Realities on Divorce, Dating, Parenting and Re-Invention

#98. Oh What a Night!

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#98. Oh What a Night!

The Bar Mitzvah happened and I survived!  Barely.  Isn’t it always the things you worry about which always work out and the things that never even entered your mind that happen? The days leading up to my son’s Bar Mitzvah last week brought a state of being that I do not recall experiencing in my life.  Ever.  I couldn’t eat.  I couldn’t sleep.  The relentless feeling of excitement became a visceral, all-encompassing experience that I didn’t recognize.  I was anxiety ridden and nervous.  Nervous that people wouldn’t show up.  Worried about seeing my ex.  Unsure about my role in the service.  All this while working on writing contracts and auditioning.  Trying desperately to hold it together, I developed my usual psychosomatic nausea.  For days I felt that vomiting was imminent.  I thought I was snapping and became deeply concerned that I were at risk of having some sort of psychotic break with reality at the Bar Mitzvah.  Not the kind of memory I was hoping to create.

The day of the big event came and I tried on my dress.  My boobs looked huge and were standing out like…well, like only big boobs can.  I couldn’t look like a big ho at my son’s Bar Mitzvah.  I could see years of therapy in his future, or rather years MORE than he already has in store.  So I tried on a blazer and leather pants.  But I still looked like I was going to a bar to pick-up.  Again, not the look that I was going for.  I began to wonder if I always look like a hooker.  However, this was not the time to re-evaluate my fashion esthetic.  I took off the leather pants and went for the blazer and another dress that covered up the sisters.  I needed tights though!  With only about one hour until we were off to the hairdresser, I sprinted in my Sorels down to Bloor Street and dove into a hosiery store panting like I was being chased by Jack-the-Ripper.  I am not clear as to why I didn’t take a cab or the subway.  As I previously stated, I have not been quite myself and haven’t been thinking all that rationally.

My son and I made it to the hairdresser and returned home to get dressed.  With fifteen minutes to spare before my parents were picking us up, the party venue called and the photo slideshow that I edited together wasn’t working.  I began to fall apart.  I had spent hours scanning photos and even procured photos from my ex to edit into a pictorial slideshow of my son’s life with both his father and myself.  SHIT!!!  Why was I learning about this slideshow problem fifteen minutes before leaving for the venue?  It was at this point that I turned into a raging bitch.  And I was really trying to not be a bitch but I just couldn’t help myself.  I quickly emailed a few jpeg pictures over to the Event Planner with the hopes that she would figure something out.

When we arrived at the venue I expressed my dissatisfaction like a Fascist Dictator regarding the whole slideshow debacle.  Jesus.  You would’ve thought that they had kidnapped my son the way I was behaving.  Dreadful.  Not my finest moment.  But other than that tantrum, the venue was perfection.  The chairs were set up for the service and guests began arriving.  My son was wearing a red tuxedo in the style of Mad Men and looked simply breathtaking.  And now my boy was to become a man in the eyes of Judaism.  My little boy.  This sweet angel who makes me laugh everyday.  The boy that has cried on my shoulder.  The boy whose diapers I changed.  The boy whose floor I have slept on when he was sick more times than I can count.  The boy who radiates everything that is good and kind in this world.  The boy who has granted me the privilege of bearing witness to his remarkable journey from infancy towards manhood.  This was a very intense moment.

Friends and family trickled into the venue for cocktails.  Then my ex and his lovely (I’m very lucky) wife and their two children arrived.  I took a deep breath, grabbed a glass of wine and went over to greet them.  I hugged my ex’s wife, much to her surprise.  I don’t think she cares much for me but what can you do.  I like her and am grateful that she’s so loving towards my son.  And then I put my hand out for my ex to shake.  There was silence.  He didn’t move. We stared at each other.  Was he going to shake my hand?  Was he going to stab me?

He embraced me.

He has refused to speak to me for twelve years.  He refuses to return most of my emails.  But I got a hug?!? I was a bit shocked.  We hugged in silence before the only words I could muster came out of my mouth as I whispered “Thank you”, into his ear.  That was the extent of our conversation all night.  I don’t know if he will let up on his hatred for me, but it would be nice.  I just don’t share his anger.  Whatever I did to him or he did to me is history.  Besides, he gave me the love of my life.  Our son.  I can’t hate him.

The service was beautiful and the party rocked!  I think everyone actually had a really good time!  I know I did.  Think I had a bit too much fun.  The wine was flowing and boy did I celebrate.  For someone who doesn’t drink often and hasn’t for years, I think I made up for lost time.  I remained somewhat together until the end of the night when all of the alcohol and emotional vicissitude erupted.  Into my toilet.  Yup.  I finally puked.  I purged all of the stress, anxiety, and baggage of the past.  It was probably the single biggest night of my life where everything came full circle.  I really never thought that I would survive such heartbreak.  Boy, we humans are pretty resilient creatures.  The pain of that marriage and divorce should have killed me.  But I can honestly say that I have come out on the other side.  Wow.  So what if it took me a decade.  Better late than never!

All and all, and in the end, it’s been 13 years of disappointments, struggle, depression, hopes, dreams, fears, strength and fortitude.  I did it!  I made it!  I may not be rich, famous or successful in other people’s definition, but I am happy.  Now I can return back to working and seeing what the Universe has in store for me.  I’m excited for the future.



  1. Helen
    HelenMar 04, 2013

    The Bar Mitzvah was fantastic! The young man of honour in the red tux was breathtaking and his speech was uplifting and a joy to listen to. As for Hayley, she was her usual wonderful self.

    I know I speak for everyone who attended, a great time was had by all!

    Well done Hayley, your son is a man and his Bar Mitzvah was a night to remember…congrats, you did it!!!
    Helen recently posted..ABOUT THE BOOKMy Profile

    • Hayley
      HayleyMar 05, 2013

      Thank you for coming Helen! AND thank for putting up with years of me obsessing over the formerly referred to, “Fucken Bar Mitzvah”. Somehow it happened and I look forward to paying it off for the remainder of my natural born life. Glad you had fun and I’m grateful for friends like you to share such events with.

  2. Joan
    JoanMar 05, 2013

    Wow Hayley! You had pretty much every emotion swirling around that night but for the most part, they seemed positive. Congrats to you and your son!

    I know this sounds weird but the puking seems metaphorically perfect somehow, lol.

    • Hayley
      HayleyMar 05, 2013

      Thank you Joan! Yes – it was all positive. Just very emotionally loaded. I didn’t even understand why I was so overwhelmed. But I guess when one has 13 years of craziness pent up one goes a bit batty.

  3. Tammy Flores
    Tammy FloresMar 12, 2013

    These milestones in life are what keeps us going sometimes. Congrats! BTW love the new web layout.

    • Hayley
      HayleyMar 12, 2013

      Thanks Tammy! Yup. It’s those wonderful moments that make everything worthwhile.

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