Homesick

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At 10:00 p.m. the first night I dropped her off at camp I received the call I had been dreading.

“I’m homesick,” sob, sobbing harder, and then louder.

“My roommates didn’t show up.” SOB, tears falling so hard and fast as they hit the phone it sounded like rain hitting the roof.

“You don’t have roommates?”

“Yes, I convinced two other girls to join me.”

“I hate it here!” WAAAAHHHHHHHHH

“Don’t you like the pool?”

“No, its horrible!” Sniff, sniff, sniff

“Are you learning any new skills?”

“N-o, I h-a-te it h-e-r-e” hicup, hicup, hyperventilate.

“Are you wanting me to pick you up?”

“Yes, come immediately!!!!”

“Honey, by the time I would get there it would be 3 a.m. and I just drove home from their today. I can’t do that and I won’t do that!”

WAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH

And the longer we talked the worse it got until I finally realized I was in a no-win situation and she would keep this up until Sunday, the battery power on her phone died, or at the very least until the sun rose.

In exasperation I said to my littlest

“Honey, I have to go, so put on your big girl panties and tough it out. Here’s the thing, you have the ability to choose what this weekend will be for you. You can choose to be miserable or you can choose to be happy, to have a great time, learn lots and create a bunch of memories. It’s your choice. Personally, I would choose happy because that is the only REAL choice you have if you want to have a good life. Start practicing making good choices.”

And then I hung up the phone before it got wet as the  salty drops started to splatter around me.

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Say YES To The Dress

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Tonight I am heading to a charity ball being held to raise money for my daughter’s diving team. At fifty-five years of age you would think I would be an old pro at this, but no, I am a virgin at this type of affair and unlike most Cinderellas…I have no fairy godmother to take care of things for me. As a result of this misfortune, for the past three days I have been schlepping from store to store in search of the perfect dress, shoes, and a fat suit to hold it all in. Needless to say it has been discouraging and a major blow to the old ego.

Dress one: Long, scarlet and slit oh-so-high-right-up-the-thigh. Youngest daughter almost throws up in her mouth. “Really mom,” she sighs. “One day I’ll have to go back to the pool and I don’t want you to be THE mom that everyone is still talking about.”

Dress two: short, blue. “Mom, your cellulite is showing.”

Dress three: Just sparkly enough to catch my daughter’s interest…until I put it on. “I think you will need a bigger fat suit,” she says.

Dress four: White, bra-less with cutouts in the back. “OMG, Mom. Do your boobs really drop that far when you get old?” (I swear I am never taking this kid shopping with me again!)

Dresses five through eleven:

“No.”

“No.”

“OH-No.”

“Gross.”

“Please mom don’t embarrass me in that.”

“Absolutely…no way.”

“Really, mom, what are you thinking?”

Dress twelve: Oh SHIT, I ripped it near the zipper when I tried to pull it down over my hips. Future reminder to self… ALWAYS take dress off by pulling over your head.

Dress thirteen: Black, long. Two sizes smaller than I normally wear.  My daughter gasps and instructs me to turn around.

“IT FITS!” she squeals.

“It  fits… like…everywhere?” I hesitantly ask trying to avoid my major most obvious issue by refusing to turn around to take a good look at my ample ass in the mirror.

“EVERYWHERE!” she exclaims.”You look really beautiful and you no longer look so embarrassing!” (Okay, maybe she can come shopping with me again someday)

“Really?” I say, running my hand over my hills and dales. I look HARD. Move here. Move there. Bend…nothing ripped, nothing broke, nothing howled.

“Honey, quick, hand me my phone,” I say with a real sense of urgency in my voice.

Just like that I dial the number to my instructor at the Pilates studio and sign up for another ten pack of lessons, as tears slide down my cheeks. My daughter thinks I am beautiful… maybe I should go purchase a lottery ticket!

And FYI Prince Charming … be forewarned…you might just be riding home all alone in that pumpkin because this fifty-five year-old Cinderella is going to the ball tonight and she’s looking damn good!

Six Hours Later…

It has been interesting to me that I have been composing these recent pieces in a somewhat poetic form. I ponder why because I never choose to write in this particular style. And what occurs to me is that right now I feel raw, sad and the confusion is deep and so in writing in an unfamiliar style it almost makes it feel that it is not me that this is happening to. I am incapable of organizing my thoughts in a traditional piece so I must not be that OTHER woman, that sad one, the poetic one, who might very well end up divorced.

Yep, I am just floating down De’Nile.

THREE HOURS POST GWENNIFERR

CRAZY
Sometimes I feel like Hillary Clinton
Ignoring what appears to be in front of me for the greater good
But sometimes I wonder if you are the type of man
That slowly drives his wife crazy
Sweet and caring
Sexy and funny
Giving and kind in so many important ways
A good family man folks would say
With a part that is hidden from the public that longs to stray
I did my sexual experimentation when I was young
You didn’t
Are you wishing you had?
What is it you think you are missing?
It’s true
I’ve never “caught” you with another woman
There have been uncomfortable/inappropriate texts
A picture of another woman
And a very strange business card belonging to a woman
You swear you have no idea how THAT got in your wallet
There have been entire nights you were unreachable on business trips
We even laughed that you must be the most unlucky man in the world
When you are alone…even the front desk messes up
Must have rang the wrong room
Even though they were different hotels, different stays
Because you were in your room…all night
Oh yes, and there was that condom under our bed that I found when we were moving…maybe it was our teenager
And now Gwenniferr…again
Why the lie if everything is innocent?
But even worse, it is a stupid reckless lie
These are small things….distant enough from one another
Occurring here and there…not everyday…not every year
But when added up
Make you appear to be untrustworthy to me
Why don’t you just come clean?
There is nothing to come clean of you insist
And so I feel crazy
Maybe look crazy too
And you accuse me of not trusting you
And I don’t
For good reasonS
How can you have a marriage without trust?
We have for a while now
It’s made our bones brittle, our lungs empty, hearts heavy
And finally I realize that you can’t live without trust
Can counseling fix this?
I don’t know
Maybe it is over
And we just don’t know it yet
FOUR HOURS POST GWENNIFER
SPECIAL

I used to think our marriage was special

I really truly used to believe that with all my heart

When did that stop?

Today for sure

Before then…probably

We were friends, I thought

Fantastic lovers, I knew

Allies, maybe? sometimes

And I always thought

That you would be the one holding my hand when I passed on

Now I realize we just had a marriage

There was nothing special about it at all

It was just a plain ordinary marriage

Like everyone else has

A marriage of ups and downs

Of good and bad

Of happiness and sorrow

Of kindness and love

Of children and grandchildren

Of travel and adventure

But now the only thing left is the fantastic lover part

And that is not enough for me anymore

Trust….gone

Admiration…fled the scene

Truth…never

Friendship…well the therapist says we don’t have it

You wanted to like me again

I wanted the same of you

And then Gwenniferr re-emerged

Once again reminding me

We have less than a marriage

Because a marriage is built on truth and trust

And at this time ours appears to be built on sand

FIVE HOURS POST GWENNIFERR

HARMLESS

Your innocent flirting you said was harmless

Your unhappiness you felt until you wanted a D.I.V.O.R.C.E. was harmless

Your dishonesty was avoidance and therefore harmless

Your relationship with Gwenniferr is nothing, it’s harmless

She is like a sister to you, harmless

Your relationship to me that is imploding…harmless

Destroying our family…harmless

Your look-me-in-the-eye I’m telling you the truth, harmless

Your relationship with your children, maybe on your way to becoming a weekend father…harmless

Your innocence astounds me

And your harmless actions seer my soul

Permanent scars carved into my skin

One at a time over years

Looking like a tattoo of dragon talons swooping down

Cutting and digging into flesh

You BRAND my soul with your harmlessness

And it doesn’t feel harmless at all

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How did we get from this this song that we played at our 25th Wedding Anniversary to where we are now? I don’t understand

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZwdj1ALvf0

All I know is that we knitted this marriage for all these years and with one tug, one pull of the thread it is unraveling and the speed with which it is astounds me.