Tag Archives: Newt Gingrich

Avoiding Narcissists: Top NV Post

I launched Navigating Vita a little more than a year ago and, like with any anniversary, I’ve been looking back on this time in my life. In my effort to learn what resonates with my readers, I’ve also taken note of which posts are read more than others. If the most popular blog posts are any indicator—finding love and having a good laugh top your list. (And they top mine, too!) So it is with little surprise that one of my first written posts: How NOT to Date a Narcissist remains the all-time favorite: the most searched, read and commented on NV blog post.

Bloggers, by nature, delve into the world of self reflection. And we all can be a bit self absorbed at times, right? But someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)  has a condition that Webster defines as “having an inability to show empathy.” The Mayo Clinic site defines those with NPD as believing “that they’re superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings.” Their sense of entitlement can manifest into a myriad of behaviors that can be abusive both emotionally and/or physically.

If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a destructive narcissist and are back out in the dating world—than I don’t need to tell you that your *top* priority is to avoid falling for another one at all costs. The charming and chameleon qualities of narcissists easily fool people for months—sometimes longer. Wouldn’t it be easier to to end the relationship before you get sucked in and spit out? With that in mind, I sought help from an expert who could point out telltale signs many narcissists exhibit, even in the beginning phase of dating. Debra Cucci, MFT has become somewhat of an expert on this topic as she consults families and runs a workshop in Los Angeles to help women make better choices when dating. Her advice is eye-opening! Finally, there is a concrete list of characteristics that many charming narcissists share—warning signs to take note of during the first few dates. As we all know, Narcissists aren’t gender specific! This article will help anyone avoid falling for this destructive personality who could likely wreck havoc in your life and those of your children.

And after that heavy subject, I’m happy to report that my 2nd most popular post is light as air: 25 Reasons to LOVE Being a Single Mom. I LOVE this silly tongue-in-cheek article that is a compilation of input from *many* single moms out there. Sometimes life is just too hard. The weight of all that is dragging you down can just be exhausting and talking about it doesn’t always make things feel better, does it? In my effort to find how to fill my glass half-full, I started this list and reached out to more than 25 other single moms to see what they’re thankful for. Making this list not only filled my glass half-way—it over-flowed! Laughter truly is the best medicine. Here’s a post guaranteed to cheer you up, put a new spin on your situation—or at least give you a much-needed laugh!

Chiming in at # 3: is Relationship Guru Dr. Pat Allen Sets Me Straight! Also another early blog post. I reached out to Pat Allen, Ph.D., world-renown relationship therapist; best selling author (Getting to I Do) and the resident sex expert on TV’s  Millionaire Matchmaker. Since I was gingerly venturing out into the dating world, after a heartbreak, I thought, who better to help me (and other separated and divorced women) but the top expert herself! She provides simple advice to find Mister Right—and if you’re anything like me, you may just be surprised by how many wrong steps were taken in your search!

For those interested in NV’s top 10 stories, I’ve enclosed a quick run down below. What surprised me the most, when looking at this list, is that the majority of top posts include interviews with experts. I’m gratified that my network as a journalist has helped me reach out and garner interviews with those amazingly talented experts who can really help us in our efforts to find Mr. Right; show our kids love and compassion;  become better parents; examine infidelity; breathe through our anger; show compassion to others who are struggling; and find laughter in the every day. Thanks for reading and being on this journey with me.

Navigating Vita’s Top Ten Posts of All Time:

1. How NOT To Date a Narcissist

2. 25 Reasons to LOVE Being a Single Mom

3. Relationship Guru Dr. Pat Allen Sets Me Straight!

4. Connect With Your Children While They Sleep

5. Top 5 Mistakes Divorcing Parents Make

6. Is Cheating The Only “Rational Choice” for Married Men?

7.Newt Gingrich in Tuscany!

8. The Power of NOT Holding It All (together)

9. An Italian Mom’s Fight To Save Her Daughter

10. Domestic Violence During Divorce: Not a Rarity

Newt Gingrich in Tuscany!

Callista Gingrich and Newt Gingrich after mass in Trequanda, Italy on July 1, 2012

I guess you could say our first day of vacation in Tuscany has been pretty remarkable! James and I decided to venture out of our villa in Sinalunga (the municipality of Sinalunga is in the province of Siena) in search of the rare Tuscan store that is open on a Sunday. Last year when we vacationed in Tuscany, we often travelled to the medieval village of Trequanda and thought we remembered a store or two that might be open. After driving up the walled hill that once marked the entrance to the ancient Cacciaconti castle, we parked just outside a park and the entrance to the piazza. I am shocked when I notice former Speaker of the House and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich following his lovely wife into the historic church “Chiesa dei SS. Pietro e Andrea.” I later learned this ancient Romanesque church with a unique white and ochre checkered facade, dates back to the 13th century.

Chiesa dei SS. Pietro e Andrea, in Trequanda

Chiesa dei SS. Pietro e Andrea, in Trequanda

The former journalist in me just can’t believe that the Republican Speaker of the House who recently withdrew from the presidential race—is here in this same remote village in Tuscany attending mass. Even though I’m a Democrat, I admire Newt’s intellect and his ability to debate. As a former Atlantan, I also have heard many stories and arguments over the years from Republican friends who support him. Because of this, I  watched several interviews between himself and Piers Morgan this winter and spring while he was running for the Republican nomination and just after he withdrew his candidacy. I got so excited that they are here, I convince James and his brother Tommy to sit on a bench outside of this church and wait for them to finish mass so we can say hello. As we wait in the 95 degree temperature, we begin to get antsy and while Tommy looks around, I also take in the surroundings of this quaint, historic village and it’s piazza.

Piazza near Chiesa dei SS. Pietro e Andrea, in Trequanda

For a Sunday, it is still alive and well with tourists sight seeing and locals strolling and stopping for a bite to eat.

Cafe across from Chiesa dei SS. Pietro e Andrea, in Trequanda, whose owner took our photographs with the Gingrich’s. After mass, the former Speaker of the House and his wife had lunch here.

Side steeple of Chiesa dei SS. Pietro e Andrea, in Trequanda.

I was amazed by this tiny side door of the church and its unique stone carving above the doorway.

Tiny side door of Chiesa dei SS. Pietro e Andrea, in Trequanda

After about 20 minutes, Callista Gingrich walked out of the church. Dressed in smart Khakis and a pressed blue shirt, she smiled as we stood up to say hello. You really could not imagine a more friendly person. Because of her demeanor, my butterflies disappeared. James said hello first and she immediately held out her hand and introduced herself. We knew who she was, clearly.

“Are you vacationing here too?” she asked while smiling. We told her we were staying in nearby Sinalunga and she remarked how beautiful the remote villages in Tuscany are. She didn’t seem fazed at all by us and brushed off my apologies for “bothering” them while they were on holiday. She later told us that they were vacationing with friends and love to go to mass while on holiday. When Newt walked out, he wasn’t as friendly at first, but then held out his hand instinctively and said hello, asking our names and where we lived. When we asked if we could take their picture, I was surprised by Callista asking for my camera and then walking over to the owner of the nearby cafe to see if he would take a few pictures of all four of us together. When I chuckled and said, “Thanks for this” to Speaker Gingrinch, he laughed and said, “Well, it makes her happy,” and shrugged.

Not only did the cafe owner take our picture, but Callista asked him to take a few more, just in case they didn’t all turn out.

Callista & Newt Gingrich with us: Laura Roe Stevens & James La Rossa Jr.

What a kind and friendly person Callista is! Clearly, while the two of them are finally enjoying some anonymity in such a remote village in Tuscany as this—especially after so many stressful months campaigning—they didn’t have to take the time to chat with us and pose for pictures. I hope the two of them enjoy a wonderful, peaceful holiday in Tuscany!