Riding shotgun with cupid and other reflections on turning thirty

Getting older ain’t no thing.

The last year has been a roller coaster of sorrow and hope and grit. At every turn, I am amazed at the order life makes out of disorder when seen from a far enough distance, amazed at its ability to fall together in ways I would have never foreseen, amazed at its tenacious beauty in light of the shadows.
I’ll spare you the details of the roller coaster, but suffice it to say that my year was filled with love and loss, sorrow, disappointment, reconstruction and moves. You know, the normal stuff. But more.

In reflection, I am humbled. I am blessed, and I have so many reasons to be thankful for thirty years.

I am blessed with a group of family and friends who rally for me when I need them, who are willing to help me move me twice in a summer, who let me cry without shame in public, if necessary, and who don’t give up on me despite my workaholic tendencies.

I get to spend every day with some of the best people I have had the honor of meeting on this planet. My school is an amazing place. Both students and staff are talented and passionate individuals who enrich my life by sharing a great love for learning and for a place where students can learn to become their best selves. Both the staff and students make me a better, more loving, content, and passionate person. There’s no place like home with the LGAwesome family.

After years of internet dating, it turns out that I had been working for 2½ years with the love of my life.
Just as I let my internet dating memberships expire, got myself a kitten to ward off loneliness and decided to quit, what I expected to be a friendly brunch happened. It was all over. .
Every day I find myself more in awe at how perfectly my love and I fit each other, at how lucky I am to be loved by him, and at how very unfair the path that led me to this place once seemed. Through the lens of my love for him, even the best of my previous relationships seem like settling. AND the feeling is reciprocal, the most magical and elusive of all loves.

And then there’s this:

Points awarded if this interaction is as cool to you as it is to me. And if it’s not, get educated.
Bitches, I be riding shotgun with cupid.

As I turn thirty, I will be approaching my two year anniversary of starting boot camp at Sgt. Peterson’s. As a result of this new routine, I have become more committed to creating an active lifestyle for myself. Physical exercise has become both a leisure activity AND a necessity for sanity. I have found myself willing to challenge myself to a degree that wouldn’t have occurred at any other time in my life. Consequently, I am in better shape than ever before. I have lost more than 5% body fat. I have run two 5Ks and have signed myself up for the toughest event I could find: the Tough Mudder. My knees no longer bother me. I feel healthy and unstoppable – both physically and mentally.

In these thirty years, I have learned a few things, many of which took me too long to learn.

  1. There is nothing wrong with a drink or two to get you through housework.
    When moving, a higher drink to work ratio is acceptable.
  2. We are all stronger than we give ourselves credit for. Find people who believe in your strength and allow them to push you until you believe in it yourself.
  3. I am small. Therefore, my problems are small. The worst that will happen to me is miniscule in the scope of human suffering.
  4. I am both powerful and powerless. As any human, I have the capacity to touch lives around me, but I am only one factor in each of these lives.
  5. Work hard. Love hard. Be authentic. It’s more powerful than unions.
  6. Don’t let romantic relationships take the place of friends and family. You’ll need them when things fall apart.
  7. Love god. Love people. By loving people, we love god. And it doesn’t really matter if that god is the unutterable name of the Judeo-Christian tradition, or Brahman, or whether there is nothing. Service is its own reward.
  8. I can’t love others unless I love myself. It is also difficult to love myself without loving others.
  9. There will never be enough time for all of the things I want to do. Life is about constantly shifting priorities.
  10. “When you know, you know” sounds like bullshit until it doesn’t.
Thirty also brings this reality: Life is short, and I have so much left to do.
But don’t let that read as disappointment. It’s not. I have already done and daily do the things which satisfy me most. I love and I am loved in return. I laugh and learn daily. I live a life of service, and that is what allows me to go to bed every night and wake up every morning satisfied.
My life is full – whether it ends tomorrow or in sixty years.

Here’s to another thirty years of living, loving, and serving.


Deadmaus: Sacrificing the Spirit Animal

If my recent few months were in chart form, it might look something like this.

The only constant theme in my life since last August has been constant change, not limited to but including:

  • August – Move in with boyfriend. Return to school.
  • September – Start my school year with what could realistically be two full time jobs. Get super stressed out.
  • October – Stay stressed out. Cry a lot.
  • November – Ditto.
  • December – Changes in staffing who work closely with me. Boyfriend “loves me but is not in love with me.” Continue to live awkwardly with ex-boyfriend. More changes in staffing who work closely with me. Apply for job in United Arab Emirates.
  • January – More changes in staffing who work closely with me. Ex-boyfriend leaves. It’s fun to go home again. Start dating new man.
  • February – Fall for new man. Hard. After a month he “doesn’t feel anything.” More changes in staffing who work closely with me. Try not to cry in public. Much. Drink. Seek therapy. Realize that therapy is real expensive. Write.
  • March – Continue to try not to cry in public. Much. Learn I did not get UAE job I’d been planning for since December. Be humbled. Start to formulate plan B. Drink. Write.
  • April – Continue to formulate Plan B. Summon strength. Dub this my “year of tests.” Cross fingers and hope that said tests do indeed have some sort of expiration date and that this date is soon.

This is not a funny story.
This is a true story.

The first night that Mr. February Heart-Break spent the night with me was the first night that I realized that I might have mice.

An intense month-long mouse hunt began in which a mouse ate all of the food I had left out to lure it into snap traps – without touching the traps. Then it eventually ate the food, including licking the trap clean of peanut butter – without setting off either snap trap.

Then I bought poison. The poison went untouched.

Until the day that Mr. February Heart-Break dumped me. As soon as he walked out the door, I find this.


Dying on the floor.
Crawling a few inches every once and a while before giving up again.

I called him immediately to say something stupid like, “There is a mouse dying on my fucking floor.”

“Do you realize that this mouse hunt last the EXACT lifespan of this relationship?”
“If I had known it was our fucking spirit animal, I wouldn’t have tried so hard to kill it.”

I nicknamed our spirit animal Deadmaus.

My life continues to be a bizarre as shit series of uprootings and quakes, every dysfunction an all-too-apt exemplar for the way things always seem to fall apart when touched, every artery and ventricle in my heart rubbed raw, leaning towards, “Touch me and I’ll elbow you in the gut” rather than, “Love me – some reassembly required.”

It has become necessary to make myself mantras:

  • You are stronger than you give yourself credit for.
  • What doesn’t kill you makes you funnier.
  • Be present.

The last one sucks the most.
The last one makes me grow the most.

Every painful thing I will experience in my life is born of privilege. Without privilege, I would have to worry about things that threaten more than my comfort or pride.

This is humbling. On a good day, I can be grateful.
Shit show or not, raw heart or not, I have a pretty good life.


I need to stab someone. Where’s my stabbing knife?

I need to stab someone. Where's my stabbing knife?

I’m back.

In I’m Cashing Out: A Special Valentine’s Day edition, I informed readers that I had met someone – one of three last stabs in the dark – and, therefore, was cashing out.

After a year and moving in together, Mr. Wonderful, of the aforementioned post, loves me but isn’t IN love with me. He informed me of this, but with far more words, causing me to have experienced the third breakup followed by me having to say, “Uhhhh…did you just break up with me?”

And, really, I’m not as stabby as one might think.

Despite the inherent suckiness of the situation and the fact that we’re still somewhat awkwardly sharing an apartment for another week or so, it isn’t so bad. I am no longer interested in expending energy fighting change or trying to hang on to people who want to walk away.

I have been through this (and worse) enough to know some things.

1. This will only suck for a while.
2. There are other people I can and will love.
3. I am okay (perhaps, even better) alone.

So. Expect more posts as I return to spearfish the many other fish in the sea that I keep hearing so much about.
Wish me luck.

In other updates:

Fuck You: Chapter 2 from Re-emergency: Or fuck you, fuck you, you’re pretty cool, and fuck you re-emerged again over the past summer via text message. Due to a tragic phone/toilet bowl union, I no longer have the original text messages.
However, my only response to his original text was to send him a link to the post in which he featured. He proceeded to identify himself as Fuck You: Chapter 3 and inform me that he liked more than my hips and that he told me so. I then had to point him towards the appropriate “fuck you”.

Fuck You: Chapter 3 greeted me as a stranger when in the same room.

Dear Googler: A Spelling Lesson

More times than I care to document or admit the top searches bringing hits to Sex and the Pity are from those of you who are unable to spell “transvestite” .

So let’s clear up the confusion. If you are looking for a


please observe the above spelling.

If you are looking for “travesties”, then look no further.



To recap, here are a few helpful hints when searching for pornography for all of your transvestite fetish needs

  1. Spell “transvestites” correctly.
  2. Using the key word “hot” probably isn’t going to land you in any different place than not using the key word “hot”.
    I’m a bit skeptical that there is a large “fugly” transvestite following. But who knows…there’s a lot of weird pornography on this here interweb.
  3. While some transvestites may also be travesties, I don’t think you will find them on Sex and the Pity.

Happy Googling,


I’m Cashing Out: A Special Valentine’s Day Edition

Although I still gag at the mere glimpse of Lifetime movies and their unapologetically sustained profusion of “love” stories – the predictable pyramid plot structure whose conflict is always resolved by a wedding – I am finding myself feeling incredibly lucky these days. This is not only because I have taken life by the horns and have begun a streak of no-better-time-than-now living, it is also a result of one of three last-stabs-in-the-dark as my Match membership was approaching expiration at the end of last November.

While the two of those three stabs would make for really good Sex and the Pity material, I’ll give you the abridged version.

Stab #1: After two dates, Stab #1 made a lot of assumptions about what lack of communication over the course of ~ 22 hours meant and then flipped out via text thus setting off my Cling-dar ® among other ‘dars.

Stab #2: I had a phone conversation with Stab #2 once during which I jokingly told him that if he got really drunk at the bar he was going to the following evening, he would only be a block away from one of the less classy strip joints in town. He got overly excited and proceeded to talk about strip clubs for the rest of the conversation.

Stab #3: Stab #3 and I have just passed the two month mark and are well on the way to (hopefully) passing up my three month threshold (which has not happened with anyone in quite some time). He is incredible. More accurately, we are incredible together.  In ways that I have yet to fully comprehend, he satiates me. We are a nuclear fusion, a collision of skepticism turned to unabashed mutual adoration, and I fully plan to keep him for as long as he will allow me to do so.


I am running rather short on Sex and the Pity material, as Mr. Wonderful does not appear to be an asshole, douchebag, or hot mess enough to provide me with new blogging material. (I am quite okay with this.)


Since I am finally winning at this ridiculous game, I would love to hear about and share your Hot Messes and/or Dating Travesties.

You may send me submissions of fully written blog entries (though, I reserve the right to edit them) or you may send me particularly hot and messy profile shots from the various dating websites out there.

Please submit your work to cushinghm@gmail.com Include your full name, contact info, and how you want your name to appear should it be published.