Leslie Jones, Nobaday and the Olympics

Feb. 13

Dear Diary,

Leslie Jones commentating on the Olympics is giving me life right now. I am watching it on NBC of course, but following her on Twitter makes me laugh. I spit coffee on my computer the other day. It’s been a long time since I’ve laughed like that.

I am a little bothered because under USA’s snowboards it says “NOBADAY.” I guess they’re a sponsor or something. What would I know from tropical, hurricane-ridden Houston? I get that it’s supposed to mean No Bad Day, but instead it reads to me like “Nobody” but with an “A” where the second “O” is. Nobaday. Nobady. Or then it also reads Nobaddy, as in No Baddy. It’s disturbing.

Nothing much to report. My therapist asked me how A New Me! is coming, and I didn’t have much to say. I haven’t weighed and, let me tell you, that is life changing. I quit weighing regularly about five years ago. Clearly, it hasn’t helped me lose weight, but it has taken away some of the anxiety. Think about it, Dear Diary, my weight going either direction leads me to want to eat. Gained weight? I’m going to eat because I’m sad. Lost weight? Let’s celebrate! And by “let’s celebrate,” I mean I’m walking to the pantry by myself to see if I have any Doritos.

I know normal people don’t think that way, but I’m not anywhere near normal when it comes to food. Now I judge it by the way my clothes feel. They are looser. I’m excited about that but not thinking about it too much. I will want to celebrate by eating, and that’s not the point.

I wonder if all my focus on food is what drove Jack away. All I could think about was how much I weighed. He’s a normal eater. He makes decent food choices and stops eating when he’s hungry. That baffles me. At McDonald’s, he orders the Happy Meal. Who does that over the age of ten? I get out my food tracking app, see if hope beyond hope I could fit in a Quarter Pounder and medium fries and still have a decent meal at dinner. I never could, but one can always try. AND he wouldn’t eat the fries. I would stare at them as they remained untouched, amazed. I was too ashamed to ask him if I could have them.

That’s all I have. All this talk about food has depressed me now so I’m going to get in bed and dream about what I can’t eat. Maybe A New Me! will have more next week. I signed up to help with hair and makeup for Lucy’s high school musical. I had no idea when I signed up that I would basically have to be there all week, but it’ll be okay I guess. I need to get out of the house. Jack is helping with Jack Jr. I guess it’ll be good for them to hang out with each other. Lucy’s a bit mortified that I’m going to be backstage but isn’t it my job to embarrass her a little? Maybe we can have some No Bay Days together.

Good night.

No-Good Day

Jan. 17

Horrible morning. I want to stay in bed all day. I can’t because my kids will be home because the stupid schools are closed. It’s a hard freeze in Houston, and the city is shut down. I don’t want to be a complete craphole of a mother. I have to get out of bed and maybe clean out a closet or something. You know, Dear Diary, fill our free day with something constructive.

But first, here’s how my morning went. Lucy came in, covered in blankets. “I know I’m not supposed to talk to you before you’ve had your coffee, but I think you should know. Dad’s texted me this morning that he’s getting remarried.”

I lay there for a moment. It was either shock or lack of coffee, or both. I could feel tears coming, and I was nauseous.

“I’m pissed, thanks for asking,” she said. I could hardly breathe. “He’s already fucked her, as we all know. Can’t that be enough? Why does he have to go and marry her?”

I had no answer. I hated it when she cursed but that was the least of my worries right now. She looked at her phone and mumbled something about how the power was out in parts of Houston. “I’m going back to bed. I can’t handle this.”

I looked at her and nodded. I still had nothing to say. She turned around in a huff and walked out the door.

I wanted to tell her how sorry I was that all of this happened, but the words wouldn’t come. Now it was final. Our fate was sealed as a family and me as a single mother by a man who walked out on us for another woman. Tears were flowing, and they were bigger than any I had ever shed. Jack was gone, for real. I felt foolish for holding out hope that he would realize his mistake and come home. I fantasized about he would call me one day, ask to talk and beg for forgiveness for all of it, Slutty-slut-slut, the divorce, the pain. In my fantasy, I would have said yes, of course, you’re forgiven, but you will have to sleep on the sofa for a night or two, for at least a sliver of my pride to remain intact. And he agreed, knowing all was back to the way it should be. In every scenario he came home, because we were a family.

Then there’s Claudia Trainer, with her 2,000 Instagram followers and photoshopped selfies, reminding me that my self-esteem was in the toilet. Why, oh why, did I have to run into her at Target? And what she said about Slutty-slut-slut? About how attractive she was? To my face? Thanks, you Smother Mother. How is that constant helicoptering working out for you? Lucy told me your snowflake of a daughter Sheila’s been sending nude pictures of herself to all the boys at school. How has that tidbit escaped your tendrils? And enough with the meal train. If I haven’t asked for one since the divorce over six months ago, I think I’m good. Dinner is the last thing on my mind. Stop bringing it up. Just stop.

Then, Dear Diary, peace came over me as something touched the sides of my memory. Was it true? My eyes lit up. Did I really forget to do that? Or was I saving it for a truly horrifying day, like today? Did I accidentally on purpose forget to throw away those leftover M&Ms from Halloween that are stashed under my bed? Obviously why they were there didn’t matter as much as the fact that they were there, waiting to console me, as if a gift from the universe saying, “There, there, it will be okay.”

I know enough about this charade to know these M&Ms will ultimately cause more pain than joy, but, for a moment, they are so delicious, so filling, so comforting. Damn cleaning my closet on this day off. Damn my food plan. These taste so good, and everything, just for this moment, is okay. The reckoning that loneliness was my new reality is overwhelming, and I keep eating more, hoping against hope that they will take away some of the pain, knowing they will just make me fatter, which is probably why Jack left in the first place. And now, sad that the M&Ms are gone, but comfortably happy that the sugar rush is setting in, I feel warm and cozy. I think I’m going to go to sleep. Good night, Dear Diary. Hopefully when I wake up the world will be a better place, even though I know it probably won’t be.


Week #2

Jan. 8

A New Me! But First My Daughter

A new me! is making strides. I’m rocking along, doing my meditation in the morning, which is at a whopping seven minutes, journaling like Oprah, sticking more or less to my food plan, and then THIS fun thing I read in my 15-year-old daughter’s journal. Hush, don’t judge. When you go through a divorce and your best friend is your pillow in your dark bedroom, I am at a loss as to how to connect with her. So reading her journal it is. Her journal is an assignment from her therapist. Her therapist gives her certain subjects to cover but she doesn’t have to share. Brilliant, I think.

Dear Diary,

Dr. Montgomery wants me to write about last semester. She pretty much knows everything about it, but whatevs. She wants me to do it, so here goes.

I failed biology. I knew it was going to happen, but it suh-ucks. I don’t know if it means summer school or not. My mom knows. She’s upset, like always. Not mad, but sad. Dad doesn’t know yet. The old Dad would flip. The newly divorced Dad probably will be okay about it. I don’t know if he’s being nice because he cheated on Mom and broke up the family, or he is being nice because he just doesn’t care. I don’t know and frankly I don’t care at this point. This school is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. A lot harder than middle school. It’s a fancy, private Christian school. Everyone was nice for the first couple of weeks. Then the mean girl stuff started brewing under the surface. I could feel it. Sigh. I had hoped since it was a Christian school that the mean girl stuff would go away. But deep down I knew I wouldn’t be so lucky. Christians can be just as mean as everyone else.

What.The.Hell. My mother just came back from one of those parties at your friend’s house where you buy stuff. You know, those parties that all moms get invited to. She bought a set of essential oils and a fancy diffuser. She says it will help with our anxiety, and I know she really means Jack Jr.’s anxiety. It has hit an all-time high since Dad left. He’s not sleeping. He’s convinced someone is going to break into the house. He’s getting panic attacks.

A couple of weeks ago she went to one of those parties and came back with a whole sleeping set for Jack Jr. that must have cost a fafillion dollars. It’s a mattress, blanket and pillow. She’s all excited because it has magnets and the magnets are supposed to help him calm down. I can’t go to Sephora to get my favorite contour, but Jack Jr. can get a whole new sleeping set. Like any of this is going to help. Really. Doesn’t she realize that nothing’s going to help him sleep or take away our anxiety, except maybe Dad coming back, and that’s not going to happen. I overheard her yelling at my dad over the phone that she thinks Jack Jr. is suicidal. I wanted to join in and yell right back that we all are, but only Jack Jr. is saying it. And she thinks throwing essential oils and magnets at it will help. Yah right.

Mom says the drive to school is harder than she thought it would be, but it’s not like she never knew it was thirty minutes away. It’s not a surprise. She said she and Dad made the decision for me to go here before Slutty-slut-slut showed up, and Mom didn’t want to rock the boat. I think that’s her nice way of saying she just didn’t want to deal with it, which is fine with me. I like the school. Jack Jr. comes with us every morning, even though that means waking up before dawn. He drags his blanket and pillow with him and curls up in the back seat. What’s he going to do when the stupid Houston heat hits and he’s under this huge blanket? I guess he’s too scared to stay at home, even though he’s in the sixth grade. He’s still not sleeping, even with the blanket and stuff. My mom and dad bought all these things for him to help him with his issues. Things like vitamins and a chair that spins super fast and a small trampoline for his room. I know I shouldn’t complain, but I don’t think any of them have worked, and I bet it cost a lot. With them always complaining about money, it didn’t make much sense to me why they spent all this money on stuff that doesn’t work. And they end up divorcing anyway. Well, that was mainly because of Slutty-slut-slut but they were arguing about money a long time before she showed up.

I’m not surprised that Jack Jr. is scared all the time. I guess I am too. Our dad left. No one should expect us to be all happy all the time. I’m not happy even some of the time.

I know I sound totally depressing, and I’m not meaning to. It’s just that things are harder since Dad left.




Oh, my heart. It doesn’t get easier no matter how many times I read it. The one thing that is giving me life is Sheryl’s nickname – Slutty-slut-slut. THAT IS GENIUS! Thank you, Lord, for making me smile! I shall call her SSS for short. She doesn’t deserve to have her name used anyways.

As for the rest of it, clearly no one is happy here. I don’t know what to do about that. I’m totally depressed and don’t know what to do. Lucy’s right about Jack Jr.’s issues. We don’t know what to do. We are throwing stuff on the wall to see what sticks. So far, not much has. And she’s right about the money. Jack and I were arguing about that for a long time before SSS showed up.

I’m under the covers now. It is my favorite place. So quiet and comfy and safe. I am working so hard on the new me! but stuff like this comes up and BAM – I feel like I’m back at ground zero. There is another good thing here (besides SSS, which I can’t get enough of) and that is the fact that I’ve not eaten over this, mainly because I threw out the rest of the cookies, but also because I know it won’t help. More food never makes things better, despite what I’ve told myself for years. More food won’t cure my son’s anxiety. It won’t make my kids happy. It won’t bring Jack back.  It would ruin me, and then where would the new me! be?