Magnavite: Divorced? This group might make you SMILY
Dean Magnavite firstname.lastname@example.org | (708) 633-5937 May 1, 2011 11:34PM
SouthtownStar columnist Dean Magnavite
SouthtownStar Night Production Editor Dean Magnavite will turn 50 on June 10.
Help an old guy
You can reach post messages — and click “like” — at tinyurl.com/HalfCenturyMan or pass along words of advice for this future 50-year-old at email@example.com/fifty/
Updated: November 24, 2011 3:34AM
“Standing in the middle of nowhere, “Wondering how to begin; “Lost between tomorrow and yesterday, “Between now and then.”
“Wondering how to begin;
“Lost between tomorrow and yesterday,
“Between now and then.”
It took me till I was 49 years old to learn that in life not everyone gets a happily ever after, whether it be by chance or by choice.
So as 50 nears, it’s time to forget about fairy tales and to move forward.
OK, so where, exactly, is forward?
Where does someone like me, freshly divorced and five weeks shy of turning 50, turn?
The easiest answer is the obvious one: family. I’m lucky to have two wonderful, thoughtful, caring daughters, a compassionate, giving mother and a great brother and sister-in-law who always are there for me. I’m also blessed to come from a large — LARGE — extended family, with aunts, uncles and especially cousins spread across the country.
Additionally, I’m fortunate to have many close friends and understanding co-workers who’ve got my back.
What, though, happens when there’s something I don’t want to discuss with a family member or a close friend? What happens when they don’t want to hear any more of what I’ve got to say? What happens when I feel I’ve imposed on them too much already? What happens when I’m talking about something to which they can’t relate? What happens when I want someone else to try to cheer me up?
I can answer those questions with a smile, or more precise, SMILY.
SMILY is short for Start Meeting Individuals Like You. It’s an informal group I’m creating for and about men and women in and around the Southland who are like me: 50-ish (a little under is OK, too), divorced or going through the process, and looking for someone to have a talk with, have a laugh with and make friends with.
While divorce will bring this group together, it will not be a group about divorce. Sure, we’ll trade stories about what we’ve been through — I’m sure no two tales will be the same — and bear our emotional scars. The focus, though, will be about us, not about those who no longer are a part of our lives. Remember, we cannot let that seven-letter word define who we are. We’re better than that.
If you think you’d like to be a part of SMILY, just contact me at
firstname.lastname@example.org — put SMILY in the subject line — or (708) 633-5937 (after 3 p.m.). I also have a Facebook page you can access at tinyurl.com/HalfCenturyMan. You also can write to me, c/o SouthtownStar, 6901 W. 159th St., Tinley Park, IL 60477. One day later this month we’ll have our inaugural gathering and get to know one another.
And we’ll all have a smile.
A (gold)fish tale
Can the death of a goldfish really make a person sad? Indeed it can.
On April 22 — Good Friday — “supergoldfish” died. He was 14. You read that correctly. Fourteen.
This “supergoldfish” was won by my daughters at a carnival in 1997 — you know, the kind of fish you win by tossing a pingpong ball into a bowl. They girls won a few that day, and this guy survived for 14 years.
Ol’ “supergoldfish” lost an eye several years back but he never complained. He never gave me any lip about being fed late, never got spooked when my dog Smokey got too close to his bowl, never griped about letting the bowl cleanings go too long.
No, he just swam in circles.
Here’s to you, “supergoldfish.”