7/20/14

Momastery, Me and All The Divorced Ladies: What I Learned This Past Week

In case you didn't hear me screaming from the couch last week, my Messy, Beautiful post about surviving divorce was featured on Momastery. I was shocked, I tell you, seriously shocked. Not saying that I wasn't pleased with how my essay turned out, because I do love it. But, like I told my rockstar friend, Laura, who ordered gently nudged me to submit, I didn't think my style of writing was going to fit with Glennon's vibe. I'm kind of crude, a little racy and I swear. I also don't talk much (okay, at all) about my religious beliefs. I know, right? I keep the God stuff private but I will tell anyone with ears all about the sexy times. Contradiction, thy name might be Jenny.

As every neurotic writer does, I obsessively checked my email and Momastery for signs of acceptance. I heard crickets. What she is doing with selected Messy, Beautiful essays is featuring a couple every week, under certain themes. The first week's theme was Parenting. "Okay," I thought to myself. "You still have a chance. Your essay was totally not about parenting. Carry on, Freak."

Week number two was Authenticity. Hmm. Well, my post was authentic, I guess. But I wouldn't classify it as such. "There's still a chance," I thought to myself. "Why doesn't she like me?" I also thought to myself.

Week three? Augh. The topic was Marriage. "Hooo boy," said that inner voice of mine, the one I sometimes think might benefit from some padded walls and some fine pharmaceuticals. "This is what the essay was about. And guess what? You're not there." I consoled myself, mentally curling up like a cooked shrimp and telling myself "Hey! You tried! And your good ol' crew of regular readers loved it. YOU DONE GOOD, Shrimp Lady."

Imagine, then, how it felt when I received an email from Momastery (not from Glennon herself, because she's so big she has PEOPLE. She has people, people!). They loved my essay and it was going to be featured during Week Four, which was all about...wait for it....Beginning Again. I was at school when I read the email, from a lovely lady named Amy. There might have been a strange noise made by yours truly, followed by goosebumps and an immediate urge to cry.

Amy stayed in touch, letting me know when the post would be on. It changed a few times, and for good reason. That Monday, Glennon wrote a heartbreaking post about a woman who lost her daughter, and it kind of went crazy (you can read it here....and grab a tissue for me too, okay?). Amy told me that they wanted to let that one ride for a couple of days, and she'd let me know when "You Will Survive Being Left" would be live.

Oh, and she also instructed me to keep all of this under wraps. Do you know how hard that was? IT WAS HARD. But like the Monkees often say, "We Can Do Hard Things". And so I sat on it (okay, I might have told my friend Laura, the person who was totally responsible for this whole thing. And maybe my kids, who are so used to me blathering on about bloggy stuff I'm pretty sure all they heard was something about monasteries and monkeys and Glenn Campbell). But secretive I was, and on Wednesday the 16th of July, my cuckoo words were there on the site.

I was worried, at first. Would the Monkees be kind? Would they respond well to my tale of a marriage gone bad? Would they respond at all?

Still waiting to hear from these guys.


Turns out the answer to all three of those questions was: Yes. Oh dear, were they kind. MY FAVORITE COMMENT SECTION, EVER. So much love, so much support and unfortunately, so many stories just like mine. So, so many.

So, what did I learn? Here we go:

1. Don't be afraid to go for it. A direct quote from me, to my friend who urged me to submit: "I might not be her cup of tea." Turns out, Glennon appreciates all kinds of tea. I almost didn't do this. So glad I did.You never know whose cup of tea you are, and you won't, unless you put yourself out there.

2. There are still people out there who think it takes two to destroy a marriage. Sorry, but no. Nope. I agree that it takes two people to keep a marriage going, and that marriage isn't like a hosta that you can just plop into the ground and not tend to at all, and will get pretty leaves and delicate purple flowers year after year. I know now that marriage is hard work, and I'm the first to admit I didn't do enough work on mine. But I will never, ever think that I had a hand in my marriage dying. I tried. And most of the women who have gone through this slice of fun tried, too. We went down swinging and to suggest that we left our fingerprints on the murder weapon is kind of like spitting on us. It takes two to make a marriage work, but all it takes is one to pull the plug on it.

3. The month of August seems to be the favorite month for husbands to leave. WTF. Is it the humidity? Also, some men leave on Christmas, which makes me want to hunt them down and kick them in sensitive places. Christmas? Really, asshole? Way to not only dismember a marriage but also ensure that your kids will get a sick feeling every time December 25th rolls around.

4. Monkees write good. Several of the comments are basically mini-essays, many of which made me cry. Damn, girls. There are some good books that need to be written.

5. Speaking of books: when a publishing house follows you on Twitter, you might scream.

6. This one is kind of off-topic: does anyone else find Lifetime movies addicting? The Canadian accents, the vaguely familiar actors, the soap-opera like commercial breaks at just the right moment...sadly, I have passed this sickness on to my children. William and I found ourselves alone one night this past week, and we decided to turn on the t.v. "How about a Lifetime movie?" I suggested, half-joking. Okay, maybe 1/3 joking. "Ooh..sure" he said, without a trace of sarcasm. I'm sorry, future wife of William. Or maybe...YOU'RE WELCOME.

7. Here's another off-topic one: check my Google search history and you'll find three things:

protection for vulnerable adults in MN
how to care for orphaned bunnies
why does my cleavage sweat smell like vinegar?

The first one was for my mom. And what I've found out is, I can't help her. You know why? You can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped. I am finding this to be one of the most difficult situations, ever, and am mourning so much. More on this later.

The second one was because Walter (my dog) is a murderer. We shall discuss this one further, too.

The third one? Self explanatory. And, ewww. Thankfully it's not life threatening. Romance threatening? Yeah, maybe. If anyone got close enough to catch a whiff of the sourdough factory that seems to have sprung up between my breasts, that is. Summer heat, I loathe thee. 

And on that lovely, appetizing note, I shall close. Thank you so much, all of you. Those of you who have been here from the beginning, and those who have just hopped on board this runaway train of whackadoo. I am so glad you're all here.









28 comments:

  1. I am SO glad you went for it because I found you via Momastery, and have spent the better part of two days reading as many of your blogposts as I can.

    You make me laugh (thank goodness), get a little weepy, get a little panicky, get thoughtful. I am still married - almost 25 years - but the last two years have been very hard, and I don't exactly know what will bring my joy back. I do know it's great to soak in your strength

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    1. Oh anonymous..thank you so much for this comment. I'm blown away by the absolutely lovely people all of you Momastery women are!

      I will hold you in my heart, and wish you so much strength and love to get through this rough patch. Because that's all it is, okay? A rough patch. No matter what happens, there is hope and serenity just on the other side of it. You'll get there.

      Thank you ♥

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  2. We like the whackadoo. It's why we're here. =)

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    1. And you are one of my favorites, Kristen. Thank you.

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  3. I was SO excited when I saw the FB update from momestary with your name on it. I think I screamed. So I, for one, enjoyed not knowing and experiencing it as a surprise. It was such a great piece and I'm glad this whole new audience can experience you now.

    Also, I'm obsessed with Lifetime movies. Did you watch Petals on the Wind , the Flowers in the Attic sequel? SO GOOD.

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    1. Oh Nina, thank you!!!

      And heck yeah I watched it. I have a crush on Heather Graham. Plus I couldn't find the remote ;)

      Thanks so much for all of your support. It means the world to me.

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  4. Found you via your Momastery post, so I'm so glad you went for it!
    #2 is some important truth, and #3 happened to a friend of mine last December (except he and his kids are the ones left picking up the pieces). It sucks. Another sad story of there being "someone else."

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    1. So glad you're here, Karen! And bummer about your friend. Sucks so much, doesn't it? Please let him know he's not alone...I love when the guys come here with their very unique points of view.

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  5. I admire your strength and love your authenticity! I'm so glad to have found you.

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  6. LOVE LOVE LOVE your writing style! And laughing because Glennon can be crude, and she does curse!! Hey, just be who you are! :-)

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  7. Love what you say and how you say it!! Found you through Momastary too! And have been trying to read as much as I can. I hope you will continue to write so freely!

    Jenni

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  8. Congratulations!

    And, I totally agree with #2. It doesn't matter how well the rest of the car operates--one flat tire will keep you from going anywhere.

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  9. A friend of mine posted your momstery article on fb & I too have spent the better part of the past few days reading all of your archived blogs. I am separated, but ours was mutual, no 3rd party involved, we just grew apart & had become room mates, but we do have 13 year old twin girls that we are going through this with, so I have enjoyed reading your stories & a have been able to identify with several of them. I am so happy to have found you & love your personality!

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  10. I also found your blog via Momastery and I also have been binge-reading your archives. So, so good. You are hilarious. Thank you for sharing your story, and thanks for going for it!

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  11. Found your blog via Momastery, too! So glad you went for it! I have read so many of your posts since! You are funny and wise and I love that you named him "big daddy" :) And John McCain!!

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  12. I, too, came over from your Momastery post…such good stuff! I am a big fan, lover, and liver of Whackadoo…so glad to “meet” you!

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  13. Like so many others, I found your blog from Momastery and love it. I'm a child of parents who got divorced after 29 years of marriage, where there was a third party involved and where my mother and us kids were totally blindsided. I love your perspective and look forward to reading more!

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  14. I appreciate what you said about how it takes one to break a marriage. The ex started seeing his 25 year old assistant the summer of 2012 and would not quit. I went down begging, pleading, and swinging for my marriage but in the end he did what he wanted and we have been separated/divorced for the last 17 months and he has been with her. And you are right, it is a slap in the face to accuse me that my prints are on the murder weapon. In the end I did what I had to do for the sake of myself and my health because it is no picnic living in that situation with the other one hiding their cellphone, working late, finding receipts in pants pockets for meals that you did not eat, and notes that say "You're someone special to me" that were not not written by you. No, it only takes one to wreck a marriage because I may have forgiven ex but that does not mean that I go back and trust him again. Love your blog, keep up the good work and hope you have an awesome week and congrats.

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  15. So so SO happy for you Jenny! I'm heading over to momastery right now to read your post.

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  16. I bookmarked your blog after reading that article - it was beautiful and I love your writing style. Keep up the awesome posts!!

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    1. Thank you, dear anonymous. It means the world to me that you enjoy what you read here.

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  17. Having a martini and it made me think of you. I am so glad I found your blog and I am so glad you submitted to Momastery. I actually was following you before I followed her and always thought it would be great if ya'll got together. Sorry my southern came out. You did great! You help people. You helped me and I thank you for it.

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    1. Awww Melissa!! Cheers, my friend. I had two of 'em tonight. You trot that southern out any chance you can get, girl.

      Your words made me feel full and good. Thank you for that. ♥

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  18. I found your blog when it was posted on Momastery and a friend shared it on facebook, and wanted to let you know how much I LOVE your posts and writing style! You have a real talent and it has been such a treat to read a couple of your posts each day. It has made me laugh out loud more than once, but also relate! Thank you and please keep at it!

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  19. I am SO happy you clicked the send button on your essay to Momastery! I can't believe since it was published on Glennon's site that I have caught up on 4 years of your life. You are a terrific writer!

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