Saturday, July 25, 2009

Careful what you wish for

Sorry to have been MIA, we just got back from an amazing vacation with friends, and I've been trying to recoup.

So much has happened. Where do I begin?!

The weekend after I filed for divorce, I had a very sad weekend. It felt like the last stage of mourning, and a little bit of panic. A lot of "I'm going to be alone forever and what guy my age is going to want 3 instant kids with no chance of kids of his own blah blah blah blah".

I decided it was time to get out of that mindset and go do something I love. MUSIC.

Called up my music buddy and together we hit a Saturday night music showcase sponsored by a local newspaper. We walked in the door to the very first showcase, bought drinks, hadn't so much as taken a sip when we were approached by a very, very inebriated man. He pointed over to a group of guys and asked us to come and sit. We needed chairs, and the other guys seemed ok, so we said why not?

Before the music started we sipped our drinks and chatted with the other 5 or 6 non-inebriated guys. One of them seemed particularly smart and super cute, and we hit it off instantly. A couple of drinks later and we were arm in arm. He asked for my number, I got his. He promised to take me out (ya ya I've heard that before). I expected nothing.

The next day he texted me to say hello and what a great time he had. At that point my kids and I were already driving down to our vacation with friends. Once I was able to respond, he asked if I would still like to go out with him when we got back. Ummmm, ya!!

Again, I had no expectations. But along came messages with detailed plans of our date. 6pm, art museum. 8pm, dinner at an expensive restaurant. Home by midnight. NO ONE has ever done this for me. My husband, WHEN he planned dates, planned them based on food he liked or movies he wanted to see. Before him, movies with high school boyfriends. No one has ever planned a date based around what they knew about me (art museum because I am in an artistic career). No one has ever spoiled me, or treated me like a princess. And this is the first guy out of the gate!!!

So we continued to send each other silly little texts throughout my vacation, and then Thursday my ex picked up the kids at 5:30. My date "T" picked me up at 6.

He was even more gorgeous than I remembered. And even sweeter. He admitted to me that he had been nervous all day, because this was his first real date in years. I then confessed that he was my first real date in 13 years. We laughed and it broke the ice.

He let me pick the music from his Ipod. He opened my car doors. He asked about my children, and worked hard to memorize their names and ages. He complimented me at every opportunity. He was self-deprecating yet confident. He was smart and funny, and thought I was smart and funny. We held hands at the art museum, discussed the paintings, talked about all the places we have traveled, what our hopes and dreams for the future are, and he let me brag on my kids. I even took his picture and sent it to my friends for approval (the general response: "Rawr!")

Dinner was even better. He insisted on a different table when the one we got wasn't suitable for close conversation. I barely ate because I was so enthralled with him, his life, his closeness to his family, his amazing career, his eyes, his smile...

At one point I was filling him on the situation with my Dad. He asked how often I visit, and when I told him when I would be going next, he asked if he could come with me and wait for me, because "No one should have to go through that alone". *sigh*

The catch (and there is, oh, yes, a big one). He lives in AFGHANISTAN. Other side of the WORLD. He is a civilian working for the military and is only here for 2 weeks. He will return permanently in November. 4 months from now. However, I'm trying to think of this as a good thing. I don't want to get serious right now. His 4 month absence will give me the chance to finalize my divorce, date other people, and really think this through. It's vital for me to do those things, because this is the kind of guy I could get serious with.

Already we have planned a date for almost every day he has left in town (lucky for me, next week happens to be my ex's week-long time with the kids). He's going to the hospital with me Monday and then dinner. Tuesday we double date with one of my best friends. Wednesday we are going to a baseball game. Not sure yet about Friday but I'm sure there will be something.

It's just amazing what can happen when you just let go.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Today was D-Day.

My friend came over around noon, I managed to cart my oldest child off to a friend's house first but did end up taking my two youngest with. ("Where are we going, Mommy?" "Business stuff.")

After calamity after calamity (copy guy at copy place didn't know how to make copies, and finding the courthouse was like going on a scavenger hunt) we finally made it and piled inside. No line, no waiting, just a disinterested clerk waiting to help me create one of the biggest moments of my life.

My friend took my girls out in the hall while I waited for the papers to be processed. As she went through my paperwork, my mind drifted to the other times I had been in a courthouse. Speeding tickets, birth certificates, and then of course....getting our marriage license. I remember standing in the courthouse with him 12 years ago, us giggling and giddy, two children in love. There was an elderly couple there that congratulated us and wished us well. I had no doubt in my mind that in 50 years we would still be together, just like this couple. As my mind drifted there and that fresh memory rose in my mind, I of course began to tear up. The clerk glanced up at me, gave me a surprised look as if filing for divorce were as unemotional as paying for a speeding ticket, and then went back to her life-changing signatures.

I walked out of the room shaking, not really very sure of my emotions but just knowing that something BIG had just happened. Hugged my girls, hugged my friend, walked to the car, sat down and took a huge breath.

So it has begun. There is a 60 day wait, more paperwork, a parenting class, but the ball is rolling and it's official. I filed for divorce. Still can't wrap my head around it. Still waiting for the relief to seep in.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Making it Legal

Soooo much to catch up on, blogging time during the summer with all three kids home all day long is becoming quite the luxury.

Well MONDAY is the big day. The divorce petition is all prepared, and on Monday one of my best friends will be accompanying me to the courthouse to file it.

We think that once I file, the divorce will be final within 60 days. That's just a couple of weeks before my 33rd birthday, and will make just over a year since our separation.

I am excited, nervous, emotional, hopeful, many emotions that I couldn't begin to pick just one.

For one, dating is knocking on my door. I am meeting guys when I go out, I've exchanged numbers, I've done a little kissing, but I am not serious about any of it. I'm ready to jump in, to really get out there and have some fun without "separated" hanging over my head. I'm ready for the legal world to acknowledge what I've known for a very long time: that I am no longer married or bound to this man.

Speaking of the man, Wednesday I called him to let him know that I was preparing the papers. Long story short, we decided a few weeks ago that it made the most sense to file a no fault divorce ourselves, as going through lawyers with even the simplest of cases would cost thousands and thousands. The only thing we had not discussed was child support. After a very intense few days of back and forth and heated conversations, we finally came to a compromise that we both felt comfortable with. It was a very upsetting week and I ended up sick for the majority of the week from the stress (that and my Dad had yet another surgery today).

Filling out the paperwork was much more emotional than I expected. Here is some of the wording:

The marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personality which destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.


I'm sure it just gets harder from here until everything is final. I'm tired of anticipating it and just want to just get it over with.

We haven't told the kids yet. They have asked, and we haven't been prepared to answer. I won't put it off much longer. I don't think they will be surprised at all, but it still won't be easy to hear. Maybe part of them still holds onto some hope, I don't know. Maybe they will be as relieved as I am that the limbo part is over and we can all move on. Either way, I dread it.

Friday, July 3, 2009


My Dad has yet another surgery in just about 6 hours, but I had a long discussion tonight with one of my best friends and felt inspired to come and write about it.

I've talked before about the importance of friendship in my life. Lately, I have been so humbled by these friendships; and with this whole 4 month long crisis with my father going on and on and on, I have to really sit back and wonder how the hell I have gotten through it.

Let me tell you about my friends.

First there was J. She and I have the same profession, and technically might be considered "competition". We were casual friends because of our careers and kept in touch because of it. J was there with me when my youngest daughter was born, only 3 weeks after the "atom bomb" dropped in my marriage. I didn't realize the significance of that at the time because we weren't the friends then that we are now (she was there professionally), but I look back on that day and feel so grateful for her presence. My husband may not have given a shit about me, but at least there was one person in that room with me who loved me.

J introduced me to her group of friends during the hardest time of my life, right after my separation a year ago. These women are amazing. Each accomplished in their own right, each bringing something different and wonderful to the table. This group of friends "adopted" me in a sense, and proved their friendship to me before I even really knew much about them.

I have never been the girl with a ton of friends. I have issues stemming from childhood that make me very suspicious of women, and I have a hard time investing in friendships. Once I was on my own, I made more of an effort with this group and it was the best decision I ever made. In part because of them, every aspect of my life is fulfilled, and even in the midst of this mess with my Dad, I feel happy. I always have someone to see a movie with, I always have someone to call when I am sad, I always have someone to call when I want to laugh my ass off, I always have someone to help me with my kids if I need it, I always have someone to go with me to get drinks and dance, I always have advice from someone who has been there. So honestly, when people seem surprised that I am getting through all of this "alone"...I'm not alone. I'm less alone now than I was when I was married.

They showed up to the hospital the day of the surgery, they came to the hospital weeks after the surgery. They took me to dinner, they brought me dinners for my family, they helped with my kids, they called restaurants they knew I was at and tried to buy drinks for me and my brother. They bought me voodoo dolls in Mexico, they texted me to check on me, they called and talked me down from cliffs, they took me for asian foot massages. They invite me to eat with their families, they check on me even when they are halfway across the globe on vacations.

Their husbands even help me with "man" things around my house...I call them my surrogate husbands. :)

Another reason why I will not feel rushed into being in a relationship with a friends help fulfill so much of my life that I won't have to settle for anything less than the best for me. In the future, I refuse to be treated any less than the way my friends treat me. They have set the ultimate standard.

(I love you guys XOXOXO!!!)