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What comes next?

Quora defines “ever-after” as “to live (happily) until one’s death. It is typically used in fairy tales.” “Typically” in fairy tales — but not ALWAYS. Which raises the question — is it actually achievable in “real life?” And if it’s not, why have so many of us been raised to believe that happily-ever-after is what we are ultimately seeking?

While not stated, there is most definitely the implication that “ever-after” is not a solo experience. …

Photo by Elizeu Dias on Unsplash

Growing up, I felt miscast — like I was destined for a bigger platform. I was convinced that I was meant to be famous.

When I was 8 or 9, my mom bought me a yellow t-shirt with the words “I’m Nearly Famous” emblazoned in silver on the front as well as a blue t-shirt with a giant silver star. I wore those shirts as often as I could get them washed. To me, they told the world that I was someone special. While I was yet to discover my “gift,” even then I knew it was just a matter of time. …

I was plagued by the idea that everything I had would disappear. I’d lost my job, my husband had left, and I dreamt nightly I would end up living in a refrigerator box.

The previous me, the one that had not just watched her life disassemble, would have made a budget, cut out non-essentials, created a spreadsheet of reassurance.

Instead, I became addicted to online shopping.

I had always liked to shop— I took immense pleasure in finding a good deal. I’d stockpile — sometimes it worked out well — I still love the same eye makeup remover I’ve used since I was sixteen, and nothing beats extra soft Kleenex. However, I doubt seriously I will ever need any of those 20 pairs of “Nearly Nude” pantyhose, and certainly not in size A. …

Trying to parse the fun out of dysfunction.

Me: Hey. Sorry we got cut off. I needed to get the dogs out the door.

She: No problem. Finish what you were saying.

Me: I’m trying to figure out if he’s an ACTUAL narcissist, or he was just having a mid-life crisis or whatever.

She: What difference does it make?

Me: If he’s a narcissist, then there’s no cure, nothing will change — it will happen again. If it was just a bad decision, or like a mid-life thing, then we can deal with that in therapy.

She: What would define him as a narcissist? …

Charlie and Lola on my bed after coming in from the rain

I have given up all pretense that my dogs don’t run the house.

I’m well aware that, according to dog trainers, dogs like rules and boundaries. People say that about children too-though I’ve yet to see it play out in real life. I have, however, seen some world class temper tantrums when a 3 year old is told not write on a wall or a steak knife is removed from the hands of a 5 year old chasing after his little brother. So as far as I’m concerned, the whole rules and boundaries thing is still just a theory.

Sometimes my dogs will bark a little longer than absolutely necessary and generally they will try and jump on the company — but it’s because they are so happy to have visitors — and, frankly, my feeble attempts at discipline can barely be heard over the din of their welcome. …

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My husband’s Facebook post, moments after we got engaged in June 2010

People ask: When he came back, did he show up on a horse, with a million roses? Does he apologize to you EVERY DAY? Does he thank God or whoever that you took him back?

Um, no. It’s not like that.

Yes, my ex is no longer my ex. We signed divorce papers in June of 2017, and in July of 2017, while he was in Hawaii with his kids, visiting his “girlfriend,” my ex responded to an email from me and asked if I would go to couples counseling with him. We never filed the papers with the court.

I’d love to tell you a great story of how he begged and begged, or sent flowers every day for months on end — people seem to need me to tell them about the penitence — like somehow that would help them understand why I would take back a man that had cheated on and then left me. …

Finding post-divorce peace in a room full of strangers

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Me and Dad at my 40th

It arrived in the mail, unsolicited and with no forewarning. It was exquisite, housed in an intricate white package with a special place for its plastic card (with my name printed on it!) and inserts that detailed my new and many privileges. While I had managed little else in these past many months, I had achieved Yogurtland Platinum status.

“How come I’ve never heard of this?” you ask.

Because it’s a secret status, akin to the mythical Black American Express Card, bestowed to the select few that hit an unknowable, unfathomable, threshold. …

According to a survey of British divorce lawyers, approximately one in three divorces resulted from social media-related disagreements. Similarly, a survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) found that four out of five lawyers used evidence derived from social networking sites in divorce cases, with Facebook leading the pack. I’m confident that these numbers are extremely conservative. My ex hooked up with his “affair partner” through a mutual friend on Facebook.

In this ever-more connected world, social media is both a blessing and a curse. I love to see pictures of my niece’s baby; I hate seeing my ex post ADORBS❤!!! …

The story that I will tell may not be EXACTLY how it happened, but it is as I remember and continue to live it. While I don’t believe that anyone here is truly innocent (including myself), no names were harmed in the writing of this blog.

When I went back to re-activate my J-date profile, 8 years after my last visit, I was struck by the fact that I really only had to make one significant change–I could no longer say that I had “a basically great life.” I still work in entertainment marketing (though not currently working), I still have great family and friends, I still like dining and wine tasting, my age, conveniently, or perhaps, cruelly, had automatically updated, and I now had two dogs and no cat. I was, outwardly, basically the same person. Inside, however, I barely recognized myself. I had been broken, stepped on, crushed, deserted. And it all started on J-date. Was I crazy to return to the scene of the crime? On the flip side, weren’t we, technically, a success story? I mean, minus the fact that my ex had an affair, left me within 2 weeks of me losing my dream job, and was deep in a relationship with a woman who self-identifies as a “Tiki mermaid in disguise,” we did, in fact, meet on this site, and we did get married. The site brags about the number of marriages it creates, but offers no statistics on their divorce rate. But I digress. The point, really, is that when I looked at my old profile, I was still that person, except I no longer felt like it was a great life — it felt like I had lost so much. Same profile, different person. All the cliches were true–losing someone you love changes you in ways that you can’t possibly know until it happens to you. …

“They say that breaking up is hard to do”

For those of you that have been following me on this blog, you know that I owe you the story about what happened when my ex’s Tiki mermaid affair partner sent me a letter on Facebook Messenger. And I promise, it’s too good not to share — so that is coming. But, I am interrupting my irregularly scheduled blog to bring you this musical interlude.

Did you know that iTunes has 33 OFFICIAL Break-up Playlists?

As any true drama queen knows, a really life shattering event, such as an unwanted divorce, cannot be fully processed without the right playlist. Music as a universal language is not just a cliché — you figure that out very quickly when your life is falling apart and you suddenly realize that Alicia Keys (Try Sleeping with A Broken Heart — was she IN my head last night?) …

Mimi Slavin

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