36 Questions

36 Questions

I’m sure you have heard of the 36 Questions to Love. If you haven’t, you clearly don’t surf the internet at ungodly late hours like myself, so let me explain. Psychologist Arthur Aron did a study to evaluate creating closeness in an experimental context. Simply put, a set of 36 questions in three sets were given to complete strangers to ask and answer. The questions start simple enough and then become more detailed and personal. After the 36 Questions are answered, the strangers are then asked to look in their partners eyes for 4 minutes. You read that correctly, 4…whole…silent…minutes.

I first came across these 36 Questions a few years back when I was dating a guy that I had been with for over a year. We came to a pretty rough part in our relationship, and I saw the questions as an opportunity to rebuild communication between the two of us. Sadly, we broke up before we could ever answer the questions. Since then, I have always wanted to try them and see what the buzz was about. I found several Youtube videos and articles done by magazines like GLAMOUR, all using complete strangers as the subject.

And since yours truly loves a good challenge, I thought, maybe it was finally time to give this a go. First question: who do I do the 36 Questions with?


Enter my lovely and handsome test subject, a gentleman I had already been on one date with and had a great time. Bonus: he was familiar with the study and the questions having done them before. Well this should be a breeze then! As stated early, the questions are in 3 sets, each set become more personal. The first set had questions like:

  • Would you like to be famous and it what way?
  • What constitutes a “perfect” day for you?

“This is going to be easy.”, I thought. Since we had already had a nice first date, we were both at ease with the first set of questions. And we also learned a great deal more about each other. But then I should have realized, that things were going to get REAL, real fast. The idea of the questions are not to embarrass your partner, or make them feel uncomfortable. Rather, to get to a more personal layer of the person that you don’t normally see at the stereotypical coffee date with the archaic questions like “So what do you do for fun?” or “You went to UGA? What did you study?” These questions are meant to make both people think, and if you’re lucky, be very honest and perhaps even vunerable.

And that is exactly what happened. Set two had questions like:

  • What is your most terrible memory?
  • How do you feel about your relationship with you mother?

The first question had me discussing a time in my life that I don’t often speak about, and one that was deeply personal. However, I felt a sense of ease in discussing it with my partner and perhaps that was what made it so genuine. We went back and forth talking about our childhood and our views of the world, and soon the questions, though challenging, became more insightful.

The third and final set had questions like:

  • When did you last cry in front of a person? When did you cry alone?
  • Tell your partner something you like about them already?

I was thrilled to get to the final set. Mainly because if I got any more personal with my answers, I would have to invite him to Thanksgiving dinner seeing as how he would practically be family by then. Full disclosure: the last time I cried in front of a person was in fact him, when I answered a question in Set two. And that was when it hit me, the act of sharing something deeply personal with someone who respects you and is humbled by you sharing that information, is a beautiful thing. It brings a different kind of connection with someone- a human connection, just as impactful as an amazing first kiss.

To conclude the 36 Questions, you are to look in your partners eyes for 4 SILENT minutes. Ok, I am a wisecrack, smart ass on a good day. But when I feel uncomfortable or awkward, my level of wisecrackery gets to almost biblical levels. “How the hell am I going to stare at this guy for 4 minutes and NOT say anything.” , I thought. I gave myself an internal pep talk. “Just look at his nose or his eyebrows, don’t stare for the whole 4 minutes, try not to laugh like a hyena and for Gods sake, don’t hum.”

The first few minutes were awkward to say the least. We both had nervous smiles, coupled with my seizure like attempt to not laugh. And then the most amazing and insightful thing happened. Staring became easier. It was like I was looking at a good friend. One who knows me well, but more importantly, had no desire to laugh or judge me. It was at this point, I let my guard down and stared without feeling embarrassed. I set a 4 minute timer on my phone and after 4 minutes, it went off. But we continued to stare at each for an additional two more minutes. 6 minutes of silence and staring. It wasn’t  awkward, or strange and if I am being honest, those last two minutes after the timer went off was my favorite part of the entire experience.

I think we were both amazed to continue holding our gaze. But it was perhaps the most deeply personal and wonderful experience I ever had on a date. The rest of the evening was a fun night out at karaoke and some great Netflix and chill. After the 36 Questions, I can honestly say I am happy that I finally did them and grateful that my partner was so open and kind with his answers. So if you are curious to try them with your significant other or with a stranger, I highly recommend it. Below is a link to the New York Times article where the questions were featured. My advise if you do try them, be open, be honest, enjoy the process and have plenty of wine- you’re going to need it!






Diary entry, January 24, 2018


Let’s build a fort together.

One made of hopes & dreams,

anchored by fond memories,

surrounded by rows of fabrics

wound in possibilities.



At night,

let our fort display the stars.

Each one a tale of our journey,

and constellations of destinations yet traveled.


Let our fort wrap us tightly

into each others arms.

And allow dialogue

only in the form of childish whispers,

and delicious kisses.


And then, when it is time to sleep,

dear fort,

protect us from the realities of the world.

And gives us warmth

that two gentle souls will carry for eternity.


Have Passport, will Travel!

Have Passport, will Travel!

Not many people think of comedic actor, Bill Murray as a wise sage, but I do. He once said “If you have someone you think is the one, take them and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you and travel all over the world, to places that are hard to reach and hard to get out of. And when you land at JFK and you’re still in love with that person, get married.”

For someone like me who has done a great deal of traveling and loves it as much as I do, finding someone to share those experiences with, is a big deal. And the older I get, and the more Wanderlust that settles into my soul, an ideal travel buddy is of utmost importance. If you have never traveled with your significant other, I highly recommend it. I have done several trips, some small, some major with someone I was involved with. My experiences have ranged from slightly stressed, enjoyable, fun and non-eventful.


But to me, the perfect travel buddy is someone who has the same sense of adventure as you. Perhaps you like different cultures and you want to educate your partner about them. Maybe you both love trying new foods, and the idea of Puffer Fish sushi doesn’t scare you as much as it would to the average human. Or maybe waking up at an ungodly hour, just to hike up a Hawaiian peak to watch the most glorious sunrise, is something that you dream of. In a perfect world, you want someone you can fly coach with, or at the very least, join the Mile High Club. I’ve actually always wanted to pack a suitcase, go to the airport with my significant other and buy a ticket right then and there. Destination TBD!

However you choose to travel, the moral of the story is…GO! There is too much to see and do in this world. There are also great destinations in your own state, so explore them. What matters, is taking the time and the pleasurable risk, to step out of your comfort zone and experience new things with someone you care about. You will be surprised what you learn about each other and you will enjoy the memories that you both will share. In the meantime, my suitcase, passport and I are anxiously awaiting the right guy to travel to Bali with. Bonus if you enjoy moonlit swims in the nude!



Journal Entry from November 4, 2010-

My whole life I have always wanted two things: to be completely loved by one man & to be rich and famous as an Entertainer. A few years ago, I remember telling my mother, that if I ever came across a magical genie and he told me that I could either have a famous, well respected acting/singing career or true love for the rest of my life- in a heart beat- I would choose the career. I felt that way because I thought I would never find a man who loved me. And I don’t mean just “love” me in the all encompassing, soap opera way. I mean someone who would love ALL of me.  The moody-spoiled-insecure-sometimes vain-sarcastic-not always skinny-loud-fake hair, nails, contacts-self centered-bitchy version of me.

When I look at that I think “Who the hell would want to be married to that?”Would you? The saying “You have to love yourself, before someone else can love you.” makes some sense. But if that is actually true, then it makes sense why I am where I am today. Alone. Alone in a condo I once shared with my husband overlooking a very calm bay with nothing to keep me warm but the blanket around me and the endless tears rolling down my face.

My marriage is over.

I write that, hoping that in the very smallest part of my heart that that statement is not true. But then there is the overwhelming obvious. The condo which is full of life is now quite. The games are all packed and gone. His clothes, shoes, bike, hat, smell. The smell is the hardest. That smell that I fell in love with that I only found in him, is gone. And who is to blame?

Most people would be quick to say that he is. Here is a man, who after a big argument and when I say argument I mean, I yelled and slammed doors and he just sat there. After an argument thought “I give up. I’m going home.” Home by the way is Canada. We lived in Florida. Not really a few stops kind of trip. Most would wonder, “Why did you leave? Was she so horrible? Could you work things out? Is your marriage worth fighting for”

I say our marriage is over because if he felt anything, he never would have left. So maybe he IS to blame? Or maybe it is me. After all I did tell him “Why don’t you just go. You left me once before!” (We will get to that later). Maybe I pushed him. In arguments, I always wanted the last word. And I always wanted to be right. I remember one time my husband said ” I know you have a degree in Rhetoric, so stop acting like this a debate you are trying to win!” I was so pissed! For one- he was totally right. And two- he actually called me out. And in that moment I thought “Well if he can call me out on my bull shit, maybe this guy can put up with me.” But perhaps that was just it. He was tired of ‘putting up with me’.

At one point he said to me that he was tired of the “verbal abuse”. Verbal abuse? Those words sent me into a tail spin. Was I an abuser? I went to the ultimate source to find out- Wikipedia. Technically, in some ways, I was. But I kept thinking to myself “I see nothing in what I was saying or doing that could really be abuse.” There were no tell-tale, Lifetime television for Women warning signs. No made-for-tv moment. I wasn’t enjoying my actions. No close up shot of his tears or me standing  over him in a power woman stance. No soft, yet artfully intriguing music. No clever emotion filled title “Bitter Love- A Woman Beyond Control”. For Christ’s sakes, I was not Valerie Bertinelli or Meredith Baxter Birney.

We argued like any couple in their first year of marriage. But the difference, the big difference, is I did and still do want to fight. For my marriage that is. And he does not. My marriage is over. And I want to know why.


Always a bridesmaid

Always a bridesmaid

My best friend is getting married, and I am the maid of honor. For some women, this statement may conjure feelings of nervous anticipation and hormonal dread. The best friend who will soon be a bride, is yet another piercing reminder, that you are not one nor are you on a path to becoming one. You may assume, that at my age this feeling might be an everyday occurence. I assure you, it is not. Other than the fact that I am genuinely happy for her and thrilled about the man she is about to marry, there is no internal bell that is tolling for my potential spinsterhood. I am ok that I have no ring.


Now this isn’t to say that I don’t want one down the road, but let me explain. As someone who has been married and gone through the pains of divorce, the topic of my second marriage brings up feelings of well deserved apprehension. It does not however, make me think less of the sanctity and honor that is the civil union. Sure, like all little girls, the fairytale wedding was one that I dreamt of ever since I married my Barbie to GI Joe. But the older I got, surrounded by divorced couples and people on marriage two or three, it made me wonder what the rush was for?

In my case, when I really looked at it, what I was truly excited for was the reception. I wanted the party. The one that you see in movies with people dancing, kids sneaking booze, grandma grinding with a groomsman and me and my girls red in the face laughing. It was that atmosphere that I looked forward to and it wasn’t until I was married that I realized, there’s a whole other part to that fairytale that we don’t pay attention to- the actual marriage. The ups and the downs, and the parts that are often left out in the big screen version. The everydayness, the paying of the bills, the compromise, the financial issues, the moves and travel and the things that you sometimes have to sacrifice for and in a marriage. In other words, real life. During this time, when the glitz of the big day wears off and you come to the very real realization of your vows and that whole “better or worse” part, is when the work begins. Because that’s what a marriage is, work.

It can be hard work or easy work. Sometimes you might want to dial in your efforts, and sometimes you excel at it. You may want to call in sick, but you can’t. And you may have a boss you can’t stand, but for the sake of the job, you suck it up and keep truckin. Marriage is work, whether it’s a good marriage or a bad one. And just like any job, it depends 100 % on your efforts first. The amount of energy, drive, determination and love you put into any job, will ultimately drive the outcome of its success.

I guess that’s why I’m not in a rush for a ring. It took me all this time to realize what I have to do, to put in the work to make a marriage…work. I can honestly say, I still don’t think I’m ready. There’s still so much I want to see and do, places I’ve never been and dreams I want to chase. But at the end of the day, hopefully tackling the big world that is our universe will prepare me to apply for the position of “Wife”, and hopefully by then I may have a life’s resume worthy of being hired to play the role.

Football is Life

Football is Life

I wish I could say that I am not sure where my love of football came from. As I am writing this post I am sitting with a glass of whiskey,  sore after a workout, watching the NFC playoffs. But I can tell you two very real reasons why I love the game.

My mother actually enjoys telling this story. How at a very young age, a baby even, my mother found that whenever a game was on tv, I was captivated by it. She thought it had to do with the uniform colors and the constant running. I mean, what 18 month old knows a thing about Zone Defense. But once my mother noticed that I would become silent and actually happy when football was on tv, she began recording games and having them around, just in case I had a fussy moment. Some babies find pacifiers soothing, I found Joe Montana soothing.

The second reason I would attribute loving the gridiron would be my late grandfather. I grew up with my grandparents and my grandfathers’ form of “church” was Sunday football and whiskey. After a family breakfast, we would spend the next several hours watching football. There were no chores, no going outside, no visiting friends, just football. I don’t really recall how it happen, but I began to join him. He and I, and sometimes my grandmother, would spend silent hours, watching the Redskins and his beloved Bears. When he noticed that I started to enjoy the game, he would teach me about football and why in his opinion, there was no greater player or man, than Walter Payton. I loved those times, and still have a soft spot for the Bears to this day.

Fast forward a few years later, a proud Georgia girl, where football and tailgating is life, my love has only grown. Some may call it obsessive, some may call it just a game. In the past, I have always enjoyed dating guys who love football just as much, if not more than I do. Has this been an issue with guys who may not like football as much as me? Yes. But is it enough to go crazy over? No.

In the end, I can appreciate if a guy doesn’t relate to the game like I do. It’s those differences that make a couple click. One may love podcasts, the other reality shows. One, Coke…the other Pepsi. Ok, maybe that’s taking it a bit too far. Either way, appreciate my dedication to all things pigskin, and you will find a woman as loyal to the game as she is to you.


Creating Mr Right

Creating Mr Right

My favorite question from any of my girlfriends in regards to my dating life is “Well, what are you going to do?” What am I going to do? That’s what hanging out with my girls and a bottle of Jameson is for. What am I going to do? At the end of the day, I find myself saying the same thing, “I’m just going to create the perfect guy from a collection of guys from my past.” That’s a thing, right? Creating Mr Right? I mean, isn’t that what a B.S vision board is? A collection of all the things that you want in the “perfect” guy?

Alright, I’ll stop you right there. Because what I am proposing simply can’t be done. In many ways, not only do I want to “create” my Mr Right, I want the parts to match my fake masterpiece. To me, it’s not just about the inside, but the whole overall look. You know, rugged Gerard Butler jawline, Top Gun Tom Cruise smile, David Beckham butt, etc.

So if I really had to create my perfect Dating Frankenstein  based on past experiences, here’s what I would manufacture:



Trait 1: The Bedroom

Let me just get this one out of the way, because to be honest, it’s pretty darn important. My “Mr Right” and I were, how should I say this….”Angelina and Billy Bob”intense. Now, I am sure there are kids reading this, so I will spare you the details. But what I will say is, he is number one for a reason. We all should aspire to hit such heights, so pay attention potential suitors.

Trait 2: The Personality

This one makes me very happy because the guy who currently matches this trait is someone I, to this day, still consider a very good friend. And that’s why he has a special place in my heart. From our love of football, to travel, to social views, if I had to make a “Mr Right” he would embody all of these things that I love and have in common with said individual. Even down to bonfires and country music.

Trait 3: The Family Life

Y’all know I don’t like kids. And they HATE me. However, I do have a great respect for those who have kids and date. I can’t imagine being a single mom and dating. And thank the Lord, I have yet to create a Spawn. (Fingers crossed that I never will) But there is a deep love of family from a particular individual from my past that I have always found his greatest quality. The way he gushes over his kids accomplishments and how he will drop work, his social life and almost anything else just to attend a Father/Daughter dance, is one of the most beautiful things I have seen in a man. My “Mr Right” must adore his family and their bond is one that is crucial to him. Points for being a Mama’s Boy!

Trait 4: The Diva Factor

There is no question that I have a tendency to be a diva. (stop laughing) I would say it has a lot to do with my job, but to be honest, I work best when I’m the center of attention. Things get done that way. This fourth trait is a tie held by two men from my past. The first allowed me to thrive in my Divadom. When I was onstage or walked into a room, his entire world shifted to me. What girl doesn’t love that? However, that can get boring and you need someone to put you in check. That’s where the second guy came in. Not to be blunt, but he was the one that would call me on my shit. Don’t get me wrong, he let me have my moment in the sun. I enjoyed being able to shine around him. But when the Sun got to Icarus level, he quickly reminded me of what was important. And the best thing about that, was that it caused me to realize there are more important things in life than if I go to a club with or without bottle service.


Trait 5: The YOLO Equation

And finally there’s the YOLO Equation AKA “You Only Live Once”. Every day you are on this Earth should be met with the chance to do something great. Whether it’s travel, or make music, to helping someone, or appreciating the world around you. This last trait is held by a man who lives by that law: You really only live once. So what are you going to do with that time? Sometimes I get so caught up in the next plan, the next year, the next 5 to 10 years, that I forget, that I have a gift. A gift that I love to use, and don’t really get to appreciate until I stop using it. I love music. Music and song is one way God communicates with us. And if all I have is that, and a way to express it with someone else who loves it as much as me, then I look forward to making beautiful music with my “Mr Right”.


Who knows. Maybe there is a guy who holds true to all of these things. (Oh and Honorable Mention: must cook, clean, can sing “You’ve Lost that Lovin Feeling”, play Poker, has a passport and a 720 or higher credit score.)  Buttttttt, in the off chance that everything above is all in my land of dating make believe, I only hope that I possess some of the same things that make me his “Miss Right.”