Put It Aside

My nephew recently celebrated his Bar Mitzvah. In the Jewish faith, this is a very important ritual that proclaims that the recipient becomes an adult. And all I can say is that he certainly behaved like an adult, unlike the behavior of two of his grandparents…

My Mother in Law and Father in Law are divorced for about fifteen years. It was an unhappy marriage and an even unhappier split. My in-laws can’t stand each other. And nowhere was it more evident than at the parties surrounding the rite.

On Friday night they were seated at the same table as each other. They sat on opposite ends and did not speak. My MIL did manage to make it to our table and say really nasty things about my FIL… My FIL didn’t say anything bad, but did he have a sour face the whole evening… At some point my MIL couldn’t find her purse and my FIL had it- never did quite figure out what was going on there…

At the big party of Saturday, my MIL managed to tell everyone she spoke to that my FIL cheated her out of all her money- and this includes the hair dresser that helped her before the party (the claim is false- they had to settle and she had been the primary bread winner, so yes, she did have to pay him, but as they both said they were cheated I’d guess it was a fair settlement). But remember, this is a celebration…but never did she mention her grandson, the young man of the hour. Not once.

My FIL on the other hand chose to be morose. He sat as far away from the dance floor as possible, and it wasn’t because of the volume of the music. It was evident that he didn’t want to be part of the action… So tuned out was he, when the DJ announced that the grandfather would slice the challah, three times it was announced, my daughter had to run across the floor to get him… I have to say that the cutting/blessing of the challah is a very important tradition, and it is a great honor to be the one chosen to do this… so how could you not be paying attention?

FIL also didn’t go to the dance floor when they put my nephew up on the chair…another big tradition (for those not familiar- the group encircles the honoree and a group of able bodied people lift the honoree on a chair, raising the chair up and down, while the crowd claps- it’s quite fun even though you swear the person is going to fall off the chair) FIL didn’t dance the hora. FIL didn’t dance with his daughter, his niece, my daughter or even his partner… He sat and stewed. All night.

At the Sunday brunch, my MIL sat down with her ex brother in law, and told him how much she hated his sister… Seriously- she said that the sister was a horrible person who did nothing for the family and she didn’t understand why anyone talked to the sister. Remember, it’s the guys SISTER…and obviously her exes sister…

To recap- my MIL bad mouthed my FIL to literally everyone she talked to. My FIL sat and didn’t talk to anyone and didn’t take part in anything. My MIL said her ex SIL was a bitch. I don’t think I saw either of them smile the whole weekend. Neither of them toasted or made a speech about their Grandson. For people who talk about how much their religion means to them, how much their family means to them…they sure didn’t act that way… This was a big celebration, a huge rite of passage, and they couldn’t get past themselves to enjoy it.

Does hating your ex trump everything else?

There are times when exes who have children and grandchildren must get together. Shouldn’t all parties force themselves to reach some sort of détente? Shouldn’t they get past their bitterness and rage for a few hours and enjoy the good things that came of their union, even if the union wasn’t so great?

Is bitter really what you want to be wearing when your Grandson is celebrating something?

If you had to see your ex at an event, would you try your best to have a good time, and let the resentment pass, just for that time? Or is holding on to the anger the best way to go?


Does It Take Two?

I was having a conversation with someone, and we harkened on an interesting line of thought: Is a marriage a good marriage if only one person is happy in the union, and the other just keeps on keeping on?

Which then led to:

What defines a good marriage?

  1. 2 people blissfully happy
  2. 2 people content with the way things are
  3. 1 happy and 1 content
  4. 1 happy and 1 willing to tow the line because while they might not be happy, they might not be unhappy
  5. 2 people who know that sometimes they are happy, sometimes they aren’t and realize that a relationship is a cycle and emotions and feelings are going to keep churning around

These are some ideas I have come up with, but what do you think? How does how two people feel affect a relationship?


Anything Can Happen Friday: The Beach Diva

Last weekend, my Husband told me he wanted to go to the beach.

“The gang is going to the beach on Monday. You don’t have to go, but I’m giving you the option.”

I know your first question is: Does LA hate the beach. To which the simple answer is NO…but the longer answer is more complicated.

I know I can border on the high maintenance side of life. But, when I want things a certain way, I totally do them myself. I do not ask for help or assistance in anything that I personally want to feel comfortable. I am self sufficient in my high maintenance needs. Except…when I go to the beach.

I like a chair, an umbrella and a public bathroom.

I will not go to the beach without a chair, umbrella and public bathroom.

As I don’t have a car, or an umbrella or a beach chair, when I make a trip to the beach I need to rely on the kindness of not at all strangers. When I go to the shore with my college friends, they are my friends, and they know my peccadillos by now, and I have no problem asking for the assist. But with this group, who are technically my Husband’s friends, it gets a little trickier.

So my Husband has to make the call, to ask about the stuff that the beach diva needs. My Husband is a bit embarrassed about this- with others, he likes to assume the easy going laid back guy pose, which is SO NOT MY HUSBAND, but it’s the equivalent of saying “I’m not an easy going guy, but I play one on TV”. (In fact, the one single woman in our group said- Oh- K is so easy going about everything” and I snort laughed…)

Bottom line, my husband the people pleaser, doesn’t really want to ask the group if all these things will be available for my usage. He would gladly throw my daughter and I under the bus instead of having his image of the happy go lucky party guy be tainted. Which frankly, gets a bit old after a bit…

But now that I’ve thrown my husband under the bus for the sake of a blog post…all’s fair in love and blog posts, right?

The things I want to leave you with are as follows:

  1. Is high maintenance bad?
  2. If your partner needs something specific, how hard should you try to accommodate
  3. What makes someone high or low maintenance?

Secret to the Marriage Success

My Husband’s Aunt and Uncle recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. While on a Zoom call with them my Husband asked the following:

What is your secret to a long marriage?

They both answered at the same time:

Separate Bedrooms

They said that potential pitfalls like snoring, reading, TV watching, restlessness, temperature, cover hogging etc are non existent when there are separate bedrooms. Each person got to sleep under optimum conditions and woke up happy and ready to face the day. They are much kinder to one another since adopting this sleeping situation.

A friends Aunt said it’s:

Ask for forgiveness rather than permission

My parents said:

Separate televisions

so our points to consider today:

  1. Are separate bedrooms is the key to a long marriage? Why or why not.
  2. What do we think about asking forgiveness instead of permission?
  3. Two TV’s?

What do you think is the key to a long marriage?

So What do You Think About…

Let’s go hypothetical.

You are about 28 years old. Have a job on a path to a career. You are content with your life.

One day you go to a party and meet a person. You and the person hit it off and decide to go out on a date.

After your first date, you think you can envision a future with this person.

Yay for you! You found a person!


When do you start bringing up the “important” questions?

2nd date?

5th date?

What do I mean by important things?

  1. political leaning
  2. religion
  3. where you want to live
  4. long term goals
  5. children

I’m sure there are a bunch of other things, but you get the idea of what things I consider important, things that could impact a future relationship.

Do you talk about these things, future type things at the beginning of a relationship, when things are fresh? Do you risk losing the person because you are “moving too fast”?

Do you wait and risk being in love with someone, only to find out that you have irreconcilable differences on things that matter?

How do you know when it’s the right time to bring up tough subjects?


Do you just avoid discussing them?


Going Down the Rabbit Hole

My friend M routinely stalks her ex husband. They do not share children together, so really, is there any reason to wonder what he is doing now, almost 30 years past their short lived post college marriage?

I’ve been apart from me ex husband 20+ years. Never once did I look him up online….you know, until I did…

A few months ago I wrote to you about getting rid of some big, glossy coffee table art books. I explained to you that thought they should have brought me joy, yet all they brought me was sadness, anger and regret.

I was thrilled to finally rid myself of the burden of these books.

Then I decided to Google my ex.

I found out he died three years ago.

Talk about dredging up sadness, anger and regret…

It’s odd to think about the death of someone who once meant a great deal to you. At one point in my life I thought I loved this person. I thought that I could care for this person and make their problems go away. I thought that this was the person I deserved to be with because of all sorts of issues with myself.

When you think about why you did something that turned out to be very bad for you, you end up feeling a little bit bad about yourself. You ask yourself how you could have been so stupid, blind….you ask yourself how you could have been so wrong…




This is why the internet stinks. At your fingertips, in mere seconds, you can really find out anything and make yourself feel bad…search engines are a tool and a weapon. And it has to be treated as such. The internet can and does hurt you. It hurts your friends. It hurts your family. Handled incorrectly it hurts everyone.

Am I glad that I know that he’s dead?

Am I glad that he’s dead?

I don’t know. Three months later and I’m still processing my feelings. I’m journaling and thinking and making notes. Maybe this will too become a memoir…a rite of passage…a closing out of the books. I thought that this divorce, these feelings of sadness, anger and regret were long past me. I thought I was over all of this…but I can only wonder if these feelings ever actually go away. I wonder if they are always inside of us and somehow become part of our DNA, if every decision we make comes with the disclaimer that we have once been hurt very badly and we will forever remember that as we take tiny steps forward…

Do we compartmentalize our sadness, anger and regret so that we can live and find other emotions to balance those out? Or do we always fall back on our negatives?

Do we ever really forget? Or do we just learn to move on?

Do we ever get past the emotional damage in our lives, or do we just learn to live with it, like a scar that will not go away not matter what we put on it. It might fade, but there will always be traces.

I guess we can’t erase our past.

We just have to learn from it.

I Take Care of Me

I recently saw a post on Instagram- the gist of it was:

“Find a man who takes care of himself (eg. books spa appointment), because a man who takes care of himself will take care of you.”

I have to admit I was a little flummoxed to be reading this. Is the way a person treats themselves an indicator of how they will treat you?

I think that people do have to be kind to themselves. I think people need to take care of personal grooming and health needs. I think they need to care for their personal space. I also think that people do need to practice self care. But I think everyone should be doing this to a certain degree. Every single person on this planet should accept personal responsibility for themselves. So, in turn, shouldn’t we all be actively looking for someone who takes care of themselves?

The problem is in the interpretation of what self care means. Self care to me means taking the time out to make sure all parts of me are nourished: food that sustains my body in a healthy way, books and conversation that stimulates my brain, showers and hair cuts and grooming that keeps my appearance in check, relationships that help me emotionally. Self care means taking the time out to be good to myself.

But are there variations of self care?

Can too much self care be a bad thing?

Can we assume that someone who takes care of themselves will take care of you?




Who knows.

I guess I want to know what people expect when they say they want someone to take care of them. What does that even mean?

I don’t know if I want my Husband to “take care of me.” I want him to respect me. I want him to listen to me. I want him to not lose his patience when it comes to my daughter or the pets or household inconveniences. I want him to not complain if I put wine in the tomato sauce because the tomato’s and the meat needed a little balance.

But do I want him to take care of me?

What expectations do we have when we try to find a mate? Are we looking for the person that best suits us, or the person who will take care of us?


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Yesterday I posed the question “Should a person about to ask someone to marry them ask permission of the parents beforehand.” Needless to say, this is not a yes or no question. The comments provided us with a lively debate on the topic, all sides having interesting and valid points.

Today I am going to start with the supposition that one should ask the parents of the intended for blessing/permission.

So Person A approaches Parents Z and says “I love your daughter, and I would like to ask her to marry me. Do I have your blessing?” Parent Z says “No”.

What happens next?

What if the parent really doesn’t like the guy that there child is dating?

Should the parent deny their blessing/permission?

I understand that there are many valid reasons for not wanting your child to marry someone. If the person doesn’t treat your child well, no marriage certificate is going to change that. Abusive relationships don’t get better.

But what about the areas that fall into the grey area of relationships? The guy has been married before- is that a valid reason to say no? Doesn’t make enough money? Doesn’t practice the same religion? Doesn’t want kids? Works too much? Works too little?

What are reasons that you would not want your child to marry someone that would make you not bless/permit a union?

Then let’s go to the next step:

Does the person holding the ring box still ask the person to marry them?

Does the person receiving the ring say NO to the proposal to make their parents happy?

Does the person receiving the ring say YES, and proceed to get married without their parents being present, or accepting the marriage?

And you all thought this would be an easy post…

It all boils down to one essential question: How much do the parents feeling matter when their children decide to get married?

My friend met the parents of the girl her son is dating this past weekend. She was very “eh” about them, and the girl. As the kids are college seniors and about to go to graduate school,  I said “Don’t worry about it. She is respectful of your son. It’s not like they’re getting married.” But after I said that to her, I thought- hmmmm- but what if they do decide to get married? Will my friend spend her life not really liking her kids in laws, as well as his wife?

What do you think?




Recently I had a conversation with a friend. I asked him if his daughter were to get engaged, would he expect the future spouse to ask him for his blessing/permission.

His answer was simple- Yes. He would expect it because if you’re going to go the marriage route, you adhere to all the conventions.

That’s one way of looking at it.

Then you have my thought: I actually said that if someone “asked” my permission I would tell my daughter to run fast and run far. I think it’s sort of demeaning to ask permission of anyone other than the intended spouse. My daughter is a mature, responsible grown up woman: to think she needs someone to take care of her is ludicrous. Don’t ask me: just treat her with respect and kindness and love. Tell that to her. Show her that with everything you do.

As I was having a hypothetical situation about my daughter, I decided to ask her what she thought. This past weekend was Parents Weekend, so as we sat down to a delicious brunch, I posed the question:

“If you were dating a guy, would you want him to ask us for permission to marry you?”

Her answer:

“I would never marry someone like that. That’s not respect. That implies ownership. Are we supposed to give him two goats and a bag of coin too?”


Should a person who intends on proposing ask the parents of their beloved permission/blessing? Is it outdated and unnecessary, or is it good manners and a sign of respect?

The Relationship Post Mortem

I spoke of my friend yesterday, and how she doesn’t love the relationship that her daughter is in. The update is, the boyfriend broke up with the girlfriend on Monday (coincidently right after his graduation weekend)

You would think my friend would be relieved, which she is, sort of. Of course her first thought was – “I wish I knew why he broke up with her.” (of course my first nasty thought was – maybe his Mother didn’t like her- I know- I’m bad)

So here’s the question for today:

Do we really want to know why someone ended a relationship?

There are millions of reasons why two people break up. My sister once ended a relationship because she didn’t like the way he brushed his tongue. Some are tangible, logical reasons: they drink too much, they live too far away, they don’t treat me well. We can put a name to these: there is one specific thing that makes the relationship not good. But what about when there is no “big” reason?

Ok- the boyfriend broke up with the girlfriend. What if the reason is seemingly silly, like the tongue brushing thing. Do you need to know that a guy thinks you have some little quirk that is harmless but a problem for them? What if a woman thinks you have a hobby that is silly? What’s the point of knowing? Are you going to change?

See- that’s my thought: Is knowing why someone broke up with you beneficial? Are you going to stop the behavior they don’t like, or start doing something that they do like? Or in general- will it be a catalyst to some sort of change? Will it make you think about yourself more clearly? Or will it make you feel bad about who you are?

In theory, I guess there’s something to closure. I broke up with you because of A, B, C, F and G. Thank you next. But how much time are you going to spend dissecting the reasons? Are you going to question why you behave that way? Are you going to overanalyze your characteristics to the point you question everything you do? Are you going to beg the other person to come back because you vow to change?

Do you need to change because someone doesn’t want to continue dating you?

We also have my favorite answer to why I’m breaking up with you:

It’s not you, it’s me.

Is there a worse line in the history of stories we tell one another?

What does that even mean? It’s not you, it’s me. Why would you ever say that to anyone? Is that an actual reason to stop dating someone? I’d rather someone not tell me a reason than to say that tired, tired, lame excuse. Don’t insult my intelligence.

Of course, there is one step lower than INYIM: ghosting. When did it become acceptable behavior to just stop communicating with someone? And I don’t mean after one date- I mean people that have been in a relationship and then just cease communication. Did people start ghosting to get out of explaining why they no longer want to date someone? Did the relationship post mortem expectation become so intense that people feel it’s easier and better to just walk away?

I know I threw a lot at you today. But what are your post break up expectations?