The Meaning of Love

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.

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Valentine’s Day

The last Valentine’s Day I celebrated with my former husband, Alan, surpassed any dream I could ever have.  None of the Hallmark writers or designers could have come up with this scenario.

Alan had been travelling excessively for business.  He missed his birthday, my birthday, our wedding anniversary.  But it’s Valentine’s Day, he’s home and

 

we’re going to make it special.

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Solace for a Grieving Heart #3

The night I threw my soon-to-be-ex-husband’s clothes into boxes and hauled them out to the garage, this song from Marianne Faithful’s album, Broken English, blared away on my sound system.

When I stole a twig from our little nest
And gave it to a bird with nothing in her beak,
I had my balls and my brains put into a vice
And twisted around for a whole fucking week.
Why’d ya do it, she said, why’d you let that trash
Get a hold of your cock, get stoned on my hash?

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The Comfort of Her Arms

Don’t you think American Impressionist Mary Cassatt captured the trusting tenderness between mother and daughter?

My mother’s robe hangs in the back of my cedar closet, where it’s been since she died 10 years ago.  Tonight I choose to wear it.

First I light all the candles in the bathroom.  Fill the tub with hot water and fragrant bubbling foam.  Then I lie in the steam and the warmth, gazing at that perfect robe hanging on the closed door.

This silken wonder was a gift from my father, and showed a rare flash of gift-giving insight.

 

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The Other Side of Me

By Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

What did I write for Alan that wasn’t meant for anyone else’s eyes?  What am I willing to share with you, now that he and I are divorced?

The other side of me, the side you don’t know.   The erotic side.

Before the birth of The Diary (and of the Vixen Divorcee), I wrote stories intended for Alan’s eyes only.  Stories of sexually explicit fantasies based on places he and I visited during our days of marital bliss.  Stories the likes of which will never appear in the pages of The Diary.  Stories I’m willing to share with you privately, now that he and I are divorced.

 Yours could be the first eyes other than his to read one of these elegant fantasies.

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The Cougar Pack

Brenda and I are standing on the edge of the dance floor, close to the band.  Our friends are gathered in a knot around a table, off to the side of the bar.  They’re the senior citizen contingent in The Rec Room, this group of 55 – 70-year-olds eating the cake Ellen brought to celebrate her husband Gary’s  birthday.  They want to chat with each other, rehash the old days and catch up on the new.  We’re all here because Gary
loves music, especially the blues, and a good local blues band is playing.

 But Brenda and I want to dance.  We always want to dance.  I’m thinking opportunities tonight are bleak.  None of our old codger friends want to do anything more active than move their mouths to talk and lift their plastic cups to their lips to drink beer.

Everyone else in the place looks to be well under 30.  They’re playing drinking games that involve flipping empty plastic cups or passing full ones boy to girl, girl to boy, without using any hands.

So here we stand, nodding our heads and shaking our hips to the rhythms of these young musicians.  I can’t read Brenda’s mind, but I’m guessing she expects some young blade to ask her to dance.  After all, she’s light-bulb-bright charismatic, confidant and has a history of affairs with younger men.  Guess that makes her a cougar.

How I hate that word.  Makes her sound like a predator.  She’s not.  She’s attractive, successful and fun.

Brenda and me, just hanging out around the dance floor.

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Solace for a Grieving Heart #2

You’re on the brink of a nervous breakdown.  Your long marriage and settled life lie in broken bits at your feet.  No amount of glue is going to fit that mess neatly back  together.

What do you do?

Join the Y.

Seriously.

Or a gym.  Or a yoga studio.  Or a dance class.

Put down that glass of wine.  Turn off the TV.  Get up off the couch.  Move.  Get those  endorphins going.

The first time in my life I ever joined a gym was a couple months after I initiated divorce
proceedings.  It’s one of the steps that saved my sanity.

Can you pick me out in my Zumba class? I love this class.

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Vixen Divorcee’s First Blind Date

My friend, Marlys, set me up on my first blind date.  Her description of the guy sounded intriguing and I was ripe to test the waters of the dating world, so I said, “Give him my phone number.”

Our first contact should have prepared me for what followed.

He suggested dinner and a movie.  Okay by me.

He suggested The King’s Speech.  Again, okay by me.

Then he suggested that we meet at the theater and go out to dinner afterwards.

Not okay by me.

I suggested, tactfully as I could, that since we’d never met, I’d be more comfortable dining first, then going to the movie.

He wouldn’t budge.

That’s how I found myself in the lobby of a movie theater, walking up to a strange man, hoping he was my date.

Try finding your blind date in this crowd

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On My Own

Anna wore protective armor her first night out without her husband.

Since she’s a woman of means and position in my town, by the time the Fine Arts Ball rolled around, everyone knew the messy story of how Pat dumped her for his secretary. Who would get the Tuscan villa, which top divorce lawyer would have the guts to incur Pat’s wrath by taking her case, how big would the settlement be; these were the questions occupying the minds of the Vanity Fair folks that night. Would she even show, wondered the men and women gathered in the ballroom.

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Solace for a Grieving Heart

The Last Day of Our  Acquaintance

By
Sinead O’Connor from her album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got

 

 

 

 

Alan kept this CD in his car. When we drove long distances, he’d slip  it in the  player.  We’d sing along,  loudly and off key, glorying in the passionate imagery of the lyrics and the  pain and purity of Sinead O’Connor’s voice.   We’d sing happily, united in our love of the song.  Her pain wasn’t ours and would never touch  us.  Or so we thought.

Until the day arrived when we sat together in  the office of a marriage counselor.  The
day when I knew our marriage was beyond repair.  The day when he was still in denial.

We were living apart, hadn’t seen each other  for a week.  I turned to him and said,
“This is the last day of our acquaintance.  I’ll meet you later in somebody’s office.”

That was it.  We met later in somebody’s office to finalize the details, but those two
sentences marked the death of our marriage.

I never imagined until that afternoon how  perfectly Sinead O’Connor expressed the end of my love, or what solace I would  get from blasting out those lyrics in the home where I now live alone.

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