Significant Others

It’s gotten to the point that my (still Godammned, please divorce me) husband and I have been separated for so long, that we’ve both gone and snatched ourselves a significant other.

I’m not so sure about how “Emily” feels about her new beau refusing to divorce me, but I do know that it drives my man bonkers. He wants to move on with me. That’s not a 100% reality until the divorce papers are signed.

I was upset when the ex started bringing Emily around. It started out as an emergency and then it became such a regularity that my daughter actually asked if she could spend some alone time with Daddy. I admit, I was super jealous. I wanted to know what she looked like, what she did, was she prettier than Mommy? Nicer than Mommy? Crazier than Mommy? Leave it to a six year old to assuage her Mommy’s fears. It turns out, that Emily is kind of boring. Kind of plain and kind of the opposite of Mommy. My girl told me that I would always be her Mom and no one else. That was the point that I looked at myself and my fears and laughed. How insecure was I to think someone else could replace me? Then I began to think how useful Emily could be. For instance: I hate playing Barbies. Emily, being super eager to please, will play Barbies for hours with my girl. No harm, no foul. Another instance: I’m not quite sure what Emily does for a living, but she always seems available. Free childcare!! What?! Excellent. So Emily, I don’t know you, never met you, but as long as you’re good to my girl, I’ll accept you.

My boyfriend is a bit of a different story. He works long, hard hours. He doesn’t want to overwhelm my girl. He’s only met her three times, but he came over on Christmas Eve day and we had the best time. He has a tremendous amount of energy and he’s great with kids having a gaggle of nieces and nephews. He can do things with my girl that I can’t. He can lift her up and spin her around. He can run around outside with her and he’s strong enough to help her smash rocks with a hammer in search of geodes. He doesn’t play Barbies, but he piques her intellectual interests. He has a great knowledge of botany, farming, animals–things a Brooklyn boy doesn’t usually interest himself in. I would never dream of using him for childcare, but I love that he’s scarce enough that my girl gets super excited when I tell her we’re going to hang out with him. It’s wonderful.

So, this Mama learned a great lesson. The best her Dad and I can do for our girl is to remain civil to one another and find mates that will be good to our one and only. I don’t know how long his relationship will last, and I still fear that he’s going to bring a string of women in and out of our daughter’s life, but that’s on him.

Now if only he would sign the Goddamned divorce papers!!!

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Can I Get a Divorce, Please?

On January 25, 2013, my husband of almost seven years went to court with an “emergency order to show cause” (law lingo, sorry..) effectively having me evicted from our residence and awarding him sole custody of our girl.

You can read about that here.

He never gave me a form reason for those actions, it has been a war with periods of intense battle and then (relief) ceasefire. I have a strong feeling it had to do with my emerging illness. (He never was quite the caretaker.) i have stronger feelings that it had to do with his addictions to sex with multiple partners, mental disorders and possibly the scandal. No matter what his reasons were for filing that emergency order, which was dismissed a couple of days later and actually led me to an old lover, the joys of pawning expensive jewelry and feeling like a wanderer for a few days, this guy still won’t commit to divorcing me.

Hello? Can you divorce me, please?

A few weeks ago during one of our ceasefires, I asked about his attorneys failure to respond to my settlement offer. He hemmed and hawed and then, something strange…

He started talking to me. Confiding.

He’s a serious and unmedicated ADD/Bi-Polar dude, so I never know which personality I am going to get on a regular basis. I’m not even sure which pole he was on this particular night when he told me that he feels, subconsciously, that his failure to proceed with our divorce in a timely fashion is because if he is still “married”, he doesn’t have to fully commit to another woman.

What? Come again? Mister, you can’t use our marriage as a little jail cell for your estranged wife!

He went on to tell me that he has been dating various women and they all want the same thing. (Get ready to feel like punching him in the face if you are a woman in your mid-late thirties.) He says “You know, I’ve been dating a lot and I’ve had a few short term relationships, but I’ve noticed that these women in their mid to late thirties all want the same thing. They want to get married, get knocked up and stroll around Ikea every Sunday. That’s not really what I’m looking for, so by remaining separated and not divorced, I can’t give them what they want.”

…thoughts…

  • You are a pussy.
  • You have a crazy inflated sense of yourself.
  • You don’t want to let me go.
  • Do you still love me? Do you think you made a mistake?

I didn’t know how to respond. How does one respond to that? I can’t remember what I said, but it wasn’t angry and it wasn’t nice. Maybe I didn’t say anything at all? Was he lying? (He’s a liar.) Is it about money? (He’s going to have to pay me a shit ton of money once we settle this divorce.) Was he trying to make me feel comfortable with him so that I wouldn’t be on guard for one of his surprise attacks? That’s the problem with his diseases. I never know what is real and what is contrived and it’s exhausting.

I’m tired, man!

Since that bizarre conversation, I have asked him and my attorney ten or twenty times about finalizing the divorce. Nothing. I’m about to embark on my three year anniversary of being separated and things have changed! I have a boyfriend now, someone with whom I would like to share my life with and have another kid before a) my cancer comes back or b) my eggs dry up. My daughter is almost seven and if this had been done in a timely fashion, it wouldn’t confuse her so much. She thinks that Mommy and Daddy are still married but just live in different houses. I try to talk to her about marriage and divorce and Mommy and Daddy having boyfriends and girlfriends, but she refuses to commit to that idea because we’re still married. Poor girl.

Christmas is upon us and I remember the gorgeous gifts he used to shower me with. This Christmas I’m only wishing for one thing…

His signature.

Sign the papers.

Make me an ex.

I’ve been a good girl. Really, I have. 

Can I get a divorce, please?

Beg. Borrow. Steal.

I haven’t been well these past couple of weeks. Raging fevers and general malaise prompted my oncologist to prescribe me 20 mg of prednisone a day and strict bed rest. I didn’t even get bed rest when my ob-gyn thought … Continue reading

Being Single is Fun. Being a Single Mom is…

My Dad died when I was ten, so technically, I grew up with a single Mom. I know the struggles she went through trying to make ends meet, taking care of her five kids all the while dealing with her escalating Multiple Sclerosis. The major differences between my single Motherhood and my Mother’s is that she had a slew of kids ranging from six to sixteen years old and a sister who lived downstairs with us. That alone was a lot of help for her. My older brother and sister were given a tremendous responsibility and times were different then. We could walk to school by ourselves and play outside with our friends with no adult supervision–she had some alone time–not to mention a washer, dryer and dishwasher. (Oh, my kingdom for a washer and dryer!) She owned our home–my Dad made sure the note was paid off before he passed away, so we would always have a roof over our head. My Mom struggled, but I’m quite different from my Mom. She never dated another man after my father died. I, on the other hand, had to deal with a phone call home from my seventh grade math teacher advising my Irish-Catholic mother that I was doing poorly in math because my mind was wandering. She told her I was “boy crazy.”

I still am!

That is one of the greatest aspects of being single again. I can date, I can flirt, I can have as much sex as I want with whomever I want. As much fun as that is, it’s not always so easy because, well, I’m a single Mom.

I spend most of my days at various doctor appointments and almost every afternoon and night taking care of my daughter. I love my daughter. I don’t know what I would do without her. Before any man, ever, she is the love of my life, but damn, that little girl makes dating so difficult. Shit, she makes taking a long shower pretty damn difficult!

Whenever I meet a prospective date, the conversation usually goes something like this:

Prospective Date: So, I would like to see you, maybe a couple of drinks or dinner?

Me: Yeah, great, that sounds good.

PD: How about Friday?

Me: Sorry, Fridays are out, I have my daughter. And Saturday and Sunday are out too, because it’s my custody weekend.

PD: I understand, what’s your schedule like?

Me: Well, I’m free on Wednesday and Thursday nights and every other weekend. I can usually meet up for a cup of coffee on Friday mornings.

PD: Well, Friday mornings are out for me, I work, but we’ll talk, we’ll figure something out. Text me when you know you’ll be free.

I know, I know…it’s so simple…Get a babysitter!!! Not so simple. Babysitters are expensive and the trustworthy babysitters are hard to find in this part of Brooklyn–some of them have waiting lists! Then you’ve got to to the interview, introduce the potential babysitter to your kid, have them spend a couple of hours together to make sure they mesh and the biggest problem with a date night babysitter is…no sex. I’ve got to go home. For a first or second date a babysitter is fine, but there will come a time that sex will become an item on the dating menu and unless it’s my weekend “off”, I can’t stay over–or even stay out too late at a man’s house and I certainly can’t have him stay at mine. Besides, I don’t want to come home to my daughter looking like I just got fucked. I actually have limitations.

I have some family and friends that can help me out for a couple of hours when I have to go to a doctor’s appointment, but they have social lives too, and it’s really difficult to get a trusted friend or family member to change their own social calander to accommodate mine. As far as school vacations are concerned, oh man, forget it. Cancel that week. I’m on lockdown.

One more important difference between being simply single and a single Mom is my apartment. Any man I choose to date has and will know immediately that I have a daughter, but I truly believe that unless said “man” has children of his own, seeing that Mr. Bubble on the ledge of the bathtub is a reality check. The children’s book I forgot to put back on my daughter’s bookshelf after reading her a story in my bed. The random Lego that is so painful when stepped on with bare feet on the way to use the restroom. Being simply single means you have an “adult” apartment, and for the most part mine is, but it is undeniably shared with my little girl…books, Lego, My Little Pony and all.

During the past thirteen or fourteen months since I’ve been separated, I have had some excellent adventures with men. Admittedly, they are fewer and farther between than I would like. I have also bonded with my daughter in a way that I could never imagine happening had my STILL husband and I had not separated. I just wish it wasn’t so difficult to have both. I suppose you can’t have it all, and I would choose my child over any man, any day…but..well, I’m boy crazy!

And I always will be.

My Coldest Winter Ever

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My coldest winter ever actually started in November. My Mom, the strongest woman I know, the woman who raised five kids on her own, who has battled Multiple Sclerosis for over thirty years, who turned seventy five last July, who has nine grandchildren and who has always taken care of me whenever I was in a crisis ranging from the flu to my scandal became seriously ill with a septic infection. My doctor advised me not to go see her in the hospital because of my own immune system, but I couldn’t stay away from my Mommy while she was ill. She’s always been there for me and I would be there for her. I took the long drive out to Suffolk County, where she now resides with one of my sisters and her family and in my bag I packed the bottle of Lourdes Water that she gave me when she found out I had cancer. My sister rubbed it on her wounded leg, but unlike the “magic” it seemed to work for me, she ended up needing two surgeries on her leg to remove the infected tissue. We had no idea if she would be home for Thanksgiving and being a single Mom dealing with my own illness, I only got to se her once in the hospital, where she stayed for three long weeks. Her recovery would be long and painful and she’s still not fully recovered, but she was home for Thanksgiving and that’s the last time I saw her. I think about her everyday and I know she’s in wonderful hands, but I’m scared. I don’t know what I would do without my Mommy. I don’t even…no…I can’t even think about it.

December was madness. I was broke, it was Christmas time and I have a Christmas baby. I had to plan her 5th birthday party, use my credit cards to purchase gifts, fought with my daughter’s father (we’re STILL married! Longest divorce ever!) about money every single day, decorate the apartment, schlep a tree into my tiny abode, send out birthday invitations and  my Christmas cards (I never miss a year, though according to the ratio of the amount of greetings I sent out versus the amount I received, I think they might be going out of fashion–what a shame.) December wasn’t so cold temperature wise, but I just didn’t feel so jolly. I couldn’t wait until January. 2104. A new year, new beginnings, no resolutions, just hope.

My most sincere apologies to T.S. Elliot, but you’re wrong. January is the cruelest month. I can not remember a January as cold and miserable and snowy as the one that just passed. I’m talking sub-zero temperatures, blizzards once a week, cars iced into their parking spots for days. I’m truly trying to think about one good thing to say about this past January, and in all honesty–I can’t. Complete misery. Layers upon layers of clothing, hats, gloves, long johns, snow boots. Oh, how I want to burn my snow boots! Just throw them in a fire and watch them go up in flames. My apartment is old, so the radiators rattled, banged and finally started spraying boiling water all over my kitchen and bedroom. I still have the towels stuffed under the valves to protect my belongings from water destruction–and the worst part about it? You would think that mopping boiling water from your kitchen floor would leave it with a sparkling shine. Not true. The snow in New York is dirty. Trudging through my hallway into the kitchen wearing the boots I want to burn left them forever scarred. A reminder of the cruelest January I can remember.

February, in my mind, was a joy–only because it has twenty eight days and would make the winter months disappear into spring just a bit faster. I was wrong. Still freezing, still snowing still depressing. My daughter had an entire week off from school and, of course, I had to be a full time Mommy. I had no choice but to put off all of my doctor appointments until she went back to school and before I knew it, the symptoms of my cancer, which has been in remission since late September started coming back. I didn’t get to see my Oncologist until the last week of February and when my blood results came back, they weren’t very good. I’m anemic again and started iron infusions this past week. I have to get another PET scan to see if the cancer spread and there is a very good chance I may have to start treatment again. More waiting… But before I write February off as a complete disaster, there was one warm and wonderful day I will never forget. February 14th. Valentine’s Day. It was the best Valentine’s day of my life. I spent all morning into the mid afternoon underneath my warm covers with an amazing lover and all night with the love of my life. My daughter.

And now it’s March. Oh March, please be good to me. The month started out pretty well. My STILL husband and I signed our custody agreement–joint custody (meaning we make all major decisions about her school, religion, medical conditions etc. together) but I am her physical custodian. I remember just a few months ago, warring with her father and thisclose to giving him custody. But I pulled myself up by my foul winter boot straps and stayed strong. It means so much to me knowing that I won this battle and it’s not about the money he’s going to have to pay me for child support in addition to my alimony; it’s a victory. It’s a sign of my strength and my unending love for my daughter. I may never have another child again, but I have her and she makes me strong and happy and useful and loved. Watching her grow up into a little girl is the most beautiful experience I could ever imagine. I won! My cancer may be back, but with her love and excitement and growth, I gain the strength to keep fighting. Everything.

Today was a beautiful day in Brooklyn. Fifty degrees. No jackets required. Tomorrow will be sunny and forty one degrees. The snow is melting, leaving dirty puddles everywhere, but slowly, my coldest winter ever is coming to an end and Mr. Elliot, I can’t wait for April!

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Suzy Queue’s Update

I haven’t posted in a while because my life has been absolutely crazy the past few weeks. I’ll give you a quick run down…

The divorce: Ex trying to push it off further. Practically abandoned our daughter for his new girl. I’ve been driving her to school, running around to doctor appointments, picking her up from school an basically living the life of a single Mom. It’s hard!

My Health: My doctor is positive about my cancer. He thinks I can stop treatment soon and then he wants to monitor me closely. There’s a good chance it can come back after it goes into remission.

As a result of the bevy of prescriptions I have to take because of my cancer, I now have ulcers. Endoscopy scheduled today to see how bad they are. Daddy is actually picking up daughter, but I had to put up a fight about it.

Love Life: Quiet and lovely. Spend the entire day in bed with someone the other day. I wish I had the freedom to go into details like some of my favorite bloggers, but I can’t. Too risky.

I hope to finally finish some of my drafts by the end of the week.

I’m off to drive my daughter to Kindergarden!

The Five Hundred Dollar Letter

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Some of you may remember how upset I was in my last post “Crying in My Coffee” about my (ex)husband wanting to introduce my little girl to his new girlfriend. You may also remember that as I was having this conversation with him, I simultaneously     e-mailed my attorney. Today I open my inbox to find this:

Dear Mr X,

My client advises that the parties previously agreed that the child would not be exposed to any unrelated persons involved in an intimate relationship with either of the parties during litigation.

Please advise you client to refrain from introducing his girlfriend to the subject child as we would like to avoid motion regarding the same.

Very Truly Yours,

The Best Attorney EVER

Yeah, he charges $500 bucks an hour, but he gets shit done. And $500 is worth its weight in gold for my peace of mind.

Yay Justice!

Crying in My Coffee

Last night I called my daughter to say goodnight to her, as she is staying with her father this weekend. A few minutes after I hang up with her, he calls me back. He wants to talk to me about something. He tells me he has this girlfriend (you might remember her as the “massage girl” from “My funny Divorce.”) I knew they were seeing each other, but he drops this bomb on me.

Him: She’s a very important part of my life and is going to be in it for a long time. I would like her to meet our daughter.”

Me: Absolutely not.

Him: Why? I’m having some people over tomorrow and i won’t introduce her as my girlfriend, just introduce her.

…I open my email and start a note to my attorney and her child advocate with one hand as i hold the phone with the other hand…

Me: “We’re not even divorced yet. She’s still getting used to two homes, she just started Kindergarden–why are you going to fuck with her mind even more? I don’t want her around that cunt. I know who she is. You talked so much shit about her over the years. If you bring that whore near my daughter, expect to see me in court this week.

Him: I want you to understand, she’s a very important part of my life and isn’t going anywhere. There’s going to be a time when they meet.

Me: (Typing and talking) Now is not the time. I don’t want the three of you behaving like a family. I don’t want her to try and be my daughter’s mother. (Now I’m crying…)

Him: Well, this is why I called you. This is co-parenting.

Me: (In my mind: Shut the fuck up.) I already wrote an e-mail to the attorneys about this.

Him: I really don’t think we should get the attorneys involved.

Me: I do. I will. I am.

Him: I’m glad we had this talk. She won’t be meeting her any time soon.

We hang up. I start crying. Why do I have to fight for everything?

I try to go to sleep. I toss and turn and finally drift off as my phone rings.

It’s him again.

Him: I just wanted to let you know that I’m sorry that I upset you and that everything you said about the changes she is going through is right. I’m really sorry I upset you.

This morning he tells me he cancelled the party. It was all a ploy to get this cunt to meet my precious daughter.

I’m still shaken up and teary eyed over the whole thing.

And I got my period.

Fuck.

Push

I’ve never been in such a bad spot before. People tell me they admire my strength, but what they don’t know is how much I have to push myself not to give up.

Every time I have a date in matrimonial court, I feel like just giving in and saying “Your honor, I just want a fair settlement. I don’t have the strength to fight him anymore.”

But I push.

When I look at my gallon sized bag of prescription pills, I want to throw them all away (except for the good ones) and let my body do what it wants.

But I can’t. I have to push.

And with all this bullshit that I have to deal with stemming from the scandal, I feel like saying”fuck you all. I’ll do what I want.”

And I shut my mouth and I push.

I’m tired.

Pushing is hard work.

Diamonds. Rubies. Sapphires. Pearls.

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There is very little I miss about my (ex)husband.I don’t miss the unmistakable sound of his good shoes clomping up the staircases to our third floor apartment. I don’t miss the way he flopped around the bed tossing and turning all night, some nights being so floppy, I would have to take my pillow and blanket and sleep on the couch. I don’t miss seeing his hunched body over the computer screen for 6 hours a night doing God knows what. I don’t miss his ten million newspapers cluttering up our small Brooklyn apartment or the pile of wire hangers he had to return to the dry cleaners each week. I don’t miss his smile. I don’t miss his laugh. I don’t miss his scent. I don’t miss his voice.

But I can not tell a lie.

I do miss the jewelry.

Please don’t get the wrong idea. I am not a materialistic gal by any stretch of the imagination. I live in a tiny apartment. I shop for my clothing at The Gap. I drive a Honda Civic. The basics–and I am and have always been very happy with the basics. I didn’t grow up wealthy, so I was never used to anything extravagant anyway. Even my Engagement ring wasn’t something to die over. It was a simple 3/4 carat princess diamond with a plain white gold band. He put it on a credit card. That’s before he started making the big money and buying me the big gifts.

A pair of diamond earrings for our first Christmas together after we were engaged.

A sapphire and diamond “evil eye” bracelet for our second Christmas together. (I’m half Turkish, I believe in that shit…)

A diamond snowflake necklace for our third Christmas together.

Matching pearl necklace and bracelet for my first Mother’s Day.

And the anniversary gifts…

I can’t count the little blue boxes with the white bows that are scattered around my jewelry drawers. Every girl’s heart melts just a little when she gets one of those. You know whatever it is, it’s gonna be good.

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Several pairs of earrings. Bangles. A silver cross on a chain. Never got a Tiffany’s ring, but we were only married for five years before he ran out on me.

And the very last Christmas gift he gave to me exactly one month before he served me with divorce papers evicting me from my home on the day I was diagnosed with cancer? A tremendously gorgeous white sapphire and diamond ring that blew the shit out of my engagement ring and any other piece of jewelry he gifted me during our marriage.

So, dear (ex)husband, I don’t miss your insanely loud and slightly worrisome monologues while you shower. I don’t miss washing your socks and boxers. I don’t miss cooking, cleaning and keeping things neat for you to come home to.

But, darling, I miss the jewels. I can only pray that the next female you start buying them for is our daughter. Because she deserves them more than the next wife.