His "Nickname" Is Slot Machine

His "Nickname" Is Slot Machine

Hands down the most TERRIBLE dating experience in my ten years of post divorce dating!
Mary G
Mary G

If you thought my dog, Valentino peeing on my last date was bad, picture a young, innocent Mary, fresh out of the gate after her painful divorce from Burak (circa 2006), ready to get back in the dating ring once again. I was so sweet. So vulnerable. That is why the guy I’ve come to call Slot Machine has continued to rank as one of the All-Time Worst of the Nicknames, even after all these years of Dating Hell!

Not that I knew this from the get-go. Slot Machine and I met on the dating site Plenty of Fishlong before I realized those were toxic waters. We even made it to the five-month mark, which, although I had no idea at the time, would be a true rarity in my “drive through” boyfriend history. I use the word “boyfriend” very generously.

I’m going to call Slot Machine “SM” from now on, because this is a long story and Slot Machine takes a lot longer to type! I suggest you sit back, relax, and sip on wine or better yet vodka for this story; and because it's so long I'm going to split into to two articles. You see, SM had a serious case of separation anxiety. He had finally moved out of his Mommy’s house to take a job in the wilds of Connecticut. He still made the round-trip, four-hour drive every weekend to catch up with Mother, however.

Red flag!

Unfortunately, being a relative dating novice at this point, I completely overlooked the substantial significance of his weekly journey.

String issues aside, I must admit that the first couple of months were fantastic. He sent flowers to my office, which made me the talk of the town (or at least the seniors I worked with). I recruited him to run with me as I trained for my second marathon. Okay, he could barely keep pace with me, but it was nice to have the company. It was nice that he cared.

The day I noticed he had changed his Facebook status to “in a relationship,” I felt a tingling all the way down to my toes. This was the first “relationship” since my ex. I was so excited!

Have you ever heard the saying, “be careful what you wish for”?

Because SM loved to play the slots, we decided to have some fun and take a trip togetherour firstto Vegas (nickname alert!). He took care of all of the details and even arranged a suite for us at The Venetian. It was very exciting. Except this one little detail…

Why on Earth did he book our round-trip flights to Vegas out of Delaware?

Turns out he wanted me to meet his beloved Mother, as well as the rest of the family. To be honest, I was honored.

Like any good guest (that wasn’t raised by wolves), I baked my famous chocolate chip cookies, bought a nice bottle of wine, and even borrowed my friend Fiona’s favorite summer dress. I was, ready, willing, and actually quite anxious to meet his “awesome” relatives.

After what seemed like several days on the road, we pulled up to his house in some random suburban Delaware neighborhood. His family was in the midst of having a barbecue. Awesome! I love barbecues! It’s so nice to escape the city on a hot summer afternoon for some greenery, good food, and scintillating conversation.

Unfortunately, number three was not an option.

SM’s family from Nepal was also visitingand I swear, they were like an Eastern Hemisphere version of the Honey Boo Boo family. Who knew there were white trash people outside of the good old US of A? The most memorable was SM’s cousin, who had married a beautiful Nepalese woman and brought her to the barbeque to meet the family. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what her home life must have been like to drive her into the hairy arms of this beast. ‘Cuz was a big-boned dude, drunk out of his mind, and walked around the party with his hands down his pants. Yes, I know—a charmer. The other uncle, aunts, and cousins in attendance weren’t much better.

But back to Cousin One. The day before I arrived, he had resurrected his homeland’s custom of sacrificing a goat; right there in the back yard where we were eating. Apparently, goats and other animals are ritually slaughtered and eaten during the Hindu festival of Dashain. SM’s family even insisted on showing me pictures of the barbaric event, which was not a lot of fun seeing as I’m an ardent animal lover.

Thank God they didn’t wait for my arrival to perform their ancient ritual. I probably would have thrown up.


However, they were thoughtful enough to bring out the poor goat’s horns and insist that I smell them, including the left over brain parts still inside. I wanted to be polite—I didn’t want to be the Ugly American who looked down on their custom—but I just couldn’t. When I declined, word immediately circulated that I was a stuck-up NYC bitch.

Suddenly, I was the butt of all their jokes. They insisted on pouring my beermine aloneinto a glass. I tried to explain that I was perfectly happy drinking it out of the bottle, but they wouldn’t hear of it.

Meanwhile, SM, apparently in his excitement to hug and kiss Mommy, left my cookies in the sweltering car, along with the wine. His mother finally insisted he retrieve them, but thanks to the heat they had reverted to batter. The litter of kids who spent the day jumping all over me devoured them (probably with spoons) in about ten seconds. No one drank the wine, so his mother kept trying to pawn it off on me.

I honestly don’t think they knew how to open anything that doesn’t come with a screw-off cap.

Then there was the aunt who made Honey Boo Boo’s mother look like Princess Grace. When she found out I was from New York City, her only question for me was how many hot dog vendors there were on every street.

Sadly, I hadn’t bothered to count before I left. Who knew how important this information would be for making a good impression?

As the evening progressed, the boys (who I believe are never to be men) came up with the genius idea of smashing a watermelon over one of their brainless heads and videotaping it. I happened to be sitting squarely in the blast zone; meaning Fiona’s favorite dress was instantly splattered with bright pink goo.


I instantly yelled, “Shit!”

At this point, SM joined in the family chorus that yes, indeed, I was one stuck-up bitch.

When the Evening from Hell finally ended after what seemed like an eternity, I slept on the couch alone. The next morning, I awoke to a glorious surprise. Right next to me sat SM’s gorilla of an uncle with his hand down his pants, holding a beer and snoring like some zoo animal.

All I could think was that I would have preferred the goat. They should have sacrificed this hog instead!

An hour later, the hoard of kids woke up and started jumping on me all over again. Time to get the hell out of Dodge. We said our goodbyes and Mommy Dearest dropped us at an airport just outside the Delaware state line.

We were finally on our way to Vegas, albeit with a few stops along the way....

Stay tuned for next week's "totally awesome adventures in Vegas (eye roll)" and the conclusion to how Slot Machine and I came to a very dramatic ending that thankfully did not involve me being chopped up into itty bitty pieces and left for dead on the Vegas strip....

Follow me on Odyssey for next week's wrap up!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.

The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:

“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:


When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:

"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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The 7 Stages Of A Breakup, As Told By Netflix's 'Someone Great'

Alexa play "Truth Hurts" by Lizzo, and max volume, please.


We all know how it feels to get your heart broken by a guy. Whether it be in your teens or in your 30s, everyone experiences it, or already has. After watching the movie “Someone Great" on Netflix, it hit me deep in my feels. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out. It made me realize all of the stages of going through a rough breakup, and I could not relate to a movie more.

1. When you first breakup and will cry about it to just about anyone

We all know that we do this almost immediately after a break-up. You are just trying to get out of the house so you go to the store, something reminds you of our ex, and next thing you know, you're talking the stranger's ear off in the grocery store for the next 2 hours.

2. When your friends call you and you say you're fine but you really haven't moved from your couch in two days and all you have done is eat two gallons of ice cream and watch "The Notebook" on repeat

"Just come do something with us, or let us come there."

"Nah, I'm okay, I actually have a super busy day today."

Yeah, if you mean busy as in binge-watching every episode of "Pretty Little Liars," then yeah, count me out of all plans so I can rewatch every episode for the next 3 weeks. We all know that feeling of not wanting to move out of bed for as long as you can after a break-up.

3. When that ONE song comes on at the mall, and you suddenly realize it was "your" song

This one hits differently. You're literally just minding your own business, trying to treat yourself to a little bit of a wardrobe change because of how sad you have been all week and BAM, it hits you like a train. Next thing you know you're crying in the dressing room of Forever 21 wondering where it all went wrong.

4. Finally caving in and hanging with your friends, realizing that this is what you needed all along

You never want to leave your bed after a breakup, you seem to cancel or bail out on every plan you try to make, then finally, after you have run out of tears, you actually follow through with a girl's night, and then you suddenly realize that all along, just time spent with the gals is what you needed. Trust me, been there, done that. In most cases, a dance party is also well needed.

5. The morning after your girl’s night, you realize that having these gals is better than the boy 

Having your girls there for you in such a tough time actually helps so much. It helps save the tears, the constant replaying of memories in your head, and saves you the time you could be wasting if you're sinking into a deep sadness over something so dumb. That support system is vital for post-breakup, and even I know that.

6. You let him go one last time

Whether it be writing a letter, throwing away all your old memories with him, or by finally getting all your clothes back from his place that have piled up over the past few months or years. It is a truly bittersweet feeling and might even hurt a little, but it's time. You're going to thrive without him.

7. You truly know how much better you’re doing without him

You have reached the point of no return. You’re finally thriving without him. You’re never going back, and you know how much potential your life has and how much better you are without him. Your heart is whole again.

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