star amanda 2013 2As you may have read in Whiff of Death, our beloved family dog of 12 years was put to sleep. I picked up her ashes yesterday. I walked into the veterinary clinic trying desperately to hold myself together. That didn’t last long. Here come the tears. C’mon, Amanda, hold it together. Oh boy. There’s no stopping it. Within seconds I’m crying like crazy, waiting in line, wiping my eyes with my tee-shirt.

My turn. The woman in the lobby comes up to me and asks, “How can we help you”? Somehow I was able to get the words out through my tightly closed throat, “I’m here to pick up my dog’s ashes”. She looked at me somberly and asked me for a name. I mustered, “Star”.

She came back with a box. Before handing it to me I heard, “Is Star Black”? I nodded my head because I could no longer speak.

Halfway home I collected myself enough to open the white box. I looked in. The sealed cedar wood container is engraved with “Star Black”. I laughed through the tears and realized the woman was confirming her name, not her description. Laughing, I visualize my dog sitting in the back of the bus and drinking from the “colored” fountain.

star black

I reminisced about that day. I was filling out the paperwork before Star was put to sleep. I had tears streaming down my face and onto the papers. I could barely see let alone write. Apparently I was so hysterical and incoherent that I put a few scribbles in the wrong places. I’m sure my handwriting and box checking looked like a doctor’s prescription.

Essentially, I figured, they extracted from the paper work that my dog’s name was actually “Star Black”. I was relieved to find the note inside said, “To the Greenberg Family” and not “To the Black Family”.

Thank you for the laugh through all the tears, my beautiful angel dog Star Black, and thank you for the 12 years you gave us!


combat menI started dating about six months after leaving RB.  I felt that was a fair amount of time.  It is absolutely frightening in the beginning.  I had a few dates and they were all lovely men.  No one unacceptably gross, for I filter them out carefully on the dating sites.  For instance, I don’t go on a date with anyone who has a bathroom mirror selfie of his flexing bicep, shirt off, showing off his many tattoos.  I avoid any men with pictures of their Harley’s, and many other parameters, but those are the core basics.  I have made an exception or two, but that is after lengthy conversations through the dating site.

After a few mismatches, although they were nice enough, I finally had a “successful” dating experience.  We went on a few dates. I liked him very much and still do.  We have since been friends, often going through spurts of talking daily.  On our second date he asked, “Are you Amanda Greenberg”?  I said yes. I wasn’t necessarily surprised because the man is a lawyer. I proceeded with this question: “So you found me out and you still wanted a second date?”  His response was, “Absolutely. And hopefully a third and fourth,” which I thought was very sweet.  A serious relationship eluded us for various reasons, but he’s a dear man who I happen to adore.

Then something odd happened.  I started attracting military men, men in uniforms, either now employed in the military or retired after 20 years of duty.  I figure I must be oozing out of me that I am in dire need of discipline.  Perhaps these men can teach me a thing or two?  I’ve now dated a man from every branch of the military with the exception of the Coast Guard: an army major, an air force colonel, a recon special-op marine staff sergeant, and a retired navy medic.  All are, not surprisingly, spankers (and this does not at all mean I slept with them so don’t make that assumption, please).

Dating is exhausting, daunting, scary, and fun: a myriad of adjectives.

There are times when I ask myself what happened to my life?  Why am I being fed to the sharks?  Sometimes that’s how it feels.  And then you want your life back.  But you ruminate for a while and remember why you left in the first place.  And I can tell you women, old readers and new readers, that there are good men out there, which was my biggest fear.  But they’re out there.  You can find that needle in what seems like an enormous haystack, but good single men exist for us single women in our forties.  I promise.


poodleI had to put my beloved dog to sleep yesterday. She was our family dog for 12 years. Her name is Star. My god she was a good dog. She was right by my side, through good times and bad. Is this the whiff of death? Could it be? In writer’s speak, this is a good thing.  It means that you can expect things to get better, at least in a screenplay.  And movies, the majority of the time, mirror real life.  So can it be so?  Will things get better and not worse?

Holding her and watching her as she went where dogs go was the third most painful thing I’ve ever been through. The first one being Ricky Bobby’s affair and all the emotions and consequences that followed, the second one being when our youngest was 3 days old, turned blue, and before we even knew what was happening he’s got tubes and cannulae and IVs travelling in and out of every orifice.

While I was teaching 6th grade today I was crocheting a scarf (as all good, attentive teachers would), and an 11-year-old boy approached my desk. He said, “My mom used to do that, too. I watched her all the time.” I was impossibly annoyed, for 6th graders in general are very annoying. My thoughts were, “Listen, kid. I don’t care that your mom crochets. I had to put my beautiful dog to sleep last night, my soon-to-be ex husband lost his job and thus I’m getting no alimony for the moment and, to boot, I left him because he had a hideous affair. I’m borrowing money from Peter to pay Paul. And to add, because I waited 2 and ½ years to leave after the delightful disclosure of his affair, my naïve kids, at the moment, blame ME! So let me crochet in peace, go read quietly like I asked you to, and I will continue with my crocheting and grocery list, the first two items are ‘vodka’ and ‘cheap red’. So, small fry, I’ve got bigger things to deal with than you and your mom’s crocheting”.

Of course, I didn’t actually say these things. But I thought them. Yes. I thought all of those things in a matter of seconds. My mind works at lightning speed. Despite my thoughts, my motherly instincts took over and I said, “Well that’s wonderful. Crocheting is really fun.” He responded with, “She did it all the time until she died of cancer”. Before I had a chance to react, he added, “She died in February”. I immediately put my crochet supplies down as his wide-brown eyes stared at me, waiting. I responded in the expected way a loving, motherly, sensitive adult would respond. With that, I found out that he never had a dad and now his step-dad is gone. He has a 12-year-old brother and they live with nana and grandpa now.

How do you comfort a little boy with a story like that, especially when you’re going through a real shit time yourself? How do you spin that shit-ass story into something positive?

My answer to him was that someday, and even quite possibly now, he can help other children that are going through the pain of losing a parent with the wisdom he has about the loss of his mom. I know the wisdom and pragmatic approach is there, for he just came right up to me and said, essentially, “my mom, who died of cancer, loved to do what you’re doing.” I told him that anyone who crochets is a friend of mine and that she must be a wonderful woman. With his giant brown doe-eyes he smiled and said, “Oh she was.”

So there I was, feeling sorry for myself, and mind you, I can, for things aren’t so easy as of now. There has to be good things on the way, but this little boy and his brother lost their mom to cancer and are sans a father. It put things in perspective…a little.

Within an 18 hour period there were two whiffs of death in my life.  Things can only be downhill from here, right?


keepcalmlawyerWhen I said “amicable,” at the time it was true. My readers should know by now that I speak nothing but the truth. There’s just one caveat: I might have been in denial. I might have wanted to believe what I was writing. Or I might have been drinking (and I never write drunk). Most importantly, the story behind the affair (blackmail and so on) is 100% true, so rest assured there. By “denial” I am referring to my confidence in our marriage and how I really saw myself, and RB. Now that I’ve had time for peace and growth by separating myself from him and “it” emotionally and physically I can see more clearly.

We were and are amicable most of the time. At this particular moment in time? Not so much. And some other times between leaving him and now? Not always. Ricky Bobby and I are still legally married and we will be for at least six more months. Although I filed for divorce he is putting road block after road block in the path for dissolution.

It really makes no sense that he is making things difficult. You see, Ricky Bobby, apparently, is engaged! Congrats, RB! That was fast! He has known this woman for five months. And this is after a 21 year marriage. It makes me sad and distressed in so many ways. Mainly the children (I’ll devote another post to just that subject).

And I thought affairs hurt marriages! Divorce is a whole different kind of chaos and pain whether or not the catalyst to it was an affair. Our story is yet more complicated, especially in regards to our three children, because I chose to stick around for over two years after disclosure day. I’m still doing the emotional and financial math. Would divorce have been easier for all of us if I had left immediately? Or is it better that I waited almost three years to leave? I will never have a definitive answer. All I can share is what happened to us, what I chose to do, and how that’s working out. I can share in theory what I think would have been different, whether for better or worse (to use a familiar phrase), which I will do in future posts.

I’m excited, yet it is with some trepidation that I share my story post-separation. It took a lot of thought to decide whether to go for it. But there’s really nothing to lose. I mean, look what I did with my other website. If I could expose myself to the world that way, this will be a Sunday school story by comparison.

We’re moving on.



torn greenbergsFrom “til death do us part” to apart and a dead marriage; from infidelity and blackmail to anger and forgiveness; from an in-tact family and happy children to a broken home with confused and sad children–this is the continuing story of Amanda Greenberg: the radically honest and brave woman who published a website all about her husband and his five-year affair with a blackmailing sexual sociopath.