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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Saturday, June 4, 2016

YOGAtta Be Kidding Me

I love you guys, I know you are trying to help, but if you want to help, bring me an almond brioche from Cassis bakery. Treat me to a month of unlimited Netflix, or better yet Amazon Prime with unlimited video streaming. Take me to get a crunchy tuna bowl at Fresh Kitchen, but...when I tell you I am stressed out, STOP TELLING ME TO DO YOGA!

Now, I was born stressed out. I was on a tranquilizer at the age of two because of the fact that I had to stay up all night trying to solve the world's problems. My poor young parents were like, "Please GOd just let her shut the fuck up and go to sleep, PLEASE!" When that didn't work, they took me to the pediatrician and back then, before there was an FDA I guess, pediatricians were allowed to prescribe little baby ambiens for infants. So, I was okay for a few years until Kindergarten hit, but that's another story...one that I haven't quite gotten to the bottom of yet, though my therapist thinks we are getting really close. Really, really close. So...that's good.

Anyway,  when I say I'm stressed out, it can be for a myriad of reasons, anything from they are out of Belgian Endive at Publix, to my 24 year old daughter is holding open houses by herself in domiciles that look like the Breaking Bad motor home, or I just noticed a weird mole on my back that looks like a Skittle. In other words, I am always stressed about something.

When I was REALLY stressed, during my divorce, I read book after book on how to deal with it and you know, take it down a notch. "Try Yoga," they said. "It really works," they said. Okay, I tried it. I put on some yoga pants and one of those braless mini tops and went to my first yoga class. No one told me you had to bring your own mat, so I ended up using one that someone had left behind weeks ago, after they came to the realization that a Cosmo and a sushi roll would be a lot more calming then sitting on the floor next to a bunch of people with sweaty feet.

So, we begin. We begin by breathing in, breathing out. Okay, I think...I can do this. And then we do our first pose, which I don't remember the name of it but I do remember trying to put my foot up by my ear. It was then I noticed my toenail cuticles looked like old, peeling bathroom caulk. I thought back to when I last had a pedicure. It was before the whole divorce thing began. I then thought about my alimony, and wondered how much money I would have to put aside each month to afford the pedicure with the hot wax treatment and what could I do without, in order to afford this luxury. Generic coffee beans? Frozen mini chicken pot pies? Has it come to this now?

Then I thought, maybe I could get my daughter to paint my toenails since no one is really touching my feet anyway, but this is Florida and they still need to  look nice in my Target flip flops and it's really hard for me to reach them. And then I thought, my poor children. It will be up to them to care for me, take me out for ice cream once a week, reset my iPad password every other day when I forget it. The years will pass and eventually I will fall getting out of the bathtub...it's bound to happen, these Florida tile floors are so slippery.

And then, before I knew it the class was over and I was so worked up and panic stricken, I left the mat on the floor with my big sweaty butt print on it and nearly ran to my car, so anxious was I to get home and see what could be done with my toenails after I stopped at Walmart for a big rubber bathmat.

So, please, yoga may work for you but for me? I will take puff pastry filled with marizpan and powdered sugar during a House of Cards binge every time. Now THAT is Zen.



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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Surviving the Pomp Under These Circumstances

This past weekend, my youngest son graduated from college. The youngest of four, he is the only one who took the traditional college route of a four year degree complete with the cap, the gown, the diploma and the 3 hour ceremony in the blinding Florida sun. Luckily for us this was the FIRST year that his small private school decided to hold the event OUTDOORS and I have to say, what a great idea! Florida is lovely this time of year and who doesn't love sitting in the middle of a field, on metal bleachers in your new Kenneth Cole outlet dress as the sun gets ever higher in the sky, the temperature steadily rises, and the possibility of melanoma gets greater with each passing moment.

Seriously, for me this made all the worry, the angst,  and even that one late night phone call from the sheriff's office, worth it. My boy graduated college and I was beyond proud. At one point son said to me, "I don't know if I want to walk mom, I can just have them send me the diploma" to which I replied, "Oh, you're walking. YOU ARE WALKING, and if I have to fucking crawl there on my hands and knees I will be there to see it, " so...you know, I set the stage for a fun day.

As excited as I was for this glorious experience, I was concerned about two major issues that the weekend involved. One was the full body Spanx. My ex was hosting a dinner the Friday night before the event at a lovely 5 star restaurant and FINALLY I had the chance to wear that black dress I bought in NYC 3 years ago along with the full body spanx I bought to go with it. Things should be okay,  as long as the 3 tiny snaps that hold the thing together at my crotch didn't come apart causing the whole apparatus to fly up and hit me in the face during the soup course. If I walked very slowly, and sat down very gently....should be okay.

Second? This would be the first time since my divorce that my ex, my children and my in-laws whom I miss dearly would all be together in one room, at one table in fact. Add in M and my ex's partner, an elegant, lovely woman with great hair and it could be somewhat awkward. Yet, I was not about to miss it— could we come together as a family to celebrate a moment of complete and utter joy? Could we sit together at a table and enjoy each other's company while celebrating the success of the son we brought into this world? Was there any way I could wear the dress without the full body Spanx? (No, there wasn't.) This was what was going through my mind as we began the three hour drive on Friday afternoon.

After a longer trip than we anticipated due to traffic and a stop at Burger King where I really wanted to try their new grilled hot dogs, (a decision I lived to regret later that evening) M, myself, my two daughters and one boyfriend that I love, arrived at the hotel where we were all staying. We walked in and there they were...my family. There was my mother in law who has known  me since I was 16. Who came and stayed with me when my 5 year old daughter had 3rd degree burns on her legs and feet after I dropped a pot of hot chicken soup as she was passing by the stove. Every day she accompanied me to the doctor where she would hold her as they scraped off the burned skin and bandaged her up, as I cried on a chair nearby. We have shared ups, downs and a thousand cups of coffee.

My father in law who taught my kids how to fish and patiently baited hooks for hours as they sat next to him swinging their little feet back and forth. My sister in law, who I grew up with, both of us 16 when we met. Now we are both mothers and have shared the joy and heartbreak that comes with that job. And of course, there was my ex. I haven't seen him in over a year and didn't know what to expect, how I would feel. Our eyes met and I felt happy. I felt proud. We looked at each other and both said, "WE DID IT!" as we high fived each other. It was a moment I will always remember.

That night M and I arrived a few moments late to the dinner as we had to park a few blocks away and I had to walk like a geisha in order to keep the spanx intact. When I arrived, there were two seats left and I took the one next to my ex. I had him on one side and M on the other! You know the weird part? It felt RIGHT. I had the man I now loved on my left, and the man whom I had shared a life with and brought 4 children into the world with on my right. My kids were scattered around the table, talking, laughing, so proud of their little brother, enjoying the moment of seeing their parents together in happy times. There was a time I thought that it would never be possible, but here we were. We all shared stories about the graduate, and though I did get a bit melancholy, I felt truly happy and really blessed.

Not to mention, the Spanx stayed where it was supposed to at least until we got back to the room, where I sat down on the bed and it let loose with a sudden fury as if to say, "PLEASE, NO MAS! NO MAS!"  All the worry had been for nothing. The night had been a success and as I drifted off to sleep, I let these words wash over me...WE DID IT.


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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Baseball, Hotdogs, Apple Pie and...Why Am I In The Kitchen?




Okay, here is the question: Why is it I can remember every episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show from 1963 but cannot for the life of me remember why I walked into my kitchen? I can still remember the tune to "Hazel," (Major crush on Mr. B, by the way.)  Yet, I am literally standing in here, staring at my coffeemaker as it stares back at me like, "Dude. What the hell?"  I go down my mental list, am I thirsty? No. Am I hungry? Nooo, but as long as I'm in the kitchen...As I walk away with a handful of pita chips it occurs to me...this is why women gain weight after menopause. We don't remember why we are in the kitchen, but what the hell, as long as we walked all the way in here...just a little nosh.

All this has nothing to do with what I am writing about today. What I wanted to talk about today is a fun experience I recently had. I went to a major league baseball game and it was awesome...plus I gained somewhere in the neighborhood of five pounds. They have tacos now. Tacos. At a baseball game.

So, my son calls me and says "Would you and M like to go to the game, dad gave me his tickets and he can't go,"  and I'm like "Sure." The day arrives and  son and girlfriend pick us up. As we drive away, I think, "Shoot I meant to bring binoculars," because I think baseball players have the cutest butts of all the athletes and I wanted to get a good look. Also, I wore tennis shoes because I knew that the walk from the parking lot to the stadium, puts the 3 day breast cancer walk to shame.  But wait, what? My son is turning into a parking lot that is about six inches away from the front door of the stadium. He takes out a pass and the guard waves him through as if we are the Presidential Motorcade. WTF?

Then we walk up to the gate, show our tickets and make our way into the stadium. We begin to make our way to the seats and we are not walking up into the stands, we are walking DOWN towards the field. We keep going further and further down until finally my son waves us into a row. A row that is like six feet from home plate. As I go to sit down I notice that my ex's name is on the seats! There is a little silver plaque with this name on it! Plus, not only did I not need binoculars, I had to ask several players, "Do you mind? You're standing on my foot," as they took a few practice swings before getting up to bat.

Okay, what am I getting at, you are probably asking. Three things: 1. Menopause sucks, but I can't remember why 2. Hazel put up with a lot of stuff from Mr. B. when she should have just quit and filed for unemployment, and 3. Eating tacos while staring at baseball players butts makes for a pretty nice afternoon.








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Monday, March 28, 2016

Remember Above All...DIGNITY


The other day I was reading People Magazine about how great Jen and Ben Affleck are getting along these days after the whole gambling, alleged sex with the nanny and all around dickiness that Ben engaged in. (He was great in Argo,I have to give him that) And I started thinking about my situation because as a writer I’m very narcissistic. I think all writers are because we write things thinking OMG I am so interesting EVERYONE is going to want to read THIS. Then when people DON’T want to read it, we retire to our beds, start looking on Craigslist for openings at Starbucks, and think to ourselves, “I suck and I’m never writing again.” Then we wake up the next day and start a blog, a story, a poem, a book because the words are floating around in our heads and we just know, people are really going to want to read THIS.

Anyway, as I was reading the article I realized it’s been almost 5 years since my divorce was final. That doesn’t include the two years leading up to it when I was dealing with the fact that my husband had fallen in love with someone else. FALLEN IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE ELSE. MY HUSBAND. Easy to say now, but then? The pain of it, Good God. The absolute searing agony of it. The “I cannot go on but I have to make dinner for my kids and how am I going to get from my bedroom into the kitchen” of it. I was out of my mind with the pain.

I have to admit to you that I acted like one crazy bitch during that time in my life. In fact, I have very few regrets about the life I have led up til now, but my biggest regret, what I wish I could go back and change is how I conducted myself during those years. (Other regrets include not wearing a slip under the black net mini dress I wore this past New Years Eve. An unfortunate choice that ruined not only my night but that of those around me as well. I also regret not finishing college. Pretty much good with everything else) Now, I am going to say something here about someone and it has absolutely NOTHING to do with politics. NOTHING. Hilary Clinton’s husband made a HUGE ass out of himself in front of the entire world, and she conducted herself with dignity through that whole farce. Jennifer Garner is also a class act with how she has handled herself through this whole thing. Now I know you’re thinking “Sure, it’s easy to be calm and classy when you can just throw yourself back into your multi million dollar acting career,”  but it still had to be hard. I mean people were sitting down with their morning coffee reading about these women’s lives and still these gals were going about their business, apparently showering, getting themselves dressed etc. Me? Not so much.

So, I want women going through it now, to learn from my mistakes. I want those women to know that I KNOW the pain is unbearable, you feel you may die from it but YOU WON’T. And maybe this is the one instance where the passing of time is your friend, because time WILL pass, you WILL heal, and you WILL be okay. Here are a few do’s and don’ts  that I learned the hard way:

DON’T

1.      Sit at your friend’s kitchen table, drink a bottle of Pinot Noir by yourself and start sending your husband emails with the word MOTHER FUCKER in the subject line. I know, it seems like a great idea at that moment.  This'll show him! Please. Don’t put anything out on the internet because it will come back to haunt you when you decide to run for county commissioner or something.
2.       Drive up to the other woman’s home, park in her driveway, leave the car running and bang on her door screaming “I know you’re in there open this door!” She will open the door looking calm cool and collected and you look like a raving lunatic, plus your car is running.
3.     Listen when people tell you while looking at you as if you’re a child who just fell down and got a boo boo, “I saw them out last night…I mean it’s just awful, can’t believe he is doing this to you.” These are not your friends, they are people who are thinking “Better you than me.” Don’t ask what did she look like, what was she wearing because they WILL tell you and it WILL hurt.
4.     Tell the kids, “Your father has left us for a fucking whore.” Please, the kids will be going through enough. I know for a moment you want them to hate him for what he’s done to YOU, but he is their father and they need to believe he’s a good guy and let’s hope he IS a good father.
5.     Make yourself a victim, dig deep and find the strength that is in you. People will begin avoiding you after a while if you don’t start pulling yourself out of the depths of your misery. Don’t surround yourself with others who act as victims either. Choose your support groups very carefully. You don’t want to sit around and commiserate, you want to heal and move on.

DO:

1.     Take back your bed! You know that flowered quilt you have always loved from Anthropologie but couldn’t have because your husband hates yellow? Go get it. And sleep in the middle of the bed. It’s all yours, enjoy every inch of it.
2.     Find a role model. When I was dealing with my break up Christie Brinkley was also going through a hideous divorce and hers was REALLY out there, what with her husband sending penis pics all over the place.  There was a photo in a magazine of her dressed in a pink cardigan and gray pencil skirt walking into court that caught my eye. How elegant, I thought. How classy. I cut it out and put it on my mirror and every day would tell myself, act like a lady, just like Christie.
3.     Seek out a trusted therapist, counselor, support group who will give you strength and support while helping you move forward. Your friends will want to help you but in my case they were all happily married and I actually resented their help. They may say, “I can’t imagine what you’re going through,” and guess what, they REALLY can’t.
4.  Focus on your children. Focus on your children Focus on your children. Can I say that enough? No, I don’t think I can. Your children need you right now.
5.  Above all and if you take nothing else from this post, remember this: Act with dignity. DIGNITY. Oh how I wish I could go back and erase the screaming fits I had when my husband would come home to get a piece of clothing he had forgotten. The horror and sadness in my kid’s eyes. How I wish I could erase the way I behaved at my mediation sessions when I was literally told if I didn’t calm down, the police would be called.  And the emails? OMG. Somewhere out there is an Icloud full of  “fucking liar” “I hope you die” ”I hope she dies” etc. Horrible and now so very embarrassing.

In closing, I know how you feel. I DO. But trust me, you want to look back at this time as a period when you put your children before yourself, and dug deep inside to find your inner strength. Because it’s there, ready for you to tap into it.

Remember, above all… your children and your DIGNITY.  No regrets! To that end you may want to invest in a short black slip…just saying…


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Friday, March 18, 2016

You Made Your Bed



M and I have been together for a few years now and this year we have a lot to celebrate. My son is graduating college, his daughter is getting her Master's and we finally got new patio furniture. Also, this year M celebrated a very big birthday and I wanted to make it special. Even more special than when I invited everyone to the Melting Pot for fondue, which I thought would be a hoot, and found out that most people do not consider sitting around a table sticking raw meat into recycled corn oil a hoot. As M's mother so elegantly put it, "What? We go to a restaurant and have to cook our OWN food?" Luckily for me, the Melting Pot has a full bar and I found that dirty martinis complement raw chicken chunks doused in hot cheese very well. So, there's that.

Anyway, this year I decided I wanted to really go all out, and remembered that years ago he had mentioned that he has always wanted to stay at the Delano Hotel in South Beach. This was it! I would take him to the Delano for a weekend and make it a birthday he would always remember. Though his birthday is in March, I actually had this great idea in December, so for Christmas I presented him with a certificate that said Delano Hotel Birthday Weekend March 4-6!!. Then I called to make reservations. Then I called my bank to take out a loan. Then I told M this was his Christmas/Birthday present for the years 2016-2020. The Delano folks are pretty, pretty proud of their hotel.

The weekend finally arrived and we packed our bags and took the 35 minute flight to Ft. Lauderdale and then the 40 minute Uber ride to South Beach. We stood outside the airport watching people get picked up by town cars and limos. Finally Javier' rolled up in his Silver Elantra, salsa music blaring from the windows. "I can't stop here!" he yelled and pointed to a sign that said "Cabs only" so we had to sort of run to keep up with him til he got to the area where pick ups in Elantras were allowed.

40 minutes later we rolled up in front of the Delano and it was all that you would imagine. White billowy curtains hang from the ceiling, the sea breeze rustling them gently. Odd pieces of furniture are strewn about, chairs made out of clear plastic and one out of gold, a see through grand piano, a giant chartreuse chair that looks like it came from the PeeWee Herman show. It all works though, like being in a weird dream with cocktail service. And everywhere, beautiful people. BEAUTIFUL. YOUNG. PEOPLE.

We get up to our room and quickly get ready for the pool. You'd think living in Florida, we would not be too excited about a pool but the thing about Floridians is we LOVE our pools from inside. We don't actually GO in them. Like we go about our days, I don't come home from the grocery store and think "Okay time for a swim." I may glance outside and think."Ew someone needs to get that dead lizard out of the pool," but go in it? No.

So when we go to a hotel we cannot wait to get to the pool and this is mainly because there is bottle service and you can order food and to me there's something about eating and drinking poolside that is a vacay in itself. So I put on my new tropical print one piece with an appropriate cover up and we get to the pool where we are greeted by a young girl in short white shorts with a belt and a white tshirt. "Can I help you"? she asks sort of eyeing us suspiciously. "Oh yes, M answers, "We are staying at the hotel and we would like 2 chairs." "Wait here please, Soledad will be with you in a moment." And I'm thinking I just want a freaking lounge chair, not a front seat at the Oscars. WTF?

The beautiful Soledad approaches us with a clipboard. She is perfectly tanned, long brown hair brushing her back, in a little white shift with lots of sideboob, but the good kind, not the kind where you are afraid one wrong move and you may see something you will never be able to forget. She is kind and friendly, "M and Amy, isn't it beautiful today? We find you a perfect spot. In fact the people who were supposed to have this cabana have not showed up, and we have a nice bed here that you can use. Would you be happy with a bed?"

Would I be happy with a bed? I would be happy if I could conduct my whole life from my bed. I live for my bed, so yes I would be happy with a bed. "Carlos!" she yells to a beautiful young man standing a few feet away, "Please make up the bed for Amy and M." "Of course, " he says, his white chiclets catching the sun. And he makes up this bed with pillows, and towels and sheets and I climb on and he says "Diego is your server and I will send him right over," and I close my eyes and think "I never want to leave this bed by this pool."

Diego takes our order of bloody mary's and something called a bento box which has chinese dumplings and 2 sushi rolls and edamame and I settle in mouth watering, and take a look around. There is a group of people in the pool each drinking from a tall glass of champagne. The woman is surrounded by several Channing Tatums and  has stylish short blonde hair and a blue cut out one piece that shows off her perfect bod and even though her hair is wet you can't see any bald spots, so I hate her. In front of me two young women are floating on a raft drinking rose', their massive heads of hair up in touseled buns. I want to stand up take my cover up off and pull my bathing suit out of my butt crack a little but I do not want to call attention to myself. I am in the land of beautiful people and I am afraid someone will come up to me and say "There's been a mistake, the white trash pool is over there," and I will end up sitting on a plastic dining chair." Definitely keeping a low profile.

Then out of the corner of my eye, I see a line of young women heading our way, the leader wearing a tiny bikini and a wedding veil. I close my eyes and try to ignore them, but of course, I know. This is THEIR cabana! They decided to show up after all. Bachleorette Bitches. So they gather round whispering behind us, and poor Soledad comes running and I can't totally make out what is being said, but I do hear, "Well are you going to change the towels on it because THEY'VE been laying on them." and I assume she means our old wrinkly bodies have been laying on HER CABANA BED.

Then Soledad leans down to us and says "M and Amy I'm so very sorry but we are going to have to ask you to get up but don't worry, Carlos is bringing 2 lounge chairs from the beach for you." And we stand up just as Diego arrives with our drinks and bento box. So we are standing there like 2 idiots holding our bento box while Soledad asks people to please move over and make room as Carlos places 2 canvas lounge chairs covered in sand next to the bed of my dreams.

And the girls all pile on to the bed after giving us dirty looks while Carlos tries to brush the sand off our chairs, and I keep the bento box covered so as not to find my California roll grainy with it. And EVERYONE is staring at us thinking, "In a place like this, I can't believe there are people who would actually try to steal someone's cabana." So much for keeping a low profile.

We finally got settled on our chaises, downed our bloody's and devoured the bento box. You haven't lived until you have eaten sushi with chopsticks poolside, whether on a cabana bed or a plastic chaise, with a spoiled brat in a wedding veil next to you. Anyway, it's not whether you're on a cabana bed or a chaise lounge, it's whose ass is next to yours on it. It was an amazing weekend. Happy birthday M!

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