Amy’s Week in Review: Nov. 18-24

Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 8.30.59 AMEarlier this week I whined a little bit about having to keep things lively over here in Amyville. It’s as if having four kids, one cat, an exciting ex-husband, full-time job and a blog isn’t enough.

Now I have to do things.

So doing things, I am. (Apparently, I am also beginning to speak like Yoda.)

As many of you know, I gave speed dating a shot last week, which was sad and funny and caused me to drink way too much cheap red wine to compensate for the weirdness.

Later in the week I took my little guy to our school district’s big fundraising event at the local high school to see a Harlem Wizards game. Lots of teachers, school administrators and faces around town took on the Wizards and if you grew up in the 1970s and loved the Harlem Globetrotters – even if you didn’t really like the game of basketball (like me) – then this would have brought back great memories for you. There was plenty of slam dunking, shorts pulling and the ol’ tossed bucket-full-of-glitter routine.

landofthelost4It made me nostalgic for Sleestaks, Count Chocula and the Chuckle Patch.

On Friday, my now-trusty single pal sidekick and I went to see Bonnie Raitt perform at the NJPAC and I don’t want to say too much more because I had a ton of thoughts on that. Pretty much, I’ve discovered who I want to be when I grow up.

I just need to learn to play the guitar.

Then early Saturday morning, I joined a group of eight other women for – what turned out to be – a full day at the shooting range. I am kind of morally opposed to guns, too, which made the whole experience interesting and I’ll share more about that this week, too.

While you’re waiting with bated breath for these dispatches, let’s review what else I’ve been up to lately …


On Monday, I began to rethink some of my parenting strategies. In particular, I wondered if I’d done more harm than good in sharing some things about my past with my children.

The most interesting reaction from readers about that post was not that I used to smoke or have sung a song about my cat but that I have a tattoo.

Go figure.

IMG_3256Young Amy: A Cautionary Tale

Over the course of the, like, bazillion hours my college girlfriends and I sat around talking during a girls’ weekend earlier this month, the topic of how much you should let your children know about your past antics came up.

One of the girls said that she had an acquaintance who’s like an expert in adolescent psychology, or something, and that professional advised that parents keep their younger misdeeds under wraps.

“You really need to live the lie,” our friend said. “But I’m sure I don’t need to tell you girls that.”

And as the rest of the group nodded along, all I could think was, “Oh dear.” (READ MORE … )


Later in the week, I went speed dating. I promise you,  in theory, it sounded like a great idea.

photo(75)Speed Daters

Just back from a quick trip to the Land of Grim the other night and I’m here to report that love, alas, is not waiting for me in a New Jersey strip mall.

My also-​​single girlfriend and I drove about 40 minutes north of where we live to take part in a round of Speed Dating, which I think one of us had seen advertised on Match​.com like a month ago and neither of us needed convincing to sign up. (READ MORE … )


As a bonus this week, I shared on Facebook how funny I thought that the following essay was consistently in my group of Top 10 posts each day. I think that Cheez-Its are being laced with something highly addictive at the Sunshine factory, but can’t prove anything yet.

cheez-itCheez-Its: A Love Story

It wasn’t until my ex-​​husband moved out more than four years ago that my late night nibbling began.

Until then, we’d finish dinner and maybe I’d have a bowl of ice cream with the kids (I was younger then and could get away with those kinds of things) and we would have eating wrapped up by 6:30 most nights. (READ MORE … )


And I’d be remiss not to remind all you fine people that you can sign up to get new posts emailed straight to your inbox. You don’t even have to find me through Facebook.

Just fill your email address in the “Subscribe to blog via email” box, which is to the right of this post if you’re on your laptop or if you scroll way to the bottom if you’re reading this on your phone. Just keep scrolling, it’s there. Fill in your email address and then go to your inbox where an email will be waiting that you need to open to confirm your subscription.




Speed Daters

photo(75)Just back from a quick trip to the Land of Grim the other night and I’m here to report that love, alas, is not waiting for me in a New Jersey strip mall.

My also-single girlfriend and I drove about 40 minutes north of where we live to take part in a round of Speed Dating, which I think one of us had seen advertised on like a month ago and neither of us needed convincing to sign up.

Now, this is the same woman I’m going to a shooting range with this weekend — and salsa dancing a few months ago — so when we heard about the speed dating, we were like, “Ohhh, let’s try that.” It’s the same way I felt about competing in a triathlon or having a baby (although I stopped at two triathlons).

It’s also the same impulse I have for trying skydiving, and although I’ve yet to jump out of a plane, it’s on my list of terrifying things I might want to try. Maybe, I don’t know. I would kind of like to have that experience in my back pocket to pull out in a conversation, like to be able to casually mention “that time I jumped out of a plane.”

It’s mucho macho.

Or stupid. One or the other.

Another factor in my decision to sign up for the speed dating was to satisfy my now-eternal quest for content. I need shit to write about, dudes, or this blog will become the equivalent of a Seinfeld episode. It will be about absolutely nothing.

Case in point: I sat in bed all day last Saturday and read an entire book.

End of story.

(In case you’re interested, it was an Anne Lamott novel that I don’t necessarily recommend unless you, like me, just finished reading her memoir on writing and then you might find the way she wove bits and pieces of her personal life and advice into her fiction as fascinating as I did.)

And of course, there was also the hope, deep down inside, that the speed dating thing would pan out. There was the “you-never-know” factor at play. People are always telling me their stories about their divorced sister-in-law who met the man of her dreams online or the friend from high school who reconnected with her college love. And I am an avid reader of the New York Times wedding announcements. So, I know love shows up in weird ways and sometimes when you least expect it.

Let me go on the record right now as saying that there is no love going down at a cheesy Italian restaurant in a New Jersey strip mall, the epicenter of all that is grim in this world. It’s just not possible and in retrospect, I don’t even know what made me think that it was worth a shot.

Eternal optimism, I suppose.

And really, isn’t that what brought all 14 of us there (six men and eight women)? I went with a friend but most everyone else there seemed to show up alone and probably also in hopes that the $28 fee for the event would be the ticket to meeting a special someone.

But love was not in the air for me Tuesday night.

I met some very nice men with whom I had pleasant conversations as they rotated to my table (#4) every eight minutes. It was quite the cast of characters. One of them was definitely somewhere on the spectrum – he was very intense about country music – and I question whether another of the guys fit the 40-54 year old age bracket stipulated for the evening. Plus he was married.

But here’s the thing: for as much as I was thinking none of the men was really my cup of tea, the guys were apparently feeling the same way about me.

The nerve.

You get a sheet to rate everyone throughout the evening and then the event coordinator emails the following day to let you know who was interested along with their emails in case you want to follow up.

Out of the six dudes I chatted with, only two were interested in me. And one was the married guy.

What could this possibly say about me?

Luckily, I’m not too broken up over it. Maybe if there were someone I had really been into, I would have felt differently. I think it’s more kind of funny than sad and should be filed under who-do-I-think-I-am life lessons.

When I got into my friend’s car to drive there Tuesday night, we laughed and said who would of thought when we were busy trying to pick just the right books to read for our mother-daughter book club all those years ago that ten years later we’d be heading off on a speed dating adventure.

“You just never know,” my friend observed.

And she’s right.

Ten years ago, my head was filled with thoughts about redoing my kitchen and what to buy the kids for Christmas. I never imagined myself sitting across from a Staten Island police officer as a potential love interest and having a timed conversation.

But that’s life. You never know what’s waiting for you around the corner.

So what’s the moral of the story? Is there an important takeaway?

For me, it’s that I want to be in the game. I want to experience life. The good and the bad.

In the future, I am just going to try to avoid doing so in strip malls.