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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Soaring with the turkeys

At this time last year, I was in the middle of divorce proceedings and trying to unload the 6,000 square foot yuppie prison my soon-to-be-ex and I had built.  “Mark” refused to engage a realtor and insisted that we sell the property on our own. 

Since we owned the house together I was forced to go along with his plan.  For months we advertised, hosted open houses and showed the house on demand. 

The word “we” makes it sound like Mark and I collaborated.  To some degree we did, out of necessity.  But our partnership functioned less like the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers model and more like the Road Runner-Wyle E. Coyote version.

An offer came just before Halloween, while I was in Texas on business.  The typically routine process of contract ratification became a time-crunched ordeal, complete with a mad scramble at 11:30 p.m. to find a working fax and make a transmittal by midnight. I couldn't help but think that maybe Kiefer Sutherland would still have his 24 gig if only they’d filmed an episode or two at Kinko’s. 

The closing date was set for the end of November, with a final inspection the weekend of Thanksgiving.  This cast a pall over my holiday, in part because it forced me to cancel a trip I’d planned with my best friend. 

On Thanksgiving night last year, J and I were supposed to board a plane for London. There, we would meet up with a group of his friends who celebrate our American holiday in their own special way.  The event is shrouded in secrecy (and a haze of red wine), so I can’t divulge details but I can disclose some figures to give you a rough picture of it.  By my calculations the festivities are 5% sacred, 30% profane, and 65% Monty Python. 

I had been so excited about going, and yet I ended up on Thanksgiving having far too much in common with the turkey: Each of us desperately needed to escape, and neither of us could fly.   

The London tribe felt my pain. They sent me a message of encouragement that still brings me comfort.  And a few other choice emotions.  I replicate it here in its entirety, save a few minor revisions that were necessary to preserve anonymity and a shred of decency.

Oh, that is sad! We are all glum. We were SO looking forward to seeing you again. Karen, I want you to radiate love, compassion and forgiveness throughout the house sale process. Emanating positive energy will ensure that both of you let go in a healthy karma-minimizing way…then as you walk away from those signed documents may this message from the London herd ring in your ears: [Verb] him and the vehicle that he drove in on. The commonly held wisdom during break-ups is that your friends should remain neutral. Well we blow that out of the group orifice. You rock and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – EVER. Granted the collective who are shouting this out are questionable, but better to hear our voices than dwell on the deeds and words of a [unflattering adjective and unflattering noun] who has committed the worst relationship crime ever: not embracing and therefore plain long-term adoring your particular brand of greatness. Can I elicit a group London “Amen” now please?

This year I’ll be in the first wave of pilgrims at Heathrow and I can hardly wait.


  1. And now I love your Brit friends, too. They give good advice and swear well.

    I can't wait to read your book some day, ladyface.

    1. Shannon, this is just what I like to hear from the newly adopted. The London herdmember who crafted the email read this post and suggested a very learned title for a post-trip follow-up: "From festive descent to social decline: A weekend with farting trolls in an English country house". Yes, you can come with me.

    2. Excellent. I love farting. Our family motto is "Farting is funny." I wish I were kidding. Actually, I don't, because farting IS funny.

  2. I'm so happy a year later you are in a much better place. You enjoy a kick-ass Thanksgiving this year my friend!

    1. Thanks, Deb --that means a lot! Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday but I can't remember the last time I was quite this excited about it. Hope you have a wonderful day, and all the best to you and your fam!