In which Ryan Berenz (11 years into Marriage No. 1, two preschool boys) and Lori Acken (nine years into Marriage No. 2, four grown kids) debate a few quagmires revealed in Girlfriends Guide to Divorce Episode 4 “Rule 426: Fantasyland: A Great Place to Visit.”
• Is Fantasyland a great place to visit?
Lori: Given that my fantasies currently involve stuff like a 92% raise, black pants with no cat hair and just one flat surface in my house staying crap-free for more than an hour … I’m willing to go there. Fantasies one hopes will completely change one’s life? The distance between entry and exit is always shorter that you think. (Except for that time I had sushi with Leif Garrett. That one lingers a little.)
Ryan: Dream on, my friends. You need to experience Fantasyland on a regular basis, so long as you get off Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride when it stops.
• Is a “Little League emergency” an oxymoron?
Lori: Given that I have a wardrobe emergency and a hair emergency and a wrinkle emergency and a junk food emergency and three hundred other minor lady-emergencies pretty much every day of my life, I am in no position to judge.
Ryan: It amazes and horrifies me how seriously little league and other youth sports are taken these days. BACK IN MY DAY, we had team T-shirts with a sponsor’s name on the front and a number on the back. We wore jeans and regular tennis shoes. Before every game, the little league coordinator would show up with a bag of scrap-aluminum bats and six helmets that 30 kids were forced to share. We were all horrible at baseball. Today’s kids have professionally manicured fields with functioning scoreboards, their own full baseball uniforms and custom properly fitting safety equipment, and an entire team of coaches and wannabe-coach parents praising them and giving them Participant trophies. And they’re STILL all horrible at baseball.
• Is emotional infidelity more evil than physical infidelity?
Lori: I get where Lyla was going with this, but I can’t say I’d be any more pleased to find out my spouse was indulging in one over the other. The i-word’s the i-word, regardless of body or mind.
Ryan: I think it would be easier to forgive something that never grew beyond physical infidelity. Hoping to never test this theory.
• Is a bad first (and second kiss) a deal breaker?
Lori: Spit-face was a deal breaker. Always a deal breaker.
Ryan: As the ancient parable says, just as you would not remain with a horrible person because they kiss well, so too would you not cast aside a good person because he/she kisses like a golden retriever.
• Are mornings for talking — or contemplating suicide?
Lori: … is so not a morning person. Thus, it is, at minimum, for contemplating a gallon of coffee before any meaningful human interaction to avoid contemplating suicide. Or murder.
Ryan: The morning is never good for talking. Afternoon? Too busy. Evening? Can’t talk. Eating. Text me and I’ll get back to you.
• Is it ever, ever OK to share a pooping-your-pants story if you are a grown-up?
Lori: As much fun as it is to say “pooped my pants,” any anecdote that involves actual loss of bowel control is not only not first date material, it is solely “save it for your medical professional” — or maybe Jesus — material. No matter what Ryan says.
Ryan: My first date with the woman I would eventually marry was at an MLB baseball game with many of my college chums. For reasons that I do not remember, one of my friends felt the need to explain the logistics of (discretion advised) this to her. She did not run screaming. She passed the first test. So while this isn’t exactly the same scenario, if you do feel the need to tell someone a story about soiling yourself, have your friend do it, because I guarantee they’ll be able to tell it better than you could.
New episodes of Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce premiere Tuesday nights at 10/9CT on Bravo.
Photo: Lisa Edelstein as Abby, C. Thomas Howell as Nate — (Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/Bravo)