Thursday, March 31, 2011


Courtesy of Matchbox Twenty:
She grabs her magazines
She packs her things and she goes
She leaves the pictures hanging on the wall, she burns all
Her notes and she knows, she’s been here too few years
To feel this old.
Whoever “she” is, she’s smart.  Well, or who knows?  Maybe like me, she is still left with some traces and memories that are harder to expel than others. 
Some of my friends are getting impatient with me, because I still have a few chinks in my armor regarding CB.  Tsk!  Yeah, it’s been a whole… 17 days.  And seeing him at the rec center has been a big setback, because now I know that he wants to tell me something and that he is scared to do it.  Which probably means (given how stubborn he is) that he will reappear at some point.  I try not to obsess about it, but have a little mercy!  Look at all the things I have been doing right!  Catch me being good, huh? 
No contact of any kind!  All gifts and objects removed!  I am running and lifting weights!  I am wearing nice clothes and even a little makeup every day!  I am dutifully going to counseling, even though the therapist is mean to me. (Oooh…  I need to blog about HER soon. She is seriously amusing, in a dark kind of a way…) Another poker night planned!  And I booked the “Fuck You, CB” canoe trip today.  So cut my heartache a little slack!
I’ve got Matchbox Twenty playing in the truck at the moment.  I had been playing the soundtrack to the movie “Away We Go” for a long time, trying to reclaim it as my own and not have to share it with any memories anymore.  I have failed badly, though.  I surrender.  I’ll have to put it away until the 60 days are over and try listening to it again after that.
I need a repo man.  Despite the fact that I have disposed of EVERYTHING CB gave me, there are a few of my own possessions that no longer belong to me fully any more. 
I want to repossess…
NPR!  I used to listen constantly, but we listened to a lot of it together.  Diane Rehm had the Utah Attorney General on her show today, discussing immigration reform.  Normally, CB would have texted me to find out if I had tuned in.
Beans & Brews, where we always got chai.
My favorite, butter-soft, cotton quilt.
My Lava Hot Springs coffee mug.
My good Henkel bread knife which, because it is serrated, has circular marks from CB’s sharpening stone on it.
 My old blog!  I’m homesick for it.  It gave a little context to my present gloom by containing a long history of happy posts. 
My windshield wipers.
[I am prolific today!  I have at least three blog entries waiting in my fingertips, and they aren’t even all bleak!  Just this one. ]

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

10 Fine Things

I struggled again today.  Let's see, what day are we on?  Day 15!  A benchmark day!  25% done!  45 days left before I'm supposed to be myself again, only better!  I hope the new version of me is going to be thinner!  Get more than three hours of sleep each night.  Drink more water.  Exercise every day.  Stop pulling her hair.  Stop thinking about that asshole.  Have lots of amazing adventures.   Since we are deluding ourselves, let's just go all the way: the Adult Education program will win Best of State, and Barack Obama will drop everything to travel to Utah and award this honor, 'cause he had heard that I'm such a well-hydrated hottie;  I will plant hydrangeas out front and they will live;  I will run the Salt Lake Half in under two hours.

While we wait for Kate Version 2.0 to show up, let me just confess the reality:  I looked for CB at the rec today, because he had been there yesterday; I went to bed at 3:00 AM last night; I am eating Girl Scout cookies while I write. 

I need to think of some happy stuff.  Can I think of ten things?
  1. Lunch at California Pizza Kitchen (BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad!!) with an acquaintance, chatting and getting to know each other better.
  2. Martina gave me a gorgeous scarf that she is tired of. 
  3. Mark was heard tonight, answering the phone, "Guadalupe School.  Kate speaking."
  4. I have taken off my high-heeled boots and am now sitting here with a cup of tea, three girl Scout cookies and my fuzzy slippers.
  5. Sara babysat for Nathan tonight so I could work.  I got home at 9:30 and found them both in bed, where they are supposed to be.
  6. I am not miserable right this moment.
  7. I helped Laura Guerrero practice her luncheon speech tonight.  
  8. Nathan's woodland diorama scene for his book report, due tomorrow, looks super-cool.. 
Uh...Two more...?


9.  My toenails are painted my favorite shade of green....
10.  My bed is waiting in my softly lit room, waiting for me to finally surrender to my sleepiness and try to do better tomorrow.

Truly. I am dozing off as I sit here.  Good night!

Monday, March 28, 2011

T. M. I.

Too Much Information today.  Makes me feel the need to eat almond M&Ms. 

There.  Now they are gone, and can no longer torment me.

Why do people have to submit resumes that are pages long, and contain no relevant information? 

Here's one:  This guy has worked as a call center manager, a credit account manager, a Radio Shack manager and a twisty balloon entertainment guy.  He has no qualifications or experience in the field for which I am hiring. 

Or this other guy's cover letter says, "I love talking...when I saw this [posting] my heart skipped a beat...I know quite well that it may not be easy, but it will be worth it...".  Y'know, drama-applicant, it really WON'T be easy when you have no qualifications, have never taught, and have an experience history specializing in home security system sales and service.  And it won't be worth it to ME.

Furthermore, I love (I really do love) people calling school and confiding in me about the details of their lives.  This happens to me a lot for some reason.  

One woman called to find out more about volunteering with us and started off the conversation with, "You may not want me - I'm OLD!"  Hmmm... I probed that a little. She's only 66, for Pete's sake.  What she really meant was that she had a bilateral mastectomy and major chemo, which caused her to lose her hair and her teeth.  She is self-conscious about how she looks and seldom leaves the house. I told her (in so many words) that she needs to come down to Guadalupe right away. 

And one of the candidates for the job for which I am hiring called me up to make sure that I had received his resume.  He then started a RANT!  A full-blown RANT! about his experiences in the meat grinder of the Utah educational system.  I can't say that I disagree with him, but.. he went on for half an hour.  I thought, "If I hired him, would he EVER shut up and do his work?"

One incident about which I have insufficient information, though, is the alleged sighting of CB at the rec center today.  Very weird. 

I work out at pretty much the same time every day.  CB knows this.  A person seeking to avoid me (or seeking to break into my house and steal the stereo) knows that in the 9:00 AM-10:00 AM time frame, I am usually at the rec.  CB knows my truck.  I always park in about the same place.
So I just had time for a short run today.  I was in the rec from about 9:00 to about 9:30.  Then I put on my hoodie in the vestibule and went out.  I was starting to trot down the stairs, simultaneously messing about with my scarf, phone, swipe card, etc..., when a sudden movement  a short distance from the bottom of the stairs caught me eye - it was the movement of a man turning on his heel and heading back in the direction from which he came.  It caused me to glance up  just in time to see this person finish his about face and walk nonchalantly away, hands in his pockets.  I did not see his face; but CB has that identical hair, jacket, butt, pants and walk.  Since I was only 90% sure it was him; and since I'm not supposed to talk to him; and since he seemed to be very interested in avoiding me... I calmly walked back to my truck as if I had not a care in the world.  I did not drive off with a squealing of tires.  I took the time to remove my iPod, put my swipe card away, etc... (Look at me, CB!  Panic free!  I didn't even notice you.] As I dove away, I looked for his distinctive car, but didn't see it.  Of course, this mystery guy was probably parked in the other parking area, judging by the direction he headed. 

Soooo...  CB accidentally encountered me there and beat a hasty retreat?  NOT.  He must have known I was there.  My regular time, my regular vehicle. 

Uh... CB was on his way to work out, because he forgot it was my work-out time?  NOT.  No gym bag, no work out clothes.  Hard to exercise in a pair of Carhart work pants.

So he knew I was there.  Why was he coming inside?  Did he want to tell me something?  But he chickened out?  But didn't leave a note on my truck, as he has done in the past?  Why turn chicken when I walk out of the building, and not before?  What did he plan to do, that I foiled by leaving a bit early?  What on earth could he possibly have to say to me?  I mean, that I wold bother listening to?  And if it was so compelling that he came to the rec to confront me, why didn't he do it? 

Just when I was making a little progress. 

 Have the perfect solution to this riddle. It wasn't him.  It was some other guy who dresses in a similar manner, with about the same height, build and hair.  Mystery guy was walking into the rec to go for a run or something, but then remembered that he left his gym bag in his car and abruptly turned to retrieve it at the exact moment I left the rec. 


Saturday, March 26, 2011


[By the way, is it me, or are there problems uploading photos?]

 OK!  We toasted the inaugural goof-off the Eleanors and learned to play poker, thanks to the patience and perseverance of our teacher Jeff, who also brought the table and real Vegas chips.  Of course, we ate; and Moira stayed afterward to smoke a cigar with me. 

So, can I play, now?  If I can use my cheat-sheet, yes.  Except all the betting stuff:  see, check, call, raise...erk!  We need practice.  I need to have some folks over to just play.

What day are we on?  Day 12.  Forty-eight more days to get my shit together.  I am actually getting a little worse, rather than better.  This doesn't surprise me, somehow.  The shock is wearing off; and I am facing the fact that I am bummed about several things, not just CB (bastard!).  Now that the acute breakup pain is starting to ease up a little, I have to deal with all the rest of it.  Poker night last night helped temporarily.  Today, I mostly just lay on the sun porch staring or dozing.  Tomorrow I have to do better.  Simon is leaving for Vail and I have responsibilities.  I'll write down what I would like to accomplish tomorrow, then I'll see what I manage.

Go out to breakfast as a family at Lazy Day cafe before Simon hits the road;
Finish laundry;
Household chores;
Input testing data for Guadalupe;
Run 9 miles;
Make tilapia with orange salsa;
Contact outfitter for summer canoe trip;
Mend chair cushions.

Let's say that, if I manage to do 5 of those things, I will congratulate myself. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Something is Still Missing

Day 10:  finished.  Fifty days left. 
Today was a roller coaster.  The good news? There were stretches of several minutes at a time when I didn't think of CB at all. And times when I thought of him with terrible anger.  It's like that passage from Harry Potter 7, when Ron opens the horcrux and Harry and Hermione emerge.  He says that Hermione, "was more terrible and more beautiful than the real Hermione".  I have transformed CB into a cruel, mocking entity who never gave a shit about me.  At other times I thought of him and took Luz's advice, "Give him love, give him light, let him go."  But most of the time, I continue to think of him with intense longing. Today was hard that way.  This time of night, when everyone has gone home from school and only the night janitors are here, CB often contacted me via IM:
"Hello, Darling!  Are you packing up and getting ready to leave?  Remember, you need 7 hours of sleep for a healthy immune system."
"Yeah, I'll be ready to go in a bit.  I just have a couple more things I want to do..."
"I'm starting to feel all protective about you."
He was of the opinion that I didn't sleep enough and made it his personal mission to IM or text me many nights each week with reminders to go to bed.  So I miss him in the late evenings.  
I also miss him because tomorrow night is my poker party:  the first attempt at my "Eleanor" concept.  He liked this idea when I originally described it to him.  I think he knows how to play poker; but anything that was social and would bring more friends into his world appealed to him.  I think he would have enjoyed channeling his inner Eleanor.  And he was a very adventuresome person who would have added a lot of new ideas to the group.

Stillwater Canyon, Green River

And I'm starting to read up on the Stillwater Canyon trip that I want to do at the end of the summer.  I hope like hell that, by the time this trip comes off, I am over him.  I have imagined him being with me on this trip so many times.  It's hard to remove him from the picture, a la Trotsky, and repopulate it with other friends. 

Finally, he loved hearing about little triumphs at work.  He liked my Guadalupe stories.  Here's the latest.

Every spring, we have a fund-raising luncheon for the school. My job is to provide a speaker from among the adult education students.  This is not easy.  My students are mostly lower level English as a Second Language students.  I have to find someone who is able (and wants to) write, revise and practice a five minute speech,then give the speech to 400 potential donors at the luncheon.  I sweat about this every year.  Way back in mid-February, we asked a student if she would tell her story and she agreed to do it.  Unfortunately, she got cold feet and backed out, with only 2 weeks to go.  I was a little freaked out (although the up-side of my current difficulties? Most other things seem small and don't rattle me.), but another student, Laura G., agreed to do it in spite of the short time-frame. Reading her rough draft tonight was one of my better moments as an adult educator.  The speech below has had some grammar corrections and a few wording changes to help it flow.  But 99% is just as she wrote it, including the transitions, introduction and conclusion.  For a student at our school, this speech is a remarkable piece of work.  I'm looking forward to the luncheon, now, because Laura G. is going to BLOW THE AUDIENCE AWAY.

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.  My name is Laura Guerrero.  I have been a student in the Adult Education program of Guadalupe School since 2007.  I want to tell you a little bit about me and my family.
We came from Mexico about 14 years ago.  The reason we came here is that my daughter Alin is disabled.  She was born with Cerebral Palsy.  She was a patient at Shriner’s Hospital.  The doctors from Shriner’s Hospital used to go to Ciudad Juarez in Mexico every six months to check on children with different disabilities.  This was a free service that they offered.  Whenever a child needed equipment, they provided it.  They helped pay expenses when families needed to travel to Utah for a child’s surgery.  And they support the family while the child is recovering.  My daughter went to many appointments with these doctors.  The first time she needed surgery on her legs, she couldn’t come to Utah, and she had the surgery in Mexico.
Some years later, my husband came to Utah for a few months.  He called me and asked if I would like to come to Utah.  He told me it is a very quiet and  pretty place.  My daughter Alin needed another surgery.  After talking about it, we decided to come.
It was good to be close to Shriner’s Hospital.  My daughter had the opportunity to get therapy every month.  She was able to have a second surgery when she needed it.  She was a patient at Shriner's until she was 18.  She didn’t want to go back to Mexico.  She loved this country right away.  She loves school. She loves to go out, especially to restaurants.
Shriner’s Hospital is an organization that is supported by many donors.  We have another great organization that needs help from donors:  Guadalupe School.  This school couldn’t exist without the generosity of many people from the community. 
The Adult Education program at Guadalupe offers English for adults in a way that makes them feel comfortable.  When I started in this school, I got the feeling that the students are so important to the teachers and staff.  They want to make sure that the students get the best possible education from their classes.  Being in this program has helped me in my life.  It has helped me to understand my children and my children’s teachers.  I never have to ask myself, “What are my children talking about?” I can get involved in their activities.  Now I’m not afraid to go anywhere, because I understand the language.  I don’t have to ask for an interpreter in clinics or hospitals.
To learn English wasn’t easy for me.  It has taken a long time for me to learn, to understand it and to communicate.  I still have difficulties with conversation.  I have been in many English programs before, but I was always confused because there was one teacher with about 20 students.  The teacher couldn’t give the students much attention.  But since I started at Guadalupe School, all my confusion is gone because this is a very good program.  The Adult Education program is made up of a director, teachers, volunteers and students.  There are many small student groups with 3 or 4 students and each teacher is in charge of some of these small groups.  The volunteers teach the students.  Being in a small group means that we can ask our questions and understand the lesson.  There is time for all of us.  It helps us to learn fast, and we can also choose what we want to learn.  The teachers want us to get ahead. 

Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, I ask you humbly to help Guadalupe School keep his great program in our community.  We need donations from people who love this King of Programs.  We need supporters who love our community and adult education.  Don’t be afraid to donate.  The program will spend your money wisely and the students will be very grateful and dedicated to their studies. 
Thank you, from the adult students at Guadalupe School. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


What day are we on? 

OK (deep breath):  Day 8.  Fifty-two more to go.

I've been trying to think of something else that entertained me today, so I can blog about something besides this IDIOT!  This ASSHOLE!  Who has professed his eternal love, then dumped my ass!  I think 8 days is plenty!  I should hate his guts by now!

I miss him.

Or I miss something.

One of my friends said today that I'm missing a fantasy. Am I missing feelings, rather than missing a person? 

Argh...  I need to re-focus.  Tomorrow....  Anything to look forward to tomorrow?  Getting my hair done.  Girls on the Run.  Uh...

Monday, March 21, 2011

I Keep Waiting..

...for the other shoe to drop.

And it doesn't.  No confrontation, apology, explanation, attempts to cajole...  It has been a week (De-Tox Day 7).  When the phone rings now, I never think it's him.  I have an all-new Yahoo account; so I check it dutifully, once a day, without trepidation.  He is GONE-gone. So gone that he doesn't check my old blog, nor has he done the simple detective work needed to find my new one.  So gone that my widget never shows a visit from our suburb.  So gone that he hasn't asked our mutual friend to call me with explanations or apologies.  So gone that I'm left to wonder whether he actually went and picked up his pocket watch.

He knows my routine.  If he wanted to, he could find me; find my car.  He used to stop by the gym and leave flowers under my windshield wiper.  He would sometimes pay a visit to Guadalupe and leave small tokens.  Once I found a little single-serve cup of pickles on my truck.  He knows the days and times that I shop.  We always used to text each other:

"I'm at Smith's, looking for the sexiest lady in Cottonwood."
"Poor you.  You missed her by 15 minutes."

"At Smith's!"
"Awww.  I'm at Home Depot."

We only managed it one time.  And we hadn't even tried.  I walked out of the store with a shopping bag over my arm and there he was, almost jumping up and down, he was so tickled. 

"Fancy meeting YOU here!"

People swirled by on both sides of us; but, as always when we were together, we were oblivious.  Looking onto each other's eyes.  My finger reached out to touch one of the snaps on his jacket.

Later, I asked him, "How did you do that?"
"Pure coincidence!  I must've been trying too hard before!"

And so I watch for him. I don't really want to see him.  My knees would knock with terror if I did.  But as I drive around town, I search every intersection for a ratty blue Jetta.  My heart knocks painfully against my chest  when I see an orange North Face jacket in the store.  A man in Carharts walking away from me.  But it's never the bow-legged amble that I'm familiar with. 

I look at my windshield wiper EVERY TIME I walk up to my truck.  I can't wait to stop doing that.  Watch, that will be the last vestige.

BUT!  I only cried once today.

Grandpa Mario came to check on me and I was able to tell him that I was a bit better. ("Mejor, Gracias!  Un poco mejor.")  "That's because I have been praying for you," he said.

And I did get my "Learn to Play Poker" party organized for this Friday.  I still have three places left if any of you local blog-readers want to be dealt in....  But you have to NOT KNOW HOW to play poker.  That's the only rule.  Well, and you have to like to cackle and act obnoxious. Moira and I will smoke cigars.

I also started researching what sorts of permits are needed to do a 5-day canoe-trip down the mighty Green River through Canyonlands National Park.  CB told me about this trip.  He did it years ago, when he was in college, and he wanted take me there this summer.  Normally, he does raft-trips; but he knows I am a canoeist. I will plan and execute this trip without him.  I will invite a bunch of friends; take my kids; and Simon, if we stay together.  And I will have an awesome time.

And I had fun e-mailing with my divorce lawyer today, because we are old friends.  I told him that I was taking a break from divorce proceedings because my heart was in bad shape.  We had to email like this:

***This is Kate-your-friend***
I am reduced to sleeping with my son's sock monkey!  Turns out that my grand passion is a CAD!!  I'll take you out for coffee and regale you. 

***This is Kate-your-client***
I owe you money for the time you have put in so far.  About two hours.  Tell me how much I owe you.

***This is Chad-your-friend***
Love sucks!

***This is Chad-your-attorney***
Don't worry about the money.  I will take the coffee, though.

53 days left.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sixty Day De-Tox

Some heartbreak cures work, and some don't.  A friend suggested yoga, at which I crinkled my nose.  Another friend caught my expression and said, "Kate can't do yoga.  It's not fast enough."  Meditation?  Just gives me lots of quiet time to contemplate lost love. 
Here's Grandpa Mario's suggestion.  Despite my protests that I am an atheist ("Atea, Mario!  Soy atea!"), Mario is sure that I will be restored if I read the daily Novena included in this little pamphlet he gave me.  It is entitled (I'm translating, here), "Novena: to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patron Saint of the Americas".  I did read the first Novena, to make Mario happy.  I'm not restored, but I did learn some new words in Spanish. He wants me to find God and all I end up with is a kick-ass vocabulary list.
If you are trying to recover from a broken heart, I would recommend THIS be your Bible for the next couple months:  "It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken".  This is where I found out about the ring tones.  It is this book which promises me that after 60 days, my heartache will be gone.  Today was Day 4. 

This little manual is chock full of good advice, like:  not making late-night, drunk phone calls; avoiding self-destructive behavior (like the way I stay up all night so I won't lie in bed and think about Boyfriend); not whining too much to your friends; staying productive at work; accepting the new reality that the man you love is really a SCHOOB; understanding that he is off having a good time and living his life with nary a backwards glance. Therefore, I should do the same.

Let's turn to "Part 2: The Breakover (Or, How to Become a Superfox Breakup Warrior with Lustrous Hair and a Whole Bunch of Self-Worth"). This contains the 7 Commandments for the 60 days.  I have my marching orders!  They are:
  1. Don't see him or talk to him for 60 days.    Since the clean break I would have preferred was badly fumbled, I have had some practice in this area.  And I don't think he plans to be in touch.  I have been exceptionally disciplined about staying away.  Early in the roller coaster ride, I "unfriended" him on Facebook and took his "Contact" off my Yahoo IM.  Not because I was mad, but so I wouldn't suffer while seeing him live his life without me.  Four days ago I canceled my Yahoo account altogether and blocked his number from my phone.  This felt GREAT, but not because I think Boyfriend is going to stalk me.  I did it so that I would STOP obsessively opening Yahoo, hoping for an e-mail.  And now when I hear the little "boopity-bip" that means I have a text?  My knees no longer go weak while I reach for the phone like one of Pavlov's dogs.  (OK, those dogs never reached for the phone.  Stop smirking at my syntax.  Can't you see I'm infirm?)  I KNOW it will be from someone else.
  2. Get yourself a breakup buddy.  Well, I didn't do that, because I am not the kind of person who is going to call one of my friends late at night to snivel.  I have to say that I do have a few friends that would tolerate that, at least for a couple days.  Thanks, friends! XXX
  3. Get rid of his stuff and the things that remind you of him.  I started this in January by returning things he had loaned me.  Then in February, I got rid of pictures, small gifts, the pencil holder he made for me out of walnut... I even threw out the little tin clicker that had belonged to my grandfather.  I had given one to Boyfriend and kept one for myself (Don't ask why, we will just digress)  (I never digress, right?). As of four days ago, I only had a few things left - the most precious things:  a bottle of single-malt Scotch; a bicycle; a crate on wheels with a handle, so I can haul all my paperwork back and forth more easily.  It took me two days, but I got rid of the bicycle.  No longer sitting in the garage, taunting me with a future that isn't going to happen.  Anybody want the Scotch?  Stake your claim...
  4. Get your ass in motion every day.  This is not too hard for me, although some days I only do half my run before I just feel too sad to keep going. Today I managed about four miles when I should have done five...
  5. Don't wear your breakup out into the world.  I bought a super-sparkly ring on Tuesday.  I wore a fun chain-belt on Thursday.  I'm getting my hair done next week.  I will continue to keep my eyebrows tidy.  Maybe I will finally make that shopping trip to the "good" DI and see if I can find some cute treasures.
  6. No backsliding!  No worries: I'm tough, and I have a giant ego that is way too proud to allow me to type THAT e-mail address or call THAT number. 
  7. It won't work unless YOU are number one!  Which basically means that if I remain proactive in getting over it, I will be even MORE OF A ROCK STAR than I was before!  (This book really likes capitalization and exclamation points.)  It's a little hard to believe now, as I look in the mirror and see dark circles, cloudy complexion, furrowed brow.  Perhaps I shall go drink some water and get a good night's sleep.
Uh, yeah.... It's 2 AM again...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

No WAY is This a Depression Blog

We make depression fun!

And, as always, I have a plan.  This is the 60-day-get-your-shit-together plan.  After 60 days, I am going to be well again and get back to blogging about Nathan's boogers.

[By the way, I'm bummed about moving.  My old place was comfy.  I really need to change the wallpaper over here and some other things.  Pardon my dust.]

Signs that I have reached rock bottom:
  • I huddle in my bed in the mornings in the fetal position;
  • Monday, when Grandpa Mario dropped by the office to worship me, as he often does, I broke down and he ended up clutching my head to his argyle sweater vest while I sobbed.  He stroked my hair and whispered Spanish platitudes in my ear;
  • I am seeking counseling.  To a child of the Upper Midwest, this is a horrible weakness.  We prefer to solve our problems with extra ketchup.
That's bad.  How did I end up in this tar-pit? I have never before in my life been depressed.  It is SO not me!  Before, on my other blog, which could be read by people I couldn't necessarily 'fess up to, I was circumspect.  Not any more...  I am taking a huge risk even here.  Some people I have given this URL to are going to read things about me that they will not like and they will be disappointed in me.  But I'm going to be brave.  At least 94% brave.  I love a list.  Let's call this list, "My Sorry Descent into Madness and How It Came About" (very Lemony Snicket).

  1. Accidents of birth!  For example, I'm a dreamer and a malcontent.  When I was young and unattached, I dealt with these qualities by throwing a backpack into the belly of a plane and going to live somewhere else.  No more.
  2. More birth defects!  I am a romantic; passionate with equal chances of wild sex or soapbox rants; a little eccentric.  This stuff, I have boxed up.  My mom says that when comparing people to the four elements, I am the only person she knows who is 100% fire.  "Fire Woman", she called me once.  Unboxed?  I would be impossible to hang out with. Intolerable.
  3. Yet another ingrained trait:  Prima Donna!  Big show off!  Loose cannon.  Look at me!  Teaching ESL is the perfect job for me.
  4. I love to fix problems.  To be needed and nurture.  I love lost souls, which is why I'm drawn to immigrants:  they're wanderers; seekers. I want to change the world.  I've trained myself to be contented with a postage-stamp-sized portion of it.  For these reasons, Guadalupe is my muse.  Or it was, until I lost my fucking mind.
  5. Now we get into the stuff I did.  Let's start with marrying a man I did not know well.  He's a Brit, and it was nobody's fault that we only saw each other when we were on vacation.  We were a couple for six years before we got married, but during most of that time, we would spend a week together twice a year or something.  The only way to solve the problem?  Get married!  I was willing to overlook some red flags, because they didn't pop up very much  They didn't pop up very much because we were almost never together.  Ladies, should we marry a guy who won't tell us he loves us?  Sure:  what the heck?  Simon never said the word "love" until after the wedding.  And should we marry a man who is generally nice but, when he gets mad, has a vicious, cruel streak?  Sure!  Because we're not going to fight.  And he's probably a lost soul.  I like those!  I will soothe him with my love.
  6. So, after a few months of marriage, I discovered that we had a big, fat conflict resolution problem on our hands.  I could not fix it nor resign myself to it.  Eighteen years of marriage, and we are still stuck on the same treadmill. 
  7. Then a few years into it, I realized that a girl like me needs a little bit of romance, affection and occasional adoration.  He couldn't give that.  When I chafed, he would ask me for specific instructions for adoring me.  That kind of wrecks it.
  8. We sold the old place and moved out of the mountains into town.  I wish I had known about blogging when we lived up there.  The cabin made my life special.  Something interesting happened almost every day:  moose on the porch; eight-foot snowstorms... Now, selling was a smart decision.  That lifestyle (no winter road access; wood heat; elevation 8,900 feet) got to be a huge burden.  But I always said I would never live on some dumb suburban cul-de-sac with a sprinkler system and a two-car garage.  And here I am. 
  9. Can-cer... Get up off the sofa and find the world has suddenly filled with imperatives.  Have it at age 41, when you're due for a mid-life crisis anyway?  And you still want to be all hot and sexy?  Kiss of death.
  10. Speaking of death, we lost our dear friend Edie to the same type of cancer at that same time. That has been especially hard on me because of what I hear called "survivor's guilt".  
  11. Let's skip back to the conflict resolution issues with Simon, and having one of my attempts at dealing with it turn into a minor domestic abuse incident.  Bad enough to wind me up under the table, but not at the shelter.... 
  12. ...followed by my descent into total marital passiveness.  Yes, TOTAL.  As in, we didn't argue for over a year, because I just acquiesced to EVERYTHING.  Guess  what?  That doesn't make you a saint, it makes you resentful.  Simon didn't notice.
  13. Quick break in our regularly scheduled programming for Dad's death.
  14. Followed by the realization this past September, triggered by yet another mean spell, that I didn't love this guy.  Didn't care whether or not I hurt him; didn't want to have sex with him; dreamed of divorcing him. 
  15. (Can you all see it coming a mile away?)  The inevitable:  an affair.  A man I adored.  To make it worse, it was like fate was sealed almost from the word "go".  I'm not kidding!  When we were together, it was like being in the eye of a hurricane.  He said I was "cocaine".  Would try to resist being in touch with me and not manage 24 hours.  Would send me text after text, describing every facet of my eye color from the pupil on out.  Does this sound like fun?  NO!  I'm married!  He's in a relationship with a long-time girlfriend with some serious mental health issues.  She drives him up the wall and exhausts him; but he kind of gets off on being the noble care-giver.  Wow.  Not only is he sexy, cute, a perfect intellectual and emotional match (and an inventor, a mechanical engineer, a river runner, paragliding guide, climber, free-heeler...) he's needy!  Si never needs anything from me.  This guy calls me his "bastion of sanity".  He loves my blog and brags about it to other people.  He admires the work I do.  He thinks I'm pretty. He would insist on holding my hand.  If I let go for some reason, he would remind me that he wanted it back.
  16. Did I mention that I ADORED him?  Would have robbed a bank for him?  I occasionally even took a day off work to hang out with him.  For me, that's MAJOR.  He and his partner lived in the canyon, as well.  In a barn that he hauled out here from Iowa and made into a beautiful home that he built by hand.
  17. The more I hung around with my calm, placid, affectionate boyfriend, the more I resented Si for not being like him.  I start REALLY wanting to leave him.  This was partly fueled by some hope that I could end up with my boyfriend, but not entirely.  Mostly what I wanted was a chance to start again.  Find a man who is nicer. Who made me feel loved. 
  18. And of course, the story ends with the man I adored dumping me.  SLOWLY.  And PAINFULLY. Not maliciously, but because he was self-centered and weak.  I'll tell about it another time.  You will be amazed.  It's a great story.  The boyfriend gets his own blog entry as soon as I get a backhoe and clear out all these used Kleenexes.
OK, you can hate me now.  I know - I have done a bad thing.  I fell in love with a man who is not my husband.  The worst part is that I don't even regret it.  Not the love part.  The heartbreak part, yes. 

Which gets me back to Mario's tear-soaked sweater vest.  And the realization that somehow, I have gone a little bit psycho.  It was an accident!  So I finished sobbing (for that time - there' s been plenty more sobbing since then).  I may be crazy, but I'm not yet so crazy that I don't know when to pause the downward spiral.  So we're going to have a 60-day Detox.  Or more appropriately, a "he"-tox.  No more decisions stemming from heartbreak.  I'm going to get over the affair before I do any more dumb stuff.  Sixty days, during which I will stop divorce proceedings; during which I will get counseling; during which I will try to find something besides contempt for Simon; during which I will deal with my shit. 

And then?  If we still feel like we should split up, we can continue this discussion.  But not right now when I'm a sniveling dung ball.

I meet with a counselor in the morning.  She has probably heard it all before...