Small Joys

The holidays are finally over; I can only say I am grateful.  I found myself tearful, often.  In fact, more often than not, I found myself stepping out of the room so I could have a good cry.  How badly does that simply suck?  I wrote a different post for today, I decided I would post it tomorrow, today are my holiday stories.

Small stories of things that didn’t suck.  Stories proving the world will continue to spin and I won’t fall off, there are good people in it.

My favorite store in the entire world (other than DSW and Neiman Marcus Outlet) is Central Market.  I drive nearly twenty miles out of my way to shop at Central Market because it makes me happy.  This day 686px-FlowerShop_ShangHaiStreet_HKsolidified my love forever.  It was the day after DB took flight and I was feeling battered, barely hanging by my fingernails and certainly not up for pleasant banter.  I wanted fresh flowers to brighten my dismal mood and my dull table.  Wandering aimlessly, I picked from the individual bins when a woman slightly younger than me asked if she could assist, apparently she didn’t notice the storm cloud over my head.  She persisted though, silly girl, asking again if she could help and suddenly out of my mouth came the stupidest thing, “No, you can’t help me.  My husband of fourteen years left yesterday without a word, without good-bye or fuck you and all I want is some stupid flowers because nobody else will ever buy them for me again!”  I stared at her dumbfounded by my inability to act in a socially acceptable manner; she stared at me likely for the same reason, really who does that?  I found myself crying in front of a perfect stranger in the middle of Central Market.  With compassion and kindness, Maryam squeezed my arm, helped me make a beautiful bouquet and talked to me.  When I was done, when I made my way to the checkout stand with my groceries and my flowers she walked over and told the checker, “The flowers are on Central Market today”.

So I cried twice.  I hugged her for her kindness and reminding me there are lovely and compassionate people in the world.  Two days later I wrote a letter to Central Market telling them how much her gesture, her kindness and her empathy meant to me.  Yesterday, I saw her again and told her in person while we made another beautiful bouquet.

Other things that don’t suck, my children and their partners, my Wife-in-Law, my grandchildren and the family of my daughter-in-law all of whom made this holiday season bearable and sometimes even joyful.  Friends who have reached out to me throughout this season with short notes and telephone calls, just to check in and see if I was okay, friends here in my virtual world leaving me their e-mail address and talking to me, letting me know I wasn’t as alone as I felt.  You all just can’t imagine how much that means; when I see your notes, my spirit is lifted.

Another story from the holiday season, because family stories are important.  I spent Christmas Eve and morning at the home of youngest son and his marvelous partner, they are truly perfectly matched, the love that fills their home, between them and her children is addictive.  My wife-in-law was also visiting from Seattle (I adore her) and so Christmas was a happy time, despite the bittersweet undertones; she

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is going through her own challenge with her marriage also falling apart around her head, her husband notifying her on the very same day as mine of his intention to end their 30 year partnership (assclown).  Needless to say, she and I were challenged in our joy, but she and I were with the sons we loved, were also with each other and oddly, both take great pleasure in our company.  So between Moscow Mules, a perfect Mexican feast cooked by our children, watching our grandson open presents and planning for a future without our husbands there was laughter to be had.  I suggested my much-loved WIF come live with me; I find I have a significant amount of room now.  For some reason our sons find this idea ‘strange’, their mothers living together; she and I laughed uproariously at their discomfort!

Christmas morning found me awake long before the rest of the household, the first pot of coffee long gone before anyone else stumbled out of bed.  Wrapped in flannel and love, awaiting the arrival of two little girls and one more round of gift-wrap madness we spent our morning quietly chatting over a superlative breakfast cooked by my son (who knew).

Christmas day found the WIF and me at the home of my eldest sons in-laws; this is something of a tradition for the big holidays.  I am so grateful for the invitation and how I have been embraced by this large and loving family, it is a gift.  Theirs is a blended family that has blurred the lines by love, it is spectacular to witness and each time I am invited to their home I am awestruck by the immensity of their love, compassion, humor and this time their empathy.  It never surprises me why my son loves his wife; she comes from a family that understands commitment and love.  It never surprises me why I use to tell him he needed to marry her or I was keeping her when I see her with her family.

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This time though, well it was a bit overwhelming and I was brought to tears.  This, this was what I had wanted for myself.  This love, this commitment; this is what I wanted for me.  This is what I failed to build and this failure tore at my heart.  At one point during the celebrations I found myself walking outside simply to cry, just a moment of pure alone tears but it wasn’t to be because these are kind and loving people.  One of them saw me walking away and followed, without a word just followed and with a touch; a simple hug let me know I wasn’t alone, then with a bit of humor pulled me out of  my black cloud and back into the loving embrace of family.  I am so grateful to her for her empathy.

So those are my Christmas stories 2013.

Choosing Alone

fourwallsI am at a loss; how I am supposed to move through a life I hadn’t planned for and hadn’t intended on living.  I feel adrift and I do not like it, not a single bit.  In fact, I cannot find a single thing I like about this aloneness, not the lonely I expected the lonely and though it horrifies me, I expected it.  It isn’t that, not at all.

It is the aloneness.

It is also my fault.  Entirely and utterly my fault, I have no one to blame but me.  I knew it was happening, I screamed about it.  I fought it, but not hard enough.  This aloneness, this blank space in my life is me, it is all me, it is of my making; it is my agreement to terms and conditions which were unreasonable and hurtful.  I am now exactly where I didn’t want to be, isolated and alone.

I can’t blame him; all he did was demand I choose.  All he did was make me choose him over myself, my nature, my humanness.  All he did was force choices, him or the world, him or me.

Hell, he even made me hide.  Lie by omission simply to spread wings and touch the world beyond the world he wanted to live in, a world of only him and I.  A world so constricted it suffocated me.

Did you know I always chose him?  Even when he thought I chose otherwise I chose him.  My retreat from the world, from friends and even family was because he demanded a choice, because he didn’t need friends only “me”.  He didn’t understand though in making this demand of me, in demanding my isolation from the world he killed something essential inside of me, he was slowly destroying me.  The very thing he said he loved, my mind, my heart, my soul he was killing off each time he demanded a choice.

Now, because I couldn’t slice enough of me away to satisfy him, he is gone and I am left with this gapping aloneness.  Empty rooms, an empty bed, a silent phone; because he is gone but I made choices not to expand, not to reach out.

He has returned to the bosom of his large family who I am certain have welcomed him with open arms and hearts.

He has left me with this chasm of aloneness, of my making because I always chose him.

All I asked let me have something small something that was only me but even that was more than he could bear.  Let me write, let me have the virtual world at least there I can spread my mind and my wings, create a community that would not be a threat to his vision of ‘us’.

That was too much to ask, too big of a threat.  We fought even about this small piece of the world, this community; he could not let me peacefully have even this without comment or intimidation.

So now, here we are apart.  He is where he always said he would be if I made him unhappy.  I am where he always said I would be if I made him unhappy.

The difference, the problem?

He chose for both of us, all along he chose and now he is where he will never be alone and I am so very alone I am frightened.

Half a Lifetime

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI promise, you and me, I will not be maudlin through this time of rediscovery.  I might now and then be some of the following:

  • Pissed right off
  • Sad
  • Scared to death
  • Okay, even a small bit maudlin

However, I promise, you and me, I will not allow this change in my circumstances to take over my blog or my life.  Perhaps this is not quite the truth, this change will indeed take over my life it is in fact my new normal and thus instead of being part of a twosome my life is different, I will join the millions of women over 50 who are living alone, by choice or otherwise.

Things you and I should know about me as I begin this journey toward my new normal.  Things that are incredibly difficult to admit.

I have truly been in a long-term partnered relationship or married my entire adult life.

When I read that statement, it sends shivers up my spine.  The sad truth is, I do not know how to be alone, I have always had someone in my life.  I have always been the ‘other half’.  Usually, I have been the half that takes care of things, cleans up messes and ultimately is left holding the bag.

How strange, how very strange.

Since I was fifteen (15) years old, I have not really been alone.  Not really been on my own to determine and decide my own fate without having to consider how my choices might affect others, some of those others have been spouses, while others have simply been those who claimed the title (Texas is funny like that).  In some cases and through my own choice, I remained legally bound to a man with whom I did not share a bed, did not enjoy congress yet continued to shared a roof; I did this so his children would be provided normalcy.  My ‘husbands’ and other partners, in a nutshell;

  1. Beat the hell out of me, nearly killed me more than once and destroyed my ego – 3 years.
  2. Saved me from myself but could not convince me to love him or me – 5 years.
  3. Simply was a stopgap measure to convince myself and others I could marry ‘normal’ – 3 years.
  4. An addict and more, who hid his crimes from everyone far too well, robbed me of money, time and much more; gave me my sons, so I can forgive him all the rest – 14 years
  5. Dearly Beloved, yes he is still this despite it all, the last sixteen (16) years I have given him everything there was in me to give.  I withheld what he told me to withhold, each time he said to me, “I don’t want anything from you”; I withheld a little more if myself.  I honestly thought he was the one I would grow old beside  – 16 years

That is forty-one (41) years of my life in those five (5) men; I am fifty-six (56) years old.  Those five men represent more than half of my life.  Since I was fifteen years old, I have been entangled.  I have usually met the next man before I am fully untangled from all the legal wrangling of the previous relationship; I haven’t stopped to think how vulnerable I might be.

Now to the rest of what I wanted to say about not being maudlin and wanting a new normal.  DB and I separated once before during our marriage in 2010.  That separation was for 6 months, it was hard and he was the one to leave that time also.  Though to hear him tell it he left because I asked him the following:

“If you are so unhappy, why are you still here?”

His answer was to leave.  That six months was hard, it was sad, it was miserable in truth; but, by the end I had gotten to happy, gotten to a new normal where I was starting to enjoy life and my independence.  I should have known when he wanted to come back while refusing marriage counseling and refusing to acknowledge the core issues between us, it was not going to get better.

I have a friend of thirty-five years who says at heart I am a romantic.  I suspect she is right.  I wanted desperately for his, “I love you”, to be the truth without strings.  It wasn’t, it never has been.  But I wanted it and I put my blinders firmly in place and reminded myself of the vows I took, when I flung the door open wide and let my husband back into the home and the marriage he so firmly rejected once already.


My new tattoo, as of yesterday. Yes, Victorious and yes my high-heeled combat boots were the model!

I knew, even then while I held that door open there would be an end somewhere in the future.  I had tasted independence and gotten to happy and it felt light and wonderful.  Don’t misunderstand me, being loved is also wonderful, I want to be loved someday in the future before that happens though I want to try living for me for once in my life.

I have a few more choices to make before too very long.  Choices on where I live.  Choices on how and where I work.

These will wait for a few weeks at least.  For now, I will simply try sinking into the idea of the new normal and how to get through the day.

Yes, it hurts today.  Yes, it will likely hurt tomorrow.  It will not hurt forever though; I know this.  I suspect I will share some of this journey with those of you who want to ride along.  I promise you though I will not change course, I will continue to write about other things that interest me and hopefully you, I refuse to get to mawkish.

Empty Closets

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChoices sometimes are taken out of our hands, taken away from us entirely.  Yesterday I came home after a week away to an empty house.  I knew it was empty as soon as I opened the door, before I opened a closet or drawer, I knew I was alone in every real sense.  One choice taken away, one choice not mine anymore; one fight I no longer had to step into the ring for another round.

I wandered through the house, looking for at least a note a letter, something anything that would say to me; I have loved you for sixteen years but no more, I am leaving.  There was nothing.  No good-bye, farewell, nothing at all to mark the end of a marriage, the end of nearly twenty years.

How do you do that?

How do you not even say good-bye?

How the fuck do you hug your wife on Sunday and then pack all your shit and leave without a word?

Because I have friends and you don’t like it?

Because I called you a jackass when you acted like one?

Because I wanted your contribution to our lives and our home to be more than your presence?

Because, I pointed out to you what you were doing in trying to isolate me from friends and family was abusive?

You didn’t like my anger, especially when it focused on you.  You didn’t like the mirror and sometimes when it was held up you would retreat behind a wall of silence, for day’s even weeks until I would beg for a word.

You would win when I was finally on my knees begging, in tears for the silence to end.

How the fuck do you announce on Facebook you have returned to your mother, knowing I won’t see this announcement until after a five-hour drive, after coming into an empty house.

How do you do this?

How do you tell me the only thing you wanted was my time, when the truth was you wanted it on your terms and to the exclusion of anything and everything else in my life.  Your momentary lapses into kindness were just that lulls in the storm, a means to an end.  They lasted only long enough to give me a false sense of safety within our marriage; they were shorter and shorter after every outburst.

One choice out of my hands, you chose for me.  You crushed my spirit, broke my heart.  Never mind, I will survive this.  Maybe, I will be alone for the rest of my life as you say.  Maybe I will never be loved again, as you say.  Except, I will be surrounded by friends who love me and do not expect me to change to suit them.

I wish you hadn’t done this too me, to us.  I wish you had loved me, us and yourself enough.  I did.  I still do, I suspect this will hurt for a very long time.

Choices are Terrible

1343863240_3320_fearFear is a terrible thing.  The stories we tell ourselves of what will happen if we do or do not do certain things can spin out of control in our own heads.  If we have any imagination our internal stories can cause us too cower in corners refusing to take the steps we know in our hearts are right.

What do I fear?


  • Losing everything
  • Never working again
  • Being alone for the rest of my life
  • Never being loved again
  • Dying alone
  • Not achieving any of my dreams

What am I willing to sacrifice so this doesn’t happen?  Apparently everything at least that is how it feels right now, today as I face the nearly untenable return to work in a hostile environment leaving too much unsaid at home.  What is it in my personal psyche that will accept what is indefensible under any normal circumstance rather than take risks that are not grounded in facts.

Yes, some of them are grounded in personal  historical realities.

Yes, some of them are grounded in societal standards and those translate into well founded fears.

Finally, some are simply my own fears, my own personal insecurities built over years of hearing “not good enough”.

Somewhere, somehow there comes a time when it is important to separate what are unreasonable fears from what is simply the truth about choices we make and why we make them.  Is there a part of us that chooses jobs because we think, ‘this is something that makes sense and I can do this; be successful at this.’  Or, as we get older in a market that values youth and beauty do we think, ‘shit thank you Jesus, someone is willing to pay me now if I can only stay under the radar long enough to retire I will be good.’

I wonder about this one, I truly do.  After twenty plus years in an industry that is unkind at best to women, one that I have fought hard to succeed in I find myself on the cusp of antiquity.  I still love what I do. I badly want off the road, badly want to find a ‘forever’ home that will value hard won knowledge and my years of experience.  Truly want to find somewhere to rest myself, on the laurels I have earned through years and 3 million miles in the air.  I still have it in me to work hard and contribute to success.  I still have it in me to mentor and lead.  What I don’t have in me any longer is surviving in hostile environments in silence hoping it will be better tomorrow.  I just don’t have that in me, I simply can’t find the strength or wherewithal to hope next week or this week will be better than the last one when I know the same people will be there and nothing has been done to change their bad behavior.

hazardous-waste-symbolsThe idea of getting in my car and driving four hours to an environment that is so toxic it makes me want to weep or scream every single day makes me weep now.

Funny though, when the environment I am leaving is as toxic it is choosing between two rooms one full of Sarin the other full of Rican.  Which is worse?

Dying alone seems a better choice, it is simply a matter of telling myself this isn’t the worse that can happen.  Never being loved is a silly fiction, I know I am loved it is simply a matter of definitions, love comes as a gift in so many different packages.  Being alone, how much worse could it be than it is right now when I am more alone together than I have ever been.

Losing everything, now this is a terrible one.  Terrible because I have been here before and I am too old to start over again.  Terrible because it is a very real fear, not just one I made up in my over active imagination but one I have lived.  Terrible because it truly does scare the hell out of me and causes emotional and intellectual paralysis.

Love is a sometime horrible state of being, we hope beyond all reason what we love and whom we love will be good for us and that in turn we will be good for them.  We hope, rightly or wrongly we can fix what is broken in ourselves and that our baggage will match theirs so our travels are along the same roads.  We hope we speak the same language, from our hearts and our minds; both are important as we walk along paths no others have medium_diverging_paths-270x180tread dragging our histories behind us.

Sometimes we fail.  Sometimes, despite all our best intentions we fail miserably.  Sometimes there isn’t enough love to fix what is broken inside of us.  Compassion, empathy, humor, self-confidence these have to be part of the mix we bring.  When we try to force another person into a mold, whether it is an image we have of him or her or of how marriage should work we are doomed before we place our feet firmly on the path.  When  we have no flexibility in our personal views, in our vision of the world we have doomed ourselves to a very narrow future and we doom our partner to unhappiness if they don’t agree.

What am I willing to sacrifice?  Myself? My pride?

What happens when we don’t tell, or worse when we do but the other person doesn listen or doesn’t hear?

I have to answer these questions soon.  Choices are terrible things, aren’t they?

I leave you with this from one of my favorite Broadway shows, I think it says what we should all ultimately strive for.

Loving Day 2013

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

Judge Leon M. Bazile, Indictment for Felony

Image 1

Those infamous words were uttered from the bench on 6 January 1959 by that despicable and without redeeming qualities macaroon, Leon Bazile. The two people he was addressing were Mildred and Richard Loving a married couple, who had been charged with a felony under Virginia’s miscegenation laws, or, as they liked to call it The Racial Integrity Act of 1924.

What made Mildred and Richard special?

Mildred was of African-American and Native-American descent.

Mildred & Richard Loving

Mildred & Richard Loving

Richard was just a plain old American white boy, special cause he was pure don’t you know.

No one there ‘bouts in Central Point, Virginia where they had grown up, dated and fallen in love thought too much about their carousing. Apparently, this happened quite often, white boys sowing their oats and all. The problem was, when 18 year old Mildred became pregnant Richard wanted to do the right thing, not just do the right thing because there was a baby on the way, but because they honestly loved one another. Knowing there was no way to marry in Virginia, the two of them headed over to Washington, D.C. and married, in June of 1958. They returned to their home in Central Point and someone, not liking they were now co-habitating and oh no, they actually made it legal and all, so like all good white folks will do when purity is involved, well they complained to the sheriff.

From this point on, their life becomes hell. After they were found guilty by that asshat of a Judge, they received a one-year jail sentence that was suspended on the condition they leave Virginia for 25 years. Terrible for the young couple, not able to travel home together to see family, transplanted to the big city and unable to find work, plagued by money problems and lonely finally they wrote to then Attorney General Robert Kennedy. AG Kennedy passes their letter to ACLU and Attorney Bernard Cohen. From here history is made.

Richard greets his wife Mildred

Richard greets his wife Mildred

The Loving’s were simple people, simple in their desires and wants. They wanted to be married, raise their children in safety and in the embrace of their family. They wanted nothing more than to return to the small town in Virginia they had been raised, where they had met and fell in love. The Loving’s didn’t attend oral arguments, despite living in Washington. Their attorney asked Mr. Loving if there was anything he should say to the judges, any message he should deliver; in reply Mr. Loving said this,

“Mr. Cohen, tell the Court I love my wife, and it is just unfair that I can’t live with her in Virginia.”

His attorney delivered that message to the court.  This ultimately was the courts response.

Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.

Chief Justice Earl Warren, writing for the Unanimous Supreme Court of the United States

Happy Loving Day June 12, 1967

Forty-six years ago today the Supreme Court of the United States ruled anti-miscegenation laws violated both the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This ruling not only affected Virginia but all states that continued to carry these laws on their books.


It took nine long years, ultimately the Loving’s returned to their beloved Central Point. They didn’t intend to become activist, they only intended to be married and spend a lifetime loving each other, raising their children.

Mildred & Richard Loving

Mildred & Richard Loving

Their sacrifice changed history and created legal precedent. Their choice to fight for what was right swept away one piece of ignorance, it didn’t change hearts, it didn’t change minds but it prevented ignorant hearts and minds from legislating their petty ignorance.

Perhaps we can take a page from their book, remember their sacrifice and start sweeping some more petty ignorance off the table and out of the law books.

What say you?

Happy Loving Day June 12, 2013

Food for thought, without Loving -v- Virginia I could not have done this on 10-July-1999 and I certainly could not live in Texas while continuing to to do it.


Marriage Mudslides & Miracles

weddingvowsI DO

What do we really mean? Do we mean I will stand by you through thick and thin, good and bad, happy and sad times and everything in between? Do we mean no matter what, you are my choice out of all the others I might have chosen, even those who I haven’t met yet and who I might be tempted by in the future I will still choose you. Do we mean, even on those bad days when I don’t like you at all, when you are really an Azzhat, I will still love you and choose you over everyone else.

Is that what we mean when we say, I DO.

Marriage is rough; no matter how much time we spend trying to make certain we fit together we usually miss something. Sometimes it is the small stuff, you know stuff like he doesn’t replace the toilet paper when he uses the last of it or she squeezes the toothpaste from the middle. Sometimes it is stuff you can work through, stuff like she is a neat freak who thinks the bed must be made immediately upon arising or he is a slob who thinks the floor and the laundry basket are the same thing. Sometimes though it is stuff you thought you understood, you thought you talked about, you thought you understood about each other, maybe you forgot to ask or it just didn’t come up in conversation. Other times, well it is the stuff you talked about, just didn’t probe deeply enough; maybe something changed over the course of years, or maybe it didn’t change but in the rosy glow of ‘love’ you failed to hear what the other person really said.

Things like MONEY, RELIGION, FAMILY, FRIENDS. Yours, mine, ours and not so much.

What if you marry thinking the things you don’t ‘love’ or maybe even don’t like so much about your most beloved will change or worse yet that you will be able to change them. What if you fail to mention before the vows there aspects of your future spouse you wish were not part of their make-up, you like them just not their;

  • Smoking
  • Drinking, to excess
  • Tattoo(s)
  • Tendency toward introversion
  • Tendency toward extroversion
  • Competiveness
  • Hair color
  • Bookwormishness
  • Bad Manners
  • Stinginess
  • Dress, style habits
  • Self-righteousness
  • Selfishness
  • Family

What if any or all of these things were simply things you thought you could either ignore or change? Well if any or all of these were part and parcel of the person you were planning to marry and you thought you could ‘fix’ them after the fact, you were in for a shocking awakening. In fact your marriage would soon look as if it had been hit by a colossal mudslide right through bedroom and on into the main living quarters.

Strange list above, isn’t it? Yet, those are personality traits, habits and choices a person brings with them into a relationship and thus a marriage. You knew it at the start; you lived with whatever is bothering you throughout your romance; why in the world would you think anything was going to change once you said your vows? Do you think your vows are magic? Guess again, the mud is covering every last bit of all the presents, you might not have even gotten the thank you cards out the door yet.

Obviously, there are some of those things that can be negotiated if both partners are willing and the problem is approached with some sensitivity. Let’s look at just a couple of the list.

  • I love you, I want to live with you for a very long time I wish you would stop smoking
  • I love you, when you drink to excess it concerns me and I wish you would spend more time with me doing healthy things.

These are perhaps ways you could approach problems that affect the health and well-being of a loved one. These open the door to conversation, negotiation and compromise over time.

  • If you get another tattoo, I will leave you.105_edited-1
  • If you change your hairstyle from the way I like it (color or cut) I won’t think you are beautiful.

These are obviously not good strategies for compromise or negotiation. This is especially true if the person you married was already tattooed, which is a body integrity and personal choice issue. You do not get to choose for another person after the fact. You should never use threats as a form of negotiation.

  • You don’t fit in with my family and I will not stand up and defend my choice of you.
    • With this one holidays become nothing but stress. Resentment flairs as one or the other of you are not with family or are alone.
  • I won’t spend holidays with your family, they are not mine and I would rather not be engaged.
    • Again, you are forced to choose between your spouse and your family. Resentment build over time as you make excuses for his/her absence from dinners and other gatherings.  

The last one, family tends to be a hot button for many couples. Love them or hate them, when you marry your spouse you marry the family it is a package deal. You must be willing to say to your family, this is the person I love, this is the person I choose and I will brook no evil towards my spouse. If you don’t believe you are able to stand before your family in defense of your spouse you should reconsider your decision to marry. Either you are marrying the wrong person and you will never have peace in your home or you are not ready to marry, not ready to set aside childish things.

Believe me the resulting muck and mud will stick to everything, it will pile up in the corners and you will not be able to shovel it out fast enough.

When you get through all the nonsense that annoys the holy hell out of you, maybe you still like each other at the end of the day. Perhaps at the end of the first year (a hard one) you don’t want to start a bonfire with your wedding pictures and burn your spouse at the stake in effigy. Maybe you haven’t raised a white flag yet and said this is far too difficult, good for you Miracle One (1).

Did you get this far because you didn’t bother to mention all the stuff that annoyed you? I will just bet you did. You likely fought about nonsense and didn’t bother to mention all the really wicked things rolling around in your head. Let me give you a clue, just a small hint believe me you will thank me for it.


Marriage is hard work; the miracle is some of us sometimes make it through decades and still like each other. People stop in here all the time and tell me they have been married for 30, 40 and even more years and their spouse is their best friend and greatest love. I am in awe of them. My father found his soul mate and the love of his life in his sixties, they had twenty great years together.


It isn’t right to want to change your spouse. But, if the person is truly who you love, flaws and all then love them with everything you have, flaws and all. If they don’t love you back in the same way and in the way you need, well time to think about what you really do need from life. It isn’t going to be for them to change, it might be though that you need to make a change. We can’t force another person to love us no matter how much we might love them.

I am not going to be silent from fear. I am going to ask for what I need, the rest well it is up for discussion.


To be brave, I want TO BE BRAVE.

I am not brave, certainly not today. Truthfully, I am fearful, afraid, scared; brave isn’t even in my make-up bag, not today. I now and then talk a good game, with years of practice my lips move and I sound as if I don’t care, or I might instead retreat into silence, find my place of quiet and stay mute. But brave? No, I am not brave, not today.

Whenever someone says to me, you are brave I find myself searching, looking over my shoulder for who they are addressing; it can’t be me I am not brave. I am a survivor, to that I can agree but I am most certainly not brave. Life has thrown some curve balls; I have caught most of them with my chest, or my face or worse my heart. I let those balls batter me into submission, time and again sometimes even shouting defiantly, “Throw another one, I will do better next time”.

Brave, no I think rather I simply missed the ‘flight instinct’ in ‘Fight or Flight’. Oh hell, I might have missed both in all honesty, since it seems I do neither the right way.

What am I afraid of? Why am I a puddle of abject terror?

Am I afraid of being alone? No, but I am afraid of being alone for the rest of my life. I am afraid of never being loved again. Sounds stupid when I write it or say it aloud, I am afraid that perhaps I have never been loved in my lonely-old-womanlifetime and I am simply afraid I will never know what being loved means.

I am afraid of growing old alone. I am afraid there will never be anyone in the world who will look at me and see me, who will find me beautiful and want me. Oh hell, that is happening now isn’t it so what will be different? Why am I so afraid?

When I look in the mirror what I see is a woman out of energy, worn down, tired and broken. My body isn’t what it was, well whose is? I get that, I really do except I will be 56 this year, I am by society’s standard Fat, Obese even. I don’t get to run away from this, nor do I get to hide from the judgment, it is the truth. My body betrays me every single day; this is a simple reality of my life, my world. My body is defined not by muscle tone but by every injury, my day by pain.

What would I say to a new maybe lover, “No not that way, don’t bend that or don’t look there and sorry if I wake you in the night screaming or pee on you during a seizure.” No, I can’t imagine having that conversation, except maybe to chase off would be suitors.

I am not brave; truthfully I am a mass of quivering and abject cowardice.

Dreams of You

Everything I wanted was a dream of you.

scan0003The you I saw in pictures on the beach, when both of us were younger and smiled whenever we were together; it wasn’t often maybe that was why we smiled. The you I talked to for hours on the phone, every single day of the week; why do you tell me now, you don’t like to talk? I don’t remember that about you. The you who wrapped your arms all the way around me and held me for long minutes, as if you would never let me go, as if I mattered. The you who listened to me after a long day at work, who didn’t interrupt to tell what you would do, just listened to me.

Everything I wanted was a dream of you.

You were imperfect. So was I though, I was honest about my imperfections; hell, most of my imperfections were drawn vividly on my skin along with some of my milestones in the form of tattoos. I laughed sometimes at your unique view of women and men and marriage, I thought honestly, you would grow out of them. I wish you would have told me before we married, maybe it is my fault for not probing more deeply, for letting my heart lead my head. Instead you let your views out slowly and you grew more rigid more severe, your unique views demanded my silent compliance. Your views became rules with consequences, while your own small compromises nothing more than resentments you hold against me. To keep peace I paid, for all the things most partners do together or for each other, I paid others to do; to keep peace and so you would not have to lift a finger.

Everything I wanted was a dream of you.

What changed? Did I give you too much? Did I make life too easy or demand too little of you? Do you blame me, well of course you do. I ask you, what do you want and you refuse me an answer. I tell you what I want and you say it is too much, yet all I want is a life in which you do more than show up now and then, it isn’t enough. You twist each word to stab me, using each request to prove I am the cause of any unhappiness and all misery. Now, I speak my peace I am unhappy at your withdrawal from me, from life, from marriage. Yes, I am unhappy at choices you make, these choices.

  • I need to get away, I need to see my family. I am doing so during the week of our anniversary and you are not part of this planning.
  • I am not going with you to your grandson’s birthday party. I don’t feel like it.
  • I am not spending Christmas Day with you, I don’t feel like being with your family.
  • I am not spending Thanksgiving Day with you, I don’t feel like being with your family.

These are some of your choices, they are selfish and self-serving, they show a complete lack of love and care for me. When we speak of love, marriage and partnership and I say to you I make sacrifices all of the time to remain married, what is your response?

You respond with, “I will leave then, I don’t want you to sacrifice”. You begin to pack your belongings. You have no place to go, I don’t think; except maybe home to your mother. I think you have been waiting for this moment, this opportunity to bolt. I suspect you were looking for the door to crack open so you could blame others, as you have done at other times. Your pride won’t allow you to admit failure, not your own at least. This way you can easily say, “She did it, she put me out. I was the perfect husband but she was never happy, never satisfied”.

Everything I ever wanted was a dream of you

There was a time, when you were the kindest most moral man I had ever known in my life. You made me feel safe and protected. I thought, you above everyone I knew, you would never hurt me. Despite all of our differences, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAall that we had to overcome to be together I thought the dream that was you might be real. There was a time, I followed my heart and thought maybe, just maybe this will be fine and I will be finally mostly happy. There was a time when I believed there was someone in my life who accepted me, loved me, celebrated me and would walk beside me to the end.

Everything I ever wanted was a dream of you.

I suppose your dreams were different, you just forgot to tell me.

March of Marriage

I am feeling a tad on the evil and mean side this morning, thus my ode to all those sweet young things who enter marriage with cads. This is not to say all marriages are doomed to fail or that all men are cads, certainly neither is the case. Nevertheless, many of us have had our share of cads in our lives and heartbreak to go along with those cads. Many of us have suffered through the break-up of marriages or long-term relationships, been left standing in the wreckage of our trust. In my personal opinion the cad of today is gender free, however this is written from a woman’s perspective, thus the cad is a man.


The Wedding

You are all bright-eyed, white tulle and giggles; your girls surround you and you have dreams, big dreams. Dancing in your head are picket fences, two and half and Volvo’s; your future is bright and shiny, just like those appliances you looked at yesterday. Today though, today you are hoping for the limo to be on time, the driver to know where the church is and your soon to be spouse to not forget his vows.

Did he even remember to write them?

The Marriage

Things are not quite as expected in suburbia; actually, you haven’t quite made it to suburbia, but the trailer park outside of town is nicer than you expected. That Volvo you were dreaming of, yeah it’s a fifteen-year-old Ford Explorer with 150,000 miles on it and the back bumper held on with wire hangers. That two and half, what you really ended up with is three and one in the oven, all under the age of six; at least the oldest is starting school this year. Maybe dreamboat will finally agree to wear a condom after this birth, at least until you can start on the pill again, if only you can afford it. Maybe the doctor will agree to tie your tubes, as a favor; maybe he will take pity on you. If you can stop getting pregnant maybe someone will hire you and you can get off State Aid, dreamboat doesn’t seem to mind but it embarrasses you at the store and the doctors offices.

Remember when you dreamed big and parked by the lake?

The End

You heard on the grapevine by the two-day-old bread dreamboat had sucked another one in and was promising new picket fences, Volvos and life in suburbia to another sweet young thing. You heard he had another shotgun wedding planned, should you warn her ask her to visit your suburban dream and take a ride in your Volvo perhaps.

Or just dance at the wedding to the music of your soul.

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