The 14 Types of Kisses You Might Have Tonight

As every single girl knows, New Year’s seems so romantic and ripe with possibility (Sparkles! Champagne! Heels! A New Year that could bring love!), but the reality is: the night of high expectations usually turns out to be a dud.

Even so, when the clock strikes midnight, we all bring out our chapstick and look anxiously around the room for someone to ring in the New Year with a smooch. Though I’ve never kissed anyone I was dating at midnight (and the last two years, I watched jealously as all thecouples around me made out), I still get my hopes up that one year, I will finally have on of those magical liplocks with someone I love.

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Ten Years in the Making

You can do it, Linds. You can do this! I reminded myself walking up a white staircase into a large white room decorated with home décor accents from Family Dollar. It was a little newspaper in the “downtown” area of an even smaller town – but for me, it was my first real gig as a journalist.

Having just moved to a community where the closest Wal Mart was 30 minutes away and the only attraction was a barbeque pit and a sparkling man-made lake, I felt out-of-my-element and frankly, lost. To ease the idle time at age 15, I started reading the county newspaper and noticed a void of teen content. Tapping into my self-starter mentalities, I casually mentioned my observations to my mother who gleefully suggested I pitch to the editor of the newspaper.

Well who would write it? I asked. You, silly! She suggested. Hmm…

And so after some string-pulling and a four-hour shopping trip to buy my very first suit set (it was pink corduroy, sadly), I landed a meeting with the Editor-in-Chief of The Clay County Progress. Just tell her what you want to do. That’s all you have to do. And walk in these heels – don’t fall!! I said over-and-over while waiting in a “lobby” next to a water fountain, flipping through my “portfolio” which was really just a few pages of things I’d scribbled together and essays from school. I surely couldn’t bring in my diaries, though that’d be a more credible resume booster if I wanted to be a columnist.

When she finally called me in, I handed her my colorful binder (purple with letters cut out of magazine headlines that spelled: Lindsay’s Writing Portfolio) and proposed a weekly teen column that discussed the young adult perspective on everything from war to love. I continued to describe myself, making sure to throw in words like “hard-working” and “creative” like my father suggested. Don’t tuck your hair behind your ear, don’t do it. Just leave it. No, it’s not itching. Just leave it alone, Lindsay! I thought while clutching my fists under the table while she asked me questions. Smile, I encouraged myself. Maybe she likes you!

Twenty minutes and a trip to the bathroom later, I jumped into my mom’s car where she sat anxiously waiting: Well? she asked. I’m a columnist! I screamed. We went to get ice cream sundaes to celebrate and I reveled at the fact I’d get a whole $10 a week for writing. I could hardly believe someone was wiling me to do something I’d do for free and that I’d see my name in a newspaper that people actually paid money to read.

It was amazing – and I was hooked.

From there, I went on to co-lead the high school newspaper, intern for a local women’s magazine, then I brought that same ridiculously unprofessional portfolio to college where I started as an intern reporter and moved up to an Associate Editor. During my Appalachian State days, I managed to land an internship at Cosmopolitan (where my NYC love affair became undeniably serious) and wrote a blog for When I wasn’t promoted to Editor-in-Chief at the college newspaper, I was blessed to be offered an Editor-at-Large position at, and it was there that I fell in love with the beautiful land of cyber-style writing. I love to hold my magazines and read them on the train, but my heart is intertwined with the web.

All of those experiences bought my one-way ticket to New York City (along with several restaurant and retail jobs) where I tried my skills out in the business writing world. And then of course, this lovely little blog deemed me a “Carrie Bradshaw”-like heroine in New York (though I could never afford her apartment or her shoes).

Lastly – and most amazingly – all of that hard work paid off this year when I landed the dream job. Nearly ten years (almost to the exact date!) have passed since I pitched my first column and now, I’m working, editing and writing for NBC. I never thought I’d be this remarkably happy at a job, but I am. I wish I could put into words how thankful I am, but no amount of gratitude could ever express it.

A year ago I wrote about what 2010 meant to me and what it represented. It was the year for New York, the year for many firsts, the year for great strides, big chances and slim paychecks. It was when I gained my city sense, when I tried out urban dating, when I started to become my own person, when I figured out (or rather solidified) that New York was definitely the place I wanted to live.

But 2011 has meant something different. It marked the end of a decade – ten years in the making of what’s made me, me.

It’s been about finding me in every aspect of my life. It was the year I decided I would be brave enough to fall in love, regardless of the outcome. It was the year I dedicated to writing – posting 1,000-word entries for nine months out of the 12. It was the year I met people I know will be my best friends when our boobs reach our knees. It was the year I learned how to survive on my own, completely cutting financial ties with my family. It was the year I went after the things I wanted, the things I came to New York to find. It was the year I let go of what was dependable and good to find the incredible and the great.

It was the year I got to where I wanted to be: a strong, independent 20-something, working at a place she loves, surrounded by friends who inspire her and doing the things that make her happy, with or without a man.

It seems impossible that so much time has passed or that I’ve already written so many articles and blogs that I’m more Google-able than I’d like my dates to know – but I’m proud of my work. I love that someone, somewhere has read something I’ve written and has learned something. Or felt less alone or less crazy. Or has been courageous enough to leave a relationship that wasn’t healthy to find hope for one that will be. Writing about love isn’t like being a journalist on the front lines or reporting on the latest political advances – but it has its own place and purpose in the world.  And for now, it’s a place that I belong. It’s a purpose that I found a home in. It’s where I was always meant to be.

So thank you 2011 for changing me. For allowing me to make a lot of mistakes to get to where I am now. For teaching me how to love myself unconditionally, through jobs and breakups, love and a lot of luck.

I’m not the person I was in 2010 and thanks to 2011, I have a good feeling I’ll be one hell of a woman in 2012. Just wait and see.

Sugar & Spice, but Not Everything Nice

Since New Year’s, when I felt ready to move onto Step 5, I’ve been trying to figure out what “admitting the exact nature of my wrongs” actually entails. For months now, I’ve confessed many unattractive obsessive qualities and maybe told more than TMI on the pages of this blog.

Nevertheless, if I think of my “wrongs” as they pertain to feeling unworthy of love or as a perceived failure in relationships, I think one of the most consistent mistakes I’ve made as a love addict is something that you’d think wouldn’t be portrayed as a bad thing.

As my mother puts it: “You’re just too nice, sweetie.”

I’d classify myself as someone who avoids controversy like the plague. Unless I feel super passionate about something, say women’s, children’s and animal rights, I allow people to state their case and calmly and kindly say, “I don’t agree with you, but I’m glad you have an opinion.” Maybe this makes me a pretty killer journalist, but in the dating scene or as someone’s girlfriend – it makes me a little vulnerable to manipulation.

After about three months of dating Mr. Idea, he went into what I called a “funk.” For whatever reason, not only did he have no interest in kissing me, making love to me, or really even holding me – but his attitude was hostile and flat-out rude. Of any man I’ve ever dated, he knew exactly what to say to make me feel the lowest of lows and his blows were harder than any boyfriend should ever give. Though he never physically hurt me (I did, however, throw a high heel shoe at his face once, woops), the emotional baggage we gave to each other was immeasurable. Needless to say, it wasn’t a healthy relationship and to deal with my extreme ups and downs, I consulted my very best friend, my mom, and my group of girlfriends.

And when I would go to them, crying, frustrated, or mad – they almost all said the exact same thing: “Why don’t you just break up with him, Linds? Why are you sticking around when he treats you so badly?

I’m not sure anyone really understands the true dynamic in a relationship unless you are one of the two experiencing it, and those who love us only want us to be surrounded by support and happiness – but when you’re in love (or even just in lust), you want to stick around because you can imagine tomorrow. And you also don’t want to leave, in fear of the “what if” monsters you’ll have to battle down the road. Because somehow, if you’re the girl who puts up with the good and the bad, the ugliness and the messiness, the frustrations and shortcomings – you must be something special, right? Because don’t we all go through hardships, don’t we all lose ourselves in funks, and don’t we all just want someone who will stick with us through the thick-and-the-thin, through the years when our breasts hit our toes, and our hair turns a lovely shade of gray?

But at what point does being the nice girl, the good girl, the girl who stands by her dude’s side encouraging him and forgiving his mishaps…get completely pissed off and leaves the relationship (or pretend one) for good?

I do believe in the best in people and perhaps even more so, I believe everyone is capable of change. But the older I get, the more confident I become in myself and with my life, I also believe that the only person who can make your life better, is yourself. It is a decision and a journey that begins and ends with taking one step forward, without looking back, and having faith in the miles ahead. And until you can be without funkiness or messiness as an individual, it is real tough to be in love or be an active, giving-and-taking participant in a relationship. My personal goal to be a better person and un-addicted to love is part of my disarray and something I should work through before I agree to be official with someone. And maybe that reasoning is why I made the agreement with Mr. Possibility in the first place. Or the reason why Mr. Unavailable was unattainable and Mr. Idea finally drove me to a point that I had to leave.

And that point is one that is taking me less time to get to as I grow in my recovery. I’m not really the kind of person to completely dismiss someone, place them on a blacklist, and curse the ground they walk on – but I also am starting to notice when I’m being just a little too nice. A little too reachable. A little too comforting. And when a man pushes you and tests your patience and your lenient nature – you reach an even more intense summit where you’re just done. Sure, girls are sugar and spice, – but we don’t have to be everything  nice.

If I want to be in a relationship one day with a man who has his act together, a stable head on his shoulders, and enough charisma to light up a room – I can’t wait around forever for him to come out of the shadows. Sure, no one is perfect, but a line has to be drawn somewhere and it is really up to me on where to place my ending point. Standing by your man or having patience with someone who you can see a future with is an attractive quality – but independence and the ability to demand respect and your needs to be met is even sexier.

While my Southern graces will stick with me until the end, the New Yorker I’m growing into knows sometimes you have to kick the grace to the curb, state your case for exiting, tie your laces, and get right back in the dating race.

PS: If you’re a fan of Confessions of a Love Addict and want to be part of a new page on the blog, email Lindsay or send her a Tweet.

Mr. Rescue and the Silver Stilettos

Since adopting my newfound confidence through this journey and blog, I haven’t felt the need to be rescued from the Plague of Singleness and its many hassles. And for me, that’s an accomplishment in itself.

I can’t even count how many times, previous to this revelation, I laid in bed, making bargains with the heavens to just give me my Prince Charming so I wouldn’t have to be continuously hurt and destroyed by the male population of the world. I dreamed of a man walking up to me in a bar, in the park, in a coffee shop, in a deli – really, anywhere – and declaring his instant love for me. How he saw me from across whatever room we were sharing and he couldn’t take his eyes off of me, how he knew in that single second that he could no longer imagine being with anyone else. And just like that – I’d be free. Free of the bounds of being a single woman longing for a love to call her own.

Now, when I think of being rescued from a single life, part of me silently giggles and another part is so thankful (and proud) of the growth I’ve made in the last five steps. Because, really, I don’t see anything I need to be be rescued from- my life as it is, regardless of any man, love interest or fling, is a life that gives me great joy and happiness. I feel secure and able to stand proud and tall (well, heel-induced height, anyway), and share with the world that I’m okay just with me, myself, and I.

However, sometimes, when you least expect it, a situation arises where even though you hate to admit it and you bite your tongue through asking – you actually need some help from a man. Say when your good friend is throwing up in the VIP section of a trendy midtown club on New Year’s Eve, unable to stand up, and you have no idea how to get her out the doors, into a cab, and up your three flights of stairs to your apartment.

Lucky for me, that’s when Mr. Rescue…came to my rescue.

My friend C and I dressed up in sexy dresses, silver-studded stilettos, and curled up our locks determined to paint this city red for 2011. We stopped for some Thai and then headed to our selected spot for the remainder of the year. When we arrived, there wasn’t much of a crowd but we decided to sip our wine, indulge in each other’s company, and because the men weren’t the priority (though we wanted a kiss at midnight) – we’d let them come to us. And as if we carefully orchestrated the perfect solution to gain a guy’s interest, within about 20 minutes, a group of guys – most rather attractive – surrounded us.

As I’m a sucker for the tall, dark, and handsome types – I found myself being entertained by Mr. Rescue. He was witty and quick with words, and had one of those dashing smiles that makes you wonder how many heads he turns with it. As I asked him my usual list of questions, which include where he’s from, where he lives now, what he does, etc – I caught my jaw drop as he replied, casually: “I’m in the Secret Service.”

Now – with a few glasses of Merlot in me and being quite the firecracker in the dating scene anyways, I quickly told him his BS was almost believable and asked what he really did. And then, he pulled out his badge. In a fancy wallet and all. I continued to let him know I didn’t believe him, but secretly, I found it a little sexy…if it was true, after all.

As the night continued, my friend C found her New Year’s kiss date, and I had mine, so we spent the minutes until the clock struck 12 in true Cinderella fashion – dancing and feeling like the belles of the ball (or as I was saying in celebration of my goal to learn Italian in 2011, “Ciao Bella!”). Once the 20-second countdown approached and champagne was in hand, Mr. Rescue looked at me and I decided that locking lips with a “Secret Service Man” to bring in what I know will be an incredible year for me wasn’t a bad idea at all.

So, as the bubbly warmed my tummy, Mr. Rescue placed his hand on the side of my face, pulled me in, and kissed away 2010 and welcomed in nothing but fuzzy feelings for 2011, I had my very first New York New Year’s. It also helped that he told me I was beautiful after our  exchange, brownie points for the Secret Service crew – their training is quite gentlemanly.

After a few more drinks, we took our places in the VIP section with our newfound friends and as Mr. Rescue and I were casually flirting over Grey Goose (which I denied because I’m just not a liquor lady – keep the wine coming, please) – I noticed C not looking in the highest of spirits. I rushed to her side and as I was turning to catch her attention, all of the Thai and booze we consumed came crashing down on the couch. Followed shortly by C, who in her state, couldn’t physically hold herself up. Mr. Rescue saw the detriment, got his friend to grab some napkins while he got some water, and I carefully rubbed C’s back, hoping there wasn’t anything left for her to rid of.

An hour later, after a trip to the bathroom, Mr. Rescue and the understanding body guard helped C walk out of the bar, where in my silver stilettos, tiptoed behind, holding my clutch and our jackets with care and trying to figure out how I was going to get her back to my place safely. But when the cold New York air greeted me, I watched Mr. Rescue go into rescue mode – getting us a cab, no matter the amount of blocks he needed to walk, and talking to the policemen to help him out (I wonder if he flashed his shiny badge?) Within ten minutes, I was walking across snow and ice in heels as Mr. Rescue made sure C got into the cab with me and he rode uptown to my apartment to make sure she made those flights. He paid for it, too.

Once we got C onto my air mattress and safely sobering up, Mr. Rescue asked me if I needed anything and if I was alright. Amazed by his kindness and compassion, I told him that I did not and thanked him endlessly for helping me make sure she was out of harm’s way. He merely shook his head, told me he had fun and didn’t mind, and then….

asked me to dinner this weekend. And you know, I think I may just go. As long as he knows that I’m not usually the type of gal who needs rescuing, even if he is a Secret Service man.

Ciao Bella 2011!

I’m a big fan of making lists – for my groceries, for things I have to do, for things I’d like to do, for people I need to call, for blogs I need to write, emails I must return, ideas to pitch at work, qualities in a man I’d like to find…and the list goes on and on (pun rightfully intended).

Every year before this one, including 2010, I have made a quite lengthy list of resolutions that I wanted to fulfill before December 31. More often times than not, I almost always complete this list, like a good schoolgirl, checking everything off in red pen.

But lately, as I’ve been attempting to decide what I should seek in 2011 – I’ve found myself drawing one huge giant blank. Sure, I could probably stand to lose five pounds (but then, would I have boobs?), I could save more money (but, then would I have such a saucy collection of heels?), I could write more (but I write everyday), I could vow to drink less (but I live in New York),I could decide once-and-for-all that this will be the year I find love (but, that’s out of my hands), and I could have a more optimstic viewpoint (but, I’m happy as I am).

And then, it occurred to me – really what I’m doing with this journey, with this blog, is one multi-step resolution in itself that is simply to be the person I want to be. To be someone who is self-sufficient, obsessive-free, and confident in herself…regardless of a man. For so long, I’ve let all of the guys- from Mr. Fire and Mr. Fling to Mr. Idea, Mr. Unavailable, and Mr. Disappear, control not only my perception of love and its infinite confusions, but also my opinion of myself. I’ve allowed their choices, that ultimately do not have anything to do with me, let me feel like I wasn’t good enough to be picked as their partner. Or that some woman was always better than me or had something I simply could not offer. And for whatever reason, I wasn’t “good at relationships” – when in reality, relationships aren’t something to place on your resume. I’ve placed “meeting The One” on my life’s checklist, when I know in my heart, it should not be a box to check – and even worse, I’ve punished myself for each and every single thing that’s gone wrong in a relationship, allowing the men to have countless “get out of blame” free cards.

And so while it wasn’t the start of a New Year when I started this journey in September, it was then that I made a resolution to release their grasp, and the power of negative thinking, and let myself walk confidently in the direction of a healthy relationship – with myself. Past be damned, I’d rather have today, and the all of the hope for a tomorrow I can’t even imagine.

So for 2011, I’m moving on to Step 5I have admitted to a higher power, to myself, and to another human being the exact nature of my wrongs. Not exactly sure how I’ll go about this one -but as I always do, I figure it out somewhere along the way, have no doubt.

And in addition to moving forward with this path that I’m so enjoying taking as a single woman, I’m also doing something that’s simply for me, without a goal in mind. Or at least one that’s intimidating. I’ve spent the majority of my life saving up for my move to New York and because of that, I haven’t been able to travel as often as I’d like. And of all the places I’ve always wanted to go, Italy tops the list (sorry Irish heritage, but I’ll get there).

Something about the elegant and sexy way they talk, how they drink gallons of wine like it isn’t a big deal, how food and company are meant to be enjoyed for hours beyond end, and there is an endless amount of pasta, pizza, and bread – not to mention the country is shaped like a shoe – makes me long for an extended visit.

For my 25th birthday, I will go to Italy for a month, alone (or perhaps with another single gal pal or two) – and see all that there is to see: Rome, Sicily, Florence, Venice, and Capri. And step one to catching the flight to Italy is learning the language, just as I’ve always wanted to do, so I signed up for classes at Scuola Italiana in the lovely Greenwich Village.

I don’t know much Italian yet, though I think I’ll be able to learn pretty easily (if not, Rosetta Stone it is!) – but I do know “Ciao Bella!” and that will be my mantra for the year: always greeting myself and others with beauty and excitement, no matter what bumps in the road, or men, who may get in the way.

And because Italians are simple with their greetings – keeping “hello” and “goodbye” the same – I may be forced to say “Ciao Bello!” to the men who just don’t measure up to what I need.

Ciao bella amantes fino a domani! (Goodbye beautiful lovers – until tomorrow)