Thursday, December 31, 2015

GTFO 2015


 


Dear 2015,

We've had some laughs and a few more tears. I'm not sorry to see you go, so I will just say....CHEERS!







What are you most looking forward to in 2016? I am looking forward to A LOT. I want to...

WRITE MORE

GIVE MORE

LEARN MORE

LAUGH MORE

TRY MORE

LOVE MORE





In closing out this challenging, sometimes rewarding and sometimes heartbreaking, year, here are a few of my favorite things I wrote in 2015. 

















PS. A quick housekeeping note. Ask Erin! can now be seen exclusively on Ravishly. xoxo BRING IT. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Ask Erin: How Do I Deal With Feeling Isolated As A Single Parent?






Q.

I need help dealing with isolation as a single parent. This is my first Christmas, since splitting from my ex-husband. He left when my son was 7 months old,  almost a year ago, for another woman.

I think I’m over him. I certainly wouldn’t want to be with him again, but I’m jealous of what he has. He has someone he comes home to every night. 

I have so much to appreciate. I do. But I see myself isolating others, and I feel isolated. I don’t have many friends with kids, so I feel like my friends don’t understand what I’m going through.

I want someone special in my life, but I have none at the moment. Lots of interest but nobody compelling. Part of me thinks I don’t even have room for anyone else. My 18 month old takes up a lot of my time. I have help from my parents, I have a good job, but there has to be more than this. Right? I feel guilty for saying that, because my son is everything. 

So what do I do about this isolation? Grin and bear it? 








A.
First, let me tell you that I really understand. My son’s father and I split up officially when my son was two, but the marriage had really ended when he was about 6 months old. So, I get it. It can be an isolating and confounding experience to be a new mother, under the best of circumstances. The loss of a partner, even though I assume he is still co-parenting, adds to those overwhelming feelings of aloneness. What you are feeling is valid, reasonable, and normal. 

It does get better. The balance between your individuality and your role as a mother will even out. You will find your identity again, your new identity. And it can be a liberating and exciting experience.

Now, for the isolation, it’s something I also understand. When I had my son Atticus, I had all of one friend who had a kid. I felt completely alone in my new role and it took some time getting used to navigating the world plus one. 

So what helped? I forged friendships with other moms. I found most of them in mom/baby yoga, which seriously saved my sanity. Some of them I met by chance. Now, there are mom matchmaking websites that can connect you with other likeminded moms in your area. A good starting place is Hello Mamas. It may sound cheesy, but mama, you need a support system of women who get where you’re at

When Atticus started preschool, I was younger than most of the parents there and was one of the only single moms. It was not rife with friendships for me, at first. At another kid’s birthday party, one mom after talking to me for a few moments asked who I worked for. Confused, I explained that I was Atticus’s mom. She said, “Oh, I thought you were the nanny.” Yeah. So, it wasn’t always easy. But, by the end of his preschool years, I did make some friends. 

Don’t discount your childless friends! When I couldn’t head out for the night, I had people over. I had dinner parties, whiskey and Scrabble parties, Real Housewives of New Jersey parties (I know, so guilty.). You can incorporate your old life into your new life, you just have to change it up. 

As for romance, you will love again, you will be loved again and it is totally possible to navigate dating as a single a parent. I know all about it, which some of you may recall! And don’t be jealous of what your ex has. In my experience, relationships that spring from affairs never end well. You don’t what what they have, trust me. 

And give yourself a break. It’s been less than a year since your breakup and only 18 months since life as you knew it changed. This is a new chapter. Embrace it, you will look back on these days and marvel at how far you’ve come. You won’t feel isolated forever. I promise. xoxo





If you have a question for me about dating, friendships, heartache, bagels, kittens, or anything at all, email rarelywrongerin@gmail.com. As always, your anonymity is golden. xoxo

I'm Going To Say It Again, Because Our Response To Tragedy Isn't Working





Last week, another mass shooting occurred in San Bernadino, California. As developments unfolded, my Facebook news feed was flooded with news articles, updates, and personal thoughts. Much like what happened after the Paris shootings and the countless similar tragedies, people began moving to their political corners and expressing their feelings on the internet, feelings of sadness, anger, but mostly fear. And, undeniably, outrage.


It’s understandable. As we process these events that keep coming, as the unfathomable becomes commonplace, we are scared, we are angry, we want to point the finger of blame in the right direction, in some direction. I get it, I have felt it. But, we aren’t going to change things by locking ourselves up in fear, wrapped in our own personal ideologies. We aren’t going to change things by staying stuck in an anger that begins to poison the very ideals we hold dear. If we react to this by arguing with each other about gun control, about how authorities handled this, about religion, about “praying for the fill-in-the-blank victims,” about who or what created a culture that has birthed this, then we become part of the problem. 


Yes, we need to educate ourselves, we need to look at our laws and work hard to change them, we need to have those conversations (not those screaming matches) about gun control, and we need to find a way to realize that most of us want the same thing for our world. But, most importantly, we need to start where we are to heal the world. 


I am somebody who believes that change begins with me, with you, as individuals.  We have no control over what other people say or do. We do have control over what we say or do. Instead of spreading anger, in our conversations, both on and offline, what if we get in to action instead? What if we all started setting the example? I volunteer, in my own community, both on a regular basis and for special events. I’m not some saint. I’m not special or great because I do this. But, I show up. I show up and make sandwiches for hungry people in New York City. Or, I show up and organize care packages for homebound people who are elderly or ill. Or, I show up when someone asks if I can help with project xyz, because I am capable of doing it, because it does matter, because that’s how we heal the world. 


It’s beyond overwhelming to confront the issues in our world that have made it possible for mass shootings to become commonplace. Instead of ranting about it or pointing the finger or reposting another article, get in to action, not just in terms of having our voices heard. Those voices are important, but the smaller actions in our own communities are important too. If we did that, the benefits would be immeasurable. Instead of snowballing the anger that fueled these events to begin with, change the conversation, start outside your front door, do something.


What I am saying is not original. And, I have said this myself, both in real life and online, many times before. But, I feel compelled to say these things again now. Take the energy from that anger and fear and put it somewhere good. That’s our only hope of dissipating the strength of terrorism (and terrorism takes many forms) both here and abroad. The bonus- you will feel less paralyzed, you will feel more empowered, you will feel you are part of the solution. 





There are endless ways in which you can be a part of the healing instead of the destruction. If you are unsure of where to start, you can try out Volunteer Match to find out where and how you can help in your community. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Ask Erin:! Do I Keep Seeing Someone I’m Not Sure About?





Q. 

Ahhhhh! Help, I don’t want to be “that guy!” 
I met a girl on Tinder. Our first date went pretty well. We hit it off. We’ve had 2 more dates since, including spending a day in the park and grabbing dinner  and most recently watching a movie/fooling around. No sex. I’ve had fun with her, but I don’t know if I want to pursue something long term with her. We click for sure, but I don’t feel entirely into her. 

And I feel badly because I think she’s a bit more into me. After each date, she’s been the one to initiate contact first and make another plan. Also, she seems a little clingy on our dates- always taking my hand and kissing it, gripping my arm, etc. During our last date, while fooling around in her bed, she said “I really like you, a lot, but I need to take this slow, physically.” I have no problem with that. I have only known her for 2 weeks, but it feels like she is moving towards the relationship thing and I am not ready to think about being exclusive with her. 

I’m not sure how to handle it. I’m dating other women casually and she seems the most in to me. I don’t want to rush into a relationship, but I also don’t want to hurt her by leading her on. I feel like I could continue to just keep it casual, on my end at least. She’s fun and cute, but I feel real unsure of long term chemistry with her. I don’t know if that spark is there. I am happy to keep dating her casually, but I’m afraid of hurting her and being that guy. also, her clinginess is sort of a turnoff, but I don’t think I can point that out to her. Any help? 








A. 

Ahhh, your question is the perfect companion to last week’s question! As hard as it is to be the one who wants it more, I think it’s even harder when you like someone, but are pretty sure you’re not as into it, as the other person. 

You need to be honest. Although, the truth may hurt her a little, it’s less hurtful than leading her on, when you’re unsure of wanting anything serious. She sounds like someone who is interested in a long-term relationship. 

And truthfully, she does sound a little clingy. All that hand kissing would give me anxiety, even from my husband. I don’t like constant PDA. (Arguably, that may be my baggage, but I digress!) I do think that it’s a red flag, in so far as you may need different things from a relationship. I have friends who need a lot of physical affirmation and they have found happiness with partners who also enjoy giving and receiving that. For me, as I said, that would be a horrible fit. So, don’t discount that. Neither one of you are in the wrong. It’s just different strokes for different folks. 

You need to have that uncomfortable conversation. Not having the conversation will make you “that guy” you want to avoid being. Tell her that you like her, enjoy spending time with her, but you are unsure of wanting a committed relationship right now. Tell her that you would like to continue seeing her, but are not there yet, in terms of being exclusive. Then, see how she reacts. Unfortunately, she may not hear you. Often, people are fixated on what they want someone to be, rather than what they are. In the end, you may need to put the kibosh on this. I think we know fairly quickly and decisively if someone is right for us. But, you know that. You just needed me to tell you. 






If you have a question for me about love, dating, breakups, frenemies, or anything at all, email rarelywrongerin@gmail.com. As always, your anonymity is golden. xoxo

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Leftover Friday Suggestions On A Tuesday Because YOLO


Oh, November, what a sad, strange month you have been. If you're in need of distraction, here are some suggestions for you....



















To Listen (Because after you rent or buy the short film mentioned above, you will want to listen to this over again, as it is one of the most beautiful, honest, pure songs...ever.)




 To listen




Ask Erin!: Is He Just Not That Into Me?


Without further ado......




Q.

Hi, I’m a 31 year old woman. I met a guy at a party, he took my number, and texted me first. I responded. Then I called him a couple days later and he called me back. We had a great chat, I asked him out. We set up a tentative date as we both have odd work schedules. He texted me the morning of that he was feeling sick and he wasn't sure about the date, but he definitely wanted to have the date later. I absolutely respect a guy who lets me know in advance. 

Now I approach dating as glass half empty since many guys show interest and then end up flaking on me or stringing me along. I don't mind if a guy isn't interested, but I absolutely despise men who lead me on. I never lead people on, if I'm not interested I will not go on a date just because I have nothing better to do. I guess I expect the worst, as I have gotten the worst. 

A day after we were supposed to have our date, I texted him asking how he is and he said he felt better. He took forever to text me back and never asked to reschedule. The convo ended with my text saying I was glad he felt better. If I was interested in someone I would ask them out as soon as possible. 

Let’s just say I spent days looking forward to the date and now I'm ready to "lose" his number. Opinion? The last time a different guy flaked on me twice, told me he still wanted to take me for drinks and I never saw him until 3 months later when he actually attempted to apologize. Should I write this one off? Is he just not that into me?







A.

Ah, the old “he’s just not that into you” conundrum. I’m from the school of- if someone is into you, they’re making the effort. Maybe he is already seeing someone else, maybe he changed his mind, maybe he was never that into you, maybe he was really hungover because he can’t control his drinking, or maybe he’s lazy. It doesn’t matter. It has little to do with you, because he doesn’t know you. 

Also, in my experience, a little cold never stopped me (or anyone I was dating who was interested in me) from going out with someone I liked. Maybe that’s socially irresponsible, in terms of exposing others to germs, but it’s true! (Unless we are talking stomach flu/food poisoning etc. because that’s just gross.)

In romantic situations, I think you’re better off starting things with someone who is showing a clear interest in you and vice-versa. No one wants to waste their time being half-assed. Limp love is a drag. 

Move on from this one. If you hear from him at some point, it’s your choice, but I would likely decline an invite. He’s shown you that he’s not that interested, or he has some complicated situation in his life that is preventing him from pursuing you, which results in the same ending. People readily show you who they are, quite quickly. It’s just that we don’t always want to see it. 







Well, I hope I have helped. If you have a question for me about sex, dating, heartache, French literature, frenemies, ballet, pepitas, or anything else, please use the form on the top right of the page or email me-  rarelywrongerin@gmail.com. As always, your anonymity is golden. xoxo



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Ask Erin!: Should I Tell My Lover That His Wife Has A Big Secret?



Shall we? 



Q.

I’m 39 years old, female, and I have no idea how my life turned into such a soap opera. 
Here's the short story. I’ve been having an affair with a guy I used to work with for about a year and a half. When we met, we were both married. I got a divorce, he didn't, things continued the same. Recently, a friend of a friend who knows the wife, found out that their child isn't his. It's fact not speculation - I know I know, but it’s true. Anyway, he doesn't know. I know, but he doesn't.

SO I am struggling with what to do. The way I see it, I have a few ways to go about it. 

1) DO nothing say nothing - stay out of it.

2) Do a paternity test on him and his child, without his knowledge to have absolute indisputable proof (even though this confession came from the wife).

3) Send her an anonymous email letting her know the story is out and she has "X" amount of time to straighten it out.

4) Confront him with the story and deal with the outcome.

5) Confront her with the story and deal with the outcome.

Please even if you just pick a number, I am looking for some focus with this huge problem. And, I don’t know how things got this way. Ugh. 





A.

Ugh is right. Let’s review the facts. You are having an affair with a married man. Said affair either destroyed your marriage or happened because your marriage was doomed anyway. You are concerning yourself with matters within his marriage. Matters that have nothing to do with you. Matters that you are concerned about because you hope they will serve you. Also, matters that you cannot know to be true. It’s heresay. 

There’s no way to sugar coat this. I’m going to tell you the truth, which you want to hear or you would not have asked me for my opinion. Step away from the married man and this colossal mess. WTF are you doing? 

You are a 39 year old woman. You’re too experienced, too smart, and worth too much, to put yourself in this messy, messy situation. 

Breaking down the options for action: 
  1. DO nothing say nothing - stay out of it.” Okay, this comes the closest to what you should do, but you are only half way there. 
  2. Do a paternity test on him and his child, without his knowledge to have absolute indisputable proof (even though this confession came from the wife).” Collecting his DNA, okay, I guess doable. How do you plan on secretly testing the paternity of his child? Breaking into his house and swabbing inside the poor baby’s cheek? Stealing an old baby bottle out of his car? Are you CSI? You have lost your mind if you think this is a legitimate option.
  3. Send her an anonymous email letting her know the story is out and she has "X" amount of time to straighten it out.” Don’t be that woman. This isn’t Gossip Girl
  4. Confront him with the story and deal with the outcome.” Again, to what end? You think that if you confront him, he’s going to divorce her and you’ll ride off into the sunset together? You won’t.
  5. Confront her with the story and deal with the outcome.” This is an underhanded way of blowing the whole thing up and exposing the affair to get what you want. And it won’t work either.

You need to choose #6- END THIS MESS NOW. No good can come of you staying in this situation or attempting to solve the mystery of wether or not he is the father. You are not Maury Povich

I know the truth sucks. You want this to end happily ever after. But, it won’t. Do EVERYONE a favor, and GTFO. Also, get some therapy so you make better choices next time. You really do deserve better. 






Another week, another question. I don’t know about you, but for me last week was challenging, to say the least. Here’s hoping that the second week of November is a whole lot easier! If you have a question for me about love, life, oral sex, Maury Povich, the world’s best chocolate chip cookies, Poirot, Siouxsie and the Banshees, cats, or anything else, please use the form on the top right of the page or email rarelywrongerin@gmail.com. As always, your anonymity is golden. xoxo

Monday, November 9, 2015

Current Mood And I'm Just Gonna Go With It





Last week was less than stellar. I am sad, for a variety of reasons. In the grand scheme, everything is good, this will pass. But, right here, right now, I'm just letting myself feel it. And in honor of that, some music. Music echoes what what we feel and sometimes that's what we need. And for once, I'm not going to judge myself for it. 







Yes, I posted this before, but what-evs. JENNY LEE












and one more from Money that I've posted before, because I really like this song. 


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Ask Erin!: I Have Feelings For My Co-Worker, Should I Pursue A Relationship?



Here we are, November. Let's get to it. 






Q.

So, there’s a lady at work I’ve been crushing on. I know work relationships aren't ideal, but it gets worse. She's in a relationship.

However, she's far from happy in this relationship. This I know. She’s pretty much told me. Everyday we flirt. We both smoke and usually take our smoke breaks together. Often when I don't show at the normal time when we go for a smoke break, she'll say something like 'you stood me up again' or 'what happened about our date?'  This is not good when you're trying to quit smoking!  On Mondays, or if we haven’t smoked together for a couple days, she’ll say something like 'where have you been all my life?' I'm not a naturally confident person, but with her, I feel at ease. We can joke around and it’s effortless.

I just don't know what to do because on one hand I feel I should leave it alone, as it's a messy situation, but then I believe I can make her happier than she feels.....and certainly happier than I feel. Should I pursue this and tell her how I feel, or just let it go?






A.

Okay, how could I not have visions of Pam and Jim running through my mind as I read this question? Except for the smoking. Dude, quit, drop that nasty stinky rock. It’s killing you. 

But, back to the question. Listen, you said it yourself- there are two major red flags here. One, she’s your co-worker, and if things end, you have to see each other, Monday-Friday. The bright side? Maybe then at least one of you will quit smoking!! Two, she’s already in a relationship. And from how you tell it, not a very healthy one. So, that brings me to a third red flag- don’t try to be the rebound for someone who is sticking around in an unhealthy relationship. This does not bode well for her emotional health. Ya dig? 

Points two and three are really the bigger issue. Don’t seek out emotional entanglements with someone whose own life sounds pretty muddy. This is not The Office. I don’t think you’re getting married to this lady in Season 6. Oh, and, no more smoking! 





Well kids, I hope you’ve learned something about looking for love in all the wrong places. If you have a question for me about condoms, dating, breakups, narcissists, everything bagels, The Love Boat, Beverly Hills 90210, The Mets, or anything else, please email rarelywrongerin@gmail.com. As always, your anonymity is golden. xoxo

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ask Erin!: I Have Sexual Tension With a Friend, What Should I Do?



Sexual tension between friends vis-a-vis comparisons to your favorite 80s films? Check! Shall we?


Q.

I thought dating was supposed to get easier as I got older! I have a close friend. There has definitely been some attraction (well on my part for sure... and his too somewhat ) over the years. Neither of us has actually ever done anything. We occasionally make jokes about getting together but it stops and starts there as a joke. 

Sometimes it seems like he goes out of his way to be so nonchalant about who I’m dating or acts like he doesn't care. (Which I understand  because I do it too!!) It’s ridiculous..we are very open with each other about practically everything else...but I find myself continuing to freeze up.

It’s all very 8th Grade and we are both guilty...and both of us are in our thirties!! Lol! Is this normal behavior for someone my age? I thought I would have grown out of this years ago ......maybe it’s a self preservation thing.. I don't know! I have no problem flirting with some random guy I meet, but when I really like someone I act like I couldn’t care less. Is there hope for me? Please say yes! 



A.
Truth- I think this is less about having feelings for this person and more about not wanting him to get wifed up because: A, that will screw up the “When Harry Met Sally” vibe you’ve got going on and B, you might want to have sex with him but not actually be in a relationship with him. This is not an unusual situation. In fact, if we all get a little honest with ourselves, we can probably recall a time (or three) when we had that friend that we treated like a bf/gf but didn’t want to date. We also didn’t want him or her to date anyone else either. 

I could be wrong. You could have true feelings for him. 

Yes, there is hope for you. In fact, my husband and I started out as friends with burgeoning sexual tension. (He also told me he would never date someone like me, so he was glad that we were “just friends.” Exactly two weeks later we started dating and never looked back.) 

Get real with yourself and figure out if what you’re feeling is the I-want-to-keep-Duckie-around-in-case-I-don’t-have-a-date-for-prom scenario or the I-am-a-tomboy-who-plays-the-drums-and-have-been-secretly-in-love-with-you-for-years scenario. If it’s the former, then stop the block, let him date, and you go date and be merry, too. If it’s the latter, well then, get honest, or make the move yourself. Whatever the outcome, it’s better than driving yourself crazy trying to interpret his behavior (and yours)!







I’m all out of answers (and references to John Hughes films) for the week, the month for that matter. If you have a question for me about sex, dating, heartache, 1970s horror films, Labradoodles, brussels sprouts, or anything else, please  use the form on the top right of this page or email rarelywrongerin@gmail.com. As always, your anonymity is golden. xoxo