Introducing the SMAW and Her Angels: Coming Back to Life after a Middleaged Breakup
Hello MAW friends! My name is Cindee. Jen and I go waay back to high school and have had the really good fortune of reconnecting. I’m going to be guesting whenever Jen feels like putting me on. I hope you like/relate to/are amused by my stories…
I won’t bore you with the details of my recent break up, except to say that we were together for 10 years. Seven years were spent living together, and it was as close to a divorce on the emotional level as you could get. Believe me, it was bad. And draaawn oooout. And I really think it’s more appropriate to discuss over a bottle – or 3 – of wine.
So here I am, almost 47 and single in the Big Apple for the first time in 10 years. WTF am I supposed to do now?! If you told me that being single at 47 would be 1 MILLION times better than being single at 27, I would have laughed at you and then maybe cried. I can honestly say that it is better. Way better than I had ever imagined.
And that is thanks, in part, to my angels. Until this break up, I didn’t really believe in angels. Well, a few months and three angels later, I believe in them 100% and I am one lucky girl.
Enter Angel #1. Near-total Stranger Angel
I moved out with nothing more than my clothes, my books and my Cuisinart 10” stainless steel sauté pan. I moved in with an acquaintance in my neighborhood who knew me from mutual friends and our local bar where I do a comedy show once a month.
Wait. Let me rephrase that. An almost-stranger grabbed me after the first show where I announced that I was single and said: “Where are you living? You can stay with me, rent free, and figure out your sh*t. I’ve been there.”
Who does that in NYC? An angel named The Divine Ms. M. That’s who.
I moved in on Wednesday, May 6, 2015. At the time, she was fostering three cats, had three of her own, and had not added me to the mix. The first morning I woke up in the new digs I thought I was going to die of equal parts heartbreak and lungs clogged with cat hair. I called out break-up from work that day. As the month went on we got to know each other and learned that we were both Libras, that we could make each other laugh til we cried/cry til we laughed and that we were on our way to adopting a whole new lifestyle: ROWYCO. (Look it up. It’s NSFW)
(Editor’s note: Cindee, as a SMAW in NYC, may know the hip acronyms, but I sure don’t. So I used the Interwebs to find out. NSFW means not safe for work. As for ROWYCO, take Cindee’s suggestion and look it up. Or ask your kids. The rest of the article won’t make sense until you do. We’ll wait… OK, moving on.)
The road to ROWYCO wasn’t easy. I cried a lot. I stayed out late at night. I anxiety puked. Then one day I woke up and didn’t feel as sad. My clothes started to get bigger. I felt like putting on make up. I was ready to Rock Out With…
I broke up with my old hairdresser because after the last haircut, I was convinced she just kind of waved the scissors around my head. I truly don’t believe she cut one single strand. Bad hair is NOT a part of the ROWYCO lifestyle. I had also just gotten new glasses after I found two of the kitties using my old ones as a chew toy. I was now ready for new hair.
Enter Angel #2: Jada. She is a hair angel.
I told Jada a little about where I was in my life and that I get “mushroom head,” that sexy look of flat on top and HUGE at the bottom. She nodded, and said: “I know exactly what to do.” Did she ever. I walked out of there with rock star hair. It was sassy. It was layered. IT WAS ROWYCO HAIR. And I never even mentioned the lifestyle to her. She just got it.
Things were starting to fall into place, but I still had one nagging problem. My brain wouldn’t shut off. The anxiety and sadness and anger were still swirling around. I needed to reign them in and figure my sh*t out.
Now introducing Angel #3: Carol F., Theraputic Angel
(Cue soft glow of white light while music swells.)
If it’s crazy to know that someone is a great therapist after one phone call, then call me crazy. I got a good vibe from Carol F., and I was right. And even though therapy isn’t always a breeze, she makes it feel like everything is a little easier.
Starting your life over is is hard sometimes, but surrounding myself with angels was the first step. ROWYCO was the next step. I was starting to feel better and better about myself. I was tan. I was losing weight! I was, as I said in one of my jokes: footloose, fancy free and VERY sensitive to testosterone. Yep. I was starting to think about boys again.
And then I found Tinder.
(Editor’s note: More about Tinder – I certainly hope! – and the further adventures of a SMAW in NYC, as soon as I can prevail upon Cindee to pen her next article.)