Friday, July 31, 2009



I'm pretty sure that McDonald's has been my longest standing love affair. My affinity for the golden arches spans over 40 years ... I guess that makes it official, it is.

I don't ever remember my mother voluntarily going with our family to McDonald's though. As I recall, if we went in to eat, she would prefer to wait in the car. Probably so she did not have to witness her offspring consuming vast amounts of preservatives and a meal containing absolutely zero nutritional value.

When we moved from Upstate New York to Southern California (I was eight), my mother became extremely health conscious. She bought whole wheat bread with so much grain in it, it was crunchy. We only had peanut butter that separated and had to be kept in the refrigerator. We had "raw certified" milk delivered to our back door from the Altadena Dairy, which I think was really just cloudy water. My mom took a handful of Neo-Life vitamins (all natural) every day, that would choke a horse, and she left two greenies and a vitamin C by our cereal bowls each morning. Her drink of choice was apple juice, which was also chunky, and we often had meat-less meals.

I tried to tell her how good a McDonald's cheeseburger was and that she was missing out, but she never even tried one. And I know she would not eat a hot dog if her life, literally, depended on it. (As a side note; my mother is currently 73 years old, still only takes her daily vitamins - no other medications - and can run circles around all five of her children, doing manual labor.)

I remember when I was in high school hearing that McDonald's milk shakes were made out of edible plastic. My response to that was; At least they're edible!

After I got married, I worked in a section of Los Angeles called Echo Park. There was a McDonald's kitty corner from our office building. I would walk through their doors, the manager would catch my eye, and holler to the guys on the grill, "Quarter cheese plain!" so it would be ready for me when I got to the front of the line. True story. I loved that. I am a creature of habit and that is all I ever got. A plain quarter pounder with cheese, fries and a diet coke. My meat and potatoes meal.

Although my menu choice has varied just a tiny bit, I am confident that when that little box asks me, "What can we make for you today?" (have you noticed that is their new script?), and I answer, "One plain double cheese burger, a medium fry and a large diet coke," I will not be disappointed.

It wasn't until after my divorce and I started working again, that I also used the drive-thru for breakfast (not every day, but sometimes). Have you ever tried a bacon, egg and cheese McGriddle? It's a treat! I have made each of my sisters and close friends at least give one a try.

I'm not too proud to admit that I have found myself sitting in the drive-thru line, on more than one occasion, when I didn't mean to be there, strictly out of habit ... sigh.

(And no, I have not seen "Super Size Me" yet.)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A New Beginning.

first blog post

Just over seven years ago my divorce became final. I had been married to my high school sweetheart for more than 19 years. I certainly could not have imagined that I would find myself single again at this stage in my life. It was a really difficult time for all of us. There was a lot of hurt and pain caused by the whole situation and it was sad. My children became a huge source of strength for me though, as did relying on the Lord to help me through it. I knew I had to carry on ... so I did.

A little over a year later, an amazing man came into my life … I think if I had written a list of things I was looking for
this time, it would have described him. It was as if I had ordered him up – and there he was. I fell deeply, madly, passionately in love. My connection and level of intimacy with him, on so many levels, was something I had never felt before. He made me feel like I was created just for him and every single time I saw him, was a happy moment in time.

But 33 months later, filled with doubts and concerns, he left, and took most of my heart with him. I didn’t think I would survive it. And I don’t say that lightly – I did not think that the gravity of the grief I was experiencing would ever,
ever lighten. I desperately wanted to turn back the clock and do everything right … but there was nothing I could do to change his mind. I cried myself dry every day until I lost track of time.

I did eventually peel myself off of the couch. I decided that my poor children needed a functioning, happy mom again, or at least one who was willing to give it a try. So about 11 months later, home alone on a Friday night (which was the norm), I literally stood up from the couch, walked into my office and started looking at an online dating site. One profile actually made me laugh out loud. On a list of questions they asked you, he had put all the opposing answers to the ones a girl would want to hear. (i.e.: Are you usually on time? He put “always late.” How many nights a week do you usually go out? He put “every night.” Are you a romantic? He put “not really.” Do you enjoy a walk in the park? He put “hate it.” Are you patient? “Not really” … Can you cook? “I won’t cook.”) I grabbed my credit card to join just so I could send him a message and thank him for that much needed overdue laugh!

That night I emailed him (let’s call him Bachelor #1), another guy (Bachelor #2), and a Bachelor #3. I went out with #1 and #2 a few weeks later and found them both to be pretty darn good company. It felt really,
really nice to be out again enjoying some companionship. #1 could not have been any more darling and charming if he tried to be – we could talk for hours and hours (and did) for the next couple of weeks. Then he had to leave for Japan for 10 days ….

That is when Bachelor #2 swooped in - in heavy pursuit. We had only been out a couple of times when I told him he was a nice guy, but we were from completely different worlds and I didn’t see a future for us. He was pretty hell bent on changing my mind though. That is when flowers and chocolates and fine dining first appeared. I made it clear (okay, rephrase that: I
thought I made it clear) that I was just wanting to take baby steps as I was still on the mend from my broken heart. I told him I was not ready to be in an exclusive relationship. Admittedly, we did have a nice comfortable relationship and my kids really liked him, which was a huge plus. But I had to keep asking, “Can’t you just be with me for the sake of being with me? With no expectations?”

He said he understood that, but actions speak louder than words and he became very smothering before too long. Six months passed, and the differences between us were getting louder all the time for me. I told him that we really shouldn’t keep dating. I wasn’t in love with him and truly did not see us together for the long haul.

I think that is when the stalking first technically started – and continued for the next 21 months until he was arrested.

That was four months ago and since that time I have been absolutely consumed with regret. Although regret is aptly defined by Webster:
(vb) 1- to mourn the loss of, 2- to be very sorry for; (n) sorrow caused by something beyond one’s remedy, the magnitude of my own regret seemed beyond what I could describe. How had this become my life? How had I allowed this to happen?

I was driving to work last week and started to cry. But the feeling that I had that particular morning was different for me. I felt like I wanted to pull myself out of my own skin and put “me” someplace safe – away – so I didn’t feel the regret, the sadness, the hurt, and the anguish anymore. I wanted to be taken away and sedated – until I couldn’t remember anymore.

I realized then that something had to change, but I didn’t know how to free myself from that place I was in ….

I got an email from one of my closest friends and she suggested that I stop letting my "past" steal more time away from me and to focus on something positive instead. I have wanted to blog for a while but knew that, for me, it would probably serve as a sounding board or a place to vent and I really did not want to go there. And then I came up with the idea for this … my blog about happy little things.

This is how I hope to heal – one happy little thing at a time.

Happy little things … helping to fill up my heart and repair my soul.