Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Single Mom Goes Stag


Me in the infamous dress
Every woman, whether single, married, separated, divorced -- or whatever -- should attend the 30th birthday party of a friend before they themselves turn the big 3-Ohh.  You know the classic bucket-list? Well, add this little adventure to your “things to do before I’m old” list. 

I’m sure my take on the whole experience is completely unique to me as an individual, and with respect to where I am in life right now, but there are lessons to be learned for any woman by attending any sort of party or event on her own.  If that party or event celebrates an unavoidable milestone that you yourself will face at some point, either willingly or begrudgingly, even better! More perspective, I say!

So, what did I learn by attending a birthday-bash all-by-my lonesome? First, I learned what was needed to actually get my ass to the party when my date had to cancel. Once there, I unexpectedly learned a few new things about myself and where I am at on this journey to start over.   

Single Mom Goes Stag = Total Eye Opener!! 


Part I – Get your ass off the couch. Go to the party.  

When you’re feeling lost as to what to do with yourself when your much-anticipated date cancels because his kid is sick, you should call a guidance counselor, otherwise known as a trusted friend, to help you find you way again. This person should preferably be listed on your speed dial.  Most importantly, they should have a proven track record for being practical in times of stress and uncertainty.

I didn’t spend too much time fretting around my house feeling totally lost as to what to do about my cancelled date before calling a close friend for some guidance. I hid the sexy red dress bought for my sexy date in the downstairs closet and then called the first qualifying friend in my contact list as the tears of disappointment spilled down my cheeks. Upon answering, my friend first comforted me of course, but she didn’t waste too much time when it came to dishing out the sound and practical advice that I definitely needed to hear.  She talked me out of staying home alone for the evening (which I did seriously consider doing – the horror!) and she reasoned with me rationally when I irrationally toyed with the idea of going to my cancelled date’s house to hang out with him instead of going to the party (did I want C to get sickagain!?!). She also bolstered my self confidence and encouraged me to attend the party alone, sans sexy date, but still wearing the sexy red dress.

Most of us need the compassion, support and guidance of our friends when life throws us off the road we are on and you’ve landed in a ditch somewhere. It doesn’t matter how “strong” you may be on your own, because you can still find yourself lost and uncertain on your journey towards being wonderful. It is friendships that give you guidance and strength when you need it the most; when your reserves are low and when you’ve lost your way. So, if you find yourself lost for any reason in life, call one of your own personal guidance counselors. Call a friend. 

Feeling nervous? Dressing to impress will get you out of your door and through the party doors. To exude an outward appearance of self-confidence, no matter how nervous you may actually feel walking into the party alone, dress as if you’ll be walking in to the event with a sexy date on your arm instead of just your purse. Taking care of yourself and being fabulously put-together will make you feel good. Feeling good and looking good will automatically garner respect from the other party goers, which will further build up your self-confidence. And, since appearing confident garners even more respect from others, well it’s not too hard to see how such a cyclic process like this just needs a kick start from you, the stag party-goer, to get it into high gear. Slip into those sexy heels, wrap yourself up in the latest fashion trend that exemplifies your personality and knock ‘em dead! I wore the sexy red dress bought intentionally for my much-anticipated date. I told myself that I owed the dress the party, cancelled date or not. And, to my surprise, my sexy red dress turned into a conversation starter on more than one occasion while actually at the party. Bonus!

Part II – Pay attention as if you're your own date. You just might learn something new about YOU!

I was nervous to go to the party alone for various reasons, but mostly – as much as it pains me to admit – I was apprehensive about what friends and acquaintances might think about my getting divorced before 30. That admission, as I drove myself to the party, shocked me. Up until that point, I hadn’t cared what any of my close friends and family members thought about my divorce. The people in my life that really matter know the details, therefore I don’t carry guilt and shame around with me as if I failed somehow. I don’t feel judged, for the most part. The entire drive to the party, I had to gut-check myself and really dig deep with the self pep-talk to remind myself that I don’t want to be someone that cares what others think. Part of starting over includes re-identification of who I am and what I stand for, and by going to this party -- looking fly with my head held high -- well, I was reminded that my identify as I start over wonderful is MINE and not based at all by what anyone thinks. My identity is defined by my choices and my actions. Saying you don’t care what others think of you is one thing. Believing it is another. And, obviously, going stag made me realize that I still need to work on the latter.

Once I was at the party, I did end up having a blast.  All of my nervousness and apprehensions faded away pretty quickly and I honestly did have a lot of fun. It was so nice to be out socializing with other like-minded adults, free from the confines of toddler-land and my job. It was liberating.  Not only did the party help me see that I needed the night out, but I drove home afterwards feeling deserving of the night out! I mingled around and met some new (fellow single!) people, which was awesome (more people to add to the guest list for my “I’m getting divorced” sex-toy party I plan on throwing this spring). I touched base with old friends (both single and married) from college and even though I did experience a few garbled thoughts of "are they judging me and my divorce?" mid-conversation once or twice, I was able to squash my own insecure worries fairly quickly.

Much to my surprise, I found I was able to float around the party pretty effortlessly between new and old friends, single and married friends.  It was a relief to see that despite everything I’ve been through, I’m still an extrovert capable of having fun wherever, with whomever.  For a long time, the STBX had me believing that I was a miserable person that didn’t know how to have fun anymore. Going stag to a party has made me see the ultimate untruth in such bullshit. 

Looking back on the night now, I’ve learned that not only am I resourceful (I know when I need to call a friend for help!), but I am also way more resilient and brave than I may have previously thought or given myself credit for.  I was so incredibly disappointed that my much-anticipated date with Mr. Handsome didn’t happen, but I pulled it together by the end of the day and ultimately did what was best for me regardless. I lifted my chin, thrust my chest out and me and my big (metaphorical) set of balls bounced back. Before my marriage, I would have sat home alone and wallowed if a similar situation had happened. I wouldn’t have gone to a party alone if a date cancelled because I would have let my fears and lack of confidence get the best of me. Effectively, I would have let my friends down who were expecting me to show up just because my date cancelled. I’m proud of myself for going to that party alone after having the big date with Mr. Handsome fall through. That’s progress, personal growth and a whole lot of self-reflection yielded from just one little party turning into an awfully important night on this journey. I call that starting over wonderful. How about you?

22 comments:

  1. You GO girl!! I am so proud of you!! That took real guts and determination and honestly, I am not even sure if I would have had the guts to do it! You looked hot, you looked happy, you looked confident and you carried it with you the whole way. That is huge. As is believing that you don't care what others think...it is true, one thing to say, another to believe it, and I am glad you didn't feel judged, as you shouldn't. Ass slap!! Nice job!! ;-)

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    1. Awe, thank you so so SO much! Your comment almost made me cry (happy tears!) ... but when I got to the "ass slap", I instead busted out hysterical with laughter and watery eyes. LOL!! From one thriving divorcee to another, ass slaps all around ;)

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  2. Holy sexy red dress! Good for you for making the best of your night out even though your date had to cancel.

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  3. LOL, thank you! I love that dress so much, I think I might be out looking for fancier things to do now and again JUST so I can wear it.

    And of course, first opportunity Mr. Handsome and I get to actually go out somewhere alone where the dress would be appropriate ... you know what's up ;)

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  4. Single mom is hot and sexy.

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  5. If I were you I would concentrate more on taking care of my child rather than posting possible false accusations. Being a mother myself I feel sad that you would even have the time to write this nonsense instead of spending time with your child who is going through a difficult time. It seems extremely selfish and I think you need to get your priorities straight.

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    1. So, let me get this straight -- as a mother the only thing I am allowed to do in order to qualify "to your standards" as a good mother is be with my child? I can't read, have free time to myself, write in a journal or on a blog or do anything else for myself? Last time I checked, it is considered HEALTHY and positive to journal through a difficult experience and actually encouraged by most mental health professionals.

      As to your statement regarding "possible false accusations" NOT ONE THING I have written here isn't substantiated by documented evidence entered in court through obtaining restraining orders, through court motions and through the discovery phase of my divorce.

      Maybe you should try to look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself why you feel the need to leave a nonconstructive comment on someone else's blog where that person is obviously trying to do the best she can?

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    2. If she shouldn't have time to write it, then how do you have time to read it? And last time I checked... kids SLEEP. It's amazing what you can do while the baby is down for a nap or after bedtime. I truly feel sorry for you if you can't tear yourself away from the house while the baby is asleep and in the capable hands of a babysitter.

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    3. I really should thank you @Jess (whoever you are, other than a hater) because you brought my blog a TON of traffic this morning. Yay! ;)

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    4. Jess,
      Every person's situation is different. Everybody handles their situation differently. You shouldn't judge someone else's situation so harshly.

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    5. Wow Jess. How sad a life you may have, and why THANK YOU for DRAGGING yourself away from your POOR family to bash someone you don't even know. How much your family must LOVE your hateful, spiteful personality. Just remember, Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone!

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  6. Wow, Jess. Who are you to judge whether or not her "accusations" are "false". Maybe you should go be a "good mom" and spend time with your kids instead of being a hateful person and being rude on someone else's blog. I guess I'm being a bad mom today because mine went to daycare and I am working from home. Go look in the mirror and judge yourself if you feel so self-righteous.

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  7. @jess. How dare you? no really how DARE you come on here and post a comment like that.
    You feel sad she had time to write out her feelings? Well i feel sad you felt the need to come on here and be nasty.

    She is going through a painful divorce. sorting through all those feelings is part of the process. And heaven forbid she have a moment to herself to write it out. Her son isn't even 2 years old he doesn't need to work through feelings of his parents divorce yet.. but she does!
    Being a mother yourself one would think you would have enough sense to walk away if you have negative things to say but i guess your to busy scanning the web for places to throw your unwanted hateful 2 cents instead of focusing on your own life/child.
    I agree with the last 2 comments... take a long hard look in the mirror next time before opening your mouth.

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  8. It is rude - digusting, even- that @Jess even dare post such a comment. Who do you think you are? I am still attempting to decode your logic behind all of YOUR false accusations. Please do elaborate. Explain to us all how Phenom is portraying false information to any extent?! She is a hard-working, intelligent, and very strong woman and single mother who is here trying to express her feelings and gain support mid divorce and you are trying to rain on her parade. Shame on you! And as for the snide remark regarding her "priorities", please tell me this - if she should be spending time with her child instead of writing a blog, should you not be spending time with YOURS instead of commenting on her blog?

    Think twice (or three, even four, times) before you let your mind wander and splurge your thoughts on the computer screen. You made yourself look foolish, really.

    Phenom -- you are a very strong and independent lady! I enjoy reading about your progress through this messy situation! Keep it up!

    (and p.s. - wooohoo! Sexy red dress! You look amazing!)

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  9. Wow!! I can't even imagine that someone would come on here and critisize you!! I agree with everyone else...this person should really take a good look at herself and learn not to judge others for trying to do the best they can for themselves and their child! and YES she is doing the absolute best for her child..I know thatfor a fact! and why not write a blog, if it helps you get your feelings out and in the process may help others that are going through the same thing. From what I know getting your feelings out (may it be a journal or blog) is extremely healthy for your well being and for you childrens well being also!! Phenom...you keep doing what you are doing and try not to worry about judgemental people that just want to bring you down! and I agree with everyone else you look amazing in that sexy red dress!!

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  10. Holy crap JESS....I do hope your children aren't suffering while you comment your bullpucky on other peoples blogs...get a life....as if you know ANYTHING about "the difficult time" other peoples kids may have....so...Reach around and get a grip...Phenom is a Phenom....you are obviously not.

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    1. "Phenom is Phenom" ... LOL, thanks Mari :)

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