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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: 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: 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.

Guest Post: A day in the life- shut off that fucking alarm, and where did this peanut butter come from?

20 Oct

Raw! After reading this, that was the first word that came to mind. I love the Talk Thirty To Me community because of posts like this—when we all get to peep into the private and intimate moments of other Scoundrels’ lives. However, I could do without the 7:15am mention. vaguelycool, thanks for your open, way informative, and give-me-a-laugh post. I don’t envy you. Nonetheless, I’m sure we have some mommies, wives, and all around, up-to-their necks women out there that are definitely relating to you right now. Happy reading, Scoundrels.

This was written at a stoplight.

I have no GD time. I have literally composed, edited and submitted this piece at stoplights from Denver to DTC over the last two weeks. I’m a working mother of two rascals and I have not one minute to myself in a day. I used to shop at Banana Republic between appointments during the week, swan into wine bars at 5pm and entertain clients/friends until the wee hours. I had time to read magazines, get pedicures and go on dates with my husband, and then things changed. For the better definitely, but time just…disappeared.

Here’s what my day looks like. Mind you, this is just an average weekday, not inclu

ding special events, friends/family in town or heaven forbid, a date with my husband. Just a regular day.

My day starts at 12.01am. I have been asleep for about an hour with any luck.

3:30am – feed infant son, burp him, change his little pants, settle him back to sleep

Oh, the joys of doing it all. Image courtsey of parmeter.net

4:15am – “pump my bosoms” as my 2yr old says

4:30am – go back to sleep

5:30am – husband’s stupid alarm goes off

5:40am – husband’s stupid alarm goes off

5:50 am – husband’s GODDAMNED stupid alarm goes off

6:00am – (GETTHEFUCKOUTOFBEDYOUMOTHERFUCKER) husband’s stupid alarm is turned off, husband gets out of bed

6:30am – a) infant son wakes and cries or b)2yr old daughter wakes and begins the “MUUMMYYY” deal

7:00am – nanny arrives (thank GOD)

7:15am – “pump my bosoms” and eat something – usually simultaneously

8:30am – or sometimes 9:00am – I arrive at my office

9:15am – usually discover snot, sick, yogurt or peanut butter on my suit

9:30am – 5:00pm – various meetings, lunches, pointless paper bullshit, fun client meetings and other money making duties – will typically drive about 60miles throughout the day – smile on face – pump my bosoms at 10:00am and 2:00pm – usually in a toilet stall or in my car in a parking lot

6:00pm – battle traffic home unless there is a client drinkies (here’s hoping) at a downtown wine bar

6:15 – get smothered by kisses from 2yr old, bowled over by hairy dog, receive download from nanny (learn of everyone’s poops, including graphic descriptions, and timeouts of the day, among other things)

6:45pm – complete reading an average of 6 bedtime stories, brush dolly’s hair, change a few diapers, feed dog, unpack bosom pumping bag, pump bosoms, get dinner going

8:00pm – sit down to dinner with husband. Inhale two glasses of wine (compulsory) – watch news

9:00pm – start the two hour process of going to bed – finish emails, put laundry away, pump my bosoms, husband feeds infant son

10:30pm – get into bed, attempt to read 2 pages of book (usually same 2 pages I read the night prior as I can’t remember what the book is about). Husband feeds infant son.

3:30am – get up to pump my bosoms – email TheVar about how I should write a story about how little fucking time I have…….and every single day I marvel at how lucky I am to have such a wonderful life. I’m not kidding.

What makes a person a dick?

14 Oct

Scoundrels, last night I was told that I’m a dick.

Me. A dick. And that the things I do, are dickish.

image courtsey of themawmaw.blogspot.com

My boyfriend said this after I told him about how I dropped the hammer on an inconsiderate co-worker for leaving his dirty dishes in the office sink overnight with no intention of coming to work the next day.

Did I think it was dickish to take those dishes out of the sink and put them on said co-worker’s desk? Absolutely not.

Passive-aggressive? Possibly. Confrontational? You bet your hind end. Dickish? NO!

What was dickish, was leaving dirty dishes in the sink for other people to deal with. That’s dickish.

We all have that co-worker who treats the office like his or her home and makes it miserable for others. The one that needs to be reminded to be considerate to those around them in communal spaces. The one that drives you crazy.

So I asked dear boyfriend (I love him, by the way), how is it that I’m a dick for calling someone out on B.S. behavior like that?

He says that I could have been more polite in my approach.

I say eff that noise. I’m not that co-worker’s maid. And it wasn’t an isolated incident.

Scoundrels, am I dick? Did I need to be more polite in my approach to someone with no consideration for others?  What would have you done?

 

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.

When paths diverge

28 Sep

There are times in life where you realize that you are on a different path than all of your friends.

There you are. Alone. And it’s your choices that have gotten you there.

I realized this about myself a few weeks ago. I’ll soon be the first of most of my friends to crap out a baby. Many of the friends in my circle don’t ever intend to have kiddos. But hey, this is no sob story, I stand by my decision to start a family.

The thing is, while it seems to happen at one moment when you’ve made a huge decision for yourself, you and your friends, and all the people around you are all actually on different paths. All the time. Continue reading

Guest Post: Sick & Wrong? Possibly. Happy? Most Definitely

24 Sep

Today’s guest post comes to us from Jane, a TTTM reader and blogger of Jane’s Infinite Wisdom. To be honest, we don’t know much about Jane other than she has balls of steel. Jane submitted her post to give us a little glimpse into the life less ordinary. Thanks, Jane!

“Don’t be ridiculous. You’ll never get married. You’re one of those people destined for eccentricity, yelling at kids to get off your lawn!”

I don’t remember what I said to my best friend to illicit that response but I do remember it stung enough to be able to recall it nearly 20 years later.

image courtesy of http://engagements.ca

I think I tried to get married just to spite her. I spent most of my 20’s locked in a relationship even though it didn’t feel right and I lived my life as though I was already a suburban mundane despite the fact that he and I didn’t live together, or near one another for that matter, most of the time. Once the proposal happened and the wedding planning began in earnest though, I freaked out. I ended the relationship over the silliest possible reason and walked away with a sigh of relief. Had texting been available back then, I likely would have been one of *those* people. Fortunately, my moral standing was somewhat upheld in that I was forced to do it by telephone.

Continue reading

When everyone is getting married, and you’re not

17 Aug

[tweetmeme source=”talkthirtytome” only_single=false]

I think my mailbox has seen about 4 wedding invitations this summer. I couldn’t be happier for the couples. Love is a wonderful thing and I get giddy just thinking about good marriages.

If you watch Mad Men, you know the whole world thinks that all women want is to get married.  At least that was the idea in the 60s. How much of that holds true today?

I know I want to get married, but in good time. When I’ve found the right partner, and I’ve come to a conclusion of unconditional love for that person. Not anytime before.

But I know a lot of women who say they couldn’t care less if they ever get married. They sustain long-term relationships, but the legality of marriage just doesn’t appeal to them. Different strokes.

Now I realize that admitting that you want to get married feels a bit weird. It’s like salvaging one of those burning bras and tossing it back on to confine yourself to a convention. Feels like a step backward in the big lady power movement.

I just don’t think it is. Whether my desire to get married is one that’s been indoctrinated by years of Disney princesses prancing across the silver screen or if it’s a deeply rooted drive to connect with another human being as a partner, I’ll admit it.

Guest Post: I’m too old for this shit, too young to go to bed at 8

4 Aug

She’s a Girl with Glasses can’t be the only one out there in this predicament. Wait. Should I use the word predicament? I mean, we non-children-having-some-would-say-lucky bastards may be in the predicament. All I know is I don’t have kids. I’m one of the fucks she keeps referring to that goes out doing cooler things. Or so I think they’re cool. No. They are cool. Right?

Meet Girl with Glasses

A friend asked me the other day what I did on Saturday night. I think he was unimpressed with my answer: drank Diet Pepsi while watching canceled television shows on Netflix Instant Play, at the same time reveling in the silence of my sleeping children. What, that doesn’t sound like a wicked good Saturday night to you?

I never claimed to be the coolest duck in the pond (that designation would clearly go to Donald, because the guy can rock out without pants and no one, over a half century later, has had the nerve to bring it up to him), but I find myself less cool with every passing year. It’s difficult to be cool when you can never leave the house. The odd happy hour invitation or music gig must be weighed against the husband’s work schedule, appointments, how much sleep I managed the night before, whose car has gas, and the most recent time I conned my parents into baby-sitting. My husband works evenings, and so his few nights off a week have to be orchestrated: my time out, his time out, our time home together ignoring each other.

I’ve marveled at my single and childless friends and the amount of time they spend out doing far cooler things than I. I follow them on Facebook, through Foursquare, popping handfuls of M&M’s in my mouth as though I’m watching a movie. “Ohh, they’re at the Meadowlark now! I wonder who’s playing… Nice, after bar snacks the Denver Diner…” It’s both pathetic and reassuring, this night out while I wear my pajamas and take in season two of Veronica Mars for the tenth time. Maybe I’m not out in lipstick and doing that hip wiggle that comes onto me when I get a couple shots of tequila under my belt, but I can predict the photos that will be coming from my friends’ cell phones over the course of the evening.

I’ve never been the most outwardly social person as it is, so I didn’t have much in the way of a style to cramp when my kids came along. I saw all the Buffy episodes on their original air dates. I am a cheap drunk because I mostly never drank in bars. I found a rut and firmly implanted myself in it and– I don’t regret it. I have many friends who are parents, who regularly mourn the loss of their previous lifestyles. I secretly rejoice that I have a firm excuse to stay the hell home on a Saturday night. I can’t believe I’m the only one who prefers the idea of some streaming video, fleece pajama pants and snackfood in a quiet room over bar hopping or a party. I’ve been described as a homebody, but I think it’s more accurate to call me anti-social without the murderous implications. I’m lazy but without the sloth. I’m too old for this shit and too young to go to bed at eight.

I’m excited about next Saturday night. The husband and I save up new episodes of the Guild and watch them together, then he plays video games while I spend the night talking to my best friend, another mother who would much prefer to watch life outside her window than put on her pants and join it. We have our own little fishbowl lives, and dammit if I don’t like my wee treasure chest. Bubbles: mine.

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