Ready, Set....Wife! Two women. Two marriages. Zero answers. Thu, 17 May 2012 23:52:24 +0000 en hourly 1 "Help! I married an artist..." Ready, Set...Wife! explores the chaotic intersection between marriage and art. Listen in as Robyn Okrant and Cathleen Carr chat with notable writers, actors, musicians and artists about the day-to-day challenges and triumphs of leading both a creative and married life. Now, come on...let’s get wifey! Robyn Okrant & Cathleen Carr no Robyn Okrant & Cathleen Carr (Robyn Okrant & Cathleen Carr) two women. two marriages. zero answers marriage, wives, artists, performers, comedy, husbands, feminist, writers, humor, stress, love, modern Ready, Set....Wife! /wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg Irene: The Roundup /2011/08/28/irene-the-roundup/ /2011/08/28/irene-the-roundup/#comments Sun, 28 Aug 2011 16:57:47 +0000 admin /?p=2774 We prepared late last night before the brunt of the storm hit. Peter struggles with the Mayor’s request that we fill our bathtub with water.

Turns out our bathtub isn’t equipped for emergency situations.

A wee flavor of the extent of the storm.

Battling gusts of…not sure? But, it did feel kinda neat.

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Holy F*** Our First Hurricane! /2011/08/26/holy-f-our-first-hurricane/ /2011/08/26/holy-f-our-first-hurricane/#comments Fri, 26 Aug 2011 14:00:15 +0000 cathleen carr /?p=2764 Having never been through a hurricane, it’s hard to know what to do. Other than panic, of course. According to the emergency map issued by NYC, we live in ZONE B. I’m not sure what that means – will the storm surge flood our first floor apartment? No way, that would be crazy! I’m mean, it’s not like we live in ZONE A. Those suckers are screwed.

Our Survival List

Get batteries
Fill the bathtub with water
Get baby wipes (you know, to stay fresh…)
A crate of wine
Maybe some candles?
TONS of canned beans
Definitely Beano
Enough water to fill a lake
Some chains (In case our neighbors get all Mad Max on us)

Here’s something else we will do:

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Re-writing our future /2011/08/24/re-writing-our-future/ /2011/08/24/re-writing-our-future/#comments Wed, 24 Aug 2011 23:44:02 +0000 robyn okrant /?p=2750


Sorry about my little disappearing act. I’ve been offline for a while for many reasons and here’s the main dealio: Jim and I decided, due to financial constraints, that we needed to sell our home. It was an emotional, but logical, decision and we had to act fast and work hard. While it took a while to prep for our sale, we were incredibly lucky about the speed with which we received an acceptable offer. As those of you who have sold property in the past know, it’s a roller coaster ride on egg shells.

Jim and I handled it really well together. I must say, this could have been an event that caused a rift, wild arguments, and insane amounts of stress to a relationship. But we discussed our plan going in: we were a team. We would act as partners, rather than adversaries (which can be our M.O. when the going gets tough). I’m so proud of us. We called each other on our BS, supported the completion of each other’s to-do lists, a patted one another on the back as much as possible.

And while I never expected to sell our condo less than 2 years after moving in, the economy and medical bills forced our hand. And you know what? Sometimes our dreams change — sometimes it’s stubbornly holding onto our original plans causes more pain than adapting to an unexpected situation. I’m grateful my partner and I were on the same page.

On our final clean-up/move-out day, our condo was as empty and echo-y as the day we moved in. Instead of standing in rooms full of possibility, however, I was left standing in a home that would soon be populated by a new owner. (Would they put the couch in the right place? What would their furniture look like? Would they appreciate the back splash I installed?) I had a 10-second crying jag and then I took a deep breath, bear-hugged Jim, and we headed over to our new rental apartment. As we rode, the heaviness and worry I’d been experiencing for months lifted.

I can honestly say I no longer have the littlest ache in my heart for my previous home. I don’t miss it because I am freaking lucky to have in-tact credit, a roof over my head, food in my belly, and the best husband I could wish for. Ok, wait. Here’s the truth: I miss the second bathroom. In fact, I really miss having a second bathroom. I think one secret to stress free marital-mornings is separate restroom facilities. That’s all I’ll say on that topic. Other than that, life is good. And life is filled with lots of boxes filled with lots of stuff. And I don’t know where anything is yet, but I will!

My new-apartment resolution is to focus on what I have, rather than what I don’t. And, although it probably sounds corny, I do believe that if I can live in gratitude, I’ll never feel like I’m lacking. Maybe that’s just where I’m at today, and tomorrow will find me throwing myself a pity party. Who knows. I can’t even begin to guess what tomorrow will bring. I only know that today life is good and I can breathe easier.

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How My Marriage Deals With Global Economic Disaster /2011/08/08/how-my-marriage-deals-with-global-economic-disaster/ /2011/08/08/how-my-marriage-deals-with-global-economic-disaster/#comments Mon, 08 Aug 2011 15:15:29 +0000 cathleen carr /?p=2743

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Keep it simple /2011/07/26/keep-it-simple/ /2011/07/26/keep-it-simple/#comments Wed, 27 Jul 2011 03:45:28 +0000 cathleen carr /?p=2736 Today I went to my favorite hole in the wall massage joint and settled in for a serious rub down.  As I’ve documented before, one of my favorite hobbies is paying a stranger to touch me.  (Good touch, not bad touch)

Despite the painful pleasure of deep-tissue-near-evisceration, my mind refuses to settle. It skims my memory minefields like a vulture looking for meat. Laid out on the table like a *beautiful* beached whale, I remembered my ex-gym continuing to bill my debit card after I filed cancellation forms. Then I thought about Sunday’s heartwarming display of same-sex couples marrying at City Hall.


My mind drifted back to the gym.

Bastards charged me two payments of $63.

Contracts. Same-sex marriage! I was happy again. But contracts stuck with me.

Too many contracts

We’re always being told the path to happiness is through simplicity. Right? My massage is a simple and therapeutic pleasure. Ouch!

Paperwork is the worst.

Keep total number of contracts to a manageable few: marriage, mortgage…maybe with an actual contractor (if you’re getting work done).

What was ‘Contract with America’? Oh, that weird Republican thing from the 1990′s.

What contracts will I have to sign in the future? Hopefully no unsavory pyramid schemes.

Remember the time I almost joined a yoga cult? A chubby man in a white karate outfit put me through a series of balance exercises in a small room. Then he had me lay on a floor mat, where he proceeded to massage my organs. Once he was done feeling up my liver, he meditated over my body, quietly, for a really long time. Then he asked me for $700…

My hour is up. Relaxation eludes me again!

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Best Gift Ever /2011/07/19/best-gift-ever/ /2011/07/19/best-gift-ever/#comments Tue, 19 Jul 2011 18:49:45 +0000 cathleen carr /?p=2729

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Working from hell (home) /2011/07/11/working-from-hell-home/ /2011/07/11/working-from-hell-home/#comments Mon, 11 Jul 2011 23:50:36 +0000 cathleen carr /?p=2724 Working from home is pretty goddam sweet. Especially when dressed in bedtime casual, lounged out, taking a conference call. But when the first heat wave strikes, working in an at-home sweatshop becomes a very specific sort of hell. The kind where you roam from coffee shop to cafe, weighted down by laptop, hunting free wifi, cool air and minimally-priced coffee; a refugee without a cubicle to call home.

My husband gets eight solid hours of industrial, arctic strength a/c five days a week.

Summertime Sanity
Peter: 1
Cathleen: 0

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Diary of a Furious Wife /2011/07/06/diary-of-a-furious-wife/ /2011/07/06/diary-of-a-furious-wife/#comments Thu, 07 Jul 2011 03:07:00 +0000 robyn okrant /?p=2690

Jim looking adorable, writing in his journal. I sure hope he's saying something nice about me.

This afternoon, I spoke to my friend Jennie* who called me sobbing because her husband read (not one, not two, but ALL) the journals she’s kept since their relationship began. He confronted/blindsided her angrily about some things she had written. He was very hurt by her critique of him and his family, and jealous about an unrequited crush she had on a co-worker. I was horrified by this invasion of her privacy. She kept all her journals in storage boxes and felt that their closed lids implied a loud KEEP OUT.

Frankly, I don’t care if I leave a wide-open journal sitting out on the dinner table: I still assume Jim would have the restraint to keep his eyes off it. Perhaps Jim and I have a mutual respect for the sanctity of each other’s journals because we’ve both kept them for so many years. We don’t even bother hiding them from each other. I think it’s important to note that Jennie’s husband does not keep a diary. But maybe he should start in order to work out his suspicious nature and lack of respect for his wife’s boundaries.

As I was on the phone with my super-upset super-pal, it dawned on me that Jennie’s husband, Jackass**, was actually jealous of her journals. He seemed angry that she had an outlet for personal thoughts that she didn’t want to share with him. (He should have heard what she said about him to me today. That would have really burned his butt.) I think he believes it’s his right as her husband to be privy to all her thoughts. And he seems to be mistaking WRITING about her feelings to be just as much of a transgression as ACTING upon them.

Honestly, my personal journals are probably one of the main reasons I haven’t gone ballistic on Jim when we’ve gone through rough patches. They give me the time and space to write irrational things, lose my temper, and eventually tire of the sound of my own voice…all so I can communicate with him in a sane manner. In fact, during the times I neglect the tool of writing, I am far less capable of controlling my temper. There are so many benefits to keeping a journal, I think we should have incorporated diary-keeping into our wedding vows.

Jackass has severely damaged Jennie’s trust, and it’s gonna take a lot of work for them to get through this. Step one is for him to understand the depth of his offense — about which he currently seems completely ignorant. I think his violation is a far deeper infringement than anything she wrote in the privacy of her own journal. It made me so angry that I had write about it.

*Her name is totally not Jennie. She said I could write about her as long as I didn’t use her real name. She chose the name Jennie. And the spelling.

**Not his real name, but I think it’s appropriate.

If you don’t keep a journal, but want to see how NICE it it to put your private thoughts in print, check out our SECRETS page.

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All work and no play /2011/06/27/all-work-and-no-play/ /2011/06/27/all-work-and-no-play/#comments Mon, 27 Jun 2011 20:43:26 +0000 robyn okrant /?p=2683 Jim and I love going out of town together. Who doesn’t relish a holiday from everyday life? Our love of vacationing runs the gamut between a fabulous trip to Paris…to spending a week in a tent in the Wisconsin woods…to renting a car and taking a day trip to a campy Old West Town. We aren’t that picky. Spending time together away from home relaxes and recharges us. It makes us appreciate our real life and our relationship more than ever.

Trouble is, this year we’re not in a financial spot to take even the cheapest of trips. Taking extended time off work is out of the questions for both of us. And I work throughout the weekend, so even a quick weekend getaway can’t happen. I just had that realization yesterday and it put me into a tailspin. I suddenly feel claustrophobic and trapped in my day to day life.

I’m stuck. Is there anyway to attain that feeling of vacation — that breath of fresh air — without going away? Without being able to take an actual break? I’d love some input here. Jim and I have had a pretty stressful, crazily busy, highly eventful year. We need to decompress. Help a holiday-hungry couple out, would you?

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Mazel Tov, Big Apple! /2011/06/25/mazel-tov-big-apple/ /2011/06/25/mazel-tov-big-apple/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2011 15:14:28 +0000 robyn okrant /?p=2632 Hooray to another state that has stepped out of the Dark Ages into an era of equal rights for ALL citizens. Thank you to New York, and Governor Andrew Cuomo, for signing the same sex marriage bill into law. Now everyone can fret with us about whether or not marriage is a venerable institution, or an antiquated relic. We welcome the MILLIONS of new blog readers who can now celebrate, share, rant and rave about their own law-bound relationship.

To all my friends who (finally!) have the right to walk down the aisle, to say your I Do’s, and to smash a glass underfoot this year: WHOOPEE! MAZEL TOV! CONGRATULATIONS! We are thrilled and honored to initiate you to into the club. We’ll teach you the secret hand shake soon.

And to the remaining 44 states still collecting taxes from all your residents, but only giving marriage rights to a select population…Snap out of it.

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