This happened

Today’s self-assigned task is to tell my “relationship history.”  Why my brain feels the need to perform it is anyone’s guess, but a few weeks ago a buddy told me his and I wanted to reciprocate. It’s just before Independence Day, 2015 (updated May 2016), so as good a day as any.  Independence is important.

In the 70’s, I was seeking trouble.  Boredom drove that.  So I went out with guys who were older, and broken.  “Nice” boys avoided me.  Don’t blame them, I was an edgy chick.

In the early 80’s, I was seeking a full-time thing so intensely that some basic requirements were overlooked.  Like a phone call after a “date.”  Hindsight being 20/20, now it’s clear that I was that psycho chick who chased her prey.  In my head, it was all in the name of love, but my actions were pathetic.  I wasn’t a stalker but I was 100% distracted by whatever man had crossed my path, effectively pulling the plug on other, more long-term and fruitful activities, such as applying myself at college, fixing my car, really learning to play guitar well, nurturing friendships, and figuring out exactly what I wanted out of life.  Any foundation for a stable life was sabotaged.   If someone liked me, even a little, I loved them wholeheartedly and showed them every way I could, providing 95% of the relationship.  I was a smotherer, and they ran.  It never occurred to me to play hard-to-get, thinking that was just a stupid game the other girls played.

I had met one man in the crazy time, who re-entered my life in 1985.  He loved me.  Of course I loved him.  He proposed.  I was delighted, and we had a lovely wedding in 1986.  It wasn’t a good match.   I left in 1992, moved from the eight country acres we were living on to an 800SF apartment in the most densely-populated city in the USA.  We filed for divorce on our 7th anniversary, and went to lunch together after seeing the judge.  He’s a nice man, and the divorce was amicable.  Now I know what a blessing that was.  We still enjoy a warm friendship to this day, even though it took a few years to get to that point. He’s remarried, and has a few kids.  His nickname is Mr X.

Oh yeah.  Kids.  Never felt the urge.  OK, felt the urge for 40 minutes around 1997 or so, but by then I was with a man with four teenage boys.  Living with four adolescent males will talk you out of kids QUICK.  No regrets.

Met another man in the city.  Shocking, right?  This one was 33, no kids, never been married and lived at home with his mother.  Somehow, I thought this was OK.  You know, just a poor innocent guy who needed a break, right?  That break came with him coming over one night and not leaving for three years.  Even though, 18 months in, he decided he didn’t want a girlfriend anymore.  I remember asking him when he’d be moving, and him saying he couldn’t afford to.   (By this time, his mother had passed away, and he was feuding with his twin brother over the house).  OK then … when will you be moving into the second bedroom?  When he bought a mattress.   He never did buy a mattress, and slept next to me every night without reaching over.  Devastating to my self-esteem, and the perfect set up for the next relationship.

On New Year’s Eve, 1995, a girlfriend and I were sitting around my apartment having a few adult beverages, with no plans for the evening.  No-mattress man was still living there, hanging around the bedroom in his underwear.  No internet back then, but we enjoyed playing a Scrabble-like game on a dial-in BBS board in the living room.  Since we were almost out of booze, she invited one of the players over, as he was going out anyways to pick up Chinese food for his kids.  He ended up being “the next man.”  I fell in headfirst, and he met every single emotional need.  But there were problems.  He was fired from his job of 14 years two months after moving in.  Followed by lots of crappy low-paying dead-end jobs, many injuries, and some meanness I ignored.  His “ex-wife” called up one afternoon and said she’d been evicted, could we take the kids for a couple of weeks?  Four teen boys moved into our living room.  Two weeks turned into 12 years.  More injuries, lawsuits, unemployment … overcrowding, filth, depression, poverty … then eventually filling my emotional needs turned into systematic psychological abuse.  I was under his microscope … his only hobby.  That “ex-wife?”  Not so ex.  He had lied about not getting a divorce from her, and we had married in 2001. In 2006 I began asking him to leave; he refused.  In 2009, my new life began, whether he liked it or not.  He didn’t, and things got as ugly as they possibly could.  I didn’t help the situation, either; it was impossible, nothing was enough for him, and trust had been destroyed on both sides.  He and the two remaining 20-something sons finally moved towards the end of 2011.  At the beginning of 2012, I took out a restraining order after seeing he wouldn’t leave me or my parents alone, and except for my Dad’s funeral, haven’t spoken to him.

Everything is a learning experience, and these last two relationships got it through my thick skull that it was finally time to get comfortable with myself.  Living alone was scary at first.  I hadn’t done that ever.  With the encouragement and guidance of some extraordinary girlfriends, life has at last gained a balance of love, hobbies, friendships and work.  The all-consuming intensity of a high-maintenance dysfunctional relationship is repelling.  I am happy, and free of the distraction of a brain filled with—or trying to figure out—someone else.  Dated some, but they were either not interested or far too interested.  Dates  Call me Goldilocks. *shrug*

During this experiment, I saw a man who kept it casual.  We had a great deal of fun, absolutely not a speck of drama and no strings attached in the pleasantest possible version of an NSA relationship.  Two very nice, very busy, very independent people who found some time to be with each other without forcing it.  No drama,  easy, and exactly what I needed while healing from bad ex.  He kept me out of trouble, something I will always be grateful for.  But my heart wanted more, a future, and I looked for that when I was feeling neglected.

I’m really lucky, too, because it found me.  Through a mutual friend, we met … and it’s ALL good, our kind of normal, wonderful, healthy and positive.  My relationship future is blazing brightly with the perfect man for me.

In any case.  Happy Independence Day.  Cherish it.   Don’t let anyone take it away, not even in the name of love.

And now, we race

OK, first, I apologize … I have been spending far too much time eating, working, playing on FaceBook and just in general neglecting this site.


Tina NED

The beginning of July 2009 I was bitten by the racing bug.  BADLY.  One Wednesday night I was bored and a buddy was headed up to New England Dragway in Epping, NH to race his Dart.  If you grew up in New England, you’ve heard the radio announcer:  Sundaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!  Wednesday and Friday nights are “Street Night,” which basically means … run what ya brung.  Everything from old Volvo station wagons painted with a brush, to new Jags and Mercedii, diesel work trucks, snowmobiles on in-line skates, motorcycles, lots of muscle cars and tuners and one quad.  It’s a riot, just even to go watch, and you don’t often get that kind of quality entertainment for only $10.

There was no way I wasn’t going back there without racing … so the next week I brought the winter car.  Let’s face it, it’s easier to drive up with air conditioning and a good alignment with heated seats.  She didn’t do too badly either, for a stock 2001 Acura 3.2 CL Type S with 94,000 miles on it:  15.559 seconds at 92.09 MPH in the quarter mile.  Almost a month later, and that’s still my fastest time.

If a 3.2 Acura is fast, the ‘vette MUST be faster, right?  Uh … no.  A *lot* has changed since the 80’s.  My poor car got beat by a Ford Focus driven by a teenage girl.  She ran 17.499 seconds at 76.44 MPH.  Whisky.Tango.Foxtrot.  Yeah, I knew I had alignment problems;

I knew they’d just spent an hour cleaning anti-freeze off the track and it was like racing on ice; I knew there’s big leaks in the exhaust; I knew she’d never been tuned or timed … but for some stupid reason I didn’t expect to go that SLOW.  So I parked it, hung my head in shame, and watched the rest of the night.  Someone asked me if that was my car and I said “no.”

After an angry ride home, I finally got on the internet and bought the front-end parts.  Talked to boyfriend, talked to buddies.  Made a plan, bought parts … and over to Al’s garage we went to install a shift kit for a 350 Turbo transmission, the most common transmission Chevrolet made.  The taking-apart went very well.  The putting-back-together, not so much, because as it turns out, my transmission is a 350 Turbo “C” transmission:  it has two wires and a solenoid in the middle, and the plate and gaskets are a slightly different shape.

Al picked up the right kit at Indy; my oldest stepson was grateful for the new/old shift kit.  Eventually all went well, I can’t even believe the difference it makes.  Chirps second.  Better highway pickup.  And, as I found out last night, faster track times:  her best run was 16.599 seconds @ 86.17 MPH.  I got some coaching from a fellow racer, too, although I was a little surprised when I was getting ready to stage and he ran up and said “take me for a ride!”  He taught me to get the revs up around 2500 RPM and hold for the green light, then manually shift at around 5000 RPM instead of the 4000 RPM the tranny was doing.  The strategy worked, that last run of the night was the fastest.  AND I won my first race, too, against a newer ‘vette.

So now I’m very happy, not planning on winning, just having fun and practicing.  There is something in the blood, though:  my fastest reaction time off the line has been .033 … and so far, after 18 runs, it’s not beginner’s luck.

Do I Ride?

Gigi on Raven

Pretty simple question, and my answer is usually “Of course.”

The bald-faced truth is more complicated, as are most first-glance simple things.  Here’s the long version.

  1. So, do I ride?  Well … I’ve been on one type of motorcycle or another since I was probably 10. One of my older brothers raced motocross for years and there was always a bike or two (and some hot rods) around the house.  However, the clearest memory I have of actually “riding” was one afternoon down the pits where my brother would practice … I got on one kid’s minibike and gave it some throttle … next thing I knew I was absolutely flying; jumping, going through the whoops, shooting the berms.  I wasn’t petrified, more amazed.  When I stopped to give the kid back his bike, he was aglow … “Wow!  We’ve never seen a girl go that fast!”  I passed off as nonchalant … well, I’m Jimbo’s sister … oh, boy that was even better news, the kid was a big fan.

When I was 14, I had my first ride on a Harley-Davidson.  120 MPH, roaring down a country back road, with my tank top literally whipping off my skin. The driver was at least 10 years older than me, neighbors across the lake of my brother’s girlfriend. I’m positive my folks had no idea where I was or what I was doing, but I was completely hooked.  From then on, all I wanted to do was ride.  At that time, it didn’t occur to me that driving a bike would be to my taste, just being on the back and around older guys was all I wanted.  What my folks found out about must have aged them 20 years when I was a teen, and it was a good thing the kind of trouble I was looking for back then just wasn’t available in my town.  What they didn’t find out about … they never will. Boy-crazy and bike crazy … not the wisest combination, looking back.

  1. Do I have my motorcycle license? Yes, I’ve had it for a few years.  I took some good advice and looked up … took their weekend class.  Had a serious blast.  Two intensive days of hitting the books, watching video, listening to the instructors, and spending the afternoon on small motorcycles they provided, learning basics and technique.  Not only did I go first, I passed the test, which made me pretty proud.
  2. Do I own a bike? I’m not sure.  My man inherited a sweet Sportster in 1996 … someone owed him money blah blah blah.  We had an argument about money one year and he signed it over to me, but I can’t find the title. Doesn’t matter; who owns it doesn’t determine who rides it, in our house.  He’s all about me riding, too.  And I’m all about him riding.  But when we ride it together, we look like Shriners … it’s far too small for the two of us, even though we had fun.  He’s a big guy.  I have very high hopes that he’ll be able to get a bigger bike, and I can ride with him on the Sportie.
  3. When’s the last time I actually drove the Sportster?  Um. The first day I took it out, I dropped it while going around the block.  Stopped.  At a stop sign.  With no one around.  I hadn’t learned how to pick up a bike (but I knew how to jump!), and pulled muscles from my ankle to my earlobe trying.  A kind man with a car full of kids came to my rescue; I got it the rest of the block home and parked it.
  4. So, what’s stopping me?  I have the bike and the license, what’s the problem?  Well, a) see my webpage “The Motor Project.”  Even though the bike came first, I still think of it as his toy, and the ‘vette has been an enjoyable diversion of time and funds because b) I have serious back problems that had gotten much worse since ’99 or so. We were out on the bike once and I couldn’t go on … I was in so much pain he had to dump me off 5 miles from home and go get a car.  Heartbreaking.  he’s been out of work for some time, too … there just hasn’t been the do-re-mi to keep the bike *and* the car going.  So it’s been in the shed for probably 5 years.
  5. How about being a passenger?  None of this has stopped me from climbing on the back, but opportunities are rare.  The buddy who passed away in September had a ga-ga-gargeous FLH that we’d go out on once in a while.  D and I go to Harley Rendezvous annually, which is the highlight of the year, but we go for the party and the friends.  Truth is, I just don’t know any bikers that live around here, or that aren’t hooked up with a jealous woman.  D was thoughtful enough to bring along my leathers and helmet to BigK’s funeral, and he found a brother willing to let me saddle up behind him to ride behind BigK’s bike, carried on a flatbed. But we didn’t make any contacts there, the crowd, and we, were far too grief-stricken.  I go by HoneyDew once in a while, but … BigK won’t ever be there again.

D tried to get me back up on the horse, but I’d lost my nerve.  Ol’ K was always on my ass to get my back taken care of and ride, and I always had valid reasons not to.   My good friend Abby, the one and only Celebrity Biker Chick and publisher of Biker Chick Magazine, the woman who’s ridden her entire life, who teaches motorcycle safety, and in 2007 rode her Softail coast-to-coast—alone and unarmed—keeps tempting me. I’ve had some wonderful back care from Spaulding … I think this summer is the summer.  A couple of tires, change of fluids …


Not only for myself, but for Kevin, for Abby, for every one whose soul has cried out for loud pipes and freedom … for every man or woman who has seen a Harley roar by and gotten an “I wish …” look in their eyes, a tug at their hearts … I need to be part of that family that isn’t related by blood, but is carefully chosen by strength of character.

Wish me luck.


(The story continues in 2015 …

That didn’t take long

I got pulled over for the first time since the rebuild last night.  The first time is always the sweetest, right?

We finished the Corvette on November 4ish. Got one small ride in. The following Sunday, little longer ride, that’s it. The weather hasn’t been cooperating, and we’re so far behind on errands and laundry and cleaning that I just haven’t had the chance to take it out, never mind wring it out a little. Until last night.

My buddy Mary and I had been planning on meeting up for  since last week and since the weather was cooperating and she was up for it, I thought it might be fun to take Tina and give her an old fashioned beat run.  No problems running around the restaurant parking lots and a couple of straight strips … car ran fine, we had fun.

Met up with D and S … S wants a ride. He hasn’t had one yet (well, not since it started shifting again). Happy to oblige.  D falls in behind us. It’s pretty late; there’s no one around. The light changes … I boot it in the ass … wind it out uphill to yellow line … sounds GREAT … let off just before hitting second gear, crest the hill and drop back down to the speed limit.

Truly, I can’t even guess how fast we was going … for one thing, I was watching the tach, for another, we took off the useless cruise control equipment during The Project, and we’re still waiting for the non-cruise-control-length speedometer cable to come in.

Go maybe a mile … look in the rearview … uh oh.  Not one, but TWO cruisers are mooooo-vin’ my way at hyperspeed. Pretty sure who they want, too. I pull over.  A third cruiser joins us.  (I believe this represents the sum total of this particular small community’s law enforcement staff for the evening).

#1::License and registration.
Me::I’m so sorry, officer, we *just* got this car done. It was stupid. I’m sorry.

*gives over paperwork*
*hangs head*

I’m mentally calculating how much all this shit is going to cost, and if it was worth it. About five minutes, maybe seven pass.

#2::  We were parked at Jiffy Lube, we HEARD you.
#1::   WHAT have you got in this thing?
Me::  It’s a modified small block 350  bored 30 over, we decked the head and the block .018″ … Want to see it?
#2::  He has no idea what you just said.
#1::  [smiling] I do so!  *turns to me* I have an El Camino Super Sport I’m just about to drop a load of money into …
Me:: You DO??? Well, I know a great machine shop …

We chat a bit, they wish me well, I do the same for them, we’re all laughing and shaking our heads and we take off.  I think I may have levitated with my relief.  We go back to the garage. Shut her down and close the door.  We’re counting our blessings and pile into the Honda to take S home.

D’s telling me about his conversation with Officer #2 … the “don’t I know you?” conversation, which can go either way considering the way we were in our 20’s.  As it turns out, this went well, too.  D’s oldest son drives tow truck for a big local company, this man knows him.  Then D says, “Look at your cell phone.” So I looked at the phone and there’s two text messages … one says “Dont admit to anything” the other “They said they heard u not saw u” 

“One of the officers walked back to me to see why I had pulled over behind you guys.  I told him you were my wife (this is pretty funny because the officer who was talking to me asked if he was my DAD), that we’d *just* finished the car; he asked me if you had a cell phone … and if I knew how to text you … that they hadn’t SEEN you speed, only heard you.

“So?” says I.

“Remember the time I got pulled over in Littleton? They couldn’t give me a ticket because they hadn’t SEEN me speed, only the distance I’d covered since they first saw me, before they turned around over that hill.  There was no visual confirmation.”

“OMG … That’s right! So … that’s why I didn’t get a massive ticket?”

“Well, that, and you’re cute.”

My appearance completely aside, if those officers had decided to be … shall we say … less impressed with the situation at hand … and trust me, they could have … my night and S’s could have gotten a lot worse.  But it didn’t, and I will be forever grateful to them for making Tina’s “first time” as pleasant as it could have gone.

It gets better … the next morning morning I saw my Mr X online; he and his family live on the same road we got pulled over on. Asked if he heard me go by last night … he said, “What time?” Little before 11ish.  “No, but two cruisers in maximum overdrive went by … you should have heard them winding up past my house! I was going to turn on the scanner, but didn’t feel like getting up. Was that for you?”

That car is soooo sweet, even cops are impressed.  With the *stock* exhaust.

Wait’ll I tell Mike.

Girlie’s Obit

She was a great cat

In the Summer of 1986, now-ex husband and I desperately needed a distraction from each other (and having a child was out of the question, neither one of us was ready). We both loved cats, and his sister worked at the local Animal Rescue League … so one extremely boring Sunday afternoon we went to visit her at work. Walking through the adoption area, cages and cages of wonderful animals waited for homes … and we couldn’t resist playing with them. One cat in particular stood out. She talked … a LOT. Looked right straight at you and meowed. You’d say something, she’d answer. No surprise, she came home with us. We had no idea how old she was, she was full-grown then, but we gave her a birthday of May 1st.

Ex-husband named her Cotsheene (Gaelic for “endeared kitten” he said), and she spent her first three weeks with us angry and hiding. I suspect she was nearly feral, and had spent the first few months of her life on urban streets. Maybe Chinatown or the North End … she always did go crazy for Chinese and Italian food. A lap cat, she was not. No soft purrs or face-rubs from this fierce feline, she was all about having the upper hand. We clearly knew where we stood at all times. But she’d sit next to you while you were getting ready to go out, greet you at the door, meow her good mornings when she woke, and stand in your way when you were trying to get anywhere. A presence, if not an overly affectionate one.

We lived in the country then, and Cotsheene, who I called “Girlie,” enjoyed the outdoor life. She’d play in the grass, mouse, climb trees, and occasionally carry home a trophy of her hunting endeavors. Sometime around 1988 Guinness found us … and Girlie had a ball with him. He was a sweet dumb loving hungry affectionate male … Girlie would lick his forehead to lull him into a false sense of security then baff him off the head with her paw a second later. That’s the way it went with them until Guinness went to rainbow bridge in 2001.

Eventually we moved to a large farm … I expected Girlie to continue her outside pursuits, but she had other ideas. She met the draft horse … the chickens … the barn cats … the goats … and, horror of horrors, some DOGS … and decided that indoors was more to her liking these days. She did not go out willingly again.

When ex-husband and I divorced in 1992, I got “custody” of Girlie, and we moved to an apartment in the city. She’d calmed down quite a bit by then … she’d look at me and meow her hello’s and I-want’s, or occasionally sit on my lap or paw at my knee while I cried through the divorce and the subsequent crappy rebound relationship, and then eventually carried on. Ten years ago, she completely captured my now-ex boyfriend’s heart. Never have I seen a man so completely wrapped around her little dew-claw. She had treats whenever she asked (she “talked” to the ex, too), a wide variety of her favorite foods … she hasn’t gone through a single meal without being offered — or outright stealing — something from our plates. Or glasses … ex used to love to let Girlie help him drink his milk from the same glass, and she always finished his bowl of cereal milk. She’d walk all over him, and he’d wince from surprise (well, also because for some reason she used her claw tips on him), but let her. Every night he moved my top pillow down so Girlie could sleep on the bottom pillow, at my head. I like to think we understood what she was saying.

And she had her quirks, too. She was territorial, what was ours was hers and she guarded it … one time she saved my convertible from ruin when I’d left the top down overnight and it started to rain … she yelled and licked my nose until I woke up; twice she did the same when a thief was trying to steal the vanity plate; she also enjoyed playing “NASA Test-Kitty” … she’d look at us and meow until we consented to spin the office chair … she’d jump up on it, dig her claws in and enjoy her spin … I swear she smiled. When the chair stopped, her head wouldn’t.  Sounds like a cruel form of cat torture, but she really loved this.

She’d been ill, but comfortable. In October 2005 her kidneys had failed … she’d been doing well on a modified diet. But over the last week or so she’d been letting us know … it was time. She’d been boldly meowing her goodbyes during her every waking hour. With head up, eyes clear, tail high, and now-thin body spending more and more time purring on my lap, Girlie knew it was time to rest … and she gave me the silent meow … the most pathetic and heartbreaking of her large vocabulary. Like everything else about her, we just had to accept that that’s how it was going to be.

So if you can, please help me celebrate the life of Girlie-Girl … an awesome gift … who was the best for what she was … a great cat. … who’s left me with a million great memories …

A former career choice

Singing is something I like to do, it’s what I’ve always done, so I guess that’s what I am.  A singer.

My family have good singing voices.  My Dad has a sweet tenor, even now, at 84, that is a pleasure to listen to.  So I guess it followed that I would join chorus in first grade, continue through senior year in high school, then get rebellious and rehearse and perform with rock groups.  It was also the early 80’s, great time for music!  The bands I was in were singularly unremarkable; I ran across a tape that was made in 1982 of “Band of Angels” and it was truly pathetic.  The drummer was off, the keyboards overpowering, the guitar player was good, but needed experience.  (She’s gone on to get that experience and she’s gotten unbelievably talented … Google up Starr Faithfull, you’ll be in for a treat).  The bass players were revolving.  It’s actually a pretty funny example of me trying to figure out where to insert my vocals and when and in what key.  I’m not listening to it much, it just sucks that bad.

I got the ROCK•ON plate around this time, totally by surprise.  I’d forgotten what request I’d sent in to the RMV.

I quit making live music on Easter Sunday in 1985.  The band had gotten up early and packed up all our stuff to head to a gig in Maine, four sets.  We had just about enough time to drive up, set up, do a sound check, eat a bite and change before we went on at 9.  No surprise to overtired me, I lost my voice during the third set.  Not a thing I could do about it, just croak out the rest of the night as best I could, pack it all up and drive it on home.  I drove the truck; one of our roadies kept punching my leg to keep me awake, and the song “Radar Love” got us home safely.  We got back at 6AM, and I was at my day job at 8:30AM, exhausted and broken and broke.

Then there was that first marriage yuppie thing for a few years, and I put the singing away.

Karaoke started to catch on in a big way in the early 90’s.  In late ’88, my buddy Dionne started running karaoke shows at a local restaurant with cassette tapes he’d stripped the vocal track out of.  A bunch of former bandmates used to go one night a week, very casual, a nice laid-back mental space to have some fun with vocals with a “good band” behind you.  By the time it hit big, I was already well on the road to karaoke-slut-dom.  This was also about the same time that marriage number one was declining … so it was a natural choice for me to get out of the unhappy house and do something enjoyable.  Oh, did I ever.  I made some new friends, travelled up and down the East Coast every night, dropping into karaoke bars, singing a few songs, then leaving for the next stop on the line.  I even published a newsletter identifying what shows were what night and where, passing it out wherever I went.  I hit all the “money shows” and supplemented my unemployment insurance quite nicely.  Eventually I just ended up running a few shows, regularly up at the Bahama Beach Club in Nashua, NH, with pick-up shows at Hanscom AFB, the Officer’s Club in Saugus, a few other places.  The money was OK, but it did get tiring hearing drunk frat boys sing “Stand By Your Man” over and over nightly.  I swear, I can’t listen to The Rose or Unchained Melody to this day from having to hear them butchered so badly for so long.  By early 1995 I was pretty much done, but here’s a clip of me in 1992.  These two performances earned first prize.

Shadows of the Night:
Oh Darlin’:

They’re dark, but the audio’s not bad.

In ’96 an old band buddy asked me to help him out on the female vocals for a tribute band to “The Commitments.”  (If you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend it.  Put on the subtitles if you can’t work out the Dublin Irish accents).  That didn’t last too long, too many politics.

So now I’m down to singing in the car and occasionally at a karaoke show.  Michelle is helping me re-develop my “inner rock star,” as she says, and I’m getting a lot of support from friends.  It’ll be interesting to see if I can get my nerve back. I still have a MAJOR case of stage fright, but it’s not the end of the line.  There’s a few people who want to see me back on stage, and while I’m nervous, I’m no longer terrified.

“The Gigi”

My Mom and I share the same first name.  (Which is not Gigi).  We look alike.  And some people can’t tell the difference between us on the phone.  So, at an early age, I earned a neat nickname that stuck.

Now, if we work together or I owe you money, it’s my Mom’s name.  Which also comes in handy with telemarketers.  Anyone who calls my house and asks for “XX” is told I’m not home.  If they ask for Gigi, well, that’s a different story.

“The Gigi” happened just before marriage #1 … you could call it the ‘preppie period,’ where I went by the name I had been born with and not the nickname.  After a wild-child youth, I cleaned up nicely and was all set to have a perfect life as the perfect wife to a perfect man with a perfect job in our perfect home.

My plan was deeply flawed.

Anyway, my maid of honor and I were doing a little pre-wedding drinking, and soon-to-be-ex’s best man heard us reminicing about the old days.  He stopped in mid-sentence and asked … “YOU’RE THE GIGI?”

Imagine my surprise to hear that a full six years earlier an angry girl, who had recently discovered that her boyfriend was seeing three other girls at the same time as her, crashed the boyfriend’s party that best man was at.  And remembered her tirade in minute detail.

How embarrassing.

That’s where “The Gigi” came from.