Trust Yourself

LoganKickingI was going to cancel. I was going to let fear paralyze me yet again. I was going to allow the past to dictate the present and ultimately the future. I was going to renege on plans. I was going to make up an excuse; something came up. I was unsure if I could trust myself to know what to do.

I did know what to do and I was going to trust it. I wasn’t going to repeat a behavior simply because it had become commonplace. I wasn’t going to have an encore performance. It wasn’t the time, nor the place. A child was involved, and that made all of the difference.

Would he have cared, or have given it a second thought, if I canceled, and I didn’t show up? I didn’t know and it didn’t matter. That wasn’t the point. I said I was going to be there. Period. I decided that any bullshit remnants that I had in my head was not going to find its way on the high school football field.

Something had shifted over the last couple of weeks, and it felt a lot like healing. It felt a lot like strength, confidence, and maturity, oh and I was also super bored with bullshit. I was tired of feeling weird about who was doing what, where, and how. I couldn’t contort myself into any more knots, as I tried to ascertain what the right thing to do was. It was time to stop worrying about how my actions might be perceived. I wanted just a hint of normalcy.

That’s why I didn’t cancel, or let the unknown, and what ifs, stop me. Even getting lost in the dark, parking a ways away from the football field, and having to go to the bathroom something fierce, I made it in time for the singing of the national anthem, and I excitedly watched my ex’s son, wearing his bright orange cleats, kick off to the Woodbridge Barrons.

I can’t imagine having missed that.


Pornography and Pap Smears

Pornography and pap smears would not, ordinarily, go hand in hand- ooh, did you see what I did there- but in this case, they did.

I went to the lady doctor the other day, and after undressing and wrapping myself all snug in the paper towel, that some in the medical field call a robe, I sat down on the metal chaise lounge, waiting to be poked, prodded and smeared.

I usually bring my Kindle to doctor’s appointments, as I know that those white lab coat geniuses are almost always running behind schedule, but in all of my excitement in going to the doctor, I left it at home. I don’t like the rags because I can’t read about losing those last five pounds one more time, or about how North West was baptized in Jerusalem. Oy gevalt. It all makes me want to hurt someone.

Instead, I laid back against the crinkly paper lining the chaise and I closed my eyes. There’s nothing wrong with a little down time. I could certainly afford myself a few quiet moments to unplug and unwind. After a good three minutes, I opened my eyes. Where did that 40 inch flatscreen television, hanging on the wall, staring back at me, come from.

Of course it didn’t just appear, but I hadn’t noticed it when I first walked into the room. I was too busy scavenging for band-aids or latex gloves to pilfer. Get your mind out of the sewer. The gloves are great to wear when you’re cleaning.

Why was there a flatscreen television in the exam room? How long was this exam going to take? I hoped that I wasn’t going to have my legs up in the stirrups long enough to get in an episode of Modern Familyor even a Progressive Insurance commercial for that matter.

I wasn’t a five year old who was getting a filling at the dentist’s office, and needed to watch Finding Nemo, to distract me from the pain. What was the deal?

Maybe they were making porn in the office, after hours, and they used the flat screen as a playback monitor. Ooh, maybe it was a two-way mirror and some perverted doctor was spying on unsuspecting vaginas. I’m pretty sure that set-up was an episode of SVU. Good thing I showered and clipped my hedges.

My doctor was now rudely late, and I wished that I could watch television; porn, Finding Nemo, anything, I didn’t care. I was bored, and there wasn’t anything to snatch from the counter, or in the drawers. Yes, I opened a few drawers.

When my doctor finally walked in, I asked her about the television. She smiled conspiratorially, and told me that she shared the office with a fertility doctor and that when his patients needed to donate their sperm, they came into this room and, well, let’s just say that they didn’t watch Finding Nemo. I mean they could have. I don’t  judge. Whatever it takes.

I started to laugh and then I thought, ew, these best be new paper sheets on this chaise, that’s under my bare ass. Really, I’m sprawled out on a table, literally, where Mr. Jones just jacked off to, Jenna Does Jacksonville.

I asked my doctor to turn on the television. I needed a distraction from my over active imagination.



The NotMom Summit 2015

gmlogo_41k_640x640Next month I will be speaking on a panel at the first ever, on this planet, or any other, NotMom Summit.

Below is a little teaser.


Childless and childfree women come in lots of shapes and sizes. We are all colors, all cultures, and all ages. As much as we have in common, we are also very different. Some people say it is strange to define ourselves by things that we are not, and so, with the ‘Mom” label out of the way, we share the many other components that make us who we are.

In this series, TheNotMom writer and childfree blogger Laura LaVoie interviews women without children with public voices who answer the question, “If you’re not a Mom, then what are you?”

Dani Alpert is a writer, Pilates instructor and sometime performer in New York City who shares personal stories on her site called The Girlfriend Mom. We are excited that Dani will be speaking at The NotMom Summit in October. She has identified an entirely new category of women that many NotMoms can relate to, those who can answer the question, in the dating world, what happens if you fall in love with someone who already has children?

Tell us about yourself, your blog, and your career.

I’m a writer, and a Pilates instructor. I was living in LA and working in the entertainment business, but after 16 years I had had enough. I spent time traveling and when I landed back in NYC, that’s when I became a Pilates instructor.

I started The Girlfriend Mom blog in 2011. I had been dating a divorced father of two, and I didn’t know what I had gotten myself into. The blog was an outlet for me. It was a place to rant and rave about my new lifestyle choice, and the struggles that I was having.

I like that you differentiate yourself with the title “girlfriend mom” because “step-mom” would be too real. What makes it different for you? 

I didn’t know what to call myself. I wasn’t married, so “step-mom” didn’t resonate, especially the “Mom” part. But I was also more than just a girlfriend. Putting the two together made sense to me. When I described my role, I literally was a Girlfriend Mom.

The lines get blurred when you’re not married. Roles are not clearly defined and it’s more difficult to describe yourself; to yourself and to others. For me, Girlfriend Mom didn’t have the gravitas that step-mom carried, and I thought it was funny.

What kind of relationship do you have with your boyfriend’s kids?

I met the kids when they were 13 and 8 years old. They’re now 21 and 16. We always got along, and there was always respect and kindness. They embraced, and accepted me, from day one. I was lucky in that way, but I also never thought it would be any other way. I was quite naive when we met each other.

Although their father and I are no longer together, I have a strong relationship with both of the kids. We’ve had to make a lot of adjustments, and it’s been challenging and at times heartbreaking but I broke up with their father not with them, and maintaining the relationships was very important to me.

Do you believe that women without children are treated differently by others? 

I can only speak to my own experiences, and except for the occasional, “Are you having kids?” or “Do you have any children?” I was never treated differently. I have many friends who are childfree, so I never felt alone, or different.

What made you want to participate in our upcoming event, The NotMom Summit?

Since I started writing as The Girlfriend Mom, I’ve heard from other women in the same, or similar, situations. I felt that I could be of service at the conference and assist others who are navigating this type of relationship.

I’ve heard other childfree-by-choice women say that step-moms (and girlfriend moms) haven’t actually chosen a life that is child-free. What do you think of this position, and why do you think so many people get invested in this subject?

I don’t spend a lot of time reading, or paying attention to what others say, especially concerning this topic. It’s loaded and fraught with negative opinions and it often pits women against one other.

Who’s writing these rules anyway? Why are women telling other women that they can’t be called childfree-by-choice? Is there a CBC police? People should not assume that they know another person’s situation, or how they define their Childfree by Choice status.

I chose to be childfree, which for me meant not having biological children. I also did not turn and run when my lover turned out to be a father of two. Please read lover, like luva. You can’t legislate who you fall in love with.

For me, being in love was the priority. I decided to deal with the kid part of the show, and see how I felt, and to see if I could make it work. I had never dated a man with kids and I wanted to see how it would unfold. It was not always easy, but it was the right choice for me.

The misconception is that all women who choose to be childfree don’t want any children in their lives. This isn’t the case. There are just as many variables, and factors, surrounding a childfree woman, as there are in relationships in general. There isn’t one way of being childfree.

What message do you want to send other women without children?


Any message for Moms who judge the choices of childfree women?

Please don’t judge. One never knows where life is going to take them. Think before you speak. And keep your eyes on your own paper. Clean up your own backyard before you decided to stroll over into mine.

What about advertisers who seem to completely ignore the market of women without children?

I think it’s still a modern concept, and probably difficult for Madison Avenue to pin us down and characterize us, which may or may not be a bad thing.

To hear more from Dani and other great speakers, come to The NotMom Summit in Cleveland OH on Columbus Day weekend, October 9-10, 2015. We don’t think there’s ever been a conference quite like it. Make history with us!  


Belly Buster

OneOfAKind_PokerBelly buster isn’t about what to eat, or what not to eat. Nor is it an exercise to combat stubborn belly fat. There is, however, a new and unproven fad product on the market called, Fat Water you might want to look into. If you are combating belly fat, you can do what some do, which is to eat less, exercise more, relax and enjoy your life.

Belly buster is a poker term.

I had some time on my hands this weekend, so I finally got around to unpacking a few boxes that had been sitting untouched, collecting dust, for nearly two years.

The boxes contents were primarily books. As I put the books into cabinets and onto shelves, I came across a memoir about Stuey Ungar, who was some great poker player. I don’t play poker, so I didn’t know, nor did I know why the book was packed in with Pema Chodron, the Great American Songbook and Anne Lamott.

I opened the cover, and leafed through the first few pages and came across an inscription. My inscription. It was inscribed to my ex. I had completely forgotten that I had bought the book for him.

My first thought was, my god I have horrible penmanship. It looks like a drunken third grader had scribbled it. Maybe it’s not such a bad idea that kids aren’t being taught penmanship in schools. Keyboards are definitely the way to go.

As I read my pithy remarks, a wave of sentimentality washed over me, and a smile came to my face. Who was that person so willingly blinded by love and who was all-inI recognized myself in the words but I was split, as if I was straddling the past and the present. Split but no longer stuck. The inscription was both pithy and amusing. Yes, even in book inscriptions, I cannot hide the funny.

I must have grabbed the book by accident when I had folded and cashed out (not at all) and skedaddled out of the house, what now feels like a lifetime agoThere, in those few short sentences, was a summation of our relationship on the river.

My words explained why I bought the book, as I wanted him to see, that it came from my heart, and my intention was well meaning. I wanted him to read more. I threw in a couple of supportive compliments, and then buttoned it up in a kicker punch line.

There was something familiarly sweet about it. It’s just the way that I rap. I’m going to do him a solid, and drop it off at his daughter’s place, so she can return it to him. It’s less than thirty miles away from me, and why should he re-buy the book.

It’s the right thing to do. Besides, I’m not a monster and I’m merely playing the hand that I was dealt.

What are the odds that I would be able to fit in all of those poker terms into this post? 




Liam and MissPiggy

Liam and Miss Piggy

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, or obsessing over the possibility of a President Trump, or the rollercoaster ride the stock market is taking us all on, I must inform you that Miss Piggy and Kermit have called it quits.

I know, I was just as upset. Sure they had their problems, but what passionate couple doesn’t? Sure he’s an Amphibian and she’s a mammal. Yes, he’s tailless, and she’s what the Jewish people might call, dirty, and non-kosher. But they were fun to watch, and they had that Je ne sais quoi.

It seems that every other day a celebrity couple’s relationship goes into the crapper, or someone you know; a friend, or family member, is divorcing, but the Muppets? Why? Now where are my role models going to come from? Are my parents, whose 52 years and counting, (Happy Anniversary by the way) are all that’s left?! Who’s next, Bert and Ernie?

I suppose we’re all the same; muppets and humans alike. The  muppets are simply mirroring us mortals, and this could not have been truer when the entertainment rags reported that Kermit had already found a new pig; a pig with auburn hair.

Oh, Kermit, why so soon? Miss Piggy’s snout wasn’t even warm, and you’ve leap frogged onto another. Miss Piggy had barely left the barn, and Kermit had started dating Denise, a younger, 25, and thinner pig. Kermit is 60 years old, and Missy Piggy is only 41. I suppose 20 years just wasn’t young enough.

When Kermit sang, “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” I fell in love with his vulnerability and sensitivity. I thought that he and Miss Piggy would be forever. What a hard lesson to learn.

I still have hope, however, because a life without it, isn’t a life worth living. Miss Piggy and Kermit have broken up before, so perhaps they’ll find each other again.

Lest anyone think that Miss Piggy is curled up in a fetal position on the kitchen floor of her sty, she’s not. She’s been spotted out with, non other than hunky hunk, Liam Hemsworth. Croak on that Kermit.

Performing At The US Open

US Open is my stageIn celebration of the start of the US Open, and because my piece on boobs at the VMA’s wasn’t ready.


I love the US Open. I always have, and getting there by subway is a breeze, which is important to a New Yorker. The whole atmosphere makes me happy, and it reminds me of my short-lived tennis career. And by short-lived I mean that I learned how to play tennis at camp, (when I was 10) but only because the tennis pros were super cute. I was originally at the camp for the gymnastics, that too was short lived. As soon as I saw the pros, I traded in my leotard for tennis whites. I won one tennis tournament when I was thirteen, (that my dad still talks about) before I put down my racket and picked up a basketball. The trophy, however, follows me wherever I go.

Before checking out center court, my friend and I walked around the grounds, and watched the wheelchair matches. I had never seen a wheelchair match before at the US Open. The women players were nothing short of heroic and I admired their athleticism, agility, and guts. It was truly inspiring. We both decided that the next time that we complained about anything; slow moving subways, stifling heat, hailing a cab in the rain, we were going to remind ourselves that we had the use of our legs.

When we went back to the box seats (helps to know people in banking) and walked into the room, people were standing in a semi-circle and very quiet, as if someone had just died. When we opened the door, all eyes shot to us, like laser beams. I was expecting to hear, surprise! Although there wouldn’t have been a reason, since it was neither of our birthdays and I didn’t know a single soul in the room. It was quite awkward.

I didn’t know what the hell was going on, or where to look. For a second I thought that maybe we were in the wrong room. I couldn’t stand the silence. I was crawling out of my skin. “Is this Candid Camera? Am I on TV?” I can still dream. Is Candid Camera even on anymore? People laughed.

The woman who acted as the hostess, looked at me and said, “Please meet Lindsay Davenport.” I turned to my left and yup, there she was, all 6’2 of her, smiling as awkwardly as I was feeling, holding a black Sharpie. The hostess said that Lindsay was signing US Open hats, which we were all given upon arriving. She then asked me if I wanted Lindsay to autograph my hat. Way to put both of us on the spot, hostess lady. Lyndsay looked at me and said, ”Oh, no, you don’t have to.”

Really. Now what kind of a douche would I be if I turned down your John Hancock in a room full of strangers? Save it sister. “No, I definitely want you to sign my hat.” She asked me if I wanted her to sign the inside or the outside. I thought that was classy. I said, “Inside, so then it’d be my little secret.” What the hell did that mean? It sounded like I was coming on to her. She laughed, and the room laughed again.

While Lindsay was signing my hat, she asked me if I watched any of the other matches. I told her about the wheelchair ones, in detail, as if this were her first time at the US Open and she needed to be schooled on the goings on at Flushing Meadows. I then shared my woo woo comment about never wanting to complain about anything ever again, after seeing those women warriors.

The words fell out of my mouth before I could close my lips. I know, but imagine how I felt. I was there. You’re reading this from the safety of a computer screen. Lindsay’s handler gratefully interrupted, before I had a chance to tell her about subway efficiency, letting her know that she had another appointment, in another box, for another group of bankers, that she’d have to dog and pony show for. Before I knew it, she was gone, along with a small piece of my dignity.

My friend turned to me and said, “Well, that turned into the Dani show.” It always does… one way or another.