Optimistic Mama

Someday, the single Mom challenges will be behind me. For now, optimism and my running shoes will get me through.

All of these things are just like the others July 8, 2009

Filed under: dating — optimisticmama @ 1:14 pm

My first love, in high school

My second love, while in college

A high school friend, who I dated just after college

My ex husband

The first guy I dated after my divorce

The Runner

Yeah, so I figured out why The Runner and the other guy getting married bugged me so much.  All six of the men listed above, married the first woman they dated after dating, (or being married to), me.  I haven’t dated that many men, we’re looking at nearly a 50% chance of getting married immediately after dating me.  I’m not finding the humor in this yet.  I hope to, someday, but right now, it pisses me off.

I’d better warn the guy I’m in the process of breaking up with now that he’d better choose his next girlfriend carefully, because she’s likely to end up being his wife!


Another one down July 7, 2009

Filed under: dating — optimisticmama @ 4:24 pm

It has been one year exactly since The Runner gently let me know that his ex girlfriend had returned, and that while he would still like to be friends, and running partners, dating was no longer in the cards.  I wasn’t surprised by this, I had suspected for a while that we were better running partners than romantic material.

Fast forward to this year: The Runner is now married to that ex girlfriend and they are expecting their first child.  And, oh yeah, we’re still friends and running partners, and his wife is a lovely, wonderful woman, and perfect for him.  Still the best thing that ever came out of Match.com; my friendship with The Runner. 

Today, I checked the blog of the first guy I dated post divorce, about three years ago.  Don’t ask me why I still check his blog, I honestly don’t know.  But….he is GETTING MARRIED!  The blood drained out of my face.  I was short of breath and a little light headed.  AND TOTALLY FREAKED OUT!!  I have no idea why this is bugging me so badly.  The guy was an emotional train wreck when I met him.  I knew that.  I also knew that as soon as he found his way to getting his shit together, he was again going to be an amazing man.  Guess what.  He has apparently gotten his shit together.  I’m happy for him, despite my total shock.

I’m very surprised by my reaction to both of these men, who I dated, getting remarried, while I am still single.  Granted, they had both been divorced a whole lot longer than I have been, but still……why am I so freaked out?  Maybe because this ‘thing’, remarriage, that I dream I’ll get to experience someday, is happening for other people, when my own remarriage seems to be little more than a distant fairytale for me?  Or is it?  Could I be reading this in a year, and thinking, ‘holy cow, look how far I’ve come in a year’?  Maybe that is why this is freaking me out.  Not because I’m not remarried, and they are, but, because they are, that maybe I will be too.  And that maybe, it’s not a million light years away, like I believe right now.

But it is possible, that I’m just jealous.  That could be it.


Ground Zero June 22, 2009

Filed under: single mom — optimisticmama @ 11:47 am

Wikipedia says the term, “Ground Zero, may be used to describe the point on the earth’s surface where an explosion occurs.  The term has often been associated with nuclear explosions and other large bombs, but is also used in relation to earthquakes, epidemics and other disasters to mark the point of the most severe damage or destruction. Damage gradually decreases with distance from this point.”


While I’m sure I’m being overly melodramatic, I think I’m at the ‘point of most severe damage or destruction.’  But, the good news appears to be that the ‘damage decreases with the distance from this point.’  What does this mean?  Means that it all gets better from here.  Perhaps recognizing a turning point is the key to beginning to cover the ground that gets you away from the damage.


So, amidst a summer daycare schedule that is kicking my ass, preventing me from running, and turning me and my son into grouchy weekday adversaries, ending a relationship I always knew was going to be short term, (but I fell in love anyway), a move to a new neighborhood, a new work assignment, complete with two new bosses, I think yesterday was finally Ground Zero.  But the good part is, apparently, it just gets better from here, so I’ve got all that to look forward to!


So here is step one.  I half heartedly started to blog about a year ago.  I enjoyed it, but never committed to it with any regularity.  At the time, I was so focused on the chaos of being a newly dating single Mom that frankly, my thoughts weren’t really all that interesting to anyone but me.  With a little time and a lot of growth, perhaps a little wisdom has been gained in that year.  I’ve been reading a host of wonderful blogs by other single Moms, some newly remarried Moms, some single Dads, some runners, triathletes, cyclists and several that cross a few of those categories.  Some of them are entertaining, some enlightening, but all have taught me things I didn’t know, or made me look at things in my life differently because of their perspectives.  So maybe it’s time to see what perspective I can gain for myself.


Wishes August 14, 2008

Filed under: dating — optimisticmama @ 4:53 pm

When I was little, I misunderstood a lot of what my parents said.  My misinterpretation, and then repetition of what I thought I had heard, have become family lore at this point.  One of the best….’if wishes were horses, beggars would fly’


I wish I had met Marc a year from now

I wish that Randy were more intelligent, and I wish I knew why he came back

I wish that Casey didn’t drink too much and was ready for what I was ready for

I wish James all the best

I wish I had been more approachable with Mark

I wish Ken was 8 years younger

I wish I could be friends with Brian


I wish I didn’t crave attention

I wish I wasn’t lonely

I wish I could just meet someone in real life

I wish I could stop having superficial, unsatisfying dating experiences

I wish I could meet a best friend kind of guy

I wish I could open up and let someone get to know me

I wish it was 5 o’clock

I wish it was 3 o’clock on Friday

I wish beggars could fly


I’m being stalked May 30, 2008

Filed under: dating — optimisticmama @ 7:50 am
Tags: ,

I’ve been dealing with a stalker since Christmas 2006.  I’ve recently discovered that I now have two stalkers.  Nice, huh?  The one I’ve struggled with for 18 months is Omaha Steaks…but they have apologized profusely, for not properly removing my email address from their list, by emailing me coupons to ‘win me back’.  Hmmm, apologize for stalking by continuing to stalk.  I’m no genius, but I’m thinking the return on that approach isn’t strong. 

My other stalker is a man who has reappeared more than two months after the worst coffee date of my life (so far).  Neither stalker is particularly malevolent, and both are easily ignored, but it makes me think what I should have done to avoid being stalked.  So, here are my simple rules for not getting stalked.

  1. Take the time to give some serious thought about making contact in the first place.  Believe it or not, this goes for picking up the phone to inquire about a gift order of steaks for your parents just as much as it does to responding to an online profile, wink, email, whatever.  If you’ve got a pretty strong feeling before making contact that it’s not going to be a good match, save everyone some time and just don’t bother.
  2. If you’ve made the mistake of making contact, and confirm it’s not a good match, by all means, be polite (don’t hang up on Omaha Steaks, or walk out on boring coffee date guy, be polite and hear them out).  However, don’t be so polite as to lead anyone on.  This is always my fatal mistake.  Nodding my head, feigning interest, actually asking follow up questions I am not the last bit interested in hearing the answers to.
  3. After the fateful first meeting, as soon as the potential stalker makes contact to try to keep things moving forward, be straightforward and clear.   “I’m sorry, I realize you are offering me 50% off of this ridiculous amount of fantastic red meat, but my parents would not, could not, consume all of that in an entire year.  I just don’t think this is what I am looking for.”  Or, “you’re a very nice man, but we really don’t have much in common.  It was nice to meet you and I wish you the very best of luck.”  I didn’t do this with either stalker.  I just ignored their attempts to contact me, hoping they would go away.
  4. Don’t ignore the problem, hoping it will go away.  You’ll end up like me, being simultaneously stalked via email, phone calls and text messages by the most boring man on the planet, all while avoiding now my mailbox, inbox and voicemail for the weekly pleas to purchase beef.

I think I’ll give Omaha Steaks boring coffee date guy’s phone number and email address…..let them stalk each other!


Surely, nothing good will come of this May 27, 2008

Filed under: dating,running,single dads — optimisticmama @ 4:24 pm
Tags: , ,


I fear I may have poked the dating gods in the eye. My perfect plan has already almost completely unraveled.  I am trying to follow friends’ advice and not focus too intently on any one person to date right now.  I’m trying very hard to keep conversations, schedules, hometowns, siblings, hobbies, etc. straight to at least maintain the appearance that I’m not doing what I’m doing, but I am dating two men right now, and I’m not making great decisions.


Who do I like better?  Depends on what I’m interested in doing…. running, The Runner, movie, The Runner, hanging out at home, probably The Runner.  Day at the lake, yeah, obviously, Boat Guy, and then, of course, the long lunches…Boat Guy, hands down winner.  Overall, who is a better guy?  The Runner.  I can’t say why, I just feel it; he’s a stereotypical Nice Guy.  So why did I cancel plans to run with The Runner tonight (I called, not texted), to go have dinner and a play date with Boat Guy?   Because I get to see Boat Guy once every couple weeks and The Runner no less than twice each week so far. Because I know there is more long term potential with The Runner, but the immediate ‘fun’ is with Boat Guy.  Because Boat Guy is most certainly temporary fun, and I want to enjoy it while it lasts.  Because I suck.  Who would I want for a boyfriend?  The Runner.  Like I said….I suck.


But, no worries, because the dating gods are going to kick my ass for making such a stupid decision….my perfect date tonight with Boat Guy is slowly sinking.  First, my ex’s girlfriend is sick and my son is no longer staying overnight with his Dad….i.e. no sleepover for this Optimistic Mama.  Second, nature’s annoying anti-aphrodisiac has suddenly reared it’s ugly head…no amount of Midol is cutting it.  So me, my nice holiday tan and the legs I hauled out for 20 miles of running this weekend (5 of them with The Runner….yeah, don’t think I don’t see the irony in that!) and 2 miles swimming, will be sleeping alone tonight, instead of wrapped around Boat Guy.  Payback is a bitch.  I need to be careful, or I’ll lose the guy I actually want.


Someone forgot May 24, 2008

Filed under: divorce,families,My son,running,single mom — optimisticmama @ 7:50 pm
Tags: , , ,

……to tell my neighbors summer was coming.  That is the only explanation; summer appeared, unannounced this year.  Why else would there be so many overweight, pasty bellied middle aged parents in last year’s bathing suits lounging around the pool today?!  C’mon people, I know Memorial Day weekend seemed a little early this year, but you knew you were going to have to put a bathing suit on, why didn’t you give it some thought?  Yuck!


Despite the great white masses, it was another wonderful opening weekend at the neighborhood pool.  Last summer was my first as a single mom, with all the awkward conversations in hushed tones about where my ex was this summer.  It was sad, uncomfortable and alienating to feel like an outsider in my neighborhood of 4 years.  This summer is different, old news is no news, and apparently, I am the only Mom who spent every spare moment since last summer in my running shoes, and that’s kind of fun.  My son had a blast, celebrating the beginning of summer with a pack of boys his age, doing cannon balls off the diving board, playing sharks and minnows, field testing every water gun that came through the gates and hanging out like big kids during adult swim in their matching swim team shirts, eating hotdogs and cotton candy from the clubhouse.  Some days, it’s really easy to be Calvin….today was one of those days. 


I noticed something remarkable today…..last summer, I was very conscious that I was only one parent, non-family.  Today I realized that only one half of all these families was at the pool.  Though they are all married, only one parent came with the kids to the pool for the day.  The other was at a friend’s watching basketball, at a baby shower with her sister, taking another child to see a friend, working, or home sleeping to go to work later in the day, out golfing with buddies, or just off doing their own thing.  I wanted to politely tell each of them to stop taking their spouses for granted, and cherish every family weekend moment they could spend together, instead of seeing a three-day weekend as a chance for each of them to get alone time.  Wow….what I wouldn’t give for a whole lot less alone time….though I’m glad I’m no longer sleeping next to one of those pasty fat suburban Dad bellies!