Sunday, March 15, 2015

Still WORKING IT!

Last night was well...amazing. It was Saturday night and M and I were out on the town. I had outdone myself with my black boots (sort of Captain Jack Sparrow looking but on sale at Nordstrom Rack!) skinny jeans, and a long clingy top, Spanx on bottom, Spanx on top and BAM, pure magic.

As M and I cruised restaurant row, people from the bars and restaurants had overflowed onto the street. I could not go more than a couple of feet without men gaping at me. I mean mouth open gaping. Some of them were mid-bite  their cheezy piece of Fortunato's pizza and still turned all the way around to watch me walk by.

OMG, and here all this time (Well the last year or two) I had been worrying about back fat? Ridiculous! Obviously men love a little som'n som'n to grab onto. How much had I spent SO FAR, on eybrow gels, pencils and powders? Crazy! Obviously men love that look of surprise that is now permanently etched on my face!

And then, one young, handsome guy actually begins to make his way over to me. And I'm like "Dude, AWKWARD!" I mean M is standing right here! And he walks over to  me and I'm thinking "Oh wow, I hope M doesn't get too worked up, I mean I will just say, "Thank you so much, but I'm actually with somebody," (Which is what the first and ONLY guy I ever approached in a bar said to me back in the day. Still smarts.)

He makes his way towards me and I inwardly lick my teeth because before leaving home I ate yogurt with Chia seeds, and here he comes and then... there he goes. And then it hits me, I totally forgot ! My 23 year old, blonde, blue eyed daughter is walking with us, instagramming on her phone, totally oblivious to the havoc she is wreaking.

He pushes past me and makes a b-line for her, where a quick conversation ensues before she sends him on his way. "I'm hanging out with my mom tonight" she says. And he sort of looked over at me and waved at me and yelled as if I was deaf, "Hi! I'm just talking with your sister for a minute!" and then I heard him say something like, "Oh aren't you nice? Call me after you get her settled in for the night and we'll go listen to some jazz."

And two totally different feelings washed over me, 1. Pride for my beautiful daughter who is oblivious to her youth and beauty and 2. Pain as my upper Spanx rolled up under my boobs and I realized, I am invisible.

And that's okay because I had my day in the sun and now I have two daughters whose time it is to shine. And I love watching them and there are times I can't believe I made them because they are turning into beautiful women, that I love with all my heart.

It's just that, this experience comes at the end of a week where I started a new job...I mean I think it's a job...it's either a job or a week long play date as all of my co-workers have to remove their retainers before they eat. One girl showed up and said, "Hope you guys don't mind, I'm working in my pajamas today," and I'm thinking AWESOME! Perhaps I will come in my "MORNING SUNSHINE" t shirt and sleep shorts tomorrow.  In fact, Wednesday my editor announced it was his birthday, "I'm a quarter century old today." Okay, so I assumed we were carpooling to Chucky Cheese at lunch time.

But that didn't happen because nobody eats lunch.  Apparently no one else looks at the clock every ten minutes and thinks "Okay at 10:00 I will eat my hard boiled egg, and then at 12:00 my roasted beet salad from Trader Joe's and finish the day up at 3:00 with my chocolate coconut KIND bar. That should hold me."  Quarter century old bodies apparently can live on RedBull and Trail mix.

No one else heaves themselves off the communal "Pit Couch" grunting like a water buffalo while supporting their back with their hands, no one else is taking 10,000 mgs of Vitamin D with Calcium at lunchtime and no one else is receiving text messages from their daughter saying "Dropping off my laundry! Can I have it by tomorrow?" That's because no one else is OLD!

I am now officially the old lady in the room. Ugh! But in a way, I'm okay with it because, DUDE, I am holding my own. I go to work, I write my stories, I even know how to photoshop images and stuff now! I eat my egg and my salad—at the end of the day I heave myself off the pit couch and drive home.  I come home to a loving partner and a cat who pretends he doesn't know we exist but crawls up on our bed as soon as we fall asleep.

Morning comes and I get ready to do it all again. Stories already filling my head, that will later take shape on the page. I pack up my egg, my salad my Kind bar. Grab my robe, shove my feet into slippers and off I go!  Just another day at the office.




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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

5 Things NOT TO SAY in a Relationship

When I went through my divorce, I thought, among other things, (like with my alimony,Really? People live on that?)  that’s it—I’m done. And by done, I meant I will never laugh again, I will never love again, I will certainly never have sex again. I prepared myself to settle into middle age, debated getting a maroon velour Lazy-Boy recliner and a TV tray. Wait! Some recliners have built in cup holders? Well, things ARE looking up!

That lasted about six months, while I watched every Real Housewives episode from every city, (Still love you Countess LuAnn!) gained about five pounds from Top Chef marathons and actually went through my ex’s whole collection of expensive Italian wines. I’m not afraid to admit: I missed having a man in my life damn it! So, I bought myself a pair of skinny jeans, a red shawl from Anthropologie (during the brief shawl resurgence before we all realized we looked like that weird librarian in junior high) a pair of Steve Madden wedges and off I went. I dived into that crazy, weird, please don’t be a serial killer, world of online dating.

Man, I had some doozies. And, I met some very nice men too. Some actually were single! But I had fun. I flirted. I dated. I felt pretty. And then I got lucky. Very lucky. I met a wonderful man. We have been together for almost six years now. We are not married, may never be, but we are committed, we are soul mates, we have a cat together, so...I mean I’M not going anywhere.

There is a huge, growing population of us middle aged folks entering into and living in, second relationships. I have found it to be much different than my first marriage. The two big stressers children and finances are no longer factors. You each have your children, who most likely are on their way to being grown adults. You each have your own finances, however measly they may be, but they’re yours and you are in charge of your own financial future.

This time you focus on the love, the companionship and the intimacy of being with another person. It’s lovely. 

Yet, in my six years of being in this wonderful relationship I have found there are still certain things one can say that do not go over well. They didn’t in the first marriage, and they still are not working. So here are my top five things NOT TO SAY in your new, happy, so glad I found you, relationship.

1.  Is THAT what you’re wearing?  Now, I’m not sure what you mean by that, but you can see we are walking out the door, I have my purse over my shoulder, and I am not naked. So YES, this is what I’m wearing.

2. Hey, do you want to join a gym with me? I don’t know...would you like to join a scrap booking club with me? What are you trying to say?

3.  Seriously? You just ate!  Um...have you not heard of dessert? Take it from me, if your significant other climbs into bed with a bowl of fruit, cereal or ice cream after dinner, leave it alone. No comments necessary.

4. Are you going to leave that there? What? Oh no. I’m just placing it there FOR NOW. You know, until one day the feeling comes over me and I walk over to it, pick it up, and decide to move it to another place that you’ll like even better.

5.   Isn’t today garbage day? Now typically, this will be in the morning as you are lying there spooning. And take it from me it’s a mood killer. Because I take it to mean, “Hey, can you get your big lazy butt out there and drag the can to the curb? Can you? Or, do I have to do EVERYTHING?” So, yeah...not good.


Anyway, I think if you watch out for these pitfalls, you have a good chance at a happy second, long lasting relationship. Plus you will save a whole lot of money on recliners, especially the ones with the cup holders. They are apparently pretty proud of those things.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Taking a Sick Day


The other morning I was in spin class and half way through the first rendition of TIMBER, I began to feel a bit tired. I was sort of disappointed in myself. I told myself “Dude. You spin like three times a week, unless A. It’s raining B. Someone-ANYONE invites you out for an early cocktail or C. You forgot to put your purple Rain Gatorade in the outdoor fridge. So, you should really be able to make it at least half way through the class before you start pretending you are turning that little tension knob to the right and make a great show of pedaling real slow as if you really ARE doing a seated climb."

From there I proceeded to my daily errands and found some little naggy pains in my stomach becoming more and more ominous. As I drove home, I found my hands seizing up, my legs beginning to ache, my back clinching up and realized OMG. I have Ebola. There could be no other explanation for the stabbing pain in my head and neck. Just when things were going so well, and I finally filled up all the little punch holes in my buy ten get one free hand massage at my nail place—and NO, I didn’t work today, lady.

Ugh. I was hot-I was cold. I made my way from the car to my closet and put on a pair of wool tights, socks and a Spanx camisole. (I don’t want my fat sticking out when the coroner comes to take me to the morgue.) I then fell into bed, and as that fitful sleep that comes with illness began to overtake me I thought, “Wait! What do I have to do before I give in? Is everyone fed, is the dog walked, is the cat litter clean, are the backpacks ready for the morning?” and then even in my near delirium I realized, I don’t have to do a thing. For the first time in thirty years, I could just be sick and enjoy it.

I am finally getting to take a sick day. When the kids were little, there were no such things. Running from room to room, cleaning up bodily fluids during a stomach flu marathon, it never occurred to me to give in to the horrendous nausea that overtook me as I went into my two year old son’s room after he yelled “Hey Mommy! I’m burping!” and found rivers of vomit on his bed.
It never occurred to me I might need an antibiotic for Strep when every swallow burned like fire. Not when there was a little league team waiting on their juice boxes. I’m sorry, lay down with two Excedrin with a raging sinus headache that felt like a knife in my eye? Um, not today, when I am lunch mom and the second graders need someone to line them up in the hallway. No. Not today.

But today, Yes. I gave in. In and out of a sweaty slumber, I tried to remember how many people had succumbed to the horrendous Ebola and who had survived. If that nurse could make it so could I, I mean she went to work every day and then was like, “Hey, I don’t feel so good,” and her friends took great care of her and then she was better, running around the hospital infecting God knows who else. And I had M, who insisted on bringing me won ton soup even though I said there was no way I could possibly eat it. (Turns out I did with a few fried noodles as well.)

Through the afternoon I received worried messages from my daughter:
Want to go to lunch?

can’t sick. really sick.

ok. what’s your debit card number i order pizza

 I slept fitfully during the night remembering that my most current will is from 1993 and wondering how my sister will feel about four adults coming to live with her. (She is the sole provider for  my children upon my early demise and Yes I consider this early.) I dreamed of my funeral, and hoped M would remember to give the funeral guy my closed toe shoes because I haven’t had a pedicure since the nail tech held my foot up and said, “Oh poor lady. Wah happened lady?”

Then morning came and I was better. Still a little weak, a little achy, but certainly not Ebola ridden. I realized I was in a new phase of life, a peaceful phase, a quieter phase, an it’s okay to be sick every once in a while phase. A STAY IN BED AND WATCH TWO FULL SEASONS OF DOWNTON ABBEY phase. And I was okay with it, because like all you moms out there, I earned it and I am cashing in.


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Thursday, January 29, 2015

What's Ahead for Mommy Bloggers

Here’s what I would like to say to all the mommy bloggers who are good writers, and pretty funny and offer good advice about how to deal with a toddler who will only wear ballerina tutu’syou ain’t seen nothin' yet. And you moms out there who have kids over five, know what I mean. 

They say you are only as happy as your unhappiest child, and there are no truer words.  
How can you simply go about your day, enjoying your morning coffee, your Weight Watcher’s vegetable teriyaki rice at lunch time, a dirty martini with 3 blue cheese olives (hence the Weight Watcher’s) when that clock strikes five, if your child is suffering? And by suffering I don’t mean an injury, or God forbid an illness, I mean, you know, like, if someone made fun of their shoes, or they didn’t get into their chosen sorority. (You bitches, I haven’t forgotten.) Perhaps they didn’t get put into the baseball game that time you flew your whole family out to Orlando when the team made the little league play offs, and to this day, Uncle Irwin still asks why little Johnny had to sit the bench when he and Aunt Judy drove up all the way up from Longwood. Whatever it is, it affects us in a big way. BIG.

And so it is today, that I sit here feeling sad, weighted down, helpless, after receiving a call from my daughter. Things were going so well too, so far, I mean, it’s only 9:04 am. I was sipping my morning coffee, and saw her name come up as my phone buzzed away. 

Could it be she is simply calling to say “Hi Mom! Have a great day!?” Yes I know, that is funny. Basically when my kids call this early in the morning I answer the phone with “WHAT! WHAT HAPPENED!!??” And just as I feared, there was something wrong. And this time it is big, worse than when she called me and said “Get over here. A kid on a bike just ran into my car.” Worse than when she called me and said, “Hey there are a bunch of cops outside. Did you ever take care of that citation?” (I hadn’t and bad things ensued. Don’t remind me.)

You see, it seems that daughter's iPhone is outdated and will not sync with her computer. On top of this horrendous news, she also shared with me that her television is not a smart TV and she is having trouble watching Netflix on her small lap top. Hulu is also an issue. Well, needless to say, MY day is ruined. 

The hard part, I guess is that I am powerless to help her. Due to my eeensy weensy alimony (which btw-runs out in a few years, just in time for me to break a hip and be TOTALLY unemployable) and my desire to keep the IRS happy this year, I have no way of fixing this for her. I can only sit by, devastated, watching her struggle and suffer. Yet I know she is strong, capable, will somehow find a way to overcome these trying times. She will survive and one day, who knows, maybe by some miracle we will have an upgrade on our Sprint account and she will enter the kiosk, strong, self assured and leave, victorious, new iPhone 6, 7, 8 whatever, in her sweet little hands.

And so, I guess the only thing I can offer her is advice, and that is “THEN GO READ A BOOK and start saving your money!” Do not call me before noon! Remember you have TWO parents! Buckle down. Work hard.


Mommy loves you.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dating After Divorce-Are You Ready?


Back in the days when I was happily married, friends and I would sit around over our Wine Spritzers, (this was before the day I switched over to hard core dirty martinis) and talk about our marriages, which was easy to do because we were so IN them. So secure in our relationships, so blinded to the perilous bends in the road that we were driving towards, we would say things like, “Well if anything, GOD FORBID, ever happened to Paul, I don’t think I would ever remarry.” And by anything, we meant, a fatal accident or insidious illness snatching them out of our happy little lives. At this point we could not see any other way that they would leave us. Certainly not of their own volition, walking out the front door on their two strong healthy legs, their arms full of clothing and items they felt mattered enough to take with them. Certainly not driving away in their car towards something or someone who promised excitement, newness, MORE than meatloaf Wednesdays, Saturday night movies and frozen yogurt, and Sunday dinners at the parents.

Anyway we would continue, “I mean why would I ever remarry? I’ve had the love of my life, I’ve had my children. I could be happy alone, I think.” “Yes,” we all would agree as the spritzer bubbled up a little bit in our throats, causing us to hiccup and giggle, as we divided up the check and headed home to watch Seinfeld with our hubbies. Yes, I could be happy alone.

During my divorce years, I had a slightly different view. I wanted to be alone because I could never imagine being with another man— not because I still loved my ex-husband or even because I didn’t want strange feet in my bed, ( I have a thing about feet, trying to work through it...) but because I hated men. I might be standing behind you in line at the grocery and say, “I hate men don’t you?” and then you would say, “Whew boy! I hear ya, can’t wait for football season to end!” and then I would say, tears streaming down my face, “No, I mean don’t you really hate them?” at which point you would say “OH! They have bogo on fire roasted tomatoes!” and slowly back away with your cart in search of a line with normal people in it.

And then. I was out to dinner with some friends and I heard the deep laugh of a man make its way across the room. I felt a little chill go across my shoulders, a little tingle in my nethers. I would be talking to the sales guy at Bed Bath and Beyond about the Keurig (Should I or shouldn’t I? I didn’t. I still have to fresh grind) and get a whiff of his after shave. Similar result. As these feelings began to overtake me more and more, I realized I was no longer living alone I was living lonely. I was ready to date. Here are some ways that you will know the time has come!
  1. “Divorced” is no longer how you describe yourself: For awhile after my divorce when I met new people who asked me, “So what do you do?” I would answer “I’m divorced.” Then, as time and healing went on I would answer,”I’m a writer.” Then they would say, “Oh what have you written?” Ugh. Noseys. Then I went into real estate so I could answer, “I’m a realtor,” but then they would say “Oh how many listings do you have?” so, that wasn’t really working either, but you get my point.

  1. You are no longer angry at your ex:  This is a big one. For a very long time the only way I would communicate with my ex was through email, with, I am very ashamed to admit the words M-----F------in the subject line. Horrible. Then one day we had a reason to meet for coffee, you know with four kids, things come up that cannot be dealt with on the internet. So we met for coffee, and we laughed and reminisced and when I left there I was like, “OMG! I really want him to be happy!”  I felt ten pounds lighter and happier myself.

  1. You CAN live alone: Here’s the thing, now you know you can live alone. You’re doing it! You are strong and independent, and can take care of yourself. You know when you decide to date it won’t be to find a caretaker, it will be to find a loving partner and companion.  

  1. You miss the sex, companionship, intimacy of a relationship: Isn’t that what it boils down to? What woman eventually does not miss strong arms around her from time to time, help with her zipper, a man sitting beside her making fun of the Real Housewives, but SITTING THERE because she likes it. Is it wrong to miss having a car door opened, a dinner reservation made, a cup of morning coffee brought? Is there anything better than bed talk— sharing your thoughts on the dinner party you just attended, your new job prospect, your daughter’s boyfriend? No. And if you’re ready, you can have it all on your terms, in your way.


If this applies to you, if you feel you are ready, go for it—get out there. Have a friend introduce you to someone or try online dating. I have found once you are ready and open to it, opportunities will come your way. Don’t be scared, just be smart. You’re ready.

*First Printed Huffington Post Divorce, January 21, 2015

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

ex wife new life: It's Okay-It's Amicable...PSYCH!

ex wife new life: It's Okay-It's Amicable...PSYCH!: Look, let's give Giada DeLaurentis a break. Since announcing her divorce to Todd Thompson, she has been accused of having affairs wit...
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It's Okay-It's Amicable...PSYCH!


Look, let's give Giada DeLaurentis a break. Since announcing her divorce to Todd Thompson, she has been accused of having affairs with everyone from Bobby Flay, to Matt Lauer and even John Mayer, whom she claims to never have even been in a room with, much less, well, you know...Sure, I'm as jealous of her as the next person. Frankly, anyone who  can eat that much pasta and still have the physique of a bobble head, is not someone I could ever be friends with. I need someone who will be as guilt ridden as I am the morning after a carb load at my favorite Italian Restaurant, Grazzi. Someone who will also need to wear their "fat pants" after devouring a hunk of cheesy lasagna filled with layers of ricotta or 'ree-coh-ta" as Giada calls it. Still, though she teaches us to cook things that she apparently wouldn't eat if her life depended on it, it doesn't mean she has cheated on her husband...so knock it off.

Actually, what intrigues me most about her announcement is that she claims that theirs is an amicable divorce.  I've heard these exist, but I myself have never seen one. And believe me, I have seen my share of divorces, mine included. In fact they continue to take place all around me, couples imploding left and right, going down in flames--their own personal Pearl Harbor-- taking children, family friends, relatives, and 401K's with them. I have yet to speak to anyone who says, "Oh yeah. I'm fine with it. It's amicable." "Of course I don't mind if I only see my kids two weeks out of the month. It's amicable." Nope. Not buying it.

Here's what I think may happen, I do believe that it is possible that both parties say, "Hey, you're a great person, but this just isn't doing it for me anymore." And then the other says,"OMG! I was thinking the same thing." They decide to part ways remaining close friends, they'll always love each other, etc. And then they sit down at the long wooden conference table either at their attorney's office or maybe at the round, glass, kitchen type table at their collaborative team's homey office-- round, so that everyone can see each other and share ideas. And they start sharing ideas. He has the idea that maybe he gets the kids 50% of the time and, she never really liked the boat, did she? He should probably go ahead and take that as well as the jet skis that they bought each other as anniversary gifts a few years back.

And then maybe she thinks back to that anniversary and remembers that night, the romantic dinner on the beach, the expensive wine that they drank right from the bottle, each taking a swig until they were warm inside and giggling at everything.  There were promises of future anniversaries and undying love and family vacations-- they were all going to learn to ski. She realizes they are being silly, immature, looking for greener pastures. There are children at stake, he needs to grow up, big baby, worrying about who gets the jet skis. Ridiculous, here they sit, sharing ideas with their accountants and family counselor. Then she says, "I have an idea. Go F*#@ yourself." And then it begins.

The children are put on parental schedules, "If you get them for Christmas, I get them for Thanksgiving." "But my mother only comes for Thanksgiving." "Tough." The marital home is sold as are the jet skis and the boat. He is thinking "When did she turn into a greedy bitch?" and she's thinking "When did he turn into this self serving bastard?" And so, things aren't so amicable anymore.

So, it will be interesting to see how it all turns out for Giada and Todd and their beautiful daughter. Of course with the money these guys make they can each go out and buy their own jet skis, their own boats, their own gorgeous new homes. And maybe for them, it will be amicable, each walking away, still friends. My guess though? That's about as likely as Giada devouring a big plate of her infamous Fried Zucchini.
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