Tuesday, January 30, 2018

My Middle Finger--"Thank You Ashely Madison" excerpt

Thursday, March 28

     Rachel and I let Tom and Sean roam the shopping mall while we looked at diamonds-by-the-yard necklaces at Tiffany's.
     I’d visited a jeweler to see about enlarging my five-diamond anniversary band to wear on my middle finger—seemed apropos—and the jeweler said the diamonds needed a new setting and quoted me a high price. Rachel, who'd been in the jewelry business, suggested I put the diamonds in a Tiffany-style diamonds-by-the-yard necklace thinking it would cost less than creating a new ring. The necklaces were beautiful. I handed Rachel my ring to get a quote from her jeweler friend.
     I dropped Tom at JB’s on our way home. They were going to see Green Day. I picked up dinner, took it to my mother’s, and we began planning our Ireland trip. We decided to spend the first night in Dublin, the next two in Antrim, the next two in Galway, and the last in Kilkenny. I’d brought my dogs with and left them with my mother. Tom and I are spending his last weekend of spring break with Ruby and Mikey at a resort I’d found a deal on in Lake Geneva.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Surfing Weirdness--"Thank You Ashley Madison" excerpt

Wednesday, March 27

     My attorney sent me an email saying she filed our marital settlement agreement. Our day in court is April tenth. I feel off-kilter, strange, and grateful all at once. My lawyer said JB doesn’t have to appear in court. I never thought I’d get divorced. This is surreal.
     I went for my ultrasound and mammogram. Apparently, I have two teeny-tiny cysts in my left breast which were there last year but no one told me. The radiologist said I have nothing to worry about.
     I’m surfing weirdness.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Flying Apart--"Thank You Ashley Madison" excerpt

Monday, March 25

     JB dropped off Tom and handed me the signed divorce papers. I walked into the house and sat on my couch. I felt weird, disoriented, and numb. I took the papers out of the envelope and signed them. I faxed them to my attorney.
     It was freezing, cloudy, and dreary on Tom’s first day of spring break. I picked up Rachel’s son, Sean, to take the boys to the archery range. Forgetting I’d pulled up to a large crusty snow mass turned to ice, I drove forward and ripped off my front bumper.
     As the boys shot arrows, I got a call from Lake Forest Hospital telling me I needed another mammogram and an ultrasound of my left breast. An abnormality had shown up. Rattled, I scheduled an appointment for Wednesday. I felt like I was flying apart.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Signed Papers--"Thank You Ashley Madison" excerpt

Sunday, March 24

     I texted JB to see when he’d be bringing Tom home. He said 8:30 tomorrow morning. He’d received the latest round of divorce papers from my attorney on Friday. I asked if he’d be dropping off signed papers. He said yes!!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ireland--"Thank You Ashley Madison" excerpt

Thursday, March 21

     My mother and I’ve been talking about going on a trip after my divorce. I suggested going to Germany, her motherland, but she said she didn’t like going to foreign countries. I said how about the redwoods and Yosemite? She said it would be too cold in the spring. This morning, I got a smoking hot deal for a vacation package to Ireland emailed to me. My father and mother had discussed going to Ireland when he was alive. It was an English-speaking country. I called my mother.
     “I just got a great offer for a trip to Ireland that includes airfare, a car, and vouchers for a week of B&Bs anywhere we want to go. I can be your tour guide and chauffeur.”
     “Let’s do it!” she said. “But let’s go during the summer, when the weather is good.”
     My mother bought us the trip! We’re going to Ireland!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Creepy, Huh?--"Thank You Ashley Madison" excerpt

Wednesday, March 20

     Shana creeps me out. We began attending monthly Kabbalah classes at the same time and after we were partnered together once, she began sitting next to me and sizing me up with her shifty piercing eyes.
     I attended a Purim party at the Kabbalah center not long ago and everyone dressed up in costumes. I wore a suede fringe hippie vest, a loud pink shirt, and torn jeans and found a seat for the service between a woman wearing a generic white paper mask over her face and a person dressed as a either a harlequin or hangman. The harlequin/hangman wore a black polyester sack with the eyes and mouth cut out over his or her head and a harlequin mask on top of it. He or she was draped in a long black robe and refused to speak and rarely moved.
     “I tried to get him to talk but he won’t,” the woman with the paper mask whispered loudly. “He’s been sitting there a long time and he won’t talk to anyone. I was glad when you sat down.”
     I looked directly at the harlequin/hangman. He or she stared straight ahead, folded gloved hands resting in their lap. I turned toward the woman with the paper mask. I raised an eyebrow.
     “Creepy, huh?” she asked.
     I nodded.
     “Want to switch seats with my husband? I’ll make him sit there.”
     I didn’t want to hurt the harlequin/hangman’s feelings, but I didn’t want to sit next to it either. I switched seats. The harlequin/hangman got up and left.
     “I’m feeling kind of bad now,” the woman said.
     “They knew they were creeping us out,” I said. “They could have put an end to it.”
     “Yeah, you’re right.”
     After the Purim reading everyone began socializing. The Harlequin/hangman stood near the hotdog stand and slid the harlequin mask to the top of his or her head and began fiddling with the head sack. No way a hotdog was fitting through that mouth hole. The harlequin/hangman pulled the sack off. It was Shana.
     Feeling guilty about hurting her feelings, I walked over. “You gave everyone the creeps,” I said.
     “Yeah, well, you know.” She mumbled.
     A man walked over and complimented Shana on her costume and I bolted.
     This morning, all the tables were filled at Kabbalah class by the time I arrived. I sat in a chair in the back. Ten minutes later, Shana walked in, moved a chair next to mine, and sat so close we could touch. The presentation ended and we were asked to write twelve goals and share them with our group. Ruth walked over to Shana and me.
     “Move your chairs to a table,” she said. “Get in a group.”
     “I just want to share with Brenda,” Shana said.
     Ruth looked uncomfortable. “I’ll move,” I said, relieved to be ditching Shana.
     “Thanks,” Ruth said.
     I dragged my chair to Mike and Angie’s table and Shana found space at another. When class ended, I bolted, drove to the indoor driving range on my way home, and hit balls for an hour. As I was getting ready to leave, Golf Guy walked over.
     “How’d it go?” he asked.
     “Better, but not good,” I laughed. “Thanks for the tips. They helped.”
     “Why don’t I give you a few more?” he asked. “I can take some video, too.”
     “I could use the help.”
     “Call me.”
     “Okay, I will.”

Saturday, January 6, 2018

I'm Along For The Ride--"Thank You Ashley Madison" excerpt

Tuesday, March 19

     I grabbed one of my Zohar volumes and began scanning the ancient texts written in Aramaic and Hebrew. Scanning was supposed to bring miracles and blessings, like taking vitamins, Yosef said. He sent me instructions on how to scan certain volumes for various issues—one was good for legal challenges.
     My attorney had finished the fifth draft of my custody and marital settlement agreements and I scanned passages correlating to legal matters. I want the divorce papers signed. I want to get an April court date and be divorced next month. I set my intention. I asked the Universe, the Great Divine, God, the Greater Consciousness System, whatever you want to label the force of nature we live in, to run the show and let the chips fall where they should. I believe the outcome will be just. But I feel edgy and scared. I need a roof over my head, preferably the one I have, and food in my mouth. Those things are up in the air right now. I believe the Universe has my back, though, and I’m along for the ride.
     As I scanned, it occurred to me I’ve been producing large amounts of negative energy. I want to detach from the past. I want to focus on the present. I don’t want my precious energy leaking out on JB anymore. My mind flashed back to a morning I got out of the shower and looked at myself in the mirror and thought I’d develop cancer if I stayed in my marriage. I started crying because I saw no way out. My sons would hate me if I left their father, killed our family, because I was unhappy. But JB had given me the golden ticket. I wasn’t going to get sick and die. Yeah, I was going to die one day, but not before the Universe and I had done magnificent things together for a long long time.