I’m gonna show him what little girls are made of

I’m gonna show him what little girls are made of

I’m not sure I know too many people who get to Almost Forty and think “holy shit, this is exactly how I wanted my life to be! all my dreams have come true!” If you’re that person and aren’t an Academy Award winning actor, a self-made millionaire, a politician no one wants to punch in the face, or anything else ridiculously successful and are just bursting with happiness, by all means, explain to me how you got there. Inquiring minds want to know.

The rest of us will be sitting here wondering exactly how many wrong turns we made, whilst also trying to be grateful for where we actually are and all that we do have. And maybe drinking a lot of wine.

I certainly didn’t think I would be 38, single, childless and still not have VP in my title. I was voted most likely to succeed in high school, after all. My parents and all my siblings would probably argue that I am successful. And I am sure many people with whom I’m friends on Facebook would tell me I have a great life. Don’t get me wrong, I do. I love where I live (though I miss LA every single day), I love my pets, I love that I get paid to see movies and work with Real Life Pals each week, I love that I finally got off my figurative ass and started writing again and most of all, I am filthy rich when it comes to friendship, and I love all my people so much it sometimes makes me cry.

But I am not where I thought I would be. Or should be. And I am not alone. I have a lot of single, childless girlfriends. And most of us agree, we are relatively okay with not having kids for a multitude of reasons. But the shitty part is getting to the age range at which that choice is taken away from us all together. Biology can be a real dick.

I have two girlfriends I’ve known since middle school with whom I still talk to quite often. One of them is my sweet friend Cathalee. We were super tight in high school, as we had a lot in common, most notably uncanny abilities to crush on guys we could never date and obsess over professional athletes.

Cathalee is in the top five of Genuinely Good Humans I’ve ever known. I love her dearly, which is why a phone call we had a few months ago broke my heart into a million pieces for her. After battling lady problems that came with excruciating pain and severe anemia for quite some time, not to mention a doctor that failed miserably to diagnose her properly (with whom I would like to have a not so lovely chat), she found out she had a fibroid that had grown to half the size of her uterus and the best option would be a hysterectomy. At 38.

I don’t want to totally speak for her, as it’s her story and feelings to share. She’s written some very personal, very candid blog posts about it herself here, here and here. If you have time to read them, I encourage you to do so. For a very good reason.

There is still spoken and unspoken discrimination against women who do not have children. You can argue with me all you want about it, but it’s there. It exists. We are still considered to be less than. We are still accused of being selfish. We are still told we will regret this and we are failing as women. We are treated as if there is something wrong with us.

First of all, fuck that.

Second of all, not having kids is not always an actual choice we made. And by the way, if it is a choice we have made or decide to make, that is no one else’s goddamn business and it’s perfectly acceptable. It’s 2018. We don’t have to worry about re-populating the species or taking care of farms. I won’t go into the advantages or disadvantages of having kids or not, but can we at long last stop hating on each other for it? This country and this world have lost their collective minds and we, as women, have much bigger issues right now.

Tracee Ellis Ross, who plays Bow Johnson on Black-ish, one of my absolute favorite characters on TV, is 45 and not married and doesn’t have kids. She gave an AMAZING speech about her “situation” at Glamour’s Women of the Year event, which can be found here. This past week, an entertainment trade publication interviewed her and asked about this speech and if if she feels judged for neither being married nor having kids. I leave you with her answer. Because although I can write many poignant, colorful and not always ladylike remarks about this subject, none of them will be better than this:

You know, I don’t know if I feel judged, but that certainly is a paradigm that we’re all still breaking through. Both in how we language it…I mean, even someone today really, truly meant to be supportive in what she was asking, but unconsciously still framed it in a way that was, “I know that you’ve chosen your career over having a family.” And I was like, “No, I haven’t!” I was like, “There was no point in my life where I chose career over a relationship, or over having a child. This just happens to be where I’ve landed.” So I think it’s not the fault of every individual. I think it really is a systemic response to culture’s way of having an expectation of women within patriarchy and all of that. I think we are one of the first generations of women that have a lot more choices and that can actually make some of those choices [carefully]. You know? Which I find both daunting and exciting.

 

 

 

I can hear her now sayin’ she ain’t gonna have it

I can hear her now sayin’ she ain’t gonna have it

When I think of my mom, many different things come to mind. Her pigs in the blanket on Christmas morning. How she always used Clinique makeup. And Youth Dew perfume. Her love of horses (and cowboys). When she would make breakfast for dinner and how it was my absolute favorite. Our trip to San Antonio with my great-grandmother and my sister, who was still in a stroller at the time. But most of all, I know how proud she is of me these days. Which means a lot, as I am not always proud of myself.

You’ll hear (read?) me say, “I didn’t imagine I would be single and childless at 38” or 39 or 40 (um, if this blog still exists then: high five, Nikki) many, many times. That’s the whole point of this thing. Dealing with the fact that, if you had told me how my life would be now when I got a divorce 10 years ago, I would not have believed you. And probably would have said well fuck this shit and moved to France.

But hey, at least I have good skin.

So having said all that, a little real talk for Mother’s Day: I get somewhat mixed emotional on this day. I go through the motions of wishing a happy day and showing gratitude for my mom, sisters, sister-in-law, and all my beautiful friends who are wonderful mothers. But there’s a part of me, somewhere deep down inside, that gets sideways.

I posted about this in a group of which I am member on Facebook, Forever 35 Listeners with No Kids. (Forever 35 is a kick ass podcast you’re fidna here me talk about a LOT). I know I am not alone on this and wondered exactly how others deal with it. All of us in that group don’t have kids for various reasons, whether by choice or nature or why ever. If it’s by choice, it doesn’t mean we don’t get to be upset about it on occasion. That’s not how it works. For the most part, I am now fine with never having my own biological children. When I take 2.5 seconds to stop mentally berating the shit out of myself, I can see my life is pretty great. I have a job I figgin’ love and my career is back on track after years of derailment; I’ve had the chance to visit three different countries and countless cities over the past couple of years; I am finally paying off quite a bit of debt; and as always, I have more friends than anyone I know. And I only have THE BEST FRIENDS.

In short, this road I am on doesn’t suck as bad as I sometimes think it does. But every once in awhile, something will happen that will trigger a minor meltdown. Like yesterday. A memory popped in my On this Day section of Facebook (that page is both a blessing and a curse), from five years ago when my lovely paternal grandmother was dying. I ended the post by saying, “I hope when I’m a mom I’ll be as strong of a woman as she was.” And oh boy. That did not sit well.

I don’t want anyone’s sympathy. Or judgement. Or advice. This is just one of those things a girl has to deal with herself (but it helps to know you’re not alone, nonetheless). Cause as of today, I am back to normal and looking forward to mimosas with some of my besties in an hour. But I had a moment there for a bit; I was down a rabbit hole of “gosh, where did I go wrong?”

The truth is, I did not go wrong. I’ve had many nights and many boys with which I’ve gone terribly wrong (I won’t list names), but overall, this is my journey and I don’t need to wish any of it different. And you, my friend, who is reading this and relating to it: you did not go wrong, either. The universe knows what each of us has to offer in this lifetime, and the next, and we are here for it.

Besides, after those mimosas? I get to come home, lay on the couch, get the shit scared out of me by the new episode of Handmaid’s Tale and actually take a nap. All interrupted.

So shout out to all my friends and loved ones for whom this day is a little strange, maybe a little sad. For whatever reason, it matters not. Your story and your feelings are yours; you get to have them. And Happy Mother’s Day to those of us who are woke up every day with a good cat pat in the face because there’s only a quarter cup of food left or a 13 year-old dog who has to go outside at 1 a.m. Our struggle may not be the same, but it’s super real, too.

______

This is the first post I’ve shared publicly, for many reasons. Mostly fear. So if you found yourself here and want to read more, there’s already plenty – my trip to Austin, my family reunion, drinking (shocking, I know), St. Paddy’s day and more. Hit HOME in the menu. Let me know what you think. Xo. 

Daytime boys and nighttime boys usually don’t see eye to eye

Daytime boys and nighttime boys usually don’t see eye to eye

So here it is, the tenth post. If I counted correctly. I don’t exactly speak numbers well. I originally told myself once I had a minimum of 10 posts and could manage to throw something up at least three times a week, I would start sharing. But we’ll see about that, cause I DO speak deathly fear of judgement well.

These last few weeks have been, to put it lightly, a lot. I spent six days in Vegas, entirely too long for any one human being; a few days back at home; and then, as previously mentioned, a weekend in Austin with LA friends. This trip was their first Keeping it Weird, so I wanted to make sure they did it right. Tacos. Dirty Sixth. Live music. Beer. All of it.

Here’s the deal with Austin and me. I’ve had my heart broken not once, but twice, in that city. So as fun and fabulous as it is, when I think of it, it never fails I also think of how much I suck at dating. But even drinking an old fashioned reminds me how much I completely suck at dating. I can find the suck in almost anything. Nevertheless, I had an amazing time on this trip. I was able to spend quality time with one of my absolute best friends whom I don’t get to see nearly enough, hang with a handful of other wonderful people from California, see one of my oldest friends and a couple of other pals who live in ATX.

Given how hippy liberal I am, I often have people ask me why I don’t live in Austin. My short and superficial answer is, I don’t want to live any further south. But the genuine answer is, if I am going to live single in Texas, it’s going to be in Dallas. Really, if I am going to live single anywhere, it’s going to be here. Dallas is home. Dallas has my friends, most of my family and most importantly, NorthPark.

Having said that, I love visiting ATX. As long as there isn’t a boy making me cry, of course. The food is good, the people are super fun, the music is on point, and turns out I am a lot more attractive in Austin than I am in Dallas. We were walking around South Congress and happened into a true hat store, and because I love a good hat, I bought myself a fantastic one (IMO). That night we went out on Rainey Street, an area with which I wasn’t yet familiar, and that hat was a complete dude magnet. I had three guys come up to me. I tell you this not to brag, cause the thought of me bragging about men is hilarious, but because I am still confused. And super mad at myself.

Wait, what’s happening? Are you just trying to talk to my gorgeous Persian friend? Did you need directions to the restroom? Are you drunk? I mean, it is Cinco de Drinko, after all, so poor judgement is understandable. Oh is it the hat? It’s totally the hat.

Those are just some of the things that went through my head each time a guy approached. I didn’t think I would get to the point I would no longer know how to react appropriately to cute boys anymore, but goddamn here we are. I had a couple of somewhat confident years in my late 20s and early 30s. But now it’s just…not okay. I am an example of self-sabotage at its finest. The majority of the voices in my head won’t stop LOLing and criticizing long enough for me to chill the fuck out. They’re particularly annoying to the tiny voice in the back screaming “hey, so does he just want to make out? Cause girl, it’s been a minute.”

Normally, I can deal with all of this with a firm stance of “whatever, BEING SINGLE IS FINE.” But this time, it’s really bothering me. And because I’ve recently discovered I loathe journaling, you get to read about it here. Congrats.

Why it bothers me is because of the first guy. His name was Mike, he lives in New York and he was so nice and absolutely ADORABLE. I’m sure he was all of 29. Regardless, boy I totally blew it. I was so completely flabbergasted, I kinda thought he was trying to get us to dance with his super drunk friend? Apparently that was not the case. Because The Voices were giggling, reminding me how old I am, how much weight I need to lose, the fact I live in Dallas, “boys don’t like me” and this guy was clearly too hot for me, I was Not. Paying. Attention.

And I have not stopped thinking about it since. Because here’s the really shitty part. I will be in New York the first week of June. And that was on the tip of my tongue when he said he was from NYC. And I didn’t say it. Because all I was thinking was, “like that would matter.” Once we got seated, I could still see him and his group. I kept thinking Nikki, you need to man the fuck up and go back and talk to him. But I didn’t. And they left. I’m not still percolating on this because I think this guy was my soulmate or anything so ridiculous, but because I know this is indicative of a terrible, terrible habit.

I am dumb. I know.