Welcome to this special Valentine's week special episode of Permission to Heal.
I had this idea a while back to do a four-way conversation with my husband, Michael, and our friends, Craig Lancaster and Elisa Lorello for a special conversation between four creative, compassionate mid-life friends who have recently found mid-life marriages.
Each husband and wife pair were friends before that blossomed into love. Michael and I were friends for 29 years before things heated up. Craig and Elisa for about 5 years. Our conversation is all about how we met, fell in love, our proposal stories, how we deal with conflict in our lives, the blending of individuals into strong, supportive, loving couples.
Join us. It will be time well spent.
To connect with Craig Lancaster
To connect with Elisa Lorello
Connect with Marci
- Permission to Land: Personal Transformation Through Writing
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[00:00:00] Okay, welcome to permission to heal. I am Marci Brockman, and I am thrilled that you're here today. We have a very special Valentine's day episode. Not only do I have my husband, Michael, with me, who you have all heard about, but I also have two very good friends. Craig Lancaster and Elisa Lorello friends.
That mean a lot to me, but we've never actually been in the same airspace. Very interesting story, Craig and Lisa are both authors. And I read a book of Craig's called 600 hours of Edward. And fell in love with it. I made a post on Facebook , Oh my God. Any of your friends that are readers, you've got to read these books by Craig after. They're so great. And then my friend Lisa said, Oh my God, I love those books. And I'm friends with Craig Lancaster.
I had one of those David Cassidy moments where I was like, Oh my God. I stalked through Facebook and found Craig and friend requested him and scarily enough or surprisingly [00:01:00] enough, he accepted the friend request. And then I found out that Lisa and Elisa and another friend named Melissa all went to high school together or something or knew each other.
Yeah. Yeah. Actually, we went to junior high school together. . I became friends with all of them on Facebook and then Craig became the editor for my book, permission to land.
Elisa and Craig got married around the same time. Michael and I did a few years ago and I thought, gee, let's have a Valentine's day. Quad podcast. Why not? So let's get down to it. Craig, welcome. Thank you. And Elisa. Welcome. Welcome. And Mike, thank you for agreeing to do this.
I know this is way out of your comfort zone. That's going to take some getting used to . I usually try to begin the podcasts with my six quick questions. So we'll figure out who wants to go first. I think maybe we'll do round Robin for each of the six. Okay. Sure. Here we go. In alphabetical order.
I don't know. [00:02:00] Age order. No, that's an incline castor before Lorello. I mean, both Brockman's are first, so I go first starting with Marcy's before Michael. So you go first. Okay. What five words would you use to describe yourself? I've never answered these questions. I just ask them. Well, I've words. I would say artistic, , talkative tonight.
Passionate, loving, and quirky, Michael. Let's see, let's go with, honest, reliable. Oh yeah. Industrious, compassionate. Yep. There we go. What weird. Instead of quirky, I love that. Okay. It's me. I think the [00:03:00] whole alphabetical thing. So, I would say I'm funny, although I always think it's weird to call yourself funny, but people tell me.
Yeah. Yeah. So I'm going to go with it. I'm going to go with fun. God, I should have studied. Knowledgeable. I'm going to steal one from Michael because it's so good. , industrious, yeah. And, so that's what three. Okay.
I'm going to say three, I'm going to steal one from a friend of mine, who runs the magazine that I designed and he calls me the resident polymath. So I'm going to go with that. Oh, you can do a bunch of different things. So, finally, I'm gonna say I am, Compassionate and almost still that one too, because you know, that's better than the alternative message and pick [00:04:00] original.
That'd be a lie.
I'm actually gonna use what I have on my website which is abstract idealist romantic. And then the other two are writer and teacher. She was the only one prepared for this while Michael rattled them off pretty quick. But. Wow. I didn't think to use nouns. I only thought adjectives.
Interesting. Question number two. What is your favorite way to spend a day? For me, this changes seasonally, I think.
And assuming of course we're not in the middle of a global pandemic because that changes everything. But I would like a day in like a quirky, fun town with Michael and no rain. And no [00:05:00] freezing cold wind and no pandemic. And just to eat and shop and walk and talk and people watch and have some good food and go back to some sumptuous hotel room or something and just sort of chill and watch TV or whatever.
If it has to be at home, then I'm really a low fuss girl and hanging around the house and just. Doing our quiet little regular thing is pretty joyful, you know? So that's it for me. My favorite way to spend a day would be sitting under a Palooza and Aruba. One of the restaurants in the hotel after the sun starts going down, then back up to the room.
I'm gonna use a word that I should have used on the last question. , I feel at my best when I'm kinetic, and what I, what I really enjoy, what we really enjoy is road tripping. And it's one [00:06:00] of the things that we've lost in the pandemic. You know, it really didn't matter that much where we went.
I mean, obviously, you know, we would choose things that was the trip, not the destination, but having somewhere to go and then the means to get there. Just some of the best times we've ever had have been that. So if I could just take a day and say, that's what I'm going to do, work. We're going to go on a road trip and then, you know, hopefully, there will be subsequent days, during the pandemic.
Any day I can clear my schedule and just hang out with Alyssa is a good day. It doesn't happen nearly often enough. We, we, we did it here recently for her birthday and that was a really wonderful, yeah.
So for me, I'm probably thinking about this because I've been a little homesick for New York, lately, or long Island specifically, I would love to have a day [00:07:00] with Craig in sag Harbor and just. Walk up and down main streets, presumably in this spring or the early summer when it's not too humid out when all the tourists and the celebrities aren't clogging up the streets.
Get some ice cream at Ola ops. And then after that gets some great pizza somewhere and sitting and enjoying, hanging out, go to the beach. SAC main beach is just can't beat it. I think I would like to do that. And you shall, I don't know when, but you shall hopefully see.
Okay. Favorite childhood memory. It's kind of a tough one I think for me, childhood memories would be, Passover holidays with my extended family when I was a little girl that having my mom and my dad when they were [00:08:00] together and reasonably happy. With the extended family and my grandparents and all the aunts and the uncles and the cousins.
When I was little and I was the only kid in my generation and I just got all the attention and it just seemed like the most safe and, traditionally enveloping, loving. To have the whole mish booklet together, and I love the Passover Seder and I love all the holiday food.
And that is the epitome of everything for me when I was a kid. Cause everyone was also on their best behavior. So that was also nice. Oh, yeah. My favorite childhood memory is all revolve around. I grew up in a neighborhood with a lot of the boys. My age had slightly above it, slightly below.
So anytime we were playing sports, whether it be baseball or football or, or hockey, or , manhunt army, anything to do with things in the woods, we were a big evil Knievel fan. So we used to set up the ramps with the bicycles. [00:09:00] We did it all. We had a blast. So those would be all of my favorite childhood memories
I'm not going to focus on a general childhood memory of a specific one. , and it was when I realized what my new stepfather who came into my life when I was three. So this would have been a couple of years after that, when I realized what he did for a living, he was a sports writer for the.
Newspaper in Fort worth, Texas. I remember my, new stepbrother pointing at his picture in the paper because he had written a column and saying, you know, that's, that's him. And, and I was just, wow, that's, but you know, I'm now living with, and. So, you know, that led to the realization that, you know, he was, he traveled a lot, me, he was working nights and, , I'd wake up in the morning and he hadn't been there, but then he was there and he was bringing back stuff from his [00:10:00] travels and it just became aware of the fact that my stepfather.
Was not like the other kids' fathers. And that was a really cool thing. You know, the famous, I mean, he was, he was on, he was not affected by this, but I was as a little kid realizing that he like sat and talked to pro sports people. I thought, you know, like, wow, he gets to talk to Roger Staubach. That's crazy.
You know? And it led to, you know, what I did for a living, for a good chunk of my life and all of that. So that was probably the one sounds pivotal. Yeah. Cool. Next I, have a couple. Specific in general. I remember, in the general sense , same thing while my parents were still together and all of my siblings were under one roof. Christmases were quite, an event and I just remember my twin [00:11:00] brother and my sister and I sitting at the very, very top of the stairs, waiting for my parents to say, It's okay to go downstairs, and really what I now know now is that, they just needed a little more sleep because they were up all night putting everything under the tree.
Yeah, my brother's to gigs four. And like I got in at two in the morning and we're wrapping presents at the last minute and that kind of thing, which I obviously didn't know. And we were probably up at 5:00 AM, you know? But that was always a lot of fun having, having that immediate nuclear family together and then going in later in the, in the day, going to the grandparents' houses and getting more presents and more cookies and that type of thing.
And then the other one is Memorial day weekend and that kind of thing. My, my older brothers were musicians and so they would set. All their equipment up on the patio, in the backyard and, and [00:12:00] start playing Beatles songs. It was having a concert in your backyard basically.
And even though they were. In their early teens. Maybe if that, , if even that old, it just, they were, they were great and they, you know, attracted everybody would just kind of waft into our backyard. And I have a specific memory of somebody called the cops because it was too loud complaints about the noise and the cops just showed up and , Waited for the song to finish and then waited for another song finish.
And then finally you guys are really, really good, but you just probably need to turn it down. So those were great. Those were great times. That's awesome. Okay. Favorite meal? Yeah, again, this is seasonal thing for me. It used to be chicken Parmesan, but I can't have dairy anymore. So the cheese is gone.
[00:13:00] be sushi for me right now. I think I could be up for sushi almost any night of the week. Or my grandmother's brisket recipe died with her, but I, so I don't make it like she did, but someone could make me that that'd be great. So we'll go with sushi for now. Michael, give me a steak, mashed potatoes with gravy and green beans.
That's a favorite meal. Okay. Easy. , I'm gonna resist the urge to steal Michael's again. No. Yeah, it is. It is. It's great. You know? So my favorite meals that Elisa makes is from scratch spaghetti and meatballs, where she rolls out the dough and runs it through the pasta maker. And it's impressive.
It's just incredible. And she makes these wonderful meatballs in the air fryer. That just [00:14:00] they're the best. , my favorite meals that I make is one that I actually made last night. , I made my chicken enchiladas, which are made a certain way, , because I grew up in Texas, you know, so I have all this, I have all this TexMex, you know, and, , and Elisa can't eat any of it because, , anything with peppers is just it's out.
You know, and so, so I have to pick my spots with it. It has to be on a night where she's feeling like, Oh, well, you know, I'll make something for me. And then if you want to make a pan of enchiladas for you, you can do that. So that's one.
I'm going with the spaghetti and meatballs. They really are that good.
One piece of advice. What I like to give my younger self for me, hands down. It's going to be, to trust yourself that if things don't seem like they're on the up and up, you're not bat shit crazy.
They're not on the [00:15:00] up and up. You know, that's it. Trust yourself and go with your gut and follow your heart. I didn't trust myself at all. So, and you know, Craig, you edited, my book was everything. Yeah. You know, I had to learn to give myself permission to be me and to do what I needed to do.
Hence permission to land and permission to heal , Michael, what would you like to tell your younger self? That's a good one. I haven't ever, I don't really think about this one too much because I'm the type I don't, I tend not to, , regret my life choices that much because it's made me who I am.
So to turn around and say, what would I tell myself to do differently, to think differently about or anything back then? I would probably just change careers at one point. Instead of being with the boilermakers, I might, might've told my younger self too. Just get what the operating engineers and instead of actually climbing into confined spaces and welding and grinding and burning and all that other fun stuff to sit in the cab of a cream [00:16:00] and pull levers, you know, maybe, maybe be a crane operator or something like that.
Most, most of the other things I think, the big life decisions and everything else and people. All contributed to being who I am. And I like who I am. So most of it, I wouldn't want to mess with too much. Wow. It's quite profound.
Well, yeah. I hate to keep endorsing all of Michael's answers, but he's a really smart guy. And so I'm, I'm okay with this. If I encountered my younger self, I think my dominant urge would just be to just kick his ass.
Wow. But failing that, like, if I really had to be like constructive and you know, it would , have to do with confidence because I think that is probably, and this is both in the personal and romantic realms. And in [00:17:00] the professional realms where, if I could impart a message of you're enough, you don't have to convince anybody that you're enough.
You are enough as you are. You're you're smart enough. The things that you don't know, you're smart enough to learn. Because I find now at almost 51 that I'm really kind of fearless about the new things I take on, but I just don't have the energy that I had at like 24.
I can't do everything full throttle the way I would. You know, the mind wants to, when the body says, Whoa, Bubba, simmer down pal. Cause you can't do it. Pace yourself. Some others, there are a lot of professional things I really would have taken on. If I had had the confidence of 51 year old me as a younger man
so [00:18:00] do you need to build a tardus or something? And that's where I get into endorsing what Michael says, because. You know, the problem is the butterfly theory. And if you go back and change that one thing, what's going to change a lot of unintended things and you have to be okay with the things that you did.
When you did them, you're operating with the information you had at the time and if you're a good hearted, ethical person, I mean, it's not like my regret is going to be well, you know, if I could go talk to the younger version of myself, I'd tell him. Don't kill all those people in medical bags.
Right. So it seems kind of silly to have regrets about, well, I wish I had asked that person out, like, you know, Or played these lottery numbers on this date to bring back the book of, all the sports. Yeah. [00:19:00] Yeah. It's just, it's a, it's a big mess if you follow that beyond the surface, so sure.
Well, it's simply, I just think about the fact , if a person was up for a big promotion, I didn't get it. Now you go back into your past, tell yourself how to get the big promotion. Well, that's great. Except for what effect did that have on a guy who got the promotion, but now doesn't get a promotion, you know, how does that affect them?
Yeah, well, and it radiates outward to a whole bunch of other people.
I share some of the sentiments that you all said in terms of that , the little X factor of if I give myself the advice of. Be your most authentic self. I would have to do a little more work with younger me's self-esteem to actually accept that advice. Some of that being your authentic self, I think would, involve. Not necessarily listening to people who were [00:20:00] well-intentioned, but did not necessarily give me the best advice or, I didn't have the confidence and self-esteem to say, thanks very much, but I'm going to do this anyway
and by that point, if it wasn't really what I wanted to be doing, and I was, I was kind of under this person's influence. It was possibly the right thing to do at the wrong time for the wrong reasons type of thing. So it took me a long, long time to really find my path. It was going back to college at twenty-five was when the journey of I'm going to do what I want to do with my life and figure it out.
And when somebody said you can't do that, I said, Watch me, we'll all figure it out. You know, we'll all find out how to do what I want and do that. And actually it's, and that's hard to do at age 51, too. To kind of get that [00:21:00] back and it's especially hard to do in pandemic. Yeah. Yeah, definitely.
All right. We'll ask the question. What is one thing you would most like to change about the world? My answer for this one is if I had a magic wand, I would eliminate greed because I think that greed is the root of all evil in a way, we suddenly, we don't have people out of work while other people are billionaires.
We don't have people putting people in cages because they want power it all goes away. We don't have animal cruelty anymore. I just think we could eliminate greed. A lot of people would be happier. Well, that would have been my answer. I definitely would say eliminate grade we've I think we've had this conversation many times the conversation I've also had with a lot of different people as well, that they invent labor saving devices, but do they allow us to actually spend less time [00:22:00] working?
No. No. , everybody gets the same labor saving device and then they reinvest your human labor and make you work that much more. Right. Or they invent a drug that can cure something, but they don't want to cure it. Cause then just. Giving you, the bandaid makes them more money. So let's not cure cancer because selling chemo drugs makes us, you can't come and come back for pills and, and, and hospital visits.
If I could imbue everyone with the, with a basic respect for how short, a time we're all going to be here and that, we opened people up to why don't you spend your time here? Doing what brings you joy? Because that brings the collective. Everybody else, joy.
After my first marriage ended, I decided, I need a crap ton of therapy and, I decided for myself and I went, my, and I did [00:23:00] it. And, and the concept started to click for me. I remember saying to you, to my therapist, like, Oh my God, I cannot believe that I'm 45 years old. And I'm just now getting that.
And she goes, Oh honey, you're a man in America. You, we're not gonna get it until your forties because you grew up with, you need to be useful. You need to learn a trade. You need to contribute. You need to be productive, you know, forget your feelings. You know, they're not important.
You need to do all this stuff. I got more than halfway through my life statistically, before I realized that, that should have been, and it's not being joyfully, irresponsible. It's just, what do you want to do with this life? Because you only get one of them. And the clock starts ticking the first time you suck in that breath when you're a little baby, you're on the clock, baby, it's slipping away from you and so what are you [00:24:00] going to do with it? And if the whole world, if we just automatically have that sensibility about things. You know, who's going to want to make war under those circumstances. Who's going to want to subjugate others.
Let's not waste our time. Let's go to that beach in Aruba and hang out. Right. And we would learn to value things that we don't necessarily value now. Right. And so that's, that's it for me, it makes sense. I don't want to eliminate the comment button
Yeah. Every blog, I think that would go a long way to bringing people together again , Louise hay who is no longer with us said make it safe for people to love each other. And. I really feel the need to [00:25:00] find a way to do that again. make it safe for people to live. We've had a particularly divisive four years. Yes, and she started this mission back in the 1990s, she left us in 2018, I think. And she was in her early nineties. What would she be doing? You know, she were. 30 years younger. And still on that same mission, what would she be doing right now? And how would she be putting that into the world? And, I think about that a lot. How do I personally make this a world where it's safe for people to love each other?
Hmm. I think about that in relation to my high school students. You know, like how do I make it safe for them to talk, even though they're all wearing masks and they're sitting apart and some are in a computer and some are in the room and they all feel unsafe, and they feel frightened and they feel anxious.
And. [00:26:00] Lord knows what they're feeling other than that. Yeah. I don't think we've dealt with that collectively. No, globally. You know what this past year has been like in exactly what you just said, they feel unsafe or we, I should say collectively have felt unsafe. We have felt unloved. We have felt uncared for and we've been going away from our families.
Yeah. Trying to act as if nothing's wrong. I mean, you know, just seeing again, seeing it on social media and even with my own newsletters, I'm talking about everything under the sun, except, I want to see my mom, you know I want a more in my ankle, you know, though those things and, I think we do.
I think we really, really need to figure out how to talk about it. And we're going to have to figure out how to heal that heal ourselves and heal others and, and [00:27:00] reclaim our safety. Yeah. once we're told you can go out without masks on how long is it going to take us to trust that?
The Valentine's day midlife love nature of this conversation. I would like for us to all share our love stories, how we met, how we transitioned from friends to more than friends. How did that sort of go for all of us? So who wants to go first?
I think Elisa and I can. We can just, go back and forth telling this story so we met in April of 2011, right? Because our publisher, we have the same publisher at the time. And, and the publisher had flown all of its authors to New York for book expo. And our only duty was to show up at this party.
This rooftop bar in hell's kitchen. And I came with my first wife [00:28:00] and, I walked in and I was immediately struck by all the naked ambition in the room. And so I said, Oh, they have an open bar. I think I will get drunk. Yeah. Curious like that was my, that was the only way I was going to be able to deal with that much. Yeah. Everybody there who was wanting to get noticed, wanted to get the next publishing deal, wanted to talk up their stuff. You know, I just . Got myself happy , it was just enough lowering of the guard. So I could talk to these people that I would not seek out to talk to in a million years, a great lie about, Writing, at least for me is that I want to spend my time talking to other writers. That's almost always not the case.
There's a few here and there that I've become really good friends with like, the one I'm married to, but [00:29:00] no, I'd rather I'd really rather not. So that's what it was. I was. Only one of two people at that party, who was not drunk because I do not drink. And the other was my why I love singlehood co author, Sarah Grell.
And the reason she was not drunk is because she was pregnant.
So we were probably the only two In the room who were sober really, knew what was going on in the room. So I had. I wouldn't call it naked ambition that I had, but I definitely had people that I wanted to meet. And then I wanted to talk to, and I was just so happy to be there.
We did get the rock star treatment that weekend. And so I was totally reveling in that. But Craig was one of the people I had wanted to meet only because. At the time [00:30:00] our names were coming up together a lot.
So when people were recommending books, they were kind of saying, Oh, I read Craig Lancaster's 600 hours. If ever, did I read Elisa Lorella was faking it. And so they would often come in the same thread. We wouldn't necessarily be in the same post, but we would be coming up with our names.
I see her infant in some of the same press releases. I was about to say that too. And then when we, because we did sign with our publisher in the same six month radius, we were showing up in press releases. Our names were showing up for press releases. So I just I want to just put names to faces. I mean, that was really kind of what I was interested in. So I did go walk up to see, I think I asked, I asked Kell, our mutual friend of ours. I said, tell me which one is Craig line, and then she pointed you out.
And so I walked over to you and. Unbeknownst to me [00:31:00] that you were that drunk. I just said, hi, I'm Elisa. Lorella I'm the author of faking it. And he just went, how do you do it? That's a great opening line. Basically all. I really remember. I just remember the conversation being a little bit weird enough to prompt me at the end of the night when Sarah and I were debriefing. And I just kind of said, I don't really know about that Lancaster guy. Yeah, but so to cut to the chase, because you always, I always tell people, like I was there with my first wife and, and, you know, and so they'll all, you know, and let know, no, it was like nothing untoward.
We continued to be in some of the same office online forums, which meant that we were kind of. Talking in groups. And then we would shoot each other, an email or something. But the big pivotal thing [00:32:00] was that I read her memoir and I sent her a note cause she grew up on long Island, which I hadn't even visited long Island at that point now I could go on at length about how similar long Island is in. Rhythm to a suburban Fort worth, Texas, you know, not, not in what it looks like, but just in the way it moves through the world. But then I had no idea, I mean, long Island was like the African Savannah, you know, I knew as much about long Island as I did about. Yeah. So I wrote her this note and just said, Like I really responded because we graduated the same year.
So a lot of her watershed moments were the same ones that were, I really felt like I knew the person on the other side of the page. And so I sent her a note and that's sort of what started the friendship and the friendship was a very normal [00:33:00] thing for a long time.
Then the marriage on its own without any push whatsoever from anything beyond it, started disintegrating And Elisa got a text? I guess it must've been a text from me that, Oh, I'm going to be getting divorced while she was at a, at a show in North Carolina.
No, it was, I was, I was actually on long Island and was at retro Futura. So it was right before I think China crisis came on and yeah. And I got that text and I was like, Oh, and it was just informational purposes. It wasn't Hey, I'm getting divorced. So, you know, like let's let let's, let's rev up.
And it all took a while. I mean it was definitely not step from one to the other. She was very supportive of me at a, at a really tough time and stepped in, in a [00:34:00] big way as a friend. A couple of times when I was really in a bad place, but I think she will tell you that she sensed the possibility before I did, but. As far as being ready, it was, I think so much of what we're going to talk about is going to come down to timing and the timing had to be right. I think timing is kind of everything. It is. It is. I always, always laugh at, I'm just not a believer in. Soulmates like, because you can be perfectly suited for each other, you the wrong time and it just ain't gonna happen.
And I think we're enormously well-suited for each other, but it wouldn't have worked at the timing if we hadn't been impatient and we had trampled the timing, which we almost did, yeah, Michael and I met in 1987 in January of 1987. It was my freshman year of college at Geneseo.
And he had taken the semester, fall semester off. [00:35:00] And I had become friends with these people that I became friends with. And then he came back for spring semester, defined this girl, Marcy, who had become friends with all his friends. Right. I had two years in Geneseo before Marcy got there. I transferred down to Stony Brook and the transfer didn't work out because everything was structured so differently for the computer major.
I ended up having to go back to Geneseo to try to complete my degree. And yeah, first day back I met her and, uh, it was interesting. I went and I hooked up with my old friend group and we're hanging out over in one of the dorms. I think it was Wyoming. And at some point during the night, uh, I felt certainly attracted to her when I met her. I like to think of it as like gravity, you know, planets. And I was no way I was getting out of it, but the way I felt about her once I met her and she was totally oblivious, had no clue. She already had a boyfriend who had failed out of school by the second semester and [00:36:00] was 500 miles away. I found out later she had a boyfriend and that's why she was her mind was occupied elsewhere.
Cause he wasn't even there. Yeah. So, uh, she was, she was in the room, but the thoughts were in another place. Yeah. I liked him. I wanted to be his friend, but I wasn't even thinking about anyone else in a romantic story. Yeah. Well, we talk about this sometimes, you know, like I think we're both pretty well certain that.
We're glad that we didn't meet in our twenties, you know? Well, Michael and I had gone out in 87. We probably would have really had a hot passionate few months, maybe a year. I don't think we would have lasted. Yeah. I don't think either one of us really knew who we were personally. Okay. And it would have burned itself out.
You know what? There's no way to really know. No, there's no way to, no, of course not, of course not extremely happy with who we [00:37:00] are now and I'm not sure we would be here. Had we been there, you know? Yeah. Well, the butterfly theories. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. You got kids, you've got experiences Michael's got kids like all these things that you wouldn't want to give up , Yeah, right.
I think for me, I knew I was in trouble when I realized I want to talk to the sky every day. This is the guy I want to Share my good news with share my bad news with the first person. I, want to read what I've written to him. I'm, those types of things. And I was pretty much , Keeping quiet about that even to myself. I just didn't want to admit it. I was telling myself, you're only saying that because you are talking to him almost every day right now.
And again, it was strictly in this platonic manner. I mean, [00:38:00] we, me, especially, I had boundaries. Very, high this is, you know, the sky is married and there are just certain things we're not going to talk about. Yeah. Yeah. So, but it was becoming clear to me that this that said this was still the guy I want to talk to every day.
Like he had become my best friend and I had discovered that. And so I just was like, well, okay. So how did you get from there to being. Intensely romantically connected. Well, who made that step? Well, again, it was, it was a little touch and go because I think we started to feel some romantic tension while Craig was still processing his divorce and going through the things that he was going through.
And I realized. There there were things that I needed to be going through at [00:39:00] that time too. There were just a few final paths, demons I kind of needed to expel and that kind of thing. And at that point, like I said, I kind of knew. We were going to get together or we could get together, something was going to happen, but there was definitely a little bit of push pull happening where. There were times he was trying to rush his own process. And I was saying, Nope, you got to back off you have to deal with this. And then there were other times it was me. I was stepping in a little too much and he was pushing me away. We had planned this road trip together, and this was going to be our, getting to know you get let's get together trip. I think I was the one that's put the brakes on it and said, okay. We cannot do this right now.
You, there's no way you were ready for this. And if we do this, [00:40:00] this will be a disaster and you will have to drop me off at the very first airport we come to, and at the time it was actually quite devastating for me. Personally, and I think it was very disappointing for Craig to, and, but again, looking back on it, it is totally, totally, totally the way it needed to happen because it clipped the last set of pieces in place for me that I needed to kind of work through.
And, and so when. We took away, I should say in time, in terms of timing, we were not that far away, right? The point that the trick was scuttled, we were probably three months away from being ready to try some, try to spend some time together, but then, but then we were another two months before it could happen.
And so that five month block of time ended [00:41:00] up being. I just, I dispensed with a lot of the things that I was kind of dragging around. I really was down on myself about why my first marriage had ended even knowing that it needed to, and I needed to go through that whole thing where you take out everything and you examine it and you say, okay, you know, this is, this is the responsibility I'm going to take for this.
And then you fold it up and you put it in the box and you put the box up on a shelf and you're, I'm done with them now, you know, it's just, it's such an incredibly laborious. Process and you swing from feeling like you're making progress to feeling like you're never going to get through it all.
And Alyssa had a different thing going on, but she knew the hole that I was in. And so she was being a very good friend to me, even though part of that friendship required her to like, [00:42:00] Can't talk to you right now, I've got to let you vent. I'll let you do this. Yeah, yeah. That kind of process is definitely something you do as an individual.
It was a, it was a shorter time period, but it's, but a lot of that stuff that we each needed to do happen, whereas since I know your story with Michael, it was more of a long loop around the barn, keeping that bugs. We had our own dragons to slay, Yeah, for sure. But I had felt when we got, when we did get together, though, when it was finally time, I should say I was in a place where I was.
Really okay. With whatever the outcome was going to be. If we got in a room together and we realized, Hey, you know what? I think we're just going to be friends. I was perfectly okay with that. If. If we were never going to see each other again, I was okay with that. If we were going to get together, I was okay with that.
I [00:43:00] had really surrendered any attachment to any specific outcome. And I was very, very, very at peace within myself. And I think that's another reason why things were allowed to happen the way they did, because I had surrendered all. Expectation of it. And even, that week, when he finally did come to New York and spent a week with me,
we had just, we both surrendered the outcome at that point. And , we were already resigned to if after a day or two, we just like, neither of us are feeling it. He would just. Get back on the plane. Um, and we were okay with that. And I think that didn't happen. Well, I think the reason we should accept the outcome is. We, we loved each other at that point, like really green question was, is it just going to be like awful personal chemistry? And we, and we still would have loved each other, but it [00:44:00] would have been like, Yeah. That's my friend Lisa along. I went along her man.
The week was fabulous. It really could not have gone better. , it's wonderful. Yeah. And seriously, we credit all the time that nice. Strong base that started as a friendship. Yeah. That's imperative. I think you get rushed through to I've mentioned my therapist earlier.
She said something really kind of interesting to me. She said, in America, we sleep with people and then we try to figure out how we can get along with them. And, we had the getting along and the deep regard and the friendship where we knew each other's stories.
We had that before we had anything else. And it really is, he gets a gift. , there are a lot of people who are having trouble meeting people in the pandemic because they can't actually date anyone. But what I think that it's forcing them to do is to do what you guys did long distance.
And really spend [00:45:00] time talking, getting to know each other beforehand. I tell every young person I know nieces, nephews. Yeah. Students on the street, like be friends don't look for boyfriends or girlfriends just look for friends don't rush to do the dating thing, to be friends.
First don't be afraid to be laughed at for that. Put it right on your whatever the big dating site is now profile that you want to be friends. You want to be friends first and you want to cultivate a friendship and that's the basis of everything.
Yeah, it is. And that was advice that was given to me, by the way. And again, it was also something I knew instinctively. That was one of those things where I started to follow my own authentic self was I am not a dater. I [00:46:00] was doing dating sites and things like that because people, again, people were telling me this was the way to do it.
And. I hated it. I really, really, really hated it. When I just quit all of it, I just stopped caring and I didn't miss it one bit. And it was, and I wasn't even actively looking for friends that would be potentially become something more. If I meet somebody and I become friendly with them, that's great. And I'm not going to sit there and wonder is it ever going to go past that? But I was just going to enjoy my friendships it just stopped mattering to me, the whole idea of I have to be with somebody just didn't matter anymore. Dating changed fiery fundamentally to me when I realized that it wasn't. My job to make whoever I was dating, like me, it was my job to make sure I liked myself while I was dating whoever it was. And once that happened, all the pressure was gone and it made it kind of fun. So I dated a [00:47:00] lot of men trying to figure out, well, which Marcy do I like better? And I learned about a lot of different people's lives. And I was like, yeah, that's not for me. And I needed to find who I could be me with. Well, and that was something else that I did in that, in that long drought of not dating was what is it that I think I'm supposed to be getting from a man or for my husband or from a date or a lover or whatever that I can really give myself.
And, and that's the other thing I started to do everything that I was expecting. Or thought had previously believed you only got from a relationship? I realized no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I have to give all those things to myself. And that also changed. Fundamentally. And that's the other reason why I think Craig and I worked out because it wasn't.
Yeah, I didn't he didn't have to fix me. He didn't have to make me happy. [00:48:00] He didn't have to, he was not his responsibility to do any of those things. And I already brought it to the relationship because I had already filled my own cup, with all of that, what a corrosive concept to be. I need him or her to make me happy is it's so many of us were raised with that notion. Well,
you know, every it's, it's hard to listen to popular songs or watch popular. Movies after you've had the breakthrough, because you start diagnosing the problem with these relationships. You go, Oh, well, he's projecting now the other day on Tik TOK. I heard a new version of Jessie's girl by Rick Springfield.
Oh my God. Yeah. And he's a freaking stalker. Yeah, watching her with those eyes, loving her with that body , that whole thing. And it was caught that it was [00:49:00] sung from the women's point of view when it was called Jessie's friend, Jesse sprints, there's something wrong with him, he's watching me with those eyes.
This guy's a stalker, it was hysterical. And I was like, Oh my God, it's totally true. Yeah, I love Rick Springfield's now. I can't, I, it ruined the song for me. Well, there's so many of them that if you listen to like their, I mean, their songs. I do not want to get into the lineage of songs that are just tremendously EFT up but they're out there and those people should be ashamed, social mores change.
I'm not trying to fill a bucket here. I'm not trying to fill an emptiness here because Elisa is the first relationship I had where I wasn't doing that. You wanted to talk about, middle-aged love, I mean, that's benefits is that? Yeah. Cause you've got to a dependent lives that you're merging. You're not starting from scratch. Yeah. And if you've allowed yourself to [00:50:00] learn the lessons that come with getting older, I mean, there's a, there's a lot of downside to it, you know, there's hair loss and all kinds of other stuff.
But the, from the standpoint of, I'm not looking for the person who fills my cup? I've got a full cup, and one of the things, frankly, I grappled with when I was getting divorced was people who thought. I needed something we're kind of coming out of the woodwork, it's like, let me get through this, , let me get through this and I'll see what's. Yeah, yeah. But it was hard to trust myself at that point, because I was a mess. Divorce is a divorce is a mess.
Even when you're divorcing somebody that you really ought to divorce, like all your friends are. You finally shouldn't do that. It's still hard. It's a massive trauma. Absolutely. Absolutely. It's like cutting a limb off. I used to make a joke, like, you know, Marcy, you look so [00:51:00] great since you're divorced. I'm like, yeah, I lost 250 pounds. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Know, I was the one who instigated the whole thing and it was still like, well, what does my life look like now? Like how do I reconcile this? There was a lot of things to come to grips with. Well, part of the living better beyond divorce is looking for to the extent that you're able to do it, looking for that moment of grace that you can live in.
And the person you're divorcing can live in, like just, is I want peace here. I want, I mean, sometimes, sometimes the things you're fighting over mitigate against that piece, but. You know, if it can be gained it's , so I just, it's a really funny thing. Cause the Lisa hadn't been married before. Cause she's smart and and I always tell her, like I do not. I [00:52:00] do not compare one marriage to the other because they are in comparable, but I did learn things in the first marriage that I apply in the second, training ground. Well, yeah, I'm just, I mean, I'm not going to be specific about what we were fighting about, but we have fight here recently.
And I realized I was doing something that I had done in. Fights , in the previous marriage. And I said, to her, I said, do you remember when I told you about this? When I told you that I do X, Y, and Z, right. They do this thing and that, and that I feel powerless to stop it. Just understand that I'm doing it right now.
And I, and like, can we, can we step back from each other so I can. Stop, it definitely, you know, it was a solution that was a solution that I would have never come to before, yeah. One part of your [00:53:00] brain took over, you felt probably you felt cornered. You were lashing out.
Like, well, I didn't feel cornered. I felt defiant. Like I'm going to keep doing this thing that I know is not good. And I'm gonna, drive this right through the ground, and the only thing you can do at that point is give yourself a time out and go regroup, calm down, get the cortisol level back down to normal and then bend it with a clear head again.
Yeah. And it was one tiny way in which having suffered some losses it was able to. Recognize what was happening in the moment, but also the fact that two of you have such profound respect and friendship and compassion for each other makes you probably more readily recognize that behavior and yourself, because you know, you don't want to hurt her.
And you don't want to say things that you can't onset. Right. We actually do a little like reset. With each other, like [00:54:00] we sometimes we go past the point, but there were other times where one of us will recognize that we're coming up to, to a potential fallout. And we just say we kind of say reset.
You know, that's kind of our keyword, that's our buzzword. And, and we do, and it diffuses, almost immediately to the point where we can even all of a sudden turned around and just, and bring some humor. Into the moment, but I think we have saved so many fights because we saw that happening. We sort of the potential, like we're getting very, very close to going over to stepping over the line. And if we step over the line, then we know we're we're there. And so we're able to just take that one step and that too, I think comes from. A friendship level, because again, [00:55:00] we know each other, we knew where our triggers were before that.
I think this is the other benefit of a midlife marriage or entering marriage in midlife is observing and being witness to all these marriages and in some cases divorces around me. So I was keen to be silently observing everything. And I think this was the writer. I mean, even the psychologist in me, who's interested just in human behavior and, I had an opportunity to look at something, look at somebody's relationship and say that fight could have been avoided so easily. If they only done this, this little thing that whole fight could have gone away.
And so just seeing that, just little things like that I took with me into. This relationship because, and that was the other thing for a long time. It was like, I had actually gotten [00:56:00] to the point where I don't want to get married and I'm like, I don't, I really don't think it's worth it. And, because I was seeing these relationships that it hit a certain point where they were just stuck in this, in these.
On these hamster wheels. It's exactly what I was thinking. Yeah. And I just was thinking, I don't ever want to be a part of that. I think I bring that to our relationship of, I want to make sure we never get stuck on that, in that place. Yeah. I don't think Michael, I don't think we've ever actually had a fight one day kind of.
Didn't see the same way on something. And people looked at us funny, we shred and I don't know, whatever became of it know, I don't even know. I mean, he, he has issues. I have issues. We've sort of learned how to navigate each other's. Fault lines. Each other's hotspots the things that trigger each [00:57:00] other.
But, and I, I think that there's such a level of love and compassion for each other that we just, okay, well, we can't do that. And which yeah, well, one of the biggest things for me is this late in my life is having raised two children. I learned a lot of patients because I was not a patient person when I was younger. I'm certainly not a patient person in my first marriage. Um, but the, the whole patience thing comes in there because most of the time, most of the problems that people have, their issues that are going to dissolve and melt away on their own, or they're going to disappear or they'll get resolved. And 10 years from now, you're not even going to think about them.
It's not, if it's not going to affect me in the future, why am I going to get upset about it today? Well, a lot of things you could just shrug off little things, especially, and just let it go. And once you achieve that, and like I said, I got this from my children because my ex wife and I had very different opinions on how to go about doing things with them.
I had my experiences growing up [00:58:00] and my father was a little bit of a rough guy. And I'm not always a very nice person at all. And, his lack of patience that I am heritage basically, or learned as a child, I spent most of my adult life growing out of that. Don't we all, you know, the big thing, you know, you grow up in a household and you think that everything.
Everybody's house might be the same or similar. And really it's not, you just don't know that because you're in your house with your family and you don't really see what other families are doing. And I think that's one of the things that a lot of young people would really need to understand is the fact that as they get older and get more life experience, they're going to see how other people attack problems or allow problems to develop or allow them to just work themselves out instead of having to be on top of it. If I'm the man I'm in charge, I got to do it. None of and it doesn't work that way in real life young people really just need to [00:59:00] take the time to watch other people, especially people older than them.
My daughter used to hate it. When I used to tell her that a smart person can learn from their mistakes, but a wise person is going to learn from the mistakes of others. I really think that's like one of the best pieces of advice that you can give a young person these days. You know, this just struck me.
I hadn't thought of it before, but what's interesting about the two, vertical couples here. Both of you. Raised children, neither of us did , and so I found myself as Michael talked about that going, and, like I, I've never yearned for Parenthood. I've never sort of had retroactive regret.
But it would have been cool to learn some lessons. I think because one, the children will teach you things. Yes. So , one of the things that we have to navigate with each other is the [01:00:00] incredible freedom we both had prior to the marriage without encumbrances, and I don't mean to.
Say children or encumbrances, but there are certain responsibilities that come with that you can't just pick up and go to a, in the middle of a Tuesday night, you know? Right, right. And that, and that's what I'm talking about. I think I tell you, one of the things I think has been most successful for us is we know when we deal with each other.
I know that she is never going to set out to hurt me. And I am never going to set out to hurt her. And so if you bring that to every interaction, if she says something to me, she might say it in impatience, or she might say it, in frustration because something else in her [01:01:00] day has frustrated her.
And the same is true for me. I might come home with a pissy attitude because I've dealt with people who, piss you off. Well. Yeah. Well, you have to the extent that you even want to give people that kind of power over you, I of course had some experiences today. That have put me in a pissy mood so I might talk to her that way, but she knows that I didn't come home and say, well, I'm going to flaying all this crap at Alyssa.
And so that allows us very easily, to sort of step back and go, okay, well what's going on? And that knowledge, of that. You're living with someone who wants only the best for you. And you're living with someone who supports your dreams. And you're living with someone who is going to be as enthusiastic about every victory [01:02:00] as you are, and is going to sit there and help you bind up the wounds from every defeat.
And you don't have to earn that. You don't have to, have it just by being you don't have to convince somebody to give you that, someone who loves you and wants to be with you is going to give you that. Right and you're going to give it back, you're and.
It stuns me how long it took me to figure out that that's the way it's supposed to work. I said to Michael last night, I think it was last night or the night before he had said something protective or something supportive and I walked away and then I came back a few minutes later and I'm like nobody in my life has ever loved me. The way you do the way I needed someone to the way I think that the universe every day for bringing to me, you know, and, and I don't ever want [01:03:00] you to forget that. I don't even remember what the thing was, but I remember saying that to you, we were on the couch downstairs and it, it didn't ever occur to me that I could.
Be enough just by being me just by the sheer force of being able to draw breath into my lungs made me worthy of love, like this, the pep talk from Elisa that I don't even know that I need is like one of the all-time great thing. Absolutely. that moment that it becomes obvious that she knows me so well that, but yeah, Michael does that for me all the time, but part of the reason that's so great about it is that I don't have to sell out to get it.
She doesn't have to sell out to get it from me. She doesn't have to change a single thing about who she is and the way she is, , like I. I love the entire package, [01:04:00] and, real realizing that you love somebody that way, but also that you're loved in that way. Like you don't, don't have to worry about what the is there a deficit here?
No, there's not, like I can like keeping score. I can look at her and know. Just feel that love go through the roof. And I know that hers for me is right there next to it, i, yeah. And it's so different than yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. I would love to, you know, talk, talk to the, I don't know that I would believe me, but you know, if you choose a juncture, which you were just really.
Thought that this was as good as it was going to get in it ain't back. Great. You know, just, just hang in there, man. Like it's all coming, it's all coming. So, so you, you also said just now you're [01:05:00] not keeping score, which made me think of something else that we do really well, which is that we do not keep score.
We do not keep track of. Who said what and who hurt that person at that time? Or when we do have an argument, we don't inject, this is what you always do. Or this is just like the time you did this. Every, every argument is its own clean slate. We don't and we do not invoke. Past arguments, unless it really is an issue.
Like, listen, I do need to talk to you about this because this has happened before, but again, it's not in a. Punitive way I've been writing this stuff down, my mother used to keep lists and she'd say, she'd say, well, you did this exact same thing in November of 1981. And again, in February of 1984.
And then again in June of 1989. And I'm sick of it. [01:06:00] Yes. Yeah. What. Good. I did this when I was 17. And I'm tired of you. That is similar. I had a similar mentality in my late teens and early twenties. And part of that was just because I kept a diary, and. Once I had it on paper, it was committed to memory.
So I did have that kind of, when I was in a very, very dysfunctional relationship, that's exactly what I did. I can give you the date and time that you said this to me, and so that's another thing I learned is you just, every argument is its own clean slate. And we argue in court cases here.
Yeah. And there, there was maybe one time or two times when we did do that, where we brought something from and we stopped it immediately, we said we were not going to do that. Right. And then we dismissed it. After that, when we reminded each other that we made a promise that we were not going to fight that way.
We're going to fight [01:07:00] right now, but let's keep, and there's nothing wrong with fighting. Let's stay on, stay on target here, fight about this one thing. And that's it. Gosh, it sounds like we fight a lot. Now. We really don't. And again, when you think about how much stress there has been in the last year, I think you could really count on one hand how many fights we've had just in the past year.
Well, you know what it is, this is the funny thing is that. It's all, it's almost always historical trauma. It's almost always, we, we inadvertently rub up against something that is in her past for my past. Right. And it brings those feelings out and being able to recognize those feelings and know what the source of them is.
It diffuses the whole thing in an instant. Yeah. Well [01:08:00] it allows you to say, okay, let's talk about that then. Cause we're not really, we're not really upset about the dishwasher or whatever, what we're really upset about is, whatever. We've gotten, we've both got interesting, like father issues, Michael brought up.
His dad, I'm the caretaker for my dad who, if I had siblings I would've handed it off to one of them and said, you take care of him, because we've got this really complicated history. And, a lot of times that rubs up that shows up, I said this on Facebook yesterday, and I think most people laughed at it, but it's , because I said it in a funny way, but it's true.
It said his predominant perception of our relationship is that I'm never right. Right. , I'm never right. And people laugh. They thought that was funny. Cause I said it in a funny way, but it's not funny to me. It is. I think that they [01:09:00] probably laughed just the fact that they identified so much with it.
I think that may be really good because it's like a nervous laughter you laugh. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. And, it has followed me my entire life. The quickest way to either get defiance or a figurative punch in the nose from the it's to tell me that I'm not smart enough to figure something out.
Yeah. As you know, and Elise has got her own thing on the father end. And a lot of times, those are the things that are coming up and it's not. The thing that we think is the problem. It's really all tissues has a way of doing that. We are a bizarre creatures. We humans because we, cause we set our own path, but we also carry all this coding and we're forever fighting the code and trying to, live in a way that's. Better than the coding that we were given when we were children at most of the important things that happened to us happened more and more children, which is what your [01:10:00] book is almost entirely about. Right. You know, it's the here's how Marcy was built. And here's how Marcy tried to reconstruct herself later when she figured out that she was built this way.
Right. And in midlife, we are hard wired. To go through all of that. Again, we are hardwired to revisit those things and sift through them and figure out what works for us and what doesn't work for us. And how do we repurpose some of the stuff. And you're asking yourself the question again, what do I want to be when I grow up?
Right. And so a lot of that comes out. At this particular time, at this particular juncture, when you are hitting about 50 and you are reexamining all of that. , I just journaled that Craig doesn't even know this. I journaled this the other day that I felt like. And actually, I may have actually said this to him at [01:11:00] some point where I feel.
Very similar to the way I felt at age 20, where I was trying to figure out , what direction is my life headed in? I know all these things I love to do. I know all of these things I'm really good at, but I don't really know how to channel it in a way that makes a sustainable income.
That's kind of where I'm at right now. And I feel like I'm flailing and I feel, and there were a lot of days on a similar feeling, a similar anx that I felt as a teenager. And I have to keep telling myself, you are literally hardwired to go through this way. You are not alone in this.
And actually writing my first memoir The Duran Duran memoir. I don't think I fully realized that a lot of my teen experience was a lot of other teams' experiences. I think even when I wrote that and I was 40, early forties when I wrote that memoir and [01:12:00] I think I still felt, I think I still believed at that point, I had a little bit more of a unique experience, even though I knew is a very universal.
Unfortunately experience trauma, but a lot of people go through, , but I didn't. I think I wa I didn't expect as many people to say yes, I went through the same thing, or I went through it in this and it manifested in this way. And so I have to constantly remind myself of that. Now when I'm feeling so angsty and I don't know what I'm doing.
Yeah. Or it feels like I don't know what I'm doing, or it feels like I don't know who I've become or what I want, or that question. What do I want to be when I grow up? It's no, this is what happens at this age. And so I think that many women, especially women age, especially women, my idea is that it's like puberty in reverse.
It [01:13:00] absolutely is. It is, we have to figure out what we're doing with that rest of that life force, with the rest of that. Meaning making creativity, yeah. Yes. It is a stage of development and psychologically physiologically. And so that has certainly, It has shown itself in both very good ways and not so good ways.
And in our relationship, I should say. And again, it's one of the reasons why I still will say, I think getting married in my mid forties was probably the best thing I could have done, but it was also, setting the stage for. The the phase I'm in currently. And well, I totally agree with you.
I don't think I would have the courage or the tenacity to have written the book, to be doing this podcast, to be doing, to have done any of the things that I have done. Especially the hard [01:14:00] self-examination, if I didn't feel as stable and safe and grounded and balanced that I do in this marriage with Michael, that I know that if I get off balance, he's going to help pull me back so that I find it again.
He always just does. He's just going to be there. And this was also kind of a sign that I knew Craig could just very well be the guy because when he came to New York and we spent that week together, I did have a little freak out when I say that, I just mean like it was new and it was just overwhelming in the moment.
And so I just said very calmly to him. Listen, I feel myself withdrawing a little bit. And if you allow me to do that, I will come back. But just don't, I don't want you to freak out about it. It's nothing you said, it's nothing you did, but I just need to withdraw a little bit, gave me that space and.
Him giving me [01:15:00] that space gave me the space to go to, to work it out. And I came back way quicker than I would've. If I, either a I didn't tell him if I didn't level up with him and tell him I was feeling overwhelmed, I would have just either run away head for the, run for the Hills or I would have self-sabotaged and done something to push him away.
But the fact that I have would have. Yeah, John, the full court press to get to you and chase you off that. I had the wherewithal to say that to him and he had the wherewithal to recognize it and say, okay, I'm gonna, I'll let you, I'll let you go. And I came back to him way quicker than I would've ever could've and I think, and again, it's, that's what this past year has been, or a cast a couple of years has been like.
I just need a little room to figure some things, to figure this out. And he gives me that room and, I know he's there. While I'm [01:16:00] doing all of this, one of my favorite things about Marcy and Michael's story is the thing about, Michael posting, , the runway. Oh, yeah.
Yeah. Because I am fascinated by this this idea that the things that we are best at are like a toggle switch and there is. The other side of the thing that we're best at, where it's also the way in which we sabotage ourselves the most, like one of the things I'm really good at is I can make stuff happen.
Like give me a project and I can start pulling in what it needs, needs, how they order it needs to go in. And I can just start orchestrating this well. And that's a really nice talent to have employers love that talent, your own drive to create things loves that talent.
What, if you want to see just sort of a series of [01:17:00] losses, try applying that talent to attracting someone.
On your timetable and no matter how awesome you think it is and Oh, well, you know, this will be perfect. You know, you, you like steak relationship on the basis of this. And if you start seeing the pieces move before the other person does it is going to go, and I love how Michael. He was really smooth and subtle sent you that message and was willing to wait for you to pick up on it. Yeah. I had written a piece for elephant journal in January of 2015 and Just to sort of encapsulate for the listeners.
Although Michael and I met in 1987, he married one woman and had two kids and I married another [01:18:00] guy and had two kids and we each had our separate lives. But our friend group from Geneseo was so strong that we all sort of kept in touch and so on. So we never really lost each other's threads for very long, a couple of years here and there.
And then Facebook helped us reconnect and stay together. And he came over a few times here and there , I got divorced and then just dating. And then he got divorced and was dating. We were never single at the same time. And it sort of didn't occur to me that we would. Align as well as we do.
And so anyway, so I had written this piece, and in it, I said that I felt so disconnected from my life and so disconnected from everything that I wanted, that I felt like I was an airplane hovering, endlessly, circling an airport, waiting for permission to land that, that I just couldn't figure out how to be in my life and how to land in it.
And. Michael read the piece and had commented about, I don't even remember what he said, but then he changed [01:19:00] the cover photo on his Facebook page to be a runway. And I noticed the change that's that's awesome. He's a video game guy. So I thought it had something to do with the video game. So I just didn't say anything, but it wasn't until after we started dating that he admitted.
That he had changed it to the runway so that he could be where I landed. This is one of the little part of that, that I don't know if you know what Kim knew at the time that I put that picture up. Kim knew her and I were discussing it. And discussing you. So, no, my friend, a mutual friend of ours from Jefferson.
Yeah. One of the friend group from back in the day that we've, they've, we've kept up with touch with over the years through that friend group. But her and I were talking about it on the side at the time that I was doing that. And she was in agreement with me. And the fact that the best thing for me to do is just wait for you to pick up on it eventually.
[01:20:00] Yeah. Yeah. Oh, it didn't take that long. So that was, that was January of 2015. So by Thanksgiving of 2015, I had just broken up with somebody who was very, very wrong for me. The universe had four by four to the head one more time. And I was lying in bed three o'clock in the morning, the night before Thanksgiving crying my head off talking to my dead mother out loud and reading articles on elephant journal on my phone.
And I. Clicked on an article about soulmates. I know you said Craig, you don't believe in the whole Solomon. Yeah, no, no, not the traditional, so basically what it said was when you reach a certain age, you've probably already met your soulmate and it could be, your sister could be, your mom could be your best friend could be your spouse, anybody.
But according to this particular author, there was a certain set of criteria. And as I was reading the criteria, the first person who I thought of was Michael. And I thought, Hm, [01:21:00] really? And it was three in the morning. And what you do at 3:00 AM, you do not have the brass tax to do at noon. So I Facebook messaged him the article and I said, please read this. And if you think this might be us, let me take you to dinner so we could talk about it. And then I took a deep breath and I hit send, and then I went. Why don't I just do the same way. I've just potentially ruined a 30 year friendship. Like what the hell did I do? So I'm like, well, look, if he's that good of friends with me and it's not how he feels, he'll just tell me and it'll be fine.
We'll move on. It'll be what it'll be nothing rests, nothing, ventured, nothing gained, whatever, anybody who's listening, who doesn't know the other part of the story I have to tell the other. Now you have to tell your half. Yeah. Prior to her reading that and hitting send, yeah, I had been attempting subtly here in her, you know, let's go to the movies and, Oh, you know, I'm kind of busy and she just wasn't getting the fact that I was really just asking.
[01:22:00] Yeah, I didn't get it at all. I was at a point in my life where I was actually feeling pretty lonely and the same night that she read those articles a few hours earlier, I actually got on my knees and prayed to God and asked him for. Bring somebody into my life. And I listed qualities and stuff. If I said this and this just kind of like Marcy and this and this and this kinda like Marcy and yeah.
Basically just send somebody in my life. Just like Morrissey and it's awesome. The same night after, after I was probably around 11 o'clock. So she says she read that four hours later, three o'clock hours later. And then the next morning I wake up and I see this, it was like, Oh my God. Yeah, God has never answered a prayer. So literally or quickly ever before. Oh, God. That's awesome. Can I, can I just tell you, I I'm just giving you fair notice. I'm totally stealing the runway story for a novel. I don't know when or where or how it's going to go in, but it just like went into the writer file of [01:23:00] things I'm going to use today.
And that was just, that was awesome. By the way I did something similar in terms of, I. I interestingly it was right almost after I released my memoir in which one of the final chapters was about how happy I was to be single and how at peace I was and everything. And I kind of heard this little voice I think it's actually time for you to start to, to meet somebody.
And then it was also around the time my grandmother died and. So I did some things to a related I think so. I think she, it was almost like a, as one thing as one cycle of life ends, another one begins type thing. and so I did something similar that Michael said he did th did these characteristics, even though he specifically referenced you, I just did this general. List, [01:24:00] and obviously I started with my friends first and interestingly, two things I had put on the list I wrote, I think he's hiding in plain sight. And then it really surprised me was I said, I am okay with a long distance relationship or beginning as a long distance relationship now.
Yeah. What happened was that became the gateway. For things. And again, Craig had just read my memoir and, but I never put those two things together. Like I never said, Oh, here he is. But, it opened the door for me to just manifest all of this in its own time.
And it was. It was almost a year later that I dug out that list and I just looked at it and almost everything matched Craig. Yeah. In terms of characteristic and description, I wrote her [01:25:00] personality and all of that was like,
the list I had created was almost exactly right. Yeah. So our, I, I did want to tell you this , So our sort of, Michael had the picture and that amazing convergence of what he was asking for and what you were thinking. so when I was in the big turmoil stage, where Aliso, I think Alyssa had started to think, this could be a possibility and I wasn't thinking that way yet.
She asked me so right around Christmas time and she asked me what my favorite Christmas song was. I will say at the outset, nobody ever hears that this but us, even though I would love to like release. So she asked me what my favorite Christmas song was when she went to her house. Listen brother, who is a, very, well-known [01:26:00] highly regarded, recording engineer and she recorded it.
He's. I sang the music and she said it to me. And it was, it became this, just this sort of this beacon of, somebody who just thinks, that he's all right, isn't going to go to that effort for you. They don't do that. No, and it's not in a, I was not in a good place to receive it the way I should, but I was so unbelievably moved by it.
Can I ask what song it is? Yeah it's just starts roasting on it. The Christmas song. It's actually the Christmas song. Yeah. It's most famous by Nat King Cole, which is the version that. That we both it's actually both of our favorite songs. So now it's this, we're together, [01:27:00] we're married with the whole bit, but we only listened to a once a year.
We listened one time once a year, and it is the biggest crier. Your eyes.
Because it's everything. It's what I was feeling when I received it, what she was feeling when she did it and what it's come to represent things are beautiful, malleable things. They are the things that happened to you, the things that come into your life, they mean one thing at one time and those meanings can shift and.
That is something really special between and it's great. She is. So she is, it, it is a great song sung in a wonderful way by her. I would put it on the radio, except I don't want anybody else in the world to hear it, except for me and for her nor do I. [01:28:00] Beautiful. I'm actually, I give all the credit to my brother because he knew how to make me sound good.
Good. Audio engineer is worth his weight in gold. That's wonderful. Yeah. Wow. That's a beautiful story. Yeah. That's it. It's two beautiful stories that you can in cap this thing with, yeah. Six extraordinary ,that we all found our way to each other, yeah. After almost anything could have gone wrong to impede this.
, after I asked Michael out, we obviously went on a date and I kind of did what Alyssa did and like freaked out a bit. , you can't. Slowly casually data, man, you've known for three decades and be friends with you're either in it with both feet or you're not at all. And I was like, eh, I don't know.
Even though I'm the one who started it, I kind of freaked out a little and he was patient and let me sort of figure my shit out. And [01:29:00] then we started talking again much more intensely every single night for hours and hours and hours. Neither one of us was sleeping and. He actually, I mean, you could tell the story Michael, better than I could, I think.
But he actually, through the series of this conversation, conversations over this whole week, watched me fall in love with him. Yeah. Basically his walls were coming down and she just kept pulling a little bit closer and closer, whatever conversation it was. It was quite an amazing thing to experience. We did something similar, like I said, New York trip.
By the time I got on the plane to fly to New York, Yeah. It was love, it was love. , and, , but , there was because we didn't know each other for 30 years, like YouTube did, there was just that one. However, unlikely question hanging out there of, is this just, are we just not gonna.
Be compatible in each other's. We didn't know that [01:30:00] either really, or at least I didn't know that the whole, exactly the whole thing was Marcy didn't know. I had a very strong feeling. Yes, but it was, she was very reserved, very holding back, very unsure. And as, as the week or so, two weeks, whatever progressed it was with every conversation with every question.
I would give an answer or a story and every time I did, I could just see and feel in her mind she went, Oh, okay. Yeah, that's good. That's good. And it was just constantly just lowering her level of, I don't want to say resistance, but that's not the right word. But being inhibited. Yeah. We had very different upbringings and different times they allowed herself to.
To come out and experience and say, yeah, okay, this is good. This is good. This is good. Definitely afraid. It wouldn't be good because she'd been hurt so many times before that she was afraid that it was bad, it was going to be bad and she couldn't have that. She wasn't have that. She just got over that again with that guy.
And, No. And [01:31:00] they had got on have to be good. We Elisa picked me up at LaGuardia and we got on the, we got on the people mover that takes you back to where, where your car is parked and she just kind of slid under my arm. And I was like, Oh God, thank God. Because if it had been left to me, I was just going to be very tentative about it.
And so then we got in the car and headed, East. It's so funny being a westerner. I always have to think, no, you drive East to the ocean because I drive West to the agent. , so we started heading East down the lie and she reached over and she held my hand and I was like, okay. All right, good.
Because, and I don't know, I I've never even asked the question. I don't know if she felt, she had planned to do that or if she. Felt moved by the moment or whatever, but I was so glad because, and get it over with, it was almost [01:32:00] like an icebreaker. It was like, this is going to be the awkward.
Moment of wondering , when are we, when is the right time to hold hands? And when is the right time for this? And I was like, let me just get it out of the way. Let me see if this feels okay. And the beautiful thing about that is six days later. We're in the city. We spend the night in the city before I flew back to Montana and, which has several funny stories connected to it.
But the overall great thing was we walked all over that town and we never dropped our hands. , we were there, we were holding hands and I, it felt like home. But it also says like, when I was, when I was in junior high and would have wanted nothing more in the world than some girl who would want to hold my hand felt as good as I imagined that it would have felt that, [01:33:00] which I never experienced I'm going to walk all over this city with this beautiful woman.
And I am. I am forever in touch with her. If we're having to skirt through a big crowd coming the other way, and I'm the lead blocker because I'm six, three, and some number, right.
I can clear out space , like I had her hand and she's walking behind me as I'm creating awake, but I never let go. And, yeah, so , that was huge. That was huge. I went home on a cloud because it was something otherworldly. Fabulous. It was something that I'd been waiting for my whole life.
Yeah. That's great. Yeah. I may have been a little bit slow to warm up or pick up on things, but, once I got. Comfortable. I took the whole, the lead on the show here. And , about six months [01:34:00] after we started officially, , I love you. We're doing this. I proposed to him and we had been a movie, Definitely maybe with Ryan Reynolds and he's talking to his daughter about, who her mother was or is because they're in the middle of this divorce and she doesn't understand why adult relationships is so complicated and it was kind of cute.
And then Michael said something like, well, the next time I get married, someone's going to propose to me. And I went, I could do that.
That's awesome. Well, how does one do that? So I researched it and I came up with a plan and then he had where he was doing one of those we're still in like the newlywed stage of the romance. So it was like, no, you hang up. No, you hang up. No, I love, , you and like, I love you so much.
I want to put it on every screen. I want to put it on time square, like, and I thought, well, Aren't going to make him a video and put it on YouTube and then he can put it on whatever screens he wants. So that's what I did. I wrote out what I [01:35:00] was going to say. And then I made like a little slideshow and animated it and the music and I put it up and I put it up on YouTube and, And then I had this whole thing planned out.
We were going to go to our favorite Greek restaurant for dinner. And then I was just going to hand him a pair of earbuds and email him the link. But he's a crier like I am, and I thought his man's going to cry in this restaurant. And then he's going to be mad at me this. Isn't going to go well, So Mike, all right, so we'll just have dinner and then we'll go over to the NIS aquatic river and we'll park and watch the sun.
Cause it was July. We'll watch the late sunset and then we'll be in the car by ourselves and I'll hand it to him. And we got there and I had no cell service. You can't load a video with no cell service. It was like crap boiled again. So we, we left and we went back to my house and we're like, right, we'll just Netflix, a movie or something.
So while he was putting, making water for tea, I put the movie on and I'm an, I said, Oh, I may do [01:36:00] something. And he thought, well, just quirky. Marcy did some creative thing. And then he realized, Oh my God, this is a proposal. Oh, my God, she just proposed to me.
Well, Lisa's got something. So first of all, I want to know what the Greek restaurant was. The Athenian Greek to Verna on Jericho turnpike in coma. Oh, okay. Okay. I thought maybe I can't remember the name of it, but I know there's one in port Jeff, that my sister and I used, I can't remember the name,
We'd only been together for a couple of months. And again, we were very much checking in with each other of, does this feel crazy? Does this feel okay? And at this point we're long distance, , it's all long distance savings. So I had gone, I had just spent the summer in Montana with him.
So that was really when we had a chance to live together and stuff. And. And, we had decided to pick out a [01:37:00] ring together we wanted to do this together. So we who came up with that, like to break, to get it. Actually, I said, I just looked at him and I said, do you want to get it right?
Yeah, kind of, it was kind of out of the blue. Yeah. And he said, yes. And I said, do you think it's time? And he said, yes. And so we, we went and we picked out this ring and I said, I do kind of want to be proposed to, I said, but I also think it would be fun if I propose to you and said, but we should not tell each other when we're going to do it.
So it was like he had the job of proposing with the rain and I was going to propose in my own way. I had originally decided we were going to see Duran Duran. We were going to see them at the Hollywood bowl. We made a big trip of going to LA. And I [01:38:00] was originally going to ask him at the concert right after the song ordinary world, because it's, it's one of their ballads, I have a very strong connection to that song and all of that.
So this is what I was thinking in my mind, I'm thinking, okay. He'll never expect it in that moment. Moment comes. They play ordinary world. It's wonderful. And something in me said, not yet didn't do it. So we go home from the show. And then was this the second proposal though?
Craig had you proposed the ring? The ring is in the process of being manufactured created. So it's the morning after the show. And it's very, very early in the morning, we were just waking up and getting a little groggy and all of that. And , he just said something like I'm gonna marry you.
Or he said something cute like that. And all of a [01:39:00] sudden, for whatever reason, Half asleep me said, now it's time. So I just said William, and he said, what? And I said, will you marry me? And he goes, I'm going to marry
her. I'm going to marry you. And I said, honey, Will you marry me?
Oh, you're proposing. And then he got emotional and he's starting to thrive.
So I should tell this one. I should tell this number. So I had the harder one because the question has already been asked and answered. The ring is on its way. Right. I had had a pipeline job in Buffalo and [01:40:00] I invited Elisa to drive up from long Island to Western New York. So we could spend some time together while I was there.
And and she had plans to come for. Thanksgiving in Montana. And we were only a few weeks out from that. And so I'm giving her this line, I'm doing a deflection and I go, I haven't gotten the ring yet, cause she was kinda thinking, he'll ask me, he'll ask me at Thanksgiving when I'm there.
In Montana. I go, I haven't got the ring yet. They, and they said it could be six, seven weeks before it comes. So don't, you were pulling her leg though. You're you're, you're, you're coming for Thanksgiving. That's, you get in Turkey, that's what you get. And so, and there's no ring in the stuffing.
So he, so she drives back to long Island. I fly back to [01:41:00] billings and then three days later, the ring is at my house already. Three days later, I get up early in the morning and I fly down to where I'm then going to catch a flight to, LaGuardia. Did she know you were coming to New York? No good friends.
I had a friend call her message her and say, Craig and I had breakfast this morning and he dropped his phone on the sidewalk and it shattered. He is off getting a new phone, but it's Saturday. It could take all day. Cause I needed to buy some number of hours to get across the country. Her being worried about me, that I wasn't in touch.
So my friend runs interference for me. I fly to LaGuardia. I rent a car. I drive down the lie. Her niece who lived downstairs from her in this [01:42:00] two Plex is this up and down is in on it. She sick, she was supposed to go over to her sister's house, which was where I was going to drive. Yeah. I smell weed, but.
She begs off that her sister calls me and is she's going to be saying at home. So I'm, so I called the niece and everybody knew her mom called her and said, honey, you ought to get up and do your hair and put on some makeup. And Elisa's like doing that
Slack. I drive to Corum and I parked down the street and I walk in and, her niece Tiara lets me in downstairs and then we come up, Tiara's like, I got some mail for you, so here I come up the stairs with the ring and I spell it wrong.
And she walks down the stairs like, [01:43:00] like. How are you doing here? And I can only say overnight, I had to fly back home the next day. Wow. I see, I had to pull this off with her, knowing it was coming, knowing that the ring had been ordered and I had to surprise her. It's not, it was not an easy task, but I love that we have two proposals.
Like it was cool. And we didn't announce it to the world until the Raymond was on her fingers. Even though we'd had some number of weeks of knowing we've got almost eight weeks of Noah, so like the proposal I did was like the private one between the two of us. And then the ring was. The big one.
Okay. As a way to wrap up this phenomenal conversation what are the things that you most value about your marriage? All of us, I say that you're like it's third person, but I'm considering myself as the part [01:44:00] of the question. Who wants to do this first? You want to go alphabetical again?
Where are we going to do? Reverse alphabetical. Let's do that. Michael, go first and then we can all copy his answer. Okay. That's great.
Let's see. The biggest thing for me is. As far as this relationship goes, my marriage, my entire life no matter who was around, whether it was a child, that it was a friends and family and everything else in my first marriage and even my children, it was always, always, there was always, I felt alone in a lot of ways and that I was responsible for everything and the whole weight of the world was on my shoulders.
So one of the things I most treasure about my wife. Relationship with Marcy. My marriage is the fact that the two of us together being a team and the way that we are, I don't feel that way anymore. I finally feel as though I actually [01:45:00] belong to a team basically, but something other than myself where it's not all on me, that I actually have somebody who shares everything with me evenly.
And that is just totally unique in my life. And it's not something that I see in a lot of other relationships. I really don't. Yeah, that's pretty spectacular. Yeah. I think that, I love that. He's the first person I want to tell everything to. And he's the last face. I want to see the last voice I want to hear before I go to sleep that things don't seem real. Unless I tell him , and I love him and I'm a hundred thousand percent devoted to this, but I know that if something happens, some, meteor came or some weird unforeseen thing and I had to be on my own. I'd be [01:46:00] fine. I'd be miserable without him, but I'd be fine. I was fine before I'd been, but that's not even it.
I. Love that it's us. That no matter what happens, it's better when we're together. the shittiest things could happen the most awful goddamn day could happen and we're together. So we'll get through it and it's fine. And I love how fiercely we love each other and each other's children and have seemingly seamlessly blended our lives together.
So that, although we just celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary last month, and I know cognitively that we've only been together about five years. It seems like forever. And yet I only mean that in a good way, yeah. I've thought of a way to [01:47:00] rephrase what I said to make it a little bit more succinct in the sound. Yeah. Before I had my relationship before I was existing. And now that I'm with Marcy, I'm living very well. Really? The difference very well said. Yeah, I'm still in that too.
Michael goes good material. Tell it like it is. That's awesome. For me, it,
I, I love the feeling that I get when I think about her or when I look at her and I read, and it just all comes back to me like what we have found together. [01:48:00] And I'll just blurt it out. Like sometimes I will hold her face and I will say you are my best friend. You are the best thing that has ever happened in my life.
And I am just so grateful. And that's what it is. If it's gratitude more than anything else, because I totally responded to what. What you said Marcy about, you'd be fine, I'd be fine. She'd be fine. You know, be fine. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. And it's it's um, and it's just gratitude.
It's gratitude for the fact that. That we get to do this together. And the pandemic has really driven that home. I was in Livingston Montana earlier this week to drop off some copies of my new book with people who [01:49:00] need to have it and , ran into a friend of mine on the street there.
And I said, and she asked how we were doing and I said, man, I'm glad I'm stuck in a house with Elisa. I said, people who don't, it's not even just loving your spouse. It's if you don't like your spouse, This is a bad time to be in that first marriage under this no way. Yeah, no.
I just can't, I really feel for the people who are alone, but I think I feel more for the people who aren't alone, but wish they were all the pandemic is going on because. Because you can't, you just have to ride that out, like it would almost be cruel to pull the plug, although people are doing it, but how do you have a divorce and move on [01:50:00] in the middle of the pandemic rates are skyrocketing?
I know that's the funny thing, but it's, just. I don't even like to think about it in terms of divorce. It's just, it is it's gratitude, gratitude, just pervades everything about it. And I have it every day , and I love that feeling. I love that feeling of something really awesome is going on.
And I don't feel like I'm entitled to it or that, it should have been given to me or whatever. I'm just grateful to be in it, so beautiful. Oh, gosh, how do I follow that?
I, value our friendship. I really do. I think that's. What makes the marriage wonderful. We just said it the other [01:51:00] day. He just said, you're my best friend and it's that feeling? , and that same thing, that you said, Marcy, this is the person I want to talk to every day.
This is the person, the only other person I have a similar kind of relationship in that aspect of this is a person I want to talk to every day. He's my twin brother. And. And, he's the only other person that I, non-included Craig, he's the person I talked to almost every day. And usually the first and last person I talked to, but Craig is the person I want to see everyday talk to every day, hug every day, say gratitude every day.
We try that is something else we built into our marriages. We try to say, thank you. For the littlest chore or the big support system or what it's, whatever it is. There is a thank you in there. And, so that's it for me. This is somebody who [01:52:00] gets me and same thing likes me and who accepts me and knows.
Knows the dark parts of my self and knows the bright spots and loves them both equally. And, yeah it's a gift. It's a gift. Absolutely thank you. All. This was such a burst of, Oh my God, we have to do this. And then you all agreed. So I'm looking forward to the dinner on long Island when those kinds of things can happen.
Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. I would love to get to Montana. I've never been, so everybody should come here. We got a guest room, same time. We've got a guest room one
but not everybody, it would be a little awkward and strange. Nice. Well, thank you very [01:53:00] much. This is a delightful, delightful conversation, indeed. Thank you. All right. Take care.