Thursday, September 22, 2016

Stop The World, Brangelina Is Getting Off

Oh no! Brangelina. I'll be honest with you, I was rooting for them. Sure, he broke Jennifer's heart, and sure she knew she was messing around with a married man, but Jennifer has that adorable Justin Theroux now. She's okay, just as most women are when they push their way through the pain of adultery and continue on with their lives. So, why not hope that two beautiful people, each at one time voted the most magnificent of their gender, can keep it together? Plus, I love looking at photos of them shlepping those kids all over the place, Brad typically leading the pack while Angie brings up the rear, usually wearing some kind of cool poncho and carrying a big tote bag. Actually I was in awe of them because, I see them leading their pack through the
streets of France and New York City, Madagascar, wherever, everyone smiling, the big ones helping to herd the little ones, all for one and one for all. And I remember just taking my four to Target for back to school stuff and losing my little one in a rack of pajama pants. During that same outing my older two got into a fist fight over the last Nike trapper keeper. We left there looking like a family of war torn refugees, all carrying big slurpees. So I admired them for their perfection.

What happened? There are many theories and reports out there. Some say there was a difference of opinion on how to parent the children. Hmmm. Can't we go to therapy for that? Can't we read books about how to parent together and manage to stay married? What about a compromise, like Brad will stop smoking pot in front of the kids, if Angelina stops acting like they are all friends hanging out at Woodstock as opposed to parents and children.  And STOP DRESSING SHILOH LIKE A BOY! whose ever idea that was. Seems doable.

Now, the other report is that Brad is having an affair with his new costar Marion Cotillard, and Angelina is just not having it. Personally, I'm going with this theory and I will tell you why. It validates me. Me me me. Yes, the Pitt Jolie divorce is really all about Amy Koko. Okay, not really, but here's the thing— now I know that my husband didn't cheat because I was not pretty enough, smart enough, talented enough, weighed too much, or wore flats. (What? I had a bone spur on my foot.) I wish I would have known this prior to the mini facelift I got which hurts like a mother f----r btw. It wasn't because of the 5 pounds of baby fat that had made a permanent home on my middle after 4 babies. It was a selfish act by a person living only for himself only in that moment, with no thought to the devastation his act would leave in it's wake. Because if it can happen to THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD (according to the 2009 readers of Vanity Fair) it has nothing to do with beauty, style, physical attributes. So, there!

If you are a woman who has dealt with or is dealing with infidelity, listen to me. You know when your husband said, "It's not you, it's me?" HE'S RIGHT! Don't ask yourself, "What is it that finally pushed him over the edge?" Was I wrong not to jump on the Brazilian wax bandwagon? Would someone ripping the hair off of my vagina have kept him at home? Maybe I shouldn't have dismissed the whole anal bleaching thing so quickly? What could I have done? Anal beads? Lap dances? (ugh I am a terrible dancer, the thought of it...) That jewelry that women poke through their vaginas?

 It's not your hair, it's not your weight, it's not your jewel-less vagina. It's not your fault.

Now, I know the whole Karma is a bitch thing. Still, having gone through it, I really can't say that I wish it on anyone else. Because I can tell you that even for the most beautiful woman in the world, the pain is real it is deep and it is something she will never forget.

In the meantime, let's hope someone steps up and takes charge of the children and most importantly, getting beautiful Shiloh into a something other than black jeans. Maybe something good can come from this after all.

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Friday, September 9, 2016

FACE IT. Times Are Changing





Last week, tropical storm Hermine swept through Florida and devastated the homes and lives of thousands. The two people running for the highest political office in the world, were fighting about who is more corrupt, you know, who has lied, cheated and hid the most stuff from the American people.  (One of these people is going to be the leader of the free world folks!) The world lost a great comedic talent in Gene Wilder, the best Willy Wonka ever, not to mention a very nice human being.  And front page news: Alicia Keys did not wear makeup to the VMA's. Now THAT is something we really need to get to the bottom of.

Okay yes, this is what I want to expand on in this post and I know it is vapid and small of me. But if you want world news, political commentary and sober sends offs, you're in the wrong place. Those things are beyond my understanding, I cannot make sense of what happens in the world. I cannot bear to think of the human suffering. I cannot believe that a few months ago I turned on the news to see there had been another mass shooting and when learning there were two victims dead, said to myself, "Phew! Only two this time." So, if I think too much, delve too deep or try to make sense of today's news, it may result in me doing something weird like binge watching Rugrats for days, trying to remember happy times when my kids were little, or drinking wine and eating cookie dough, and not the ice cream,  I mean just plain cookie dough. So please, please, let's just focus on Alicia Keys for now.

Why the big to-do? Some people felt it was disrespectful to the industry.  Isn't the industry Kim and Kanye? Is it even possible to disrespect Kanye? And how is not wearing make up disrespectful? Come on, I doubt she was lying in her bed playing Solitaire on her iPad, and looked at the time and said, "Oh shit! I'm supposed to be at the VMA's!" and raced over changing into her dress in the car, arriving just in time to hit the stage. No. She also made sure to tweet that though she doesn't like to wear it, she is NOT anti-makeup. As Alicia says, "DO YOU." To each their own.

In her defense, her face is unlined, glowing, screams health and youth. Why cover it up? And frankly, if she is starting a #nomakeuprevolution, SIGN ME UP. I too am thinking of of joining the cause. I have just now arrived at the point where I will take my sunglasses off in Publix when I am makeup free. Sure, it's because I am trying to see the calorie count on the Skinny Cows but still...it takes bravery. I'm SO getting there!

I remember one day when I was 30. I had just had a baby and my mother and I were taking her to the pediatrician for a check up. I combed my hair, stuck two breast pads to my boobs and headed towards the car. Looking at me my mother said, "I guess that's the difference between 30 and 50. You don't have to wear make up when you go out." Yeah mom. THAT'S the difference. Good one. But now, I see her point.

I want to tell my daughters, FLAUNT YOUR YOUTH! Revel in it. Bask in it. Because, here is Victoria's real secret: what she is screaming to us from the halls of shopping malls all over the world, 'Wear it now! Don't put it off until we run the 3 for 1 thong panties sale. Don't wait for the lacy push up bras to be BOGO." By the time that happens you may be needing the giant bras that hang on the back wall of Macy's lingerie department, with the extra wide panel for back fat. Now is the time!

I admit,  I invested in several pairs of thong panties years ago when I was trying to woo back my then husband from the arms of another. Not only did it not work, but for all I know I may still be wearing them. You know, like that tampon you forgot you inserted, JUST IN CASE? I pulled a pair out the other day and thought, "What the hell? Let's give it a try." So, I put them on and ask M, "How do these panties look?" He looks confused as he asks, "What panties?"

So, okay, not a good look.

Anyway, back to Alicia and the whole no make up thing. I think she killed it. I respect her decision. Maybe the hours we spend drawing on eyebrows, lining lips, layering foundation, applying fake eyelashes, contouring, plumping, and air brushing are coming to an end with this next generation? Maybe they will use the time for writing amazing songs,  breaking the glass ceiling in the STEM arena, coming up with new cures, medicines, treatment plans to combat dreaded disease, designing amazing homes with green technology to save our planet, running for president. You know, stuff like that.

Yes, Alicia Keys is ON FIRE and I hope she ignites a whole generation.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Anthony and Huma-A Photo Finish!

Here's what I would do if I was Huma Abadein: I would make myself a nice cup of espresso and sit down in my kitchen with the New York Times Style Section, or maybe the Book Review.  As I read it cover to cover, I may have a biscotti or something. An almond one, maybe drizzled with a little dark chocolate? I love those.

When I was finished I would rinse my cup in the sink but I wouldn't put it in the dishwasher. Let HIM do it. Let him do SOMETHING around here as he will now have plenty of time to dick around, (excuse the pun) now that the New York Daily News (among others) has given him the heave ho.

Then I would go upstairs to my bedroom and pull down my Louis Vuitton duffel. (She probably has a Louis Vuitton right? I mean I doubt she travels with a ripped Samsonite that she bought at Burlington Coat Factory) I would peruse my closet, pick out a few key pieces, some work clothes and some weekend things, you know, a good pair of jeans and a few t shirts. Definitely need a sweater to throw over the shoulders in the evening.  I would place them in the duffel, leaving plenty of room at the top for my skincare products, hair products, and other necessary beautifying paraphernalia.


Then I would go into my little boy's room. From the top of his closet I would take down his little Kids Pottery Barn rolling back pack and fill it with his clothes, his favorite stuffed animals, and of course his blankie. Then, I would pick my little man up from the floor where he is sitting and playing with some educational toy, Baby Einstein or something, kiss his cheek and hold him close to me. And then, clutching him to my chest... I WOULD RUN LIKE A MOTHER FU***R!

Yes, someone once again snitched on Weiner and THIS time, we've really had it. (And by WE, I mean Huma and his various employers. I certainly don't know the man.) Sure we are all thinking, "Huma! What took you so long?" I guess, she figured, you know, a few dick pics, just harmless fun. But throw, your kid in there? GAME OVER.

Now I can't begin to imagine what was going through HIS mind. I mean this is a smart, educated man! How does he NOT know that this shit is going to hit the fan, especially now that the whole Ryan Lochte thing is dying down. More importantly, why does he think we all want to see his penis? I can't speak for everyone but...you know...dude. EW.

Now, obviously, I don't know Huma. I don't get out much. I have had the same two friends since junior high, and by that I mean I have two friends. I'm good with that. I mean, I love the SOUND of meeting new people. I love the SOUND of going to parties where I picture myself holding court, with excitement buzzing through the room, (OMG Who IS that delightful, thin, gorgeous woman over there?) The reality is, when I enter a party I grab a glass of wine and head to a corner. If someone approaches me, I'm like a deer in the headlights. I see them coming closer and I begin to sweat as I prepare to wow them with a stimulating conversation opener. "Hi," I say. "Can you believe they are taking Everybody Loves Raymond off of Netflix?" This usually does the trick as they continue past me to the hummus.

Anyway, back to Huma. Why did she put up with it for so long? I have a theory and again, I am only speaking for  myself so don't get all "I am woman hear me roar," on me. She put up with it because 1. She had made a plan for her life and it included being married to and having children with Anthony Weiner and 2. She thought she could change him. Sometimes, we just don't want to see what is right there in front of us, whether it is a big red star on your husband's Day-Timer marking another woman's birthday or, in Huma's case,  pictures of his penis on the Internet, that HE PUT THERE. (Not like Jon Hamm who due to no fault of his own has a whole website devoted to his penis, but that's another story.)

First, you try to make sense of it. She's just a friend. Don't we all try to remember our friend's birthdays? Isn't it a nice and thoughtful thing he's doing?

So, Huma thinks, "It's his penis, yes, but there must be a reason for it." A perfectly good reason for your husband to send these pics out into the internet and to young girl's cell phones. There HAS to be a reason other than he is one sick puppy.

And then, there are apologies, there are " I will stop it, I will never do it again," and you work so hard to make sure your life is back on track. Sure, you still check the cell phone now and then, you still try and crack the password on the laptop, and there are days when it's hard, SO hard to keep believing that you have fixed it.

Finally, something happens and you realize, it's done. It's over. ENOUGH. And, my guess is this is where Huma finds herself now. But isn't she like besties with Hillary? I am sure she will have plenty to keep her busy in the upcoming years, plus she's super smart and now has a beautiful little boy. She will be fine. He, I'm guessing, will never live this down. Remember what happened to Pee Wee's Playhouse after Pee Wee was caught doing you know what in that gross movie theater? And that was without viral videos! I'm sure Weiner will regret showing his...well... weiner, for the rest of his life.

Anyway, that's all I have to say about that.

So...can you believe they are taking Everybody Loves Raymond, off Netflix??













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Monday, August 15, 2016

Age Is SO Not Appropriate



As of last week, I am officially closer to 60 than I am to 50. This is different from when I turned 36, looking at 40, and had a serious discussion with my friend as to whether or not we should still be wearing mini skirts. We now had daughters and certainly didn't want to look as though we were trying to compete with them. (Really? They were 10 at the time, so unless we were planning on rocking some jeans from Limited Too...) Yes, this is different from when I turned 46, looking at 50, and came to realize that my every six weeks hair cut would now have to include a color. This is different because I am 56 looking at 60 and 60 is SERIOUS BUSINESS. 60 is grown up time. 60 is if you want to do it, stop talking about it and move your ass time.

The problem is there are days I can't remember what it was I said I wanted to do. Was it watercolors? No, it couldn't be based on what I brought home from the Paint While You Drink Wine party place. Is it an ocean with clouds above or a blue sky with snow capped mountains below? Who the hell knows or gives a shit? Horseback riding! That was it! Ahh, but these knees. Along with skiing, fencing, and salsa dancing, it ain't gonna happen. Those are what I call my Christopher Columbus dreams, in other words, that ship has sailed.

I went for a physical. For those who haven't tried it lately, finding a primary doctor is sort of like getting a private visit with the pope. You have to apply, you have to have the right insurance, you then have to wait 6 months. That is so they can run the background check on you and see what kind of shenanigans you are up to on Facebook. Then, when the 12 year old nurse filling out your intake form asks you how many alcoholic drinks you have per week and you answer "4," because wine is good for your heart and doesn't count, she may look at you and say "Really? I don't think so. According to Facebook, you had 7 Saturday night alone, at Bonefish." 

When I finally made it into the inner sanctum, my doctor took one look at me and said, "Your thryoid looks full, let me feel it," and after she pokes around says, "Oh no, you just have a very full neck, it's just your anatomy." So...thanks. When I was younger my doctors all looked old and wise, able to protect me from the hideous diseases that may try to penetrate my young glowing skin. This doctor looks like Miley Cyrus. How can this child have PATIENTS? I think I saw her mother in the lobby waiting to drive her to a playdate when she was done with appointments. Also, she's pregnant. She radiates health and new life as she tells me she is starting me on a cholesterol drug and by the way, was I doing any kind of exercise? I may want to incorporate exercise into my daily routine, she says. Does riding a spin bike every day for 45 minutes count? Because that is what I do and I am thrilled that my efforts are paying off.

So off I go with my prescription for Lipitor, a BMI formula and a goal weight. And I feel OLD. Because as I'm driving to CVS I realize I am never going to be a young intern at a New York City publishing company. I am never going to law school to become a ruthless, albeit fair, Tory Burch briefcase carrying, divorce attorney. I'm probably never going to be the owner of my own woman's magazine. I'm never again going to wear a bikini, or my Steve Madden black stilettos with a dress that hits me mid thigh, which I rocked just a few short years ago. I'm entering a new phase of life and frankly, physically it sucks.

PHYSICALLY. What can I tell you, I don't see an upside, BUT...Mentally? There is some good news. Mentally, for me, it's a whole new ball game. Because though I do feel slightly panicked when I look in the mirror and see one more wrinkle and one less eyebrow hair, I look at the rest of my life and feel a sense of contentment.

This hit home for me on a recent vacation to Canada. (Super nice place but they have yet to discover grapefruit vodka. They have blueberry vodka? I would love to know if you or someone you know actually drinks blueberry vodka!) Anyway, when I was younger and I went on vacation I always wanted to stay.  “Wouldn’t it be great, “ I would think, “To live here on Wai Kiki Beach,” or “Here in the mountains,” or  “In this little Italian village,” you get the idea. And yes, it probably would. But now, though I enjoy seeing new places and eating the food and trying local wines (because who drinks blueberry vodka?) I am always ready to go home.

It’s not because my stuff is here, though I do miss my Wilfa coffeemaker immensely. It’s because, finally, I have found my peaceful place. I am happy here. I no longer look ahead to where do I want to live next, how much more of a house can I buy, how much more stuff can I get? I no longer worry about keeping up with the Joneses, and yes I’m sorry and embarrassed to say I was one of those people.  I don’t worry about finding a new, better place because to me, there is no better place. I am happy with what I have, where I am and who I’m with.


I enjoy my children immensely. When I’m with them I think, “These are good people.” The kind of people I would want to be around, even if they weren’t mine. I enjoy my writing, and look forward to the characters who have yet to introduce themselves to me. Sure, I wish I looked younger. Sure I wish I could stop the clock ticking away on my face and body, but would I trade that for the peace and contentment I now have come to cherish?

Uhm...I know you want me to say “Of course not," but give me a minute...I’m thinking…




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Monday, July 25, 2016

YOU GOT GAME...JUST GOTTA FIND IT



When I was interviewing divorce attorneys, I actually had one say to me, "No matter who you hire, the divorce game is a tough one." "Wow," I thought. "Divorce GAME. That doesn't sound too bad. Maybe this won't be as horrible as I think." Because, when I think of game, I think of Candy Crush and Scrabble on my iPad, both activities that I enjoy immensely and spend an inordinate amount of time on. So sure, BRING IT.

I hired an attorney and the "game" began. Looking back at it now, I don't think I would call it a game exactly, more like a gut blowing, agonizing, pain filled torture that makes childbirth look like a 30 minute Zumba session. (Which btw I did once and nearly broke my ankle, but given the choice between the two I will take Zumba every time.) I would sometimes speak in tongues, or find myself on the floor of my closet giggling to myself while cutting old photos of us into little pieces. I cried in the grocery store, at my kid's school conferences and once at the table at Esca, a fabulous restaurant in NYC, where the waiter insisted on getting me a new plate of linguini with clams as he thought THAT was the reason for my misery.

"Madam, your food is not as you like?"

SNIFF SNIFF "No it's fine, really.

"Chef has been adding way too much pepper, I will get you a new plate immediately!"

Happily, I was able to eat each delicious clam wrapped in a forkful of linguini with just the right amount of pepper, between sobs. In fact, that meal is the one bright spot I remember from that time.

So no, game is not really how I would describe it. There is one good thing about divorce however, and that is...it ends. Finally, mercifully, thankfully, it is over. And guess what—life goes on.

So, here we are five years later— it has been five years since my ex and I sat in the judges chambers and each answered "YES" when he asked "Have you done all you can to save your marriage?" before he signed the decree making us an ex-couple. Yes, we did all we could do, meaning I begged, I pleaded, I bought new underwear, I got a facelift. After all of that, my ex looked at me one day and said, "After what I did, how could I ever really come home?" And so he didn't. I didn't really go into all of that with the judge, who totally freaked me out because as you know I have a huge phobia about going to jail ever since I saw Midnight Express in college. I was just waiting for him to look at me and say, "Hmmm...maybe a little jail time will straighten you out." So, I felt great relief but also unbearable sadness when he signed the decree, looked at us and said "Good luck to you both."

Now, here's what I need you to know: From that point on my life has been more than I ever thought it could be, because once you go through divorce and you are no longer one half of a couple, you become a WHOLE person. And that person will start to reveal to you who she is and what she wants, and it will come through loud and clear if you are ready to listen. And you can't be ready if you are holding on to regrets, anger, what ifs, how could hes. So let it go...and listen.

For me, I listened and found myself taking college courses in creative writing. Was I the oldest one in the class? Sure. Did anyone want to be my partner for the group writing exercise? No. But I loved it and I poured my whole experience out in words. I took a memoir class. Most kids turned in a 5 page essay about their high school years, mine was more like  a War and Peace size "THE STORY OF AMY KOKO." I think the kids found it riveting.

The point is, I found writing and I truly believe it saved me from becoming one of those divorcees who five years later when you run into them in Publix and ask "How are you?" replies "My ex husband is a dick." Uhm...DONT BE THAT PERSON! Dig deep and see what's in there. You know what came out of me? A blog, a book and now another book on the way.  I host retreats for women who want to write their way through divorce because I know there is light at the end of the tunnel! The words don't stop! I highly recommend sitting down at your computer, at your desk with a paper and pen, or even with the notes section on your smart phone and putting down words. You will be amazed at what appears.

If it's not words perhaps its drawing. Maybe it's cooking. Maybe it's going back to school to follow the dream you put on hold when your first child was born. Remember? You meant to get back to it, now is your time. Maybe it's painting, playing an instrument, becoming a nuclear physicist (that was my second choice.) Whatever it is, do it. Yes, divorce is sad, its heart breaking, it's an ending. It is also a beginning. Dig deep. Listen. Get whole.










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Monday, July 11, 2016

Writing Your Way Through Divorce




Ever since my book came out, I have had many women (okay, 3) ask me, “When did you know you were ready to change your life, you know, go in a whole new direction?” What? I had NO IDEA.  That decision was made for me when my husband told me he had decided to make other plans for the rest of his life. At 48 I thought things were pretty much set, we would become empty nesters, do a big vacation once a year and then maybe buy a condo with pool access.

Not so fast.

When I first began my journey through divorce, I kept to a very tight schedule. I would wake up and wonder how I was going to make it through the day without breaking down in front of my kids, my lawn guy, the checkout girl at Publix who for some reason always insists on asking me if I have exciting plans for the weekend, my neighbors, my Pilates instructor…well, you get the idea. Once I got that out of the way, I would get my kids off to school, do my errands, pick kids up from school, serve them dinner and wait for night to fall and for them to say goodnight because then it was MY time.

This was the time I would open a bottle of Pinot, pour myself a nice big glass, and sit in front of my lap top, where I would write my nightly letter to my STBX formatted as below

TO: email address
FROM: YOUR WIFE
SUBJ: You mother fu---r I HATE YOU
Date: Today

And I would write, and write and write, the anger and venom flying from my fingers. Once I was spent, I would hit SEND. I did this for a few months until his attorney spoke to my attorney, who spoke to me (even being reprimanded cost me money) and told me to stop it asap, because it was bordering on harassment, it would not cast me in a good light with the judge and it was really freaking weird.

I continued the letters, but I stopped hitting send. After a time, I looked forward to this nightly ritual and the letters became less and less hateful and more and more cleansing. In fact, some of them brought happy tears to my eyes as I recalled moments from the past where we had been a couple, a family, whole. I found writing these letters that would never be sent left me feeling lighter, and if not happier, then at least accepting and hopeful for my future as I ventured into it as a single woman.

These letters led me to my blogs on Huffington Post Divorce, First Wives Social Network, BlogHer, and More.com, among others, which then led me to writing my book: There’s Been A Change Of Plans – A Memoir About Divorce, Dating and Delinquents In Midlife” which then led me to where I am now…

It’s time for me to give back. That is, to connect with other women going through this gut wrenching, life changing experience and help them get their experience down in their own words. Whether the plan is to share it with others (NOT your ex), shoot for publication (like I did) or just get thoughts, feelings and emotions down on paper, writing can be a way of working through your divorce by organizing your thoughts, putting them down on paper, and then moving on!  

This past year my colleague and I have designed a series of online workshops and a weekend retreat we call Writing Your Way Through Divorce.  The goal is to not only teach you how to use writing as a tool to get your feelings unstuck, but also provide the support and structure to help you write with clarity and confidence and end up with a piece of writing you will be proud of.  

We’ve been there, we’ve done it. You can, too.
And, if you come to the weekend retreat, there WILL be bagels. So keep that in mind.


To find out more about my Writing Your Way Through Divorce online workshop and the next weekend retreat coming up in September, please visit my website www.amykoko.com   



Ex-Wife New Life: living life newly single at 50 while overcoming the pain of divorce and moving on. Visit us @ http://facebook.com/ex.wife.new.life

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Oh, The Places I've BIN



A few years ago, when M and I moved into our house, we rented (and by WE, I mean M) a storage unit for the things we (and by WE, I mean ME) just could not part with, but weren't sure we had room for. This included an arts and crafts table in case I DID ever get the urge to glue a bunch of tile shards onto plates again, a Mt. Everest sized pile of fake rattan patio furniture, and bins and bins of photos and momentos from the last 40 years of our lives. M was able to pile it all into the storage unit and I was able to rest comfortably knowing these prized possessions were safe in an air conditioned environment not far from my home. Mission accomplished.

It turns out, M and I had different ideas about how to use a storage unit. M's idea is to rent it for a short amount of time, until I can figure out what to do with the wall of plastic bins filled with my kids drawings from kindergarten. My idea is to keep it as a shrine, a monument to my life as a mother where my kids and their kids after them can come to visit after I'm gone, pay their respects and look through photographs of me at different points of my life, each generation passing the bill down to the next, the goal being me not having to deal with those bins ever again. Ever.

Unfortunately, this weekend, our two different perspectives collided when M brought home roughly 23 bins for me to you know, "just go through and get rid of stuff but keep the things you want." Okay, these ARE the things I want, hence the saving of them in bins. Am I the only one who gets this concept? But fine, I thought, it will be fun to look at all those hand turkeys and little milk carton log cabins made every year in honor of Lincoln's birthday.

So, I began and became completely engrossed in my children's past. I found adorable things including a book made by my youngest daughter entitled "ALL ABOUT MOMMY" What do YOU make of this found on page one?

MY MOMMY LIKES quiet
MY MOMMY DOESN'T LIKE darkness

Uhm...( I kept that out for her next therapy session.)

Anyway I was plowing through having a great time, shedding an occasional tear when I came upon my high school yearbook or what I THOUGHT was my high school yearbook. When I opened it I saw it was  my ex's, easy mistake since we attended the same school. And I began to leaf through it and a note written on the cover page caught my eye and stopped me dead in my tracks...

              It's been nice getting to know you. Best of luck and have a great summer!
                                                                        Amy

OMG, the sheer and utter innocence of those words that I had written after we had flirted with each other in the halls for just those last few weeks before school ended. They took my breath away. Who would have imagined that 30 years after I wrote those words, we would be signing a divorce decree, ending our marriage, though our lives will be ever entwined with the four children we brought into the world together. What young and innocent pleasure we took in each other and Oh what anguish and pain we brought into each other's lives at the end.

From "have a great summer" to "I do." From a tiny apartment on Ft. Bragg to a first home with a new baby girl. To the next home bursting at the seams with four children and a 150 pound dog, friends coming and going, parties in the basement that I am only NOW hearing about. From "have a great summer" to, "I'm leaving" and then to the ambushing delivery of papers with  KOKO vs. KOKO. emblazoned across the top. From "have a great summer" to The End.

All is well now. My ex and I have healed and are in a good place, watching our children turn into adults. We are proud, they are good people. People I would like even if they weren't mine. To think it all started in a high school hallway, he leaning against a locker as I walked by in a shirt with a big poodle on it that for some reason caught his eye.

We had a good run, that's for sure. Now back to the bins and a big number 8 made of cheerios. Yup, that goes into the keep pile. I certainly can't be expected to part with that now, can I?

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