Tunnel of love

it ought to be easy ought to be simple enough
Man meets woman and they fall in love
But the house is haunted and the ride gets rough
And you’ve got to learn to live with what you can’t rise above if you want to ride on down in through this tunnel of love

 

Bruce Springsteen

Better times June ’08

Even before marriage I thought this was the most accurate song of a real relationship.  I still think so.  Today is the 15th anniversary of when I met my husband Mark Peel.  My friend Heather was with me.  I had just had a lousy stand up set.  I was in an area of town I barely knew. Heather knew less having just moved to LA from San Francisco where we met each other working Metro Traffic in 1991.  The Tobacco Road of broadcasting.

“We could go to Luna Park or go upscale and go to Campanile.”

“Let’s go upscale” she said.

That changed my life.

It was around 10.  Dinner crowd had drained out.   We perched ourselves on the dark orange leather square seats.  Felix the bartender served us warmly. Great wines, yummy nibbles, we joked to those within earshot. All was good.   I made fun of some guy from the kitchen with a funny hat.  He looked confused.

Later the manager would introduce that man to me.  Chef owner Mark Peel.

He was not my type.  Yet I couldn’t stop thinking about what he looked like without those white clothes on.

Cut to now.  2 children, helped raise my stepson and two older stepchildren who have been very important to my life.  A step grandson who I adore.

But, we are not good.  Details are not for here, but I know I’m not the only one whose great love story does not have “a happily ever after.”

I’ve recently started doing some stand up again.  One of my jokes “weddings are ruined for me.  I’m sitting there with a slow clap, clap.  Good luck.  You two against the world.  Wait till you have to share a sink everyday and watch your spouse floss, yeah, “at last”!!

There is love, some respect and the intense devotion to our children.  I wouldn’t write this if they didn’t know something was rotten in the produce drawer.  They do.  I’m sorry they do.  Most of the time we are “fine”.  But, in my belly there is a daily churn.  Occasionally, so bad I have to have a Brian Wilson day. ( aka not get out of bed)

I started wanting to do mom blog videos back in 2007 because I knew I wasn’t the only mom who felt isolated by new motherhood. Now, I extend the same message, but with a twist: who here is isolated because your marriage is not quite right and you cannot say it aloud?  You don’t want to reveal too much, you don’t want to dog your man, you don’t want to embarass your kids.   I have felt alone the last couple of years.  But, a few weeks ago it shifted for me.  Now, I’m practically stopping strangers on the street.   “Did you find everything you needed?” asks the cashier.

“Not the key to conflict resolution, no I did not.”

The isolation and shame of not having my happily ever after has stifled me creatively as well.  I’ve barely generated one funny, or sad word here in the last couple of years.  I texted to a friend tonight “I’m a shadow of my former self.”

” How did this happen?  I never thought this would be me. ”  I muse.

You know how when you are young you are full of absolutes.  “I would never____” . “If ___ happened, that’s it, I’m gone.”  Then you grow up and all those things happen and you do not change course.  “you learn to live with the things you cannot rise above.”

 

I’ve written before about my brother’s suicide.  “Why?” People ask.  I ask myself.

“Why do you two have problems?” People ask.   I ask myself.  In both cases, it’s multi layered.  Never one clear, “well, he never folded the laundry!”   “He hated how I chewed my food.”  Now you have the same finances, friends and children. Unlike when you are dating you just can’t grab your toothbrush and favorit pillow and go.   I have no answers and no pronouncements.  I only know as a friend told me once, “we are lost in the storm.”

I know, without knowing, I’m not the only one in this blizzard.

Viv and I in ’12.. the last days Campanile was open. I met her dad a few feet from where we sat

Spouse underfoot?

When I did this video Mark was recuperating from surgery.  Now that he is consulting and catering he is home a lot more.  I guess I must adjusted to having my husband around more.  But, as the saying goes, I married you for life not for lunch.  Sometimes you need your space. If only so I can catch up on “The Good Wife”.

Right?

who knew?

Who Knew?

That if your husband decides to clean out the garage it would take him two weeks and still not be done?

Who Knew that when he leaves out old stereo equipment and the DVD’s and VHS of your career there would be a freak July rainstorm and he didn’t think to cover these things?

Who Knew?

That the 140 times you thought, “I have to get those VHS transferd” would have been time wasted because now they are probably ruined.

Who Knew?

That you would want to force your kids to watch those tapes because this morning your 4 year old said that unlike Handy Manny “mommy, you and I don’t have a job”.

Who Knew?

I would tell my son that I do work, but “that my main job is taking care of you and Vivien.” Who Knew that would come as a surprise to me as I said it.

Who Knew that my house would end of up looking like the Clampetts.

Mad dream

You know those dreams that seem so real they are hard to shake?  Last night I had one and I was going to clobber my husband in the morning, except that Rex’s body was half draped across his. Nice the boy protects his father.

I get up hours before Mark does so I had had coffee and breakfast and was able to calm down enough to tell him about my dream.

“We didn’t have any kids yet and you hadn’t lost your money yet. We had just gotten married and where staying a fancy hotel, but you also had an Asian girlfriend.”

Mark, ” I like where this dream is going.”

“No, it was a terrible dream, because on our first day of marriage you told me that tomorrow me and your young daughter-”

“Daughter?”

“Yeah, Oliver was a girl.”

“Named Oliva?”

Exasperated, “She didn’t have a name I was just going to have to mind her while spent a night with your Asian girlfriend.  I was fuming and you didn’t see anything wrong with it.”

“I have a lot of nerve.”

“Yes, you do.  I was bathed in expensive clothes and jewelery and then it occurred to me that I could leave you.  I didn’t have kids with you and I would leave you.  I walked in to the closet where you were and told you so.  You still didn’t get why I wasn’t okay with this arrangement and then I screamed, “who do you think I am ___ ____”  I screamed the name of a women my father had a very icky relationship with that adversely affected my family of origin.

“You were really angry.”  Mark said.

Then I let him have his first cup of coffee.

On the way to school Vivien asked if I had put the meatloaf I had made for dinner the night before in her lunch as she had asked.

“Oh, sweetie, daddy ate the last of it.  But, today is taco day!” normally a winner.  Not today.

“Waaa, I wanted the meatloaf!”  I had a brief thrill that she was so excited about my meatloaf.  But, she was now spiraling down a sensitive little girl path that meant dropping her off at school would not go smoothly.  I called Mark.

“You ate all of the meatloaf, right?”  He had.  The phone was on speaker so he could hear the sobs.  Yes, he had actually done something wrong for real. Well, eating dinner in his own home when he is hungry might not qualify, but it would have to do.

I assured her I would make the loaf of wonder again tonight.

As good as it is, I hope it doesn’t give me bad dreams.

My Civil War

Hey, thanks for bearing with me. Getting vids up a little late due to spring break. A friend said to me today, “You aren’t tan.”

I don’t tan. I don’t burn. I’m like an android. I get a tad rosey, and that’s it. Anyway, part of what’s fun about a family vacation is you all get to spend time together. No going off to work or school. Just us.

Once we are home everyone falls back into their same habits. And, well…

Look, no marriage is perfect…

I Never Developed My Wedding Pictures

We just passed my wedding anniversary so this is a timely video.

I’ve been married twice, but to the same man.

First we had a “shot gun” wedding as I was 6 months pregnant.  A really lovely ceremony in our living room. We threw it together in 5 days.  Mark’s friend who is a judge married us and we had about 10 people there. Family and two friends.  His restaurant catered a brunch.  In the afternoon we drove down to Palm Springs for our honeymoon. It was Perfect.  My mom said it was one of the best weddings she had ever been to.  I think the only one she liked more was my brother’s which had a total of 5 people attending. We had lovely photos and I put them in a book as I waited for my daughter to be born.

But, I couldn’t leave well enough alone.  When Vivien was a year we had a big, blow out 3 day long wedding redux in Palm Springs.  There was the “Daphne Open” golf tourney.  The “Mark croquet” morning.  You know the kind of thing one can do BEFORE a certain notable Ponzi scheme was found out.

I won’t kid you too, I looked good at the 2nd wedding.  I had lost my baby weight and then some.  The desert color made every one look like a movie star.  So, Why don’t I have ONE photo framed or in a book?

hmmmmm

Momversation: Is An Emotional Affair Cheating?

I’m starting to realize I’m the tart mom in the Momversation line up.  I’m the one bringing up issues related to sex.  Well, that’s how we all became mom’s right? (mom’s who adopted or had IV, be quiet, I’m on a roll). I mean just because we became mom’s doesn’t mean it never crosses our minds, right.

Oops, yeah I forgot, I have yapped about my diminished libido.  Oh well.

This Momversation launches from an essay in Redbook about having an emotional affair.  I think this would be a much easier affair to slide into.  When you cross the line would be hard to know.  As opposed to checking into the Ramada as “Mr and Mrs Jones” and taking your clothes which is a clear tip off… a line has been crossed.

Have you ever been up late writing messages on Facebook to some old college flame?

Do you look forward to emails from a male friend and rush to answer them?

Or is your emotional affair with the latest issues of Sunset Magazine ? ( that would be me)

Don’t Talk to Me, We’re Married

This video was one of those moments where I realized how I have changed over the years. Other than crows’ feet and various colors in my hair, I think, “Hey, I’m the same gal, right?” Nah. Now, I can keep a bit more to myself and I need a lot less validation. Which is good for anyone. But it’s especially good for my husband.