Mid life crisis diaries, p.1
Mid-Life Crisis Diaries,
Mid-Life Crisis Diaries
Mid-Life Crisis Diaries
Copyright ©2015 by Geraldine Solon
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.
Cover Design: Natasha Brown
C O N T E N T S
About The Author
C H A P T E R 1
A street vendor with a huge display of heart-shaped red balloons for Valentine’s Day arranged his stand amid the hustle and bustle of suits and skirts that walked by on their cell phones. A gust of wind caught the balloons, sending several aloft as the vendor fought to capture as many of them as possible.
Several hearts floated skyward among the glass and metal skyscrapers, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. One heart made its way up and over to Marsha Caufield’s window. A smile crossed her lips as she wrapped her long brown hair in a bun. The balloon popped and jolted Marsha.
Her cheeks flushed as she faced the mirror, studying the champagne-colored empire cut wedding dress. In a few minutes, Marsha would be renewing her vows with her husband, Blake, on National TV.
Her secretary, Tricia, dashed inside her office. “Dr. Love, the crew’s here,” she panted as she zippered up Marsha’s gown. “Oh no.”
“What?” Marsha turned around to face her. She’s wasn’t ready and hoped to look perfect for the ceremony.
Tricia’s eyes were guarded. “The zipper’s stuck and I can’t seem to get it up?”
“What do you mean?”
The phones rang off the hook. Tricia reached for a pencil and lifted the receiver. “Dr. Marsha Caufield’s office,” she paused. “Oh, yes, she provides love therapy, happy therapy and forever therapy. There’s no problem The Love Guru can’t solve.” She winked at Marsha. “But I suggest you turn on your TV to channel seven to learn about Dr. Caufield’s secret of what a successful relationship entails.”
“What was that all about?”
The door swung wide open and Shirley, Marsha’s business partner, popped in. Running her fingers through her short bob hair, Shirley announced, “Blake isn’t here yet.”
“Thank God, you’re here, Shirley, can you help me with Marsha’s zipper?”
Shirley unzipped Marsha’s dress and pulled it up again. “Oh shit!”
“Can you please tell me what happened.” Marsha’s voice quivered as Shirley and Tricia exchanged glances.
Tricia tried to say something, but Shirley cut her off. “It’s okay, I’ll fix it.”
Marsha observed them from the mirror, her heart pounding. This is supposed to be my wedding anniversary, what could possibly go wrong? It seemed like only yesterday when she and Blake walked down the aisle and now they’d be celebrating twenty five years together.
The two ladies struggled to zip up the dress while the phones continued to ring.
Hands raised in the air, Marsha blurted out. “Okay, please tell me that you didn’t ruin my dress.”
Guilty looks flashed through Shirley and Tricia’s eyes. Tricia headed to the corner while Shirley averted her gaze to the window.
Marsha extended her arms behind as she tried to fix the zipper. The seam underneath her armpit ripped. “Oh no!” She raised her voice. This can’t be happening. She wanted this day to be perfect just like her wedding day.
Lips pressed together, Marsha pulled the dress down and shrieked. “There goes my Vera Wang dress.”
Tricia pacified her as she folded the dress. “It’s okay, I can run down the street and get something from Nordstrom. It will be good, I promise you.”
Marsha plopped herself on the chair and wept. “This was a bad idea. I never should have agreed to this.”
“Don’t cry, your mascara’s going to smear,” Shirley said. “Tricia will find you something better.”
Marsha covered her face. A few days ago, Blake had suggested they go to Vegas to celebrate their anniversary. When TV host, Dominique Blanch, called for an interview, Tricia happened to blurt out that Marsha was celebrating her twenty-fifth anniversary and Dominique insisted they air it on TV. She should have just listened to Blake instead of agreeing to do this.
Tricia grabbed her purse, ready to leave when Marsha removed the hanger from the rack. “Why do I need to be traditional?” She slipped into a plaid suit and straightened her skirt. “Where the hell is Blake?”
Tricia fiddled with her thumb.
Shirley cleared her throat. “You don’t want to appear on National TV using that?”
Marsha fingered her pearl necklace. “Why not?”
Taking Marsha’s hand, Shirley led her to the glass windows. They both peered at the huge crowd surrounded by heart-shaped balloons. “Don’t you see, Marsha, every woman wants to be like you. You owe it to them.”
Ever since Marsha had lost her mother at the young age of fourteen, all she ever dreamed about was helping couples restore their relationships. She had witnessed first-hand how lonely her father had become after losing a spouse. Marsha devoted her mission to counseling couples and enriching their marriages, which made her the most sought after Love Guru in San Francisco.
Glancing at Tricia, Shirley said, “Get her the fanciest dress you can find—one that every bride will keep talking about even years after.”
Tricia nodded and broke into a sprint.
Marsha phoned Blake. It went directly to voicemail. She paced around the room like a caged animal.
A knock intruded her thoughts.
“It’s the make-up artist,” Shirley said. “You could use a retouch.”
The crew settled inside the office while the cameramen set up the lighting.
“Wait, I’m not ready yet,” Marsha said.
“Good morning, Dr. Love.” Dominique Blanch sat on the couch. “Will you be wearing that?”
Shirley went in between them. “Hello Dominique, we’ve had a bit of an emergency, and the dress should be here in a few minutes.”
Dominique pursed her lips while the make-up artist applied foundation on Marsha’s face.
Marsha was glad that Shirley was calling the shots. What could be more nerve-wracking than being late for your own wedding anniversary. She took deep breaths, hoping Blake would show up soon.
“Would you like some water? Iced tea?” Shirley asked.
“Iced tea would be good.”
Shirley exited the room.
Marsha eyed the clock. “Do we have a script? What are we supposed to do?”
“We’ll begin with the ceremonies before I ask you both questions.”
Shirley returned with the drinks and the minister. “Reverend Marshall is here.”
“Welcome, Reverend,” Dominique rose to shake his hand. “We should be ready in a few mi
The Reverend smiled and stood behind the lights.
Moments later, Tricia dashed in with a dress. Still catching her breath, she added, “This was the only one I could find.”
Shirley, Marsha and Tricia all headed to the bathroom to help Marsha.
“We need to be careful this time,” Shirley warned.
Marsha studied the A-line strapless dress. “It’s too short. Why did you choose a strapless one when you know my arms are big?”
“Your arms are perfect and it’s right above the knee,” Shirley said, removing the plastic cover. “No need to be so conservative. You have nice legs.”
“But I forgot to shave this morning,” Marsha whined.
Shirley rolled her eyes. “Tricia, go see if someone has a shaver.”
“I’m not using anybody’s shaver,” Marsha raised her voice. “I think we should cancel this whole thing. I don’t want to make a fool of myself.”
“Did you forget the crowd outside?” Shirley reminded her, then turning to Tricia, she added. “Tricia, I don’t care where you find the shaver, but get it now.”
“Okay, okay.” Tricia scurried fast like a mouse after her cheese.
Marsha covered her face. “I have a bad feeling about this.”
“Stop being so negative,” Shirley said.
Tricia returned a few minutes later, breathless with a pink shaver.
“Where did you get this?”
Tricia opened her mouth, but Shirley didn’t wait for her to explain. “Can you just shave your bloody legs so you can wear your dress?”
Marsha rolled her eyes while the two women stood there. “What? Can I at least get some privacy while I shave?”
They exited the bathroom while Marsha lathered her legs with soap and water then shaved. She didn’t have a good feeling about this.
“Are you done shaving?” Shirley knocked.
Marsha toweled up. “Yes.”
They both entered and assisted Marsha with her dress.
“Why do I get the feeling that you guys are more excited than I am?”
“Don’t be silly.” Shirley folded her arms while Tricia slowly zipped the dress.
“You look so beautiful.” Tricia placed her hand on her mouth.
A tear trickled down Shirley’s cheeks. “You did a good job, Tricia. Much better than the other one.”
Marsha took it all in, admiring the dainty dress that embraced her curves—heavenly and perfect like a princess. She could almost hear the waves crashing on the shore. If only Blake could see her now. That’s it! When all of this is over, I’ll buy two tickets to Paris for our second honeymoon. “Okay,” Marsha took a deep breath. “I can do this.”
Dominique’s jaw dropped as she spotted Marsha. “Wow! You look stunning.”
“Thanks.” Marsha beamed, feeling five inches taller. Tricia and Shirley exchanged a wink.
“Is your better half here?” Dominique eyed the clock. “We go live in five minutes.”
Shirley signaled Marsha to come outside.
Marsha trailed behind her. “What’s up?” Heat emanated from inside her, but she brushed it aside. Perimenopausal hot flashes were the last thing she needed now. She wished Blake would come soon. Where the hell was he? Since when was he late?
“What’s our plan B?” Shirley whispered.
“Plan B?” Marsha furrowed her eyebrows in confusion.
“Twenty minutes and still no Blake.”
“He should be here.” Marsha insisted.
“Well, he isn’t.” Shirley shook her head. “You need to tell Dominique that Blake isn’t coming and?”
Marsha cut her off. “Let me handle this.” She circled back to the office and sat on the couch. How was she going to pull this off with no Blake?
Dominique faced her. “So, is Blake here?”
Hands rubbing together, Marsha beamed. “He called, said there’s an accident along Market St. and it’s going to take him another twenty minutes to get here since he’s coming by foot.” She felt bad that she was lying, but she pushed her thoughts aside. She was buying more time.
Dominique sighed. “We can’t wait for him.”
Shirley interjected on their conversation. All morning she had come to the rescue and Marsha was aware how important this show would be for their private practice—more exposure—more clients. “Let’s improvise. Perhaps you can ask Marsha some questions to warm up. I’m sure the audience would like to hear what she has to say.”
“Good idea. Let’s mic you up.” Dominique faced Marsha.
“He should be here soon, relax.” Marsha pressed her lips together as Tricia inserted the mic underneath Marsha’s dress.
Marsha took a deep breath then joined Dominique. Everything will be fine. She repeatedly told herself. Blake will be here soon. He never broke his promises.
Shirley and Tricia gave her the thumbs up while Dominique signaled to the cameraman that they were ready.
“Welcome to the Dominique Blanch show. Joining us today is Dr. Marsha Caufield, otherwise known as San Francisco’s Love Guru.”
The camera faced Marsha while Dominique continued to address the crowd. “Marsha and her husband, Blake, both agreed to renew their vows on the show. They got married twenty-five years ago on Valentine’s Day and ever since then, Marsha has been helping couples nurture their relationships. Let’s all welcome, Dr. Marsha Caufield.”
An applause filled the room. “Thank you for broadcasting our special event, Dominique. I’m usually a private person when it comes to my own life, but this is an opportunity to show to everyone that even after all these years, Blake and I have kept the love alive.”
“It’s indeed our honor to feature your love story.” A smile played on Dominique’s lips. “I’m positive our viewers would like to know your secret to a successful marriage.”
Marsha swallowed hard. Beads of moisture formed on her forehead. Where the hell is Blake? “Communication is important. Compromise as well,” she grinned. “And, of course, we can’t forget the sense of humor.”
“Did you hear that folks? Write that down,” Dominique said with a twinkle in her eye. Flipping through the index cards, she probed further. “How do you manage arguments?”
“I believe in fighting fair—sticking to the issue and solving the problem. I know it’s easier said than done, but it works all the time.” Marsha forced a smile.
“I totally agree.” Dominique nodded. “What about sex?”
“Sex?” Marsha’s throat constricted.
“That’s right, sex? We’re all eager to learn what Dr. Marsha Caufield advises about sex.”
Licking her lips, Marsha’s voice quivered. She couldn’t remember when the last time was that she and Blake had sex. They opted not to have kids, yet now that she thought about it, their sex had diminished as the years had gone by. “Sex is healthy. I believe in date nights. We both have a busy schedule but never forget to nurture one another.”
“You’re right.” Dominique faced the camera. “You need to make sex a priority. How often do you and Blake go out on a date?”
Marsha crossed her legs, her eyes sweeping the carpet. This wasn’t getting any better and Dominique’s pointed questions were making her feel uncomfortable. Facing the camera, she gave a wide smile. “We make an effort to date once a week—no distractions—no cell phones—no work—just us.”
“There you have it, Dr. Marsha Caufield up close and personal. There’s no reason to deny that she is the Love Guru of San Francisco. But wait a minute...my assistant who is outside tells me that the groom just arrived.”
Shirley and Tricia’s eyes opened wide when the screen featured a furious Blake wearing jeans and a pink long-sleeved shirt.
Marsha’s breathing grows rapid. Why isn’t he wearing his suit? Since when does he wear pink?
“Is that Blake?” Dominique asked.
The view shifts to Dominique’s assistant wearing a lilac dress. “Yes, Blake’s here an
“Okay, we’ll be back after the break.” Dominique rose from her seat. “We need to get Blake on the set pronto. Why isn’t he dressed?”
“Right.” Marsha approached her desk and punched in Blake’s number. It went directly to voicemail. “Blake, honey, we’re all waiting for you. Please come up.”
Tricia wrapped her hair in a bun with a pencil. She approached Marsha with a champagne glass. “Have a drink. You look like you need it.”
Marsha set the glass aside. “We’re not supposed to be drinking now.” She nudged Tricia.
“Trust me, you’ll feel better.”
She’s right. Everything seems odd today, starting with the dress. Marsha could feel the tension around her office and she needed to take deep breaths. Everything’s going to be all right.
Dominique strode back to the couch. The make-up artist retouched her make-up. The intercom buzzed.
Tricia pressed play. “This is Adrianna, Dominique’s assistant. Blake refuses to go up. He’s requesting for Marsha to open the window.”
“Oh, how romantic,” Dominique giggled. “A Romeo and Juliet theme. We need to capture this live.” She signaled to the cameraman then turned to Marsha. “Do what he says, my dear.”
Marsha takes a few steps, glancing back at Dominique. Why did I agree to this?
A knot formed in her stomach as she peered outside the window. From down below, a huge crowd cheered in unison. There were placards spelled with I love you, Marsha Caufield.
“Marsha,” Blake’s voice cracked on the megaphone. “I need to talk to you. Can you come down? Please!”
“Blake.” Marsha recognized the urgency in his voice and sensed something was wrong, but waited for him to tell her.
A TV reporter appeared on the screen. “If there’s anything you wish to tell your wife, announce it here.”
“I know I should be up there with you...” he paused, running his fingers through his wind-swept auburn hair. “But it just dawned on me today that we’ve been together for twenty-five years.”
“That’s right, Blake, even I myself can’t believe it. Where have all those years gone?” Tears of nostalgia spilled from her eyes.