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Simply Solo Spotlight: 3 … 2 … 1 … Happy New You!

September 27, 2011

I’m super-duper (does anyone say that anymore?) excited about today’s guest post, written by Mikalee Byerman. Many of you have probably read Mikalee’s blog, but if you haven’t, why the hell not? She’s smart, funny, inspiring and just wee bit scandalous. I love how open she is about her story, her divorce and her ex (as well as his crazy antics). Let’s just say I’m a fan (in a weird way that I don’t admit to often). I hope you enjoy today’s post and be sure to visit Mikalee’s blog when you’re done reading and commenting!

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Contact me at:

3 … 2 … 1 … Happy New You!

OK, you probably don’t know who I am — just that I have a way funky name and happen to be a huge fan of Catherine. So it occurs to me I may need to start out with a little context:

  1. My marriage ended with a brick. A literal brick. (And if you’d like more about that awesome story, feel free to click here.) Since you just can’t make shit like that up, I started a blog where I talk about post-divorce healing, reinvention and other stuff in my holy-hell-get-me-offa-this-crazy-ride life.
  2. I tend to swear in my writing. Just a bit. Now if that offends you, my sincere apologies in advance. But Catherine has asked me to avoid the f-bomb, so since this is her effin’ house and all, I’m effin’ obeying. Reluctantly…
  3. I seem to be followed around of late by overdramatic dead squirrels. See for yourself.
  4. I’m a symbol girl. Which doesn’t bode well, considering I’m being followed around of late by overdramatic dead squirrels.

dramatic dead squirrel on highway

Dead squirrel on highway

Yes, I *heart* symbols. Totally heart them. Even the name of my blog – Me 2.0 — is symbolic of my 2.0 version, my next iteration of Me, post-divorce.

Yet sometimes, I don’t exactly pay much attention to the ever-so-clear symbols in life. Example: I was robbed on my honeymoon — had every single piece of luggage stolen out of my rental car the day before my new hubby and I were to depart on a cruise. Did I pay attention to that symbol — perhaps recognize some sign of the impending death of my marriage, one-third of my life later?

Nah. I thought it was a symbol of our ability to overcome adversity as a unified team, an unstoppable force of nature.

Or not.

Anyhow, another thing you should know about me is that post-divorce, I’ve decided to embrace the craziness of life. I’ve even started keeping lists of bizarre things — copious lists, with headings like “Words that don’t belong in the name of a restaurant” (“pit,” “nad” and “gastro” are highlights) to “Things that are useless in life” (bok choy and heels of bread are on that list) to “Red flags on a first date” (when he clips his fingernails at the table of the restaurant … ya think that’s a sign?).

But one of my all-time favorite, ongoing lists: “Creepy stuff.” Here’s just a sampling:

  1. Pieces of paper with oil stains
  2. Nutcrackers — particularly when their mouths are open (*shudders*)
  3. Bruised bananas
  4. Grown-ups who make a big deal of their birthdays

OK, pertaining to that last item: We all know these people. Sometimes, a birthday is even a month-long celebration, complete with daily reminders on Facebook and not-so-subtle hints sent via mass emails to their entire contact list. I swear they’d have a giant Dick Clark-ish sparkly ball heralding the countdown if they could find someone to give them one as a birth-month present.

So the fact that yesterday was my birthday, which came and went with little fanfare, shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me. It happened to be the day my children returned to my custody after two weeks without them, making that the Best. Present. EVER!

But other than a nice dinner out with the boyfriend, kiddos and parents, and two pieces of toilet paper tied up with ribbon and wrapped around crap I already owned from my daughter (she’s 9 – when do they grow out of that stage, anyhow?), it was much like any other day.

Birthdays? Not a big symbol for me. But my divorce-aversary? I’m all about that.

Yip, that’s what I said: divorce-aversary. The word practically oozes with awesomesauce, right? And I totally made it up. Go ahead and say it out loud, all together now: Divorce-aversary. Nice work! Makes my nether-regions all tingly …

Every year, I commemorate the day when version 1.0 kicked the matrimonial bucket, and Me 2.0 came screaming into the world with all the rage and pissed-off-edness of a previously comfortable, womb-sheltered newborn thrust into the bright, cold, icky, real world.

Only for me, gestation was 13 quiet, calm, content years. Far greater than the 9 months experienced by a typical baby. I think that gives me the right to scream and cry for a tad longer than a typical newborn. Just sayin’.

Anyhow, each year on the anniversary of my divorce, I celebrate. You see, I have learned to embrace this brick-induced birth as a symbol of my reinvention, even buying myself presents to commemorate the occasion.

Typically, I buy something to replace a memory of my 1.0 life, since no matter how hard I tried post-brick, I couldn’t remove EVERY reminder of my old life. I painted walls and purged entire rooms and gave away furnishings and even disdainfully dumped my old matrimonial bed (complete with sheets) in the front yard until my Ex came and got it.

Now that was a fun symbol.

But some things remained. Because they were expensive. Or I liked them. Or they were expensive and I liked them.

So this year’s splurge was not one inspired by choice, but instead out of necessity. Right before the brick, Ex and I bought a giant TV. I have no idea the size (maybe 50 inches?), but it was H-U-G-E. And I liked it. And it was expensive. So after he left, I saw no reason to replace it.

Until this year, when the Vizio Pop of Death happened to poor Boyfriend Brett.

Seriously. Check Google if you don’t believe me: 76,300 search engine results for this particular brand of crap TV and the loud pop that precedes certain death. Or, if you’re an electrician like Boyfriend Brett, inspires the purchase of a motherboard, then the dismantling and reassembly of said giant TV only to see it still doesn’t work. But check out how cute he is anyhow …

This year’s divorce-aversary — my third — resulted in a big party with a big present (new H-U-G-E TV!) and a big pink Snowball (don’t judge: Snowballs rock).

party hat, pink snowball, birthday

And like those crazy friends who celebrate their birthdays for days and potentially weeks on end, my divorce-aversary is always a 2-day affair. Because in keeping with my “Me 2.0” theme, I celebrate “New You’s Eve.”

The night before my divorce-aversary, there are crazy hats and silly horns and copious amounts of champagne. And there’s a list of “New You’s Resolutions” — the things I hope to accomplish in the next year of my 2.0 life. And if I can read the scribbles from this year’s champagne-soaked celebration, here are a few of mine for this year:

  1. Maintain my #1 Shit Divorce rank on Google. (Seriously – if you type “Shit divorce” on Google, I have the first and second and ninth entries … mine even comes in higher than Tiger Woods’ divorce! Yay me!)
  2. Quit the day job and commit myself to a full-time freelance writing career. (Check and check! My last day of said day job is Oct. 5!!!)
  3. Prevent my Ex and his wife from shutting down my blog. (At the time, they were suing me in part to stop my blog. Apparently they never heard of the First Amendment. Luckily, our judge did, and the blog goes on. Check.)
  4. Meet Nora Ephron. (Not even sure why that was a big deal that night, but it was important enough to make the list. But alas, it has yet to occur. Uncheck.)
  5. Become master of the universe. (It was at this point in my list that the writing becomes illegible and the champagne found its own voice. Check mate.)

Anyhow, as I mentioned, I turned 3 on my divorce-aversary this year: I’m three years into my next best self, three years stronger, three years wiser, three years better off.

And I hope that maybe, if you’ve been through something as traumatic as a blindsiding divorce or a crazy separation, one that inspired your complete reinvention: Perhaps you’ll embrace the concept of a divorce-aversary, or a separation-aversary, or whatever your name will be. And buy yourself some balloons and a big pink snowball. Cuz they rock.

So, now it’s your turn:

  • Have you found a way to celebrate milestones that commemorate something less-than-happy — but provide an opportunity for introspection and healing?
  • Anything to add to my list of “Creepy things”? I’m looking for new entries…
  • If you could write a list of New You’s Resolutions, what would be among your highlights?
  • Are you one of those creepy grown-ups who celebrates your birthday for an entire month?
  • Any idea why Nora Ephron made my list?

And thank you, Catherine, for allowing me to spread the love and share life’s little crazies with your fabulous readers. I *heart* symbols almost as much as I *heart* you and your blog! 🙂

Copyright 2011. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.

100 Comments leave one →
  1. September 27, 2011 8:49 am

    Everything we had (except for passports and wallets) was stolen from our rental car while honeymooning in France. Less than two years later, he walked out. Hmmmmm.

    • September 27, 2011 10:05 am

      Hmmmm indeed! There does seem to be a crazy parallel. Perhaps a support group is in order…

      I guess you were fortunate to have your passports with you — or else you’d probably still be there, right? 😉 For us, we were in the Happiest Place on Earth when our robbery happened, adding insult to injury. Even the MIckey Mouse security guards were happy. That really pissed me off…

      Thanks for reading!

  2. September 27, 2011 9:17 am

    Mikalee told me that if I did not comment it would be seven years of extreme bad luck. Hope this gets me out of it.

    Cheers, Bill

    • September 27, 2011 10:05 am

      Sheesh, Bill. That was supposed to be our little secret. Now it’s 14 years bad luck…


  3. Shawn Griffin permalink
    September 27, 2011 9:27 am

    Knowing that I need to remain a gracious guest and that I’m not on Mikalee’s eff’ing blog site, I will keep my inner Sailor restrained and try to be a gentleman.

    Pretty tough eff’ing job considering I was a sailor for 11 years.

    Jeez, now that I say that (or type that) out loud, I was a knuckle-dragger for one-fourth of my life.

    I enlisted and was definitely no gentleman. Too many ports. Many storms. An abundance of stories that cannot be printed on a family blog.

    As I left the United States Navy and heeded the goodbyes of my peers with “Fair Winds and Following Seas”, I look back fondly every June 3rd to a life left behind.

    Resistance is futile.

    I have been merged into the corporate world of eff’ing political correctness, service levels, EBITDA, P&L, and talent management.

    But it doesn’t stop the old sailor in me from appreciating a witty sarcastic intellectual of the fairer sex … In a hot eff’ing business suit or better yet, in a shorter skirt and heels.

    Some things change, but the Me 2.0 post-Navy can’t change that eff’ing much.

    • September 27, 2011 10:12 am

      You know what, Shawn? There’s something to be said for a 2.0 version that combines the best parts of your new self … with some remnants of your 1.0. Just like in my attempt to purge post-divorce, there still remain pieces I can’t seem to shake. Even as I type, at the very desk my way-awesome, brick-delivering Ex brought home to me one day, I have to remember that lesson.

      (But guess what? A new desk — it’s on its way!!! Just got confirmation from Office Max this morning. Seriously.)

      So whaddya think: Is June 3 your Dischargeaversary? (wow, that just sounds bad…)

  4. September 27, 2011 9:48 am

    Congratulations on your divorce-aversary, cute handy boyfriend, and venture into full-time freelance writerdom! I love Nora Ephron too — I HATE MY NECK was about the funniest thing I’ve ever read.

    • September 27, 2011 11:19 am

      I loved that book, too — but I really enjoyed listening to her read it more! (I’ll admit it’s the only “book on tape” I’ve ever actually checked out from the library.)

      Thanks for the congrats. Something super revealing happened this morning, when handy Boyfriend Brett opened up my latest post (called “I love you. Now go away”) and said, “Sounds familiar.” Oops…can you say, commitment issues?


  5. Jackie Shelton permalink
    September 27, 2011 9:51 am

    I am one of those creepy grownups who would love to celebrate her birthday the entire month, unfortunately September is one of those effing months that too many other people also celebrate so I have to share (looking at you Byerman!).

    I used to celebrate my divorceerary, but it’s the same month as my anniversary, so it seemed kind of yuck (that’s what happens when you get married on April Fool’s Day – the universe decides to join in on the pranks).

    I am a big believer that we should celebrate whenever we can though. This month alone we’re having a “We Should Have a Movie in the Back Yard Before it Gets too Cold” party, along with the more traditional “Glue Guns, Glitter and Carving Knives” pumpkin carving party at the end of the month.

    Congrats on starting this even newer phase of your life with the freelance gig. That was a particularly loud sign when you get 32 assignments at the same time. Glad you listened to it. 😉

    • September 27, 2011 11:23 am

      Sorry ’bout intruding on your birth-month and all, Jackie. That really sucks of me and all the other September babies, doesn’t it? 😉

      I can’t believe you got married on April Fool’s Day. Didn’t that seem like the punchline to a romantic comedy starring Katherine Heigl? Didn’t you see that sign??? Just teasing, of course…

      Yeah, 32 assignments at once was the first sign. Then this weekend, I was in my office from Friday morning to Monday night — non-stop. Damn, my fingers hurt…

      Thanks for reading over here at Catherine’s great blog!

      • September 28, 2011 5:50 pm

        I thought we were being ironic with the April Fools thing. Shows what I know. 😉

  6. September 27, 2011 9:52 am

    In a past terrible terrible relationship we did go on vacation to some really nice places. Unfortunately since I was to naive to notice I was dating a douche bag those nice beautiful places are ruined for me with terrible memories. My New You resolution is to go back to those wonderful vacation spots and create new memories.

    • September 27, 2011 11:24 am

      “Vacation sans douchebag” — seems a PERFECT New You’s Resolution!

      Do it, msdarkmetal. You deserve it, especially now that you are wiser and stronger and less encumbered by douchbaginess!

  7. September 27, 2011 11:06 am

    Love th article thanks for sharing… 🙂

  8. September 27, 2011 11:12 am

    Divorce-aversary. What a fabulous word!! Can I use it on my blog? My six month divorce-aversary is Friday. Imma celebrate.

    Oh, and didn’t Nora Ephron write a semi-autobiographical novel about getting divorced while pregnant? I think it’s called Heartburn.

    • September 27, 2011 11:27 am

      Absolutely — it’s a word we all can embrace! And I do believe this would be your semi-divorce-aversary. I like that, too…

      I haven’t read Heartburn, but I know she’s shared some brilliant insights on divorce in multiple places (I loved her essay on the HuffPo Divorce site when it first started, for example). I must have been channeling my inner Nora that New You’s Eve…

      Thanks for the comment, Liz!

  9. sportsattitudes permalink
    September 27, 2011 11:22 am

    #1 S–T Divorce rank on Google. That’s priceless. Nothing more painful than an office full of grown-up people celebrating someone’s birthday only because it is the “way we’ve always done it” or there’s a gung-ho psycho on board who feels a birthday celebration is not only mandatory for the person getting one year closer to the Grim Reaper but for all the grim people they have to work with. Awkward with a capital Awk.

    • September 27, 2011 12:43 pm

      Damn straight — embrace the small stuff, right? My Google ranking makes me all tingly. Couldn’t care less about my b-day…but my #1 Sh*t divorce, I’d celebrate daily if I could.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I may be stealing “Awkward with a capital Awk” in the future, if you don’t mind…that phrase is chock full of awesomeness.

      • sportsattitudes permalink
        September 28, 2011 10:13 am

        Mikalee, “Awkward with a capital Awk” is not copyrighted and you are good to go. And indeed, embrace the small stuff. It’s ultimately what really matters!

  10. September 27, 2011 11:59 am

    Love the idea of a divorce-aversary. Brilliant. I’m waiting for my actual divorce to be finalised and this is a great way to do it.

    A much cheered me – I’m so glad I stumbled on your blog!


    • September 27, 2011 12:47 pm

      Aw, Caroline — best of luck to you. I feel for you: I remember those days so vividly, and regardless of the situation inspiring it, divorce is brutal with a capital B-R-U-T-A-L!

      But just look at all you have to look forward to: champagne; the symbolic dumping of stuff; chanmpagne; snowballs; New You’s Eve celebrations; champagne; maybe even a dead squirrel or two! Just remember to embrace the craziness of it all — it helps.

      I wish you continued healing…


  11. September 27, 2011 12:02 pm

    I’m a sucker for clever new words and phrases, so divorce-aversary is one I am totally embracing. December 22nd, baby – I’ll be 5!!

    And you know I’m already a big fan and love you to pieces (metaphorically speaking, of course), but I must take issue with your claim that bok choy is useless. I actually have a chicken recipe in which bok choy is an essential – and delicious – component. ‘Nuff said! Brussels sprouts, on the other hand? They could disappear from the face of the earth and I wouldn’t even notice their absence.

  12. September 27, 2011 12:50 pm

    So if I’m 3 and a girl, and you’re 5 and a boy, that makes us about the same maturity level — right? Must be why I love me some Mark Petruska…(metaphorically speaking, of course).

    But I think I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: You’re dead to me. You don’t like brussel sprouts? WTH is wrong with you, man?

    And bok choy is glorified petrified celery. End of story. 😉

  13. Dana permalink
    September 27, 2011 1:57 pm

    Great post as usual!! And Happy Birthday and Divorceaversary!

    Everyone be sure to follow Mikalee on her blog-because you can’t make up the sh*t her ex and her ex’s ex now wife do to her!

    • September 27, 2011 6:56 pm

      Awww, thank you, Dana: Both days were interesting in their own unique ways.

      And yeah, I do have some pretty good fodder from these people, don’t I? I’m still getting feedback about my “I Spy with my little eye … a blog stalker?!?!” post, in which I called out my Ex’s wife for leaving five comments under five different identities. Good times!

      Appreciate the comment — you guys are awesome!

  14. September 27, 2011 2:17 pm

    When you pass 60, lemme tell you every birthday is a big deal. But I don’t make a big deal out of it. I do make a big deal out of grand children Bdays, however.

    • September 27, 2011 6:58 pm

      Haha! The addition of every year does add new perspective — I’ll definitely give you that. And yes, making big deals of grandkid b-days is a totally different thing. Not creepy at all … in fact, that’s your prerogative!

  15. September 27, 2011 2:52 pm

    You are AWESOME! Thank you for sharing.

    I was supposed to get married August 20, and pulled the plug on that. I spent the day running (my new challenge/motivation), ate lunch with a boy who adores me, spent the day sipping wine with my folks, and went to see the legendary Tony Bennett (yeah, I’m 26). It was a truly great day.

    While it’s been 10+ months since my ex and I split, I am still not sure I am able to commit to boy above. Would love to know how you’ve embraced dating again and knowing if it’s right.

    Thanks again!

    • September 27, 2011 4:48 pm

      Wow, KD…thank you! And thanks for sharing a piece of your story here — it sounds like you commemorated your almost-aversary in style. I’m 38 (as of yesterday…ARGH!) and went to see Barry Manilow last year, so I can relate to the Bennett thing. Cool is just cool, plain and simple.

      In terms of Boyfriend Brett: Girlfriend, that’s a whole book in and of itself. I’m about as commitment-phobic as you can get after being blindsided 13+ years post-marriage, so there’s a whole mess of therapy in my future! And in fact, I have many posts on my blog about my particular brand of crazy in the aftermath of my brick. Let’s just say Boyfriend Brett has a heart of gold. And the patience of Job. And doesn’t mind that I snoop through his bank account, and text messages, and look for evidence of bricks (real or metaphorical) in every crack and crevice. But I don’t want to live like this forever, and I can’t imagine he does, either. So at some point, time MUST heal. If it doesn’t — well, then, I guess I’ll be a crazy cat lady. Or squirrel lady…

      Thanks for reading and commenting — I wish you continued healing! 🙂

  16. September 27, 2011 3:02 pm

    Love this! It’s truly laugh-out-loud meets inspired sighs of relief material. Thank you!

    I certainly keep track of my break-up-aversaries, but haven’t celebrated them yet. Time to start! Yay!!!

    • September 27, 2011 4:53 pm

      Oh yes … it’s time to get your pink snowball on!

      Thank you so much for commenting, and I’m so glad you found some joy in the post. I literally just got back from lunch with my BFF, and we were talking about all the new challenges ahead and my writing and my joy in life right now. And I honestly told her: I’m so grateful for my Ex, and the antics, and my friends, and my blog. I wouldn’t be where I am right now without the craziness in my life — and I’ve never been happier or more challenged.

      If that’s not reason to celebrate…I don’t know what is!

      Thank you, Larissa, for reading, laughing and commenting — much appreciated! I hope you keep reading my stuff, then keep me posted on your personal brand of celebration. Just don’t forget the snowball and the hat… 😉

  17. September 27, 2011 4:47 pm

    God bless your party hat! Hilarious 🙂

    • September 27, 2011 4:57 pm

      It way rocks, right?

      Every girl should have one. And a penis tiara. But that’s a whole ‘nother story…


  18. jlmx2 permalink
    September 27, 2011 6:14 pm

    Love it!!
    My first divorce-aversary came AFTER my next first anniversary. If y’all can follow that!
    I love your writing, Mikalee!
    …and am thinking I need to read I HATE MY NECK…although I could find my fitting body parts for that sentence! 😛

  19. jlmx2 permalink
    September 27, 2011 6:15 pm

    **Could find MANY body parts to fit that sentence!

    • September 27, 2011 6:51 pm

      Thanks so much for the comment — and I definitely think I need the Cliff’s Notes version to understand your anniversary-to-divorce-aversary progression! 😉

      Definitely pick up the book. It’s full of fun, and she’s an incredibly witty writer. Apparently enough to inspire my awe even in a drunken state!

  20. September 27, 2011 6:25 pm

    My divorce was the happiest day of my life! 😀

    Creepy things:

    – Dial tones. HATE.
    – Busy signals. HATE EVEN WORSE.
    – Sunflowers. They’re so big, why is that necessary? (Which is, coincidentally, NOT what she said.)

  21. September 27, 2011 6:48 pm

    Good for you for embracing your divorce — it certainly wasn’t my happiest day ever, but I’ve learned to DEFINITELY appreciate it in hindsight!

    Totally agreed with your additions to the creepy things list. Especially the sunflowers. I think they’re just show-offs, really…masking their deep-seated insecurities with giant displays of vacuous puffery…


  22. September 27, 2011 7:24 pm


    You are absolutely hilarious. Thanks for guest posting today and bringing some new readers to Simply Solo! It’s clear your readers love the holy crap out of you and it was awesome to watch them support you on my site. Now, I have to tell you, I agree and disagree with your finding people who celebrate their birthday for a month creepy. I celebrate mine for a week. 🙂 Is that OK?

    Thanks again for writing for Simply Solo. You are an effin’ inspiration! 🙂

    • September 27, 2011 7:44 pm

      You’re more than welcome — I’ve enjoyed meeting some new friends from your blog as well (*frantic waves* welcome aboard new subscribers…hi!!!).

      And BTW, I love the holy crap out of my readers, too. Including you — in a completely creepy way. 😉

      Finally, regarding your birth-week celebration: You’re, like, 16 or whatever. Just wait ’til you turn 30. Just sayin’…



  23. September 28, 2011 12:19 am

    Happy Birthday and Happy divorce-aversary Mikalee. My birthday was the 23rd.
    Maybe I am trying a 2.0 in trying to start my own plumbing business? Now that’s stress on its own! It seems 2.0 might be 1.5, economy and all you know.
    You are the one rocking the snowball and party hat and balloon!

    • September 28, 2011 8:58 am

      Hey, Harold: Happy belated b-day to you! My brother’s b-day was the 23rd, so I happen to know awesome people are born on that day…

      Good for you for rocking your 2.0 — a new biz definitely counts. Sounds like you and I are jumping into crazy waters together; advice for both of us: watch out for sharks!

      Thanks so much for the comment. 🙂

  24. September 28, 2011 3:02 am

    I’m so glad your Ex didn’t succeed at taking down your blog. He should just get over it. Now, do tell, what did the folks at Diet Coke think of your post? It was a crappy fridge they sent you after all. Kind of chintzy with the sodas if you ask me. 😉

    • September 28, 2011 9:00 am

      Haha, Monica! I’m so grateful to have received anything … in this case, it truly was an honor just being nominated.

      Stay tuned — the update is forthcoming. And thanks for reading and commenting!

  25. September 28, 2011 8:11 am

    Creepy list: Sponge Bob Square Pants, tubes of biscuits that pop when you tear off the wrapper, and those clay Kleenex people whose noses literally run around their faces in the commercial every winter. *shudder*

    You seem like a trooper. What happened to you is awful. But as a “child” of a very nasty divorce whose parents still don’t speak to each other (and likely never will), I feel for your kids a little. I’m not questioning whether you should’ve gotten divorced — trust me, my family would’ve been MUCH better off had my parents split ages before they actually did — but yeah… clearly they’ve been put in the middle of an extremely uncomfortable situation. And no kid, no matter how the thing went down or who did what to whom — wants to choose between parents. So I hope you keep that in mind if you’re ever inclined to say nasty things about your ball-less wonder of an ex in front of them.

    That said, I’m glad things seem to be getting better for you! And I’m happy “Me 2.0” seems like such a strong woman. And Brett? McSteamy much? I think you win. 😉

  26. September 28, 2011 9:55 am

    I totally want to meet Nora, anyone who admits to ordering like Sally or can reduce me to a hopeless romantic wreck with the aid of Tom Hanks deserves a high five!

    • September 28, 2011 2:33 pm

      Well, Sleepless in Seattle is one of my all-time favorite cheesy romcoms, so perhaps that inspired the Ephron entry on my list. She is one brilliant author/producer/screenwriter!

  27. September 28, 2011 10:18 am

    Katie…we’re kindred spirits. Creepy soul sisters separated at birth — all of your items … ALL OF THEM … are on my list!

    I can’t even handle the popping biscuit tubes. Boyfriend Brett has to tackle those; if I were single, they would be dead to me. Sadly, my children would grow up in a home without the squishy dough boy and his popping biscuit tubes.

    Thank you so much for the feedback — and yes, I have tons of guilt over the situation my children have inherited. And while I know that you don’t know me well, one thing I hope you take away from this comment is this: I have done the very best I could, ALWAYS with my amazing, beautiful, incredible children in mind. I tried the very best I could for years before finally acknowledging that I could not be “happy” and seem embracing of the constant disrespect and disparagement, as I was shunned and treated as though I were dead by my ex — and especially, by the new wife of my ex. You see, post-divorce, if I thought one couple in this world could really “do this” — be smart and respectful and supportive of each other without being married — I thought it was us. I didn’t factor in the ex girlfriend, who it seems seethed for 13 years because I got what she wanted. And then she got him back. So in the aftermath of our divorce, her disrespect of me has reached heights I couldn’t imagine, driven entirely by what I imagine to be 13 years of rage and insecurity.

    I tried to turn the other cheek, take the high road and embrace every single trite expression known to man. But I didn’t treat them like they were trite: They were my mantra. I didn’t want the kids being raised in a horrible split-home situation, stuck in the middle of parents who can’t get along. But it takes two to perform that tango, and I have to accept that and just keep doing the best I can for my kids. That said, I never talk about their dad or step mom. If they bring them up, I simply try to extract facts, provide feedback with facts and move on. I hate that they see us not talking at baseball games and dance recitals and school performances, but I couldn’t always be the one to try to make conversation; I couldn’t always be the one trying to ease transitions. After a while, I think my kids started seeing me as some sort of whipping post, which isn’t healthy either. So my only choice now is to not talk to them, not talk about them and be the mom I want to be for my children. What other choice do I have?

    Anyhow — whew, that’s quite the response! I didn’t mean to go on and on and on, but as you can imagine, I’ve worked through a lot of this during the last three years. And some of it through my blog, of course. I can totally appreciate where you’re coming from, though … and I thank you for the reminder that my children will some day grow up to be amazing adults, carrying with them copious memories. I only hope their memories of me are warm and loving, and they recall a respectful parent who did the best she could while remaining strong and true to herself.

    Thank you SO much for the comment! 🙂

    • September 29, 2011 7:44 am

      Mikalee, Clearly you’re at least aware (and that’s more than I can say for many people). You sound like a fantastic mom, just doing your best to get through a shitty ordeal. And it sounds like this Other Woman is handling the whole thing with as little class as possible. I’m sorry you’ve had to go through all of this, but at the same time, it seems like it’s shaping you into someone with more zest for life (corny as that sounds) — someone who’s going after her dream career. And that’s insanely admirable. 🙂

      • September 29, 2011 9:56 am

        Thank you, Katie. There has to be a part of me that’s grateful to him for the choices he made, because they brought me here: If not for him, I wouldn’t have these remarkable souls calling me “mom”; and without his choices, I don’t know if I ever would have found my voice!

        But of course, it kills me to watch my kids struggle as they transition households every two weeks. Only time will tell if they’ll be ok in the long run — I pray every day for that!

        Thank you again for the thoughtful, thought-provoking comments. I wish you continued healing and a helluva lot o’ happiness!

        Take care,


    • Dana permalink
      October 2, 2011 3:25 pm

      Mikalee I really feel for you. You deserve a medal for having to deal with that horrible woman. I wonder if she is remotely aware of the damage she is doing to those kids? Kudos to you for not letting yourself be a doormat!

      • Dana permalink
        October 2, 2011 3:31 pm

        Oh and ps, I think the reason she wants him to have no contact with you s because she’s afraid he will dump her again, or be sorry he left you!

  28. September 28, 2011 2:26 pm

    Snoballs DO rock! I’m glad you’re posting again, Mikalee!

  29. September 28, 2011 4:07 pm

    I think this is perfectly awesome. I had a Freedom is Sweet Dessert party to celebrate my divorce. 🙂 I’m wondering if the whole purging thing is universal. I got rid of everything too. Including the bed and sheets so he could take them on over to his new girlfriend.

    • September 28, 2011 6:19 pm

      What a great idea — I love the concept of a “Freedom” party, and what better way to celebrate than with desserts! As long as there are snowballs…

      I do think this must be universal. I don’t know about you, but there was NO WAY I was keeping a lot of these very symbolic parts of our life together. I had enough trouble keeping the house we lived in — but I live in the worst housing market in the country (Reno, Nevada), so I had little choice.

      The bed with sheets is an AWESOME thing to hand over. Talk about sloppy seconds! 😉

  30. September 28, 2011 10:59 pm

    I love everything about this!

  31. Mack permalink
    September 30, 2011 12:32 am

    I am intrigued by this divorce-aversary idea and may have to start celebrating my own.

    I have a New Year’s resolution that is similar to the New You’s resolution. About 13 years ago I realized that I was monumentally unhappy. Miserable, in fact. And I knew that I couldn’t keep going that way. So, my New Year’s resolution was a very simple one: I resolved to get rid of everything in my life that made me unhappy.

    I took careful stock of the things I thought made me feel unhappy at that time. I dumped a car, some ugly clothes, a few pseudo-friends, and some bad habits I picked up (nail biting, fidgeting, etc.) all in the first year. I should have gotten rid of the ex, but he took care of that eventually. Since the first year I made the No More Unhappiness Resolution, I’ve learned the difference between something that makes me unhappy and needing to adjust my attitude. I’ve had the same resolution every year and it has been a liberating. I highly recommend it.

    Creepy things:

    (1) restaurants that hire people to dress up in costumes and talk to the customers – particularly if the costume represents half of the dining menu (think BBQ joint with a big pink pig talking to kids about their tasty meal)

    (2) men over the age of 35 in jean shorts

    (3) wilted jack-o-laterns

    • September 30, 2011 2:25 pm

      Hey Mack — first off, BRILLIANT idea! I love the “No more unhappiness” resolution, and I may have to steal it. I recommend others do as well…

      And I love this statement: “I’ve learned the difference between something that makes me unhappy and needing to adjust my attitude.” That’s a critical difference, and I think often it is hard to tell which is which!

      …and totally agreed about your creepy things. Particularly men over 35 in jean shorts. Especially the kind that are clearly cut-offs and have the stringy hanging thingies…ick. 😉

  32. September 30, 2011 5:17 pm

    I’ve never been married, but my mom and dad’s apartment was broken into and a lot of their stuff was stolen back when they were first married (before I was born). He walked out right after they brought me out to school my first years (just about 3 years ago). Maybe there is something to this symbol thing…

    • October 2, 2011 7:06 am

      See? There you go — perhaps it really was a sign, right?

      The lesson, I s’pose: Padlock everything when you’re first married. 😉

  33. October 1, 2011 1:08 am

    Whiny blogs telling about the writer’s recovery from some disaster are a dime a dozen. (Hey, I’m a guy. I’m not big on “feelings”, ok?) Mikalee’s is the only one that I’ve found entertaining to read, and it’s one of my favorite blogs overall. I have already illustrated her as Mistress of the Universe, which she can post if she wishes. I’m thinking heraldry next. How do we incorporate a can of Diet Coke and a dead squirrel into her coat of arms?

    Heels of bread can be very good, if you embrace the crust, as I do.

    • October 2, 2011 7:09 am

      First, kitchenmudge: I love how you place the word “feelings” in “quotes,” as if you “don’t believe” in them. 😉

      Second: Thanks as always for the support. Your illustrations rock, as do your observations. I’m so glad you’re hanging in there as I work through all my “feelings” and all…

      Finally: Crust = gross. Heels = useless. End of story.

  34. Salmart permalink
    October 1, 2011 9:48 am

    Hi all. Yet another avid follower of Mikelee’s words of wisdom here. Re-Celebrating birthday’s.. I was never too excited about it anyway but decidedly went very cold on the idea when hubby traded me in for a younger model. Didn’t seem time for ‘celebration’ every year when I had to add on another run. (Ok so you Americans don’t play cricket.). So going forward I did what most dumpees did. Lied about my age. Well, not so much lied as didn’t count the birthdays when I didn’t have a party. So much is made of your ‘number’ when you sing ‘birthday’ from rooftops. I played mixed doubles tennis the other day with a veteran and I asked him which side of the court he was happy playing on. And he said he was happy if he woke up each morning!!! Great attitude, but I’m not in a rush to get there!

    I LOVE how you snoop through texts & phone calls for poor long suffering boyfriend Brett. I do it too & it’s so unfair & STUPID!! But something deep down or habit makes me do it. But we laugh it off as me still being damaged goods and that’s the way it is. He says ‘Nothing to see here folks, moving right along’ with a clear conscience & I thank him for allowing me to rest easy without any nagging doubts eating my sanity.

    Re- Getting along spiffingly well for the children’s sake… The big facade might work well for the Under 5’s who might cry if Daddy & Mummy (I’m from down Under) are mean to each other but older kids aren’t stupid. Obviously no screaming matches are in order in front of them but if Mummy doesn’t have much respect for Daddy (i.e. Can’t bear to be in the same room) and kids understand why (mine were 10 & 13 years old) I don’t think it’s hard for them to accept that reality. There’s something to be said for being honest in amongst a whole heap of confusion.

    We don’t care where you write Mikalee as long as you keep writing. We’ll go away, come back, leave comments, and do whatever you say!!!

    • October 2, 2011 7:25 am

      What a great idea: birthdays we don’t celebrate…don’t count! I’d be, like, 24!!!! Oooh, this is an idea whose time has come, Salmart — loving it!

      And yeah, I feel more than a little sorry for poor Brett. And more than a little pathetic myself! But he’s a trooper, and he keeps telling me that at some point, I’ll get over this constant waiting for the other brick to drop. I just hope we’ll both be under 50 when that happens…

      Agreed with you about honesty…your children were certainly at an age where they probably had their eyes open and could see what was going on in a relatively mature way (relative to 3 and 6 year olds, for example). It has been interesting to watch my kids adapt to this: They were 5 and 8 when he left, yet now at 9 and almost 12, they’re starting to tell ME about how proud they are of me, how happy they are that I handled things as I did, etc. Such perspective! I really think that about a year ago when I stopped just sitting back and “taking” what was continually handed to me (that they saw — and not because of me, but because of “The Others” in my situation), they found a new respect for me as a mom and as a woman. I’m proud of that, and I think it’s something they may have needed to see.

      Thank you AS ALWAYS for the awesome support, Salmart. I’m honored and humbled, and I personally think I have the greatest readers ever. Seriously!

  35. October 1, 2011 1:15 pm

    Great to have you back… it did seem like a loooong time! Love your spot as guest blogger and have had fun continuing to read thru’ all of the original episodes. As I blog regularly now, I have a lot more appreciation for how much work it is to keep all those balls in the air, pink or otherwise.

    If I were to celebrate an anniversary of self discovery, it would be my starting my blog and then running away from home this summer (2 wks) to Montana and writing about it. It helped me get my writing mojo back, find some clarity and pull myself out of some life ruts. Three months later, and 20 reads away from hitting 10,000 readers (big pat on my own back!), I feel like I need to celebrate that time and do it again each summer… to keep the mojo flowing.

    Bravo on the the comments (Katie) and self-awareness regarding the 2.0 version and the stuff that came from 1.0. Great reading, thanks for sharing it all with us.

    • October 2, 2011 7:34 am

      Yes, it is a TON of work to juggle all these balls, isn’t it? But 10,000 views?!?! That’s a HUGE milestone, and I raise up a bright pink snowball in your honor. Very impressive! I’ve never tried the running away from home idea, but I’m totally open to it — and I can see where it would inspire a renewed perspective. Brett and I are going to South Carolina next month to see his kids, and I’ll have an ocean-view room. I’m imagining he’ll have lots of alone time with his kids as I sit with a laptop, the ocean as my backdrop, gaining insight into my 3.0 version — which I think is on its way!

      Congrats again to you. I wish you continued success (and lots o’ readers), and thank you for the awesome comment. It’s so important to celebrate ourselves and our accomplishments every once in a while, right? I’m glad so many seem to agree…

  36. October 1, 2011 3:10 pm

    Ummmm, I apologize: I was unable to finish reading your entire post, Mikalee. Your friendly anger of remembering your divorce and the fall-out, affected the clarity of the post…just a tad.

    I know you have been a professional writer which is why I’m a bit bewildered.

    Anway, to respond to the general fracas in life’s major upheavals:

    I’m living in a different city than my partner right now because I found a job after 18 months of unemployment. So we are maintaining a long distance relationship with visits at each other’s locations. I still consider Vancouver my 2nd home.

    But this major relocation occurred around the time, one of my sisters died unexpectedly.

    When such a thing happens, everything in life looks very different. Things that used to anger me terribly, don’t anymore.

    Even with my partner far away, I’m still grateful we look forward to skyping with him every evening. He is part of my life, since he and I contribute to each other’s blogs with photos and articles ( ) So our best, creative thoughts and ideas are twinned in these blogs plus into the 3rd one,

    Be funny, be angry but be clear as pure water. 🙂

    • October 3, 2011 2:05 pm

      Ah well, I certainly don’t ever pretend that everyone can relate to my particular brand of humor or approach to handling my situation. No biggie, but I do appreciate that you added to the conversation. For what it’s worth, I wish you continued healing on your path, and I think the idea of joint contributions to a blog as part of a long-distance relationship is BRILLIANT!

      • October 3, 2011 8:21 pm

        Honest Mikalee I never quite thought it that way –that blogging as a team with he and I, also helps as an added shared activity long distance.

        Well, true it is sharing stuff and complementing each other’s thoughts and photo visions by understanding what the other person is trying to say. I edit blog posts under his name which of course, any writer gets prickly at times. 🙂

        And he gives me feedback on my draft posts because I do want at least 1 person to read what I am about to post. Or I just post which is about 20% of the time. Then discover errors, etc. It is another form of long distance communication in a totally different way by trying to be empathetic for the writer.

        My best wishes in your blogging wishes!

  37. Lorene permalink
    October 3, 2011 12:35 am

    My very first divorceaversary is coming up… on Valentine’s Day. Any suggestions for an awesome celebration Mikalee?

    • October 3, 2011 2:16 pm

      Um. WOW! What a date for commemorating a divorce. I think that deserves a very special celebration…perhaps some “write-your-own” Sweetheart candies, ala my personal approach to Valentine’s Day found here:

      Then buy yourself a present. A BIG present! 😉

      Whatever you decide to do, I hope you realize the divorce-aversary date (especially the first) is rife with emotion. It can be symbolic of embracing your new life, but it also carries its own heavy weight of the death of a big part of you. That’s why I feel the drafting of a list of “New You’s resolutions” is so important … focus on the future, focus on the new opportunities ahead of you, focus on your own next best self.

      I wish you continued healing, Lorene!

  38. October 5, 2011 12:32 am

    Just found your blog for the first time and it’s so amazing how you’ve been able to strengthen others through your words! As an adult child of divorced parents, I can tell you even though the situation might not get easier, the little ones will eventually see the messiness for themselves. Keep writing and keep being strong for your kids no matter what! Sounds like you’ve got this whole thing in the bag. Thanks for the posts! 🙂

    • October 6, 2011 7:34 am

      It’s so comforting to hear from the adult children of divorce — especially when they confirm my suspicions. THANK YOU for that! I think age-appropriate honesty and setting a good example MUST be better than keeping your head down and accepting inappropriate crap. Or at least I hope so …

      Thank you so much for the great comment — not sure whether I’ve got it “in the bag,” but I’m sure trying!

  39. October 5, 2011 1:54 am

    You’re here and I’m so glad! The divorce-aversary is a good time for celebration and New You’s Resolutions are a powerful way to practice growing stronger and more independent. I’m lucky that I found a spiritual (not religious) community that nurtures me; writing about growth clarifies my thinking, and I need to do that more. I got away from it a few years ago and now realize that I can’t progress if I don’t practice.

    • October 6, 2011 7:36 am

      That’s a good reminder: practice is important for whatever techniques we choose to clarify our thinking and improve our lives. Beautiful concept…

      I’m so glad you’ve shared a little piece of your story, and I wish you continued luck and healing. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment as well … much appreciated!

  40. October 5, 2011 11:06 am

    5th October. YOU’RE FREE! Woohoo!

    New to both your blog and Catherine’s.. or should I be addressing Catherine? *confusion* love both anyway 🙂

    • October 6, 2011 7:38 am

      EVERY DAY I celebrate (in little ways) my freedom from a man who clearly didn’t respect me or our vows. I deserve better … as do we all!

      I’m so glad you found *our* blogs, too — welcome! And I think Catherine and I are both reading, so you got us both covered…no confusion necessary…


  41. aunaqui permalink
    October 12, 2011 11:22 am

    I love your blog posts, Miss Byerman.

    “But some things remained. Because they were expensive. Or I liked them. Or they were expensive and I liked them.”

    Right on.

    And to answer question number ONE – I don’t know if I exactly “celebrate” this day, but on my ex-best friend’s birthday, I do a lot of thinking. Hopeful, wishful thinking. I become very introspective and the present takes on this sort of weird, past-influenced and past-infiltrated vibe. (To explain, we were best friends for eight years – from age 10 to 18 – and after breaking up with her brother, who I had dated for two years, I’ve never heard from or seen her).

    I’ve written afew emails, wished her happy birthday via my dog’s Facebook page (as she has blocked mine), and mailed her a seven-page letter on Thanksgiving (the Thanksgiving previous).. all to no avail.

    Best wishes, I hope full-time writing works out for you.

    Aun Aqui

    • October 17, 2011 11:41 am

      Thank you thank you thank you! I’m so glad you can relate to my posts — much appreciated.

      Now, as for your situation: I hope you know it sounds like you’ve done everything possible. It doesn’t sound like it’s your problem — but rather that of your ex-best friend. But you should feel proud that you’ve done everything you could … I hope that gives you some solace.

      Once again: Many thanks for the well wishes. I’m hugely grateful…


  42. Kristen permalink
    October 13, 2011 12:04 am

    I am looking forward to setting the date for future divorce-aversaries – I was hoping for the poetic justice of it coinciding with the anniversary that it replaces, but no such luck.

    Thank you for modeling how to write about something awful without being whiney and sad…love that you are finding the humor in what I know is awful…

    Post for real…really!

    • October 17, 2011 11:43 am

      Wouldn’t it be nice if the court system had an eye for such symmetry? But alas, not so much…in fact, I think sometimes it’s the opposite — like the commenter above whose divorce was granted on Valentine’s Day. I mean, what court DOES that? Just cruel, really…

      And yes, I know: I’m so behind. But I’m guaranteeing that the next post comes this week. Pinky swear!

      Thank you for reading, Kristen.

  43. October 13, 2011 10:04 am

    Mikalee, extending your divorciversary forward, into divorciversary eve, is a very good start down the path of understanding those people who drag out their birthday celebrations for a month, two months… and then there’s half-birthdays, or perhaps half-divorciversaries.

    What makes this work? Loot. Lots of loot. These are loot opportunities. You have to work on the “celebrating with loot and cool stuff” aspect of these occasions.

    • October 17, 2011 11:47 am

      Very good point, Doug. I must keep an eye on the prize, right? It’s all about the marketing, for sure.

      …and I’m totally stealing the half-divorce-aversary. Brilliant… 😉

  44. lrntn permalink
    October 13, 2011 11:15 am

    Very funny 😉 I “like” the dead squirrel, poor thing. Agree about adults who make a big deal about their b-days! Many cheers to you and to reinvention! L

    • October 17, 2011 11:48 am

      Ah, thank you very much — always appreciate the support.

      And yes, I feel so, so sorry for any squirrel that encounters me. That surely doesn’t bode well…

  45. October 16, 2011 2:40 pm

    I’m only commenting because The Universe sent me a fridge with “Comment” written on the outside. It was full of dead squirrels.

    Hang on, I may have been dreaming…..

  46. October 24, 2011 5:27 am

    See?? I clicked where I was supposed to and came over to your guest post! I love it, but what’s up with the dead squirrels? Weird as hell!

    • October 25, 2011 11:27 am

      You rock — much appreciated!

      And yeah, I know…weird as hell is right. If it’s a sign, I just may be too stupid to figure out what the hell it’s supposed to be signifying!

      Thanks for stopping by, Garrett…

  47. November 1, 2011 12:59 am

    Well done Mikalee! Celebrate your new life. I for one cannot wait to throw my divorce party. Three years and i am still not there. Crazy! But it will be one hell of a party! Cannot wait. Keep writing!
    Love it!
    Jenni in Philly

    • November 4, 2011 11:51 pm

      Oh sweetie…that SUCKS! But once it happens, party like it’s the best day of your life. Good things are waiting for YOU, I’m sure!

      My very best wishes to you,


  48. November 5, 2011 8:25 pm

    Complete with symbols…

    ✿ Haha! Since you pointed out that celebrating my birthday is creepy, that makes it less-than-happy. I going to celebrate it anyway because it’s 11/11/11 which is cool enough to celebrate if you’re one of those nerdy kids like me.

    ✿ I got to thinking about it… Brick day really is sort of the day Me 2.0 was born, so your divorce-aversary might just belong on your creepy list. 🙂 I’ll let you know when I arrive at a conclusion. ♥

    ✿ I’ve never made resolutions, probably mostly because my family never celebrated much of anything. I don’t think I own any top searches to retain, although I was the #1 “why jump out of a perfectly good airplane” on Yahoo for a while. The closest thing I had to a resolution was to get all my stories off of Facebook. ✔

    ✿ The only way I’m celebrating my birthday for a whole month is if someone comes up with proof that it improves your sex life or something. Otherwise, we can just celebrate for a month and leave my birthday out of it. Clink!

    ✿ No idea on Nora Ephron, but you can bet I looked around for a while.

    Love the post. ♥ Love the squirrels. ♥ Love you. ♥

    • November 7, 2011 5:22 pm

      OK, so first thing’s first. Love the symbols, and I must ask: How do you do that, anyhow?

      I would TOTALLY celebrate if my b-day were 11/11/11 — and play the Lotto, too. You have my permission and a creepiness pass for this one. And happy birthday in advance — hell, happy birthweek and birthmonth!

      ..and yeah, I can see your point about the whole Brick day/Me 2.0/birthday connection. Oh well…I admittedly do other creepy things too, like unknowingly decorate my home to match my favorite drink’s can.

      Thanks as always for the great comment, support and symbol love. And now I’m off to look up why you had the #1 result for “why jump out of a perfectly good airplane” …

    • November 7, 2011 5:59 pm

      Nothing special on the symbols, I just paste them.

    • November 7, 2011 6:10 pm

      How interesting. My actual title is pretty far down the list now, but “why jump out of a perfectly good plane” is second in both Yahoo and Bing. Go figure.


  1. I love you. Now go away… « Me 2.0

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