Adventures in Divorce

I always wondered why people who murdered their spouses didn't just get a divorce.... I now understand why

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Location: Nap Town, Indie-anne-ahhhhhh!, United States

No, I'm not a prophetess. Cassandra, according to Greek mythology, spurned the advances of the Greek god Apollo and her gift of prophecy was cursed so that her predictions would never be believed. Such is my life. I tend not to think like most people, which is a gift... but also a curse. So step into my mind, take off your shoes and stay for awhile... you're always welcome, loved ones.

July 30, 2008

Waxing poetic

ambiguous 'cause you wanted to remain hopeful
'cause we never dealt with it
but I've never lied to you about my intentions
and what I wanted

(October 10, 2007.... but it still hurts)

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Randomly Numbered Haiku No. 376: Untitled

I sometimes forget,
But wish for more reminders,
That men feel love, too.

(September 24, 2007)


Love vs. Desire

I recently finished reading the book "All He Ever Wanted" by Anita Shreve (author of Oprah Book Club book "The Pilot's Wife".... also another worthwhile read). It's written from the perspective of a man who is recouting his marriage to a woman with whom he, arguably, experienced love at first sight and the experience of not having that love returned. I couldn't help but note the parallels between this character's marriage and my own, at least my own toward The End. In the book, the main character, Nicholas Van Tassle, meets a woman as he is assisting her following a fire, and from then on is determined to have the woman for his wife, regardless of her feelings about him (or lack therof). His single mindedness leads him to pursue her relentlessly until she agrees to marry him on the condition that he knows that she does not love him and that they will never speak of love.

The book also made me think about a podcast I'd listened to from on the topic of desire, considered to be one of the 5 Hindrances to enlightenment in Buddhism (the psychic forces that keep people from being fully present in the moment, which is necessary for proper meditation). The concept basically is the idea that love and desire, while very similar, are actually very different and have different focuses, one being outward and one being inward. Stated simply, love is an emotion that is directed outward to it's intended target, while desire is directed inward. Desire is selfish while love is generous. A person who is driven by desire is focused on how the emotion makes THEM feel..... they desire a person because it makes them feel good. Conversely, a person driven by love has the wish to bestow this feeling on others and, ideally, this feeling is reciprocated so that love flows between the two individuals involved. Unfortunatley, it's often difficult to distinguish the two because they both involve the feeling of pleasure. The Dharma talk also discusses how Desire creates exhaustion, alienation, and loss of opportunity to see change. Unchecked, it keeps us on the surface of life, superficial, and leads to poor judgment in the pursuit of this pleasure and desire.

I cannot say that my marriage was entirely loveless.... it was just the wrong type of love. My Ex was CRAZY about me. I was talking to a friend last night who knew my Ex in a work setting years before she knew me, and she said that he used to talk about me incessantly (his favorite topic was natural hair..... if you have natural hair, you were gonna hear about mine for him). She isn't the first person who has relayed this to me, and actually I used to have to tell him to please quit telling folks about me because I'd have random people come up to me knowing way too much info about my life. While on the one hand it was somewhat endearing, on the other hand it was somewhat, well, obsessive. The problem with this "love", though, was that I felt it wasn't directed toward me.... it was directed inward toward himself. I felt like he loved me in a way that was satisfying to him, while ignoring those things satisfying to me. There was a disconnect somewhere, and not until I listened to that dharma talk podcast on my patio one day did I fully realize it: his feelings toward me were more heavily steeped in desire, not love.

In the book I just finished, the narrarator many times mentioned how he took great pride in and made a point let others know that this woman was "his wife" as if she were some sort of prize to brag about. Likewise, that's the feeling that I got when my Ex would talk to people about me. It was almost as if I didn't feel like a real person, but more like an object to be showed off. Arm candy to the extreme. Yet I felt like he ignored or downplayed who I actually AM as an individual. It wasn't about what I wanted, but what I should want; wasn't about how I was, but how I should be. He had projected this image onto me that suited his purposes, that made him feel fulfilled.

Love, however, is acceptance of who a person is as a whole. It's not picking and choosing the qualities of the person to focus on and derive pleasure from, while ignoring the rest. Love is not a prize or a trophy to show off to others. It's not a status to brag about. I feel like if my Ex had truly LOVED me, he would have let me go peacefully like I tried to do, not repeatedly, deliberately and maliciously tried to hurt me becuase he was hurting over his loss of "love". It was all about how HE felt, because, I'm sorry...... you don't do and say the things he's done and said to me over the past year if you truly love someone. You don't destroy another person's happiness so that you can have "love" from them. That is desire, and desire can be perilous.

I feel like I'm rambling, so I'll stop now. Maybe I'll come back and fix this mess later.......

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July 29, 2008

Extraordinarily Human

(originally posted Saturday, December 30, 2006)

"Illnesses of mood distort and magnify what is human; they do not destroy it." -- Elliot Pearlman, Seven Types of Ambiguity

My friends who know me well are aware that I've had almost a lifelong struggle with clinical depression. I don't broadcast it to the general public, but it's not a state secret, either. Part of the reason for that is because I believe that there needs to be more awareness of mental health issues such as these, and that depression should not be stigmatized as a weakness of character, but rather a health condition just like diabetes or high blood pressure.... something that merely must be dealt with and treated, not ignored and swept under the rug. Because trying to be "strong" and pretending that nothing is wrong has consequences not only to the individual dealing with the issue, but everyone else around them.

Nature and Nurture are very powerful influences, but the combination creates ironclad habits and behaviors that are damn near impossible to break. The reason that I can firmly say that my depression is clinical is because damn near all my family members deal with it-- mom, grandma, siblings, uncle.... we all deal with it to some degree. But because people don't acknowldege that this is not normal, not healthy, it is the sort of thing that becomes normal, so that all the behaviors and symptoms just become what is taught to the next generation. I attribute most of my social anxiety to my mom (yea, it's always mom's fault.... I'm bracing myself for that). I can only think of one friend that my mom had over the years, and that was our next door neighbor that moved away when I was 6. Nobody ever came over to our house to visit; mom never had shopping outings with girlfriends. I never learned how to interact with people. So take that compounded with the chemical anxiety and depression, and you've got the recipe for one messed up chica. I now have to fight through those feelings of wanting to retreat and run away.... but I don't know how so I have to make it up as I go along. But [The Ex] is always telling me about some social faux pas that I've committed that tends to come off as rude and aloof, and I honestly am not trying to be such.

Sometimes I feel angry and frustrated and defeated..... tired of being "not normal" and just wanting to be comfortable in my skin and around others and not be the social freak that I feel like most of the time. I know a small level of social anxiety is normal (oddly, though, I don't have that much problem with public speaking.... I smashed that fear long ago), but, like the quote above, I feel that this has been maginfied in me. And it's big and heavy. And sometimes I just get tired.



At the time I wrote that post, I had resigned myself to accept the fact that my depression was 95% chemical and that life factors were not playing that great of a role. After all, I had the "perfect" life...... marriage to a man who was crazy about me, 2 gorgeous well behaved kids, the "dream job" that every lawyer (who didn't know any better) wanted, a house, a dog, and all those other things that were outward signs of success. What did I have to be depressed about? Yet I was sad, anxious, depressed, and medicated to the hilt just so I could function.

Recently, however, and thankfully due to circumstances beyond my control (or else I wouldn't have done it otherwise), I've had to stop taking my "meds". I saw this coming so I gradually stepped down my dosages (PSA Note: Never EVER stop antidepressants cold turkey. That is a dangerous no no. And really it should be supervised by a doctor) and I discovered that, huh, I'm ok. Better than ok. For the first time in a LONG time, I feel like me. My silly nature has returned, I'm able write more, I'm able to interact with people easier and life just feels BETTER. I was conversing with The Ex the other day and he was expressing how he was worried about me with regards to this issue, and I had to cut him off and let him know that no, I don't need those meds anymore. *Pause* Him: "Oh, so you get rid of me and you're not depressed anymore?" Me: "Basically." He then made a snide comment about how a male friend of mine(who he assumes is my boo) just must be making me that happy, and I had to correct him with a quickness.

No, my joy and contentment comes from within. I realized long ago that the only person responsible for my happiness is ME, and that happiness is a factor of perception and attitude. I am not an overly religious person, but the Serenity Prayer is one that I take to heart. I decided to make some changes in my life--some extremely difficult, scary changes--and it seems to have served me well. I can't help but notice that since I left two situations that caused me great amounts of internal turmoil-- my job and my marriage-- I've been able to find so much more peace and joy, even amongst situations that have been FAR from the "pefection" that I supposedly had at the time I originally wrote that post. I think that's more than just coincidence.

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July 28, 2008

My Dating Personality

A friend of mine had me take a Dating Test on, which he SWEARS that its results, plus a person's 5 favorite movies, will tell you everything you need to know about a potential boo-thang candidate. There are 32 "dating types" possible (16 male and 16 female) based on a 4 factor combination (Random vs. Deliberate, Gentle vs. Brutal, Sex vs. Love, Master vs. Dreamer). I've been making all of my friends take it just out of sheer curiosity because the results seem to be so on point (not to mention them, and the test itself, are highly amusing). Most of my friends' results weren't much of a surprise (like my two BFFs are The Stiletto (DBSM) and Ghengis Khunt (RBSM)), but there have been a few that have left me scratching my head saying "Huh?" But the test doesn't lie!! (that is assuming that you mindful of the GIGO principle--Garbage In = Garbage Out--and answer the questions honestly). But it is also meant to be humorous, so don't take it TOO seriously (unless it just fits really, really well).

Anyway, here are my results:

The Playstation
Random Gentle Sex Master (RGSM)

Easy to turn on. Hard to beat. You are The Playstation.

You're a nice girl, and you have lots of sex. It's therefore highly likely that you're attractive, and you're certainly outgoing & friendly. Plus, this healthy physical attitude of yours indicates deeper emotional well-being and stability. Unheard of. When guys dare to dream, they dream of you.

You don't get attached too easily, and, to wit, you're not necessarily looking for something long-term right now. That's a bigger asset than you know. Though, physically speaking, you're open to anything, you're keeping your emotional side well-protected. This means there won't be a lot of wreckage to clean up whenever you decide to settle down.

In the meantime, the men you share yourself with actually respect you. Like them, you enjoy sex for its own sake and don't need any other validation for pleasure than pleasure itself. Hopefully, you have the good sense to blow off anyone who thinks less of you for that. Usually, this is the part of the description where we offer some life-correcting advice, but honestly, we can't think of anything about you we'd change. Keep on fucking, partner.

Your exact female opposite:

The Priss

The Priss

Deliberate Brutal Love Dreamer

Always avoid: The Mixed Messenger (DBLD)

Consider: Anyone else

Take it for yourself: The Online Dating Persona Test

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July 27, 2008

The new man in my life

Friday night the kids were home with me; Daughter was sleep on the couch and Son was in his room reading a book for school. I poked my head into my dear Son's room and had this exchange:

Me: I'll be right back, I have to go across the street and get my foil.
Son: What, to Aldi's? (it's 11 at night... um no)
Me: No, across the parking lot. I told you I couldn't make those cookies because I left my foil at the Neighbors'.
Son: *raised eyebrow* The Neighbors? How's that work..... how did you meet them?
Me: Uh well there aren't many black people in this apartment complex so you kind of just end up saying hi to and hanging out with anyone that you just happen to see.
Son: *looks at me skeptically with giant probing grey eyes* So... how does that work? What do you DO with the neighbors?
Me: We watch TV.... America's Best Dance Crew and I Love Money and Hell Date and CNN and all that. We just hang out.
Son: *gives me the "woman stop lying" look* Hmm.... well ok.
Me: I'll be right back in a minute.

I had all intentions of just running over there and getting my foil, which I'd left there a few days ago (being neighborly, I let them borrow it), so I could come back and bake my cookies. But there were so many good movies on so many different channels simultaneously (Pulp Fiction, Old School, National Lampoon's Vacation, Hustle and Flow) and we just started watching TV and talking about random ish that I ended up saying for a minute hour (at the most). I figured with Son reading his book (Three Musketeers I think) that he'd be knocked out by then since it was so late when I stepped out the door. Um, not so much. I get back to my apartment, turn the handle and *thud*..... this chile had locked the door on me, and all I'd taken with me was my phone. WTF?? All I could do was look up to the heavens and sigh.... he is SUCH my child. My Son is notorious for leaving the door unlocked all night, used to leave the garage door open all night, so obviously this was deliberate. I knocked on the door, and this boy opens it and says "Dang what took you so long??" in his man-child, no longer my baby but not quite a man, voice. I tried to be mad and tell him to mind his own damn business and I'm the mom and it's not his place to question me, etc. etc., but his concern was kind of cute. And then I'm also still, after 14 years, a sucker for his big ole grey-green eyes. I merely told him that we ended up talking and watching TV (which is the honest-to-blog truth) and just walked past him into the apartment.

Oh teenage sons..... you think you get one man out of your life that you no longer have to answer to, and they step right up and assume that role with a quickness. I love him though, and I'm glad he looks out for me in his own way.


July 26, 2008

"I will never have a family again...."

The Ex made a disturbing comment to me yesterday about his family being destroyed and him never having a family again. He said he will never give 100% of himself, never full integrate his life with someone else's, and when the going gets tough he'll just get divorced again. He said that some things only come with "the first time around", as if an subsequent marriages and family are somehow not as legitimate. I told him that's a sad way to view life, love and family.

I don't know why this JUST now dawned on me, but that comment really was a slap in the face to me AND my family. He always talks about how he looks up to my parents and my family, but I grew up in a blended step family. I know I've mentioned this before, but for some reason it's true implications JUST really dawned on me. It sounds stupid, but it's like those optical illusion pictures that you stare at and then all the sudden see the picture of the horse or the sailboat. My parents have been married for 33 years, and from the outside looking in (hell, from the inside too) it looked like your typical nuclear 2 biological parent family with 4 kids. But the fact is that my mother was divorced and her ex husband is my oldest sister's father. My parents married when my sister was 5 years old.... when my mom was only a few years younger than I am now (27 I believe), and my dad adopted my sister and raised her as his very own, so well that nobody aside from select family members knew the difference. Unfortunately, the reason nobody knew or had to know was because her dad disappeared from her life, and my dad stepped right into that role.

I'm really baffled at myself right now, how I never thought about this, and didn't even think about it when I was having that conversation with The Ex yesterday. But it just goes to support my view that divorce is not the end of the world, not the scorge upon the earth that The Ex and right wing religious zealots say it is, it is not an impediment to having a happy and healthy family. Sometimes that first try just isn't the right try.

My family may treat this as it's "dirty little secret", though I don't know why. From now on I will proudly say "Yes, I am the product of a blended family". And I think, all things considered, we did okay.

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And it all falls down....

I don't even know where to start. My trip to Chi was crappy on so many fronts.... it was just an amalgamation of bad vibery. First of all, I get half way to Chi and get a text from my alleged dinner date saying that he had a meeting at 7:15. 7:15?? Are you serious?? I'd told him that I had to be at the club by 10 so that I could get in, but he assured me that we'd have PLENTY of time. Uh huh. Something told me to stop and get something quick to eat, and I'm SO glad I did, because I get to Chi, stop off and change the fastest I've ever changed in my life (shower, change clothes, AND makeup in less than 20 minutes?? Yea...) and head out...... to wait. It's 9:00 and this dude still hasn't hit me up. I wander along Michigan and find free summer music performance featuring Brazillian music, and I wait. And wait. And WAIT. Finally this guy calls me at 9:30 talking about should he make us a reservation somewhere. M*thaf*cker are you deaf?? I told him no, forget it I'm going straight to the club because I refuse to pay and, even more importantly, I refuse to stand in line. To my chagrin, he agrees to meet me up at the club around 11 or 12. Shit, shit, shit..... NOT in my plans. My plans were to go to dinner and then go to the club and enjoy the music in peace.... ALONE. I cannot entertain anyone (because that's what a date is.....entertaining someone) while I'm vibing to my music. I WILL cut you off in the middle of a sentence word when my jam comes on and you effectively disappear..... when I dance, I don't like anyone all up on my ass. Do. Not. Touch. Me. And a place like that is not a place to talk anyway.... you end up shouting and spending half the time saying "WHAT??" No bueno. When I kick it with others, I kick it with those who understand that.

Anyway, I get myself to the club and find myself a spot upstairs and post up. I'm having a decent time (as decent as one can have alone dressed in heels), get myself a few drinks, find a real cool guy with a good vibe and similar tastes in music to chat up, then I get a text from this MF around 1 talking about "I'm outside in line.... it's really long, I don't know what to do." I just had to give him an "I told you so.... that's why I got here at 10" reply. He then asks me if I want to come outside. HELLLLLZZ naw!!! At this point I'm uber irked because I HATE being stood up PERIOD for ANY reason. Having a meeting is your problem, not mine......

(Sidenote: The music on America's Best Dance Crew this week is KILLER!!! Spazz?? Universal Mind Control??? Don't Touch Me????? *runs around screaming*)

.......So yea, unless I REALLY like you, that's a dealbreaker. Especially when I'm driving 3.7 hours to meet up with you. I mean, I'd planned on going anyway weeks ago, but I'd actually changed my mind because, well, I'm broke-ish. The only reason I decided to go was because this guy said he would take care of my cost to get up there. Otherwise I would have sucked it up, turned on the Chop Shop this weekend or dusted off FutureSoul No. 001 and called it a day. So I'm standing there, not-so-secretly hoping that this dude doesn't get in. But he does. And he finds me. I would have told dude to kick rocks, but honestly...... I needed my freaking gas money. Dude gets up there and has me all hemmed up against the wall, grabbing on me too damn much, and then when I was standing at the railing--just STANDING--he's trying to gyrate on my ass and I had to make several side steps. Dude was offering to buy me an iPhone and take me to NYC, and I told him no thanks, I don't like feeling like I owe anybody ANYTHING (as much as I'd really like an iPhone... it just isn't worth it). He just had a bad vibe to him.... I can be a very touchy-feely person when I want to, but that's only if I get a good feeling from someone. And he was NOT one of those someones. I let dude buy me 2 drinks and was frantically texting my boy who I was staying with "Where are you at???" Luckily he hits me back telling me to come pick him up, and I was OUT. Dude gave me a bill (as in $100 bill) for my gas and food (or lack thereof, because I never had time to eat anything), which is the only reason I'm still not still cursing at this very moment.

(I'm so grateful to my boy for letting me crash.... he's got such a good spirit and I just feel 110% comfortable around him. I can just totally take the filter off my weird. So after the night I had, that was exactly what I needed (even tho he did try and put me on the couch, to which I said hell naw I'm sleeping in this bed, so he chose to sleep on the couch..... as usual). Thanks, boo.)

But wait.... that was only bad vibery on 1 front. I also had to deal with a friend being extremely pissed off at me (unjustifiably in my opinion), I got into a text spat with a guy that I used to kind of date in Chi, and The Ex kept calling wanting to have some heart to heart chats (possibly because Thursday was our former anniversary....? Maybe subconsciously). The first problem..... well, that's confidential. Sorry. The second problem...... well, riddle me this..... if someone never calls/texts/e-mails, how do you consider yourself to still be "tight" with that person (and you aren't otherwise related)?? And query: how is asking me to come by after the club not a request for a booty call? Only thing that goes on after the club is eating and fucking. I must have went back and forth with this guy for 30 minutes because he acted like he was just appauled that I would SUGGEST that all he was trying to do was order The Special (The Special = hot sex on a platter) and he never realized that months ago when he ceased to communicate with me on a regular basis is the point where we ceased to be "tight". Needless to say, I did not see him. Kick. Rocks. And the heart to heart chats only served to stress me out and piss me off. So all in all, this trip sucked in every aspect except for the music. My boys killt (with a "t") it.

Neighbor's assessment: This was my instant karmic payback for allowing the 21 year old man to spend $130 on me for dinner the night before. Eh, maybe. I thought about that as all these things were occurring. Karma gave me a swift jab in the booty cheek with her rusty fork, but all in all it was just a little one. I hear you tho, Karma.

So I hate to say it...... the 21 year old wins by default. Sad. These experiences have reconfirmed that I just don't have it in me to be opportunistic. I either like you or I don't, and I can't pretend to like someone just because they're spending money on me. In theory I could be nice to dude long enough to get an iPhone and THEN tell him to kick rocks, but I just can't. I'm not built for it.


July 25, 2008


Uuuuuuggggghhhhh! I just wanna fight somebody right now! And that's all I have to say about that.


July 24, 2008

Cougar in wait

At the restaurant......

It's 6:34 and I'm at Fogo de Chao waiting on a just turned 21 year old boy young man to show up for dinner. Our reservations were for 6:30. Not that I'm never late, but begged and begged to let this 30 year old take her out, you think you'd be on your Ps and Qs. Its not THAT big of a deal, but I hate waiting. And looking for things. Or people. Anyway, despite my insistence that I'm old as fuck (but not for the Earth) he said he wanted to take me out, anywhere I wanted to go, and what do I eat? I said "steak". I was recently informed that for some reason, women don't eat steak.....? That was news to me. I like red meat. Sorry. So yes, steak I said, and I want Fogo de Chao where I heard they just carry around animal flesh on big skewers and slice pieces off right at your table. Mmmmm. My cup 'o tea. I threw that out there only because I thought he was bullshittin' and this would be the way to get him to snap out of it. He said he didn't care how much it cost, and that he needed some "grown and sexy" in his life. (I hate that term, BTW.) Ok, you wanna play grown folk games?? Let's spar.

So I feel just ever so slightly bad that I'm making allowing this Wabash College student buy me a meal that men my age won't (does that say something about him or something about them? I'm not quite sure.....). Spending up his internship stipend money or football scholarship money or Stafford loan refund money. But hey, I won't risk insulting this young man by saying he doesn't have it to spend. He does go to Wabash after all. And you never know what folks have going on. So I'll let that worry go.

Metrognome laughed at me last night and had that impish grin on his face as he watched this 21 year old put in some serious work to get me to say yes and give him my number (I gave him a business card, cuz that's how we "grown and sexy" women do). Dude was QUITE thirsty, I must admit. I prefer a slightly more subtle approach, but I'm a sucker for confidence and bold moves, and it somewhat impressed me that he wasn't intimidated. That's feedback that I get a lot.....that I intimidate men with my presence and confidence. (???) So hey.....take a risk and you get a reward.

6:51 and he's still not here. Good thing I insisted on 6:30 so I wouldn't miss the CNN Black in America special at 9. I'm going to go bake almond cookies for my neighbors and watch it with them. That's the sort of random ish I do that confuses 21 year olds. Actually it confuses everyone I think. That's why I prefer to stick with guys closer to my age......they've seen more variety and/or know what matters and what doesn't. Dealbreakers at 21 aren't the same dealbreakers at 31. And they appreciate and aren't afraid of variety. New isn't (as) scary.

6:57.....he just called and said he'd be here in a minute. Good thing I've altered my approach to life and have learned to sieze opportunities or else I'd be really, really irked right now. But hey, free meal. No biggie. Unless we can't get in (since the alleged reservation was at 6:30, and on the phone he asked me again what the name of the restaurant is.......I think there is no "reservation").

7:01..... he calls back again saying he can't find me and where am I at? He say he's downstairs. Downstairs?? I didn't know Fogo de Chao had a downstairs.....? He says "You said Morton's right?" *slaps forehead* No sweetheart, across the street.

So what had happened was......

The young man showed up, finally, 30+ minutes late. Thankfully he was not dressed in the shorts that he asked me if it would be ok to wear ("But it's hot!" he said. Um, no.) and I have the sneaky suspicion that he's high as hell. We sit down and he kind of sits slightly slumped in his chair, looking around like "Dang, this is where the rich people eat, huh?" Granted, I would probably never go to Fogo de Chao on my own dollar, but I'd hardly consider it 5-star dining. I ask him whether he wants to order individual drinks or a bottle of wine, and of course he just shrugged at me (and of course he doesn't drink wine). One thing about me is that I like for a man to take charge and make decisions, but I have NO problem making them when you stutter. Ok, so a bottle of reisling it is. I wasn't being entirely *coldblooded* in the matter..... I actually ordered the wine because it would have been the same price as, or cheaper than, ordering individual drinks at a place like that. And reisling is a good wine for non-wine drinkers.

I tried to treat him as a peer (Neighbor got on me afterwards for calling him a boy...."He's a MAN!" he said to me. Whatever) but the age difference just kept jumping up and smacking me in the face. He didn't partake of the salad bar, cringed at my medium cuts of meat (at one point he asked for some meat well done, and they had to go back and get an entirely different skewer that was all shrveled and sad looking), and was talking to me about how his life as a college student "sucked" (sheeyat.... let me back in womb of college, PLEASE!). I had to resist the urge to reach over and pat him on the head. The conversation was a little taxing, too.... I am extremely analytical and logical, so when he asked me the question "Do you lie?" I had to say "yes..... everyone lies to some extent, it's a necessary part of normal civil society" which he took to mean that I'm a liar. He didn't get it, and what otherwise would have been some interesting intellectual banter just ended in me saying "Nevermind". *long sigh*

So then comes the bill. It must've been the liquor talking on Tuesday night when he said "You're gonna have me out spending $175 and ish.... I don't care!" because he looked at that bill a little longer than necessary, looked in his wallet, looked back at the bill, and started counting. The damage? $130. As we got up to leave he says "Is $10 enough for a tip??" No, lil nigglett!! I told him he better put another $10 down on that table! (I think he threw down another $5) To me, that's one of those major-minor deal breakers.... J. Moore says it best: "If you do not tip, you are an asshole." If you cannot afford to tip the proper amount at a restaurant, you cannot afford to eat there.

In all honesty, if the boy man had suggested a less expensive spot, I would have been fine with it and not have thought any less of him. Spending beyond your means in an attempt to impress someone is an instant turn off for me anyway. But even after several warnings and several attempts to give him an out, he insisted on taking me to wherever I wanted to go. To me, that's informed consent, assumption of the risk, and any other legalese that applies in this situation. But once again, that is the difference between a young man and a more mature one, and something that young man is just going to have to come to appreciate with age.

It will be interesting to compare this Thursday's experience, which is to be dinner with a 32 year old African in Chicago......he's paying for me to come up there JUST to have dinner with him; again, at HIS insistence, not mine. I was going up there anyway to hear my boy spin tonight, so this just lets me go for free-99. Stay tuned......


July 22, 2008

"Kiss my placenta...."

E.Badu and her daughter, Puma
I. Love. Erykah. Badu. Period. I would just love to sit in a room with her and just feel her presence and her vibe, and just listen to her dialogue. Below is a blog posting (allegedly originally posted on, but I couldn't find it) that she wrote in response to all the criticisms and insults that have been directed toward her regarding her 3rd pregnancy, and I must say that it touched me to the CORE because she addresses many issues that I have/will/am about to address with this blog. I'm feeling her. Deeply.

I've included commentary, law review style with footnotes (I'm such a dork) at the end of her post. The emphasis added is mine.....those are key phrases that really spoke to me. Preach, sister.......



ive never been so disgusted in all of my life.
there is no other place i used to enjoy more.
i post no where else.
you guys have taken an all time low, tho.


i am a great mother and care giver to my 2 children and to this world.
my children are 2 of the kindest and happiest people i have met.
I home schooled them and taught them the ways of good to the best of my ability.
i am their doctor and their nurse.
and even sometimes their mother and their father.

i am an excellent mother and resent all of the negative comments and insults on my character.

every relationship i have been in was because i loved the person DEARLY and was dedicated to us “exclusively” FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS.

the fathers of my children are my brothers and friends.
we have a great deal of respect for one another and always will.
we took our own “vows” and CONTINUE TO UPHOLD THEM.


WHATS THE DIFFERENCE? the government’s involvement i guess.
(this CAN happen … we need much training , however.)2


(not to mention breeding deceit and anger and resentment)


how about this:





live how you want. follow which ever pattern YOU like.
and they will not ever be slaves to this society’s failing idea of morality.

BIRTH CONTROL lol … could have 10 babies instead of 2.





your opinions lack experience and are not only careless but also very uninformed and immature.

nothing is sacred here. and i see why.

if i loose you as a fan because i want to continue to have children then

i have defended myself here ON THIS SITE and hurled a few insults.. but only in response to your insults of
my music, my clothes, my lyrics, my hair, my being a woman, my spirit, my choices of partners….
these have all been on trial here. and i continued to support the energy of this place.

this is to all the okay players / REAL HUMAN BEINGS hiding behind screen names in order to insult one another and who ever else you will.

i had to say something
i am so sad for parents who try, today guys
enough is enuf.

dont judge to quickly, OKAY PLAYER?

i know you are having fun, but what if it were you and your children?
my son is 10.
my daughter, 4.



and if this post is not clear
kiss my placenta.

1. I am mindful of this going forward with my children. I want them to see happiness and joy and harmony and peace and LOVE..... not just a "union". My example wasn't the best, even though by society's view it was. And I didn't want to repeat that for them, because I saw it coming like a looming fog.

2. The "ideal" is hard to come by in ANYTHING in life. Sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes things change. Sometimes people just come into your life for a time, but then it's time for them to go. I don't want to be someone who marries and divorces and marries and divorces and marries and divorces just because marriage is the societal "gold standard". Pshaw! Anyone who thinks about that for more than 7 seconds knows that marriage isn't always the sacred, hallowed ground that our society tries to make it out to be, so much so that they will prevent people who love each other from marrying (i.e. same-sex marriages) yet encourage marriages that make no damn sense (i.e. Jamie Lynn Spears).

3. That's the point where I was at...... "longing for relief." And I saw us bringing each other down. And the energy was SO negative that it was painful. And resentment..... oh, I can't even begin to tell you how resentment poisons a home environment.... it's one of the most toxic emotions to a loving relationship. Does this environment create fearfulness?? It does, it does, it does. I was definitely a fearful child.... fearful that the anger and anamosity and conflict was always just around the corner. And still to this day I walk into my parents' house with a bit of anxiety and tension (I don't even wanna think about how many Djarum Black butts are on their front lawn). One of the biggest things I've had to conquer in the past year is FEAR. It's crippling. I don't want my kids to live with that.

4. Um, I did. :(

5. I didn't know until I was 12 years old that my oldest sister is my half sister, and not until years later did I learn that my mother was married before. I love my sister just the same as I love my other sister and brother, and my niece is no less to me than my two nephews. It's all family; it's all love.

6. Even though I'm not an incredibly religious person, I take God very seriously. And it did trouble me that I was breaking/broke the vow I made before God. But I think/hope/pray that (S)He will forgive me. For everything.

7. So much joy to be experienced..... yes. I did not want to be trapped in a toxic bubble--or my children to be trapped in a toxic bubble-- blocking out all the joy that life has to offer, merely for the sake of saying we had a "traditional" family. There is much joy to be had in non-traditional familes, too.

8. *claps hands like an excited child* Tell 'em, Erykah!! No fan lost here FA SHO! This has just made me love Erykah more. I may just be parked outside of Target at 7:55am on July 29th (??) to get New Amerykah Pt. II, and Dwele will be getting evicted from my CD player and iPod for quite awhile.

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July 21, 2008

For the kids.....?

For anyone who is married with children, the #1 consideration in deciding whether a divorce is the right thing to do is how it will impact the kids. Despite what anyone may think, my feelings about my Ex (or lack thereof) were secondary in consideration. Of course it is ideal for children to be reared in a two parent household with both their natural parents, but in reality, that's not always possible for whatever reason.... whether that's because the parents never married in the first place or, like my situation, the marriage ends in divorce. I had the "ideal" situation despite the odds that were against us. We had our children at 15/16 and 20, but still ended up staying together and getting married. So if I had the ideal situation, why did I throw it away? Answer: I did it for my kids.

Yes, that sounds incredibly bass-akward. Normally "for the kids" is preceeded by "we're staying together". And many, many, many people choose to live their lives in constant conflict and turmoil for the sake of their kids growing up in a 2 parent household with both their natural parents, often because they themselves did not grow up with that. But I'd like to pose another viewpoint, that of someone who grew up with both my parents who, at least from my perspective, seem miserable with each other. I've written on this before so I'll try not to repeat myself, but growing up seeing your parents at each other's throats all the time is not a good thing. Even when no words are spoken and the parents maintain the fascade that everything is ok, as a child (and I'm talking about as an adult child here, too) you can feel it. Just yesterday I was at my parents' house and they were having an exchange about taking the kids to the movies, and I saw my mom make a comment to my dad and had the most lothing look on her face. My first instinct was to snatch up my kids and get them out of there and away from that. But that is exactly the sort of thing I didn't want for my kids.

Children need to grow up with examples of healthy relationships, whatever form that may be in. A two biological parent household does not by default translate into "healthy". The old addage "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" is one that rings true in these situations. I didn't want my kids growing up and only knowing me as depressed and stressed like I did with my mom. Even though the quantity of my parenting time has been reduced as a result of my divorce, I feel like the quality has been greatly improved. I am happier and more content with life, which has made me a more patient and loving mother. Stress and tension and turmoil radiates, no matter what type of front you try and put up for people. Likewise, peace and contentment radiate as well.

(Sidenote: When I was at the convention center this weekend, I was approched by a man who asked me if I used to work in the same building as him downtown. He said "I always wanted to approach you, but you were always looking so mean!" I told him that it was because I was miserable in my job and my marriage, but now I'm much better since I left both. He said he could definitely see the difference. That was one of those "ok, you did the right thing" confirmation moments.)

So my philosophy is this: Yes, divorce is very hard on children, but sometimes it is necessary so that everyone--children included-- can live peaceful, healthy lives. If you're trying to hold together a toxic environment "for the sake of the kids" you're really not helping them as much as you think you are. My kids will always have their mother and father there to love and raise them, but hopefully in the near future they will be able to experience all that truly loving, happy and harmonious relationships have to offer.


July 20, 2008

"Not to know is bad...."

“Not to know is bad. Not to wish to know is worse.” -- Nigerian Proverb

This past weekend I had the opportunity to take a free-99 trip to Expo as a volunteer. After my shift was over I found myself with a few hours to kill. Following an unsuccessful attempt to find Dwele (nobody there knew who he is....damn shame) I took a gander at the Health Fair and decided to take advantage of some of the free screenings. I know I'm blind as a bat, have high blood pressure,am prone to depression and am somewhat overweight (though the fans aren't complaining) so I skipped those. But there, looming in the middle of the exhibit hall, was the HIV anonymous testing with results in 20 minutes. *deep breath* I decided to go ahead and do it, not so much because I was worried about my status, but more so on principle.

Separation from the man you've been with since 14 (and the only man you'd "known" in the biblical sense) yields many many firsts, and unfortunately a "first" that I've had to deal with is the prospect of STDs. Luckily I've not had to actually personally deal with that... everytime I've had the "fluids checked" (as my BFF at Planned Parenthood so eloquently put it) everything has been in tip top shape (regardless of what some folk tried to use me as a scapegoat for, but we shan't go into that.......water under the bridge, loved ones.......somebody else's problem). I'm also not just putting myself out there with any old random person (I am VERY picky). HOWEVER, I've seen the PSAs and I know that you can't tell who has what by just looking at them, and that all it takes is that 1 time (ever seen the movie Kids?? Yea, scary), and there's no such thing as "safe" sex, only "safER" sex, so yes, I was just a wee bit--ok, a lot--nervous.

So I walked up to the info table and hear "Hey!! How are you!!" was the ex girlfriend of a colleague and we chatted for a bit.....she was working for an HIV/AIDS awareness organization out in LA now, so there was no way I could chicken out of the test at that point. I get my number and wait, perusing the table of goodies consisting of Lifestyle condoms and what seemed like a vast abundance of lube.....a sea of little aqua packets. When it was my turn I had to go back into a curtained cubicle with a cute lil Rosie Perez looking woman and answer all these questions about my "history". Talk about un-com-for-table (Have I had sex with someone I met on the Internet?? Does that matter?? I mean, we met on the internet but then got to know him in person and I just don't see how that is considered any riskier than meeting someone in the paper goods aisle at Wal-Mart.....but that was my lawyer brain talking, so I just had to say "yes"). The test looked just like a pregnancy test.....if you'd given it to me with no info and instructions I would've went and peed on it. But no, a few swabs of the gums, stick it in some solution, then wait. And wait. And wait. Times 20. It was the longest 20 minutes ever in life. 93% of myself told me that I was cool, that the folk I dealt with were more responsible with themselves than that, but then that 7% was like "but they trusted YOU a lil too easily, sister." Hmmm...

So 20 minutes and 2 vials of blood later (I had my cholesterol, glucose, and creatine levels checked) I come back and sit down behind the curtains again, and she turns the little not-pee stick around to reveal 1 line.......Negative. Holly-louuu-yaa! Then she made me promise to be good and sent my happy ass on my way. I walked out from behind those curtains grinning ear to ear.

Admittedly, that experience was a lil slap in the face wake up call. No, sister, you're not in Kansas anymore. This is a real live, elephant in the room issue for me now. Let's keep it real though......"monogamous" relationships aren't 100% fool proof themselves (I mean, look at the mallards) which is why I often went ahead and sprang for the "extra" tests during my check-ups while I was married just to be sure. But the risk is a helluva lot less (cuz that would be one shitty way to get busted.....Why Did I Get Married? style). Anyway, I'm glad that I was able to conquer another fear out in this big scary dating world, and happy to know that I have 1 less thing to worry about.

MESSAGE!! Get tested....know your safe.

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July 17, 2008

Harry Potter on unattainable love

"Meanwhile, the second brother journeyed to his own home, where he lived alone. Here he took out the stone that had the power to recall the dead, and turned it thrice in his hand. To his amazement and his delight, the figure of the girl he had once hoped to marry, before her untimely death, apeared at once before him. Yet she was sad and cold, separated from him as by a veil. Though she had returned to the mortal world, she did not truly belong there and suffered. Finally the second brother, driven mad with hopeless longing, killed himself as to truly join her. And so, Death took the second brother for his own."

~Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 21 (The Tale of the Three Brothers)

It is best to leave unattainable love alone.... while you may see it, smell it, taste it, feel it, and hear it, you can never truly possess it. And, as in The Tale of the Three Brothers from the final Harry Potter book, it can and will drive you insane with longing. *Le sigh......*

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July 15, 2008

The Fact Is......

Another one of my pre-divorce musings that shed a wee bit of light on "what happened?" (originally posted Monday, July 24, 2006.... coincidentally, our anniversary):

I can pay my own light bill baby
Pump my own gas in my own car
I can buy my own shoe collection
I've been blessed thus far
I can kill the spider over my bed
Although it's hard because I'm scared
I can even stain and polyurethane
But some things just don't change
I need you yeah
Sometimes so hard to say oh
I need you
Some things remain

I could buy my own groceries baby
Get my hair tight, my nails right
I can floss my own bling bling
Write the words to the songs I sing
I can even raise the child we'll make
Make sure he's loved and knows what God gave us
I can teach him how to walk and stand
But he needs you to help him be a man
We need you
So hard to say
We need you
Some things don't change

I could be congresswoman
Or a garbage woman or
Police officer, or a carpenter
I could be a doctor and a lawyer and a mother and a
Kind of lover I'll be
I could be a computer analyst, the Queen with the nappy hair raising her fist
Or, I could be much more and a myriad of this
Hot as the summer, sweet as the first kiss
And even though I can do all these things
I need you
And even though I can do all these things
We need you
We need you
We need you
And even though I can do all these things by my damn self
I need you...

~Jill Scott "The Fact Is (I Need You)"

Interesting segment on the Today Show this morning regarding whether successful, otherwise independent women still want a man to "take care" of them. However, this did NOT deal with the financial aspect of things, but rather having a "handyman".... a guy that can fix things, kill things, and just "take care" of things.

As I put on my makeup (late, again, because that's when these "relationship" segments come on) I heard the psychologist saying that when men do these sorts of things for women, there's something masculine about this, which in turn makes us feel more feminine. Sometimes it's nice to set down the hard role for a minute and be the damsel in distress. They also talked about men being confused over when they should and shouldn't "assert" this masculinity, but that women are equally confused. Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! is what went off in my head. [My Ex] grumbled something about "well, if women would come home and cook for their man...." and blah, blah, blah. I'm not getting into this "If he/she would, then I...." blame crap.

Like Jill says in her song, even though I could do all these things "by my damn self", there is something about a man doing those things that is appealing, even if its not necessary. I get frustrated when I have to hook up the satellite receiver and the DVD player.... not because I struggle with it, but it's, well (and I hate that this thought is coming out of my head) it's a man's job. There are just certain things around the house that are traditionally taken care of by men and some things taken care of by women (and I'm not talking about chores, but the more non-routine things). I don't expect my husband to pick out curtains or buy kitchen utensils or house plants (not that I do most of those things.... but we'll get to that issue later); likewise I don't want to have to fix the toilet, unclog the bathtub, repair the doorknob, or fertilize the lawn. He shouldn't have to go to Bed Bath & Beyond and I shouldn't have to go to Home Depot. Again, like Jill says "I can kill the spider over my bed/Although its hard because I'm scared...."

I think maybe this idea appeals to me because I am attracted to masculinity, period, and one thing I LOVE is to see a man working and handling business and doing "manly things." Men crying is not a turn on for me.... I'm not that type of chick. I may have mentioned my fetish for shirt/tie/cuff link combinations.... I think its because if a man is dressed to the nines, he's got some business to take care of. I also loved when [The Ex] was a construction worker, seeing him in his concrete spattered jeans and white t-shirt and hard hat.... a nice looking construction worker will still catch my eye. But it's not just attire.... it's seeing a man handling business on the phone, or in a meeting, or engaging in work related conversation (NOT talking about him droning on and on and on to me about what he does). It's probably a good thing I'm not a litigator because I'd surely one day commit malpractice due to watching opposing counsel do his thing.

So this idea translates to the home, and is probably a product, for me anyway, of how I grew up. My dad fixes EVERYTHING; he has a table saw in the garage, numerous power tools, and a snake for the toilet....and the infamous grey toolkit. Growing up, that was my example of a man. But, you may say, roles mean NOTHING.... women make more than men, men cook for the kids, etc. Which is why I agree with the psychologists' assessment that we are ALL confused.

Nevertheless, I still proffer, even at the risk of my words being used against me at a later time (say, around 7pm), that the concept of "roles" is not completely dead. Sure I could manage to do everything (even though I admittedly don't even seem to manage the "woman" things.... see all my work related blogs) it's just nice sometimes to hear "Honey, I'll take care of that toilet/doorknob/giant patch of weeds/3 feet of snow......" It makes you feel cared for, which is what they were talking about on the Today Show about being "taken care of." If I can locate a child's clothing, the remote control, AND your underwear without even stepping foot downstairs, you can put some caulk on the sink.

I'm not attempting to address ALL the issues involved in the modern day relationship, but just this one eenie-weenie aspect: I like men to do man things because it's masculine and I like masculinity. Chivalry may be dead, but masculinity is not.

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Not So Monogamist Mallards

I used to admire mallard ducks. I'd heard that they are one of the very few species in the world that mates for life. You always see the little duck couples together.... swimming, waddling across the street, looking for food. They're just so CUTE, knowing that they are together forever. One of the saddest sights I've ever seen was a male mallard duck standing over the body of a female mallard who had apparently been hit by a car. You could just see and feel the sadness in the little duck.... lost, lonely. I once strived to be like the mallard duck, faithful and true for all my days.

But then I did a Google search, and found out everything I didn't want to know about monogamy. Turns out these mallards-- and the 97% of other bird species who are supposedly "monogamous"-- are NOT. Scientists did DNA samplings on the birds' offspring, and it turned out to be a classic Maury case of "momma's baby, daddy's maybe". The male birds were raising some other dude's chicks.... momma bird had been messing around on the side after all! The articles I read termed this as "social monogamy", meaning that the birds stayed together for life, building nests, raising baby birds, keeping each other company... but as far as sexual monogamy, they were not. I was so heartbroken... it just tainted my image of those mallards out there in the courtyard.

The articles went on to discuss how monogamy is not natural for the vast majority of species on earth... including homo sapiens. Another article proffered that the few animals that are monogamous are that way basically due to a chemical addiction and that they are more likely to become in danger of extinction than polygamist animals. But still, there are plenty of animals that adopt a social mate, even if they may dip out biologically. It's all about the offspring, man (reminds me of a t-shirt I saw once that said "Sex: Do it for the Kids!").... the whole goal is to produce the best offspring.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) it doesn't work that way for humans. That's because humans are one of 3 species of animals on earth that have sex for recreational purposes (the other two are bonobos (pygmy chimps) and dolphins). Sex creates positive feelings, which we equate to intimacy, which leads to jealousy, which often leads to death (ok, not often, but sometimes). For all other animals, it's strictly business... something that's gotta be done just to keep the world going around. Animals don't have fertility treatments and invitro fertilization.... so just gotta spread it around to improve their odds.

But that leaves us humans in an ugly pickle: sex = intimacy, but we're not wired for monogamy. That kinda sucks and makes things very challenging for the human race. Reminds me of Al Pacino's monologue in Devil's Advocate:

"Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He's a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do, I swear for His own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It's the goof of all time. Look but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste. Taste, don't swallow. Ahaha."

I'm not going to go into the whole religion thing, but I think because the structures of human interaction are so complex, yet our instincts are so simple, there had to be mechanisms put in place to make folk act right, which include religion and the child support system.

I don't think there's a point to all this besides my disillusionment with mallard ducks.... and maybe a teeny bit of sympathy for Shantiqua on the Maury show.

(originally posted May 30, 2006)


July 11, 2008

WANTED: Sugar Daddy

So the new iPhone 3G came out today and I had plans to go buy one for $199.... until I followed the asterisk to the fine print that said it was for NEW AT&T customers only; I'd have to pay $399 AND go ahead and renew my contract for another 2 years. Curses. I remarked to my boy who eats, sleeps and BREATHES Apple that I needed a Sugar Daddy so I could get one (he says he needs a Sugar Mama right now as well), which made me think about this post I wrote back in May 2006:


WANTED: Male of any age who is willing to provide a hard working, 20-something year old (*well, now 30-something year old), relatively low-maintenance young lady with the "extras" in life, including, but not limited to, Coach bags (particularly the Canvas Pocket Tortilla with Snake for $798), Tiffany jewelry (not even talking the diamond stuff.... plain sterling silver will do), pedicures, manicures, getting my hurr did, CDs, clothing that does not come off the clearance rack (it can be at the regular mall.... not even talking the Fashion Mall), vehicle accessories (or gas), or anything else such young lady desires, but that being a responsible adult prevents her from paying for with her own wages.

Qualified applicants must be willing to communicate only via e-mail, and no physical contact is required or desired (or even allowed).

Compensation consists of the warm fuzzy feeling that you will have inside from knowing that you have made a young lady's day and have brought a smile to her face. Successful candidates may also receive periodically, via e-mail of course, perfectly non-risque, fully clothed pictures of me.

Get at me if you have a great desire to waste your money on me. I'd truly appreciate it.

(and you know I'm just playin'...... unless you gon' do it!)

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The S Word

My 30th birthday was just this past Wednesday. A lot of 29 year olds dread the coming of their 30th, but I was jubilant, buoyant, on cloud 9. Even though I felt like microwaved death half the day because my Neighbors insisted on taking me out to celebrate Tuesday night, I just couldn't stop smiling. Even when I went to my son's CLD graduation program and had to see my daughter sitting with her new "family", I still felt amazing as I walked sauntered across that stage in my stiletto sandals to get my parent participant certificate (all the parents who participated in the program had to sit together, otherwise you best BELIEVE my Mini-Me would've been right beside me..... my son was on the stage because he was speaking *insert proud tingly mommy grin here*). I think my happiness is not so much about the milestone of 30 itself, but rather everything I've come through to get here, particularly in the past year.

At this point a year ago, I was living at my parents' house with my two kids all crammed into a single bedroom with them sleeping on a futon and I on a twin mattress on the floor (don't ask me why we were all in 1 room..... my parents' have a 4 bedroom house with a basement...... maybe they just wanted to be close to me). My Ex was still in our house because I was the one who decided to separate, even though he still begged and begged me to come home, and the kids wanted to be with me (I didn't ask or force them to come). I'd also taken a leave of absence from my job and was trying to figure out what to do next about that. Basically all I did was sleep..... all I could do was sleep. Then on the 15th of July, I hit terribly rock bottom........

I don't even know if I can talk about this..... but here it goes:

The Ex and I were supposed to be going to a movie at the State Museum that evening, but we went to have a few beers beforehand. He lured me into an "open and honest" discussion, which I went along with...... Big. Mistake. We never made it to the movie, but instead I was verbally beat down and berated all the way home to the point where I was delerious from the sobbing and wished he would just let me out right there on the freeway. Calling me every name in the book, telling me I was pathetic..... I can't even remember it all, but I just remember how it FELT. And it felt awful because part of me actually believed it. I did feel like a terribly awful, selfish person who was lost and confused. The harder I cried, the worse his insults got. When I dropped him off at his car, the last thing he said to me was "Why don't you just go home and kill yourself?" and gave me one of his awful gloating laughs. And so I went home and did just that.

Ok, so obviously I did not die. I'm still very much here amongst the land of the living. I woke up in the hospital the next day feeling God awful. I had a bunch of texts and calls from friends worried sick about me (even though the first call I woke up to was from the person who probably--and justifiably-- hates me most in this world, because The Ex was so kind enough to call and leave a message about the wonderful news of my impending death BEFORE he bothered calling the paramedics. Loverly. I'm sure she was sorely disappointed to hear my very much alive voice......) and my parents were there, and The Ex was there and I just wanted to scream at him to get the fuck out. I ended up having to stay in an in-patient treatment hospital for a week, which was probably the worst week of my entire life. Rock bottom, loved ones..... hard, cold, unforgiving rock bottom.

I'm sure 99.9% of people wouldn't have the cajones to talk about this. But this is REAL. Suicide is very real and very, very serious, and not something to be pushed to the corner and swept under the rug (Attorneys have the highest rate of depression and suicide of any profession, so it's not just me here). I felt so low that not only did I no longer value my own life, but I felt that my children would be better off without me in their lives (and not only that, I did that ish on a payday AND it was the first check where my raise kicked in.... who does that??). That is a terrible, dark place to be, and I wouldn't wish that on my mortal enemies. But I can't talk about my Adventures in Divorce without addressing this life-altering event. I'm a true believer that everything, good and bad, happens for a reason. In my emotional recovery process over the following 6 weeks, I became a new person, a stronger person, a more resiliant person. “Sometimes God calms the storm, sometimes He calms the sailor.” My personal storm was nowhere near over, but I can say this experience helped me weather the storm a helluva lot better, and has made me a much calmer person (it takes a whole helluva lot to phase me now). And it has allowed me to appreciate just how far I've come in the past year, and be thankful that I made it to 30.

*And now, my PSA: Suicide is a permenant solution to a temporary problem. PLEASE keep that in mind, no matter how terribly awfully bad life seems. It is never true that your friends and loved ones will be better off without you. If you find yourself having those thoughts, call someone..... anyone. And get help. There's no shame in getting help for depression, just as there's no shame in going to see a cardiologist for your heart or an oncologist for cancer. Please don't go through what I went through. It is never that bad.

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July 8, 2008

Access Denied

So I called my son this evening and asked him how things were going.... how was his weekend, how's practice, how's his week, etc. He seemed a little bummed so I asked what was wrong, so he proceeds to tell me about some issues he's been having with The Ex's girlfriend's daughter and how he feels like he's been put into an unfair position as far as his level of responsibility for her. I then hear The Ex screaming at him in the background for talking to me about it, saying "Don't talk to her about that!! She can't do shit about anything going on over here!" I kept my cool, and calmly assured my son that he could talk to me about whatever he wanted, and that I was not trying to pry or interfere. His response to me: "No, I can't." I honestly was not trying to interject or pry into their "household". I was just talking to my son, trying to find out what's going on in his world.

It's a difficult adjustment to go from knowing 100% what's going on in your kids' lives to seeing them having a whole other life seprate and apart from you. It's like someone has pulled a curtain around those areas of their lives, and effectively areas of your own life. They are dealing with new people, new rules, new routines, new everything, and all you can do is stand on the other side of the curtain and maybe sometimes hear a murmur or catch a glimpse. I talk to my kids and ask what's been going on with them, and they start talking about people and friends that I don't know. And that's hard to accept sometimes. But accept I must, because I know that it comes with the territory of divorce.

What I can't accept, however, is The Ex telling my kids what they can and cannot talk to their mother about. It is enough of a struggle trying to get a 14 year old boy to talk to his mother (my daughter still talks my ear off) without negative reinforcement via his dad giving him hell about it. You can do anything you want to me, but when you start involving my kids, then we are going to have problems. I would not do anything to hinder open conversation between my kids and their dad, because I know that if they feel comfortable about opening up about things of the nature of my and my son's conversation, they will be more inclined to open up to him, and me, about topics of a more serious nature. I know that by putting those limitations on their communication with their dad, it puts them in the unfair "middle" position and into a situation where they feel like they have to choose sides. I've always tried to avoid that, while The Ex has repeatedly placed them right into the line of fire, or actually used them as ammo. And it hurts my heart because there's nothing I can do to "protect" them from that..... all I can do is hope that my Ex somehow develops some sense of maturity and perspective.

I can see the bigger picture here..... even if I can't see the whole picture.


If you love something, set it free.....

I recently received a comment to one of my postings (anonymous..... I don't know why I allow them because I'd prefer to know who I'm dialoging with, but since I'm all about open discourse I know that some people are more comfortable under the cloak of anonymity) and at the end it stated "Maybe his next wife will do him better", as the author of the comment assumed that I did not abide by the Golden Rule and treat my Ex as I wanted to be treated. That's not so. At least, up until the end it wasn't.

Diagnosing what "went wrong" in a relationship leading up to divorce can't be explained in 27 blog postings..... it would take an entire VOLUME, a box set, a LIBRARY to explain. And yes, I've thus far focused on the things that he's done wrong (cuz it's my blog, dammit). But I will be the first to admit that I wasn't a perfect wife, whatever that means, because to me that is an extremely subjective standard that is nuanced in every unique relationship. Like all most relationships, things are always great in the beginning. You could probably ask My Ex right now if I was a "good wife" up until a few years ago, and I'm confident that he'd tell you yes. But after so much disappointment, changing, pressures, and general mind-fuckery, anyone will begin to crack a bit. Over the years, one of my ways of coping with what I felt was a disregard of my feelings and wishes and needs was to develop a shell of a "Fuckit" mentality.... I wasn't about to let him control how I felt. So if he wanted to go out and hang with his buddies and smoke all night even though I asked him not to, I wasn't going to sit and stew over it. Fuckit. If he wanted to go to the strip club with his buddies even though we were getting low on funds before payday, I wasn't gonna let myself get bent out of shape. Fuckit. If every day for a week his buddies were at my house playing Playstation while I was alone upstairs, no worries. Fuckit. After awhile though, that Fuckit mentality regarding things that made me upset began to bleed over into other areas of our relationship and my feelings toward him, until it became a general sense of disinterest and disregard altogether. Love perished in the face of just trying to cope and exist.

I knew before we separated that our marriage was over..... at least, it was there languishing on life support. I just didn't have the requisite type and level of love that I felt was necessary to maintain a marriage. Did I have love for him? Yes. But the Love wasn't there. And I know that love in a marriage ebbs and flows, but this was different. I could feel the void. And hard as I tried, I couldn't fill it back up. I will be the first to admit that I did not handle the demise of our relationship well.... there was a lot of running, a lot of self-distraction, a lot of denial that something was wrong. Avoidance is not the answer, loved ones. I could also feel, even see, ourselves lapsing into the ways of my parents (as our parents are our teachers, good or bad, of how to conduct a relationship) which was just a lot of negativity and dislike. And it frightened me.

So back to the original statement: "Maybe his next wife will do him better." And I wholeheartedly agree. One of the hardest things to admit to My Ex was the fact that I just could not love him in the way that he wanted and deserved to be loved. And the converse of that is true as well. We just weren't the same people that we were when we first got together in the High School cafeteria, weren't the same people who shared vows in the little wedding chapel in Broadripple, weren't the same people that we were when I stepped foot through the doors of the law school. Or at least let me speak for myself..... I was not the same person. And I realize now that the person I am now would not have tolerated much of what I did back then, and therein lies at least one of the problems. Bottom line, though, it's hard to expect a person to like the same things and have the same interests and goals and priorities at 28 that they did at 15. The odds were already stacked against us in that respect.

Despite his shortcomings and mistakes, I know that my Ex is a good man. He's just not the good man for ME. And despite my shortcomings and mistakes (some a helluva lot worse than others, but we all make them) I know that I will eventually be a good wife to someone else. ("Given me the chance.... I know I'll make the perfect wife....." From my most favorite song, BTW) But together, it just wasn't happening. So one of my motivations for separating and divorcing my Ex was so that he could find someone that loves him in the way he deserves to be loved, someone more compatable with him than I am, someone who could better tolerate his idiosyncracies and the person that he is. I've always said that Love is all about finding someone who can put up with your unique combination of bullshit..... because nobody is perfect, and we all have our "ways". In a way, under all the frustration and pissedoffedness that I'm experiencing right now, I still do love my Ex. And for that reason I wish him all the love and happiness in the world. Just as he does for me.

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July 7, 2008

Seeing the head naked of its skull

Being divorced and having joint custody of children gives a girl a lot of alone time to think and reflect and contemplate and soul search. Over the past year, I've realized just how much of an impact, paticularly negative impact, that The Ex had on my confidence and self esteem. Finally being able to step back from the situation and compare pre- and post-relationship has allowed me to see this.

I am in the process of reading the book "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston, which is regarded as a classic and great work of African-American literature. (I'm only half way through it, but can already say it was a great $6 find at Half-Price Books.) There's a part where the main character, Janie Starks, realizes that her husband Jody's constant criticisms of her are merely a cover up for his own short-comings (in this particular instance, growing older). "If he thought to deceive her, he was wrong. For the first time she could see a man's head naked of its skull. Saw the cunning thoughts race in and out through the caves and promontories of his mind long before they darted out the tunnel of his mouth." That passage struck a chord with me, and as I was reading it I saw myself as Janie and my Ex as Jody.

As outwardly supportive as my Ex was of me and my accomplishments, and as much as he said he didn't mind that I had more education and income than he did, there was always that part of him that tried to tear me down. Questioning my judgment, my sanity, my intellect, making me feel smaller, bringing me down a few notches from where he perceived me to be. Always trying to tell me what I was doing wrong in my job and my career and acting like he knew all the answers to navigating my profession, when in reality people IN the profession have trouble navigating it. The first time I really realized that this had been something constant throughout our relationship was when I was having lunch with my "study buddy" from law school, and she said "Yea, I remember you coming into the study room one day talking about how he was always treating you like you were stupid" but that I'd said it in kind of an off-hand way, just small talk before we got into studying. That was 6 years ago when that conversation occurred in that study room, and I didn't remember it at all. I now realize that it was just one of those things that I subconsciously accepted as true..... I was just book smart and that's it. But in hindsight I realize that the seemingly small and minor comments that he made to me were designed to make him feel needed..... like I'd be lost without him, when in reality it was the other way around. I began to see his head naked of his skull. Yes, his words said he didn't care that his wife was more professionally accomplished, but his actions and behaviors said otherwise, and such insecurity manifested itself in other ways.

Even though I now consciously recognize when my Ex is trying to bring me down, old habits die hard and things he says still get to me. Now it comes in the form of him questioning my parenting skills, my attention to my children, my career choices, my personal and dating life (or what he thinks he knows of it, which is nothing but the rumors he's dumb enough to allow messy and malicious people to bring to him). It's never overt, and is usually cloaked in an "I'm just trying to help you out" fascade. But he knows how to push my buttons, knows which words will cut the deepest and sting the longest. And they still hurt. That's always been his modus operandi..... his response to his own hurt is to deliberately hurt others worse. Just like Jody in the book. The ones who know and love us the best are the ones capable of hurting us the most.

Every day I grow stronger, though.... I'm learning to trust myself more, listen to myself, respect the validity of my thoughts and feelings that have been marginalized and minimized for so many years. It's a process and a journey that's far from complete, but I'm getting there.

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July 6, 2008

A Crash Course in Heartbreak

(originally posted May 5, 2008)

I've never really had the opportunity to know heartbreak. I've been fortunate enough to get through almost 30 years of life without having to suffer from it's brutal full frontal assault. Never had to go through all the adolescent and young woman rites of passage and perform the post-break up Ben & Jerry pints after sitting home alone all day with the shades drawn next to a pile of snotty, tear soaked tissues. I feel like a grown woman who's never had the chicken pox.....the severity of the condition now is much worse because I lack the resiliancy and adaptability of youth.

This is a different kind of heartbreak, tho. It's not the heartbreak of being a dumpee. Its heartbreak that results from the conscious decision to end a relationship that is just doomed to'll never live up to the needs and expectations of those's not an "I don't want you anymore" but more of a "I don't want THIS anymore." It's like being forced to amputate your own limb, like some stranded hiker trapped in an avalanche, as opposed to having a surgeon or an unfortunate accident do it for you. And, like self amputation, its a much longer, more drawn out process. No quick and dirty and then right to the business of tending to the wound and healing. There are still the tenative phonecalls, the hesitant e-mails, trying to finally create that divide that you tell yourself is for the best, but feels like the worst.

This shyt hurts. Its not only the loss of what was, it's the loss of what could have been but never was going to be. It's the slow death of hope, the drawn out cessation of dreams. But on I move, (hopefully) to a better place where I can be loved in the way I deserve and need to be loved. But for now it's putting an end to what was an inevitale result....loss.

See you next lifetime......

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One day, on your own terms........?

A new addition to my list of all time favorite movies is Juno. It is near and dear to my heart obviously because it is a movie about teenage pregnancy. The Ex and I had our son when we were sophomores in high school..... I was not quite 16. I have basically put a mental block on that entire year, and even the rest of high school after that is kind of fuzzy. The movie Juno, however, was/is highly effective in dredging up all those burried emotions. Whenever I need to get a good cry out, I put Juno in the DVD player (I could use one now in fact).

The scene that causes me to just absolutely lose it is towards the end (don't worry.... no spoilers here) when Juno is laying in the hospital bed and her dad tells her not to worry, that one day she'll be back on her own terms. Now that I'm divorced at the age of almost 30, the odds of being back "on my own terms" have dramatically dropped. Sure, I know that most of my friends don't have any kids yet, but I am in the unique situation of having a child that will be gone to college in 4 years..... COLLEGE. The thought of having to haul a diaper bag when I go to visit my son at Such-and-Such University kind of gives me the willies. But, hey......who knows.

Anywho, this is how I feel when I watch Juno (whilst imbibing..... it was a bad night).......

(originally posted April 17, 2008)

" day, you'll be back here on your own terms." ~ Juno's Dad, Juno

Will I ever be back on my own terms?? Two kids, never on my own terms. I fucking love this movie, but it just makes me so sad..... so, so very sad. This is the 3rd time I've seen in..... twice in the theater, and went and bought it on DVD today. And I'm running it for the second time right now. Partly because I love the soundtrack dearly. And partly because I'm a masochistic fuck. There are SO many good one liners.... it's such a good movie..... perhaps because it hits me in the gut, but then again does it in the style of humor that is so me. "Up the Spout" is such an appropriately named track..... it plays when she's taking her 3rd pregnancy test. And maybe I like Tire Swing so much because it's the song that plays when she's on her way home from taking her last test, knowing that she is, for shizz, up the spout.

("I had a dream that I had to drive to deliver a painting for some silly reason.... I took a wrong turn and ended up in Michigan..... Paul Baribou took me to a giant tire swing......" I can't ever figure out if the "silly reason" is delivering the painting, or ending up in Michigan. )

I've been for shizz up the spout..... twice. Being up the spout is not a good thing. Its one of those "oh fuck" moments, not "oh congratuations this is a blessed event" moments. And "oh fuck" moments are followed by many "woah is me" moments. Funny how the same scenario in two different settings can be so radically differently perceived. That's what I was saying the other day about truth..... there's no such thing as absolute truth. It's all a matter of perception..... truth is seen through the lenses of perception. I guess there is an absolute truth somewhere, but not in the grasp of humans.

Anyway..... Juno. I've drank 1.4 bottles of wine watching Juno this fine eve. And it's about to be 1.7 after I get this next hefty glass. *pause* Ok, fresh glass. I know my son saw me crying, though I hope he didn't. Kids are so good with self-blame...... it's not his fault, not his cause, not his problem. I'm not sad or regretful that I have him. He's the most wonderful son a mom could ask for. But even when you make the best of a bad situation, it still is a bad situation, and fucks you up accordingly. Maybe not on the daily, but at times.... like, when you watch Juno, and you're back in the sophomore year in High School and folk are looking at you crazy in the cafeteria and the dumb fuck that's the other half of this extra-human-equasion is telling you that he doesn't need you and he'll just take care of his "responsibility" (i.e. whatever child support gets calculated off his $4.75/hr job at McDonalds..... $35/wk or some shits).

My own terms..... hmmm, wonder what that would be like?? What would it be like to be happy about the impeding arrival of a baby?? What would it be like to have people look at your protruding belly with admiration instead of shame? What would it be like for people to be *truly* happy for you, instead of putting up a fascade around you and then whispering about how sad it is behind your back? Will I ever know?? My son is going to high school next year...... odds are kinda slim. But on the flip side, I'm only 29 flipping years old.

("Paulie is actually great.... in the.... chair." Wish I coulda said the same. First time was..... well...... nevermind. )

I just want someone I can spend time with (ok, so this is totally related to being for shizz up the spout...... but fuckit). He's already got the new stepfamily lined up and everything...... I don't introduce my kids to no damn body cuz it's just never been that deep or been able to be that deep. Can I watch a video with someone?? Can someone come by and bring Mike and Ikes and Milk Duds to my kids so they'll like him while he's watching TV with moms??

(".... kickin it Old Testament....." Hellz yea.)

Why am I running this movie AGAIN for the second time in a row???? Just go put on your iPod, idiot!! Oh yea, the iPod dock is in Offspring 2's room because she can't sleep without the radio, and I can't sleep with earbuds in my ears. I just love how he paints me as the reluctant mother..... I give up my iPod every damn night, dammit! That counts for something!! (joking) Ok, finally starting to feel a little more subdued, even though I know in the AM I'm going to feel like shit on a stick. Ah, the double edged sword of self medicating.......

I just hope my kids love me...... and understand that I'm feeling my way through this shyt. My Son asked me if I was alright tonight......... I told him, honestly, no. I'm not. Just to the right of ok. I'm sure he knows I'm drunk as hell right now, but I keep my drunk to myself. He hasn't seen Juno yet. Maybe when he does he'll understand my mood on April 16, 2008.

If you haven't seen Juno yet, go rent it ASAP. And think of me.


July 5, 2008

The Last Anniversary

The last anniversary we "celebrated" together was our 7 year anniversary (ironic, huh?). I use the term "celebrate" very loosely because there wasn't much celebration that ever went on in our relationship. Anniversaries, birthdays and holidays were rarely planned out special days..... kind of half-hearted, lackluster, after the fact events. The Ex would often blame this on his Jehovah's Witness upbringing, even though he hadn't stepped foot in a Kingdom Hall in all the time I've known him and neither has his mother. But to me that was a cop out because it's not like he had some active religious conviction against celebrating holidays, and he knew that those sorts of things were important to me. No, loved ones, that was just apathy and laziness. And I am by no means a high maintenance girl.... all I ask for is some thought.

So anyway, this is what I was thinking on that final wedding anniversary.......


(originally posted Monday July 24, 2006)

So.... its my anniversary. Just a day like any other day, but with a card. (I wish I would have invented greeting cards... they make BANK.) I spent all my celebrating money on my son, sending him to football camp and AAU Nationals. So I sit at home. I could go out to Applebees on the money I have left til the 15th, or something like that, but I just don't feel like it. The guy is still here installing my new Dish Network system (so now I have DVR... yessssssss!) and by the time he gets done, it'll be close to 8. I came home and all of the energy and good feelings just drained out of me spontaineously. My daughter is doing flips on the floor ("Mommy look at me!! Mommy watch me!! Mommy did you see that?!? Look again! You should've seen that! Mom... mom... mom....."). I'm actually home "early" today (before 9pm).

So its my anniversary, and I'm just not feeling it. Maybe because over the years I've just gotten used to the disappointment of rarely celebrating birthdays or anniversaries or holidays unless its a half-hearted afterthought or I make it happen, so I just don't bother. Not that I'm cool with it, I just come to expect it, and I don't raise hell like many other women because I know its absolutely futile. An effort was made on my birthday this year, but that ended up being disasterous and one of the worst birthdays I've ever had. (*NOTE: I ended up going to the Pink concert ALONE. On my birthday. Yea.)

I just want to get in my bed and pull the covers over my head and not talk. But he won't let me not talk. Sometimes I just don't want to speak.... to anyone. Why don't I have that right? That's the problem with living with someone else.... all of your time, emotions, thoughts, actions, feelings, and behaviors MUST be accounted for. And I'm a person that does things spontaineously; I have few routines in my life. Sometimes I brush my teeth before I put on my makeup, sometimes after. I don't want to have to explain WHY. I already hear him huffing over there because I'm not feeling well..... and "not feeling well" is my code phrase for "I'm really, really, really depressed to the point where I hurt; my chest hurts and my shoulders hurt and my neck hurts and my nerves are raw and irritable so leave me the fuck alone if you know what's good for you." And I drank a mug of wine and that didn't help.

My daughter is sitting on my back. I can't tell her to get off because I'm never here and she just misses me. The least I can do is let her sit on my back and count by fives in my ear. Though I'm quite irritated and wish she would stop.

My 7 year anniversary.... I just want to order some carry-out, pick up a bottle of wine and a pint of Ben & Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie Chunk ice cream and call it a night. Fifteen pounds to lose be damned. I wanted chinese but my Spot is closed on Monday. Poo. Maybe Outback.

This is probably the most boring blog I've written... but this is real deal, stream of consciousness, no break between the cerebellum and the fingertips (I don't even know if I'm talking about the correct part of the brain... I'm a lawyer, not a doctor.... though I'd really like one of those "Trust me I'm a Doctor" t-shirts so when people ask "Are you really a doctor" I can so "No, but I'm a lawyer." Yea, I'm a dork....). But this is a very TAME glimpse into my brain.... trust me.


Adventures in Divorce: 07/2008 - 08/2008

Adventures in Divorce