Two Truths and a Lie

Two Truths and a Lie. If your nose grows, then I’ll know.

Here are two truths about me this past week:  I got offered a full time teaching position to teach English to high school students, last minute, with only a few days to prep before the first day of school.  Secondly, the type of school that I’m working for is a charter school, and one that serves a population that consists of many at-risk kids (at-risk meaning close to dropping out, discipline issues, couldn’t make it in traditional public schools because of academic/discipline problems or just weren’t getting their needs met in a regular ol’ high school).

One lie is that I hate it.  That’s a total lie, ‘cuz I absolutely love it.  It’s my dream job.  I substituted long-term there last year and came to the realization that this is my dream job.  Not only do the students get to be themselves in a school like this, so do I.  I can even wear jeans, my favorite pageboy hat and my fake gauge earrings.  Yep, I’m pretty dang blessed.

So, until this weekend, when I have a little more time to catch up on blogging for SameSides and finish up Thomas’ interview for the next post, I thought I’d check in with you and give you a fun little activity to comment on.

The first day of classes, I played a game with the students to try to get to know them a wee bit.  The game is called “Two Truths and a Lie.”  I had the students write down their three items, hand the paper into me, and I read them out loud to the class.  People had to guess who they thought it was and then they had to guess which one was the lie.  It was pretty fun, actually, and it gave me some insight into each of their lives (some were quite shocking) as well as some insight into their creativity.

So, gimme a list of your own “Two Truths and a Lie” in the comments below.  I’ll try to guess them throughout the next couple of days.  You can let me know if I’m right.

Here’s mine to get the ball rolling:

1.  I’ve been to Australia.  It was the very first time I was ever on a plane in my life.

2.  I love Squeezable Bacon in a bottle.  It’s a great substitute for the real thing in a pinch.

3.  Match.com is actually a really great way to put yourself out there in the dating world.  I’ve really enjoyed my experience on there so far.

Which one’s the lie?  Then tell me your three items.  Go!

Blessing, Truths and Lies,

Emily

You know how much I love Mark Twain. Remember? I want to have his babies.  He said tons of things about lying.  Here’s one:  “Lie–an abomination before the Lord and an ever present help in time of trouble.”

 

The Stuff in the Middle

You’ve heard from our eldest daughter, Maddie.  Now, I can’t wait to see how the girl sandwiched in between our three kids responds to these questions.  Kate is much more serious than the other two, but at times unpredictably funny.  She is a brilliant and deep thinker.  She could be anything when she grows up: a contortionist in the circus, a CEO of a million dollar company, an artist, a shrink, an attorney, a professional Jeopardy guest or even a street performer who runs a hot dog cart downtown.  She’s so dang awesome.

1.  Kate, why don’t you give me a list of all of the things you could possibly do when you grow up and why.  You are an idea gal AND a detail gal.  I think you could do so many different things.

I think this is a very good question for me, so here are just a few things on my list:

  • Own a coffee shop
  • Move to Alaska
  • Own an axolotl
  • Major in Food Science at a good college and minor in Psychology
  • Coach a traveling softball team

Apparently, THIS is an axoloti. Kate? This will never enter my house. Hell no.  Take it to your dad’s.

2.  Tell me what two of your greatest strengths are and what two of your possible weaknesses are.  How are your weaknesses actually strengths of yours?

One of my greatest strengths is my ability to be sensitive toward different minorities and diversity, considering that I have a rainbow family. Another is my ability not to care too much about what people think of me.

I think the two weaknesses I have would be that occasionally I’m not daring enough so I miss out on things (like roller coasters) and I get offended too much about what people say about other people.  I don’t think any of my weaknesses could be strengths though.

[Kate, it’s Mommy.  I beg to differ.  Your perceived weaknesses really are strengths.  For one, you’re careful, which makes me trust you more that you’re not going to do anything too stupid.  For two, you have a heart of gold and you care about other people’s feelings.  That’s a good thing.  You’ll learn how to reign in over-reactions to those things as you grow.  I’m proud of those “weaknesses” in you!  I’ll bet you other people in the comments below will agree with me.]

Kate really does not give up when she determines she needs to know something or learn how to do something. Look at this! She’s like seriously, a really good hoola-hooper.

3.  Tell me three things playing softball has taught you about yourself and life, besides the obvious softball skills that you’re learning.

The three things I’ve learned from playing softball are to always believe in yourself, have a positive attitude, and to be patient with other people. And that I have MAD SKILLS (tee hee).

She is a ham in front of the camera.

3.  What are your favorite kinds of foods, since I consider you a foodie?  You have exquisite tastes.

Honestly, I don’t think I could sum that all up in words, but I mainly like healthy colon cleansers, goat cheeses, and seaweed. Seaweed is very healthy for you AND its tasty.

Kate is very adventurous when it comes to trying new foods. I didn’t have the heart to remind her of Quinn the Quail’s recent passing when she tried this quail egg shot at sushi the other day.

3.  How do you work through frustrations while trying to achieve a goal?

When I do have frustrations when trying to achieve a goal I just take a break or talk with my parents for encouragement. Oh, and I never stop trying.

Kate needs lots of encouragement if she gets frustrated. She’s learning how to deal with frustration on her own more and more. We’re so proud of her!

4.  Name three things you remember about the divorce process our family experienced.  How did you feel at different times?

One thing I remember was that when he told us he was moving out of the house, the left the next morning, which I was sad about, but I understand now that it was for the best.  The next thing is that when he told us he was gay, I don’t think I was too surprised, not because I knew, but because it didn’t make him any different to me. And the third thing I remember was that you two couldn’t officially divorce for a while.

5.  What types of things have you experienced or thought as a kid who has two daddies who are gay?  What things do you wish would change in people’s minds?

I haven’t really thought much of my dads being gay, because its not offensive to me, but I hear kids at school saying stuff that’s meant to be offensive to other kids. I wouldn’t change people’s minds about it, because they have their beliefs and opinions, but I would want them to see it from a different angle.

She is waiting anxiously by the computer, wanting comments from people.  Like I said, she loves encouragement.  Drop her a line, won’t you?

Blessings,

The Reeses and their Pieces

Kate loves to climb trees. This picture was from a couple of years ago, and she’s even prettier now. Tough to believe it, I know.

The Eldest

Our kids have been very much involved with our blog.  There is little that we keep from them.  They handle things well and the communication we all work so hard at has really paid off.  I’m going to be submitting something from each of the kids over the next week or so, and today, I’ll start with our eldest, Maddie.  I can’t wait for you to read what she has to say, in interview form.

1.  Why do you like books and reading so much?  Like, what does it do for your emotions, how does reading enhance your life and what kinds of books do you like to read the most and why?  You can list up to two favorites, otherwise, you’d never get to the other questions.

I love reading books because it’s like seeing a movie over and over in your head with every delicious word and scrumptious detail. When I read, my imagination takes over after a couple of sentences, allowing me to predict the next word, like “the”, “and”, and “this” for example. That’s why I read so fast, contrary to everyone’s belief that I skip pages. My imagination, (possibly my greatest quality) also allows me to go into the book and live whatever is happening, which is mostly good when I’m stressed out over some assignment that is being graded under a strict set of rules. It helps me get out of my own life, if even for a half hour. These are my two favorite readings.

Harry Potter- As the first real young adult book I ever read, it obviously holds a dear place in my book brain. It is what got me interested in all things fantastical, from wizards to vampires to the Fae (real faeries, not like the prissy Tinkerbell types). I like Hermione, because she’s literally the smartest in all of the books I’ve read and I want to be like her. At one point I even wanted to be named Hermione (my mom immediately quashed that dream by calling me Hermie).

Tithe- Holly Black is an amazing writer and her characters are so real. I mean if I was a pixie, I wouldn’t be trying to hide it. I would go somewhere I could flaunt it. It takes me to a place where no matter how hideous you are to other people, you can dance and play and rip people apart for fun (not that I want to do the last one, but technically in the land of the Fae it might be interesting). There also aren’t really any rules, which might be fun for a while.

Maddie is a candy-aholic. She wanted to make sure this picture made it into the post. They are her favorite. She eats them like chips if I let her.

2.  You’re a really good writer and you know I’m not joking.  You have written large, complicated stories before and they are better than what most college students these days could write.  How come you wouldn’t create something for this blog and requested that I do an interview format instead?

It’s harder for me to write non-fiction books because they aren’t as interesting to me, and therefore I get distracted much easier. It also takes a lot longer for me to write non-fiction unless I have prompts, like the fifth grade Writing Test. For example, you were giving me free reign over my prompts that I could have used for this blog, Mom, and it’s hard for me to make decisions without over-thinking it; I also had no specific length that I could make the blog post. It would have hurt my brain to think so hard 😛

Everyone has their fetishes in our family, and Maddie is no exception. Maddie’s is creepy though: Old Dolls. Here’s a picture she took on our latest antique store outing. Seriously disturbing.

3.  What do you remember thinking about why your dad and I were separated, since neither of us told you why for at least a couple of years?  I’m talking about before your dad came out of the closet to you.  Do you ever remember thinking it was your fault?

I just remember one positive thing: “Two Christmases!” That part was a kid’s dream-come-true, but I think I was more intelligent than that for the most part. I had already met Felipe, so I was a little worried that I wouldn’t get to see him anymore, but dad said that he would still be living with us. You and Dad had been living apart for a while already, so I suppose the crying was my little kid side, when really I was thinking, “Ok, as long as parents are in the same city then I’ll be fine.” You guys told us that it would be the same situation as it had been for about a year and a half, except there might be some moving around until we settled into a good house. I NEVER thought it was my fault, for two reasons: 1) I am the best daughter you could have asked for; and 2) You told us the second the announcement came that it wasn’t our fault. If everyone does that, kids won’t think it’s their fault at all. They might doubt it, but as long as it’s the truth, they’ll believe it at some point.

Devon, have your shotgun at the ready. It’s a good thing Felipe is a hand-to-hand combat trained Marine, ‘cuz seriously, this chick is beautiful.

4.  What is the hardest part about being one of the only of the three of you kids who remembers the most about the way we lived pre-divorce and the way we now think and live post-divorce?

I don’t know. There was a lot more fighting and yelling when you and Dad were married and going through your stuff, and even though you didn’t want us to hear it, whenever you were yelling at each-other I would hide next to the staircase wall and listen, hoping to understand why you guys fought so much. I also snuck into your room one time, like I always used to, and saw your wedding ring just lying on the bathroom counter. You never used to take that thing off, but I didn’t care so much, because you were in the shower. Now, you don’t really fight unless Dad gets annoyed at the cleanliness of something or you being “late” to various events (underwater basket-weaving competitions, for example), which isn’t so often anymore. But it’s one of those things that’s solved in a minute, an hour, or over-night; it depends on what happened.

5.  What kinds of things do you always wish you could say to your dad and I about our divorce that you’ve never said before?  We won’t get mad.  We’ll just get even.  Don’t worry.

Honestly? I wish you had told us Dad was gay instead of letting us believe what we wanted to. After about two years I sort of figured it out, but I didn’t think the other kids would understand and I didn’t understand as much as I do now, so I didn’t want to look stupid, even as a second grader. ‘Cause that never really happened (looking stupid) and I hated looking like I had done something wrong by saying something wrong. I just waited it out, and voila! I was right. Oh well, at least I learned that I have patience.

6.  Is there anything you would tell children whose parents are currently separated and going through a divorce that you wish someone would have told you during the time you experienced it?

If the divorce is amicable, then I think you’ve said everything, but even amicable separated couples should tell their kids the real reason why they’re getting divorced. If the kids won’t understand it, then put it in terms that they might. For non-amicable divorces, at least don’t fight in front of your kids; feelings towards the other person in the divorce can rub off on your kids. It’s not pretty, I’ve seen it, especially in teenagers; they become spiteful towards their other parent, especially if from an early age they’ve been told that their mom or dad is a bad person (who doesn’t really love them, who loves another family more, etc., etc.). It’s a different story if they really are a bad person, but love is something that can be accompanied by anger, spite, and even hate. That’s pretty much it.

*I can post an excerpt from one of my stories at some point if anyone wants me to (post in comments, all caps STORY)

Well, there you have it.  Do you see why I love my kids so much?  I know that it would actually mean a lot to her if you wrote a brief comment below this blog.  Every kid loves feedback.

Stay tuned for the next blog over the next couple of days, to hear from my unique and well-spoken middle daughter.  It should be a hoot.

Blessings and Perfect Children,

Emily and Devon

Maddie has a fetish with Nutcrackers as well. The collection has grown out of control and it’s starting to get super creepy. It’s awesome that she likes Nutcrackers because ironically, she has a severe peanut/tree nut allergy.

Antiquated Crap

My new fetish, besides the old bacon standby, is perusing around in antique shops.  The gaggy smell in those old shops is almost worse than walking down the pet food aisle at the grocery store, but it’s totally worth it to me.

I mean, I could spend hours (and I literally have) looking at interesting old crap, reminiscing about that old crap, and taking pictures of that old crap.  Ideas for stories pop into my head constantly just by the memories that the old crap invokes.

My kids and I love to go to antique stores and play around and take cute pictures. Isn’t Maddie beautiful?

And then I ran into this little gem yesterday while goofing off at my favorite antique store:

Notice the subtext on the box: “Educational”. Hmmmm…

My mind was inundated with old toy and game memories from when I was little.  I didn’t actually own this sexist set of fun-ness, but my aunt did and I loved playing with it.  I had all kinds of imaginings as a young girl, with that picture perfect housewife mentality, the white fence, two sets of twins (2 boys, 2 girls), a handsome hard-working doctor of a husband and pearls around my neck.  Pearls.

I lived that life once I married Devon.  It really was perfect.  I had everything I ever dreamed of and thought I needed.  I was in love, honestly, and the whole Leave It To Beaver lifestyle was mine, ALL MINE.

Until the day of Devon’s Big Reveal.  I wasn’t kidding in one of my recent posts that I was actually joking when I said to him, “What are you, gay or something?”

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

Seriously, it really happened that way and my pearl strings broke in that instant.

I never would have pictured myself as anything other than Susie Homemaker until that moment, the moment where everything changed.

The thing I found in the antique store that I felt reflected me the most NOW is this:

Meet “Pinstripe Power” Barbie. I’d like to think that I look like her, but my middle section is slightly bloated compared to hers. This is why I prefer to wear pinstripe moo-moos.

Through determination (by dealing with heartbreak head-on and not avoiding reality by staying in my bitterness) I focus these days on a new way of thinking and not that old-fashioned Leave It To Beaver thing.  I have turned into one tough cookie.  This took years, people, YEARS.  It didn’t happen overnight.  Sometimes I would feel proud and strong and then within the blink of an eye, I felt defeated and bitter all over again.  So I’d deal with the old shit and try to work out the antiquated things by facing the reality of my situation.

And then I got effing cancer.  Talk about a slap in the face.  In fact, it felt more like someone had taken a hit out on me and hired that smarmy Guido dude to off me.

This was right before surgery to remove my cancerous, grapefruit-sized tumor from my colon. I look like the lunch lady from hell. Go ahead and laugh. Don’t feel bad. It makes me laugh every time I see it.

But we all have inner strength, ladies and gentlemen, that we don’t even realize is inside of us.

The majority of comments that I would get in those early days of my diagnosis went something like this:  “God, Emily!  How do you do it?  I mean, your husband came out of the closet, you worked through those issues and now you have to deal with this?  I don’t think I could do it.”

My response?  Yes, yes you could.  You deal with what life gives you.  You’re stronger than you think you are.

Did I have days that I felt so sorry for myself that I even contemplated not LIVING?  Absolutely.  Just ask my ex-boyfriend, best friend (My Personal Midget), sister or even Devon.  I felt so damn sorry for myself that it was pathetic.  Absolutely pathetic.  My tear ducts were emptied on a daily basis and I got so depressed that I didn’t want to see anyone, even those who would call and want to be with me just to keep me company.  Somehow, SOMEHOW, I made it through.

And now when something else horrible happens (‘cuz it has) I think:  I popped three kids out of my vajayjay, dealt with Jerry Springer shit with my husband, handled being slapped in the face by religion and endured months of weakening chemo.  Go fist yourself, Adversity!

I am woman!  Hear me roar!

The divorce thing is tough.  I get it.  It may be the toughest thing you’ll ever have to endure.

Depending on where you are in your divorce process, you may actually feel like not living at some point.  Your hopes and dreams have been completely destroyed.  Your future, if you can see any of it, is going to look completely different… FOREVER.  The worry you feel on a minute-by-minute basis may be too much to bear.

But trust me when I say, you’re stronger than you think you are.  You will deal with what life gives you.  Your process toward a happier and confident future will be completely unique and in the end, beautiful.  I am living proof.  In fact, I’m predicting that if you face it head on and roar like the strong person that you are, you may eventually think your old shit is a blessing.

Hang in there.  Screw you, Adversity.  You are strong, you are woman (or man), hear you roar!

Blessings and New Shit,

Emily

I’m going to go back and buy this picture at the antique store. I think I’ll hang it above my bed on the ceiling so it’s the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I look at before I go to sleep.  Up yours, Adversity!

The Pseudo Counselors

We aren’t counselors, obviously.  I mean, would a counselor reveal that she is a rodent murderer, that she enjoys making out with CPR dolls and that she at one time mixed vodka with her wine to help her cope with her pending divorce?  I doubt it.  But we are transparent, desiring to use our experiences to try to help others through their own divorce processes and pain.

There is this amazing woman that has been in communication with us since the inception of this blog site.  She is experiencing real and raw pain.  She desires to have an amicable divorce and do whatever she can to help her kids cope, but dammit, it’s just so hard to see in front of her nose toward the future.  I remember feeling the same way.  Now that I’m on the Other Side, I have confidence that she’ll be okay.  I love hearing from her, and she has been very encouraging toward Devon and me to keep on keeping on with our story and ridiculous antics.

I heard from her today, after inquiring how she was doing, and she caught me up to speed.  They haven’t had the “dreaded talk” with their children yet, but they’re working up to it.  She recapped the past couple of months with me about their therapist’s recommendation to “plant seeds” by asking her kids questions and presenting scenarios to them, I’m guessing to scaffold their thinking to prepare them for the upcoming changes.  She was particularly interested in how I got through the whole letting the kids go out from under my wing and them coping with two households.  Here was my response to her, with names changed to protect the innocent.

Wow, wow, wow.  I am feeling everything you’re laying down here.  I didn’t realize just how much we had in common.  Thank you for giving me some details.  My heart remembers the things you are sharing.  Seriously.

It was SO HARD for me.  I was the stay-at-home mom and Devon was the provider.  I was amazing at being June Cleaver.  I even enjoyed wearing pearls.  Not only did those kids come out of MY who-who, I raised those kids day in and day out.  I knew them better than Devon did and they trusted me to protect them.  When all of this started to happen, I felt like a momma bear wanting to keep them sheltered from adult realities.

I honestly didn’t think they should ever leave our home in order to see Devon by themselves at first.  We argued a bunch about that.  Not only did I think he couldn’t handle it, but the heart ache I experienced when they just went to visit him for a few hours was unbearable.  Truly.  I cried a lot.

What I meant by the kids getting used to splitting time is that eventually I got to a painful point where I had to let them go and allow for overnight stays little bits at a time.  I didn’t want to with every ounce of my being, but I knew that with our future custody arrangement, that would become a reality.  So instead of blindsiding them with this surprising new arrangement, I let go of my fears and doubts and started to gradually allow this to happen.

Honestly, and painfully to me, the kids saw it as an adventure and sleepover fun time.  I hated it.  But they are more simple-minded and would never have the feelings that I was experiencing.  They experienced pain of their own, but the pain they felt wasn’t the betrayal and mistrust that I had.  They weren’t divorcing the love of their life.  They still had a dad whom they loved with all of their hearts.  Things were just looking different than what they had always known.

I hope that makes sense.  I don’t even really remember how I got through it.  But I know that I did.  Eventually (and I know this is hard to believe) I began to take advantage of my time alone and really discovered who I am at my core.  Today, I truly relish those times without them.  I know it may sound cold-hearted to you right now, but it is a reality.  I make the most of things.  I travel.  I read.  I have a clean house for one week at a time.  I stop by their practices and sports games and don’t have to take care of equipment and meals afterwards… I go home or go out with friends.  I have even started dating again.  I know you’re not there yet, but don’t be surprised if someday you find yourself in that place.  I am very happy now.

And when it’s time to have them once again for the week, I am crazy excited to see them and take care of them.

Devon and I never bash each other to them.  We always back one another up.  Trust me, kids will naturally attempt to play you against one another, usually in subtle ways.  I hope that they don’t do that, but be prepared.  If you and your soon-to-be-ex can effectively co-parent together, you will not feel bad backing each other up.

By the way, I also moved states, away from my family and support system [when we were happily married with children].  I toyed with the idea of moving back “home” and taking the kids with me at first.  I can’t see into your future, but I can tell you that when I saw that sunset the other night over Lake Tahoe before Norah Jones came on the stage, I was so friggin’ glad I stayed.

Hang in there.  You are a strong woman and will get through even better than you can imagine right now.

Peace,
Emily Reese

Hopefully that could be helpful to some of you who are in her position.  Sometimes it’s good for us to post intentional topics about divorce instead of trying to entertain you with our crazy family stories.

Blessings and Future Sunsets,

Emily and Devon Reese

Here’s the sunset that I witnessed over Tahoe before the Norah Jones concert started. She’s my favorite of all times. I’m glad I stayed here and didn’t move back to Iowa. Otherwise, I would have missed it.

Musings on our Rainbow Family and Other Observations About Life

I’ll admit that I have been avoiding writing this past month.  At work I have resorted to short and direct emails rather than longwinded missives the likes of which Gore Vidal never knew.

And, truth be told, I have been mourning the passing of a great friend four weeks ago – Brett Michael Jaffe, who left us too young.  Brett’s death has caused some significant introspection about life, love, and death.  The grieving process I have experienced with Brett’s passing reminds me a lot of going through my divorce.  Divorce after all is the “death” of a relationship.  Some days I have lingered over memories too long and other days seem more like a dream.  Some moments are re-played on the DVR in my mind on loop and others have been forgotten.  Mostly I have taken refuge in our three amazing children and in the arms of my best friend.  Today is a good day and in spite of some painful moments, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL!

Brett Jaffe will be forever remembered. He served the USMC and his country faithfully.

Emily has been patiently cajoling me to write and has put up with my writing avoidance defense mechanism; as patient as a rabid zombie seeking a slow victim.  So I write…. with some helpful interview questions cooked up by Emily “Bacon Slayer” Strabala-Reese / Reese-Strabala / Reese / Strabala (which is it? – a topic for another time).

Here are the questions she presented to me.

1.  What is a “Fred-ism”?  Give some examples of what this means.  I think it would be good to clarify this topic so that you can begin using them when you write on our blog.

Funny!  My Dad’s name is Thomas Frederick Reese.  Born a really long time ago, he is the Aged P.  He’s always gone by “Fred” to his friends (a.k.a. The Silver Fox).  It stands to reason that a “Fred-ism” is something that Fred does, says, or is.  I love my Dad!  He’s been a huge influence on my life.  He, like us all, has his faults and has made his share of mistakes.  He will be 78 this year and he has put a bunch of miles on his body so we are trying to be honest about his health – some days are better than others.

I also think Fredisms are a secret code for those who know him to reflect on his craziness.  My brothers and sisters can laugh and tell Fredisms to each other for hours.  It’s like a secret club where you can only be admitted if you know all the quirks of our Father.

Fredisms include:

  • a particular brand of OCD tendencies – like having to make certain that your house is perfectly clean before leaving for vacation (“Who wants to return from a trip to a dirty house?”)
  • instead of having something defensible to say about someone’s worldview, just barking, “She’s not all there!” is his fall-back phrase.  (Yes Dad, Shelly Berkley looks like “the Joker on speed.”)
  • being on a first name basis with every employee of every Dollar Store or consignment shop in Sparks, Nevada.  You should see the garbage he sends home with us.  I shit-you-not this stuff is hysterical.  I have personally received plaster hands in prayer; tin boxes, piggy banks of every shape and size (when one of my children mistakenly remarked that he liked them), “discreet” condom storage boxes (with pictures of sunsets and sandy beaches), dream catchers (Emily’s favorite), and all measure of Chinese manufactured bullshit to fill a dumpster the size of a small village.  This is his latest gift.  What in the hell is this?  Best response might receive it in the mail next week so tread lightly.

What the hell is this, anyway? And a better question is, why did Fred think it was a must-have?

When I was a kid I used to find his Fredisms annoying.  Now I am just thankful that he is still around and my kids get to know what an amazing, if somewhat crazy, man this is.

2.  Please give your rendition of the day you proposed to me.  Wait.  Also please tell me exactly when you decided you loved me so much that you wanted to ask me to marry you.  I’ve never asked that question.

It was December; we were spending Christmas Break in Reno.  It was cold!  My parents had recently sold the home I grew up in and moved into a Condo that my Mother could not stand (Fred in his infinite wisdom sold the house “out from under me” as my Mother frequently recalls).  I had purchased the ring a few months earlier but wanted everyone to meet you first.  I had some ideas about how to propose that I’d read about or seen on television.  One was to make my own light-up sign using a cardboard box and Christmas light – who do I look like Martha Stewart?  I’d have cut myself and bled to death or been electrocuted.  That was not going to work.  It also snowed the first four or five days we were in town which significantly impaired my ability to plan anything outside.  I was getting desperate!  So I settled on getting to the top of the highest point I could safely get us to in a blizzard and simply getting down on one knee.  So I proposed on the hill at McQueen High School.  I remember you were wearing ugly black shoes that were not the best thing for a hike through 2 feet of snow.  You said yes!  The rest is history.

I decided to ask you to marry me after I drove a couple hundred miles in a snowstorm to see you play in the National Catholic Basketball Tournament in some far wintery region of Iowa.  Quad-Cities I think.  I had just returned to Kansas City from being in Reno for Christmas break when I received a “Dear John” letter from you.  I was having none of that so Shane and I drove through the night to win you back.

Note from Emily:  Devon, I remember having the best game of my college career that morning, not knowing you were sitting in the bleachers with Shane.  When I came out of the game for a much needed break (and probably to change my uniform because the one I was wearing was too slimy from sweat), imagine my surprise when I saw you sitting there smiling at me.  Well played, Devon.  That sealed the deal for me, too.

3.  Please tell the general populace why you think you know everything about everything.  In particular, I am referring to the jobs you had which led you to the path of Nirvana and Total Enlightenment.

This is a “Fredism”.  I use this line on the kids mostly but occasionally it is a pithy retort to any argument with anyone.  I have worked in retail (youngest manager in Gantos story history), ice cream, and inventory control – I am therefore qualified to opine on any subject including fashion (although this is disputed by my two girls), Olympic diving (“He is gay, you can tell by the way he wears his Speedo to the left”), and the politics of Djibouti.

4.  What, in your opinion, were the three toughest things about hashing out the particulars of our divorce?

  • Child custody – I wanted the kids to immediately spend 50% of their time with me; this was not always practical but eventually worked out.
  • Finances – at the time, the economy was shot (still is?) and I was not working.  But again, this got worked out.
  • Stuff – I did not want much but I had to say goodbye to things we collected along the way – can I have the little wood boxes back?

From Emily:  No, you can’t have those boxes.  I use them to store the various voodoo dolls I have created of you over the last 6 years.  They hold sentimental bitter feelings for me.

5.  What in particular would you want to see improvement on between the two of us and our current relationship?  Please be brutally honest.  Don’t give me that “I wouldn’t change anything, you’re perfect the way you are, I’m perfect and don’t need to change a thing” crap.  I’m totally serious, here.  Our dirty laundry can’t get any dirtier than it already is on this blog.

  • You need to clean your house more.
  • The kids need to take more showers at your house.
  • You need to clean your car.
  • You could make me White Chicken Chile once and a while.
  • You need to clean your house more.
  • Can you get a job soon?
  • Don’t ask me if I think your current boyfriend is cute.  He is ugly when compared to me.

Emily:  I would love to get all sorts of defensive on your ass for these comments, but unfortunately, they are true to a degree.  I did clean out the car the other day.  I found some petrified chicken McNuggets under the back seat that I thought about saving for your viewing pleasure.  Instead, I put them in the wooden boxes for safe keeping.

6.  When you are dealing with clients who are going through a divorce, what kinds of things do you think about when counseling them through the process?  Do you ever use us as an example?  Does it ever cause you to be self-reflective?  What is the toughest thing about dealing with Family Law and having been through a divorce yourself?

This is a great question.  I think I am very good at this type of practice because I have gone through a divorce.  I do try to encourage cooperation and use our own divorce as a model.  Unfortunately, it is not always realistic – some people need to have their dumbass opinions corrected.  I “know everything about everything” so it is “my way” or you can hire someone else.  I do turn down clients – mostly they are people who want to “slash and burn” their ex-spouses.  I will not do that – life is too short.

Blessings and Rainbows, Devon and Emily

Another example of a gift from Fred to his son and his son’s male partner. ‘Cuz, you know, they’re like daughters to him?

The Devil Wears Bacon

My fetishes. Perhaps a scene including bacon in the Playroom would be hot.

So, obviously I have many fetishes.  Some of them I’ve made clear on this blog.  Things like baldness, Lord of the Rings, sweating and hairy armpits, poop humor, The Office, dead animals and Therapy Wine.  Here are some you don’t know about:  flossing, Godfather’s Pizza, popping pimples, pumpkin pie and Fleetwood Mac.

But the biggest one is bacon.  Bacon is at the top of my list.

So while I wait for Devon to finish the blog post that he’s currently working on, which is bound to be mind-blowing, I thought I’d post something mindless and silly.  I don’t know who I should give credit to for the following bacon activity, but it was not my idea.  However, it is so freakin’ addicting, fun and funny, that I had to share it somewhere other than Facebook.

Play along.  Make exhaustive lists.  The possibilities are endless.

Replace one word from a movie title with the word “BACON”

That’s it.  It’s easy.  So, like the title to this blog post, replace “Prada” with “Bacon”.  Also as an example: The Girl With The Bacon Tattoo.

Have fun.  I can’t wait to see what you come up with.  Please humor me in the comments below.  I love to laugh.

Blessings and Bacon,

Emily