Jan 5, 2017

Back to the Basics

I realized recently that, when it comes to my blog that I love so dearly, I have been trying way too hard.  Focusing on the wrong things.  Forgetting the reason I started this thing in the first place.  This was meant to be an outlet, an escape, free therapy even.  I never used to care how many views or comments my blog posts got, or how many people liked my Facebook page or followed me on Instagram.  I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point along the way I became absorbed in something way more than I ever wanted this blog to be about.


I started thinking of topics I could write about that would increase traffic to my blog.  And when that didn't work, I was so discouraged by my lack of popularity in the blogosphere that I quit writing altogether.

Over the past week, I've had a few friends ask about my blog and whether I still write.  I was saddened to admit to them that I haven't posted in a long time.  Maybe because you have nothing to write about, one suggested.  Perhaps.  Or maybe I think no one wants to hear what I have to say?  Should that be a reason not to write?  Of course not!  Why not go back to the basics and write from the heart like I did when I first started this little project?  That was, after all, my best, most popular work.

So that's what I'll be doing from now on.  Writing from the heart.  No frills, no gimmicks, no popularity contests.  Just me - Charlotte - a single mom on the grind and living life the best way I can. 

These are my stories... ;-)

Aug 13, 2016


Well, I've been pretty much M.I.A. lately.  No dating stories.  No candy corner.  And I've missed writing!  But life has been crazy busy with back to school issues (including no bus transportation for my kiddos...ugh) and don't get me started on what's going on at my day job.  Each night when I get home I crash, and then the weekend is pretty much a blur of trying to keep my house clean and keeping up with my kids and their social lives.

In the midst of it all, one of my best friends got all the way real with me and served up some home truths.  After becoming frustrated with my ex (again) over something he had or hadn't done (again), my friend said this: "Why are you allowing someone like that to have so much control over your emotions?"

Ouch.  The truth really does hurt.  You can only let someone drive you crazy if you give them the keys.

I left my ex almost 10 years ago.  Ever since that day I promised myself I would never allow another man to control me the way he did.  As strong and independent as I pride myself on being, it only takes one wrong word from him to put me in a bad mood.  I do not understand why he does the things he does, and why he fails to do the things I believe he should...and I probably never will.  But at the end of the day, my kids are healthy, happy, and a joy to be around.  They are well taken care of and they know they are loved.  I have been blessed with the ability to take care of them financially with little support from him.  THAT should be where my focus lies, not on the person I wish he would be that he probably never will become.

Over the past few weeks, as well as the busyness of life in general, I have been making a conscious effort to not allow him to frustrate me.  I am letting go of the bitterness and the grudgeful mindset I didn't realize I had been holding on to for all of these years.  I don't enjoy having conversations with him - I literally cringe when circumstances require me to say "hello" - but from now on I will treat him as I would like to be treated...whether I think he deserves to be treated that way or not.  That doesn't mean I have to be his best buddy.  It doesn't mean I have to have conversations with him beyond passing along important details regarding the kids' health and welfare.  Being cordial is more than enough.

"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."   Colossians 4:6

We should all have that one friend that isn't afraid to tell you what you need to know.  I'm thankful my friend broke it down for me, even though it stung a little.  Knowing he was saying it out of love made it much easier to accept.  I can already feel a weight has been lifted knowing I don't have to be mad at my ex anymore.  What he did back then was wrong, and there have been some things he's done recently that were wrong too.  But holding that against him only hurts me.  And I'm way too smart for that!

So now that I have that off my chest, I'll be back to the regular schedule next week! 

Enjoy your weekend xx

Jul 25, 2016

#3: Where The Gentlemen At??

Here we go for round 3!  This week's story was submitted to The Huffington Post by 28 year-old Jen from New York, for an article titled 21 First-Date Horror Stories To Remind You That Romance Is Dead:

"I had a date with a guy who has been asking me out for a while.  We went out for dinner and drinks which he made me pay for myself (which is whatever...I can handle myself), but when we got back to the bar we had met at for drinks before dinner for him to return me to my car he leaned in for a kiss and I gave him a quick peck and he said 'that's all I get!?'  And pointed...downstairs.  Yup buddy that's all you get."

Wow...where do I even start on this one??!

Lesson Learned #1: Be A Gentleman!
I'm going to approach this a little differently than I have in my previous posts.  Usually my lessons learned are aimed at the lady in the scenario, but this time I'm talking to the fellas!

Jen mentions this guy had been asking her out for a while.  Makes me wonder if Jen had been putting him off for a while for some reason she doesn't mention.  Regardless, he eventually wore her down and she agreed to go out for dinner and drinks.  So why in the world did he make her pay?!  In my opinion, the guy should absolutely cover the cost of the first date.  No exceptions.  That doesn't mean the first date has to be elaborate or expensive.  I've said before a great date could be a walk in the park followed by a picnic while watching the sunset.  What's more romantic than a beautiful sunset??

It irks me that this guy pursued Jen "for a while" and then made her pay for her own dinner and drinks.  Guys, if you're not ready to treat a woman like a queen on that first date and make her thankful she eventually agreed to go out with you, don't even bother asking her out.

I really feel this is where we as parents come in.  We have to raise our little men and women to truly understand the appropriate way to treat and be treated by the opposite sex.  But that's another blog post for another day.  Stay tuned for that coming soon!

Lesson Learned #2: Be Prepared
Clearly, Jen is a smart girl.  She came prepared to pay for herself in the event the guy chose not to pay for her.  The issue of who will pay for the first date can be a difficult one, and is not usually discussed prior to the actual date.  I've always assumed the guy has it covered.  However, I always have my debit card handy just in case.  A few years ago I went on a second date with a guy to a barbecue spot I recommended.  He had mentioned in one of our phone conversations that he loved barbecue so I knew he'd love it.  I got there late and he already had a table.  It was one of those places where you order at the front and they bring it over to you.  So when I got to the table, he says to me "How about you go and order the food and I'll hold the table".  In my mind, I'm thinking hmmm...shouldn't that be the other way around?  As in I hold the table and you get the food?  But I rolled with it...and ended up paying for his meal in the process.  Thank God I had the money to take care of it.  It's not that I minded paying for him, it was the fact he made it to where I had no choice.  Fellas, don't be that guy.  When a woman is ready to say "It's cool, I got it", she will.  And if she doesn't, then maybe it's time for you to rethink whether she's the one for you.  There's another blog post idea...

Lesson Learned #3: Avoid Getting Physical On The First Date
I told you Jen is a smart girl.  Homeboy leaned in for a kiss and she gave him a quick peck.  She knew her comfort level and stuck with it.  But he had the nerve to take it a step further and insinuate that he expected more!  So not only did he make her pay her own way, he expected her to give up the goods as well!  Where the heck did Jen find this guy??

Kinda crude but 100% true.  Being asked to go dutch on a first date is not sexy.

As a rule, I don't kiss on the first date.  In fact, the majority of my first dates have been so platonic that kissing was the last thing on my mind.  Occasionally, the only thing on my mind after a first date is getting in my car and pretending the whole ordeal never happened.  That said, I have had a couple first dates where the connection was so strong, it felt natural to make an exception and end the evening with a kiss.  But that's about as far as it went.  A true gentleman doesn't expect anything more than a kiss on the first date, and certainly doesn't behave as though he's entitled to more when the woman refuses.

I think it's important to keep things as platonic as possible for the first several dates.  As women, we are naturally more emotional than our male counterparts.  If a man kisses or touches me in the right way, next thing you know I'm planning a wedding and picking out names for our babies.  And that, my friends, only leads to disappointment when you learn who he really is and maybe that he's not as into you as you thought.  I know this from experience.  Take the time to get to know him and make sure he's worth your time and effort before you commit to becoming intimate with him.  It is so worth it in the long run.

Do you agree with my "lessons learned" from this week's dating nightmare?  Comment and let me know if you have any other suggestions!

Jul 21, 2016

Bradley Cooper

Eamonn McCormack/Wireimage

Ahhh...Bradley Cooper.  Those eyes.  That smile.  It's no wonder he was voted "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine in 2011.  He was born and raised in the Philadelphia, PA area, and has starred in multiple TV shows and movies including Alias, Wedding Crashers and He's Just Not That Into You.  He's probably most famous for his role as Phil in The Hangover movies.  I have to admit, that's when I first noticed just how cute he is!

Not only is he super handsome, he's also super smart.  He has a B.A. in English from Georgetown University, and a Master of Fine Arts in acting from Actors Studio Drama School at The New School.  He has also received multiple Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for his movie roles including Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle.

So let's take a moment and appreciate the fineness of Bradley Cooper. 

You're welcome 😉

Jul 18, 2016

#2: Steak! It's What's For Dinner. Or is it...??

Hello friends!  Here we go for round 2!! I hope you're enjoying reading these posts as much as I'm enjoying writing them!! 

I received an email from a reader named Leann, who'd like to share one of her dating horror stories.  Thanks Leann!!

"I had been talking to a guy on a dating app for a couple of weeks.  He lived an hour away from me and one day he said he would come to my town and take me out for steak.  Two days before our date, he tells me he doesn't have the money to take me out.  I was a little taken aback but appreciated his honesty I guess (HEL-Lo!  Should've been a huge red flag!)  I instead invited him to my place for steaks.  I cooked an amazing meal and made sure my house was perfect.

As he arrived he told me that his jeep got repossessed but borrowed a friend's car to get to me.  He came in and ate like I have never seen a human eat before.  He stuffed his face disgustingly as if he hadn't eaten in days!

We watched an episode of impractical jokers, at which he laughed like a hyena.  After it was over, he left and that was that.  He told me afterwards he was staying at a friend's house while he got back on his feet.  He accidentally sent me his location one night and I decided to google it.  It was a hotel!  I believe he was homeless.  He made me believe he had a really nice, well paying job.  I found out that at one point he worked there but they fired him and had a judgment against him.  I can't remember the reason."

Lesson Learned #1: Do Your Homework
I have a feeling this is going to be a lesson learned from all of these dating nightmares.  See Trivia Night for more details, in case you missed it.  It is SO important to know who you're going to be spending time with before you even decide what you're going to wear.  Can't stress this enough!

Lesson Learned #2: Pay Attention To The Red Flags
Pay attention to the vibe you get when you have a conversation with a potential date.  Don't over-analyze, but do listen to what they say and how they say it.  No matter how trivial it may seem, if something doesn't look, sound, feel or smell right...if your gut tells you to run in the other direction, pay attention!  Like Maya Angelou said, "When a man tells you who he is...believe him."  I believe this is the Holy Spirit telling you that this particular person is not for you!  In this instance, Leann mentions that the fact he told her he couldn't afford to take her out (even though a steak dinner was his idea in the first place) should have been a huge red flag for her.  Sometimes we get so caught up in the possibility of romance, we miss (or ignore) the signs telling us to move on in another direction. 

Ms. Angelou said it best.

Lesson Learned #3: The First Date MUST Be In A Public Spot
I don't care how long you talk to a guy online, whether through text, Skype, FaceTime, IM...the first date HAS to be in a public place.  This is especially important if you have children at home.  You might think you know the guy because you've shared personal details about your life with him over the course of a few weeks, but you never really know a person until you spend time getting to know them face-to-face.  Skype and FaceTime don't count, in my opinion.  Notice how the whole truth started to come out as soon as he walked through the door?  He doesn't have a car.  He eats like a caveman.  He laughs like a hyena. He's most likely homeless.  These are facts that don't necessarily come out in the course of a FaceTime conversation.  Not to mention the safety aspects of inviting a stranger into your home.  I've watched enough of the news and Investigation Discovery to know that this is not generally a good idea.  Thankfully for Leann, inviting this guy over to her house didn't end badly.

If he can't afford to take you to dinner, he really shouldn't be looking for a relationship in the first place.  But if you think he has potential to do great things; if he's putting in the work to be successful, and you're willing to wait for him to get to where he wants to be, a good date doesn't have to be expensive.  There are plenty of state parks around with beautiful views and walking trails.  Although it wasn't really a date, I recently went hiking with a guy friend and had a great time.  You could take a picnic and watch the sunset.  This allows for lots of conversation so you can really get to know who you're dealing with, while ensuring your safety since you'll be out in public.

Do you agree with my "lessons learned" from this week's dating nightmare?  Comment and let me know if you have any other suggestions!