The Bald and the Beautiful

Annie used to look like this:

 

 

 

 

And now “Annie” is no longer Annie.  The new name for the androgynous CPR simulator is Pat, or Mr. Clean, whichever you prefer.

I prefer Mr. Clean.

 

This new CPR doll can appear a little disturbing to most people.  However, I was entirely too turned on by it.

 

 

Intentional shaving of the noggin can make the ugliest of men completely and utterly foxy to me.  I’m good with a hairy back and untrimmed manly area, but if a guy’s head is smooth and unadulterated, I get that 50 Shades of Grey feeling.

You full-head-of-hair single guys out there who are thinking:  “Dammit.  I don’t stand a chance now with this Hot Aryan MILF,” you’re wrong.  Please find me on Match.com, if you dare.  That is, if I ever renew my membership.  If you can keep yourself from typing “your” instead of “you’re” or “they’re” instead of “their”, then I may reconsider.

But seriously, there’s just something about a guy who embraces his non hair-plugged self.  It says:  “I am confident with who I am.  So much so, that when I first noticed that thinning spot near my temples and soft-spot, I wouldn’t ever think a 7 inch combover piece could hide it.  I shaved that shit off, pronto.”

Side note:  For those bald guy friends of mine who are in a happy relationship, I wouldn’t dare go past the thought that you are handsome.  I draw the line at my friends.  You are taken.  Girlfriends or wives of baldies, you are safe from my prowling.  Don’t fret.

Everyone has their fettishes.  Mine is a shiny and shaved skull.  I would go so far as to say that when I see a guy (even if he has a full head of hair), I don’t look at the size of his feet or hands and make anatomical assumptions.  I picture him bald and think that possibly I could change him.

And so when I walked into my required CPR Certification class for my future Masters degree, I was not mentally or sexually prepared to see 10 hot bald guys lying there on the floor in a pile, waiting for me to accost them.  I had only prepared myself to get comfortable with the fact that I would be making out for four hours with a lesbian torso named Annie.

Shocking.  Truly.

Life can take a turn drastically and cause you to do a double-take at the most unexpected times.

Kind of like the time when I jokingly said six years ago to my then husband, after he proclaimed he wouldn’t dare cheat on me with another woman:  “What are you, then?  Gay or something?”

He shockingly said:  “So, you knew this whole time?”

Uh, excuse me?   Wait.  I was only kidding, yo.

Now, six years later, I get to explore my preferrences.  I embrace my circumstance instead of getting bitter about it.  It took awhile to get there.  I tried manipulating Devon for a year and a half into making our marriage work despite his preference for guys.  I used religious jargon against him and tried guilt trips using our three beautiful children to get him to change his “choice” of his now-husband over me.

It didn’t work, obviously.  Finally, six years later, I am at peace with my situation and I love both Devon and his husband.  Our amicable divorce was a big starting point for getting me to a place of love and acceptance of Devon and my single status.

So watch out, Mr. Clean.  I have had a crush on you since before Devon’s Big Reveal, and this isn’t a choice.  It’s a part of who I am at my core.  While I haven’t found the live version of you yet, I will continue to take CPR classes so I can make out with you under the guise of saving your life.  A girl’s got needs, and I’ll get it where I can, even if you don’t have legs that wrap around me, eyelashes, eyebrows or an intellect that can challenge my thinking.

You are out there, Bald Soul Mate.  I just know it.  I won’t give up.  I have so much to give, including my razor for your receding hairline.

Blessings and Baldness,

Emily

Pat, was it good for you, too? Until the next class…

 

One of my favorite Office scenes of all times featuring Dwight cutting off Annie’s face and reenacting a scene from Silence of the Lambs.

Sweaty McSweater Tackles Hot Yoga

Sweaty McSweater is one of my many Multiple Personality Disorder characters.  In fact, it’s the dominant personality among a host of them.  She comes out to play entirely too often.

When I was a young girl growing up in disgustingly hot Iowa without air conditioning, I believe the first time that I pitted out was at about 3 years of age.  “Oh my God, Emily!  You have rings of sweat under your armpits!”  I didn’t know then, but when my own mother proclaimed this in front of my cousins in the backyard, she probably should have taken me aside and given me instructions on using deodorant.

I obviously inherited my Mom-of-the-Year genes from her.

I wish I could find the picture of myself in 3rd grade during a softball tournament. I was the only teammate in the picture with wet rings under her pits.

Unfortunately for me, it took a very disturbing event when I was in the 5th grade to get Mom’s attention about my armpits and above-average sweating prowess.

At the pool, as I prepared to do a perfect swan dive in front of my childhood crush (Cute Boy), I raised my arms high above my noggin to impress him with my amazing skills to get his attention.

One of his friends, who will forever be labeled in my mind as Cock-Blocker, pointed to me from the water and shouted, “Holy shit!  Look at the hair under Emily’s armpits!”

Time froze as I glanced down in a very deliberate manner under my left arm, which was exposed to Cute Boy.  I wondered, “What the hell is that hair, anyway?”

My mom could never be blamed for being liberal and progressive in teaching her daughters about puberty.  I was so naïve.

I glanced back at Cute Boy and Cock-Blocker, as well as the entire deep-end crowd looking at my pits which were exposed, did a belly flop, splashing water all the way to the kiddie pool with a giant smack, and attempted to swim under water back to my house in shame.

After crying in the car on the way home, with my mom trying to get me to calm down, she eventually got to the bottom of my hairy situation.  She proceeded to laugh uncontrollably, increasing her chances at winning the 1985 Mom-of-the-Year Award, and finally conceded that maybe it was time to introduce a razor to Osama Bin Laden’s beard under my arms.

We also put an air conditioner in our window.

Picture my face as a naive little 5th grader on the edge of the pool.

My pitting-out and sweating issues continued throughout my athletic career and basically every time I stepped out of bed onto the floor.  Stairs were the worst.  Still are.  I’m a huge fan of the elevator.

I can’t wear t-shirts that are any color other than black or white because the wet ring that forms is way more obvious in a bright pink t-shirt.  I can’t sit for very long in a warm setting because the crotch sweat that appears is mighty embarrassing.  Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be a warm setting.  The crotch sweat is my life partner, apparently.  I would love to talk about my boob sweat, but some of you sickos out there might get turned on.

And we can’t have that, now can we?

So when I said not so long ago, “I’ll never participate in hot yoga,” I figured that was a pretty safe statement.  I mean, I have to draw the line with Sweaty McSweater at some point.

S.M. hates boundaries, let me tell you.

The other day, I signed up for a really cheap deal on yoga classes.  When I went to actually schedule a session, the only times I was available to attend fell during the various hot yoga sessions.

Dammit.  Just my luck.  My Inner Sweating Goddess was doing back-flips.  I hate her.

So, because I paid for it, I went.

It was damn hot.  I mean, sweltering.

Thank God this guy I know recommended to bring a towel so that I wouldn’t slip on my yoga mat.  He wasn’t kidding, either.

It was hard.  Seriously hard.  And slimy.

In the end, however, Sweaty McSweater and I made peace.

It was an amazing experience.  My arthritic knees, cankles, and wrists were able to endure the Monkey Pose and muscle shaking Planks because of that damn heat.

I had to push through my sweating issues to concentrate on my breathing and the difficult poses.

I liken this to life.  The hard shit is really difficult to get through isn’t it?  Life doesn’t give you many timeouts and can really turn up the heat.  How about your divorce?  That’s really tough.

But you can’t go under it, you can’t go over it, and you can’t go around it.  You have to go through it.  Sometimes the sweating you endure is almost too much to bear.

Kind of like my hot yoga session with Sweaty McSweater.

In the end, after all of your hard work, stretching in ways you never knew you could, putting in sweat equity and making peace with all of who you are (including those not-so-welcomed personalities that you display during your divorce process and amicable relationship building) you become a fulfilled person.  A completed individual.  And you feel great about yourself.

Maybe you’re not there yet.  That’s okay.  Work through it.  Breathe.  Stretch yourself and embrace the tough stuff as something that will make you stronger.  Take breaks when you need it so you can face the next pose that comes along.  And breathe.  Don’t forget to breathe.

Sweaty McSweater and I believe in you.

Love, Sweat and Namaste,  Emily

Nope. Never gonna do this pose. Ewww.

I’m a Freak, You’re a Freak

The freaks on the pier at Venice Beach were a sight to behold.

My son was particularly impressed and repulsed all at the same time.

Flyers were being passed out by dispensaries shouting, “The Doctor is in!”  (Try explaining that doozy to your kid.)  Bums in wheelchairs were holding signs that said, “Shitty advice for $1.00.”  Hip-Hop artists were giving out “free” CD’s (for a small donation of $10) trying to make it big.  Dread-locked hippies were riding unicycles playing the guitar expecting their next meal.  Humans wearing silver unitards and paint pretending to be statues were drawing admiring crowds expecting tips in exchange for their mad skills.

freakDogBlog

Even the dogs were somewhat freakish at Venice Beach.

The freaks were concentrated in one area and it seemed a bit much for my innocent little boy.

When we got back from our trip tonight, though, the first and only thing he wanted to share with Devon, Felipe and the girls was how awesome that part of our vacation was.

I was pleased, obviously.  He’s kind of a poster child for the perfect straight-A athletic son, and he needs to be exposed to what’s out there in this interesting world.

Our kids have been living their own interesting life.  In a way, we live and breathe freakishness.

This also pleases me.

What is normal, anyway?  I used to think the “Leave It To Beaver” life was normal, but who am I kidding in this day and age?  My kids have two daddies and one mommy.  They think that’s pretty normal.  Thank God.  Otherwise, they’d be cowering in shame from their peers.

Divorce is pretty damn normal these days.  I don’t claim to be happy about this trend.  Divorce can mess with the most sane people and kids that I know.  It pretty much sucks, actually.

But when you accept what is and move forward with a new norm, your life can still be interesting, enlightening and fulfilling.  In fact, maybe more so.  It’s getting to the acceptance part that’s tough.

Maybe you feel like a freak among the normal right now.  It is normal to feel this way.

You’re not alone.  Just remember that.

I’m a fan of comparing yourself to someone or something else at times.  It just might make you feel better.  I don’t mean go and judge someone’s life maliciously so you can feel better because of his or her plight.  But if you look around just a little bit, you’ll find that things could be worse.  Or maybe, just maybe, you should be thankful for the situation that you do have.

ThomasThrowingQuartersBlog

Thomas actually loved the freaks on the pier.

If you’re ever in doubt of this, head down to Venice Beach.  Find the girl with the box over her head with the words sloppily written in sharpie: “Bet you can’t hit me with a quarter!”  She’s all smiling and shit, happy to be getting money with her free costume and making a killing because of her freak status among the freaks.

You’ll feel great hitting someone with a quarter and will walk away thinking you just might not have it so tough.

Freakin’ A.

Blessings from One Freak to Another, Emily

ThomasEmilyAlabamaHillsBlog

Two tough freaks on a road trip to L.A.

Supperdinner

The supper vs. dinner debate is officially the leading cause of divorce.

This was an ongoing family joke between my immediate family, Devon and myself when we were married.  The first time Devon visited my family in Iowa before we were married, he was mystified that Mom would holler, “Time for supper!”  (I even remember her yelling that phrase in her Mommy Voice when we were little so we could hear her blocks away after Dad rang the giant bell telling us it was time to run home.)

The hysterical argument that occurred at the dining room table that first time between my parents and Devon was one of my fonder memories.  Devon couldn’t justify using the word supper to save his life and my parents were incensed.  For some reason, it became this bonding moment between himself and Mom and Dad.  Devon would use the term supper at random times during our marriage and it always made us laugh.

Click on the link below to see how I can tie everything in the world back to The Lord of the Rings

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDWR-dOjDA0

I thought about this grammar debate after looking at the pictures from our family dinner a few nights ago at Devon and Felipe’s.  So I decided to look up this major controversial verbiage.

According to my exhaustive search, supper is “a name for the evening meal in some dialects of English.  While often used interchangeably with dinner today, supper was traditionally a separate meal.”  Dinner used to be considered the main meal of the day, which until the 18th century, was during the midday.  Once the main meal switched to the evening meal, dinner became the operative word for the third meal.  It went on to explain the ridiculous root words and history, which is unimportant to everyone except the author and picky grammar snobs.

Blah, blah, blah.

Wikipedia is best known for its accuracy.  Don’t ever accuse me of being lazy with my research.

Ultimately, I liken using the two terms to how people in the Midwest use pop instead of soda.  Wikipedia explained it as a regional thing, with dinner being used in the Midwest as the biggest and most important meal of the day.  Therefore, when Grandma was making her roast, potatoes and carrots meal every Sunday for dinner, we had to clarify what time it was going to occur.  Normal evening meals were always called supper unless some big fanfare was involved.  In the West, it is assumed that dinner always occurs during the evening meal, whether you’re eating a Stouffer’s meal in front of the T.V. by yourself or are serving a 15-course meal to several friends.

Family dinner these days, barring my time spent in Iowa a few weeks ago with my immediate family, is not traditional.  Not by a long stretch.

In fact, for most people, it would be considered down right uncomfortable.

Picture the following:  three perfect, blonde Aryan children, one MILF, one handsome, dark haired daddy and an adorable, good-looking Mexican dude, all considered one big, happy family.  Rainbow-style.

Picture the MILF in the empty spot. Someone needs to document things!

Felipe, Devon’s partner, is an amazing and adventurous cook.  Most people think that gay guys are good cooks, drama queen foodies, and better than Martha Stewart when it comes to entertaining.

They’re right.  In fact, since family dinner the other night, I’m now convinced that Devon broke up with me because of my lack of cooking skills.  How can I compete with Felipe?  He’s a complete package for Devon.

The ultimate point of this post is the following:

1) I get to enjoy some amazing food with great entertainment because of our amicable divorce.  I also don’t have to clean up after I eat because of the OCD/Devon factor.

2) I can look back on menial yet amazing little memories of Devon with fondness and not sadness, like the supper vs. dinner debate, all because of our amicable divorce.

3) My kids get to enjoy all parties involved in our new life under the same roof, build new memories and (hopefully) become well adjusted and happy adults, all because of how Devon and I have handled our divorce amicably.

4) Gay guys really can cook and entertain better than any heterosexual female and mother who ever existed.  June Clever is a schmuck compared to gay guys in the kitchen.

Our circumstance is certainly unique and likely different from your own.  But the new norm being established because of your divorce doesn’t have to be utterly antithetical to what you used to have.  We hope that you can get to a place where your amicable divorce allows you and your kids, including any possible new significant others, to have supper memories around the table with your kids.

Or you can call it dinner.  Who really gives a shit?

Blesssings, Emily

Felipe cooked up a utensils-free messy dinner this week which OCD Devon embraced and didn’t convulse when he participated in the mess we made.

I Want to Have Mark Twain’s Babies

I rarely have shitty days anymore.  Since fighting and beating cancer, I am Wonder Woman incarnate.

But today, I feel like a piece of ka-ka and my mind is reeling with negative stuff.  Phrases are running amok in my head right now:

I’m rubber and you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks right back on you.

When you point your finger at me, there are three fingers pointing back at you.

I know you are, but what am I?

Liar, Liar, pants on fire.

These are just several sayings that I could think of off the top of my head that describe what I’m going through.  More will follow, I’m sure.

All of these phrases have to do with the countless times I called Devon a “liar”.

I remember confronting Devon about all kinds of things and finding out he was lying.  It drove me crazy to no end when he would say things like:  “I love you and didn’t want to hurt you.”   Really?  So you lied?  There was no way to justify it in my mind.

When someone lies to you, it can destroy trust, love, relationships and your life.   My marriage was destroyed because of lies, even though I tried desperately to cling to our vows and fix it.   I was full of all kinds of judgment toward Devon.  I’m basically over it now, but it took years to get there.  Those old judgments still creep up from time to time, but I choose to deal with them and move forward.

But today, the judgment I poured out on him has come full circle to bitchslap me in the face.  I would love to shove it away, find a way to justify it, cover it up, or sweep it under the carpet.  However, I’ve made a vow to The Royal We to better myself in all things… including the shitty stuff about myself when it rears its ugly head.

And now, I’ve gotten to experience hurting someone like I was hurt by Devon.  There’s no changing it either, even though I wish I could.  This issue actually happened in the past, but today was The Day My Hypocrisy Was Fully Realized By The Royal We.

The gist of the scenario is that I covered up information from a loved one (lied and justified it) so that this person wouldn’t feel hurt.  I love this person and while I didn’t say to myself:  “Oh, I’m totally going to lie about this,” I did it anyway.

(The lies weren’t the exact same topics as Devon’s, just to clarify.  But it was still a lie.  Try not to speculate too much.  Just stick with the basic principle that I’m talking about here.)

Once the truth came out to this loved one, pretty much unintentionally, it hurt this person even worse because I chose to lie about it to save this individual from hurt in the beginning.  But honestly (and I’m being brutally honest here), whom was I really protecting?  This person or myself?

The answer is of course, myself.  Yet I turned it around to justify my lying.

I found a quote from one of my favorite authors today.  Mark Twain seriously said so many things about nearly every topic you can think of.  He’s my favorite because he speaks truth by using irony, sarcasm, analogies and metaphors.  He’s a master wordsmith.  Here’s one of the many things he said about lying:

[Lying] Man’s most universal weakness.
– quoted in Mark Twain and I, by Opie Read

True.  So true.

One of the things I’ve learned about my life has something to do with another adage: Never say never.  Things like: I’ll never hate someone, I’ll never let my house look like hers, I’ll never own a pet, I’ll never [insert pretty much anything here]… have all been done by me at one time or another.

(I hope that I never hear the words come out of my mouth:  I’ll never eat bacon again.  That will probably be the day when little piggies fly.)

To continue on with this theme, I’ve actually said:  “I’ll never lie to someone like I was lied to.  That was so hurtful that I know I could never do that to someone I love.”

Well, here’s another saying:  Pride cometh before the fall.

So now I’ve experienced the other side of things.  Karma is a bitch.  (Another great phrase.  Yes, it is a bitch.)

I’m feeling pretty humble right now.  I think I needed to write about this and share it with you for a few reasons:

1.  Devon, you’re human.  I’ve told you before that I forgive you.  You know this.  But I want to ask you to forgive me for beating you up so badly and acting holier than thou.  This has been a tough lesson for me to learn.  It’s a pretty typical pattern for me to have to learn the hard way and now I get it when you said to me so many times that you loved me and didn’t want to hurt me.  Doing this may have been lying, so it’s not an excuse.  But it’s very human to do it anyway.  I guess maybe I now understand that being human is a reason, but not an excuse.

2.  Learn from my experience, please.  If you’re currently going through your divorce, you’ll likely say tons of horrible things to each other’s faces and about your spouse to other people.  You can’t take words back.  Please try to remember that when you point your finger at someone, you may very well be pointing right back at yourself.  You might have to eat crow. (Man, there are so many friggin’ phrases to live by.)

3.  “I’ll never pull the shit that he/she did to me.”  I would like to think that you wouldn’t.  Probably you won’t.  Just be careful when you use the word “never”.  You’re human.  Humans screw things up all the time, even unintentionally.  Perhaps by accepting the human side of your ex, maybe you will be able to experience just a millimeter of empathy toward him or her that could help you move down the road of being amicable.

4.  When you experience those humble pie moments, like the one I am dealing with right now, expect to move toward a place where you can forgive yourself.  I’m working on that.  Writing about it helps.  Then make sure to ask the person you offended to forgive you without saying “Sorry, but…”  There’s no excuse.  You F’d up.  Period.

5.  Be willing to be humble, or life will find a way to make you humble.

6.  The most amazing thing just happened.  My daughter Maddie and her best friend Jackie walked in the door 30 minutes ago and presented me with a handmade “Book of Encouragements” just for me.  Call it synchronicity, God, the Universe, or whatever… I am blessed.  Wow.  I really needed that.  The quotes all range from sappy to funny to wise.  But my favorite one today is on the third to last page:

If you tell the truth, you never have to remember anything. –Mark Twain

Mark Twain, I wish I could bring you back from the dead.  I want to have your babies.

And that’s the truth.

Blessings, Emily

Samuel Clemens, I am posthumously in love with you.

Get Your Hippy On For The Week

Ewwww.  The custody arrangement.

When you have bambinos, that’s a tough one, particularly in the beginning of your divorce discussions.

When you’re used to having things be “normal” and all of a sudden they absolutely have to be different, it bites.  You simply don’t have a choice.

I will never claim that it was easy for me.  It was Devon who had to move out.  Honestly, I made him move out, for reasons that I won’t get into entirely here, but let’s just say it was a boundary I had to uphold once I spoke it into existence.  It was either this thing that you must do, Devon, or you have to move out.  Looking back now, I did it out of spite, but I don’t regret it entirely.  It was what it was.  It was a bitter time for me, and while I’d like to blame him for making the choice, it really was me who made the final decision.

It really sucked.  It especially sucked for him.  Besides the tough reality for Devon, it was really rough on the kids.  Man, it’s difficult to even think about it now.  I really put Devon through some shtuff.

What it afforded me, though, was the gradual time it took to get used to not having my kids every day.  I cried when they had their first overnight at his house.  I cried many times after that.  I probably drank too much wine, too, but that’s how I handled it.  (Hopefully you won’t handle it that way.  I certainly don’t recommend it.)

By the time our divorce was final, we had come to the arrangement that we’d have the kids one week off/one week on.

If I could make one recommendation about your final paperwork, it would be to do every other week if your living arrangements and proximity allow for that.

In fact, I just had a conversation with a good friend of mine this past holiday weekend at an awesome music festival about that very thing.  Speaking as a family law attorney, which he is, he said that he almost always recommends that arrangement to his clients.  He also said that generally, they balk at it.

I understand why people do resist it.  There’s usually one parent who can’t bear the thought of having to spend one minute away from their children.  I mean, it’s tough and I get it.  Often, there’s bitterness involved.  Like I said, things used to be “normal”, but now the parents are forced to split the kids up for balanced time with the other parent.  “It just isn’t fair to them,” some might say.  But is divorce or your situation fair in the first place?  It probably doesn’t feel that way.

I say, “Make the most of it.”  Make a new normal.

The point is that this past week I got to go to an awesome music festival, enjoy myself, meet new and interesting people, have zero responsibility except to the group of people I camped with (and even that was marginal)… all because of our one week on/one week off custody arrangement.

During my weeks off, I get to enjoy myself.  Find myself.  Have a chance at a new life as a single woman.

Then I get to come home if I take a trip, like this past holiday.  I’m so ready to see my kids at that point and spend time with them that I nearly pee my panties with excitement.

Picture the single mom or single dad who has to do everything all by themselves.  THAT is a tough spot to be in.  I know several of them and I am very blessed.  Deadbeat parents are the worst.  I happen know some single moms or dads who would cut off their right pinky toe just to have a break and have the other parent involved in their child’s life.

Let me list all of the trade offs of getting to have a week by myself.

1.  I’ve been allowed the freedom to travel.  I’ve been to Washington, L.A., Tennessee, beautiful backcountry camping trips, San Francisco, wine country, and tons of concerts.  It was much tougher to do those things when I was married with kids every day.

2.  I was able to get through surgeries, cancer treatments, and chemotherapy recovery without having to worry about the daily ins and outs of taking care of three kids.

3.  I’ve been able to go to school to get my Masters in Secondary Education without having much trouble with childcare.

4.  After a week of running children willy-nilly all over town to three different schools, sporting events, play dates, cooking meals, cleaning up after kids, getting up extra early to get things done… I get tired.  By the end of the week, I’m ready for a break and I’m not bitter about having to keep doing those monotonous things all over again the next week.  I get to do what I want to do.

Shall I go on?

The festival I went to this last week was full of children having fun with their parents and getting their hippy on.  Were there moments I was a bit sad about not being there with my own kids, and even Devon a time or two?  Definitely.  My camp mates would have really enjoyed my kids and Devon would have kept that campsite clean and super organized.  Heck, maybe he would have even typed up daily schedules for everyone and would have made everyone’s life simpler.  He would have been amazing there.

But you know, I enjoyed getting to walk around, feeling good about my singleness, dancing for joy to good music and thinking about how blessed I really am.  I knew my kids were in good hands and that the second I got home, I’d get to smother them with affection, cook a meal for them, run them to sports camps, and tuck them in at night… and I couldn’t wait.

I’ll be ready for another break after the week is up, though.  Maybe I’ll get my hippy on next week, too.  Who’s down?

Peace, Love, and Happiness- Emily

P.S. I would like to add that if it weren’t for Felipe, the kids’ stepdad, both Devon and I would be in a pickle.  Thanks for all that you do.

Questions to answer in the comments below:

1.  If you are already divorced, what has been your experience with your custody arrangement?  Why did you choose to do your arrangement the way that you did?

2.  If you don’t have a custody arrangement yet, what are your hang-ups?  What do you want your arrangement to be?

3.  If you aren’t already divorced, how do you plan on starting a new single life, if you can even think about that yet?

Yep, got to see lots of these this week because of our custody arrangement.

Bite Me

On my last post, I recommended Mikalee Byerman as a must read.  Her blog rocks.

This week, I’m going to warn you to stay away from one entirely.  Yes, I realize that by giving said blogger any kind of credit, even though it’s negative, is giving her some sort of status in cyberspace.  She’s getting the attention she apparently needs.  I don’t care.  This kind of thinking is out there and you, as a soon-to-be-divorced person need to know that you are ok, and this kind of thinking is wrong.  Just WRONG.

You know, since going through my own shtuff in life, after thinking I had this perfect marriage, great health and parenting skills that would shame anyone, I have been truly humbled.  I have also come to peace with the fact that people’s opinions, for the most part, can be valuable.  I mean, I want people to consider my opinions valid to some degree, even if they don’t agree.

Then I read this blog due to Mikalee bringing it to my attention (don’t forget to come back here after you read it.  There’s something like 530 comments under her blog, so don’t get too distracted):

http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2012/02/28/divorce-is-immature-and-selfish-dont-do-it/#more-9301

You’re back?  Good.

Then I thought, “Some people are completely off their rocker and should be censored by the government.  Maybe even arrested for causing others to continue to allow violence and disrespect toward themselves.”

I mean, seriously.  I also thought many other things, but in an effort to show some kind of restraint due to my filter standards (which are extremely low anyway) I will attempt to refrain from major deleted expletives or ripping this lady to shreds too much on this post.

And then I’ll open the floodgates to allow you to comment below.  This lady needs to hear from the world, not just her followers on her blog (which are many, I’ve come to find out).

Essentially, according to this extremely wise woman, divorce is wrong… ALWAYS.

Can I tell you my own experience with this kind of thinking?  I’m about to use some Christian-ese again (see my rant in my story entitled “Seriously” under the “Serious Reese Stories” section of our site).  Please forgive me.

It goes something like this.

I tried to make my marriage stay together in every possible conceivable way after I found out Devon was gay.  For a year and a half.  I did some healthy things to attempt this, and some not so healthy ways.  I compromised so many things that I can’t even remember some of them.  The details about these you will be able to find in my book if I ever finish it.

As a side note, the working title is called “Leave It To My Beaver:  Of course I Married a Gay Guy.”  Funny, right?  I think it’s funny, anyway, which is all that matters.

Anywho, after innumerous prayers, prayer circles, fasting, Bible Studies, counseling from lay-Christian counselors and even a professional one, I eventually came to the peaceful conclusion that it was okay for me to divorce Devon.  He never really took the reigns and made that decision himself, even though he was no longer in our home and had accepted himself as a gay man.  I don’t blame Devon for that.  He really did love me and hated the hurt I was going through.  I’m requesting that you don’t knock on Devon in the comments below.  Thanks.

Psycho thinking?  Maybe.  But it was my personal process and I don’t have any regrets about it now.

When I made my decision, which was like this ray of light as an epiphany one day, my professional counselor agreed with me.  My awesome Christian dad, who is the wisest man I’ve ever known, agreed as well.

The amount of peace that I felt regarding this decision was indescribable.  I had finally arrived.

The people in my Christian circles who were supporting me?  Not so much.  I’m about to say it like it is from my perspective, and I’m sure that some people will be offended.  That’s a risk I’m willing to take.  Here’s the gist.

“I’ve decided to get a divorce.”

“What?  How can this be?  You’ve always said you’d do whatever it took to stay together!  Surely your dad and your counselor don’t know about this.  I doubt they’d agree.”

“Actually, they support my decision.  It’s just time.  I can’t try to make Devon do anything.  He’s made his own decisions and I’m just torturing myself and the kids by fighting it.  I need to move on.”

cricket, cricket.

“Hello?  Say something.”

I could tell the friend was trying to control her emotions.  It was thinly veiled.  “Emily, how can this be your decision?  Are you sure you’ve even prayed about this?  I mean, you didn’t even mention it to any of us.”

Well, of course I hadn’t.  I knew this would be the reaction they’d have.

“Listen, I knew how you would feel about it.  We’ve all known from day one that it just might come to this.  It’s always been an option to consider at some point.  It’s just time.  And of course I’ve prayed about it.  I’ve prayed with my face to the ground for hours about it.”

She became relentless.  “How can this be?  This isn’t want God wants for you!  Devon said he isn’t cheating on you, therefore you don’t have a good reason to ask for one.  God hates divorce!”

Yes, yes he does.  But even God allowed for it in cases of infidelity.

Let’s just give Devon the benefit of the doubt here.  Let’s just say he wasn’t with his current partner at the time.  Which he was.  They were living together.  But let’s just say that neither of them were together sexually.  It’s still adultery, ultimately, according to Biblical standards.  I mean, come on.  What am I supposed to think?

Again, please don’t knock on Devon or his husband.  I’m really ok with how things have turned out.

I began my defensive rebuttal.  I can be a very defensive person, which is usually considered a weak trait of mine.  Not this time, though.  “I’m well aware of that.  But what he says is happening and what is likely really happening don’t match up.  Why the heck would I try to stay married to someone who doesn’t want me?  I can’t compete with that.”

She became incredulous.  “Emily, you are going against God Himself.  We cannot support you.  If he hasn’t committed adultery, then you cannot divorce him!  I think you just want an excuse to go out and sin yourself.”

Whoa.  Yeah.  Just WHOA.  Go out and sin myself?  Pah-leeze.  I was faithful to the Nth degree.  I didn’t even masturbate for 18 months.

I started to shake with rage.  I couldn’t help it.  “Go out and sin myself?  What are you talking about?  So now, with this decision of mine, I’m the scapegoat?  Isn’t it Devon who caused all of this to happen in the first place?  He won’t even talk to you guys, you believe his statements, yet I have been transparent, shared my own sins, cried on your shoulders, followed your advice… and now it’s my fault?  Is that what you’re saying?”

Again, cricket, cricket.  Then, “You’re going against God’s will.”

Oh boy.  That was the last straw.  “So, according to Scripture, if Devon was beating me, beating the kids, drinking himself to oblivion and feeding a porn addiction, I’m supposed to stay with him?  Is that what you’re saying?”

“Of course not.  Now you’re taking Scripture out of context.”

I was?  “Wait, I’m just using the same reasoning you threw back in my face.  You’re taking scripture out of context.  Go ahead and think whatever you want.  Believe Devon if you want to.  Has your husband ever told you he was gay?  How dare you presume that I want to ‘sin’ myself.  You know that isn’t true.”

“Emily, I just don’t know what to say.  This feels like death to me.”

And it didn’t feel like death to me?

You know what I think?  I think these people just couldn’t fit this entire scenario into their perfect little box of Biblical thinking.  I really couldn’t either, but it was happening to me, not her.  And then, apparently, this whole divorce thing was going to be my fault.  It was just easier to ostracize and blame me than having to change their own thinking.

Suffice it to say, most of those people refuse to speak with me now, even when I’ve reached out to them.  I stopped trying.  Some of them came around a few years later when I had cancer and was about to die in the hospital.  While I know their hearts were in the right place, and some of them were even helpful, it just didn’t mean the same to me as when Devon was next to me holding my hand or when my best friend or boyfriend at the time sacrificed their time, emotions and work schedules to help me out in meaningful ways.

I hope I’m prepared for the potential fall-out of what I’ve shared.  I hope there isn’t any, but I’m realistic.  My story is my story, however, and I will admit that the conversation above was not recorded, but written as best as I could from my memory.  I didn’t make it up, though.  Really happened.

So, blogging lady who thinks divorce is wrong in any circumstance, bite me.  You are one clueless woman.

And they lived happily ever after.  The End.

P.S.  Happy Independence Day, people.  For more reasons than one, like my own independence, for starters.