Tag Archives: human connections

My Love Affair with New York City continues . . .

29 Nov
New York Times Square New year celebrations in...

Image via Wikipedia

Earlier this month I wrote that New York City is Mayberry.  Well, I do believe it just might be.  It seems I keep attracting old friends back into my life.  Today, as I arrived to my office building, I looked up and saw an old friend’s younger brother in the lobby.  We both looked at each other –  is that really you?  It turns out he just started working for one of the law firms in my office building 3 weeks ago.  My building has 35 floors and it is amazing that we were in the same elevator bank.  It was great to see him and we plan to have lunch on Friday to catch up on the last 10 years or so!  While my friend’s brother lives in the suburbs of New York City, my friend now lives in Albany with his family and three children.  We lost touch at some point after college when he moved to Albany.  I am thrilled to reconnect with his brother and hopefully him as well! 

New York City is this great player in my life.  She just sits there and provides this  frenetic, gritty but at the same time  beautiful backdrop that I tend to lose myself in.  I was born and raised in this hard city and I haven’t really lived anywhere else in my life.  I used to think that was a strange thing about me – but now I think how can I live anywhere else?  No other city would offer me the same type of synchronicity that New York City has been giving me over the last few weeks.   I’ve learned to appreciate the random experiences that I have had in a city as large and energetic as New York.  I am more aware of the synchronicity that life can offer and that this syncronocity is even more special when it is experienced in a huge city like New York.   The more I look, the more I find that I am falling into a deeper love with this great city, this great player in my life –  a player I never really appreciated before.

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New York City is really Mayberry

22 Nov
Two friends

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There are so many reasons I love New York.  You have to live in this city long enough to begin to love it – it’s a tough place to love but eventually you will come to appreciate what it offers in community and it will begin to feel smaller than it did when you first began to experience it.   One of the reasons I love New York City is because after awhile so many people in your social circle end up being connected to someone in some way.  It’s closer than 7 degrees of separation.

A few weeks ago my son was invited to a party of one of his classmates.  The parents of this classmate are divorced and I did not know much about the child’s father and his girlfriend.  My son and I went downtown to the party at their apartment on a quiet Sunday afternoon.  When we entered the apartment the first person I saw was my best friend from middle school standing in the kitchen with her parents!  It was such a weird coincidence.  We both looked at each other in shock!  I have been searching for my friend for sometime now on Facebook and other internet websites but did not find her.  I had heard she lived in Philadelphia.  Well, it turns out that she is first cousins with the father of my son’s classmate and lives across town from me now.  I was more than esctatic.  We lost touch when we went to college as there was really no way to keep in touch except letter writing.  She also lived abroad for a year in Europe.  We were so happy to connect – we even had dinner together last week.  IT felt like the years between us never passed — and it all happened in a connection in New York City that was so unbelievably random.

It turns out my friend has a daughter the same age as my son and we plan to now stay in touch and have playdates and adult ladies nights out.  It was such a gift to connect with her again.  Stay tuned for more incidents of New York City is really Mayberry.

Communicating in the Digital Age

5 Nov
Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

There are countless ways to communicate in this new digital age.  We can keep in touch with our loved ones in some of the following ways: by mobile phone; texting; facebook; landline (almost obsolete); email; instant messenger; skype; and old fashion letters (totally obsolete!).  However, in my humble opinion – nothing replaces old fashion face-to-face quality conversation.   I fear the art of conversation may be lost of my child and his generation?

Communication is not just about the words being used and emoticons – it is  more about all of the following – the way the person’s voice sounds when speaking, a person’s body language, their smell, and eye contact.

I viewed an exhibit at the New York Museum Of Modern Art on Friday night — it was called Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects (http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1080) .   According to MOMA’s website the exhibit “focuses on objects that involve a direct interaction, such as interfaces, information systems, visualization design, and communication devices, and on projects that establish an emotional, sensual, or intellectual connection with their users.”  The exhibit was interesting but it really had me thinking – what will be a result of all these communication devices?  Will the use of the spoken word become a lost art?  Will people even be able to maintain eye contact with each other?  Will our children learn the importance of understanding and reading body language?

I am trying my best to teach my son how to communicate the old fashion way – by words.  I really haven’t introduced any electronic devices to him – IPAD or computers. I don’t allow him to play with my iPhone.  He has his whole life to experiment with electronic devices – I continue to encourage him to color, draw, paint and now writing words down on paper as he learns to write. 

The “old fashion way” of using mediums like paper, paint and ink to communicate continue to be beautiful works of art to me – which I don’t want to be lost on my son or even myself.  I’ve already lost the ability to actual write words on paper.  I rarely even write a letter.  I am determined not to lose the art of communicating in a verbal way and understanding the non-verbal communications of people I am developing relationships with.

I spent the evening with Mid-Western Boy.  I look forward to spending time with him because I feel that each time we spend together I am able to learn more about him.  We text daily and speak by phone during the week – which is nice communication for two very busy people but I wouldn’t have learned what I learned about him last night – if it wasn’t for our ability to communicate verbally and he feeling comfortable enough to share because of the non-verbal communications he has received from me.   Our learning about each other last night would not have taken place with just a limited text or email or even by phone – in my mind nothing can replace the intimate art of “‘live” conversation.  I hope this art is not lost on my son and his generation who will grow up in a total digital age.

Asking the Universe Again

21 Oct
Love Book - The Top 50 Most Trusted Experts Re...

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I believe that if you ask for something, you keep putting it out there and you really want something – your prayers will be answered by the divine.  I’ve put many requests out there that I really wanted and each prayer was answered.  I’ve been dating a little bit lately and dating has me thinking –  what is it that I want in a man?  I have a “list” and my “list” according to many friends is long.   The universe pretty much delivered a man to me that was in response to my list but what I realized by dating the guy that fits the “list” is that a deep relationship is not only about someone meeting this “list” of items that I want in a person but also it really is about how I feel when I’m with this person.  Today, I am going to begin by focusing not on my “list” but instead about how I feel and my son feels when we are with this special person.

This week I told Elevator Man that I had to end our short dating experience.  I knew that I felt no chemistry with him from that first kiss but even more so I knew that he couldn’t offer me what I wanted in a relationship.  He told me  on the first date that he didn’t want anymore children and he was looking to have fun.  I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to have another child but I do know that I never had my chance at a family life.  I certainly want to have fun but I want more than just having fun – –  I want a deep relationship.

I am searching for a  man with integrity with good, strong character who makes me feel emotionally safe and always loved.  When I am with this special man I know that I can relax and rely on him to take care of me and my son.  This man will be a good role model for my son to admire and respect as he grows into a man.  This special man will be my partner in life – in every sense of the word.  He will  join me and my son in our journey and truly be part of our lives.  He will love me and will love my son.  My son will laugh with him and feel comfortable in every way a child should feel comfortable with a father.  I will always feel confident and beautiful with this man.  We will laugh alot together and be content with each other’s company.  We will be able to discuss difficult subject matters and resolve them and move forward together.   We will have amazing physical chemistry, emotional chemistry and intellectual chemistry.  We will feel connected on all levels.  He will believe in true love and so will I. My son will never feel like this man was never part of our lives and neither will I.  We will be a family.

Well, there it is – I am putting it out there how I believe I should feel in a deep relationship with a special man who I believe is looking for me as I write this note.   I know the universe will answer and it will be when I’m ready to recieve this special person in my life.

Reaping so much more than Apples from the harvest

18 Oct
Traditional apple orchard in Eastwood, Essex

Image via Wikipedia

We drove over one hour to a farm north of the city.  We were so excited about our excursion.  Three kids in the backseat of my friend’s car.  We endured lots of “are we there yets”  and answered lots of other questions about different car license plates and music.  When we finally arrived to this farm – early on Sunday morning we were told by the farm operators-” Sorry Madam, we are out of Apples”.  Well, you can imagine the look of surprise on our faces as our dreams of an idyllic autumn Sunday morning were deflated. 

We were not to be dissuaded.  Instead of taking no for an answer, we used our most persuasive negotiating skills to obtain permission to enter the orchards to have the kids take pictures.   The farm consented and we  allowed the children to run around the orchard, climb the trees, take pictures in the trees and search for nice looking apples on the ground.  The kids had a blast and it was great to see them run around outside and get fresh air by getting out of the city on Sunday.

My single mom friends have taught me so much.  Together, we were a team in planning a trip out of the city, packing snacks and lunches for the kids and turning what could have been a disappointing day into an adventure for our children.  I feel lucky to have a single mom network and grateful that together we, as a team, had a beautiful autumn Sunday afternoon with what some might call – “our not-so-traditional families.”

A Paradox: What DO Women want from Men?

15 Oct
40+216 Faces

Image by bark via Flickr

Elevator Man took me to a comedy club tonight.  Initially, I was dreading this date. I  thought – he’s really showing his age – this is so very 90’s and so touristy.  However, I believe that there was a reason I was to see this show with him: A) I learned that Elevator Man and I don’t have chemistry and B) I learned that I need to figure out what it is I want in a man. 

CHEMISTRY – If it’s not a “yes” than its a definite “no”

Elevator Man  thinks we do have chemistry. I think it’s because he’s a man and he wants to get into my bed – I guess that’s chemistry for him.  However, I don’t feel the chemistry – I don’t feel like I want to try him on in my bed.  He is attractive, smart and funny but I just don’t feel any chemistry – physical, emotional, or intellectual etc.  I have given it three dates – despite what my therapist recommends  (she wants me to give guys more dates to get to know them better) – I think by the third date I should be feeling like I want to kiss this guy, at the very least,  – and I don’t – I want to get home to my son.  My measurement of how much I like someone is how I’m feeling about getting back home to my son.  If I don’t realize the time – I’m into the guy; if I’m anxious to get home – I’m not into the guy.  I know this is not a scientific measurement but it never fails for me.   Thus, since I’m not thinking yes, I want to bring you back to my apartment but I’m following “THE RULES” – then it’s a no. 

Learning What I Want as  a Woman

Anyway, getting back to more imporant things regarding this date I learned something from  one of the comedians – he did a skit about how women are not clear about what they want.  I was hysterical.  I was hysterical because I related to his entire skit.  I am a paradox.

I want a man that is reliable, predictable, responsible and always there for me and at the same time I want that same man to be spontaneous and romantic.

I want a man that is dominant but not domineering.

I want a man that is a take control kind of guy but not controlling.

I want a man that is sexy, sensual, attractive social but faithful and loyal.

I want a man that is ambitious, successful and career oriented but has a lot of time for me and my son.

I want a man that is strong, manly and emotionally vulnerable and available.

I want a man that financially secure but is not materialistic.

I want a man that is funny but not a clown.

I want a man that is serious about me but not obsessive.

I want a man that is athletic but not obsessed with his appearance.

I want a man that is protective but not possessive.

The positions listed above do sound awfully in contradiction to each other.  I laughed throughout his whole routine because until I heard my thoughts spoken by someone else – I could’t help but laugh.  I can’t believe that I am one of those women who don’t know what she wants.  I’ve been through so much and I know I am ready to meet someone to learn about someone and let them in my life.  However, meeting a man that has all the things on the left balanced with all of the qualities on the right – might lead me nowhere.

Happily Married people are lucky!

 

Modern Dating – Should the Man Pay when the Woman Earns More?

13 Oct

The Dating Game
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I am going to say something that I’ve been struggling with  – I’m not sure I”m comfortable in a relationship where the man is not equally as successful as me financially.  There I said it – it is on cyberspace and forever part of  my online presence.  I have been asking myself the same question over and over again.  Can I be happy in a relationship where the man earns less money than me?  In the past, I thought I could – I married a man that did not earn as much as I.  In fact, he “asked for his money” from him employer so he can sit home and figure out ways to break his vows while I was at work.   I quickly learned shortly after our wedding that the precise reason he married me was because I would make “his life easier”.  He told me on a daily basis – all I was good for was to bring home a paycheck and make his life easier so he didn’t have to hustle.  This DB (aka douchebag) told me that I wasn’t good for anything else.  It was his daily mantra.  I almost believed him.  Then I had my son.  I realized that DB was just a lazy piece of shit and he didn’t deserve me.  I also realized I didn’t want my son to grow up and hear this disrespectful treatment of me or witness DB’s terrible work ethic.  He sued me during our divorce for things he had no right to including alimony of which I paid him in a lump sum, even after a mediator and the judge told him he had no rights to the alimony since he didn’t give up his job to take care of our son, that even though he was unemployed, our son was in day care full time.  I paid him the alimony to get out of the dysfunctional place that is called Family Court.  A place where an abuser can sue the abused for alimony.  I wanted to get out of that CRAZY TIME as quickly as possible.  He won,I lost and I didn’t care.  I wanted to be done with him.

And so, now I’m scarred.  I’m actually terrified that I will be taken advantage again in the same way.  Each time I meet a man that I think earns less money than me – I start to think that he may be a sociopath and wants only what I can offer him in a financial capacity.  That is where I am right now with respect to Mid-Western Boy.  I am starting to think he only likes me because he has seen where I lived, how I dressed and things about my life.  You see, Mid-Western Boy is a student.  He’s a 34 year old Medical Student.  While I enjoyed my three dates with Mid-Western Boy and I don’t really think about his income in any way while I’m with him – I do feel weird when he asks me to pony up on my portion of the bill for our date.  This has never really happened to me.  In all of my dating experiences, I’ve been paid for by the man, even when I was in college or law school when the man was a fellow student.  Heck, my Boy-Many almost always paid for me on a date.  I treated him too – for things – like massages, special congratulatory dinners – so I don’t mind paying but with being so new to dating I think it is strange that Mid-Western Boy hasn’t paid for me once.

I’m very much struggling with this.  I am an independent woman who can take care of herself and her son.  I am looking for a companion, a best friend, a man with integrity that can take care of me and my son in an emotional way.  Someone I admire and respect and know that person will be a good role model for my son.  It is too soon to tell if Mid-Western Boy is any of those things but the fact that he doesn’t offer to pay for me has raised a RED FLAG.  I’ve been conscious about where we go – we’ve gone for pizza, burgers and a glass of wine.  No real, romantic dinners.  I’ve had alot of fun on those dates with him but in the end I’m starting to feel that it is a little strange that he hasn’t offered to pay for our $20 in total dates.  It’s no loss to me to pay for my own pizza but I guess what I’m concerned about is whether or not this is a sign (a) that he is not interested in a real relationship with me, (b) is this a geographic cultural thing, (c) does he just want to be  my friend that keeps him company when he has a night off from school, or (d) is he a sociopath just like DB?

I’m wondering what the women and men think about this issue?  Am I just old-fashion in wanting to be treated and taken out by a man or is this an indication that the man is not interested in taking care of me?  What do you Think?

 

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