A few years back I became engaged to a man I had been seeing for quite some time. Giddy with the prospect or remarriage, we moved in together with my children, and began planning our rustic chic fete, as well as our new life together. Within a year he went running for the hills leaving me with a $1700 raw silk strapless gown, and a wound in my heart so deep no amount of Cherry Garcia and Bethaney Getting Married re-runs could heal. (It took a trip to Costa Rica, time, and a profile on Plenty of Fish to even make a dent in the recovery process.)
Was he a complete asshole? Well yes. But completely human? Absolutely. Looking back I realize there were certain things I probably should have warned the poor bastard about BEFORE he decided to shack up with a mother.
1.) It’s Going To Be Loud- I have boys. I am Italian. These two statements should not require anymore explanation, but for shits and giggles I’ll elaborate. My kids make too much noise, I get pissed, I have Roman blood, thus I start yelling, they yell louder, I yell louder, pretty soon it sounds like an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, and then we hug. Like I said, I’m Italian. It sucks, yes, but I can make up for it by cooking a mean frittata.
2.) You Really Should Not Expect Frequent Sex- I know this seems awful, but it’s not like I don’t want to rip off your mechanic uniform and make you happy. I just happen to have Frick and Frack up my ass most days and can’t be as liberal as I want to be. But what about at night? you may whine. Ah yes, at night, while our bedroom is right next to the people I gave birth to. Remember that one time you heard your parents moaning? Or even worse, walked in on them! Didn’t you want to gouge your eyes out? I just feel so weird performing any sort of sexy moves with my kids within earshot, so sex is relegated to the weekends they are with their Dad. Again, it sucks, but again I do a mean…oh never mind.
3.) I Don’t Give a Rat’s Prickly Ass About How Your Ex Wife Did Things- This is a big one for me. That’s great that Deidra never screamed, and Deidra never cried in front of the kids, and Deidra never lost her shit. That’s because Deidra was always lit. Give me a fifth of vodka and some good hash, and I won’t scream either. Please do not compare me to your ex or else remember those weekend when the kids are with their Dad? Yeah, that’s not gonna happen anymore either. I am my own person, and although I understand you spent a lot of years with someone else and may have gotten used to how they do things, don’t assume I will do it the same. As the song goes, I gotta be me.
4.) You May Feel Left Out- Listen, those two loud, sometimes obnoxious, always adorable creatures over there-they came out of my body. I would die for them. It has nothing to do with me not loving you. I’m crazy about you, but there are different kinds of love. The love for your children is so different from the love you have for a spouse. It does not equal less love though. I know sometimes you feel like the third wheel, but please know my number one job is to raise decent human beings. That may take time away from you, but please don’t label yourself as number 3, or last on the list. It’s hard work being a single working mother who is trying to navigate a new relationship. Be patient with me.
5.) You Were Pretty Freaking Special- Dating when you have children is a whole different animal versus dating before kids. I’m way more picky. Not only am I looking for someone decent for myself, but for my little people as well. Gone are the days of dating the bad boys, or being with someone because they are thrilling, or sexy, but not much else. If I was with you, then you have to know you were pretty amazing. Like my mother used to say, “God forbid something happened to your father and I remarried, I would have to look up his ass to make sure his hat was on straight.” This is true. You are no longer dating just for yourself. I would never bring some bozo into their lives without thinking they had some decent human qualities. Remember these people came out of my body! So yes, as much as you were an arse, you were a pretty special one.