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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Adventures in Speed Dating

I recently decided to enter into the foray of the Speed Dating world. I’ve been talking about it, thinking about it, and wanting to do it for ages. As a STILL single, busy mom with a hectic lifestyle, I actually like the concept of speed dating; being able to go on several “mini dates” in one evening. Let’s face it, dating is exhausting so if I can meet an array of men in one night, I’m all for it! It does have a ridiculous factor about it, but, hey, you never know whom you may meet if you don’t go out and try. I decided I needed a partner in crime in this little adventure, so I dragged…coerced…invited my friend Allie to join me after all misery loves company and two broads are better than one. We have known each other since we were 15 so we have had many adventures together. Armed with my Broadminded recording equipment, a large glass of Pinot Noir, and Allie by my side, I was ready to begin my quest to find “The One”.

Fortunately, there were more men than women. Those are the kinds of odds I can work with! The women were seated on a couch while the men were on a bench and, after each conversation, the men would move down the row. It was just like a conveyor belt, which was fitting since Allie and I felt like Lucy and Ethel, but instead of delicious gourmet chocolates speeding past us, we had Milk Duds. I’ve had my radio show for over six years and can talk to anybody, or so I thought. We had 90 seconds for each conversation. In some cases 90 seconds felt like three, but in most cases, 90 seconds felt like an eternity.

First up, I had “Mr. 189” from Chicago who couldn’t wait to tell me he was a lawyer. While that may impress some women in Chicago, here in DC where there are more lawyers than cherry blossoms, I was not impressed. And it started to go down hill so fast from there I thought I’d get motion sickness. After the lawyer was a dating coach who said he was there for “research”, and Allie swears she met Chaz Bono. There was “Mr. 107” who was so infatuated with the girl next to me he didn’t want anything to do with me, and then there was the guy who couldn’t pronounce my name. Please don’t ever call me Christi!

But then, just when I thought the night would only provide enough fodder for Monday morning’s round-table segment, in walks (or rather slides down the bench), “Mr. 1420”. Cute…. check. Tall…. check. Personable…. check. Cute…. check (did I say that already?). Ok “Mr. 1420” you don’t know this (yet), but you are my knight in shining armor this evening. He has a 16-year-old son who is, as he put it, “the light of my life.” I don’t know if he’s “the one”, but he’s definitely a great possibility. We spoke for a while after the whole speed dating part was over so we’ll see where it goes from here. Who knows, maybe 50 years from now, when we’re on our porch swing looking out on our sprawling farm we can tell our grandchildren how we met. Too much?? Oh well, a girl can dream.

All in all, it was an entertaining evening. On a scale of 1-10, I’d put it around a 7, maybe 7.5. Would I do this again? Absolutely! Now that I have the hang of it and realize how not-ridiculous it really is. Though I will make sure the Pinot Noir is never out of reach.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

From The 29 Year Old Upstart To The 83 Year Old Legend, What A Wonderful Women’s History Month!

I have a great job. Being a host on Broadminded for the last six years has allowed me the good fortune to meet and speak with some of my lifelong idols; it has also introduced me to some remarkable people from all walks of life that I may otherwise have never met. During this year’s Women’s History Month we had so many extraordinary women on the show it was difficult to narrow it down to just a few.

The Trailblazer: Thanks to Rush Limbaugh and his incendiary comments about Sandra Fluke and women’s sexuality and contraception, March started off on a rather controversial note. It only seemed fitting, then, that our first interview to kick off Women’s History Month was the illustrious Dr. Ruth Westheimer. I truly believe we, as women, would not be able to speak as openly about our sexuality had it not been for Dr. Ruth paving the way. Because Broadminded is on satellite radio we can, and often do, talk about anything, including our sex lives (or lack thereof), so being able to speak with Dr. Ruth freely was entertaining and enlightening. And at 83 years young, she is still going strong!

The Legends: There are only a handful of people who have won the “Grand Slam” of show business, the EGOT – Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. And only one of those recipients is Hispanic. I’m referring, of course, to the incomparable Rita Moreno. Throughout her amazing career she has been paving the way for other Latino entertainers by proving talent and perseverance always wins! I was so thrilled when I spoke with Valerie Harper. Talk about a lifelong idol! Who didn’t love “Rhoda Morgenstern” on The Mary Tyler Moore Show? In the 1970’s the show was groundbreaking by proving that a single woman in her 30’s can have her own career and live alone and it didn’t mean she was destined to be an old maid. Speaking with Valerie was like speaking with one of my best friends. And when she realized I’m a sexual assault survivor, she made it a point of telling me how proud she was of me for not allowing it to define my life. Moments like that are when I feel so blessed to have this job. You can listen to my interview with Valerie here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDTiILiiIk0

The Spokeswomen: I have always admired celebrities who have chosen to use their fame in positive ways. Fran Drescher will forever been known as “The Nanny”, but thanks to her “Cancer Schmancer” organization she is bringing cancer awareness to the forefront of people’s consciousness and is no doubt saving lives by doing so. Actress Maria Bello is a cofounder of We Advance, an organization that was developed after the 2010 Haiti earthquake which is empowering Haitian women to collaborate towards making healthcare a priority and putting an end to gender based violence within their communities. I can’t think of a better way to use your fame than by bringing awareness to much needed causes.

The Humanitarians: This year’s theme for Women’s History Month was “Women’s Education – Women’s Empowerment”. We were honored to speak with two amazing women who have dedicated their lives to helping other women around the globe. Zainab Salbi is the Founder of Women for Women International. It is a grassroots humanitarian and development organization helping women survivors of wars rebuild their lives. Hibaaq Osman is the Founder and CEO of Karama, which launched in 2005 and is an initiative fueled by a coalition of partners as constituencies to build a movement to end violence against women in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Upstart: At just 29 years old, Lara Setrakian is a Dubai based reporter for Bloomberg Television. Prior to joining Bloomberg, Lara was a reporter for ABC News in New York. This young remarkable woman has accomplished more in her 29 years than most people accomplish in two lifetimes. What an amazing role model this young woman is!

Power Women: To wrap up Women’s History Month I attended the Radical Women's Conference in DC. The conference, founded by Doreen Rainey, has expert speakers who are armed with their experiences, successes, failures, and life lessons to keep you growing into the life you deserve. This year I had the opportunity to interview three powerhouses: Ali Brown, who started a multi-million dollar business with just $20 dollars in her pocket; Jillian Michaels, “America’s Toughest Trainer”; and financial guru Suze Orman. All three of these incredible, self-made women started from nothing, created their own brand and are now household names, yet their goal now is to share their knowledge and empower and encourage other women to be the very best they can be!

Who says there aren’t any good role models for girls anymore?!