17 August 2011

Date With Myself

Now, now, don’t get the wrong idea here.

With the end of married life as I once knew it nearing a year in rearview, I decided it’s time to get myself together. Get together with none other than myself.

That means - now that the shock, disbelief, horror and misery of drop-the-bomb-divorce are wearing off – I can enjoy my own company again. And I’m pretty darn fun!

A restorative getaway always helps put tragedy into perspective. Peace, calm, quiet, love, lobster and ice cream. That’s about all I need to get my bearings again. And real family members who never ever give up on me like my divorce family did.

It’s really sweet and savory to love your own good company.

14 August 2011

Booked This Date

By no means traditional (I have a belly-button pierce and toe rings!), I’d still be hard-pressed to ask someone out on a date. I’m shy that way. But in this case I could not let the opportunity pass me by. I guess when you really want something you make the effort…right?

I wanted a date with this author. Forget Hollywood celebs, forget professional sports figures…the real heroes of this world are authors. Authors spread knowledge. And after reading Happily Ever After Divorce by Jessica Bram, I knew I simply had to meet her…so I did not hesitate to ask her out.

Some people balk at e-mail when you want to get to know someone, but if you know anything about me, you know I loathe phone calls. (Really, it’s just hard to hear on my tiny cell phone.) So I wrote Jessica an e-mail and she answered! The first sign of a promising date is they communicate, and make time for you.

We agreed to meet at a bookstore cafĂ© (perfect!) for coffee. She was as upbeat and as interesting as her book and blog. As memoirs often do, Happily Ever After Divorce filled all kinds of gaps in my own story. After all, what’s life without the human experience and someone to relate to?

Happily Ever After Divorce is matter-of-fact and not fru-fru, with just the right dose of reality, humor and bravery. Yes, bravery. It takes insurmountable courage and strength to raise 3 kids on your own, while fending off legal bullets. We had common ground (also known as chemistry in the dating world). Jessica has some inspiring stories, ranging from dating disasters to home fix-it fiascos to travel tales. All told in a way that helped me realize that although divorce – or “re-singled” as she would rather call it - is a harrowing experience, the world keeps right on spinning, and at some point, you need to jump back on. And you’d be amazed at how high you can jump.

Writing is a GIFT to the world. By sharing her story with candor, Jessica risked letting others into her reality. Now she has a successful business conducting creative writing workshops and helping others pen their amazing stories.

Asking her out on a date was…worth every word.

12 August 2011

Delayed Date

It’s not often that a date comes calling 20 years later. But I guess I made an impression.

In 1991 or so, we went on a Rock Climbing Date. Imagine the trust involved on a first date, to let a guy strap me into a harness and dangle me by a thread from a very, very tall cliff. Before I got banged around by life, it was much easier to let go with blind trust and reckless abandon. What I remember most about that Date is how sore my fingers were afterwards…I never knew I had that many muscles in my fingers! That stayed with me.

Thanks to the infinite power of reconnecting technologies, Rock Climbing Date tracked me down. He casually mentioned he had something for me, something he’d been carrying around for 20 years or so, waiting for the chance to give it to me. I was intrigued.

We live 3000 miles apart, but I just happened to be passing through his neighborhood. I texted him and within 20 minutes, he appeared, bearing the mysterious, old gift. He walked into the bagel shop practically hidden by the gift he was holding.

It was a big, framed photo of me scaling that cliff, oh-so-long-ago, in practically a different lifetime, when everything was new and nothing was scary, and I was invincible. It was me, with a slightly younger face, in the same body, smiling triumphantly while clinging onto that rock-faced cliff for dear life.

I’m not the huggy-huggy type at all, but I sprung out of my chair to envelop Rock Climbing Date in a spontaneous squeezy hug, framed photo and all, for his incredible long-term thoughtfulness.

I’m still smiling triumphantly, while clinging on for dear life. And now I have the picture to prove it.

10 August 2011

Double DS on Wheels

A bad date can be like buying a used car. Haggling, pressure and cheesy are a few adjectives that spring to mind. I think I’d even rather subject myself to a used car salesman than submit to another woeful date.

So, that’s what I did. Except this was no ordinary used car deal. First, the salespeople, who happen to be excellent, casually mentioned they were selling a used Vespa. What?!?! I have only wanted a Vespa for the last 20 years. Talk about delayed gratification. 
Woo hoo!
And now that I’m swingle, it’s time to ditch the minivan. Besides being anything but a date magnet, the minivan is not mini, and sends an invalid message. ‘I love carpools!’ ‘My kids leave lollipops stuck to the upholstery!’ ‘I can’t stop listening to Schoolhouse Rock songs!’

And it didn’t help that I had the “family of five” silhouette sticker on the mini’s rear window – Dad, Mom, kid 1, kid 2 and kid 3 all holding hands. Without delay I peeled Dad off. Now I have an off-center decal with a single Mom dragging 3 kids in tow, while being chased by phantom leftover eyes and a stray belly button. If only life were that simple.

I still have the van for those select dates where a bus-like vehicle is required. But the Vespa is way cool! I can ride it in a dress and sandals. There’s a little hook for my single-lady bag of groceries. It uses about 1/70th of the minivan’s gas, which will save me approximately $3,000 a year...if I did the math correctly.

I promised I wouldn’t do any DSing while driving. Most of you parents will know exactly what DSing is. And for those who don’t, consider DSing a video form of Dating Suburban. That could be dangerous.

It’s cute and shiny. It’s zippy and classy. It’s hip and fun to ride. Kinda like me.

03 August 2011

Anniversary Date?

Since I won’t be celebrating my wedding anniversary any more, I need a new date to celebrate. Even though I don’t live in Europe (yet), I’ll look for any excuse for a holiday, fiesta or long weekend. Plus, what better way to pave over an unpleasant memory than to create a new, happier one?

I got the idea after going out to dinner with my parents for their 48th anniversary. Yes, some people actually do make it that long. With a dash of commitment, a sprinkle of collaboration and lots of communication it is actually possible to stay married. Marriage - otherwise known as the Endless Date. (Our dinner at Caiola’s was so utterly delish; I sure wish that date was endless.)

So I’m trying to decide whether to celebrate August 18th 2010, the day I discovered my wasbund had been secretly plotting for years with his female entourage on how to end our marriage, OR October 20th, 2011, the date my divorce will hopefully become final.

Divorce Freedom from oppression is both an ending and a beginning. Unlike so many turning points in life which lean one way or the other, divorce straddles a line. The untimely and gruesome death of hoped-for happiness and a relationship filled with sweet promise gone sour – coupled with the renewal, optimism and power for ensuring the second half of my life won’t repeat the same mistakes as the first, and will be truly authentic.

Please VOTE on my new anniversary date, as well as what I should call it. You may leave a “comment” at the bottom of this post with your recommendation.

Date? (this means an annual party, which you will be invited to!):
·         August 18, 2010 or October 20, 2011

Name for the occasion?
·         Re-Singled anniversary
·         Back to Reality anniversary
·         Renewal anniversary (like a good library book!)
·         Headstart to Happiness anniversary
·         Reawakening anniversary
·         Freedom anniversary
·         Second Chance anniversary
·         …something else?

As always, dear readers, I love your input. So let me know what YOU think, and I”ll let you know what we collectively decide!

In any event…HAPPY, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY…and many more!

01 August 2011

Getting Married Again

I am not opposed to getting married again. After all, humans are destined to repeat our mistakes until we get it right.

I told my kids if I get married again – it will be to one of two people: Mr Cocoa or Lemony Snicket.

For those who don’t know, Mr Cocoa is the funniest, cleverest, most eccentric elementary school teacher I’ve ever known.

Lemony Snicket, author of A Series of Unfortunate Events, is the funniest, cleverest, most eccentric author I’ve ever not known. Personally, that is.

What’s that you say, I can’t marry a fictional character?

Aren't ideal husbands fictional?