I love my little corner of the Internet.
I love that even though I haven’t posted in … let’s see … drop the 6, carry the 1 … HOLY SHIT CHECK THE EDGE OF THE EARTH, SHE PROBABLY FELL OFF, people still pop in here to see if I’ve done anything to embarrass my kids (see below), named any cold sores lately (there was Margo – I kicked her ass last November, but not before she kicked my lips’ ass for a few weeks before that) and whether I’ve managed yet to sculpt a reasonable facsimile of Mt. Vesuvius out of Ollie’s poop (a few more deposits behind the couch and I should be good to go).
Let’s see … what’s been going on?
Zoe has been accepted to five out of seven colleges so far, including Geneseo. I think Geneseo wanted her because of my essay. Zoe thinks they wanted her because of her grades, leadership potential, blah blah freaking blah. Way to make it all about YOU, Zoe.
We put our house up for sale. I think God decided to stop using my life as an enema bag for a bit and give me a break because within 48 hours, I had four offers. All four were non-contingent, two were all cash and one was above purchase price, accompanied by a letter and family photo. I stared at that photo and studied their faces and the toothy smile of their little girl and as I signed on the bottom line through a stream of tears, I hoped my home would bring them more happiness than it ever did us.
We move this weekend. At first, it was hard to think about leaving a large, beautiful home that had my heart and soul plastered all over it and through it for a small, nondescript, bland apartment but now? I think we might be a bit excited. It may be small, but this apartment will be a fresh, new start for the girls and me. No bitter memories slapping us with a harsh reality everywhere we turn. I’d like to believe that new memories are just waiting around some tight-fitting corners for us to discover.
I ran into my eleven year old’s hottie teacher at Target the other day. This would be the same hottie teacher we ran into while bra shopping for her, when she spent the following week hoping the earth would open up and swallow her whole. I texted her all about my new run-in because that’s the kind of mom I am:
Life these past few months has been challenging. The loss of my husband has been agonizing enough but the loss of those so dear to me who, for whatever reason, could not find it within themselves to stand behind us with both feet planted firmly on the ground has compounded that agony. The loss has just been unfathomable. But you know that saying about God never closing a door without opening a window? Never have I believed in that as much as I do now.
Open windows have come in the form of a good job with a boss who is a trusted friend and confidante.
A friend, to whom I was married in a former life, who finished unfinished bathrooms and without whom I could not have sold our house.
An entire family who opened up their home to the three of us and became a safe haven for Helena, as well as a reminder that family isn’t always defined by blood.
Lifelong friends who call like clockwork, checking up on me and buying me greasy potato skins because nothing soothes a wounded soul like fat and cholesterol.
Friends of my eldest who spent hours filling up trucks and finding willing dumpsters.
Another friend who tirelessly but beautifully staged my house so that it sold within days instead of months.
Friends who drove over to my house with three seconds of notice, bringing with them broad, water-proof shoulders.
Others who offered to sit with me at court or, in the alternative, text me during the entire time and make me laugh so that I forgot the awfulness all around me.
A lawyer who texts me late on a Saturday night after a particularly hideous and scary day, without charging me for it.
Online friends who prove that the Internet isn’t so vast and impersonal after all.
And still other friends who find you after thirty years and help you haul fifteen years of crap out your basement without expecting anything in return.
In this big cyclone of shit that has been swirling around us since last summer, I have found rays of light poking through.
I’m still scared of this new life. But somewhere in the back of my mind, a little to the left of Anderson Cooper’s imprint, is the knowledge that we’re going to be OK.
OH MY GOD, GUESS WHAT?
I’m still here.
I can’t believe it either.
I have so much to tell you but my brain is in overdrive and my fingers can’t keep up and they’re all SLOW THE HELL DOWN, STUPID CEREBELLUM, and my brain is all OH YEAH? WHY DON’T YOU COME OVER HERE AND MAKE ME, YOU STUPID DIGITS and my fingers are all OH YEAH? COME OUT FROM BEHIND THAT SKULL AND WE’LL SEE HOW BIG YOUR BALLS ARE and my brain is all OH, GAME ON! YOU LITTLE PIECES OF … WAIT. I HAVE BALLS?
I’m typing this with eight fingers now because my two middle ones are busy flipping my cerebellum’s genitalia the bird.
Look at that! I still manage to fit some derivative of the word “genitals” into a post that has nothing to do with sex. See? I’m still me.
THAT’S A GOOD THING.
Just in case you were wondering.
There is no way I can use one blog post to fill you in on all of the unholy crap that has gone down in the last couple of months so for now, I’ll just hit the highlights:
Right now, I am trying to finish my Christmas shopping sometime before Valentine’s Day but I’ll be back soon because when all is said and done, I miss writing my blog.
Really, really miss it.
And while I can no longer write about my marriage to Nate without gouging my eyes out with a spork, I’m confident that life won’t always suck like it does at the moment. This is not the end of my story but simply the end of a chapter. And hopefully, this horribleness will be over soon and my new life will begin and I can sell the rights to my insane life story to Pixar and they’ll make an animated movie of my life and it will be their first R or NC-17 movie and parents will unwittingly take their kids to it because hello? It’s Pixar! And three minutes in, they’ll be shielding their children’s eyes and screaming for their money back so they can pay for therapy and their kids will be crying MOMMY! WHY ARE CREATIVE JUNKIE’S BRAINS EXPLODING ALL OVER THE SCREEN? CAN I HAVE MORE GUMMY BEARS?
My new life will inevitably breed all sorts of new stories and I expect it won’t be too long before I have blog fodder out the ying yang, such as my suspicion that instead of working on her college application essay, my eldest daughter is busy writing my online profile for eharmony.com.
Maybe by the time I’m actually ready to date, I’ll know what a wazoo and a ying yang is.
If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know that my family has been going through something since June. I’ve been posting sporadically since then and only occasionally referencing the total suckage that has become my life, without getting into detail.
I thought that maybe I had it in me to continue posting innocuous, funny stories and use my blog as an escape from the bitter, harsh reality that I am living.
I admit defeat. The funny continues to elude me. I hope that won’t always be the case. But for the moment, it is.
My blog has always been based on my life. My stories are grounded in truth albeit garnished with a bit of exaggeration. I drew my inspiration from my husband and my kids. And my dog’s poop.
I loved my life. Even the poop behind the couch was expected, a familiar constant, a sign that yes, my life was average and normal and predictable but in a good, comforting way.
There is nothing predictable about my life now. I am struggling to find any source of comfort. I have been thrown into a new normal and I am floundering.
The man I have deeply loved for fourteen years, my husband for the last twelve, with whom I raised a family I adore, the subject of so many stories on this blog, is no longer the man I know. He hasn’t been for some time but I kept fighting to bring him back because denial is a wonderful thing. It shields you from pain so horrendous, you cannot even imagine.
But reality is brutal and merciless and it comes at you at warp speed when you least expect it, cloaked in a frigid coat of betrayal so staggering and cruel, it knocks you breathless and senseless, leaving you doubled-over with gut-wrenching sorrow.
For the preservation of myself and that of our kids, I have made an agonizing decision to separate our lives.
I am inconsolable. I am numb. I feel so empty.
I think I am still in shock.
And I am so profoundly sad that it is hard to simply breathe.
The rational, logical part of me knows that I am a strong woman and that I will be OK. That these were his choices and not a reflection on me. That I’ve already proven I can single parent, having done it for the last two years in one sense or another. That there are still blessings in my life and that I am so incredibly fortunate to have two wonderful daughters who really, if truth be told, are the only reasons I have continued to wake up every morning and get out of bed.
But I cannot reconcile that part of me with the emotional part of me which still cannot grasp the enormity of what has happened to us. The part that is wondering what is wrong with me, why wasn’t I good enough, pretty enough, whatever enough. The part that is heartbroken and feels like a colossal failure. The part that is desperately trying to make sense of this, the part that refuses to believe that the man I so deeply love could have done the things he did, the part that cannot come to grips with the overwhelming loss, the part that can’t look at anything without being blindsided by a memory of our life together.
It’s been a couple of months now since my life was decimated by an F5 tornado.
Figuratively, I mean. Not literally. We typically don’t have tornadoes in my neck of the western New York woods. However, we did have a freak earthquake here the other week! But I didn’t really notice it. Well, I should say, I didn’t really appreciate it for what it was. I mean, I felt the earth move and everything but I assumed it was due to me shoving a vat of Nutella down my throat at the time.
When I say Nutella rocks my world, I am not blowing smoke up your fanny.
So, it’s been a couple of months since my world was upheaved and I still feel kind of like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz except Dorothy wasn’t a forty-four year old mom unless she was hoarding her lost virginity, some Botox and an illegitimate child or two under Toto in that basket. And speaking of Toto, he wasn’t named Oliver and probably wouldn’t brave a funnel cloud to chase down a flying couch to the ends of the earth just so he could poop behind it out of sheer spite.
Is upheaved a word? It should be.
I’m still busy picking up the pieces of my life and trying to make sense of it all. I wish I could be one of those bloggers who can spew butterflies and rainbows and glitter all over her blog during a personal crisis, but I’m not. I also wish I could be the kind of blogger who bitches, moans and complains about the suckfest that has become her personal life all over her blog but I’m not.
OH, FOR GOD’S SAKE, FINE. I do bitch about stuff. And moan. And complain
all the goddamn time a bit.
And seeing as how I did wax poetic about a thong recently and seeing as how that same thong is currently residing atop a stinky basket called I WILL PAY SOMEONE ONE MILLION DOLLARS TO WASH THIS, I guess you could technically argue that I have aired my dirty laundry on this blog.
I have always relied on humor to help carry me through difficult times but recently, I’ve been hard pressed to pull myself up by my bootstraps and rise above my own sorrow long enough to sit my ass back down and write about the funny, and this really blows because there are funny things to write about, even if some of them weren’t funny at the time or are mixed with equal parts heartbreak. Like, say, being in my forties and finding myself single parenting two for weeks/months/who-the-hell-knows-how-long-at-this-point, which, as it turns out, is a whole lot more exhausting than single parenting one in my thirties. And Zoe getting a job at McDonalds and buying ugly-ass Herman Munster shoes. And me landing my first job in the outside world in over eleven years only to suffer a cold sore, bladder infection and lice, YES I SAID LICE ARE YOU ITCHY YET, during my first week. And so on.
I hope to soon write about those things and more.
Just bear with me as I regroup and get back to a first name basis with my laptop. And if anybody’s got a spare pair of bootstraps lying around, I’ll take ’em.
If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know I’m a big supporter of indie artists and small business owners.
Just to clarify, I’m talking about owners of small businesses, not business owners who happen to be small, although I’m fans of theirs as well.
I’m a fan of all shapes and sizes!
Just to clarify, *I* am not all shapes and sizes. Just a fan of them.
Why must the written word be so confusing? Maybe blogs should be spoken instead of written? They could be called slogs instead of blogs!
Who do I see about making that happen?
In the meantime, I wanted to give a shout out to two different small businesses because in this world of WalMarts and Targets and Kohls, it’s often very difficult for the little guy to get a piece of the action.
The world would be a much nicer, more relaxed place if everybody got a little action every now and then, don’t you think? That’s what my husband says, anyway.
First up is Liz Nonnemacher. Remember Liz? I interviewed her last year and compared her to a flatulent boat before that. She owns Wickedly Chic, the one-stop online shop for indie goods. If you are an independent artist who needs exposure or some savvy marketing, or you’re shopping for something different, something that everyone and their neighbor’s mother-in-law doesn’t already own, check out Liz’s site. Just so you know, in her spare time, she dresses up her dog in scarves and posts about it on Facebook and dispenses really good, free advice. Recently, she told me that I was awesome and should never drink from someone else’s nipples. You know how much a therapist would have charged me for that little nugget?
Right now, Liz is hosting her 4th Annual Wickedly Chic Spring Fling. Go check out all the artists and businesses she’s featuring. There’s jewelry and makeup and hair products and clothing and more. Tell her I sent you. And then tell her I said to stop putting clothes on dogs because only weird people do that. And then tell her that I’m perfectly aware that we’ve got an extra-small Buffalo Bills jersey with four leg holes floating somewhere around this house and the fact that my husband paid $25 for it, to the glee of both my kids who are old enough to know better, pretty much makes my case for me.
Next up is Claire Gutschow. Claire was born in South Africa and now lives in California and has a forty year old cousin who runs around naked while camping which is neither here (thank God) nor there (now *you* thank God) but I always find it helpful to share with my readers a little trivia about any business or artist I might feature.
Claire used to work in a top international skin care company back in the day and now? She’s running her own skin care line called Fei’d (pronounced “fade” for those of you who were wondering how to pronounce it and thinking there are entirely too many apostrophes in this world.) This skin care line is a cross between Chinese medicine and western science and is specifically formulated for uneven skin tone, dark marks and pigmentation. In other words, WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE? <—- so screams all the skin residing between my scalp and my toes.
One of the aspects I like best about Claire’s work is her philosophy of giving back … money that she could be spending on big, expensive ad campaigns for Fei’d is instead being directed to help promote education and educational support through children’s organizations in third world countries.
You can have pretty skin and help out a child in need which is like a win/win with extra hot fudge and a big ass spoon.
I’d get out my soapbox but it’s hiding somewhere on the couch along with my initiative and ambition this morning so instead, I’ll just simply remind you to please support independent artists and small business owners! It’s good karma and karma is like peanut butter … it’s best when spread thick and all over the place.
Only the smooth kind of karma though! Crunchy karma is kind of gross.