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.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fresh Fruit

When you have cancer, you meet a lot of other people with cancer and which can be both lifesaver and a double-edged sword. I have met people who are angry and bitter and who ask, why? why? and my heart goes out to them, but I can’t be around them for long. I have met people who’s grace, and attitude blows my mind. People who I might not see again, but think about every day. And there are people I know who have heard the words that I most fear hearing, but who’s eyes are still bright and who live, live every day under such duress. My heart aches and breaks and yet is enriched by these people for whom I can’t find adjectives apt, descriptions worthy.

I'm working on a group project, trying to get something organized, and I know that I'm really pissing people off, I can tell I'm being perceived as bossy and intransigent, and while I care about that, I don't really care about that. Actually caring about it, would make me upset and while I didn't used to have control over that, for some reason, now I do, and I am choosing not to dwell. I know I'll get the job done and I know my instincts are spot on, and I don't have the patience to waste time on handholding and apologizing for myself. I simply accept that my group/people skills are not up to other peoples standards, but I also know that I get things done, and am very generous with my time. I know that this project will be successful, I'll get absolutely no credit for it, and the people involved will like me a bit less and resent me a bit more, all while benefiting from my work, and it just doesn't bother me. I know that all sounds terribly arrogant, but the last thing I am is arrogant or confident, so for me, I think this is a good thing. Is it a post-cancer thing? Post-50 thing, post-divorce thing? Beats me, but it's definitely a change for me, especially that I'm choosing not to over think it, feel bad about it, or most importantly, am unwilling to apologize for myself. I am more sick and tired of apologizing for myself while letting other people walk all over me, I am just done with that. I am no longer inviting criticism, or accepting it, because we could all criticize each other to death and I've always had some weird, vulnerability and openness, that invites people to feel safe criticizing me. It's all perception, who's right and who's wrong, who stepped on who's toes, and I'm finally going to choose to go with my perception. I'm not on a self-improvement kick, I'm not on a need-everyone-to like me kick, I'm on a get it done, live my life on my own terms kick. Oh my god, it's scuba power. It's magic turtle healing power. Oh, people, don't mess with me, I think those days are done.

I visited a friend at chemo today and brought her some food and tea, she offered me money, puhleeze, that is a preposterous notion. Then I thought of all the people who brought me tea and food and I too offered them money, no one ever took me up on the offer either. I would have been happy to pay anyone back, cancer doesn’t mean you get free muffins on demand, but I think if anyone had taken my money I’d have been a little hurt which really isn’t fair, but would have been true, nonetheless.

There are two main hospitals for treating women’s cancer in Providence, Miriam Hospital and Woman & Infants. My oncologist practices at both, but I chose to be treated at Miriam because it’s about eight blocks from my house, so for the first half of my year-long odyssey, I could walk to and from, and if I ever needed a ride, there were peeps in my hood I could call on. Currently, however, post chemo, I go to W&I because they have a great outpatient support center for cancer rehab. I don’t know how it’s funded, but bless it’s little heart, I get free PT, lymphodema therapy and can get subsidized, high quality, acupuncture for $35. These services share a floor of an out-building with the Infusion Center, which is a nice term for the chemo ward. They just moved in to new space and it’s beautiful. Every time I go for PT, which is often, I spend a perverse amount of time trying to decide if I got cancer, would I return to Miriam and my beloved nurses and the convient locale, or would I go to W&I because the chairs are nicer and the bays are so much roomier and the new decor is lovely and the heat works. I agonize over this decision, until I realize how insane it is, the worst, worst possible use of my time, my thought time. I’m not planning on getting cancer again and if I do, the least of my worries will be where to be treated and certainly, most certainly, that bridge can be crossed should it smack me across the face, not a minute sooner. Still, I do this over and over again before I realize my madness, dope slap myself, and stop it. I always figure, I can't leave my beloved nurses, but today on my visit, I discovered fresh fruit and real food in the fridge which might be the ultimate game changer, I would have sold my soul for fresh fruit on a whim during chemo. Clearly I got cancer two years too soon, just like I had kids before they had electric swings and super cute clothes. My swing had to be cranked up every 10 minutes and that would usually wake the baby, as would the swing running out of juice. New moms can now put their babies in a perpetual swing and nap along with them, oh the bliss.

I’ve been writing compulsively as is evidenced by my daily posts. I don’t know why I’m doing it, long winter? habit? need? Don’t know, so I’m just going with the flow. I am exhausted, but have manic mental energy that wants to be scuba diving, but can’t so my brain is babbling here instead. It’s frustrating how badly I want to be somewhere else, doing something else, and how much I don’t want to be doing what I need to be doing. Oh messy house, messy studio, disastrous business, home improvements, paperwork, dormant gym membership, I want nothing to do with you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Rice Krispies

I’m always wondering why and how Rice Krispies cement themselves to the side of the cereal bowl if left standing for only a few minutes. If you leave them standing significantly longer, they’re near impossible to hack off. I wonder if it’s the starch in the rice turning to glue, I can only hope my son’s and any other Rice Krispy eater’s digestive systems are significantly moist to keep the little critters from adhering internally. One of the small mysteries of life. I wonder why no one has captalized on the bonding power of Rice Krispies, I mean, they’ll come out of the dishwasher in tact, and one with the bowl.

I signed my divorce papers this morning, it was surprisingly banal and anticlimatic. I’m not looking forward to our coming day in court next Monday. That’s where I’ll have to say “yes” when I’m asked if I accept this agreement as fair and just, because I don’t, but also know there’s nothing I can do about it. And really, it's just sad, all of it. I'm sad my kids don't have an intact family, I'm sad I don't have a life partner, I'm sad it all was the way it was.

I’ve been so sleepy all week and my fellow sea lice surviror say’s he’s been unusually tired all week. We’re wondering if we have lingering jellyfish toxin floating around our systems. Then again, maybe we just don’t get enough sleep. My partner-in-crime’s stings have gone away, mine are morphing from bright red bump to bright red splotch. I was so grossed out by the thought of jellyfish larvae stinging me, that a friend suggested I just imagine them as teeny-tiny little jellyfish, so I am. I imagine swimming with adorable, little cartoon jellyfish and it’s not so bad.

All I can think about is getting on a plane. I almost feel frantic about it. I want to jump in the water and swim away. At the same time, I’ve had a lovely week. I got a lot of work done, many things checked off my to-do list, the kids are still happy to see me, I’m planning little dude’s birthday celebration and talking graduation parties with the tall one. Life is good, I don’t know why I want to swim away.

My photo shoot went well although afterwards I noticed my hair was kind of frizzy and the photographer looked all of 16-years-old, despite his R.I.T. pedigree. He was very sweet, but I wonder if he would have told me if I was slouching or had food in my teeth. We took headshots and working shots, yeah, I pretended to be working, I should have put my glasses on, it was all kind of odd and uncomfortable, yet thoroughly forgettable and survivable. I hope I wind up looking nice, I hope I like the article, I hope I can read about myself without breaking out in hives or vomiting. Maybe a nice, divorced dad, and scuba diver will see my picture in the magazine, fall in love with me from reading my blog and invite me on a tropical vacation. A girl can dream, right? Especially since I’m days away from being an official divorcee.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Fan Dance

Oh, small victories, I bask in your glory. It’s been almost 24 hours, but I am still bathed in the warm glow of the finished social studies project. Not only is it complete, no blood was shed, and it’s easy to transport. Yesterday, I felt like the genius of the ages for my 7th grade abilities, I’m drifting back to reality, but still pleased-as-punch. I eased the staircase idea into a spiral staircase, and then just a spiral, which wound up more like a circular fan, but the boy was pleased and content and went off to bigger, better things, which will show up on YouTube, no doubt. It was as simple as this... I had a stack of 5”x7” pieces of sturdy white cardboard at the studio, for a packaging idea that never came to fruition. I took a stack and drilled small holes in the lower left corner. Boy had his timeline in a document, each entry, the requisite four sentences. We formatted it to be 5” wide, printed it, cut out each paragraph and glue sticked each one onto a card. Then he printed out corresponding pictures and as I glued them under the words, he drew a colorful border around each one, assembly line style, then we strung them onto a wire and fanned them out into a circle. We were going to separate each card with a bead, creating height, hence, staircase, but he was happy with the fan and that kept me from stability issues. Not only that, I focused, I put my distracted thoughts and computer tasks aside, ignored the laundry and the dishes, and focused on boy. We talked about the civil rights movement, we talked about the project, we had fun.

He wasn’t happy with the fan I brought him back from Mexico, it was not “masculine” enough. Laugh, go ahead, but as I was rifling through the assortment of fans, I was, in fact, looking for the most masculine, but since the previous fan, white with multicolored sequins and red, lacy stitching is his heart’s content, to what baseline for masculine should I refer? The white fan was for me, but he co-opted it immediately. Boy loves the white fan, he can flip it open with an inperceptible twitch, which I’ve yet to master, so I thought he’d enjoy a fan for each hand, double happiness. Every night before bed, he’s up to fan-flicking antics, so I picked out a black fan with red sequins, none of the blue sequined fans folded properly, so I settled on red (ok, I admit, they might be more magenta than red).

Boy has given up singing It’s Raining Men, in favor of the Let It Go song from Frozen, but he’s still whistling the theme from the Good, the Bad and the Ugly throughout the day, he's obsessed with that tune. One song morphs into another, as it does, I think for all of us. He went on a field trip, an accidental field trip it turns out, to see Oliver at Trinity Rep. We used to watch the movie all the time, I love that movie, love those songs, so he's been singing those as well. Who will buy this wonderful moment, such a sky, you never did see, who will tie it up with a ribbon and put it in a box for me? Apparently, Mr. Zen’s other class was supposed to go on the trip, but J got a permission slip by accident, so they let him go. I don’t know why only one class got to go, over another, but I’m glad he snuck in. He always seems to be in the wrong class, the class that doesn’t go. Unlike his brother, the perpetually chosen.

Something got me really agitated the other day, really annoyed, upset, and I wasn’t sure what to do with myself, didn’t want to start calling friends to vent, I had that manic, pissed off energy, but didn’t want to get in deeper and Let It Go popped into my head, and so I let it go. I swear, song works. I enjoyed Frozen because many of the recent kids movies have given me a headache or put me to sleep, but in pondering, it’s still no Lion King, or Jungle Book, or Toy Story, although damn, that Let it Go sequence despite the 5 seconds that pisses me off, yes, it’s the exagerrated hip swagger near the end, is sublime. I actually watch it on my computer occassionally, it makes me feel better. I love the colors in that scene.

The tall one is horrified when I do this, so I keep the volume down. What a change between before and after... trip, that is. I was near strangling that one before I left and since I’ve returned, he’s nothing but charming. I get compliments on my food, he’s not pestering me to make him lunch, he’s helping with things without emitting sounds of torture and misery. Last night he talked me in to watching a movie with him and he let me pick, and then, he started telling me how alike we are. That stemmed from neither of us wanting to see Gravity, even though everyone tells us how great it is. He says it would just make him anxious to which I say “I know, I just don’t see the point of making my heart race for two hours.” We agree, and we don’t like scary movies either, but he went on to say that we are intellectually similar, we think alike, and all that. Make a mama cry. I suspect we think quite differently, but as he’s impressed with his intellect, considering me, goofy, clumsy, gullible me his intellectual equal, or attributing his intellect as coming from me, is quite the compliment. I often focus on our differences, because we really are very different, and have had extraordinarily different childhoods and experiences thus far. Our first 18 years, and our personality types could not be more different. But in certain ways, we do have similarities and for all our differences and arguments, we have a  beautiful bond, all the more sweet and humorous for such differences. There are certainly some mother/son things we share, and to have him acknowledge that and be proud of it, well, pretty priceless, because otherwise, dude is a handful. I think spring is going to be spectacular. We’re going to have a graduation party, a big, giant lawn party, the 50th bday party I didn’t have, the done with treatment, still alive party I didn’t have, I can put all that into a graduation party for my son, my beautiful, first baby I ever held, son, who is on his way to a great life, I just know it.

A friend the other day wrote that as far as she understood it, I was now out of the woods. Maybe I should let people believe that, but I told her the stats, that no, I’m not out of the woods. Triple Negative Disease, as they call it, is a whole different animal from the other breast cancers, the one’s most are familiar with. I told her that in the first five years after treatment I have a 30% chance of recurrence and any recurrence will kill me within months because of the aggressive, invasive nature of this particular cancer. For all the talk of awareness, for all the ribbons, most people don’t understand that every cancer is different, very different, I certainly didn’t, until it happened to me and I became a professional patient. I am about a year and a half out and this year and next are my highest risk years, after five years, my risk drops significantly. Come on five, roll a five, give me a five, hell, give me 10 or 20.

That’s why the scuba diving is so important. Diving makes me feel invincible, powerful, and gets me to plan ahead, something I’m otherwise afraid to do. My obsession, my addiction, causes me to start planning my next trip while still on a trip, and that is a good thing. I have to outwit, outsmart, out badass this cancer. I have to be in a mental place where if any cell dares replicate abnormally, my bad ass, motherfucker, kick ass, don’t mess with me immune system nips it in the bud, rolls right on over it, mows it down, crushes it like a wee little bug. I have to feel invincible, because that will make me invincible, and that’s what diving does. And the joy of seeing my boy graduate and move on to bigger and better things, to watch him on the cusp of adulthood gives me power, so this spring will be my season of joy and power and masculine mexican fans, for which I will gladly continue my search.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Stairway to Hell

My younger son, the not for much longer, small one, although his scrawniness will continue to make him seem smaller than he is, is either getting sick or getting hormonal. Everything has him near tears, even cute animal videos, in fact, he is able to produce an impressive single tear that slowly runs down his face. Baz-zing, arrow through the heart, that is one powerful saline droplet. He’s lamenting that he’s not great at anything the way his brother is at sports because tall one is bouncing a pilates ball against the wall, while tossing a baseball up in the air, despite the 18 years of me asking him not to throw balls in the house. He’s a ball thrower, he was born a ball thrower, he will die a ball thrower, I just want the ball throwing to be elsewhere, especially at 9p.m. To the small sad one, I tried to explain the whole practicing thing, and the sticking with it thing, and the not giving up, and quitting thing, for which he has a propensity after a single bad day or lesson. Suddenly, he’s decided he would like to play the trumpet, playing the trumpet would be "cool". Oh, why not a nice, affordable acting class? I don’t want to pay monthly to rent an instrument that ultimately, will gather dust... we rented a clarinet for so long, we own it, it’s rotting in a closet. The tall one had an affinity, but no desire. I wonder if that skinny, little body has enough air in it to blow a horn. I know he is musical, and that I should pursue this. I can easily picture him playing the trumpet and hell, he didn't pick the tuba, I'm grateful for that.

There is a special place in hell for the “big projects” assigned in school. The one’s that are supposed to be “creative” and done at home. J has to do a time-line of the events in the civil rights movement, 32(ish) entries, but it can’t be in a linear time line, it has to be done in an “unusual” format. Oy! I mention a flip book “someone’s already doing that”, a scrap book, “someone’s already doing that”, I mention this and that, and either someone is already doing it or it’s “stupid”. To no avail can I explain that two flip books would not be the same, they would each have their maker's originality. My son, I learn, has come up with the idea of a staircase. He has 32(ish) large pieces of poster board cut up and taped together with other lopsided, folded pieces, laying in a heap. Each entry will be large, containing pictures and 4(ish) sentences, I'm not listening all that well. I can’t think of any way to engineer this. How the hell would I get this long, flimsy thing to stand up like stairs, he thinks it’s easy, will just require a few pieces of tape, tape has always served him well, but ultimately, it’s my job, because I’m the one who makes things work, I’m the problem solver. I don’t have a clue. I finally admit, that, “honey, this just isn’t possible, I have no idea, just no idea how to do this.” Goodbye sanity, he insists it must be done because the teacher already approved his idea. Wait a minute, rewind... the teacher listened to this hairbrained proposal and said go for it? Thanks a lot Teacher X. Isn’t your job to weed out and refine the ideas so that they’re possible? Does he assume the child’s parent is a structural engineer? And because this project is approved and my child can be OCD(ish) he’s hysterical, because in his mind, there’s no turning back now, if I fail him on the staircase, all is lost. Oh misery cloud, why doth thou hover over my house at bedtime? We went out for chinese, a lovely early dinner. We had such a nice time, I was relaxed and content, that might as well have been years ago. I’m a terrible, terrible parent because I can’t conjure a staircase-shaped timeline and by the way, the stairs are supposed to go up and then down again. Dad’s a hero because he took him out for Chinese last week, I just suck. Come to think of it, why didn’t this get done at dad’s last week while I was away? And if dad is supposed to take the kids for a week twice a year so I can go on vacation, how come I have to make up the days and he’s in the midst of a 10 day stretch sans offspring himself? Do I point that out, tell him my week didn’t count because I just made up for it? Paid him back the time? He actually goes a week without the kids every other week by his own choice, yet it seems like such a big deal for me to want and have a week, to travel, to catch up on work, or just be. I feel guilty even wanting one, but parenting is a job like any other, it’s the job I applied for and the job I love, but everyone needs days off. I think you either need an in tact family to share the work, ideal of course, or 50/50 parenting split, or someone drowns. I feel like in mediation we could have discussed this stuff, each left with a deeper understanding of the others needs and points of view, but there’s no place for that in the realm of lawyers, you pay a lot more, and get a lot less. But that, I think, is exactly why he didn’t want to go back to mediation, he didn’t want to hear, what he didn’t want to hear. Mediators talk about ethics and fairness and responsibility, lawyers talk about what you can get away with.

Older brother actually chipped in on the brainstorming of the project of doom in a helpful way, whig is quite unusual and greatly appreciated, small miracle accompanies misery cloud, but I am still cursing teacher in my mind, in my soul, my whole inner self is shaking angry fists at the teacher. We came up with a new cuckoo idea which involves an electric drill, lots of carboard and rubberbands, a pole, a base, and behold, the weekend awaits.

Oh vacation, were you only a week ago? Yes, I’m still in a much better place, but I’m slammed at work, and well, stuff. I saw my lawyer today to go over the final divorce papers and I was asking advice about how to get more time, and how was I supposed to be financially self-sufficient when I’m so busy with the kids, this same redundant question. He said he really didn’t know, that the letter of the law was against me. He told me it was an unusual case because usually the dad’s are fighting for more access to the kids, not less. He said he was really surprised by my husband’s lack of desire to spend more time with his children, it’s usually the opposite these days. He could request more time and the courts would order it, but the court can’t order him to have more time if he doesn't want it. I had a hard time parting with the kids at first, but it’s been a few years now and I’m drowning sufficiently in the day to day that the only solution I see is for the kids to spend more time with their father, but that doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen which is a shame for everyone. J had a good time being at his dad’s while I was gone, they built some momentum, but momentum has to be sustained and I see it circling the drain already.

I salute you, single mothers everywhere, I don’t know how you do it. And those of you with extended family, relatives who take the kids on trips, or overnights, all of those whose children have involved grandparents, aunts and uncles, god-parents, whatever, I envy you, boy oh boy, do I envy you. Those people are freaking necessary, indeed, it takes a village, takes a whole town, city, all of it. Somewhere along the way, I played my cards wrong because I am on my own, seriously, really, on my own.

Come the advent of spring and a more hospitable environment, I have to summon the courage to start exploring and the like. I have to stop assuming that a relationship makes life harder, ideally, it should make life, if not easier, more fun. There’s got to be a nice, divorced dad, scuba diver out there somewhere and hell, he doesn’t even have to be local, we can meet up in Mexico.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


My back is killing me from the airplane seats, or from the weight of the air tanks, don’t care. My gouged knee is still oozing, don’t care. My left leg is covered in red, sea lice bites, don’t care. I’m reset, recharged, thank you Mexico, thank you sea turtles, thank you cenote, thank you friend willing to travel with me. Just in case you were wildly curious about sea lice...we were entirely unaware of their presence, or them biting us until later. The bites don’t hurt, barely itch and show themselves latently. I’ve been sprouting new red bumps since last week and they aren’t fading one bit, mysterious little things. They must travel in clumps, or schools, or teeny, tiny herds becaue both my friend and I got clusters of bites in just one place, for me, it’s my right thigh, curious, indeed.

I’m slammed with work, I have the kids nonstop, quid pro quo, to make up for my trip which is making my schedule crazy, don’t care. I have newfound calm, focus, patience and determination. Ha, determination to get back in the water, and of course, to make some money, so I can do that.

I did something quite frightening before I left, it’s been my little secret, I’m terrible at keeping secrets, I read the beginning of a book first, then the end, then the middle, I love spoilers, especially if they’re pronounced as if by River Song “spoilers, darling”, sorry, that’s a Doctor Who reference, my child has corrupted me, I’m quoting Doctor Who. Anyway, I’ve kept this secret for quite a few weeks now, I did something scary and I did it because I was asked to, and I think it’s necessary to do the things that scare us. I hesitated, I thought “me?” why would they want to do that with “me”? That self-esteem thing, that’s from childhood, many, many years of what I shall not describe, as that would be a book in itself, but those feelings of worthlessness, inadequacy, I have battled them since I recognized them, and well, maybe I’m finally winning (and please don’t say that like Charlie Sheen), because someone asked to interview me for a story about my blog. Someone from a glossy magazine who found me all on her own and emailed me out of the clear blue sky. So I did it. I met with a woman, a writer and yakked and gabbed for an hour, doubt I said anything profound, but she said it was great and she had tons to use and my heart beat double fast for a few hours afterwards, but I survived. Came home to an email, yesterday, however, requesting a photo shoot. Whaaaaaa? Of course I said fine, I’m not turning back now, but yikes, I haven’t worn makeup in years. I can’t imagine putting on mascara, it seems absurd and so I won’t, especially because I have few eyelashes, or brows for that matter. Some hair grows back, some doesn’t. My pubic hair is rather in the shape of a donut which is far preferable to looking pre-pubescent, in my humble opinion. I don’t get that fully-waxed thing, I think it’s kind of gross. I’m all for good grooming, but do we really want to look like little girls?

I digress, photo shoot... likely just a quick shot, head shot... maybe buy some blush at CVS? Hope my hair is long enough to pull back without barrettes? I don’t like having my picture taken and I’m not photogenic, but I’m doing it because it’s scary and I’m 50 and fuck it. I wear the same baggy skirt and sweater every day... what should I wear and do I wear my own jewelry? I never wear my own jewelry, but maybe I should, maybe someone will see it and want to buy it and then I can make lots of money and go live underwater. I like my friend's jewelry better, I wear that. I love my AG Ambroult, Erica Walker, DA Metals. And what if someone does want to buy my jewelry, my website is years out of date. I'll worry about that later.

The tall one is laughing about having “gotten away” with his party. “Bullshit”, I say, “you got away with nothing, I let you get away with it because I have a sense of humor”. I have to remind him that he ran into his father at the grocery store while picking up supplies, for crying out loud, giving himself away before he even got going. His father, ultimately, stopped by twice to make sure they were under control, so that’s not exactly pulling a fast one. I let him know that I would have noticed things were out of place, and surely the condition of the toilets were a dead give away. Even the bath mats showed how many people came through, they are in the washing machine this very minute. I’m gullible, but I’m not stupid. He’s determined to gloat, I don’t know why, and I’m determined that he not gloat, and did I mention the fridge full of Red Bull? I’d never had a Red Bull so I tried one and it’s got to be one of the vilest things I’ve ever tasted. I guess the point is to counteract the alcohol induced grogginess with the buzz of caffeine, but I wonder, doesn’t that just cancel the whole thing out?

Little dude was happy to see me, although, he appears, finally, to have bonded with his father’s apartment and enjoyed his long stretch there. I know this is a good thing, I know this is the best thing, I’ve been doing my best to facilitate this thing, I know this is in his best interest, everyone’s best interest and I know this enables me to travel more, but it still stings a little bit, because I’ve been his one and only for so long and I’ve probably never been anyone’s one and only before. Little critter is turning 13 at the end of the month, I can hardly believe it. I’ll need to stop calling him, the small one.

I’m learning how to play this frequent flier/airline credit card game and I’ve racked up quite a few pints this way. I’m trying to figure out how to use the credits for hotels and cars as well as air travel, because I want to do a four day trip down to the Florida keys in April or May. I’m an addict, I need a fix. I'm going with a friend of mine I've pestered sufficiently. She's an outstanding illustrator who draws many undersea creatures and critters and I think it's going to blow her mind to look some of her subjects right in the eye. I'm a little obsessed with watching her have that experience, so I've coerced her into getting certified and coming to Florida where I can corrupt her sufficiently.

I’m befuddled over standardized testing. I got little one’s NECAP test scores, that’s our version of the beast. He did fine, but when I was looking at the numbers I realized that you had to get very, very few correct answers to be “proficient”. Only slightly more than outright guessing would get you, because the scores are scaled. That seems both crazy and disturbing, If they’re going to scale them, then really, what is the point? You can be “highly proficient” by getting half the answers wrong as long as everyone else did too. I hang my head, I’m past ranting and raving, I’ve been dealing with crappy public schools for so long. I guess they wear us down with so many absurdities until we don’t know in which direction to point our ire and we just go along. So I’m just going along, I have too many other things to do, I know, that’s how they win, but you can only bitch and fight so much. Maybe it's best not to look in the backpacks after all.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Let's Party

Not only was I fetched promptly at the airport, but was greeted with big, genuine hug and grin from tall one who knew to get out and take care of my luggage and was quite proud to show me my shiny clean car, both inside and out. He didn’t stop talking the whole way home, told me all about his week and eased with skillful precision into the details of the party he threw at our house while I was gone.

I was impressed. Every teenager should throw a party while their parent is out of town, what I’ve never heard of before is the exacting, thorough precautions he took so that nothing would go wrong. He admitted to pretty much being a nervous wreck the whole time, but that it was worth it. I think it was worth it too, I like seeing him do a little planning and preparation. He and his close friends packed up what they considered breakable items and stowed them in the basement. They cleared both attic rooms, packing things in boxes and putting them in closets. I needed to organize and purge up there anyway, so this is only a small inconvenience. They went outside to check noise levels, they parked around the block to avert the neighbors suspicion, although the closed blinds and curtains might have been a giveaway they didn’t conider. My room, my desk area, and his brother’s room were off limits, there was no evidence left from the girl that puked, praise the gods of hardwood flooring. Yes there was drinking, but there were designated drivers, a concept that seems firmly ingrained in the culture of his generation, there is always a DD. There were also a bunch that slept over. When I was growing up, there was no such thing. The house was as clean as I left it and the only evidence was the refrigerator full of soda and red bull. I’ve never had a red bull, I think I’ll try a sip later, just to know what it tastes like, and well, I am a bit fatigued. What I lack in memory, and mathmatics ability, I have in olifactory senses. One step into the attic rooms and I said “ah, your guests were enjoying a taste of the ganja.” He didn’t even attempt to cover, for which I am ever so grateful because implausable denial has been his modus operandi and it pushes my buttons. I have experienced dishonesty enough to last me a lifetime, I dislike it above all else. He smiled and said “yep.” And while I am aware that he drank with the senior counselors at camp last year and occasionally drinks at parties, with a tase for Jack Daniels over beer, blech, he’d denied ever trying the cannibis, so I appreciated his honesty. He said he’s smoked it a few times and enjoys it and as long as he’s not driving, that’s fine by me. He seems acutely aware of partying responsibly, I doubt he even inhales, and knowing him as I do, knowing his boundary-oriented nature, I am confident in his judgement in this regard.

My party throwing boy was quite impressed with himself and counterintuitively, I am too. We went for dinner and chatted up a storm, he wanted to hear all about my trip and unlike the last time, even wanted to see the pictures. I had one last margarita at dinner and from here on in, I’m back on the green wagon. I hope he is impressed with his bad ass, cave diving mama.

I wonder if I’ll hear from any parents, letting me know my son had a party while I was gone. The parent code is a tricky thing.

Today, I will attempt to decompress my spine from it's time in dreadful airline seats, start my laundry marathon, grocery shop, first and foremost for catfood before they attack me. They were well fed when I was gone, down to the very last morsel in the bag, so they’ve been stalking me since my return, looking for food.

Little boy will stay at his father’s tonight and I’ll see him after school tomorrow, although we have exchanged emoticons. I’m trying not to be overwhelmed by all the things I have to do this week. I could use another week sans kids to catch up, but maybe I just have to accept there’s really no such thing as being caught up because life is a rolling loop, there is no done, until we’re done, and that’s what we’re all trying to avoid. Roll with it, just got to learn to roll with it. Maybe it’s not the minutia and the clutter that’s my problem, but my panic over them. Roll with it, yep, got to roll with it. It is what it is, what it is, what it is.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Laughing Out Loud

Bleary eyed, sitting in the Baltimore/Washington airport waiting for my flight home and I really wish I could say I was looking forward to it. I used to have a really hard time being away from home for more than a few days, I’d need to get back to base, but HQ is feeling less a place of comfort and more a place that is stiffling. Clutter, literal and emotional, the minutia of day-to-day life, the overwhelming details and responsibilities and the lack of time and resources. Things have to change. I’m tired of hearing myself say that.

I never thought I could be away from my kids for a week and not ache for them, but I don’t. I’m embarrased to say that, but I am acutely aware of the absence of that ache which has been a constant for so many years. I feel guilty. Maybe this is how you feel after you’ve been a parent for 18 years. It goes by in a flash, but it really is a long time, a long haul. It’s been the joy of my life, but it’s worn me down, it’s all worn me down. That’s my fault, I let it wear me out because I don’t have balance, I’m not a natural creator of balance. I’m feeling in need of change despite all the change that’s happened in the last few years. I want to move, but I know that’s more than I can take on and I know it’s not the right thing for the boys, but I’m ready for a new space, a new start.

I had a glorious trip. The weather was perfect and warm, breezy and tropical. My TC (travelling companion) makes me laugh. I wonder why I don’t laugh so freely in my day-to-day life. I have been aware of the absence of genuine laughter in my life, but I realized it more spending a week just laughing out loud at every little thing. Maybe it’s the comfort of being with someone I’ve known for 30 years and who knows and accepts me on every level. I don’t censor myself, I’m not worried about being politically correct, or looking like an idiot, I can just laugh, and I suppose we’d not have been friends for so long if we weren’t simpatico on an essential level.

And for me, who lived alone for far longer than I actually lived alone, the ability to have physical ease with someone is profound for me. We are lifelong, plutonic friends, but I can lay my head on his shoulders or hold his hand with comfort, a comfort I didn’t have after decades of marriage. This continues to break my heart. This will always break my heart, and the knowledge that there are no do-overs, no going back, no deposit, no return.

The only salve for which seems the most unlikely... scuba diving, really, who the hell would’ve thought? When I’m under the water, weightless, flying, gliding, my mind is clear. I am in the present like I’ve never experienced in my life, and I’m thrilled, elated, at peace. My only thoughts are “don’t end, don’t end”. I want to leave the group and just keep going and going and going, just swim away. We did a wall dive and maxed out at 92’. I would have gone deeper, but I’d already gone further than I was supposed to and the dive master was waving at me to come up. At one point we got to an endless sandy plain. Blank stretch of sand for as far as the eye could see and with my fabulous prescription mask (only $35 extra), I can see far. It reminded me of the vastness and the curious beauty of the great salt flats in Utah. I wanted to swim straight out forever, but I had to stay within the general range of the dive master. If I were on my own, I don’t think I could restrain myself.

I’m a worrier, I worry the kids will be in auto accidents, I worry about my health, I worry where little dude will go to high school and what he would do without me, I worry about finances, and above all else, I worry about being on time. It’s the one thing I’m really OCD about. I can’t stand the thought of keeping anyone waiting, or being left behind, so I’m always early and always rushing, always trying to keep up and not get lost. Underwater, I don’t care, you’d think that’s where I’d care most, yet I am so absorbed in my own experience, I lose the group and I don’t panic. I just slowly 360º until I see bubbles in the distance and then I don’t rush over, I go at my leisure, at my bliss, no fear, no worries.

I’m claustrophobic, I sleep with my door open, I don’t like elevators, but I dove through a Cenote, a series of underground caves and pools, some tunnels are quite narrow and dark and I loved it. We surfaced in a covered pool at one point that was a bat cave. We could see clusters of sleeping bats all over the domed ceiling and walls, and bats darting about the cave. There was a narrow tunnel with light beaming in where the bats come and go from. Apparently, snakes like to hang out there and snack on the bats on route. It was incredible. The Yucatan peninsula is without rivers, all the water flows underground, visible only through the Cenotes.

I’m bothered by my overall weakness on land. On our first excursioun, I shakily, yet successfully stepped from the dock to the boat, from the boat to the seat, but when I stepped from the seat to the floor, I suppose because of my neuropathy, the nerve damage from chemo and my brain not sending and receiving the correct messages, when I stepped to the floor, the swaying, non-grounded floor of the boat, my leg crumbled under me like a potato chip. It’s as if my brain didn’t get a signal that I’d touched solid ground. This has happened before on boats and I’m realizing it’s more than clumsiness, it’s as it the floor of a boat doesn’t count as solid ground as far as my brain is concerned, this is something I must keep in mind from here on in. I wiped out right in front of the other people and badly skinned my knee, bloody, yucky mess and embarrassing. All the muscles in my thigh clenched up, when I fell and it made walking for the rest of the trip difficult and painful which made the water, all the more glorious. It bothers me that I am the only one that can’t get my gear on or off on my own. I’m without adequate strength and flexibility, despite all my gym trips. It’s hard to need help, hard to ask for it and hard to accept it, and hard to have no choice. I was proud though, that despite getting into and out of the water, I am seamless. I learned so many new skills, have a better understanding and control over my buoyancy and the ability to equalize. There are, sometimes, folks who can’t do the second dives because they can’t get their ears to clear or they’re uncomfortable. Not me, if consecutive diving weren’t limited because of the nitrogen that builds up in your blood and would kill you, I’d go again and again and again.

It’s so thrilling to be learning something new and getting better and better at it. I haven’t done many dives, but I can comfortably say I’m not a beginner anymore, I have declared myself intermediate, and I have confidence now, I’m positive I can do it again. When I first learned to dive last August, I told my teacher that I had no desire to do deep dives or caves, or wrecks, I wasn’t a thrill seeker. I’m still not a thrill seeker because thrill, I think, entails some fear, and I have no fear. I don’t know why, but dunk me under water and my fear-based life evaporates and it’s glorious. I could never have predicted this, I don’t usually like to get wet except for in the shower.

My plane is running late, apparently the first officer encountered a sinkhole on the highway and they’re trying to round up another first officer. Last week G was running late getting my car home and I needed it at a specific time, so he called and told me he was going to be 15 minutes late (translate to 30 minutes late) because there was a big, dead dog in the street, a really big dog. I asked if he was the one who hit the dog, “no”. Are you trying to help the dog? “no”, “Well then why does driving around a dead dog take 30 minutes?” I bet that same dog ate his homework too, I bet that’s dog's been eating various homework for years. Points for originality, but I’d stick with traffic jam, if I were him. Of course, then I would tell him he should plan for traffic when I need my car at a specific time for a specific reason and he’d find me unbearable as he so often seems to.

We met a 61-year old woman, travelling with her daughter and son-in-law. She was spunky and told me she had no plans to age gracefully. Why the heck should she? Her husband had died only four months ago. Cancer diagnosis to death in five weeks. A rare form of ductal liver carcinoma (no ribbon for that, sorry). Her daughter and son-in-law took her on this trip because they thought she needed it and they were right. She said she'd only been married for seven years but her time with him was the best of her life and she had no regrets. Better to have loved and lost... She said he was fun, gregarious and adventurous and they travelled and scuba dived together. I think he’d be really proud of her and really happy she was going for a dive, you honor people by living.

We met a lovely young robotics engineer from Sweden, 31-years old and about to be married and then embarking on a two month honeymoon to Fiji, New Zealand, all sorts of fabulous places. I think he will be a lovely husband.

We met a sweet man from Texas who liked to dive while his wife went to the casinos and spas while they travelled. We met several men who’s wives were at the spa, but that status was always delivered with affection and sweetness that comes with real partnership. I’m all for the spa, but given the choice, I’m putting on weights and sinking. I have a hard time spending money I know I don’t really have, so can’t really justify the spa, but I can justify the diving because it’s just too, too good. Everyone I met travels a lot which makes me wonder where I’ve been.

Waiting on the plane that is running late, late, late, but I have a nice comfy spot at the gate and a tall iced tea, so I’m all set.

Woosh, finally in the air. I’ll be so impressed if the tall one is really there to pick me up as we agreed. He gets my car for the week as long as I get ground transport and he stops by the house to feed the cats every day. Last trip I took a $40 cabride home and the cats were pissed.

I have high hopes. I hope when I walk into my house I’ll feel happy. I hope I’ll be happy to be home. I hope I get big hugs and my heart will soften, I hope I will discover my nerves have been soothed. I hope I can get my business resurrected and my bills paid. I hope I’ll be happy and not depressed when my divorce is final in a few weeks. I hope I won’t miss the Margarita’s too much or the warm breeze and freedom from reality. I hope I can pull off another trip, maybe four days in the Florida Keys by early spring.