fun!), but I have lived on Cape Cod every summer of my life– and now year-round for 14 years. That’s a long time! I think I finally qualify for the “local” special at the diner, and I can legit say I hate summer people (even though I don’t–just the traffic).

I’ve lived on Cape Cod longer than I’ve lived anywhere, other than Cleveland (15 years). I spent many years in New York City (10) and Boston (3). But, now, I guess Cape Cod is my home, or well, it’s where I own a house and raise my children and have a job. So that’s home? It doesn’t always feel like it.

The reason I bring this confusion up is this: my partner lives in Cleveland, many of my best friends live here, and a lot of my heart is, well, here.

Here’s a typical “home” in Shaker Heights, Ohio (where I grew up)

But my children are not.

So yeah.

I thought about this today when the airplane was landing in Cleveland, and I could see the snow covering the acres of flat ground. The familiar grey sky had cover from Lake Eerie, and I felt a sense of relief.

“Ah, I’m home,” I thought, stepping off the plane and seeing the “Welcome to Cleveland” sign in Hopkins International Airport.

But, when I was taking off in the plane, I cried. I cried because I missed my kids. I saw them this very morning, but I felt so far away, and I was scared. I was scared that maybe something would happen on my flight, and that I’d never see them again. And maybe I was a terrible parent for flying and leaving them behind, even though they are safe with their father for the weekend. I sent my daughter a text on her Gizmo (for those not in the know, a Gizmo is like an Apple Watch for kids, where they can get a call or text from their parents or send a limited set of texts). I said, “I love you so much! I miss you already.” I also texted my parents (who now live on the East Coast).

When I arrived in Cleveland, I was greeted by my boyfriend, and we then met up with my best friend from high school for lunch. It was so nice! I was so happy and thought, “Yay! I am home!” This is where I’m meant to be!

But part of me is missing.

A big part. My kids.

And I know, deep down, this is not where I live. I’m just a visitor.

I just wish it could all be one. I wish I could feel whole in one of the places.

Wherever I am, someone I love is missing.

So what makes a home a home?

You tell me.

Self-Help, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Working It Out…the “Write” Way

Wow, we are back to remote learning because of the COVID surge. Heeeeeeeeelp! Okay, I have a lot on my plate–and nothing at the same time–because I’m trying to reach some New Year’s goals, like dropping some lbs. and cutting back on my vices (need not be named: trust me, there are a couple). But, now this? OY! How can I work on myself when I have to work at home and with my kids?

Triggers. What are they? I was trying to think of this, when I was wondering how I can achieve my goals. Like, what gets in my way and makes me stressed? Oh, how about HOMESCHOOL!??! Okay, so that’s one. Then, I was like, “Okay, what’s next? What can make me stressed?” Work and kids. Responsibilities. Er, well, those can’t really be removed. Ever. So there you have it.

My entire existence is a trigger.

Remember when we just could be selfish, when we were younger, and worry about what we were going to wear out at night? Or, like, take all day to get ready for a date: workout, eat right, shave off all body hair, use Crest white strips, blow your hair out? Those were good times. Hah! I am kind of laughing. Those, actually, the getting ready for a date days? Those were inherently stressful, particularly if it was a first date. They kind of sucked, in fact. I guess I’m just thinking about when we lay around and had nothing to think about but our own selfish baby issues. Good times.

Honestly, though? I think I was worse off then. Yes, I’m feeling better already as I write this. When I had too much selfish baby time to ruminate, I would spiral and drive myself nuts. I’d snowball everything into a disaster and end up in the bookstore self-help section.

Too much time = a trigger.

So, now that I have zero time, I’m better off. Right?

Yes, I figured it out. I am, INDEED better off now!

See how I worked this all out by writing it down? I think this is a good exercise for all of us, particularly writers. And now I know why people say to journal every day. Okay, so try this for yourselves at home…see how well you do. Let me know.

Uncategorized

Five Online Dating Tips: Ghosting, MILFs, Catfishing and What You Need to Know

My friends and I were discussing the dating scene now, which is basically all on apps, and here are some things I have determined to be new dating truths, and some tips for y’all if you venture out there:

  1. Be prepared and KNOW that men and women are dating or “talking to” multiple people at once. I remember that I dated this guy, who extolled his love for me after our dinner date (thanks, Kevin #not), and then I saw that he was “ONLINE!” all day the next day, indicating he was talking to other women. When I called him out on it, asking why he was online all day if he just liked me, he said he wasn’t sure I was into him, so he was keeping his options open. Hm. Kev? Ya’ done.

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“I’m serious about you. We should move in together. Just wait till these chicks leave.”

2. It’s totally okay to just ghost mid-conversation, even if you have been messaging for like two weeks. It’s sort of like, someone better comes along, and it’s over. And you really don’t have to apologize for it, or feel bad that you just left this person hanging. You know why? There is no such thing as etiquette in online dating. Ghosting=Standard. No guilt needed.

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3. If someone refuses to Facetime before meeting, then they are most likely catfishing you. What is catfishing? It’s posting pics that look nothing like you, or are from like 20 years ago. When someone says, “Oh, no, I can’t do that; that’s too awkward to Facetime,” it’s a red flag. Know what’s more awks? When you show up and a gorilla juice head (read: Jersey Shore, thanks for the term Snooki) is at the bar missing teeth and wearing a Porky Pig t-shirt (yes, this happened to me).

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“So nice to meet you in person!”

4. Sometimes, men who are super young will message older women, which always comes with a, “Hm…why did he like my photo? Is he hammered? Or was it an error?” The thing is there is something called MILF Hunters. These are young men who actually WANT to date older women. They will message things like, “Am I too young for you?” (probably from their high school locker rooms), and you will be flattered and say, “Oh, I don’t know! Maybe? Haha.” Steer clear. These MILF Hunters just want a conquest and have a fetish. They troll Whole Foods and Barnes and Nobles looking for moms in yoga pants who may throw out the vibe. I mean, hey, if that’s your thing, consider it a tip! Otherwise, block the boy.

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“No, it’s fine that you were in college when I was conceived. I still like you.”

5. Choose the right dating app for you and what you’re looking for. Bumble is best for women who don’t want to get blown up with disGUSting sexual innuendos from heinous men, because only men they “like” can message them. Match may be the way to go if you’re looking for a relationship, because you have to pay for this service, which means you’re serious about it. E-harmony is for people who have a lot of time to write a profile, because it takes 1,000 hours to answer all their questions, and no one even cares to read your profile if they don’t like your looks first. (Note: Most people swipe quickly and go for looks “first” on the apps). Tinder seems to be for younger people (like 20s) and may have a better hook-up rate. Hinge is for people in urban areas, and Zoosk is just weird. (Disclaimer: these are just MY opinions. You do you).

So, there you go! Now go have some fun online dating and use these tips to keep it going! Oh, and please come back here and tell me your stories. Or, add to these tips if you have them in the comments!