March 2nd, 2012

Gone But Not Forgotten…

Many of you are wondering where we are… Nobody died, She’s still with The New Guy, He’s still a cynic… We’re taking a brief hiatus, but I promise we’ll be back in some form (a book, perhaps?)! We miss you too, and thank you for being our loyal readers!

And we may be taking a break, but we still have a closet full of SST-HST special prizes! Drop us a line…

March 2nd, 2012

A Long Winter’s Nap

What She said…

December 2nd, 2011

A Near Miss

Oh, how time flies. Exactly one year ago I was heading out of town for my yearly two-week work trip. This time last year I was just a few months into my relationship with The New Guy, and I was really worried about us being apart for so long after seeing each other incessantly for the previous weeks. I remember actually thinking he’d be over me by the time I got home. It’s funny to look back now and think about how stressed out I had been about us missing each other too much, and having such a distance (literally) between us so early in our relationship.

Because now – it’s exactly the opposite.

When he dropped me off at the airport, I could almost detect a bit of giddiness in his voice. He barely hugged me, gave me a quick peck and said, “See ya!” and got back into his car and drove away. I’ve talked to him a few times since I left, and for the first time in the two-plus months since I’ve moved in, he seems downright happy. And it made me a little sad.

Because I think I’m happy too. Happy might not be the right word. Relieved is probably a better choice.

I’m staying at a co-worker/friend’s house, and she’s been out of town for the first few days of my trip. Walking into an empty house was like a huge weight lifting off my shoulders. I unpacked slowly, rather than the frenetic packing (and resulting tantrum) that occurred at home before I left. I took a long bath and didn’t worry about a comment of how much water I use every night filling up the tub. I read a magazine cover to cover, got into bed with all the lights off because no one was reading next to me, and I slept – all night.

When I woke up the next morning with no one next to me, I didn’t have a twinge of loneliness, not even a pang. I had no cats to feed, no throw-up or pee to clean up, no dishes to put away, and no vacuuming to do. Hey wait, shouldn’t I miss him?

Then again, I also had no morning kiss, no coffee in bed, and no one in the shower with me (okay, that part I’ll admit I kind of liked).

Now he’s watching football, working in the garage, puttering in the backyard and going on mountain bike rides. These are all the things he does normally, but I can’t help but think that now he sounds like he’s on a fabulous vacation – from me.

Everyone here is so excited for me. They keep coming in to look at my ring, wanting to know every detail of my wedding plans – of which there are none.

When I got home last year, we almost broke up. It was mostly my exhaustion speaking combined with a little cold feet for the first trimester of a new relationship. We ended up picking up where we left off, having an amazing Christmas, and well, you know the rest.

This time when I get home, we leave 4 days later for a two-week trip with his mom.

So I guess the question is, will I want to go home?

December 2nd, 2011

Miss-ile Launch

I have a news flash for you; it’s OK to look forward to some time away from the one you love. In fact it’s honest, even downright healthy to do so. I have another news flash for you; what you’re NOT supposed to be is downright giddy with joy and anticipation at the prospect of being apart from each other. When it comes to a supposedly healthy and happy couple spending time apart, there’s a line of demarcation that is acceptable anywhere between melancholy and mildly excited by the idea. You are way, WAY on the other side of this line.

I was on the basketball team in high school. One night we played the number one team in the state. We weren’t ranked in the top one hundred. The game started and they scored ten points in about a minute and a half. Our coach called timeout. In the huddle he kept pleading, “Don’t panic! Don’t panic!” We took the court again and they scored another ten points, almost as quickly. We called timeout again. The huddle was very quiet. Not even our coach knew what to say. I decided to break the deathly silence by asking, “Hey Coach… is it OK if we panic now?” We still lost, but we ended up making a real game of it. Who knows what would’ve happened if we’d gotten off to a strong start?

I’m NOT saying you’re down twenty points in the first quarter and I DO think it’s too early to panic. But I don’t think this is the fairy tale you’ve been dreaming of all these years and it begs the same question I’ve been asking myself for so long now – are you more suited for, and even destined to be alone?

Let’s start with the facts: Over half of all marriages end in divorce. Your parent’s marriage was a joke. Most of your married friends are miserable. Oh, and let’s not forget… you gave up your entire life to be in this marriage-to-be. These are not reassuring pieces of information, but they cannot, and should not be ignored.

The trouble with fact is that it sometimes gets in the way of a good romance. So maybe you moved a little too fast… you were digging the guy, and he was digging you just as much. And maybe you were forced by circumstance to sacrifice a lot more of your life than he did… you had a decision to make and you made it. The last time I checked, you guys were still engaged. Maybe it’s time you focused a little more on the good stuff that got you here, instead of the downright inconvenience of having to alter your bathroom habits or allow an end table to be placed in the wrong corner of the living room. He’s a good man and you love each other and there’s no way I would say or write this if it wasn’t certain of it. On the other hand, what if those things simply aren’t enough to make it work? I don’t have an answer for that any more than the next guy, despite the fact that it happens all of the time.

Hey, nobody said it was going to be easy… if it was every couple you know would be happy.

November 18th, 2011

So Far Away

When I moved 60 miles away, I knew my life as I knew it would change drastically. Never mind the fact that I can’t seem to find the bank when it’s right on the corner of my street, or that I can’t get used to my new nosy neighbors and a strip mall on every block.

It’s the change in all of my relationships that I’m referring to. I knew that I would see my family less, I knew that I would see my friends less, and I knew those relationships would be challenged in ways that they had not been challenged before. What I didn’t know was that I would feel like I was being punished for finally falling in love.

And for the most part, the person making me feel that way is you.

For the past ten years of our friendship, I have been primarily single. I have been in and out of a few semi-long term relationships but one thing has been constant: when there’s been heartbreak, you’ve always been there to help me pick myself up, dust myself off, and get back on the horse. You championed me; “That guy was an asshole – you can do so much better!” “You don’t need that guy! He’s a douche bag!” We’d immediately get back to our routine of cocktails on Mondays or Thursdays, and for the past few years, our blog. We’d cackle over our love blunders (mostly mine), and it seemed our friendship withstood anyone who came and went in our lives.

But this year was different. This year there was The New Guy. And everything’s changed. Our friendship wasn’t affected when you got divorced. It wasn’t affected when you were crazy about a new girl – or two. It wasn’t affected when I dated Extra Large Jerk, or Salt and Pepper, or even my ex.

But now it’s real. I’m engaged and I moved 60 miles away. And now you’re gone.

I know my new domesticated life is boring to you. But I’m still me. I will still have my crazy stories; my skeletons will still be constantly falling out of the closet, I promise. I can still talk on the phone, and I still have a car.

So I’m asking for me (and for our readers), and especially for our future as best friends, please put whatever bullshit is going on with you aside and be my friend again. I promise to start talking more about sex (when I start having it more), and I promise to continue to tell more stories that remind you of the old me.

For example, did I ever tell you about the guy I dated who worked at the grocery store? The holidays always remind me of him, because one time when I was loading the bags into my car, he held a sprig of mistletoe over my head and laid a big ol’ smooch on me. We dated for a while, but it was 1990 and I honestly can’t remember what happened next.

Well, he just wrote to me on Facebook.

So are you back in?

November 18th, 2011

You’ve Got A Friend

You are completely and utterly wrong … I think.

I had this girlfriend once, and I mean she was a girl who was really just a friend. She worked for me. She was (and still is, I presume) 12 years younger than me, but she was as smart and funny and cute as any woman twice her age. Sometimes, I wanted to sleep with her, but I never tried, and mostly I really enjoyed this unique friendship I had with her. For a while, she was as important to me as any friend I had and I really thought we’d be friends forever. At the peak of our friendship, she met a guy and eventually married him. They now have three kids and live about half an hour from me. I haven’t seen or spoken to her since the day she got married. I have no idea why, but I know that I regret it. I also know that I have no intention of letting that happen to us.

To me, relationships, friendships, affairs and the like all have a shelf life of sorts. For most, this shelf life is finite and the end result an enjoyable, but limited result. Only the special ones last a lifetime, or even close to it. But it goes back to what I’ve always said about relationships of any kind… circumstances have WAY MORE to do with them than we usually realize.

For example, which part of moving 60 miles away to live with the man you’re going to marry did you think was going to have zero impact on our friendship: the 60 miles part or the getting married part? You remember me, don’t you? I’m the guy with three kids who you already lived twenty miles away from – in the other direction. I’m the friend that you saw consistently, but hardly often, due to what they like to call in show business as, “scheduling conflicts.” Or put it another way… if you’d stayed put and I’d moved 60 miles in the other direction, would we have seen each other any more than we have now?

And now that I’m rolling… yeah, TNG and I are all good and yeah, he knows we’re only friends and yeah, even under the surface he’s as comfortable with our friendship as if I were female, or gay. No one is happier about this than me. But do you really think that means I’m calling you up at 10:30 at night because I’m drunk, or because I’m pissed at my girl or because you left a weepy message on my voicemail three hours earlier? The truth is I’m not. If it’s an emergency, I promise not to hesitate. Other than that, the conversation will have to wait until tomorrow… or next week. I’m sure it would be OK with you. But I won’t do it out of respect to him. Call it old-fashioned if you want… I prefer to call it old school.

As far as being “in?” Are you kidding me? I wouldn’t miss the next twenty or so years of your life for season tickets to the Boston Celtics. Well, unless they were floor seats. Just kidding. You’re stuck with me.

November 8th, 2011

All Signs Point To Yes

When it comes to relationships, there have been all kinds of famous and not-so-famous sayings with regards to “how you know” if someone is right for you.

Meet his family… If he’s good to his mother, then he’s the guy for you.

Okay, so I’ve met TNG’s family. I definitely know he’s good to his mother. And he’s definitely good to me… after his mother, of course.

Get sick. If he takes care of you, then he’s the guy for you.

I got deathly ill and he failed that one miserably. But then I fell face first on a mountain and he passed the yogurt and ice cream test with flying colors. Then I got sick again and he failed miserably again. I guess 80 stitches in your face deserves more attention than a bad cold. Plus, I have to admit I do get sick a lot.

Go on a trip. If you travel well together, then he’s the guy for you.

We’ve been on a few trips together. Yes, my nickname is “Five Stars” and his is “Two Stars,” but I’ve managed to come down a few notches in the last year and he seems to be enjoying his rise in hotel thread counts. Aside from my occasional abandonment into First Class, we seem to mesh well on the road and have lots of stamps in our passports to look forward to.

Live together. If you don’t kill each other in the first six months, then he’s the guy for you.

The initial road to the end of Month 1 was rocky at best, and I certainly shed a lot of tears, but Month 2 has proven to be a little bit drier. Except for my current cold.

Have a garage sale together. If he lets you sell all his shit, then he’s the guy for you.

I made that one up. But let me tell you… that should absolutely be on the list. Last weekend TNG and I had the yard sales to end all yard sales. Being the obsessive person I am, I of course spent the two weeks prior pulling every piece of junk from my boxes and his entire house (mostly his house), organizing them into sections in the living room, pricing every item with a sticker, advertising online and making signs. Each night, he stood in front of the piles of his past looking longingly at his rusted red-painted floor lamp from 1972.

On the morning of the sale, I woke him at 4am. He looked at me like I was crazy. I said, “You think I’m crazy, but they’ll be here in an hour.” Sure enough, just as I had dragged the last stack of plaid flannel bedding out to the table (neatly tied and tagged of course), headlights flooded our driveway. The early birds (or bottom feeders as TNG angrily called them after they offered $1 for his beloved lamp) had their own flashlights, and they were ready to buy. One guy even wore a headlamp.

“How about fifty cents for this?” asked one lady who held up TNG’s poster of a Gargoyle. I saw the words “That’s not for sale” forming in a bubble above his head so I rushed over to her and whispered a price behind my hand. We haggled with our hands over our mouths like the pitcher and catcher in the World Series, and soon she walked off with the poster that used to hang prominently over the couch.

At the end of the day, as we watched the last piece drive away, TNG looked at me with panic. “I think we sold too much!” he said. He spent the next few days wandering through the house saying, “Wow, it looks a lot nicer in here. I guess that garage sale was a good thing after all.”

“Except,” he said, “I shouldn’t have sold that lamp.”

Gotta go. I’ve got cookies baking in my new oven.

November 8th, 2011

Sell Out

Now I’m really depressed.

It’s not you, it’s me… really. And since I’m not breaking up with you, you can believe I’m telling the truth. I’m not a dreamer and I’m not an idiot. I am fully aware that meeting the family and surviving a garage sale together are moments as common and integral to the success of a relationship as a good sex life and the ability to laugh at each other without wanting to kill each other. I’ve read enough magazine articles and surfed enough Internet to know that what you are saying about the potential and viability of a relationship is defined way more by the small and dull moments than it could ever be by the grandiose and sweeping moments. I know this in my head, but in my heart I still have a hard time making the connection. In my heart, I still fear that this is a truth I may never be able to reconcile.

Allow me to state my shallow case by addressing the menu you have so painstakingly laid out before us, one item at a time:

Meet his family… If he’s good to his mother, then he’s the guy for you.

If a guy isn’t good to his mother, chances are a woman with a pulse will know it by the second date. A guy who treats his mother poorly will usually reveal himself by then. A guy who treats his mother poorly is either, A) a complete asshole, B)… well, he’s just a complete asshole. Passing this test is like passing finger painting in kindergarten… It’s truly nothing to brag about.

Get sick. If he takes care of you, then he’s the guy for you.

The first time I took this test, I received a D. My girlfriend was home alone with a fever of 103 and I played both ends of a softball doubleheader, followed by a post-game drinking session with my teammates. I’ve gotten much better. I’ve taken this test about 400 times since then and I’ve worked my way up to a C minus. My solution is this: don’t get sick.

Go on a trip. If you travel well together, then he’s the guy for you.

Isn’t this kind of easy? Let’s see… cocktails on the plane, hotel sex, great weather, hotel sex, no work, hotel sex, white sand beaches, hotel sex, gourmet meals, conscience-free shopping and yes, hotel sex. How tough is this? If I care enough about a woman to even consider taking a trip with her, the rest is gravy to me.

Live together. If you don’t kill each other in the first six months, then he’s the guy for you.

I’m glad your “living together” engine is running more smoothly of late. I’m happy you’ve moved beyond a menu of daily meltdowns and buckets of tears and you know I wish you nothing but complete and utter giddiness in your new life. Still, there’s four months to go before you reach the end of this mythical, six-month probation period… But let’s not pop the champagne just yet, champ.

Have a garage sale together. If he lets you sell all his shit, then he’s the guy for you.

………………… Oh sorry, I fell asleep on my keyboard for a second.

Call me crazy, but I’d like to think that it takes a lot more than the absence of a domestic felony at a garage sale to help a woman decide if the man of her dreams remains the man of her dreams. But, whatever floats your boat.

Oh, and congrats on the brand-new oven your collective possessions bought you… and the fact that you slept in the same bed that night.


October 25th, 2011

One Night Only

I know that all I’ve been doing is whining and complaining about my new life, so you’ll be pleased to know that my past has come back to spice things up a bit…

Hey (She Said), I know it’s been a few years since we’ve talked (had a one-night stand), but I was in your neighborhood and thought you might like to get a drink (have a one-night stand again). Anyway, if it works on your end (if you want to sleep with me and go another two years without talking), let me know. ~ Joe Schmo

I’m only shocked it didn’t happen sooner. Having been single for so long prior to meeting TNG, I had a feeling that situations like this would arise. It’s actually a good thing that this engagement has taken me out of the area code of my old life.

Hey Joe, yeah, long time. Actually, that’s not my neighborhood anymore. I’m sixty miles away now. Oh, and by the way, I’m getting married. So, sorry about the booty call, but I’m going to have to pass. Take care, (She Said)

Okay, so that’s not exactly what I said, but it’s close.

Wow, that’s great news! I hope he’s a good guy; otherwise I might have to kick his ass. You deserve only the best… Are you sure you don’t want to meet for a drink? You’re not married yet, after all.

Oh, so tempting. Not really.

Yeah, he’s a great guy, so no need for the fisticuffs. (I love that word) Anyway, take care. (She Said)

So… no drink then?

I decided not to answer. And my gut tells me I should never have answered to begin with. But this situation begs the question of what to do in the future. Because, knowing me as you do, this is bound to happen again. Not to mention the fact that I brought my phone number with me to TNG’s, which in hindsight was probably a big mistake. And yes, I am the last person on the planet with a landline.

Here’s the thing: TNG doesn’t know that this exchange took place. Does the “what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him” theory apply here or do I have to tell him every time my past resurfaces? Obviously the conversation was harmless, but I did engage in conversation with the guy. I have to believe that every once in a while, an old girlfriend looks up my man and I’m none the wiser. According to TNG’s gossipy next-door neighbor, this place has had a revolving door on it for the last 10 years (which actually makes me kind of relieved).

Luckily the emails stopped after I didn’t respond. But if the sins of the past come calling again… what’s a girl to do?

October 25th, 2011

Up All Night

The last time I received a call from the sins of my past, I answered – sort of. No, I didn’t have sex with her… I didn’t even see her. In fact, I didn’t even directly speak to her. We typed. We flirted with our keyboards. We exchanged flowery text messages and e-mails that danced around the fact that the only reason for the two of us to see each other again would be to get naked. I had no intention of laying my eyes on her, much less my hands, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the ride. Then my girlfriend at the time got wind of the exchange and all hell broke loose. It turned out that NOT getting laid on the side cost me more grief at the time than any illicit sex I’ve ever had. It’s not enough to just be good…

When it comes to past lovers, we must be very, very good.

For guys, it’s about the lure of temptation and the ego stroke of being wanted, even if the only thing we’re wanted for is what’s hanging between our legs. We’re usually more than happy to take a trip down memory lane with an old flame when the opportunity arises. We don’t even need the memories to be particularly romantic or, well, memorable.

Sure, I remember all that great sex we had (even though I was drunk every time).

Sure I remember our first kiss (I was already deciding how soon it could be until our last kiss).

Sure, I remember that weekend we were invited to your sister’s beach house (I spent the entire weekend figuring out how I could have sex with her instead of you).

When sex from the past reappears in the present, I don’t know too many guys that don’t at least give it some thought, if not action. Okay, I don’t know any guys that don’t at least give it some thought. And I know a lot of guys who give it some action.

Everybody in a relationship carries the baggage of their individual past. The later in life we commit to someone, the more baggage we bring to the table. At a certain point, we all have a decision to make: Are we about our past, and the baggage we carry, or are we about the now, and what we still believe can be? You made it clear where your choice lies… I’d like to think I’d do the same thing in your shoes.

Either way, I see no reason to share whatever baggage we carry with someone we love, if it doesn’t reveal itself on its own. Part of having someone love us is allowing them to think of us more highly than we would otherwise… Why rob someone we love of feeling this way?