Thursday, October 30, 2008


Well, I did it....

Well I did kind of sort of sideways, I tried to resign my position with Pool Corp., our CEO sent me an e-mail right after hearing the news. He thinks it would be so much better if I were to just take a leave of absence, he told me to take up to six month They are sending me the paperwork in the mail, he told me to call him in a few months and let him know how I feel about it then. Who knew that 16 years of service to building the largest wholesale distribution company of pool equipment and supplies in the world would warrant a little understanding and loyalty. I was truly touched and will consider a return in a while but for now it is the furthest thing from my mind.

Now what to do? Do you know that other than when Joanne passed away I have not been off for more than two weeks straight in over twenty years. All the while I have been threatening to attempt writing in earnest again (it used to be my passion), well it looks as thought there is no time like the present. Wish me luck, I am still having a bit of separation anxiety from corporate America but that is to be expected, on the flip side I am starting to think that I can faintly hear my heart beating again.

Here is a brief history of the decade and part of the reason I am was so very ready to just take a break and concentrate a little bit on regaining myself.

The FRYING PANS and FIRES have been the theme of my life non-stop for nearly a decade now.

This coming Valentines Day will mark the 9th anniversary of my fathers passing. Have you ever been afforded the chance to hold someones hand in yours and be looking them squarely in their eyes when they are leaving us? I have been blessed to have had this most amazing experience happen twice, my father was the first. The one thing that struck me most was how his eyes, his eyes that had been foggy and glazed over from a week of heavy sedation and being attached to a ventilator, ever so slowly became crystal clear and blue again, it was the most amazing thing, very suddenly he was Joe again, he was no longer just a sick old man weakened by to long a stay in a hospital bed, once again he was soaring. Turning I glanced out the window, snow was falling heavily on the barren oaks in the distance, in a moment the branches were thick with it's white outline.

March 9th it will be 6 years since my mother left us, she went peacefully in her sleep, peacefully but alone. I was lucky enough to have spent a week with her only two months prior. I flew back to Pittsburgh for a reunion (school). Normally I always just rent a car and get a hotel, I like my privacy and have been doing that since my dad died and my mother moved out of the old house. This time for some reason that I did not know then, when she asked me if I would stay at her Senior Citizen Apartment building with her I said yes. This meant sleeping on the couch, being at her beckon call, and of course being paraded around the Senior building. Turned out it was one of the best decisions that I made in my life. Outside of the dinner and cocktail night portion of the reunion, which were fun but really. Catching up with people that you never really cared all that much about is fun but it was very easy to pass on the other functions. It allowed me to spend the entire week with my mother, we passed our time going to the movies, going out to lunch, dinner and just walking along the Allegheney River. We spent quite a bit of time just sitting on her porch chatting with her friends. My mother was always so very proud of her baby boy Jim, she used to love showing me off to her friends, telling them all about Joanne and Tara and of our magical lives we were living in California. At times I could hear the longing in her voice as she described how far away we were, I was never really sure as to exactly why she never would move west to be with us. Yes I know she had brothers, friends and my brother still all living in Pittsburgh, but I really think it was so she could be near the cemetery so she could visit her husband when she wanted to. I sat with the both of them this past Tuesday at Mount Carmel, we had a nice chat, granted I did most of the talking, but I tried to listen too. IT SNOWED while I was listening, its October and it snowed.

Four years ago this April I received a federal express package at my office, I knew exactly what it was but was still excited opening it, packages are fun to get. It was my season tickets (well partial season tickets) for the Angels, I split them up with my best friend Steve every year. I almost looked forward to bartering, arguing and every other type of begging and or conversation it took to split the tickets up. It had become a ritual. Immediately one hand went to the receiver the other was already dialing, the phone rang only once. Steve answered, I was very excited and so I just blurted out "I Got Something" "I Got the Angel Tickets" Steve responded almost as quickly "I Got Something too" "I Got Cancer". I felt like throwing up, I started to shake. My wife had been diagnosed right after my father died and now my best friend was telling me he had cancer too, I told him I was coming over and hung up the phone. Steve told me he had been diagnosed with a type of Melanoma that usually only attacks teens. Well that figures, Renal Cell the type of cancer that my wife had usually only attacks men. Sadly Steve's cancer was very very aggressive, he was gone that same August a scant five months from our phone call, we still shared our tickets, mostly we just went together. Towards the end we would just sit in silence and watch the game. He didn't make it to the end of the season. I have been described as a fairly social person but I have never been one for a lot of close friends. I miss having a best friend so very much, not sure I have enough years left in me to cultivate a relationship like that again.

April 30th of next year will mark the 3rd anniversary that Joanne, also known as the Late Great Mrs. Priest left me. She was to be my second experience with holding someone at the time of there death. She had been home under hospice care for two weeks, when they gave me the choice it was not a consideration to put her in a nursing home, I would just sit and hold her hand for the better part of the day knowing the moment was coming. This time it was a wry smile that struck me the most. Even through the completely demoralizing and devastating feelings I experienced at that moment I saw the smile come. Before the tears flowed, before the sighs and the feeling that my chest was collapsing came, I saw it. Mrs. Priest had a Cheshire smile that could melt a glacier, light up an entire ballroom, make the grumpiest of the old mens hearts go pitter pat, it was a smile that always said someone loves you. I miss that smile so very much.

All the small things between then and now that somehow seem so hard for me to do, well they really are. The whole starting to date thing, the actually sleeping with another woman, all the while trying to make new friends its all just so very hard. No parents to talk to anymore is very difficult, I never imagined being an orphan. It was so especially hard to tell someone that I loved them and even harder still to finally have my heart broken again.

If it wasn't for my wonderful daughter Tara, who I would walk the earth for, I am not sure how I would have made it this far. Somehow, because of her I want to be me more than ever once again, after all it is ME that she loves and it is me that she depends upon. Yes I still want to be that good son, and yes I want to be that very best friend, and yes I still do want to be that perfect husband, not that I ever really and truly were any of these things but the people, these people that I shared my life with, they always let me think that I was somehow all of those things, that is what has made my life worth while; the people.

From time to time Tara still lets me think that I am the best dad ever and for now that is enough. Someday perhaps I will find another friend, maybe even find another smile but for now..yes at least for now that is quite enough.

One always dies too soon --or too late. And yet one's whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are--your life, and nothing else...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008



So the time had finally come, it was Saturday and the Colors of Christmas at the Cerritos Performing Arts Center was the agenda.  Nancy actually had bought tickets herself, it was the first time she ever did anything like that.  Despite all the recent events in our relation I was still very uncertain as to exactly how this evening would play out.  My thoughts were to just make the best of it, try and get into the Holiday Spirit.

That morning I decided to go the whole nine yards for the event, my grey pinstripe suit, red power tie, fresh manicure, fresh haircut, my shoes professionally polished hey after all it was going to be a very festive evening and I was sort of kind of sure that ou last conversation had cleared the air, we were going to just enjoy each other and see what happens, right?

Jennifer (Nancy's Daughter) had a birthday that week so I picked her up a little gift. Nothing special, just something to open, a Martini kit, a nice shaker, four martini glasses and a bottle Grey Goose. I was at least to my knowledge still in a relationship with her mother and your supposed to buy gifts for that persons kids, yes?

After running my errands showering and doing my usual shave twice routine I got dressed, I turned and glanced at the clock, I was running late.  Holy Hell this never happens to me, better get moving.  I stopped and looked in the mirror before running out the door, it was one of those times when you look in the mirror and think "damn I look good tonight".  Not bragging by any means, we all have those days as well as those days when we shriek and wonder who that person is.  This just happened to be one of those really good days.

Down the stairs I went, straight out to the garage, jumped into the Jag fired it up and Jim was off.  Ten minutes later I was buzzing up the 55  when I noticed the blue lights behind me,  oh no fucking way.  I pulled over into the emergency lane and accepted my fast driver award from Mr. CHP...jeez louise, I wasn't exactly burning up the pavement.  The ticket was for 72 miles per hr.  Dear lord I had been passed by a flock of cars right before I was pulled over.  I told the CHP that my speed was really going with the flow of traffic, he just said "well I just got on at Dyer and you were the first car I saw"... JUST GREAT!!!

I called FANCY to tell her I was running a little late and why,  she said "no big deal we will be waiting outside" not a sorry or mention of the ticket.  Apparently she had told Hanna (the gal that introduced us in the first place and her daughters friend) to come to her house and I would drive to the theatre from there.  After all was said and done, fast driver award included I was still only about 5 minutes late, I jumped out and opened the doors for the ladies, I told them both how nice they looked and Hanna told me I looked very handsome,  I leaned over to give NANCY  a kiss and she turned her cheek to me without saying so much as a courtesy hello, huh...great start to the evening.

While we drove to Macaroni Grille to meet Jennifer, Nancy and Hanna chatted up a storm. They  were talking about some club in Fullerton as we rolled down the 91 when out of the blue Nancy mentioned something about how she missed going out Dancing.  This struck me as very odd since one of the things I suggested we do that might be fun was to take some dance lessons together.  You know, maybe some swing or salsa with a little ballroom thrown in.  I actually printed out a handful of options from the Internet(some with lessons and then a dance, some just lessons).  I gave them to her about a six weeks prior and asked her to pick one and I would sign us up.  She never did pick one and now was going to complain about not going out dancing. It was one of many such examples of things I didn't understand during our time together, not that I expect to understand everything but some are black and white to me.

We got to the parking and lot of Macaroni Grille and Jennifer was waiting for us, I got her gift from the trunk and gave it to her.  She was very surprised and thanked me with a hug and proceeded to tell me how nice I looked, FANCY made some sort of a grunting noise or maybe it was a hurumph,  Jennifer turned and asked her what her problem was.  Jennifer and I actually got along pretty well even after the Thanksgiving debacle, she had told me a couple of times how happy her mom was since we started dating, guess I wasn't the only one that was confused at this point.

After walking inside and getting our table we ordered drinks and our meals.  The place was packed and very loud, we all chatted about the usual what have you been doing type of things.  It seemed to be that every time I had something to say FANCY would interrupt to talk about her and Jennifer's upcoming trip.  It was really starting to irritate me but I decided to let it go, it was no big deal.  We finished the meal and when the check came Nancy announced that she would pay for her and Jennifer,  I thought what the fuck is this all about?  I grabbed the check up,  I said "you were nice enough to get the tickets I can surely pick up the meal".  A cold, straight up "whatever" was her reply.  Jennifer and Hanna obviously becoming uncomfortable quickly chimed in with a thank you Jim.

The walk to the Art's Center was no more friendly, I reached for Nancy's hand and she pulled it away, this had all the makings of a long evening, that would prove to be an understatement.  I tried to talk to her and made another attempt to take her hand, it was like holding a dead fish, totally limp and cold.  I let go after a minute or two.

The place was packed, I have not felt so much like a snowflake since I went to the Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino for a Tower of Power and War concert, it really doesn't bother me, I think its kind of funny actually.  At least at the aforementioned show I wanted to be there.

We got our programs and found our seats, the entertainment was Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Junior, Ben Vereen, some other folks I had never heard of, mostly singing Christmas Carols and Gospel tunes.  The audience was doing a lot of that annoying chair dancing thing. The applause and hooting seemed forced, the show had all the earmarks of a bad 70s variety show.  

The longer the show went on the colder Nancy got, by the time intermission rolled around if you would have shoved a stick up her ass you could have sold her with any other Big Stick.  I was done fit to be tied but continued to bite my tongue. As we walked to the lobby I asked if anyone wanted a drink, took their orders and all but ran to the bar.  I had thoughts at that point of just leaving them there, Jennifer had her car they would be fine, but decided on sticking it out.  When I came back NANCY was in the restroom.  Jennifer and Hanna started firing questions, "what the fuck is going on with you guys?" "what is wrong with my mother?" I told them I had no idea but that things had not been going all that great as of late, but I was under the impression we had talked through it.  "Whatever the circumstances are, she is just being a bitch" Jennifer said.  I did not agree or disagree, I just wanted the night to end at that point.

FANCY came back from the ladies room and said she decided she didn't want her drink, Hanna and Jennifer readily poured it into their drinks and chugged it down, I was wishing that it was me. As we returned to our seats Nancy talked about how great the show was, no one responded. Between pretending to have a good time, getting cold stares I was starting to come to a simmer, the boil was not to far off in the horizon.  Thank god after Ben Vereen did some songs from Jesus Christ Superstar (who even knew Ben was still alive I thought) there was a big finale and the show was over. 

Leaving the theatre NANCY started walking ahead of me, I just let her first Jennifer, Hanna and I were walking about ten feet behind her, then twenty...finally FANCY stopped and waited.  I think it was the laughter from the girls that got her attention, she wanted to know what we were talking about.  Mostly it was Hanna and Jennifer bagging on the show.  As for me, I didn't have much to say about anything at that point.

The drive back to Yorba Linda seemed like a thousand miles of silence with a few very brief Hanna and Nancy interactions, you could hear how uncomfortable Hanna was with the situation in her voice, it had a doppler affect going, I felt bad for her.  If the tension would have been any thicker I would have had to roll the windows down to breath.

I pulled into FANCY's driveway and I swear before I could get to NANCY's door Hanna was out of the car and halfway down the street to her car.  She was almost yelling a thank you back at Fancy for the show and me for the dinner, she seemingly started her car from ten feet away and jumped in through the window, she pulled out and was gone in a matter of seconds.

Turning to Nancy I said "well that was certainly a different evening".  She asked me what I meant, I told her "I am not so sure I have ever been treated so rudely by anyone".  Instantly she went on the attack, "how am I supposed to act?"  " I think you just use me for sex?" "you never take me on any trips" "you never come over during your lunch" "where is this relationship going?" , I tried to explain myself, "I have no idea Nancy, we have only been dating for three months" "I have no idea where this is going, should I?"  She looked at me with a glare that spelled serial killer, "you are such a little boy, you can't commit to anything".  Out of nowhere the magic words came to me, "If by that you mean I am not looking to be husband number five or six you could not be more right" BINGO, BUZZ, HOME RUN, FLUSH, whatever you want to call it, her face turned red, she screamed "HOW DARE YOU" she turned and ran towards the front door of her house.

I felt an immediate since of relief, ok let's get the fuck out of here.  I got in my car and started the engine, I started to back out when she came running back out screaming and swearing at me, I have no idea what she was saying nor did I want to know, but I guess that maybe I must have struck a nerve....I was afraid she was going to jump in front of the car or something but thankfully she didn't....she was still standing in the middle of the street screaming with that Brooklyn accent some indiscernible profanity as I drove around the corner. 

I hadn't even made it to the freeway when Hanna called me, Jennifer had already called her, meaning that Nancy had already called Jennifer...whew boy you ladies are fast.  She wanted to know what it was that was said, I told her and she said oh my god Jim really? "Really" was all I could say, and yes I am fine.

FANCY AND I never spoke another word, Hanna told me recently that Nancy sold her house and moved to some semi-senior condo place in Laguna Niguel, I am sure she will find number five or six or seven,  whatever her magic number is, someone a little more her age, I wish her nothing but the best.

I am actually very grateful for the time I got to spend with FANCY NANCY,  after all it was the first time in a very long time for so many things for me.  I really never thought I would ever date again, that I would kiss another woman, I was certain that I would never sleep with another woman again, I never thought so many things would ever happen again, but that is what its like when you lose the love of your life......

I was absolutely certain that I would never fall in love again,  as far as JIM and FANCY NANCY went that was very true, but you have to start somewhere right? 

I am certainly not the hero in this adventure and FANCY was certainly not the villain, that really is not what I hoped to portray by writing this little escapade.  At the most I was just trying to give a little insight into what may or may not go on in the head of a recently widowed guy when he starts dating again, just a guy trying to move on with his life.  Along with all the insecurities and uncertainties that come with it.  At the least I hope it gave you a laugh or two, just take from it what you will, I hope I left a little on the plate for anyone that took the time to read it, thanks. 

J'attends oujours ma deuxieme chance avec Charmaine.  Au cas ou quelqu'un se demande.  J'apprecierais si une chance de valser elle autour de la Piece de Lumiere des etoiles.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Dinner and a Movie

I spent a great deal of my time after Thanksgiving running my relationship with Nancy around and around in my mind . Weighing the pros and cons of what had started as a simple group date, a chance to get out again and how it had turned into something much bigger. I asked myself THE BIGGER QUESTION was I really ready for an exclusive serious relationship. How long had it been since this all started, it seemed as though it were yesterday and years all at the same time. I was enjoying not being alone again and that was for sure. I felt alive again, getting out, going to nice places again, especially with a pretty woman at my side. Somehow I let this all get away from me, she was looking for something faster than I was willing to commit too, we needed to talk and on a much deeper level than we ever had before and that was obvious.

Love had come so easy with Joanne, we had let our ego's, our independence and our young spirits get in the way for a long time before finally settling down, but falling in love, that was the easy part. There was never an issue with wether or not we were in love with each other. I wondered if falling in love that way was exclusively for the young, if this new feeling of just being comfortable is what I will now be left wiht to fill that empty whole.

The phone rang, it was Fancy she asked if we could go to Happy Hour and a Movie, just something simple since we had the big "Colors of Christmas Show" coming up. Do you have a movie in mind? "No we can figure that out when you get here.

Making the drive to Yorba Linda had become second nature, it is after all the same route I take to the office everyday. I arrived at Nancy's as per usual, flowers in hand like a dating robot. She played with them while I looked thru the paper, I may or may not have mentioned but I don't really go to the movies much. More of an Indy film kinda guy and unless you go to a film festival the good ones are few and far between. I didn't really recognize any of the movies by name so I waited for her to finish and we looked together. "OH ENCHANTED" she said, "THAT IS THE ONE WITH MC DREAMY" "Would you mind seeing that?", I came back with a "sure whatever you want to see is fine with me". We selected a time and a theatre and off we went.

As we were leaving the sky's opened up, it was raining sideways for real...Fancy wanted to go to Chili's for happy hour, she wanted some chicken dish that they serve..."fine with me" I told her. I had only been to Chili's once in my life, I am not a snob by any stretch but I don't do Chain Restaurants as a rule, I just don't, figured what the heck they have cocktails right? It might be a good chance to talk on neutral soil.

By the time we got to Chili's the rain seemed to be coming from all directions...I parked ran around to the trunk and got an umbrella from the trunk, made my way around and opened FANCY's door, we clung to each other to stay in the small dry haven provide by the umbrella and raced towards the door, it was fun. I enjoy moments like that, there is something innocent and fresh involved. We made it thru the doors, Nancy headed straight to the Ladies room to make sure her hair was intact. I went into the bar and found us a table.

She ordered her usual, I had a crown rocks....she ordered and I am straining to remember but I think it was some type of sesame chicken, I think I got was Chili's so who cares right?
It didn't take long before I told her I wanted to discuss what I had told her on Thanksgiving and why I felt that way, the whole it seemed a bit fast for me and that she was the first person I had dated, I told her how I enjoyed our time together, how I liked to hold her hand, I must have went on for 10 minutes...this time it was Nancy who looked like the dog in that Doonesbury Cartoon..Finally she came back with a "I am not trying to rush you Jim" "Really".

Was I putting all this pressure on myself, was I really that delusional. We ate in near silence, I tried to start a few conversations, asked her who this Mc Dreamy dude was, blah blah blah...her answers were short and to the point. She did tell me that she and her daughter were going to the Caribbean in January for two weeks, and that she was not going to decorate her house for Christmas because her wrists were bothering her to much. I offered to come over and help if she needed anything lifted, moved, put up, whatever.

Back to the car we went, still raining...this time there was no clinging onto each other, more like squeezing under the umbrella without touching...that is hard to do but she was managing quite fine. What a stark contrast there had been between our running and our running out.

It was only a 10 minute drive to the theatre, I purchased the tickets and we made our way inside. It was a Disney Cartoon? Oh wait no it has real people in it, Nancy had told me about that Mc Dreamy dude...The movie started, it was a cartoon and a movie, it was very cute, moderately funny and very sweet on the romantic theme. I tried on numerous occasion to hold Fancy's hand but she complained that her wrists were sore...

On the way back to her house we made small talk about the move, I thought it was entertaining, she enjoyed it as well...silence...small talk about the weather....silence...I asked her about the "Colors of Christmas" plans and she told me she would let me know as soon as Jennifer called her on Saturday....more silence...we arrived at back at her house, as I walked her to the door she told me she wasn't feeling well and would I mind if she just went to bed. "Whew" was all I could thing....while the temperature in Yorba Linda was falling quickly, it couldn't match how quickly this relationship had cooled off.

I said good night and gave her a small kiss and told her I hoped she felt better, she looked in my eyes and smiled and said goodnight. She turned, walked inside and the door closed.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast which is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. This harvest meal has become a symbol of cooperation and interaction between English colonists and Native Americans. Although this feast is considered by many to the very first Thanksgiving celebration, it was actually in keeping with a long tradition of celebrating the harvest and giving thanks for a successful bounty of crops. Native American groups throughout the Americas, including the Pueblo, Cherokee, Creek and many others organized harvest festivals, ceremonial dances, and other celebrations of thanks for centuries before the arrival of Europeans in North America.

I can assure you my Thanksgiving while moderately enjoyable was nothing like the above.

My daughter and I put together a fabulous salad, that was our contribution to the festivities, well that and a beautiful bouquet of Roses and a couple bottles of Champagne...

We mad our famous salad with peaches (preferably donut/ufo) , fresh buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, pecans, sun dried tomatoes, Sicilian olives, shallots, fresh field greens, drizzle some high end virgin olive oil and some aged balsamic on this mix and wow you will be the hit of the party...

We left for the festivities, Tara following me in her car. She had an exit plan, as previously mentioned I did not.

We arrived to a house full of people we didn't know, Fancy was going crazy in the kitchen, the house had horn-o-plenty everywhere.  Her son was on the couch watching football, his girlfriend and her parents were in the yard.  Her daughter was making cosmo's...hmmm like mother like daughter.  Her daughter had a two of her friends there.  Then there was Nancy's friend from New York (damn what was her name) and her boyfriend.  The one's that had the Armenian cocktail party...

Tara quickly mixed in, she makes me so proud in public settings.  She is so very personable and extremely intelligent, just like her dad LOL.  She can charm the rattle from a baby's hand or from a snakes tail, doesn't matter. 

I went into the kitchen with the salad and showed Nancy, asked her what I could do to help.  She asked me to check the table settings to make sure they were ok....oh shit I forgot the champagne...back out to the car I went.  By the time I came back she was in the dining room checking the table settings,  I apologized put the champagne in the fridge and made my way to the sink.  I started cleaning up what was there and FANCY gave me a little hug from behind, "your always doing the right thing" she said.  Was this coming together again?  She had me taste the gravy, hmmmm...(not bad) oh that's so good I said.  She had me check the turkey, oh it really good I told her (oh my that is going to be dry I thought).  I quickly cleaned the sink full of pots, pans and what not.  Nancy asked me to go mingle at that point and I was eager to do so.

I went in the backyard where my daughter was holding court, she was in the center of the crowd answering question.  I love my Tara, she has so many qualities that I would have wanted her to have, why can't she clean her room...oh well that is what the housekeeper is for I guess? I joined the fray and even did a little back up for my vegetarian, right wing, animal activist, women's liberation, pro choice and most importantly to me a huge supporter of the less fortunate kid...god I love her.  The Republican Yorba Linda crowd was wowed by the father daughter team.  We were spectacular and that is an understatement.

The dinner bell sounded and off we went to the table.  I was seated at the head of the table, wow I thought this is just a little odd.  Everyone loved the salad, they kept eating the the turkey came out, as the stuffing came out, as all the sides came out.....uh oh..Nancy started looking at me as if I did something wrong...we forged on...everyone finally started enjoying the meal for what it was...I excused myself and went to the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of champagne, I called for Jennifer (Nancy's daughter) she found the glasses.  We made our way back in and I proposed a toast to our hostess...She cried...oh dear, that was not my intention.  It was a simple toast, thanking her for bringing us together and working so hard that we might enjoy our Holiday....and she cried...I was dumbstruck.  I thought for a moment, she really does have feelings, maybe?

Things turned rather quickly when Robert spilled a glass of wine during dessert.  The beautiful table cloth, the white carpeting and FANCY's pants now had red wine all over them.  She just wanted a simple, I am sorry mom.  It turned into a bit of a screaming match...people started to exit from the dining room.  Jennifer sided with her brother, Nancy was distraught.  I came to her side, I was not going to let this happen.  The "kids" told me that they liked me and that they didn't understand what I was doing with their mother...I was fucking pissed (mainly because I didn't know) because I wasn't going to let this happen on thanksgiving.  Tara quickly joined in, she and somehow she made the peace...oh my an 18 year old finds the sense to deflate the situation, how does that happen. (such a proud dad, why can't she do her own laundry)

Slowly but surely everyone started to leave, I was very sad when my daughter left.  It was finally just Nancy and Jim again.  I helped clean the entire mess, every dish, every ashtray, eventually her house was as it was the first and every time I had ever scene it immaculate.  We sat on the couch, I told her how nice the day had been and thanked her for having my tiny family.  I kissed her and thanked her again, she looked me in the eyes and told me she loved me. OH DEAR LORD NO....(we had never addressed the phone call).  I told her that I while i did so much enjoy my time with her I was not going to tell her that I loved her just to say it, that I need to feel it.  She said she understood, she got up and started packing me my to go plate.  Things turn on a dime, so I have been told.  Anyone got change for a quarter?

I was driving home in a matter of moments.....was that my exit strategy? I was listening to my heart for a change, I was being honest, I was going to sleep alone. (so be it)

only two dates you will love, the other you will totally love...