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You see, it seems that daughter's iPhone is outdated and will not sync with her computer.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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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

ex wife new life: Getting Soft in Prison

ex wife new life: Getting Soft in Prison: As anyone who knows me can tell you, I have an irrational fear of going to prison. I’m pretty sure it started in college when I went to ...
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Getting Soft in Prison


As anyone who knows me can tell you, I have an irrational fear of going to prison. I’m pretty sure it started in college when I went to see Midnight Express. Two things I remember from College: the Mexican casserole the cafeteria served on Wednesdays, (7 layers with REAL tortillas,) and Brad Davis wasting away in a Turkish prison after getting beaten for stealing a gnarly blanket. Just thinking about it can cause my IBS to flare up.

So, I feel for Teresa Giudice, as she begins her 15 month prison term, leaving her four daughters and piece of crap husband to fend for themselves, in their mansion, that by the way, is for sale if anyone is interested in purchasing a home that is over 10,000 square feet, with an onyx kitchen sink and marble stairways. I believe for the right price they will throw in their meat slicer and panini sandwich maker. I would definitely write that into the offer—never hurts to ask.

Anyway, being the Real Housewives of Everywhere junkie that I am, I have been reading up on her final days at home and her entrance into prison life which began this week, and really I am actually starting to feel better about this whole prison thing. Frankly, it doesn’t sound that bad.

First off, the commissary sounds awesome. Apparently you come with cash and start an account that you use to pay for stuff, sort of like a jail house PayPal.  According to my sources, you can purchase tweezers, hair dye, lip gloss and toothbrushes, hard or soft, for a fraction of the price I pay in CVS even on double coupon days. $4.20 for a four pack of Charmin, as opposed to the sand paper I buy in bulk at Costco? I'll take that deal! So, I don’t know where the women from Cellblock 6-Female LockUp are shopping, but come on ladies, let’s at least try and make an effort! A little lip gloss can brighten up the whole face!

Guess what! You also get to have snacks, and I don't mean raisins and a juice box. You can choose from Dove Bars, Hummus, Oreos and what's this? Cilantro Cubes? What the hell is that? They don't even have those at Fresh Market! Only a woman's prison carries these epicurean delicacies. Keep in mind this is above and beyond the three squares you get each day. This really puts a whole new spin on the prison thing for me. It's enough to keep me from sharting next time I get pulled over for rolling through a stop sign.

Since Teresa has written several cook books, she has requested that her work detail be in the kitchen. I mean, I like to make an occasional chili in the crock pot, but I don't know that I want to work in a kitchen for 15 months. Maybe I could be in charge of the media room, you know keeping the Tivo programmed and the Pandora on the right stations. I became an expert on handing out bottled waters when I worked at the spa, not to mention my deft ability at folding the fitted sheet now, so I will be totally marketable in prison. Finally, a place where my talents will be appreciated.

So here's how I picture my typical day in prison. I wake up where I will immediately be served a carb laden breakfast. From there I will head to my work detail, where me and the girls will dish about that weird girl in cellblock 2. Around 10:30 or so, I will go to the commissary and get my snack, maybe a sleeve of Oreos, or a wild berry yogurt. Back to work until lunch when I WILL BE SERVED a satisfying meal. After lunch I will get some exercise, or maybe do some yoga in the yard, and then hit the commissary again for a light snack, I think Hummus, as dinner is just a few hours away.

After dinner, I will hit the media room with the gals, where we will all sit around watching The Bachelor and eating our Dove bars. Then just when I feel myself beginning to tire, it's lights out!
You know what? It sounds just like home, except I don't have to cook and the toilet paper is better.
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Friday, November 21, 2014

Decoratively Challenged


                           
                                                   






NORMAL







                                                                                                                  HOLIDAY DECOR


As I mentioned in my last post, Thanksgiving is around the corner and I cannot wait. I have made my shopping list and already purchased a 25 pound turkey at Publix where I had a run in with the check out girl because she insisted I put it on the treadmill after I asked her to come scan it in the cart. I tried to explain to her that I had a bad back and she remained adamant so the bag boy finally came over and hoisted the thing up there. I did however get a free reusable shopping bag with Pilgrims on it which is in the top of the pantry with all the other free reusable bags that I never use, let alone REUSE.

Anyway, tomorrow M and I will do the big shopping, dividing the day between Publix and Costco. I really love that we do this. When I was married, it was always just me running around like a crazy person, and when I finally put my beautiful dinner on the table my ex would look at me and say, "What, no eggnog?" The only thing that scares me about M and I shopping together is that I am afraid we are turning into that old couple that has one car, you know where the man drives the woman everywhere and waits for her while reading the paper? I totally see it coming.

Anyway, I feel good about everything, except for one aspect...decor. I can cook up a mean turkey dinner but my holiday decor leaves much to be desired. (See above) Every year I buy more stuff to help make my home and table welcoming and real Thanksgivingy.  I probably have like 15 little wooden turkeys and Pilgrim guys along with my kids artwork from preschool.  I lay everything out on the table in what I think is an esthetically appealing arrangement, yet it looks more like the arts and crafts table in a kindergarten class. I admit it, it's not my strong suit.

This year, as every year I turn to Ina Garten the Barefoot Contessa for tips. I just want to go live in her house and eat dinner with her and Jeffrey (are they still married?) every night while we share amusing stories about my kids and stuff. I picture Jeffrey refilling my glass with a deep red Merlot while I ramble on, "And then you would not believe what happened in third grade!" as he and Ina chuckle at my tale. Then I retire into one of Ina's unbelievable guest rooms which probably all smell like cinnamon cookies and fall blissfully asleep dreaming of breakfast.

I always look through her books and am amazed at what she does. Her turkey is beautifully sliced into perfect pieces whereas mine looks as if it has been ripped apart by wolves. Also, who decorates with dried cranberries? I want my centerpiece to be a beautiful arrangement of fresh herbs and cranberries too! And what's more unbelievable, everyone has a MATCHING wine glass. I always use my extra big ST.PETE PIER one with the big pelican on it and the rest are various shapes, sizes and colors— every man for himself.

Oh well, this year I bought some new Rachel Ray plates with acorns on them and bright orange napkins which now I'm afraid will give off a Halloweeney vibe. I also bought two new turkeys that sit on the table with their legs hanging off which should really take it up a notch. M and I are starting a new family tradition this year that entails a tequila shot before dinner. And really who needs dried cranberries when you have Turkey, tequila and togetherness.
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