The Metamorphosis Restyled: A Newly Single Man

So your wife left you, huh? You poor thing! Here, let’s dry those tears and get you started on the path to feeling better… and you know what that means: it’s makeover time.

Don’t worry, this won’t hurt. In fact, if you’re like most men, you’ll come out of this break-up relatively unscathed. And if you follow these steps, you’ll find an ersatz wifey to clean up after your messes in no time.*

  1. The makeover can’t begin until you finally reach the realization that she’s gone. To get to that point, you have to spend a weekend getting smashing drunk and telling everyone you encounter what a terrible, horrible, awful bitch you were married to. It’s not attractive, but: Camaraderie. It’ll come in handy.
  2. Use this camaraderie to ask all your friends if they know any nice girls. Realize everyone you know is still married. Download Tinder “just to see what’s out there.” Take a lot of selfies in poorly lit places and swipe right on every picture. Just in case.
  3. While you’re still not really “feeling it” — still sleeping on your friend’s couch because you trust that at any moment, she’ll let you back in — stop taking care of yourself. Spend all your free time either at work or browsing Tumblr to get ideas on what men should look like nowadays.
  4. Stop cutting your hair.
  5. Grow out your facial hair. Beards and man buns are in, you know, and all that money you’ll save on hair cuts you can invest elsewhere.
  6. Like in sneakers. Nike Frees. The brighter and more colorful, the better.
  7. And jeans. Dark wash. Just a smidgen too big.
  8. And white Hanes T-shirts and a couple of button-downs. If you’re the Oxford type at work, make these “casual” shirts the flannel variety.
  9. Join a rock climbing gym, where you will go and hang out on the weekends once you discover that alcohol isn’t all it’s cracked up to be now that you’re middle-aged.
  10. Realize that shit, you’re middle-aged. Dial down the age limit on Tinder. Swipe right but never ever contact anyone.
  11. Get a tattoo. A sleeve.
  12. Start rolling up the sleeves on your flannel to show off your tattoos.
  13. Let your beard grow as long as you can. Learn how to use hair gel and beard oil.
  14. Find ways to show off the abs and biceps you’ve got now that you’re climbing. Lift up the hem of your Hanes to wipe the sweat off your brow. Switch out your gym Tees for tank tops. Be confident in your belief that someone somewhere has got to be paying attention to you.
  15. Start drinking green juice and eating chia seeds and ordering the vegan option extra loudly in every restaurant you go to.
  16. Learn guitar. Or Tango. Or basket weaving. Whatever it is that attracts the ladies nowadays.
  17. Hit on all your female co-workers. And babysitters. Basically any woman who crosses your path. One of them will say yes.
  18. After she says yes, take her to her place. If you can, take pictures. On your phone. Make sure your ex can discover them, sit back and wait for the lawyer’s papers.
  19. Pack up all your flannels, say goodbye to your friend and his uber-annoyed wife, and move directly from their couch to your new girlfriend’s bed.
  20. Complain to everyone about how your ex keeps asking for alimony. Tell your new girl how terrible your ex was and how you had never ever done anything to deserve her insane bitchiness. Beg for sympathy without ever taking any responsibility. Bathe in it. Sympathetic righteousness gives a glow unlike any other.
  21. With all that money you’re saving by living off your new girlfriend, buy a bike. Not just any bike. A lightweight fixxie. White. With thin tires and no gears that costs about the same as a car.
  22. Delete Tinder. Neglect Tumblr.
  23. Shave.
  24. Get a hair cut.
  25. Throw away the flannels.
  26. Get a new pair of Nike Frees, this time black.
  27. Cancel the rock climbing gym. You never have time for that anymore anyway.
  28. Order a big, fat juicy steak. And a liter of beer. Now that you’re partnered up, realize your vanity really was taking up a lot of time and energy that you’d rather expend doing other things. Like planning exotic vacations with your new girl.
  29. Slip back into the old routine of being taken care of. Leave your laundry everywhere. Show up late for dinner. Remind your new girl how much you hated it when your ex nagged.

Congratulations, you’ve come full circle. You’re the same old asshole your ex left. This time, though, don’t fuck it up.

*Though not based on my own personal experience, 6 of 6 new divorcees I have met in the last year have gone through exactly this process. I can tell you: it works. Unfortunately.

Latte Macciato Mums

A couple months back, I was walking down the street with a friend of mine who’s been trying unsuccessfully for years to have a kid. It always sucks a little bit to talk to her because our conversation always has something to do with kids and seriously, what do you say to someone who’s dealing with infertility issues? “Oh hey, I see you’re not pregnant yet. Still trying? Let me just bitch a little bit about my little darling so you don’t feel like you’re missing out.”

On this occasion, it was especially awkward because my friend was taking me to a partners’ massage at the Thai Massage studio which meant that in T-5 Minutes, we were going to be seeing each other naked, which I am still a bit shy about. So anyway, just as we were about to walk into the massage parlor, I realize another Mom from the Kindergarten is standing right by the door locking her bike. What’s the proper protocol for this greeting? Acknowledge the mom with a nod and a smile? Say hello and continue walking? Attempt small talk (which I despise) despite our rush? We never saw each other outside of the kindergarten but since it’s a tiny parents’ run Kita, we see each other there every month at parents’ night.

I decided to say hello and keep walking, noting that if she seemed offended, I could explain later how uncomfortable I was and how we were running late. So I said hi. And she did nothing. Not a nod. Not a smile. Not a word. She just looked right through me. And since we were like two feet away from each other and I am totally unique, it’s not like she didn’t recognize me.

“That was weird,” my friend said. “Who was that?”

“A mom from the kindergarten.”

“Oh man,” she said. “That’s why if I do ever get knocked up, I’m not raising the kid in this neighborhood. These moms are bitches.”

For like half a second, I defended the mom. It’s a habit I’m trying to create — to not talk shit about people or get offended by what I consider impoliteness. After all, this woman was probably feeling just as awkward as I was, right? I let it drop but made a note to try to play nice with this mom at the next parents’ night. Because one of the things I’m learning beyond the it’s not just me philosophy is that these moms who are bitches are probably going to be in my life for a while. If Diva wants to play their kids, I gotta be nice to them. If Diva doesn’t want to hang with their kids but we still have to keep seeing each other at playgrounds and soccer games, I gotta be nice to them. Cologne is small like that. My neighborhood even smaller.

And I have spent most of the last year in a selfish haze of bad fucking moods that I am sure has made a few people wonder what bug crawled up my ass so I have to start trying to make good with the mummies here again. The sun is shining and I have to hit the playgrounds with Diva again. Imagine my difficulty, then, when I overheard one of the new moms at the kindergarten talking about our kindergarten at the playground and the phrase “Latte Macciato Mamas” was used. Clearly this woman did not know that I was one of the Moms in question — we hadn’t yet attended a parents’ night together because I have been avoiding those like the plague this year — and the statement made me take a step back. It’s bad enough that people who know me don’t like me but at least I get that. I’m not always fun to be around. I’m not everybody’s cup of tea. But a pauschal hatred based on the Kindergarten I chose to send my kid to? A judgment about me because of the neighborhood I live in or the clothes that I wear?

I have a sense of humor. I can make fun of myself. Self-hatred is not a uniquely German trait. But how do you address this without sounding like a complete asshole? Hu-hu, heard you call me a yummy yuppy and just wanted to let you know, I’m just as broke as you! Whatever. It’s not important what this new mom thinks. We’re out of the insanity of the kindergarten next year and into the strangeness that is the German school system, complete with its own PTA problems so I don’t really need to prove I’m too lactose intolerant to be a latte drinker or that the Armani sunglasses I hide behind were an appeasement gift given years ago by a woman who felt guilty for flirting with my husband.

But the experience does have me thinking a bit about these relationships we’re building with the people we encounter every day. What are we doing to each other by cutting each other down? What purpose does this mummy hate serve? What are we teaching our kids when we’re throwing around casual judgments and talking smack when they’re in earshot? I understand the harm this does and though I haven’t been at all perfect, I am going to try to be better. Kill ’em with kindness. Starting now.

Sprechen Sie Deutsch, du Arsch?

Another day, another expat writing about her inability to fit in in Europe. If she were a Mexican writing in Spanish but living in the U.S., there would be an uproar. If she were Tunisian writing in Arabic but living in Germany, there would be people calling for her to go “home.”

Because this immigrant on a spousal visa in The Netherlands speaks English as her first language, however, she regards herself as “cute” and her readers — worldwide but for a website based in New York — see her life as exotic, unique. It’s not.

It’s not cute to not be able to speak the language of the people around you. These people whose lifestyle you’re proud to be adapting to are not exotic. You are not unique. Your life is not enviable.

I know because I’ve been there, been through all the stages of being a foreigner in a country I’d always fantasized about living in. I thought I was cute. I thought Germany was exotic, my life unique. It wasn’t. It isn’t.

Unlike many “expat” women, I did not come here for love and have the great German-language-speaking husband waiting for me here to handle the bureaucracy. I am not a traveling spouse. I did not get a shit ton of money and offers of language courses because my (ex-)husband had made some brilliant career back home and a three-year stint abroad was the most logical next step in a globalized world.

Although we arrived in Germany right after the integration courses became mandatory for immigrants, I somehow managed to talk my way out of them (likely because I spoke mediocre German, studying for a year before I arrived). By nature of his German citizenship, my ex wasn’t allowed to attend them, although he knew less about the country than I did and could barely order in a restaurant when we arrived.

I’m saying this because the opportunities for language learning were not handed to us in the way that they are to many English-speaking immigrants and yet both of us managed to become fluent in German. We managed to learn not only how to speak but also how the culture and society works and though some things — like the necessity of wearing slippers indoors and keeping your kidneys covered at all times — still baffle, it broke down a lot of barriers here. Barriers in our own minds.

I’m saying this because the level of willfulness that many English speaking immigrants who come here willingly show in their refusal to integrate has reached its peak and its getting frustrating to read.

Despite having a load of German journalists on hand in the country, the Wall Street Journal has its English-language correspondent tweeting about an inability to understand the concept of airing out your apartment. EVERYBODY IN GERMANY UNDERSTANDS LUFTING, JUST ASK A GERMAN. Their expat blog published a bit on the Sunday quiet rules. THIS SHIT HAS BEEN COVERED ALREADY, THANKS.

Get out of your expat bubble. Take a German course. Talk to a German. Stop bragging about your inability to speak the language and therefore fit in.

I’m not saying don’t keep up with your English. I’m not saying don’t hang out with the other ladies from the American Women’s Club nor am I telling you to stop watching your movies in English. Some things need to stay as they are, and we all know the dubbing in those movies is terrible. But at least fucking try. Enroll yourself in one of those ueber-cheap, over-filled classes at the VHS. Get yourself a tandem partner. If you have kids, have them teach you the language they can more easily pick up. Stop telling yourself that you are “genetically unable to learn a second language.” There is no such thing.

And for heaven’s sake, stop assuming that just because everybody speaks English to you that they don’t think you’re an asshole. It’s cute when you’re a tourist but not a permanent fixture.

On My Fear of Flying

I didn’t get on a plane for the first time until I was old enough to drive. I had been living with an aunt in Florida, working as her nanny while my parents got a divorce, and suddenly, two days before Hurricane Andrew made landfall, I had to make my way back home without getting stuck in a natural disaster. My dad booked me a flight and after a summer spent realizing there was more to the world than my tiny-ass country bumpkin town, I gladly got on it. Flying, I realized, would be my ticket to the outside world. I ordered a sparkling water, a drink that tasted terrible to my Coke-adapted tastebuds, and I drank it down imagining the people around me on the plane thought I was far more glamorous than I’d ever imagined myself to be. After all, those were the days before everyone was flying and I was the only “kid” on her own on that plane.

When I moved out to Boston half a decade later, I realized that flying wasn’t as exotic as I’d made it out to be. Yes, airplanes took me to Europe and across the country, but they did that same thing for everybody who could afford them to. As I moved up into the middle-class, I finally realized that the costs of flying didn’t make it the luxury it had once appeared to poor little me. I flew to Chicago and Los Angeles and Charlotte. For fun. Because I could. Because all my middle class friends expected that of me. I was a worldly woman, sophisticated, I traveled on a whim, went away for the weekend. I took a near empty commuter shuttle between Boston and New York City in late August 2001 because my sister was having a hard day and I wanted to do some shopping.

When I visited her a month later, I took the train. On my morning walk to work just a week before, I had crossed a bridge from which I could see planes taking off from Logan Airport. And that afternoon, on my walk home, the only sound I heard were fighter jets cutting through the air above me. After that, flying felt like less of a luxury.

“Just calling to make sure you weren’t on your way to LA,” my friend said into my answering machine. I wasn’t but an acquaintance of my sister’s was. I guess that’s when you could say my fear of flying began.

In the meantime, I’ve flown quite a bit. I took a short break from it, but it’s a part of the middle-class life I’ve adapted since living in Boston. Upon moving to Germany, I knew I’d have to keep flying, hopping the pond at least once a year. Working as a freelance journalist, I knew I’d have to grab a flight to Leipzig for a day spent filming or a quick appearance at a Fashion Week. But it hasn’t been easy.

I had a panic attack on a short-haul flight ten years ago — the first I’d ever had — and the OCD rituals to prevent them from ever happening mid-air again began. Checking the safety records of every style of aircraft before settling on Airbus 320/330. Checking the safety records of every airline imaginable before choosing which to fly (Lufthansa, always Lufthansa). Choosing only direct flights (avoiding stopovers), never flying through England, the list goes on, has grown longer each year. It got so bad two years ago that I would have nightmares just even thinking about booking a flight; my hands would shake so badly I couldn’t book my tickets online and yet I would somehow book them. The Dramamine tablets I would take for motion sickness in the air would be swallowed before we’d even get on the train to the airport. A friend who saw this, whose brother was a pilot, admonished me for the rituals. “You fly too much to be afraid of flying,” he’d said. “And it’s way safer than driving.”

I know these things. But panic and logic are two completely separate ways of thinking and the parts of your brain handling those two things do not communicate. Panic, if you’re wondering, comes from one part “thinking too much/too catastrophically” and one part being so stressed out you can’t cope with life’s little things anymore. It wasn’t surprising then that my fear of flying grew uncontrollable when I was already being treated for exhaustion. What was surprising was that the doctor treating me for burnout also prescribed me some sleeping pills to help keep me calm during flights. If I were really exhausted, as he claimed, I shouldn’t have continued flying everywhere. A doctor looking out for my best interest would have told me not to go to Lebanon at the start of the Syrian civil war and to get more sleep instead. Instead, I got magic blue pills, a medication so strong it can cause amnesia even after small doses.

I flew more in the year following than I had ever done in my life. With those pills, I had the same terrible fears but none of the physical symptoms. I could worry that something was wrong with the plane without having to puke. I could feel the turbulence and my heart wouldn’t race. The pills dulled my senses, made flying feel finally okay again.

Portugal Beach

What the doctor didn’t tell me was that those pills had hideous side effects, that they were so addictive, they weren’t something for recovering addicts like me. I found out the hard way while lying on a beach in Portugal staring at the rolling surf while feeling completely out of my mind as I’d only felt when coming down from a high as a teenage junkie. I knew, before I’d even talked to a doctor, that it had to do with the pills. I also knew that it had to do with me, with feeling overwhelmed by this middle-class life and by having catastrophic thinking.

Since I came back from Portugal 18 months ago, I haven’t flown. I haven’t gone to the US. I have turned down lucrative job offers in other cities, taken a ten-hour train ride instead of a two-hour plane ride, avoided holidaying with friends I haven’t seen in ages, all in order to not have to get on a plane. It’s given me the time I need to recuperate from the exhaustion. To learn how not to catastrophize in my thinking. To prioritize. Do I really need to be in Copenhagen for Fashion Week again? Can I not just live here in Germany and ignore the rest of my family in the US?

And I have to admit: it was working. Taking the stress out of my life was a great step, even if it hasn’t gone far enough yet. Therapy to retrain my thinking was working, even if the voice now judging me in my head is my therapist’s (auf Deutsch, too, which makes that voice so very harsh!) I was just about to book tickets to Portugal for the summer break. And thinking about Christmas in the US. But after this week, I realize I still have a ways to go. Although in reading all of the news reports, I’ve realized my fear of flying has less to do with the realities of flight than with panic. All the OCD rituals in the world can’t prevent things from happening. And though I don’t want to make this about me, it’s hard not to feel it when it’s that close to home again. I — and I think a lot of other people — need serious time to digest what the fuck has just happened.

What about you all? How are you coping with the tragedy?

Dear Divorcee: The Litmus Test

Dear Divorcee,

I wonder if it is common for both parties in a relationship to feel the other is selfish.  Any quick litmus test to find who is to be blamed?

Yours,

D

First off, I have to say I’m so appreciative to D for writing. It takes a lot of guts to write to a complete stranger for advice, and I’m really happy my readers trust me enough to write something so personal. Especially since there’s so much y’all don’t know about me, this stranger you’re asking for advice.

One thing I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned before is my complete and absolute inexperience when it comes to romantic relationships. The one and only serious relationship that I had ended in divorce after years and years of struggle. Did I think during those years of fighting that Herr Lederhosen was selfish? Beyond selfish, he was egotistical, egocentric.

In his eyes, I was just as awful. And most of the time, when he called me these words, I believed him. Not only believed him, I believed these words to be something awful. Like you, D, I confused selfishness with something else, something entirely negative and unhelpful. But truly, there is nothing bad about selfishness, about thinking about yourself. It’s necessary to survival.

Show me any person in any relationship who is completely selfless and I’ll ask when they applied for sainthood. Because no one, ever, is entirely selfless. It’s a myth, and a destructive one, that you shouldn’t be selfish in your life or in your relationship. In order for you to live, to experience those things meant for you to experience, you have to be able to both know yourself and to express your needs. To think about yourself. That’s what being selfish is. Knowing who you are, who this self is, knowing what you need and want and also knowing what your boundaries are. Then setting those boundaries and sticking to them. That is being selfish and that is not bad.

I remember in one terrible blowout argument, after I told the Herr to get out and never come back, he opened that door with tears in his eyes and the look on his face hit me: “I am so selfish. I cannot continue in this marriage and for that, I am choosing myself over my partnership. How egotistical.” I felt awful. Still, I said to him, just as he was walking out the door: “I’m sure you can make someone else very happy. It’s just not going to be me.”

Ouch.

Not only the statement, but also the revelation… that I was putting my own needs for happiness ahead of our needs as a couple. It’s a falsehood that when we marry, we become first person plural and lose the first person singular. This becomes especially troubling for women when children come into a relationship. Moms often lose the “I” replacing it with “Mom” when really, once kids are involved, women especially need to be selfish, to remember their I. They need to get over the notion that they are sacrificing every part of themselves for the greater good of the family and get on with the selfishness required to maintain their happiness. That’s another story, though.

For every person, an acceptable level of selfishness in a partner is different, but that doesn’t matter, not if you know your partner well and you can agree on what her needs are and find ways to accommodate those needs without putting your own needs in danger. It’s called compromise and compromise comes when you are both selfish and still find ways to be together, to accommodate each others’ needs. Often, the problem we attribute to selfishness is a childish way of saying, “Me first. I want you to acknowledge my needs before your own.” The trouble comes when, in our partnership, those needs haven’t been made clear. And that’s most often what happens: our partners don’t often know what our needs are and how to accommodate them because we ourselves don’t know what our needs are or how to communicate them. Not until we’re in the midst of a battle, each accusing the other of being selfish.

What I needed and need from my relationship and my life most is to be happy. I need to write and need to work but I also need my alone time and my space. I need people in my life who are supportive and encouraging. I need you, as my partner or my friend, to understand that I don’t like to go out at night very often but when I do want to go, I really will have fun. I need stability, regularity, to be able to rely on you if you say you’ll do something. If you cancel on me too frequently or insist that I go to bars with you or beg me for attention when I am in writing mode or act like a moody son-of-a-bitch, then I have to be selfish and choose to not be around you. I have to put my needs ahead of our relationship because without these needs being met, I won’t be happy. And that’s my number one need: to be happy.

So my litmus test for you, D, is to test how well you know yourself. Make a list, what do you need, from yourself, from your partner, from your relationship. Think about it realistically — how can you get these things? Do you set aside one day to write without interruptions? Or do you tell your spouse, hey I don’t feel like going to the bar but dinner might be nice? And then you ask your partner to do the same. Do it at a time when you’re not fighting. Ask her, what do you need? How can I best accommodate that? And then be okay when she says, yo I need you to give me some space right now so I can clear my head. Know that these requests aren’t always about you, that your spouse is being selfish and accept that that’s okay.

Because in the grand scheme, the best way to view this word as if it were two self ish. Like just a little bit of self, not the whole way. Does that make sense?

And finally, to the blame part, I have this to say. In German, there is a word: blamieren. It’s a false friend for most English speakers. We would automatically substitute blamieren when we want to say blame. Ich blamiere dich. But that’s not right. The word for blame, vorwerfen, literally translates to “throw something at,” which is more apt. When I say, ich blamiere dich, I’m not saying, I’m throwing something at you (in this case, fault). Instead, I’m saying “I embarrass you.” And I think that although literally false, it’s technically true. Blaming someone is embarrassing. It’s shrugging off your own role in the communication that’s happening, when really, both of you are at fault. Always. That’s how it is in a relationship. It takes two to tango. And two to argue. And if your arguments are repeatedly doing that, repeatedly searching for blame, I’d say stop throwing it (fault) around. Just like you can’t strike out if a ball isn’t thrown, you can’t take the blame if it isn’t thrown. Stop the argument. It’s unresolvable.

Announcing Dear Divorcee

As the first divorcee among my friends, the trailblazer, if you will, I have somehow become the divorcing lady’s Ann Landers: a one-stop advice shop for everybody unhappy in their marriage. How did you find your lawyer? What are the German custody laws? Who do I get help from in finding a new flat? How do I get this asshole off my couch? All questions I wish I knew the answer to.

I have a friend who recently split from her husband. It’s normal: I’m middle-aged. I don’t go to weddings anymore and the birth announcements are coming less frequently. I am having conversations with friends about in vitro fertilization and retirement plans and impending divorces and all of this is happening before 8 p.m. on a weekend night. Anyway, said friend — we’ll call her Anna — well, Anna has been wanting to get divorced since before I even met her six years ago. She knew me when I was pregnant, knew that I hated my husband, counseled me on ways to get out of my marriage, supported me as much as she could during my split and all the while, she later told me, she was trying to plot the way out of her own unhappiness.

The most memorable thing Anna ever said to me: “It’s not about the 10 years you’ve got behind you. They’re lost. They’re gone. It’s the 20, the 30, 40 years ahead. Do you really want to be this unhappy the rest of your life?”

It was the first piece of advice that had resonated with me. Not: try a little harder, your marriage can be saved, as everyone else had been saying. No, Anna told me to either buck up or cut my losses. I realized later that she was giving me the advice she’d wanted to hear, something I couldn’t know at the time because I never knew how unhappy she was; where I pulled the plug, though, she pushed her chin up and plugged on. That is, until she left her husband a couple months ago.

Now she’s having a hard time getting out of bed. She’s staring down those 20, 30, 40 years ahead of her, looking at experiencing them all alone and it’s terrifying her. I won’t lie. The idea of being elderly and alone IS terrifying. The WNYC podcast Death, Sex and Money about living alone says everything that needs to be said about the matter. So when I ran into her the other day, looking ragged and admitting to having just rolled out of bed at noon on a Saturday (“I think I have to cancel Netflix so I can get some sleep at night,” she said to vehement nods from me), I gave her a bit of advice. Actually, I gave her a lot of advice. And it got me to thinking:

How many more Annas are out there, navigating their way through what most psychologists agree is one of the worst experiences of one’s life (just behind loss of a loved one, which on a scale of 1-100 is 100; divorce is 73)? How many people have hard questions about moving past what may very well be the simultaneously best/worst decision of their lives?

And so I decided, since I’m constantly doling out advice to people in real life, maybe I would make a habit of doing it virtually as well. So here’s your chance, people. Send me your questions (either via comments, which go through an approvals process or via email at mylifeinlederhosen at gmail dot com) and I’ll remind you of all the things you already know but weren’t willing to admit to.

Week in Review: The Supermodel Life

I woke up Monday morning totally ready to hit the day like Beyonce and sing, “I woke up like this, #flawless,” but instead I fell to the ground because of the unexpected, searing pain in my heel. Guess who has plantar fasciitis? This girl right here. As if I wasn’t not exercising enough already, I’m now on another running verbot, indefinitely.

Surprisingly, I am not yet insane from the lack of sport. Instead, I am, as mentioned on Twitter, spending more time at the gym again, watching the young naive ones throw themselves at the resident muscleman trainer who will turn them down because he’s not all that into women half his age who page through fashion mags while pumping their feet up and down on the elliptical, careful not to sweat up their neon-pink sports bras and bright red lipstick. I’ve started carrying Kleenexes with me for the inevitable tears in the locker room to come but cannot wait to get back out onto the cold, snowy trails where the only asses in the air I see belong to the swans.

2014-03-18 16.22.42

That gym membership was the only thing adding regularity to an insane week in which I changed my plans every fucking hour of every damned day. At one point, someone mentioned that I have to at some point sometime soon be in Milan but no one’s really sure yet just when or where or how but maybe definitely I will some day need to be in Italy for something. All week this went on, and not just with Italy and not just with one client. This was every conversation I had with every person I encountered this week and I realized I need a damned agent to handle those kinds of conversations. Or an assistant. I have zero patience for the wishy-washy and I am too important to be bothered to keep my own schedule. I don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day. I’ll be in the sauna if you need me.

On a more serious note, a friend’s husband died, which puts me now solidly in mid-life. I will write more about the feelings this brings up, about the crises everyone around me are dealing with, but to help me cope, I broke out my copy of “Tiny Beautiful Things” again and downloaded the Dear Sugar podcast. Cheryl Strayed sure does know how to say the true things that will make you cry and so I did a bit of crying this week, too. No shame in that. Especially since I can recover from the tears more quickly than in the past, and recover I did, thanks to keeping this tune on rotate.

Enjoy your week! And let me know what keeps you moving… it’s going to be a long, crazy month in the Lederhosen home.