Here’s an etiquette question…

I bet Emily Post or Dear Prudence haven’t been asked yet.

First, let’s go into the reason for this question.  Last night, I made the acquaintance of a group of people.  To protect the innocent (or guilty), no names will be mentioned.  One of the group was a woman in her 30’s who invited along a gentleman she met on a “sugar daddy” dating site.  This was their first face-to-face meeting and she told us she felt better about it happening during a group outing. 

The gentleman, a widower in his mid-50’s and relatively new to the dating scene (or so he said), was very cordial and charming.  He conversed with everyone (all women) and purchased 2 rounds of drinks for the group.  We all were having a good time talking and getting to know each other when he mentioned that he had to leave; he and his “date” excused themselves to converse privately for a few minutes. 

Upon her return, she flashed a wad of money and announced that he had given her 500 dollars to buy drinks and whatever else she and the group wanted for the remainder of the evening.  She then informed us that she was going to use the money to get her hair done instead.  She didn’t offer to buy any more rounds nor the nachos that another member of the group and I shared.  No one questioned her on it… maybe they, like me, were shocked by her bold admission that she regularly gets men to pay her way without engaging in any kind of relationship (including sexual).  

Now, here’s where the etiquette comes in.  Considering they met on a “sugar daddy” site, does that give her carte blanche on how the money’s spent?  Should she not say anything to him about it (if he doesn’t ask, that is)?  Or should she offer to return the money since he specifically mentioned spending it on whatever she and the rest of the group had for the evening?  I have no intention of telling her what to do… she’s a grown woman and her conscience is her own.  However, I’ve never been witness to this kind of situation and it’s hard to wrap my head around it.  So, dear reader, what do you make of it?

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Here I go …

As Professor Albus Dumbledore explained to Harry Potter in “The Chamber of Secrets”,  phoenixes are “Fascinating creatures… They can carry immensely heavy loads, their tears have healing powers, and they make highly faithful pets.”

Can’t say I know anything about being a pet, but otherwise I can relate to the phoenix, especially the dying in flames and being reborn from the ashes part.  And while there aren’t as many flames as before, I’m ever growing and changing.  So far, so good. 

So here I am, continuing a blog that started about 5 years ago.  What could I write about?  Lots.  Observations, opinions and recollections about my past.  Some may ask, “why dredge up the past?  You’re in a better place, leave it in the past.”  In reply I paraphrase, if you forget the past, you’re doomed to repeat it.  And I sure as hell don’t want to repeat parts of my past.  Sometimes those memories make me cringe but I’m compelled to write it down, to remember and refrain.  Maybe along the way, someone else will read and learn from my experiences.  God knows I’m as far from perfect as one can get but I think I’m turning out OK.  It’s still a work in progress….

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Rest in Peace, Debra (MzCrunk)

The world is a much sadder place without you, not to mention our chat room.  I bet you’re already cooking up an awesome meal in heaven, singing a duet with your favorite singer, Luther Vandross, and beating the angels at trivia.  I’ll miss you terribly.
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So much to be thankful for

This week I’m turning 45 which is a milestone of sorts… the halfway mark between being considered middle-aged and becoming eligible for membership in the AARP.
It’s also been about 6 years since my ex-husband walked out on me and our kids and the progress from shy, insecure person I was to the stronger, more confident woman I’ve become has been fantastic and something I’m very proud of.  Yes, there have been hardships and heartache along the way but they have been valuable lessons.
Although my life isn’t exactly as I wish it to be, as I look back on the past year, I find so much to be grateful for.
First and foremost, my children are healthy, happy and wonderful.  It’s been a year since Clara moved to Massachusetts to be with her boyfriend, Bill, and they have a great relationship.  Together, they’ve created a warm, inviting home, she’s in a job she loves and her life is great.  She recently overcame her nervousness about flying with her first plane trip and is now planning future trips.  She and Bill also recently became "parents" to an adorable puppy named Samson which makes me as close to being a grandmother as I’m going to be for now.  As I write, I’m very much looking forward to seeing them on Thanksgiving.  Clara’s excited as this will be her first time hosting the dinner.  Although she’s vegetarian, she’s roasting the fatted bird along with other dishes that I’m sure will be tasty as she’s a great cook.  Or maybe Bill, the omnivore of their household who’s also a great cook, will deal with the turkey.  Either way, I’m not cooking so it’s all good… LOL!
As for Jason, he’s taken to college like a fish to water.  He’s in his second year now and doing so well.  He made Dean’s List and was elected as treasurer to NJCU’s division of the Campus Crusaders for Christ.  Although he parted ways with Humble Offerings earlier this year, Jason found new outlets for his talent and creativity with the Crusaders which is why, along with his friend and former Humble Offerings bandmate, Joey, he’s been asked to host several of their events at NJCU as well as other college campuses.  This year he began working at the college gymasium and, at his church, was asked to teach Sunday school to the teenage members who love him dearly.  Six years ago, I couldn’t have forseen this transformation from a smart but smart-ass and lazy child to the hardworking, humorous, earnest and serious young man who’s admired and respected by the peers and adults he comes in contact with. 
On a side note, I must mention George Haviland, the music teacher and band director at North Bergen High School who saw much potential and promise in Jason, took him under his wing and helped Jason realize his musical talent and leadership.  Because of Mr Haviland’s example and involvement with the Bible Study Group at the high school, Jason also found his spiritual path and love of God.  I’m not a perfect parent and believe it does indeed take a village to raise a child.  With all the negative influences a teenager comes across and the many turns Jason’s life could have taken, I thank God for Mr Haviland’s kindness, insight and wisdom.
This year I began forging a new relationship with my mother and saw my parents become friends again almost 30 years after their divorce.  While for now I can take my mother only in small doses (the woman doesn’t know the meaning of the word "tact" and still embarasses me on occasion), I’m glad we’re on our way.  This Thanksgiving will be spent with my children and parents, something I had hoped for but never before believed would happen.
I also travelled by myself to attend the first annual Las Vegas Fest for Beatles Fans.  I met Pete Best, the Beatles original drummer and Victor Spinetti who was in several of their movies.  I saw LOVE which was absolutely spectacular and definitely worth seeing again, walked along the Strip, Fremont Street and the top of the Hoover Dam, took a gondola ride at the Venetian and marvelled at the decor in the Bellagio as well as its dancing fountains.  I also met some wonderful people with whom I’d been chatting for years and found they’re just as cool in person as online.  My only complaint is that my time there was too short which gives me a good excuse to return.
Last, but by no means least, is David… wonderful, caring, loving and kind.  As cliched as it sounds, he came into my life when I least expected.  He shows me every day how much he cares for me and I hope I make him feel as cherished and happy as he makes me feel.  Only time will tell if he’s the one who I’ll spend the rest of my life with but for now I’m basking in our love and the wonderful times we share.  He’s coming to help celebrate my birthday on Wednesday and I can’t wait to see him.  While we’ll spend this Thanksgiving with our respective families, I’m sure there will be many holidays to celebrate together. 
To those who read this, I wish you a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving with family and loved ones.  As many problems as we have, there are so many blessings in our lives if we just stop to think about them.  Please remember those who are less fortunate and offer up prayers for them. 
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Why spoil a good thing?

As I write, Jason, is happily absorbed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the last book in the series.  We’ve eagerly anticipated it just as we anticipated every one since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  The tradition has been that he reads it first then I read it.  As much as he  wants to discuss the story with me, he waits until I’m done. 
I wish others would be as considerate.  Jason had to sign off of instant messenger earlier today when a "well-meaning" friend started telling him the ending even though Jason said he was half-way through the book.  I don’t understand that.  What satisfaction do some people get in taking away the joy of finding out for oneself what eventually happens to Harry, Ron, Hermoine and even Voldemort?
When The Sixth Sense came out, I was very much looking forward to watching it.  That is until Opie and Anthony, who were local radio DJ’s at the time, thought it would be hilarious to have their interns drive by the lines of people waiting outside the theaters to see the movie and shout out that Bruce Willis’ character was dead all along.  I still thought it was a great movie when I eventually saw it on DVD (or was it VHS?  I forget) but I was robbed of the element of surprise when the twist was revealed.
So please don’t think me rude if I tune you out should you want to tell me how Harry Potter ends.  I want to enjoy a good thing.
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My New Project

I’ve decided to step up as the organizer of a Meet Up group after the founding organizer stepped down.  I figure it will be a great way to meet people and make friends.  If anyone is curious to find out what Meet Up groups are and what this particular group is about, please feel free to click below:
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My horoscope for today

About a year ago, I signed up to get my daily horoscope by email just for shits and giggles.  Sometimes it’s very general or misses the mark completely… then there are times when the message really applies to what’s going on at that particular moment.  Today was one of those times:
Dear Emily,
Here is your horoscope
for Wednesday, June 13:

Chemistry is funny. Sometimes it can strike twice, and other times you can have one great meeting and then — nothing. Just remind yourself that if it can happen a few times, it can happen a lot more. Keep on trucking!

Yep… pretty much what I was thinking.  Onward and upward!
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“It’s not you, it’s me”

Yeah that pretty much sums things up.  It wasn’t me.  I know I didn’t get my signals crossed or read into things that weren’t there. 
When a man says things like "wait till you meet my sister and her boyfriend" and "I feel like you’re the kind of woman who will have my back", offers to lend you a favorite book, wants to see you on a Friday night instead of Sunday because "the sooner, the better" or suggests hanging with his friends, it’s a fairly good bet that he likes you and the chemistry that was apparent from the first time you met.    
Still, things went from an awesome date and some very sweet kisses and hugs one night to "I don’t think I should see you again…I can’t explain it… it’s not you it’s me" the next afternoon.  How the hell does that happen?  I’m sitting here kind of dazed and confused… it really makes no sense.
I will NEVER understand men. 
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The 6th Sense of Ex-boyfriends

I’m convinced that men have a sixth sense.  They seem to know when other men are in the vicinity of their ex-girlfriends.  Why else are old boyfriends suddenly coming out of the woodwork?  After several weeks of dates with a few nice men, and finding one I have a great connection with (but not dating exclusively), this week brought a couple of surprises and it’s only Tuesday. 
Yesterday, I received a phone call from the first guy I ever dated from online… he’s working in the area and could I meet him for lunch?  He’s as handsome as ever with those devastating blue eyes and smile but is such a damned player, I won’t ever be able to trust him again.  We caught up on each other’s lives and he asked if he could see me again.  Hmmm, I wonder if there’s an ulterior motive.  Still, I don’t see the harm in it since I’ve become resistant to his well-practiced charms.
Then this afternoon, I got a call at work from the sax player I went on a few dates with last year.  Nice guy but between his job, the classes he teaches and the gigs he plays, he hardly has time to call when he says he will, let alone date anyone regularly.  We did keep in touch after we stopped dating but I hadn’t heard from him in a well over a month.  He said today that he missed talking to me and wanted to know what I was doing… oh and perhaps we could meet for coffee sometime this week?   
I figure any day now, I’ll get a call from B wanting to hang out after work.  Why do men do this?  Can anyone explain this phenomenom?
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Sleep with the angels, Abuelita

  God finally called you home.   
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