Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's Automatic...

Are you one of those people who are always prepared?  You know what I mean:  Big bag o'snacks for even the tiniest road trip, never leave home without an umbrella, always travel with extra underwear.  Well, are you?  I am.


On a related note, I was never one perplexed by the folks aboard the S.S. Minnow.  Who on earth would have all that stuff with them for a three hour tour – who?  Me, that's who.


I always pack a crazy big bag of snacks and goodies for every trip.  I nearly brought an entire deli on board my last trip to South Carolina – talk about your in-flight café!


I always keep an umbrella in my car – and I live in the desert.  Old habits die hard, I guess.


I always travel with extra underwear.  I don't know why, really; there was never an episode that launched this pattern of behavior.  Well, there was one incident back in kindergarten, but that's a different story – and I was five.  Nevertheless, even for an overnight stay, I always have extra panties packed safely away in a Ziploc bag. 


You may be wondering, why the Ziploc? But you're only wondering that if you are someone who is not always prepared.  See, the… let's call it the… emergency pair or EP if you will, the EP is always kept in the carry-on.  This way, if your luggage gets lost, you'll have, at the very least, some clean underwear for the next day.  On a normal trip the carry-on is usually filled with the aforementioned snacks, books, magazines, newspapers and miscellaneous electronic devices; not to mention travel documents, itinerary papers and, occasionally, a map – although Garmin is making this item unnecessary.  Anyway, who wants their EP floating around with all this stuff, unprotected?  Seems unsanitary – hence the Ziploc.  See, always prepared.


Now, for an overnight stay, one may travel with just a carry-on so, in addition to all of the above, now the bag also includes clothing and toiletries (only 3 oz. bottles, please).  This does not matter – the same rule applies: EP in a Ziploc.  Hey, you can't really call it a disorder unless you're obsessive and compulsive about it. 


Well, my behavior has not only been validated but, I'll go as far as to say, vindicated, as well.  See, over the years, even though the snacks are always eaten, and I have had occasion to pull out the umbrella, I've never really needed my EP – never, not once – until recently, that is.


I was traveling back from a hop-skip to California when I noticed there was a flight set to depart for Phoenix much earlier than the one I was scheduled on.  Could I make it – hmmm?  That's the thing about Southwest – they're so accommodating. I was rebooked – hooray!


I rushed down to the gate to see passengers already lining up.  Did I have time to go to the Ladies Room?  I really had to, so I made the mad dash.


I entered the narrow stall and put my pocket book and carry-on on the hook.  I haven't shared this with you before but, I'm not a sitter in a public restroom.  I squat.  Honestly, between this and my hiking, I could probably crack walnuts with my thighs!  Anyway, I pulled down my pants to find that I'd been greeted – unexpectedly, and prematurely – by my perimenopausal (mid 40s), irregular friend.  "Oh, you've got to be kidding me," I thought, when all of a sudden, it hit me, at long last, I could finally use the EP!


So picture this now.  I was standing between the bowl (gross, didn't want to touch it) and my bulky bags bulging off the door hook.  You've been in these stalls – I had a full 11 inches of space in which to make the change.  Time was a-wasting… I went for it!


First, I stepped out of my right sneaker, shimmied off my right pant leg, and stepped my right toe back into the open Ked.  Still on the ball of my right foot, I used that heel to remove the back of my left sneaker.  I then removed the left pant leg and stepped my left foot back into its open Ked.  I held my jeans under my chin while retrieving my EP from the carry-on that was nearly hitting me in the forehead, by the way.  With the Ziploc in hand, I crammed the jeans through the carry-on strap.  Now, while standing on the balls of my feet, I – one leg at a time – stepped out of the soiled panties, and hung on to them with my left pinkie.  I used my right hand, with an assist by my teeth, to open the Ziploc.  I then moved the Ziploc to my left hand and extracted the EP with my right pinkie.  Switching the bag back to my right hand, I dropped the soiled panties into the Ziploc and sealed.  I then shoved the Ziploc under my jeans and back into the carry-on.  Next, I slipped on the nice, clean, sanitary EP – one leg at a time, of course.  This was quickly followed by my jeans, which I pulled off the door and stepped into – also, one leg at a time.  I re-stepped, almost simultaneously – and with a bit of a shuffle – completely, and flat-footed, into my sneakers.  Raising one foot at a time, I did a balancing act while tying each shoe.


All the while the toilet's been flushing.  Pwish! Pwish! Pwish!  One flush right after the other. Pwish! Pwish! Pwish!  Splashing water continuously. Pwish! Pwish! Pwish!  My guess is it flushed 27 times before I hoisted my carry-on onto my shoulder and whipped my pocket book off the hook. 


And you thought this was a story about being prepared.  Those automatic flushers are a huge waste of water – they never work correctly.  I'll spare you the story of how I had to Hand-Jive just to make the sink work!  Thankfully, the paper towel dispenser was manual.  I pulled out a sheet, dried my hands and hustled back to the gate just in time to board.  I exhaled deeply as I took my seat.


I had been prepared.  You know, when something's been years in the making, the satisfaction you get when it finally pays off is automatic.  


Pleased as punch,

 ~ M.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


There are many types of talkers.


There's the close talker.  Remember this guy?  Judge Reinhold famously portrayed this boundary-challenged character on Seinfeld back in 1994. 


Then there's the slow talker.  D'ya know this guy?  It takes him forever to get the words out of his mouth.  "How's the… um… did anyone… um… see the… er…"  Spit it out already!


And, of course, there's the low talker.  (See Chapter 28 of The Ones That Got Away – A Dating Memoir).  As some of you know, I dated this guy.  Bill.  Bill the low talker.  Ours was a relationship doomed to failure.  He didn't say much and – since I'm not a lip reader – I couldn't understand what little he did say. 


Then there's me.  I'm a loud talker.  I don't know why, really, I just am.  The reason could be psychologically rooted.  Perhaps, as a middle child, I was overlooked growing up and felt the need to speak up in order to be heard.  I doubt that, though.  Maybe it has to do with all the community theater I've done.  We were never mic'd, and even though the venues were small, we still had to project our voices so that the people in the back could hear us – project without screaming (read: talk loudly).  This probably isn't it either.  Is it possible that my hearing is partially impaired and, therefore, I'm unaware of how loudly I'm actually speaking? Now this is a theory with potential.  


So I'm a loud talker.  Can I really help that, though?  Not if I don't realize it, I can't.  But see, that's the thing.  There are people all over the place willing to help me realize it.  I call them The Ssh'ers – and they're everywhere.  These vigilantes are out there diligently working to help me keep my decibels down.      


The original Ssh'er is my dad.  He often alerts me when my voice begins to rise.  "Ssh," he says, while motioning his splayed palm downward, "not so loud."


My educators were big Ssh'ers, too.  But honestly, for them, I really don't think it was a volume issue; I think they just had trouble, in general, with my constant need to chit-chat.  Hey, I wasn't nominated Class Chatterbox for nothing.


And, there's apparently a whole posse of Ssh'ers out there – incognito – living among us, just waiting for the opportunity to shut down a loud mouth.  Out of nowhere they appear – extended index finger planted firmly to the lips – "Ssh," they indignantly reprimand, doing their part to keep the volume under control.


I've been ssh'ed at the movies; but truly, this is not my fault.  Although I do sometimes lose track of my volume, I know, by now, my tendency is toward loudness so I rarely speak once the movie starts.  One of my friends, on the other hand… bit of a talker.


A woman once ssh'ed me at a Giants game – if you can believe it – and yet, chose not to ssh the crazed fanatic yelling and cursing two rows back.  Heck, who could blame her – I was easier to subdue.


I was even ssh'ed at a Peter Gabriel concert.  This was before the concert began.  I couldn't believe it – the preshow hadn't even started yet.  What was the big deal?  Who cared how loud I was?  Quite frankly, if you ask me, some of these ssh'ers are a bit out of control.  Side story:  I once went to a Genesis concert where a fellow fan sitting behind me screamed, "CHESTER THOMPSON!" for the better part of the show.  Chester Thompson is the touring drummer.  "CHESTER THOMPSON! … CHESTER!! … CHESTER THOMPSON! …  CHESTER!!!"  You get it.  I took that for a good half hour before timidly turning around to say, "Dude."  I said it with a smile.  He smiled back and said, "CHESTER!"  Laryngitis finally got him just before the encore. 


I've also been ssh'ed on an airplane.  I had the rare pleasure of being seated next to a very friendly woman from Philadelphia (city of brotherly love… and cheese steaks).  My initial intention was to read – my book was actually on my lap the whole time – but we just chatted like two old friends.  At some point the flight attendant came by, and it wasn't to offer a beverage, or even peanuts, but rather to ask that we keep our voices down. Ssh'ed on a plane…


And here's the cake-taker.  I was recently ssh'ed on Pinnacle Peak.  Pinnacle Peak mountain, that is.  That's right – in the open air of the great outdoors, some 2,000 feet above sea level, I was ssh'ed.  Here's what happened.  I had just encountered a 4'-0" long diamondback and decided to cut my hike short.  A fellow hiker, noticing my retreat, called out asking me why I turned around.  I was probably a little over excited with the adrenaline rush that fear produces, so I suppose it's possible that, as I answered him, I may have been somewhat on the loud side.  It was during this exchange that another hiker came by and – you know what's coming, right? – said, "Ssh!  Keep your voice down."  WHAT?  Why?  It's not like I was in a library.  Who was I disturbing?  A cactus?  Some rocks?  Other hikers?  I don't think so.  I wasn't shouting out the ingredients of my new favorite recipe, after all.  I was sharing the story of my near miss with a deadly snake.  I always appreciate knowing where danger may lurk on that trail, and it's not only common sense, but just good trail etiquette to share that information with others, as well.  So what if I was a little loud – too bad, so sad. 


When you have something that's worthy of alerting others about, you don't do it in hushed tones.  Alerting, by its very nature, requires volume.  Think about how different things might be today if Paul Revere was a close, slow or low talker.  Imagine if he whispered, "The British are coming… the British are coming."  You can't do it, can you?  No, you can't, because it's unreasonable.  Paul Revere was obviously a loud talker – and good for us that he was.  Loud talkers unite!


Reaching the back row,

 ~ M.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I think ABC has a hit on their hands with Cougar Town.


As a 40-something myself, I can relate to Courtney Cox's Jules.  How horrifying to be a 40-something and in the dating pool.  At least in Jules' case, she's only back in the pool; while, technically, I've never really left – but I have seriously considered opting out. 


Still single at 45 years of age, I've begun to think that it is, in fact, me and not any of them. But as I really mull it over, I'm not so sure. Take a look at three recent experiences:


1. After an exchange with a decent looking guy, I agreed to give him my number. Turned out this 45 year old man lived with his parents. They didn't live with him. He had not moved back in with them – no, he NEVER moved out. When plans for a date were cancelled because he couldn't get the car, I told him to lose my number. Is this really what's left out there for us?


2. I finally agreed to check out a singles function at my church. This was an 'over 40' function – problem was most of the people there were 40 years OVER 40! 90% of the men had white hair – that's for those who had hair. I met men named Kermit (swear), Bo, Sherm. These are not names from my generation, or even my parents' generation; these are names from the days of the Great Depression – no pun intended, but it was pretty sad.


3. At a local wine bar, my server was an adorable, blond-haired young man.  He had a nerdy-cool thing going on with his modern Clark Kent frames, and as he offered up Chardonnay choices, I actually contemplated the 'cougar' thing. He was probably about 29 years old – could I do a Mrs. Robinson – hmmmm? I wondered. Well, it turned out that he was nursing a broken heart; the poor thing, dumped recently by some guy named Stanley.  Check, please!


Do you see what I mean?  Is it me?  Who knows… As I mentioned, dating has almost become a horrifying prospect these days – although I've never really had much success with it anyway.  My life is chock full of things like the above and they're chronicled in my book: The Ones That Got Away – A Dating Memoir.  My story is an elaborate answer to the repetitive question, "Why are you still single?" 


So what if I'm 45 and single – I've come to accept that. And even if I do stop putting myself out there, I can always tune into Jules' life and continue to date vicariously – at least this way there's no hangover!


Looking forward to Wednesdays,

-         M. Hill

Sunday, September 27, 2009


You know, it's funny, after I formulated the OTGA quiz for the previous post, there was one question – that was cut from the quiz – that nagged at me. 


It went something like…


You know your man has issues if he:

a.)    Can't get it up

b.)    Can't keep it up

c.)    Shoots off early

d.)    Doesn't shoot at all


Let's face it.  The fact is he has issues if any of the above situations apply; but that's not what haunted me.  It wasn't the delicate nature of erectile dysfunction, per se; no, it had more to do with the actual letters E & D – which, yes, I know, stand for erectile dysfunction. 


Think of all the words out there that start with the letter E that can be associated with this.  Here are a few: Erection (obviously), Ecstasy, Emotion, Erogenous, Erotic, Energy and Engorge – although, within our topic, there's a certain deficiency seriously associated with this one.


Deficiency… yes, that's quite the word, isn't it?  And, a perfect segue into the letter D.  Here we go: Diminished, Defunct, Deadened, Disgust, Displeased, Dissatisfaction, Dismayed, Defective, Devoid, Deprived, Depressed, Dreadful, Dire – it seems this list may be endless.  Is it just me or has anyone else noticed how many negative words start with the letter D?  Delightful. (intentional) How is it that that poor word has taken on a negative bent over the years? Hardly anyone uses it to describe a truly delightful situation anymore – it's almost always used sarcastically these days.  "I've been on a diet – another negative word – for three weeks now and I actually gained two pounds. Delightful, just friggin' delightful."  See what I mean?  I've gone off point.


Well, anyway, these words just swirled around in my brain until they bore the following:


Erection Defection – the haiku


Erotic Despair

Erogenously Dismal…

Ecstasy Doubtful


Quick, somebody call Pfizer…


 - M  

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Are You Good at Dating?

Take the OTGA Quiz and find out…


  1. You have a crush on a boy from school.  He unexpectedly calls you looking for a French homework assignment.  Do you:

a.)    Babble like an idiot with gleeful excitement

b.)    Give him the homework and get off the phone

c.)    Regale him with fun facts about France

d.)    Grill him like Perry Mason about how he got your number


  1. In high school you secretly pine for:

a.)    The quarterback with broad shoulders

b.)    The rebel bad-boy with a heart of gold

c.)    The Class President with a Poindexter personality

d.)    The Art major who, later in life, will be arrested for homosexual pedophilia


  1. It's time to loose your virginity.  You do that:

a.)    At a luxury seaside resort on your wedding night

b.)    In the backseat of a car while the radio plays "Paradise by the Dashboard Light"

c.)    In some dingy stockroom because you lost a bet

d.)    At a dude ranch in upstate New York – before horseback riding


  1. You go on a blind date only to find you've already been on a blind date, once before, with the same guy.  Do you:

a.)    Call it destiny and run off together

b.)    Figure, what the heck, and make the most of the evening

c.)    Grin and bear it

d.)    Take off leaving skid marks


  1. You've just been with a well-endowed man.  Do you:

a.)    Compare him to a horse and say, "Whoa, Nellie…"

b.)    Walk funny for a day or two afterward

c.)    Tell all your friends and crack inappropriate penis jokes

d.)    All of the above


  1. You post-pone ending a relationship because:

a.)    You don't want to lose your date for an upcoming wedding

b.)    Your guy gets called out of town unexpectedly

c.)    He spills the beans on a lavish upcoming birthday surprise

d.)    His house burns to the ground – on Thanksgiving


  1. You're on date #3 with a Midwestern Adonis.  Do you:

a.)    Suggest an all-you-can-eat BBQ rib buffet

b.)    Quiz him on middle America trivia

c.)    Not shave your legs to ensure the night won't get out of hand

d.)    Get drunk on Tequila and ride him like a mechanical bull


  1. You know your boyfriend is a wack-job if he:

a.)    Is jealous of your cats

b.)    Gives you the silent treatment when he's mad

c.)    Gets cheap thrills out of frightening you

d.)    Tries to make you think you're developing a disability


  1. You know it's time to stop having your friends set you up on dates if they set you up with:

a.)    A retail worker who lives with his mother who cancels on you for a Donna Summer concert

b.)    An AARP card-carrying, insecure gasbag who loves the sound of his own voice

c.)    A lactose-intolerant man-child who can't take the time to iron his shirt

d.)    A twice-divorced guy with an open restraining order and a weeping sore on his face


  1. After a night of drinking, your date insists on one final nightcap.  Is he:

a.)    Simply stalling, trying to prolong the date

b.)    Trying to get in the Guinness Book of World Records

c.)    An alcoholic

d.)    Working up the nerve to give you a High-Five


  1. It's time to opt out of Internet dating when your would-be date:

a.)    Has issues with how you speak

b.)    Asks for your exact physical measurements

c.)    Picks heated political fights with you

d.)    Is a contact cage fighter


  1. Things you do not want to hear on a date:

a.)    Every blessed detail regarding broccoli rabe – or any vegetable

b.)    All the reasons why anal sex is the way to go

c.)    Anything at all about an 'ex'

d.)    That the guy has Restless Leg Syndrome and a small winky-dink



1. a-2,b-3,c-4,d-1; 2. a-3,b-4,c-2,d-1; 3. a-4,b-2,c-1,d-3; 4. a-1,b-4,c-3,d-2;

5. a-3,b-1,c-2,d-4; 6. a-3,b-1,c-2,d-4; 7. a-1,b-2,c-3,d-4; 8. a-2,b-1,c-4,d-3;

9. a-1,b-3,c-2,d-4; 10. a-4,b-3,c-2,d-1; 11. a-1,b-3,c-4,d-2; 12. a-1,b-4,c-2,d-3.



Well, let's see how you did…


37-48 points:  You've got a pretty good head on your shoulders – Go out and have a good time!


25-36 points:  You make good choices; you make bad choices – Hey, who hasn't been there?


12-24 points:  You may not be the best judge of character – Be careful out there.


Quiz questions were culled from The Ones That Got Away – A Dating Memoir.  My modern day story hysterically answers the question, "Why are you still single?" with such open and honest candor that one reviewer wrote, "It's like delighting in your best friend's dirty details without having to divulge your own." 


The Ones That Got Away – A Dating Memoir by M. Hill  is available at and  For more information visit




Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dirty Little Secrets

I was recently privileged to be a guest on The Polka Dot Banner's Authors Blog.  The Polka Dot Banner is a website for authors – an author's gathering place, if you will.  Check it out sometime at  The guest blogging consisted of an initial post followed by a one day Q&A.  Below is a slightly edited version of the initial post.





What is it about secrets that make them so appealing?  It must have something to do with the inherent mystique that, by their very nature, is infused in them.  I actually have a theory about secrets: If you want something to remain a secret – are you ready? here it comes – do NOT tell anybody!


For me, I really don't have many secrets.  My life is an open book – literally.  The Ones That Got Away – A Dating Memoir chronicles 40 years of my life in, what some have deemed, wince-inducing candor.  For possible reasons why I'm so open and frank, see Diff'rent Strokes post of 6-21-09. 


So, what was the biggest secret with my book?  Well, the book itself, actually.


I think it was Aristotle who claimed one's life would not be complete if not for accomplishing three things:  build a house (did it), raise a child (I say hundreds of 'em in Sunday school count) and write a book (done).  Seriously, though… Write a book?  Really?  How about that?  See, the thing is, all of us have a story to tell – it may not always be the most interesting story, but it's ours and if we can tell it in an entertaining fashion then, why not? 


This is how my book began:  the idea popped into my head, then my opening sentence, which was followed quickly by the title, and then my closing sentence came to mind; after which, almost immediately, the entire 'meat' (read: beefcake – pun absolutely intentional) fell into place like dominos.  I was on fire.  I couldn't wait to get home to begin writing.  And write I did – I banged out the first three chapters as if they were writing themselves.  After that I wrote here and there, whenever I had some unfettered downtime (that's my favorite kind of downtime, by the way); then I'd go back over what I wrote – rereading it, altering it, tweaking it.


In 10 months I completed my story – and here's the thing: no one knew.  No one.  I never told anybody what I was doing.  It was a secret – but in many ways, it was much more – it was like my secret lover. 


There'd be times I couldn't wait to get home just to change out a particular word with one that was more suitable – one that really nailed what I was trying to convey.  As I've previously quoted, Mark Twain once said, "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug."  I couldn't agree more.  When hiking, I'd be consumed with thoughts surrounding whatever – or whoever – I was writing about – just as a lover consumes one's thoughts.  Other times, I'd daydream and reflect on recently written passages as if I'd just lived the experiences for the first time – I fell in love, I laughed with friends, I was living life to the fullest.  And for whatever reason, I didn't tell a soul.  For nearly four years I kept my deep, dark secret all to myself. 


After finally deciding to publish my book, the time came to reveal this secret to my family – to my poor, unsuspecting family – who, at the mere mention of an impending announcement regarding a special project I'd been working on, began to throw out their best intuitive guesses:  "You're becoming a spiritual leader," my brother declared.  His mother-in-law quickly chimed in, "Are you buying a timeshare in Sedona?"  My own mother threw her hat in the ring with this mind bender, "You're adopting a baby!"  Well, certainly no question remains about where I get my creativity from.


I have to tell you that when I informed them that I'd written a book, it sort of fell on deaf ears.  I looked around at faces yielding little to no reaction until finally my 8-year-old niece said, "A book?  Am I in it?"  As I nodded yes, she enthusiastically did the truck driver pull-down and bellowed, "Alright!"  That actually broke the silence as if a horn really did sound, and then the questions began:  A book?  My goodness, what's it about?  When did you write it?  Has it been published?  Where do we get it? 


I answered all the rapid-fire questions and then they asked, "But… how did you do all that stuff?"  Well, not without some key people, that's for sure; one of which is none other than The Polka Dot Banner's own Jamie Saloff.  Without her help, The Ones That Got Away – A Dating Memoir would still be nothing more than a Microsoft Word document in a three-ring binder. 


In the world of publishing, writing is actually the easy part – there is so much more that goes into making a story a book and I simply could not have done it without Jamie.  I write in pencil (getting my story into a Word doc is about as high-tech as I get); I am not computer savvy; I cannot text; I'm not on Facebook; I do not Twitter.  All that technical stuff is just geek – that's must have been a slip – Greek to me.  But Jamie is a genius – an absolute genius – and with her help my big, fat, juicy secret became a bona fide book.  A book in which one reviewer said, "It's like delighting in your best friend's dirty details without having to divulge your own!" 


You have your own details, though – don't you?  You have your own ideas.  So, what's up?  Why haven't you written your story yet?  You don't have to build a house or raise a child first; but you do have to start.  Many people have asked me for advice on how to write a book and I tell them all the same thing – write!  Don't worry about initially writing anything good, coherent or cohesive – just write.  It's much easier to fix something than to create something.  So pick up that pencil and get some words down – perhaps you have some secret you'd like to share with the world…


Write on!

 - M. Hill

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Diff'rent Strokes

Well, it's been a full year already since I released my book, The Ones That Got Away – A Dating Memoir, and began this blog.  Whew! Time sure does fly. 


One year ago I was just getting ready for my annual trip home to the Jersey shore where I first announced, to many friends and family members, the news about my book – how exciting.  And now, a year later, let's take a look at where I am.


Support for what I call OTGA (Ones That Got Away) started off strong – reviews were great, people were laughing and loving it.  I was thrilled.  Who wouldn't be?  But then, unfortunately, I hit a little bump in the road.  I shared the announcement of my book's release with a woman I know from church.  You may already be thinking that wasn't the wisest decision – especially if you've read my tale, but we're pretty friendly and I thought I prefaced it correctly: I'm only sharing this with you because I'm proud of my accomplishment; I'm not expecting you to buy it; it's probably not your cup of tea – especially since things like Sex and the City don't appeal to you.  "I'm very candid," I warned as she expressed her interest in it.  Well, she bought the book – she and a couple of others as it turned out.  Gulp!


So, six months pass and not a word.  Hmph?  Well, okay, I suppose the rule of thumb is 'if you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing at all.'  But, really – nothing?  Not a word?  Not one single word?  This is a funny book – if I do say so myself – how could you not have one word to say? 


I've said this before, but it's true so it bears repeating.  There's a reason the saying 'if I knew then what I know now' exists.  Another true – and apropos – saying is 'be careful what you wish for.'


After six months of wondering, I found out what she thought.  She was appalled… horrified… disgusted.  Well, that was a far cry from what I was used to hearing: clever… witty… hysterical.  I'll tell you what, I like clever, witty and hysterical a whole lot more than appalled, horrified and disgusted.  After apologizing for offending her, I couldn't help but remind her, "judge not lest ye be judged," to which she plainly responded, saying she was not judging me – although it was clear that she was. Now, it may be true that she wasn't judging me on my transgressions, but she just couldn't get beyond "why, as a Christian woman, I would write such a book."  Before reminding her that my book was a 'dating memoir' and not a book about my Christianity, I half-heartedly defended myself saying, "For entertainment."  You know, the OTGA is supposed to be a light, fun read that women – of all varieties – could relate to.


One of the things that surprised her most was how open – and detailed – I was.  I had warned her about that.  I don't know.  I must have a distorted sense of what's private – and should remain private.  I have no idea, really, why I'm this way.


I think back to my mid-teen years, specifically to my first gynecological appointment – talk about horrifying.  Lying recumbent with my feet up in the air (we've all been there), I could barely breathe as they inserted that cold, stainless steel device (you know the one I'm talking about – looks like a juicer made by Oster).  Trying to just get through the experience, I focused on my breathing (shallow) and continued to answer the doctor's get-her-mind-off-of-what's-going-on casual questions.


Gyno:   So, what grade are you in?

…pop open the Oster device like an umbrella

Me:      I'm a… junior.


Gyno:   Do you like school?

            …insert fingers

Me:      It's... okay…


Gyno:   Anything special going on at school?

            …pushing and probing

Me:      I just… auditioned for… Grease


Gyno:   How'd that go?

            …finger up the poop-shoot

Me:      (Gasp! Ohmigod, what the… break out in full body sweat)


Gyno:   Did you get a part?

            …remove finger

Me:      What? Oh… I was cast as Patty Simcox.  (Did I just poop?)


After my exam I told my mom what had happened.  "Yes, they do that sometimes," she said.  Boy, a little heads-up would've been nice.  When I told my sister this story, before I even got to the part that my mother knew what went on in there and didn't tell me, Linda said, "Oh, I know – I hate that part!"  What?!?  Why wouldn't either of these women – the two closest to me in my life – warn me about something like that? Because it's private? Bullshit – this stuff needs to be shared.


I believe this episode could be at the foundation of my open candor.  Many of us have similar experiences throughout our lives.  Why must we go it alone?  Isn't there comfort, safety and community found in sharing?  If something happens to you and a friend says, "Oh, me, too," doesn't that make it better somehow?  Whether it's made less sad (commiserate over a broken heart) or more funny (swapping an adult poop in the pants story, for example) – it's better.  It's better because it's shared and, to me, it's the details that make it fun. 


My mom often said that I told her things that "no mother should hear."  My mom is a retired nurse so she knows a lot about, say… anatomy.  Who better to talk to about varying penis shapes and sizes?  Right now some of you may be thinking, "shapes?" while others already get it – because, like me, you've been there.  See, the fun is in the details.  We're all part of a larger collective called the sisterhood – we should embrace that and be not afraid to share.


I actually thought in the overall scheme of things, my story was pretty tame.  After all, I am a monogamous person – just one at a time, please.  I go for only one gender: male – no crazy mixing-it-up for me.  And, I use just the one hole – call me old-fashioned, I know.  Yet, am I proud of everything in my book? Of course not – I've made mistakes.  We all have.  I wrote to Barbara Walters recently on this very topic – as a fellow member of the Hester Prynne Club for Girls of Questionable Morals, I thought she could relate. 


As I mentioned to Susan from church, the OTGA is a story about my dating experiences (and, yes, even Christian women have them) and I think there are many women out there who can relate to this material. 


So I put myself out there – completely.  'Brave' and 'courageous' were the words my editor used.  I didn't really see it that way at first – I just thought I was being honest – but I get it now.  The fact is, whether I shared my story or not, it's still my story – it's still who I am.


I think the following quotes are not only applicable, but poignant:


"Weakness is a greater enemy to virtue than vice"

 - François de La Rochefoucauld


"The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future."

 - Oscar Wilde


"The eye – it cannot choose but see;

  We cannot bid the ear be still;

  Our bodies feel, where'er they be –

  Against or with our will."

 - William Wordsworth


And my favorite one of all…


"It is better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not."

 - Andre Gide


My book has its audience, for sure.  Granted, it's probably not found among a typical group of church ladies, and that's okay.  My audience is more likely found among a coffee klatch of Cosmo-girls.  You know what they say… different strokes for different folks!


And speaking of different folks, I'd love to hear about some of your stories.  If interested in sharing, please visit and click on the 'contact me' link.  Drop me a line with your best blind-date-gone-wrong story.  I will send a complimentary copy of The Ones That Got Away – A Dating Memoir to the person with the best/funniest story.  Please realize, though, that I may use some of your material in future posts – so change names if you must (for story only – not contact info, of course.)


Looking forward to hearing from you…

 - M