Jennifer McBride's Touching the Trees Blog

or, Saying Goodbye to a Divorce and Hello to a Life
SEPTEMBER 4, 2012 1:57PM

When I was a Lesbian

It turns out that in the fall of 2009, I was a lesbian. In fact, I may still be one, to some.

Imagine my surprise as a mother and former housewife when a dear friend of mine, in the middle of a morning walk, told me a secret she’d been holding… Read full post »

AUGUST 21, 2012 6:20PM

Does anyone really care about rape?

I hate to ask such a crass question, but seriously -- recent statements by politicians trying to classify and qualify rape is just the most recent de-rape-fying of criminal sexual conduct. "Legitimate rape" is supposed to be juxtaposed with what? Illegitimate rape? Imagined rape? A date gone wrong --… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 29, 2011 9:39AM

Grateful for Second Thanksgiving

This year was the second time I didn't have my children for Thanksgiving dinner on actual Thanksgiving Day. I'm an admitted "traditionalist," which means I get a lot of strength from creating and maintaining family traditions. So, not having my kids with me when there's a tradition at stake is often… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 21, 2011 5:05PM

Missing the Christmas Card Photo

I haven't sent Christmas cards to anyone, except for a very few family members, since my divorce. For one, I haven't had enough extra cash lying around to justify spending $50 or more printing photo cards (or buying boxes of something cute and religion-neutral) and mailing them out.… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 17, 2011 10:49AM

My Two Mother-in-Laws

Recently, at a book club I was speaking with, the subject of first wives came up. One woman told the group that her husband's first wife was probably, at that very second, hanging out with his family...even though they'd been divorced for well over two decades. As the second wife, even… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 12, 2011 8:05AM

My Last Night of Marriage

The following is an excerpt from Touching the Trees by Jennifer McBride, copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

The part of this story that has consumed me for the better part of many years is my relationship with and identity because of my former husband. 

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JULY 3, 2011 4:42PM

When the Bough Breaks


Sitting on my covered front porch the other day, in the middle of a storm, I watched Dorothy's tree quiver as the raindrops bounced its few, brittle boughs. I'd recently moved the tree from it's place of honor in my dining room to the outdoors, exposed to… Read full post »

JUNE 7, 2011 8:50AM

3 Motivating Factors in Divorce

Do you catch yourself thinking, “Man, I just want to run away!” Or, “Things would be so much easier if I weren’t married”? Do you look at your divorced friends and wonder what you’d

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MAY 28, 2011 5:47PM

Janice Tomilowitz's Hair

Guess what I saw in the mirror today? Janice Tomilowitz's hair. On my head.

I spent an inordinate amount of 2nd grade sitting, alphabetically, just behind Janice Tomilowitz. At some point every day, probably during addition/subtraction, I stared at the back of her head -- at her perfect… Read full post »

MAY 19, 2011 2:45PM

Motorcycle: Not a Fourth Cat

 The Commune: Prologue

My house is becoming The Commune. In a week.

In this first installment of The Commune, I'll introduce you to the people, animals, reasons why, and our hopes...and fears.

Right now, here's who lives at my address: Me, my three kids, and my two cats. Here's who's movingRead full post »

APRIL 28, 2011 10:59AM

How David Sav-ed Sprint

Zillions of us are familiar with this situation...your mobile phone breaks, you go to the cell phone store to get it fixed, and you end up hating your life. You wonder how in the world a company can stay in business when their customers leave the store wanting… Read full post »

Will our country collapse under the weight of Planned Parenthood defunding? One person is screaming, "YES!" But is anyone listening?

Blogger 1lifesaved, a new voice in the world of women's issues, sent me this blog post last night. While I've kept my ear a little bit tuned to the world… Read full post »

Last weekend, while sitting in a friend's kitchen hoping to catch a DVR-ed, concert performance of "Don't Stop Believin'," all hell broke loose.

Prior to that moment, John (aka Huck, Manfriend, and of these days something'll stick) had started to nod off while conversation mellowed; I'… Read full post »

APRIL 15, 2011 4:10PM

Up and Down: Mount Booth

It was a looking-inside, listening-to-intuition, rechecking paths kind of week.
Ups? Yes, and I've literally reverberated with the joy of them (like when I got to go on the unexpected first motorcycle ride of the season). Downs? Of course, though those are much less soul-tisfying.

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1. Self-esteem is really great birth control.

2. Longing for love won't make it magically appear.

3. Fixing yourself works better than trying to fix someone else.

4. Giving is better than receiving, unless you never get anything back...then it's worse.

5. Your stomach never lies. It tells you when yo… Read full post »


There was something compelling about when the little, old, Puerto Rican, Betty White doppleganger (named Candy) looked me straight in the eye and said, "Give your body to Jesus and stop eating salt." She had so much strength in her conviction, plus a whole lot of heavily-accented… Read full post »

Last week I posted the first two parts of a 4-part Living Up series. Part 1 was about waking up to the idea that sometimes your life needs a change. Part 2 was about looking up and seeing what's really going on… Read full post »
MARCH 29, 2011 1:34PM

Looking Up from a Ring Finger

(And into the Rheumy Eyes of a Street Balladeer) Part 2

Living Up is a philosophy of change that I'm using more and more often in my daily life now. It first came about when I was going through a divorce a few years ago. I was so beaten… Read full post »


Last week I was in Puerto Rico, on an Un-eymoon with Manfriend. For better or for worse, it wasn't a real honeymoon because we aren't really married. In fact, unless I find a pile of money and decide that I'm not owed anything more from my…

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Yesterday I explored the idea of applying math equations to a past relationship.  The math equations came from the concept of Social Exchange Theory made popular in the '90s (so right up my generational alley). Basically, when two or more people come into contact with one another… Read full post »

MARCH 10, 2011 10:50AM

Divorce Yourself From the Blame Game, Episode 217

In this episode of the highly-acclaimed television drama about a large family and its requisite sibling/parent/spouse issues, one key moment occurred that caused me to pause, rewind, pause, rewind, jot down notes, and (finally) write.  It's a scene toward t… Read full post »

MARCH 9, 2011 5:27PM

The Salt Shaker Effect

On Saturday night, I went to a movie, The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. Going to the movie was a treat for my SO (significant other) and myself because we'd spent all day working -- he on renovating the basement and me on marketing/writing.

We… Read full post »