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FOUR!!!!

Just when you thought the world was safe and that beloved sports figures would stay beloved, another ball finds it’s way into the sand trap of life. Tiger Woods – the most disciplined and seemingly perfect man of all time has shanked big time and he wasn’t even holding a golf club – someone else was….

Last night on the Joy Behar show and probably every other media outlet as well, this was the topic of discussion. I joined the panel via satellite from Los Angeles with Joy and her guests publisher Judith Reagen plus a woman who was an expert on marriage ( god help us)!! We were supposed to use it as a jumping off point to talk about woman who no longer wanted to stand by their man, but things got a little murky right from jump.

First of all, am I the only one who thought Tiger Woods didn’t have sex? I know he has 2 children and a very hot Swedish wife but he just seemed so above the fray and wholesome like he was practicing his putting 18 hours a day or constantly re-washing his golf balls. I just assumed that even though he was powerful and rich and had access to everything that he was a still ‘good boy.’ I mean really – his life seemed pretty kick ass – a fantastic career, a net worth of over 1 billion dollars, aforementioned hot wife and 2 beautiful children. What else could he possibly want?

Probably NOT a creepy car wreck on his front lawn, where he is driving barefoot and runs into a neighbors tree? Or a party girl who can barely string a sentence together hiring a victim advocates lawyer (Hello Gloria Allred – how are you?) to probably ink the deal on her new reality show planing ‘bottle’ parties for the PGA? Or how about a lovely cocktail waitress from Las Vegas who just happens to have saved over 300 text messages from Tiger on her pink and glittery cell phone? You know – just in case he wanted to show his wife when there was a lull in the dinner conversation. How about her? Is this really what Tiger Wood’s went looking for?

It makes you wonder – a few things. I guess the first aspect of it, and to a certain extend I have been through this – is it really anybody’s business? Does the public really have the right to know every gruesome detail of someone else’s personal business? Now mine was just kind of low rent and tacky, but it was public and humiliating and in it’s own way a car wreck, but at least I wasn’t driving.

Yet when something like this happens I always think of a few things.
Firstly, how could any of our truly beloved figures have ever remained beloved – John F. Kennedy. Martin Luther King, Bob Hope (yes even Bob Hope was known to swing his club in a extra curricular fashion) if they had of been under this type of public scrutiny? It would have been impossible and distracting and would have most likely altered their public contribution and legacy. Do we really need to know everything??

Yet the combination is intoxicating – infidelity, anger, image and perception – perhaps even a little domestic violence. No wonder we are hooked. Our culture is firmly rooted in the building up and taking down of those we revere.

Which leads me to my next point – even when a man presumably has it all is it never quite enough? Story after story of the fallen male figure – from the glib and permanently tanned politicians and religious leaders to the much respected David Lettermen and now Tiger Woods.

I don’t get it – really I don’t. Their choices seem a little – yucky. And kind of insulting to the women they are with. These women they choose to stray with might as well be aliens from another planet they are so different from their wives. And the risk – not to just themselves but the things they hold most dear – it just makes no sense.

So another one bites the dust and I am kind of nervous to see who is next. So is my Aunt Sue, one of my favorite people and the best nun ever. She has put all her faith in Obama and I am hoping with a little divine intervention ( maybe from Aunt Sue’s boss) he will be fine….

Just stay away from the golf course….

MJ

tnTo see me on the show, click here and then on “VIDEOS” link with photo of Bonnie and Ty Burrell.

Hello Everyone -

Just back from my whirlwind publicity tour in New York and had the best time ever. I must admit before I left I was a little, how to you say, ‘on edge.’ The opportunity to promote this book meant so much to me professionally and personally that I did not want to blow it. The pressure I put on myself was completely outrageous – my tour was coming to represent my whole life as some sort of ‘full circle’ for what I have been through. Crazy, right? But you know what it actually ended up being just that.

Something happened when I sat in the chair for Good Morning America – and I bet many of you can relate who have been through a life altering experience. All of a sudden my nerves just washed away because I no longer had the time nor the energy to be scared anymore. My experiences from the last few years had taught me that I could count on myself to come through and one way or another, perfect or flawed, I would give it my best shot. And beyond that whatever happened, I would ENJOY the experience. And you know what – I did!

I was actually excited to talk about the book and what I had learned through the experience. I also felt so supported by the many of you who have written in with stories of such courage and inspiration. I am amazed at what some of you have been presented with and how hard you have worked to come through, especially the fear and anger that so many of us struggle with. And it is worth noting here that we are not alone.

When I did the Joy Behar show with a very high profile group of women who had had very high profile divorces a couple of things happened. One – I had a blast. Joy Behar is even funnier and more wonderful in person and her off camera banter is a show in of itself. For this particular episode she devoted the whole hour to divorce and it was her highest rated show ever. Her questions and observations were very astute and I easily shared my story warts and all. As a matter of fact we hit it off so well, she invited me back on her show the next day!

Now after we had done taping and all the women were walking back to the green room I noticed that my fellow panelist didn’t seem to be as euphoric as I was. As a matter of fact – they were SCARED. They were frightened that their ex husbands would see the show and do something to adversely affect their lives. Both were divorced many years out BUT still fearful. That thought had never even crossed my mind – I began to wonder – should I be worried??? Was there something in store for me??

It was a real moment and reminded me once again how much courage and stamina it takes for all of us to get over the hurt and betrayal of divorce. Even Joy said of her divorce it was the worst time of her whole life and that she had never been more miserable or at a loss to who she was. But as I said to her – seems like you kind of came out the other side. She just laughed and said “thank god – because I would never be where I am without it!”

Such a great lesson for all of us.

So thanks again to all of you for your wonderful support and having the courage to share your stories!

Please keep writing and moving forward and tomorrow I will tell you all about the fantastic Bonnie Hunt!

Thanks
xo
MJ

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Here’s good little dilemma for your Monday afternoon. Find a friend or get one on the phone and discuss. Should a nice Canadian gal sell her soul ‘just a little’ to rake up a few thousand more book sales or should she take the high road and hope her message won’t get lost in the din of the circus that surrounds her?

Now trust me – I am not suggesting I am the Mother Theresa of the book world – on the contrary. From what I recall the title of my book reads something like “My Husband left me for Tori Spelling….And you thought your Divorce Sucked!” by Mary Jo Eustace. And believe me I am quite flattered when people like Perez Hilton say that I am a Whore of the written word. It makes me sound like I have a marketable skill and that I know how to self promote. Plus – let’s face it. I have been called way worse.

And part of the reason that I allowed that to be part of the title is because it says I get the joke, I am in on it and I am ready to own it. In sharing my story, warts and all, I really believe it will help other men and women. And from your responses so far, that seems to be the case.

But here in lies the rub. As much as I love those big publications being interested in spreading the word the trade off is a tough call. And I think I am failing. I have been dumped twice already this week for not dishing the dirt. I have have been prodded, nudged and pushed to give these magazines what they want and I just can’t do it! What is wrong with me? Am I too Canadian?

I mean why don’t I just close my eyes and think of England and pray it will be over soon. I have college educations to pay for, future cosmetic procedures and perhaps additional therapy after my book tour. Can I really afford to be so neutral?

And all I had to do was dish and there would be at least a two page spread ( with pictures!!) if not a cover insert!! Sure my basic interview was good, but clearly not quite making the cut. According to my interviewer the Star Magazine had just run an article saying my ex husband was a ‘sex addict!!!’ and a ‘serial cheater!!!” and did I know?? (And if I did – were there personal photos and video footage to back it up)? Had to think about that one…

Also – hadn’t I just attended my son’s birthday with my ex husband and his wife – Laser Tag to be specific! Was there drama? Was Tori there? Was she in coma or hooked up to an IV and did my ex husband seem angry about the book (kind of) or did he ask for an autographed copy for his wife? Plus did my Laser Tag game suffer because I was so worried about Tori’s health and the strife my book was causing? What really happened because ‘sources’ said you could cut the tension with a knife and someone left in tears.

Well – uh nothing happened. Everyone seemed in fairly good health, the pizza was late and the cake was delicious. Sure there were a few ex husbands there – not just mine either. Seems half the party had been on the ‘divorce cruise’ and it was all working itself out.

I even managed to have an interesting talk though with really cool divorced dad. I have met his ex wife several times and she is the bomb so I knew a little bit about the story ( he married her best friend). I also know that when he went away on a trip with his new wife she babysat their ‘new kid.’ So clearly they have it kind of worked out and this is what he said the secret to divorce is:

Never cheat or lie and make a clean break first before moving on

AND

Make your ex wife happy no matter what. Give her what she needs and what she wants and it will be the best thing you can ever do, not only for her but for you and your family.

Love it! I wanted to talk to him for hours because I found what he said so fascinating and smart. But alas the party was over and it was time to go. So I got Jack to thank his dad, packed up the cake and left to go home. Sure it was a bit awkward being around my ex and his new wife but no more awkward then being asked during an interview to produce naked pictures and time lines of orgies that presumably took place in my basement.

So for now I will remain Canadian and just stick to what I originally set out to do – to write a book that people can relate to and get something out of.

Sorry to say – it is simple as that.

THX
MJIMG_0162

IMG_0436Just recovering from a bout of flu that hit the whole family and attempting to get organized for my upcoming book tour. A little crazed but I have the best team ever – specifically my 4 year old daughter Lola who had any given time knows where any given ‘thing’ is. She is remarkable in her ability to delegate and find anything that has been misplaced or lost. Lola has found my Blackberry charger 10 times as well as my favorite earrings and my water bill. And all she wants in return is a hug and a SpongeBob ice cream. I consider it a fair trade.

I also want to thank all of you who have been buying my book Divorce Sucks and coming onto the blog and leaving such lovely comments and insights. It is so rewarding and instructive for me to hear from all of you who have been through a similar experience and how u coped and moved on. Thank you again for that.

So now that Lola has found some key items I can move forward with my book tour packing. First stop is New York where I will do Dr. Phil via satellite, Good Morning America( October 20th), Access Hollywood, Extra, Inside Edition and Joy Behar. In Los Angeles I will be doing Bonnie Hunt, KTLA and a signing at The Grove October 27th. Then I will be off to my beloved Canada, Toronto to be specific for a book signing at The Manulife Centre November 3rd at 7pm. I have lots of wonderful TV lined up – my favorite being Etalk. I am also supposed to do something for The Hour with George Strombo – it won’t be an interview though with him, rather a pre-taped piece. Too bad – I was madly in love with George for almost 2 weeks a couple of years ago and thought we were going to have some sort of meaningful relationship. Unfortunately we never even had a meaningless date. He must have forgot that he told me he had a massive crush on me for years and used to watch my show “What’s for dinner?” when he got home for school. Probably watched it while he had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and did his homework – but who cares! He is/was very cute and charming.

I must say it is a very interesting trajectory promoting this book. Some interviewers have commented on how surprised they were that the book was not more salacious, and that I showed restraint in my portrayal of the players involved. In good conscience though I could only stick to the facts and even though I know that is why some people are interested in my story, I really wanted to write a book that actually could help and inspire women. That is why it is a bit frustrating now that there are all sorts of articles positioning the book as some sort of a ‘tell all’ where I sound like I am completely crazed and living out of a shopping cart somewhere. Maybe it is a good angle for sales – who knows. And perhaps the ‘shopping cart’ crowd will really love it – and tell all their shopping cart friends. And so on….

Anyway, point is I wrote it for the ladies, for women like you and like me, who have been through or are going through the whole ‘divorce’ experience. I don’t know about you but it pretty much kicked my ass for a long, long time. And now – not so much of the ‘ass kicking,’ As a matter of fact I am entering the second part of our program – the life affirming part. Spent a lot of time in some pretty bad real estate and now am quite happy with my new location.

And that ladies is the heart of the matter. Doesn’t matter how nice your kitchen is or how big your closets are , if you hate where you live you will begin to hate where you are. And that would suck.

So as I become ensconced in Phase 2 I hope many of you out there are following suit. And if you are not quite there, you will be soon. Just talked to one of my divorced friends and she just got a date and a job on the same day! All by herself! A far cry from the day she put on her wedding dress and went to her ex husband’s office to see if he was ‘free’ for lunch. She has come along way – and so have you -

Now if Lola could just locate a nice Pediatrician/Underwear model who loves dogs and kids she would be “spongebob” set up for life!

Talk soon

MJ

On top?

IMG_8028-1Well – it finally happened. At approx. 10:38 PM, PST my book DIVORCE SUCKS officially held the number one spot for best selling books on Divorce at Amazon.com!! Who said getting divorced wasn’t fun!

I don’t think I have ever been number one at anything – except in my own mind – let alone for a full hour! Actually it could have been longer but I got so excited it made me tired and I had to go to bed – immediately.

I think I need to prepare for all of this. Everyday for the last year I would drop the kids of at school, come home and sit down with my mega soya latte and write. I would sit in the back room over looking the garden and retreat into my own little world. I would pretend I was having a conversation with one of my best friends, regaling them with all my crazy divorce stories and insights on how to handle this tidal wave of change without the ship going down. (Above picture, one of my best friends as usual wearing more make up then me!! Love ya Kenny!!)

And before I knew it I would find myself telling ‘my friend‘ things I thought I would never tell anyone, let alone an anonymous reader. The experiences just came pouring out and I started to have a real need to help all of us who had been through this life altering experience. I mean I knew when I began writing I wanted the book to be helpful but I had no idea how strongly I felt about that until I started writing! I really started to see that if we could get through this ‘divorce cruise‘ with our spirit and faith in tact then our possibilities in life suddenly became endless. Hey I just saw Madonna on David Letterman and she said she would rather get run over by a train then get married again! A little extreme maybe. I myself subscribe more to the ‘I would rather take my gallbladder out with a shrimp fork then get married again‘ type of thinking – but again this is only a personal preference.

But now it’s time to put my little baby out there and hope it will preform and behave. I have quite a schedule coming up – Good Morning America on October 20th, Joy Behar’s new show on the 23rd, Access Hollywood, Inside Edition, Bonnie Hunt October 27th and coming out next Friday October 9th, People Magazine!! Plus there might be a really, really big one coming through! And at this point I am not even sure what I am more nervous about – answering the tough questions or if my hair will look good?

So – let the games begin. And alas there has already been some leaks. I saw one article that said I was giving interviews from my hospital room as I lay dying of a broken heart and a cosmetic procedure gone awry. Apparently I was trying to win back my ex husband after I realized I was old and ugly and 65! Oh well – you can’t control everything (and for the record I am a young and hopeful 47).

So thanks so much for coming along for the ride. Lot’s of great stuff happening now and I will keep you all updated.

Next blog – for sure dating. Went to the hippest spot in LA last week. Pulled up to Valet park and my car seat fell out on to the curb…it was sad -

Talk soon

xo
mj

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Okay – let me ask you – how can this be possible? How can I have moved to a place, Los Angeles to be specific, where 4 ex boyfriends and one ex ex husband all reside? And none of them are even originally from here. Four married, one divorced and all with kids , residing within a 10 mile radius of, well, me!

It’s like a petrie dish of my past loves taunting me with the ‘ones that got away’ heckled by the one I should have had ‘put away.‘ Five of the most important men in my life one car ride away from seeing me at the drugstore buying lice shampoo and Tampax – which I do on a frequent basis.

And truthfully I think I let a few of the good ones get away. Yesterday I played tennis with boyfriend number one on the linear scale , an extremely bright, bitingly funny writer who I dated on and off for 4 years. He had/has a bit of the Woody Allen thing going on ( minus the marrying his daughter part) and could always challenge me and make me laugh. He is on his second marriage and seems quite happy. I enjoyed hanging out with him even though he was quite late for our tennis match at his private club and forgot to ask if I wanted a cold drink when I blacked out a little during the second set. Minor details really ( and perhaps why I broke up with him) but seeing him now so well grounded and relaxed in his own skin, I wondered if I had missed something when I ended that one.

Now boyfriend number two ( the divorced dad) was the cutest boyfriend I ever had. He drove a little sports car and his charisma was off the charts. He pursued me like his life depended on it winning me over with romantic dinners and his perfectly fitted, faded Levis. I was seriously falling in love with him until I fell over his girlfriend at the company Christmas party. I knew he had just come out of a serious relationship but I didn’t know he was still in it! Again minor details but a bit of a deal breaker for me. Anyway he went on to marry that girl ( even though he called me on his wedding day wondering if had made the wrong decision) and to divorce her a decade or so later. As a matter of fact we re-connected again on Facebook and made plans to get together soon. I was very excited about seeing him again – would he still send my heart a fluttering? Not sure -that was 2 months ago and I haven’t heard from him since. Maybe he lost my….um…..Facebook page or forgot how to spell Mary Jo…..

Onto the third and maybe my most favorite for the long haul. He relocated to Los Angeles around 12 years ago after his divorce and has since remarried and popped out a couple of kids, I have run into him here twice – once at Starbucks just before my ex husband left me (Dean was away in Ottawa at the time working on an award winning Lifetime movie with Tori Spelling – insert joke here), and at a tour for a school that our kids might be attending. He looked great and it was so good to see him. We shared a passion for music and had our own band for 4 years. We travelled all over and lived together as well, He was fun, a good cook and a great pool player. And as I look back now he would have made a great partner. Too bad a really complicated, hot irresistible guitar player joined our band, My bad on that one. Yet he still says great things about me and always wants to know everything I am up to. Feel good about that one.

Number 4 was the one who absolutely broke my heart and it is worth noting I got married almost immediately after we finally broke up. Now the first few times I met him he left no impression on me what so ever. As a matter of fact when he asked me out I gave him a fake phone number so I wouldn’t be forced to go out with him. Needless to say he tracked me down and I was too wimpy to say no. Our first date was a bit of a loser affair and I couldn’t wait for it to end. But then something happened on date two – I was in love. Why hadn’t I notice he looked like Robert Redford and played tennis like Roger Federer? He was smart and funny and quirky and totally drop dead sexy! He was also terrified of commitment and couldn’t commit or omit me, from his life for 3 years. When I had finally ended it for good and was ready to participate in life again I met my ex-husband at a very swanky, happening party about a month later. Dean marched right up to me (in his fantastically fitted black t-shirt)) and said “I have been in love with you for years.” Good opening line don’t u think? Details to follow on that one….

The point is they are all here and not with me – kind of wondering how that one happened. And why was it so easy to get boyfriends back then and so hard now? I know intellectually all the obvious answers apply but is it really just like ‘riding a bike’ anymore? Would a quick course in quantum physics or international law help our cause? Maybe no wheat or dairy and a quick morning scan of the obituaries might get us a date for Saturday night – who knows!

I suppose there is a specific chemistry to getting it right at this point in life (post 40 – sigh), but I myself am not sure of the cocktail. And as interesting as it is to view my past life through the prism of the choices I have made ,I am sure I would do the same things all over again. I was living my life responding to who I was and what I wanted at that specific time. To think even now that I could have orchestrated my heart and desires for a future that would somehow be guaranteed is pointless. Plus, funnily enough, I really like my life, just the way it is.

(Water cooler talk – why can George Clooney say that and it’s cool and when a woman says it -it’s sad – discuss please.)

Anyway men will come and go as they do – whether they buy you a drink after tennis or subpoena your shopping records during a divorce trial, they are the emotional markers of how we develop and grow. It is interesting (and maybe even helpful) to look back from where we started and see just how we learned to love. Just not so great to do when they all happen to live in your zip code!

Ouch!

MJ

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Hello Everyone –

I know it has been awhile but things are just settling down after the back to school rush. And may I add my mornings are now timed down to the last nano second – one thing derails and the whole mission must be aborted. Yesterday morning it took me 5 minutes to find my son Jack. As I was waiting in the car to take him to school he decided to go through his baby pictures and set up a You Tube account – in his pajamas! Suffice it to say we were a little late on Tuesday…..

But on Monday, specifically Monday night, I had a reprieve. I went out with a bunch of gals to Firefly in Studio City, a very hip, happening hang out that George Clooney has been known to frequent with all his various model- spokesperson-look alike girlfriends. Usually he squires them on his motorcycle and gets in at least one minor accident ( a rite of passage really) before he moves onto the next 28 year old fantasy woman he probably finds waiting outside his stately Italian villa.

At any rate on Monday there was no George, but there was a great group of women having cocktails and appetizers under the California stars. In front of a roaring outdoor fire it was like a game of musical chairs as we all got to know each other brought together by a fabulous woman we all know and love. Divorced, single, married, childless and child heavy ( more than one offspring) we all got a brief history of each other’s lives and where we were at. Glimpses of past loves and recent loses mixed with exciting jobs and new romances, the experiences were wide and varied.

And just when you think you have heard it all , you find out you haven’t. I was having a kind of hard time myself that week – my stress levels were through the roof and I was about to enter a situation I desperately wanted to be out of. I felt trapped and powerless and truthfully was feeling a little sorry for myself. But then I started to hear and really listen to what was going on around me. Broken families, financial devastation and a litany of horrific dating stories. There were the mothers complaining of the endless energy and sacrifices involved in raising children and those without kids wondering if they had missed their window – and if they did, were they failures as women? Or what about the moms who at times wanted to pack up and go, leaving their children behind with detailed parenting instructions pinned to their shirts? Were they failures too? And those career gals who gave it all up to play in the big leagues – where was there category – or did they even have one?

Point is we were all on very different trajectories but our basic concern was pretty much the same. In all of the different paths that we had chosen – were we good enough and where we should be? Probably if you compiled all of our attributes you would have the perfect woman, but really who would want that. and what would that even look like? Our choices, good, bad or indifferent were what made all of us unique and the old cookie cutter definition of what a woman’s life should be no longer applied.

And by the end of the evening per usual, we were all laughing our asses of. All that commiseration had been restorative and inspiring and when my friend made a joke about my ex-husband’s carmel Uggs and how he likes to wear them with shorts and leggings, the circle was complete.

It had been wonderful, even if only for a few short hours to have a glimpse into another person’s world. Seeing how people navigate the ebbs and flows of life is an invaluable gift. The information we get in return is priceless.

And really at the end of the day It is through our friendships and our ability to be empathetic with each other, that we will find a million different definitions of what makes a ‘phenomenal woman.” After all we kind of deserve to be the heroines of our own stories….

So I took that lesson to heart and the next day removed myself from a situation that felt disempowering. Life is too short and you know what I really didn’t want to do it, so I didn’t. And on top of that, armed with a new boost of personal confidence I decided to re-write my own epilogue with a more upbeat, happy ending. I find now it just reads better.

There ya go.

Oh yeah – we also talked about dating (sigh) -

Need to have a drink for that one -

Till we chat again,

MJ

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