Friday, September 28, 2012

50 Ways To Say Goodbye

"50 Ways To Say Goodbye"by TRAIN


My heart is paralyzed
My head was oversized
I'll take the high road like I should
You said it's meant to be
That it's not you, it's me
You're leaving now for my own good

That's cool, but if my friends ask where you are I'm gonna say

She went down in an airplane
Fried getting suntanned
Fell in a cement mixer full of quicksand
Help me, help me, I'm no good at goodbyes!
She met a shark under water
Fell and no one caught her
I returned everything I ever bought her
Help me, help me, I'm all out of lies
And ways to say you died

My pride still feels the sting
You were my everything
Some day I'll find a love like yours (a love like yours)
She'll think I'm Superman
Not super minivan
How could you leave on Yom Kippur?

That's cool, but if my friends ask where you are I'm gonna say

She was caught in a mudslide
Eaten by a lion
Got run over by a crappy purple Scion
Help me, help me, I'm no good at goodbyes!
She dried up in the desert
Drowned in a hot tub
Danced to death at an east side night club
Help me, help me, I'm all out of lies
And ways to say you died

I wanna live a thousand lives with you
I wanna be the one you're dying to
Love...but you don't want to

That's cool, but if my friends ask where you are I'm gonna say
That's cool, but if my friends ask where you are I'm gonna say

She went down in an airplane
Fried getting suntanned
Fell in a cement mixer full of quicksand
Help me, help me, I'm no good at goodbyes!
She met a shark under water
Fell and no one caught her
I returned everything I ever bought her
Help me, help me, I'm all out of lies

She was caught in a mudslide
Eaten by a lion
Got run over by a crappy purple Scion
Help me, help me, I'm no good at goodbyes!
She dried up in the desert
Drowned in a hot tub
Danced to death at an east side night club
Help me, help me, I'm all out of lies
And ways to say you died

Why didn't I think of this? When I was too humiliated to tell people my husband left me for a lesbian why didn't I just tell them he died? 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lady Gaga

September 27, 2012

I remember the first time I heard Lady Gaga. She was wearing the meat dress and I dismissed her as a kook. But then I started to actually pay attention. I liked her music and she reminded me very much of Madonna.

How could I not like someone born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta? A nice Italian girl who likes to cook and eat. The more I hear her speak the more I admire her. As a member of the "uncool crowd" I empathize with her. Her "Born This Way Foundation" helps to foster acceptance for everyone.

And today she is speaking out about body image, bulimia and anorexia. I don't know this for sure but I think it affects women more than men. Woman try so hard to look perfect. Men, it seems, not so much. We have all seen the pictures of truly ugly men with absolutely gorgeous women on their arms. Of course most of these men are rich and/or powerful. I'm not sure what they have in common with young beautiful women. Okay so maybe I can guess at the attraction. And I'm thinking it is not intellectual conversation.

Anyway, back to Lady Gaga. I was wrong about her. She is not a "kook." I think she is just like most women. A star, definitely. But trying to find acceptance like the rest of us. I applaud her for her stance on issues affecting young people today. Meat dress and all.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"This House is Killing Me"

September 25, 2012

Last week I received the official copy of the deed that says my house is now in my name only. Everything signed over to me. Bittersweet is the only word I can use to describe the feeling. I love my house. It's not big or stylish. Things may be starting to look dated. It is not in a top neighborhood. But I raised my kids here and spent so many hours waiting by the window for all of them, including Dave, to come home. Crazy, I know. But I feel happy and safe here. And my kitchen is gorgeous! Especially my new refrigerator!

I always thought that when the house was paid off things would get easier, money wise. We talked about what we would do when that happened. I never expected to be here by myself, worrying about the yard, the utilities, the bills. But here I am doing just that. We always had someone to cut the grass and plow the driveway in the winter but now I had to hire someone to landscape and maintain the lawn. Something I never had to think about in the past. And since the poison ivy incident I realized I couldn't keep up without some help.

When he said ,"This house is killing me," it hurt almost as much as the day he said, "I just don't love you enough."

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Leaf Peeping

September 25, 2012

Driving on the Merritt Parkway this week has proven that summer is truly over. The leaves are just starting to change color way up high in the tree tops. If you don't look closely you might miss them. But even without the leaves changing it is hard to miss the change in the weather. It is cool in the morning when I leave for work and cool in the evening after the sun goes down. Sweater weather. No more cute summer tops or sandals.

I finally went and bought the hay and mums for the yard. Yesterday I bought the pumpkins. It doesn't look exactly like it did in the past but nothing is like it was before. I hope to enjoy the colors and the cooler weather. But for some reason the change of seasons has been a really hard time for me emotionally.

 I never got to finish all the ice cream places but pretty soon it will be too cold to enjoy ice cream. I'll just have to move on to Connecticut wineries.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Living Will

September 24, 2012

One of the things you must do after a divorce is change your will. Unless of course you have had such an amicable divorce that you will not mind your ex spending your money on his new girlfriend or wife after you are dead. I recently rewrote my will and changed all my advanced directives.

The will part was a no brainer. I couldn't wait to do that. You know, in case I got hit by a bus or had a fatal heart attack. Everything to my kids with instructions that their father not even get a pencil from that money! But the advanced directives? That was really hard.

When the person who knows you the best, or you thought they did, is no longer around, who will be your advocate when your health declines? I didn't want to burden my kids with such a task but it had to be done.

We had a discussion one night at my favorite bar, Dempsey's. They have great food there as well as drinks. Anyway Josh, who is older said he would do whatever I asked as far as life support, etc. But I knew it would be hard for him to make that last decision."Isn't there anything else you could do for her?," I could just hear him asking the medical team. He would be online looking for miracle cures. You would be doing that, wouldn't you, Josh? Hilary is much more suited to make the difficult decisions. Not because she loves me any less but because she is a nurse. Sorry, Hil, that will be your burden in life! And like her mother she is very practical. But I did tell her, "Make SURE there is nothing else to be done. Don't just run in and pull the plug!"

As often as we all laugh and joke about the potential scenarios that may ensue in the future I know they will both honor my wishes. I just wish they didn't have to be the ones to make those decisions.

Friday, September 21, 2012

At Last

September 21, 2012

Another weekend is upon us. Last weekend I decided to stay home for the most part. I was planning to clean the house and catch up on things because I had been busy this month. The kids were gone and I would be alone. Also I felt that I should slow down and reflect instead of constantly running.

I did go out for dinner Saturday night with a couple I socialized with when I was married. I got them in the divorce. But then again I got ALL the couples. Everyone we went out with were connected to us through me. I was a little nervous that it would be awkward and I would feel like a "third wheel." But it wasn't that way at all.  I realized I carried most of the conversation when we went out. Surprise, surprise.

Anyway except for that I was home. I decided to put Etta James radio on my Pandora. Her song, At Last, was made popular at President Obama's inauguration. But many of her hits and those of her contemporaries were bluesy and sad and sexy. Fool That I Am, I'd Rather Go Blind, All I Could Do Was Cry and I Just Want To Make Love To You. Not the tunes to listen to when you are already feeling melancholy and lonely. Dusting, vacuuming, crying and slow dancing by yourself is not the way to spend a weekend.

So this weekend I will try to find a happy medium between frantically going out and hibernating in the house. And what's wrong with going out anyway?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jury Duty

September 20, 2012

I have to share my jury duty story because whenever I think about it I laugh. I was supposed to go to jury duty back in January. I was in no shape to do that at that time. I called the special phone number to explain my situation. I tried really hard not to cry as I was talking. I never even had to finish the whole story. The young lady on the phone immediately said, "Just pick another date." So I picked a date in May. Surely I would be able to handle jury duty by then.

Well, May came sooner than I had imagined. I was now dealing with the certain demise of my marriage and my sister's illness. Taking care of two households after never doing anything like that before. Surely when I got there I would be excused.

Except I wasn't. We were picked for a criminal case with a particularly tough judge. But I was sure I could talk my way out of serving. I went up there in front of the defendant, the lawyers and the bailiff and told a real sob story. The judge simply looked at me and asked, "Will your sister be without care if you serve?" When I said no he told me I would not be dismissed. And when the lawyers found out I had never watched any of the many CSI shows on TV I was a keeper.

I reported on the assigned day. While we were waiting I started talking to another juror. She was a teacher. She told me she had called the law clerk to see if we could be dismissed early on Wednesday because her daughter had a wedding gown fitting. REALLY? We all got called to take roll and the clerk said to her, "You're dismissed from the jury because of your conflict."!!!!! I couldn't believe it. What about me? What about the fact that my life has been turned upside down?

We spent five days at the trial. It turned out to be a very interesting experience. I've always been interested in the law and really enjoyed the inner workings of the court. No more efficient than the medical system! But, I got an HOUR for lunch and always left early. I would do it again in a minute. So everything does happen for a reason!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mums and Pumpkins

September 19, 2012

The official end of summer is this Friday. But really the summer is pretty much over here. Once school starts, even if you have no one who goes to school anymore, the summer is over for me. I always loved the start of school. Even when I was a student. The new clothes, new classes and teachers and the crisp fall air. When my kids went to school it was a relief to get back to an orderly life. No worries about how to entertain them in the summer or worry about what they were up to while I was at work.

But the change of seasons this year has brought about mixed emotions. All the memories that I have involve someone who is no longer here. The apple picking, cider donuts, hearty meals, and changing leaves will take on a new meaning this year. The first autumn as a divorcee. Hate that word.

Today I went to Home Depot to replace the fading summer flowers. I saw mums and pumpkins and bales of hay for the fall display. But I couldn't bring myself to buy them. I'm still getting used to spending the summer as a single woman. I'm not ready to make another change just yet.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Unbridled Shower

September 18, 2012

This weekend I read an article about divorce showers. Or, as it was called in the Times, Unbridled Showers. This is like a wedding shower where the recipient gets gifts to replenish the household. Things their spouse may have taken when they left or items to furnish a new house or apartment. You can even register like a traditional shower for things you may want or need.

Who hosts these events? Is it your original maid of honor or best man? Or a friend? Or maybe your new lover, the one you divorced your spouse to be with? Or I suppose you could do it for yourself.

In my case no tangible things were taken. He "didn't need anything." Just to get away from me. So what would I register for? Truth, honesty, commitment, loyalty, fidelity, love. Are those things you can purchase at Macy's?

Monday, September 17, 2012


September 17, 2012

Occasionally I'll receive a check in the mail entitled alimony/miscellaneous. What's the miscellaneous mean, I wonder? When I first got one I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Won't he know from seeing my name on the check? Does he think maybe he will forget in the future that we were married and wonder who received this cancelled check? Or is it yet another way to turn the knife?

Maybe the miscellaneous is for all the nights I cried when he didn't come home, or all the years I felt like a single parent because he was always at work. Or maybe it's for all the parent-teacher conferences I went to by myself, the sick visits to the doctor when they couldn't go to school and I couldn't go to work. Maybe its for all the anxiety I had when there was a snow day and school was cancelled and I had to figure out who would care for my children. He always thought I "worried" too much. But he just got into his car and went to work no matter what the issue. He could NEVER call in sick.

Thirty years of memories and joys and sorrows reduced to "miscellaneous."

Friday, September 14, 2012

Senior Discount

September 14, 2012

A few days ago Hilary and I went to the Pancake House. We used to go there all the time when she was little. She would get the Funny Face pancake and I would get Cream of Wheat pancakes. Then they moved from the old location to Dixwell Ave. We hadn't been there since.

It was a spur of the moment decision. We got there and looked at the menu. One page had a senior menu. I thought "Thank God. I'm not old enough for that!" Then I looked at the top of the menu. Over 55. Again I think, thank god. But then I start to remember my birthday in July. I'm 56! I CAN order off the senior menu. "OMG, Hilary, I qualify for this!" I quickly turned the page to look at the other selections. I remember Bud, Margo and Annemarie's dad saying,"Put me in the meat grinder." In fact he would never ask for the senior discount.

Sometimes I wonder who the person is looking back at me from the mirror in the morning.  It certainly can't be me. I'm way younger than that. Most of the time I FEEL way younger than that. Except when I've had a busy day at work, or when I've been called in the middle of the night to report to work, or sometimes when I step out of bed in the morning on the ankle I sprained in June and find I that it STILL hurts! Then I feel fully qualified to order off the senior menu.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Is Everyone Married?

September 13, 2012

It seems to me as if everyone is married. When I go to the grocery store and someone talks to me or even just walks by me I always check for the ring. In fact that's the first thing I do no matter where I am. And they are ALL married. Everywhere I go is inhabited by married people. Restaurants, movie theaters, work, the beach. If I go out on a Saturday night everyone is coupled. Where are all the millions of single and divorced people I keep reading about in newspapers and magazines?

I was appalled when Margo told me to look in the obituaries for women around my age who have died. But now I find myself actually looking! How sick. So, maybe I have to start attending more wakes! Showing up with the casserole for the grieving widower. Only kidding. There are some things worse than being alone and that is one of them.

Someone recently told me on line dating and bar hopping does not work for women my age. So I guess that leaves volunteering at the senior center or moving to Miami.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Single or Divorced?

September 12, 2012

Whenever I had forms to fill out in the past it was always easy. I was always Mrs. Never Ms. And I always checked the married box with a smug attitude. See, someone loves me. Someone is thinking about me and maybe someone else is responsible for the bill. It made me feel protected.

But now, what do I check? I'm divorced but also single. Why do strangers need to know that instead of having someone waiting at home who adores me, I have been thrown into the discard pile? Can I still check single without feeling that I am deceiving people? Implying that I am carefree and maybe single by choice. Or am I lying by omission? Something I hate but put up with a lot during my marriage.

So I guess I will decide for each form. Depending on my mood that day. Am I divorced or single?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

World Trade Center

September 11, 2012

Of course I remember it like it was yesterday. I'm sure most people do. I was at work and I got a call from Margo. It was 9:10 AM. I was on a break in the kitchen and went out to answer the phone. She wanted to make sure I was at work because she knew I would go to Manhattan any chance I could get. She told me a plane had hit the World Trade Center. But there was not a lot of information at the time. I went to tell my colleagues and we all went into the only room with a TV. The horrors unfolded throughout the day.

My kids were at school and on lock down. Our hospital went into disaster mode and we were unable to leave without permission. We were waiting to receive patients from other hospitals in the southern part of the state so they could prepare for the victims in New York City. But there were no casualties that needed a hospital bed.

I couldn't believe my favorite city in the world had been the target of terrorists. But that is simplistic thinking. Why should we be exempt from all the tragedies the rest of the world was experiencing?

The next weekend I went to the city. Dave and the kids and I. I never gave a thought to any danger whether from the air quality or any residual terrorist activity. I remember thinking I had to get there and see what the city was like. We couldn't get near the Trade Center but we got as close as we could. It looked just as you have seen in the newspapers. But restaurants in lower Manhattan were feeding the volunteers who were working in that area. And above the blocked off areas people were out and supporting the community.

I have since been to the site several times. It is always bittersweet. I remember the first time we went up to the top of the Trade Center. It was scary ( afraid of heights) but awesome. I wouldn't go near the windows but Josh was small and curious and loved every minute of looking outside.  It was like being in the clouds. I think of the times we had drinks and dinner at Windows on the World. If there is a better place, an afterlife, I hope the people who perished there that day are there.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

National Parks

September 8, 2012

I recently traveled to St. Louis for a nursing conference. My first plane trip since the divorce. Six months ago I never thought I would be leaving New Haven ever again.

Our first day here Jeanne and I went to the Arch. We went to the top and looked out over the city. Jeanne kept a close eye on me because I am afraid of heights. But I did fine. It reminded me of the first time I went to the top of the World Trade Center.

I saw many Park Rangers there so I assumed it was a National Park. But it's a National Monument. I wanted to add it to my list of Parks that I have visited. We (Dave and I) had planned to visit all the Parks. We had already been to the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. They were majestic and peaceful. I could have stayed in Yellowstone forever.We were planning a trip to Yosemite a few years ago but ended up in San Francisco instead. But now I feel confident I can go alone. First Yosemite then Olympia.

And if I live long enough all the others! And if I go alone so be it. I won't have to worry about anyone else but myself.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Empire State of Mind

Sept 6, 2012

New York, that wonderful town. Dave and I loved New York. We always talked about moving there when the kids were grown. Our plan was to retire in the city. But that plan took a real jump start after he met the malaya (Swahili). All of a sudden he needed to get a new job. And it had to be in New York, even though Hilary was still in school and I told him I wouldn't move until she was finished. But no, he had to go right away. The subsidized apartment was for him to spend the night when he got out late (haha) Yes, I believed that. And for us to spend weekends there to see if we would like living there.

And I did like it there. No, I LOVED it there. I loved the little neighborhood on the upper east side. I loved going to the Italian market, Agata and Valentina. I loved the new TJ Maxx that opened there. I loved seeing first run movies and off Broadway plays. I loved having dim sum in Chinatown on the weekend. The smells, the noise, the crowds. I loved everything about it.

I really thought we would rent a place there. In fact we had even seen some real estate agents. ??? One of the things I was most upset about when this first happened was the thought that I would never regain was my ability to enjoy the city again.

The first time I went back was right after he left. I went Christmas shopping with Hilary. It was a disaster. Everything was still surreal. We didn't buy anything even though I was ready to get her whatever she wanted. I wonder if she felt as badly as I did. She would never tell me but I spent the whole train ride home trying not to cry.

Josh also had a hard time returning to the city. We had all spent so many enjoyable moments there as a family in the past. It was hard to accept the new reality. But gradually we have all returned. Josh, Jocelyn and I have taken a cooking class there and went to a play for his birthday and of course the Fringe Festival. Hilary and I also saw a play there and are making plans to go again this month. And I have decided if there is something interesting going on I will go alone.

It hasn't been easy. But he took so much from me. This is something I won't let him have.

I know this is long ( and Margo you are loving it!) but I wanted to include some of the lyrics from Alicia Keyes:

Even if it ain’t all it seems, I got a pocketful of dreams
Baby, I'm from New York
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There's nothing you can't do
Now you're in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Hear it for New York, New York, New York!

Make Over

September 5, 2012

I already told you how I had the house checked out on our joint credit cards. But I never did over the bedroom. My therapist suggested I might want to do that but my heart wasn't in it.

But one night I saw a movie where the husband came close to cheating on his wife but didn't. What a novel concept. Someone with morals and self restraint! The thought of what went on behind my back sickened me. I went upstairs and ripped down those Country Curtains, rods and all, and gave them to Josh to sell at a flea market. I bought a new bedspread and lamps, new curtains and sheets and new bathroom linens. Something with a more modern flair but still soft and calming. I keep fresh flowers in there now.

Someone suggested I get a new mattress as well. But is that really necessary? I love my Bob-O-Pedic. See, even there, we went with the less expensive version. I wonder if they are sleeping on a TemperPedic. Anyway I'm not sure I will need a new mattress for awhile, if ever. I can't imagine ever actually sleeping with someone again.

The nice thing about growing old with someone is that you are both aging at the same time. The wrinkles and the skin sagging happens to both of you. You "grow into it" together. The thought of being with someone new is both amusing and frightening. By the time I will be able to trust someone enough to sleep with them it will definitely be a lights out situation!

Just an update to my cold string bean and potato salad. After all you DO still have to eat. I made it again this weekend but added mint at the suggestion of my friend Lori and also sprinkled dry vermouth over the warm potatoes. Delicious!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Blow Me (One Last Kiss)

Sept 4, 2012

The last official weekend of the summer is over. School has started and fall clothes are being advertised. Woe is me. I had a very enjoyable last picnic in New Jersey Sunday with Jocelyn's parents. So that means I drove over the Tappan Zee Bridge twice! Once in the dark. I'll admit I was a little nervous about that but I survived. And I saw the most incredible orange moon on the way home.

It was a two hour ride each way so I had a lot of radio time. I love to listen to the radio when I drive. One of the songs that kept playing was Blow Me (One Last Kiss) by Pink. Not someone I would have listened to in the past. But I've come to broaden my horizons lately.

It reminded me of the last time Dave came here to "talk" about our relationship. It was a Sunday and he was still claiming to be thinking about us. I thought we still had a chance as a married couple and he did everything he could to lead me to believe that.  On his way out he blew me kisses!! I was very encouraged and called Margo to tell her. But her silence said more than his words did. He was actually already planning to take the Sooka (Russian) to Africa. Why the deceit? Who knows? I'm at a loss to figure that out. And way too tired to try.

White knuckles and sweaty palms from hanging on too tight
Clenched shut jaw, I've got another headache again tonight
Eyes on fire, eyes on fire, and they burn from all the tears
I've been crying, I've been crying, I've been dying over you
Tie a knot in the rope, tryin' to hold, tryin' to hold,
But there's nothing to grasp so I let go

I think I've finally had enough, I think I maybe think too much
I think this might be it for us (blow me one last kiss)
You think I'm just too serious, I think you're full of shit
My head is spinning so (blow me one last kiss)

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Sept 1. 2012

Getting my house ready for a single girls party tonight. This will be my first solo party. No one to help me cleanup, fix the porch, light the grill or man the bar. Kinda nervous! But they are all my friends and I know I can count on them to go easy on me.

One of the doctors I met on a medical mission sent me steaks from Omaha Steaks after reading about my grilling fears. She also sent me a great selection of wine. Although she is unable to join us tonight I will be toasting her generosity. Hope I don't screw anything up. But after the first few sips of wine what could go wrong?

I keep thinking I'm forgetting something....maybe its something HE used to take care of that I haven't considered. Going to make another inspection of the house. Will finish this after everyone leaves tonight.

So, everything went okay. Better than okay, I think. Everyone pitched in and helped. I really didn't work that hard. Appetizers and desserts supplied by my friends, lots of wine on hand, and truth be told the two Annies did the grilling. But grilling was done! Do I actually have to be the one to do it? I don't think so. I can have a party by myself! Mention WAS made that my chocolate martinis were not like Dave's but they were not on the menu. Next time they will have the chocolate swirl and the shavings on the top.

Thanks to Leigh Ann for a truly generous birthday gift. And thanks to my friends, Annie, Annemarie, Alyson, Mary, Lynn and Monica for sharing it with me. And to my married friends who weren't invited just think, you get to sleep next to someone who loves you tonight. You did not have to figure out how to open the hood of your daughter's car, in the dark, after everyone left, to fill it with windshield washer fluid. I'm sure you would have saved that job for the man of the house.