Category Archives: Relationships


They can randomly slam into my psyche at any time or any place.  A smell, a sound, a sight.

And those unpredictable triggers can elicit a pounding heart, a sigh, a sob, a painful pit in my stomach, or a full-fledged meltdown.

Driving to Pennsylvania for business three weeks ago, I was stopped at a red light and happened to look at the car behind me through my rear-view mirror.

A drop-dead gorgeous guy was staring at the so-so looking girl sitting in the passenger seat. The so-so girl was staring straight ahead stiff as a statue.

To anyone else, this would have been a nothing burger. No there there.

But I could sense trouble brewing. Call it intuition from experience.

So, I kept looking.

As the light turned green, he roughly grabbed her face with his right hand, yanking it in his direction. She swatted his hand. He pulled hard on her hair. She never stopped staring straight ahead.

I didn’t budge. I couldn’t drive. He put his hand to the horn, and I jerked forward and pulled over to the side of the road as soon as I could. As he sped by me, my eyes locked with hers.

I wanted to chase them down, jump out of my car and pull her out of his. Save her, because a long time ago I didn’t have the courage to save myself.


I sat shaking and shouting.  LEAVE HIM!!!!! LEAVE HIM!!!!!

Once I got control of myself, I continued driving. But it ruined my whole day.

That’s how it happens.

Something awful crashes in on me unexpectedly. The melancholy, the anxiety, the overwhelming sadness. The anger. The frustration.

Yesterday a young boy roller-bladed past me as I was pulling my car into the garage. His hockey stick swayed back and forth as he glided along. I watched him skate until he disappeared.


I stumbled into the house and grabbed a pen and paper.  I tried to write it out and then set it aside by shoving it into my bulging treasure trove file of heartbreaking notes.

I’ll get back to them one day.

It’s my written way of calling a friend. My lifeline of sorts.

And then today, I had to drive into town to drop something off to my client.

I was feeling good. Until Nights in White Satin came on the radio.

I pulled into a parking lot where I could close my eyes and breathe.

And just like that, a flashback.

♪Nights in White Satin, never reaching the end. Letters I’ve written, never meaning to send

It was 1968. We had just left the hospital. He was driving. Her burns were severe. Worse than anything I had ever seen. And the pain she was in. I was afraid she would die. Afraid of being afraid.

So afraid.

Nights in White Satin came on the radio.

♪Gazing at people, some hand in hand. Just what I’m going through they can’t understand♪

He pulled the car over. And buried his face in his hands. He let out a God-awful guttural sound.

I loved him. I hated him. I pitied him. I pitied myself.

♪Beauty I’ve always missed, with these eyes before. Just what the truth is, I can’t say any more♪

I knew then, as I tried to block out his wailing that as a family we were cooked.

Goodbye—Not Sorry, Seems to Be the Hardest Word

Goodbye A

I have always been overly obsessed with listening to my favorite melancholy tunes over and over again, never tiring of the songs, the words or my morose reaction.

I know what you’re thinking. Big time downer.

I once asked my college music theory professor why certain songs hit me so hard, and he thought it involved some level of hypothetical observation—a musical conversation, and in all probability caused by a chemical reaction in my brain.

Chemical or not, I have always loved the Elton John song, Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.

Each and every time I listened to the lyrics, they just about broke my heart. And each and every time I cried to the words, I always imagined that the questions asked in the song must have been formulated with an incredibly precious someone in mind.

What have I got to do to make you love me?
What have I got to do to make you care?
What do I do when lightning strikes me?
And I wake to find that you’re not there?
What have I got to do to make you want me?
What have I got to do to be heard?
What do I say when it’s all over?
Sorry seems to be the hardest word.
It’s sad, so sad.
It’s a sad, sad situation.
And it’s getting more and more absurd.
It’s sad, so sad
Why can’t we talk it over?
Oh it seems to me
That sorry seems to be the hardest word.

Elton John’s heartbreaking lyrics could have been written for anyone—a friend, a lover, a parent, a child.

In my mind, the years of crying and analyzing those lyrics over and over again reinforced for me the realization that I can love someone, but it doesn’t mean that person has to love me back. And I might want to talk it over, but that only works if there is someone on the other side who cares enough to listen.

Yesterday when I turned my car radio on, those sorrowful words and song I had long ago emotionally analyzed and conquered, served as an instant and profound epiphany.

Sorry may seem to be the hardest word, but in actuality goodbye is even harder.

Because sometimes sorry just isn’t enough.

You can beg someone for their forgiveness, but they can refuse to forgive. Or forget. Sorry in their mind doesn’t cut it.

So what then?

Do you hang in there? Try to make them love you? Try to make them listen? Try to talk it over?

Bend over backward and kiss up to them even though you feel unfairly judged?

Keep silent when you have words rattling around in your head ready to be spilled and spelled out?

Do you jump through hoops to find that loving place you once shared when deep down inside, you know it’s lost forever?

And are there any last words left to say to save forever?

No, because sometimes there is only one word left to say—and that’s goodbye.

And that is indeed a sad, sad situation.

BFF or Frenemy? When to Call It Quits

Best friends
I lost touch with my first best friend when I moved cities at age fourteen. The sudden loss of my then BFF broke my heart and I still think back on the devotion and love we shared and then lost, and sometimes wonder if our friendship would have lasted the test of time.

Since then, many besties have come and gone, for one reason or another. The old adage that we can’t choose our family but we can choose our friends is only true so long as we make the right choice.

And even though I’ve tried to choose my friends carefully, I have over the years developed less and less tolerance for those of whom I once thought I picked well.

Making and keeping a BFF takes perseverance and there has to be a mutual affection and respect for one another. An unwritten code of empathy, kindness, harmony, solidarity, support and compassion combined with friendship etiquette is essential to a long-term alliance.

Anyone who has a BFF gets what I’m saying here.

Friendship etiquette is something that ensures the growth and tranquility essential for a healthy and reciprocally beneficial relationship. Friendship etiquette also means that there exists between two compadres an understanding, loyalty, and acceptance when there is not a shared like or interest in something or someone. You silently agree to stand behind and up for your BFF because that’s what a good friend does. You have their back whether you agree with them or not—in good times and especially in bad.

Additionally, friends don’t become your frenemy because your life might happen to be better than theirs at some moment in time. Friends take pride in the progress and success of their BFF’s.

An actual friend will revel in your successes and knows when you’re in trouble. And they do what it takes to combat and control their possible jealousies and inner demons because we all have our insecurities.

True friends understand that even though they are BFF’s their lives are divergent and separate from each other. And they recognize that only through give-and-take respect can they secure an unforgettable and life-long attachment.

If you’ve ever had the honor of having a true BFF, it’s fairly easy to name the qualities you expect in a close friendship. And you go out of your way to be a legitimate and honest friend.

But is your BFF really for forever? The following questions should give you the answers you’re looking for.

Are they genuinely happy when something good happens to you?

Do they listen to your stories without changing the subject to something about them?

Do they give you a break when you’re clearly off your game, knowing that everyone has a bad day?

Do they cancel their plans to be with you in your hour of need?

Do they check in on you when the weather’s bad or just because?

Do they feel your sadness when something bad happens to you?

Do they accept your friends?

Do they say the negative things they feel about you to your face, and say only positive things about you behind your back?

If you’ve been a faithful friend or have a loyal sidekick, the answer to all of these questions should be yes. If not, maybe your BFF is not who you thought they were.

And jealousy is the quickest way to destroy a friendship. Let’s be honest, there will always be a friend out there with a better life than yours—a more successful job, a more luxurious home, in better shape, with a closer significant other. And maybe they’re more beautiful, handsome or spontaneous.

But you say you love them, right? You want them to be happy, healthy and prosperous, correct?

The wannabe BFF’s say they love you, but the authentic BFF lives it. Because your friendship is worth safekeeping, and they know it’s the real deal and that a BFF once found, is irreplaceable.

Keep in mind that your BFF will always include others in their lives, which doesn’t mean that they stop being your best friend. A BFF needs to be confident enough to give their friendship shared freedom.

You’re friends for a reason. You chose each other because the two of you have something you don’t find often enough, if at all. You mutually share things like consideration, trust, empathy, support, and you love spending time with them. A BFF is a gift that can’t be measured like material goods.

Being a BFF means being truly ecstatic in your friends’ success and happiness even if you’re not up to the same speed. In every BFF, there is an element of responsibility to care about what your friend needs and take the lead sometimes. Your BFF is always on your mind, and you don’t play games.

It takes two to make a BF—there is no such thing as a one-sided friendship. A bona fide BFF is one of the best things that can happen to us. They listen to us, do things with us, and bring out the best in us. They make us better people, share new experiences, make us laugh, and are always there with broad shoulders for us to cry on in times of trouble. A BFF is considerate and your problems are their problems.

If your BFF is not like this, then, take a closer look at your friendship. Do they lack empathy and/or consideration of your feelings? Have they said and done things that have hurt you or caused offense? And when you try to explain to them that you are terribly hurt by what they’ve said or done, do they still play the victim?

If you’re always overlooking the bad behavior or demands of your supposed BFF, and/or walking on eggshells when you’re around them, it’s probably time to say goodbye.

As hard as that might be, take the energy and caring you’ve been wasting on your frenemy and find yourself the BFF you deserve.


It’s All About the X Chromosome

X Chromosome

I recently blogged about the Y Chromosome, and I might be breaking girl code here, but I feel compelled to illuminate the broad assumptions about us X’s to all you Y’s out there.

Call it a Father’s Day gift.

It’s all about the X chromosome, and the sooner you figure that out, the better for you.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, but two X’s make a female.

According to the Los Angeles Times, women have more genetic instructions since they are the product of two X chromosomes. Thus, we have more depth and complexity than men. Okay, the LA Times was talking about gene complexity, but I am about to prove to you that yes, women are way more complex and way deeper than the mighty machismo.

Women want 20 to 30 minutes of foreplay; men give us maybe 20-30 seconds.  How do you think the phrase wham bam thank you ma’am got its start?

A woman spends an average of two years of her life looking at herself in the mirror. A man spends six months. Men check out their reflection as often as women do, but women take longer looks, due to the necessary maintenance a woman has to do in front of a mirror. Hello.

A woman speaks about 7,000 words a day; a man speaks about 2,000.

Men are all about the basics. Women are all about details, details, details.

If you guys want a happier relationship with your women, you need to let them be the boss of the house. Listen up guys, and just say yes.

We will tell you over and over and over again what we don’t  want, but we rarely let you in on what we do want. You’re supposed to know, poo brain.

When we’re running late and tell you we’ll be ready in five, this really means at least 20 minutes. You can while away the time, and do something constructive. Like taking out the garbage that has been stinking up the house for way too many days. You might even have time to wash and wax the car.

If she asks, “Is there some importance to today?” you messed up big time, stooge head.

And don’t believe her when she says “You’re the boss.” You are NOT the boss. You’re just a pompous womp.

And when she complains that you never talk to her, don’t fill the silence for the sake of it. It’s too damn late. Crickets are better at this juncture.

When your woman tells you that “I’ve only had sex with (insert an infinitesimal number here) men.” She’s a liar, liar, underpants on fire. But NEVAH let on that you don’t believe.

Telling us to “Relax,” is suicide. So is, “Why are you so emotional?”

And don’t ask too many questions; unless she calls you out for not asking enough questions.

When you’re trying to sneak in a nap and it sounds like a herd of elephants just ran across your bedroom, get your ass up and do something worthwhile.

Never blame her behavior on her hormones. EVER.

Ask her multiple times if she’s okay. That’s good and shows you care.  But don’t tell her to smile. That’s not good. That’s just BAD.

When she says she’s “okay,” or she’s “fine,” she is NOT fine, and she is NOT okay. We shouldn’t have to tell you that.

When she says, she barely drank; she’s drunk.

When you catch her flirting, and she tells you that “he’s just a friend,” big trouble is brewing.

When she proclaims that she didn’t expect you to understand; she definitely expected, but you ditin.

When she promises that she won’t get mad if you just tell her the truth; do not, I repeat, DO NOT fall for this.

And if she tells you that she is not the jealous type. JEALOUS!!!!!

“Never mind,” means you’re a moron.

If she says, she’s 130 pounds.  She’s at least 140. DO NOT QUESTION.

“I’m not in the talking mood,” means talking to a brick wall would be more constructive.

When she say’s “go ahead,” this is NOT giving you permission, so don’t do it.

When she says “Forget it, I’ve got it covered,” you are definitely in the dog house.

And when she says the dreaded “we need to talk,” this is B.A.D.

When she asks, “You’re not wearing that, are you?”  You need to change.

When she asks you, “Which part of no didn’t you understand?” Give whatever you wanted to do up. ASAP.

And when she wants to know if you have to do that right now? Don’t answer. Just stop.

And last but not least, when she says “I’m done,” run out quickly and buy a very expensive piece of jewelry. Remember, diamonds are forever.

You’re welcome!

The Y Chromosome

X & Y Chromosomes
(Photo description: The human Y chromosome (the stumpy one on the left) holds the code for “maleness;” the mighty X on the right holds the code for “femaleness.”)

Basic biology has it that girls are girls because they have two X chromosomes— those thingies inside cells that carry our genes. Boys are boys because they have one X and one Y.

Y might look puny next to X, but as Mark Twain once said: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

Speaking from experience, I can’t live with Y. And I can’t live without Y.

When my husband does something stupid I always ask myself, why ? And then I answer my own question with: Blame it on the Y chromosome— the essence of masculinity.

As I have mentioned in past blog posts, pretty much everyone in my family has the same thing to say about The Teri Tome: PLEASE DON’T WRITE ABOUT ME. I feel like Taylor Swift, sans the long legs, beautiful hair, perfect teeth, wrinkleless lips, and her gazillions of dollars.

So I’m going to attempt to write this Y Chromosome blog without writing about anyone in particular. Except that me is me.

Me [Getting ready for a wedding]: Does this dress make me look fat?

Him: I like a little meat on your bones.

Me: Are you kidding me? That’s really offensive.

Him: You asked.

Me: Just say no.

Him: No.

Me: Thanks for nothing.

Him: Can I throw something else out there?

Me: Really? You haven’t said enough?

Him: I don’t like you in red.

Me: Too late now. You’re stuck with red meat on the bone.

Him: Now you’re going to be mad at me?

Me: You think I look fat. Why wouldn’t I be mad at you?

Him: You don’t look fat. You look healthy.

Me: Stop talking.

Him [Driving to the wedding]: Now you’re going to give me the silent treatment?

Me: I have nothing to say.

Him: Next time you ask me the fat question, I’m going to reframe it and throw it right back at you.  

Me: Fine. (To all you Y’s out there: When a woman says fine you need to shut up because she’s not happy.)

Him [Stopping on the steps to the wedding and staring into my face]: Listen, you look beautiful. My bad. Let’s kiss and make up.

Me: Not to worry. (What I really wanted to say was: Not to worry butt face, you’ll pay for your stupid mistake later.)

Now we are meeting and greeting people, and air kissing and hugging, and all I’m thinking about is the meat on my bones. Plus, does red accentuate my stuff?

After the ceremony, I rushed to the ladies room to check out my fat red self.  As I thoroughly inspected myself in the mirror—I GASPED!!!!!

There it was—a near dead gnat stuck in a goop of gloss on my right upper lip.


Me [Trying to stay calm with the gnat still affixed to my lip, while pointing at it]: Did you not notice this ginormous gnat on my face?   

Him: It’s not that ginormous.

Me [Wiping said gnat off my lip with his suit pocket handkerchief while saying nothing]: (Saying nothing is something and means everything, and Y’s should worry when this happens.)

Him: So now you’re mad at me because a gnat drowned in your lipstick?

Me: Lip gloss. And I spoke to a thousand people like that.  

Him: You spoke to about twenty people.

Me: Whatever. (My way of saying screw you.)

Him: Let’s go eat.


First & Second Date Questions

I am very happily married, but if I were in search of a soul mate, I would definitely ask the questions below, spread out evenly over date #1 and date #2.  They aren’t in any particular order, and I would personally jump right in with the deep water questions, but you may prefer to wade around in the shallow end.

Are you pro-choice or pro-life? (Definitely a deep water question, and could be a deal breaker.)

Who did you vote for in the last election and why? (Before Trump I  thought: You don’t have to agree with each other, but mutual respect on this issue is desirable. But after Trump? This would be a deal breaker for me. )

Do you snore? (I would personally ask this question on Date #1.)

What did you do on your last day off? (Be concerned if the answer to this one is that the person waited in line for 30 hours to buy some new product on its release date.)

Are you jealous or possessive in relationships? (My experience with possessive and jealous people is that they get jealous over things that might happen, things that didn’t happen but could have happened, and things that haven’t happened but will probably happen. Toxic, toxic, toxic.)

How long was your longest romantic relationship? (Helpful to know if there are any long term possibilities.)

How long was your most recent romantic relationship? (Ditto re my note to the question above.)

Do you have any phobias, and if so, what are they? (Having recently blog posted about phobias, this would be one of my date #1 questions as well.)

What is your all-time favorite book and why? (The importance of this question is not the what but the why.)

Who is your hero? (If the answer is snoop dogg, I would delve deeper.)

Does religion play an important role in your life? (This is a great way to get the “what religion are you” question asked without actually asking.)

Who hates you and why? (This is one of my fave questions.)

How many times a week do you call your mother or father? (If the answer is 10-12 times a day, know up front that the family will be in control.)

How is your relationship with both of your parents? (My very wise grandmother told me years ago, to carefully observe how a man treats his mother because he will in all probability treat his wife the same way.)

Have you ever been arrested?  (Not enough people ask this question.)

If the answer is yes to the above question, the obvious follow up would be:

Were you convicted? (Call me naïve, but a yes to this question might also be a deal breaker.)

Do I remind you of anyone else you know? (If the answer to this question is a recent ex, run.)

Do you have any concerning diseases? (If the answer to this question is long and involves anything communicable, run run.)

Are you now, or have you ever been married? (Date 1. Duh.)

Do you gamble? (A question not asked enough.)

Who is your least favorite relative and why? (The answer to this question could be extremely foreboding.)

What is your favorite television show? (“Dating Naked” would be a red flag for me.)

Do you blame your parents for any issues that you have? (If ever answering this question, just say no.)

What do you do for a living?  (I leave it to you to determine what careers are acceptable.)

The question above makes for the perfect segue below:

Do you spend more than you earn or earn more than you spend? (I like to think that wealth is determined by the quality of one’s experiences, not one’s material assets. Just saying.)

Good luck and happy dating.