Monday, December 21, 2009

True story

She once had a cute waiter
and asked for him for dessert -
She got him.

If she knew then what she knew later,
she would have sent him back
and asked for the chocolate cake.

Friday, December 18, 2009


"I had a dream about you again last night," she told him.

"Oh, really?" he said.

"Yeah. You weren't wearing much, " she noted.

Butterflies & passion & two rockers on the porch

I just read this savvy, poignant thought-laden post from Kelly Diels blog, Cleavage, about Love in the Time of Las Vegas. I loved her musings on the lasting butterflies and passion, wondering if it all lasts through time - such that it's all still there along with 2 rockers on the porch some 50 years later. I enjoyed her stats about those relationship-reconnections that stay together longer - or, last an extra, extra, extra long time. I highly recommend a little jaunt over there and taking a peek.

Now, I'm going to go practice my tongue-asanas...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Repulsion potion

On a rage against the traveling seasonal flu-bug, she skipped the pharmaceuticals and started popping garlic. By the clove. "This better work," she said, "Because this is a strong dose of repulsion keeping potential suitors at a distant bay." Not to mention, it was killing her kissability. She might as well have just worn a cowbell.

Nobody puts baby in a corner

"How do you feel about kids?" he asked.

"Do I look like I have birthing hips?" she answered.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Love spell

"For women, the best aphrodisiacs are words." - Isabel Allende

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Simply the best

Another Jake-ism:

"Good relationships inspire each partner to the best of themselves; the best inspire both partners to create — together — something of special significance, a greater good, a union of two individuals that bears the fruit of something even more sublime than possible on their own."


(I totally stole this from Jake)

"In that high place in the darkness, the two oddly sensitive human atoms held each other tightly and waited. In the mind of each was the same thought: “I have come to this lonely place and here is this other.”" - Sherwood Anderson - Winesburg, Ohio

I'll take a Manhattan, please...

A January Manhattan. She was so tired of thinking about booking the flight to the big apple in the face of all the practical reasons not to. She turned off the lights on the rationale that looped in her mind - the white noise that stifled any forward movement towards her heart's desire.

"I'm tired of waiting," she said to herself. It only took a New York minute to book that ticket after all that deliberation and 'head vs.heart' mumbling. Her big spirit reserves needed some filling at the big city watering hole of creative buzz - and other adorable and chocolate dipped sights.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

What's love got to do with it

With all of the mindfulness in relationships that I've seen/heard/read lately, it all makes me fully realize that healthy relationships pose all of the lessons for self growth. Any lessons not learned in past relationships, and left unreconciled, will be thrown right back in your face in the next relationship. And, we've all got our own set of lessons to learn in this lifetime. Being in a relationship amplifies the opportunity for self growth.

In a sense, relationships are the new ashram.

Like the Eskimo's many words for 'snow', the word 'love' has a plethora of meanings in our culture -- from the romance of chemistry, to the results of arranged marriages, and all the many layers of Hollywood's silver screen imprints in between -- What's love but a sweet old fashioned notion? With all these nuances and images, lyrics and emotions, do we really know what love is? What does real love look like?

A few years back, I asked this of my therapist at the time: "What's an ideal relationship look like?"

He replied that once a commitment is made the main theme in a healthy relationship should be about personal growth: "I think marriage is a state of firm long-term intention to do our best to be in a mutually supportive relationship, "in sickness and in health." This is how arranged marriages can be so enduring, and romantic marriages so often end in divorce. The fundamental concept also has to do with purpose. If the purpose of marriage is to have the other person make us happy, we are in for a rough ride because they will inevitably disappoint in one way or another. If the purpose of life is the fulfillment of consciousness - and we are intentionally, consciously using marriage as a way to confront and work with our limitations and complex personality structures - we have a chance."

Easier said than done - indeed. No one ever said inner work was a piece of cake, but with the right intention and momentous presence, hopefully you can have your cake and eat it too.

Catch me if you can

"I don't get it," she said. "I've never been asked out. I mean, am I unapproachable? I'm adorable, not a knockout, I can't imagine that would be an issue..."

"It's not that." he said. "You've always been amazingly independent and content with yourself -- both are great qualities, you shouldn't change. But some guys don't know how to even touch that. There's no weak spot."

This subtle revelation made her re-consider, momentarily, the aspect of "the hunt" in which the boys are to lead in this game. Maybe the culture of courtship asks too much of boys to play the instigator? (What happened to Grecian goddess of the same character - that of the huntress complete unto herself? The gods got creative...and great stories were made.) To counteract the imposing nature she apparently aired, she could let any forthcoming beaus know she was interested, but subtly, so as to not create a scene. But then, she had her druthers. She'd rather be pursued, by a confident god.

And all that jazz

What would happen if we looked at relationships through the lens of the jazz-improv model? Something along the lines where one starts playing and the other plays back, and visa versa, in some randomly, off-the-cuff, yet seemingly harmonious way towards composition.

And, perhaps, through this lens, there is a different view of the original note that started it all: "When love hits, just go with it."

to die by your side is such a heavenly way

Not typically an author applied to the workings of strictly human relationships, but a bit apropo:

"Breakdown provokes a space of possibility precisely because things don't work smoothly anymore." - Donna J. Haraway

Monday, October 12, 2009


"What are men compared to rocks and mountains ... and a carriage that works!" - Pride & Prejudice

The fever

"The first symptom of love in a young man is shyness; the first symptom in a woman, it's boldness." -Victor Hugo

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Slow down my beating heart

There was a flurry of questioning at Project Man HQ concerning who should make the first move, why guys won't make the first move, what consititutes a first move, do guys actually 'get' the subtleties - or do they require an obvious, blunt approach? etc., and other burning questions.

Luckily, the PM HQ NYC correspondant-on-call calmly issued the best advice to settle the flurry with simple zen-like wisdom:

"Just show interest if you are interested.
Don't try. Just be.
If you find that you're interested, be interested.
If that is all you ever do, you will be fine."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Snow globe

She woke to a heavy dusting of snow, and flakes like bleached flies trailing past the slats of her blinds. "Who ordered the winter wonderland? What is it, Febtober? Where's my winter lovah?" she thought.

As she burrowed into the warmth of her bedding, she mulled over a question posed to her the evening prior: 'What are you thinking right ... now?' If she were to utter a response at this very moment, it would not be channeling the voice in her head, but instead shooting from the hip. Her 'now' felt more like this: "my body wants your body. close."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

There, burning

The trail followed the semi-frozen riverbed, occasionally stretching over it. She stood on the rough hewn bridge, facing downstream, watching the water move away from her. From here, she released all the tired habits and patterns of her self-in-relationship, the relationship itself, and any other residual energetic blocks while offering it up to the current moving below.

Then, she turned around and opened to the water racing towards her from the falls. The flow of the current rushed past with gusto, filling her up. "I'm ready for a new love story," she said.


On a recent call into the The Project Man hotline, another crushing crisis was averted:

Caller: "I've had a crush on him for so long, and there he is. Again. Is this a sign? A joke? I'm trying to dim my hopeless romantic tendencies, but I need to talk to someone. It's been so fun to reconnect after I thought we'd never cross paths again..."

Hot PM line assistant: "OK, I'll walk you through this. Just breathe deep into your belly. The first step is to not be so quick to respond. Let it linger. In a sense, wait for his lead. Let him wonder where you are, what you're up to, what you're wearing. Let him call and check in. Wait for him to call you. Remember this: If he's not dying to hear the sound of your voice, your laugh and your deep thoughts, he's not fully alive."

Socks appeal

She sat on the edge of the couch next to him, pulling on a fresh pair of stockings to kick the autumn chill. "I love great socks," she said.

"And it always takes two," he winked.

I choose you

"He loved her, of course, but better than that, he chose her, day after day. Choice: that was the thing." - Sherman Alexie

Tender & permeable

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable." -- C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Sunday, September 20, 2009


She opened her eyes and glanced at the clock. The 6:30 AM sun glowed in her east window. She rolled over and stared at the ceiling. It was the Autumn Equinox. "Where did all those hot August nights go?" she wondered.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The scent of a woman

She held out her left arm. "Smell this," she said as they walked to the concert venue from her apartment.

Her friend raised an eyebrow, but sniffed the lingering scents from the perfume counter, as she narrated the choices she sampled and bought.

"And, there's one coming out for winter, that is just amazing," she continued.

"Does it smell like roses and chocolate?" her friend asked.

"Oh no," she replied excitedly. "This one smells like mystery and sex."

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mingle rhymes with tingle

"Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle —
Why not I with thine?"

- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Friday, July 31, 2009

True religion

"A woman whom we truly love is a religion." -Emile de Girardin

Monday, July 27, 2009

As you wish...

There's a passage in The Princess Bride (the book) where Buttercup tells her parents she's 'overtired.' Her mom replies: "Terrible things can happen when you're overtired. I was overtired the night your father proposed."

Saturday, July 25, 2009


There was only one contender left in 'Crush Status' for her Project Man fieldwork progress report. This one has withstood 'the list' and has continued to impress. So far, so good. But, the crush was still young, and there was much more fieldwork to be done. She rolled up her sleeves.

Not you not me

"In deep love it happens that the two persons are not two. Something between the two has come into being, and they have just become two poles. Something is flowing between the two. When this flow is there, you will feel blissful. If love gives bliss, it gives bliss only because of this: that two persons, just for a single moment, lose their egos. The "other" is lost and oneness comes into being just for a single moment. If it happens, it is ecstatic, it is blissful, you have entered paradise. Just a single moment, and it can be transforming."
- from Intimacy: Trusting Oneself and the Other, by Osho

Fo' sho

"Love brings freedom. Loyalty brings slavery. On the surface they look alike: deep down they are just the opposite, diametrically opposite. Loyalty is acting; you have been educated for it. Love is wild; its whole beauty is in its wildness. It comes like a breeze with great fragrance, fills your heart, and suddenly where there was a desert there is a garden full of flowers. But you don't know from where it comes, and you don't know that there is no way to bring it. It comes on it's own and remains as long as existence wills it. And just as it had come one day, as a stranger, as a guest, suddenly one day it is gone. There is no way to cling to it, no way to hold it."
- from Intimacy: Trusting Oneself and the Other, by Osho

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The groom

After a long day brushing the horses in the heat of mid-summer, she stopped for a spell to sit in the shade with some iced mulberry tea and check her messages. She had one text from her latest crush, asking her how her day was and how she was doing. She texted back: "hot and dirty."

Demand curve

He had been wavering lately in everything. Not really here nor there, and not just a bad day. He wasn't aligned with his purpose and was being sucked down a vortex of 'small existential crisis' which to her had dragged on forever and three weeks past. At this point their relationship felt like she was schlepping along a dead log.

One day when he wasn't taking the magnitude of his rippling crisis seriously, she harnessed her inner Bodhidharma and decided to issue a wake up call, hoping that he would get his proverbial shit together.

She looked at him, in the middle of a discussion about their "us" that was meandering nowhere, and spoke with the love and sincerity of a zen master: "Don't f*cking waste my time. And I won't waste yours."


Fully loaded with snacks and supplies, they headed out in the early morning hours to embark on a road trip up west for the holiday weekend. Around Crazy Woman Creek, WY, they found themselves desperately out of gas, running on what could only be the vapors of fumes. They drafted uphill behind a benevolent and unsuspecting semi before exiting at the first gas station they spotted right before Buffalo, WY. They filled a 17.2 gallon tank with 17.75 gallons of gas, thus defying the laws of physics. After her own pit stop and experiencing yet another wonderful roadside restroom, she noticed that her comrade had bought some donuts.

She grabbed them. "Whoops. Those aren't on your diet. I'll have to take those away from you."

"Give me back my donuts!" he said, surprised and hungry.

"I'm doing you a favor," she said.

"I haven't started my diet yet," he said.

"Yeah, but you shouldn't eat those," she said.

"I'll eat anything round with a hole in it," he said.

A smile crept over her face as she began to laugh. "You should use that as a pick-up line."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How to lose your date in 10 minutes

Tip #7: Over a seemingly peaceful meal, when he asks you a question, interrupt him gently, pull out a granny-sized pill case -- one with Monday - Sunday compartments -- and say: "Hold on, just a sec. I forgot to take my antispasmodic medication" as you pop a horse-pill sized multi-vitamin and chase it down with your drink.

Rock on

It was an evening like no other. A buzz was rimming through the crowd like a hive. They were hot and bothered in the summer eve, ready for the main act to take to their instruments and rev it up.

As the applause amped to a crescendo, the spotlights flash on the band. The lead singer took to the mic and introduced her voice into the evening air, as the crowd went wild:

"We're the French Ticklers," she smiled above the roar of the audience. "We're so glad you came. This first song will really get into your pants."


At the jazz gig at the St. Exspendy Hotel, the conversation changed tunes from vibraphones to vibrators.

"I just don't get it," she said. "All my friends keep talking about their vibrators. I've never been into it. I just prefer the real thing."

"I used to feel that way," her friend said. "But, you've also had good sex. I, on the other hand, have never had that experience, so the vibrator is great. It's better, faster, easier to clean up after. It's like "wham, bam, thank you Duracell.'"


She listened with a keen sympathetic heart to a dear friend who had been out east for the last two months of her brother's battle with cancer. He was in his early 40's, with a lovely wife and two little boys.

"We had some wonderfully poignant conversations at the end where he would start sharing his reflections with me, as if to counsel," her friend said.

"Did he share big life lessons?" she inquired.

"Yeah, he did," her friend said quietly. "He said, 'Never let work get in the way of a relationship.'"

She smiled, and knew how awful it was to be with someone who was married to their job first.

Internal memo

To: PM Executive Director

As a progress report, all I know is this:

The men keep appearing left and right, and then dropping like flies because of 'the list.' This list leads to great clarity and peace of mind, but leaves us wondering where all the potential suitors are?

Only mildly concerned,
The cub-in-training

PS. Is timing everything?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The joy of singlehood

They met up early to beat the summer heat and to keep holy the Sunday morning walk. It was an idyllic day, which was par for the course in this mountain town. The topic of these twalks usually centered around Project Man, and other important metaphysicalities.

As they reached the end of the route, she turned to her friend and said, "You know, these are really the best times of our lives. We really need to enjoy it."

Her friend raised an eyebrow at her reasoning, in questioning not disagreement. She knew how much the availability of her friends' calendars changed once a boy took the spotlight in their daily routine.

"We have so much time to ourselves as singularities. I mean, if we had boyfriends, we wouldn't have time to be out this early on a Sunday. We'd be too busy having sex."

Sunday, July 12, 2009


As social beings with a highly developed nervous system, being in relation with others poses so many challenges. At once you are simultaneously a semi-enclosed biological system driven by chemical reactions that can't compete with rational concepts - AND a thinking "I" falsely assured of your independence, denying the Darwinian principle apparent in every interaction - that is the pursuit to share your genes.

Being in a culture befuddled with a seriously confused cultural concept of love, it's hard to keep your wits about you if you're letting yourself be charmed and wooed by a potential suitor. Therefore it's imperative to process your gut feelings, your emotions, the facts, your projections and perceptions, etc., before getting caught up in the rush of it all and losing your bearings.

This is the process of Manalyzing, with the precept that it's good to train so that you're ready to run when you need to.

Manalyzing is a circular exercise of discussion that helps process the information streaming in from all the channels of the human experience -- all the many ways of knowing -- so as to work through the crossed lines of confusion to a grounded place of understanding what's going on.

Often, there are mixed signals to untangle. Before you waste beautiful bouquets on the 'he loves me/loves me not' riddle, start noting the signals you're getting: "He does [this] which makes me think he likes me, but then he does [this] which says the opposite? WTF?"

Pay close attention to your intuition, how you physically react in said dude's presence, and go with your gut if you sense any overt incongruities -- which are blatant red flags. (Red flags, no matter how flippant at first glance, should not be ignored - especially if they start flying at full mast within the first 3 months of a relationship.)

While you're tuning in to the situation, listen to your self as you try to sort it out. Are you making excuses for him already? If you answered yes to this question, please cross reference your man list. It's around 100 points for a reason: it details what you want, not the unclear loser that you don't need.

Is he matching any of the points on the man-list? Is he missing the boat? Is he really that hot that all the red flags don't matter? (The answer is 'No', btw.) [Just a reminder that the red flags are a warning of the clear and present danger to the precious, beautiful you that deserves to not have to worry about how to protect yourself in the midst of all this trouble / impending plague of doom.]

It helps to manalyze with a good friend who can help you see clearly, even when you're feeling muddled. Even if there's an attraction, the dude must clear the list itemizing the articles provided herein.


"What did he just ask you?" her friend said when the music died down enough to hear each other.

"He asked if I wanted something to drink," she said.

Her friend smiled. "I'm cracking up. He's totally crushing on you. This is so cute."

She didn't know what to think. She hadn't been crushed on recently, and vaguely remembered all of the guys that had crushed on her in the past. She never reciprocated, except for the persistent one, which she had ended up marrying way back when.

When would she have one of those mutual attraction moments? You know, the kind where that moment of simultaneous 'being seen' from across the room transcends the time-space continuum, propels you to each other, and the first thing you say when you reach that person face-to-face is a pleasantly exasperated 'where have you been?'?

The waiting was the hardest part. Until then, she was leading a full and intense life, knowing that what she was seeking was also seeking her.


Back in undergrad, she had a crush on this boy in her dorm. He was a freshman Adonis from the midwest, sporty in all the hardcore ways that make him a perfect fit for a mountain state university, sharp as a wit in his area of study over in the engineering department, and a free-thinking artsy fella who loved to cook and ski. He was charming, and he knew it. Yet, while his flirting mechanisms bordered on antagonistic, he was a good looker through it all, which was hard to overlook. He was up for any challenge of physical prowess on his beloved mountain bike, out climbing the famed surrounding canyons, bouldering at the student cove, or getting in a good workout at the gym. And he played the guitar - knew all of the Live from Luther College CD by heart, as well as more classical guitar pieces. On lazy afternoons in the dorm, he would come and sit in her dorm room and play while she read.

She thought he was the shit. He was cute. She was cute. They were perfect. And, their birthdays were a day apart. (And to her sophomoric mind, if that doesn't scream 'cosmic soul mate' status, what does?)

Of course, like all her crushes, nothing ever happened. She wasn't into playing the game (what game?) and hated games in general, so the flirty girls in the dorm captured his attention, and she pretended not to notice. They had a rapport as friends with strong mutual interests, backgrounds, smarts, and always something worthwhile to talk about.

When she left that beloved university town to finish up her degree in her home state before moving on to the idyllic mountain town for her graduate coursework, they lost touch. But, she thought of him often and randomly, like every time she saw a white Subaru. Some days, she had this strange feeling that he was here, they just hadn't crossed paths yet.

Her thoughts kept circling back to him more frequently as of late. She found herself contemplating all of this in the freezer section at the local grocery store, while getting smoothie ingredients and trying to ignore the coconut ice cream and all the pies. As she was tossing bags of strawberries into her cart and reaching back into the cold for more mango chunks, she heard a familiar sounding voice coming from behind the glass door of the frozens case that was fogging up from the warmer air of the aisle. She stepped back, let the door go with a bouncy slam, and there he was.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sippy sip

She strode in just past happy hour and ordered her standard - The Mystique -- water, up, with a twist. It created such a stir with onlookers. Her beaming smile and joyous presence sparkled between sips and created such intrigue. In no time, she'd overhear requests to the bartender: "I'll have what she's having."

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Girls night, part deux

As their time at the swanky wine bar was sated in a post dessert glow, the lovely trio became a lovely duo ready for the late evening festivities taking place on the grassy lawn over at the St. Exspendy hotel. The little one was excited introduce her comrade to the good time that is moving to the rhythms of the brazilian band with the rest of the scene under the starry canopy of cerulean sky. And, of course, she was hoping to see the Adonis from earlier that evening (because, really, where else would he be if he was hip and with it?). She led the way through the glowing lounge area, and out to the crowded patio and the grassy lawn swarming with bodies moving enmasse around the band.

"Where do you want to go?" she asked her friend, as they stood above the lawn. "This side of the band or the other?"

"Let's go to the other side," her friend replied, looking mildly nervous about busting a move out in the sea of other movers and shakers.

Once they has assumed their positions close to the music, and there was grass between their toes, she kept scanning the crowd, waving hello to the people she knew. As they grooved on with the best of them, and she had begun to forget her aforementioned focus, it was then that she saw him.

"Ohmigawd! he is here!" she laughed to her friend, with a big grin.

"I never got to see him at the restaurant," her friend replied, trying to figure out who she was so excited about.

Ah, how she loved these seemingly Carpe Diem moments that were known to others as ballsy, when she would throw caution to the wind and go for it. She motioned with her hand to follow, and said, "Let's go say hi..."

Girls night, part 1

It was girls night again in the idyllic mountain town, and the three beauties strode on into the swanky upstairs localvore wine bar in a wake of compliments from the pedestrians and onlookers out on the town. Comments such as "Has anyone ever told you how beautiful you are?" are returned with a graceful smile, but lately have just been par for the course as these things happen when experiencing the visions of loveliness that they were.

They sat at the quaint table by the tall windows overlooking the stunning mid summer view of dusk on the town's noteworthy landscape, and talked over the evening's itinerary of news, happenings, plot twists, desires and other points of discussion as they enjoyed their light happy hour fare and swirled their house reds between beaming and laughter.

Somewhere between drinks and dinner, but before dessert, a tall dark beau caught the little one's eye, and he held her gaze. She couldn't tell if he was just visiting, or a resident, but regardless, he looked like he had just come from a bouldering - tousled hair, sunglasses resting on his head like the crown of a recreating Adonis. "Ooh, enticing," she thought, and tried to focus back on the main dish of the evening, catching up with her favorite girls and the dessert menu. He caught her gaze again as he walked down the stairs to leave. She took it as a good sign, and silently hoped that he'd be at the dance on the patio at the St. Exspendy Hotel later.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cloud of unknowing

For a week she was excited at the prospect of meeting a well advertised fellow out for a little hike around the area's most popular park. According to the account, he was a catch and a half, and part of the small percentage of the population that garnered the approval of her man list.

She arrived at the correct date and time for the blind meet-greet, and the man she had been expecting was no where to be seen. Another boy was in his place, and she tried hard to hide the disappointment from the barometer of her tell-tale face.

And therein lie the headlining lesson: expectations (as in, the ones that her imagination had been running away with for over a week).

After that day, she knew that if this Blind Date thing picked up, the rules needed to be changed. There needed to be no preliminary screening or briefing or information exchanged from the mediating party. Both of the blind participants needed to be prepared to be surprised - for better or for worse. The no peeking rule needed to be mandatory to protect the silver lining in the cloud of unknowing.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Villa Caliente

She had been on the market for a piece of real estate for over a year. As she drove up to the Spanish-style condo units on the east end of town to check out the room with a view, the red tiled roof and flesh-toned stucco reminded her of a tropical resort villa. Inside, the entrance was graced with frondy palms."If this unit comes with a cabana boy, I'll take it," she said to her realtor.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Serpent power

She stood in front of her dance instructor in the little studio on a warm late June evening. He was teaching her about the secrets of the close embrace. It was about connection and presence - as in being with your partner in every breath of the tango.

As he demonstrated the way that their axis should be complimenting each other, and how it shouldn't look and feel, he asked: "Do you feel the difference? It's like you want to be here. You're in this moment and that's all there is."

As they moved up and down the length of the dance floor, her chest resting on his, he spoke his reminders to her as if they were a mantra: "Come closer. There. Reach back more with your legs, as far as they'll go. Aliven your spine. Yes. Come closer, still. Yes. Feel the subtle spiral with each step. Breathe. Breathe with each standing leg. There. Let your hips go. Even more. Yes. Shake that serpent awake..."

She looked up at him, surprised by what he said. She had to laugh: this was the third time in a week that reference to her Kundalini had arisen in private conversation. "That's my homework for the year," she said, as she felt a part of her shell, another layer, crack and fall to the floor like a small existential breakthrough. They kept moving in the line of dance, heart to heart.

As they had reached the end of the floor, he stopped. "Did you feel that?" he asked. "Did you feel the connection, that's what this dance is about."

She nodded and noted, "It's hard to be that way if you really aren't feeling the connection with your partner. I can't seem to fake it."

"I want you to know and be that for yourself, no matter who you're with. You can't meet rigidity with rigidity. Some partners won't even get what we just did. You have be this for yourself. I want you to own it. It's yours - don't let any partner take that from you."

And with that, another layer fell to the floor and shattered as her little heart opened a bit more. She looked at him with eyes at the tear threshold and confessed the bigger take home assignment that had been universally issued that year.

Revolution & renaissance

She tucked a flower in her hair as she read her Brezsny horoscope for the week. The universal love letter got her thinking about the questions she needed to consider to really get to the heart of the matter, or rather, the matters beating in her little heart:

Virgo for the week of June 25:
There's a better than even chance that you're about to embark on a Summer of Love. To improve your odds even more, meditate on the following questions.
1. What qualities do you look for in a lover that you would benefit from developing more fully in yourself?
2. What do you think are your two biggest delusions about the way love works?
3. Is there anything you can do to make yourself more lovable?
4. Is there anything you can do to be more loving?
5. Are you willing to deal with the fact that any intimate relationship worth pursuing will inevitably evoke the most negative aspects of both partners -- and require both partners to heal their oldest wounds?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Shock & awe

"Wanna come see that band with me on Friday?" her friend asked.

"Sure. But I can't stay out late," she said.

"Why? Do you have a hot date?" her friend replied in jest.

"Yes," she said matter of factly.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


It was solstice. She was sending out her thank-yous to all of those beloved souls who had helped her along her path, letting go of all that didn't serve her, and rounding up all of her intentions for the year, ready to set them free, including the man list.

Meanwhile, she felt safe in the presence of her guides, and trusted the pathfinder who would help guide her through this walkabout of a Saturn return. She was moving forward with intention, desire, courage and action, following her soul's path and saying yes to all the opportunities that lit up like fireflies along the way.

She was moving toward a vision that looked like a gallery space, tall windows, wood floors, driftwood sculptures, white open walls bearing her photographs ... and she stood in the middle of it all wearing a black dress, looking up to a beau as if they were about to step into a dance. The scene was stunning, and she would find out soon enough who the mystery man would be.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dually important

Trying to put a finger on his innate dual natures, she asked him these two questions: "What do you want?" and "What does your deepest self desire?"

Strangers on a hotel bed

As they approached Dickinson, ND, coming from southwest Montana and bound for St. Paul, the clock was approaching 3am. He looked to his co-pilot and suggested that they find a place to sleep for the night.

She had gotten his number from the ride board on campus and had just met him a few days ago to discuss the trip back at the end of Spring semester. They had left late in the day, which had set back their departure and pending arrival to the homeland, which irked her slightly. She trusted him enough to catch a ride home with him, but she wasn't sure if she trusted him enough to share a hotel room with him. All she knew was it was 8.5 more hours to the Cities, and she was exhausted.

He stopped the tired old Jeep Grand Cherokee at the AmericInn & Suites and offered to go check on vacancy. Her 3 a.m. mind was writing the game plan for how she would eschew any and all advances (or worse) that might ensue.

As he came back to the car he had a funny look on his face which she couldn't discern. "Well, they don't have any double rooms either," he said. "the only room they had left was the honeymoon suite, so they gave it to us at a reduced rate." He grinned.

She laughed, too, at the irony of the situation and began amping up that game plan as she brought in her things.

There was only one bed in the room, but it had 6 pillows and was a California King, so they could each have their own hemisphere and be separated by pillows. "I won't sleep naked tonight." he assured her. And although the Jacuzzi tub was a nice respite for the two of them in their makeshift swimwear, nothing really got any hotter.

As she had nestled on to her side of the bed, and he had turned off the TV, he rolled over and flopped his leg over the great wall of divider pillows, talking to her as he was drifting off to sleep.

"So you've never had sex?" he asked, referencing an answer from their game of 21 questions on the lonely stretch of eastern Montana highway.

"Nope." she replied.

"Do you ever want to?" he asked.

"Someday, but not yet." she said.

He sighed in disbelief. "I can't believe you've held out for this long," he said.

"It's not that hard." she said, blowing off his amazement of her will power.

Operation: Man Hunt

From: PM HQ
Subject: Project Man Executive Summit

With all the recent activity fluttering around the office of The Project Man Initiative, the amount of progress reports that have been filed is astounding. We are proud of your achievements - from dates and conversations, to man list revisions.

We're tickled to remind you of the Project Man Executive Summit on the afternoon of July 4, 2009. The place will be announced in another email and is to be kept top-secret. We will be scanning your HQ ID at the entrance, and further meeting clearance will require retina scan.

Here is a brief agenda:
1. releasing the lists
2. letting guards down
3. putting your feelers out
4. acceptance & pliability (a review)
5. "the one"?
*There will be time for a quorum for adaptation of Articles and Amendment voting.

To all Cougars and Cubs-in-training: In regards to the new code name - Operation: Man Hunt - please note that there will be no need for ammo (except for your innate beauty) and that camouflage and animal prints are strictly optional. Do note that you will all be adept at hunting by the end of the summit.

# # #

Correspondant feedback

As the external advisor & board member for The Project Man Initiative, he is often asked to review important documents relating to individual missions to assess the cause for effectiveness and utmost clarity.

After a recent memo from the powers that would be finding men that fit the bill had requested more detailed lists, a flurry of Man List revisions happened at Project Man Headquarters in the past weeks, and many of these had arrived on his desk for revisionist commentary and suggestions.

One in particular had struck him. "This list author seems to have taken the memo seriously..." he mumbled to himself as his eyes rolled down the page, and onto the second page. "...and maybe this list should be sent to the faeries with a decoder ring, or Cliff Notes," he thought as he reached point numerated 103.

After taking it all in and surveying the points, he carefully wrote the following assessment on a fresh sheet of letterhead:

"While I don't know anyone, outside of myself, like the guy you are looking for, I do believe in a parallel universe, so I have hope. It is a great list. Give it up, and let it go.... No one should be overlooked from "soul mate" status if all points of the list are not met. Should the scent of love be in the air, I would like to remind you to review the chapters on pliability and acceptance in the PM HQ handbook just to avoid rigidity to the list-as-principle if a guy does not comply with any of the provisions in any of the Articles Provided Herein..."

Find me a find

"Are you ready to date?" her friend asked.

"Probably not," she smiled honestly. "Why? Are you looking to hook me up?"

"Yes." Her friend's eyes lit up as she began pronouncing an advertisement that sounded strikingly like the little one's latest man list. "If there's a spark, you two would be perfect together. But romantical interests aside, you both need to know that you each exist in your lifetimes and therefore must meet."

The little one, at once stunned and grinning, had heard an echo of this boy about 2 years ago - while she was deciding whether or not she wanted to get married. She was never introduced to him then, and was now wondering if there was a distinct reason for that. She was pretty sure there was.

"Well... can I give him your number?" her friend persisted and pleaded: "Say YES!"

"How could I say no?"


"What have you been doing?" he asked.

"Taking up space and enjoying myself," she said.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Too much to ask?

As she was putting the finishing touches on the perpetual work in progress, her hundred-plus-point man list (draft 3), she began to realize that the first 4 items alone had cornered any possible male demographic to a very small percentage. She began to wonder if this guy existed, but still had a good feeling about all this.

Later, whilst sharing parts of the list to a pal over happy hour, her friend looked at her with big eyes and laughed: "Wow, I can't wait to meet him."

Neither could she.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Gimme an O!

10 Things You Didn't Know about Orgasm, by Mary Roach, via TED.

How much do you love your ultrasonic toothbrush?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

By Jupiter!

"...many a man has made his way into an honest girl's bedroom by calling himself a god." - Juno says to Semele (from Ovid's Metamorphoses)

Monday, May 25, 2009


"Alone also means available for someone outstanding."
- from It's Called a Breakup Because it's Broken.

Better ingredients

"Even with all the mayonnaise in the world, you can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit." - Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt's grams (from It's Called a Breakup Because it's Broken).

Sunday, May 24, 2009


As she set out to re-write her man list, she jotted new things down in the margins of the old draft, listing things in particular. This next revision would be a list of 100 or so tangible things so as to not confuse the universe about what she really wanted. There was no need to bog down the faeries scouring the universal database of men with good sized penises with vagarities and generalizations that would only lead to nothing better than a mediocre list of marginal search results.

Oh no. She was going big. Leaving nothing to the ambiguous, she was going to whip up this list and hand it over to the faerie god-mothers to find her divine partner with a sense of urgency and a clear image of what to send her way. No more wading the murky waters of bad search results. No more "surveying a multitude of options." She was honing in on the one and only.

In absentia

Dear Blog,

I know I haven't written too much as of late, and for that my sincerest and deepest of heartfelt apologies. Quit taking it personally (Qtip) - lol! I've been a bit preoccupied with the lushness of life. The sweet scent of spring has enlivened my senses and so has my hot latin lover. I'll let you know how that goes, when I come up for air.



"You should be looking right here," her dance instructor said, pointing to the space of his heart.

They kept dancing. Lest she stare transfixed on that one spot on his shirt, he mentioned: "You don't need to analyze the thread count."

She relaxed her gaze that was likely burning a hole through his chest, and thought about her inherent lack of seductive presence.

"Your gaze should be on me in soft focus, as if you are enrapt in this one moment, as if my leading you is the only thing that exists right now, you are stuck in this moment of ecstasy."

She looked up at him and her fit of giggles leaked into laughter.

"And even if you really don't feel all that, just fake it," he said.

She was never good at faking it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Impaired judgement

Every guy she passed on the street looked like a potentially delicious morsel. Her discriminating taste that was usually dished with a heavy hand seemed to be out to lunch. Kinda like her mind, which followed her eyes as they clung to the fellows that walked passed her at the wi-fi coffee shop. For every dude she looked at she said to herself, "I could have sex with that one..."

It was spring, yes. She checked the calendar to confirm that point in the 28 day cycle that involved a patiently waiting ovum. "It ain't ova, till it's ova," she said under her breath, remembering a line from her especially punny high school biology teacher as he polished his humor during the human reproductive system chapter. Another guy walked by. She had to fan herself.

If you had asked her about her Man List today, she would have stared at you blankly. Obviously, a lonely spring ovulation creates the omittance of sound judgement as the estrogen breaks the blood-brain barrier. She has a friend who vows to stay indoors when ovulating as a rule. Together they had established this baseline standard: no dating when ovulating. Today, she felt like a victim of her biology but was not making excuses.

And then, she suddenly realized: this is what guys must be like all the time.

She couldn't wait to sleep off this deluge of hormones and wait for the following day of clear thinking.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Needs & open hearts

Today's Just for Women Podcast features Newt Bailey, communication specialist with a far reaching and deceptively simple message about communicating in the bedroom, the boardroom and everywhere. He speaks of open hearts and maintaining in the moment. Listen and live it - and never be incommunicato again.


It was a lovely spring evening for a walk. She took to her new route contemplating whether or not to splurge for the Jimmy Choos & the silky selections from the Spring 09 Max Azria collection.

As she passed the tennis courts in the park, one of the figures through the meshed cage of the court looked familiar. His stature, his calves, his beard, his hat, shirt, shorts, shoes. She could pick them out of a camouflaged crowd with the primal sense of shape acuity that can only be known from years of closeness. She wasn't fully convinced until she saw the racquet, the one they bought just two summers before. Through the immanent distance, part of her wanted to wave. Part of her didn't want to potentially ruin their game. It was at once so familiar, and so foreign. Her presence went unnoticed, as an innocent passerby on a warm evening scented with lilacs.

The eyes have it

"Do you know about the cabeceo?" he asked as they sat down at a table along the dance floor.

Her look said 'nope,' and she hoped the fact that this was her first Milonga -- heck, her first formal social dance ever in the history of her little self -- was a good enough excuse to be in the dark on this one.

"You need to know about this..." he said.

Her eyes showed interest as she tuned in for the 411.

"As a follower, you need to be scanning the room and scoping out the potential leaders. If you see someone holding their gaze for a while, that's a preliminary sign that they want to dance. You can hold their gaze in return, or look away. Looking away is a gentle signal that you're not interested."

She was amazed at what she was listening to -- all of this great social experimenting offered by the Tango scene. Who knew Project Man Field Work would be so prosperous after a brief hiatus of leading a full and intense life. Yet, this all sounded so familiar to her, like she'd heard this story before. "So, it's kinda like being at the bar?" she asked. (Having never been part of that crowd, ever, either, she was taking yet another stab in the dark. All she knew was hunkering down at a coffee shop, knitting and simultaneously scanning the room and evaluating every dude that passed by with her speculation and keen sense of intuition about his innate character, while she tried to catch the gaze of the cute one across the room.)

He looked at her, as if he was trying to figure her out. "Well, I guess it's like that... from what I've heard."

Points, she thought to herself. The dude doesn't do the bar scene. She eased into the conversation more as he dished out more of the scoop on the social tangle of the weekend dance hall.

"As a woman, you can always turn down a request to dance," he continued. "Some followers won't dance with a leader until they've seen them out on the floor. See, in tango, no one wants to look bad. So, naturally, you don't want to accept an invite to dance from someone who's moves you're not impressed with. Even while you're out dancing with someone else, you can be scanning the floor for your next partner."

She was fascinated by, and grateful for, this tutorial. It seemed at once like Darwin meets the potential for drama. "So, I should stop looking at my feet while I'm dancing?" she smiled.

He nodded and got up from his chair. "Set that cabeceo on fire," he winked.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Turning on new jeans

For the past few months, her trusty old pair of jeans weren't fitting right. These two went way back. They'd been together for 6 years, almost as long as her relationship with him. They had been getting shorter and tighter for a while, but almost overnight they were not a good fit.

At first, she thought it was her. "Am I getting the pudge?" she wondered. But it was nothing these jeans hadn't seen before, even though their fibers were now restricting and uncomfortable. "Maybe I grew," she said, expanding her thoughts about the situation. Then, she reversed the direct object: "Maybe they shrunk," she concluded. It was a paradigm shift metaphorically clothed in frayed denim.

And she set out to buy a new pair of jeans. More fitting ones. A pair that didn't make her feel like a problem.

Spring fever

is are was were be being been

Vital signs

You know that awkward moment when you know someone wants to kiss you, but you really haven't opened that door? Unfortunately, the puckering 'they' thinks the door is open. When the best thing they could do is knock first... or ask if they could come in.

Zen & the art of letting go

She needed to play more frisbee, she decided.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Limits of eternal sunshine

She saw him as she was leaving the post office while finishing up her errands for the week. He was in 'their' old car, the sexy black one with the turbo. She was surprised to see him drive by and wondered if he'd seen her too. Feelings and scenes of the genuinely good moments they'd shared popped onto the silver screen of her physical memory, and again by surprise, she found herself getting a smidge verklempt.

"What is this about?" she wondered as she explored that rising wave of emotions. She made a mental note to see the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Now that she'd been through a breakup, it might make more sense to her.

Later that evening, after reading about personality types in relationship and brain chemistry, she saw their personality strengths and weaknesses at play in the text, and (again) saw how the personal elements closed up and broke down their path together. She could trace it all through their 6 years in togetherness, almost moment by moment, scene by scene.

And not that she wanted to put humpty dumpty back together by any means, she wondered just how things could've should've would've happened had they been able to move through that impasse which caused them to quit each other. What steps would have been necessary to take? What personal growth shifts blossomed forth? What picture would they have painted together on the trailing outcome? Ultimately, how would they have started? How do you remove the layers of bitterness and resentment to dig yourself out of a toxic relationship space?

She knew that such longstanding sediments had built up them in their case. That takes courage and sometimes massive machinery to excavate the malleable soil that may lie beneath the mantles of hardened hearts and the sometimes impenetrable shell of the ego. In their case, breaking up was a long time coming dispite their history and mid-west work ethic. But what does it feel like to walk on the ego shells that have freshly fallen?

Heart to heart

She stood along the wall of the tiny dance studio and, as always, was immanently amazed at the yin-yang dynamic lessons inherently at play in the dance of tango. Tonight's class was no different as she listened to her instructor introduce the lesson plan of the evening.

"Guys - you need to have clarity and direction to lead the women across the floor. Ladies - you need to have patience. There can't be two leaders in this dance. The follower needs to wait for the cue, the energy flow from the leader. Don't anticipate what he's going to do. As a follower, there's a fine line between dictating and being a doormat," the instructor said. "The man proposes the step. It's the woman's choice to follow it. Let's practice that for the next few songs, step by step."


She picked up the book on personality chemistry at play in finding and building relationships, she took the test. She was NEGOTIATOR/builder-explorer-director. She was Libra rising according to Vedic astrology, a Scorpio rising in western astrology, an ENFP on the Meyers-Briggs. She needed to get her Mayan chart done, and find her enneagram number, and then, maybe then, she'd be able to channel her soul mate with complimentary numerology and cosmic geometry...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Playing the field

"Well, did you get his number?!" he asked, excited for her progress at getting out to be seen, editing the 'crush status' list and perhaps finding a new one to add to the list.

"No!" she laughed. "I was playing "peripheral offence." We showed up, talked to the band and had to leave at 11:30. It was past our bedtime. He didn't get a chance to ask for my number. But he could certainly get a hold of it by other means if he wanted to..."

Thursday, April 9, 2009

To top it off

The clerk was chatty tonight at the organic grocer. As he pulled her pineapple through the checkout, he asked: "Do you want to keep the top on?"

She smiled, knowing the apt reply. "No," she said. "You can take my top off."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lovelifeart work

Peer reviewed

Like a journal article that undergoes the rigorous editing of numerous eyes and red pens before it gets published, your significant other needs to pass the scrutiny of your nearest and dearest. The wise trustees of your tribe will be able to see red flags you might be overlooking, immune to, numb to, or blind to due to proximity to the subject and high level of twitterpatedness regarding the aforementioned subject.

A good group of peers will review red flags with you and ask you hard questions like: "Why are you with him?" "Do you love him?" "Does he make you happy 99.9% of the time?" "If he asked you to marry him right now, would you say, 'Yes, of course!'?"

If you answer yes to any of the above, then they will most likely reply excitedly to the effect of: "Well shit, (your name), that's effing awesome!!" (and then, they may be secretly envious).

If your answers waver, are paused or full of explanations and examples as to why it's more complicated than that, they will listen to the cliff notes of your relationship 'history' again, take copious notes, and then hand the notes over for you to read. This way, you see what you're saying, how silly it is, and hopefully you'll know what to do. If necessary, a savvy reviewer (with your best interests lovingly in mind) will read your words back to you and ask you to identify every excuse you are making for him which is getting in the way of your own happiness.

Charting your love territory

"We should do your chart," the wise one said excitedly. "Then, you'll know what signs to avoid and what ones to pursue. It'll help with the weeding out process and help you focus your efforts."

The little one pondered this cosmic concept, as even Greg Behrendt hadn't included the importance of zodiac matches in his Man-Bible. "Oh, yes," she agreed. "Chart me. No wasting my time on the known incompatibles."

Remember me?

Have you ever found yourself witnessing someone's soliloquy about themselves? Is that a red flag for a potential suitor...?

And, the survey says... heck yes.


A friend just came back from an annual trip to the doctors and was tested for all those STDs while she was there, suspicious and questioning of her most recent boy's fidelity. She was squeaky clean and part of the 20% of the population that has those bragging rights.

20% of the population. Four out of five potential partners could transmit more than what you bargained for during that gettin to know you period if you move too fast and furiously, entangled in the throes of passion and sweat and other body fluids.

It's not taboo these days to ask for a clean bill of health. I mean if he (or she) was a horse, he (or she) would need a health certificate to move across state lines or belong to certain boarding facilities. Making sure your potential horizontal tango partner has his STD free card is par for the course before he (or she) transfers into your bedroom.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Commandment numero uno

"You already have one asshole. You don't need another one." - Greg Behrendt, He's Just Not That Into You.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

When the cock crows

"They fell asleep smiling. It is to erase the fixed smiles of sleeping couples that Satan trained roosters to crow at five in the morning." - Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

Saturday, March 21, 2009

If these books could talk

As she sat on the couch, sipping her tea, she stared at the numerous books stacked on the coffee table in front of her. Ovid's Metamorphoses, Dr. Helen Fisher's The First Sex: The Natural Talents of Women and How They are Changing the World, the infamous He's Just Not That into You, and the accessibly academic The Renown Goddess of Desire: Women, Sex & Speech in Tantra all lay there, resting next to her laptop, staring back at her.

"If these books had a conversation," she wondered, "what would they say to each other?"

Championing romantic love

My Lover Asks Me, by Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani

My lover asks me:
"What is the difference between me and the sky?"
The difference, my love,
Is that when you laugh,
I forget about the sky.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Man-bible study

If anyone wants to pick up a copy of the relationship text of Biblical importance -- He's Just Not That Into You -- and join our study group, just let me know. We'll help you pass that Relationship Studies course you might be enrolled in ...

A full heart

Over at Jake's place is a simple little piece to make your little heart smile...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

S.O.S. - Starstruck On Sight

How do we save ourselves when we can't see through all the stars and phermones with the Mr. Wrong, even though "he is SO beautiful / breathtaking / gorgeous / Adonis / cute" etc.?

When we need to wipe disillusionment from our eyes, or the eyes of our friends in this predicament, we need to consult The Red Flag Rubric: He May Be Cute, But:

1. does he bore you?
2. is he bored by you?
3. do you do all the calling / emailing / whatever?
4. does he have a job? a career path?
5. does he actively work on his "superior man" work?
6. is he healthy? fit? -aholic?
7. do you have anything substantial in common?

...and then, consult the man list. Remind yourself what you really want, and then place the Stunning Mr. Hotness back into the scenery and adore him from afar like you would the most lovely sunset.

Cliff notes, part deux

... and what should I do during this 90 day waiting period if I can't have sex with him and so I can find out who he really is, you ask?

Enter in golden nugget #2: the 5 questions to ask your man before you get in over your head.

These are questions that should be discussed not only within the first 3 months, but possibly, with in the first month, or even the first 3 dates. His answers to these questions will give you your answers about "where this [you&him] is going."

1. What are your short term goals?
2. What are your long term goals?
3. What are your views on relationships? (friendships, dating, family, work, etc.)
4. What do you think about me?
5. What do you feel about me?

Notes for #1
a. make sure he has short term goals and that what he's currently doing now is in line with where he wants to be.
b. see how you fit into those short terms goals: i.e. if those short terms goals include time for a you, or if he's really unavailable.

Notes for #2
a. make sure his long term goals fit with his current path, short term goals, etc.
b. do you see yourself in his long term plan?

Notes for #3
a. this will clue you in to his views on family life, family issues, past relationships, work relationship theory, what he thinks a long-term / ideal relationship is like, etc.
b. compare your ideals / views with his, and make note of the incongruities

Notes for #4
a. he should say more than: "I think you're nice." Prod for specifics, get detailed responses. If he can't rattle off a handful of lovely things about you, then he hasn't been paying attention.
b. He should be paying attention.

Notes for #5
a. This one is key for any forthcoming interactions with said dude: intimacies, dates, conversations, or a biddance of thee farewell.
b. He should be able to articulate how he feels about you, even though it may be hard for him to go to that emotional place that he really doesn't like to visit often.
c. if there's no verbal display of feelings, then take silence as the answer to move on.
d. if he passes this question, gold star.

Cliff notes, part 1

I spent the latter part of a recent Friday night discussing Steve Harvey's book, Act like a Lady, Think like a Man. My book partner and I, on our pursuit of filling in the book-study portion of our homework lessons on the subject of guys, determined that the book was a little light overall, but certainly offered at least a small handful of golden nuggets.

For cliff notes, part 1, Harvey suggests a 90 waiting period before jumping in the sack with a guy. He relates this to when he was working at Ford, and had to show up ready and eager to work the work before getting the must deserved rewards of insurance benefits and investment opportunities. This weeds out the worthwhile beaus from the flaky chaff of sport fishers who are just with you for [what Harvey calls] " the cookie."

I need a sign

"Did you see that one guy who looked really put-together, with the soul patch -- he even looked like he still had a job -- over on the other side of the room from us?" she asked her friend as they ruminated on the past jazz filled evening at a local coffee house.

"Oh yeah, the dark haired one, with the sunglasses. I noticed him too. Super cute." her friend replied.

"Yeah, and he even carried out his girl's laptop case when they left. I watched him a bit last night. And kept thinking: "show me a sign that she's really your sister and not your wife.""

Thursday, March 12, 2009

That link

"...Desire comprehends blindly by linking body to body," writes Merleau-Ponty.

That verb

"Desire changes the lover," writes Anne Carson in Eros the Bittersweet. "...he feels the change happen but has no ready category to assess it. The change gives him a sense of self he never knew before."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Briskly flexing the freedom of choice

In her weekly love letter from her favorite astrologer, she ruminated much on this little ditty:

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): One reason I've been put on this earth is to expose you to a kind of astrology that doesn't crush your free will, but instead clarifies your choices. In this horoscope, for instance, I'll crisply delineate your options so that you may decide upon a bold course of action that's most in tune with your highest values. Study the following multiple-choice query, then briskly flex your freedom of choice.
Would you rather have love:
1. knock the wind out of one of your illusions, thereby exposing the truth about what you really want;
2. not exactly kick you in the butt, but more like pinch and spank you there, inspiring you to revise your ideas about what it means to be close to someone;
3. spin you around in dizzying yet oddly pleasurable circles, shaking up your notions about how to keep intimacy both interestingly unpredictable and soothingly stable.

She mused, rolled all three around on her tongue, and flexed for #1.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ridden with

Have you ever been in a relationship wrought with the big J: jealousy? Maybe you're in one now.

Jealousy is a big. red. flag. for many reasons. The main issue is insecurity, which is another red flag when not handled properly or used as a lesson for growth and letting go. As the non-jealous partner, it's your job to tactfully realize this unhealthy force before the healthy dynamic of your relationship spirals into a murky vortex. But, that often means a big shout out to your partner to do some deep inner work (i.e. "Holla, homeslice. But your insecurities are. not. my. issue. yo. Can you work on that, please?")

As Nikki would say: Jealousy is the symptom of non-relationship.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tips for the girls, & boys

Dismayed on the dating scene? Questions about authentic relationships? Need some juicy insights? Want to grow this spring?

Check out Personal Life Media's programs and podcasts led by enchanting hosts and savory, worthwhile guests. Stream some aural enlightenment for your embodied existence and experience with others.

Start here: Just for Women: Dating & Relationships

Scroll down until you find the programs ready for streaming...

Get ready for greatness.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Much to be desired

"I've just been so unimpressed by boys lately," she told her friend over brunch. "It just takes seconds for me to see right through them, to catch a whiff of their issues, and find nothing that holds my attention long enough before a disheartening feeling of "I don't have time for this one..." fills my being with a sense of relief... I really like my single space these days. Besides providing fodder for great discussions with the girls, guys just aren't interesting me lately."

(Hard) Work

For those of you familiar with the Work of Byron Katie, you're familiar with all of the ways she'll make you want to say: "Leggo my ego!" But, for the sake of the present and your living future of this now and the next, her work is immanently important. Consider this little meditation on The Husband.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Avoiding safe & unoriginal, ...or something else

"I'm looking for something different"

This seemed to be the central thought of his trip. Escaping from the humdrum and perhaps confusion of a life without goals, he decided to play roulette and choose a travel destination for a one-week trip to clear his thoughts.

Portugal was the winner, planned on the spur of the moment, as trips to Portugal often seem to be. He enjoyed his first two days alone, until a French couple looked at him incredulously and remarked, "You're traveling alone?! No boyfriend, no girlfriend? Too bad!" Only then did he start to feel lonely.

Until he was walking along, recently off the train and consulting his thin paper map of Tomar, and a young woman waved and shouted from afar, "Hi! Do you speak English?" Her big smile took him off guard and he said, "Yes..." She turned out to bethe third woman he'd met while traveling who was working on her thesis. "Why do I meet all these intelligent women while traveling?" he asked her, with a touch of frustration and a smattering of irony.

"Because intelligent women tend to travel more, I think," she replied, somewhat coyly.

They spent the day walking and having good conversation, as he explained his current life dilemma. "I've worked for so manyyears, but still don't know what I want to do!" All he knows is he does not want to follow the monkeys. If everyone is going to see a monument or landmark, he does not want to follow them there.

His travel partner's only and best advice for the day was this: "Just because the monkeys are going somewhere doesn't mean that you should not."

Maybe a life lived avoiding the beaten path just for the sake of avoiding is just another way of not having to make your own decisions.

After finally achieving the goal of gifting her with a fresh delicious orange, partaking in new and delicious pastries, and carrying home one for the road, he hugged her at the train station. "Thank you so much," he murmured. He watched her run to her train, wondering what would have happened if his coin had landed with the other side up.

by Nikki

The D-word

"But, who wants to date someone who just got divorced? I'm not too worried about guys that I think like me, but I don't like them. I mean, all I have to do is drop the D-bomb casually in discussion, and that will clear them away," she mentioned to her friend over dinner.

Open your eyes

From Robert Masters' March 09 newsletter, The Crucible of Awakening, an article entitled, "No Longer Using Sex To Distract Us From Our Suffering":

"As we awaken we realize, more than just intellectually, that what we do to another we do to ourselves; then behaving ethically is not so much a choice as a necessity, a sacred duty, a commitment. So long as we can sexually mess around with and manipulate others for our own ends (sex here being not much more than a matter of making ends meet), and frame the whole messed-up scene as not being messed-up, we are only fucking ourselves, regardless of the tantric robes in which we wrap the whole thing. It’s no accident that one of the many meanings of “fuck” is getting exploited.

"You cannot have sexual maturity without a corresponding emotional, moral, mental, psychological, and spiritual maturity. Those who are cognitively very developed, but whose hearts do not yet see, will not be sexually mature, tending to either be shut off sexually or to indulge in erotic fantasy (utilizing their minds to jack up their sexual excitation). Those who are spiritually and morally relatively advanced, but who are emotionally immature, will not be sexually mature, tending to dissociate during sex, or to burden it with tantric expectations. And so on.

"Sex does not need to be — and in fact cannot be — crystallized out from the rest of our experience (as those overly focused on the mechanics of sexuality often try to do, both in conventional and tantric contexts). Rather, it needs to be seen, felt, and lived in vitally embodied, openeyed resonance — and relationship — with everything we do and are, so that it is, as much as possible, not just an act of specialized function, nor an act bound to the chore of making us feel better or more secure, but rather an unfettered expression of already-present, already-loving, already-unstressed wholeness.

"If you don’t want to get fucked, you’re going to have to disturb your slumber, and rub the sleep out of your “I’s” — and this is more often than not down-in-the-trenches hard work, a true labor of love, asking much of us."

For more on the work of Robert Masters, visit his website:

Thursday, February 26, 2009


"Let's face it. We're undone by each other. And if we're not, we're missing something. If this seems so clearly the case with grief, it is only because it was already the case with desire. One does not always stay intact." - Judith Butler

Monday, February 23, 2009

The art & ritual of courtship

"It's not just about having sex with her"

"What other European men don't realize," he explained, "is that women want to be courted. You must conquer a woman, in every way. You have to create a spark in her eye. A woman is sacred."

While I didn't agree with all of his reasoning, something about what he said struck a chord in me. In my previous relationships I admit we have gone very quickly to the sexual phase. After a very short exciting period of "does he like me?"and the adrenaline of not knowing, but hoping, sexual relationship seals the pact.

Nevertheless, these supposed pacts were very easily dissipated once things went wrong. Eventually I always realized I had made an incorrect decision, chosen poorly. At that point I realized I had never really attached to the person, and breaking the relationship was very easy. The message that I began to formulate and process with this new conversation was that my mistake has always been that I am conquered far too quickly and easily. I must slow down, must allow myself to attach to a person through good conversation, shared moments and memories, smiles and, yes, even that frustration and nervousness of unrequited hormones. Perhaps then both of us will be sure to choose wisely.

Maybe a woman should wait, should demand that her relationship with a new man build and grow until she has a spark in her eye that is not born solely of sexual attraction. Maybe this is not an issue only for "other European men," but for men and women around the modern world.

What would it feel like to be "courted"? Have American men lost that art? Did they ever master it?

by Nikki W

Especially, with a raised brow

"...So there I was, swimming after the run away canoe that he tipped over in the freezing May lake, while he's standing there, waist deep in the water holding one paddle, just watching me," she shared in disbelief while recounting an old tell-tale story in which the warning signs were all apparent during week one. "Later, he says to me in all seriousness: "You know, as you swam after that canoe I realized that I was with someone special.'" She laughed. "And I just thought: 'Yeah, and as you just stood there doing nothing after tipping us over, I realized that I was with someone special.'" Rolling her eyes, she added, "All the red flags were there in just the first week."

Once upon a time

As they walked along the grounds of the fairy tale castle, one of them wistfully wondered: "Can you imagine being a princess and walking around this place?"

The other one, busy keeping an eye on her child, offered this question: "But do you think they liked their life? Were they happy? All the marriages were arranged. Can you imagine? There was no love."

The question of the hour

She was telling her friends husband about the latest little dramas of relationship with the on-and-off-and-now-on man in her life. How she was debating moving across the globe for him. But the little red flag issues crept into the discussion. As she considered her notes of their relationship history and tried to convince herself and him what she wanted, her friend's husband turned to her and asked blankly: "But don't you want love?"

Young, smart & sexy

While they were waiting for the train, they were talking about how they were late bloomers in the sexually active arena, the hush surrounding those important talks when they were younger and the downside of that for their future generations.

"I want my children to have these experiences -- kissing, dating,etc. -- before they are 20," she said, and continued expressing frustrations: "Otherwise, they are at a disadvantage. They need to know what to expect, how to reclaim their rights so that they are not taken advantage of. It bothers me that the Church and sex-ed programs don't do that. These kids need to be smart and empowered about their choices, not live in fear while being all caught up in the hormonal rush."


"I went on a date with this older guy once," she began. "Before we went out, he went in the back room, brought out some perfume and sprayed me with it. It's like he was marking his territory! 'I like sweet smells,' he said." She laughed, "That was our last date."

On a mission

"I'm so tired of their shit," she said. "I'm not going to let them get away with that. I need to train these boys. Honestly, I feel like it's my duty to teach these boys one at a time..."

Red light

"Last night I dreampt I was a prostitute. It was my first night on the job. I didn't know what to expect," she said.


The four of them sat at the small dining room table adorned with a perfect bowl of fake fruit, fresh walnuts still in their hulls, a bottle of Port and green wine. Conversations among them had taken many turns at this point and eventually ventured down two different paths.

The Italian looked up from his conversation with her over at the other side of the table where the astute Colombian and the little American were looking at an open and connected laptop.

He looked at his multi-lingual conversation partner and said to the table: "I can't believe we're talking about Italian history, and they're looking at Facebook!"

The Colombian looked up from the screen and replied dryly: "I can't talk about Mussolini with someone who's blog is called The Kissing Lessons."


"Oh, and when we toast," the italian noted, "not only do we look into the eyes of whom we are toasting, but we clink the bottom of our glass on the table so that we are not cursed with years of bad sex."

That worm

"Is he paying rent?" her friend asked her point blank.

"No." she responded.

"And, you drive him around all the time?" her friend prodded some more.

She nodded.

"He's a PARASITE!" her friend exclaimed. "You've got to get rid of him."

Friday, February 20, 2009

No pecking

"He was a terrible kisser. I was like: what are you doing to my face?!"

The eye of the flower-holder

"Oh, these roses are so beautiful," she said to the little one as she pushed her face into the large bouquet of fresh roses at the market.

"We should get one and carry it around with us. I'll take a picture of you with it, and we can post it on facebook and create some more fodder for gossip back on the other side of the pond. Keep those boys guessing," her friend winked.

"I like the way you think," she laughed.

She carried her rose around as they toured the city, and past the Darwin exhibition. They quickly learned that a woman with a rose drew much attention -- more attention than being with a blonde in this country.

"You know, a woman is percieved as being more attractive to men if many men think so. So if one girl turns some heads, other guys will notice other guys looking. It stems from the great sperm competition. And, I like to call this the Bachelorette Effect."

A new series

The Portugirls: conquering Portugal one police officer at a time.

Famous for pleasure?

Together they sat on the old city tour tram of the mesmerizing portuguese city - the pair of portugirls and the italian girl from Dublin in town for some winter sun.

Upon learning of their bus companion's Italian-ness, the little portugirl turned and asked her: "So, tell me the truth: Are Italian men really the best lovers?"

The italian girl scrunched up her face, and shook her head with a laugh. "No. ... But they would like you to think that."

Famous for pleasure

"Of all the countries in Europe, which ones have the best lovers?" the little american sipping her portuguese wine asked the Italian ex-pat.

"Italians are great lovers, of course," he said as he looked up from the saucepan that the oil and the tomato sauce was marrying in. "And, the Spanish, too."

Game time

"I think a girl has to be willing to play the games. We need to be unavailable. We need to be OK to say 'No, I'm busy.' We can't be waiting around for them. I'm ready to play the game and have fun with it for now. But, I hope when the right one comes along, none of that will be necessary." she said as they wandered around the narrow maze of the city.

The proverbial putz

"We used to have so much fun together in undergrad, as roomates and classmates. We laughed so hard, and were always thinking and talking about the subject matters of class and life, etc. we had the best inside jokes. It was hard to lose her to distance and her new life... and whatever," she confessed to her travel cohort while waiting for the train.

"Oh, she must have married a putz. All of the friends I've had that changed like that were with guys we warped their worldview so much that they changed and our relationship was not the same. It's amazing how one person -- even an undeserving guy -- can change a girl's outlook with his insecurities, and because of her insecurities in dealing with him."

Implications & insinerations

"Oh, yea," she said to her friend as they waited for the metro. "You were in the friend zone. Snuggling with no kissing? yeah, that's friends. With friends, there's touching comfortably, but nothing intimate. When you like someone, and it's mutual, there's no touching. There's tension."

"That took me a while to figure out," the little one said. "The other signs seemed so convoluted."

"Absolutely!" she replied. "He should have been more upfront with you, especially after you were so upfront with him with your feelings. I'm more mad at him right now at this point of the story for not being clear with his intentions. That's just selfish."

Hot apple pie

"We have to talk about how we're going to go about this pie," she said to her visiting friend. "Are we going to preserve the pie in pristine condition for the boys like we would our virginity? Or are we going to dive into it and take care of our ourselves?"

Thursday, February 19, 2009


She looked at him, the thespian who hadn't maintained much contact at all through the various channels of communication in the technological age, from across the bar. He met her gaze. "You are unavailable with a capital U!" she said to him.


"How's your brother doing?" she asked her friend while wandering around at the airport.

"Oh, he has a girlfriend now." her friend replied.

"Really?!" she exclaimed.

"Yeah, he lost his V-card and everything."

"It's about time..."

Mystery of mysteries

"I'm going to remove my relationship status from my info page on facebook." she said as they walked along the streets of Porto.

"Oh!" her fluent comrade laughed. "That's a good idea. Keep them guessing."

"It'll create such a stir..."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Heart murmurs

I scraped these fragments from my weekly love letter from Rob Breszny. They are sweets worth melting in your mouth this Valentines Season:

"Love is everything it's cracked up to be. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk everything, you risk even more."- Erica Jong

"When we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness -- and call it love." - Robert Fulghum

Wrote Voltaire in a letter to his partner Marie Louise Denis:
"Sensual pleasure passes and vanishes, but the friendship between us, the mutual confidence, the delight of the heart, the enchantment of the soul, these things do not perish and can never be destroyed."

Gertrude Stein defined love as "the skillful audacity required to share an inner life."

"The person one loves never really exists but is a projection focused through the lens of the mind onto whatever screen it fits with least distortion." - Arthur C. Clarke

From the artist and poet Wolff Bowden #1: "You belong to love as wheels belong to roads, as grapes belong to the blossoming of taste, as corn belongs to crows, as shadows belong to the ache of heat, as happiness belongs to the capricious pangs of the soul."

From the artist and poet Wolff Bowden #2:"May the color blue behold your body while sun washes your shoulders near the window. May your lips refuse the kiss unless your heart is home. May euphoria find you in the place where you are lonely. May you light a billion candles with your mind."

"Greet one another with a holy kiss." Corinthians 1

Monday, February 9, 2009

Eau de toilette

I never thought anyone else would ever blog about putting the lid & the seat down on the toilet. But lo and behold my most favorite online journal (ever) does that very thing. {insert instant crush here}

Monday, February 2, 2009

"This intuition is her heartbeat"

When I saw this, it was love at first site. There is a lovely illustration on her page that is a treat for the eye, but I've pasted the text below:

Woman Unto Herself

The original meaning of "virgin" had nothing to do with sexuality. It meant, rather, a woman unto herself. A woman who is whole, complete unto herself, owned by no man.

Such a woman can be in any phase of life, young or old, married or not, mother or childless. She has smashed the distorting mirror of outer world "reality" and experiences life through the private rhythm of her being, a rhythm whose source is the Mystery that flows through all creation. This intuition is her heartbeat.

Woman Unto Herself is an expression of the inner world that cannot be grasped by the mind or ego. Once embraced, she nurtures our outer reality, giving extraordinary meaning and richness to life.


She was complete unto herself. Whole and autonomous. She vowed to open her arms to many and her legs to but a few of the most deserving. And, since she was a Virgo, there were some pretty high standards.

Securities & trusts

She was asking him to do the work. She wasn't asking him to complete of list of nagging to-do list items, scrub toilets or transform into Johnny Depp overnight. She was asking for him to do his inner work. So that he could be there with her, here, in the present, clear of any insecurities and misperceived emotions. And there, they could both leave their heart defenses down.

In the belly

She found herself awake early on the morning of February 2. It was the fourth consecutive night her beauty rest was deprived by the curious case of the stomach flu. Oddly, it was also the celtic celebration Imbolc, coming from Old Irish i mblog meaning 'in the belly', which specifically honored Brigit, the goddess of fire, poetry, healing and childbirth.

Regardless of the synchronicities, she couldn't help but wonder if this was the gut reaction -- a final clearing of sorts -- of the ignorance of those key visceral signals for all those years prior.

She woke up the day before at a more normal hour for a Sunday with only one clear thought in her head: 'I'm tired of boys getting in my way. And I'm really tired of boys who don't understand their inner work...'

She began her day early, despite interrupted sleep. She was alone, and living it. Most importantly, loving the space it gave her.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Animal dance

There's a fun new post on that seems full of fitting kissing lessons...

Grocery list

"So there I was at the grocery store looking for that crack-like-homeopathic-flu-stuff, Oscillococillium-or-whatever-that-is," she told her friend over the phone, "and this guy, who I always seem to meet in the same aisle everytime I see him there, came up to me, said hello like we knew each other, and then asked if I was finding everything OK..."

"Did you say 'I'm just looking for the Big O?'" her friend asked.

"Well, the attention did feel like a little bit more than just customer service..."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I would like to direct your attention to another savvy post over at Jake's place called "Becoming Ourselves," an unconditional rumination on unconditional love.


From a him to a her, via Instant Messenger:

“…Women rule our worlds, period. And, we are lucky to be any where near them - that’s fo realz. Period. End of story. You guys win. I’m already over it.”

Monday, January 26, 2009

Lisbon, or bust

"I know no one over there," she told her friend with glee as they schemed their abroad plans. "But, my professor is hooking me up. She's given me a list of contacts. Who knows what will come of them. There's one that looks interesting, though. His name is Geronimo and appears to be our age. I've only heard that he is a womanizer, and I can only imagine myself during an intimate predicament with him yelling his name: Geronim-O!"

Breaking news

"Omigawd," her friend exclaimed. "The list is working! I was at the gym today and this cute guy started talking to me, and he totally didn't need to. It was one of those things where I looked behind me to see if he was talking to someone else. Then when I realized he was talking to me, I couldn't say anything. I kept thinking of the list! And the list was even in my car. So, word to the wise: the list has a range."

Man up

"So, the purpose of the 'man list' is to manifest your potential suitor by listing the specific qualities of what you are seeking. It's like putting your order in to the Universe Cafe." She said to her cohort with reassurance, ready to take on the challenge and pen that man to paper.

"The last time, my order came up short," her friend replied. "...but he did put the lid and the seat down. That was very nice..."

"We need to get more specific," She said. "Refine the list in round two. Manifesting is all about knowing with great clarity what you want, so much so that you can almost feel it."

"So we put our rubric in place as a logical evaluation system as we open to the diversity of possibilities, but we can't leave our heart out of it entirely though, can we?" her little friend mentioned. "I still need tinglies & magic along with the tough grading scale."

In the waiting line

As their beloved patient Ignacio was leaving the waiting room, he turned to the team of alternative therapists and said to them: "Ladies, it's a shame you are not married. You need to make a list."

"I made my list already, Iggy," the first one answered him with sass. "It was my ex-husband!"

"Make another one," he insisted. "List specifics for the person you want to be with as a note to the universe and carry it with you at all times -- keep it in your purse. That's how I met my wife," he added. "We both had lists." He looked at his acupuncturist and winked. "Next time I come in, I want to know what's on your list."

"Good Bye, Ignacio," she said with a smile as she sent herself a high-priority mental note to start that list...


"It just occurred to me that he was a boy! A 40 + year old boy in men's clothing. And, with that, I could let him go. I mean, I want a man. A real man. Not some guy who never chooses to evolve." All this, sparked by a conversation over the phone on an unseasonably warm January afternoon, made her long-standing resistance release, and with a great pleasure, as she moved out into the light.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Great Depression

"It's so sad," she said over the phone.

"Why?" asked her friend on the other line.

"Well, when you invest so much into a relationship, and it ends up going nowhere..."

Her on-call friend picked up what she was putting down: "'s like the economy of love just crashes."


"She owns a wrecking ball company in the city," she exclaimed. "Can you believe that?!"

"What did she name the company? Ball Busting, Inc.?" her friend replied wryly.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Signing off

"So how do I sign off this email?" she asked her friend over the phone. She was emailing a copy of the divorce letter to the main character of her past life.

"Can't you just send it?" her friend answered.

"But I don't hate him... I guess I don't know what the boundaries are now for signing off a letter to someone you were so close with for 6.5 years, were wed to, etc. Can I use 'peace & spankings'? 'love & light'? XXOO? Do I just say: 'see ya around' ...?" her voice trailed off with other possibilities.

"You should sign it 'eXO'," her friend suggested with a straight face over the phone lines, until they both burst into a fit of laughter.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Places to go & people to do

In her manifestation list for the new year, she outlined the places she wanted to go, the things she wanted to see and the people she wanted to do. It was done up in watercolor, drawn in colored pencil, scribed in old school ink and hung up on the fridge. It was there as a daily reminder of the annual vision every time she sat to eat or left to go out. She could hardly wait for what was to come.


On her morning hike, the images from her dream came to her as a series of vivid snapshots and stills and selected audio scripts.

She was getting married again. This time it was a big to-do. It was outside, in a little back yard area. White chairs and all. Flowers and garlands and corsages. He was in a tuxedo and looked dashing surrounded by his well groomed men. It was the same him. The family and strangers were bustling and buzzing in the stereotypical family craziness that weddings produce. She was watching this all as an omnipresent observer, knowing from her half awakened state that she had been through this before with less pomp and circumstance, yet also as the leading lady in the dreamscape. It was a dual role that only made sense in dream-time. The bustling surrounded her as she watched, and the women of the party introduced her to her petal pink wedding dress that coordinated with his vest and tie. They dressed her up, zipped her up, like the animals that had adorned Cinderella in the movie. She looked at the dress, at the people, at him, at the scene and stood up. The traditional scene was ready for her. It was her turn. She commanded their attention from the hill she was to walk down. Her voice turning their heads to her, silenced.

"I can't do this," she said. She looked at the people watching her. "I love you," she said to them. "I love him," she said to them as she looked at her Him. "But I can't do this. I did this once, and it wasn't right. I knew it wasn't right. I can't do this again. I don't want to be married now." She didn't even apologise - no I'm sorry was uttered. She looked down at the dress she was in, at the flowers in her hand all bound with ribbon. She turned and tossed them out to the sea of amazed faces, and didn't look back.

This all floated back into her memory as she rounded the corner to her condo. She started thinking about how that dream compared with the one she had the night before. But she stopped to get the mail and noticed the decree to the dissolution of her marriage in an envelope waiting for her.