Alex, this was funny and beautiful. Lauren is amazing for letting you take those pics. “The bad guy who criticizes everything about your partner so he doesn’t have to criticize you.” I think you nailed it there. My husband and I have been married since 2005 and dating since 99. We love each other much, enjoy each other so much and sometimes are pulling our hair out at how differently we see or don’t see things. Marriage is a long conversation, and we are learning to be really good listeners.

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I haven't finished reading this piece yet. Actually, I just started. But I had to comment about that mask of Lauren's because Christina got the same mask "from the internet," and it freaks me out!

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1. I feel fantastic after binging all three chapters of your RLRomcom in one sitting. You two are cute AF.

2. I'm in my 40s, married for 18 years, two kiddos, and still having fun. Are you still having fun?

3. If the answer to the question in 2. is yes, then you're already doing everything right. IMO.

4. I'd suggest burying the mask in the backyard, but something tells me it would come back... stronger.

5. Hello!

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Man, I HATE it when Satan attacks my marriage. Like I don't have enough things to do already!

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Next stage: You must play Cliff Richard’s “Devil Woman” three times whilst moving in a circle around said former angelic wife! It works!

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Dude - I enjoyed everything about this piece! It was funny and touching, and I can’t stand romcoms! I feel good (I knew that I would)

2. I could tell you, but then Lauren’s mask would have to kill you.

3. See answer #2.

4. I’ve been married for 43 years and I haven’t figured that one out yet.

5. pryvit.

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“Though we can’t always accept ourselves, we can accept each other, and in so doing, enter the kingdom of co-dependent heaven.” Lol. Also, coming in just ahead of that line is the Baldwin quote! What a beaut. I have to say, clearing throat make way for some in their forties, I’m starting to realize just how much work I need to do as a communicator. Talk about wowsies, this one hurts. Still fun, still so happy about my choice but man do I have some serious growth areas, made apparent to me when middle-age peeled back the wool from my eyes. Sobering! But also, hey at least there’s so much to live for now because I have SO MUCH work to do 😅 I bow to how many ways you have to describe a single mask. Hilarious post and yo baby mama sounds divine. Happy for you two 👯‍♀️

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I have a screenshot of this mask. But because I want it but because I want everyone I met to experience the horror of seeing it. And that’s just on the screen. I can’t imagine how it looks in person!

You guys have such a lovely love story. You inspired me to write mine. I haven’t finished anything this week but you’ll see it soon. 💖

Also I miss your narration.

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In red-mask-mode there's a green third eye on Lauren's forehead. Now, there's a wowies. I'll have to ask GPT-4 what it means.

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The next time she breaks out that mask you should secretly set up a camera for some long-exposure shots, then leave prints of them for her to find in unexpected places. Though, I guess any place you find a surprise picture of a disembodied wraith drifting through your house, it's going to be pretty unexpected.

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1. See final two words listed under '2.' below.

2. Round here, apparently, hair dye... Amazon delivered only this morning a boxed preparation labelled 'Just for Men Control GX Grey Reducing Shampoo' for someone of this household who REALLY DOESN'T NEED IT BECAUSE HE'S GORGEOUS.

5. Hi to you, too. Can I tell you a secret? I entirely MISSED the mask side of the first picture in the post because I was too busy squealing 'ALEX IS LEFT-HAAAAAAAAANDED!' 🙌 ALL the best people are left-handed! (with apologies for my Latin prowess, and no offence to the dextrous out there, but Alex and I are Team Sinister!)

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That was so sweet! Also, Lauren totally looks hot in the mask. Makes me think of Billy Idol's Eyes Without A Face.

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Love the newsletter. I wrote a thing about long haul marriage, the next stage may look like this:

"There is no fairy tale, just an imperfect life with imperfect people. Two opposed ideas, every single regular, boring, infuriating day. Every day filled with the everyday that turns into 30 years and somehow feels like happiness."


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I've been married for 25 years! Every day we decide to stay. Otherwise we wouldn't be here.

Recently my new age older man has had a major back issue. It has brought up many gremlins (aka fears). Suddenly I am married to an old man with a back problem who can't wash or dry his own feet! Fuck! What was I thinking? My mum kindly reminds me that I shouldn't have married an older man. (que eye roll).

But the masks we show to others have long been forgotten between us. So we accept each other warts and all. Or at least turn a blind eye. Well most of the time... except when I am chin wagging with a friend and we have a sly laugh at his expense... Not that I don't love him cos I DO DO DO... But man... socks with sandals???

Anyway I read that you're not sure you're having much fun somewhere amongst the chit chat in this thread... that life is economically stressful.... I've been there and the last few months has shown me that we don't have much control over these things anyway. 3 weeks of not working soon drained our back up stash. Still it did mean I got my act together and finally published my substack account after 4 months of perfectionisation!

We think we do have control of these things but we don't. We are led to believe we do. All that work harder or work smarter... work ethic BS does my head in... make your money work for you... blah blah blah... And I have done loads of personal developemnt shit. Am I any richer?? Nope!

But the happiest years of my life were when I had the least money :) It seems like the more I have the more scared I am of losing it. And when I lost my son and brother in separate road crashes I certainly found out what was important. The only thing that was important! Being with my family. So enjoy them. Value them. Smother them with love and you will be a happy man.

Much love to you and thanks so much for making me laugh!!!

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1. In the final act of your Romcom I'm guessing the mask is the antagonist. But does Lauren learn in the end that she doesn't need the mask and hubby will suffice?

2. Hubby and I are way over 40. When the kids went away to college I wanted to print a T-Shirt, "Every night is date night when you're an empty nester." Now I tell empty nester mamas, If you don't already have a thriving career, start a substack. Get busy volunteering. Otherwise you will pine for your kids and eat oreos again. I was this close to secretly staying in Miami (kids went to U Miami) and work as the cafeteria lady so I could keep an eye on them. (Another TV series idea that didn't come to fruition.) You and Lauren will unsubscribe to the hundreds of holiday card making companies. The best attribute of your holiday card is showing off the kids and your hot wife. No one wants to see a balding hubby and his hot wife-- because of hot flashes. To see more of what your future looks like, subscribe to my stack. Hubby is a prominent feature. We knew a gal who divorced because of our cute relationship. She told me so. Glad we were the impetus for her to quit her sucky marriage.

3. Don't suddenly friend a high school sweetheart on FB. Guys can be really stupid that way. Let wifey put the kibosh on fried dough for dessert, even if you're traveling. The teenage years will test your marriage and your cool factor. Accept the fact that you're embarrassing. When my daughter was 12 and saw how teenagers (girls especially) treated their parents, she apologized to me ahead of time.

4. Make friends with the devil. Happy wifey = happy lifey.

5. hi back.

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Mar 23Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

This is not just super funny, this is Odessa funny... So so good

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