I present to you a Handy-Dandy Cheat Sheet for the recurring cast of characters appearing regularly in the drama that is my life. 🙂
“James” — Love of my life. We met professionally in 1998 and went on our first date in September 2010. For more than two years after that, we were off-and-on. And off. And on. There were a million reasons why I couldn’t seem to let him go, and a couple why we couldn’t seem to be together. In December of 2012, all that changed, and in January 2013 we moved in together. In April 2013, we purchased a home and officially began blending our families. On Christmas Day, 2015, we became engaged. And so our story continues…
“Sabrina” — My 15-year-old daughter. Super smart. Super sensitive. Trying hard to figure out how to be a know-it-all teenager and still stay mommy’s-little-girl.
“Bryn” — My 12-year-old daughter. A huge personality in a little girl’s body. A natural leader, awesome snuggler, and fearless gymnast.
“Jay” — James’ 15-year-old son. A super high-achiever and typically awkward young man. Handsome, considerate, and sensitive, he is the son I never had and never knew how much I wanted.
“Chelsea” — James’ 13-year-old daughter. Outspoken, beautiful, and the heart of our family, she keeps everyone honest and amazes us with her tenacity.
“Chloe” — James’ 10-year-old daughter. A beautiful blond who is prouder of her natural smarts than her unmistakable beauty. My shadow and baby.
“Taylor” — James’ 23-year-old daughter. Despite my best efforts to make her feel included and welcome, I am relegated to the frozen tundra of “step-motherhood.”
“Bryce” — My ex-husband. A basically good guy who simply wasn’t the right good guy for me. Nor was I the right good woman for him.
“Mariah” — My ex-husband’s new wife. She loves my ex-husband and his money, but makes my girls feel pointedly unwelcome in their house. It hurts my heart, and I struggle to deal with it.
“Carnie” — James’ ex-wife. A mostly emotionally unstable and mean-spirited person that keeps us counting the minutes until Chloe is 18 and our contact with Carnie can cease entirely.
Friends that Might As Well Be Family
“Annie” — My closest friend in town. Our friendship bloomed as our marriages were crashing. We have shared more tears than either of us care to remember, but now we celebrate each other’s little victories. (Ex-husband: Bruce)
“Katrina” — My best friend since middle school (although we met in elementary school). Pretty much every major adolescent and adult milestone we have shared. We’re closer than most sisters.
“Caitlyn” — Dearest friend from college. My touchstone. When I am lost, I always find myself in her guest room.
“Seamus” — A long-distance friend who shares some of my same struggles and is an excellent listener and sounding board. He is also a keen supplier of effective pep talks.
“Kathryn” — A friend from high school who still lives near my hometown and is a texting buddy. She centers and grounds me and supports me so that I can breathe when I don’t know which way is up.
“Laela” — Best girl friend from law school. Glamorous, brilliant, and wildly successful resident of the Upper West Side. Soul sister extraordinaire. I am in awe of her wisdom and her heart. She inspires me every day.
The Men In My Previous Life
“K.C.” — My much younger ex-boyfriend (post-divorce) and subsequent dear friend. He was my Knight in Shining Armor when the world felt like it was crashing in. Usually it’s my ego that he rescued.
Pete — Ex-boyfriend and an all-around good guy. A really good example of how someone can be good and still not be right for you.
Mike — First boyfriend after my marriage ended. Scoundrel. Liar. Heartless heartbreaker. Feel free to add any derogatory adjectives here _______________. They’ll probably apply.
Plenty of wonderful people were left off this list, but I tried to confine it to those who make frequent or regular appearances in my posts. Given that, it will likely change as life moves on, so check back if you get lost.