Friday, November 13, 2015

Marriage, Divorce And A Good Gastro Doc

Sunday morning I woke up and as I lay there feigning sleep so that M would get up and make the coffee, I knew something was special about the day, but I couldn't figure out what. Typically, this happens after I allow myself an Ambien the night before. For those of you who may actually be able go to sleep like a normal person, Ambien has the tendency to make you do weird things that you won't discover until the morning. I have walked into my kitchen the morning after an Ambien, to a scene that looks like the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity had a rager on the counter next to my fridge. There may be an open tub of garlic hummus, a melted frozen chocolate covered banana, a ripped open box of Special K cereal and Trader Joe's mango slices smeared all over the counter. It makes me eat a lot of weird things before I fall asleep, and when you combine that with my Netflix subscription, well, I don't think anything else needs to be said. Total devastation.

The point is, I woke up and knew something was different about the day. I immediately ruled out the worst possibilities, was I late for work? No it's Sunday. Is it mammogram day? Nope, it's Sunday. Then it came to me...the day was what would have been my 35th wedding anniversary. There we go, that's it.

To think 35 years ago, at the age of 20 I thought I had it all figured out. I would get married, be a wife, wipe down my kitchen cabinets with Murphy's oil soap on Monday mornings, learn to cook, eventually have kids and drive carpool. Nothing to it. But as I came to find out, there's A LOT to it, more than you can realize as you are walking down the aisle, looking forward to the sushi appetizers you insisted upon, even though your dad hates sushi and he's paying for it. It's YOUR day, you only get married once right? RIGHT?

Um, maybe not so right. My marriage would have been 35 years old, my divorce is about four. When you are getting married you tend to see only the good in your soon to be spouse. He has good teeth. His table manners are impeccable. He's funny. He's super nice to my mom. When you get divorced, you see only the bad. You remember the arguments, the slammed doors, the days of angry silence, the almost impossible task of dealing with the kids without crying at the dinner table.  You remember the total unraveling and you think "It's his fault" "It's her fault" "If only" etc.

Just as I wasn't prepared for the reality of being a wife, I was definitely not prepared for the reality of being an EX WIFE. The anger sits below the surface of your gut, you will think it's heartburn and you will go to a gastro doc (It's not just me right?) and you will tell him your dad has Barret's Esophagus and you think you have it to and after some tests he will say no, you don't have it YET. Get a grip. But it's there, gnawing, burning, until one day...blissfully, it's not. And that's the day you are no longer just an ex, you are a person with a whole new life ahead of them. It may not be what you expected, but it will be fabulous because you will make it so.

Eventually,  you may see that thinking of your ex no longer makes you want to fall into a chair and cry your eyes out. It may even bring a smile to your face. And you may think of him fondly, and you may hope he is well, that he is happy even. And then life goes on, and you will fill it with wonderful people, and happy times.

In the meantime, if you want the sushi appetizer, insist on it. I mean it is your day after all...

My first book "There's Been A Change of Plans" available here
Come on! It's only 3.99 to download!


Ex-Wife New Life: living life newly single at 50 while overcoming the pain of divorce and moving on. Visit us @ OR participate @

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

It's All There In Black And White

So,  the day is almost here. Saturday my book, There's Been A Change Of Plans—A Memoir About Divorce, Dating And Delinquents, is being released on Amazon. And needless to say I am beside myself. Also, I am petrified, because as I was writing it, it didn't really occur to me that people would actually be READING it. It's sort of like when I wrote that email to my sister about how fat my stomach looked in a tankini and then mistakenly sent it to my real estate client.

I mean, do I really want my kids to know that I was stood up on my first date at a tiki bar, where I showed up in my new Anthropologie shawl?  (Remember? They had a brief resurgence a few years back.) Does the world really need to know that my gynecologist asked me to "Please remind me next year to use the extra long speculum?" No, nobody needs to know that, but...there it is.

When I recently read the finished product, I remembered WHY I began to write it. The book begins with the day that changed my life forever and I remember it like it was yesterday. And I also remember the day that I realized I had to file for divorce. The game was over. I remember sitting on the edge of my bed and feeling totally alone. My friends were all married, in fact right that minute, as I sat on  my bed wondering what was to become of me, they were all home preparing dinner for their husbands and children. Salmon or steak, that was all they had to worry about, (in MY mind), not gathering cell phone records, and bank statements.

I began to search for answers, for help, for comfort. I ordered books by the dozen seeking advice on how to get through each day— how did other women survive this event that I perceived to be the end of my life in a way. One person wrote about meditation. Tried it. Discovered a two inch long hair on my ankle and got super paranoid. One woman wrote about her husband leaving her for another woman. Yes yes!! She gets me!! She went on to talk about how she and her two little boys moved into her parents apartment on Park Avenue and she was able to resume her career as a wife on a top show about lawyers on CBS. Phew!

See what I'm saying? Where were the poor shlubs like me, who hadn't ever worked, decided to get married instead of going to college and had four children who's world had just come crashing down, but whom I did not have the strength to guide into a new one? And then I realized there must be others out there like me. Somewhere, there had to be another woman who was sitting on her bed thinking WTF do I do NOW. And so I began to write, and it's all there. Every bit of it.

So, I guess my point is, this book is for all of those women, (and anybody who likes a good laugh)
who think their life is over,  because I want them to know that it is just beginning. Sure it sounds like a cliche, chin up, new beginning, blah, blah, but it really IS! Is divorce devasting? Yes. It is devastating and crushingly sad. There will be days that you think you cannot go on, and then your little boy will stick his head into your bedroom and say, "Mom I'm out of socks" and you won't say, "Wear flip flops" like I did. You will rise up, and you will wash his socks and you will go about your life, and it will get easier and better and then one day it will be fucking great and you will be so proud of yourself. You will reinvent, you will find new passions, you will thrive.

So...anyway, THAT'S why I wrote it. As soon as it hits, I will post the link to facebook. I hope you will let me know what you think.

Ex-Wife New Life: living life newly single at 50 while overcoming the pain of divorce and moving on. Visit us @ OR participate @

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

When There Are No Words...

Let's face it, we all love Facebook. If I need to see a video of a cat swimming in a pool with a bathing cap on, I know right where to go. If I want to say Happy Birthday to a friend but am too lazy to go to CVS for a birthday card, it comes in really handy. When I want to show off my kids at Thanksgiving, the one time they are for sure all together, because my sweet potato pie can work miracles, it's the perfect go to. But today, Facebook left me feeling empty and sad, because though words are written and things are said, it just isn't enough. Let me explain...

Yesterday I got home from work, ate my dinner of left over chili, which please don't tell M,  he thinks it is homemade, it is Wick Fowler's Texas Chili mix and I have been making it for 6 years and hiding the wrapper in the outside trash. Anyway, once that was done and I had a spoon of coconut ice cream, you know, just to cool things down and it's only a spoonful, doesn't even count as calories or anything, I prepared myself for bed and was nicely tucked in by 8:30 per usual.

And of course I went to my Facebook page because though Facebook is my job and I am on it all day for professional reasons, I knew there was a new video out with a talking dog and I needed to see it. I get to my page and what do I see? My friend has had her baby! He is gorgeous, and I look at the picture and remember what it was like holding a newborn body close to mine, the smell of that sweet little head once the nurse has cleaned him and brought him all wrapped up in a blue blanket. I can almost FEEL him in my arms. And I look at the pictures and at her gloriously happy face and for a moment I am jealous. So much in store for her, for them, pre-school pinups on the fridge, t-ball games, a room full of dirty gym socks and sports gear, and the kind of laughter that fills the house when a bunch of young boys get together, plotting, planning their next escapade.

So of course I had to add my comment to the other 115 and I write "OMG OMG! Can't wait to meet him!" (and I cant, a new baby!) Then I found the dog video and that was that. On to Netflix.

And then this morning, in a stunning turn of extremes, I get word of a horrendous tragedy.  A child that my children went to school with has died. And I, like everyone else, am stunned. And I, like everyone else turned to Facebook to learn more.

There I see photos of this beautiful kid, and words of condolence. I stare at the photos, and tears come to my eyes. I see all the comments, and this time, I cannot bring myself to add one. Because I don't want to leave a comment to this child's mother, "So sorry for your loss." I want to grab her and hold her and wail with her and rail against the world and ask why, why, why even knowing we will never have an answer. We were not close, I have not seen her in years, though of course we connect on Facebook now and then. But we are mothers, and her child used to drink hot chocolate at my house and he loved my vegetable soup. And it is horrible, unthinkable that he is gone. It is not fair, it is not right, it is beyond human suffering.

How will she go on? How will she face every day knowing he is gone? I don't know, I cannot imagine and I can't bear to think of it. He was a beautiful kid, I will think of him often as I watch my children embrace their adult lives. I will always remember him, leaving the gym carrying 4 basketball trophies getting into my car for a ride home, my little guy crying because he only got a participation ribbon. Perhaps this is the best thing I can do for her, remember her son now and then, and pray that somehow, she finds peace until they meet again.

I am glad that people from all over are sharing memories on Facebook of this young boy gone much too soon. Of course I look at the photos, the third grade pool party, the high school graduation, the latest with a pretty young girl I assume was his girlfriend. I am touched and cannot look away, but I cannot bring myself to LIKE the page. Because I don't like it, I wish it didn't exist. And in time, I will send words to this grieving mother, but they will be hand written on a page, and though they won't take away the pain of such a loss, surely, won't even make a dent, they will be heartfelt and sincere, from one mother to another.


Ex-Wife New Life: living life newly single at 50 while overcoming the pain of divorce and moving on. Visit us @ OR participate @

Friday, September 18, 2015

Let Me Tell You About My Cat...

Okay, I'm not panicking or anything, but I just found myself engaged in conversation about my cat, Jetty, with the checkout girl at Publix. And I was talking about him like he was a person. Like "He gets so mad at me when I run out of these Tasty Temptations!" and then asking her if she had any pets. She was like "No, do you have any coupons?" And then I did that real annoying thing where I walked real slow pushing my cart with one hand while going over my receipt like a radiologist reviewing a bone scan. Did that bitch give me the BOGO on my fiber bars? Oh yes...there it is, I see it.

Then I made my way to the parking lot where I began to look for my car. Was I in the lane with the arrow pointing up or down? Is that it? No, no, same car but has a "MY OTHER CAR IS A SURFBOARD" sticker. Hmm....wait, did I walk here? Oh! There it is. I load up my groceries and start on my way home. As I drive home it occurs to me,  based on my behavior of the last hour and a half I have come to a conclusion...I'm old!

Let's be honest, 55 is sort of getting up there. I celebrated the double nickel a few weeks ago and sure, I know 50 is the new 30, but tell that to my forehead that has had enough botox injected into it, my eyes barely close when I'm sleeping. Don't forget about the time I thought I was having a stroke, until I remembered the doc had put some extra units around my mouth, thereby forcing any liquid I tried to drink to dribble down my chin, causing people to turn away in horror. You could also point it out to my eyebrows, but unfortunately, they left years ago.

As happens anytime I hit a milestone birthday, I decide to take stock of where I am and give thanks for all the wonderful things life has brought me in the last few years. Here's how it shapes up:
First and foremost, Netflix. Thank you Netflix for bringing people such as Don Draper, Walter White and Jesse Pinkman into my life and for giving me something to do with my Ipad, when I'm sitting in the hair salon like an idiot with my head covered in brown dye and tin foil.

Next? Trader Joe's. Thank you Trader Joe's for allowing me to buy 7 bottles of Pinot Grigio for 14.00. Also, thank you for having those chocolate and sea salt covered grahams right by the check out. They make the perfect snack for the 7 minute drive home.

Another gift that life has brought me? Nordstrom Rack. Thank you Nordstrom Rack for allowing me to finally buy the Free People tunic top that I have been admiring for 2 years,  at a reduced price, even if the label IS accidentally stitched onto the outside of the shirt, which thank you Nordstrom Rack, was pointed out to me at a meeting at work where I am 25 years older than everybody. I think they just assume I'm in early Alzheimers, so no harm done. I'm waiting for one of them to tie a bib around my neck at our next potluck.

Finally, I am very thankful for my job where I get to sit at a table with brilliant, young people who have the world at their fingertips and who I am growing very attached to. In fact the other day I was telling them about my son, who is graduating college this year and already has a very nice job offer on the table. And yes, I was bragging a little and telling them, that he is, by all standards, basically perfect. Just as I was explaining this to them I got a frantic text from my daughter:

"Mom! 911! What color are my eyes? Doing makeup quiz need to know now!"
Um...well...the point is I am thankful for my job.

And I am thankful for M and the life we have built together and for years of good times ahead. And of course, I am thankful for my four beautiful children, no matter what color their eyes are.

I arrive home with my groceries and put them all away. In a perfect moment, Jetty and I curl up in front of Netflix, me with my fiber bar, he with his Tasty Temptations, and lose ourselves in the final season of Downton Abbey. Now THIS is living.

Please look for my book, "There's Been A Change Of Plans" coming soon!


Ex-Wife New Life: living life newly single at 50 while overcoming the pain of divorce and moving on. Visit us @ OR participate @

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

This Wasn't In The "Script"

Image result for sleeping pillsSo today was my yearly visit with my psychiatrist and yes I have one and please stop judging. OMG, like YOU don't lie awake at night and worry that the email you sent to your sister about how upset you are that Bethenny is back on Real Housewives,  accidentally went to your client in LA who has never met you but thinks you're cool because you use the words "In retrospect" a lot and pretend to know what a meme is. Like YOU don't get up to check your computer and once you see that the email did indeed go to your sister, you feel a lot better, but then you see a story about how women who gain weight during menopause should have their thyroid checked and then you have to go to the mirror to drink a glass of water and look for lumps like the article says. Please, like YOU don't go back to bed two hours later bloated from all the water and sure you have a goiter, and finally, FINALLY give in and take your Ambien, which, by the way, you need a prescription for.

Anyway, today I was looking forward to my visit because, A. I get to leave work for an hour and was planning on getting a Chic Filet sandwich with extra pickles, and B. because I notice lately I have been really focusing on health issues, and probably more than normal people do. In my mind every ache or pain is most likely malignant, at the very least will require some type of surgery and recovery period and I'm not really sure how much time off I have accrued in my six months of employment. So it causes me great stress.

So I was all set to delve into it with Dr. today and have her tell me, "Oh you're being silly, you look healthy as a horse," and give me my script and send me on my way. She called me back to her office, as she always does, and I headed for my usual spot, took a seat on the couch where I have lost my shit more than once and looked at the doctor and noticed she was bald. And she was skinny. And she was wrapped in a shawl and it's August in Florida. "Fuck" I thought, "She's sick."

And I wanted to cry. I wanted to lay down on that couch like I did years ago when I went to her because my husband had left me and I wasn't sure I could move, and just cry. And she said, "So how are you?" and I said, "Fine, I have a job now, and I have a book coming out, I'm really fine." And even while I was saying it I was thinking, I don't think I will go into the whole "What if I need surgery" thing.

She began writing out the script and saying how exciting it was about my job and how she couldn't wait to read the book and finally I interrupted her and said, "Doc, what's going on with you?" and she said, "I have cancer, which isn't so bad, but the chemo and radiation are killing me."

"Crap," I answered because what could I say?

Could I say that I know the words coming out of my mouth sound selfish and inane? That she and her colorful long skirts and birkenstocks make several appearances in my next book?  That I want her to look at me with that squint she always does and then throw that long frizzy hair of hers behind her neck while she writes out my script? That I love her for caring that I have a stupid job as she pulls the shawl tighter around her shoulders?

We ended the session, eight minutes maybe, and she walked me to the check out desk and handed me my prescriptions. "Look at you," she said, "A book and a job? It's glorious, isn't it?" and I said "Doc, I want you to be well," and she said, "I know, but just in case," and she handed me a list of psychiatrists in the area.

And I left. And I cried all the way to Chic Filet. And then I went back to work, where I wanted to yell at my co-workers who are all under 30, "It won't last forever! You better enjoy every minute! And WTF is a meme!!?"


Ex-Wife New Life: living life newly single at 50 while overcoming the pain of divorce and moving on. Visit us @ OR participate @

Monday, July 27, 2015

Divorce: Cross Your Bridge, But Don't Burn It

Well, I'm sure you've noticed it's been quite a while since I've  posted on my blog and I have a very good excuse, it's called a job. I don't know who came up with this concept, but they sure didn't have a sense of humor. Believe it or not, when you have a job, you usually have something called a boss. And this "boss" expects you to be at work, like every day at the same time?WHAT? Also, they do not get that you need to come in late on Monday because you haven't quite finished binge watching OITNB Season 3. They also do not see a 2 for 1 Happy Hour from 5-7 at The Oyster Bar, a reason to leave early. So as you can see, my blogging time has been cut tremendously.  Especially now that I have discovered The Masters Of Sex on showtime. Isn't Bill so creepy? Ew.

Anyway, it came to my attention that this past Monday was the 4 year anniversary of my divorce. Four years ago Monday, Ex and I came together in the judge's chambers, held hands and cried as we were each given a copy of our final divorce decree, before heading our separate ways and forging new lives.  His new life seems to involve lots of travel to amazing places, while mine involves traveling  to Nordstrom Rack in Sarasota every other month, (They have Spanx now!)  but the point is we've moved on, and we are both happy.

I hardly ever write about divorce anymore. When I started this blog, it defined me. That's how I saw myself, DIVORCED first, mom second, alone, alone alone. Obviously that changed, and M and I have been in a committed relationship for years now, and I am happy as I've ever been. But I recently had an experience that proved to me, that though our marriage is over, our bond will never be broken, because of four little things I like to call... our children.

Several weeks ago I was at that job thing, and I went into a meeting and left my phone on my desk because, I didn't want to be disturbed by Netflix telling me that season 5 of Downton Abbey was now available, especially since I had already paid the 19.99 to Amazon so that I could watch it. So I went into my meeting, which if I recall was about google analytics, which I can sum up in two words.."Um...WHAT?" Anyhooo, I go back to my desk and see I have missed four calls from EX. This means that either he just discovered that I still have access to that old vacation fund we started in 1998, which now has 113.47 in it, or something horrible has happened, and unfortunately, it turned out to be the latter.

With pounding heart and shaking fingers I hit voice call by his name and he answered with, "I'm looking for her," and I screamed "WHO! WHO,!?" and he said, "Haley has had an accident, and I am on my way." "Is she okay?" I managed to whisper, feeling my knees go weak and he answered, "I don't know. I will call you as soon as I'm there."

So, I went back to my table, and just sat there as all the lucky people who's daughter had not been in what may be a fatal accident continued writing their posts about the best morning smoothie recipes ever. EVER! Finally he calls and I answer bracing myself for what every parent knows is the one thing in life they could not bear. "She's okay,"he says. "I'm with her now."

"Oh my God," I say as I start to cry. "Really?"

"Yup" he says, "She's her old self, texting away in the ambulance."

"AMBULANCE!" I scream..."Which hospital?" and I write it down. I then tell my boss who is the same age as Haley that I must leave, which I do. The hospital is within walking distance of my office and I run all the way. (Carrying a computer bag filled with a  prehistoric MacBook Air, a banana and an Amy's frozen entree. May have looked homeless, now that I think about it...)

I arrive at the hospital and a nurse takes me to the ER cubicle where Haley and Ex are. I pull back the curtain and see my baby, lying on a gurney, a puddle of blood forming beneath it, her face cut, black and blue, one blue eye swollen shut. My ex is standing over her, holding her hand telling her all will be well. We make eye contact and immediately I begin to sob, we stand over her together, knowing how lucky we are, she's okay, she's okay, she's okay.

It was then I realized the marriage is over, but the bond cannot be broken. We have four people in the world that we made together that we both love more than anything. Eventually there will be weddings, (COME ON MER!) babies, and every little person who comes from all of this will have a little bit of both of us swimming around in their DNA.

So, my message here is this: Divorce sucks, but life goes on. For most people, when you leave the table with your settlement in hand, you are angry, you are sad, you have been wronged. But time passes, and the good things in life begin to outweigh the bad. Don't burn your bridges. Forgive each other so that you can share the joys that are coming because of that one day you looked into each other's eyes and said "I do."

Now, if I'm not mistaken, the final season of Mad Men should be ready for streaming, somewhere. So, let the good times roll!

Ex-Wife New Life: living life newly single at 50 while overcoming the pain of divorce and moving on. Visit us @ OR participate @

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

I miss you guys! I know I haven't posted in what seems like years, but the thing is I have a job now, and seriously, this is some heavy shit. First off, they expect me to be there like, every day at the same time...which is a number with AM after it. (Except weekends, they are not TOTAL barbarians.) Secondly, you are supposed to be there for eight hours. WHAT? Everyone knows, I need a little shut eye around 2pm to make it through the day. Mainly, they expect you to get stuff done, and well, frankly, this blew my mind. There apparently is something called productivity in these work places...WHO KNEW? But I'm doing well, have already been promoted once and they just got a fridge installed in the break room so...CHA CHING! Also, there is word that a microwave is coming so I am not going ANYWHERE!

Anyway, with Mother's Day coming right up, I felt I needed to do a post in the honor of my mother. Bear with me, it will seem like it's all about me, but we'll get there.

Saturday I went for my monthly haircut/color with the same guy I have been going to for years. I don't even tell him what to do anymore other than, "Hide the gray and don't make me look like a man." And he usually does all that perfectly, except for this time. In other words, call me MISTER. Koko and STOP STARING! I know, I know...Dude. W T F?

What can I say? We were talking about his six children, and he was cutting away and when I got up to leave I looked in the mirror and was stunned. How can I describe this...let's see...this hair cut makes Glenn Close in "Albert Nobbs" look like an ethereal fairy princess. Does that sort of give you an idea? I mean this was bad people. Not since the shag I got in seventh grade(Thank you mom, great suggestion,) that sealed my fate of being the last one picked for all sports teams, other than Deanna Oglethorpe who wore red corrective shoes and had a weird bald spot, has anything this heinous taken place on my head.

So I stand in my bathroom staring at the back of my head and wondering what the hell can I do? Maybe shave off the rest and grow a beard like guys who have receding hair lines do? You know kind of beating the whole bald thing to the punch?

Feeling somewhat faint and a little hungry but unable to head into the kitchen for fear of running into M, I reached out to the three people in my life who always know how to make me feel better, my two sisters and of course my mother.  I took a selfie of the back of my head and one from the front. I captioned it, "OMG! HOW BAD IS IT????" of course thinking they would say it's not bad at all, quite stylish in fact. Within seconds my support system began weighing in.

Sister 1:  OMG Bruce Jenner in reverse!

Sister 2: HAAAAA OMG Which blade is that? When did you start going to a barber?

Sister 1: If you can't afford a real salon why didn't you come to us? We will start a fund for you

Then my daughter walked in. I pulled her into the bathroom and showed her. "What am I going to do?" I asked her.

"Okay," she said. "It  IS a little short. In 2018 when you go for your NEXT haircut, tell him not to cut it so short." And walked away laughing.

Oh I was devasated. The kids at the office would have a field day with this, as would their dogs!  I already wore shoes with special insoles and had my Lactaid stored in the work fridge. This would seal the deal as the weird old lady at work.

But then...there it was, my beacon in the night, a source of hope to pull me from this despair, a text from my mother:

Sisters are teasing you. The front looks great. Love the highlights. It's nice to have a different look!

Now THAT is what being a mother is all about. And that text gave me the strength to come out of the bathroom, head into the kitchen with my head held high and make myself a tuna sandwich. While I was eating, I realized what was so special about that text...she really BELIEVES that.  She BELIEVES it when I tell her I've gained a few pounds and she says, "It's nice to have a little shape!" Because she's a mother, and when she looks at her children she doesn't see bad haircuts or a few extra pounds...she sees a person that she loves more than anyone or anything on Earth.  And it's knowing that that gives us the strength to get through bad haircuts, horrific breakups, problems with our OWN children and just the occasional plain old shitty day.

And it's knowing that, that let's me forgive her for the 7th grade shag that accented my big teeth and uni-brow. Not sure what she was thinking with that one...but all is forgiven. I love you mom.
Happy Mother's Day.

Ex-Wife New Life: living life newly single at 50 while overcoming the pain of divorce and moving on. Visit us @ OR participate @