Dating During a Plague

A very hearty hello to my awesome subscribers and new visitors! From the looks of my last entry, I restarted the year waaaaay, too, soon!!! Silly me! Who knew life could get EXPONENTIALLY crazier — like, dystopian parallel dimensions levels of crazy! I always have it in the back of my mind that life can, of course, be worse if your health is in question, but I never really foresaw your health potentially being seriously in question every single day depending on where you go and who you interact with.

It really makes you realize what our foremothers and fathers were going through with all those previous plagues (small pox, typhus, bubonic, Spanish Flu/H1N1, so many more, just pick one!) and yet NONE of them had the luxury of modern healthcare, let alone fairly easy deliveries to their home, including groceries, or even cars to drive in to get drive through medicine or food or what have you, or movies streaming to their phones and TVs (because they didn’t have any of those either!).

However socially, we are indeed all heavily impacted because we cannot seek solace in the in-person balm of gathering together in friendship, love, and camaraderie which is one of life’s sweetest blessings, and free to all (wo)mankind. Weddings, birthday parties, game nights, trivia nights, backyard BBQs, what have you — these are all basically off limits outside of your very small bubble of loved ones.

Which leads me to the title of this post. How on EARTH are you supposed to date during a plague?! Seriously! You will most definitely not meet a cute new stranger at a friend’s party, or out on a karaoke night. The odds of that happening in my demographic (40+) are slim to none as it is, however now, the very prospect of closely interacting with people you barely know is currently neither exciting nor energizing, let alone something to hope for.

There is also quite a bit of irony to romance blossoming during a plague. Singles might be thinking “gosh if only I was already in a couple, this relative isolation would be so much more bearable!” However, if you Google “covid divorce” you will see a plethora of articles detailing how divorce rates are skyrocketing! One would think you would bond together and find solace in each other, but apparently the pressures of a restricted life under the threat of Covid is what? Too much togetherness? Making those who were only able to live with each other when they spent most of the day apart go quickly bonkers? Whatever the case may be it’s sad to see, and nothing to long for. (I now insert Kelly Rippa and Mark Consuelos for consideration here as they seem to be going strong and have a great family unit. There are many other examples also. I just don’t want to be a Debbie Downer and only spotlight the covid divorce trend!)

Back to all the single ladies (and fellas)… So obviously you aren’t going to meet anyone in person, and if you did it would likely be very awkward to segue into a date. Maybe you’ll try online dating?
My question is, how?
Oooooh, right right, video dates! Phone calls! That will totally substitute for actual dates for a while, right?
IMHO, wrong.

Video dating can help you to get a feel for a person IN GENERAL, but it can in no way replace being with a date in person. You cannot truly assess the vibe on a call like you can throughout an afternoon or evening date in person. And not only that, because of lack of access to the normal social activities we’re used to doing on a date, you can’t assess how you interact together during those activities — did they short the wait staff on a tip? Or were they dismissive or rude? Did they stiff you on the bill? Take 5 billion hours in the public bathroom? Arrive really late with no apology or heads up? Swear regularly and loudly and make you cringe in public? Stare at other men/women? Or do they drink Midori sours/Bud Light??? 😮 You know what I mean. These are things you can easily see on a normal first date that you won’t or won’t necessarily see on a phone call, video date, or an open air hike. Taking an open air walk is great (and useful to see how your sportiness lines up with theirs if exercise is important to you, like it is to me), but being out in nature doesn’t present the same opportunities to see if your lifestyles are simpatico as well as your witty banter and physical attraction! The glitch being again that, our lifestyles are currently in a Bizarro-world in any case, making everything that much more complicated to suss out.

Beyond regular public dates, let’s not forget it’s a monumentally important decision to entertain the idea of going over to the home of someone you’re dating — which is usually another really important way to see if you mesh well. Have you every been at someone’s house and felt like, “I could never live here in a million years?” And I don’t just mean superficial stuff like the decor (although if their place is covered in Twilight or football paraphernalia, fair warning!). There are many factors to why you might feel comfortable at someone else’s house, and that little voice inside you making you feel comfortable or UNcomfortable, should be listened to.

But guess what? Due to Covid concerns, you may have been video dating with someone for 1, 2, or even 3 months so all the normal things you would have assessed in the first 5 or 6 dates max are now taking EXPONENTIALLY LONGER to assess, and you’re now in a weird epistolary romance of sorts! Or videography romance? I don’t know the correct terminology here, but it all sums up as much more complicated to extricate yourself from if the romance fizzles in reality. 😮 Not to mention the energy you’d have to put in to dating multiple people with multiple video dates for God knows how long then what? Making them all get covid tests to date in person? I can’t even… :-p

If any of you have been dating during the plague, please feel free to comment below and let me know what worked and what didn’t and what your thoughts are. As for me, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to be on dating hiatus until 2021! Or, buy a very sexy hazmat suit. O.o

And now, time for a coffee!
Happy weekend, my lovelies!

Cheers, Maddy ❤

NEW New Year’s Eve is Jan 31st, just FYI.

I’m redoing NYE on Friday.
Do you want to know why?

In a nutshell, 2019 was mostly balls. Not like, juggling balls of excitement. More like, the hairy, sweaty, crusty balls of whatever mammalian species you choose to envision (little cute fluffy forest bunnies, probably not included in that list). Suffice it to say — the 2nd half of the year was pretty crappy, and ended on a spectacularly horrible note.

The months from June to December 2019 brought the following highlights:

* My beloved dog Sasha, 14, suddenly had heart, liver, and kidney failure, lingered in bouts of misery, and had to be put down the day before my first full-on no-kids airplane related vacation in literally 15 years. That was just lovely, excellent timing.

* My ex bf (now forever referred to as False Captain Wentworth) broke up with me for reasons still ambiguous — notably, the cliche of “it’s not you, it’s me” was cited. (Are you all gagging collectively? Yes? Thank you.)

* I broke bones for the 2nd time in my life — also since moving here to New England, but entirely not ice related this time. I managed to break 2 bones on the left side of my left foot. I didn’t realize I had broken it, I thought it was a bad sprain until I got an x-ray WEEKS later. My bedroom is on the 2nd floor BTW, and my office is in the basement. Stairs suddenly became MY ARCH NEMESIS for quite a while. I now intimately know why senior citizens with mobility issues need single story homes. (Or just those of us who don’t have larger adults to help them up and down stairs!)

* November brought INTENSE, and ENTIRELY RIDICULOUS family drama surrounding Thanksgiving that I will not even document here so as not to incriminate those (total nutjobs) involved. However, despite the reasons for the drama being baseless, illogical and toxic, the stress was still extreme, and not able to be ignored. Happy Holidays!!

* Speaking of Happy Holidays. December brought a great deal of freelance work for me (huzzah!) and a pretty decent Christmas after the horrors of November. Until, quite suddenly, my half sister was discovered dead in her apartment after Christmas from what the coroner suspects was a heart attack.

There was no will, no access to funds, and no pre-done funeral arrangements. I am on the opposite coast and arranged everything remotely for what ended up being 21 days of the most intense panic-attack inducing stress I have every had, aside from my divorce, but much more concentrated as time was of the essence. When you get a call on New Years Eve night that arrangements need to be made for your sister’s body to be sent SOMEWHERE (when you thought that was being handled) — you fully realize there is no downtime in that process. So I rang in the new year alternately weeping and panicking and wondering why this had all been thrust upon me all of a sudden.

The funeral (3 weeks and $9,000 later) brought little resolution as my older living sister (also on west coast) who was needed to attempt to finalize my deceased sister’s estate — RAN AWAY, the morning after the funeral. (You can’t even make this stuff up folks.) She checked out of her hotel, hopped a bus, and took off. Police in 2 cities were called. Hospitals in 2 cities were called. Her home phone appeared to be unplugged and no one at her home. Three days later, the police finally caught her — she had/has been hiding inside her home since the funeral. Hiding from all of us, including from police who made multiple welfare checks but had not broken the door to enter. She still hasn’t made contact with anyone, and thusly our deceased sister’s affairs are in disarray to the point that I guess her mail is even bouncing back to senders and bills are just compounding, etc. At the publication of this post, there is still not even a death certificate I can use to at least notify social security she has passed as the funeral home insists on handing them directly to my incommunicado west coast sister (next of kin) instead of the family friend who actually paid for the bulk of the funeral arrangements. It is a cluster F of the highest magnitude.

Please note: MAKE A WILL. CHOOSE RELIABLE EXECUTORS. And if at all humanly possible, have prepaid funeral plans or easily accessed money set aside for your funeral (I’m an expert on this now — for cremation — have about 10K, if you want embalming and all that you are really looking at closer to 20K!). One day (you know, 100 years from now when we pass on) we want our family to be able to grieve correctly, not be incurring PTSD or going socially catatonic from the stress of our departing. Sudden grief is horrible ENOUGH. Do not make your relatives make a gofundme page for you while grieving (I know 2 people who did this). Please leave your things in order if at all humanly possible.

Anyway! So since my shitty 2019 couldn’t even end on a clean note of refreshment and renewal and most of my bright new January was a flaming hot manic mess, I’m re-doing NYE this Friday January 31st 2019(+1), and my new year will begin February 1, 2020. Just FYI.

I sincerely pray for a stress-free year full of good things, including most of all excellent health for all of us and our loved ones, and a positive outlook on the days and years to come. Also, go hug your beloved and tell them they are friggin’ awesome. ❤

And with that,
it is most *definitely* time for a coffee,
perhaps in France. Something!


Poetry Corner!

Ooh look! A new feature. I will sprinkle these in between blog posts for giggles…

By the way, I hope you all had a fabulous Summer and have an even more enchanting and lovely Autumn (my favorite season)!

Middle Aged Dating Limerick

There once was a gal from South Mass
Who wished for true love, not an ass,
But found every year
The beaus round grew more queer
And her true loves were friends, child, and sass.

Summer Ghosts

The ghosts of summer ’round me glide
They whisper half-truths at my side
And follow me into the Fall
Where wraiths are honored most of all.
Alas though specters thrill betimes
These are not welcome ghosts of mine
I wish them gone, I wish them fled,
That ease may haunt my halls instead.

Mea Maxima Culpa

“You give love, a bad name…”

Oh good Lord, yes, I know.
I haven’t posted since March! I have intended to many times, but as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Not that I’M doing anything nefarious. However I do have to note that things with the previously referred to “Captain Wentworth” did sadly go straight to hell over the summer.

Very NON Jane Austen hero-like behavior was noted — let’s just say if sincere and constant affection is a hallmark of Austen’s Wentworth — I mislabeled this fellow quite miserably! Mea culpa. I thought I’d done my due diligence in the first half of our (almost) year together, but it turns out you really have no idea what anyone is thinking in their heart of hearts — which is frankly, very scary, and yet also intrinsic to that intangible magic that keeps two people together. As well as, oh, you know, commitment, communication, and honesty — but let’s say it’s mostly ethereal shit! It’s a nice vague premise. False Captain Wentworth likes those!

Subsequently, what can you do when that delicate cord running between your two hearts has snapped irreparably? Nothing, really. But you can walk away, head held high, and perhaps with a pen ready in hand, to defame them in verse, ala Taylor Swift. That works for me! Also I recommend muting, or better yet, blocking them on your social media. It is well documented that staying “friends” with an ex is unhealthy, unless it was a completely mutual scenario or you have children between you and MUST see each other. Neither of these things applies here soooooo, ADIOS amigo!

In any case, no matter how things turned out — the relationship was not a total waste of time, and I have the Manhattan and European vacation photos to prove it. :-p So you know — lemons = lemonade! I’m not accustomed to pining for anyone. I am on a dating hiatus however — a cleansing sabbatical, if you well. However, I will be accepting applications for potential new beaus around Halloween, so you know, let me know if you know of any REAL Captain Wentworths! I haven’t given up hope. 😉

Time to drown my (transient) sorrows in coffee,

Casper-itis: When Friends Ghost You Because They Are Now Regularly Getting Laid

This is a public service announcement.

I’m thinking this subject hits home for at least a few of you out there (am I right, @kaitlynabdou / Twitter). Of course, OF COURSE, when one falls in love, they can get swept away in it!  Finally, they have found the peanut butter, to their jelly.  The Sonny to their Cher…no wait, they got divorced. The Captain, to their Tennille. Shit, no, they got divorced too! OK the Barbara to their GHW Bush! Hah! Anyway!  People get stoked and they may get a little quieter in their communication, as these days, one’s thumbs can only type out a limited amount of text messages and fb tags a day. 

However, one should not DUMP their friends when they find love. I don’t mean, “I can’t hang every Friday night out now.”  I mean more like — “new phone — who dis?” Just poof, MIA! Our friends are not just place holders for romantic relationships.  Our friends, our truly good friends, the ones who love us and support us emotionally and sometimes even physically (hey can I get a ride, can you babysit, can you let me watch GoT at your house with you???) for no other reason than that they think we are cool and good humans — these people do not lose value just because you are now getting your cardio primarily in the bedroom.

“Now that I have you Mr. Fuzzy, what need have I of silly friends?!”

Remember the golden rule — how would YOU feel if your friends did this to you?  Wouldn’t it feel shitty?  Wouldn’t you feel (literally) abandoned? Wouldn’t you also want to silly string “Give me back my Sex & the City DVD set” across their car?  No?  Only me?  OK fine.  But the point is, friendship is more than trading rides to the airport.  These platonic bonds are the stuff of life — they enrich us — just like a healthy and positive romantic relationship does (see also: Captain Wentworth).  To be well rounded people we should only cut out negative relationships, not ALL other relationships, and definitely not just glom onto our new s.o.

It has been noted many times that people who ditch their friends in favor of their new mate can become far less interesting to said mate and may even be seen as clingy because of it.  Keep your circle of friends!  For me these days it’s more like a semi-circle, or a very small arc, but damn it, my few besties are wonderful people, and I wouldn’t trade them for a flock of frenemies and hangers-on and muah-muah-see-you-at-the-next-event types for anything in the world!  And I think @Kaitlynabdou AND Captain Wentworth would back me up on this. 😉

Til Next time!

Time for a Coffee,


V-day thoughts and Brow Love!

Hello to all my Internet (secret and not so) Admirers!

Probably not going to be you if you try to go to a nice restaurant on Feb 14.

It’s already February – how did this happen?? Next week is Valentine’s Day!  You either are like “woo” or “boo” although a few of you are “WOOHOO!!!!” – much like the house I passed on my way home from dinner with Captain Wentworth last night that had a full-on Christmas level lighting scheme and major heart shaped décor going on!!  I’m going to be sexist and assume that’s a female who decorated that house and by GOD her mate better deliver next week or she’s totally gonna craft them a noose with raffia and glitter, that’s all I’m sayin’.

My current thoughts on Valentine’s day are summed up thusly.  All is well with Captain Wentworth and we have exchanged those three little words (“You are cool.” No, wait. “Like your butt.”  No that wasn’t it either, hmmm…) so 2019 Valentine’s day by default is a big thumbs up.  It’s also fun when you have kids because you get to put together vday cards or bake cookies and make them little presents and they are super happy which is cute!  Last year I was single and I have to say – folks, if you are online dating right now – GET OFF THE GODFORSAKEN APPS!  It was like the proverbial singles club meat market of days of yore when people actually used to meet without electronics involved!  I’m talking you’d exchange 2 sentences with someone on an app and they were like “…this app sucks – GIVE ME YOUR NUMBER!!  Let’s be REAL – WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF????????”  You.  You sir.  You sir are *exactly* what I am afraid of!

So I repeat, shut those profiles *down* for the next two weeks people – It’s hell out there!

Speaking of hell – try going to a restaurant on Valentine’s Day!  You’ll be lucky if the you can get into Denny’s or the 99! Better to do dinner at home the night of then do dinner out a few days before or after – although the Saturday after will also be pretty slammed. In any case, whether you are in romantic love with only yourself (which you should be in any case, cuz you rooooock!) or also in love with a significant other, or even a wee one, I wish you a very lovely Valentine’s Day full of beauty, joy, and awesome take-out cuz I’m telling you the restaurants are fucked, don’t even do it. ❤😃

Product Review: L’oreal Paris, Unbelievea Brow Gel, Light Brunette = 5 stars

Joan Crawford. Terrifying.

Yes, yes, I know the name is ridiculous but guuuuuuuurl (and you 2 guys reading this part!!!) it is AWESOME.  This is hands down the most perfect eyebrow product I have used so far, and I’ve been filling in my brows at least a little bit for at least 12 years, I think. Why fill your brows?  Well see for yourself below.  I personally feel it lends a certain youthfulness to the face to have a fuller brow, as long as you don’t go crazy with it and look like Joan Crawford (who had completely normal eyebrows when she was younger if you go back and look at older pics!).

Left brow = before gel, Right brow = after.
Yes, this picture sucks, I know.

I love this product because it’s a doe foot applicator so it doesn’t drag on your eyebrows like a pencil or brush with wax, and then there is a little mascara brush AND little make-up brush so you can comb thru and set your brow with precision. Plus it’s more or less waterproof although I’d have to do a swim test to really know for sure as I’m not hopping in the shower then taking a selfie for you guys – my beauty blog dedication only goes so far!  But I will say after I wash my face it’s still halfway there, which is handy if you are on vacay and don’t have all the time needed for your normal toilette! 

I used the Light Brunette shade and it is absolutely perfect for my dark brown hair and again, fills smoothly without giving you the ubiquitous Joan Crawford-type look you see going around! I wholeheartedly recommend!

And with that! Time for a coffee…  Maddy ❤