Tag Archives: single life

I Went to a Dinner Party Alone, Parts 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6

The Plus One by Sophia Money-Coutts. I did not read this book. Perhaps I should.

A good six years ago I wrote about being invited to a party with a plus one but being strongly encouraged to come alone. See You Don’t Have To Bring A Date, Come Alone! Come Alone! COME ALONE! The party has become an almost annual thing and I have gone a few times. Always invited with a plus one, always attending alone. See I Went To A Dinner Party Alone

This year was no expection.

The Plus One by Sarah Archer. I didn’t read this either, but clearly the whole plus one thing is a thing…

I fleetingly considered asking a male acquaintance to come with me, but that may have meant more than I wanted it to and I figured, this is what I do and it is what I have been encouraged — emboldened to do.

I boldly go where no man has gone before — meaning to a public event with me.

These are the voyages of the single Roxanne. Her six-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before!” — Me, taking liberties with the Star Trek intro.

So I went. Did my thing, walked in unaccompanied and alone. I confidently approached strangers standing in clumps and joined their conversations. Like a boss. Well, like a politician, more accurately.

The hostess greeted me, the same woman who repeatedly lauded my decision to go alone back in the day. “Come alone!” She’d exclaimed. “No pressure to bring a date I would have to entertain,” she’d reasoned. “I used to do it all the time when I was single,” she’d shared.

But not this time.

This time she hit me with,

“One of these days you are gonna have a date!”

Followed by:

“I want you to come with somebody next time!”

To which I awkwardly, jokingly, painfully responded,

“Oh yes, next year for sure.”

You get the drift.

Apparently coming alone was brave and practical and cool back then. But now? Six years later? Now it’s just getting ridiculous.

Enough is enough.

Apparently.

Adding awkwardness to awkward, when it came time to take our seats for dinner, the hostess loudly pointed out the three tables that had seating for nine, rather than eight or ten like the others. “You can sit here, or there, or, let me see, there.” You know, the ODD numbered tables, for the odd men (or ladies) out. There must have been two other singles there, though I never found them.

Sooo ….

I settled at a nine top table, with four other couples I did not know.

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RIP Valerie Harper. Here as Rhoda Morganstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Mary and Rhoda decided to invite dates over to spruce up their lovelife. Surprise! Rhoda’s date brought his wife.

Four couples, and me. But this ain’t my first rodeo; I’ve gone to a wedding alone.

Also, I was the only other person of color there, except for the housekeeper who was Hispanic and anyway, she brought her husband. Come to think of it, there was a slightly accented slightly brownish man in one of the clumps of people I invaded. But he blended, and, you know, he had a wife.

Hello, Sore Thumb? You’re sticking out again.

I felt as though I did not blend quite as well, though I may have been a touch paranoid.

giphy

Also, knowing the family and talking with some of the guests, their net worth was likely substantial. I’d guess that during cocktails they probably earned more in interest than I make all year.

Soooooo.

Conspicuous as I felt, everyone was friendly and it was a pleasant evening. I have known the hostess for years and I truly admire her. Though she doesn’t have to think about money (or lack thereof) and is happily married, she has weathered personal challenges that others have literally not survived. To see her smiling and laughing is a gift. I’m happy to have been included in the event, and appreciative of the option to bring a Plus One.

But dang it even if I have to rent one, I will bring a man next year. I will be conspicuously coupled, if only for the night. I will casually drift to a table with even numbered place settings. I will introduce my date by name (if I can remember it) and gently caress his arm. I will ask him to fetch me a drink. I will allow our photo to be taken together and — wait for it — posted on Facebook.

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Scarlett O’Hara: “As God as my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.”

As God as my witness, I’ll never be dateless again. Not to this party.

Just Me With … out a Plus One for this particular event since 2013.

I have written a lot of posts about going out alone. Huh. There are more coming, because I have some thoughts about it . . .

The New Walk of Shame For The Single Woman — Going Out Alone

I Went To A Wedding Alone

Pissed: Parking and Dining Alone

The Night I Became Cinderella — A College Story

I Went To A Dinner Party Alone

Carrie, without a date at a wedding in Sex and The City

Carrie, without a date at a wedding in Sex and The City

If you’ve read my previous post, “You Don’t Have To Bring a Date, Come Alone. Come Alone. COME ALONE!” you know that I was alternatively stressed, concerned, pissed and kinda bummed by the repeated suggestion that I come alone to a dinner party. Here is the update.

Yes, I went alone. Yes, and as I predicted, it was fine.

Let me set the scene. It was at a private home, more like an estate. The night was beautiful so everything was set outside –cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for an hour, then a buffet dinner at tables around the pool. It was a catered affair with gorgeous centerpieces and decorations all in pink and white, to celebrate Cheryl’s being cancer free. Guests were also encouraged to wear pink, and on behalf of those who did, Cheryl would donate money to Cancer research. Everyone had on some sort of pink. It was a really classy affair, with around fifty guests.

Okay enough with the back drop, this is how it played out.

  • I walked in alone.
  • I was greeted by Cheryl who immediately introduced me to, let’s call her, Regina, who was the ONLY OTHER SINGLE PERSON THERE!
  • Cheryl informed the group I was standing with that Regina and I were seated at the same table –because we were THE ONLY SINGLES THERE!

Awkward? Yes. Appreciated? Yes. It made sense, actually.

  • After Cheryl made the announcement that Regina and I would be dining partners, Regina joked, “But we’re not a couple!”

Of course I took that opening to add, “Well, the night’s young.” Ha ha ha, the Tears of a Clown.

  • Then, someone noticed, not me, that one of the ladies standing in my group HAD ON EXACTLY THE SAME BLOUSE I DID! The same pink, jeweled halter top.

I swear, that has never happened to me before. We laughed it off. She said she’d picked hers up in the islands, Martinique, I think, while on vacation.

Where did you get yours?” she asked.

And me, being painfully truthful, admitted, “At a consignment shop.”

At a consignment shop.

Let’s review, shall we? She got hers while on an exotic island vacation. I got mine at a thrift store.

There are two things wrong with this:

One: I admitted I was wearing a used shirt. No shame in wearing second hand clothes, but sharing that information isn’t necessary. It’s not like telling folks you have a rescue dog — one of the few situations where the wealthy applaud acquiring someone else’s cast offs. I should have said my blouse was a rescue. My snappy comebacks come years late … but I digress.

Two: I thought the beauty of buying at a consignment shop was that you were less likely to get something that someone else has! I mean, seriously? It was the only top like that in the store, of course. Indeed it was the only top like that I’ve ever seen. Oh snap, I guess it’s because I don’t vacation in the islands, or vacation at all. Crap.

Wait, there’s a third thing wrong with this — WE WERE WEARING THE SAME SHIRT!

Eventually I made my way away from my shirt twin to some familiar faces. As Cheryl promised there were a couple of couples I knew because they had kids the same age of mine and who are in the same activities. One was the same couple who, at the graduation party, had walked away from me. But this time they were very talkative and friendly. The husband reminds me (and my kids) of McDreamy on Grey’s Anatomy.

McDreamy from Grey's Anatomy

McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy

And we did the suburban parent thing and talked about our kids, college applications, etc. The other couple introduced themselves to me as if we’d just met, which was weird, since I’ve been running into and exchanging pleasantries with this couple since our high school senior kids were in the fourth grade.

  • In discussing their children’s college application process, the couples shared that their children blamed them for having not gone through any hardship about which they could write about on their essays, “Oh yes, she’s mad because we’re successful and not divorced and she has had what she needs. Can you believe that? Yes, we’re sorry we’ve given you a good life.” I couldn’t even summon up the Tears of a Clown to respond to this particular topic, as I stood between the two couples. Though I did discover that one of the moms had NOT gotten into the college I went to. Score one for me. Empty victory, because she was being nice, damn it.
  • Cheryl had hired a professional photographer and also took pictures herself. The couples were asked to pose together. I was asked to pose by myself. Regina was also asked to pose by herself. Yup.
Carrie, being photographed without  a

Carrie, being photographed without a “Plus One” in Sex In The City

When the party moved to the assigned poolside tables, I sat between the McDreamys and the only other single person at the event, Regina. I discovered that Regina was divorced with children and in the midst of downsizing so we talked about the whole downsizing, moving, process, etc. and I chatted with her and the other couples about our kids, etc. I think the people (and by people, I mean couples) on the other side of the table may have been interesting, but the centerpiece was too big to talk over. They must have been listening to our conversation, however, because in the buffet line a woman asked if I was a professional organizer because I seem to know so much about it. Ha!

No, I’m not a pro. But yeah, I know a lot about it. I know a hell of a lot about moving and downsizing . . . but I digress . . .

My hero, Matt Paxton from Hoarders

My hero, Matt Paxton from Hoarders

And that was that, except that at some point someone said, I think it was Regina, “I heard someone else here has on the same top, is that true?” And I, of course, helpfully, pointed her out. My shirt twin was at the next table, as it turns out. I added that, “Well, I had wondered if I’d be dressed appropriately. Clearly,” gesturing to my shirt twin, “I am.” Ha ha ha, Tears of a Clown.

The party wound down, I left when everyone else did. It was nice, fine, a lovely affair. It was the kind of party I used to like to look at from a distance, “Oh look, rich people are having a party!” And then I’d drive or walk by to try to catch a glimpse. It was good to be more than a fly on the wall, or a nosy neighbor, or a creepy stalker.

But, as to the whole “Come Alone!” thing — no, Cheryl did not have an ulterior motive and play matchmaker for me, unless, of course, you count Regina.

And yes, I was fine without a date. As far as I could tell, and based on Cheryl’s comments, all the other couples were married. It was not a casual date kind of party. It still would have been okay to have brought a date, but it was okay without.

This does not mean, however, that I will forever go to these things alone. Nope.

Just Me With . . . a shirt twin, a lady dinner date, and a new career as a professional organizer.

P.S. Cheryl actually did a great thing by having assigned tables, especially when there are only a couple of singles and some guests who don’t know many other people. I didn’t have to walk up to a table of couples and ask if I could join them or wait by myself for coupled up strangers to sit with me. And at least I wasn’t seated with my shirt twin.

From

Sigourney Weaver and Jamie Lee Curtis from “You Again”

He Lives With His Mother?

Carrie and “Power Lad” who lived with his parents in a New York classic six apartment on the Upper East Side with a terrace overlooking the park.

 

It’s sad but true, women will put up with a lot of crap.  But it seems like one thing is very universally unacceptable — when an adult man lives with his mother.

Remember in Sex and The City when Carrie discovered that her latest guy shared a beautiful apartment with his parents?

Samantha He lives with his parents?
CarrieIt’s their apartment.
SamanthaSo not sexy honey.  Dump him immediately.  Here — use my cell phone.

Season Three, Episode 15.

Carrie didn’t dump him immediately, because she liked him, his parents were friendly and brought them food and he was a struggling business owner.

Once she realized, however, that Power Lad was still a child in the household, governed by his parents’ rules,  and that he was not saving money but actually spending it on really good pot, well it eventually ended.

Norman

I have some experience with this, the momma dwellers.  I hesitate to call these men out, even if I don’t use their real names, but I feel it’s a topic worth dancing around.  My momma dwellers are educated, well-spoken men.  I didn’t write them off immediately because  I’d known them since they lived in dorms.  Plus, there are certain category of momma dwellers that deserve a chance.
No Dumping Allowed
In my humble opinion, the following momma dwellers should not be immediately discarded:
1. Twenty Something Guy

I haven’t had one of these, but this  guy  is just out of school, has his  first real  job or is looking for one.  He’s recently discovered,  “Dude, they want first and last month’s rent and security before I move in?  That’s a lot of money.”  Yeah dude, better get a bank account.

Acceptable:  If he is saving for his own place.

Unacceptable : If his Mom still does all his laundry, cooks all his meals, he drives her car and he routinely buys rounds for everybody at the local bar.

2.  Break Up Guy

So the marriage/relationship didn’t work and he moved out of the  home, leaving the kids (if any) with their mother.  Suddenly he’s  homeless.  You can’t sleep on somebody’s couch forever and his married buddies are not taking him in long-term  . . . so . . .  he moves in with his mom.

Acceptable:  If he is providing financial support to his kids, someone has filed for divorce, and he is actively looking for his own place.

Unacceptable:  If he visits the kids at the marital home  “overnight.”

3.  Norman?    Older guy taking care of his elderly or sick mother.

A boy's best friend is his mother.

“A boy’s best friend is his mother.” Psycho

This guy still lives in his home town, and may even  have a good job and  his own place.   But his mother is getting older, or has taken ill. Maybe she’s widowed or divorced, either way she’s alone and probably should not live that way.  So he, like a champ, gives up, sublets, or keeps his place — but  he moves in with this mother.  He is probably a good guy, but depending on his mother’s condition, this could go on  indefinitely.

Acceptable:  If the mom is really sick.

Unacceptable:  If the mom goes out more often than he does.

4. Ethnic/Large family/family business guy or filthy rich blue blood guy

Moonstruck

From Moonstruck. The Italian American family kitchen in the large Brooklyn Heights home. Real estate. 

This guy works in his family business.  So does everybody else.  They all live in the large family home.  If you were to marry him, you might live there too for a bit.

Ironically, this also happens in blue blood very rich families or royalty, “Chad” (or William, or Harry) will move back to the main house while interning for “Daddy’s” company.  Except in that case Chad’s bedroom could probably accommodate most of the ethnic guy’s family and their business.

 

The heir to the family fortune and estate might still live with his mum.

The heir to the family fortune and estate might still live with his mum.

Acceptable:  If he wants to have his own family one day.

Unacceptable: If he buys a dog.  (There’s no way he’s thinking about leaving if he’s recently acquired a dog.)

If he’s a Prince, yeah, he can live with this mom.

5.  Grad school student guy. 

This is a guy getting an advanced degree, perhaps a professional degree. He studies all the time.  He lives with his parents because he can’t justify paying rent only to be conscious there only a couple of hours a day.  He reasons, “Why pay for a city apartment just to study and occasionally sleep there?”   — especially true for medical students or interns.  This arrangement is almost always  temporary, and, frankly,  worth the investment.  One day he’ll graduate — and probably get a damn good job.

derek

Acceptable:  If he is actually in school.

Unacceptable:  If he is merely planning to get back to school.  Look for that acceptance letter.

George lived with his parents before moving in with Meredith and the gang on Grey’s Anatomy

You see, a guy living with his momma should be given an opportunity to explain. It should not be a deal breaker– at least not  until you know the underlying reasons and can access the likely duration of the living “arrangement.”

Enough Red Flags for a Communist Parade

 

But here are the red flags I don’t believe anyone should ignore:

1. He has a basement “room” completely set up where he pursues his personal interests — music, computers, lifting weights.  Yeah, this dude has set up house.  He ain’t going nowhere.

2.  He works from home, yet there is no home office,  desk, or computer and he has no cell phone.

3.  He’s mentioned that he hopes to inherit the house. He’s there for life, or at least his mother’s life.

4.  He has never actually said he plans to move or has any interest in doing so.  Pay attention to the silences.  The silences are very important.

Just Me With . . .  no momma dwellers at the moment:   one is estranged,  “If I’d Married My Stalker,”  the other is a very  special friend who defies any type of categorization, “We Thought You Were Dead, Mommy — Almost F*cked to Death”  

 

See other types of dating fails:

The Perfect Man — or so I thought.

The Snowman

The Landscaper Guy: Not Digging Him — Part I

I Turned Down A Dinner Date With An Ex-Con

Facebook Mutual Friend with the Ex’s Girlfriend? – Part One

 

Still Sleeping On “My Side Of The Bed”

fbc377a5be369c911cf03c3803b69e3f.jpeg

Okay, it’s been years now since he moved out. It’s a different bed.  Hell, it’s a different house. And he’s married now, for goodness sake.

So why am I still sleeping on  my side of the bed?

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It’s amazing how old movies take on such different meanings after that stuff happens to you!

Like the scene in When Harry Met Sally when they discuss their post break up sleeping habits. It went right over my head for years – when I was married.  Until my unfortunate (or fortunate) events brought it to the forefront and made it exceedingly relevant.

when-harry-met-sally-1

 

Harry:  Ok, fine.  Do you still sleep on the same side of the bed?

Sally: I did for a while but now I’m pretty much using the whole bed.

Harry:  God, that’s great.  I feel weird when just my leg wanders over.  I miss her.

I actually enjoy sleeping alone; I don’t miss sleeping with him.  But unlike Sally, I don’t use the whole bed, either.  What is it?  There’s the practical considerations, namely that my phone and alarm clock are on one side.  But really that would explain why I get up on that side not my entire sleeping geography.

My ambien is on  that side too.   Now I’m talking.  Once ingested I tend to sleep in whatever position I was in when I took a sleep aid.  I realized this fact when I woke up very sore two weeks ago, in the same position I lay my head down in.

But I don’t take a sleep aid every night.

So why stay on one side of the bed?

It’s like I’m saving a place for someone.

huh.

Am I waiting for Prince Charming?

Or am I still programmed to be part of a couple?

Or is it just a force of habit?

Like Harry, I was married a long time, longer than I’ve been separated or divorced.   And though I’ve had visitors to my bed on occasion, I’ve never had anyone stay more than one night  (and, honestly, those single  nights were too damn long).  Harry stayed on his side of the bed.  Was it the marriage thing? Does my body still think it’s a marital bed?

huh.

Maybe being curled up on my side of the bed is  just my way of snuggling — with myself.

I remember when just days after my then husband moved out one of my daughters asked me,

“Who’s going to sleep with you now?”

Damn, still waiting for an answer to that.

In the meantime, here is a product I accidentally  found online.  I swear I wasn’t looking for this.

The Companion Pillow.

This is the pillow that holds you when your partner cannot. Shaped like a man’s torso, the pillow has a flexible arm that wraps around you as you lie on its burly, comforting chest. Made from fiber-fill, the pillow contours to your body and provides a soft sleeping surface that’s both physically and emotionally supportive. The pillow is dressed in a soft polyester button-down dress shirt, and unlike the real thing, the pillow won’t keep you awake with incessant snoring. Cover is removable and machine-washable. 24″ L x 17″ W x 7″ H. (2 lbs.)

http://www.hammacher.com/Product/79559

 

Just Me With . . . no one on his side of the bed.

Update: The Companion Pillow is apparently no longer available at Hammacher. If you are interested, there are other retailers offering the same or similar products.

If you are interested. I, however, am not.

See posts about visitors to the other side of the bed:

“We Thought You Were Dead, Mommy” — Almost F**ked to Death

Facebook Mutual Friend with the Ex’s Girlfriend? – Part One

If I’d Married My Stalker