Saturday, June 27, 2009

Love is Patient. Love is Kind. Love STINKS.

"The rarest of all commodities in this world is love. It is that thing that we all yearn for at some level — to be simply loved unconditionally for nothing more than who we are — not what we can get, give or become."

Not sure I could have said it better. This insightful gem was swiped from a love letter from South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford to his Argentinian mistress. Why his most personal communications could be intercepted and then published for the world to see is beyond me. It’s a complete breach of personal space and an invasion of privacy. It wrong…it’s absolutely galling…and it’s irresistible. (

It’s irresistible not because of some shadenfruede. I take no pleasure in reading about yet another public official who’s gotten nabbed cheating on his incredibly supportive wife. Join the club; it’s not exactly an exclusive group. The fact is, husbands cheat on their wives and wives cheat on their husbands. It’s the corollary to marriage. It’s logical to presume politicians and other “powerful” people cheat more often. Frankly, I don’t think it impacts the job they do any more than it impacts the job of a cheater with a lesser visible job. It certainly didn’t seem to screw up Bill Clinton’s work. Then again, getting a lynch mob together and putting these men (I’d say people, but come on) under the microscope, doesn’t exactly improve their productivity. As an interesting side note, I worked with a woman who did PR for George Bush Senior and she told me that everyone on staff knew he was having an affair (so did you the moment you laid eyes on Barbara, right?) My friend told me, it was the job of the President’s staff to help cover for him. A happy President makes for a happy country, nes pas?

The emails got me thinking about the incredible passion and love and chemistry that bubbles over when the cork of new love pops. This is the stuff that dreams are made of. I read the emails and thought, damn the torpedoes! This is true love! Everyone deserves this. Full steam ahead. But then, as I was chasing the happy ending and nauseatingly heard the Governor, in a press conference, quote Corinthians (Love is patient and kind blah blah blah), I had a cynical thought. Maybe it’s just infatuation. Even if Romeo Sanford were to marry his Latino Julietta, odds are in a matter of years he would be in the same place, only with a different leading lady. Familiar. Married. Numb. Or even worse. Contemptuous. Miserable. Cheating?

Maybe we just aren’t meant to be monogamous or maybe marriages are like milk and should come with an expiration date, so you can prepare for the spoilage. All I know is…I want some emails like the ones Maria’s been getting!

Is marriage like milk and doomed to spoil? (skim, low-fat or whole?)

Is marriage more like cheese? (moldy, stinky but getting better with age?)

Monday, June 8, 2009

One Psychedelic Medium (Hold the Fries)

The session started with a prayer of appreciation and good intention –asking spirits from the afterlife for their positive guidance. “Amen,” I said hoping my beloved Grandpa Joe was about to make an appearance. So, Cheryl, a “medium” who has been a practicing psychic for some 25 years, set about connecting me to my loved ones “on the other side” –my guardian angels and spirit guides.

“We are going to find you some clarity,” she said. A lofty goal if ever there was one. Clarity has been my holy grail for a couple of years now. I have craved clarity like an alcoholic craves Jack. In fact, I want it so badly that I ordered and pre-paid for a custom-made ring with the world “clarity” stamped on it. The artist pocketed my money and my clarity never came. I figured it was a sign that some things just can’t be bought. Yet, here I was again ever hopeful, shelling out $150 in hopes of grabbing hold of that elusive wench –Clarity.

“Clarity is coming,” said Cheryl. “And so is the ring. You’ll get it in 2 to 3 months. Don’t be surprised.” I sat back in my chair and wondered what other surprises Cheryl had in store for me.

The phone went quiet for a moment as Cheryl became in tune with my spirit guides. "Your mother’s mother is here,” Cheryl said. “She is telling me she has a special affection for your oldest son because he is the only one she met in the physical world, though she knows all your children.”

So, Grandma Ceil is watching over me, I thought. Nice idea. “She says not to worry about your oldest son this summer,” Cheryl went on. “Is he going away to camp for 2 or 3 weeks?” This was the first on-da-money surprise. Ethan is in fact going cross country for his first 2-week sleep away camp experience. “Your Grandma says not to worry about him. She knows it’s hard to let go but the experience will be good for him and he will come home with many wonderful stories.”

Alright, so the believer in me was hopeful but the cynic was dubious. “Are you separated honey?” she asked. I am. “I see your husband watching you from across town through a telescope. He’s watching but not in a stalker like way. Just from a distance.”

Ok, that was admittedly a little goose-bumpy. She went on to tell me loads of things about my estranged husband. Information about finances and his work life. About his personality. About changes. All ridiculously accurate.

I asked about close friends and I asked about family. In each instance Cheryl had something piercingly relevant to say. My best friend was a “drama queen” and my demanding daughter in prior lifetime when we were French royals –oui oui. My Cali-friend whose name ends in “a” was a trustworthy confidante. My youngest son is extremely empathic and may absorb others' negative energy and complain of random tummy aches. Another friend, who was my brother in a prior life, is destined for big things professionally and I am going to be a critical part of that. While, yet another is going to bring a ton of easy joy into my life as we navigate through similar rough waters. My parents will remain healthy, as will I, and my kids will adjust quickly to this new life as they see how much happier I am becoming.

I asked about my career and I told Cheryl I was an advertising consultant and writer. She chuckled. “You write little slice of life pieces that are funny like Erma Bombeck, don’t you?” she asked. “I do,” I said. “Well they make you laugh when you are writing them. They make other people laugh too but you really enjoy writing them,” she said. Uh-huh. That is very true. She went on to say how I could have several novels in me. Fantastigorical tales that would make Harry Potter residuals seem like chump change. If only. “You’ve been creatively stifled by all that’s happened in your life and that’s changing now,” she said. “Maybe you should think about writing a blog!”

Do you believe in angels and spirit guides?

Ever had a similar experience you can share?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I don’t want a dog. It’s put me over the edge.

Our heartbroke heroine was craving beer for the first time in years.
Hardly haughty, she looked out at the splendid mountains surrounding her
Relocated to a sunken valley of the dolls 3000 miles from home
She wondered yet again for the umpteenth time
“Why am I here?” and took a swig from the amber bottle.
It was recyclable. Like so many things out west.
Just waiting to be reinvented. Replaced.
The hearty hops danced across her palette as playfully as the words that had become her heart’s haven.
Teasing her. The lengthy lexicon tempted her. Inspired her.
Our bemused muse amused herself
realizing she was at the starting line again.
Twenty years prior she stood on a marble podium hand extended.
The University President was stoic in cap and gown.
Our impish graduate reached for the rolled parchment and the ceremonial shake.
Passing the true BMOC an icy cold and very unexpected brewski.
Their eyes met and time froze. As must have his hand.
He looked down and smiled smirkily.
Cracked it open and raised it to the crowd of some hundreds before taking a hearty gulp.
At that moment, our graduating wordsmith stood proudly alone.
The moment needed no words.
The beer tingled tangy across her tongue with the memory .
You may have no map, but you still have moxie, she told herself.
She took another swig and stared out the window.