Losing the Bad Marriage Weight

This morning I’m eight pounds away from achieving my fifty-pound weight loss goal. Hell to the yeah.


I’d like to say that my weight loss journey started with an empowering goal of getting healthy and nurturing myself.




My weight loss journey started when I met a guy I wanted to get naked with.

Continue reading “Losing the Bad Marriage Weight”


You Can Leave Even If it’s “Just” an Emotional Affair

When I think of emotional affairs, I think of Cannibal Cop, the New York police officer who got his rocks off on images of mutilated women and fantasies to kidnap, torture, cook, and eat women, including his wife.

Continue reading “You Can Leave Even If it’s “Just” an Emotional Affair”

My Honest Dating Profile

I’ve ventured into the world of online dating again, but I’m really bad at it. Probably because I’m not ready to date again, but when you admit your marriage ended a year and a half ago and you haven’t started dating, people wonder if you’re, I don’t know, Amish. You tell yourself not to worry about what other people think, and that it doesn’t matter that your ex replaced you as swiftly and nonchalantly as you’d replace a roll of toilet paper, but you do and it does, and sometimes late at night you think if you’d been born three centuries ago, you’d be one of those ruined women who secludes herself in a convent for the rest of her life.


Or, as one Reddit user put it in an insanely funny thread about honest dating profiles: “I’m doing this online dating thing because I’m kinda lonely, a little horny, but mostly ambivalent about dating.”

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Bring on the Tears: Love Stories Are Not for the Newly Divorced

Not long after The Ex left, I found myself watching Last of the Mohicans for the zillionth time. But instead of salivating over Hawkeye as I’ve been doing since I was seventeen, I found myself in puddles of tears over his bond with Cora.


“Look at how much he loves her,” I wailed to Divorce Dog, honking my nose into a tissue. “He never takes his eyes off her. He stays during a siege for her. He tracks her for, like, weeks! He runs up a mountain for her! Straight up a vertical freaking mountain! He’d never leave her because she doesn’t like the same movies and TV shows that he does. What happened to all the men of honor?”


Divorce Dog regarded me through one open eye, then went back to sleep on the couch.


After that, I avoided love stories. But the hideous things ambush you if you’re not vigilant.

Continue reading “Bring on the Tears: Love Stories Are Not for the Newly Divorced”


The First Thanksgiving Without My Kids

Of all the suckitude of divorce, losing my kids half the time is the worst. Nothing prepares you for that pain. In the early days, after The Ex picked up the boys, I’d stand in each of their empty bedrooms, absorbing the awful silence, picturing them snuggled under their fluffy comforters, remembering kissing them goodnight every night and taking those moments utterly for granted. Sometimes I’d sink to the floor and weep, my chest aching not only with sadness but also with hatred for The Ex. When I wonder why I stayed so long, I remind myself that this pain is why. I stayed so I wouldn’t lose them, even though there were a million reasons to go.


When divorce gurus talk about the pain of missing half your kids’ childhoods, the usual response is a peppy list of all the things you can do to distract yourself from your sadness. Get together with friends! Volunteer! Exercise! Rediscover your interests! Don’t forget to eat right and get plenty of sleep and take good care of yourself! Before long, you’ll cherish your alone time! And if you’re not feeling the holiday spirit … fake it till you make it!


I’m here to tell you: Fuck that.

Continue reading “The First Thanksgiving Without My Kids”



My Return to Hell House is one of the better visits to my childhood home. My father isn’t here. His mistress isn’t here. My aunt and friends are here. The main prize is here: my parents’ nearly new washer/dryer. Last month, my brother looked the machines over and wished we could take them back to his place with our mother Iris (not her real name). Money’s tight—especially with this stunt our father pulled—and their washer no longer spins all the water out of their clothes. Sopping wet laundry will be a bigger problem now that Iris is moving in temporarily as we sort out her care. That moment I made a vow:


As God is my witness, I will get that washer/dryer to my brother and sister-in-law.

Continue reading “U-Haulin’”


Return to Hell House: Not a Lot of Good Memories Here

I’m sitting in the airport with two hours to go before my flight. Way too early, but I had to flee the silence of my house without my kids. Tonight, I fly to my hometown. Tomorrow, I’ll gather the rest of my mother’s things from my childhood home, the place I like to call Hell House.


A month ago, when the Family Crisis hit (Dad abandoning Mom for another woman, leaving my brother and me scrambling to manage her care), Good Brother and I returned to that house for the first time in years. After a day of hasty packing in preparation for my mother’s unexpected move, he sprawled on the couch and looked around at our surroundings: wobbly furniture with thirty years’ worth of dust in the crevices, boxes stacked in every room, and a gajillion religious knickknacks that made it all the more difficult to believe what my father has done.


“Not a lot of good memories here,” he said.


Good Brother is a man of few words.

Continue reading “Return to Hell House: Not a Lot of Good Memories Here”