LIVING UNSCRIPTED: Nix the ‘I’m Done!’

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“There’s A Fine, Fine Line

between A Lover, And A Friend.

there’s A Fine, Fine Line

between Reality, And Pretend;

and You Never Know ’til You Reach The Top

if It Was Worth The Uphill Climb…”

I drove down from the Catskills to the end of Long Island on my two days off from the musical Pailey and I were working on, to celebrate Brielle’s (my youngest) 21st birthday and Nick’s (my son) 27th. Nick flew in from California to help Brielle organize a weekend bash out at the house my ex and I still own jointly — and I surprised her with a pair of Tiffany champagne flutes for the first toast.

It was a long drive out and, being home again, it was easy for my mind to wander back to the 8-year-on-again-off-again BF who spent a lot of the last decade at my beach house with me… Soooo, on a warm night, driving along an old familiar road, radio on, I dialed a number I still know by heart –and left a message on his machine, that I was back.

“…There’s A Fine, Fine Line

between A Fairy Tale, And A Lie.

and There’s A Fine, Fine Line

between “you’re Wonderful” And “goodbye”.

i Guess If Someone Doesn’t Love You Back

it Isn’t Such A Crime…”

It was great fun reconnecting with my kids — Lynn (my 2nd oldest) was there with her boys too –and it doesn’t get better than seeing them all together.  I hosted a celebratory dinner, spent some quality time with each, and left 24 hrs later for the drive back to our group house in the mountains and a LOL musical I believe in …  Another long drive, listening to good music.  …Soooo I called him again.

He picked up this time –and the conversation was strained.  He seemed anxious to get off the phone… Although it sounded like I woke him up, he said he was heading out the door…

“…There’s A Fine, Fine Line

between Love,

and A Waste Of Your Time.”

Not the smartest move on my part, but I thought about him a lot while I was away, missed what I remembered we’d had — and we did exchange a few emails around the holidays, our birthdays… Sadly, they drifted off in to the “he said/she said” zone…  Still, every so often, I can’t help but wonder why we didn’t last…

In the last few pages of our final chapter, we got stuck in the mud of some seemingly heavy-duty relationship issues and he suggested we take a break “to cool down.”  We were to meet two weeks later in my therapist’s office to “work them out” but when we did, he had a written list of grievances that ended with “Do not call, email or contact me in any way.” He bolted.

Stunned, I headed back to my apartment, packed up his stuff (neatly) (that was a conscious choice) in suitcases and stored them in the basement.  Weeks later, he came back for one of his suits –but left with said suitcases and all of his things.  He said he wanted to start again.  But I couldn’t.  Months later, we met for dinner & held hands –but it didn’t take long to trigger the hurt –and this time it ended with me telling him to “get the fuck out of my life and never look back!!!!” I bolted.

And that’s the part of the story that stopped one of my couple friends in their tracks in the re-telling of it when I saw them a few days later up in the Catskills…

“If you want to know, Shaz, why The Mr. and I are together for 33 years — it’s because those words are not in our vocabulary.”

That got his attention too, so she continued, looking him in the eye … “I swallow it a lot — and so does he!”

“I’m glad you said I do too,” he stammered, surprised at her sharing that intimate detail “…I guess we both do.”

Imagine that…never saying “I’m done!!!

I remember Surfer Dude (who shall remain buried) explaining the quantum physics of those particles-of-attraction that launch many a long-term relationship as, “once ignited, forever lit.”


Having walked away from my fair share of relationships with one hand figuratively behind my back and my third finger pointed upwards, I snuck back in to my selective memory bank and pulled up a few of those less than happy moments… Re-evaluating my behavior, I wondered if my life would be different now had I simply not spoken those fatal words..??

“…and I Don’t Have The Time To Waste On You Anymore.

i Don’t Think That You Even Know What You’re Looking For.

for My Own Sanity I’ve Got To Close The Door

and Walk Away…”

Karen is over-the-moon-in-love with Tool Man but worried about the longevity of their relationship mostly because of the unadulterated joy he gets from nightly partying.  He’s a young 60 and holds his extracurricular well, but she can’t… (don’t get me wrong, the girl loves to dance –but not necessarily ’til dawn).  She struggles with the reality of being Done!!!!! concerned he’ll never really settle down.  And he may never settle down the way she wants him to.  But if we take away the words “I’m done!” as even a remote possibility –and rely instead on words that express how we’re feeling, maybe something different happens.

Emma seems to know that.  She may have gotten angry with some of Mr. Vegas’s actions over their 16-year relationship (he did marry & divorce twice during that time) (ouch!) but she’s always left her curtain up for a possible encore –and he does come back to her… Most recently with an invitation to be his “country chick” in Branson, MO where he’s got a gig this summer… So maybe there doesn’t have to be a final scene in our romantic plays …

I’ve learned that words are powerful …I’ve certainly used a few expletives I’d take back if I could –but I can’t.  They may be forgiven over time but they aren’t necessarily forgotten –and that’s where the trust factor lingers.

My relationship with the On-again-off-again BF might have ended anyway, but had we used words that reflected respect & acceptance of our differences in those moments of madness, we might now be friendsI miss that.

“oh…there’s A Fine, Fine Line

between Together,

and Not.

and There’s A Fine, Fine Line

between What You Wanted,

and What You Got.

you Gotta Go After The Things You Want

while You’re Still In Your Prime…”

Bond,James, and I are in the same time zone but still live a plane ride away.  We’re busy, leading separate lives in other cities… He’s different than anyone I’ve ever dated in many ways; some fascinating, some challenging. But we enjoy being together whenever we are, so we agreed to play “it” out over the summer.  He’s worth holding on to — and I’m watching my language.

NOTE TO SELF: Scrabble, anyone?

(*lyrics from Avenue Q)

About Shaz

I’m 59 and never expected to be divorced and, having raised a big family in the city I grew up in, to be still living there now completely on my own. My parents are gone and my grown children have opted for smaller towns. My father passed away this past February and my children suggested I take off and make a world tour of all my friends overseas…In piecing that together in my mind, I imagined taking a boat across, as I did the first time I went to Europe with my grandmother, as a teenager – and in that vision, I imagined taking those first five days and writing. Writing about where I’d been, writing about what I want, writing about the crossing over from my past to my future.

In reestablishing myself as a single woman, I’ve made new connections with some fabulous women and realized I’m not the only one going through this; there are other women out there who are also on a journey to becoming whole again. I hope my personal adventure will help us all find humor in the aging process –and confidence in following our hearts.