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Gratefulness’s Mean Sister – When Envy Comes Knocking at Christmas…

Gratefulness’s Mean Sister – When Envy Comes Knocking at Christmas…

Gratefulness’s Mean Sister – When Envy Comes Knocking at Christmas…

I spent Christmas day on the Atlantic Ocean, in the condo building I used to live in. With my former husband, former English bulldog and my current kids. The only thing weirder than that confluence of used-to-be, was that it was not weird. After I talked myself out of being envious, it was fun…


Why, Hello Miss Envy…

I wasn’t in my actual condo. My ex-husband bought his apartment after I moved out of the building. And because he bought the souped-up, designer version it didn’t resemble where I used to live at all. It wasn’t like I was mooning in the powder room saying, “This is where I used to sit, just six floors above…” or anything sad like that. I actually couldn’t seem to get a bead on what walls had been removed and closets added to configure the splendor of his living conditions.


I’m not sure why I was invited. My ex-husband has been through a lot and I think he just wanted to be nice. Nice is the point of this blog post. Sometimes “Nice” invites the chartreuse monster of  “Envy” into the gently, padded walls of one’s psyche. Because “Nice” included several 2004 bottles of Stag’s Leap Petite Sirah being passed by my sensitive nose to the glasses of my children. “Nice” meant sitting on his new, matched couches. My former dog, who is now my daughter Lauren’s dog, curved angelically along his side. “Nice” meant thinking (my Grinch fingers nervously drumming): Wait a minute, that’s what happened to the photo-realistic still life we bought in the south of France…


And there was one brief moment when I thought: Who would care really if I hoisted him over the balcony? I could wait a discrete couple of months (after the inquest) and say to the children, “Would you mind if I lived here for a while?” But that evil thought didn’t last for long. The fact is, my ex-husband deserves what he has. He worked really hard. And as I sat there, sipping gassy water in a wine glass (cut crystal), I realized that I wouldn’t trade lives with him. Nor could I, so what would be the point of imagining it? Right?


High above the madding crowd…

This is not going to be the 10 things I’m grateful for…

This is the place in a blog post where one usually lists the things one is actually grateful for. But it is a bit too soon to make favorable comparisons. I will say this – we had a blast. Bona fide. And my dog Fiona is happier with Lauren.  It was lovely to see my grown children, and Lauren’s boyfriend John be kind. And to watch my son Jonathan’s internal wheels turning over the concept that his expected Christmas morning “sucking really bad,” was actually fun. Fun.


It was the first Christmas morning (of the 17 we spent together) my ex did not see me down a bottle(s) of Champagne.


And he gave me a present. Oh, and the painting above, by Oleg Korchagin, from my days of Russian art dealing. When I look at it now, her expression is kind of envious… A good reminder for me to be grateful for what I have. To remember what I have…


Merry Christmas everybody.


Today I’m not drinking because I am grateful for everything my sobriety has given me….

Splendor in the powder room – THAT’S where those icons went…

How come you’re not drinking?


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Comments (6)

  1. Avatar
    Annie Ope r
    Dec 30, 2016

    Is that Persian art in the powder room? See if he wants to give them to me. 🙂 Glad you had fun, I was a little worried about how you would react. See you tomorrow!

  2. Avatar
    Dec 30, 2016

    How come you're not drinking?
    I never want to lose sight of everything I have to be grateful for.
    What a milestone – Christmas with your family minus all of the alcohol related drama. I have to tell you though that I consider most of your posts milestones — significant points in your daily life that illuminate a positive and encouraging message about living sober. I appreciate them more than I can say. Looking forward to many more of them in 2017! No pressure here!:)

  3. Avatar
    Who the hell has time to drink?
    Dec 30, 2016

    Am not drinking, although doing all the bartending, while guests and friends drink their way through the holidays. I don’t want to feel THAT WAY the next day, and still want to get something done during the day. P.S. AS friend in AA said he felt sorry for everyone who wasn’t an alcoholic, because chances are they won’t get the opportunity to LIVE THE 12 STEP PROGRAM….it sure as hell makes you a better person.

    • Avatar
      Jan 1, 2017

      As I sat in an AA meeting yesterday someone made a similar comment about how great it would be if everyone was able to apply the 12 steps to their life. So true. Hoping to be that person this year. I keep stumbling. But will do this! Happy New Year!

  4. Avatar
    Dr. Steve
    Dec 30, 2016

    How come you're not drinking?
    I drink whenever I want to drink, and I never want to drink.
    I just love your blog. You are so insightful. As a person in recovery, and an addiction counselor, you always have such wise words. Keep up the good work!!!!

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