September 27, 2021

I need wine tonight. I’m not in a great mood. I’m a little annoyed at you and I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt but the remnants of my bad day aren’t helping. 

Remember, “the kid”? He’s friends with the owners’ older son whose been living with them? Anyway, he and I had an argument today. He thinks I’m constantly throwing him under the bus and I’m frustrated because I’m constantly asking him to do his job properly and he ignores me. I told my boss what happened today and she sees it for what it is:

He doesn’t report to me but he produces reports that I am ultimately responsible for and have to answer questions to. He doesn’t think he needs to accept my feedback and he thinks he knows better. We could escalate the situation to his new bosses who are still in the onboarding phase but what if they can’t do anything about it? Also, “the kid” is leaving in seven weeks to wrap up his last semester of college this Spring. He wants to come back here and he’s worried that I’m hurting his impression with the leadership team. To which my silent response is, “Why on earth would you want to come back here?!??! RUN WITH YOUR LIFE!”

Anyway, I was in a bad mood for the rest of the afternoon and felt drained by it. Good news is that we seemed to resolve the issue after work via email but, you know, I think I’d rather have one of his managers present the next time I have to interact with him. No more 1:1 walk-and-talks with him.

Something put me in a good mood, what was it? Oh yeah, I heard back from my follow up last week and now I have yet another interview next week! This time with their Director of Planning & Work Force Management. Even if I don’t get the job offer, I think it’s a great sign that I’ve moved this far along in the hiring cycle. Psyched!

So…I’m annoyed but I’m not sure I can be in a position to judge. While it’s clear that your marital relationship with Karen died a long time ago, your financial relationship has not. She hasn’t worked in at least a decade so she’s mooching off your substantial income. So I’m guessing all those charitable donations are not only for tax benefits but also to limit your disposable income, and by extension, Karen’s.

But why to Kinsella’s org? That felt personal. Again, I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt but the way it could be interpreted is confusing. I mean, unless he got a brain transplant there’s no way he’s #teamKaren. What were his words?

“Who majors in Journalism?” Or was it, “What kind of a degree is Journalism?” What was his short-lived beard strike about?

Should I expect after you and I are officially together to continue seeing both of your names as donors all over the internet? Can you see how that feels insulting? 

Yeah, my bad day isn’t helping. I might need more chocolate. 

I think I take it for granted how easy my divorce was. No money exchanged hands, all I asked for was my freedom. At most, he took a bunch of furniture from me. I kept Bono and he was the most valuable thing to me, thank God. But I would have given him up if a custody battle prolonged the divorce.

My story is unreal. My friend,whose 40th birthday I attended in August, told me how her ex forced her to buy out from him the home THAT SHE GREW UP IN! 

So I can only imagine how much of your soul you had to sell to ensure a timely end to your marriage. And I’m aware of why you did it. Neither of us did easy things.

One of the categories I like Pinterest for is its quotes. I saw this recently and it hurt:

A person who trusts no one now, once trusted someone too much.

I don’t open up to co-workers anymore. I don’t trust them. Even my co-worker who I’m close to doesn’t officially know that I was once married or that I’m now divorced.  And it’s because I trusted you too much.

So now I’m in a position to continue trusting you, giving you the benefit of the doubt and having faith. It’s not easy.

But then there’s this quote:

It’s true. We don’t have it as easy as ordinary couples. But this is no ordinary love.

I’m going to grab some more wine and chocolate and, you know, keep the faith.

This will not be an eggplant night. Sorry.

Still love you, though. Because I still don’t have a choice in the matter.

September 25, 2021

Hey, B! You know what hit me this morning?!?!?! YOU NEED TO REDECORATE!!!!!

Before we get into that, quick updates on my day so far…

First and foremost, Bono is feeling better. Got my walk in at the park, it was SO nice! Loved the cool air and the morning angle of the sun. I think I want to make this a regular thing.

Went to Brooklyn and studied on the train during my commute, both ways. Got a couple slices each of the bakery’s pumpkin bread and pistachio cardamom bread, as well as a couple of cookies. 

Added perk: there was a plant shop across the street! I came home with an awesome hanging plant.

Okay, but now the good stuff!

I have a feeling that you’re going to want to stay in this co-op for some more time and you might want me to join you there. I’m not completely opposed to it but cosmetic changes need to be made. Because I don’t want it to feel like Karen’s place. Lord knows she’s shared that entire apartment all over social media. Her bestie, Courtney, even has a “home tour” post completely dedicated to your 3B/3.5B apartment.

That’s perfect, actually, because I can walk you through in detail my suggestions on what I’d like to see change.

Long story short: the beige needs to disappear, you know I need color and we’re looking at blues (and oranges, but you knew that already).

KITCHEN

The color scheme here is boring. Here’s what I’m thinking:

Paint the cabinets blue. This is a blue-gray that hopefully won’t be too bold for anyone’s taste. Love the gold accents with the hardware. Yes, the hardware in your kitchen needs to be replaced, too. Also, the lighting over your kitchen island. The example in the photo above is great. I love so much about this kitchen. The backsplash here seems to match what you already have. Your countertops are okay, they don’t need to change, I’m aiming for my most conservative suggestions here, but if you’re open to changing them then something completely white, without the marbling.

Here are some alternative blues to consider for the kitchen cabinets:

And some alternative lighting fixtures:

In short: change the cabinet color to blue, update the hardware (gold accents) and replace the lighting over the kitchen island.

DINING

The curtains absolutely must go. I’ll post later some alternative options.

I don’t love that dining table, either. It reminds me of my kindergarten classroom. If the girls have sentimental attachment to it, then we can keep it but perhaps they’d be open to replacing the chairs. The bench is fine but those chairs? Meh.

That built-in storage behind the dining table, can it be painted? If that’s like, fancy wood that you’d rather not mess with, no problem. But could we upgrade the hardware here, too and maybe change the backsplash? I’ll circle back on backsplash options.

Oh, lighting fixture here, too. Out, please. I have ideas for replacements, I’ll follow up in another post with photos.

MEDIA ROOM

For the love of God, get the beige out. Now would be a good time to introduce new wall colors for the apartment:

I prefer the Santorini Blue or the Solitude above but most of these are fine. I’d stay away from the darker blues displayed above.

The curtains here again, need to go. And the upholstered chair. Nothing really against it except that it feels like Karen’s place. Same for that cow clock on the wall if it’s still there.

How attached are you and the girls to that couch? Here’s what I’d love to have instead: wide tufted chair, blue.  I’m having a hard time finding what I’m actually looking for but this is very similar. Probably less pillows for back support and just a little bit longer to stretch out.

Here’s an alternative:

These options may not been enough room for the entire family to gather so additional seating needs to be considered. But I’d like to see whatever is currently in there replaced.

The only thing in your media room that I think can stay is the leather ottoman. 

Also, that rug is unsightly.  I’ll follow up with some rug alternatives for all the rooms that need need them.

THE FRONT/SITTING ROOM

The wallpaper, furniture and rug need to be replaced. The window needs a dressing. Did Karen really get rid of the piano or do you have it in storage somewhere? It should come back, if possible. I like it.

Wallpaper Options

Ranging from bold to conservative (you know I prefer the bold):

The floral print above is one of my favorites. Here’s a similar one, less bold:

Like the birds? Me, too.

Less bold still:

In a different direction:

And below are what I would consider “conservative” options:

Similarly, the wallpaper in your powder room needs to be replaced. I like the monkeys but I don’t like how dark it makes the room feel. Small space with no windows? It needs to be lightened up. The options above should give good guidance.

I’d like to see some leather chair seating options in this room. Here are examples:

I’m envisioning tan leather chairs similar to the first photo with gold metal framing similar to the second photo. Unfortunately, I can’t find one picture yet to depict both.

Wall color needs to be changed here, too. See blue-gray swatches posted above. Lamps need to be replaced, too.

ENTRY HALL

The beige wallpaper should go. Either paint the walls or consider a wallpaper like this:

The chandelier feels dated. Here’s one suggestion to replace it:

Side note: all of the artwork needs to go. I still have my framed ocean waves and the orange dahlia canvas. I can bring those in. Take a look at Art.com’s wabi sabi collection. I got an email ad for it earlier this week and I really like this style. 

Unfortunately, while the email advertised the following as an option, I couldn’t find it on their website. I really like it:

THE MASTER BEDROOM

Let’s start with the bathroom. I most definitely want this instead:

Most important features: navy cabinets and gold accents.

I really dislike the small bathroom tile that you have in there and the tile in the photo above isn’t great, either. Here’s an alternative:

You can’t go wrong with large, white slabs. I also like the added wall detail here.

Master bedroom walls need to be painted. If the carpet can’t be removed and replaced with hardwood floors, then let’s get a nice rug in there. We can decide on headboard and bedding options later.

I might have mentioned before that functionality is important. Because of the dogs, the bed frame needs to have a low profile to minimize long term damage to their bones from constantly jumping on and off the bed. I also want to consider adding a dog pen area in the bedroom for them. Last but not least, remember that fancy chaise? We should get one in orange 😘😘😘

And in case color schemes are important to you, here are some options:

Phew! I think I said everything that I needed to say today! This was SO MUCH FUN! Can’t wait to see what you come up with, you’ve got like 15-18 months to work on it.

Love you!

September 10, 2021

Hi, B! 😘

All I’m saying is, I noticed the additional call volume yesterday morning. By the way, I was in the middle of a phone interview.

So many things, where do I start? There’s work, there’s Karen and there’s the girls.

Work. I’m currently on the clock and I don’t fucking care. Had a frustrating call this morning and no surprise, the CEO is my trigger. Poor decisions, typical attempts to point fingers at other people. After 2.5 years, he still wants to claim that he doesn’t trust the reporting that my colleague and I produce. THEN WHY THE FUCK DO WE STILL WORK HERE? Deep exhale.

I had a catch up with my colleague. She and I started on the same day, I’m very close to her even though we’re 10 years apart. She finally told me today that she’s fed up enough to want to leave. That’s a hard choice for her because she’s on a H1-B visa from China. But she said that she’ll start searching for a new job in January and if she doesn’t find anything by our 3-year work anniversary in March, then she’ll quit. Even if she has to go back to China it’s not the end of the world. She’s already putting in a visa application for Canada, anyway. 

I had already decided that would be my ultimate last day, too. Hopefully, something will happen in Q4. If not, I might quit either at the beginning of January just before their Manhattan location launches. Yes, as a kick in the face. Worst case is March. This makes me feel tremendously better.

I had another interview yesterday and I’ve got three on Monday. By the time March comes around, I would have put in 7 months towards the job search. So even if I don’t find something by then, I’ll have zero debt plus even more savings to tide me over as I continue with the job search. I’ll be more than comfortable with leaving.

Moving on, Karen started posting again and if what she says is true, then she’s moved to CT with the girls? So my main concern is the girls and I’ve got so many questions!

They left their school? They were there for a while, right? So they’re both starting a new school in a new state? Do they have any friends? I’m getting flash backs to when I started high school. I was the only person from my elementary school to go to Bronx Science and half of us had been together since kindergarten. I was depressed my first semester of high school. I hadn’t made any friends yet. Every Wednesday at dinner I’d tell my mom that half the week was almost over. My days were so long schlepping to and from the Bronx every day.

So I’m concerned, I hope they’re having a much better transition than I did and I really hope you’re helping them with it. That’s why I’m sharing my experience because it effing sucked and I wish I had more support back then. Please be observant of them right now.

Aside from that, I’m thrilled that they’re not at that super elite school anymore. I think long term it will be better for them. Plus, CT schools are generally great. They’ll be fine…except I now have a sneaky suspicion that they aren’t actually in public school now…anyway…

And you’re by yourself in NYC? Because there’s no way you’re doing more than a 30-minute commute to work. Does it feel weird? I have no idea what’s actually going on but these are all my thoughts and assumptions.

Then, I wanted to share this:

The internet told me that one of your kids might be interested in adding plant life to her bedroom. Because Karen. Because Pinterest.

I mentioned a while back that collecting plants became my covid hobby. I found an inspiration on Pinterest that led me to put together this ceiling and lighting installation in my bedroom. It’s super romantic. I can’t tell you how often I wish you were there with me.

Not that it needs to be romantic for the girls! I’m just saying, encourage her to add the greenery. She should start with plants that are easy to care for. Pay attention to lighting. More light is better but be careful of south-facing windows, only a small selection of plants really need it and even then, they can burn. I learned the hard way.

Over-watering is the rookie mistake. Once a week or every 2 weeks in a typical bedroom lighting environment should be fine. Also, soil is the enemy. TRUST. Look for coco coir and clay pebbles. Also, I’ve got fancy pots that are super pretty for décor but they often retain too much water and drown the roots. Look for the plastic orchid pots with lots of slits. If she can provide the above for the plants, they will be more forgiving of mistakes.

The picture above is really only about 1/4 of my plant collection. I’ve got exotics that are worth close to $2K. Thank God, they’re still alive.

Karen looks like she’s back to her usual antics. She’s still using the husband language and there’s no clear strategy to her posts yet. Although, to her credit, she did post a survey asking her audience why they follow her and what they want/expect from this space?

Oh, can I answer? Pretty please?

I’m coming to be entertained, perhaps in the way people like to be entertained watching horror films. Her ignorance makes me giggle, and her blatant insecurities make me feel uncomfortable and embarrassed for her. It’s like not being able to look away at the site of a train wreck. That’s why I come.

What I want is for her to finally behave in a manner that would allow me to respect her. You know, admit her lies, own her mistakes, actually embrace all that kumbaya yoga nonsense that she supposedly subscribes to.

What I expect is for none of that self-growth to happen, for her to continue puttering around as she always has based on whatever cycle of her neuroses that she’s currently in.

To help a girl out, here’s what she should be focusing her content on, if she were genuinely interested in growing her brand:

It’s not about you. Karen has spent much of her online presence focused on herself. The diets she’s done, all her yoga hours, her love for food. Karen, Karen, Karen. What she fails to do is connect her experiences with what her audience’s needs, wants and pain points are or what they want to accomplish, solve or benefit from.

To be fair, there are successful blogs that provide their audience with entertainment solely on the antics in their lives. But unless she can deep-dive into her personal life, specifically her kids and supposed husband – with pictures – she’s going to continue getting no where fast.

Also, she needs to develop her voice. That first depends on her figuring out what her brand is and what that brand voice is going to be. From the years of content she’s posted, there’s nothing unique about her style to help her stand out from the crowd.

At best, it seems like she’s trying to get into the cooking and fitness niche(s). There’s no white space here, the competition is high, so what is going to make her stand out? Especially when, at best, she’s only sharing her experience from trying other people’s recipes.

I’m drawing a blank, how about you?

Finally, she’s going to have to constantly track and measure performance and results. Analyze, optimize and grow. That requires some analytical skills. You know, math???

She’s so entertaining but not for the ways that she’d like to be.

You might ask why I’d help her out with these tips. Probably for the same reason I’ve been wasting my time at this company: I was optimistic that maybe she’d evolve to be something decent and respectable. Especially if she’s someone I may have to interact with in the future.

Alas, it seems yet again, I’m asking someone to be something she is not capable of being.

In other news, I’m planning a weekend getaway with my co-worker, same one above, for October. I’m thinking Howie Cavern, horseback riding, the Headless Horseman haunted houses and a hike. But first I need to see if I can get Ruthie admitted to a daycare center. Baby steps!

Love you, miss you. Stop by if you’re ever feeling lonely in that co-op. I can order takeout. No, I’m not cooking. You’re funny. 😘

May 4, 2021

Let’s get the Karen conversation out of the way.

I mentioned in my first post that my confidence was boosted from the mistakes she made on social media. Since then, she’s only continued to muddle around. She forgot that I still track IP addresses so I know she viewed this website in mid-April and spent a considerable amount of time here. I know it was her because she then reacted by immediately switching her Instagram account from public to private for the first time in years. These facts alone prove beyond a doubt that despite years of silence, I am still relevant in your life. 

She eventually made the account public again and all of her subsequent online behavior has just been funny. You could see that she wracked her brain trying to discover how I know what I know, removed content that she thought might have exposed her dishonesty, and has increased her posting frequency with content that lacks any clear strategy, either for her own personal brand growth or to perpetuate her deception. It’s apparent after five years of observations that her bag of tricks is limited and as such, Karen is impotent. She has no bearing on us anymore.

What I have learned from having two psychiatrists in my immediate family is that everything you do and say can and will be analyzed. Karen has years of content on display that gives away so much about her and it’s sad. The woman is neither intelligent nor emotionally put together.

First and foremost, she’s revealed how insecure she is by perpetuating the “alternate truth” for several years now that she’s still married. For all her expressed disgust towards Donald Trump, she’s using the same page from his playbook: say a lie loud enough and long enough so people will believe it. “The election was rigged!” “I’m married, I swear!” People with at least half a brain aren’t buying it and she just continues to look pathetic and simpleminded the more she does it.

Further evidence that she’s prone to dishonesty is that she markets herself as a yoga instructor who has been practicing for ten years. This implies that she’s skilled or has some sort of expertise in it. Unfortunately, that so-called experience is undermined when the most advanced yoga course she’s been able to teach so far is a guided sleep session.

Understandably, a lot of people are going to view divorce as a failure. After all, her parents are divorced, her mother is twice divorced and it’s highly likely there’s been a lot of drama. There are court records online to support that, from her mother attempting to barter her engagement ring from her then second fiancé to pay off debts for her business that went bankrupt to then suing her now second ex-husband for a quarter of a million dollars. It’s no secret that kids with divorced parents are more likely to end up divorced themselves and now she and at least one of her sisters have both proven that to be true. She’s insecure.

It’s also possible that she refuses to admit that she’s divorced to hurt you because she’s generally an angry and unhappy woman. She probably resents you for making her the “failure” above that she dreads. The self-deprecating humor that she uses often enough suggests that she doesn’t like herself very much and people tend to treat others the way they treat themselves. Hurting you is second nature for her.

For whatever reasons, she suffers from anxiety and that could be hereditary. Anxiety almost never presents itself alone and almost always presents itself with depression. She then self-medicates with any and all of the following methods:

  • excessive exercising
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • aromatherapy
  • cold showers (it’s a holistic treatment method for depression)
  • CBD and possibly marijuana which she may soon be legally able to get her hands on. She shared her engagement with online courses for the inclusion of marijuana in her practice as a yoga instructor. God help you and your family when she starts bringing that stuff into your home.

She’s also shown herself to be prone to manic-depressive behavior. That’s evident in the marathon postings she’s been known to do for consecutive weeks followed by prolonged periods of inactivity. Actually, that’s probably what’s going on now. My reactivation of this blog has triggered a manic episode that’s manifesting itself as a burst of social media content.

I kind of feel bad for her. It takes a lot of strength to admit your faults, face your fears and inner demons and work your way out of it. It’s easier for her to fight with the people around her than to face herself. She should consider seeing both a psychiatrist and a therapist but if she were the type of person able to do that then I doubt you would have gotten divorced in the first place.

Actually, I have no idea what your marriage was like. It’s also clear from her content that she doesn’t really enjoy being feminine. Indeed, she takes pride in her “manrepeller” wardrobe. I don’t know if it’s related to her lack of self-confidence and insecurities or other reasons that I’m uncomfortable giving voice to yet for lack of evidence. However, once the latter supposition came to mind, it was game over.

I don’t think she ever loved you or was even capable of loving you the way you needed to be. And I don’t think it’s personal to you, either. I think she’s got a whole mess of internal things that she’s scared to face. For all of the reasons detailed in this post, marriage was never going to work for her, be it with you or anyone else. Her own behavior plus her mother’s history predict that.

A major battle has been won, B-. Now let’s get through the war together.