Tag Archives: Parenting

I’ve Seen Better Days

Now if I could just find the rewind button…

Tuesday ended on a high note and Wednesday started with a ton of promise.  The day ended poorly, but as you continue to read, you will find that it was mostly my fault.  Here’s the deal…

Tuesday night The Phone Sex Operator (P.S.O.) came over for dinner.  She moved into a new house last weekend and it was stressful on her.  She arrived about 15 minutes after I got home and I was putting the finishing touches on some Cuban roast pork, black beans and lime rice.  I had a cold Corona waiting for her when she walked in the door and after a nice hello kiss, she hung out with Drama Queen (D.Q.) for a few minutes talking about this and that.

After dinner (which she said she really enjoyed) we all chilled on the couch watching American Idol and soon it was time for D.Q. to go to bed.  She said good night and P.S.O. and I finally spent some much-needed quality time alone.  It was really nice to snuggle with her on the couch.  When it was time for her to leave I asked her what time I needed to be at her place in the morning and she told me a little after eight.

I offered to help P.S.O. by staying at her house Wednesday morning to wait for Time Warner.  She had a short week at work since Monday was a holiday and she was taking Friday off to run me to and from some minor surgery I’m having.  I knew that my waiting for the cable guy would help her out and I was happy to do it.

I woke up early Wednesday morning in a great mood.  I was still on a high from our time together last night and I was looking forward to seeing her, if even for a few minutes.  After making sure D.Q. was up and getting ready for school, I hopped in my car and headed down the Thruway.  I rolled into Tim Horton’s near her house and grabbed some coffee just the way she likes it.  So far so good.

When I arrived, she was in the bathroom drying her hair and getting ready for work, so I headed into the living room and was looking around a bit.  The last time I saw the house a lot of things were in boxes.  She now had pictures and knick-knacks on the shelves and I was checking them out.

Remember at the beginning I mentioned that I was a complete a-hole?  Well, here it comes…

She came out into the living room and I kissed her and asked her how much flexibility she had in the time she had to leave for work and what time she thought the Time Warner guy would really show up.  She told me to behave and that she really needed to get ready to leave.

She walked over to the bookshelf and was showing me some pictures of her family and explaining the significance of each one and I put my hand on her back.  As I rubbed her back I noticed that she had no bra on and I made a comment about “The twins not being strapped in.”  She wasn’t thrilled at that comment (nor should she have been) and continued to show me things.  That wasn’t the only crappy thing I said that morning and it was far from one of my better moments.

We looked at a book of pictures from when her daughter was a baby and I did enjoy looking at her things and I do want to know more about her and her family and about what’s important to her.  I certainly didn’t show it on Wednesday morning, but I am interested and I do care.  I was just a complete douche and an utter tool at that moment.

I ruined her morning and I really hurt her.  I wasn’t intending to hurt her, but I did.  When she left the house I knew she was upset and that made me feel like crap.  I sat on the couch trying to read the book I brought, but it was slow going.  I kept beating myself up for what I had done, so I whipped out my BlackBerry to send an e-mail apologizing.  We traded a few  more back and forth over the next couple hours and I told her that her feelings are very important to me and that I didn’t want to add to the stresses and pressures of her life, but rather I wanted to be an enhancement to her life.

She e-mailed back that she loved me but that she was hurt and that this would not be THE defining moment in our relationship but rather A defining moment.  We traded a couple more e-mails that morning and the long and the short of it is that I am apparently going to do a strip tease for her at some point in the near future to Crazy Bitch by Buckcherry.  I guess I need to get practicing!  I think that’s the least I can do to make up for hurting her.

The Time Warner guy came and went and I headed to work to deal with a myriad of stresses there.  After work I went home to Drama Queen.

D.Q. has a school orchestra concert tonight and needs to have black pants and a white shirt (or a black dress) to wear for it.  She doesn’t have anything that fits her, so last night we went out to get her something.  The long and short of it is that she was being extremely snotty and rude.  After trying on a couple dresses, I handed her a pair of black pants and a white shirt.  She started to get really snotty about them and I told her that if the ‘tude continued that we would just go without getting anything and that she would not play in the concert, which BTW accounts for 25% of her grade.  I did tell her that if she doesn’t play that she was going to go watch and that I didn’t care how embarrassed she was.

She got snotty again and I walked out of the store.  I sent the teacher (and her counselor) an e-mail explaining the situation.  D.Q. is pissed at me and told me that she wants to go live with someone else.  She’s also been telling me that she hates me, to which I respond, “Get in line”.

Ironically enough, as I was typing the last paragraph, the orchestra teacher called me to tell me that he wants her to come play and to wear whatever she can.  He said that the orchestra is a team thing and it’s almost exactly what P.S.O. told me in her e-mail to me a half hour ago.  I love that she can tell me when I’m wrong and isn’t afraid to share her opinion on things.  I totally need that.

Yesterday was a crappy day, but today seems to be getting off to a better start.  I didn’t sleep well last night but I heard from P.S.O. this morning and she ended the e-mail with “xoxox” so I’m guessing that she still loves me.  I continue to feel crappy about the way I treated her yesterday and I’m not going to forget it, but I won’t dwell on it.  D.Q. is going to play her concert tonight and that’s probably a good thing.

I’m heading to Tim’s for some coffee (and maybe a few Timbits).  I also think that I’ll throw on Sunny Hours by Long Beach Dub All-Stars.  That always seems to make me feel better.  Tomorrow will be a good day.  I have my surgery and I get to spend the day with P.S.O.  I promise that there will be a very good story about the surgery down the road.  A really good story.  Now if I could just find the rewind button…

J.R.

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My Daughter, The Drama Queen

I need to make a mental note to pick up a big bottle of Jack Daniels tomorrow.  Some Cuervo Black too.

So far I’ve spent a lot of time regaling you with some of my crazy dating stories.  I’ve introduced you to The Period One, The 36-Year-Old Virgin, The Bookstore Chick and my personal favorite, The Phone Sex Operator (P.S.O.).

I’ve briefly mentioned a few more people who play important parts in my life—there’s the Drama Queen (my 12-year-old daughter) and O.C.B. (A.K.A. Original Crazy B****, A.K.A. the Drama Queen’s mom) and The Kings Fan, who has been one of my closest friends since we met 15 years ago.  The Kings Fan came to the hospital when Drama Queen was born and he was there when she was a baby and we would play pickup hockey with her sleeping in her car seat in the penalty box.

This blog is advertised as “The world of dating and parenting from the perspective of a full-time single dad raising a 12-year-old daughter.  You will usually laugh, sometimes cry and often say, “What the hell was he thinking?” So far we’ve covered the dating, the laughing (sometimes laughing so hard that you cry) and we have more than covered “what the hell was he thinking.”  Now it’s time to get into some parenting…

Long story short, O.C.B. is bi-polar.  There’s not a joke in there anywhere.  She’s bi-polar.  Her doctor told me that there is always some event or circumstance in a bi-polar person’s life that brings out the sickness and for O.C.B. it was having The Drama Queen (D.Q.).  I held the family together as long as I could, but O.C.B. didn’t take her medicine and when D.Q. was five, it was time for mom to move out, thus ending an 11 year adventure.  Since then I have had full custody of her.  The judge gave mom monitored visitation, but she rarely went.  The bottom line is that in 7 years D.Q. has seen or talked to her mom no more than 20 times and even went through a 4-year stretch with absolutely no communication.

I know that I’m not the best dad in the world, but I do the best I can and I think that I do OK, all things considering.  I don’t have a sister, so I can’t look back on memories from my childhood and remember what my parents did in certain situations.  My mom is 2,566 miles away and can help via phone, but it’s not the same.  My goal is to maintain health insurance so that D.Q. can start seeing a really good therapist; one who can balance out all the mistakes that I make!

I’ve been told that the eye rolling and attitude are par for the course with a hormonal 12-year-old.  Oh yeah, I’ve also been told by P.S.O. that all signs indicate that she’s about to have a regular visitor.  Damn.

She needs to go and get a new type of underwear—one which I am happy to say I can take off a woman with one hand tied behind my back (or tied to the headboard), but a type of underwear which I have absolutely no clue how to buy for a 12-year-old.    I need to make a mental note to pick up a big bottle of Jack Daniels tomorrow.  Some Cuervo Black too.

What’s life like at my house?  Well, I’m making chili at this moment and it’s almost done.  I told her that I wanted it to simmer for another 20 minutes or so and then we would eat.  I took a small spoonful so that I could make sure it couldn’t use any more seasoning.  It needed a touch more garlic and some chili powder, so I put them in the pot and grabbed a spoon (not the one I just ate from) and prepared to mix them in.  At that moment the Drama Queen burst into the kitchen and asked if she could stir.  I told her that she could, but to be careful as I didn’t want to have to clean up a mess.  She looked at me and said with a completely straight face but more than a hint of eye roll,  “I think that I can stir chili without any parental consent.”    Oy vey!!!!

J.R.

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The Phone Sex Operator

“Making sex is like a Chinese dinner: It ain’t over ’til you both get your cookies.”

Old Man Dunphy, Outside Providence

I once received a fortune cookie that read, “When you decide to stop searching, only then will you find what your heart desires.”  That sounded a little corny, yet there was a hint of truth to it.  On the back of the fortune cookie there were some randomly selected “winning” lottery numbers, but they have nothing to do with this story.

After my last relationship ended I went out on a couple of dates here and there, but I decided I was going to take a break.  I refused to settle and it just seemed like nothing was clicking with anyone I was meeting online, so I concluded that if, by the middle of December, there was no one I was interested in dating, that I would pull my profile down and figured that I would revisit the situation down the road…

It was a crisp autumn weekday morning.  I woke up as usual around 7 AM and as I recall, there was a powdery layer of snow on my car.  I went upstairs to wake up my daughter and somehow rustle her out of bed so that she could take Lucy (our dog) outside to do her morning business before getting ready for school.  I came back downstairs to make some coffee and as my liquid crack laced Tim Horton’s was brewing I checked my e-mail.

There in my inbox were two messages from the dating website notifying me that I had two new matches.  I’m not a shallow person by any means, but the reality is that with anyone you consider dating, there has to be at least some level of physical attraction.  I don’t make a decision based solely on the picture, but I would be lying if I said that the picture doesn’t factor somewhat into the decision making process.

One of the messages was from a woman that I had absolutely no physical attraction to, so I put her into the “Closed” category.  The other was from a very striking blond from pretty close to where I lived.  I was interested, so I read the profile:

The most important thing XXXXX is looking for in a partner is:

A true companion – someone who values our relationship as a friendship and COMMUNICATES the good, the bad and the ugliness of everything. My soul mate would love me for me, love my bad hair days & morning breath and most importantly – have a sense of humor and accept the challenges of life with a positive attitude.

I liked that, and the rest of profile was pretty interesting, so I decided to start the process with her.  She responded back and we went through the whole rigmarole and after a few days and several nice e-mails back and forth, I had her phone number along with an invitation to call it.

I took a deep breath, dialed the digits and after making small talk for a few minutes; I told her that I found her to be intriguing and very attractive.  I also told her that I would really like to take her out one night to get to know her better.  As we chatted, I could almost see her hazel eyes light up and through the phone I saw that mesmerizing smile grow even bigger.  By the time I got to the actual “asking out” part, I could hear the excitement in her voice.  She eagerly accepted and we decided to go out for the first time on Saturday night.

This woman is pretty and funny but there is something else about her that I really liked.  This may sound totally lame, but I loved listening to her voice.  There was just something about it that drove me wild.  After thinking about it, I decided hers was the kind of voice that guys (and some women too) would pay $4.99 a minute to listen to.  And thus, The Phone Sex Operator (or simply, P.S.O.) came into my life.

That first date was incredible.  Not once did we have one of those usual awkward moments of silence that can erase the chance of a second date.  In fact, it was as if she and I had known each other for years and years.  We were laughing, we were having a great time and it seemed that we had very similar tastes when it came to music, movies and TV.  The evening was filled with smiles, winks, eating off the other’s plate and occasionally our hands would touch and we would linger over the touches for a few moments.

We spent several hours together that first night and even made it back to my place for a bit (get your mind out of the gutter.  Nothing happened).  I was showing her the house and as we came back downstairs I waited til we neared the bottom and (apparently) gave her quite a shove. I’m not quite sure how that happened, considering I was in front of her. “He pushed me down the stairs” is the story that she’s sticking with, so I figured that as long as she’s not pressing charges, I would be OK with it.  We laughed about the incident and decided that if things worked out long-term we would at least have a good story to tell the grandkids about our first date.

Even with a sore elbow and a little bump on the back of her head, when it came time to say good night, there was no question about whether or not a kiss was in order.  I grabbed her, pulled her close and did my best to give her a kiss that she would not soon forget.  It must have worked, because 15 minutes later we were still standing there kissing.

We’ve had a few more dates since then and we regularly trade e-mails and have phone conversations throughout the day–I LOVE hearing her voice!  Things are looking promising and we went out to lunch again today.  There is a really good story to be told about this afternoon, but I think that I will wait and post it on Christmas Day.  Consider it a holiday treat from me to you.

J.R.

P.S.  I already received everything I could possibly want for Christmas (P.S.O.), but if anyone is even remotely interested in getting me something, I could use a copy of Outside Providence on DVD.  It’s out of production, so it’s kind of hard to come by…

Related posts:

Christmas with P.S.O.

New Years Eve Karaoke

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The Bookstore Chick

So my daughter picks up this woman for me at Barnes and Noble…

I think that its hilarious to listen to some single dads complain about their weekend with the kids.  They get all dramatic about this and that and how they were so exhausted and couldn’t wait to get the kids back to their mother.  It cracks me up.  It really does.

In a way, I wish that I had their reality.  I absolutely love my daughter and would not give up my full custody for anything, but truth be told, it would be nice to have the occasional weekend free from parental duties.  I also love how these same dads try and push all the “parenting stuff” off on mom, while they do their best to be the fun parent.  Deal with reality, losers.  You knocked her up, so you can do some of the heavy lifting yourself.  Life isn’t all about Chuck E. Cheese and ski trips!

So there I was, at home one night, a full-time single dad fixing dinner after returning home from my 9.5 hour workday when my darling 12-year-old announces that she needs to get a book at the bookstore for this project that she has due.  “OK,” I tell her.  “When is it due?”  “Tomorrow,” she replies very matter of factly.  As I start to lecture her about responsibility and all that stuff, she looks at me, rolls her eyes and says, “what’s your problem?”

What’s my problem?  Right now I have a 4’11” redheaded problem!  I quickly finish dinner and we gobble it down and jump in the car to head to our local Barnes and Noble.  Having just moved to Buffalo, I knew that we were almost halfway between two stores and I had been to one, but I really hadn’t ventured much into the neighborhood of the other one, so I figured that we would have an adventure and hit the one on “The Boulevard” (Niagara Falls Boulevard, for the record).

We arrived at the bookstore and I found myself perusing the wares on a table when this blond woman across the table from me makes a comment about how much some book costs.  I look up and said something back (I have no idea what I said.  It was that memorable) and we chatted for all of 10 seconds before she walked away with her daughter.  I went and found my bundle of sunshine and we were in another aisle about 5 minutes later when she pointed out, “that lady you were talking to at the table just walked past us.”  I looked up and said, “OK.”  To which she replied that I should go over and talk to her.  I glanced over at the lady and decided that she was kind of cute, but I figured that the odds of me picking up a woman at a bookstore at 7:45 PM on a Tuesday night were about as good as the chance my daughter was gonna get an “A” on this project.  So, I simply said, “Whatever.”

The next thing I know my little matchmaker was out of the aisle and slowly working her way over to where the blond was and as soon as the woman picked up a copy of a Rachel Ray kids cookbook, my daughter says, (in a loud voice) “I have that same cookbook.  Daddy, what recipe did we make from that cookbook?”

Oh no she didn’t!  The fruit of my loins just picked up a woman for me at Barnes and Noble!  I felt kind of pimped out.  What I should have done was said, “I don’t know what recipe.  We have to go do your project.”  But I felt kind of obligated to talk with this woman for a few minutes.

As I chatted with The Bookstore Chick, her daughter and mine started striking up their own friendship.  After a couple of moments, the Chick asked if I wanted to move over to the café and have some coffee.  I said sure, and just like that, I was on a date with a blond at the bookstore.

We talked about this and that for the next half hour or so and I looked at my watch and announced that we simply had to get home so that we could get this project done, but would she like to go out over the weekend?  She agreed and we traded numbers and e-mail addresses and went our separate ways.  She sent me a text that night saying that she was looking forward to Saturday night and that she would talk with me tomorrow.

As we sipped our coffee that first night, she mentioned that she was a little sore because she just had a biopsy done on one of her breasts and she had the staples in for a couple more days.  I politely inquired as to whether or not she had good news and she said the tumor was benign.  Why do I tell you this now?  Well, it probably has something to do with a text I received the next morning.

After a good morning text from her, I received another one.  This one had a photo attached.  “Hmmm,” I thought.  “I wonder what this is?”  I opened it up and to say I was shocked would be a huge understatement.  There, staring me in the face (pun fully intended) was her left breast, most of which was covered in a bandage!

Now I like a good boob as much as the next guy, but this was a bit weird.  It wasn’t huge by any means, but it wasn’t small.  The gauze bandage covered up most of it, but there was still enough hanging out to make it worth the view.  It wasn’t firm and full, but neither was it hanging down to her knee.  I scratched my head and wondered why she had sent it to me, and after a while I kind of panicked and wondered if I was expected to reciprocate.  I’m not sure that I was comfortable sending a stranger pictures of my junk.  For the record, I’m not sure how I feel about sending anyone pictures of the Southern Hemisphere.  Unless it’s my butt.  I do have a nice ass.  It’s all those years of playing ice hockey in California.

Long story short, we still went out on Saturday night, but it was probably my shortest date ever.  We met at a local pizza and wing joint, ordered a couple beers, some pizza and a few wings and started talking again.  I began to ask her about her job and about her family and she simply flipped out.  She got all flustered and gathered up her purse and her coat and said that this was all going too fast and that she couldn’t handle it.  The next thing I knew, she was out the door and going to her car.

I sat there for a moment, kind of confused, but then I leaned back in the booth, took a sip of my beer, munched on some pizza and killed a few wings before I too headed home.  As I drove back down The Boulevard I thought to myself how odd this all was.  I mean, I got a boob picture the day after I met her, so I figured that I would at least get a kiss on the first date.  Maybe even some tongue.  I wondered what to do with the rest of my evening and I thought about reading.  “There’s a Barnes and Noble just up the street,” I thought to myself.  “Maybe I’ll go look for a book…”

J.R.

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The Period One

Yeah.  It’s exactly what you’re thinking…

She will always be my first.  I don’t remember her name.  Patty seems to come to mind for some reason, but maybe it’s because she was Irish with red hair.  Her name is completely unimportant to this story, because for the last 6 years all anyone has ever called her is “The Period One”.

Let me clarify the phrase, “She will always be my first.”  She wasn’t my “first” as in the first person I slept with; she was my first date after O.C.B. (Original Crazy B****, AKA my ex).  Thanks for letting me clear that up.

We met online and as I dialed her number for the first time I was crazy nervous.  My hands were shaking a bit and my voice probably was too.  I can’t remember whether or not I had a couple of drinks to steady myself, but if I didn’t, I probably should have.  Part of me was hoping to get her voice mail so that I could leave a message and let her get back to me on her own time.  I didn’t want her to be in the middle of something and have her be annoyed that I was interrupting.  On a scale of 1-10 I think my self-esteem was hovering somewhere between two and three.

She did answer the phone and somehow I was able to hold it together and I found a way to string along a fairly intelligent conversation.  It must have been intelligent, because before I hung up the phone I had a date.  Not only did I have a date, but I had a date with a pretty girl.  A pretty, thin, redheaded, seemingly normal girl.  I was excited.

There are some details that I don’t remember at all and others that I remember vividly.  Some I remember too vividly.  I remember that she said she had recently moved from Philly and that she was a huge Eagles fan.  I also remember that she lived in Hollywood.  At the time I lived in Long Beach, CA and we were (depending on traffic) anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes apart.  I also remember that the date was on a Monday night.

As we chatted on the phone she mentioned that she really missed watching the Eagles and that when she was in Philly she loved going to a sports bar to watch the games.  As luck would have it the Eagles were playing on Monday Night Football just a few days later, so we decided to meet at a sports bar near Hollywood so that we could watch the game and talk.

My stomach was in knots as I got ready for that first date.  I don’t recall throwing up or anything, but I remember sweating and being scared.  Really scared.  Why was I scared?  I had no game and even less self-esteem.  Not the best combo.

I made my way from freeway to freeway and found a parking spot close to the sports bar and, after parking my car, I got out, wiped my sweaty palms on my pants and made my way inside.  I arrived first and I grabbed a table where both of us could get a good view of the game, just in case the date headed south.

She arrived a few minutes later and she looked just like her pictures.  I wasn’t surprised at this fact, but you have to remember that she was the first person that I had met online and I wasn’t yet hip to the reality that a lot of people don’t look like the pics they post.  Anyway…

She arrived and looked just like her pictures.  I remember she was wearing a tight black shirt—kind of low cut, but not too low.  She was also wearing a plaid schoolgirl-type skirt and black tights.  She looked good.  Really good.

We started chatting, grabbed a couple of drinks and perused the menu a bit.  We ordered a couple of appetizers and some sandwiches and started talking some more.  The nachos arrived and we began eating.  What happened next will forever remain burned in my mind and I can picture the whole event as if it was 15 minutes ago.

I had just put a bite into my mouth when she looked up at me and announced, “I really like sex, but I can’t tonight because I’m on my period.  I hope that’s OK with you.”  Seriously. This chick announced to me just 15 minutes into our first meeting, that she couldn’t have sex because she was menstruating.  Wow!

I tried not to choke on the chip in my mouth and I somehow found the ability to say, “Sure.  No problem.”  I quickly replayed the moment over in my head to make sure that I heard her correctly.  “She didn’t really just say that,” I reasoned.  Then I tried to come up with another phrase that sounded like “I really like sex, but I can’t tonight because I’m on my period.  I hope that’s OK with you.”   But I couldn’t.

To say I was a bit freaked out would be a huge understatement.  I had just come out of a 13-year relationship and I had full custody of my 5-year-old.  I was naive and figured that I would meet someone, fall in love and live happily ever after.  Now here I was sitting across the table from a chick that wanted to nail me on the first date, but couldn’t because she had Aunt Flo in town.

Should I be upset that here I was putting out good money for dinner and drinks and she wasn’t putting out at all or should I be creeped out that this woman I hardly knew thought that I should know right up front about her monthly cycle?

The reality is that someone like her was likely to have some sort of a Super STD—one that could penetrate even the strongest of condoms.  This one was a flat-out slut.  Take that to be a good thing or a bad thing.  Your call.

The bottom line is that I somehow finished dinner and we went our separate ways at halftime.  I never did call her back for a second date, but I’m sure that if I would have, I could have had some much needed sex.  When I got home I called a couple of friends to tell them the story and one was nearly as freaked as I was.  The other one?  He was pissed, not freaked.  To this day I still remember his reaction, “Did you ask her if her mouth worked?”

Welcome back to the dating world…

J.R.

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