Not my memory of Chicken Alfredo

While in the grocery store I found myself strolling down memory lane for some reason and thought of my Mom's tuna casserole with the potato chips on top from so long ago. True comfort food. Without going into my mental state and the malaise it brings on, dinners of late have been fairly disappointing. The last few nights have been cold basmati rice and butter heated in a saucepan. Mmmm. So I bought something that I thought would be a solution.

Last night I succumbed to "Chicken Helper's" Chicken Alfredo. It sounded so good, so easy, so comforting. I thought by now they would have perfected the culinary quality of "Helper". I hadn't been to "Helper-land" since college; it hasn't changed. But apparently my tastebuds have. OMG! It was gag-awful, I tossed it down the drain much to the pup's dismay. She did get a sampling and would have happily eaten it all! I just didn't want to deal with the results; easier to feed the garbage disposal.

I, however, have been to the land of better cooking and there's apparently no going back. I think nostalgia and loneliness played into my hunger and for some reason tuna casserole was my brain's answer to everything. I've looked it up on the internet finding recipes but don't remember, did it include, broccoli, red peppers (did we have red ones back them?), cream of chick or mushroom soup? I know there were crushed potato chips on top.

As a result, I opened a can of plain old Classic Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup and heated that. Didn’t have quite the total comfort effect I was going for but it did bring back memories of my mom or dad’s cool hand on my forehead when I was sick. I saw myself in my parent’s bed on a day I had been sick. I saw the dark 50’s wallpaper with sprays of white flower, coral-burgandy leaves across the deep olive background. My mom always "made" this soup whenever we were sick. It produced a very nostalgic feeling and reminded me of the void created by my parents’ deaths. I found myself in a pool of pity tears. I was looking for the comfort of a happy “memory lane” not the sad path. At that point, I cleaned up and went to bed.



A little more background

Perhaps a little information about how I got to this point would help. I met my husband senior year in high school. We dated through college and 3 months after I graduated, we were married. Being the good wife I gave up a promising job as a graphic designer for a PBS station in the Midwest and we moved to New York’s Finger Lakes region. We didn’t stay there long. Before a year was up we moved back to the Midwest. Looking back though, I should have seen warning signs. About two months after moving there he confronted me and asked when I was going to get a job. He said “I didn’t marry you to support you”. While there, he went camping with a new found buddy on our first anniversary. After moving back to the Midwest he had an affair. He said he would never do it again and cried. I stupidly believed him. Sadly, love is blind as well a stupid. Plus, there was no concept of divorce in my mind. It just didn't happen. A relationship is not always easy, you often had to work at it and we did. I just never imagined it.



A bit of history

Where do I start? I’m in year three of a long drawn-out divorce after 34 years of marriage. No kids. Currently, I have one dear 13 year-old dog, Frost, who has been my only companion for the last 3 years. I did have 2 others who were very old and died within 1-2 months of moving out of my home. I’ve had a gift shop. It was set up about two years before the divorce began. I’m on my second lawyer. After two years, the first one ended a long phone conversation with, “in the end there won’t be anything left”. This, after sitting on his hands for the whole time. As the saying goes, my jaw dropped. There’s more to it than just that but that’s a story for another time.

My hope for this blog is two-fold. If just one person who’s in a situation similar to my life (more on that later) reads this and gets some hope or information that helps them, I’ll be happy. If, in the process of writing about events and feelings, I can find myself again at this late age I’ll be doubly happy. If I can start producing my art and find an audience for it after such a long exile, I’ll probably be delirious. I haven’t opened the comments section yet because I’m still feeling quite vulnerable to criticism; which is literally all I heard for 3 years before the divorce began. I hope you’ll understand.  If I've opened up the comments and your reading I hope you'll check back. Thank you for reading!

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Lessons learned

Just a warning:  I will have posts that are depressing (sorry) but they're here for several reasons. I need an outlet and maybe when I get brave and open the comments, I’ll receive some encouragement and positive feedback. They also will provide a bit of a look into the process of divorce and what no one ever tells you about it. It’s so very "special". The lawyers and courts keep information on the entire process very much to themselves. I’ve debated as to whether it was because they were so used to it and took it for granted or was it to lay a shroud of secrecy over the process and keep the billing hours running?

Never forget that the courts have a vested monetary interest in every court date, recording of a document and so forth. Little did I know that a court date cost me about $2,000.00 a pop and this didn’t include my lawyer and his staff or any other fees such as the recording of resulting documents. Then, you get to court and only one item is discussed! What’s sad is that you hire a lawyer for advice, but they don’t give you the full picture. I had looked at how-to books on divorce from the beginning and found a lot, but little applied to the specific court, county and judge. They were very general about the state overall and what I’ve found is that each county, court and judge has it’s own personality that is always changing depending on new laws, new and retiring judges, etc.

For example, about 1 year into this, I asked my then lawyer why it took 2-3 months to get a court date. Turns out that the court jurisdiction I’m in is notorious for being the slowest in the entire county. Had I known that from the get-go I would have picked the one with a better reputation and more judges such as LA. I also was told I had to stay within the jurisdiction I lived in. Wrongo! A year ago I found out that you can file for divorce in any of the county’s court systems but it was too late to change because I’d gone too far with it in this court. Apparently there’s some magical date and once passed you’re stuck there.

So, this is what I mean by, sharing (or lack of) unknown information. I do not pretend to be an authority and speak only from my personal experiences.  I do not wish to disparage anyone or anything, I speak only from my own experience and opinions I’ve formed based on  those experiences. So do your own research, which I know is hard because you’ve just landed in the pocket with the eight ball and you have no idea “what” to ask or whom.

As far as creating, I’m hoping this blog will force me to work on interspersing it with things I’m creating. It will force me to start making things so I can share some positive and exciting growth that this whole hideous experience has offered me. 
Author's note:  It's the future and I've taken a leap of faith and opened the blog to the public.

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