My long-time marriage imploded so quickly and completely that I was left crumpled in the rubble. My body consumed itself in shock. After struggling for ten years to lose five meager pounds, I dropped fifteen in less than three months. After a lifetime of sleeping deeply and peacefully, I’d lie awake for hours. Some nights I didn’t sleep at all.After a life time of loving to read, nothing made sense. I’d go to bed with The Atlantic Monthly, which I habitually consumed cover to cover, and not one sentence, let alone a full paragraph, could penetrate my battered brain cells.
I stole time away from work on Friday for lunch with my friend, Patrick. Last month, when I encountered him by chance out strolling in my neighborhood, I dug into my pocket and gave him The Vixen Divorcee’s business card. After we parted I thought, “Georgia, are you insane! What were you thinking? Now he’s going to think you are the biggest bit of inane mental fluff imaginable.”
Carrie planned thoughtfully for her first night lying in the arms of Morpheus, the god of dreams. Her husband moved out that day, so she knew the only arms waiting for her in that big brass bed upstairs would be those she conjured up in her dreams.
She covered the bed with fresh sheets. She sprayed those sheets with her favorite perfume, Escape, by Calvin Klein. Drew a hot bath and luxuriated in the old claw foot tub until the water turned chill. Rummaged through her grandmother’s wooden hope chest to find the tissue paper packet enclosing the nightgown she wore on her wedding night ten years ago. Slipped it on. Climbed in between the crisp sheets, inhaled the scent redolent of sensuality and love.
She made love to herself. Made love to herself because she knew she deserved it, even though she and love had been strangers for quite some time. Made love to herself because she was determined to keep that spark alive in herself, ready for when the time was right to invite someone else besides Morpheus to lie in bed with her.
This was produced with a little help from my friends. One of them has a website of vaudiotexts. If you’re interested in hearing more, or making one yourself, go to www.vaudiotext.com.
Time for another male voice in The Diary of the Vixen Divorcee, don’t you think? My divorced friend, Mick, is here to provide it for us, with his tale of online dating. The brave man has gone where I haven’t dared to tread, yet.
After two years I’d moved on. I’d survived a public divorce, in which I had played a costarring role, the person who didn’t want it in the first place. I’d been the cuckolded husband, the last one in town to know, apparently the very last one. But that had been two years ago, and from what I’d eventually learned the extracurricular activities had maybe gone on two or three years before that.
I made a conscious decision not to date within my existing social network. That decision, and the intervening twenty-four months, had taught me bars and clubs weren’t the place to meet women, at least not for me. Maybe it was the sort of bars or clubs I went to, maybe it was the type of woman I was attracted to. I really don’t know, I only knew it wasn’t working.
Enter unsolicited advice from my friend, Wendy. “Give the online dating thingy a shot. You get to see what they look like, they get to check you out. You can explore mutual interests, see if you’d actually enjoy each other’s company beyond a glass of wine. Besides, if she thinks you’re a creep, she can just block your emails and move on. Look on the bright side, you can save whatever money you were spending trying to get women drunk on dollar shots.”
Fifty-six percent of men say the words, “I love you,” for the first time by accident. According to a study published in March in Britain’s Daily Mail, for over half of men the words just slip out of their mouths.
Twenty-three percent of those surveyed blamed alcohol. Thirteen percent said it because of sex. Eight percent reported saying these three words, “Because she was crying.”
Like Joan Baez sang, this makes love sound like just another four-letter word.
You’d think that fact would be obvious. You’d think the countless reminders with which I’m presented daily would permanently implant the message in my thick skull that I’m not in my twenties anymore.
Still, I forget. Still, I sometimes engage in the behavior of a young woman.
Take the evening I met Brenda and Alexandra at a busy bar on a busy Friday night right after work. This was when both my job and my separation from Alan were new and I was exhausted.
This made it much like the Friday nights straight out of college when, fatigued from my new world of 9 to 5 career building, I’d head straight from the office to home to collapse in a heap. The alternative, and this was a 50/50 equation, was that I’d go out drinking pitchers of cheap beer with my colleagues and then head home drunk as a skunk to collapse in a heap.
I met my friend Ryan for coffee two weeks ago. (You first met Ryan in Solace for a Grieving Heart #2.) He was in town for a little R&R after all the upheavals in his life; he’d lost a job, moved across country for a new one, gotten a divorce, all within six months.
I said to him, “Next year has got to be better for you than this year.”
His reply was a laugh, followed by, “Losing that job got me into a new town that I like and a job that has my creative juices flowing again. My marriage was stifling me. Without all of this, I never would have known how much I love to dance.”
I thought, “I’ve got to stick around this guy. Let his attitude rub off on me. He’s approaching Buddha-hood here.”
Are you prepared for yet another side of me, from a different medium?
A few weeks ago a reader approached me and asked if I would like to be part of her new project. I like new adventures, so my answer was yes. With her help and that of a friend or two of mine, we put together a vaudiotext of the story Valentine’s Day. The result is that a piece of The Diary of the Vixen Divorcee is now on YouTube.
If you’re interested in learning more about vaudiotexts, or making one yourself, go to www.vaudiotext.com.
When I was young and down in the dumps, my mother, the Angel Ella, would say, “Georgia, quit thinking about yourself. Think about somebody else. You’ll forget why you’re sad.”
I was young and not about to listen to the advice of an older woman. Particularly not my mom’s. What did she know about life?
Quite a lot, as it turns out.
My husband, Alan, walked out our door one day into the arms of another woman. Within a month I was reading to young children at an after-school program. One evening a week I walk into that library and my group, Ms. Stone’s Sunshine Club, jumps up and runs to the reading corner. I open up a book and they cuddle in as close as they can. They’re all smiles because they love the pictures. They love the stories. They love the attention.