Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I spent three hours in family court today. The end product was temporary spousal support. I don't like the word "temporary," because the marriage is permanently over. He's married to someone else.  Eventually though, we will reach an agreement on permanent support and I will have that for the rest of my life--which is...temporary. 
Everything, it seems to me, is temporary.  And, if you have a good memory, everything is permanent, too.  Temporary.  Permanent.  It's hard to separate them.  
I never imagined my marriage as temporary.  I never believed that my husband's leaving me would be permanent. But as "they" say, "Life goes on."  Temporarily, that is.
I'm off to have coffee this afternoon with bachelor #1.  It's an exercise, more than anything else. He's semi-retired--a businessman. In the wings, there is also an architect, an attorney, and an investment broker.  I may have coffee with all of them eventually, but the dating websites have been un-bookmarked.  No more profiles, no more guided questions, no more "must haves" and "can't stands."   Meanwhile, I'll just try to look people in the eye when life presents an encounter.  What we all want, I think, is connection.  Can you hear me now?  How about now?

Lining Up for Love

I've decided online dating is not for me.   This is a direct result of my trip to Greece and the experiences I've had so far with three well-known dating sites. I dated a guy and fell for him after a lot of online correspondence, reading his plays (he's a playwright), several phone conversations, dinner and a meeting for a late night glass of wine.  Then everything went wrong.  The next time I moved a little more slowly and quit after the coffee date-- loved him in cyberspace, but there was absolutely no chemistry.  Right before I was ready to meet the 3rd guy I learned of his "unusual sexual needs." Yikes.   Now I'm in the middle of corresponding with 4 other guys and if they want to meet for coffee before I leave for a writer's residency on Friday morning, I'm going to do it, just to wrap things up neatly.  This time I have no expectations.  I'm not actively looking for love anymore.  I don't want to be the pursuer.  I don't think it's possible to REALLY get to know someone online. When you finally meet, you're still starting from scratch but with the added confusion that this person seems different than he did online.
On the other hand, if anyone knows of a guy with some personal depth, a sense of history, slightly worn, and a heart not made of stone, please introduce us. In person. He would have to be willing to take things verrry slowly so we can really get to know each other.

Tea and Donuts

The tea party didn't happen on Sunday.  Sandy got a migraine and Carol did something to her back.  When Sandy's husband Tom called to tell me our plans had fallen apart, I ended up talking to him for an hour.  This past year or so, I've begun to think of Tom as just plain Tom and not just half of "Tom 'n Sandy."  I don't know if it's a result of my being un-coupled, or if it's due to witnessing a bit of what Tom's been going through in the personal life/professional life high wire act that everyone in mid-life seems to find increasingly unbalanced.  Some guys go for the full on crisis--sports car, trophy wife, new kids, new wardrobe, an i-pod with an all new soundtrack and think that will fix everything, but Tom has tried a different approach.  He saw that his crazy high stress TV job was going to be his undoing, so he confronted his boss and scaled things back to a manageable size so he could have time to take a deep breath or two. Then he retired.  
Tom was the person who answered the phone the morning the moving van sat parked in my driveway.  I wasn't prepared for what it would feel like to walk away from the house where my husband and I had raised our daughters, the yard I had tinkered with until it was perfect.  I told myself I'd feel so much better when I left; that the pain would lift in new surroundings.  Instead I fell completely apart and woke Tom and Sandy early on a Sunday morning.  He'd played poker on Saturday night and he sounded a little like he still had cards in his hand and a cloud of cigarette smoke over his head.  I could barely talk, but he got the gist of what I was saying.  "Give us an hour and we'll be there," he told me.   And they were---and when they got out of the car, Sandy was carrying a big pink box of donuts.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


It's Sunday, and it's time for more socializing. Hard to believe that I can go for days some weeks barely interacting with anyone.  Today is the birthday celebration of my friend Carol. For years, four of us---Nancy, Sandy, Carol and I have had tea at the Huntington Library and Gardens Tea Room to revel in the joys of getting older and wiser.  Nancy is an attorney, Sandy is an artist and Carol is an actress with a 9-5 day job at Children's Hospital. Sometimes we are months late by the time our schedules show white space on the same square, but we just keep emailing and calling back and forth until we have a match.  
When my husband told me our marriage was over that Sunday afternoon in July last year, I emailed my friends.   I asked that no one call because I knew there'd only be crying on my end of the phone.  A few hours later though, the three of them had arranged an emergency tea for Tuesday morning.  
That November, in preparation for moving out of my house, I threw a "packing party." Carol had done a marathon that day to raise money for stroke prevention and couldn't make it, but she called me late that night to ask how the party had gone. "My walls are empty," I sobbed. I sat in my denuded living room crying while I pressed the phone my ear.  Her soft husky voice (that I've loved from the moment that I first heard it 33 years ago) was balm for my broken spirit.  Carol also has a great sense of intuition.  If I had taken her up on her offer to walk me to my car one night when I was 20-something, I wouldn't have spent an hour flattened on the front seat of my car with some jerk's hands around my neck.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I'm having dinner tonight with my friend, Suzanne. Then we'll go to see a play that our friend, Larry, co-wrote and is performing in. These are the moments that keep me going. Little by little the giant hole in my life is being stitched up.  My previous dinner out was with a new friend I made in Athens.  We were strangers until we ended up on the same tour bus to Delphi. When we had our dinner later that night a little girl came to our table selling flowers.  She was irresistible. He bought two red roses and gave them to me. "Remember, serendipity could be just a bus ride away," he wrote in an email a couple of days ago.
It was serendipity that brought Suzanne and me together.  We had a mutual friend who kept telling each of us how much we'd like one another and that he'd have to get us together.  Before he managed that we both got cast in the same play and have been friends ever since.

The Trip: mine not his

I'm not in Greece anymore. But I was there for 22 days.  Why the  big trip?  I figured since my husband was getting the 34-year-old bride, the big wedding and the honeymoon, I should treat myself to my own adventure.  Why Greece? It was all in the timing.  I wanted to go alone, but with a hiking group, so I selected a trip from the group's catalogue in sync with the date of my husband's wedding and honeymoon. As he was promising his new love the same things he'd once promised me, I wanted to be on a separate continent, in a different time zone, and in a new state of mind.  I didn't care where I went, but there were two hikes that covered the needed time span....so I signed up for both of them.  Hence Greece. The destination appealed to me.  I felt like a traveler lost at sea so I would pack my new copy of The Odyssey and get out of town.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Wedding: his not mine

My husband got married 20 days ago. I was sitting in a restaurant in Chania,Crete refilling my wine glass while he was probably checking his wedding regalia. You know--the tight pants, the turban with the frill that, on him, looks like it belongs to some giant lizard from Australia. Anyhow, he's not my husband anymore.  And I'm still getting used to the idea despite the fact that he told me he was leaving me, getting married and starting a new family(yes,that was all one conversation)in July of 2007.We were together for 32 years and now that he's remarried, the over-ness of it all and the need to recognize the stunning kindness of friends and family is what has turned me into a blogger.