Thursday, October 2, 2014

Pink Ribbons Make Me Cry

I stopped blogging a few months ago for two reasons. First because I was just plain too busy, sometimes to even eat, let alone sitting down to write, and second, because I finally felt that people just plain knew too much about me, blogging leads to some odd relationships, people who know so much about me, and I, very little about them, it began to seem unbalanced and uncomfortable. So I stopped. Now, if someone wants to know what I’m up to, they have to actually get in touch with me and we have to spend real live time together. Took a break from my virtual life to have a real one.

I was busy dealing with a teenager with a bad case of Senoritis and the accompanying antics, and then getting that same boy off to college in one piece. Simultaneously, I rented a retail space and set about consolidating the various aspects of my schizophrenic, raggedy business into a full time retail store. I’m a girl on my own, so there was a lot to be done in a condensed period of time and limited funds, so I’ve been busy with a capital "B". I’ve been working 10 hour days, 7 days a week since mid-June and I’m finally hitting the wall, I'm exhausted. My store opened on September first, but I’m still moving things out of my beloved studio. Leaving the building I’ve been in for five years, the tall ceilings, and brick walls as well as my studio-mate who has become more than a friend, a sister, which has been difficult. At the same time, I’m trying to focus on my younger son and unplug while I’m at home to be more present and that's been wonderful.

But what puts me here at my keyboard instead of attending to the myriad tasks I’m falling behind on is that it’s Pinktober and this can be a very difficult month for breast cancer patients like myself. While I’m not in active treatment, finally checking in with my oncologist only every six months, I don’t use the word survivor because one is only a survivor until they’re not and I’m well aware of the very high risk I run of being done in, and done in quickly by this disease, which is called, in my case, triple negative breast cancer.

Pinktober is full of pink parties, events, endorsements and pink products. All eyes are on breast cancer and it turns my eyes inward towards breast cancer and makes me angry and sad. I don’t want my eyes focused inward on breast cancer, I want to go about my life, but all of this false “awareness” prevents that. With every billboard or celebrity endorsement I cringe. I cringe at the thought that most people think that breast cancer is a singular disease. I cringe that breast cancer is only important one month of the year, when many of us live with the effects of it year round. I cringe that most people think that breast cancer is easily treated and cured and that the walk or run they just did raised money for anything other than the over head of the run or walk they just did. Yep it paid for the advertising, the t-shirts, the water bottles and the positive P.R. of whatever group with highly paid directors put it on. Maybe that event raised enough money for that group to offer a free class to breast cancer patients about how to draw on eyebrows with a sample of some donated, likely toxic product, because eyebrows or lack thereof, are the chief concern of someone with a life-threatening disease.

All of this awareness leads people to think that you get diagnosed, you get treated and then you go on your merry way. Maybe that’s true for some people. Some people are treated for benign, slow growing cancers that might not even need to be treated because of the awareness hysteria, and then there’s the rest of us.

I’m not fine. I lost my business due to breast cancer. I used to make a good portion of my income selling my jewelry at shows, I can’t do that now because radiation destroyed my right shoulder and I couldn’t possibly put up a tent without excruciating, tears in the eyes pain. I can’t go on that pink walk or run because I have neuropathy in my hands and feet from one of the chemo drugs I had pumped straight into my heart via the surgically implanted port I had in my chest for a year. My heart that my treatment aged 10 years along with the rest of me, that’s what the doctors approximate.

I can’t walk without pain, or stand for long. My right and primary arm is swollen from lymphodema caused by deforming surgery, I still have pain, itching and maddening tightness along the 16” scar across my chest. I have to do payroll and write checks today. I have a hard time holding a pen in my swollen, partially numb hand, so it takes a while and my hand will hurt for two days. Everything takes me longer, thinking takes me longer.

Neuropathy also causes muscle cramps, that’s been a big issue for me lately. Sometimes I’m so tired I just want to sit on the couch and watch t.v. or listen to the radio, but my feet start cramping up and I have to walk in circles to get it to stop. I sit back down and they start right up again. I get cramps going up my legs, in my stomach or sides, just from rolling over in bed. So I don’t sleep well because going to bed I’m contemplating what pain is from treatment and what might be cancer, and then I wake up with muscle cramps and have to get up and walk around.

So that’s what cancer is and it doesn’t matter if it’s breast cancer or any other. And don’t they teach us from early on not to be exclusionary? How do those pink ribbons make people with ovarian cancer feel, or pancreatic cancer, or colon, or bone, or brain, how do they feel? They feel excluded and like second class citiziens, like their cancer isn’t popular, while I feel like everyone’s looking at me and insisting I’m fine because if we talk and talk and run and walk for breast cancer, it must be well in hand, everyone has done their part, all while very few are doing anything at all constructive.

I’m not even going to get into the perverse sexualization of this disease, because I could go on forever, I just want to say this, Pinktober makes me cry. Seriously, I’ve been feeling inexplicably blue and then I realized that’s what it is. This movement, that claims to want to help people like me, is making someone like me, as in me, burst into tears. Pink ribbons actually make me cry. Cancer didn’t make me cry, a year of chemo, rads, surgery, blood transfusions, daily injections didn’t get my spirit down, but these fucking pink ribbons, these corporate assholes and people buying into this crap make me cry. For me, this pink ribbon nonsense shines a light on how not alright I am, the impediments and discomfort I live with and have to accept.

So if you care about peope with cancer, any kind of cancer, if you want to find a cure for cancer, put down the pink. Lobby congress to appropriate money to universities and the NIH for research. Lobby pharmaceutical companies to make drugs affordable, and insurance companies to pay for physical therapy in addition to wigs and prosthetics, in a misguided (in my opinion) attempt to normalize the abnormal. Cancer happened, lets stop covering that up, or pretending it’s a big happy club. Let’s elect people who will fund stem-cell research and let’s put pressure on Monsanto and their ilk and fracking companies to stop polluting our air, water and food so that there will be less cancer to cure.

But please, please, let’s get rid of pinktober so that people like me can just go about their business without feeling disrespected, without bursting into tears. Let us go on with our lives and you go on with yours without having parties and making public statements because it makes you look good or it’s fun, it's at my expense and that's not o.k. It’s not fun from my perspective and frankly, I think I’ve earned the right to my perspective trumping theirs on this. I’ve been there, done that, I live with the after effects every minute of every day of which I have chronic pain, disabilities and fear. Put down the pink product, take off the ribbon or the pink socks, you can do it.

For additional information, please go to  They’re the good guys in my book and they are who I support.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Tumor Markers Stable

My oncologist says a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, he's right no doubt, but I'm a knowledge girl, I've got to know everything. I can't process something until I understand it, but as I get older I realize not everything can be understood. I was so much more nervous about this Oncology check-in than the others, or maybe I wasn't and I just don't remember. I walked up to the hospital today trying my best to keep my bones from disintegrating. When I checked in I learned that you don't get a plastic bracelet with every visit and I felt mildly victorious. I used to be obsessed with the waste of this, especially the hard plastic clips used to fasten them. There were little dishes of these by each receptionist's desk, I'd imagine how many cases they'd go through in a day or a month, and I'd annoy the receptionist with these thoughts. I'd talk about how many of those must go to the landfill each day when we were all cognizant and knew who we were. If I'm going in for surgery, I'm ok with being labelled all over the place, but for a quick blood draw or doctor's appointment, it seemed wasteful.

In the waiting room I realized there's something I'll never, ever understand and that's Kathie Lee and Hoda. Who is this Hoda person? I don't know the appeal, they don't even seem real, they seem like an amalgam of mainstream thought and style entered into a computer program and then generated in 3d. I can kinda get the Kelly and Michael thing, but not these two, they are icky on a stick.

My appointment was anticlimactic because they forgot to run the most important test, the one that's been keeping me up at night, the infamous tumor marker. I gave another vial and I got a voicemail a few hours later that I went from a 36 to a 40 which is statistically insignificant, so I got my cancer card punched for the next six months. I always think I'll rejoice and celebrate, but instead I'm just exhausted and relieved and maybe I'll sleep better tonight. The reason my doctor says that knowledge can be a dangerous thing is because I know where I am on the bell curve of risk. I know that for the next twelve months I'm climbing to the summit of risk and then I start descending from the peak. And me, well, I'm clumsy, I'll get up there and trip and take an eye out on the pointy part of the peak.

I need more nature. Little dude and I went to a friends in a more rural location the other night and we walked in the dark and were surrounded by fireflies. I haven't seen fireflies in years and J never has. It was magical, the woods seemed all lit up for xmas and my son kept putting his arm around me and waxing poetic. There was a full moon too and warm summer air, it was special, we needed it. It's hard to get that boy away from the computer, there's kind of no way to do it if we're at home, I have to get him off-site which is hard when so many normal summer options are out. He doesn't swim, he has sensory issues and loathes sand between his toes, neither of us like crowds much. He likes to fish, but I don't know the first thing about where and how to go about that. I took him to NH a couple of weeks ago and we did art galleries and cafés which we both love, but once I get the store open, no more weekends off for me for a good long time. Working all the time as it is getting ready and there seems and endless list of things to do. I could manage my time better, I suppose I need not be writing this and I spend an inordinate amount of time sitting on my porch listening to the trees rustle in the wind. Interspersed with that, I get an artist bio written or something ordered for the store and in the back of my mind I'm thinking about margarita's and whether I'll go make one or not.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Anxiety and X-Files

My stomach hurts, really hurts, my head hurts too. A couple of advil will do the trick as far ast he head goes, but my stomach hurts and my who self is sagging. My eyes are droopy and my torso feels like it’s curving inwards because I want to roll up like a pill bug into a little ball and roll away, roll under a shady rock and stay there hidden, out of sight.

Anxiety and stress, anxiety and stress, the gruesome twosome. I’ve made such progress staying settled and present and keeping the howling wolves at bay, but sometimes they approach, they breach the perimeter. I gave my vials of blood on Monday, no big deal, I was cheery going in and cheery going out, but imperceptively, as the week’s gone on, they anxiety has crept up. I’ve got a long weekend between now and my oncologist appointment on Monday. I can’t conceive of hearing anything other than I’m stable, that my cancer markers are in check and everything else looks good. But who out there can possibly conceive of hearing anything other than that and yet so many do. So, so, so many do.

Anxiety is like the black tar that crept into people, overcoming them on the X-Files, that’s a distant memory, oh Mulder and Scully, I loved you so. You don’t see anxiety coming and it starts slowly, but before you know it, you’re consumed and consumed, is what I am at the moment and disturbingly powerless against it. I don’t like powerless.

Anxiety, is robbing me of a precious day. Today is a precious day, every day is, i want to live every minute of it fully, with joy and at peace, but I’m not at peace and that makes me feel like I’m wasting valuable time, because that’s what it’s all about, time, and life, life and time and every minute is valuable. Anxiety affects me in such a physical way, it makes me see differently, process differently, I am sensitive and insecure.

And my stomach hurts.

I’ve been working like mad lately, fixing up my new space, cleaning, painting, making displays, ordering things, planning, so much left to do, signage and packaging and logos and pricing. Then I’m at the studio making and cleaning and purging and packing and then it’s home for cooking and cleaning and planning and plotting and the outcome of all that could be moot, unless I get my dance card punched for another five months of getting to be alive by the doctor man on monday. Living with that duality is surreal, it’s freakish. And at times, and that would be right about now, stressful.

And stressful is wasteful, a whole vicious cycle. Fear and loathing, fear and loathing. Today is one of those days I felt compelled to write, I had to write. I don’t know why I can’t just write it into a journal, I don’t know why that isn’t enough. Is it our innate need to be heard? I’m often embarrassed when I post, but I can’t help it, something in me, that I don’t understand, needs to do it.

I feel like the past few months, I’ve been masquerading as a “normal” person. I can do so much more this summer than last. Last summer I couldn’t walk to my local farmer’s market, this year I can do it. It tires me out a bit, but I can absolutely do it. I can have people over, I rarely nap anymore, there’s just so much more I can do, so I was starting to forget, but I’m not “normal”. I’m travelling around with a guillotine over my neck that can snap at any moment. I know that essentially, we all are, the difference is I’ve met mine, I know it’s name and that makes me a circus sideshow.

The other day, I learned that a lovely, lovely woman in my neighborhood, who I’ve known casually and peripherally for years, and is my age or a few years older was just diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. I have a friend who came back from that same diagnosis ten years ago and she is a funky, spunky, monkey. So this woman has a long and arduous road, but there is hope... at least I hope there is hope. She has a large, supportive family and tight community, which is all good. She is in my heart and thoughts and maybe I’ll find a way to be helpful, I hope so.

The reason I know is because someone told me, not even knowing that I knew the person, but once you’ve had cancer, everyone tells you about all the people they know with cancer or who have just been diagnosed. You become a repository for everyone’s cancer stories and that makes cancer even more disproportionate to your life, if there can be such a thing after you’ve been through surgeries, chemo, rads and disability.

This week I’m a cancer survivor, next week, maybe not. That’s why those cancer words suck. Survivor, fighter, warrior, battle, succumbed. They try to give order and meaning to a situation that has none.

I had to leave work, couldn’t manage, I’m sitting on my porch, beautiful porch, but instead of seeing, feeling the beauty of my oasis, it’s tinted with my ugly stress and anxiety, so much seems grey instead of bright, 70% opacity. Such a waste of time, I wish I knew how to get a grip, be the mistress of my emotions, of my destiny, even if my destiny is one day long, I want to be the boss of it.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Fine Spring

I didn’t make a conscious decision to stop blogging, but once I realized it’d been a while I thought I’d write some sort of profound conclusion, life got busy and I never got to it. Between then and now I’ve been writing posts in my head, without the time to sit down and type them, and I never did settle on a grand summation.

One of the reasons I stopped writing is that I wanted to put it all behind me, I was tired of talking about cancer, it seemed like time to get over it already, but you never really get over it, it rears it’s mutated head when you least expect it and sometimes when you do. There are some things you put behind you and some that just keep following you wherever you go, I guess I need to accept that and I do. My right shoulder has been increasingly painful over the past year and despite regular physical therapy, it’s been only getting worse, so I finally went to an orthopedist who took an x-ray. The film confirmed a “frozen” shoulder, the result of surgery and radiation, which may or may not get better, but it’s good to know that when I jolt it and my eyeballs almost pop out of my head with pain, I’m not injuring it... it just hurts. The film also revealed a small lump near my lymph nodes, so I had to go see my surgeon which entailed a four-day wait in Dante’s inferno and from there another two day wait for an ultrasound which revealed a small benign calcification, nothing to worry about.

During this time, I alternated between relative calm and panic, the other day, while picking luscious red, fragrant strawberries in an endless field on a hot day with a cool breeze I thought if I die right now it would be o.k. I transcended fear for the rest of the day, I was calm. Next morning I woke up in the throes of a panic attack, my enlightened Buddha phase was short-lived, oh well, twas nice while it lasted. I could barely breathe through the ultrasound and then I made the doctor repeat over and over again, it’s nothing, it’s nothing. Now I realize why they don’t give you scans after treatment, because they would find something, we’re all filled with mysterious lumps and bumps, shadows and valleys.

Phew, that’s all I can say. Glad that’s over with, although that’s not over with, that will happen again and again for this reason or that, for the rest of my life. You’re only a “cancer survivor” until you’re not. Until you die of other causes, you don’t know. Next week I go for a blood draw to check for cancer markers and the next week I’ll see my oncologist to find out where I stand, so as much as I feel great and dare I say, look well, I have a shadow I’ll never shake. When I was first diagnosed I was stoic and fearless, I just figured I’d deal with it, but now I know better, for all those pretty ribbons, women die of breast cancer, especially the kind I had, and if I have a recurrence, just one teeny tiny recurrence, it won’t be teeny tiny for long, and as my oncologist so eloquently puts it, my time will be counted in months, not years.

Aside from the scare, I’ve been having a great time, since last I wrote. I watched my oldest boy graduate from high school, when you’ve had cancer, these milestones are even bigger because you’ve listed them in your mind as the things you’d not want to miss. I found the ceremony oddly anticlimactic as the preceding month was so filled with senioritis and graduation related activities and celebrations. During the ceremony I simply felt a quiet door closing, an era ending, and it was neither melancholy or happy, it just was, and that was ok. In the fall, my baby will go to his first choice of colleges, he has a long, wide road ahead of him to take him anyplace he wants. I’m excited for him, I feel joy in the possibilities, but I’m also worried, he will be tested, he will be challenged and I can’t scoop him up anymore and make everything better. But now is the time, it is the right time, for every thing there is a season and this 18-year long season is making way for a new one

I fell in love... and out of love, or more precisely, was fallen out of love with, which made/makes me sad, but it was so damned much fun, while it lasted I have no regrets. For a little while it was lovely, just lovely. I came out of it with a lifelong friend, and that’s not so shabby. I realized that what I really want is to be comfortably settled in a twenty year marriage... a real one, not the empty, lonely, dysfunctional one I had, a real one, the good and the bad as long as it is real and honest and mutual. But that’s not in the cards, that’s not an option, and so I don’t know what I want and I'm well aware, I don't get to choose. I liked feeling things I wasn’t sure I could feel any more, and I'm glad I was open and allowed myself to be vulnerable, but I also know that my life is full and new relationships take time, I don’t have all that much free time. Single mom’s trying to support themselves just don’t have the time and the luxury that single dads with visitation do and let’s face it... I’m a mom-thing. I would love to be a “we”, I think I'm a damned fine person to be a "we" with, but maybe I’m just destined to be a “me”. So I’m just going to let life flow and see where it takes me, my job is to find joy in the minutia, have an open mind and keep challenging myself. I'm not feeling the desperation to be with someone that I was in prior posts. I’m letting go of fantasies and living in the moment, enjoying the strawberry fields and the sweet relief of hearing that “it’s nothing" which makes me realize just how grand my life is.

When I was in treatment, when I was sick, I lost my wholesale business, I couldn’t do shows, and I still can’t. That source of income is gone for me and finally stepping back and looking at the bigger picture, I realized I can’t afford my studio and my Saturday store. Can’t just ride the coat-tails of the Winter Farmer’s Market every week, need to get a job or make one. Not a lot of jobs out there for partially disabled, haven’t been in the workforce for 18 years, 50 year old women. So when a retail space vacated in my beloved neighborhood of 21 years, four blocks from my house, I couldn’t resist. I wanted to go another year cancer-free, get through my highest risk years before making any big life changes, but I didn’t really have a choice. Line of people wanting to rent prime retail space a hop and skip from my house... had to snag it. I’m bereft at having to leave my studio-mate, every minute of sharing our space was a pleasure and nothing but easy peasy. Sharing space is a special kind of relationship of it’s own, and ours has been wonderful, we will always be friends, and room-mates become a unique kind of friend. Change is hard, but it’s unavoidable.

For the last month I’ve been working night and day to clean up a filthy, abused and neglected space. Friends have helped me out more than I can say and I’m equally terrified and excited. I am sad to lose my freedom, I’ll be chained to a box 24/7, so it damned well better be a nice box. I think my concept is good, I think this will work, if not, I haven’t a clue.

But as always, riding alongside my excitement and all this work, is the shadow... how will I come out of my oncologist’s appointment, in a really good mood or the one most dire? The next twelve months are the highest risk for me. On a bell curve I’m hitting the summit and in a year I start descending. There are outliers of course, and a lot of cancer patients die from complications of their treatment, but that doesn’t concern me, there’s only one thing that I worry about and that’s hearing that I have a metastasis, and that will start by hearing that my markers are up. I don’t want to hear that, ever.

In the midst of all these life changes, the heart, the lump, I went to NH with my youngest, my mini-me (but better), and had a perfect weekend with friends except on the way up, I got word that my long estranged father had gone into hospice and on Sunday, on a walk around the lake, I got news that he passed away. At 96, on family number three, having left a wide swath of wreckage behind him, I didn’t feel much of anything other than bad memories. While I was gone, my graduate came home on a night off from "work" with fellow camp counselors to have a party, which I naively thought would be in the backyard with firepit and a reasonable amount of alcohol which I was ok with because I know they don’t drink and drive, they just pile up like rats and sleep wherever they are. Instead, I opened the door and entered a den of filth and destruction. My antique dining room table on it’s back like a dead elephant with a leg broken off, empty bottles and red solo cups behind the couch, descriptions of bathrooms are not fit for civilized readers, sticky filth on every surface and floor which incited an anger I’ve rarely felt. When the party host arrived next evening with a carload of co-conspirators to clean I sat them down and had a wonderful rant and even finished off with yelling at them about not even separating their trash from their recyclables. The phrase “disgusting animals” and “disrespect” were generously tossed about the room and I felt better and my house got cleaned. I was merciless, damn those boys not only don’t know how to clean, they don’t see dirt. I sent my son back into the bathroom to re-clean at least six times and I made them not only mop, but hand dry the floors. A comedy of errors, but at least I'm not mad anymore. I was worried I'd be mad at him for the rest of the summer, but damn, that kid can be charming.

This morning I lit the yearly memorial candle that is delivered the day before by a dear friend who also has people to remember this month. My girl should have been 15 today and the candle will burn for 24-hours. As always, I crack up a week beforehand, today I’m fine. As usual, she goes unremembered and unacknowledged by any of her other relatives, but that’s ok too, she is remembered by her mom and I suppose I’m the only one who knew her even a little bit. I’m in my hammock with an iced tea on this very hot, muggy day hearing both my neighbor practicing her flute and my son whistling the song from Frozen while he plays computer games.

Recent drama aside, I had a wonderful spring. I watched the tall ones last season of high school baseball, I shared the bleachers with other players parents who have become friends and with who I’ve shared bleachers for years, some of them well over a decade. It was a perfect final chapter, I’m excited about my son going to college and us settling into a new normal, I’m excited about my new business venture, deeply moved by the help being offered, feeling more creative than I have in some time and more settled. Feeling like I am at a good point in my life, my soul feels calm and wise and very resilient. I feel like this is my time and with the new store I’m going to step up and own it. I will not let insecurity rule it, I will own it. I will make every decision without running around asking for advice and input, I finally realize that while there is always (much) more to be learned, I have to own my spot on this earth and I’ll stop worrying about what other people think, no more scurrying around like a worried little anxiety mouse. Time to trust my gut and my mind and my instincts and have confidence. I know more than I think I know and it’s time to own it. Integrity, respect, and strength can coexist, I’m putting my cards on the table. This is my time and cancer better not fuck it up.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wile E. Coyote

Just as I’d forgotton about the magazine article, Rhode Island Monthly has hit the stands with their glossy covered “Best Doctors in Rhode Island” issue, with not a blurb, but a full page spread replete with giant picture of... me. And a bad picture at that. Even the few friends that have seen it have admitted, yeah, that is a really bad picture. I look wan, tired, and having a very bad hair day. I read the article once, there is one unfinished quote that leaves me a tiny bit uncomfortable, but all in all, it’s such a sweet, generous piece. None the less, I’ve read it once and that is that.

Just as I was feeling awkward about it, I got an email from a woman who said she was sitting in her doctors office today, reading the article while wearing a LuckyBird Studio necklace, which is my business name, and she too had just gone through breast cancer and was compelled to contact me. That alone, makes me glad I did it. To have connected with someone through a magazine page was a really cool feeling and I hope she will take me up on my offer to come to the studio for tea, because my story is told, I’d like to hear someone elses. Without a doubt there is a kinship among those that have heard the words “you have cancer”.

It’s been a year and a half since I finished treatment and two years since my surgery. While I still wrestle with the physical after effects, it seems like so much longer past, while at the same time, I can barely remember the simplicity of before, hazy, a bad dream. I feel like I can finally start my new life, my post-bad-marriage-life and I’m excited. So excited it makes me nervous, because my track record is poor. So many times I’ve thought that I’ve used up my quota of bad luck, but then when I get too comfy, the giant anvil falls from directly above a lá Wile E. Coyote. Maybe I’ve got to learn to dodge instead of standing still and letting it land squarely on my head, or maybe, at last, I really have used up my quota.

My next appointment with my oncologist is in July, I feel like I can only breathe freely until then, when hopefully he’ll give me another five month pass. Five more months, life in tiny increments is not enough, but it is what I get. I have never wanted to do more, never felt so energized, I can’t nearly fit in all the experiences I want to have in five months. I have to hope that the mind/body connection will see me through. That the happier I am, the more protected from harm I’ll be. We all grow cancer cells occasionally, but our bodies are built to remediate them. I think I had marriage cancer, childhood trauma cancer, it all built up and my system was just too stressed or maxed out to notice or bother with what was going on. I just have to hold on to the idea that a happy body, happy heart is as powerful as I need it to be. Trip planning is good too, because if I plan a trip in advance, surely, it is etched in stone and the universe won't let me lose my deposit.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Centered, Cultured and Cultivated

I slept with the window open last night, it was heavenly. Last night seems a long time ago, in this cold, blustery, flustery storm that is making all of my old windows rattle. Most of the windows in the house need new cords so that they’ll open and close without a struggle and won’t need books propping them up so they don’t spontaneously crash down, cat squashing, limb crushing or wood splintering. Another thing I wish I’d pushed to have remediated while I had a co-owner with cash flow. I stopped asking for things to get done a long time ago because I just dreaded the dead pan “is that really necessary?” or “can we really afford that?” Yes, yes, we probably could have. Looking back I don’t know why I didn’t just say “yes, yes, that is really necessary.” I don’t know why I’m so conflict averse when I grew up surrounded by so much conflict, well maybe that’s why, and maybe I was just defeated, deflated. I like getting things done, you know what floats my boat, what really turns me on? Guys that get shit done. If I were a man, maybe that’s what my OkCupid profile would say, “I get shit done.” I have a friend who laments the lack of women in his life and attributes it to his theory that women only like men who treat them badly, women like assholes and he’s too nice. I don’t think that’s it... maybe younger women like that distant, elusive, selfish type, maybe I did once, but hell, we grow up. Nothing is more exciting to me than sweetness and thoughtfulness. Someone who’s actually interested in my day, that would make me swoon. Someone who is smart and creative and funny and sweet, thoughtful and kind, I’m placing my order for that on right away, I hope I get free 2-day shipping, OkCupid isn’t coming through.

My garage door entered the afterlife after all the springs and cables burst the other day. After wedging it open, the door is so clearly rotted, shredding, and falling apart it doesn’t make sense to fix it and I’m not spending my sparse cash on a garage door, no thank you, that is way too depressing a purchase. I’m just going to staple up a tarp and call it a day. I suppose if someone wants to steal my broom and rakes there’s nothing I can do to stop them. And, I do love using my staple gun, so I don’t mind. After wrenching the door open last weekend from where it's not planning on closing, I finally got some yardwork done and the tall one was great about helping and did things in a much more adult way. We had a lot of limbs down that needed to be cut up and carted out to the curb and instead of tossing two into a yard waste bin and saying it was full because they were criss-crossed, I saw packed bins filled with vertical sticks and my heart breathed a sigh of relief. Progress.

Yesterday, the 13-year old got frustrated with homework, I don’t really blame him, the assignment was stupid and annoying and from my point of view pretty useless, but none the less, the laws of life dictate that little boys and girls must do their homework. He’s been coping really well with homework this year, we’ve had our moments, but suddenly, he regressed, five, eight years and was grabbing furniture cushions and throwing them around. Unacceptable and I told him to go up to his room to calm down. He usually won’t go, but he stomped up there and I let him cool down. When I went up to check, he was asleep in bed, half covered in a blanket, dresser drawers on the floor and an entire roll of toilet paper strewn across his room. A for effort, it was quite a sight, that boy gets shit done. I thought he’d sleep through the night, but he got up, chilled out and practiced the trumpet. It was really strange, such a sudden and powerful regression, I haven’t seen a fit like that in some time and it makes me realize I should be appreciative of how easy life has become. I have a trash can full of vertical sticks and fits are way outside the norm.

The trumpet teacher showed up for boy’s first lesson, messy and dishelveled, wearing a Doctor Who sweatshirt among other geeky accessories and when I opened the door and saw her I wanted to cry. I greeted her with “oh my god, you’re one of us, come in.” And it all went famously from there. I have been witness to actual voluntary practicing and now I can’t get the elephant march from the Jungle Book out of my head.

I can’t believe there is no school for six days straight. Boys will go to their dads for one of them, the rest they’re with me... how is that not reflected in the child support guidelines? I’m wrestling with the same paradox and I have to stop, it is what it is and being perpetually annoyed serves no purpose.

I know a lot of people have met folks on dating sites, but I don’t think it’s for me. I’ve found the conversations I’ve had unsettlingly disjointed and empty and there’s just too much flotsam to shuffle through. I don’t have the time or dedication to spend hours pouring over profiles, there’s too much real life out there. I've found the process alienating and I get more fulfillment from cleaning out my attic and plotting my next project, party or trip. I'm going to leave the dating sites behind, and anyone who is in a decent relationship, rejoice, work hard, be creative, otherwise, you’ll be spending your late nights reading profiles like the following. At least it's entertaining, although I find his "safe passion rule" a bit extreme, although, mercifully, he isn't looking for that "one special lady to wine and dine."

Centered, cultured, cultivatad but a bit edgy &wild, stable, dedicated, peaceful & happy.

I love education, but more importantly: inspiration, or delicious quality excitement. The seduction of mind AND body.

My "follow your bliss" formula: Creative bold expressive sensuous teasing
Letting go preconceived notions.
The Safe Passion Rule: No coitus or oral, but complete honest exchange of feelings & desires... open up the mind; celebrate the body; divine hotness! No holding back.

NOW is a time of randy experimentation & exploration. "Wham bam thank you ma'm" or "Whir blur thank you sir" is pointless. Let's cultivate boldness & butterflies! Enjoy surrendering & sharing our thoughts, feelings & fantasies without fear. Let's create our own paths; not be shackled by self-imposed boring prisons. "TRUST yourself! Then you will know how to live!" (Goethe)

"Be not like dumb, driven cattle! Be a hero in the strife!"
(from The Psalm of Life by Longfellow)
What I’m doing with my life
My work is a bit too esoteric & unique for discussion here now :)
Self employed since 1985. I'm trained as a writer and ran my own publishing company. Also a certified physical fitness specialist - very advanced with 35 years professional experience & owned several fitness businesses. Certified in nutrition & experienced in epdimiology. Certified chef; owned & operated a gourmet school.
Currently own another unique established business of own creation.

"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."- Henry David Thoreau

"Who rises late must trot all day" - American Proverb

"Men {and women} sometimes stumble over the truth but they pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened" -W Churchill

"I have endeavored to show that medicine is not only not necessary but injurious to all mankind" - Gandhi

"Medicine is designed to amuse the patient while nature cures the disease"- Voltalire
I’m really good at Inspiration.

And I give great massage. hey... even got my own table.
The first things people usually notice about me
They say my Smile, eyes, butt, voice, stature & charisma.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Breaking Bad.
From Omar Khayam, Emerson.... to T Colin Campbell, Joseph Campbell...isaac Asimov...The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, The Art of Sexual Magic by Margot Anand, DH Lawrence, so many more.

The Princess Bride, Tommy,The Big Lebowski, Being There, Phenomenon, Manon of the Spring, Jean De Florette, Seven Beauties, Leap of Faith, Princess Bride, Get Shorty, Reacher, Zohan, Austin Powers,. Star Trek NOT Star Wars. (Star Wars was LAME to someone who had already read ALL the best sci-fi by age 11).

I love Sinatra to Zeppelin & more not heard of.
Tom Barabas, Roul DiBlasio, Pink Floyd, Johhny Cougar Melencamp, classics, ambient space & progressive pieces.Took classical piano lessons nine years as child.

Food: I eat to enhance my life & great enjoyment of it. Not merely gourmand taste or emotional need.
I have long since matured off the perpetual pacifier advancing gracefully to more lasting & fulfilling pleasures than "wine & cheese" or "creme lattes".

As a result I have not suffered even the slightest cold or flu symptom for 12 years in a row. No drugs, pills powders or mumbo jumbo "natural doctor" gimmicks. And so much more...
The six things I could never do without My mom, my friends, my dad (lives in my heart), my passion, my imagination, & tolerance.

Oh. & my super duper deluxe 3D robotic massage chair.
I spend a lot of time thinking about how lucky & blessed I am to be alive.
On a typical Friday night I am
Relaxing at my house after inviting my incredibly youthful & terrific mom over for dinner and a movie.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I was a 130 lb. weakling; beat up almost daily & made fun of & called skinny & "gay" in high school since I moved to LI from a Manhattan private school, and was "smarter" by several years comparison. After sevearl years of self transformation I became a stripper per the encouragement of a female-friend and against my "better nerd judgement".
I’m looking for
Girls who like guys
Ages 40–99
Near me
For new friends, long-term dating, short-term dating
You should message me if
The obvious: you like what you see & read.
You like to be inspired.
You like an exciting non traditional guy.
You value the mind & physical body equally. And of course you are sexy & cute!

Sunday, April 6, 2014


I spent the day working on the semi-massive project that is cleaning out my attic. I have a plan, a master plan that I’m motivated to finally pursue since opening last months heating bill. I have a drafty old house sans shred of insulation. I’ll never replace the beauful, old, thick glass windows, but some changes need to be made. I have two nice finished rooms in the attic, but they’re not usable at all in summer because it becomes an inferno that is no match for any fan or air conditioning unit. First I need to have three spots rewired to eliminate the knob and tube wiring. I’ll put a ceiling fan in each room and then insulate up there. I’ve talked to countless people who’ve insulated their attics and they say they can feel the difference the first day and that it’s cooler in the summer and the whole house stays warmer in the winter. I’m down for that.

To prepare, the crawl space closets need to be cleaned out and since I’m doing that, I’ve decided to clear out the space entirely. After that work is done, one room can be a guest room and the other can house a ping-pong table because it’s come to my attention that they’re available in four pieces instead of two and hence the parts will fit up the narrow staircase. Either the tall one can move up to the third floor entirely, or I can use the bedroom as an Air BnB room and make some extra money. I live quite near a hospital, so I think that’s my niche. Out of towners visiting loved ones in the hospital, they can pay me and I’ll take wonderful care of them.

It makes no sense to pay property taxes on a house that I’m not fully using and I am making peace with the fact that I can’t move because logistics are everything, and if I want boy to come home on school vacations and bring friends with him, I need to preserve his familiar space.

Despite there being exactly zero documented cases of house fires caused by knob and tube wiring and insulation, it is illegal to insulate while it’s there. So unfortunately, the knob and tube up there finally has to go.

While dragging things about, I found two boxes filled with letters received over twenty five years. People used to write long letters because of course, there wasn’t email and long distance calls were expensive. Anyone else remember those itemized phone bills that room-mates would have to go through line by line, to see who’s calls were who’s? I was reading a letter from a friend that referenced our mutual friend Susan and another woman Erika. I have no recollection of an Erika so I figured that was someone they both knew. But the next letter I pulled out was to me, from Erika. Apparently I’d just stayed with her in a basement somewhere. I have no recollection of Erika. Then I pulled out a typed note from a guy who I was clearly good friends with at a job. He mentioned the name of the company and a co-worker that we apparently both detested. He was respponding, it appeared to a letter from me, and clearly we were close. His full name was on the envelope and it rings not a single bell. We trust our brains to be the repository of our story, the guardian of our history, our reality. This might be a mistake, I know that my brain, at least, is keeping inferior track of things.

At first I wanted to throw the boxes straight into the trash, nothing has been added to those boxes in many, many years, but ultimately, I couldn’t do it and now I have puzzle after puzzle and many more letters to go through. Nonetheless, I filled my trash and recycling bin, as well as my neighbors and took several bags to Savers. Progress was made, but there is still much to be done.

Dinner has been eaten, red wine consumed, and there is chocolate cake in the fridge for the stroke of 9:00p.m. and the premier of Game of Thrones, be still my heart. I can’t believe that next season boy will be watching at college and I’ll be watching at home. We’ll have to touch base afterwards, we’ve watched every episode together and he won’t let anyone come over and watch with us, it’s our thing. He might have to take a leave of absence from college for GoT season (not). Recapping episodes might be the only reason he calls home, thank you HBO. I never thought I could be this excited about a t.v. show. I've missed you mother of dragons and it will be nice to see you too Jon Snow and of course I wonder what Arya's been up to... valor morghulis.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Senior Citizens

I’m so grateful to the friend that heeded my request on facebook for a dinner date tonight... Saturday night. When my kids first started going to their father’s every other weekend, I was so burnt out, I didn’t have the energy to miss them, I was grateful to just be able to sit still. Now, however, I’ve found myself spiraling down into a dark blue mood when I’m cooped up at home on a quiet Saturday night. Even if I make myself a nice meal and hunker down with a movie, I spiral. It’s happened enough times that I realize I have to do something about it. Status quo is a no go. If I go out to dinner with a friend, or eat take out at a friends studio or work, or join a family for dinner, I go home happy and can hunker down and enjoy a movie, but I need that 2 hour change of scenery, I need that two hours of company, of compansionship, of connection to the world outside my house, so I’m trying to be proactive.

It’s difficult when most of your friends are part of a nuclear family, they’re doing their family-thang on Saturday night. I understand that, but I am acutely aware, all of a sudden, that I’m not one of them anymore, I’m orbiting the sun on a different ring a different plane. Really, I always was, I was just pretending not to be, because there wasn’t any cozy, nuclear family thing going on here, I was a single mom, long before I was a single mom.

I just had some yummy Mexican food and two great big margaritas, and since I don’t drink much, I’m entirely buzzed and making lots of typos, but I love the feel of the familiar keys beneath my finger tips, that soothing tippity tap. Love. Comfort.

Despite my boys being at their dad’s for the weekend, shortly after I got home from work today, the tall one showed up with some friends to handle a serious project. Every spring there is a dodgeball tournament at school between the classes, not history vs. calculus, but freshman, vs. sophomore, etc. Every year, the same kid does the t-shirts in his grade and every year they are very clever and well done. The tall one’s class of ‘14 was the Soph No Mores, the D’juniors Unchained and now they are the Senior Citizens. They came over to spray paint purple Superman logos on gray t-shirts and write with gold glitter goop, “Senior Citizens” and the back says ‘14. One of the football players, on to engineering school soon is exceptional at this, his hand lettering is incredible. I complimented him on his natural feel for symmetry and spacing. Really impressive. All the t-shirts are hanging on my dining room curtain rod, on actual hangars, clearly my own son was not in charge, I’m not sure he is familiar with hangers.

I’m having two simultaneous, dysfunctional conversations with men on OkCupid. One of them answered almost every question, not only with the same exact answers as mine, but with the same type of commentary and he’s not a christian, and it’s very important to him, he doesn’t mind flags on fire, and lives not far away. But he is a few (only a few) years younger and has very young children... 2 1/2 - 8 or so, and so I feel like I’m a grandma when I’m talking about his kids. “Oh I remembered when they were sick all the time... I remember that age...” And it occurs to me that he must have separated when his wife was pregnant or with young child and that is hard for me to fathom. The similarity in both conversations is that I respond in paragraphs and they respond in fragments, a whole sentence or two if I’m lucky. I feel like I pull back the layers but they don’t, which I’m comfortable in saying, is not a turn on. I finally have the self-confidence to not so much want to please and impress someone, as to have them impress me, and thus far... I’m not so impressed.

Wow, I can’t believe how buzzed I am after two drinks, you see, silly men, I’m a cheap date, you don’t know what you’re missing. Tomorrow I have an awesome date lined up. The tall one is coming home in the afternoon to help me clean out the attic, then we are going to a particular pizza place because he says I would really like it and then... dun, dun, dun... The Game of Thrones season premier. That is a perfect date if you ask me. I saw a preview for GoT and first I was thrilled and then I was sad because I didn’t want it to start because I didn’t want it to end. Tall one gets out of school practically a month early because seniors don’t have to take finals, and we’ve decided to check our ALL the local breakfast places, damn, I can’t think of anything better. Then he’ll pack up and go to counselor at camp and then he’ll come home, unpack and repack for college. I’m so happy and relieved I’m not devastated by that. I’m just excited, so excited, proud and happy for him. I’m so looking forward to our relationship evolving and knowing each other as adults. I’m so excited for all the promise and opportunities in front of him. True love is a beautiful, beautiful thing. So are margaritas and mexican food.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Whine Tour

O.K., the whine tour is over, as is the pity party. Maybe I have to sink that low to get my head out of my own ass. Blech, I was making myself nauseous with that last post, enough! I have not woken from a car accident to learn I’m a paraplegic, or a quadraplegic. I don’t have Lou Gehrig’s disease, my house is not in foreclosure, my proverbial dog hasn’t died.

I’m single. A lot of people are single. I’ve had cancer and stuff hurts, a lot of people have had cancer and lot’s of people have stuff that hurts. So I’m not the Prom Queen, well, I never was and really wouldn’t feel comfortable in those shoes. So I am done with Facebook and the pictures of people who’s parties seem so fun, and OKcupid can shoot it’s arrows wherever it pleases. I’m not going to keep pouring over self-summaries and sending witty, charming emails to people too lazy or apathetic to respond.

I live in a comfortable house in a comfortable neighborhood with my comfortable kids and comfortable friends. It’s not picture perfect, screw picture perfect. I’m a little upset that Frozen has dethroned Toy Story as the highest grossing animation, but I’m gonna let it go, let it go.

I have my boy’s last HS baseball season coming up. I’ll sit in a chair and enjoy the days, even if I can’t focus on the game, because after all these years, I still can’t focus on a baseball game. I’ll enjoy watching the comradery of the players that have been together for so long, swinging their swan songs. I’ll clean off my porch and spend evenings out there chatting with my guys and eating bowls of cherries and fresh peas in the pod. I’ll put a stack on singles out so whoever wants to can chase the ice cream truck at will.

I have a graduation coming up, a cum laude ceremony, much welcoming college mail to read, art supplies to buy for film sets, happy summer day camp pick up times. Graduation parties to plan, little dudes award ceremony at PPAC. The knowledge that even though I had to plan it, pay for it and clean up after it, oh, and need to get thank you notes for, little dude is still talking about how perfect and special his birthday was and how happy that makes him, cause yeah, he really does talk like that. He’s like his mama, we have big, descriptive hearts.

I’m going to launch my irresponsible plan to spend my Roth IRA on five years of twice yearly trips. It wouldn’t have made a dent in supporting me in my old age (and we’re still talking budget trips), but if I wind up experiencing old age, that will be gift enough and I’ll worry about how to survive then. Right now I want to do more than survive, I want to live and that means getting on a plane for an adventure twice a year with lot’s of smaller adventures in between. If you know anyone with a condo to loan, near a dive shop, anywhere, let me know.

Monday, March 31, 2014


Shame can turn to pride, I know this. I began the late fall in a new winter skirt that I fell mad in love with. Perfect weight, perfect length, loved the subtle pattern and for the first few week, I was a little self-conscious that I was wearing the same skirt everyday. I wasn’t feeling the transition to pants and couldn’t find any other winter skirts that measured up. So I kept wearing it and wearing it, always with clean socks, underwear and shirts. Always with my most comfortable sweater of which I own four, as they were $24.99 at Target, it’s hard to find sweaters with collars. My embarrassement, however has turned to pride as I realize I’ve made it through the whole winter wearing the same skirt. It’s getting a little worse for wear, but now it’s a challenge, although as soon as it’s above 60°, I vow to wear a different skirt every day for at least a week.

I’ve been back from Mexico for a month, and I’m still not acclimated. My daily life is missing something and it’s getting to me, my eye’s well up with tears at unexpected times, for reasons I don’t understand. My subconscious is having issues and I seem to be out of the loop. I’ve continued to find occasionally compelling, and humorous, intelligent profiles on-line, and have sent what I hoped were equally witty, intelligent responses, referencing whatever obscure book or movie we have in common. It’s demoraliing to not receive a single response.

I was thinking about it this morning and I realized that we’re primates, we’re animals, plain and simple, caling to other animales in the primitive ways in which we know how and we are likewise, responding as such, we are trying to display our bright plummage via the internet. Men often show pictures of themselves in their biking gear or on a boat, they’re consciously or not trying to tap into what they think women view as masculine and they’re probably on to something. Sadly, the female equivalent of that is more superficial and that would be a nice headshot with corresonding cleavage, even if only in a t-shirt, the cleavage, the alluring, primal breasts, complete the package and bait the hook. Unconsciously, the whispering breasts would lead them to the profile and that might lead them to interest. I don’t even mean this to sound derogatory, it’s the birds and the bees, there are some pictures I’m attracted to and some I’m not and there’s something intangible about what makes the difference. We are all using our photos, to lure people into reading our profiles which we hope will catch someone on the line, provoke a response. I can’t properly bait my hook. I know that if someone knew me really well, they would adjust to my missing physical attributes, but how do I get to that point? I’m saying this awkwardly with lack of profundity, I know, I’m having trouble orgnizing my thoughts, I’m tired, I just took a bunch of 13-year olds to lunch for a birthday celebration and then home for cake.

When I think of the time and effort it takes to get to know someone, to get comfortable with them, I’m overwhelmed and sad, because not only do I not have that time in the chaos of my day to day, I’m not having the opportunity. Adding insult to injury, i know that my ex is already years, at least three years into a relationship that landed in his lap, because that’s what happens when you’re a high wage earning man in a suit, in a big office building filled with women. Single women, or those looking to upgrade, they come to you and they did and all you have to do is be willing to upgrade too. He stopped by on the newly teened boy at exactly 5:30 on his birthday to deliver a gift. He clearly had somewhere to be, he seems much more committed to his new partner’s schedule as he ever was to ours. As has been the case since he left, he wasn’t interested in coming to or participating in the party, that’s all left up to me, he doesn't wonder who's coming and that's what blows my mind most. There is giggling downstairs, the kids are lingering, and I’m glad my boy is having a happy day. The planning of the party with him, the invites, the follow up, the tranportation and logistics, the footing the bill and cleaning up, the thank you notes, those are up to me with never an offer of assistance. I wonder how other split up couples handle these things, especially the "amicable" ones. I recently saved his father $500 on the summer camp bill by getting the film-maker successfully through a summer arts scholarship application, that was me doing the research, filling out endless forms and wrecking multiiple DVDs trying to burn animations onto them. Yet when I suggested he use some of the money to help pay for Griffin’s graduation party, he seemed perplexed, “well, what do you need?” Ummm, food? Does he not think this boy merits a graduation party? I've got the yard for it, we've had many fine parties here, but it's all up to me. He pays the court-ordered money, does his day a week and not another thought. It seems odd to me, but the whole thing has always been odd to me. I'd like to read a book about how divorced people handle these responsibilities, but I guess there's no norm. My lawyer explained that the courts can order me to give him more access to the kids (which they wouldn't need to do, I'm always offering), but they can't order him take more responsibility for the kids, can't make him take them more. So either way, he's still in the driver's seat. He gets what he wants, when he wants it, when it's convenient, and I'm responsible for the rest. I think the courts should order that both parents have to clean up after birthday parties and split the bill.

I have a lot of friends, close friends, amazing friends, but they’re disparate friends, I don’t have a group or a pack. I don’t have close family, extended or otherwise, I have people in far flung places that love me to death, I know that, I’m grateful as all get out for that, but I don’t have anyone who would notice if I went missing for the weekend. I don’t have someone I talk to every day or so, who I check in with or checks in with me. I don’t have a BFF, I’ve had them, I just don’t at the moment, I don’t have a book club or other reliable social activity. Consistent community, perhaps that’s what I want. I want a partner in crime who I don’t see all that often, because we’re both busy, but who can be on my mind, who I know is out there thinking of me and a simple daily text of “hi” would totally do it for me. I’m easy peasy, but it has to be someone awesome and thus far, I can’t seem to attract someone period, awesome or otherwise, and it’s starting to hurt, I feel the space where they should be, it’s becoming tangible. If I met someone, I don’t know at what point I’d tell them about the cancer and all that, all those things that make me high risk and complicated, I figured that’s the point my heart might break, but my heart is breaking because I don’t have the chance. I know I just need to get busy, keep building my own life, focus on that and my kids, but that’s what I’ve been doing for years and years and years in a marriage with someone who didn’t really want anything to do with me (or anyone else it seemed). Building a life by yourself is tiring, so is raising kids by yourself. I’m a partner person, where’s my partner? I like my life, but I would like it to have that dimension, that tether and I'm a damned nice partner to have.

72% match: I am waiting to meet a woman where I can walk hand in hand walk on the beach with where we can snuggle and cuddlewhere I can enjoy her kisses on a couch lovee slow dancing flea markets and tax sales and long car rides

I’ll be passing on that and nor will I be contacting “uncutrob” or “lovetoeatpuss” because even for me, that is way too much information.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Oh Ewe

I never thought I’d be excited about the Pope or following what the Pope is up to. Or that my kids and I would be chanting at the TV “pope, pope, pope” but you’ve got to love this pope. Well, we do anyway. I wonder though, how the heck he slipped under the radar, because this guy can’t be what the hierrarchy had in mind. He’s a clever pope, a stealthy pope, and I’m so glad he played his cards right and got Pope-ified. Radical pope, kind and genuine pope, I worry about his open air pope-mobile, I worry someone will shoot the pope. Pope ain’t no dope, or Pope is dope, depending on how you say it. obviously, pope is the word of the day since I started my day by seeing him and O on the front page of HuffPo, which I suppose makes it HuffPope until a new lead story comes along.

I’m not sure what I really think of myself, because on the one hand, I’m afraid of dating because I can’t imagine anyone would like me, or accept all my scars, both literal and figurative, but then when I send an email to someone on OKcupid and they don’t respond I think “dude, who do you think you are? you’ll never find anyone better than me, I'm awesome.” Insecure or arrogant, don’t know, or as they’d say on a dating site “you tell me.”

Several men have clicked “like” on my profile and yes, of course I feel 13-years-old talking about this, but when I click “like” back there is no response. I had a brief back and forth with someone and they admitted that they never contact anyone first, they wait for them. That’s kind of passive, or arrogant, or something. We emailed back and forth and I found myself decreasingly interested. His responses were not well written, maybe he was writing on a phone, not a keyboard, so I’ll give him that. But they didn’t reflect the “happy” person he described and I noticed that while he was (sort of) answering my questions, sort of responding to my repartee, he didn’t ask about me, or my thoughts and so one of us has quietly let the ball drop and roll away, I’m not even sure which. I'm hoping he doesn't email again, and suspect he won't.

Surprisingly, I’ve found several profiles that I find compelling and attractive, at least interesting and I’ve sent, short, charming emails. I think they'ew charming, “you tell me”. Well, I guess they have told me because I’ve not gotten a single response. I’ve been short and sweet, but always referenced something in their profile that I also liked or agreed with, usually something obscure as that’s what draws me in and nothing. So if on-line “dating” isn’t depressing enough, how about on-line dating where no one responds to a single thoughtful email? Nor a single legit inquiry or contact, my parade of Christian, right-wingers continues. In my last email I told the recipient that I’d really appreciate them responding, if only to tell me that they’re not interested, being new to this, I’d like to learn how to refine my approach. Nothing.

Equally amusing and depressing it remains, one guys screen nane is HelloGorgeousEwe. Does he realize he’s addressing goats or the inhabitants of southeast Ghana and southern Togo?

Then there are the bare chest shots. I think if you want to post your bare chest you have to have other pictures as well, it can’t be the one and only shot. The creepiest, absolute creepiest is having a 23 year-old “like” my picture. My reaction of absolute Ewwwwww (not Ewe), made me realize I’m not cut out to be a cougar and I don’t, absolutely don’t understand the Mrs. Robinson type. Just Eww. I love 23-year olds, I want to bake them cookies and hear about how school or their first job is going and not a single thing more.

From Denver: My name is xxxxx, Sometimes i wonder what was in God's mind, to have created some people so special but i have come to realize that such people were actually created to change the lives of many..The basic realities of life does not solely depends on how often one smiles... I must confess that your profile struck me. i would love to know you, and better still, get acquainted.

From KewlMichael, a professed $250,000-$500,000 earner in NY: Wow you look very radiant like the morning sky,i really appreciate God for a wonderful creature like are like a gift from God , seeing you has really made me to forget to ask how u are doing. Well let me not be carried away by your beauty, I must tell you the truth you are among the wonders of God's creature will be very glad if i can get to know you more better.Meeting with you will be my first joy, please it will gladden my heart by giving me a response. please do include your email address when reply so we could start by chatting...You are beautiful, Cheers up till i hear from you

Then there’s HotJoeyLove and NeedingADarling, this could drive a girl to drink, join the foreign service or just maybe, accept and embrace life as is. I tried the drinking part last night, it was pretty fun, we'll see which way things go.

Monday, March 24, 2014


It seems unfair to be having allergies when I’ve not felt a smidge of spring, nonetheless, my eyeballs are so itchy I’m ready to claw them out. I knew this Medicaid thing was too good to be true, they don't want to pay for my expensive allergy eyedrops, nor do they want to pay for my estrogen. It costs $167/mo. which is too steep for me, but I want the natural one, not the one made from horse urine, Premarin: PREgnant MARes, Ewwww. I'm scared to find out what creepy, alternative they'll offer me, betcha they cover Viagra though. At the moment I think my itchy eyes are far more deserving of intervention than anyones flaccid penis, but maybe that's just because I don't have one of those to worry about.

I really don’t know why I feel so dismal, so blue. It’s not like the divorce took me by surprise, we’ve been separated for three years and it changes my day to day life not a whit. Maybe it was the humiliation of the proceedings, immediately finding out he was taking a weeks vacation with his girlfriend, when in twenty years he couldn’t possibly take a whole week off work and responded to suggestions of travel like a child would at the suggestion of a seven day school week or extra visits to the dentist, just for fun. I don't know, I really don't.

One of the parents of one of the tall one’s friends invited a bunch of the loose, but bound group of parents over for a get together yesterday. So many of our kids have been friends since pre-school, elementary or middle school that we’ve come to know one other and, of course, know so much about, and care so for each other's offspring. We chat at school events, athletic events where some overlap, when we run into each other at the market or elsewhere and as 10, 12, 14 years go by, you inadvertently know each other, but don't know if you'd call each other friends, but without a doubt, there is surely a bond and I like these people. It was a lovely idea to get everyone together on purpose. I almost didn’t go I was in such a miserable mood, but I knew it would be good for me and hopefully snap the spell which it did, somewhat, but I never felt like myself. I found myself welling up with tears behind my glasses and not even knowing why. I know nothing is what it seems, but in a very full room, I’m the only one sans partner and it’s hard not to feel envious of the comfort and seamlessness of all these long marriages. I wonder, I fear, that I’ve simply reached capacity and am now overflowing in unpredictable ways. I fear that I’m finally broken. I’ve been damned good at bouncing back, but maybe we can only do that a finite number of times. I’ve been bouncing back my whole life, yay for me, I’m resilient, I have a relentless desire to move forward and not wallow, but  bouncy balls wear out, they can only take so much wear and tear. I’m feeling deflated and without an airpump.

This grim venture into online dating isn’t making things better. The parade of book burning conservatives continues from near and far, did I mention the general? Full on uniform, yeah, that's an obvious match. I don’t see any reason to start emailing someone far flung, what’s the point? I don’t want to dig email trenches, I want to just meet for coffee and yay or nay. I’ve not gotten a single inquiry or response from anyone intriguing, not even close, and the whole thing is depressing. All the lookn4luv, TreatU-Rite, Meandyou4ever, Luverman, I just hang my head in unfair disgust, these people are just lonely too. These sights make me snarky and cynical and is the awful. The profiles are sparse enough to be meaningless, checkboxes over personal comments and an excessive number of users who don’t post pictures. Sorry, but if I have to post a picture, so do you and a beach sunset doesn’t count. Okcupid has a far superior user interface and asks interesting questions with room for comments but the questions are endless. You answer as many as you want, but some people have anwered 3,000+ questions which is sad and disturbing. has local get togethers at bars and such, but I’d be mortified to be the only one there over 30.

I’m slowly learning how after so many years of cohabitation and children, I’ve lost the ability to be alone for long stretches. I remember fearing I wouldn’t be able to do the 24/7 that is raising kids because I needed so much time alone. My kids get me out of my own head, or my head out of my own ass, whichever. As soon as they walked in the door Sunday evening, I was transformed. I’m realizing that I’m as dependant on them as they are on me. Albeit in my case it’s emotional dependency. I ask nothing of them, I’m just happier and more content and more able to lighten up and laugh when they’re around and that too will be fleeting.

It’s a new week, so I’d best get at it and try for a better one. This is the week I get focused at work and begin the grand project of rebuilding my wholesale business and also the week I go back to the gym in search of stregnth and endorphins. On Friday, my baby turns 13 so I’ve got to think about how to make that special too.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Damn, My laughing fix didn’t stick, I’m lethargic and blue, except for my left eye which is pink and itchy, so maybe I’m just germy and not feeling well.

While I was cheered up, my wicked nails didn’t suit me and I thought it would be best for all if I stopped hissing at people, so I bought what I thought was silver sparkle polish which I mixed with clear, because I thought if I added a subtle silver glitter I’d be a good witch instead of a bad witch.

My experience with nail polish is new and limited, so it turns out, what I used was gold glitter with some big flakes of silver, which mixed with the red/black, looks like I spray painted on some tropical fungus. I’d call this color iguana spit, gator slime, or unknown fungal disease. It’s not making me happy, not helping my mood.

I was so tired when I came home from work I went to bed and fell asleep for five hours, when I woke up the sun was going down and I was confused, I thought it was coming up and I’d slept through the night which I kind of wish I had.

I don’t think the foray into on-line dating was a good idea. I’ve made great progress breaking my Facebook and Huffington Post habits, but OK Cupid is a black hole and while fascinating, I think I already want out. I’ve actually read a few profiles that have interested me. I can tell that these people have seen my profile, but they don’t seem interested. I’ve sent two brief emails, but have had no response. It seems I solely appeal to Christians with poor grammar. I think this whole think could suck up a lot of time, drive me crazy and make me feel bad, so nipping it in the bud, might be the way to go.

From Catholic, and it’s important to me from Alabama: WOW!! Your stunningly cute.. Had my eyes glued to your picture that it took a while a to recover from that.. Would you do me the honor of getting to know you? That would make me the happiest man on the planet.

From Gud2Me: Hi Angel, I'm very I'm interested in your profile and will like us to know each other, pls kindly drop me ur email or contact so I can send you more pictures of me,

Very serious christian from FLA: Hi there,How are you doing beautiful and how is the weather there like???

That’s right, how is the weather there like?

Starting monday, I’m going to the gym and going to work. I have to get focused and get serious about income production. Gonna enjoy my boys, rejoice when my rocking chair can go back out on the porch, ponder scuba diving opportunities over dating, Cupid’s just going to have to wait. I’ve seen a glimpse into a world, I don’t think I want to know about. It’s making me sad and depressed and I think the best thing is to be happy with what I have, because ultimately, I have a lot.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Belly Laugh

Yesterday, I was in a foul mood, been in that mood all week, bubble, bubble, toil and trouble. I just don’t feel like myself and my wicked nails are making it worse because they really do make me want to hiss and claw at something, but I was embracing that feeling and making myself more and more miserable.

I was spinning down the vortex until last night at bed time, the prince of procrastination set up a prank for my benefit that caused me to immediately burst out into uncontrollable laughter, and laughter and laughter until it hurt. I hugged him and said “thank you, I feel like a new person” and I did, I do. The tall one, downstairs while all of this happened up, was jealous that his brother had made me laugh so hard, so he insisted I come downstairs so he could show me a funny video. Oh my, they’re fighting over me, I do declare.

Despite my indepth okcupid profile, which as you can imagine, answers every question regarding religion and civil liberties and political/social beliefs in a particular and clear way, everyone that contacts me defines as “christian and it’s important to me” and references their god as one of the five things they can’t live without. I can’t live without tea in the morning and Jon Stewart, come on. Why on earth would those people contact me. Do they contcact every new female that pops up? And I’m sorry, I’m a grammar snob, errors are fine, I type fast and certainly someone could judge me for my frequent lack of capital letters, but oh my god!

So much of the dialog is straight from a bad movie, from a christian in Texas: Hello there pretty ,it's been a lovely day today,and what makes it a perfect day for is that seeing such a beautiful woman like you and being privileged to email her,WOW! what a day. Well,my name is John,I'm just a starter on this online dating I would like to talk and get to know more about you. If you don't mind you can send me a message on john280 at/ya/hoo/dot/com/,I hope you have a wonderful day, John.

And from the guy in New York, with a small child, yet who would be willing to relocate for the "right special lady" wearing a giant gold cross in every picture: How are you doing?My name is Wilson .Your profile is appealing..I adore and admired everything in your profile.I am really much impressed about your profile and your personalities and your good sense of humor on here. You definitely got your appearance so attracting and appealing. I guess nobody is going to skip your profile without sending you a message. I can see sincerity in you. You look far younger than your age. Is what you have on this site a correct statement of your age? When was your photo taking?Do you mind if i know more about you?

Both of these guys only list English as languages, but I just can’t believe that the last one isn’t ESL. I love that he questions my pictures. I posted two pictures, one is of me underwater with the pufferfish and the other is from Mexico a few weeks ago smooshing faces with my friend. So I cropped him out and if you look closely, you’ll see that one of my ears, is really his ear. I need to get some photos. It was a really spontaneous, after midnight sign up on my part.

I don’t know how this works, do I have to respond to these people and say “thank you for the very sweet compliments, but I don’t think we’d be a good match”? Or just ignore them because they clearly haven’t read my profile. This morning there was a really charming note from a 63 year old and I’m just not ready to go that old, isn’t that terrible? At the same time, the same difference in the other direction would be 37 and that seems even more preposterous. I am 50 and I put an age range of 45 to 55 and honestly, I’m not sure I could keep up with a 45 year old.

Then there are the myriad people that say they’re only interested in women who are fit and would not be interested in anyone that deviates from their preferred body type. One thing I’m certain of is that I’m not anyone’s preferred body type, so that’s just depressing.

But I’m not depressed, because little dude cured me with a belly laugh, a ten minute long, I can’t breathe, I’m going to die belly laugh. And that’s why I need a partner, or a regular date, someone who can make me laugh and will give me a hug and break those bad moods, it just takes too much effort to do it on my own.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Are You Stupid Cupid?

My wicked nails are making me feel vicious. I want to claw and screetch like a feral cat or one of Lada Gaga’s little monsters. Color is important, color once kept me from the brink. When the worst thing that ever happened to me happened, my emotions were tangible. I had a molten, fiery, howling mass that put me closer to the chasm than I’d ever been. I was hyper, I think because if I stopped moving, a part of me knew it would take root and I’d literally die, or turn to stone or wouldn't be able to stop screaming, ever, and I'd already done my share of screaming. I do think that people can die of grief. I don’t like loss, and now I live too much in fear of it. Without knowing what I was doing, I sought color. I was up into the wee hours painting rooms bright and cheery colors, I took up quilting and was manically shopping fabric stores and flipping through quilting books and laying out patterns on the floor. Maybe when things get really bad, our subconscious takes over, or will to live kicks in, that primal will and does what it needs to do and deep down inside, what ever a soul is, my soul needs color, is affected by color. Color is something you can’t fake.

Maybe I’ve made a pessimistic choice with these new nails, these metaphorical nails, but damn, this is how I feel, any other color would feel false and I’d rip them off. Tread upon, pissed, defensive, foresaken by my adopted home, my state, who’s flag I’ve rolled up and put in a drawer. There are female politicians at the state house, fighting for paid maternity leave, which is well and good, but equals a few months pay out of one’s life, who’s fighting the real fight, that affects women’s income for the rest of their lives? Don’t even get me going on the Social Security rules.

I went for lymphedema therapy this morning and my therapist asked how I was and I hissed at her and showed her my claws and she said, “oh yeah, you’re so scary.” People who don’t know me often find me scary, something I’ve never understood, but people who know me, surely don’t. Annoying perhaps, scary, not so much.

Last night I finally did it. I filled out an okcupid profile and in under 24-hours, I’ve learned a lot. There is a species of man, I’d rather know nothing more about that will send a generic email starting with “hello angel”, or “hey gorgeous lady”. I’m all for terms of endearment, I long for terms of endearment, but I feel those need to be formed based on the individual person and relationship involved. There are profiles where men refer repeatedly to “ladies” not “women”. I too use the word lady at times, but there’s something condescending about the use here. Oh, I’m such a nitpicker.

Okcupid asks question after question, most are too black and white to answer adequately, such as are you serious or carefree, I’d say I’m a mixture of both at different times, but neither word adequately defines me, or really, anyone else. Life is complicated, we’re talking divorced dads here, you’d have to be an idiot or in denial to be solely carefree and serious, is, well, too seriousl. Some questions are relevant. Do you think evolution or creationism should be taught in school or both? Do you think abortion should be legal? Which is worse, burning the flag of your country or books? Those are just no brainers for me. I’ve never burnt a flag, but I’d say that burning a flag is a form of protest and that flags are merely symbolic, where burning a book is intolerant, ignorant and fearful. While an athiest, I’m not opposed to anyone that goes to church, that signifies to me that they may be community-oriented, or nostalgic about their upbringing, but I’m suspicious of people that define themselves as simply “christian”, and if they define themselves as “christian and it’s very important to me” well then if you’ve read my profile, you know that we are basically incompatible. I have christians in my life that I know, love and respect, but yeah, they’re the minority. Therefore, I’ve only heard from men who are christians, don’t like to talk about politics, and are looking for that “special lady”. One was a gun-toting, christian from Kentucky who does not take kindly to flag burning, and is “socially conservative”, what the fuck? I also learned that most men don't like "overly logical people", shucks, they don't bother me none.

I know, give it time, but it makes me feel so snarky, I don’t know, maybe it’s the Wicked. I sent two brief messages, one said “I really like that movie too”, it’s a movie that I love and I’ve lately discovered is most definitely not universally beloved and another said “I’m a local artisan too, and also have a gallery, albeit teeny tiny, where I sell other people’s work”. Haven’t heard from either of them. Although, deep down, I don’t really want to, I’m not over the ick factor in all of this yet.

I want someone to just walk in my door, kiss me three times on the lips, because I’m OCD about that, kisses come in threes, turn around and leave. That’s really all I want for now, to get me through the next few weeks or months. I need something unexpected, surprising, sweet. Something to make me want to wash off this wicked and go back to my blue sky days.

I got a beautiful, happy thing in the mail yesterday, something I really wanted, but it just doesn’t have me walking on air the way it should. I had the little doodling, movie maker apply for a summer arts scholarship from the Providence Performing Arts Center, our swanky downtown theater, to help pay for summer arts camp and his beloved program was on the list of acceptable possibilities. Many pages to fill out and after several tries, we successfully burned a DVD of three animations and sent it in. Yesterday he got a letter, the letter I wanted more for the confidence, self-esteem boost than the money, that he’d won a scholarship. There’s going to be presentation ceremony at the theater, I hope he’ll be excited by that. It says to invite all your friends to come watch, I’m going to, because he feels a connection to many of my friends and I think they’ll be happy to cheer my sweet thing on and I don’t ask for much. He’s so, so used to his brother winning things, it’s about time he gets a fancy certificate of his own. He doesn’t know yet because yesterday night he was at his dads, hence the wits end, ok cupid foray.

We have a nice after school afternoon planned, starting with a visit to our favorite Corgi and then an exhibit downtown of prints made by one of his fairy-art parents. I hope it’s a fine adventure, I need the black veil to lift, I need to get through a day without going back to bed.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Thus far, and it's only Wednesday, it’s been a week of a thousand small cuts, paper cuts, pin pricks. On Monday I got divorced, baked muffins and cooked dinner. Tuesday morning I spent an hour and a half waiting for my car to be serviced. No complaints there, I take my Toyota to the luxe dealer with the clean, comfortable waiting area for service, and as I’m still under warranty, it’s free and painless. I had my laptop with me and got a lot of work done. I can tolerate that Kelly and Michael in the background but when Kathie Lee and her partner-on-crime come on, it’s just hurts my whole self, my head, my soul, I just don’t understand how people can watch these two. Inane, annoying, screetchy, they are a parody of what some people think women should be, I just don’t get it. But hey, they’re a hell of a lot more popular than I am, and better paid too, so who am I to talk? I find them offensive. Offensively stupid, offensively trite, offensively coiffed, but again, who am I?

I drove back to town in my ship-shape automobile and felt so, so tired. I almost went for a manicure, because my beloved blue, blue, blue sky day, light blue nails were driving me crazy, I felt as though they no longer represented my mood, myself, my anything. Colors are important, I drove by the nail salon, but didn’t even have the energy to go in, I just wanted to sleep, so I crawled back into bed at 11:30 and slept until school pick up time at 2:30. I could have slept all day. Little boy thinks I should dye my hair pink again, "be pinkalicious," but I'm not feeling it.

This morning I started the day by slitting my index finger open, not a deep wound, but one of those awful, horizontal flappy cuts that was just deep enough. I had three antique bell jars on my dining room table that I light votives in. They looked a bit dusty so I lifted them up with a finger in each and placed them in my other hand to carry, not realizing that one had broken, until it bit me, slit me. I was met with an inability to coagulate which after fearing I had leukemia or some other dreadful thing that keeps you from clotting, I realized that I’ve added baby aspirin to my daily handful of supplements which interferes with coagulation. I could only get it to stop bleeding temporarily with a bandaid with a snug rubber band around it, which got me to school and back, but I bled profusely for three hours, yuck.

I had an appointment scheduled with my primary care doctor at 10:30, to test drive my new health insurance, so I bled on over and she didn’t think I needed stitches, which is good cause she doesn't do stitches, she said to keep pressure on it until it finally stopped, which thanks to tighter bandaid, it has. I went to the doctor primarily to load up on prescriptions, because Medicaid pays for certain over-the-counter meds. I can fill scripts for Claritin, Pseudoephedrine, expensive allergy eye drops, ibuprofin, and I am in need of goody bag items. I’m a taker not a maker and I’m getting over my discomfort with this Medicaid thing. I have paid taxes my whole life, well until this year because I’m too poor, god knows my exhorbitant property taxes don’t get me much, our public schools suck, my street doesn’t get plowed and Providence is one giant pothole, so I’m loading up my goody bag with free drugs, you just never freaking know when you might need a decongestant. I went in with a list, but I forgot the vitamins, vitamin D was on the approved list, I’ll have to go back for more because for once in my life I don’t have a co-payment. I do thoroughly believe there should be universal insurance for all, socialist scum that I am. There’s something perverse about my ability to get quality insurance, only because I can’t afford it. For the first time ever, the benefits booklet is readable and clear and people call me to make sure I understand everything and encourage me to take advantage of my benefits, and when I call with a question, someone answers. Way to go Federal Government. Thank you Affordable Care Act, fuck you self-serving, stingy, war-mongering, weapons instead of social services spending Republicans.

I asked the doc to peek in my ears to confirm they are fine and dandy despite the diving, yet passed on the opportunity to have a bone density scan or my cholesterol checked, I’m just over medical tests. Over. I can’t really make any more lifestyle changes, so if my cholesterol is high and my bones aren’t dense, so be it, least of my worries. After that I went to the studio but didn’t do any work, not a spec, just couldn’t clear my head. I checked my email, and my ex’s response to me letting him know I wanted to go away the first week of August off was to let me know that he was going away the first week of August. So I finally went for my mani/pedi which was only a pedi and a polish change because I can’t bend my index finger. I was aiming for dark, sparkly gray to suit my mood, but it wasn’t dark enough, and I'm not feeling sparkly, so I went with “wicked” which is a red/black. Black with an sinister red hue, perfect. Look out, something wicked this way comes and it’s me. My wicked self walked up to the kitchen store with my saran wrapped toes and bought a teapot with infuser, larger than the one I have now which is perfect, and then on the way out, saw matching little cups a la chinese restaurant, so I got those too for a proper tea party, if only with myself. A wicked tea party. Hello goody-bag.

Monday, March 17, 2014


My kid’s aren’t Irish, but you couldn’t look or be more like a leprechaun than my youngest. So much so, that he has been a very convincing leprechaun for many halloweens, random times in between, and has declared himself Irish. He say’s if you can choose your religion, you can choose your identity, and he identifies as Irish. In these days of LGBT awareness, I agree, he can identify however he pleases.

I have friends over, his fairy-art-parents, to be exact, who are happily doing St. Patrick’s day arts and craft projects in the dining room while I cook my version of an irish dinner. Corned beef, naturally, roasted crunchy potatoes and cabbage lightly sauteed with onions and garlic.

All the while my free-floating anxiety is rooting to the point where I snuck upstairs for a clonazapam and am sipping ginger tea to try to settle my stomach. I’d be this way regardless, so at least I’m hearing happy sounds from the other room instead of television or computer games and will soon have a holiday themed front door. I have to be in family court at 9a.m. I can feel a black-cloaked shadow stalking me and tomorrow, bright and early I’ll be laying my head on the chopping block, because the laws of my state are not, in my humble opinion, fair or just.

It’s a long time coming, yet my feelings of being untethered have been increasing. Life is too damned complicated not to partner up, I feel quite completely alone and on my own. After 20+ years of marriage, jointly paying my spouses undergraduate debt, supporting him financially and logistically through law school at the expense of my own educational advancement, and years of a dual income household, and then staying home to raise the kids, both because we both wanted me to and because it was cheaper than childcare, I am according to my state, not an equity partner in his career. In Massachusetts I surely would be, receiving 30% of his pay for life. I am not even receiving that now, with two kids at home. Unlike in Massachusetts, the working father has no obligations to pay for college, even though his high income counts against our kids in terms of financial aid. According to the State of Rhode Island, in 7 years, at 57 years old, there is a salary out there waiting for me that is comparable to my attorney husband's, despite having few marketable skills and 57-year old women who have been out of the workforce are not high up on the hiring food chain. His first lawyer suggested I work at McDonalds, sorry, that’s not happening.

He and I had a mediated agreement, but after my illness, I didn’t sign it fast enough, and so he retained a lawyer and decided to offer me a fraction of the mediated settlement. When one party lawyers up, the other has to as well, and so I have been forced to spend $10,000 to get back to our mediated agreement, more or less... a tad less actually. He doesn’t even have to pay my lawyers fees when I never wanted a lawyer to begin with. It’s all revolting. I depleted my business account and don't know if I can pay my studio rent through the summer and fall, the quiet seasons.

I recently qualified for Medicaid, I’m only masquerading as middle class at this point and it’s going to get worse. I’m really afraid, I’m waking in the middle of the night in cold sweats. It’s a terrible feeling not to be able to support yourself, when you feel like you've worked really hard your whole life... just at the wrong things. I worked at my marriage, but I was the only one. At the moment with everything I’ve been through, the last thing I want to be doing is working some shit job 24/7 for minimum wage, I’m not going to do it, so I’ve really got to get creative. I want to go to Honduras, to Costa Rica, I want to take Jonah on his dream trip to Rome and London because that would be my dream trip too.

It’s a new day, 11:52 a.m. and I had my proverbial day in court, I am now carrying my head around in a bowling ball bag, the mani/pedi place was closed and my favorite café has discontinued my favorite tea.

It’s very strange how you go through this court event with a gallery full of, whoever the heck happens, or wants to be there, although I don’t think anyone is enjoying being there. The wife of the couple who went first looked like one of the real housewives of beverly hills. Cat slit eye’s from a bad facelift and swollen lips, many times disproportionate to her face. They’d been married about 25 years and despite her coif and makeup and clingy dress, she looked 20 years older than me and she was probably only a few. Plastic surgery seems counter productive. She got $750,000 in cash, near $6,000 a month, health insurance, country club membership and a few other amenities for the rest of her life. I felt like a little bug under a rock.

My husband’s lawyer is the biggest prick (probably with the littlest prick) I have ever met. He just goes out of his way to be a mean-spirited douchebag every chance he gets. He added all kinds of language to our agreement about parenting skills and obligations, which yes, apply to my husband as well, but as I’m the custodial parent with far, far, far greater time with the kids, I found that odd and condescending. Then, while on the stand, the customary language is to ask the person if the marriage is broken due to different life goals, different interests and breakdown of communication. But this jerk off throws in “differing parenting philosophies", which to his credit, my husband said, “uh, no”. So he did this on his own, if nothing else, I know that my now ex, respects and appreciates my parenting. That guy should really take a shower along with everyone who comes in contact with him. I want to kick that guy in the leg and watch him fall down and whimper.

To add insult to injury, his lawyer also didn’t just say we have two children, he said “is it correct that there were two children born of this marriage?” To which there was a “yes” and a serrated knife lodged in my sternum and twisted, it's as if he knew and he probably did, he's just that awful. When I went up, I said that out of respect I needed to clarify that there were three children born of this marriage with one of them being deceased, and in her wrap up, the judge made that clear and that’s the only thing I have appreciated about her.

I was supposed to say that the agreement was fair, but I said that “within the context and confines of the laws of my state, I accept that this is considered fair.” I know, I should’ve been the lawyer.

I left the courthouse and unceremoniously dropped in an a friend, what the hell to you do after you get divorced? She was on the way out, so I ate a banana and left. I went to the mani/pedi place, which was a big deal because it wasn’t discount Wednesday, but it was closed. So I went to my favorite café and learned they’d discontinued my favorite tea. So now I’m sitting in my studio typing this, in the cold, because I forgot to turn the heat on when I left on Saturday, but the heat is too damned loud to have on when you’re here.

Maybe I’ll get a little work done, maybe I won’t. I want to get home in time to bake banana chocolate chip muffins so that when J and the little monday homework club we’ve got going, gets there, they’ll be happy, and I need to be around happy. And J will say “you’re the best mom” and I could stand to hear that right about now. 24 years, blink, snap, gone.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Cake Trance

I got blindsided last night. My kids were at their dads and all of a sudden the quiet house had me climbing the walls and I sought solace in the freezer. Not long ago, at the grocery store I was lured in by the Entenmanns buy one, get one free sale. I bought the boys donuts and then bought a chocolate cake to slip into the freezer, so that in a spontaneous moment when one of them said “let's get cake”, I could tell them, we have cake, yay.

I was suspicious of my motives the minute I put that thing in my grocery cart but I did it anyway. I’ve been so good at resisting lately, but I guess my defenses were already wearning thin. Last night I ate almost a whole cake. I didn’t even enjoy it, I don’t know what I was doing or why, I think I was trying to feel something, I went into a cake trance. I avoid alcohol because it’s a toxin, it’s hard on your body, but I suspect a glass of wine would have been far healthier to a whole cake. My stomach grumbled all night which was nothing compared to my guilt and self-loathing. This afternoon I passed out for four hours on the couch and when I woke up, I thought it was Saturday and I was late for work. I think my blood sugar is still out of whack and I know that our insulin response systems are linked with cancer. I should not be abusing sugar this way, I really think I might be better off with alcohol in moderation.

My two week, post trip healing time is concluding, thus next week, I’ll force myself back to the gym. My knee is almost healed, my cartoon jellyfish stings turned the corner last night and started to fade rather than brighten, my spine is settling back into place and so I’ll work on my strength at the gym in preparation for my next trip, in preparation for every day. Simultaneously, I'll get focused at the studio and try to get myself some income, because there's a really gorgeous backpack I want for traveling. I don't even have a laptop sleeve so last trip I had my most precious possession wrapped in a towel, shoved into my raggedy, ten year old, clearance sale backpack. All of a sudden, it seems like it would be nice to have a few new things. I've trained myself not to even think about having things beyond necessities, but a sharp backpack would be nice. I was admiring someone's Timbuk2 sleeve, so I went on-line and they have a swell backpack and you can choose your own colors and panels for each part, how fun is that? I don't know why I spent an hour designing a backpack I'd never spend $200 on. Damn, I should have bought myself more things when I was married and there was disposable income, I should have participated more freely in the disposing of the income, I was so fucking responsible and considerate. Just a few quality essentials would be nice, I'm getting increasingly raggedy, everything I have is getting a tad too old and worn. I also should have insisted on home maintenance because as the new sole homeowner, I'm way behind the 8-ball as far as upkeep is concerned.

Once the weather starts to turn, It’s for me. I don’t know how I’ll get through the profiles, the descriptions, I might have to ask friends to do it. I don’t know how I’d describe myself at all, that has to be the worst possible task. Although, can I survive hearing how other's would describe me? Ewwww, is all I can say, but I think I have to shuffle forward. Maybe I should have a margarita and hook me up party, if my friends hold a gun to my head and help, maybe I’ll actually do it. Thus far, I’ve not even looked at a single site, but putting a condom in my wallet as a declaration to the universe that I was looking hasn’t worked, it seems I need to be more proactive. And definitively, definitely, no more cake.