Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Using Your Strengths

My friend Colorado Beth has an amazing skill that is a great strength to her in her current job. She can negotiate, stand her ground, and deal with extremely difficult clients and get mortgages closed. Even when she is dealing with the most difficult people willing to pull out of a half a million dollar deal over a $20 doorknob, she can make the deal stick. She learned this skill by sparring with her dad when she was a kid. She takes the position that she can outlast anyone in any argument at anytime. And she gets it done. She has taken something that could have been a negative and turned it into a huge positive in her career. I think that is absolutely amazing.

I also have a skill that I learned from being the child of 2 alcoholics that has been very useful to me in my dating escapades. I learned how to detach like a champ. When you live with people who are hell bent on self destruction, you have to learn to detach from them so that you don't pulled down with the undertow. Sometimes this is a physical detachment where you don't really see them or interact with them very much and sometimes it's just not being around them when they are engaging in the destructive behavior. For example, as a kid, I stayed in my room and read a lot when my mom would drink. (And now I am a book addict. Coincidence? I think not!)

On the surface, detaching can sound like a negative, but really it's not always. You won't find me pining for a guy that ghosted after the second date. If a guy isn't into to me, I chalk it up to fate or whatever and move on. I don't try to convince him I'm the girl of his dreams. I detach. When I end a relationship, I don't try to remain friends with a guy (at least not right away) I give my self some time and distance. Again, I detach.

The flip side of all of this is that I don't attach to men very quickly either. I'm not the girl who falls in love with a guy on the second date. And if a guy behaves that way with me, it tends to creep me out and I probably won't date him again. I'm not hard to warm up to people, but I believe that there is no substitute for time in getting to know someone and know if that person is someone I should have a relationship with.

In spite of the fact that my ability to detach came out of a negative experience, it has definitely served me well in relationships. I have learned to give myself the gift of moving away from situations that are unhealthy for me and moving away from people that aren't going in the same direction that I am. After reading through countless message boards of women in unfulfilling and sometimes abusive relationships, I'm beginning to think that loving yourself enough to detach is lesson that would serve many women well to learn.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Now I Remember Why I Couldn't Date You!!

Last week I received an email from a boy I tried dating about a year or so ago (yes, another boomerrang). Since he lives out of town, he emails me now and again when he comes here to visit friends so that we can get together for a beer or something. However, every time he emails, I am quickly reminded why we couldn't date. The boy is a flake.

We all have these people in our lives. They say they want to meet you at a restaurant, but they never show or they call you to meet for lunch but they don't call back to confrim a time or place. You can't really rely on them for anything because they usually flake out on you at the last minute. This boy is quite unreliable in his own way. He emails about possibly getting together, but then he either never makes it to town or never calls when he is here. He's done this on a couple of occassions.

And here I sit on Sunday night, after having him email me last week and ask me to call to set something up. I called and left a message, he's never called back. Go figure.

I don't like flakey boys. If you say you're going to do something, do it. If the plan changes, give me a courtesy call. I'm pretty flexible. I'm a go with the flow kind of girl. It's not a big deal. But just flaking out and not calling or anything is inexcusable.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mistake On My Birth Certificate

There is a glaring mistake on my birth certificate. My first name is actually spelled wrong. My mom never bothered to change it and neither have I. It’s not really a big deal but I think I found another huge mistake, in the year I was born. There is no damn way I could possibly be 35 years old. But there it is on the calendar, the day I was born (which happens to be today) mocks me.

I always thought 35 would feel old, but I don’t feel old. I feel like I haven’t even gotten started living yet. Sure, I’ve done some traveling and had a lot of fun along the way. I’ve met a few miles stones—got married and divorced, bought a house, got a big responsible job, etc., but I still feel like there is so much left to do on my “to do before I die list.” I haven't even gotten to see the pyramids yet for God's sake! I've got a lot left to do!

35 may not feel old, but it sure does sound old. I remember the days when I could barely even imagine being in my 30’s. It seemed like such a foreign concept to me. I guess I always feared that my experience of being in my 30’s would mirror that of my mother, but thankfully that has not happened. I mean, by the time my mother was 35 she was having her 4th child (me), divorcing her 3rd husband and was rockin’ a gnarly alcohol problem. I’d say I’m pretty much ahead of the curve in comparison. I’ve got a lot to be thankful for. I’ve got friends and family that love me, a great job, a great house and tons of cyberpeeps that read my ramblings even when I ramble on about how crazy it is that I don’t feel my age.

Anyway, happy birthday to me and here’s to never having to feel your age!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Is it Just Me?

Random guy at Borders strikes up a conversation with me about work, books, etc. Two days later he looks me up through the agency directory where I work and calls my office to ask me out for lunch. I agree to have lunch with him this week. I'm not really thrilled with the fact that instead of asking for my number in person, he looked me up online, but I'm willing to give it a shot. Mama needs a date.

I notice that when he calls my office his number is blocked and the caller id can't pick it up, I find that odd because the office where he said he works should show up. My tail is tingling a bit. He calls my cell phone and again his number does not show up. He has since called me two more times, when I was out, but he never leaves a message and there is no number where I can call him back.

I don't know why, but all of the blocked numbers and his not leaving messages bothers me. Is the guy just really too shy to leave a freaking message with a call back number? If so, he's not the guy for me. I like a little assertion in my man. But I just can't shake the feeling that this is just odd. Is it just me? Am I making something out of nothing? My tail tingle tells me something is off, but I can't place it. Maybe the message thing is just a pet peeve of mine and that's why it gets under my skin. Why can't dating be a little more simple? Grrrr.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Big Fat Diva Confession

As distasteful as I find Valentines Day and all of its obligatory trappings, I have a huge confession to make. I spent V-Day evening with a boy. It wasn't a date. Just a get together to watch movies and hang out. And maybe even kiss a bit.

The whole thing was very impromptu and unplanned. I'd expected to spend the evening in my traditional Satan Day way by watching a horror flick and eating junk food (minus the tequila this time). However, I found myself working late and trying to get my new ipod to synch with my itunes on my computer. I was utterly frustrated and took a minute to check my phone messages only to realize that a cute boy that I spend time with from time to time had called. He wanted to hang out. I've been on a kick to be more social so I accepted his offer.

Getting that phone call started the wheels turning in my mind. Do single men feel the need to be with a woman or have a date on Valentines Day? I know lots of women feel as though they should at least have a date that night even if it's with a guy that they don't really want a relationship with. However, do men feel the same? Do men also feel the V-Day pressure even when they are single? Perhaps a few of our male readers can answer this question because inquiring minds really want to know.

Anyway, my V-Day night was very laid back and nice. We just hung out together and had a great time. And, yes, there was kissing. Lots. Regardless of whether or not the entire day really is a made up Hallmark holiday, any day that ends with me getting to kiss a cute boy is a good one in my book.

So there it is, my big confession. Feel free to give me all the shit you want. I've got my big girl panties on, I can take it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cupid is Creepy

I found this quote on another website and I giggled so much my co-workers thought I'd finally cracked up. It proves I am not the only one who is a little creeped out by Cupid. Satan in a diaper, I tell ya.

I don't understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.

– Anonymous

Giving Up Men For Lent Conclusion

Continued from Part 3.....

The cat could run much faster than I could, obviously, and she wound up running underneath my neighbor’s house and out of my reach. As I was trying to coax her back out, I suddenly become aware that I was barefoot in my pajamas in the freezing cold and the fireman was staring at me like I had lost my mind.

“Ma’am, is there a fire?” He asked.

“No, sir,” I explained (slurred), “I just forgot to open the fireplace flue.”

“Can I go take a look?” He asked. I nodded my permission and followed him into the house and through the living room. He looked around and checked everything out and then picked up the bottle of tequila that was sitting on the floor by the fireplace.

“Did you use this to start the fire?” He asked in a scolding “Dad” tone of voice.

“Uh, yes, sir, I did. I was trying to get it to catch quicker and uh, well, I poured a little alcohol on the wood to get the fire to catch.” Suddenly, I felt very stupid (and tipsy).

For the next few minutes, I stood very still and tried not to be a smart ass as he lectured me on the dangers of using tequila to start a fire. He also went into a diatribe about overall fire safety and about having an exit plan or something. I wasn’t really listening. I was trying not to hurl on his shiny black boots.

“Is there anything else we can do for you ma’am?” He asked, walking towards the door. I’m pretty sure it was the alcohol talking, and I replied.

“You guys don’t happen to really do cat rescue, do you?”

“No ma’am, we don’t,” he said, rolling his eyes at me. (Hey, I had to ask.)

After all of that, I never even got to burn my left over relationship stuff, which was why I started the fire in the first place. I wound up passing out on the couch instead. I woke up the next morning with a massive hangover and a fuzzy memory of the events of the previous evening but a distinct memory of why I do not drink tequila; it is not my friend. And to top it all off, the damn cat didn’t come home for two whole days.

This incident made me realize that I was very tired of dating. I felt like I needed to just take a break. Lent had just begun and I thought it might be great idea to give up dating for at least forty days and journal about my experiences. Besides, I felt like as far as demons went, men were probably my biggest demon, so it seemed appropriate to give up dating for awhile so I could face it head on. That week, I made sure all of my online profiles were inactive and started my “Giving Up Men for Lent Diary”.

Lesson learned: Other than the obvious do not start a fire with tequila and always open the chimney flue, if a man comes on too strong on the first few dates, that is a huge red flag! (Oh yeah, and the fire department does NOT do cat rescue anymore.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Giving Up Men for Lent Part 3

Continued from part 2......

Here is where the story might get a little fuzzy. I do remember having the good sense to lock my cell phone in the trunk of my car at some point during the night. I did not want to wake up with a hang over and a vague memory of drunk dialing someone and making a complete ass of myself. I knew there were no phone numbers stored in my home phone, so I figured I was safe. I also stayed sober long enough to bake up a batch of Colorado Beth’s famous breakup brownies.

Colorado Beth also started a tradition of sending a care package to friends when they went through a break up. (Gotta love that girl!) Whenever she had a friend that got dumped or had a breakup, she would send that friend a jar of brownie ingredients and a recipe in the mail. I’d received a package in the mail after my last break up and I still had the recipe. I thought it was very appropriate and somewhat ironic that I would get to cook “break up brownies” on Satan Day.

The night started out pretty tame. I made a pitcher of strawberry margaritas and ate a couple of brownies. I turned on the movie and curled up to watch Cupid/Satan get his ass kicked by a priest.

The Exorcist has to be the greatest metaphor ever for what a woman goes through when she falls in love and gets dumped. Think about it. Girl meets boy and falls in love, boy dumps girl and she starts acting as though her mind, body and soul have been taken over by another being. She loses sleep starts acting funny can’t keep her food down and even her skin starts to look bad. Her family and friends can’t stand to be around her anymore because she looks and acts down right scary. Priests and experts get called but to no avail. Cupid has a hold of her and it ain’t pretty. Finally, if she’s lucky, she gets to throw the guy out of a window and then she feels much better. But I digress.

By the time Satan (aka Cupid) was finished fighting off the priests, the brownies were gone and I had moved on from margaritas to straight tequila shots. It was going to be a long night.

I started taking stock of my relationship woes. I eventually decided that the only way to purge myself of both of these guys was to burn all reminders of the relationships. All cards, photos, notes and clothing…. everything had to go! I think you can probably guess where this is going. My night turned into a weird Friends episode. You know the one where the girls decided to have a burning ceremony and the fire department gets called.

Well in my case, instead of trying to burn crap in a trash can, (I am smarter than that, even hammered on tequila) I decided to go ahead and just start a fire in the fireplace. It was cold outside anyway. I grabbed one of the fire starter logs and a couple of pieces of wood from the pile in my backyard and proceeded to start the fire. (Side note: Tequila is a great accelerant if you can’t quite get the fire going quick enough.)

Unfortunately, in my somewhat compromised state, I forgot to open the flue on the fireplace. My fire was a roaring success (thank you Silver Patron) but by the time I noticed the room was getting a little smoky, it was way too late. I heard the familiar sound of my fire alarm wailing away from the upstairs hallway.

I opened the sliding glass door downstairs to help pull the smoke out, yanked open the flue and ran up the stairs frantically trying to remember how to turn the smoke detector off. I was waving a broom in front of the detector trying to get it to turn off when I heard my home phone ringing. I ran back downstairs to answer the phone, thinking it was probably one of my neighbors pissed because of the noise. However, it was my security company calling; I had conveniently forgotten that my fire alarm was tied in to my burglar alarm system. If either of them sounds, the company calls you to see if it is a real emergency. Because of all of the noise (and some slurring of words on my part), the woman on the phone couldn’t really hear me as I shouted that there was nothing wrong, just me trying to light the fireplace. After a couple of minutes of shouting back and forth I gave up, hung up on the woman and went back upstairs to try to get the damn smoke alarm to shut up.

I finally got the freaking thing turned off (by smacking it with the broom) just in time to hear the doorbell ringing. I figured this HAD to be one of my neighbors complaining about the noise. However, when I swung open the door, a very large fireman was standing there. The security company wasn’t sure if the fire was real or not so they went ahead and called the fire department. About the time I got the door open, my poor cat, who had been cowering somewhere in the house since the noise started, ran screaming out of the front door right between the fireman’s legs. The guy was so startled; he almost fell backwards down my front steps. At this point, I was a little drunk, exhausted and torn between wanting to run after the cat and apologize to the fireman because I felt so bad he came all the way out to my house for nothing. In my drunken stupor, I chose the cat and took off running after her.

To be continued....

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Giving Up Men for Lent Part 2

Continued from Part 1...

Mr. Blowtorch’s actions gave me a familiar tingle that I couldn’t ignore. By the next day, when I still had not heard from him, I finally called to make sure everything was okay. What ensued from this phone call was a long discussion about how he was freaking out about feeling so close to me in such a short amount of time. Blah. Blah. Blah. He said he just needed a couple of days to think. By this point, my tail wasn’t just tingling, it was on fire, and my Little Voice was screaming. I had been here before. (Insert Frat Boy flashback here.) Thank God we were only two months and not two years in to this relationship or I might have been tempted to do him bodily harm.

In addition to being utterly confused about what he wanted, Mr. Blowtorch also had the shittiest timing for his little revelation. On the very day he had his little meltdown, I got the shock of my life when I accidentally found out that my ex-boyfriend, Frat Boy, was married.

Frat Boy was my five and a half year relationship that ended because he could not pull the trigger, take our relationship to the next level and get married. However, it seemed that less than a year after we broke up, he was able to marry his twenty something secretary. Talk about a punch in the stomach.

I found out about his marriage because my friend Neecy was talking on the phone to Colorado Beth about this new friend she had made in one of her business networking groups. She went on to talk about her new friend’s husband and his profession, how they met and then she said his name. Colorado Beth almost dropped the phone.

“You know that is Jodi’s ex-boyfriend, right?” She said.

“No, how do you know that?” Neecy replied.

“Well, the name, profession and community where you said they live are the same as Frat Boy. It’s pretty obvious.”

After this conversation, Colorado Beth immediately called me and gave me the heads up. Apparently, Neecy was thinking about introducing me to this new friend of hers as a business contact and thinking that her husband might know some single guys. (God help me.) This was strike number 2 in the set up department for Neecy. (She previously tried to set me up with a guy that turned out to be a wannabe pedophile.) Colorado Beth made a great save.

So, in short, I was having a bad day and Mr. Blowtorch did not elevate my mood. To add just a little more insult to injury, all of this was taking place a couple of days before Valentines Day and a week before my 33rd birthday. Oh yeah, my ex was married and my “almost” boyfriend was dumping me right before Valentines Day and I was fucking old. To quote a famous beer commercial, “It don’t get no better than this!”

I have always known that Cupid is just Satan in a diaper. Colorado Beth enlightened me to this fact way back in high school with her utter contempt for V-Day and everything it is supposed to stand for but doesn’t. As she would tell you, nothing good has ever come from Valentines Day (also known as Satan Day). If you happen to be single on Satan Day, you are left to watch all of the coupled up people get flowers at school or at the office and you wind up feeling like a total loser because there are no flowers or candy for you. The point that Satan Day utterly sucked was driven home even more one year when an ex- boyfriend of hers decided to break into her house on Valentines Day and relieve himself (in a sexual sense) on her very expensive comforter. (He would thereafter always be referred to as The Spooger, for obvious reasons.) She hated this holiday and celebrated it each year in her own unique way.

Colorado Beth had a tradition that she introduced to me years ago. Every year on Satan Day, she would run up to Blockbuster and rent a horror flick (I highly recommend My Bloody Valentine or The Exorcist) buy some beer and go home to have an evening all to her self. It was a great way to mark a crappy holiday meant only to exclude those people not part of a couple.

By the time Satan Day actually rolled around that year, Blowtorch was gone for good (I had been officially dumped), Frat Boy was still married and I was in a terrible funk. In keeping with the traditional theme, I rented The Exorcist and headed to the liquor store. On this particular occasion, I didn’t think that beer was going to do it for me. I bought myself a bottle of tequila.

To be continued......

Monday, February 11, 2008

Giving Up Men for Lent Part 1

Mr. Blowtorch was the quintessential definition of a flame thrower. He came on very strong from the first date we had and professed his affection for me on our second date. What I didn’t know at the time was that if a guy’s feelings burn that bright and strong early on it usually means that they will burn OUT just as quickly.

He was the first guy I ever had actually pursue me so heavily. Most men that I have dated have been the initial pursuers but not like this guy. He was intense and he was good, he could really sell it like he meant it. He was a first of many for me, the first blowtorcher I dated as well as the first single dad. I was a bit skeptical about dating a man with kids, but his absolute surety of his feelings for me (after one week of dating) was enough to make me throw caution to the wind and just go with the flow. After all, I had touched him so deeply; he was already falling in love. (Insert collective eye roll here.)

Okay, intellectually I knew that this guy was probably not in love with me or touched so deeply by me in one week that we would ride off into the sunset together and live happily ever after. But I have to admit, after dating so many guys who either weren’t into me or I wasn’t into them, it was nice to meet someone where the attraction was mutual. Not to mention, I was reveling in the romance and the attention that this guy poured on me from the first date. He was a sweet, openly affectionate, true southern gentlemen in every way, shape and form. He was my “almost” boyfriend.

I loved the good morning calls that I received everyday and going out to nice restaurants and being treated like a lady for a change. I also loved just sitting at home snuggling on the couch or playing a board game with his daughter when she visited.

But alas, as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end. About two months into our mutual bliss, my tail tingled, when for the first time in eight weeks of dating, I didn’t hear from him for an entire day. I know that not hearing from a guy for an entire day should not set off alarm bells in a woman’s head. Even I have to admit that if any other woman told me about having doubts about a guy because he didn’t call her all day, I would tell her she was being silly and she should thank her lucky stars that she was dating a great guy. However, my tail tingle is NEVER wrong.

At this point, I feel the need to digress a bit and explain about the “tale tingle”. (I started referring to it as that after I saw the movie Over the Hedge. When the turtle character in the movie had a bad feeling, he would say his tail was tingling.)

My tail tingle is that nagging little feeling that something just ain’t right. It’s just that gut feeling you get that warns you to keep your guard up. My tingle always precedes a conversation with my Little Voice. I believe that it was Ilyana Vanzant that described the small inner voice we all have inside as the true voice of God speaking to us. I have never really referred to my inner voice as God, but I believe Ilyana may be on to something. I don’t mean that evil little voice that whispers you should lose ten pounds before you wear that new dress, I’m referring to the little voice that is always there to keep you out of trouble. I’m talking about the one that whispers (or in my case shouts) when something just doesn’t seem to add up. You know, the one Magnum PI was always talking about in his voiceovers.

Again, I will assert that 10 times out of 10, my tingle and my Little Voice are dead on. The only time that I find myself disappointed or in trouble in a relationship is when I ignore my tingle and that Little Voice that so fervently tries to get through all the noise in my head.

Now, I am not suggesting that every time I get a tingle that I next the guy and move on, however, when I do get a twinge, it just reminds me to keep my eyes open, see things as they are (not what I want them to be) and to make sure I am paying attention. It also nudges me to call a guy out when his actions and his words don’t match.

To be continued.........

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Break-Up Brownies and V- Day Fun to Come

In honor of that oh so popular Hallmark Holiday that is fast approaching, I have decided to post my own Valentines Day story this week. The story took place a couple of years ago and resulted in my deciding to give up men for Lent that year. It is a bit of a long story so I am posting it in 4 parts starting on Monday with the conclusion to be posted on V-Day. I hope you all find it as entertaining as many of my friends have.

However, to hold you all over until Monday I am posting Colorado Beth's famous "Break-Up Brownies." These brownies are part of the story and incidentally, go very well with tequila. (I'll explain that later.) The dry ingredients for these brownies can be placed in a jar (along with a recipe)and mailed to any friend that is going through a break up. They are the best remedy for a broken heart I have ever found. Colorado Beth started this tradition and I am passing it on to my cyberpeeps. Enjoy!

2/3 tsp salt
1 cup flour (add an additional 2 tbsp for higher altitudes)
1/3 cup of cocoa
2/3 cup regular sugar
2/3 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup vanilla flavored baking chips
1/2 cup crushed walnuts (optional if you like your brownies to be female--no nuts)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs

Combine all ingredients, blend and pour into a greased baking pan and bake at 350 degrees.
7x11 pan 32-37 minutes
9x9 pan 27-32 minutes
(May need to adjust cook times for higher altitudes)

Cautionary note: Not to be consumed by people in a new relationship as it has not been determined if the new relationship mojo could be affected by the brownies. You have been warned!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Voices in My Head (Alternately titled "The Fried Chicken Revelation"

I have lots of voices in my head. Not the bad schizophrenic type voices, but the ones you've heard all of your life from your loved ones when they decided to give you advice on a subject that they happened to experts on. (Or subjects they thought they were experts on.) I have a couple of very distinct voices that I hear from time to time. The first is my grandmother (Nanny). I hear her in my head telling me to speak out when I get riled up about something. The second voice is my mother; I hear her when I'm about the get into trouble or be a smart ass. "Now be nice!" She whispers. I'm sure everyone has these voices, at least I hope I'm not the only one.

Recently a few weeks ago, I had an instance where one of those voices spoke up loud and clear as I was lamenting over cooking a little comfort food. I was feeling a bit blue one day and I decided that I would cook fried chicken. My mother used to to cook the best fried chicken ever. Eating it would always make me feel better. It was like magic fried chicken. That Colonel Sanders guy had nothing on my mom. Her cooking would have demoted him down to a Private.

However, even though I know the recipe by heart, I have never been able to get my fried chicken to taste like mom's. It has always seemed like the magic in the fried chicken was somehow lost. Lost...until my mom's voice gave me a cooking suggestion.

I was standing in the kitchen looking at a package of chicken breasts and hoping I could conjure up a little spell of my own to get the taste that I remembered from childhood. I was gathering up the secret ingredients and making sure I had everything I needed to season the bird. And suddenly my mother's voice came out of nowhere and said, "It would help if you started with the right chicken!"

The voice was so clear and so loud I wasn't sure if it was in my head or not! I was so startled, I actually turned around, half expecting to see her standing behind me. (Which would have been even more startling since she's been dead for 10 years.) Once I realized that my mom had not actually returned from the grave to give me cooking tips, I started trying to figure out what the voice meant. What the hell was the right kind of chicken? I thought back, the only difference between my chicken and hers was that she would cook a whole chicken and I always cooked breasts. I'm not a big fan of cutting the bird up, so I always get the pre-chopped version without the bones and skin. And then it dawned on me, she always fried the chicken with the skin on. Could that possbily be the difference? I wasn't sure, but I was determined to find out. I dropped everything and ran to the grocery store and bought what I hoped would be the "right" chicken.

I came home, sent up a silent prayer and fried that puppy up. I knew it would be a success even before I tasted it. It looked like my mom's chicken, all beautiful golden brown, and it smelled like her's almost like I imagine heaven would smell (especially if my mom's up there cooking her magic chicken). I turned into a 12 year old again right there in my own kitchen. That was the best damn chicken I've had in 10 years! Who knew all you had to do was buy it with the skin on?!?

So, I guess the moral of the story is, don't knock the voices in your head. If you quiet the noise for a bit and listen carefully you just might get the answer you need, just when you need it the most.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Boost Your Sexual Desire!

Thank so much, Two Date Diva, for giving us this opportunity to guest post on your excellent blog!

[Judy Ford, MSW, LCSW and Rachel Greene Baldino, MSW, LCSW are the co-authors of the just published The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Enhancing Sexual Desire.]

Boost Your Sexual Desire!

Whether you and your partner have been together for one year or twenty or longer, sexual desire is something that ebbs and flows due to a lot of different factors, including stress, hormonal shifts and big life changes (like having a baby).

But fortunately, if you are currently experiencing relatively low sexual desire, our book is filled with realistic, practical tips and strategies for boosting your desire now and in the future.

For instance, a huge theme in our book is approaching sex with a joy-filled, playful attitude. After all, as we like to say, sex is the one of the best, most enjoyable ways that loving, committed two adult partners in a loving relationship “play” together. As grown ups, we tend to take nearly all aspects of life (even our love lives with our partners) way too seriously. So, take this opportunity to lighten up and laugh together and remember just how much fun -- and how exhilarating -- lovemaking is meant to be!

Another topic that we talk about quite a bit in the book is the relationship between self-esteem, sexual desire and sexual enjoyment. When you feel good about yourself and when you feel sexy and attractive and desirable, these positive feelings often translate into increased sexual desire. For this reason, a significant portion of our book is devoted to helping readers find all sorts of wonderful, sexy, revitalizing ways to feel confident, spirited and sexy in their own skin as a great way to boost their sexual desire.

Thanks again, Two Date Diva, for this wonderful opportunity to share some information about our book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Enhancing Sexual Desire, with your readers!

- Judy Ford and Rachel Greene Baldino

Monday, February 4, 2008

Of Intimacy and Affection

I should not be left alone to my own devices to sit, drink coffee and think in a bookstore. Really, it throws the world out of alignment and then I have trouble sleeping because I thought too much.

Today's lightening bolt of self discovery came after I consumed a raspberry mocha kiss and I started to run down the list of things my past boyfriends have all had in common. As some of you may remember, I started this journey in an earlier post entitled Epiphany, where I mused about my tendancy to fall for men that are unhappy.

In addition to being attracted unhappy men, I gravitate to men that are very affectionate but not very intimate. Perhaps I have always confused the two, I'm not sure, but it's a very distinct pattern that I follow.

Most men that I have dated loved to hold hands and kiss or touch, but when it came to real intimacy, they always stopped short of the goal line. Many of them were like closed books that I wanted to crack open and read and reassure them that I really did understand what they'd been through. However, those boys would generally change the subject and try to focus on me. They would also get bored of me quickly when there was not enough drama in my life to keep their attention.

Some of the men I dated were very happy to be a completely open book to me and wanted me to know every intimate detail about their life and past. But when it came to taking an interest in my being open, honest and intimate, with them, they weren't really interested. It was all about the boy in those relationships.

While both of these types of relationships seem to be polar opposites, they are actually different facets of the same thing--fear of intimacy. And perhaps the reason that I am attracted to this is because on some level, I fear intimacy myself. I mean if a guy is really open with me and then wants reciprocation, what happens if he rejects me anyway? It's a horrifying thought to think that I could fully accept someone as he is and have him not do the same for me.

My ultimate goal is to be with a man that loves and adores me for the crazy, intelligent, outgoing, smartass that I am. Warts and all. However, if I want to achieve this goal, I have to face my own fears of being rejected or I will continue to attract these men to me. I'm not sure what the every day practice of this is or even where to start. But the journey of a thousand steps starts with a single step, so this is me stepping out and hoping the light at then end of the tunnel is not a train.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Changing the Radio Station

Lately, I've been reading a lot about the Law of Attraction. If any of you have read books such as The Secret, The Code, or various books by spirtualists, you have read something about the Law of Attraction. This law goes by various names. It's sometimes referred to as the Law of Manifestation. Deepak Chopra calls it Synchrodestiny. But what ever you call it, the principal is the same. You attract what you put out and your thoughts can attract or repel what you most desire.

I've had a hard time with this concept at certain times. One time being two years ago when I was involved in a car accident. I most certainly didn't attract the car accident or did I? I wasn't wandering around worrying a truck would pull out in front of me, I was also pretty happy on the day the accident happened, in fact, I was just beginning a new exciting business venture. I was on a natural high in the months leading up to my accident, so how could I have attracted this event to me? But, if the Law of Attraction is to be believed, then I must have. So, I began back tracking to figure out what this all meant.

In the book The Secret, one of the contributors explained that while you may not be walking around worrying about a car accident, you may be functioning on the frequency that allows a car accident to happen to you. He said it's like the frequencies that radio stations work on. If you are tuned into that frequency, you will hear that station. I thought about this for quite a long time. How could I have been functioning on a frequency that allowed a truck to hit me? I mean, I was happy, remember? But I kept searching and trying to figure out how I could have been putting out a negative frequency. And then I had to go back through some paperwork relating to my accident. The dates on the paperwork hit me like a sucker punch. I had been in my car accident exactly one year to the week that my relationship with Frat Boy ended. I had often lamented to friends that ending that relationship felt like getting hit by a truck. One year later I literally did get hit by a truck. Coincidence? I'm thinking not.

Recently, I had a friend who was in a very tramatic car accident last January. She spent the better part of 2007 trying to recover physically and get a new car. Her attitude swung from sheer determination to get better to absolute dispair on the days she couldn't get out of bed because of her injured back. Last month, one year to the week she had her car accident last year, she was rear ended in her new car. This got me thinking. Maybe there really is something to all of this Law of Attraction stuff.

Looking back over my own negative experience, I realized that even though I was feeling pretty good about my business ventures just before my accident, I was not happy at all with my personal life. I was dating one guy after another and not finding anyone to have a real lasting relationship with. In fact, I began to expect every guy to NOT be relationship material and guess what I got? Guess what I'm still getting? Even though I'd moved on from Frat Boy and began dating other guys, I'd never really dealt with all of those negative feelings, like the feeling of being hit by a truck or not being able to trust my own instincts about men and not believing any thing a man says. Those negative feelings were putting out a frequency and it wasn't a good one. I don't want to live on that frequency anymore.

So ladies and gentlemen, I am changing the radio station. I'm going to expect more from the guys that I date. I'm going to expect them to want to be in a relationship and I'm going to expect them to do what they say they will do and want what they say they want. I'm going to expect that relationships will work out rather than just hoping they will. I'm going to trust my own instincts a lot more. But I'm not stopping with my personal life.

I'm changing the way I think about my entire life in general. I've added visualization to my daily meditations and it seems to be working. I started small, I began visualizing getting great parking spaces at the grocery store, the book store and pretty much every where. And believe it or not it has worked!

Now that I am getting the hang of it, I've got to begin to visualize the kind of relationship that I want to have. This is very difficult for me beccause after the relationship with Frat Boy ended, I didn't let myself fantasize any more. I was so devistated by that fantasy not panning out that I have been afraid to let myself dream of having a relationship. I've come to realize that it wasn't losing the boy that was so hard, it was losing the dream of what I had envisioned our life to be that I couldn't deal with. I've been afraid to dream, but dreaming and visualizing is the key to attracting what you want. So, starting today, I'm going to let myself dream of the relationship that I want and in doing so open myself up to the universe to bring it to me instead of hitting me with a damn truck.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Is He a Keeper?

I found this article on how to tell if your guy is a keeper. I need to find a guy before I can begin assessing this, but I agree that if a guy can do all of these things he's definitely worth sticking around for.