Based in New York, Spiritualundertones is a blog by Sarah Almengor. Her posts reflect spirituality, relationships, and everyday life through her personal musings, photography and acquired wisdom.

Where Are They Now?: Ex-Husbands Edition

Well hello there!

I don’t usually write in the “stream of conciousness” form but seeing as how the last blog post I published was two months ago, I’d rather just get something (anything) in writing. 2019 has shaped out to be a great year thus far, and I had an inkling that it would. For starters, the new year was rung in at a Billy Joel concert—in which Dave and I waited on line in the torrential, cold rain—so a good time was had! On the heels of seeing Elton John at Madison Square Garden (from the tenth row, might I add) I’d say my never-ending thirst for a good concert lineup was quenched early on.

My twenty-eighth (read: eighteenth) birthday was celebrated over a cute (and overall quiet) weekend with dinners at Trattoria L’incontro and Beauty & Essex. It’s possible I was spoiled at a third location but I guess Welcome To Twenty-Eight: “The Age You Can Get Away With Not Looking, But Wait! Is That A Gray? HAHA Joke’s On You! By The Way, Your Memory Is Shot”. Right. I don’t remember what we did for day 3 of a 3-day birthday celebration (please refrain from calling me a spoiled brat. I’m sensitive).

The weekend following my birthday weekend, I took a trip down to Dallas to surprise my girls. No, I don’t have daughters. What kind of mother would I be if I did have daughters and they lived that far away from me? What is wrong with you, sir? The girls are my nieces, which no they’re not, they’re really technically my cousins but I’ve always called them my nieces. Sophia is fifteen, Valentina (also known as my “mini me”) is seven and Alanna is two. (Could you imagine going eight years without sex and then again for another five?! Props to my aunt and her hubby for that one! Weird flex but I mean whatever works!) It was a short weekend trip but tons of fun nonetheless and seeing the girls’ reaction when I just appeared in their kitchen (To Catch a Predator style) was priceless!

One of my resolutions for 2019 was to read at least one book each month and I’m on my twelfth one now so I dunno…, in your face? I’ve always loved reading but obviously life can get busy (or I just got lazy…I’ll go with the latter for 500, Alex) so I’m proud of myself for sticking to that goal. The books I’ve read thus far are:

  1. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (It was cute, but I refuse to see the film)

  2. The Anatomy of Dreams by Chloe Benjamin (I will be honest I was extremely annoyed that my precious time was wasted on this book)

  3. The Cuban Affair by Nelson DeMille (Liked it a lot!)

  4. Gift From The Sea by Morrow Lindbergh (Author has a weird name but it was a sweet, short book to pass the time)

  5. The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger (Figured I’d go with a classic. Holden needs to lighten the F up but other than that, it was entertaining enough. I’m assuming he’s a Pisces though? Very Kurt Cobain-ish).

  6. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (EVERY DREAMER/GYPSY/HIPPIE/FREE SPIRIT/SPIRITUAL and/or RELIGIOUS PERSON needs to read this book. The end).

  7. Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (JB9R844.??,\&&%$%tr,**589YOBIFmbkn!!!!!skfV)

  8. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (My all-time fave. Have read it countless of times. I promise you no other book will make you feel smarter than this one if you really get into your head and grasp it. You can put your expensive college books—that your parents bought, those poor things—away now.)

  9. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (For as much as I adore Mindy Kaling, I was hoping the book would be funnier. Meh.)

  10. Sober Curious by Ruby Warrington (Dave’s book. An interesting and enlightening book for sure, but lol I’m drinking bubbly as I write this. I’m just kidding. Awww, mom! Don’t cry over me! Not again!)

  11. Bossypants by Tina Fey (I laughed out loud a lot. Kaling: take notes.)

  12. Currently reading The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis

  13. Next up for the month of August will be Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins

Don’t laugh, but one of my other resolutions for 2019 was to learn how to ride a bicycle. There is a possibility that I was taught when I was young, but because of middle-child-syndrome (in other words, because I was overlooked and neglected) I’m just going to go ahead and assume the bike-riding lessons were not written in the stars for me. Before you deem me to be an overbearing victim, wanna know what else I wasn’t privileged enough to experience? Swim classes (which would’ve really come in handy, MOM, since I’m practically drowning every time I’m in a body of water), dance lessons (I’m sure I would’ve despised unwanted attention from creepy not-hot dads when I was five years old just as much as I despise it now, so no hard feelings on that one), a private tutor, acting classes (but I mean clearly I’m a natural anyway), vacationing anywhere other than Florida, shaving my legs (until I was thirty-seven because mother wouldn’t allow it), but I digress. The point is, I learned! I took one lesson at a park in Brooklyn (for adults only, and no I’m not joking) and after two hours of learning how to balance and eventually pedaling on my own, I was basically Lance Armstrong. It truly is one of my favorite things to do now and I’m really happy to have finally learned (albeit twenty-five years later than everyone on the planet).

I had started a new job at the beginning of the year with a different family and after a month I said “oh hells no” and went back to Nicole and Brad. It was a family that consisted of two boys (who will be total DILFS when they’re in their forties, by the way…you can quote me on that), an anal-retentive mom and a laid-back hockey dad. The mother kept a stash (unfortunately not that kind of stash) of plastic bags that were precisely folded origami style and barked at me one day for taking one of them home with me (to carry my lunch in). If that doesn’t scream “psycho Virgo” enough, she also wouldn’t allow me to try any of the food that I slaved over cooking for her children who’s idea of a good time was hanging upside down from the TV unit and flinging their feces at me. I quickly came to the epiphany that I missed taking care of females. After returning from a trip to Key West, I was back with my favorite sweetheart “S”. Nicole gave birth to her second daughter in March and she was the tiniest thing I have ever seen, which gave me a glimmer of hope regarding my vagina not being completely demolished if I ever give birth to a 5lb baby. I ended up leaving officially at the end of June due to Nicole needing someone beyond full-time (what is “beyond” full-time, you ask? Would you like to work sixty hours a week taking care of an infant who, at that age, is notorious for ONLY screaming, crapping up their back every 20 minutes, and puking on you between those craps?) but because I enjoy having a life outside of work, I had to decline. We parted on great terms and Nicole wrote a remarkable reference about me that she posted to a few “mommy pages” on Facebook; my phone blew up for days after that (and still does!) with mothers looking for a nanny. It’s called big pimpin’, sweetie. Look it up. Anywho, I ended up getting offered a job with a nice-enough Upper East side family (two girls, praise be!) that doesn’t start until August (I was aware of that and therefore took the job on purpose) so I’ve been spending most of my days getting plastered on tar beach and binge eating Cheeto puffs. I’m aight.

What I’ve really been doing is finally enjoying the summer (when I was in the hospitality industry and worked in restaurants, I never saw the light of day, and yes my pale skin was crying) and spending lots of time with Dave and his kids. I’ve attempted to make plans with some of my girlfriends but most of them are way more accomplished than me and work ‘til exhaustion (whatever that means) and the others are traveling. Y’all come back now, y’hear? I is bored. Speaking of travel, though, booking a Meditteranean cruise was the smartest decision I’ve ever made other than filing for divorce (which was made official in February! Thank you all for coming and I’m so sorry you had to endure listening to those slipshod vows haha! You gotta admit, the “I promise to take pictures with you in every photo booth we see” line was funny in a serial killer kinda way! Good times, but what a strange dude, am I right?! Also, in about seven years from now, I’d love to do a “Where Are They Now"?” segment featuring all my ex-husbands).

Europe was incredible. Dave and I booked a Meditteranean cruise that started from Barcelona and hit up Italy and France (to be more specific: Naples, Civitavecchia/Rome, Livorno/Florence/Pisa, Cannes, and Mallorca as the last stop). It was hot as balls but I actually wasn’t miserable because I was too busy looking in all sorts of different directions in pure amazement. By far the best meal we had, in my opinion, was in Cannes at a small restaurant called Le Pompon. We had asked a local for a good place to eat that wasn’t touristy and when he recommended Le Pompon, I could’ve sworn I heard “the tampon” and I covered Dave’s ears and apologized for how rude the French were. The meal was sick and quite honestly, if you’re not moaning while you eat your food nor are your eyes rolling to the back of your head, you’re an amateur and it’s time for you to go home. Everywhere else, the food was really good but not great. We didn’t have that much time to venture out on our own since we chilled with a tour guide for the majority of our sightseeing, but our fat-asses made sure we ate more gelato than real, nutrition-for-our-bodies food, so win-win. My favorite part of the trip is when Dave proposed to me inside the holy room (or whatever it’s actually called) of the Sistine Chapel where the security guards are hissing at everyone to shut the hell up. (Side note: there was no proposal. I do this thing where I lie to spice things up a bit, make it exciting).

So far, I’ve covered that in 2019 my divorce was finalized (but also it never even felt like I was married, so kids make sure you one thousand percent don’t look to me for relationship advice), I learned how to ride a bike (first New Year’s resolution—I mean it’s more like a goal, realistically—accomplished? Check), I’ve already beat the minimum number of books I required myself to read this year (second resolution accomplished? Yessa ma’am), I’ve seen two outstanding musical legends in concert (although Elton John was before the new year but still, I’ll feel good bragging about having witnessed them perform live when they’re dead and gone and “fans” pop out of the woodwork with crocodile tears over their deaths), and I’ve traveled a fair amount. I’m looking forward to starting my new job and getting back in the swing of things with regard to working regularly. Having practically the whole summer off was almost becoming foreign to me, and since I’m not used to it I’m definitely experiencing somewhat potent cabin fever (if fighting the urge to stab my boyfriend in the throat for leaving his chin pubes all over the bathroom sink counts as cabin fever. For the love of all things holy I am joking, people. Relax. I would never stab my boyfriend in the throat. I’d stab him in the eye).

I failed to mention (because I’m an awful sibling—but actually not really, this portion of text just didn’t fit chronologically-well anywhere else prior to this specific point in my post) that for my sister’s 30th birthday in May, both my mom and my brother were here to celebrate it! Now that’s a semi big deal because my brother lives in Oregon (which, by the way, if sounding intelligent is your kink: it’s pronounced OR-EH-GIN—the '“g” sounding like the “g” in “green”, not “gin” (as in gin and tonic)—not OR-EH-GONE) and my mother lives in North Dakota (I don’t even know who North Dakota is, so yeah…big deal indeed). Also, I’d love to publicly point out that I don’t think I’ve ever used that many parantheses or quotation marks in my entire life, and I’ve been an active writer for a minimum of fifteen years. Everyone had a wonderful time and seeing my sister’s reaction to our brother surprising her at Yankee Stadium by sitting almost directly on top of her (while the rest of the entire row was empty) was very funny. My siblings, mother, grandmother and myself went to go see The Lion King on Broadway for Mother’s Day which was pretty underwhelming but they know that I thought that, so I’m not ashamed to repeat those sentiments now. Hearing my sweet grandmother thank me over and over for “dees BEE-YOU-DI-FOOL CHO” (“this beautiful show”, you narrow-minded simpleton) was the epitome of CUTENESS OVERLOAD! The real highlight of the month of May, however, was when my mother, very laser-focused like a lion about to pounce on its prey, gently lifted the longest silver strand of hair to ever exist, from my scalp and just kinda looked at it as if it came home with an unremarkable report card. My response to that was the response I am about to tell you, and that is: “Marriage was fun”.

I don’t know why I decided to write such a lengthy, quasi “coming of age” piece in July when there’s still another five months to the year left (okay forget the pleasantries, what I’m basically saying is I shouldn’t have gotten ahead of myself with this blog post because there’s still like, twenty-three weeks left for me to screw a lot of things up) but whatever. I just thought it would be nice to give the six people who will read this a little update on my life. *looks at the camera like I’m on The Office and shrugs*

Oh! I forgot to mention, not once while on the cruise ship did I get asked if Dave was my father, which I was kinda pissed about because I was waiting for the perfect opportunity to act offended and either say, “How dare you? He’s actually my grandfather” (and then proceed to lightly make out with Dave) or, “He is not my father, no, but he is only with me for my money, ha ha!” You laugh now, but that second one is actually true.

Prompt: False Start

Prompt: On the Upper East Side