The One That Got Away

Day 2 of 16 – Writer’s Digest Writing Prompt Bootcamp

You bump into an ex-lover on Valentine’s Day–the one whom you often call “The One That Got Away.”  What happens?

It was early evening last Sunday in the city.  The air was unseasonably warm for February so I decided to take a stroll down to my favorite confectionery shop.  It was Valentine’s Day and I was feeling a little pathetic.  There’s nothing like a shot of sugar to make things right.  Unfortunately, everyone this side of Broadway had the same idea, singles and couples alike.  The line was especially long but since I was in no rush, I decided to wait it out.  I had been hankering for a sweet bun all day and I wasn’t going to be frightened off by a 20 minute wait.  I knew I wouldn’t regret it.

I was standing there watching against my will, the 2 kids in front of me making out.  I was wondering to myself how they wound up here when it was quite clear that they were in the wrong place for the type of buns they really wanted, when I suddenly felt a tap on my left shoulder.  As I turned around, there was an incredibly tall, absolutely gorgeous woman smiling down at me.  She was wearing high heels that accentuated her beautiful, shapely legs.  She seemed a bit overdressed in a skirted business suit for a Sunday, but I could tell at first glance her threads did not come cheap.

I hate to admit it, but I was struck with a slight pang of envy.  Her hair, shiny and perfectly straight down the middle of her back, was the color of wheat.  And her eyes…those eyes.  Why did they look so familiar?  I remember feeling like I knew her somehow.  But upon checking my memory files, I came up empty.

After seconds that seemed more like minutes, I finally spoke.  “Yes?  Can I help you?” I said to this stranger.  When she opened her mouth to speak, I was struck by the sound of her voice.  Very reminiscent of Kathleen Turner sans the fake British accent.

“Hey, Clem.  It’s me, Bill!  How long has it been?” she exclaimed while placing her manicured, red fingered right hand over her chest.  Clem?  How does she know my nickname?  I only knew one Bill and he was a he.  And as long as never…because I don’t know you lady.  Wait.  What?  I’m sure the look on my face did nothing but convey my confusion.  She exasperatedly said, “Bill Thompson??  Umm, we only dated for about 5 years back in the ’90’s?”  She seemed little offended.

There wasn’t a crane in the world that could have lifted my jaw off the ground.  When I came to and managed to work up enough saliva to speak again, the only thing I could think of to say was, “Bill???”  Brilliant.  “Well, my name is Wilomena now.  But yes, it’s me.  What’s the matter?  Have you not seen a woman inside a man’s body before?  You live in New York.  Really?”

My faced burned red with embarrassment.  Not for her.  But for me.  I was acting like a complete ass.  “I’m so sorry, Bill.  I mean Wilomena.  I was just…surprised.  I don’t do well with surprises.  You know that.  And it’s really great to see you.  But I need to ask…why?”

He talked about his love of women’s clothing, his gender confusion growing up, dolls, men.  All things that I never knew.  And how can he just casually refer to our relationship as “dated?”  Bill and I met in high school and continued our love affair into college.  He was the love of my life.  I’ve dated others since him, but since I was always comparing them to Bill, things never quite worked out.

When he broke up with me, it took months to get over him.  I was certain that we would marry.  In my mind, I had pictured our wedding day (September) and what our children would look like (blonde, blue eyed beauties — one boy, one girl, in that order).  He had said there was someone else.  I assumed it was a woman.  Sure it was a woman…the woman dying to get out.  Poor guy.  Poor me.

As we stood there in this pastry shop, talking about what we were up to, it occurred to me that I had missed all the signs.  I remember catching him in my underwear once.  And he used to ask me what it was like to have boobs.  He was more pretty than handsome.  He did seem a little feminine, but I just thought he was one of those touchy-feely sensitive kind of guys.  God, how did I miss that one?  I was always told that I didn’t pay much attention to detail, but come on.

Finally, it was my turn to order the sweet bun I had been craving all day.  Except I had lost my appetite and instead ordered an extra large Latte.  If they served alcohol in that joint, I would have had three shots of whiskey added.  We hugged each other goodbye, exchanged the usual pleasantries and I was on my way.

So, that was “the one that got away” as they say.  Suddenly, it struck me as funny.  I started giggling to myself and within a few moments I was catapulted into fits of laughter.  Not because he was now a she, but because of the irony of it all.

At the end of the day, I’m happy for Wilomena/Bill.  She seemed to be in a good place.  As for me?  Well, I will be staying far away from men who cry at “The Way We Were.”  12 times.  Probably not a good sign.  Or a good fit for me.

Breaking Up With Writer’s Block

For the next 2 weeks, I will be straying from my typical form of writing by participating in a 16 day writing prompt assignment.  This is day 1 of 16.  I welcome your comments and critiques. Thank you and enjoy!

It’s time for you and Writer’s Block to part ways.  Write a letter breaking up with Writer’s Block, starting out with, “Dear Writer’s Block, it’s not you, it’s me…”

Dear Writer’s Block,

It’s not you, it’s me.  I let you into my life, albeit unwillingly, but I let you in just the same.  And you take advantage.  I’m not really one for advantage taking, so I believe it is time we part ways.

I know we have been together for quite some time now and have begun to build a history.  Unfortunately, we are less like Brad and Angie and more like JFK and Marilyn.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but that didn’t end so well, did it?

This is not easy for me (yes it is).  But the sleepless nights, the blank paper, the smell of burnt toast escaping from my earholes — it’s all just too much.  My sanity eludes me.  And I miss the writer’s cramp in my left forefinger.  Basically, I am choosing cramps over you.  That should say it all.  Not to be crass, but do you get my point?

Don’t be sad.  I have this deep-seated feeling that we will meet again.  Just do me a favor?  Can you wait a bit before you come knocking on my door?  Allow me to recoup some of my treasured brain cells?  In other words, if the smoke detector isn’t going off, the coast may be clear.  But be gentle and don’t linger.  I wish you peace.  Sort of.  Actually, no I don’t.  You suck.

Most Sincerely Not Yours,

The Chick Who Wants Her Brain Back

Twitter Twatter Tweet


A few months ago I opened a Twitter account. I only did it because of my blog. I’ve read that it’s one of a bazillion on-line social media outlets that you need to help you to be successful, blah blah. I don’t have many followers. Barely 90. I would think that would be a lot if it were my own personal Twitter account. But it’s not. I am painfully aware that 90 is nothing for the purpose of its creation.

Here’s my problem: I don’t know how to use it. My daughter tries to show me. I just don’t get the hashtag, the retweet, the favorite. And reply? It scares the crap out of me. Recently, I thought this chick was talking to me personally so I replied to her. The daughter berated me and basically said I was embarrassing. Whatever.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I really don’t understand that whole Twitter party thing. I like parties. No, let me rephrase that. I LOVE parties. I am The Party Girl. This party? Umm, no. Not for me. I can’t seem to find my way to the front door. Which is okay, because I don’t think they serve wine anyway.

Can I confess something without being stoned to death? I hate Twitter. I am a Twitter degenerate. Every single time I go in there, I am bombarded with tweets from the 104 people I am following. It could quite possibly take me a full day to catch up on my tweets. And what if I like something? What do I do? I’m afraid of doing something I can’t take back.

And what the hell would anybody who is following me find so interesting in what I have to say? “Oh, I just lost 5 pounds cuz I pooped for the first time in three days?” Oh, yeah. Compelling. Some people are so damn creative and funny. When I read some tweets, I laugh and then think, “gee, why didn’t I think of that?”

Also, if I do want to say something, it’s usually a lot. I like Facebook because I can chat to my heart’s content. Twitter? I think I get like 20 characters or something. Okay, so I’m exaggerating. Still. Not enough. Hello? Have you met me?

So, here I am. Letting days or even weeks go by before I look at my Twitter because I am afraid of it. Every time I look at my iPhone and I see that little birdie sitting there, mocking me, I break out in a sweat. In the last three minutes, I have gotten like 23 notifications. Oh sorry, I believe I’m using the incorrect terminology. “Tweets.” Good Lord. What do I do with them all?

This thought process brings me to other thought processes like whatever happened to the good old days where everything was so easy? I miss rotary phones, beepers and Kodak film.

What was the hottest thing in technology when I was 15? A Walkman. I would walk around with my Walkman and listen to music and not share it with a bazillion (90) other people. And that’s a good thing, right? Back in the day when the tweet came from Polly the Parakeet. I think I like that better.

Tribute To Our One Minute Dog


I am not a dog person.  Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up with one.  Well, unless you count the time my brother brought home a puppy Rotweiler against my parents’ wishes and then left to go into the Army a couple of years later but I was in my late teens so that doesn’t really count.  And because the dog was so mean, he kind of spent a lot of time out in the backyard so there really was no bonding.  I don’t even remember if I petted the guy much.

But anyway, like I was saying…I am not much of a dog person.  I appreciate them, I have empathy for them.  I can’t watch that Sarah McLachlan commercial with the abused animals because it breaks my heart and makes me sick that there are people in this world who can hurt poor innocent animals.  But if I’m outside going for a walk and someone walks by with their dog and that dog is chomping at the bit to be pet and the owner is all smiley and looking at me with that look like their dog is the cutest thing ever, I barely glance in their direction.  I’m all like, “look lady, you and your dog may think you are the cat’s meow and you think I should drool and ogle over your pup, but I’m just on a walk here and if he comes over and jumps on me, I will certainly freak.”

You can ask any of my dog owner friends.  I have a problem with dogs all up in my crotch, sniffing at me, jumping on me, their wet nose brushing against my hand, or even worse…their sloppy wet tongue leaving slobber all over my clothes.  Eww.

Then we got Kobe.  Kobe is a nearly 3 year old purebred German Shepard from Germany.  No lie.  A german German Shepard.  I think he is actually bilingual.  He is fully trained.  No poo or pee on the floor, no jumping up in my business, no slobber.  He walks next to you when you go for a walk.  And he is friggin’ cute.

I just want a HUG!
I just want a HUG!

My heart softened.  I fell for this dog pretty quickly.  I actually would pet him all the time.  I would get up in his face and squeeze him.  Kinda like you do when your toddler does something super cute.  And I talked to him in baby talk.  It was weird.  I was weird.  I didn’t even know who I was.

Except after a few short weeks, we realized he wasn’t a good fit.  We had him for a month.  As sweet as he was, he was depressed.  He didn’t eat.  He moped around like someone went and killed his daddy.  And I don’t think he liked me.  Was it because I wouldn’t let him lick my eyeballs?  Or was it because I was all up in his business all the time?  Perhaps a little of both.

So, we did what we thought was best for us all.  He went back to his trainer.  It’s a long story, but originally Kobe wasn’t really for sale.  Somehow we managed to get him anyway.  So, he is back where he really belongs.  He’s in a great place.  He’s eating again.  And smiling.  Running around and playing with puppies and herding goats.

It was a difficult decision.  We had fallen in love with Kobe, but we had to do the right thing.  It does my heart good to know he’s happy again.  But here’s the thing…I’ve softened to dogs.  Now I will pet my friends’ dogs.  Even the annoying ones.  I look at them differently.  I actually notice how cute that dog is with his head sticking out of that car window.  I look at people walking their dogs and say “aww, aren’t you sweet?”  I may even pet them.

So, maybe having a dog in this house doesn’t fit us.  That’s fine.  But I am grateful for our dog experience.  As short-lived as it was.  Because it made me appreciate these animals more.  It was a learning experience.  One I’m glad I had.  For the record, I still don’t like slobber and crotch sniffing.  Yeah, just stay away from the crotch area and we’ll be good.

Knee Bone Connected To…Arthritis?

gel knee
Yeah I know. I could benefit from a tan.

“Arthritis?  What the heck do you mean arthritis?”  Those were the words I uttered from my fat mouth when the nice physician’s assistant came in to inject the first of five doses of gel into my broken knee.  When I was signing that little form that they make you sign informing you of the possible side effects, I saw the word “arthritis” at the top.  So, I surmised that people who need this gel injection have arthritis.  My suspicions were confirmed when I inquired.  I should have quit while I thought I was ahead.

So, here I am.  At the age of 47 and already suffering from droopy eye syndrome so badly that I fear going completely blind by way of my own eyelids (is that why I need reading glasses?).  I have sporadic hairs growing out of my chin.  I’m thinning out down below (when I say “down below” I’m not exactly talking about my toe hair).  The backs of my hands have a city map running through them.  My memory lasts about as long as a teenage boy embarking on his first romp.  I forgot to mention the gray that just about exceeds the natural color (whatever that is) on my head, my sudden desire for stock in the company that makes Depends and the crows feet that look more like the feet of a pterodactyl.  So, now you tell me I have arthritis of the knee?

I’m over it.  This aging thing royally bites.  Although I don’t really think I’m that old.  In case you didn’t hear me, I’m only 47.  Forty-seven.  XLVII (yes, I looked that up).  I exercise.  I eat healthy.  Sure I have a glass(es) of wine a night and maybe a potato chip or two from time to time.  But really?  Give me a break.

It’s cool.  I’m embracing it.  Well, kinda.   When I’m not overcome with a panic attack of epic proportions that includes downing a glass of Metamucil while watching an episode of The Golden Girls.  Really.  I’m okay with it.  I may look and feel 86 but I act 16.  That’s all that matters.  Right?

Girls’ Getaway Equals Good For the Soul


cousinsThere is nothing like a girls’ getaway.  Spending a day or two with women you love, trust and rely on is so incredibly rewarding.  A few handpicked friends and…my family, and I’m a happy girl.  These ladies are my rocks.  My loyal band of chicks.

So a few  weeks ago, 3 of my cousins and I decided to take an overnight trip to Saratoga Springs, New York.  A couple of hours away.  Just far enough out of reach of everyday life like work and chores and children.  It’s good to regroup from time to time.  It’s great for the soul.  It’s not something I do often, but it’s something that I highly recommend because it’s pure awesomeness.  Nothing like letting the hair down for a day or two.

So, here are a few things that could be overheard from where ever we were at any given moment.  “What happens in Saratoga, stays in Saratoga” only partially applies here.  Because I have a big mouth.

  • “I have to piss like a race horse.  I’ve always wanted to say that in race horse country.”
  • “Are we in Sarasota?”  “No girl, because then we would be in Florida.”  It seems that someone wasn’t paying attention in geography class.  I’m not saying who.
  • “D@ck cheese?  I love me some d@ck and cheese.  It’s a win/win.” (On talking about uncircumcised penises.  I’m not sure how this came up.  Oops. Pardon the pun.)
  • “OMG, I just made the sign for a BJ while looking at that man.”  Get your head out of the gutter.  This is totally what I was talking about:


  • “We were in a nude bar on vacation once and I was laughing with my friend and this guy came over and asked us if we were laughing at how small his penis was.”
  • “Speaking of small penises, I dated a guy once who’s was so small his buddies actually called him Tatoo.”
  • “I snore really bad, so I have to wear this apparatus so I don’t wake you all.”  “Does it work?” “No.”
  • “Hey, my name is Jenise and don’t forget my bolognese, bitch.”  Private joke for a very lucky few.
  • “I want to mount a horse.  Please make sure I mount a horse before we leave.” It was a total fail. Mounting a horse isn’t as easy as it looks.  Those jockeys are amazing…and they are way shorter.  I don’t understand.


  • “Umm, girl, you got some guacamole on your boob.” Don’t ask, I’m not really sure.guacamole boob
  • “OMG, the woman at the table next to us is crying and her douchebag husband is texting someone.  And she keeps asking him to put down his phone.  He’s probably texting his lover.  What a smug SOB he is.  Should we invite her to come share a bottle of wine with us?”  We didn’t, but wish we did.  Although, I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t have wanted to talk about d@cks though.  Especially since she is married to one.
  • “Can I wear what I wore yesterday?  Oh screw it, I’m totally wearing what I wore yesterday.  It’s all comfy and stretched out.”  I have to admit this was me who said this.  What did you expect from a girl who wears her parka instead of a bra and sometimes goes days without showering.  Hey, I got dressed.  That’s something right there.

Most of this was just silly stuff.  But it was a great day and a half with an overabundance of laughter.  Like the uncircumcised penis, it was a win/win.  Can’t wait to do it again next year.  But then I will be sure to mount that horse.