I received this email late last night from a fan:
Robin, what the hell? Are you OK? Where have you been? Are you traveling? Are you dead? Your blogging has been sporadic with a lot of re-runs. I hope you are OK.
It’s a lovely thing to open an email from a stranger that expresses concern and kindness, along with a greedy need for my daily musings. Thank you.
I wrote a little bit about two pressing and time consuming projects in this blog:
I am putting in about 12 hours a day right now on my new business and my new chapters. The book will now flip back and forth between “how to” and “personal reflections on divorce.”
The goal is to make it highly informative, which it already was, and deeply personal and relatable, which it was not.
I’ve changed the name. Let me know your thoughts on my new working title: Divorce by Design and Autopsy of a Dream: A How-To and Memoir of Divorce.
Here are some sample chapters:
Chapter One: This Isn’t Happening to Me
Chapter Two: The Divorce Process from Start to Finish
Chapter Three: To Be or Not to Be?
Chapter Four: Hiring Your Lawyer: Why a Pit bull is a Terrible Choice
Chapter Five: Autopsy of a Marriage through Email Review
Chapter Six: Beyond Rejection of the Pit bull: The Importance of Researching Potential Counsel and How to Do it
And on it will go until the final chapter (not sure what the number will be):
If I Can Do This, You Can Too: Reinvention, the Phoenix Rising, and Self-Discovery After Divorce
So, my darling Sam, I am not dead. Not yet! Nor do I plan to be anytime soon.
I am doing my best to keep up on the blog but this damn book has to be finished. My priorities have been set and when it is finished, I think it’s going to be a best-seller. It will certainly be my best-seller, seeing as how it’s my first book.
Today I’ll leave you with a re-run of one of my favorite Friday Feedback blogs, which includes a limerick on depression. You don’t want to miss it!
Welcome to Friday Feedback, our weekly insertion and manipulation of a critique cannula into the fleshy portions of this blog: a magic wand that sucks out the fatty schlock and leaves the firm flesh of fine writing behind.
With the exception of the sentence above, clearly.
I received a lot of mail regarding Used and Confused, the letter from the man who had a brief affair and was dumped by his mistress immediately after they consummated the attraction and expressed love to each other.
“I LOVE THIS QUESTION!!! I’m so glad that he asked it. Can’t wait to share it, but first I’d like to say that you are spot on with keeping it away from his wife.
“I think one of the punishments for stepping out of the marriage is to carry the burden of being dishonest and unfaithful with you to your grave. Spouses are not like the Catholic church – you aren’t forgiven just because you have shared your horrible deed with them.
“Living up to your own mistakes and not causing further hurt is the best punishment of all.
“You continue to dispense awesome advice, Robin.”
Thank you for your words of wisdom, especially about how good I am at my job. Please do not start your own advice blog because I’m afraid you might be very good at it, and I really don’t want the competition.
Conversely, I received this from my old friend “Anonymous.”
I love anonymous. We have a super-close relationship: he/she follows everything I write and excoriates me mercilessly on an average rate of 2-3 times a month.
Come to think of it, Anonymous might be more than one person, which is awesome because that means I am generating more heat. Yay, me! Here’s what she wrote:
“You wrote ‘there is nothing lonelier than being a mistress to a married man.’ Wow. I’m not surprised you are familiar with this scenario but your lack of shame is startling.
“I can’t be the first person to wonder who you think you are to give advice to anyone, including this man who should confess to his wife and beg her forgiveness or any mending of the marriage will be based upon false pretenses.
“You should have read him the riot act but instead you gave him tacit permission to keep acting a fool.”
There is nothing worse than being trampled by a syphilitic elephant into a pit of Ebola medical waste.
See, I just typed that sentence but it doesn’t mean I know what that feels like (although I assume it’s pretty awful).
Then again, maybe I do. Anyone who is familiar with this blog knows I do not have a great deal of shame, as shame is a worthless emotion that serves only to bind us to the past and prevent us from blossoming into our potential.
I feel the same way about regret.
Every moment in my life led me here and I am, with the occasional exception of a visit from my Black Dog, a pretty happy and well-adjusted person.
In addition, anyone familiar with my blog knows that on occasion I use my own life experience to help others. That’s what separates me from the pretenders who dispense advice in a glib and rapid fashion in a vacuum of superiority rather than a safe space of shared experiences.
Please feel free to write me under a new pseudonym so we can address how you are going to process and move past your spouse’s infidelity. I’m here for you.
Black Dog Boogie
Finally, this week saw your proprietor expressing angst. Sorry about that.
I was overwhelmed by the number of private emails I received in response to my morose birthday post: Happy Birthday to Me! in which I lamented the loss of a loved one I had neglected and the persistent uninvited guest in my home named Black Dog.
Rather than share those messages, I choose to keep them private because they meant so much to me. Instead I’ll summarize them for you in a limerick:
Black Dog, Shoo!
There once was a middle-aged writer
Whose Black Dog did sidle beside her
But try as she might
She could not give him fright
As he snarled and he threatened to bite her.
So she took her ego down to zero
And as shameless as Robert Shapiro
She put it all down
In the Internet town
Hoping for some kind of hero.
What happened next made our girl awed
As she watched the assembling squad
Sending kind words of hope
(and a bit of fine dope)
And Black Dog shuffled off like a fraud.
So what can we learn from our writer
Whose Black Dog did sidle beside her?
We must not be afraid
To call out for aid
From friends, family and subscribers.
PS: Please share my blog on your social media platforms and with your friends.