Perils of Divorced Pauline

The Names Have Been Changed, But the Story Is True


April 05
World-class gnarly divorce survivor. Custody Battle blogger with a sense of humor. Mom. Wife. Cat-Lover. Visit me at or on Twitter @divorcedpauline.


A couple months ago, I discovered Adina Giannelli, a blogger who writes exquisitely here and at OpenSalon about life after the death of her infant daughter. We started corresponding via e-mail. We felt a kinship because we are each experiencing the ripple effects of the loss/Read full post »

MAY 2, 2011 11:10AM

Luca's Phone Call

I missed Luca's phone call a couple weeks ago. Francesca and I were coming back from my dad's memorial. Our plane was delayed and we had camped out on the floor of a tiny airport on the east coast. I handed her the sandwich I bought for her at the airportRead full post »

APRIL 29, 2011 9:47AM

I Have to Pay My Ex-Husband WHAT???

I may have to pay my rich ex-husband child support. This is what my lawyer told me Wednesday afternoon. I spent the rest of the day trying to lasso my blood pressure and pull it down off the ceiling.

Let me be clear: I don't believe child support should be aRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 26, 2011 10:06AM

A Little Bit Bipolar

Last night I curled up with my favorite guilty pleasure, People Magazine, and read about Catherine Zeta-Jones' and Demi Lovato's struggles with bipolar disorder.  Zeta-Jones's flawless face graces this week's cover, next to the caption, "I'm Not Ashamed." In a/

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Editor’s Pick
APRIL 20, 2011 11:21AM

My Father's Two Wives

Last Sunday, I stood in a small church cemetery amid a circle of relatives. My vibrant octogenarian father, who had collapsed from a massive heart attack in January, was now reduced to a tube of ashes. When it was my turn to sprinkle his remains by my mother's headstone, I watchedRead full post »

APRIL 14, 2011 1:18PM

Stalked on Google AdSense

I tossed good taste to the wind a couple of weeks ago when I applied for a Google AdSense account for my OpenSalon blog. I will admit I'm an aesthetic snob. I like things to look a certain way. I pay top dollar on Kleenex, the high-end oval-shaped kind with the groovy/Read full post »

APRIL 11, 2011 11:52AM

How Atticus Got His Son Back

Atticus Eastwood is not my current husband's real name. But that's what I call him here because he reminds me of Gregory Peck's character in To Kill a Mockingbird: reserved, with a strong moral compass, willing to do the jobs few men want.

Like take on my ex-husband.

He also is aRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 8, 2011 10:03AM

Why Won't My Dad Pick Me Up on Tuesdays?

This is the question Francesca, my 9-year-old, used to ask me after she watched her dad pick up her brother Luca from school but leave her behind. On those occasions--every other Tuesday--I'd collect Franny at 3:00, then take her to get a a new pair of shoes or something else sheRead full post »

APRIL 4, 2011 10:01AM

You Say Mediator, I Say Alligator

I am delighted to feature a guest-post from my lovely bloggeague and divorce compadre Violet. Read on for her experience in hell with mediation.

One of the big pieces of divorce “advice” I received once my big separation announcement had gone out was to use a med

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Editor’s Pick
MARCH 31, 2011 8:48AM

The Home for Friendless Women

At the tail end of the 19th century, this was the moniker of a residence in Burlington, Vermont that took in unwed pregnant mothers until they gave birth. Back then, "friendless woman" was a euphemism for single and knocked-up. If a woman entered the Home with a shred of self-esteem, spendingRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 25, 2011 9:36AM

Boy Needs Friend

Earlier this week I stumbled across an education blog that suggested boys who struggle in school lack close friendships. Developmental psychologist Niobe Way proposed that boys experience a "crisis of connection" caused in part by societal messages that close friendships are for g/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 21, 2011 9:48AM

Saved by The Big Pancake

In the seven years since my first marriage exploded, I have lost many things I loved: homes, my dream of an in tact family, my son. Especially my son.

But with loss comes transformation and I have also gained things I love: my husband, our blended family, a new career, newRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 16, 2011 10:12AM

Foreclosures to the Left of Me, Short Sales to the Right

The morning after my husband, our four blended children, and I moved into our new house I realized we had made a grave error. It was as if I had gone on a drunken sexcapade and awoken next to a stranger who only the night before, in warm amber light andRead full post »

A few days ago a blog I posted on OpenSalon, originally called Mother and Child Un-Reunion, was chosen to run on the regular Salon site, in the "Real Families" personal essay section. My post discussed issues relating to my adoption and the odd parallel of that experience in my li/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 9, 2011 1:54PM

Mother and Child Un-Reunion

I was adopted when I was six days old. It was an old-school, politically incorrect, pre-Brangelina-era adoption in which the records were closed. My original birth certificate was sealed, and with it my original identity. I knew nothing about my birthmother or why she relinquished me. Some adoptees gRead full post »

MARCH 7, 2011 1:25PM

Empathy for the Devil

My friend Jane, who was raised by a Dorothy Parker-esque emotionally abusive alcoholic single mother and was functionally bonkers for years before she found Alanon, once mused that Prince must be in a lot of pain since he felt compelled to pulverize people--namely this people--who didn't see things hRead full post »

MARCH 4, 2011 3:33PM


That hardy 5-figure sum is the amount I owe to my attorney for the past two months of work. Granted, January was busy with discovery and a deposition and I'm pretty sure there was a court appearance in there somewhere, but frankly, things have gotten a little blurry.

When I wrote… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 2, 2011 12:57AM

Luca's School Daze

Last week my son Luca got busted for smoking pot at school. This was not the first time.  After five weeks this past fall as a new seventh grader at a crazy-expensive private school--let's call it Escalade Academy, because the parking lot is teeming with those--he was expelled for bringing marijRead full post »