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Three Failures and One More Thing

It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it

I failed Jessica, my American ex-wife. Picture by our (her) friend Taylor Deas-Melesh

The first forty-two years of my life were uneventful and surprisingly exempt from any major failure. I’d even say from any failure, but my ex-wife would tell you that’s because I don’t pay enough attention to details.

She saw many failures in my behavior.

Too many.

In 2008, everything went south. Hard. And all at once. My wife left me. My business opened a new chapter, number 11, and I lost my swing. Ask a golfer if you’re not one, and they will tell you how hard it is to live without a decent swing.

Failure 1 — The Swing

At the beginning of 2008, I hired a pro to work with me because I wanted to improve and get my handicap deep into single-digit territory. I was a strong 11 and dreamed of becoming a five.

We deconstructed my game down to the millimeter, but before we could reconstruct it, the pro left with one of the club’s widows. She was thirty years older than him, thirty times richer, and nobody saw it coming.

They’re living in the Bahamas and still together.

I was happy for them, but my golf game suffered, and my handicap went up to 23 instead of down to four.

It made me grumpy.

And impatient. Or rather, less patient.

I couldn’t deal with my wife’s usual bickering with the smile and positive attitude she had learned to take for granted.

Failure 2 — The Divorce

One day, she criticized my choice of blue boxers while wearing red socks, and I snapped. We ended up divorcing because of this!! Can you imagine? It’s hard to think of something more trivial than that. But also, it was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

I’m the camel here, but it’s my ex-wife who looks like one after her latest plastic surgery paid for with the money she stole from me during the divorce.

You look like a camel, Jessica. I hope you read this.

(Just so you know, I’m still working on some divorce-related anger issues.)

Failure 3 — The Bankruptcy

These circumstances made it harder to focus on business, and with the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis, it wasn’t a good time to lose my drive. My Chief of Sales had to leave because her husband got fired, and they were moving to the other side of the country to help with his search for a new job.

In retrospect, I should have cut my salary and hired her husband to give him enough time to find a new job. She was that good.

But I wasn’t that good a boss to realize it.

Without her, my company quickly disappeared.

One More Thing

All this sounds terrible, and it was.

I don’t write about it too much because I’m not comfortable monetizing trauma, and most of my corresponding drafts are full of insults towards my ex-wife, which my therapist likes but my lawyer doesn’t.

It was terrible, but I’m still here. I survived these events and am now happily married to a pumpkin spice nymphomaniac. I have seven kids total, my handicap decreased to a satisfying 8, and I own a successful online writing business (click here to get a discount).

If I had to summarize my experience in one sentence, it would be this one.

Do not judge me by my success, do not judge me by my failures, judge me by how many times I lied and you believed it.

Author’s note

Written for the unimitable Ann James and her latest deluded challenge.

Photo of my clustered list for extra points.

(I love extra points)

(you can give me extra points here)

Author’s Grandma took the picture

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