Cherries Over Quicksand      by Rhonda Ricardo




I am poised and standing at a door expecting it to be opened for me, though no one is around.  Unexpectedly, my fiancee's friend happened to be walking by, stopped, and stared at me.  "What are you doing?" he asked...

...I didn't start out expecting people to open doors for me, they just did, as though I had a door opening guardian angel cutting a path for me wherever I went.  What happed to the droopy-diaper postured woman who had embodied herself in my life during the end of my marriage and after my divorce?  Where was the torn ragged doll who had struggled with the heavy glass doors that would suction against her attempt to get into the building with no help in sight?  I think she finally got it and finally started living with the kind of joy that is found in a Broadway musical finale.  How did that happen, anyway?

It began, I suppose, after listening to the lonely and often broken hearts of so many divorced partners, who poured out their pain to me when I worked in a family law firm.  The irony was, that at the same time, I was going through my own divorce with twin teenage boys at home. I took calls for appointments from the crushed songbirds and the cheating potbellied pigs of the world, my neck of the world.  At first I was horrified by the recounted actions of the offending spouse, whether wife or husband.  The spouses who called to make appointments for representation and told stories of crumbling gingerbread houses, always, at first-light, seemed to be the hero/heroine; the partner, however, once the other side of their world, was depicted as the butt-biting villain.

The types of incoming calls would be of this sort: A man with the voice and vocabulary of a prison garbage disposal would be in disbelief over his wife's closed ears and legs (I could almost smell his un-brushed teeth over the phone)...or a woman would complain that her husband was a self-centered idiot, but had difficulty remembering the ages of her children and, oh yeah, would she be able to keep the BMW?

After taking hundreds of, 'How could he/she?' pending divorce messages, the mysteries behind the opposition's unjust behavior gradually began to unfold. The questions from the rejected party most often had a distinct smell. I thought of it as the, "Why did the skunk spray me when I poked him with a stick?" smell. Could it be that people actually spray themselves in the eye? Most of the fighting couples I encountered while working at law firms never reconciled. Nonetheless, I would soon be in for a big surprise.

Years later, when I had become a writer/columnist, I decided to use my reporting skills to find answers to the questions that had been cried into my ear by so many dueling divorcees. I set out to ask a few questions to a hand full of men, and ended up with over a hundred stories that pin pointed reasons a relationship either ended, or surprisingly, had been rekindled. These conversations were much different than the ones with people in the throws of divorce, they had had time to think, and in many cases, miss their darling.

I found that many separated couples actually do get back together, though not necessarily for reasons I might have guessed. Many of the people who gave me their stories were extremely happy to do so, hoping perhaps that the shared insights may help others in similar situations. It was touching to witness, these seemingly ordinary people, so willing to throw on relationship superhero capes to help strangers, for whom, they would never meet.

The men and women I had conversations with were often so open and funny that I decided to add my commentary to each story regarding their general demeanor, perceive any personality traits that might match her own love.

I know that therapists are a useful resource when going through any disruptive life change, and I want to be clear that I am not a therapist, nor do I play one in this book.  Rather, it is up to each reader to discern which woes and/or triumphs offered in these conversations most resonate to their own circumstances.  It is also up to each reader to decide how, or even if, there are lessons or ideas that might be in any way useful or applicable. Or...maybe the readers could bring this book to their next therapy session.

Now that could be funny, and we don't need a framed degree to know that laughter is one medicine that can help move various boulder-sized pressures from tired shoulders. At least share the cartoons. Hey, he/she might need a giggle too.

For those of you just looking for a great read, you will find this book simply provides light, funny examples of relationship characters and quirks. So get comfy, grab a latte...then get comfy again and let the adventure begin!

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Contact Author, Rhonda Ricardo at: