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Guest Post: Ch-ch-ch-change

7 Feb

Today’s post comes from a reader and a friend. Jaime and I played roller derby together and from her I learned that hard work, dedication and patience can pay off. I also learned that you can be a seriously hot mama and rock the world just by being yourself. She’s got some really great things to say in this post about being real with yourself, defining and living your best life, and facing challenges head on! I heart her face and hope you all enjoy her piece. -Sport

A year or so ago, a friend of mine started a blog about being 30 and how she was not happy turning the big 3-0. I, an old pro of 33 (at the time), posted a reply stating how wonderful it was. You have money! You are finally comfortable in your own skin! You know what you want to be when you grow up and you get to do it every day!

The truth is – I lied.

Every statement posted was a saccharine-infested fib.

Ninjabread men no like saccharine-infested fibs

For me anyway. Each birthday of my 30s has brought along with it a huge upheaval, both good and bad, of everything I’ve ever known:

• A week before my 30th I started a new job in an industry I thought I would enjoy and could grow in. (Yeah! A grown up job! Finally!)

• On a perfect Colorado fall day, a month after turning 30, I married a wonderful man who thinks I’m amazing (thought that would never happen!).

• For my 31st birthday I had settled into the first trimester of a very welcome pregnancy.

• I celebrated my 32nd birthday with a beautiful 4-month-old baby girl, a “mild” case of post-partum depression (it felt like a horrible case to me, but hey, I’m not a medical professional), and a body that was in constant pain due to hip and lower spine displacement issues. I hated being in my skin. Hated it.

• For my 33rd birthday my husband was two months into his first year of medical school and, unexpectedly, without a job. But I finally had relief from the pain, without drugs, and that was a huge plus.

• Last year, on my 34th birthday, I was down to working only 24 hours a week, which doesn’t leave much room for saving, and was once again pregnant. The cherry on top was the horrible realization that what I was doing for a living was not really what I wanted to do after all.

This year, the year I turn 35, will be the start of a long-term, change of living for our family. In a few short months I will leave my job to be a stay-at-home mom. It was after much debate, much indigestion, and very little sleep that the decision was made.

But I am still concerned about the future.

The realization that, in a few short months, there will be absolutely no income into our household is a bit staggering. How the hell will we provide basic needs for four people with no income?

I’ve always lived a very middle class life – never needed for anything, but never had to utter the ‘B’ word, much less live by it. If we wanted a new coat or book or whatever, we went to the store and got it. No one said “Not this week/month, it’s not part of the budget.” I, we, lived a good life.

We’ve already started the process of re-learning what it means to live your best life, and I admit, it’s been hard on me. I don’t how to live frugally or seriously abide by a budget. While some decisions will be easy (I will gladly eat ramen noodles so my daughter can have fresh strawberries and deli ham, the cable is long gone, and we’re all using cheap shampoo) some will be much harder – what can I sell for grocery/electric/water money? What bill can wait to be paid?

My grandmother always said that god only gives you what he knows you have the strength to handle – I’m going to trust her on that one. So one step at a time is how it’s going to be for now. No point in living life curled up in a ball on the closet floor crying and shoving Oreos into your face.

Besides, I’m always up for a good challenge. Keeps life interesting.

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Guest Post: Fuck, someone noticed!

27 Jan

Today our girl Shel talks about some hard shit. On one hand she’s talking about her weight  and health and how she’s going to deal with her situation.  But she’s also echoing the ideas of accountability and community that we’ve been mentioning this week. I must say, I’m on board with you, Shel! Be it support, well-timed jokes, or recipe swaps, I’m on Team Shel for this awesome undertaking.  <3

Last week, my best friend said I was fat.  I am paraphrasing, of course.  And while it came from a place of love, there was a second when I thought to myself “fuck, someone noticed!”  Umm…duh.

I have lived all my life pretty much ignoring the fact that I have weight issues and I am always so shocked when someone brings it up, or when my VW sized ass prevents me from doing something or wearing something that I feel like I should be able to do. 

In elementary school, it was noticed and brought up, but so was big ears, being tall, being short, being skinny, etc…everyone gets picked on in elementary school so it never seemed anything but ordinary.  In junior high, it was noticed but I was smart and funny, played volleyball and basketball and was a pretty popular fat kid.  So again, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.  In high school, I was super punk rock and played the violin.  I purposefully made myself noticed.  I was “the girl with the mohawk”, not the “fat girl”.  In my adult life, I have never wanted for friends, boyfriends, sex partners.  I have never let the fact that I wasn’t a size 6 stand in my way of getting anything I wanted.  My heath has always been good, no high blood pressure, no diabetes, never had high cholesterol.  I am outgoing, vivacious, fucking adorable and have always been up to something.  Not to mention a better than average self-esteem.  In short, my junk in the trunk was easy to ignore.  Until last week.

Last week, over an amazing Venezuelan dinner in NYC, my best friend said I was fat.  We talked about it, nothing was ignored, reality was on the table.  And because I love myself almost as much as he loves me, I committed to him that I would speak to my doctor and have a serious conversation regarding my weight.  Friday, after the nurse returned a blood pressure reading of ‘high’ for the first time in my life, that conversation happened.  I would say my timing is impeccable.

I talked, my doctor listened.  My doctor talked, I listed.  It was a highly productive and given my blood pressure rating, highly motivational chat.  Apparently, as you get older (wait…I am older too?  Son of a bitch!) your body has a more difficult time compensating for extra weight.  Everything works harder, your heart, your liver and kidneys, and therefore runs down much quicker.  And frankly, I have no time to be running down.  I have way too much shit to do.

So, with that conversation, some typical obsessive/compulsive spreadsheet creation, and enrolling some key people in my goal, a number was set. 50 pounds by Jan 01, 2012.  I struggled with whether or not to put this out into the public domain but I am hoping by doing that, I will be held accountable.  By saying the words out loud, I have made it real.  Here’s to keeping it real, ya’all.

By the way, my BFF also said that I am whoring around too much (validating my self-esteem, thank you!) and drinking too much.  In my defense, Rome wasn’t built in a day and I need a cocktail.  One thing at a time.

Guest Post: Older and wiser?

5 Jan

Happy New Year, scoundrels! We hope your year has started off fabulously!

You all remember our girl vaguelycool? Well she’s back at it giving us a glimpse into the world and wisdom of a super busy, super dedicated mom and wife. This run down of oh-so-rad wisdom gems is exactly the sort of stuff we hope to learn in our 30s as we embrace 2011!

————————————–

I was told I was getting old last week. OLD? I’m 35 – my God I’m not old – shit, I’m just getting going here! Old. Even more insulting/humorous/ironic, this was pointed out to me by a woman about my mother’s age, so I knew it was probably true, she said it in a kind way and she wears sensible shoes.

Ah, if only...

Agh, who the fuck cares. I’m actually enjoying my age. Happily married, second kiddo under my belt, two mortgages, two (f-ing stupid) cats, an annoying dog, I don’t drive a mini-van and I’m still wearing the same size jeans I was when I was in college…..ok, so maybe one size larger. I have a financial future, I have life insurance, a will, I’m comfortable in my skin….I’m happy.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned in my 35 years, in no particular order:

  • Smiling is free and it really can make someone’s day
  • It’s good to try not to swear. Fuck.
  • Matching underwear, while nice, is not necessary – clean underwear is a must
  • Good grammar and spelling is really important
  • Charity – I find something that works for me and make sure I do it regularly
  • Manners, at the end of the day, that’s all one has
  • I will sacrifice absolutely anything for my children and my husband
  • I don’t ask friends to help me move, I hire movers
  • I love to have a cocktail or two, always will
  • Pointless bullshit has no place in my life, nor do vapid, pointless people
  • Accepting my family for who they are is a continuing journey – one I’m dedicated to and don’t always do a good job
  • Being blunt doesn’t have to overtake being kind
  • Priorities change
  • Never say never; really
  • I want to be remembered as a truly special person, a loving person, a smart person but most of all a great mother and wife
  • Practice compassion
  • Finally, and most importantly…..exit gracefully

Guest Post: A Jailed Christmas

27 Dec

This is a Christmas tale worth reading. Seth graces our blog with his “this boy is prone to mischief” antics once again.

Walking the Holiday Line

As a 32 year-old male, I now consider myself to be fairly wise, even if I still don’t feel completely mature. To be fair, I set the bar very low in my 20’s, so both wisdom and maturity are still extremely relative. With my current driving privileges somewhat…limited at the moment, and while I was driving past a cop today on Santa Fe here in Denver, I was reminded of the week of Christmas, 2000.

I have never been one to try and make myself out to be some great shining example of a human being. In most time periods of my life, I’ve been nothing but an example of what not to do. Unless you really want to have a lot of fun and regret it later.

————————————————————————————————————

Jealous? Yeah, actually, with that kind of MPG who wouldn't be?

I don’t remember there being a lot of snow on the ground that week, but I also know we weren’t blessed with the joyful tidings of a never-ending autumn like we have been this year. I know there was snow at some point already that year, because I had slid into a gas station pole fixture and dented my Suzuki Swift. Which, by the way, filled up for only $9 and drove me over 400 miles.

That day, 22 year-old me forgot to stop fully before turning right at a red light on my way to work. As a result, I got pulled over, and unfortunately I’d brought some opium with me since me and my friends at work liked to smoke it on our lunch break. Stopping fully at the red light wasn’t the only thing I’d forgotten to do in regards to the law that year. A while back, I also “forgot” to pay a ticket that I got for having no insurance. Strangely enough, neither the cop nor the judge who issued my bench warrant seemed to have forgotten. Continue reading

Guest Post: We’re trying, dammit!

23 Dec

Lorrie’s guest post today is honest. I was reading it and thought back to my rant about my mother last week. Things aren’t as black and white as I try to make it when dealing with her. I have to step back and realize that she’s just trying to do the same thing I am: create happiness. I can’t lie, Lorrie. It is hard to see past the ‘spiteful and impatient and petty and prickly’ we all call mom.

~~~~

Sport here! Var and I had a veritable throw down after reading this post about how we interpreted it.  My take: Moms, listen up! Your kids are showing you through their actions that all the extra pressure you’re creating around the holidays and all the over-the-top crap you’re doing isn’t what matters.  Ask any kid and they’ll tell you, they’d rather have a happy mom over a stressed out mom for the holidays. I understand the desire to do extra special things around this time of the year to create memories. Just make sure the memory you’re creating isn’t one of you pouting every Christmas because you feel under appreciated.  – I think whatever you take away from this piece, it’s great food for thought heading into the next couple of days.

And now, on to Lorrie’s take…

__________________

Two days ago, I came down with a wicked cold. This evening, I decided to mix cold medications and rum and this is the letter that resulted. Please note: all children and pets were safe during this endeavor. I taught the oldest one– the cat, not the kid– how to dial 911 if need be!

Dear Scoundrels,

You all have mothers. At some point, you did, unless you were spawned, or grew from a spore, which is pretty frickin’ sweet and I’d like to hear about it some time. But, for the purposes of this missive, I’m going to assume the majority of you have mothers, and, in some capacity, are visiting/dealing/putting up with her right now.Kids and the toy Santa.

I have a mom. She’s on the awesome side of things: she looks a lot like me (score one for genetics!) and drinks and smokes and, if she’s feeling on the bawdy side of things, swears like a sailor. She’s one of my best friends, and I couldn’t have gotten through a good stretch of my life without her.

That said: she drives me absolutely batshit.

I will not detail any of the traits which push me towards that brink of draining the bottle of rubbing alcohol and driving my car head-long into a bus-full of nuns– I love her enough to know that’s not a Christmas gift. I will also not detail the parts that I find most spectacular, as I already know, upon reading this, she will demand to hear all of them, as she will be greatly offended that there is anything about her I don’t like.

How do I know this? Well, for one thing, I’ve known her all thirty-one years of my life. For another, I’m a mother myself.

Granted, my kids are (newly) seven and (almost) five. They have yet to form any really complex reactions to me– currently, I am saintly or evil. My daughter is my husband borne a girl, and, as such, she is terrifically endearing and infuriating in the same breath. I am, however, the mother of a mama’s boy and, by God, they are the best people on the face of this earth. But, for both, I still fall firmly into one of those aforementioned camps, despite my best intentions.

Being a mother is a mind-fuck in the best of circumstances, but is something else entirely in the holiday season. It is a given that, every year, I bust my ass to give both my kids the best Christmas possible, to get them gifts they’ll love, they want, and, inevitably, I am blown out of the water by another person. My daughter’s first real Christmas (that is, the first at which she could interact, being all of four days old at her first), mostly broke, I spent months tracking down and buying her gifts that would encourage her spirit and creativity. Christmas Eve, my husband went to Target for something and, in addition, bought her a five dollar pack of rubber balls. Six years later, she still speaks of these rubber balls, as though they contained magical properties. We still have several of them, and she cherishes them. The beautifully-handcrafted wood toys I got her that Christmas? I think they were all donated a year later.

Every year is like this, and, yet, every year, I attempt to win the coveted Mom of the Year crown. I judge myself mediocre at best most of the year, but something about December turns me into the Martha Fucking Stewart of mothering. I bake. I sew. I decorate. I wrap. I host. Things get haywire. I, like this year, come down with a crippling cold, but I’m still here, with my needle and thread and maniacal plans. I’m that mom when the tinsel goes on the tree.

The thing is: most of us are that mom at one time or another. And that’s what I’m here to tell you, Scoundrels: we are that mom because we love you. It may sound trite, or dumb, but most of our meddling, our over-enthusiasm, our pushiness, it comes from our desire to show that love in a sort of fireworks way. And, like most humans, we’re damned sloppy about it. We’re spiteful and impatient and petty and prickly– I’ve spent the last week feeling sorry for myself because “no one appreciates me!” We put ourselves in this position and, really, we can’t wonder when our children and other assorted family gets frustrated with our whiny asses.

That said: we’ll do it anyway.

So, my friends, what I’m saying (in a nicely drunk, roundabout way) is: please be gentle with your mothers. In a way, we’re all drunk on rum and cold meds, and all we want is to wrap you up in that festive Santa paper and make your heart happy the whole year ’round.

Merry Christmas, Scoundrels, from your very own resident (until Sport sprogs, that is) mama.

XOXO, Lorrie

Guest Post: Elopement–No Bells, No Buffet, & No Bullshit

26 Nov

Annnndddd, here we go again. What is up with you women and weddings.*gags* The 30s really do get that clock to ticking louder, eh? Being gay is so convenient. I don’t have to worry about any of the bells, buffets, or as Maria titled it, bullshit. Thank you gay-marriage haters of the United States. I salute you. (I’m also giving you the finger. Stop trampling on other people’s rights. Why can’t we all me miserable during and after matrimony.) Nonetheless, Maria has the ticket. If you’re going to fucking do it, do it in stealth. Less money. Less headache. More dubious. *wringing hands* I love dubious.

It may be fun to look at wedding porn for a few seconds, but eventually, nausea sets in and you’re ready to blow up the nearest bridal boutique. You think all you need is a dress, but then it turns into a dress, a veil, shoes, fake flowers for your hair, bouquets, bridal party attire, catering, favors for your guests, a wet bar, a 5-piece band, an exorbitant rental fee for some cheesy location and a crackpot preacher, and a giant migraine. You can get seriously ill thinking about your “perfect” traditional wedding.

Your reasons may be different from mine, but what I’ve decided is that elopement is looking pretty good. I’ve been engaged for almost 15 months now, I don’t have some giant frilly dress, I haven’t set a date, and I honestly don’t plan on doing any of that. I have a ring on my finger and a fiancée who’s willing to spontaneously tie the knot when the mood strikes.

“Planning” an Elopement

I may hate the idea of having a whiny flower girl and snot-nosed ring bearer, but that doesn’t mean I’m completely heartless – just almost. In my opinion, the courthouse isn’t the place to get hitched. I don’t want to remember the felon or the lawyer sitting next to me waiting for the judge when I recall my wedding day. You may be less of a fairy tale princess, but when it comes down to it, I don’t want to be starting my marriage with divorce candidates or unsavory characters. My fiancée and I are planning to simply pick up our marriage license from the courthouse and run off to some undisclosed location for the actual ceremony. And the best part about this is that we’re not setting a date – we’re both ready to get married, but we’re enjoying the engagement and the idea that children are only in our nightmares.

We’ve talked to our local county clerk’s office at the courthouse about how long it might take on certain days at certain times, we’ve checked out gardens and parks, and we’ve found short-notice officiants who can be persuaded to meet us and get us on our way to married life for a reasonable fee.

In our county, we have to wait 72 hours between getting our marriage license and having our ceremony, so there’s a little bit of planning ahead there. But the bulk of the planning is actually the honeymoon – the best part of the whole wedding shitstorm and the only reason people ever survive traditional ceremonies in the first place. To get everything in order, we’ll plan two weeks ahead for the honeymoon, which is still pretty spontaneous for a marriage. It’s no shotgun courthouse wedding, but it’s not the year of planning recommended by any wedding porn magazine you pick up either. It’s just enough peace of mind and flexibility for a couple of thirty rotten scoundrels.

Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education, where recently she’s been researching different online msw degrees and blogging about student life. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

Guest Post: Branded–The Scarlet H

17 Nov

We’re breaking new ground, scoundrels. This guest post is endearing and honest, but mostly, it’s reality. So many people are affected by STDs. I’m not sure how much this conversation is had in the open, but today is as good as any to start a public dialogue about what many sweep under the rug and pretend doesn’t exist. For the sake of anonymity, we’ll call this guest blogger Mary, Mary Quite Contrary. Mary is braving what we wouldn’t ever want to experience–navigating dating with an STD.

TTTM has yet to venture into the territory of STDs, dating, and the oftentimes fact-less stigmas that are attached to STDs and the people that have them. Regardless of how you feel about this topic today, you will undoubtedly walk away from your monitor/laptop/PDA/whatever with food for thought. This is definitely a subject worth the conversation.

I’m 30 years old and I just found out this summer that I have herpes.

There, I said it. It has been weighing on my chest (and genitals) for several months now.

And, no, if you saw me walking down the street you would have no idea that I have a Sexually Transmitted Disease. I may wear the occasional low cut shirt, but my cooter is always covered, and I’m not out on the town slutting it up.

I actually got herpes (more specifically, HSV 2, the down south kind) from my last boyfriend, Continue reading

Guest Post: Doing It (and by “It” I mean “The Math”)

16 Nov

Hauntologist brings this post to us today. I think the concept of PMDA that he proposes is quite interesting. I really don’t believe in dating younger than myself. Maybe it’s because all my male counter-parts have been older. Maybe it’s just that I think those younger than me smell like Similac. Either way, I wouldn’t shun them for a good roll in the hay. They just aren’t long term material, and they definitely won’t be meeting any of my friend. Fuck that shit!  I will say I’m glad this topic came up. A friend on Facebook posed a question last night. She asked, “How much of an age difference is too much of an age difference?” Well, ladyface with the pool boy (who is sizzling btw), let’s see if you can get some insight from Hauntologist and the rest of the TTTM community. Enjoi!

On this week’s episode of Bones Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and her partner Agent Booth (David Boreanaz) investigated the murder of a young man aboard a “Cougar Cruise” – a shipboard party for older women on the hunt for (often much) younger men. In response to the puritanical Booth’s protestation, Dr. Brennan offered the following formula for the Permissible Minimum Datable Age (hereafter PMDA): half one’s age plus 8.

PMDA=1/2 + 8 Continue reading

Guest Post: Another installment of the Seth Chronicles

15 Nov

Tales from the Stripped: You’re About to Enter another Dimension: The Friend Zone.

The notion of friend-birds seems to be resonating with a lot of us scoundrels lately. There was Girlasaurus Rex, then my post on friday, and now Seth brings us his “friend” (Not sure why I put that in quotes. Oh well.)  situation(?) today. My god, people. It’s Monday, I’m still trying to get the synapses firing. Look. Just read it, and give the boy some of your sage wisdom/anecdotal evidence of why he should or shouldn’t take this friend to fuck-buddy status. Who knows? Maybe even girlfriend status?!

Something I’ve come to realize in my roller-coastery 32 years, is that I value friendship over ass these days. It’s not that I don’t value ass. I am still a breathing male with a cock, after all. But it’s just that ass is ass, and ass comes and goes. Friendship is essentially what gets you from ass to ass. I mean, if you built a brick wall of your 30’s, the bricks would be things like ass and promotions; the mortar would be friendship (and maybe family). So yep, your life is basically just a big, thick brick wall of ass. (She’s a brick…..house). Don’t tell me you weren’t just doing the Worm to the Commodores right now. Continue reading

Guest Post: Standards? What Standard?

27 Oct

I think we all remember the day that we decided we had a list of wants and definitely-do-not-wants in a potential mate.  I juxtapose the partner I wanted and the partner I may never have all the time; hence, me living in Singledom Valley. Standards drive me fucking crazy, but I know without them I’d still be in that nomadic sexcursion I lived during my twenties. Today, TheBoo talks about her list and its evolution. All I have to add is, “Why would you do this to me now, TheBoo? I have enough to think about, and I could really do without contemplating these damn lists!”

When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother, “What are standards?”  I don’t really remember what her actual answer was, but I somehow got the impression that standards are what you hold out for, no matter what else may come along…no matter how good it looks or how much it likes you.  However, as I mature and develop a better sense of self and reality, I have begun to understand that my youthful, incomplete understanding of standards was not exactly accurate.

When I was in high school, my standards developed into a List.  You know, that sheet of paper with bullet points and qualities you think you’d like to find in your spouse or life partner.

That first List had a lot of really deep and revealing attributes on it, like:

Awww yeah! Sweet hatchback. Image courtesy of bringatrailer.com

  • Dark hair
  • 6’1”
  • Clean-shaven
  • Plays piano
  • Older than me
  • Saving himself for marriage
  • Drives a hatchback

After a few years passed and I matured a little more, my list looked more like:

  • College graduate
  • Has dark hair
  • Dresses Emo
  • Hugs trees
  • Reads books prolifically
  • Isn’t a complete n00b at sex
  • Drives a black Camaro

Now that I’m in my 30’s, my understanding of what will really make me happy has matured a bit.  I don’t dress Emo anymore, my knowledge of men, relationships, and cars has expanded.  Additionally, I have quit saving myself for marriage, my last boyfriend didn’t have dark hair, and my dreams of publishing a book before I was 30 have gone unfulfilled.  I am even beginning to question the point of having a list of things I want in a mate.  Rather than a list of things I want, which has gotten less and less specific over time, now I just have a list of deal breakers:

  • Drug addiction
  • STDs
  • Kids
  • No job
  • No car
  • No hair

I may even be selling myself a little short by excluding guys with one or more of those attributes.  After all, there are probably lots of great guys out there with no car.  Or hair.  And is a job really all that important?  I could just go for Sugar Mamma status and support my boyfriend as he goes bald, contracts a bunch of STDs and procreates indiscriminately by whoring himself out in the back seat of my car to pay for his drug addiction…

Okay, maybe there really is something to standards.  Maybe they shouldn’t be as specific as they were when I was in high school, and maybe they should be stricter than they’ve been in the last few months.

My question to the rest of the world: Was holding out for a human List worthwhile?  Did it really make you happy?  Or are you, like the rest of us 30-somethings, just looking for someone who cares?  Maybe that is the be-all and end-all quality in a mate: Someone who gives a shit.

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