How to tell your love life needs work.

We’ve all been there.  You suspect your mother is thinking about raising goats for a dowry in the hopes she can get you married off; your “coupled up” friends are digging deep into the bowels of their Facebook pages in the hopes of setting you up with their mud pie making partner from nursery school that they haven’t seen in 25 years (who was reportedly also a nose picker, but don’t worry, they’re “sure he’s grown out of that by now!”).  Wait.  Is that just me?

So, this week’s “How To Tuesday” seeks to help answer a burning question: Besides the obvious, what sort of litmus test is appropriate to deduce the state of your love life?  Obviously, this has been scientifically tested for accuracy, unlike those ridiculous Cosmo quizzes.

If you answer yes to MORE than one of the following, you may have a problem on your hands:

  • Your friends want you to meet a “really smart, really tall, really cute” guy at their party.  He comes down with the flu that’s going around and you yell, “THANK GOD!” upon hearing the news.
  • A teenaged boy states, “Maybe you’re just not the marrying kind.”
  • A small child suggests that you get the funeral home directors son’s phone number at her grandfather’s wake.  After all, “he’ll run this place one day!”
  • A small child screams from a chairlift (while clearly waving her arms in your direction) to any male skier passing by underneath, “This is (your name here)!  She’s single and ready to mingle!”
  • Your bra fitting last week with a rather brusque older Russian woman was the most action you’ve gotten in a frightening amount of time.
  • People start telling you that dating again is like, “riding a bike.”  You worry it’s like a motorcycle- you have no clue where to start with the damn thing.
  • When asked about your love life in the vicinity of another, guffaws/snorting from said third party ensue.
  • You embarked on a date in which, on the first (and only) date, he explained in great detail that his ex-girlfriend is holding his cats hostage.
  • You were sandwiched between “that uncle” and a distant cousin of the groom with bad breath, dandruff and a self-proclaimed, “AWESOME” Chewbacca impression at the last wedding you attended.  You fear that BOTH of them were intended set-ups.

Amended Bogart

It’s scary to put yourself out there.  Maybe you have to have a whiskey smash before you do.  I’ll admit to being absolutely wretched at it.  Odds are, if I am remotely attracted to someone, I tend to shut up faster than a venus fly trap (no, biting is not part of some weird mating ritual of mine, you know what I mean).  This means that I end up getting asked out by men I am able to be myself around (read: I’m not attracted to).  So, short of alcoholism, what’s a gal to do? Time to put on my big girl panties.

But I think that what a lot of single woman forget is that being alone doesn’t make your life less meaningful.  Being with someone doesn’t mean you will automatically be happy.  There are merits to both, but if hunting down a partner becomes the sole reason for your existence, odds are probably reduced that you’ll a.) find someone; and b.) find someone who isn’t also desperately seeking someone, anyone, to partner up with for the sake of NOT being alone.  There’s a difference between being proactive/putting yourself out there and devoting yourself to the search like a monk to the monastery/becoming a stalker.  So, if it happens, great. If it doesn’t, that’s ok, too.

I’ll leave you with this gem from (almost) perpetual bachelorette, Fran Fine of “The Nanny.”

Fran Fine: When you fill out your taxes, what do you put in Marital Status: S or M?
Maxwell Sheffield: S.
Fran Fine: All right, so you told Uncle Sam you’re single. Maybe it’s time you told yourself.
Maxwell Sheffield: But I want to be an M again.
Fran Fine: Yeah, well, I want to be an M too. But first you got to get out there and make an S out of yourself.

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On Boston. My home.

As I sit and write this post about what happened in my city yesterday, it continues to resonate in my mind that life is simply a series of consequences and the tiniest decisions can change your life in a heartbeat. I was supposed to be at the site of bomb #1 and bomb #2 yesterday. My plans changed when I took my eleven year old cousin along with me and I stopped for frozen yogurt. We were delayed getting to the finish line. I do not believe that this is a unique thing- I am sure that countless others have similar stories. But the fragility of life is profound and my heart breaks for those whose lives have been taken, unspeakably altered, and irrevocably changed.

Marathon Monday is sacred here and for many, like myself, attendance is a tradition. I had a friend volunteering at the finish line and the sheer terror of not being able to reach her for over half an hour is not something I will forget anytime soon. Friends and family members who knew where I was supposed to be were frantically calling, texting, emailing, facebook messaging, and I am feeling shaken how easily I could have been there. However, I am trying not to dwell on what COULD have been as I try to process what WAS and still is- on every news outlet, on the internet, and now, in giant waves of solidarity through social media, etc. Boston is the birthplace of the United States of America and the compassion, kindess, love and support I have witnessed both in the city and to those immediately around us, across the country and even the world gives me hope that good truly does outweigh the bad. In times of such darkness, the light must shine the brightest.

I woke up this morning with a sense of loss, but incredibly thankful. The images of yesterday are emblazoned on my mind. Boston has changed. After 9/11, I think many of us probably knew something like this could happen, but there is NOTHING that prepares you for something like this hitting your home. Nothing. I walk Boylston Street on nearly a daily basis and right now I am trying to cope. When the image of the bloody sidewalk comes into my head, I focus on reports of marathoners who had just run 26.2 miles continuing to run to Mass General Hospital to donate Blood. When I see pictures of the crowds fleeing, I think of the doctors, police, and volunteers that ran TOWARDS the scene, with no thought to their own safety. When I hear of the many many people with nowhere to go, I think of the spreadsheet on the Boston Globe website and eventually Google, with thousands of people offering up their homes to runners and their families. I have heard of restaurants giving out free food, hotels opening their doors for free, and other immeasurable acts of kindness. Everywhere I look, I see hope that the good in humanity prevails.

In the coming days it is important to focus not on the monsters who did this. That is the job of the FBI and other authorities who are working around the clock to bring us answers and justice. We must instead rally around each other and begin to process and heal as we offer support and kindness to those who need it. And we must do our best not to be afraid- bombs were not the only weapons deployed yesterday, for it is fear that reverberates long after the bombs explode. In this, we cannot let the perpetrators win. The many people pledging to run Boston next year know this and deep down, so do I.

My heart lies with the victims and their families, but also with those who witnessed firsthand these unspeakable atrocities- so many lives were irreversibly altered when those bombs went off. Right now we all want answers, but that does not change the reality of what has happened. Truly, is there any rational, sane answer for an act of madness and evil? I love you Boston. You’re my home, sweet home. And to those of you sending love, light and countless messages of hope and healing- thank you. It means more than you know.