Thursday, February 25, 2010


Old boyfriends remind you that someone in the world really understands what makes you tick, and still finds that stuff interesting enough to stick around.

Old boyfriends keep you honest. You cannot reinvent yourself with an old boyfriend who knows the real you. In spite of your attempts to appear more clever, more together, less insecure, they know the truth, and don’t hesitate to call you on it.

Old boyfriends sometimes have better memories of the relationship than when they left it.
Never underestimate revisionist history when it comes to your old relationship. “Never look back” is good advice, but accepting that it wasn’t all bad helps you move forward. So touch base with your old boyfriend, he’ll put a positive spin on the whole thing.

Old boyfriends sometimes want you back. Because inexplicably, they somehow feel rejected. They may have cheated on you, not returned your phone calls, but that’s all a wash. If they can’t see you naked now, it just plain hurts. This can be somewhat rewarding. Just be clear on the new terms of service. Nobody likes a cock tease. Especially an old boyfriend cock tease.

Old boyfriends hate new boyfriends. They’ll tell you to be careful, tell you that he’s only using you for sex, that they’re not spending enough quality time together out of the bedroom - all the stuff you wish someone would have told you when you were dating him.

Old boyfriends really care. They have nothing to gain. They know they’re probably not going to get any, yet they’re there, as a friend. You can bend their ear about all sorts of stuff – jobs, hobbies, hopes, fears, just don’t talk about new crushes. Conversation over.

Old boyfriends teach you what to look for in new boyfriends. We sometimes forget the good in people that we’ve dated. Spending time with an old boyfriend can remind you what you actually saw in him, and help identify what qualities to look for in your new relationships.

Old boyfriends remind you of red flags you ignored. Did he mention he was bad at relationships? Wanted to sleep with his ex-wife’s mother or sister? When you’re at a restaurant, does he do his impersonation of one of those cat clocks with the shifting eyes? These early warning signs are the reason your boyfriend became your old boyfriend. Therefore reminding you not to ignore them in your next boyfriend.

Old boyfriends, the good ones, will be there. To buy you an occasional dinner, to help you in emergencies, to support your dreams and ridiculous fantasies. And yes, to remind you that you still have a magical effect on Mr. Happy – even if he has to go home sad.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Make a perfect piece of toast. Paint a peace sign in raspberry jam with your finger, or draw a funny penis. Leave the crumbs, coffee cup, and crumbled napkin as a still life.

Wash your plate after 3 PM. Lukewarm water running over porcelain – this sink full of dirty dishes, a fountain to admire. Toss a penny in and wish for more days like this.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


In line at the burrito place, waiting outside the burrito place for our order to be filled, the diner on Sunday mornings, poking around antique shops, walking down every block in a 3 mile radius of my place, the ubiquitous middle-aged single women stroll, and set their sights on my man.

Well, he’s not my man. He was once, but never for that long. There was always another middle aged single lady lying in wait – like the one that owned the ever so hip bakery in the neighborhood. He was always delivering wedding cakes for her, he said it was innocent, that they were just friends. It seemed her delivery van was always breaking down and he was the only one with the Midas touch for delivering baked goods. Pretty soon I saw his pick up truck parked in front of that bakery every time I drove by. And soon after that, I’d see her behind the wheel of his truck with no Cal in sight – me standing at the sidewalk getting a hit by a face full of exhaust – the giant a poof of finely sifted cake flour choking my lungs.

That was years ago, she ended up being with him, but everything ended abruptly when she cleared out one of his drawers to make a combo pantie/sock drawer for herself. Cal is a man who’s blood runs cold at the sight of a woman’s toothbrush, yet he used to break down doors and haul dangerous organized crime characters off to jail. Fearless against the city’s most dangerous element, testifying against violent criminals in court and returning to his home that was listed in the white pages, full address plain as day. Yet women's toiletries sent him running like a little girl to the folds of a mother’s skirt.

Oddly, this is one of the reasons why I sort of loved him. Maybe because it ensured the fact that no one woman would be around too long. Women like to roost, what’s the old joke; what do two lesbians bring to a first date? A U-Haul Truck! Women tend to be nesters, and Cal looked like he was a prime candidate. Well mannered, respectful, a good listener, a houseful of antiques and well-tended-to houseplants. It was the perfect cover, only it wasn’t a cover, it was who Cal was. And single middle-aged women fell for it every time.

He would make an old fashioned “howdy ma’am” nod to almost every woman we passed on Main Street, I would picture him whittling notches on his antique oak headboard with each gestured hello.

That was years ago, and now he couldn’t be more important in my life; I have made peace with all the other single middle aged women on the street, our burrito place, even the lady with the bakery who he still refers to as a “rock star”. I know of every woman from his past – some are still around – the one with the fucked up kid who can’t stay out of rehab, the one in social services, the one who knows how to use a circular saw, I’m good with them all, although we’ve never met.

For therein lies the secret to winning Survivor on The Lost Island of Middle-aged Broads. I understand that all these other middle-aged women are part and parcel of being Cal; I sit by his fire listening to their stories – sometimes I feel for them as though they were friends.

Why is he worth my friendship, my time, this story? He will always be that fearless cop I first fell in love who brought down the bad guys and who more often than not would leave his weapon at home because I knew he secretly believed that guns were for scaredy-cats. I love him for his antique birdhouses, his pretty glass lamps, they way he shoots off on his motorcycle as the yellow light turns red. He’s bad-ass, collects pretty seashells – I even love his fear of women's toothbrushes – it doesn’t scare me anymore.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


So, I'm poking around the LTR section of Craigslist. "LTR," that's short for long term relationship. I guess it could be misconstrued. Back in the day it meant a respectful, loving relationship between two people. But times they are a changin', this fact is never more nakedly exposed than on Craigslist.

Let's start with the guy who is a professional reader of women's nipples. He claims if you show him your nipples he can tell you everything about you, your future, and what you need to become a complete, happy person. He goes on to say in a Madison Ave-type subhead - "This stuff really works!" Did he run this claim through legal? Did this "Areola Expert" get a degree at the TTS Academy? Does nipple reading qualify as a LTR? It sounds to me like more of a short office visit. If so, will my claim get bounced back from my HMO?

Then there's the minimalist poster in the Long Term Relationship section, who shares his romantic intentions – all synthesized in one word: "FISTING!" What kind of return would one get in the men for women LTR section? Is this every straight girl's dream? Perhaps "DINNER AND A MOVIE AND FISTING" would be more fitting for this audience. I don't know. I'm sure there are some nice women who might partake in the not so gentle act of fisting. Perhaps "FISTING AND SPOONING" might be more akin to what today’s women are looking for. But that's just me. I mean, not me. I just want dinner and a movie and maybe a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I'm not much for fisting – but no judgments.

So, moving on down the list I come upon, "Shaved? Or 1970's Bush?" I appreciate a man who's open minded to blonds or brunettes, skinny or Rubenesque, long hair or short – but he's specifying the grooming habits of your pubis? He's into Brazillians, and I don't mean women who wear string bikinis who sing the bossa nova. That said, he is an equal opportunity pubis-specifier. He's also open to the Angela Davis' of venus mounds. Are these appropriate checklist entries for LTR's? I'm thinking something more like, "Are you spiritual, like puppies, and have a Afro-tastick bush so untamed that it bulges from behind your little black dress." I don't know. Pubic hair is important, men can be so specific, but should it be front and center of your want list in the LTR section? Can we please leave bald, bushy, combed or corn-rowed out of the up front criteria?

When it comes down to it, what's wrong with the good ol' date night cliches? The long walks on the beach, enjoying quiet nights by the fire, taking spontaneous weekend drives to nowhere in particular. But using my nipples as a Ouija board will never make the classics.