Posts Tagged ‘divorce’

You should have killed me.

Posted: September 24, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Going to class that night, I was stressed out. I was going through a very rough divorce because my soon-to-be-ex had turned vicious. I was facing complete financial ruin and bankruptcy. I had been strongly advised by my attorney to settle as quickly as possible and to avoid going to court because I would lose. The law was clear; he was entitled to half of everything and the fact that he hadn’t worked for years didn’t mean anything. He was going after the house, my retirement, alimony and because I worked for my family, he wanted half of my father’s business. This meant he was doing everything he could to put me and my family out on the street.

It had been a rough couple of weeks and it didn’t look like it was going to get any better.

I started class on time and everyone was there. I felt a bit off but didn’t think anyone could tell. I had my usual cup of coffee and the topic of the evening was one’s own personal integrity. I had them all read about integrity and honor being more important than your immediate life. It was a good class that lead to over an hour of discussions. A couple of times I had to raise my voice to get their attention because they were starting to talk over each other and I couldn’t keep up with all of them.

As I was packing up for the evening and grabbing all their lessons to grade in the days to come, one of my student’s stayed behind. Her name was Maria and she wanted to ask me a question. We had time, so I pulled out a chair for her, sat down and listened.

“I just wanted to know if you are alright,” she said.

“I’m fine. Maybe just a bit tired, that’s all.”

She shook her head, reached over and put her hand on mine. “No, it’s not that. I watched you tonight while everyone was talking. There’s something bothering you. Do you want to talk about it?”

Maria always brought me a cup of coffee when I came in on Friday night. She was bright and attentive and was always smiling.

“Well, I won’t lie but it’s not anything I can talk about right now. Besides, this class is for you guys and not me and it does help me to come here and be with all of you. Truly it does and it means a great deal to me that you took the time to ask.”

“Stay right here. I’ll be right back,” she said as she ran out of the room. She was back a few minutes later, out of breath and running out of time before her bed check. She put a photo down on the table. It was a picture of a young child in a wheelchair who was obviously suffering from cerebral palsy. It was her son.

“I’m showing you his picture because I want you to know something. What I did that got me in here was wrong but I didn’t think I had any options. It was a stupid mistake and now he’s staying with my Mom. You said earlier that your honor and integrity were more important that your immediate life. I made a choice to help him. I committed insurance fraud and got caught and you know what? I’m glad I did it because it got him some care for a few months that he needed.  Whatever you are dealing with, I just want you to know that I will listen, even if you’re not supposed to tell me anything because I know you have to remain anonymous for your own protection, but I’ll listen anytime you want.”

I leaned over and hugged her. I looked at the time and she had less than a minute before her bed check. She gave me another quick hug, grabbed her picture and ran out the door.

Driving home, I thought about what she had said. The fact of the matter was I was running scared and being threatened and pushed around by a man I had been married to my entire adult life who I no longer knew. I was scared and worried and being careful. I was being careful and I had never been that way.

People often ask the question “What is truth” and the answer is so simple.

Truth is what you say it is. Nothing more and nothing less. You decide what is true for you and that is what it is. Truth is static and can knock down walls and cut through steel plates and always remain what it is you said it was.

The truth of the matter was I was a hypocrite.

That was my truth.

I was not doing what I was telling others to do. I was making decisions based on the fear of what would happen to my life if I did fight. I had turned into a cowering, scared and somewhat pathetic woman.

I had turned into someone I no longer respected or liked. I was a coward because I was worried about money. The realization hit me so hard while I was driving home that I had to pull over and take a few deep breaths.

What right did I have to go there, teach these women everything I could if I was not going to practice it in my own life?

I had no right to do that.

The rest of the way home, I kept seeing that little boy strapped down in a wheelchair along with his mother’s face shining with pride and love over her little boy. A woman who had decided, on her own and without any help from me, to give up her immediate life to help her child.

I was ashamed.

I walked into my house, threw my purse and briefcase on the couch and picked-up my phone. It was late but I didn’t care. I had something to say to someone.

The soon-to-be-ex answered and before he could say anything, I told him to not say a word and just listen.

“Sam, I’ve thought long and hard about your demands. I know you are legally entitled to them, but that’s not the point of my phone call. I just want you to know that after all these years of being married to me, you should have known better.”

“Known better than what?”

“That if you were going to come after me, you had one shot and you should have killed me. You didn’t and that was your mistake. Game on,” I said and hung-up the phone.

My attorney was going to kill me, but so what? If I was not a person who was going to live by what I preached, I was already dead. I formed my game plan and took my shot and guess what?

I did what I preached and everything turned out just fine.

If only my students understood that they teach me as much, if not more so, than I teach them.

My dinner with Mike

Posted: May 26, 2012 in Dating
Tags: , ,

I had a wonderful evening and am so glad my friend Laura gave me the push I needed. I have not dated for over a year since breaking up with my last boyfriend and would not admit the degree of the hurt, disappointment and failure that I have felt for the last year. I had hit my limit, and then some, on rejection and had decided it wasn’t worth it to risk going through it again, so I parked myself on the sidelines and watched.

I knew the evening would be fine, no matter what happened because I would be surrounded by my friends that love and care for me. I ended up wearing my size 6 Harley jeans, which are cut low with a large belt, tight tank top and 4′ heels. This is how I prefer to dress, so might as well just be myself and let the chips fall where they may. I topped it off with red lipstick and my trusty black leather jacket.

I arrived a bit late. Everyone was there, which was 6 of us. I was greeted warmly by Laura when I walked it and my friends came over to say hello and hug me. Sitting on the couch was Mike. As soon as I walked in, he stood up. Score one for him! We shook hands and the evening began.

Dinner was great and the conversation ebbed and flowed. Mike looked to be in his 50’s, trim with sandy blonde hair and blue eyes. He is very good looking and has an air of confidence and sincerity about him. He sat across from me and spent most of the evening talking to me. I found his manners impeccable from holding my chair out for me to asking me questions and actually listening to what I had to say.

Side note to men: All foreplay includes good manners, which includes LISTENING to what she has to say. Just thought I would throw that in there for you. It works.

I knew what was going to happen during dinner and my sisters did not disappoint me. There would be no need for me to ask him anything that would come across as if I was interviewing him or prying. My sisters would do that and it would appear perfectly innocent to him. One would ask a question about his family. Another would ask him if he had any children. The next one would ask him about his work. All I would have to do is sit back, smile and listen. They would let me know later if they approved or not and I learned a long time ago, listen to my sisters!

Mike works with Laura’s husband, Bob so Laura did not know much about him. At one point, Laura asked him how long he had been single.

“Well, I’ve been separated for about 3 months now, so…..”

You could cut the silence with a knife. Mike didn’t notice and kept talking. I felt a slight smile cross my face and said nothing, but I could see the women shooting looks at each other and then at me. I gave them a slight shrug and chuckled. I could hear Mike talking to Bob about something about where he had moved to and I looked over at Laura. She looked like a dear in the headlights and mouthed the words “I swear I didn’t know.” I smiled back and said “It’s OK. Don’t worry about it. Really, don’t” and then I pretended to understand what the men were talking about.

After dinner, I knew I had to get into the kitchen because the women had jumped up, cleared the table and then quietly motioned me to follow them. I marched in and the door was closed.

“Oh shit, I thought he was single….” said Laura.

“Yeah, but he’s separated so…” said Barbara.

“But only 3 months! I mean, come on…” said Karen.

I leaned back against the counter, folded my arms across my chest and let them talk. “Ladies, it’s OK. It’s not a big deal.”

They all turned and looked at me. God love my married female friends. They don’t know what it’s like and they all have this look of disappointment, mixed with just a tinge of pity and sadness when they look at me. That makes me angry for a moment.

“You are all looking at me as if my life just ended out there at the dining room table. It didn’t and it won’t. I think it’s funny, actually, so lighten up and just enjoy the rest of the evening.”

“But we were all hoping…”

“I know what you were all hoping for and I love you all for it, but please get it out of your head that I am miserable and lonely, just because I don’t have someone in my life this exact moment. That’s not how it works. Besides, you are all acting like this is the ONLY man for me and if I don’t snatch him up right away, I will shrivel up and die. I’m not going back to who I used to be. Not for anyone.”

Lots of head nodding and smiles and thumbs-up. I know my words fell on deaf ears, but that’s fine. They are too cute to stay mad at.

“Now, someone help me find my cane and glasses and help this poor, old soul back into the living room. Where did I leave my teeth?” I ask.

Stunned silence until I started laughing so hard, I had to bend over to catch my breath and then walked out of the kitchen and left the door open. I could hear them laughing too, so all was good again.

I ended up talking with Mike outside on the patio after stealing some cigars from Bob. Nothing like a good cigar after a huge meal with wonderful and well intended friends.

“So, Susan, it’s really nice to get to know you. I love a woman that smokes a cigar.”

“You know this whole dinner party is a set-up, right?”

Based on the look on his face, he did not know. This made me get the giggles. I will always love the cluelessness of men. It is quite endearing.

He blushes and looks away. “Ummm, well, no I didn’t know but I’m glad it happened.”

“You’re not ready to date me.”

“I’m not? Why not?”

“It’s called rebound. You need a rebound girl. That’s not me.”

He smiled and shook his head. “Is it that obvious?”

“Yes it is, but only to me. Is this your first divorce?”

“Yep, 30 years and now I don’t know what.”

“Ah, you’re a rookie.”

“Oh, and you’re a pro?”

I laughed. “Yes, when it comes to divorce and break-ups, I am. Look, here’s the deal. When this happens to someone, your whole life falls apart. I don’t know what happened with you and I don’t want to know. It doesn’t matter. Whatever it was, it wasn’t good and now you’re confused, alone, scared and you just want your life back but you know it will never happen. What you had before is gone, destroyed and it’s never coming back. You wrestle with it, day and night, and you blame yourself, you blame them but no matter who you blame, it won’t fix it.”

He sighed deeply, looked down at his feet and nodded.

“I’m sorry Mike if I am being too personal, but if anyone needed a friend to talk to, that would be you. You can tell me to shut-up and I will. I just want you to know that I have a good idea how you are feeling.”

“No, it’s OK. Please keep talking. Please.”

And so we talked. No one came out to the patio, which I thought was cute but I knew damn well we were being watched. I listened to him tell me how scared he was and how he can’t stand being in his apartment alone, every day and night. I sat and listened.

We wandered back into the house and had coffee and dessert. Everyone pretended like they didn’t realize Mike and I had disappeared for an hour. I was happy, full and getting sleepy. I knew I would have to debrief my sisters, so back into the kitchen we wandered and left the men alone to finally talk about what they wanted to talk about.

I told them all was good and that Mike was a great guy but not ready to date me. I then told them that if I saw one look of pity or disappointment on their faces, I would cut their tits off. That seemed to work.

As I was leaving, I said my good-byes and Mike insisted on walking me to my car. As we walked towards my car, he put his arm around my shoulder and hugged me but didn’t say a word.

“Thanks Susan for listening to me. I can’t believe I told you so much.”

“It’s OK Mike. We all need someone to listen.”

With that, I got one of the most passionate kisses I have ever gotten. I actually stopped breathing for a moment.

He stepped back and smiled at me. “I’ll be calling you in a few months and hoping that the men around you continue to be stupid and no one scoops you up before I call. Good night Susan.” And with that, he opened my car door, made sure I fastened my seat belt and locked my door. He then squatted down so I rolled down my window.

“Yes?” I ask and grin at him.

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. Just take it easy, don’t rush into anything and breath. It will all be OK.”

I drove home with a huge grin on my face and it stayed there all night while I slept.

I’m back! I did it and no one died. Life is good.