Getting My Apartment

In thinking about leaving my wife I always thought of my two daughters and my need to ensure that they have all the things they need. I always thought to myself that I will live in a hovel, some terrible place so that I can still afford to keep them in the nice house, in the nice neighborhood and same school.

While that’s still true, them having a nice place and having a decent place to live for me are not mutually exclusive goals. Add the fact that it is better for THEM and me to have a nice place to live and I had to figure it out.

It took weeks but I found a one-bedroom coop rental literally five miles from the house. I lucked out for a change and it had just been completely redone. Everything is new! The carpets, the paint, the kitchen, everything! The appliances had never been used, the dishwasher had some samples in it !

I did not sign the lease until the day after I left. While I knew what I was going to do no matter what was said on the day I left, I think it was better “for the record” that I did not do it until the next day. I stayed on a friends couch that first night.

I had nothing. No furniture, no plates, nothing. The only thing I had were all the clothes I filled my car with on the day I left… before the kids came home.

I think it was really important that the kids know where I am, that I’m safe, and that they belong there too. On the day I moved in the kids were at school. I went to CostCo during the day and somewhat stocked the kitchen. I got 2-3 key items that they liked and put them prominently in the fridge and in the cabinets. I out their pictures on the walls and their art work on the fridge. I called the house and invited them over.

I went to the house and out everyone in the car… Including the new “x”. I drove them over and we all went inside for a tour. I pointed out their food… Their drinks… Their pictures and art. When we got to my room, I went out of my way to tell them it was not my room, it was theirs… And this is their place too.

I had no furniture… Not a chair in sight. The only thing I had was an air mattress I got from the house that I ended up sleeping on for a week. Did I mention it had a hole in it? Good times.

We all sat (including the x) in the living room on the floor. We joked and laughed a bit while my younger one did cartwheels.

Mission accomplished, they know where I live and that they belong there too. Baby steps.

Is the dust settling?

It’s Saturday, June 22. I left the house on May 28 so its been a little bit short of a month. Had a great time ‘out’ last night, I will be busy doing chores all day today and I’m thinking about tomorrow.

I don’t think I have anything to do. While my guess is that something will come up I can’t help but wonder about being alone. Don’t get me wrong, I like being alone. I used to be so happy to get some time alone. Maybe it is because that was by choice and this is not? I am positive I am not sure if that is it. I do have choices…. I could visit my sister in the Bronx or I could spend the day with the kids and my x.

The problem with spending time with the kids and my x is… what’s the point? If I’m gonna spend all my time with them, why be separated? I know what your thinking and its true… I did not leave my kids, I only left my wife so why don’t you just take them for the day? Im not sure that is a good idea.

Lorraine is not ready to spend the day apart from them. When I had a ‘slumber party’ at my apartment for the first time, she cried all night. It was the worst night of her life so she told me. While I am not into the ‘drama of it all’… I certainly understand that it was difficult… it was for all of us. As a result, I will find something else to do.

The point is… I have basically had the same family structure/routine, etc. for all these years and it is time to branch out. Time to try new things, mix things up, and rebuild a life. It is what I have waited YEARS to do and I am excited to get started.

Update ( let’s pretend you want to know)

Going cycling in am tomorrow. Thinking about setting a crazy goal. The Hampton’s? 231 ? Not sure. Going east is probably safer but we will see. It might also be a good time to see the new “fast an furious” movie and pick up a few items for the apartment now that I got new furniture. Oops… Haven’t mentioned much about the whole “setting up my apartment” thing. Title of my next post? Maybe a good idea.

My first Father’s Day as a single father of two…

Nothing is easy that is certain but I was thinking the first father’s day after I left my house/left my wife would certainly be quite difficult. It was not only a difficult time but the agenda also included a tradition of visiting her grandfather now 98 years old. Lara (10) and Nicole (8) had been sleeping in their mom’s bed since I left… 2 weeks ago, I am living in a one-bedroom apartment just 5 miles away but it might has well been 500 miles.

On fathers day morning, I kept thinking to myself ways to make it as easy for them as possible. The end result was that I would show up before they wake up and wait in the living room. How can I just ‘walk in’ and do that as everyone in the house sleeps? Not really sure but Lorraine (is she my ex or my separated wife or whatever she is called) has been working hard to make things as easy as possible on everyone most of the time.

As I sat their on the couch in silence listening for the stir of awakening kids, I played games on my iPhone. It was odd to say the least. As they woke up I went upstairs. It did not feel awkward, it felt almost normal… THAT is what made it messed up. The only thing that i did not do is sit on the bed or wait upstairs as everyone got dressed for the day. I did stop by my x-office at the top of the stairs just to poke around for a few minutes.

The kids LOVE ‘big breakfast’. Pancakes, scrambled eggs, and especially BACON. They don’t have more than two slices but they sure do love it. Anyway, it went well. We cleaned up and ready to face the next step… going to her family’s house (mom’s side).

What would you expect from doing this? Think about it… they all know (except for grandpa who’s 98) that I left the house. Big mistake? Tag team bitching out sessions? Worse?  I came somewhat prepared… I had enough money in my pocket to grab a cab or catch a train back to my car.

In the end, the fact that they are a dysfunctional, non-confrontational, avoid the elephant in the room type of family paid off for the first time since I met them which was over 20 years ago. The only one missing, Ann, had to work. At the end of the day I joked to Ann’s mom that I missed her… I said I actually expected her to punch me out. Her mom said she had no doubt she would have. Somehow I found comfort in that. Ann and I always had that big brother/little sister banter.

When we got back to the house, the girls gave me some fathers day cards and gifts. The handmade items are taped to refrigerator door at the apartment. The trinkets are scattered all around the apartment as well so they see them when they visit.

Before the day drew to a close we played Wii. We seem to play Wii almost everytime I spend more than a couple of hours with them. It seems that it is a way to transition back to whatever reality this is. I quickly learned that letting the kids win help as i’m walking out the door. They are excited about their victory so they are less sad as I leave.

Father’s day turned out to be ok… ideal? certainly not but what in this life is? I’ll skip the blatant opportunity for a cheezy cliché at this point. Bottom line? It is a difficult time but you can get through it, just roll with the punches.