The Curious Case of Boyfriend Brett and the Missing Mojo

The scene of the crime...

Our story begins with a life-changing moment in the shower.

Yip, you read that right: the shower. There I am, lathering away while contemplating life (I always do my best thinking in the shower, after all), when I was overcome by a sudden, silly urge as I reached for the shampoo bottle.

“My ends need a good trim,” I thought to myself in this moment of deep, sudsy reflection. “Since I can’t see the back of my own hair, I’ll just have Boyfriend Brett do it when I’m out of the shower.”

So silly. So simple. So soapy.


As I wrapped a towel around myself, Boyfriend Brett came bounding up the stairs to deliver a piece of warm-from-the-oven banana bread. You see, the night before, he had not one, but FOUR dreams about baking banana bread … while I had dreams about a nuclear reaction and running through an airport avoiding piles of puke left behind by radiation-poisoned people.

Seriously: Whose psyche would you rather live in?

Anyhow, back to the epiphany: I gave Brett my best “pretty please?” look complete with batting eye lashes and asked for my trim, explaining, “Just get the ends” while holding up Pointer and Thumbkin separated by no more than ¼ of an inch.

“OK,” he responds, with a kind of nonchalance that in retrospect should have been a big-ass red flag. Accented by fireworks and flares. Bathed in a glaring spotlight.

We venture out onto the balcony so the tiny, flyaway hairs can find a new happy home dancing on the wind rather than landing atop the bathroom carpet. I turn around and expose my auburn mane; he calmly, methodically brushes; then he begins to trim.

Or should I say, hack.

Because as I’m standing there wearing little more than a short robe and a lifetime of insecurities earned in three short years, all exposed and vulnerable, I feel too much hacking. I feel too much hair being amputated from my head. I quickly pull away, looking down to see the ugly, grotesque, horrific carnage splattered all over the balcony.

Hair is everywhere. Not ¼ of an inch. Not the tiny flyaway ends I expected to be sprinkled on the floor. But a veritable carpet of hair chunks measuring this length:

Wow. Apparently length:men as dog years:humans.

I run inside, gasping, practically screaming (ok, maybe actually screaming). “Oh my GOD! What did you do? Why the hell did you cut so much hair?”

“I thought that’s what you wanted,” he says, trying to reassure me in his casual, sometimes endearing, currently maddening passé tone.

“Brett, that’s more hair than I cut off in an entire YEAR! In TWO YEARS!” I yell. And yes, at this point, I’m sobbing. “My hair’s my thing! You cut off my thing!”

Fast forward 15 hours, 35 minutes and 12 seconds (Trust me: I’ve felt every second). While I’ve done my best to come to terms with the new hair, all I feel is boyish and decidedly unsexy. I curl it and feel like Shirley Temple. I flat iron it and feel like every generic minivan-driving soccer mom residing on the West Coast. But that very next day after Hair-mageddon 2011, I’m at breakfast, and the happy Mimi’s hostess delivers my oatmeal.

“Great hair!” she cheerily says.

“Fuck you, Happy Mimi’s Hostess,” I think to myself. “Fuck you very much.”

Then I look up at Brett, who’s sporting a super self-satisfied, shit-eating grin. Ear to ear.


So why do I share this cheery anecdote with you, dear readers?

Because along with the 3.5 inches of hair horrifically hacked by Boyfriend Brett, I believe my mojo went with it.

Seriously. Somehow, the ends of my hair must have contained my creative juices. Because since that moment, I’ve sat in front of the computer, drawing a total blank, time and time again. I walk around, and the usual funny thoughts that traverse my brain simply aren’t there. Every quip feels cut short; every sassiness severed; every musing, missing. Conspicuously. Like the rest of my hair.

So instead of writing, here’s what I’ve been up to.

I’ve done all my laundry. And this, my friends, deserves its own picture — documentation for posterity.

Yes, Virginia...there is a bottom of the laundry baskets. In fact, there's a bottom of ALL of my laundry baskets...

I’ve organized my camisoles and tank tops in ROY G BIV order. Because in my Type A brain, the color spectrum inspires all organizational initiatives.

Based on this revelation, you can only guess what my Lucky Charms must look like on the spoon before I eat them.

I’ve even chopped and washed and stored my fruits and veggies.

...but I just realized: These are not in ROY G BIV order. I must go fix that now.

Actually, I suspect there may be more at play here than writer’s block inspired by horrendous hair choppage. I heard just a few weeks ago that the court is sending the ex and me to mediation prior to our day in court. And while that may be all fine and great and awesome and totally emo and all, I’m honestly spent.

I’m so tired of fighting this battle. I’m tired of the hoops. I’m tired of my children being used as pawns in the whole mess, coming home from their dad’s and reporting, “Dad and Marilyn say you’re trying to take us away from them” and “Dad and Marilyn say someone may talk to us about where we want to live.”

Way to leave the kids out of it. Nice.

So I just want resolution. NOW. For my children’s sake, and yes, for my own sake as well.

Plus, the courts made me do this horrible, time-consuming declaration thingie that felt like a financial colonoscopy in a Katie Couric kinda way: While awake. And not anesthetized. And in public view, as I had to deliver it to my ex. Ick.

But at least I’m WAY prepared for tax season this year.

Anyhow, mediation happens Tuesday. Can’t wait. In the meantime, my personal list of Top 10 Lessons from the story above:

  1. Never derive inspiration from sudsy epiphanies. No good can come of it.
  2. If you are ever asked to “trim” someone’s hair, please pay attention to the distance between Pointer and Thumbkin. That’s a key detail.
  3. If you have trust issues to begin with, perhaps asking for help with something that potentially (and irreversibly) impacts “your thing” is not a good idea.
  4. Mimi’s oatmeal = yummy. Mimi’s hostess = dummy.
  5. Men…This is NOT ¼ of an inch:
  6. I’m worth a shitload of money if dead. And my ex and Marilyn now know this. Which makes me kinda nervous.
  7. My readers rock. You guys keep coming back, and you’re totally engaging in convos with one another, which allows me to sit back and stare at the computer blankly while not worrying about this dire case of writer’s block.

There you go. Seriously…7. Couldn’t even come up with 10. See how crazy constipated my writing is? Any prune juice-like advice to cause the creative juices to flow freely once again?

Or, alternatively, a totally self-serving question: Anyone know anyone who knows anyone who’s been through mediation? Just trying to anticipate the ordeal, glean feedback and gather all relevant advice before the big event. I recently told my Facebook friends that it’s like my own personal version of Kramer vs. Kramer. Only add a “fuck”-filled blog and a Marilyn Manson lookalike. And subtract Dustin Hoffman.

Plus, Meryl Streep had much more mojo — and not coincidentally, much more hair — than I currently do. About 3.5 inches more, I’m guessing.

Hell, I think the little boy in that movie had more hair than I do. :(

Thanks, Columbia Pictures, for this beautiful picture of these beautiful people and their beautiful hair. Nice.

Please leave your thoughts below (as long as you’re mindful of my sensitive, precarious, delicate-like-a-flower state). In the meantime, I’m furiously researching the cost of extensions. I’m not adverse to getting my groove back the old fashioned way: How much do you suppose some good mojo goes for these days, anyhow?


About Mikalee Byerman

How can a sometimes bitter, definitely jaded, no longer trusting blindsided ex-wife still believe in happy endings? (not that kind of happy endings...sheesh, people...) By channeling her scary internal dialogue through a controversial blog/future book, swearing like a drunken sailor and spending all her spare time focused on helping others people heal. Oh, and wine...lots of good, red wine. Join me as I embrace my next best self (and help you discover yours) with Me 2.0!
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122 Responses to The Curious Case of Boyfriend Brett and the Missing Mojo

  1. Great post! Nice closet. I think you’re on to something here: Apparently cutting off too much hair causes OCD. My wife went with shorter hair a few years ago and she’s constantly cleaning and organizing. If she were’nt still in bed right now I’d have to pick my feet up from the floor while typing so she could dust under the desk, literally.

    • This is good to know. Now I just need to come up with the name of this haircut-inspired OCD in order to suggest it to the likes of Dr. Oz and include its medical diagnostic codes in the ICD9. This is serious shit and must not be taken lightly!

      BTW…at least you didn’t cut her hair. Smart man…

  2. melissakoski says:

    I love that you measured the hair… perfect to the story. Good luck Tuesday. My kids have been off from school and I haven’t even been able to come up with blog titles. (: Here’s to more creative mojo!

    • Your line “Here’s to more creative mojo” reminded me of a toast … which reminded me of a drink … which made me think we should develop a drink for improving mojo. And the natural choice: a mojo-jito!

      Sorry. Bad pun, I know… ;)

      Thanks so much for the luck!

  3. groovyrick says:

    Writer’s block has hit me so many times that I’ve almost organized a telethon for it (Kasey Kasem, show me a tote!). I try to write a blog update every night, and by day I have to write about insurance…try to wrap that in a creative bow. I rely on everything and everyone for ideas. I check the calendar on Wikipedia for timely events to see if it triggers a memory. Fortunately, I have drank a lot of alcohol in my lifetime, which has led to many inspiring events, and I draw heavily from those events.
    Oh yeah, mediation…I would just practice a cold stare in the mirror until you think it’s intimidating enough. Or start with something like “let’s get this going…I don’t want to be late for the firing range.” Good luck.

    • Wow, Groovyrick…every night? That’s mighty impressive. Way to make me feel totally inconsequential in the scheme of things. Sheesh.

      Nah, just kidding. The Wikipedia calendar is a great idea, and drunken experiences are always a great source of inspiration! (Penis tiara, anyone?)

      Thanks for the luck. I’m working on the cold stare as I type…

  4. Is that photo before or after? Because i am sure i have seen another one on your blog just like it?
    Nothing easy about what you need to do….. goodluck! Hope you kick some ass!!
    I am sure you will have lots to talk about after the mediation.

    • It’s an “after” photo…same style as before, just 3.5 inches shorter!

      Thanks for the well wishes — I’m sure I’ll need them. And yes, I’m hoping for some totally awesome blogger fodder from tomorrow’s interaction. Something interesting I’ve noticed: Very few people have shared their mediation experiences on the web … at least based on the Google searches I’ve conducted. I’m hoping to inspire a trend. We MUST talk about these things, after all!

  5. Gvanguard says:

    Did someone say court ordered mediation? Step right up and lend your ear. If, and I’m being slightly presumptuous or perhaps not as I’ve read and lived your blog, of course from the mans point of view minus the cutting of hair, I’ve been to mediation.
    You have a court ordered listener, who is to help you and your ex find a happy middle ground. They can not critique, comment, or inform either sides attorneys or bend the ear of a judge. I would prepare for some callous remarks aimed at you from the ex that he may think would bring advantage to your situation. My ex plainly told our mediator, he’s a psychotic ex-Marine, he does scary stuff overseas, and only sleeps for a few hours at a time. Thanks ex…
    Really the folks are there to actually set up parenting plans and to help the two of you see daylight with out putting you in front of a judge. However, anything you agree on gets sent to your attorneys and then it gets actually logged into court, so no breaking the visitation. Ohhh, main points will be, who has legal custody allowing you to make the legal decisions on the benefits such as school for your children, where they go to church etc…. Aim for legal custody, set some decent visitation for your ex and the banshee, and try not to make any over the top stipulations… Good luck.

    • I’m so grateful for your perspective, Gvanguard … sounds like you had quite the “fun” experience! I’m preparing for the worst, certainly. I guess only time (T-minus 12 hours almost to the minute) will tell!

      Thanks for the luck, btw…

  6. Blockader says:

    4000 Years ago, Samson ended up with a little more trimmed off the top then expected and found himself mojoless…I trust it affords you some hope to know that in his case his hair eventually grew back. I am sure yours will too.

  7. duke1959 says:

    Rule number one for men. When the woman in your life wants you to cut her hair you with a smile on your face advice her that you are willing to pay for any hair cut she wants at her favorite salon. Or in other words he made a rookie mistake. The moment he started he was in a no win situation. You are right about doing some of your best thinking in the shower. I do also.

    • Ah, but I also think I made a rookie mistake: I mean, I’ve been in relationships before. Hell, I was married for 10 years. I KNOW not to ask a man for a haircut. What was I thinking?

      I’ll chalk this one up to some bad thinking in the shower. There are moments of inspiration … then there are moments like this one. Oops.

  8. Harold says:

    I have wood crafting block! If I don’t craft anything I have nothing to write about! With that heart day coming up I should be doing something, but can’t decide what to start on. Winter blahs? Lately we have been digging out from the snow storm. Still gotta widen out the driveway at the street.

    Blog idea. You could gush effusively over a little something and what you may have done to it? If I have over stepped my bounds as a minnion, I apologize profusely Mistress! May you still smile upon me!

    Good luck at mediation! We await your next post fervently!

    • Oh, Harold … I will always smile upon you! Unless you ask to touch my supple feet and legs. Then you will become blogger fodder. ;)

      Just kidding, of course. Actually, I do have a funny story about your awesome ornament: It is sitting on my desk in my office (until I find an appropriate home for it … once I’ve stained it), and my son said, “I love that — your name with a halo over it. So appropriate since you’re an angel, Mommy.”

      Thanks for inspiring the comment, Harold! And thank you for the luck…

  9. Fear not, Mikalee, you have lost neither your outward beauty nor your mojo. This post was fantastic. I laughed out loud. Another item for your list, is never let your boyfriend cut your hair, ever. It never works out. Even if he had been able to accurately measure the amount he was hacking off, you wouldn’t have been happy. Yeah, totally bad idea, especially for a guy that bakes banana bread after dreaming about it.

    There’s a new show on USA Network called “Fairly Legal” that you should check out, about mediation. My personal experience with it, although not a custody issue, is that it puts the “fair” into the process, and like a previous commenter pointed out, it lets you air out some ugly stuff in front a non-partial moderator. However it goes, don’t hold back, and wear a thick skin. By the way, I have no connection to the show monetarily or otherwise.

    • I’m so grateful my loss of mojo doesn’t seem permanent…thanks for the feedback! You’re right, his mistake to acquiesce, but my mistake to ask. Lesson learned.

      I watched Fairly Legal over the weekend — good show, but I think it only served to make me more jaded about the whole ordeal. I mean, I’m guessing my mediator will neither be as sympathetic nor as invested in my case! We’ll see — I shall go in with an open mind to complement my think skin.

      Thank you for the perspective … much appreciated!

  10. Brett has more B&%$”s than I have………..there’s no way I’d have gone near the situation !! As for Tuesday……my career was spent negotiating high value commercial deals, proper negotiation, not the “We’re putting the price up, anyway, asshole” kind – my customers were far too big for that approach. But, one day a guy came in to negotiate and he was pretty cool, didn’t say much, and we didn’t know him well. He sat down at the table and said nothing, instead, he busied himself by peeling an apple with a pen knife, slicing bits off, and popping them into his mouth at the end of the blade. Now THAT brought a little edge to the proceedings :)

  11. RenoDave says:

    I think your new do looks great!

    • Mighty kind of you…thanks so much!

      However, as I’ve told Boyfriend Brett: This could be the next “Rachel” ‘do. It could make the cover of all the mags. It could be the most requested cut ever. But I asked for 1/4 inch. I got 3.5.

      Epic fail.

  12. rainbowsoffaith says:

    I think I’ll cry for both of us. I recently chopped off 5 inches to turn my long hair into a pixie cut and let’s just say I don’t feel all pixish and cute. I feel ucky. So I can relate to wanting to cry and scream nonstop for the loss of your hair. I can see doing an inch, but 3.5. I’d be livid. I’ve gotten compliments on my hair, but I feel like I’m masquerading as a boy or something.

  13. Heidi says:

    Mikalee…was the haircut before or after the reunion? You looked fabulous as always! With that said, I must admit to caring virtually nothing about my hair. Yes, it is a source of pride when it looks the way it did at the reunion, but I am also the woman who had a girlfriend chop her hair one night after a few too many drinks. It took six months for my hair to not look butchered, but nary a tear was shed over the incident…although it did provide for many belly laughs. Point is, your mojo is not in a bunch of dead cells and proteins hanging off your head (and blowing on the wind from your deck)…maybe it is just taking a little vacay from your bat-shit, crazy life. Can you blame it?? I hope it has a nice time and comes back refreshed and invigorated.
    I love your reference to measures. There is a standing joke with my husband on whether objects are measured in guy inches or girl inches…girls tend to refer to a ruler or measuring tape, whereas guys refer to…what do men use as reference? Guys??
    As you know, I can offer you nothing regarding the upcoming mediation, except for my sincerest wishes that you walk away with some of the load lifted from your shoulders…saying your piece, face to face, may provide some much needed relief. When it is all said and done, let’s schedule a wine date. I should have some new fodder on my crazier than fiction life by then.

    • Heidi, would you believe: It happened the DAY OF our reunion?!?! In fact, just an hour or so before! That just added insult to injury: Here I was, going to reconnect with two ladies with fabulous hair in first grade, and fabulous hair now. That alone brought all my insecurities to the forefront!

      Thanks for the feedback. We’ll imbibe soon for sure. Can’t wait to hear your tales! :)

  14. I’m sure your hair looks great,
    Your post was worth the wait,
    I hope your thing on Tuesday goes real swell,
    Try not to tell the ex to go to hell,
    Writer’s block can really really really suck,
    My next blog: “creative uses of the word fuck?”,
    I’ve never been much of a poet,
    Talentless in that and know it,
    But though I have no good hair days,
    I’m just glad it hasn’t all gone away :)

  15. Crystal says:

    I cut( chopped/hacked..butchered) my hair off two years ago. It grows so much faster now.. By summer your beautiful auburn main will be back and healthier than ever! :) With all the wind in the area short hair is not a bad thing anyway, So Rock your new sassy style !!! You have a very pretty face, that can pull any look off. ;)Besides, Brett might like short hair .. This could spark some fun for you in the romance department. ;) At least he will be very sweet until it grows I am thinking a good v-day may be in Take care.. I am sure you look great and when it comes to the mojo… You don’t need it ..You have talent. I love your writing style! Thanks for sharing “you” with us readers.. you are simply… Awesome! .. Why am I now thinking of charlets web?… You know, when charlet was spinning her web with all the words to describe how great Wilbur was..( Ok bear with me, I have a three year old and don’t get out much.) but I was thinking of you and the word “radiant” came to mind as well .. Then it went to the movie.. lol. Anyway, thank you for being…. you :)

    • Thanks, Crystal! I’m just glad you alluded to Charlotte writing “radiant” instead of “some pig.”

      See? We moms really know the good movies, huh?

      I really appreciate your support and feedback, as always. And I’m sure Brett appreciates your suggestions as well. Haha…

  16. TaraFly says:

    1/4 inch = 3 inches?! That explains… everything! >:)

    As for losing your creative edge, and substituting craploads of laundry and mad kitchen organizational skills… I’ve been there! No, not color-coding my sliced veggies… but I’ll go days (sometimes weeks) where I can’t get into a creative mood, and instead redirect my attention on making the house sparkle like a Mr. Clean commercial (soooo not easy with 5 cats and 3 kids) and serving up homemade dishes for the family, Donna Reed style. :)

    Eventually, the pearls and high heels will feel so constricting, that your brain will be literally screaming with fresh ideas! Or lucid dreams. ;)

    Of course, your family might attempt to sabotage your efforts to regain your mojo, because the clean clothes and stocked fridge are hard to give up! :D

    • So true, TaraFly … the family has totally benefited from my missing mojo. Laundry is done and sorted, food is prepped, reading materials are organized in alphabetical order — I mean, who wouldn’t want to live around the mojoless version of me?

      Good point about the constricting pearls and heels. I can hardly wait to feel that building pressure!

  17. dtrasler says:

    Hey! There you are, I was beginning to worry. I had three days of misery trying to come up with a blog entry for this week, and my blogging guru keeps telling em I should be blogging three times a week. Like I have that much to say that people want to hear!

    Anyway, sorry about your hair, but your profile pic still looks mighty fine, this post proves you still got your mojo, and keep your head up in the mediation, don’t give ground and don’t get wound up by any myths that your ex spawns in the presence of others. Keep the high ground and let him grub in the mud if he wants. You’re better than that.

    • Great tips and feedback — SO much appreciated! I’m definitely prepared to go in with my short-haired head held high … just 12 short hours from now. Ugh.

      Wow — you’re expected to put out (a blog, that is) three times a week? That’s some pretty hard core blogging. I’m feeling totally inadequate now! ;)

      • dtrasler says:

        My guru makes some good points, but she blogs about Social Media use as a platform for writers. I started keeping a diary of the Emigration experience, and you’re scribing the progress of your brick-related heart injury. I think we’re in a different place to Kristen (guru) and should place a higher value on quality than quantity (since we can only talk about stuff if it happens.)

  18. Thanks for passing by my blog! As I passed by and checked out yours, I was amazed by your organizational skills. I love it! I tend to be like that too, but haven’t done an all out sweep in a while.

    And, how funny. I, too, get epiphanies in the shower! I suppose as our day washes away, our ideas come to the surface (or, something like that.)

    I know it is traumatic at first to get our long locks cut, especially when we’re used to it, but 3″ still leaves a lot to work with, and your hair will grow out if you still hate it. Imagine my surprise when, as a model in a hair show many years ago, they cut off all of my long hair to what would now be considered a “Bieber”-ish style. It was stylish, but I was so not used to it, I cried for few days. I ended up working it, but, boy was I relieved when it grew out!

    • Oh. My. GOD. I can’t imagine someone doing that to my hair. I mean, there’s something to be said for a cute short style…but going from long hair to Bieber? CRAZY!

      And yes, shower epiphanies rock. Of course, I also love to drink shower water, and I think epiphany quality is directly related to the amount of shower water I’ve ingested. Clearly, that day I didn’t drink enough. Clearly.

  19. Daytrader says:

    This reminds me of the allegory about – The girl with hair of gold. At first the villagers would only cut small amounts of her hair to sell it and buy what they needed, but then they became greedy and they cut too much, The girls hair was cut too short and it stopped growing because she felt so much sorrow for the loss of her beutiful golden hair. The morale of the story, is that the villagers could have cut her hair for a lifetime but greed got the better of them.

    Well sorry, I know that didnt help any, but it was great reading your blog to see the difference between genders, and what is important to the opposite sex. Thanks and keep up the great work.

    • Awesome allegory, and I can totally see a connection: What if Brett intended to cut my hair so short because he knew without my long hair, I’d no longer have any mojo, thus preventing me from blogging about him in the future. Can you see it?

      Yet, in reality, his cutting my hair actually inspired a blog post about him.

      Gotta love irony.

      Anyhow, thanks for the feedback — and the support!

  20. markp427 says:

    I would say ask Jim Morrison. He was always on his own path toward mojo enlightenment (Mr. Mojo risin’…). Or maybe that was the peyote talking? In any case, he’s dead and gone, so you can’t very well ask him.

    I guess you just need to let it grow back naturally. Just like your hair.

  21. Good luck with mediation Tuesday. Which should be followed by a nice healthy dose of meditation Wednesday, then Ben & Jerry’s Thursday and Scotch on the Rocks Friday.
    I did mediation and it was a waste of time. Came out with the short end of the stick. Got myself a good lawyer much later, after the divorce, and he told me I could’ve gotten a better deal if I hadn’t gone through mediation. Oh well.

    • Sounds totally appropriate, if only a wee bit out of order: Scotch on the rocks Wednesday, then meditation Thursday and Ben & Jerry’s Friday. Must first drink, then meditate, then indulge in copious amounts of ice cream!

      I’m stunned that meditation can be court-mandated in cases like this one. But I will jump through whatever hoops necessary to satisfy the system. Even if it sucks. :(

  22. tanner24 says:

    My experience with mediation was that we were placed in separate rooms with the mediator dashing back and forth between us. They even arranged for us to arrive and depart at different times which made me laugh. I guess they were afraid of having to mop up the cannibalistic aftermath in the elevator if we had the misfortune of riding up to the second floor together. Little came out of it, but it was court ordered so we jumped through the hoop. As I’m sure you’re experiencing, there’s seldom a true ‘winner’ in anything divorce related and our kids are the ones who suffer the most. In an almost perfect world, the parents would sit down alone (no mediators, no ‘step-whatevers, no lawyers), agree that they both loved this human being they created, and make self-less decisions based purely on the welfare of that little person.

    • OK, the image of this mediation session had me laughing out loud! I’m thinking they’ll put us in the same room, but it would certainly be more amusing your way!

      And btw, truer words may never have been spoken: “In an almost perfect world, the parents would sit down alone (no mediators, no ‘step-whatevers, no lawyers), agree that they both loved this human being they created, and make self-less decisions based purely on the welfare of that little person.”

      Why can’t you be my mediator? Pretty please? ;)

  23. Well, I can only speak of my husbands’s experience with mediation and declarations of income with his sperm stalker. It seems if you are woman in family court you have the legal edge. Just lie your ass off with no evidence of your declarations and sit back and let the other side squirm ! This babymama claimed she had $6500.00 worth of monthly expenses and then claimed she had no job, income or any savings. When asked how she got the funds justifying her lavish lifestyle. She bemoaned the fact that “friends with money” assisted her. Okay says the judge, since you have sole custody, your income or proof of anything doesn’t matter. And as for the extra money you claim you spend with no receipts for daycare (which is only awarded if you work) no problem , request granted.
    See how it works…. just be a damsel in distress, lie you ass off and poof…….you win in court. NO MAN ever gets the benefit of the doubt. Now this is how skanky manipulators operate. Just a heads up that in court it’s not about fairness…it is about the means to the desired ending. What are you willing to do ?

    • Ewww. I’m so not good at playing a damsel in distress! Here’s hoping my experience is far more legally based — and far less icky!

      • Hurting says:

        Good answer, Milakee. Very Mature of you.

        Incidentally, this is my first night browsing blogs (found a friends blog, and linked from there) and this is the fisrt blog for me ever to leave a comment on.

        I have a story I’d like to share at some point. I was not blindsided, but I am hurting deeply at the separation from my wife whom I still love dearly. I made a committment to love her forever, and I would like the opportunity to do just that. It’s a sad story, and I accept the blame. It’s a very different story than yours, yet I feel this might be a good place to share my experience.

        • Well, welcome Hurting…and you’re more than welcome to share your stories here. We’re all in this together — except those of us who are just living vicariously through our pain and are totally grateful they don’t feel like we do!

          Best of luck to you, and I’ll look forward to seeing you around these parts again!

  24. indyink says:

    I am wicked jealous of your color coding abilities. Maybe I’ll cut my hair and get some inspiration. Very entertaining stuff!

  25. laavventura says:

    I love Banana Bread! Sorry about your locks, it’s nice to have you back. Been wondering where your bat-shit crazy voice went, good to see it didn’t fly away with your hair.

    • I’ll have to have Boyfriend Brett write a guest post and share his secret recipe. So good, he dreams about it four times. In one night.

      Maybe he’ll get Freshly Pressed. Wouldn’t that be funny?!?!

      Thanks for missing me! I’m sure I’ll be back with a vengeance post-mediation-morning!

  26. When I have writer’s block, I turn to Tumblr, where I don’t have to do any thinking and can just “reblog” a picture, quote, video, or link. Then, I can fool myself into thinking that I’m blogging. Or I make changes to the layout of my WordPress site, which undergoes weekly theme and/or background changes, it seems. And the whole time I’m doing these (ways to avoid real blogging), I’m telling myself that I should do actual writing.

    Btw, the hair looks fine. You still have the right to say that it’s your thing!

  27. Mary Alice says:

    Sorry about the hair. But, I’m not surprised. As Heidi said, men measure in ‘guy’ inches. No woman has ever slept with a man whose dick was ever shorter than 10 inches as least according to the men. To them 1 seems to equal 4.

    Your mojo is not dependent on your hair. Your mojo comes from way deeper than that.

    As for mediation, I can only offer this: Speak for your children as well as yourself. You have their best interest at heart. Ask clearly for what you believe is best for them. Let the mediator see who you really are and how you feel about your children. Let your ex know what his comments to them have done to them. Be as open and honest as you can but don’t give away anything you know not to be in the kids’ best interest. Not one inch no matter who measures.

    • Simply awesome, Mary Alice — love how you were able to tie my hair length into the mediation comment. Wow!

      Seriously … you’re spot on. Your advice mirrors exactly how I’ve been preparing myself for this experience. I’m whole-heartedly focused on the children and ensuring their well being is front-and-center in this interaction.

      Wish me luck!

  28. There are worse places to keep your Mojo . . . like here . . . (this is a true story, by the way . . . )

  29. Weldon Chen says:

    I don’t know if you care for my observations, but it’s pretty simple. Brett cut the hair, a sign of showing trust. He betrayed that trust by not doing it right. After the hair-hacking, there will be an overwhelming feelings of disorder that cannot be solved by any grooming until that hair grows back. So if you can’t fix your hair, you must then fix your house. Hence the cleaning of laundry.

    I can only assume that since you did write, you might have gotten over your hair-loss. If not, tell Brett he needs to do something to earn your trust again. I recommend a spa treatment, or something that makes you feel that your beautiful despite the hair.

    As for mediation, it’s pretty simple. List every psychological damage they’ve done to your kids. Bring that big stack of paper of legal documents. This is war, and it’s all about draining their energy and will to fight just as much as they are doing it to you with mediation. Remember your comment about how the kids came back crying because they said they don’t need your son, but they’ll take your daughter if they should move out. Remember that. That’s damage to your young ones. That’s psychological damage nearly akin to verbal abuse. I can imagine them using it to make your kids “behave” in your presence. It’s a threat on them as much as a threat on you. That’s evidence of your children living in a unhealthy environment. Heck, if I were a judge, and I heard that…….. And I think that non-partial mediator should become pretty partial after that. :D

    • I’m very grateful for your observations, Weldon…you’ve offered wonderful perspective here, and you’re right on the mark.

      …with one exception: No spa treatment for me! Turns out I have too many personal space issues (and anyone called a “masseur” or “masseuse” is inherently charged with invading my personal space…)

      Thanks so much for the comment!

  30. Dana says:

    I’ve been following awhile so I wanted to comment that I LOVE your blog. You are hysterical, and I keep checking back hoping a new one is up!

    Your hair looks fabulous! Change is hard, I went from waist length hair to one of those chopped bobs right after I had my son. You’ll get used to it!

    Is it sad that I REALLY want to see a picture of Marilyn?? Sorry you’re going through the mediation, let us know how it goes, we’re all pulling for you :).

    • Thank you so much, Dana, for the support and encouragement! And can I just say WOW … I can’t imagine that drastic a hair transformation. How did you handle it?

      I’ll hopefully be back in blogging mode soon. Just need to get past tomorrow. T-minus 10.5 hours (not that I’m counting!).

      • Dana says:

        Good luck!! Will be waiting for the update!!

        Actually it’s not bad (my hair). It’s chin length in the front and then gets shorter as it goes back and then is wedgey in the back! It was a huge change but I was ready, I felt like I looked like Morticia when it was so long-but for years people were like don’t EVER cut it lol.

        • You are one brave soul: From Morticia to a wedge? I’m sleepless and sobbing over 3.5 inches!

          The shorter ‘do sounds adorable, though…and I’ll bet you’ve found far better things to do than spending all your time drying it!

  31. J Roycroft says:

    Sounds like a chic post but I found it entertaining anyways. As always, job well done.

  32. Amy K. says:

    a) I would have DIED. I never cut my hair. EVER. I will permit my stylist to “trim only” and even then I’m convinced she takes inches off. I can’t even look. I haven’t had short hair since kindergarden. I’d die if I lost three inches! Poor you! But hello, clearly you look fabulous anyway :)

    b) In true long-lost twin form, I totally color code my closet, too! Though mine is “blacks,” “whites-and-white-ish,” and “colors” :) I realized that 90% of my clothes are black so it makes it much easier.

    c) Mediation. Well, in my world (which is not the family law world) we do things like tanner24 says above – you are in one room, the other side’s in another. The mediator does the dance back and forth and tries to close the gap between the parties (in my world, almost always dollars; obviously there’s more at stake for you). I recommend finding out the rules re: confidentiality right off the bat. In other words, is what you say to the mediator confidential? If so, then be brutally candid with him/her. If it’s NOT confidential, remember that the things you say may come back to bite you in the ass later, so exercise caution. Still, you’ll want to be forthcoming and an advocate for your position and your children, but the manner in which you present it may be different depending upon whether or not the mediator can disclose everything you say or not. And, God forbid, if you’re stuck in a room together and have to sit there and stare at him while talking (like they always do in every movie), just be the better, more mature, more convincing person. Answer questions directly and with facts and supporting evidence. Emotions will be running high as it is. If you can streamline things and get the mediator on your side, then you’ll be in good shape. GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!! :)

    • Oh, long-lost twin: Why can’t you just be in the room with me during this ordeal? I think I’d derive power and confidence from a kindred spirit!

      Good to know I’m not alone in the seedy underworld of color organization. Your clothes sound like my laundry: White-ish, dark-ish, special white-ish (cold water) and special dark-ish. Amazingly, there is always more dark-ish laundry. Hmmm…

      Your mediation advice is well-taken, and I thank you for offering some insight. I do have a feeling we’ll be staring one another down. Should be a blast! Can’t wait! So stoked! Wow am I looking forward to 10.5 hours from now!

      (Can you tell I’m trying to talk myself into this?)

      Thanks, friend! :)

  33. Tammy McLeod says:

    I think I’m writing too much and doing too little organizing. Maybe you can send him my way for a trim?

  34. Lezli says:

    I laughed and cried and was amazed. I’d have to say you are a far braver woman than I.

    • Well, I can probably guarantee I have far less hair than you do! ;)

      • Lezli says:

        There was once a time that may have been true, but now I’ve decided to shed what was and am now fairly shorn. in a way it was liberating and I made the decision myself, so it is hardly the same. I still say you are a far braver woman than I and far more trusting as well.

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  36. The first time I believed I had the ability to cut hair I used one of those cut-at-home buzzer things on my husband. He went from thick curly brown hair to Mr. Clean. Not what I had planned. It’s harder than it looks. That said… I can’t BELIEVE your boyfriend cut off all that hair! And it’s hysterical you took a picture with the ruler. Love it.

  37. ournote2self says:

    This post had me cracking up at work! Shh, don’t tell anyone this is what I was doing. Check out my blog at

  38. Whynot says:

    What if your not blocked and there are only 7 Top Things you’ve learned from this experience? But let me offer this: 1) Hair grows back. 2) You actually have a man that made the effort to help you in this area. Most men wouldn’t even touch cutting their girlfriend’s/ wife’s hair with a 10′ pole. 3)It doesn’t make you look like Marilyn Manson. So it’s all good, right?

    • Some amazing thoughts…and in response: 1.) You’re absolutely right. But not fast enough. 2.) True dat. I’m lucky (she says missing almost 4 inches of hair). 3.) Oh. My. God. You couldn’t be more right about that! :)

  39. amkuska says:

    At least he cut it evenly. ^^

  40. Cecilia says:

    Hon, for me and my ex, mediation was three fairly painless meetings with a woman who helped us both realize that we were going to have to hurt equally before it was all done. Nobody got to leave unscathed. She was very good at explaining to the idiot the reason why we pay child support. She was also good at explaining to me that the idiot’s entire collection of snowmobiles, even though they took up a major part of our garages and storage areas, were truly not worth anything. She convinced him it would be in his interest to put the Mercedes in my column so as to lessen the amount of money he’d have to hand over. She unfortunately did not explain to me that no matter how much I loved my kids, there would be days I would wish that I’d granted him full custody of them. But that’s another story.

    You will survive. I’m amazed that you are trying to blog about your divorce, and at the same time I’m wishing I’d had someone like you to go ahead of me so I could have known a little more about what to expect. Like every pregnancy, every divorce is different, and I just had NO idea what was coming.

    Anyway, hang in there. The mediator is the best thing that ever happened to us. As she explained, “neither of you is going to walk away happy, but it’s a proven fact that if you choose your own unhappy ending, you are far more satisfied with it than if the judge hands it down to you” and this was true.


    • I’m so glad you had a positive experience, Cecilia … or at least, as positive as it could be!

      You are so right about the idea that “every divorce is different,” yet I think there is a societal perception that it is a cookie-cutter time with one-size-fits-all outcomes. That’s part of the reason I did start blogging. There is an axiom that says “the divorce will mirror the marriage.” My marriage was calm, respectful (well…up to the end…or at least to my knowing it was the end), and loving. My divorce has been anything but. Not that I’d expect a “loving” divorce, but I certainly didn’t expect this!

  41. katiefoutz says:

    Love this. You had me at “Apparently length:men as dog years:humans.”

  42. megdoodle says:

    Nope, I’ve never gone through mediation, but I *have* just finalized not my first, but my second divorce and I just want to say I’m so sorry you’re having to jump through all those hoops and drama. That being said, your posts rock, and while you may feel a little like Sampson, I can still see the creativity flowing through your words – even if it’s more of a slow drip than a “flow.” And kudos on the laundry baskets. I’m uber-impressed.

    • Thanks for the support, megdoodle! Best of luck to you in your situation — I can’t imagine going through this not only once, but twice. Ugh.

      And yeah, those laundry baskets were amazing. Hasn’t happened since, which is why I needed the photo — as an amazing memory, one that will never be duplicated!

  43. What can I say to all of this? “I can’t believe you actually measured hair?” “They said that shit to your kids?” “Writer’s Bock? You? Honestly?” “I wish I has that many camis!”
    I do hope all went well with mediation or tha start of it. Be a class act, bring your records of bad bahavior and desire to make this be the best for the kids.

    • LOL! My responses to your responses: 1. It just seemed the right thing to do. Especially given people’s tendency toward exaggeration…I needed to document this transgression! (Plus, I have to have evidence for the day he says, “I did NOT do that.”) 2. Indeed they did! 3. Yip, I was blocked. But I can feel its hold loosening up…thankfully. 4. One thing I do well: shop. I go to retail therapy more than therapy-therapy. And I’m a hoarder, which means I’ve been collecting these camis roughly since high school!

  44. jesswords10 says:

    Oh my god! I can’t believe how much hair your boyfriend chopped! lol. I would’ve flipped out too, but then again, I’ve had really short hair before and kind of like it. So I would’ve just gotten a totally new cut after that. Best of luck with the mediation, I really hope all goes well and that the kids are given the best of both worlds as much as possible. I know you’re feeling all constipated verbally with your writing, but I gotta give you mad kudos for how giving you are to all your readers and the bloggers of FP and wordpress. I think you’re gonna have some good karma headed your way soon! Thank you for sharing so much support to other writers, it will come back your way!

    • Wow … thank you for this comment! I’ve never really thought about the idea that I’m giving support to other writers as much as I’m simply reading, taking part in fulfilling conversations and enjoying the process. I think blogging is such an expressive and healthy form of communication, and I love anything that inspires me to write with passion and frequency!

  45. 4myskin says:

    For whatever it’s worth, I think your haircut is cute! And your inspiration will come back…no worries. You’re too good a writer for it not to. :)

  46. PL Holden says:

    Your use of the word mojo made me think of mr. mojo risin (which when you unscramble the letters spells jim morrison) from The Doors’ “LA Woman”. I guess if you listen to that song, you might get it back, at least for about 7 minutes or so.
    I also thought about my “undercut” that my friend’s little brother gave me in the early 90’s. I was in grade 12, listening to a lot of grunge and thought that I could a)get the grunge look and b)save some haircut money from my parents to buy more beer and smokes. I ended up being so ashamed of my trim that I quit my English class because I couldn’t wear a hat. English class would’ve been an easy credit.
    Oh well, I don’t think my grammar and stuff suffereded that much.

    • Hehe…great story. I can’t imagine a haircut that doesn’t let you wear a hat. Must’ve been REALLY bad.

      I had a bi-level in middle school. With a tail. Had to be the ugliest ’80s do ever…but I totally felt like I rocked it. Now I’m just embarrassed at the memories!

  47. inidna says:

    I’ve only just read this one post of yours but I definitely laughed out loud so I don’t think you’ve lost your wit/humor ;) I recently got bored and decided to get my hair cut short. I should have realized that getting my hair cut in a fancy place in Cambodia does not equal to the cut being as nice/funky/cool as in a moderately nice place in Australia–so now I’m a 22 year-old girl who’s sporting a soccer mum hair do. PERFECT!
    If that first photo is of your hair after Boyfriend Brett did the ‘hack job’ then I would say he really didn’t do bad at all! You look lovely :)

    • Ah, you’re much too kind. Thank you very much! But I have to say, you’re one brave chick: a haircut in Cambodia? Just being in Cambodia seems a bold move to me … let alone walking into a place in Cambodia where people wield scissors and razors!

      You may be my new hero… ;)

  48. Lizard says:

    Ok, first..thanks for the laugh this morning. I shared it with Gary and we could both use a smile about now. Second… I know I’ve seen you since Brett got out the weed wacker and I swear I didn’t notice your hair! It could be that you wore fabulous earrings or a rockin scarf and that distracted my eyes..

    Finally, I just learned from Abby yesterday what a Fem Mullet is, and you ain’t got that!

    • Well, I’m so glad I may have brought some levity into your life, Lizard…if only for a few minutes. And on a related note, I’d argue that your mind has been just a bit occupied with other, more meaningful things in the past few weeks … so much so that you did not notice my hacked hair! Any other week, you would have totally noticed (and gasped in horrified disbelief. Trust me.).

      And because I’m such a cool, hip, totally with-it cultural diva, I did not just do a Google search for fem mullet. Nope, not me. (OK, maybe I did.) And you’re right: I’m totally grateful that I ain’t got that! ;)

  49. Beth says:

    Ok so im sure your hair looks fine, but I am curious if you really didn’t know that 1/4 inch to a man really means 3 1/2 inches?? Thats why every man you ask says he has a 7 inch you know what…. They have no idea about true measures!! ;-)

  50. JLA says:

    I have many thoughts about this blog. #1 so impressed with the empty laundry baskets – was just looking at my four filled ones and made half assed mental promises to take care of them tomorrow. #2 disappointed that your hangers do not color coordinate with your camis (QVC sells a rainbow-like line of hangers fyi) #3 as for the “trim” well, I’ll tell you what my mom told me when I came to pick up my one year old after work to find him snacking liberally from the dogs dish – “You get what you pay for” (he’s twelve now and and seems okay). As for Mediation – never been through it, can imagine how anxious you are – hope it was useful.

    • OK, JLA…don’t know whether to thank you for the comment or get mad at you for giving me a new source of obsessive compulsion. Coordinating the hangers to the camis…must be done. NOW! ;)

  51. jennigetsit says:

    You are funny girlfriend. I am with you all the way. Thankful to be apart, but soooooooo not independant from him. Seventeen years married and three kids later, I am finally free enough, that is living in seperate spaces, to rediscover, me, whom I lost when I walked down the aisle. Long story, as I am sure you know. Life has given me a lemon and now I want to squeeze it in his eyes. I really knew what an ass he was from the beginning, but I put on those blinders in the name of a maternal time bomb and walked down that aisle anyway. Hindsight is so twenty- twenty it sucks. He has done many shitty things over the years but the quencher came when I began to write a blog.
    Writing has always been my way of processing my life. I came to it at a very early age, and I have the journals to prove it. Curiosly though, I’ve very little writing to show for the past 17 years. Soon to be ex had clever ways to strip me down to the core. I forgot I was a writer, until November. I met a new man, a fellow writer is he. Kharma for me. So I have begun a new journey, as you say reinvention. I started to blog about what was happening in my life. I posted my first time at midnight. I received a call from my lawyer at 7 am the next morning. She had heard from my hoprfully soon to be ex. Take it down or I will sue you for slander. I was shocked! No way Jose’! You had control for too many wasted years, no more. His narcissism never fails to astound me.
    At any rate…
    I am thrilled to have found your blog. We share some common threads. Please check it out. I know that is long, but there is a story behind that too. You will understand once you read it, which I hope you do. Start at the post titled “Back on the Biscuit Train”. It is the story I refer to here, and from there the saga continues.
    I am a fan and a follower. Keep it up!

    • Jenni … we are kindred spirits! I do hope you continue writing, and I hope you feel the pressure from the soon-to-be-ex loosening as you continue your journey toward reinvention. It sounds as though you’re well on your way.

      And I have to say, “Life has given me a lemon and now I want to squeeze it in his eyes” — BRILLIANT!!!

      You and I could probably share a nice bottle of wine and tell many a-tale about our exes and the concepts of narcissism, self-entitlement, presumption…the list goes on and on. Just know you have a “sista” from another mother in Reno, Nevada cheering you on…and I hope you stick around the blog and keep offering your perspective!

  52. breezyautumn says:

    Hil-arious! You sent me cracking up on this story, thank you! I needed a good laugh!

    • I’m so glad you found humor in my pain! Nah, just kidding — I’m now able to see the humor in it, too. There’s enough distance — and the hair has even begun to grow back. In a few years, it’ll be like nothing ever happened! ;)

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  55. Sarah Een says:

    Sorry, this is probably posted in the wrong place, but I have to say, upon further reading of Marilyn’s blog, it took her only 2 minutes to hate it and whoever told her she was a writer. My hubby had a traumatic seizure a few years ago and it took a lot of his memory. He does remember enough to get by, with my help. One thing he will always remember, partly because I groan out loud when I see it, and partly because it offends him too, is the “of” “have” writing that people do. Simply put, I don’t think there is anything more annoying than when people write, “I should of known, and could of known”..I fucking hate that so much! The word is “have”, Marilyn. Any writer or even seventh grade grad worth their sit should know that. So forgive my disgust, but to hear someone proclaim herself as a “writer” and shortly after write, and publish, something so inherently incorrect..well, it irks me. I shall now call myself a “skin care instructor” while I tan all the time. The “of” and “have” thing just really kills me. Sorry to go off topic, feel free to delete, etc..But you know it’s true. Hell, I shouldn’t “of” even read it..I am always hyper to begin with, the slaughter of our language doesn’t help.

    • Trust me, I can relate. I DESPERATELY want to go through her posts and mark them up with red pen. At first, I thought it was just a gut-level reaction to her; but then, I realized it was just a gut-level reaction to BAD writing!

      And yes, the “of”/”have” thing KILLS me, too. But it also makes me smile, as it is so reflective of her oh-so-many “gifts.”

  56. Sarah Een says:

    Oh wait, now I know why my post here is relevant, your title is wrong! It should read “The curious case have boyfriend Brett!” See how dumb that looks? Than you can see how irritated I get when people say “of” instead.

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  58. Jenbug says:

    I’m totally the opposite! The more hair I get cut off, the more creative I feel. It’s like a load has been lifted from my shoulders. My scraggly ‘do is wrangled and therefore my thoughts flow like fine wine. Speaking of “fine” wine… You = Clos Du Bois red, me = Clos Du Bois white.

    As I sit here and read your blog, and see the similarities and differences we have, I think, “Get the fuck out of my head, woman!” and “Thank the baby Jebus I didn’t have to deal with THAT.” For example, I was on the dance team, but NOT (most definitely NOT) voted most likely to succeed, I went through an ugly divorce, but was fortunate enough not to have had kids with the nasty bastard, and I am moving on the best way I know how, but NOT three blocks away from the aforementioned douche canoe.

    You know, earlier, I was thinking that I just might go get a haircut after work. ;)

    • Awesome! Well, I promise to get the fuck out of your head if you can tell me how to become inspired after a haircut. It left me writer’s blockin’ for weeks!

      And btw, crazy story: I’m now a white wine girl. So perhaps you and I are both Clos Du Bois whites now. Although I’ve also recently discovered Moscato. Oh. My. GOD!

      I’m so glad you didn’t end up with children from your personal nightmare. I’m grateful for mine, but wow is it difficult.

      Best of luck to you, and I hope the haircut works well. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  59. Keri Hat says:

    So how is your hair now? I hope you have regained your hair length.
    I know how you feel, but my situation is just the opposite of yours. I would always come home after a salon visit and lament that I asked for a two inch trim and lost 6-8 inches. The so-called professionals just didn’t understand measurements. Two years ago I lamented I needed to make an appointment for a chop, and my new boyfriend of less than a month offered to trim my hair. I smiled and said OK to his offer. A little nervous at first, OK very once I sat in the chair and realized he was really going to do it. I relaxed after he combed out my hair, sectioned it and pinned it up. He then reaffirmed exactly how much I wanted trimmed before he picked up the scissors. He meticulously removed about an inch and a half of damaged ends. Less than the two inches I requested :) I inspected his handiwork and I was impressed, better than I ever got at the salon. It was then I realized that maybe I could grow my hair out. My hair is now about 10 inches longer and the ends are kept neatly trimmed every three months. I don’t know if I am any more creative now, but I have the length for different braids and updo styles that I now wear and receive compliments on :)

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