with Karli Larson
The transition from stay-at-home mom to divorced-and-working-full-time mom can be challenging, and sometimes very lonely. Throw in a few cats, an ancient dog and one very brave boyfriend, and life gets downright crazy. Join me as I talk through my thoughts and struggles, my miscalculations and my triumphs. We're in this together, you and I.
When I'm not writing here you can find me over at work on the TisBest Philanthropy blog.
I’m a writer too. Grow a pair and get a job.
Now that’s an old-time, down-home Christmas carol, fo’ Santa-shizzle! Grow a pair of what? Chia pets? I already have breasts. Once, in college? A boy in my freshman tutorial? Toppled me onto a pile of coats? Kissed me passionately? And told me that they were beautiful?
My breasts. Not the woolen coats, or Chia pets. Although they can be beautiful too. A Chia pet with a good haircut? A thing of beauty.
Back to the holidays! Yay! Fun!
The weather outside is frightful
And writers—as you know—are delightful
Since there’s no place to go
I’ll chew my hangnails until they bleed and turn up the thermostat on my guilt and self-loathing and eat poinsettia until I learn how to spell it correctly
What? That didn’t rhyme?
My darlin’ pookieschmoopiefaces, I know this is not the sort of column you have become accustomed to here at the wonderful, incredibly helpful Work It, Mom! But they knew I was not incredibly helpful when they hired me. They did know I was single, and a rather vibrantly messy work-in-progress. Perhaps they did not know just how messy, and they are finding out now.
Another reader wrote this week:
I want to fire you. But I can’t stop reading you.
I kind of appreciated that. But my first thought, of course, was, Can she fire me? My second thought was, Does the whole world want to fire me? My third thought was, I know the word for setting oneself on fire: self-immolation, and thus, no one should ever, ever fire me, because I know how to get the job done myself.
The world has a dwindling population of folks who know what self-immolation and defenestration mean, and don’t think I’m afraid to use those fancy words. Or commit those acts on primetime, if NBC pays me enough. My kids need to go to college! And one wants to major in unicorn-naming, so scholarship offers will be slim, even if she goes to the University of Bjork in Iceland.
By now, loveys, you are nervously wondering:
1) Does Jennifer Mattern know this is a column about being single?
2) Has Jennifer Mattern forgotten this is a column about being at work?
3) Does Jennifer Mattern know we’re here?
The answer to all three questions is yes.
I just got back from the mediation lawyer with my almost-almost-almost ex. We were tying up a few loose ends. I would say, “crossing t’s,” “dotting i’s,” except those phrases make me want to commit defenestration.
Friends, this single life? In progress? I do not find it easy. It has been a work in progress for nearly two years now, and the fact that it is wrapping up during the holidays is devastating because, by now, everyone else is So Very Over It, and there is no one left to talk to. Even my dogs are over it. The cat just met me a few months back, and already she is hiding in my bathtub to get away from my gloom.
I am not ready to offer helpful advice. I am not THAT single gal on this site. I am THIS Single Mom at Work, the one who could not believe that the lawyer did not have ONE box of tissues on his long mahogany table this morning.
I am THIS Single Mom at Work, the one who has been cut down to size, has made mistakes, has effed up. I am THIS Single Mom at Work, the one who was part of a MARRIAGE that made mistakes, that effed up. I am THIS Single Mom at Work, the one who’s been trying to get back on track, the one who’s trying to find words for something that there are no words for.
I am THIS Single Mom at Work, who will always love my ex very much. Or at least, I can’t see that stopping. Wish I could. I am THIS Single Mom at Work, who is trying to make you laugh, because if I don’t, I will surely not make it. I don’t know where all of you put those tears of yours, or how you stop the flow. I can’t stop mine, and I am ashamed that they keep coming.
The lawyer reminded us this morning not to marry again before 120 days are up, so as not to commit bigamy in the good, old-fashioned state of Massachusetts. A strangled mix of tears and laughter lodged in my throat, where I held it in check. I had told myself I WOULD NOT CRY AGAIN IN THE MEDIATION ROOM, under penalty of SELF-FLAGELLATION (see? another good one), or penalty of a sequined hair shirt from Lane Bryant. Marry again within 120 days? I will be lucky if I take down the Christmas tree within 120 days.
I wish I had advice for any of you. I am a columnist, after all. I wish a had a buche. I’d be thrilled to grow a pair. A pair of anything new. Baseball mitts? Better buttocks? Covered bridges? Not really sure what Friendly Reader was on about. It would be great to keep her happy, though. Everyone deserves to be happy.
By the way, could someone let her know that this is a job?
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