Don't Mince Words



Adios American Riviera 1

Posted on November 17, 2013 by Marna

Did you hear that?  It’s my labia clapping because I’m leaving Santa Barbara.  My days in the land of college students and retirees are ending which means my dating life will come off life support.

I can laugh about dating in Los Angeles, but Santa Barbara has been the worst experience in my adult life.  There’s a handful of age- and height-appropriate men.  Toss in education and I’ve got about six men in a 30-mile radius I could date.  There are a fair share of freaks here too.  I can honestly say I was approached by two, yes 2, cross-dressers who liked my online profile because I looked “fun and open-minded.”  As much as it would be awesome to have someone to do my makeup, I can’t date anyone that has better legs than me.  My other notable experience was dating an old guy.  It was my first experience in the presence of Viagra.  I never thought I’d ever say “oh, no, not again” while in bed, but I know now that I’d rather be sawed in half by a drunk guy.  At least you know he’s going to eventually puke or pass out.

My layoff has prompted drastic life changes.  I’ve decided to move back to Richmond, Virginia – a town I left more than 15 years ago to begin my post-divorce “I want to experience everything tour.”  Now I’m going back because I need to be surrounded by good friends and enjoy a sensible cost of living.  And dating?  Yeah, I’ll get back on that horse.  It can only get better.

What I did on my summer… fall… winter… spring… summer vacation 1

Posted on August 14, 2010 by Marna

I wish I could say it’s hard to believe I’ve been out of work exactly a year today, but it’s true.  I mentally assumed, based on the economy, my age, and my salary expectations, that my job search would be long.  That’s why I immediately dubbed myself the “Layoff Lady of Leisure.”  My new “job” title was formulated to keep me in a positive mindset.  But let me tell you, I’ve worked my ass off in the last year.  My life would of been easier if I had been on the job.

I took a week off, like they tell you to do, before I hit the streets again.  Of course, my first week of freedom was overcast, so I didn’t get a tan, but I did manage to get drunk.  But drinking brought inspiration through my past experience in New York where, after the dot com crash, I went to a lot of pink slip happy hours.  This time around, I had an army of unemployed friends so we spent a lot of time finding “hardship” hours with reduced drinks and food.  So, in the last year, I’ve participated in an unknown number of happy hours where job interview stories were exchanged in between cocktails.  This got me out of the house more often and away from Tex, my dog and CSO (chief snack officer).

But a Layoff Lady of Leisure’s life isn’t all about boozing.  On average, I spent about six hours a day looking for jobs, calling about jobs, going to networking events, and other self-pimping activities.  I applied for approximately 727 jobs nationwide and had 44 interviews.  The interviews, like dating in Los Angeles, became a source of good material.  For instance, I actually got the “What do you see yourself doing in five years” question.  Yeah, novice interviewers are fun.  I refrained from saying “I see myself going through menopause.”  I had better interview questions when I auditioned for “The Apprentice.”

Most people, when they are laid off, secretly say “Now I finally have the time to do ____.”  My fill-in-the-blank was pretty predictable: “finally lose those last 20 pounds.”  In addition to continuing my gym routine, I started a running program.  That lasted about two weeks when my knees gave up in protest.  I then moved to P90X and had a remote workout buddy in New York.  That routine is a great way to work on all your body parts and it isn’t intimidating like lifting weights around the hottest gay guys on earth.  In addition to this, I was going to yoga twice a week and hiking.  After my birthday, I decided to try to be a vegan as a personal challenge.  Well, the kind of vegan that doesn’t throw her leather shoes out.  I thought for sure that change would shake more pounds loose.  I added daily hiking and still wasn’t losing weight.  Armed with months of caloric data, I went to my doctor and found out if I didn’t have a thyroid problem, I would of been at my goal weight months and months ago.  Yippee.  Without the time to do all this physical and food experimentation, I probably would not of known I had a problem.  Without the Obama COBRA subsidy, I would of been uninsured and never bothered with the doctor.  It’s funny how things work out.

The rest of my “free” time has been spent productively as well.  I moved my site to WordPress.  I painted my kitchen and living room.  I organized my Twitter lists.  I networked my way to more than 500 LinkedIn contacts.  When Tex got really tired of me, I fostered another dog for him.  I read, I wrote, and I caught up on NetFlix.  I also did some less desirable things:  I sold gold for cash and withdrew part of my 401k to keep the bill collectors away… and, because we know a girl’s gotta drink.

I don’t know many people who can be out of work a year and still maintain a good attitude like me.  I’ve been through this so many times, I know the routine.  With good friends and good drinks, I can weather just about any storm.  Let’s hope the tide is changing soon.  Your Layoff Lady of Leisure is ready for a new job title.

FourSquare adds life 1

Posted on April 16, 2010 by Marna

In the mail on Monday, I received one of those friendly reminders from the local Honda dealership telling me that it was probably time to change oil.  I realized I didn’t come close to hitting their high mileage estimate.

I have become the little old lady of West Hollywood.  Being laid off, there are days my car doesn’t move.  When it does, it is usually to drive to happy hour to met my other laid off friends, or to give Tex a courtesy ride.  I’m averaging 300 miles per month.  That’s just crazy low mileage in this town.  And it is empirical evidence that I don’t have much of a life.

I changed that immediately by adding the FourSquare app to my iPod.  I realize I’m a hypocrite for advising clients to get involved with geolocation apps and not participating myself.  What I didn’t anticipate is the motivation FourSquare can provide to get out of the apartment.  I’ve got check-in’s all over my neighborhood and I am now the Mayor of my apartment building and I’ve been awarded an Adventurer badge because I get out a lot.   I know it is all bullshit, but it is like a Weight Watcher’s weigh-in.  It’s all the motivation I need to feel like I’m making a change in my life.

Today is four square day (4×4 = 16).  It’s like Pi day except the math is so much easier and there’s drinking involved.  Check-ins at The Standard get two-for-one drinks.  The Viper Room has more FourSquare specials:  no cover, cheap drinks, and PBR swag.

I have said many times I don’t do anything unless it gets me a job or gets me laid.  Right now, getting out of the apartment is the first step.

Check-in.  Check me out.

  • About Marna

    Marna’s writing career started as a Pentagon intern. Early exposure to $500 toilet seat press releases made her appreciate creative nonfiction. Now she has more than 25 years of senior-level marketing and communications success working with Fortune 100 companies, government, nonprofits, small businesses, startups, and agencies.

    Stats: 369 Posts, 128 Comments

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