Sunday, September 28, 2008

I love my ex-husband

My ex husband is an amazing guy. I would watch a movie about him, because he's so entertaining and fascinating. He is probably the most talented man I've ever known in my life. He always had some new project or new thing he was into, which was one of the great things about him and made living with him fun. I ran into him yesterday and couldn't stop thinking about how truly special he is.

He's artistic and talented in multiple arenas:
  • He's a painter - on canvas, wood and velvet (these are just some of his paintings I have up in my apartment)
Mr Lucky

Fortune Cookie


Black Velvet
  • He also carves art out of wood-
  • He made a gorgeous tiki lamp:

  • He made me a wonderful vanity stool (upholstered top with wooden legs that look similar to Heywood Wakefield) for my birthday about 5 years ago. I still use it every day:

Vanity Stool

  • He plays guitar, bass, keyboard, pedal steel and drums
  • He can sew (self taught- he made amazing curtains, amongst other things)
  • He made a reproduction Herman Miller clock (the silver clock with the balls)
  • He made a reproduction 50's kidney shaped coffee table - plexiglass top with wooden legs (I think it's a Japanese designer, I forget the name but it's a very famous piece of furniture)
  • He was the first man that ever cooked dinner for me. And even though he was a carnivore, he didn't mind learning vegetarian recipes for me.
  • He can silk screen (he made me a great anti Christmas t-shirt at my request)
  • He can draw (I asked him to design 2 of my tattoos. And they're my 2 favorites)

  • He made a tiny perfect replica of a guitar - only about 4 inches long from the base to the neck. It was so impressive! I wish I had a photo of it.
Some other notable characteristics and ways he's influenced my life-
  • He has the amazing ability to talk nearly anyone into nearly anything. This is just one example-
"So I have this idea- I want to take photos of you (my friend Tito) and Sheryl in a noir/pulp setting"

Tito and I immediately agreed and a 'photo shoot' of sorts took place shortly there after - which my ex husband totally directed. I have photos, but can't locate them!
  • He is remarkably cool and calm in any situation- traits I've never possessed. And this was a great balance to my high-strung intense crazy person mode.
  • I recently found out he learned Cantonese. Fluently. And now he's working on Japanese.
  • He decided to pick up photography one day - and create his own darkroom in our basement. He bought some great vintage cameras and learned how to use them. No surprise, he's also a great photographer! And is responsible for one of my favorite photos of me all time- he just used me to test his lighting this day:
Me, February 2004
  • He can work on cars - including his Dad's 49 Merc (or was it a 50?) and my 92 VW Jetta.
  • He liked to buy me fancy and exclusive perfumes. The last one he bought me was THE ONE. I've been wearing it about 3 years now, and refer to it as my "signature scent". It's very powdery distinct. I get compliments on it all the time. (I've been told from friends that they know when I arrived because they smell it before they even see me.) It's Italian, and sold in only 1 store in all of NYC, but I never reveal the name for fear someone else will buy it.
  • One of my first gifts from him was a great customized guitar - he bought me a guitar, took it apart to clean it, spray painted the body a deep silvery glitter and put on casino dice for knobs. I still have this guitar.
  • He actually found my apartment for me in Greenpoint - what ex husband would do that?! It was nearly Christmas of 2005 and I was days away from becoming homeless (my house had a closing date but I had nowhere to move). It was the only place I saw, and I grabbed it. I was incredibly fortunate though because it's a great apartment. But I can't imagine where I would be living or what my life would be like now if he had not noticed the "for rent" sign and told me about it. I might not even be in Brooklyn at all!
Some other things he taught me:

- You don't owe strangers anything. If a stranger asks you something, you are under no obligation to give them the truth.
  • As simple as that sounds, it had never occurred to me to not answer random people's questions honestly. But he's absolutely right- just because someone wants to know something about me- there is no reason I need to tell them the truth!
- Always have/use a map. Don't ask for directions.
  • He's right- why should I trust a stranger's version of how to get where I'm going? What are the odds they are right? He carried around so many maps and was so proficient with maps and directions, that I nicknamed him (among other things) Mr Map. To this day, I call him and ask him for the best route if I'm going somewhere new.
- Do not hold onto something just because someone gave it to you.
  • This one was a huge revelation for me! When he first moved in with me, I had so much CRAP from my family or other well meaning gift givers. Why did I hold onto it or (worse yet) display it? Because of a sense of obligation that I had to and guilt for not using it. Once he made me think about that, I embraced his concept rather quickly and then took it a step further- instituting a 'NO GIFT' rule. Unless it's something I specifically asked for, or a gift card, I do not accept gifts. I also began boycotting Christmas in 2003 as an extension of this. It was my goal to not receive more crap that I didn't need. Not to mention, I can't see wasting 1000+ dollars every holiday buying crap for other people, plus the stress of shopping/my list/my budget- add to that the environmental cost of cards and paper- so I said "That's it. I'm boycotting Christmas. I will neither exchange nor accept cards and gifts." It was extremely liberating and I have not looked back.
-New Yorkers don't know what barbeque is
  • Growing up in the Bronx and Yonkers, when my family said we were "barbequing", it meant we were having hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill in the back yard. We used "barbeque" as a verb. It wasn't until I was 28 years old that I learned there is an entire CUISINE called barbeque. And I was schooled that what I traditionally called a "barbeque" was actually considered a "cookout". Granted, I had been a vegetarian since I was 12 but I had no idea that barbeque was more than hot dogs & hamburgers on the grill in the summer.
- Men don't want female friends. If a guy is talking to you, they want to f*ck you.
  • Now I've discussed this point with male friends over the years, and some say that's not always true. But I'd venture to say it's true at least 90% of the time.
-"Put it on a plate, it will taste better."
  • I come from a family of gluttonous pigs. I picked up some terrible habits that I am still working to reverse. And whenever I eat something out of the package, I hear him saying "Put it on a plate, it will taste better". It sounds silly, but it's so true. I'm thankful that phrase stuck with me!
And finally, while he used to complain that I was too high maintenance and didn't have a "day look", my style definitely evolved during my time with him. I did not look or dress half as well prior to knowing him.
He's a unique, intelligent and super talented guy and I couldn't imagine the myriad ways my life would be different if I had never known him. I wish him absolute happiness and a great life - he deserves it.


Paul DeBenedetto said...

SHERYL, BUBULA! Were you at Atlantic Antic? I swear to god I thought I saw you, but it might have just been someone else longing for the 1950s.

*Bitch Cakes* said...

come on now, how many people look like me?! Yes, I was there. My photos are up on Flickr:

Next time, tackle me and say hello.

Timo said...

This is the sweetest thing I ever read and it is about an ex. What a wise and talented guy.
BTW I put it at 95%... just saying.

*Bitch Cakes* said...

Thanks Timo. I appreciate your honesty! :)

Miss Dewey Decimal said...

why did you get divorced from this man? he seems kinda awesome.

you're a sweetie to write such glowing praise of him.

How do I loose weight and not my soul said...

Wow if I wrote a list about my exhusband it would the opposite of this. Sheryl the more I read your blogs the more you amaze me!

Paul DeBenedetto said...

I knew it was you! Between songs of that band (don't remember what they were called, but they had cowboy hats on) I said to the person I was with "I think that's my friend Sheryl!" and screamed your name, twice. "Sheryl! SHERYYYL!" Everyone in the crowd BUT you turned around, and my response was, "um, I guess that's not Sheryl."

*Bitch Cakes* said...

Michelle- He's an awesome guy. We just weren't good as a couple, we're better as friends.

How do I... I realize most people do not have such fantastic exes and that I am lucky. I think I have an interesting life. I like writing about it, I'm glad you enjoy reading it, thank you :)

Paul- I can't believe I didn't hear you! That was Michael's band "Susquehanna Industrial Tool and Die Co". Sorry I missed your hotness.

KlevaBich said...

What an amazingly talented guy. I'd say this borders on genius, if not right smack dab in the middle of it. That fortune cookie painting does NOT look two-dimensional -- is it? It looks more like a sculpture!

It's great that you're able to maintain a good friendship with him, and he with you. Just one more thing I admire about you. xoxo

HeatherBee said...

Does this man have more time in the day than other mortals? He sounds like a heartbreaker. I can't help but wonder why ya'll didn't make it. Really loving your stuff.

*Bitch Cakes* said...

Nancy- He really is pretty amazing. I'm sure he literally IS a genius. And yes, that fortune cookie painting is completely 2D. That's why it's my favorite- it's amazing how 3D it looks! He's a great guy- and I just found out he's getting remarried.

HeatherBee- Srsly. I don't know how he did it. But he would get obsessed about something and spend time researching it and working on it. It was impressive. I hear he still does this, and I'm not surprised. I've never known anyone like him and I'm sure I never will again. I don't want to get into why we didn't make it- but really, we just weren't meant to be a couple. But I don't regret it and am glad I had him in my life.

Better Than Ever said...

Wow, I guess you ... wow. Having an ex that is actually cool to you is something I've never had. You're very lucky. My exs spent years blaming me for problems they had even before I met them, at least until they found someone new to blame and forgot about me.

Seeing as things can end on a good note, it almost encourages me to consider a serious relationship again in the future.

Just, wow. Congrats.