Tag Archives: marriage and divorce

Just my type

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LoveDefinitionInTypewriter1The first Valentine’s Day after my divorce, I felt massacred . It had been over a year since I discovered his affair, and I filed for divorce on February 9th the following year.

He  had moved and they were expecting a chocolate child.

What I truly missed on this Hallmark Holiday, are the last-minute gold and diamond trinkets he used to rush out and buy me.  I miss his guilt gifts.

The next year, I decided I needed to find a new way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Instead of dwelling on what I no longer had, I would focus on what I still had/have — good  humor. While my ex-husband was living  in a McMansion with his new family , I was wasting away in “Margaritaville.

The guests at my pity party had long gone, but the party on my face was going strong. I needed to put down the shaker and shake my mind maker – writing.   I used to write everyday.  Okay, not everyday, but I thought about it everyday.  I am writing now.  Word.

I’ve had my heart-broken many times since my divorce.  I still get, “can’t we be friends,” from men who don’t know the meaning of friendship, or they wouldn’t ask such a moronic question.

Today, I will not receive flowers, chocolates or Victoria’s Secret thongs (which are just plain wrong.)

Tomorrow, I will go to the drug store and buy myself a big box of chocolates marked, 50%  – Rose boxers, too.  Because I am worth it and so are you!

When the Broom Breaks

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jumpingthebroom“Jumping the Broom.”

The significance of the broom to Black Folk heritage and history originates in the West African country of Ghana. During the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, most of Ghana in the 18th century was ruled by the Asante of Ashanti Confederacy. The Asante’s urban areas and roads were kept conspicuously clean according to visiting British and Dutch traders with the use of locally made brooms. These same brooms were used by wives or servants to clean the courtyards of palaces or homes. The broom in Asante and other Akan cultures also held spiritual value and symbolized sweeping away past wrongs or removing evil spirits.

This is where the broom comes into play regarding marriage. Brooms were waved over the heads of marrying couples to ward off spirits. The couple would often but not always jump over the broom at the end of the ceremony. Jumping over the broom symbolized the wife’s commitment or willingness to clean the courtyard of the new home she had joined. Furthermore, it expressed her overall commitment to the house. It also represented the determination of who ran the household. Whoever jumped highest over the broom was the decision maker of the household (usually the man). The jumping of the broom does not add up to taking a “leap of faith.”

The irony is that practice of jumping the broom was largely discarded after Emancipation in America which was consistent with the eventual fall of the Ashanti Confederacy in Ghana in 1897 and the coming of British customs. Jumping the Broom did survive in the Americas, especially in the United States, among slaves brought from the Asante area. This particular Akan practice of jumping the broom was picked up by other African ethnic groups in the Americas and used to strengthen marriages during slavery among their communities.

Jumping the broom was not a custom of slavery, but is a part of African culture that survived American slavery like the Voodoo religion of the Fon and Ewe ethnic groups or the ring shout ceremony of the BaKongo and Mbundu ethnic groups. With slavery over and superficial hints of racial integration allowed, African-Americans could now have European-style marriages. Jumping the broom had nothing to do with Whites.

Once Blacks could have weddings with rings that were recognizable by anyone as a symbol of marriage, the broom ceremony wasn’t required. During this time, jumping the broom fell out of practice from the stigma it carried, and in some cases still carries, among African Americans who wanted nothing to do with anything associated with that era. The practice survived, and made a resurgence after publication of Alex Haley’s book “Roots.”

Currently, many African and African American couples include jumping the broom at the end of their wedding ceremonies as a tribute to tradition. And even couples who do not actually jump a broom when they get married, often refer to, or at least recognize, the phrase to be synonymous with getting married in the same way most Americans associate “tying the knot” with getting married.

Broom jumping is also practiced by non-Black groups and in different religions around the world with some variation. Wiccans and Gypsies are among some of the groups who developed their own broom-jumping tradition.

Brooms break like a bad weave. A Dirt Devil was required to get these couples out from under all the dust of deceit. After all was said and done, theses Sisters  are in the Black, except for If I Could Turn Back The Hands of Time, Halle just bury him already.

Nas & Kelis Martin

Christina Milian and Terius “The-Dream” Nash

Martin Lawrence & Shamicka Gibbs

Shaquille & Shaunie O’Neal

Michael and Juanita Jordan

Eddie and Nicole Murphy

Lisa Raye McCoy & Michael Misick

Dwyane & Siohvaughn Wade
Lionel and Diane Ritchie

 

Halle Berry & Eric Benetbrokenbroom

Divorce Diva of the Month

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edith-piaf-grangerEdith Piaf:  singer, born December 19, 1915

Known as La Mome Piaf (The Sparrow Kid), this tiny femme with the big voice lived a life straight out of a Charles Dickens novel.  She started singing for pennies on the streets of Paris and made it all the way to Carnegie Hall.

In the middle of the German occupation during World War II, she penned her signature song, “La vie en rose,” which loosely translated means looking at love/life through rose-colored glasses.  

Piaf was briefly married to a singer before she met married boxer Marcel Cedrean.  The two fell madly in love and Piaf hoped to one day be Mrs. Cedrean.  Sadly he died in a plane crash, leaving Piaf inconsolable.  Her last husband was twenty years her junior and by her side when she died at the age of forty-seven.  As another of her song titles so eloquently described her brief life, she lived with “Non, je ne regret rien” – with no regrets.

This month in divorce history – Tis the Season for See ya

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4edcee086ebf52011  Zooey Deschanel & Ben Gibbard

2010 LeAnn Rimes & Dean Sheremet

Sandra Bullock & Jesse James

Nancy Wilson & Cameron Crowe



2009  Kate & Jonathan Gosselin

2009  Marg Helgenberger & Alan Rosenberg

Susan Sarandon & Tim Robbins – though never legally married, they split after 23 years and two sons together.

2007 Pamela Anderson & Rick Salomon (annulled)

Catherine Keener & Dermot Mulroney

2005 Renee Zellweger & Kenny Chesney – annulled

Valerie Bertinelli & Eddie Van Halen

Christina Applegate & Jonathan Schaech

2003 Sofia Coppola & Spike Jonez

1997 Kirstie Alley & Parker Stevenson

Season’s Greetings

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If you always sent out those lovely and sometimes cheesy family Ho Ho ho photo cards, don’t let your divorce detour you from another family photo–op with a twist.  Get all dolled up and have a family photo taken with the finest mall Santa you can find.  Some big city malls feature a shirtless Santa just for the ladies

Childless ladies can do the same thing.  Resist the urge to dress up you and your pets in identical outfits for your greeting card.  I know how much you love your pets, but a glam shot of you sitting on the old man’s lap is a better way to go.  Be your own Santa baby.

You may just say, “Oh what the heck”, I don’t feel like decking anything except my ex-husband.  Suddenly the scene from When Harry Met Sally of Meg Ryan dragging a Christmas tree down the street pops into your head.

Who needs that?  Maybe you do.  Maybe you don’t.   It’s up to you.

Bundles of Joy

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619-01998234It seems there’s a new mind-set of the modern-day mothers.  Though you may view your offspring as God’s gift, be careful when it comes to gift-giving.  You may or may not have your children this Christmas as decreed in your custody order.

If you do have them, don’t try and out-gift your ex.  Or worse, lead your children to believe it’s his fault that you were unable to give them what they deserve.  Your children should never feel they have to choose sides and should always feel loved.  Holidays have a way of branding themselves into our memories long after they have passed.  If they are old enough enlist your children in fun ways to make merry.  They realize their situation and just want both parents to be happy together or not.

If you engage in the game of who can give them the most, you and your ex-husband will succeed in raising entitlement tikes.  Children who are given all their little hearts desire will never experience the joy of giving rather than receiving.  A sense of entitlement will be cemented in their brains and the idea of having to earn what they want will be as foreign to them as Iceland.

Unless yours is one of the few with a trust fund, trust me when I tell you that when it’s time to leave the manger, little Jesus and Sarah will have no motivation to do so.  If the meek indeed shall inherit the earth, after the children open their expensive gifts, take them down to your local family shelter bearing gifts for those less fortunate.  Insight is a gift that is truly priceless.

If you’re on good terms with your ex, you might even invite him over to share in the gift-giving and a little holiday cheer.  Don’t do it for you – do it for the family.  Everybody wins.  If the very sight of him makes your stomach ache toast him anyway.

For the childless divorcee, yearning to buy toys with no tots, nieces or nephews, you too can make a child’s day by being a part of your community and helping those in need.  Don’t forget the child in you while you’re at it.  Go ice skating, build a snow woman or just watch Frosty the Snowman on TV.  If you live in a snow-less climate, find an ice skating rink or gather some friends and enjoy a snow day or weekend in the mountains.  Whatever you do – make the holiday about someone or something other than you.

All I want for Christmas is a Gingerbread Man

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Christmas_-_Custer_Kids   1950'sUnless you’re religious, Christmas is for kids.  Remember when you believed in Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?  Christmas Eve was magic.  You couldn’t sleep in anticipation.

On Christmas morning, you rushed to see what was under the tree.  For some, Christmas was a season of disappointment as child.

You may have learned earlier on, that there was no Santa.

You figured out that Mom and Dad were Mr. & Mrs. Claus and they couldn’t afford to buy you that dream house or Easy Bake Oven.

As we got older, Christmas turned into one big shopping spree that seldom filled our hearts with glee.  If you’re like me, you spent too much and felt like you didn’t do enough.  The spirit of the holiday soon became lost in a sea of receipts and retail remorse.

After you married and had children, the magic of the holiday resurfaced in the eyes of your consumer-savvy children.  Now you were the one in charge and others joy rested on your weary shoulders.  You were Mrs. Claus and therefore responsible for all the relatives on both sides of the aisle.  Oh, the joy.

For those from a childless marriage, the memories can be ones filled with alone time with your ex at home, on the slopes or on the sand.  You may have spent the holidays with in-laws or hosted the big bash at your home.   Screaming children from various relations filled your home.  Thoughts of having your own (or not) may have filled your heart with wonder or relief.