April 11th

Red Velvet Valentine's Cake

I’ve mentioned before I’m writing a dating memoir — a collection of the more hilarious and bizarre moments I’ve had during the last ten years. Some are so painfully funny, they are hard to tell without crying in fits of laughter. Others are just painful. It’s a tricky tight rope of too personal vs. bland, boring, “who wants to read another self-involved essay from the over-share generation?” kinda stuff.

How do you write a book like this that you know may end up in the hands of your father? A father you love very much but who may not want to read about that one guy — the one who showed up with a sex survey and a couple bottles of wine for date #3? (True story) Or the one who got into my purse for my home address when I wasn’t looking on a first date? (Also true) Or the mildly famous one who tried choking me. (Seriously)

My run of dating luck is just so very strangely amusing — it is hard not to giggle.  I mean the time I was running late for a date, literally, down a shady major street only to feel a giant plop of bird poop land on my decolletage? Funny! Or, how about the time I flirted for months via email with that small town mayor who ended up in prison as a felon? Horrifying! Or the story of my very first boyfriend, who in an attempt to grab my hiney as I walked by instead ended up with a handful of granny panties and maxi-pad? Awful, funny, silly, and yet — I hope — wildly entertaining. Because for every bozo like the ass-grabber, there is the gorgeous Italian politician who made up names of constellations one starry night on the Puget Sound. A night that might have involved both a jacuzzi and far too much prosecco. (Jacuzzi is apparently Italian for “holy mother of God, I hope this guy is on the Facebook because my girlfriends are NEVER going to believe how gorgeous he is.”

Carob cake

He was. They did. Salut!

In sharing a few of these essays with those girlfriends — who are both my greatest promoters and protectors — I’ve heard: Share more! Share less! Don’t say that! Tell it like it is! Hide his name. Warn women everywhere. Have some pride! Let it all out!


Tomorrow, dear blog, I fly to Denver to take a final test for a public health job I would very much like to have. I am so dang happy to be in the final clump of people selected for interviewing. And I am so nervous. And I am so excited. And I’m so ready.

This weekend a man I love wildly asked me what I’m “running from by moving.” D and I have run circles around each other for years. I broke up with him. He broke up with me. We broke up after he said I was too goddamned domestic. We’ve said goodbye after too many martinis. We’ve said goodbye sober. I tried to go to Africa and not speak to him for my three weeks away and the silence lasted all of three days.

Of course I’ve dated other men. Really, really good men. Men who my mother would pinch me for not scooping up and putting in my pocket. And I’m sure D’s dated other women — although I’d rather sit down to a scrumptious bowl of glass and nails than let my mind linger on that reality.

So when he asked, “What are you running from,” he was saying in his own backward emotionally retarded gorgeous green eyed way: “Why are you leaving me?

Because passion alone does not a relationship make. It takes honesty, friendship, commitment and really, really great chocolate cake to celebrate both the ups and downs of every day life. It takes courageous love.

Men of Colorado: take note. You may end up as a chapter in a self-depricating memoir on courting. Then again, you may end up with a sweet and sarcastic slice of this domestic girl’s life.

Courageous love: it’s what I’m running toward.



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23 Responses

  1. Kathryn April 11, 2011

    Kelli, I am teary eyed as I write this! I wish for more courage for D. Thinking of you and all that you are going through.

  2. Love reading this and can’t wait to read the book of essays.
    Men of Colorado would be lucky to have a slice of your life. Courageous love is what it is ALL about. Good luck my friend.

  3. When I was in college, “working” on my own string of bad (baaaad) relationships, a male friend commented on it. It seems he had trouble voicing his point of view, but after a thoughtful silence, he told me very seriously “your love life is like an episode of Ally McBeal”. I laughed it off… but yeah, hum, he was painfully right (insert nervous laughter)

    As for courageous love, that’s the kind it takes to make it last, and that’s probably what it takes to build happiness (as opposed to waiting for it to miraculously fall off from the sky)

    Fun post. Beautiful thought.

  4. You are a brilliant writer! I loved this post. My girlfriends and I have often joked about collecting our stories for a book too. Geez, men. And, their stories. Until I found J, I definitely had my share. Cheers to a wonderful new start in Colorado! Hope you get the job you want and find an awesome man who appreciates you!

  5. Ah, yes. How I relate to that backward-emotionally-retarded-style. First Boyfriend and I went circles around each other for years. Finally, I had the ovaries to break it off for good. And later, when true love came knocking, it knocked me over with its honesty, friendship and commitment.

    Courageous love is the kind that knows what it wants and goes for it. Not the kind that criticizes others for being too anything, or the kind that makes your life choices all about him.

    Forward, Kelli, and go for it! Woo hoo!!!

  6. Julie Koehler April 12, 2011

    Found the love of my life at the rec center at 46th and Sheridan (Denver). We are/were both early morning lap swimmers The first thing he ever said to me was “you got a new bathing suit!” So the guy saw all my pouchy parts and still wanted to date me and 12 months later, marry me. Hope you find all you are looking for and more.

  7. Brava! And here’s to courageous love!

  8. A dating memoir? I love it! Hahaha – my stories of dating wouldn’t be so fun to read. Namely because I had no dates! But it’s ok, in God’s perfect time my hubs found me and it all worked out. Until then, have a good time poking fun at the journey. What’s that they say? The best part about the destination is the journey it took to get there? Something like that…

  9. Brave you are! 😀

  10. oh please share more! You have such a talent with words. Every post is an example of that.

  11. yes, write your next book. waiting.
    courageous love, true love is courageous and full of strength.
    kellli, wishing you only the best. it’s yours to have.

  12. What a wonderful post! Best of luck for your job interview, your new life in Colorado and finding the great guy that you deserve.

  13. I would love to read it! Looking forward to it some day. I also love that this post is titled “toward.” Nice. Very nice. Good luck on that interview!

  14. I started a dating blog recently. I have some stories too!
    Good luck with the job and the move!

    I hope you find that love you are looking for because you deserve it!

  15. Sometimes I’d like to just pick and and move somewhere new. Start all over. Kind of hard to do with kids though lol

  16. You know I’m from the “Don’t hold back” group of promoters, for sure. Tell it all and particularly the details about Mr. Italian Politician because I happen to know that the is Surreptitiously Rearrange The Seating Arrangements good looking and want to know every last detail.

    Mama mia.

  17. Tiffany April 13, 2011

    I really enjoyed a post over at buttons magee recently: I read it and thought ‘amen, sister!’ Some guys have the guts when it counts. Others don’t, and that’s okay too. We all have our tales of near misses and ‘sigh, never meant to be’ — though yours sound like they’re worth writing down and sharing. I’d buy a copy!

  18. Never settle for less than you deserve, life it way too short to be easily pleased……Men of Colorado, don’t be stupid and waste this great opportunity!

  19. I’ve followed your blog off and on for a while and I have to tell you that you are a gifted young woman, wonderful writer, and Mr. D has no idea how much he’s going to miss you. 🙂

  20. Oh my wow. I can’t WAIT to read this memoir. Especially because I think I contributed to one of the especially hilarious stories with my matchmaking tendencies 🙂 🙂

  21. I was just catching up on your blog and this one gave me goosebumps. I wish you luck in Colorado and finding courageous love.

  22. D just stopping by to say hello.