Even your dog hates you. That’s my dog Oliver in the picture above. He is white, cuddly and very sweet except when you confiscate his chew toy – an organic ‘bulls penis’ ( don’t ask) I got at the local pet store. He is loyal and ever attentive and all he wants in return is love – specifically my love. And usually it is reciprocated freely and without restriction. Until Yesterday. At 4:30 PM Pacific Standard Time to be exact. That is when the love stopped.
And the sad truth is – it was my fault. Here I had finally managed to find a male to love me unconditionally and I blew it. I made the fatal error of taking out my ‘single parenting frustration’ on my little ‘white knight.’ I am ashamed to admit I helped Oliver out the backdoor with a significant push (kick) from my left foot as well as the centrifigal force of his beloved bull toy whizzing by his head. It was alas, not my finest moment.
But you know what, my day had really sucked. Now it started of fairly benign but that in of itself could have been a warning. Just like a snow storm in April or George Bush getting elected twice (kind of) every mother and father worth their salt is acutely aware of ‘the cosmic joke factor’ involved in parenting. Just when we think we are having the ultimate “leave it to beaver” moment the heavens open up and our nasty ‘Ozzie and Harriot’ hubris brings us to our knees.

Now I tried , I really tried. Pancakes and homemade smoothies for breakfast followed by endless cartoons and a morning swim. Even a trip to Burbank! To the mall! and the bookstore! and their favorite kid’s place for lunch. I even got my daughter a new swim suit and avoided the comparison guilt by quickly purchasing a funky phone cover for my sons electronic device. Walking along the streets of Burbank with a perfect child on each hand I sort of felt we had it going on.

But then we got home and things changed – quickly. Apparently my son having a friend over for a swim was quite quite devastating for my daughter Lola. So devastating in fact that she attempted to drown her brother – twice. Yes she did look adorable in her new pink bikini but it lost a little bit of its luster as it seemed like Jack was under the water for kind of a long time. When he finally surfaced – although briefly – he did manage to find the strength to punch her in the head and puncture her swim toy. This seemed to make him feel better and with his mission accomplished he left the pool.
Lola on the other hand opted to stay behind and became a moving pool target. After 8 minutes of screeching and when she had completely tired herself out I managed to corner her by the hot tub. Following a brief struggle I re-introduced her to the comforts of her room and said we would re-connect in a few hours.
A few minutes later the doorbell ran. I knew it was my friend Jane picking up her daughter Zoe so of course I answered it. And that is when Oliver stopped being the perfect man.
He squeezed his fat little body through the door and proceeded to run after a badly trained Great Dane. I ran after him screaming, begging for him to come home. But he looked right at me and ran. Ears flying in the wind, confident and cocky in his new found freedom he hurled himself onto the backside of the 6 foot mega dog and held on for dear life. l tried to pry him off but I tripped over the leash and landed on my right shoulder as Oliver took off down the street.
Now 15 minutes later with Oliver in his cage and contained and Lola screaming in her room I decided to do a little work. I had to print out and fax some important documents to my lawyer office so they would have them first thing Monday morning. As I was waiting for the signature page to come through my printer jammed and then ran out of ink – completely. It really didn’t matter though because somehow I had printed out the wrong document anyway.
That is when Oliver’s whining got so bad that I decided to let him out of his cage and attempted to re-establish the love that we had lost. After all the Great Dane was kind of hot and Oliver like all of us, has needs.
So after some much needed re-bonding Oliver went off to find his chewy toy and I checked on Jack – I needed to see how bad my fall had been and if my underwear had been inadvertently exposed. And that is when I noticed Jack looked a little scared. I asked him what was wrong. He paused, took a deep breath and literally pulled out of his butt a pair of squished one eyed reading glasses that were up to 10 minutes ago my lifeline.
I become hysterical – not only am I now OLD and SINGLE but apparently blind as well. I begin to flail – I needed a hand off and there was no one in sight. So I turned to the only reliable man I know, my little ‘white knight’ who was showing his support by squatting and relieving himself on my brand new rug. And that is when it happened – the backdoor fling and the last of my patience.
But Oliver wasn’t quite through. Even though we all gathered – Jack, Lola and myself for a little healing, Oliver wasn’t quite feeling the love.
At 3 o’clock in the morning with his little head snuggled up under my chin he reminded me once again how complicated the female/male dynamic is. With a little wag of his tale and a long meaningful look he drew me in and then vomited on my pillow. But this time I just gave into the moment – after all someone has to really love you to be that vulnerable, right?

And if any of you had a similar weekend, I would love to hear about it.

Take Care



Good Morning All –

The weekend – either a time to relax and regroup as a family or parenting hell – and we all know it just depends which way the wind is blowing for which way it goes.
Had an interesting week and as usual learned a lot of good life lessons whether just hanging out with my 10 year old son Jack or through a night with one of my best friends, a rockin single mom with three kids all in the throes of teenage hell or just on the cusp.
Now whether going for a hike, a long car ride – and let’s face it everything is ‘a long car’ ride in Los Angeles – or hanging at the beach Jack always inspires me with his insights and take on the world.
During our long walk along the Pacific all sorts of different conversations came up – dissecting the war on Iraq and why we couldn’t all just be nicer to each other and respect respective differences, to the meaning of what defines family and what constitutes success. He kept stressing how important it is to remain positive and that much more could be accomplished with kindness then anger. He felt very strongly that success was in the fabric of your relationships and all the money in the world couldn’t buy it. He also defined his family through our close group of friends – and even though it wasn’t a traditional arrangement he understood the importance of cultivating and cherishing these very essential relationships.
And it made me think – especially last night when we had dinner at one of my best friends house. She to is divorced with three kids and has a pretty crazy and hectic life just like I do – and maybe you too. Watching her throw together dinner for all of us plus a few wayward teenagers and look pretty fabulous doing it was inspiring and enlightening. It just reminded me how hard all of us work to pull of this balancing act. She runs that place like 24/7 hotel – the demands are endless and her stress on how to pull it off, constant. Navigating work, kids, home, finances, sick parents, our appearances and perhaps slightly irritating ex husbands on our own is really, really hard work. But we were still laughing at the end of the day and even though sometimes you just want to give up a little we don’t – but at least we allow ourselves to talk about it.
So when the kitchen had been cleaned and the kids were calm-ish after their late night swim, we sat outside in the ladies lounge and talked about all the different ways we were going to achieve world domination. Her battles are pretty much mine and it was such a relief to be able to connect with someone who gets it – exactly.
So now more than ever after the dismantling of our families through divorce we need to connect and know that there are people out there like us who are in the process of redefining and fortifying their new world. It was a really inspiring night under a windy and pink California sky to know that family can come in all sorts of different configurations – Warrior moms and their really smart kids – a very good combination.

Have a great weekend


2-1-2009 5-00-54 AM_0066 (3)Good Morning All –

So here we are all in the final ‘dog days’ of summer and for one I couldn’t be happier. My kids have been off for three months – that’s 1/4 of a year! Seriously that is way too long – I already have their lunches packed for the first day of school. Plus fall is my favorite time of the year. It seems like anything and everything is possible as we all gear up for what the brand new year has in store for all of us. New opportunities, goals to accomplish and sweaters and scarves to keep us cozy when the first chill of Autumn hits, clean and crisp. It really feels like a time of renewal and change.
It is all so the time of year when our kids head back to class and start to establish friendships and connections that could be significant for many years to come. They open themselves up to new experiences and people and begin the process of building up a vital set of resources outside of their primary family. And listen up! This is what we have to do as well – now more than ever.
Now I know many of you might feel a little shaky and vulnerable post divorce and beginning the school year as a single parent – I mean isn’t everybody staring at us thinking “that poor sad lonely crazed divorced lady – is she stable enough to bring juice boxes to soccer practice – or should we just ask Jimmy’s mom?” Uh – no. Nobody is staring at you. In fact the coolest moms I met were a trio of divorced gals at my son Jack’s school. They were hilarious and full of life and introduced me to a whack of people and teachers. As a matter of fact another reason I am looking forward to school starting is to see them and catch up on their lives and all the minutia of school gossip.
Same thing at Lola’s pre-school. I met some fun dads and moms who not only acted as a great back up when I need a little help or was running late, but they were also interesting and vital outside of the confines of the playground. In other words – I really liked them and started to build friendships on my own outside of being part of a couple.
So even though it might be a little daunting, especially if this is your first year out on your own, don’t be intimidated – Embrace it!
This is the “Divorce Sucks” mantra – “I am worth it, I am worth it, I am worth it.” And so are you. Open yourself up to your post divorce world and like your kids have a little faith and a little fun. I guarantee you will meet the most wonderful people ever – starting with one very important one – YOU!

Have a wonderful day and let’s chat soon.

1-9-2009 2-52-45 PM (4)

Hello –

Hope it has been a good week for all. Beautiful night in California and just watching the sun come down while enjoying a nice glass of New Zealand white – not that the Californian isn’t great – it is just good to mix it up. Did a great bargain shop at Target to get the kids ready for school. And by the way – how can a supply list for school be 2 pages long? Do you remember the good old days when we took a pencil and an eraser and we felt over prepared? Well things have changed baby!

Hello world!

Hello from my Spanish Hacienda!

Sitting outside with the new man in my life – he tends to drink from the toilet but loves me unconditionally so I don’t mind. He has also acquired a disturbing habit of eating rotting avocados and proceeding to expel them at various points around the house – but hey no love is perfect. As long as has a chew toy and daily walks he seems pretty content.

Very excited to start blogging and to reach out to the millions of men and women who have had a very significant experience similar to mine. It’s called Divorce and believe me I know Divorce. As a matter of fact I have book that just came out September 14th called Divorce Sucks and I am anxious and excited to start dialoguing with all of you who have been through it. Check out Amazon.com where it is already a best seller.

Now I have been offered all sorts of book deals to dish on my rather public break up – more on that later – but I wanted to find a format where I could be forthcoming funny and informative at the same time. Yes the experience of Divorce is horrendous but I was determined to explore the flip side – the chance to define the Second Act of our lives in a clear and determined way, authoring our own exciting destinies rather than just going along for the ride. I can’t wait to hear how all of you have navigated these rather turbulent waters and what we can do collectively to come out of this experience – stronger, happier and believe it or not more compassionate!

So let the games begin and let’s get started. Is anybody going through custody and alimony battles right now? I thought I was through and really it is the most dehumanizing part of Divorce – but looks like I might be back in that realm again. So many women back down when it comes to this aspect of our divorces – if you are out there let me know how you are doing and how you are getting through. Commiseration and communication – the perfect anecdote to pull us through.

Let’s chat tomorrow.

Mary Jo_MG_2060RG-1