Measuring Love in Dog Years

It’s easy to be in love when you’re jet-setting around the world, at a new restaurant every other night, when everything is new — his smell, his interests, his friends, his family…when your bank accounts are flush and your biggest worry is what resort to escape to next. But the true test always comes when that first wave hits.

When a parent or grandparent passes, when a job is lost, when the money dips into the red, when going out to dinner is a luxury, when waking up in the morning is extraneous, and you wonder “if this too shall pass” was uttered by a lunatic or a wise older woman. If you feel a presence by your side, and your lover is still there, still loyal, still smitten, while you hash it out with your demons — then you truly have a shot.

Never shove your anxiety inside, don’t live a fake persona. It will come out eventually and that’s when your partner will be running for the nearest exit. Be honest, not completely, but aim for 90%. You only really grow together, when you can shovel away the crap together.

The time passes and before you know it —  it’s not your first, not your second or even your third — it’s your umpteenth holiday together. And what takes the place of the excitement of the “newness” is the fun of your own traditions.

On this snowy afternoon, if you’re content to be locked inside together, and there’s no scratch marks along his back, you’re on your way…

I mark our time together with the increasing candles on our puppy’s birthday cake. How do you mark yours?

Puppy Birthday Candles

Girlfriends Who Hate Movember!

Girlfriends, let’s band together and grab the razors in unison! No longer will we tolerate straggly hairs jutting from the faces of our men — unless it’s their eyebrows. Toe hair? Fine, we deal. Most of the time their feet are safely tucked inside their shoes or under the covers. Nose hair?  Yes, as long as they trim. Ear hair? Unavoidable after 60, sorry. But do we really need our men rocking the Chester Molester stache? I don’t care if it tickles!

Movember is for a good cause, they say. But I believe it’s really just a conspiracy to make our men look like 70s porn stars.

Who’s behind this hairy movement anyway? It’s not like us ladies stop shaving our armpits for breast cancer awareness month…but one more Movember and it’s coming!I will take a goatee any day, or even a little patch on the chin, but — PLEASE, shave those rabid strands above your lip away! We have plenty of food, you don’t need to save some for later.

Mustache

Sincerely,

Rainbow

The girlfriend who shaves her armpits…for now

Trusting Your Boyfriend With Your Life

Not to be overdramatic, but riding on the back of a motorbike in Bermuda where everyone drives on the left side of the road and is zooming around at 50mph around tight curves IS f#ckin’ scary!   When you’re warned by the natives that tourists are regularly found on the side of the road with missing toes, red flags do rise. But to be fair, when those natives are also taxicab drivers that charge $20 to go 5 minutes you have to put things in perspective.

Since J. and I are urbanites, I was completely unfamiliar with his driving skills — car or motorbike. When he said he had ridden one before, I just had to believe him. Since the vision of missing toes was stuck in my head, I cautiously donned sneakers every time and began each ride with a prayer.

Day 1, I clutched him tightly, and acted as a backseat motorbiker :

STOP sign ahead! Slow down, slow down…Crazy Bermudian about to pass!”

I leaned into his body on each turn and made sure we were both tilting in the same direction. By Day 2, I began to relax, and didn’t get nervous if we had people on our ass because we weren’t speeding. I flashed them my tat to keep them entertained.

Bermuda Motorbike

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By Day 3 and 4, I finally began to look at the water to our left and not the road ahead. And it was amazing — I felt free and wild and young! I never attempted to ride the motorbike myself, the left hand-side of the road thing was confusing enough for me, but I recommend this mode of transpo to all island travelers, especially those who have ridden before.

Mom, if you’re reading this, we were totally SAFE the entire time! So what’s next — tandem skydiving?

Motorbiking In Bermuda

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Have you ridden a motorbike in the islands?

Rainbow

He Knows How to Polish His Wood

J.’s been wanting to polish his wood for a loooong time. It was all he could talk about for months. Then one day several brown boxes were delivered by UPS. And he actually started — and FINISHED. In 3 days.

BEFORE:

Scratched Wood Floors

STEP ONE: Move all furniture (a real challenge when you live in Manhattan), cover everything else with plastic tarps.

STEP TWO: Begin Sanding (great upper body workout!). The machines were no joke.

Sanding Wood Floors

STEP THREE: Apply Wood Filler to cracks in floor, then SAND again.

WOOD FILLER

STEP FOUR: FREAK OUT because there’s 3 inches of dust coating everything (and his family is arriving in 24 hours)!!

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STEP FIVE: Apply First Coat and do not step in it, on it, near it — for a few hours.

STEP SIX: Apply Second Coat. Let it dry. Afterwards, socks for everyone — especially the dog who slides across the floor like Tom Cruise in Risky Business.

Apply PolishPut socks on the dog

AFTER: Wha-laaah! Brand new floors!

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Despite being forewarned by others (“What are you freakin’ crazy? Hire someone!”), J. managed to save thousands and do an incredibly professional job. Here’s what we learned:

DON’T

  • Start this project a few days before you have family from out of town visiting (although it may provide extra motivation to finish!)
  • Do this in the summer when the average temperature is 90 degrees and the humidity is so thick Manhattan feels like the Amazon Rainforest

DO

  • Enforce “no shoes” rule
  • Cover everything with plastic tarps and tape them down (or they’re useless)
  • Offer nonstop encouragement and praise (“Honey, you’re a master!”, “You’re so close!”)
  • Give kudos to the handyman boyfriend who just saved thousands of dollars by insisting on doing it himself!

EXTRA BONUS: I’m totally cool with the five-second rule now. My man knows how to polish his wood.

Rainbow

The STUFF He Buys…

They say you never really know someone until you live with them. I say you never really know someone until you see what they spend their money on. Being observant, it’s never more than a few hours before I notice the new additions a la Amazon.

Ah, some naked chicks painted in gold holding a globe that spells, THE WORLD IS YOURS. Why does this look familiar??

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I’ve seen it somewhere…Oh, yeah — Scarface. “Say hello to my little friend!”

Dirty-CleanMagnet

This magnet has actually helped prevent multiple, “It’s not cleeeeannn!”, “YES IT IS!!” arguments. I recommend this for all newly cohabitating couples with a dishwasher.

ManGrill

The Ultimate Man Grill. Its sheer size intimidates me, besides it has a gas tank and I’m afraid I’ll blow the whole townhouse up. It’s all his.

LED remotesLEDLights

No, he does not own six cars. These remotes control all the indoor LED lighting he installed. I have no idea which is for which. Or what our neighbors must think when they see the lights go from yellow to green to red to blue.

And his best investment yet — the loyal love machine, Cosimo, our Cane Corso:

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What crazy stuff does your man buy?

CoupleCation Becomes Threesome With Mastiff

My boyfriend and I are parents, minus the human kid part. Our love child, Cosimo, was born furry and yelping more than two and a half years ago. We take him with us wherever we go (though Manhattan is challenging), and are always wondering if he’s bored when we’re not home.  At approx. 115 lbs. and over 5 ft. standing, our Cane Corso unfortunately can’t be toted around town in a shoulder bag.

Our romantic getaways have become DogCations. It just feels wrong to leave him behind. So far, this traveling pooch has been to Hilton Head (at 8 weeks old), the Catskills (née Dogskills), the Poconos and most recently, Montauk. The only trip he missed was Hawaii, and that’s because it’s impossible to bring a dog there — unless you’re moving!

Cosimo has even begun helping me chronicle his dog tales on Dogspin.com.

HiltonHead

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I’ve noticed recently though that he’s become especially attached to J. and steals my spot in bed when I get up,  spooning him while I’m gone. In the beginning I thought it was cute…but now I’m worried. Is it possible he’s TOO ATTACHED? Will it soon become a CoupleCation again, except only with J. and Cosi?

doggyrocks

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Am I losing my boyfriend to an Italian Mastiff? Fellow pup parents, what should I do??

Rainbow

My Mom and BF Text…ALOT

I’m not a PHONE PERSON. Not anymore. When I was 16, I could be found with a cordless smooshed into my cheek, talking to a boy or two on the phone for hours on end about absolutely nothing. Now, I communicate in person with raised eyebrows, shrugged shoulders and a wicked laugh. Or long distance via text, emoticons, Facebook, Twitter and my staple, email. Even professionally, I prefer email. I’m shocked when someone leaves a voicemail.

Picking up on this, my mother began texting about two years ago, happy to receive a response from me in less than 10 seconds, albeit sometimes short and sometimes snotty. Around the same time things became more serious with J. She was relieved that she no longer had to worry about me coming home late at night to an empty apartment in the East Village or being kidnapped on the subway. J. was either with me or waiting up for me. So began her nightly texting shoutouts to him, “Where is she??? Is she home yet?” when I was out of touch for more than 30 minutes after 8pm. They evolved into much, much more.

Mom Texting

When J.’s phone vibrates it’s either a TeamStream sports update OR my mother. They organize brunches, discuss borrowing the car, arrange dog-sitting Cosimo, even plan the Mother’s Day restaurant — WITHOUT ME.

Some boyfriends hate when the mother sticks her nose in. But Dee Dee is often invited to offer her opinion…unless it’s not the same as his. I can only tell you how annoying it is to hear, “But your mother said…” in the midst of an argument. I wish I could get even, but J’s parents DO NOT TEXT. I’m only copied on cute animal emails from his mom. I must, I must — teach her to text next time I’m in North Carolina!

Though I have to give my mom kudos, she’s a super-texter. There are nights when J. and I will simultaneously receive multiple paragraph-long texts from her with different messages at the exact same time! Most include an emoticon and some reference to scripture or telling me/him what to do (even though we didn’t ask).

Here’s a typical paragraph-long text:

momtexting

So my friends, do your boyfriend and mom text??

Rainbow

We’re the Living Stat: Cohabitation Rises to 48%

In New York City, living together seems to be the natural progression of a relationship. Why pay double the monstrous rent when you’re sleeping over every night anyway?

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If my grandmother were alive today, she would be cluck-clucking her tongue, frowning and whispering in J.’s ear to “buy the cow.” But it’s not the 1950s, and in my own family there have been 12 marriages (and multiple divorces) among only a few women. I am not one of them.

By age 29, more than a dozen of my friends had both walked the aisle and filed for divorce. Losing homes, losing heart and losing hope wasn’t a path I wanted to follow. A divorced friend shared, “It’s better to say you’ve at least been married once.” I don’t agree. Maybe I’ve been more cautious, but I knew the signs of when to run…

“If you want the ring, don’t move in.” That old-fashioned sentiment has certainly worked for some, but it’s just that — old-fashioned. The truth is you really don’t know someone until you live with them. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, cohabitation is on the rise, rise, rise. Many of these cohabitating couples go on to marry within three years. Speaking on behalf of my fellow cohabitators, I already feel like I’m married.

You have to do what works best for you. There is no formula for the perfect relationship. Some see marriage as the finish line. WE all crave love and companionship, and whether it’s  cohabitation or a church wedding, it’s love. That will always be the key ingredient.

To my 13-year-old nieces, I only advise you to follow your heart, not to be pressured by your peers, your mom or any man. Never lose yourself in the process. And if you do decide on the big-church wedding, I will be there donned in pink taffeta ready to throw some glitter your way!

Love,

Rainbow

City Suckers

I used to ramble on nonstop about the energy of city life, of being surrounded by endless opportunities….never knowing who I was about to meet or run into. So many things to do, the city that never sleeps, an adventure around every corner, blah, blah, blah. But my friends, “Always having something to do” is exhausting.

Sensing my mounting anxiety and stress the past month, J. booked a weekend getaway. Not to the beaches of Cabo San Lucas, but to the mountains of Pennsylvania, the Poconos. We’ve settled into a three bedroom cozy cabin on 80 acres of farmland where my newest acquaintances have been two donkeys covered in hay, a bunch of goats (a few of whom I’ve witnessed doing the dirty), and about thirteen deer that look like they’re in training for Santa.

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An earlier drive wound us down the road to Beautiful Mount Airy Lodge which is no longer airy nor beautiful, but demolished and rebuilt into a smoky, senior-citizen filled casino stock full of 9,000 slot machines. Gone are the champagne glass filled tubs and in-room swimming pools. It now features a buffet, fake rock waterfall and wannabee call girls delivering alcoholic beverages to the wheelchair-bound.  The Walking Dead should drop by and grab some extras, no makeup required.

Back at the ranch, we’ve been playing in the snow, especially J. and Cosimo.  I’ve been doing more of a plodding about in my UGGs,  taking in the horizon and gunshots in the distance (must be hunting season) and wondering how I can talk J. into cooking dinner again.

Today, with the mountain sun on my face, I felt peaceful, and I would like to take this moment to apologize to anyone I ever made fun of for living in the “sticks.” Sorry cousins, aunt Jo, friends who married, procreated and moved out of town…all of you. I think you were on to something. But I have a confession: I still need my Starbucks!

After polishing off a bottle of wine, J. has gone to mingle with the goats, he’s trying to get them to reenact the Doritos SuperBowl commercial. Hope they don’t bite…

Love, Rainbow

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Being Named “Rainbow”

Yesterday afternoon around 3pm EST, a slew of texts, emails and Facebook messages poured in, all asking the same question — “Did you go to school with Holly Madison?” Holly, who?

A quick Google search displayed the pretty platinum blonde that used to shack up with Hugh Hefner and Kendra in some reality show I watched when there was nothing else on. I could never quite grasp how Holly would want to share an Octogenerian with two other women, but perhaps that was the point…less duty in the bedroom.  The last I read Hugh dissed her marriage proposal and shipped her off to a Vegas burlesque show for the rest of her 30s.  Holly, who found true love with a nightclub promoter, just became a mom and named her daughter, “Rainbow Aurora.” She was inspired by a girl she had gone to school with when she was much younger. But no, it wasn’t me.

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I’m surprised this hasn’t happened sooner. I thought for sure Gwyneth’s next offspring would be the Rainbow to complete the Apple and Moses circle, but no it was a former Playboy Playmate who took my name to the headlines.

So Holly, as someone who has lived with this name for a lifetime, I have some tips to share with you. “Rainbow Aurora” is certainly a mouthful, give your little one the nickname “Bow”. It’s cute, short, and sounds much less melancholy than “Rain”.

Prepare your daughter for the barrage of questions she will get every time she is introduced to someone: Are your parents hippies?  Where’s your pot of gold?  Do you hang with leprechauns? Are you a really happy person? I usually answer the last with a look that says, “Do I look like I’m f*&king overflowing with joy?!” and then smile, but that would be scary coming from a toddler.

Remind her that “Rainbow” is a name not likely to be forgotten, ever. This is good, and this is bad. For instance, when she’s hanging out at Caesars Palace and meets a group of boys when she gets older, her name will be the only one they remember as her gaggle of girlfriends walk away. Whenever she meets someone at a party or calls customer service, they will not ask her to repeat her name. The bad part. If she dates two boys from the strip and they both casually mention to one another that they’re “seeing a Rainbow”, game over. And last, no matter how much she denies it, people will always assume you were tripping on acid when you went into labor.

That said, I commend you on giving your daughter a different name. When I become a mother, I will do the same. But sorry, I’m not sharing those names to give you inspiration for the rest of your future clan.

Rainbow Aurora, reach out when you get older, I have plenty of “Rainbow” paraphernalia to share.