For some divorced gals, there comes a time when you decide to take the plunge again. You’ve met what you hope is truly “the right guy for you.” You put aside your misgivings stemming from your previous marriage having imploded and take the next step into a hopeful future with your new, fingers-crossed-it’s-really-it-this-time, “true love.”
Orrrrrr you watch your ex do it first.
No, I’m not engaged. But my ex husband is, as of a little more than a week ago.
In truly peak 2019 fashion, I found out via Facebook as I was mindlessly scrolling while dog-sitting on a Saturday night. My reaction went something like this:
I’m over my ex. I was starting to get over him before we even broke up, but that’s neither here nor there.
Still…. it is kind of a thing, no? That moment when they officially move on? I knew he was dating and he seemed happy, and I’m dating and I’m happy, and in no universe that I’m aware of would we ever get back together. But yeah…. THAT happened.
I first texted my best friend, who was drinking, and had less than flattering things to say about it. To be fair, since the day we broke up her stance has been a very unwavering “FUCK THAT GUY,” so at least she’s consistent.
Within the next 10 hours I’d heard from another bestie, who knowingly texted me something along the lines of “I know this is totally fine but should we just acknowledge it and get it out of the way??” Literally perfect, hahahaha. And then I saw my other best gal at brunch and we talked briefly about it. She encouraged me to get another cocktail, and I obliged. TWIST MY ARM.
I then attempted to be a real adult and actually texted my ex “Congrats” later that day. He said thank you. That was that.
And really, I am happy for him. It’s not like I don’t want him to move on, and like I said, I’ve moved on. It is what it is.
It did bring up some mixed feelings I have about the fact that he asked me for the ring back when we broke up. I may or may not have looked closely at the photo to see if the ring looked… um….. familiar. Hard to say. I really hope, though, and sincerely believe, he would not do that. When he asked for it back he said he would likely sell it or give it to a sibling to use as a ring in the future, or… whatever.
This is a highly controversial subject among some of my friends and family. When he asked for it, it hurt a little. I mean, it wasn’t like I was going to wear it. I’d either keep it hidden away with our marriage license or I might have even sold it, being pretty cash-poor when we split (Note to you ladies — maintain your own savings account!). But it’s just that on top of the whole, “hey, this isn’t working out and I’m leaving you” bit, it adds sort of another layer, like, “hey, I also wish I’d never asked you and so I’d like that thing back now, please?” It just doesn’t make you feel super awesome, is all.
So ANYWAY, other than that lame thought train, it’s more or less a non-event. Just something I’m tweeting, joking and blogging about but like, really, no big deal. Mmmm hmmmm.
But then I saw another post a couple days later. My college boyfriend also got engaged THAT SAME FUCKING WEEKEND.
What the fuck is so special about March fucking 23???? What is going ON?! I immediately texted another one of my exes (yes, I have several) that I talk to once in a blue moon and just asked, with no background, “Are you engaged??”
Him: “No… but I am moving in with my girlfriend this weekend. Why??”
When I explained, he acknowledged it was weird and kind of funny. Then he quit responding. He probably thinks I’m weird or lame or something, but conveniently, I don’t give a fuck what he thinks! I took to Twitter:
OK, I didn’t really. But maybe I should!
As a week has passed, and the dust of my failed relationships has settled…. I have had like zero time to reflect further on this because I’m fucking busy. I worked a trade show in Chicago with my boss then went to Brewers opening weekend in Milwaukee.
But now, back at my desk and faced with an ever-growing list of articles to write, it seemed a prudent time to drop everything and process this on ye olde blog. So, that’s what I’m doing. I also hope I’m entertaining you a bit because well…. you can’t make this shit up.
Earlier this week, I had a tweet go viral.
I think. I’m not really sure what it means to “go viral,” but as someone with 100 followers on a good day, this was exciting.
I’ve had tweets that gained decent traction before, but they were always a silly meme or some reaction I posted as part of my live tweets of either The Bachelor or Dateline. That can happen to anyone.
But this was a little different. Even though it was a response to someone else, there was a significant reaction to what I specifically said.
Here is the original conversation that my comment stemmed from:
The discussion was on obtaining consent — verbal consent — when engaging in sexual activity. Not just sex itself, but kissing, “making out,” what have you.
Enter the “feminist next door” — @emrazz
Good lord, this lady. She deals with man babies, trolls, toxic masculinity and all kinds of fuckbois day in and day out. She takes them to task on Twitter, and I am here for it.
In this instance, you can see her suggestions about obtaining consent can still be sexy if whispered or delivered in the right context, not necessarily a “mood killer” as so many men seem to be so afraid of. (Because heaven forbid you risk killing the mood! Definitely risk doing something she doesn’t want you to do over that!)
Then this Matthew duder responded about women supposedly thinking it’s “sexier” when you don’t ask permission, and it goes from there. I simply weighed in to say, “hey, for what it’s worth, my boyfriend asked if he could kiss me, and it was super cute! I didn’t think it was lame!”
Then people went a little berserk. In a good way.
I know it’s probably because the comment was tied to @emrazz… but still. Let me bask in these never ending Twitter notifications.
Even my BFF got in on the action, and she has WAY more followers than I do.
So actually… Luke is famous, I guess, not me.
But still. I’ve never had this much of a response to a tweet before! It’s kind of exciting. Naturally, I’m now just waiting for the calls to come in for my book deal and talk show.
I’m glad my Valentine’s not a fuckboi.
Last week, I tagged along with a friend to a Rodan and Fields party.
If you’re not familiar (and before this party, I wasn’t), Rodan and Fields is a new direct-to-consumer brand of skin care and makeup products.
(And if you are familiar and I’m not explaining that quite accurately, cut me a break. That’s basically what it is.)
OK. So, I wasn’t sure what to expect. My friend assured me that I did not have to feel obligated to buy anything, but I should just tag along for the wine and snacks and lady time.
Sure, why not?
My experience with these types of “parties” has been limited to a couple of sex toy parties in my early 20s and a Mary Kay event when I first moved to Madison.
The sex toy parties were fun. I think this was in part because it wasn’t like my hosting friends were getting into selling their own inventory of sex toys — as is the case with R+F and brands like Lularoe — but rather a third-party host came into their house to sell for the night, and they just got a discount. So there was little pressure to buy or a guilty feeling of “I should really support my friend in her new business venture,” etc.
Plus, it was fun because we’re talking about dildos, arousing creams and lingerie, not face wash or leggings!
With Mary Kay, I didn’t know anyone personally there, either. It was an “event” held at a pizza joint, and I went because I was getting married and thought it might be a good opportunity to get some higher end makeup or skin care products.
What was especially funny about that event was that I asked my friend Sam to tag along. Sam and I have now been friends for 10 years, but at the time, it was less than a year, so I had no idea that she actually did not wear ANY makeup, ever. She looks good without it, so you wouldn’t even know that, and I didn’t. So my point is just that it was totally irrelevant for her to attend this thing, but she was a good sport and we got free mediocre pizza and I think a few free samples, and I spent about $200. (I got suckered into that because I wanted this free makeup bag kit that came with the purchase….. s-u-c-k-e-r.) We definitely had a few laughs about some of the Mary Kay ladies and their quest for enough sales to get a pink convertible — no thanks, I’m good.
I think we got one follow up text or email from the lady we were paired up with, but after that she took the hint and let it go.
Anyway, from what I can tell, R+F is like the new Mary Kay. It was created by the creators of ProActive, which I have used in the past, but got sick of for two reasons:
• More would always come before I needed it, and
• It smelled bad, IMHO.
But the big pitch is, these people know what they’re doing when it comes to skin care.
Of course, it’s not cheap.
I will say that upon entering my 30s, I have tried to invest a bit more in skin care. I already have gray hairs (I color my hair every month), and I know wrinkles are on the horizon.
Here is a selfie I literally just took, no filters I promise, although I am wearing makeup.
I haven’t had to face too many wrinkles — yet. I think this is in part because I have very oily skin. That presents another problem — I still have breakouts regularly at 35 — but for now, at least the wrinkles are mostly at bay. I’m kind of getting those lines on my forehead, as you can see above. Also, look at that little gray hair sticking out from my part on the right! What a dick.
But the wrinkles won’t stay away forever. My mom looks good for her age, but she has wrinkles, and I know I will, too. I’m also pretty on board with “aging gracefully,” but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to try to take care of my skin.
I always try to wear sunscreen when I’m out. I’ve started using heavier night cream at night, and I use eye cream. I try really hard to always wash my face before bed (but… it doesn’t always happen if I’ve had a few drinks, tbh.)
Speaking of night cream, I rub it all the way down my neck and chest because y’all, I’m getting the wrinkly cleavage, and it ain’t pretty.
“What about the damn R+F party, though?!”– you might be asking. Here’s the thing. It was relatively uneventful, in that I was not suckered into buying anything, and the hostess was very sweet and even gave me a free makeup sample to take home and try out (she is one of my best friend’s childhood friends, after all).
The makeup line appealed to me because instead of a whole slew of foundation, blush, powder, concealer, etc., it was just one thin liquid-like product. If that actually worked for me, that would be amazing. Almost daily, I pile on all of the above, so to just have one product do the work of all of those products, even at a decent cost — it might be worth it.
As it is, sometimes I just don’t wear makeup to work to give my skin a break, to let it breathe. But I look awful. I have blemishes on the regular, after all.
But alas, the free sample did not quite do the trick. If I had a blemish or two to cover up, it just didn’t do it. And if I used the liquid base plus the cover up for the problem areas, well then I have to dust with powder to blend it all in — kind of defeating the purpose.
So I’m going to pass on the R+F for now, but if it sounds appealing to you, I will totally pass you along to this very nice gal trying to get her line off the ground. That wasn’t even the point of this post at all, but I’d be happy to do it. I didn’t even get into the skin care lines — they have 4 different varieties based on your skin type and needs, and my friend purchased one of those. I’ll bet I’d enjoy that, too, but I simply can’t afford it at this time.
If you’re actually interested, check out the website at https://www.rodanandfields.com.
JFC it is like I’m pitching this stuff, but I swear I’m not!
Also of note from the party:
• I was starving, having skipped dinner, and was trying hard not to go to town on the snack table. Wine, too.
“Slip slowly, Alyssa, these are civilized ladies with houses and kids and they probably don’t imbibe the way you do, have some water…”– my inner monologue.
• I was warned/teased by my friend upon arriving that there was a very hump-friendly dog in the house. I’m a fan of doggies, and this one was shut upstairs, so I wasn’t too worried, but I automatically pictured like a great dane or something in my mind, I’m not sure why.
The actual dog did make an appearance at one point, and it was TINY. This just cracked my shit up, based on the giant, big-balled dog I was picturing, and this little guy was shooed out before he got to hump anyone. Better luck next time, buddy.
• As previously mentioned, nearly all the ladies were married, with houses and kids, so the conversation was largely flowing around these topics as people arrived. I was able to weigh in on work/management-type stuff, but at one point, there was an impassioned, long (to me) tangent about door trim. I never knew it could be such a fascinating topic of discussion! (It wasn’t to me, but good for literally everyone else. OK, not really my friend either, even though she owns a beautiful home.)
It’s times like these, I’m reminded that I’m an adult… but like, not totally. Not like “I had to tell my kids about the birds and bees!” and “You should do THAT with that door, that would look great!” — not that type of adult.
Also not the type with a budget to drop on R+F, not today anyway.
Wrinkles — make like my bank balance and lay low, bitches.
As another year gets underway, I always take a second to think about my use of social media.
Or I strive to think about it. Or something.
Probably like many of you, I was one of the “first generation” users of Facebook, back when you had to have a college email to log in and it was just a picture and some basic stats. Those were the days, huh?
We all know what it’s become now. A barrage of political articles and opinions, memes, photos, hot takes on sports, etc.
It’s kind of a fucking mess, isn’t it? It’s not even useful as a stalking tool anymore, what with various privacy settings — if you’re smart — and the fact that most of the people you might think about stalking hardly post anything new ever anyway, or so I’m told.
Speaking of stalking, who knew Baby Boomers were such Level: Expert! at that shit?! That’s really what Facebook — and Instagram — has become for me. A place where my parents, aunts, uncles and randos can keep tabs on what I’m doing.
I mean, really…. I can’t be the only one who has relatives that never post on Instagram — EVER — yet they have viewed every.single.one. of my Instagram stories. What’s up with that?!
What they WILL post on Facebook though, without fail, are those “threats” that thankfully we ALL collectively ignore so no one is singled out. You know what I’m talking about:
“This is a TEST to see who my REAL friends are. I bet most of you will scroll past this, but my REAL friends will comment!”
Also the warnings that they’ve been hacked — aka, fallen victim to another scam. Also the “Like and share this if you agree!” And let’s not forget the ones who dig up old actual family photos, take photos of them and post them and tag you.
Maybe that’s only something I’ve had to deal with….
No, No, and NO THANK YOU!
Lest you think I’m picking on a certain generation, this is from my news feed this morning:
I guess what I’m getting at is that it seems our parents’ generation has basically taken over Facebook. I don’t think anyone younger than their mid-20s even touches that platform.
Which leads us to explore other avenues of expression… like Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.
As I’ve already alluded to though, Instagram isn’t such a safe space anymore either, what with the Instagram story stalking. It’s also just not what it used to be since Instagram stories have taken over, and people now feel the need to post novel-esque notes when they want to get a point across.
Where it’s at these days, if you ask me, is Twitter and Snapchat.
I’m always behind my peers when it comes to joining some of the newer, “hip” platforms, with the exception of being on Facebook early on. I just joined Snapchat last year, and I joined Twitter long after live tweeting was a thing… but that doesn’t stop me from doing it.
There’s probably a platform right now I’m not even aware of that’s the new thing… and I won’t even register it until like two years from now.
It’s already out of control as it is! I swore I would never join Snapchat… but then one day I just gave in. The temptation to turn myself into a cute dog or a rabbit was just too strong.
I do really like that everything disappears in a day, though! Or sooner if I get on after a night out drinking and realize no one wants to see me “dancing” and singing off key to Ariana Grande.
What’s REALLY annoying (and by that I mean, ME) though is that my boyfriend is not on Snapchat, but I save any snap I want him to see and just text it to him directly. I mean, if he thinks I’m cute NOW, wait until he sees me as a rabbit with a squeaky voice!
I’m not sure why we’re still together.
Twitter is honestly probably my fav. So much so that I have TWO accounts. One for more professional purposes (boring af) that’s linked to my job, and the other for this blog.
Obviously, despite some of my reservations, I’m clearly not anti-social media. I think it has toxic qualities for sure, but I’m not one to shun it or get up on too high of a horse.
Just sayin. Ya know, you do you, live and let live and all that! I’ve been on the receiving end of judgment and drama regarding social media posts. I’d like to think it’s made me more conscious of what and when I’m choosing to post and share… but it really just depends on what mood I’m in.
So yeah, follow me on all the platforms. Or block me. I don’t care*! Happy Friday, y’all!
*I really do care a lot, you guys.
I rarely miss a deadline. It’s my job as an editor to meet deadlines every single week! I am reliable!
Last year, I set a goal to read 50 books in 2018. I did a brief update in July on my progress, and at that time I was definitely behind since I was supposed to be reading about 4-5 books a month to stay on track, but I’d only reached #22 (https://alyssagoesadulting.com/2018/07/30/50-books-in-2018-part-1/).
However, as the year wore on, I really picked up the pace. I was averaging 1-2 books a week, constantly visiting the library. By the week of Christmas, I had up to book #45 in my possession, and I sought out recommendations for short stories to try to cram in 5 more.
Life happened, though. Luke and I went out of town last weekend, I had New Year’s Eve plans, and Jan. 1 came before I could crack open another book.
So… I set a goal of 50, and I made it to 45. OK!
At first, I was disappointed. Again, I rarely miss a deadline, but mid-year I definitely slacked in my reading speed, and one particular book took me weeks because I wasn’t loving it. But I belong to this group on Facebook where people make book recommendations, and on New Year’s Eve, everyone was sharing their reading goals from 2018. It went something like this:
Person 1: I set a goal of 50 for the year, and I read 52!
Person 2: I set a goal of 60 for the year, and I read 70!
Person 3: I set a goal of 100 for the year and read 300!
I swear, it was something like that. Something CRAZY where that person must just read books in between meals and sleeping or maybe listens to books on tape while sleeping? I have no idea. Good for you.
These people also were breaking down their favorite books, breaking out how many were by women, women of color, etc.
Yeah… I’m not going to do that. In part 1 of this post, I talked a bit about some highlights and I’ll do that again here, but there will be no “demographics,” so to speak. Nah.
But first, a little confession from my school daze, just for fun.
Do you remember those mailers we got in school with books that you could order, and you’d take them home to your parents and convince them to order you a bunch of books?
We had a bit of a battle in my house growing up. I’ve always loved to read books. Always. At some point in my youth, I became drawn to young adult (YA) fiction. You know, like you do. My parents were not having it, though.
My dad would spot a Sweet Valley Kids/Twins/High book in the bathroom.
“What is this TRASH?!”
I started reading Goosebumps when those become popular.
Mom: “You need to fill your head with more quality reading material!”
It got to the point where I felt I had to hide a lot of my reading material from them. I mean, how ridiculous is that?! I wasn’t reading Playboy, for goodness sake! We weren’t an overtly religious household. We didn’t have a library wing stacked with the classics. I don’t know why this was the hill they chose to die on in my youth, but… they sure did.
So back to the mailer. After a few attempts to order the books I wanted to read, and my mom saying no, I started implementing a pretty brilliant strategy. I’d read the synopses for the books to order, choose 4-5 of the ones that sounded dreadfully boring, and then tack on one I actually wanted to read. I’d present the list to my mom with a pitch along the lines of, “Yes, I want to read all these great, historical educational books, but like, let’s throw in that one Goosebumps book JUST FOR FUN?”
Her: “OK, dear, sounds good.”
It was such a waste. I don’t know how many books we ordered that I never even cracked open. It’s not like they quizzed me or anything! I wonder how many are still at our house that I might actually like to read now? Ridiculous!
So, yeah, that was something.
As an adult, I think I mix it up pretty well. I LOVE crime/murder mysteries and suspenseful reads, but I’ve also read some really great memoirs this year and other thought-provoking novels. Maybe I’ll talk to my parents about this when I go home in a few weeks so they can see that Sweet Valley didn’t ruin me for good.
So, some of my favs from 2018, not mentioned in my previous post:
This book was creepy in the way that the Handmaid’s Tale is creepy. It’s another world where women are less than, and in this one, women are only allotted 100 words a day or they receive an electric shock. Sinister.
My friend Katie lent this to me when she visited in October, and it was extremely thought-provoking if you’ve ever struggled with your weight.
3. A Spark of Light
Jodi Picoult does it again. Author of “Small, Great Things,” another fav from 2018 (and it’s being made into a movie!), in this one she tackles the abortion debate, but with a unique literary style and from several different viewpoints.
4. This Will Only Hurt a Little
Busy Phillips memoir. OMG. So honest!
I feel like I’m jumping on the bandwagon with these next 2, but like literally everyone else, I thought “An American Marriage” and “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine” were both pretty exceptional.
I did NOT go crazy over Bird Box, though. The book or the film. And I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about it!
I really enjoyed this goal, so I’m doing it again in 2019! I’m setting it at 50 again, so we’ll see if I make the deadline or if I get to be one of those people that’s like, “I set it at 50, I made it to 100! NO BIG DEAL!”
Happy New Year!
It’s been somewhat of a struggle to get into the spirit of the holidays this year.
I’ve found that in my adult years, really ever since high school, that happens off and on. Some years are more special than others. Some holiday seasons are snow-covered, dreamy weeks filled with Christmas music, lights, cheer and love-fueled gift giving…. while others are fraught with bills, stress, loss and the winter blues.
Thus far, this season has been shaping up to be the latter.
Despite my half-assed attempt to create a budget in 2018, it pretty much blew up by mid-year. I’m still living paycheck to paycheck, just making ends meet, enjoying life enough but with no real savings or future financial plans to speak of.
A lot of days, I look around me and it’s like… why bother? The political and economic climate is pretty dismal. I figure getting by day by day is good enough, and maybe it’s best to be renting, in a domestic partnership, with no real attachment holding me anywhere. If the shit really hits the fan, I am free to go.
Where? I don’t know, but … I am?
Can we say….
Ha. Seriously, though. In the past month-and-a-half, our household was hit with:
- Unexpected medical expenses
- Less than ideal health-related family news
- Car trouble
- More car trouble
- More car trouble
- The Wisconsin Republican legislature of turds (OK, that’s not exactly personal, but it doesn’t help)
- Miscellaneous drama
And you want me to “rock around the Christmas tree”? I don’t even want to put up a Christmas tree to rock around. It sounds like too much work, and I’m already anticipating the pain of taking it down in a few weeks.
I was feeling really down as November came to a close. When you’re not feeling the spirit of the holidays, the constant barrage of commercials, jingles, lights and Christmas specials almost feels like a personal assault at times. It goes on whether you’re feeling it or not.
But this past weekend, I had a slight change of heart. And it wasn’t because the Who’s of Whoville kept singing that damn song with nonsense lyrics (OK, for real, I love it, but what the hell are they saying in the beginning?!) and my heart grew three sizes or some shit, but rather by realizing a simple fact:
Life is always in flux, so if things kind of suck right now…. well, it’s about to turn around!
I found comfort in this. Sometimes, when we can’t pull ourselves out of a rut, I think the best thing we can do is just wait. Just get by and wait it out. Do what you can, and what you can’t, you can’t.
Armed with this nugget of solace, I found it in me to put on some Christmas music and decorate the apartment on Saturday. Lowkey decorating anyway — still no big tree — but once it was done, I found that I was grateful for the lights and a bit of cheer about my home. Luke agreed. He kept saying “I was really dragging my heels, but it looks nice in here.”
We also had some festive time with friends and my company holiday dinner, so I was feeling pretty grateful for the people in my life and all that I do have.
Don’t get me wrong, either. Could it be worse? Absolutely. Are there others far less fortunate? Totally. Do I still manage to keep that in mind and give where I can? You betcha. But that doesn’t mean some of us in the middle don’t feel those blues and struggle from time to time.
But I’ll wait this one out. Tom Petty always said, the waiting is the hardest part.
Happy holidays to you and yours!