THE WAY WE WERE (real EX-HOUSEWIVES of cleveland, ohio)

Stacy is quick to point out how well her parents got along this wedding year. She thanked me, (and I’m certain her mother) for making the process easier. Indeed, there it was a softer, gentler nation from the engagement weekend through the walk down the aisle. Historians will readily note it wasn’t always that way. Still, a smile on a child’s face is reason enough to continue the peace initiative.

We met on a blind date forty years ago this past weekend. Also on Sweetest Day. Grace Slick, with all her east-coast worldliness, and me, a virginal, Jewish Opie. Longert fixed us up. What was SHE thinking? We were so different. On paper…we just didn’t match up. Twenty-six years later this was confirmed by an Ohio court.

Mistakes were made, but I’ve come to believe the biggest flaws were in the foundation. Dodging our differences, we discovered love before sharing friendship. Not necessarily a good long-term prescription. Moreover, this was my first girlfriend and I brought neither confidence nor maturity to the table. (I can’t speak for her). I do know that we stumbled while engaged, but nonetheless moved forward. Perhaps it would have been wiser to heal a bit before exchanging vows…maybe work on the issues. (But we couldn’t—the caterer had already been paid).

Historical Note: On December 24, 1972, as Alan, Hal, Bob, Stu and the rest of the Ohio contingent exited Howard Johnson’s Motor Hotel for the wedding, the Browns were up on the undefeated Dolphins in the playoffs.

Actually, we had a pretty good run. 22+ years, three beautiful kids, a dog. Even the embryonic part of the divorce was amicable (until I woke up missing a testicle).

Then it got rough, — at times, ugly. And I readily understood why kids
cringed at the thought of being with both parents for life cycle events.

That, however, was then. This is now. Personal growth has been a bridge over troubled water.

We’re as opposite today as the day we met, but there’s an acceptance level today that melts the differences in how we approach life. We’ve never jointly dissected our marriage, and, at this point, why should we? It IS water under that bridge. Hell, as far as I’m concerned, I have enough to do living my life that I don’t need to direct traffic elsewhere. So I’m content to continue my journey and she can have hers….

The first hint of peace came at Stacy’s engagement. Jason had summoned us each to Chicago for the surprise betrothal. I was flying, but his future mother-in-law was driving with my dog. A few days before the trip the ex called, advising that there was no reasonably priced room for her in Chicago. It was agreed that she stay with me (in the other bed). Then, arriving at the room, we discovered but one king-sized bed.

Stacy’s mother was incredulous! We called down and cots were unavailable. What to do! I suggested we just share the bed and not worry about it. She abstained. (Perhaps I underestimated the durability of my cavorka). Rearranging the furniture, a couch and ottoman were set up, and one of us (No Names, please), slept on a make-shift setting. It mattered not. The day had been saved, and I, for the first time in over 8,000 nights with the woman, got the remote control.

The peace continued. Through it all. The meetings with the caterer. The shower. The confab to determine reception seating. All of it. The two of us would sit down and make wedding decisions democratically. We each got one vote, (and then, if necessary, she would break the tie).

But we muddled through like mature adults. Even when we disagreed. Not once did she call me a “loser.” Not once did I remind her she shared a birthday with Saddam Hussein, (and was also born under Hitler’s astrological sign).

There is something about peace that is contagious. And that’s a good thing. The newlyweds were in town the other night to catch my show. The ex joined the kids, my brother and his entourage at the theater. She even called me ahead of time and urged “Break a leg.”

And I think she meant it as “Good luck.”

2 Responses to “THE WAY WE WERE (real EX-HOUSEWIVES of cleveland, ohio)”

  1. Stacy says:

    Someone told me to check this blog out. Great one. You have no idea how much I love your friendship. And yes, I do call it that since I know you two trust each other and often laugh together.

  2. Jackie says:

    What is “cavorka”?

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