Back In The Saddle

Welp…what can I say. It’s been a while. I kept purchasing the domain name annually with every intention of coming back. But nothing and everything changed and I didn’t write about it.

I watched my mom die in 2017. That is when I stopped writing. I watched her die. She was dead for six minutes and I will never forget any one of those 360 seconds. I was standing there feeling hopelessly unprepared for a life without my mother. But then I watched them save her and I’ve never been more grateful for anything in my life. I was alone with her at the hospital when it happened and it was horrifying.

Then my daughter moved across the country. I moved her actually and then I came home without her and it was horrifying.

Then I went on to have not one, but two back surgeries and it was horrifying.

Lest you think it was all bad (because why wouldn’t you think that up until this point in my morose narrative) I did get a kick ass new job. And I was able to recover enough from my divorce that I purchased a house! And my daughter moved back to town this year.

So, needless to say, with all that I had going on, I put a pin in dating.

But – I’m back in the saddle again and ready to regale you with my tales of the sugar plum fairies and gum drop mountains of the dating world. Buckle up.

The one where I’m grateful…

You can’t get through life without collecting a myriad of battle scars. Heck, even getting out of bed most days proves a challenge. Let’s face it…it’s snuggly, and warm in there.

Life is hard. And pain is real. And if you’ve met me, you know that those two statements tend to amplify and magnify in my world often.

So what’s a girl to do?


This girl is going to be grateful.

I mean really grateful.

Actively grateful.

Yes, life is hard, for certain; however, it is also filled with wonder. Daily. And I often forget to remember. So I’m changing that. I am being intentionally grateful for 2017.

Here’s the awkward part — I ordered a custom grateful jar on Etsy, and it’s not here yet. So I took an old vase and created a make-shift grateful jar so I could start 2017 right.

I bought this really cute paper.


They’re sticky notes. And we will write down the things we are grateful for daily. We are actually writing on the back of the paper and then folding the notes closed with the cute paper showing on the front and the note safely sealed on the back by the sticky stuff.

Then we drop the note in the jar and say thanks out loud.

This is not a new concept. I’m sure a lot of people do this. Journals, prayers, jars…whatever works for them.

And it may not change the world at large.

But I know it will change my world.

Because, if history has taught me anything, I know there will be days that I will be unable to write a note. I KNOW there will be days that the only thing I am grateful for is that I am still breathing. And I also KNOW there will even be some days where I won’t be very grateful for that. I understand that. I live it.

And you know what? On those days…I will have a jar of notes waiting for me to read. Reminding me of everything that I have. Everything that I can’t see in that moment. Everything that I need to remember.

Because I often have a very difficult time remembering things. For so long now I have trained my brain not to go back too far, to live in the moment. Which is how I’ve survived and rebuilt my life. I live in the now, or look forward. Rarely behind. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s gotten me this far. But, it is a double-edged sword. I don’t actively remember many bad things, but that means I don’t actively remember many good things either. Because I try to never go back.

So when I need to be reminded of the good, I’m hoping that I may be able to bring myself right back to the moment I saw the first cardinal of spring, or remember that amazing ice cream I tasted, or rediscover that funny joke. Or, I could possibly recall the day I woke up and all three of my kids were here at the same time and remember how it filled my heart with joy. Who knows?

I do know this, I know that I will have a jar full of positive. And that’s all I’ll need to be ready for battle.

So bring it 2017. You may be tough. But I’m grateful. And fierce. And now I have a way to safely remember. I can take you.


The other time with the hot sauce…

So, I wish I could tell you that I only had one run in with hot sauce on a date. But I can’t. I can’t tell you that. Well, I probably could tell you that…but I would be lying.

We’ve already established that online dating is super fun, as is being set up by friends. But what many people fail to realize is just how enchanting going on a date with a guy from church can be.

It can be magical.

Or so I’ve heard. My experience with that was slightly different.

For a while when I was going through my divorce, I needed to be around others who were going through a similar situation. As much as my friends and family were supportive, there is something about meeting other people who have the same thing happening in their lives that makes you feel less alone…less like a huge failure.

So, I found a local church that had a group for divorced and divorcing people. We met every Thursday evening and went through a class on how to cope with divorce, and we talked to each other. Basically trying to figure out how to cope with divorce.

And, as is the case with any group of people meeting frequently for long periods of time, friendships developed. And I developed a casual friendship with several people in the group. We exchanged numbers and would sometimes go to the movies or other places as a group.

One day, I got a text from one of the guys asking me if I’d like to get together on our own. I didn’t have my kids that weekend, so I said sure.

I had agreed to go on my first date as a single person.

As this was the first date I’d been on since I was 19, I was a little rusty with how everything was supposed to work. But, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t like this:

I agree to let Church Dude pick me up at my house. Huge mistake, looking back – and one that has never occurred since then; however, remember I was a dating novice AND I had known him for several months at this point. Anyway, he drives up to my house to pick me up in a 10 year old car. It was a sedan. (The age and model of the car is not the actual issue…keep reading).

After we sit down in the car, he puts a radar detector up in the windshield.

This was a problem for two reasons.

  1. How fast, exactly, do you expect to be driving in a mostly residential area and never going on a highway, at all, during this drive with me in the car?
  2.  Does your car actually even go that fast?

I choose to ignore the warning voice in my head, as I figured it was probably just his habit to put up a radar detector when he sits in the car.

It wasn’t just habit. He needed it. He drove like a maniac. A blind maniac. A blind maniac with a lead shoe on. But he wasn’t wearing lead shoes. He was wearing sandals. (There will be a footwear quiz later on…hold on to this nugget of info.)

But now I’m strapped in to this car that is older than my child and kind of stuck along for the terrifying ride.

Anyway, we’d decided we were going to grab a bite to eat. He told me he really wanted chicken wings.

So – he took me to Hooters.


(Please read the above understanding who was driving and that it was before Uber and Lyft were a real thing in my area.)

Anyway, we get there, and as you can imagine, it was the perfect setting for a romantic first date. If your idea of romance is a first date in hell.

We were seated at a high top table. You’ll be shocked to know that he said I should look into getting a side job there…but maybe not, because the other wait staff would be jealous of the tips I would get due to my…you know…well, I’m not going to say it, but he did. (Boobs.)

He then proceeded to eat his chicken wings as if he was a two-year-old who had never been allowed to handle food on his own. There was sauce everywhere. On his forehead, his shirt, up his arm, even on his eyelash. He spent as much time trying to lick the hot sauce off the various areas of himself as he did talking with food in his mouth.

It was everything you’re imagining it to be.

He also had on slider sandals (think black Adidas that all athletes wear when they take off their cleats) and he was swinging his legs back and forth. Hard. And — you know where this is going — his shoe flew off his foot. And landed on the next table over. In their food.

It was truly hilarious. Except it was happening to me.

Well, you’ll be happy to know, Church Dude did not have to get into a fist fight to retrieve his shoe. But, he also did not apologize, nor did he offer to pay for their food. It was clearly not the first time he had to hop off a stool to retrieve an errant article of footwear. He was not the least bit phased shuffling across the restaurant, covered in sauce, to pick up his shoe.

Finally, having gorged himself fully on hot wings, and his feet again fully shod, the meal was blessedly over and we were once again speeding in his car hurtling toward my home. As we pulled into my driveway I was already opening my door. He started to lean over, trying to kiss me. And he asked me if he should run over to Walgreen’s to buy condoms.

Which, again, was truly hilarious. Except it was happening to me.

During my duck and weave pattern to avoid the kiss, and get out of the car as fast as humanly possible, I told him that those probably would have been better purchased prior to dinner, as they certainly would have come in handy since could have been rolled onto his hands in an effort to keep some of the sauce off.

I then went in the house quick as I could and locked the door behind me. *Shudder*

Needless to say, after that, I no longer found it necessary to go to that church group.

The time I accidentally insulted the Mayor…

Lest you think all of my posts are going to be tales of dating woes, I’m switching gears today to talk about the time I accidentally insulted the Mayor…to his face.

I have eclectic taste in music. I love alternative, rock, folk, classical, even hip hop to an extent. My iTunes account has everything from Foo Fighters to Mozart. And I love seeing live music. In fact, my very good friend and I decided to see Ray LaMontagne when he came to town a few years ago.


As you can see from this photo, we are in Chicago. (I didn’t tell her I was posting this photo, thus the heart – though I do really love her!)  I actually grew up in the city. It’s a very culturally diverse area of the country. And I love that fact. It’s one of my very favorite parts of having grown up here.

In any case, I was really excited to be going to the concert. Ray LaMontagne, for those of you who don’t know, has a very folksy sound, mostly acoustical guitar, and has a gritty voice. He’s very good.

So, the concert is at the Chicago Theater. Which is in the middle of…Chicago. Which is culturally diverse. As I’ve already established. Except…as I was watching the seats in the venue fill up, I started noticing something really abnormal.

It was not culturally diverse. At. All.

No diversity. Anywhere. Even the pages and other workers were not diverse.

And, I started to get really uncomfortable. In my entire life, I had never been anywhere in the city where I could not see the beautiful diversity that I loved. Old, young, all races, and creeds – men and women all blending together making this place great.

It started to make me feel anxious and really strange. And it suddenly became very important to me to find diversity. Why? Because I’m awkward, I guess. And I know you’re thinking that “of course there was no diversity at a folk concert, and of course the venue would be filled with yoga pants wearing, latte drinking moms who look the same, you idiot”, but at that time, it didn’t occur to me that this was the case.

So now, I was obsessed. I was watching all the people as they entered the auditorium. The yoga pants wearing moms who dragged their husbands with…people like my friend and me, who got sitters and were having a big night in the city…and others who all looked the same. And I pointed this out to my friend. And she patted my hand and told me to calm down.

But I couldn’t calm down. I needed to find diversity. I wanted to feel the heart of the city.

And then I saw her. I saw the one person I’d been praying to see. I needed to see. And she was beautiful. She was cutting across the aisle of seats about four rows in front of us.

So, at this point, a normal person would let it go. But not me. Nope. I gestured to her with my chin, while saying to my friend, “oh, whew, finally”. But this beautiful woman wasn’t alone. She had a man following closely behind her. In fact, she was showing the Mayor to his seat.

And the Mayor thought I was gesturing to him with my chin. So he picked up his hand and began to wave at us.

Now, I had only ever seen him on TV. And I live in the suburbs now, so I really don’t pay much attention to him. That is my excuse for what I did next.

I gasped. Then I said, loudly, “OH MY GOD IS HE SHORT! HE’S REALLY THAT SHORT?! MAN, HE’S SHORT!”

Simultaneously, he wretched his hand back down shooting me a dirty look, while my friend elbowed me in the side telling me he was standing right there and could hear me.

So, that wasn’t awkward.

In my defense, if you’ve met me, you know I am not what anyone would describe as tall. I say I’m 5’2″, but that is just when I’m standing on a chair, on a hill, wearing stilts. I think that maybe I was just in shock at finding a similarly sized person in real life. Or maybe I just don’t get out much. Either way, it’s clear that I don’t always remember to censor the things going through my head before they come out of my mouth. So…yeah.

But, you’ll be happy to know, as the venue started to really fill up, and more and more people showed up, the diversity of the city that I was so afraid I’d miss wasn’t an issue. More and more people came. All races, creeds, and ages. And it was a beautiful concert.

Except for the death stares I was getting from the Mayor.

The one with the beer…

After all the concerned responses I received on Facebook after my post yesterday, I have to admit that I’m a little nervous posting this one today. But, if I can’t be a good example – a shining beacon of hope – then I guess I’ll settle for being a terrible warning. Eat your veggies kids! And don’t go on dates!

Just in case you’re wondering, not all bad dates originate when meeting someone online. Sometimes your friends or acquaintances take it upon themselves to set you up. (I am 100% not opposed to that. In fact, I have met several nice people this way – and – if you have someone in mind that you think I should meet, by all means, introduce me.)

But, sometimes…well, sometimes you are left to wonder exactly what your friend thinks of you. And how exactly they came to know such wildly diverse people. Do your friends even know you? Sometimes I wonder if I get set up on these dates based solely upon the fact that our mutual friend just happens to know two single people. (I think that is probably the case 97.5% of the time.)

Such was the case with one date I went on a few years back. I used to belong to a divorce support group. It was a bunch of people who were going through a similar tear in the reality of their life who liked to get together once a month and have appetizers and cocktails. Not such a bad deal when you are trying to figure out what just happened. Anyway, as is likely to happen when you are thrust into a group of people experiencing a similar situation, friendships formed.

Well, one of these friends said there was a friend at work that I ABSOLUTELY had to meet. We had similar senses of humor and were sure to get along famously. So, what did I have to lose? I said he could have my number. (For those of you wondering, why yes, yes in fact this is the time that I learned never to do this again.)

We exchanged a few texts and decided to meet up for lunch the next Saturday. He wanted to go to the Outback by the mall (a different mall than yesterday’s post), and I said sure. So, I show up at lunchtime and meet my lunch date.

When he arrived, the first thing I noticed was his lack of teeth. He was missing approximately three on the top that I could see. But that was soon to become a non-issue when I very quickly noticed his lack of personal hygiene. It was either that, or his cologne left a tremendous amount to be desired in the olfactory department.

Having not been on many real dates in the previous 20 years, and being polite, I did not turn around and leave. I sat down with him and decided to partake in the noontime meal. I did not realize at that point, that it would have been perfectly okay to bow out gracefully (or even awkwardly), and I figured that I needed to give the guy the benefit of the doubt as a one human being to another. I have since come to adjust my stance on benefits of the doubt, but I digress.

In any case, we ordered our lunch and drinks. I had iced tea and he ordered a 22oz beer. He hoped I didn’t mind, but he was nervous. I honestly can’t even tell you what, if anything, we talked about over lunch. Because I was so focused on the beer. Initially it was to take my mind off the teeth/hygiene thing. But increasingly, it was because of the quantity of beer being ingested. He had five.



22oz beers.

At lunch.

Anywho, as we were blessedly leaving, I asked him how he intended to get home. It was then he said he had to drive across the parking lot to the mall and pick up his kids. (Wait. What?!) Apparently he’d dropped them off there to hang out while we were at lunch because it was his weekend with them.


Not only was this drunk fool thinking he was going to drive, he was going to have children in the car.

So, I told him that he could either call a cab, or I would call the police. Or, if he preferred, we could call both and see who showed up first. I was sure that not only would the police love to educate him about the perils of driving while intoxicated,  they’d probably for sure want to talk to him about what was and was not appropriate child care.

Well, you’ll be happy to know, that even though I am THE MOST FRIGID BITCH ON THE PLANET AND OF COURSE MY HUSBAND LEFT ME BECAUSE WHO COULD BLAME HIM along with some other very choice words, the cab was called, and in the end, at least for that day, that smelly, toothless wonder and his children, along with all the other drivers on the road, made it home safely.

And my friend at the support group? Well, we aren’t friends anymore.


The time with the hot sauce…

For those of you who don’t know, online dating is a magical world filled with unicorns and rainbows. There is a candy cane forest and gum drop mountains. And all the people wander the streets of the interweb being overwhelmingly respectful to one another saying things like “good day” and “top of the morning” to each other.


Except it isn’t like that. At. All.

And yet, for some reason, this is pretty much what is available to people who work and parent and don’t have a lot of free time to meet other people. This is what dating has become. And many of our passports are well and truly stamped with all our visits to this wonderland of ick.

Sometimes you meet decent people just looking to make a connection. But it doesn’t work out for one reason or another.

And other times you don’t meet people like that.

Other times are the exact opposite of that.

And you can’t believe you even have to ask what the hell he thinks he’s doing trying to poke you with his unicorn horn because not only is this is the first time you’ve met and you’re standing in the parking lot of a Mexican fast food restaurant that he claimed has “the best” food around and you suddenly found out he lives with his mom even though he’d never mislead anyone because he’s so honest and his ex-wife is a nutjob because he is a catch and can’t he just have a kiss after drinking (yes, I said drinking) a container of hot sauce and when can we have sex because boobs?

Sadly, this little nugget summarizes a recent date I went on.

In real life.

And what is even sadder is that I don’t think it even cracks the top of the list of my bad dates. But those, well those each deserve their own posts. Perhaps, those may even deserve their own blogs. But I digress. Let me tell you about this super fun evening…

I was matched with this man online. He and I did a fair bit of exchanging emails and texts prior to deciding to meet up in person. He seemed normal. He had a good job, in fact was the dean of students (put a pin in that, you’re going to want to reference it later) at a high school a few towns over, he knew the difference between there, they’re, and their (harder to find than you’d think), and he seemed like a decent kind of fellow.

He asked me if I would meet him for dinner at the Mexican restaurant by the mall because they have THE BEST food. I said sure…I like Mexican food, and we’d been talking for a little while so I figured we could make it through an entire meal. So I agreed to meet him at the place by the mall.

Now, to my knowledge, there was only one Mexican place by the mall. So that’s where I went. And I stood in front of the restaurant and waited for him. About ten minutes later I got a text asking me where I was. I said, I’m standing in front of the restaurant. He texted me back saying that no I wasn’t because he, in fact, was standing in front. I looked around and, no, he wasn’t there. I was. This went on for a few texts and then he asked me where I was exactly. And I said I am right in front of the door at La C… Then he said, Oh! You’re at the wrong restaurant. That food sucks! Come to the restaurant behind the mall. The food is so much better here!

Good Lord! I was embarrassed. I had no idea there was even another Mexican restaurant on the other side of the mall! And I really like the food at La C… They have great margaritas and authentic food with a great atmosphere. But if this place was better, then I surly should have known about it… regardless, I got in my car and drove over there.

And then I pulled up…to the restaurant…and it had a drive thru…and was a fast food place…and then I realized that he wanted to meet me at the quick burritos place that used to be a Burger King.

I realize now I should have kept driving, not because I’m too good for a fast food place, but because it really set the tone for what was about to go down. But he saw me and waved, and I have a fairly open mind, so I parked the car and got out.

We exchanged hellos, went inside, ordered and sat down with our food.

And then the fun started.

Between telling me his life story, in which every other word was the “f” word, he asked me how large my chest was and told me he couldn’t wait until we were at the point we could have sex in our “relationship”. In fact, did I want to go do that now? No? Yeah, you’re right, sometimes anticipation is better. He would probably need to go home and take care of things though because he was so excited to see me. Because he sure did like my boobs. And he could tell I had my shit together and boy did that turn him on. Oh and by the way his ex-wife killed their unborn child and because she made more money than he did he felt he needed more maintenance from her and his mom says he’s a catch but she’s a horrible roommate because she doesn’t love his dog as much as he does and can we have sex now because…boobs? Boy I sure was quiet, did I like to make noise in bed? And he was really glad I came to dinner because…boobs. Then he picked up the cup of hot sauce he had on his tray and drank it like it was a soda.

So, I clearly needed go home. Now.

I’m fairly sure that the person sitting across from me, and the person I had been communicating with had to be two different people. Or possibly schizophrenic.

I stood up, made my excuses, and began to walk to my car. He followed me and asked me when he would know if it was a time I felt comfortable and ready for sex with him. I told him he would know right now, that it was NEVER. GOING. TO. HAPPEN. 

I turned to open my car door. And he was standing right behind me at this point. And he said hey, wait a minute. And reached up. And began pulling my hair away from my neck. And started to try to kiss and lick the back of my neck.

And then…I elbowed him in the gut really hard, threw open my car door, and drove away like a bat outta hell.

He texted me fairly quickly after that…I wasn’t even home yet. He said it was wonderful to meet me. And he couldn’t wait to see me again. And he’d forgotten to ask me what my favorite sex position was. And did I like oral? And boobs. Or did I like anal? Or…

It was at that point that I was able to pull over and block his number from the dating app.

Then I began examining every single one of my life choices. And shook my head because as charming as this evening was, there had been others that were even more enchanting. I wish I was embellishing, but I truly can’t make this stuff up.





In the beginning…

There may have been a point or two in my life when I was smooth…normal even. In the far, far away, way – way past. That was before.

Before what, you ask? Ah…before that life blew up in my face and I began living this new, megnificently (yes, I meant to say megnificently) awkward life.

In the words of every 12-Step Program: Hello. I’m Meg – and I’m Megnificently Awkward. (This is where you say, “Hi Meg!”)

What’s so awkward about you Meg?

Lets just say I know my way around bringing a conversation to a screeching halt. Or falling down standing still. Or making a wildly sharp turn when sitting in a chair. Spilled milk? Child’s play! Trust me. 

My life is way more like this pamingo ornament of mine than anything else.

Wait. What’s a pamingo?

Well, my Megnificently Awkward Pamingo the creation of two broken ornaments I had. Rather than throwing them away, my kids used the broken pieces to create a new, awkward one that they then hung in a place of honor on the tree. Because why not? Isn’t life about picking up the pieces and moving on? My life is anyway.


Join me on my journey and read all about my Megnificently Awkward life. It’ll be fun (for you).