Learning How To Date When You’re A Divorced Mother

I’ll be upfront and say that this whole dating thing is really weird for me. I got married at 20 to my college boyfriend and split up 16 years later, now with two kids. The dating I did in my teens couldn’t really be called dating. And my marriage was a dysfunctional mess that started off with bad dynamics that only got worse. As my therapist reminded me, by the time I was 36 I needed to spend a lot of time learning about myself, the kind of life I wanted and what kind of partner I wanted to go with that. That’s been easier said than done.

Since the split I’ve made plenty of time for sex but not really for dating. I figured out pretty early on that I needed sex on a sort of maintenance level to offset the stresses of my job and raising two preteens. It took a while for me to open that door but once I did I had no problem finding willing partners, mostly men I’d already known. But in order to do so, they had to accept the the terms of my relationship: You take what little time I can squirrel away from work and kids, and you never meet my children.

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Violating Glamour: Sanja Iveković at New York’s Museum of Modern Art

Guest blogger Petya Kukularova takes us to MoMA’s current lady-centric exhibition, which brings us images of pregnancy, domestic violence, and beautification rituals.

Glamour and domestic violence are worlds apart. That, at least, is what I thought before seeing the exhibition Sweet Violence by artist Sanja Iveković on show at the MoMA until March 26.

The exhibition starts with a bang. Or rather with a very tall sculpture of the Golden Lady – Luxemburg’s national symbol, with one detail you can’t overlook: the represented woman is heavily pregnant. What’s so radical about that? If you think about famous sculptures of females, can you think of a single one which is pregnant? I know I couldn’t.

While this work was fascinating, some of the issues it raised seemed at least as far removed from daily life as the pedestal on which Lady Rosa was standing.

And then came a work that shook my casual afternoon visit: Women’s House (Sunglasses), 2002-2009. A series of 12 black-and-white posters on which female models are advertising designer sunglasses have been appropriated by the artist in order to tell the stories of 12 women in shelters.

What links the gorgeous models and the battered or otherwise abused women is the sunglasses. In the posters they are the finishing touch in a perfect ensemble. In Sanja’s work they become the ill-functioning camouflage of abuse. No glasses are big enough to conceal a black eye and it takes one concerned gaze to shatter the veneer of being well put together.

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Gay Marriage: A Personal Reconciling

Two years ago, I convinced my girlfriend at the time to read Dan Savage’s The Commitment.

I figured what was basically a treatise about passionately fighting for one’s right to wed, by a guy who was so formerly blasé about the idea of marrying his boyfriend of a decade, could convince her that gay marriage was the way of the future. A choice many queers were making, in just about every conceivable fashion (much like our straight counterparts). Besides, we lived in the most exciting city in the world, New York. We shared a love of all things artistic and we knew how to entertain ourselves (and each other) on a shoestring budget. How could our marriage be boring? It would be an adventure, just by the very nature of who we were and where we lived.

Or so I thought.

After she read the book, a switch was flipped. I don’t know if it was the book itself, per se, or if it was our relationship changing to the point where she could envision us sharing a life together. We were already sharing the same apartment, families, vacations, and money.

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Links for Sexy Feminists: Breast Cancer Group Snubs Planned Parenthood, Title IX Celebrates a Milestone, and more …

The Susan G. Komen Foundation buckled under pro-life pressure to stop contributing to Planned Parenthood: Jezebel wonders if the change was due to the addition of anti-abortion activist Karen Handel to the breast cancer awareness group’s upper ranks.

YourTango is launching a “Break Up With Your Ex” Campaign: And what better month to shed your emotional baggage than the month of St. Valentine?

Sexy Feminist co-founder Jennifer Armstrong has launched a blog about The Mary Tyler Moore Show while she researches the show for her upcoming book: Check it out for posts on Mary’s house, fashion, and feminist principles.

Can you change the way you talk to change the way people perceive you?: And should you? A recovering Valley Girl debates the issue on RookieMag.

NOW’s blog wishes Title IX a happy 40th: And so do we!

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