4 posts

QOTD: Your Worst First Date?

first_dateWe’ve all suffered through them. The girl who never put down her cell phone. The guy who repeatedly hit on other people while he was supposed to be out with you. The blind date your sister/brother/mother/hairdresser/dealer set you up on. But there is usually one that stands, head and shoulders, above all others. Our own personal Worst First Date. Continue reading

QOTD: Memories of Your First Car

firstcarqotdWhether or not you are a car nut, your first car meant a lot to you. Thinking back about it brings forth memories of cruising with your pals, that unfortunate fender bender, and your first run-in with the law.

My first car was an Isuzu Impulse. It was an Italian-designed Japanese hatchback. The cassette deck had a bitchin’ equalizer that lit up like a spaceship at night. Joe Isuzu went on TV and claimed that it was faster than a speeding bullet. I drove it during high school and as the Berlin Wall fell a half a world away, I cruised along the Pacific Coast Highway, listening to Jesus Jones. It had two bumper stickers– Public Enemy and Jerry Brown for President. Continue reading

Anatomy of a Divorce: The Beginning

It’s my oldest memory.  I was three.  It was 2 o’clock in the morning.  The knock on the front door would not stop.  It was getting louder and louder.  I buried my head under my pillow, but my father’s angry voice overcame everything.  Everything, until the neighbors called the police.  “He is no longer welcome in this house.  I changed the locks and my mind” my mother told the officers.  This was Europe in 1973 and the cops attempted to reason with her, but it was no use.  You see, my dad had spent 17 years pushing my mother to the breaking point and had finally, and spectacularly, succeeded.  He wanted to be let in, to come home, to be forgiven.  My mom had different ideas.  Ideas of freedom, escape, and a new beginning that, in no way, involved “him”.

He was a Cheater.  In my world, this term should always be capitalized.  It changed my life, my relationships, and my view of marriage and should never be taken lightly.

My parents met in New York City, through a friend, and became inseparable. They married and moved to a beautiful loft on Washington Square in the heart of NYC.  My mother played the happy homemaker and encouraged my father to indulge in his photographic talent as a career. He was a cartographer by trade, but taking pictures was his passion.  He was incredible by all accounts, but NY was overrun with talent and my Dad languished while trying to build his portfolio.

His knack for commercial photography finally reached a friend, who was living a fabulous bohemian life in 1960’s Germany.  He invited my Parents to make the move to Europe, set up studio space, and find a rep to help my father “sell” his talent.

From the get-go, my Mom was anything but excited about this adventure.  “Germany, really?  What the hell am I going to do with myself?”.  But, she loved my father and was willing to do anything to make him happy.  And, in the beginning, he was happy.  His work was well received.  He managed to garner several large commercial contracts with The European Cotton Council, MCM Leather, and Braun, among others.  Most of this was, in no small part, due to his rep, who worked tirelessly to sell my Father’s talent.  Unfortunately for us, she had an ulterior motive… Him.

Their affair began quietly.  My mom is not sure exactly when, but it was somewhere around the time that I was conceived.  The pregnancy was a long time in coming and had been taxing on their relationship, to say the least. Birth control had torn apart my mother’s reproductive organs (wrong dosage) to the extent that my imminent arrival was quite the surprise to the doctors and my parents. The timing could not have been worse, but my mom was thrilled nonetheless. She dove, head first, into motherhood. To the outside world, she had the perfect life. A successful husband, beautiful home, and a miracle baby on the way. No one knew that it was all a facade.

She knew from the very beginning. He showed all the stereotypical signs; coming home at odd hours, distant, argumentative, defensive. My father was the poster boy for cheating. Yet, my mother chose to ignore it all. To this day, she tells me “it was the 1970’s in Europe. Everyone was having affairs. It’s just something you dealt with”. But, she didn’t just deal with it. The mistress/rep was invited into our home for birthday parties and holiday dinners. Her daughter and I were playmates. She was sleeping with my father while my mother babysat. The whole charade was destined to explode and leave two innocent girls in the dust. It was just a matter of time…

My mom won’t tell me what/who cracked her perfect smile, but I am grateful for that instance. The instance she decided that this was no way to live, no way to raise a child. The instance she began to respect herself, her daughter and realize that there was more to this life than taking care of my father while he gallivanted around town like the rooster that ran the hen house. She did not drag on the misery. Her decision was quick and final, almost too practical and calculated.

The story of the actual divorce and its aftermath will need to wait for another day. But, trust me when I tell you, it included late night car chases across Europe, private detectives and a final move back to the States with everything we owned. For this, and many other things, I am proud of my mother. You see, I am a child of divorce and I am a better person for it. In no way do I believe my parents should have stayed together “for the sake of the child”. It was a struggle, almost on a daily basis but, my Mom did it. She succeeded without my father and never looked back…..