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Guest Post: Mmmm hmmm, I’m talking to you, married men

7 Oct

Our Guest Post today comes from Michelle Fox. And woo boy is she putting some of you on blast! As we get older we find ourselves constantly trying to marry (no pun intended, I swear) our former selves with our current identities. Sometimes, it’s a huge #FAIL. Michelle explores one of those very cases. Now, we all hope we don’t have this guy at home, and if we do, he’s about to be in the doghouse. Take it away, Michelle…

Married men who hang out at bars:  consider yourselves on notice!

I chose to celebrate the completion of some major projects at a few different venues this past weekend.  I had true experiences of fun, freedom, and release.  I met some local and national celebrities, I enjoyed a Les Nubian concert, and I made a few new friends.  What has stuck in my craw for the last two days is the energy I’ve been receiving from married men.

I promise not to get on my high horse, but if you’re going to be married, then be married.  Hanging out at a bar with friends is totally acceptable.  Hanging out at such establishments, with your left hand in your pocket while buying drinks for us single ladies is questionable.  Don’t even get me started on the bachelor that wants to come back to my place for one last night of fun.  Really??

I chose the single life for a number of reasons, but one of them includes the benefit of flirting and playing around with different people.  Again, totally OK to do the same when you’re married, but not OK if you are hitting on me with the hopes of furthering our relationship.
I ran into a co-worker from the past at a downtown establishment on Friday night.  He had two other friends with him.  One friend and I hit it off particularly well, until a bell began to chime in my head.  “Let me see your hand,” I asked.  He looked at me like a deer in the headlight.  Our mutual friend asked me how I knew he was married.  I told him the left hand in the pocket got my attention.  Not OK!

So that scene played itself out to my left.  On my right side my girlfriends had began a “party” with two other men.  Drinks were flowing thanks to the generosity of these male beings.  As I began to ask a few questions, it hit me that the more boisterous of the two was married to a former stylist of mine.  The mood quickly changed once he realized that I knew his wife.  Once again, really??

The last story I’ll share includes a “thank you God” for Facebook.  I attended a wonderful networking event where business cards were exchanged with a number of motivated people.  One of these people happens to be a married man, but I would not be able to tell by the way our conversation flowed, the absent wedding ring, and the inquisitive follow-up email I received.  Sure enough, a few clicks through the Internet produced photos of his children along with a relationship status of married.

The validation one receives from the attention of others can be seductive.  I get it!  I also get the commitment to living authentically.  This is my path, and if you are reading these words, I am guessing it is yours too.  I have no personal judgments on rules that each couple shares for their relationship.  I do have judgment about bringing in a third party without full disclosure.  I am clear that I do not tango with married men.  There are plenty of authentically single men to consider.

So married men, and soon-to-be married men, consider yourselves on notice!  I don’t think my voice on this one is going to get any quieter.

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Guest Post: Debauchery Yesterday > 30 Today > Who Knows Tomorrow

17 Sep

So when we received this submission, there was no way in hell we were going to just sit on it and not give you a gander into the seedy, debaucherous, and yet, strangely intriguing life of SG. Christ on a bike, I really love this submission. A reader that’s willing to share what many would probably frown upon. Judge. Do what you will. But read this.  –theVar

I’ll have to be presumptuous for a minute and say that for guys like me, being 30 is harder than it is for most people (and don’t say a word about how I’m already a couple of years over 30, that’s just bad form). The reason behind this selfish assumption is that everything I expected to do with my life as an adult, I already did—with panache—in my 20’s. Sadly, that lifestyle’s left me a hollow, unhealthy, burnt-out shell of a man. Continue reading

Our Most Gracious Thank You

18 Jun

Wow! Sara and I are chillaxing at our graphic designer friend’s house in total nostalgia.  I can’t believe it’s been a month already. How about you, Sara?

Sara: Right, and a helluva month at that! Thanks to our readers we’ve begun talking about things that really matter. We’ve begun to build a community. And thanks to our contributors, we’ve found that we’re not alone  in our struggle to navigate our 30s.

LeVar: Sara, do you remember that first post? GC33, what a brave soul you were. I <3 your face. Then we got the woman’s perspective on expectations from Kelly. I just wanna keep her in my pocket to give her x’s and o’s all day long.

Sara: It sure was nice to know that we weren’t alone in our questions.

And do you remember Alison’s moment where at her sister’s high school graduation, she realized that she was old enough to be her mother? Or when the Professor shared what it was like to be leaving his 30s? Or what it’s like for Lorrie as a mom in her 30s.

Or me, entering my 30s. All in the last month. Whew.

LeVar: Yes, yes, yes, and yes. I’m still in awe over Ryan and his commitment to not drinking. Oh, and we will definitely never forget about Party Girl. Can I just live in her shoes for a week I’m sure my legs would look great in her 5 inch heels and a mini dress.

ED, you can unleash that 16 year old anytime you want. *wink*  Adam…”I can still party like I’m 21, but for the two day hangover.” Let’s just say Sara’s 30th last weekend has got to be a testament to that.

Sara: So true! So very true. Thanks for the warning Adam, sorry I didn’t heed it.

LeVar: I don’t know. In all this rambling what we’re trying to say is that we are deeply grateful and overjoyed by all of you and the unconditional support from great friends, talented contributors and this fearless community.

Sara: So thank you, readers. Thank you contributors. Thank you Var for crafting and curating this blog with me.  We had over 3000 unique viewers this past month. Let’s see what we can do from here on out.

The Dry Spell

1 Jun

This is the kind of shit the 30’s are made of—alcohol, the lack of, cautionary tales, and the list goes on. We chose to post this today because as of June 1st, 2010 Ryan M. has been sober for 4 years. Congratulations, Ryan, and we wish you many more years of sobriety. If you like this post, you can check out more of Ryan M’s musings over at Diamond Studded Cougar.

So I don’t drink.

At the age of 30, I gave myself the gift of sobriety so that I could live my life with open eyes and maturity. There would be no filter of alcohol on my eThe Dry Spellxperiences.

That’s a beautiful statement, and it would be great if it went down like that. But no, I quit drinking 4 years ago because I started drinking vodka in supermarket bathrooms and was barfing all the time. A note for the youngsters: a good booze habit makes your esophagus feel like you just ate a bag of flour. This, coincidentally, is something I tried to do one time when I was hammered.

Also, I was married, had a job and a house. I didn’t want to become some cautionary tale to my extended family: “Turns out Ryan pooped on his boss’s desk, then went home and burned the house down after trying to make a grilled cheese in the dryer.”

As of June 1, 2006, I haven’t had a drink.

Oh, and I got a divorce last year.

The split had nothing to do with the years of drinking. The ex and I are still friends, it just didn’t work out. I’m in a small apartment and am constantly running out of money.

In other words…form a line, single ladies! You just hit the jackpot because a broke divorced dude who is a recovering alcoholic is on the market!

Now, I’ve dated a few women since my separation and divorce. The non-drinking thing hasn’t been an issue with them. Sure, there have been some ladies I tried to get to know who kept asking me “So, you REALLY don’t drink?” when what they meant was “So, you REALLY are a snoozefest?”

That’s okay. ‘Cause I’m a fuckin’ HOOT. I do comedy. I can go out to bars and clubs. I quit alcohol cold turkey, so I’m not always at a meeting.

Still, when I realized that I’d have to go on dates without access to booze (or as I call it, “Charm Potion” or “Drinkable Sensuality”), I panicked a bit. You mean, at 34 years old, I have to get to know people without glorious drunken optimism?

It’s the kind of happy, deluded state of mind where you see warning signs in a potential mate, disregard them, have some more shots and then French in the parking lot. That stuff is kind of fun, and it’s a bit of a drag to not be able to make horrible decisions with another person that you can later blame on being hammered, depending on how things go.

Maybe the alcohol had less to do with my mistakes than I thought. Maybe I just feel awkward because just four years ago, I had no idea that I’d be single now. But that’s what’s happening and I don’t want my next relationship to be about barf and flour.

So I don’t drink.

–Ryan M.

Image courtesy of Ryan King.

Exit- Stage 30

22 May
A 30-something turns 40.

I turned 30 right after the pandemonium of Y2K. I’m turning 40 with much less apocryphal fanfare. On Jan. 1, 2001 I watched the sun come up on a pair of backcountry skis on a mountaintop far from the predicted anarchy of Y2K. I’ll turn 40 eating macky cheese with my 2-year-old.

Leaving your 30s behind means you’re probably already divorced once. If you’re going to have kids, you have them by now, and when you start working out the math and thinking about a high school graduation in your walker, you start thinking seriously about not scratching the procreation itch anymore.

The 30s are when you settle into some career. I had four careers behind me when I turned 30. I settled into the one I liked best and like any good American consumer, I now jot down the mortgage numbers and ride my Harley when I can. Vacations to sunny beaches and bow hunting to keep the Eye of the Tiger alive (that reference will probably be lost on you 30somethings, but it was the soundtrack for Gen X football games and athletic events. Get used to it 30-somethings, the cultural world will pass you by).

If you’re lucky, your clothes still fit from 29. If you’re even luckier, you can still find that hot not yet 30 something to slake you sexual thirst. Nothing keeps you feeling young like sleeping with the young. In my 30s I took one of the top mountain bikers in the country to her Stanford graduation. Guy at the door taking tickets said “What do you teach professor?” I laughed at the squirt. “I’m her date, call me grandpa.

We men are lucky that way. If you stay fit and you figured out something to do with yourself that pays, young women find you distinguished. If you’re broke, you probably always will be and women have figured that out to. So you better get used to Internet pornography or hookers. Or Match.com and trolling for the “curvy” ones.

In your 30s you still dream of romance. By 40 you’re thinking practically about good orgasms and someone that doesn’t inspire an overwhelming urge to come and go.

You’ve had the romance gene beaten out of you by years of realizing that if you’re really good to someone, they’ll take you for granted. If you’re aloof, members of the opposite sex can’t wait to try to fix you. Everyone loves the bad boy or bad girl, and few of us have the maturity to hang on to someone who treats us well day in and day out. By 40 you stop blaming everyone else and accept that about yourself as well as others.

Midway through my 30s, while still single, my teenage nephew told me “Uncle, you used to be the cool guy with the hot girlfriends. Now you’re just turning into the weird uncle who never got married.” When you get this kind of wisdom from a teenager, of course you take it to heart.

So I got married, had a kid, and found out my now ex wife was crazy after she emptied the banks accounts, swiped my daughter and alleged that I had threatened to dress up like Santa and kill her Mormon family in Utah. I lost most of the accumulated wealth of my single years to attorneys and psychologists, and came out the other side with joint custody of my daughter and the promise of lawyers and hearing for the next 16 years.

In hindsight, I should have hired a hot stripper to be a surrogate mom for me. I would have saved a lot of money overall, and I recommend this to any of you feeling like the biological clock is ticking. Rent a partner for baby production.

Or at the least make sure whoever you procreate with undergoes a thorough psychological exam. I didn’t find out my wife needed psychological help until midway through the divorce. Not the right time. You will not be able to provide the family you dream for your children if your partner was conceived in the Ninth Circle of Dante’s Inferno. Hire a stripper instead. Women have it easy. You can buy a sperm popsicle and the problem’s solved. We men have to rent an oven, too.

So what does 40 feel like? Forty feels like nothing. Turning 30 was hard. My youth was going to be gone forever with that birthday filled with so much significance. The end of calling myself a kid. Time to grow up. Have a family. Settle into a job.

At 40, I’m trying to stay in shape to continue to enjoy the fairer sex. Raise my daughter well. Keep stuffing the bank account whenever I can so some day I can sit on a sailboat in the Caribbean and smoke cigars while watching the empty Coronas pile up on the deck.

I don’t mind the gray hair creeping in. I know that six pack abs won’t get me as far as a six figure income. I don’t really care that my wardrobe is hopelessly out of date. Stylish shoes look goofy, modern music sucks, and I’ve seen hip hugger jeans come and go twice in my life, so seeing a butt crack on a bar stool doesn’t thrill my fashion sense, thong or not. Tramp stamps have become passe’ (though there was the one girl who had a compass pointing unerringly, well, you get the picture) and pierced whatever’s are as common as New Kids on the Block t-shirts used to be.

The only social pressure you have at 40 is people expecting you to act your age. I took a little sailboat out and got heckled by a bunch of high school kids last summer. I told them to blow me and would have  mooned them if I could have managed it in the tiny boat. To hell with acting your age! Enjoy being alive. Every day above ground is a good day.

By 40 you’ve buried friends, relatives and seen the husks all around you of people who just gave up. Watched too many settle into mediocrity. You’ve known people who took their own lives because they were in so much pain. To survive this life you find joy where you can. Whether it’s in the wilderness or wondering if you just threw your back out with that 20something who was oh so enthusiastic.

Enjoy your 30s. They’ll be over before you know it. I felt like I turned 30 yesterday. We’re all dancing with the devil with one foot in the grave anyway. Show the bastard that you can still do the boogaloo.

-P

Pieces of A Thirty Mind

19 May

Face it!  Life never goes as planned unless you’re one of Manhattan’s elite. (Need a moment to recover from the nausea? I do!) Well, today’s Thirty Rotten Scoundrels are going to expose the expectations they had of the 30s and give you the reality of living them.  From marrying too early to following “The Plan”, you’re going to hear about two situations that are probably no different than your own.  We’ll start with GC33 and see how he’s tackling this decade.

33 is here, and I’m moving on to 34 at that same unassuming pace that pushed me past 30, 31, and 32. Like so many of us, I remember the slightly larger than 29 and significantly larger than 31, obligatory kickoff to my 30’s. Wife and friends at the house… “surprise”… “woohoo” … “shots”… Now get the f*** out.

No big deal really, turning 30, it’s just a birthday…. It’s the conglomeration of days afterward that make up how I really feel about my thirties. In a nutshell…”Thank F***ing God I’m out of my 20’s”!!!

Why in God’s name do people hold on to their 20’s so tightly and with such reverence? Granted everyone has their own story, but I imagine mine isn’t too much different than the average Joe. Let me sum up my 20’s, feel free to adjust ages plus or minus a few years.

These days are vaguely familiar

STAGE 1: 20-26ish: Start out on what you think is a career path and in your spare time you drink, puke, date, and f***. (NOTE: this part wasn’t so bad… unfortunately a few bad years are equivalent to a few bad apples in destructive prowess.)

STAGE 2: 26ish-29: Maybe by now, you figured out career one was a joke and you’ve moved on to career number two. Somewhere along the line you met someone worth seeing for more than a night during the “drink, puke, date, f***” stage. Oh shit, surprise! Next thing you know you’re engaged and a year or less later…WHAMO… Married! You’re living pretty decently by pooling each other’s money for your apartment rent and then decide you WANT and NEED more space, because “hey, we’re doing pretty good”! Well you eventually learn that your combined efforts were adequate for the purchase of a house…. But oh shit, you didn’t budget for that little something called… EVERYTHING ELSE! Oh, and let’s definitely not forget about that needling desire to start a family before “we’re too old”. Only now, in your thirties, do you realize what an absurd thought that was! If you’re one of the “lucky” ones, you managed to get a puppy first!

That sums up mine… pieces of that hit close to home for  you? What have I been doing since my 30th Birthday? DISMANTLING IT ALL!!! Like many of you, I didn’t start my thirties out with an intentional life overall. One day we just realize the reconstruction has started and it’s moving ahead whether we like it or not. Mine started out of necessity, mainly for the poor soul that I met in Stage 1 of my twenties and walked with me through Stage 2. I think we both hit our thirties and realized that following the “20’s process” of dating, engagement, married, house, dog/kids will eventually bring you to the question, “Now what?” For many of us, a clean slate truly is the best answer to that question.

Again, “Now what”? Well, I’m breaking completely free of process and expectation. I think I know what went wrong and I’m determined to not fall into the same decision making that sullied my latter twenties. I’ve learned that the notion of “getting it out of your system” in your early twenties in order to lay the land for the rest of your life is

Power Rangers to the rescue?

complete bullshit. On that note, I would like to cordially welcome Career Joke #3 and respectfully ask my fellow Thirty Somethings to take enjoyment in reliving Stage 1. What better way than to fully embrace your 30s than a good drink, a good puke, a good date, followed by a better f***.

Enjoy them…. I know I do!

–GC33

I can’t wait to hear what you have say Scoundrels!

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