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2005-12-14 | 1:06 a.m.

I try not to think about it too much, for all the obvious reasons, and also because it is too much to think about while also spinning the day's plates in the air. But of course, I do think about it.

For someone who purports to be a skeptical atheist, I am terribly superstitious about certain things. Right now, I am hung up on the idea that I shouldn't send out Christmas cards. If I send out cards from both of us, acting as if everything is hunky-dory, I'm convinced we'll be separated by Valentine's Day. But what am I supposed to do? Not send cards? That would suck because I like sending them and I already have some set aside for this year. But I can't send out cards that say well, we almost split up, and we're trying to stay together, but it's really a toss-up at the mo.

It helps to have a sense of humor. The ironies are thick as weeds. For example. I was so pleased when the girls got a woman soccer coach this year. I was thinking, you know, good role model. Doh!

We'll call her Jolene, you and me. This is the only place I can talk about this stuff right now, aside from talking to Duff. (And we are talking, yes.) I mean, I could talk about it to my friends around here, I guess, but the idea just feels too awful, too embarrassing. I can talk about some things that other people would have a terrible time discussing, but then there are some things that cut so deep I just want to keep them close to my chest. This is one of them.

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