My Life As A New Wife: The Year In Review

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Farewell newlyweds, hello old married couple.

Celebrating my first wedding anniversary made me feel kind of like Miss America coming to the end of her reign: triumphant, honored, and just a little bit sad to give back the tiara and say goodbye to my title of newlywed.

But I must, because now at end of Year One, I am officially a wife – with a new title and new duties. If longtime pageant MC Bert Parks was still alive, he’d be singing me a new tune.

What a difference a year makes.

No longer a swingin’ single, no longer subsisting on Trader Joe’s frozen entrees, and no longer letting my laundry pile up until I run out of underwear, life looks a lot different now that I’m Mrs. Scharf than it did when I was Miss Brandon.

For starters, I now shop at Gelson’s, I do a load of laundry every few days, and I have more food in my pantry than I know what to do with. The year has had much personal growth, changes both big and small, and lots of groceries to put away.

Yep, I’m a real housewife of Beverly Hills, alright.

Year One has been nothing short of a mind-blowing, eye-opening, waist-expanding experience and here’s why:

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Robby Scharf, a most fascinating creature.

I NOW HAVE THIS FASCINATING CREATURE CALLED A HUSBAND

I don’t know about all husbands, but mine is so interesting, I find myself observing him like an exotic animal. He’s sophisticated and elegant, but he loves to burp and fart like a 10-year-old; he’s strong and stoic, but tears up when watching CBS Sunday Morning; he’s an alpha dog, but he loves funny cat videos; he’s a manly man, but he loves to shop; he’s never been married, but he’s got some serious game as a husband.

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Say hello to my mac & cheese.

I LEARNED TO COOK

As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, I was raised by a working mom who excelled more in the office than she did in the kitchen. Not that Sonjia Brandon couldn’t cook; she just preferred to make deals rather than make dinner. So when I got married, I donned my apron (a bridal shower gift) and got down to business.

It’s been a year of “firsts” in the kitchen for me. I made my first short ribs, my first macaroni & cheese, and my crowning achievement as a wife (drum roll please) MY FIRST BRISKET. I can’t emphasize the importance of this major milestone for this Jewish girl.

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Good news! Nina and Nancy didn’t throw up from my lasagne.

I can’t take all the credit though. I have to thank my friends Nina, Nancy, and my many Facebook friends for their recipes and culinary guidance.

It truly takes a village to make a meatloaf.

Yeah, I made that too.

 

 

 

I WATCH A LOT MORE SPORTS

I’ve always been a sports nut, but I definitely met my match when I married Robby. The guy is a total sports junkie, particularly when it comes to televised sports. It’s not unusual for him to have a few TVs going and a couple of iPads tuned in, especially during playoff season.

He may be the bigger sports fan, but I’m the sports bettor in the family. I say who needs to watch the game when all you need to know is the spread?

THERE’S ALWAYS MUSIC IN OUR HOUSE

This is the benefit of marrying a guy who plays the bass, attended Berklee College of Music, and has been performing with The Cowsills for over 25 years. It’s almost daily that I’m in earshot of a rehearsal or treated to an impromptu jam. And when I want some peace and quiet, I put on a pair of incredible Sennheiser noise-cancelling headphones (shameless plug – Robby works for the company).

But what really makes a Robby a rock star? He does the dishes.

NEWS FLASH! OOPS I MEAN HOT FLASH!

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Year One…and they said it wouldn’t last.

Poor Robby. Two seconds after we get married, I hit menopause (or rather menopause hit me). Great timing Mother Nature thanks a lot! Nothing like having to navigate your new married life with night sweats and mood swings. Plus, between the hormonal brain fog and the occasional senior moment, I can’t remember shit.

Has it really been a year already?

It’s true what they say: Time flies when you’re having fun, watching sports, eating a lot, and making beautiful music together.

Now if you don’t mind, I must attend to my next wifely duty: making my first turkey.

When Your B.F.F. Turns Into A P.O.S.

shutterstock_114278899 copyThere are friend breakups, and then there are friend blowups. You know the kind: a falling out with a friend that turns into a spectacular flameout of epic proportions, complete with bad-mouthing and betrayal. A friendship can blow up over something as simple as a little misunderstanding, to some deep seeded jealousy and resentment. As a result, a civilized parting of the ways quickly escalates into something so vicious and unrecognizable, it takes your breath away, not to mention a part of your soul.

Somehow, the person you thought was your B.F.F.* suddenly becomes a P.O.S.*

Been there, felt that. Ouch.

I’m sad to report that even the greatest friendships end. Even the ones you thought were rock solid and iron clad; with history and memories, unconditional love and support. A B.F.F. breakup can be worse than a boy breakup: it creates the same kind of pain, rejection and abandonment, but it leaves a bigger hole in your heart. My friend and fellow blogger, Helene Cohen Bludman describes it as “her other ex.”

It kills you, but you let go, mourn quietly, move on gracefully, and try to find peace and forgiveness – with your ex-pal and with yourself.

That’s what used to happen when I was younger; but something happened when I got into adulthood: friend breakups started getting ugly.

I managed to get through my school years without being bullied. Unfortunately now with digital communication and social media, people are fair game for the worst kind of post-friendship fallout. Former friends can hurl all kinds of vitriol at you while they hide behind their smart phones and computers, harming you with emails, texts, and Facebook posts.

Welcome to adult bullying, where mean girls are now grown women. Don’t believe me? Do a Google search – there are over 15, 500,000 listings about women who’ve been shamed, intimidated, and threatened by other women.

10734110_744246158964217_3438436236814293575_nIf you haven’t noticed lately, fighting with friends in the 21st century has gotten a lot nastier.

I have this theory that as women get into their late 40s and early 50s, things change: life, hormones, aging, midlife, money, relationships, whatever. As it all starts catching up with you, the next thing you know, you’re bitter. And angry. Life isn’t fair and you’re pissed.

Yeah, been there, felt that too, but I continue to fight it and right it every step of the way because it’s very easy to dump one’s emotional baggage onto a friendship and screw it all up.

So what do you do when your bestie becomes a bitch and your breakup becomes F.U.B.A.R.?*

Damage control.

Ask yourself: “What was my part in it?”

Were you insensitive, uncaring or not thinking? If you made a mistake, used bad judgment, or did something hurtful to a friend, do some soul searching. Reflecting on the error of your ways can bring much needed insight and thoughtfulness to the situation.

Make amends.

The fastest way to stop a friendship from derailing is saying “I’m sorry.” Take responsibility for your part. Even if you think your friend is being irrational or oversensitive, don’t invalidate their feelings or get defensive. Take the high road and be the bigger person. Conversely, if YOU’VE been wronged, accept their apologies, and quickly get back to the business of being friends.

Let go.

If you’ve apologized like hell and there are still hard feelings, then it’s time to walk away. Don’t hold grudges, don’t grovel, don’t wait. Just send your ex-friend off with love and move forward with the friends you already have – just like my wise friend Karen does:

“I don’t get mad, I don’t get even, I don’t cross you off my list. I don’t give it energy. I just make the decision to walk away, and I don’t look back.”

And when all else fails:

Assume the position and prepare for impact.

Still hoping for a peaceful resolution? Sorry, but you’re S.O.L.* The shit is about to hit the fan, so take cover. Gossip, taking sides, whisper campaigns, and breaching of confidences are just the beginning; and if it doesn’t end, you might have to hire a lawyer like I did.

No, you’re not in high school, but you’ll sure feel like it.

Here’s the good news though: there are still some of us out there who are mature adults. We’re reasonable, level-headed, and we don’t let a little tiff fuck up a perfectly good friendship. We talk things out, we don’t fight dirty, and we get past our problems unscathed.

shutterstock_226520419In other words, we know how to K.A.M.U. (Kiss And Make-Up).

 

*B.F.F. – Best Friend Forever

*P.O.S. – A Piece Of Shit

*F.U.B.A.R. – Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition

*S.O.L. – Shit Out Of Luck

Married People: Who’s F**king?

iStock_000005058065LargeWhen I was single I always used to wonder about my married friends’ sex lives: how often do they do it? Is it good? Does it stay good? Does being married make sex better? I always wondered, but never asked – maybe because I didn’t want to pry, or maybe because I didn’t want to know if it the news was bad.

I worried. What if married sex WAS bad? What if it’s different? Or boring? What happens if it can’t be sustained, or the excitement wanes?

Is it normal for sex to change once you’re married? What IS normal anyway?

Well, now that I’ve been married for a few months, here’s what I can tell you: even though Robby and I are newlyweds, we’re in our 50s, so we’re really oldie-weds, which means we’re totally different people now than we would have been if we were in our 20s and just starting out. Don’t get me wrong, things are just as hot – I’m just getting it in flashes these days. Continue reading

My Vows: A Dream Writing Assignment

Treva Brandon and Robby Scharf WeddingFinally getting the chance to write my marriage vows was more than just this bride’s dream come true. It was this freelance writer’s finest hour.

The dream assignment that had previously been out of reach for so many years, was now mine. I had waited patiently and worked tirelessly, but I finally got the job. Without delay, I immediately put pen to paper and began crafting my vows. God knows I had a lot to say.

Truth is, I’ve been writing my vows in my mind for 50 years so I already knew what they were going to include: expressions of my love and affection, my hopes for marital bliss, and tons of heartfelt promises and praise for my future husband. My vows would also be tear-jerking and knee-slapping all at the same time.

All I would need was the right guy and a mic, and I’d be good to go. I got both: Robby Scharf and a great Sennheiser microphone (P.S. Robby works for Sennheiser so I got the package deal).

That’s right, not only did I finally get to write my marriage vows, I got to read them aloud too! What a gig!

My vows weren’t fancy or flowery; they were just a 439-word count of my love and delivered right on time – just like a good freelancer.

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MY VOWS

“As a writer, I’ve written all kinds of things: from copy to content, branding to blogging, but I’ve never written marriage vows – a dream assignment I’ve waited a lifetime for.

And the most wonderful part of this assignment is that I get to write about an amazing product: Robby Scharf.

When I first met Robby, I knew I dug him; when he told me he liked sports, I knew he wasn’t a pussy; when I heard he was a Jewish rocker, I knew he was no ordinary Jew; when I found out he watched MSNBC, I knew it was a match; when my father gave him thumbs-up, I knew he was something special.

And when I watched him volunteer with the disabled athletes at Special Olympics, I knew I had to have him.

But when I fully experienced the depth of his caring and character, I knew it was love.

Robby, you are my champion, my protector, my BFF, my favorite comedian, my trusty ad court partner, my own personal IT guy, and my new emergency contact number.

You are my Mr. Right in every way.

You are the Ashford to my Simpson, the Burns to my Allen, the Kool in my Gang, and the Earth and Wind to my Fire. You are music and laughter, safety and comfort, strength and support, everyday of my life.

Treva Brandon and Robby Scharf WeddingI vow to you: my love, my heart, my soul, and my spirit. I vow to keep my racquet head up, and keep my eye on the ball. I vow to keep my only child tendencies in check, and I vow to keep the spare toilet paper in the bathroom instead of in my office closet. I vow to keep an open mind about moving to the Valley, and I vow to learn how to make a brisket and spend more time in the kitchen.

As your wife, I vow to keep you happy, healthy, and fit – whether you like it or not. Remember, you are marrying a personal trainer so deal with it.

To your father Eddie, I vow to make a good daughter-in-law. Good, in that I will never stand in the way of you and Robby and Major League Baseball.

And finally, to your mother Fran who is not here with us today, I vow to make her proud. I promise to take good care of her son, and honor the extraordinary man he has become.

E052414A-0605I’ve dreamed of writing these vows all my life, and now, this moment is here. Thank you Robby for making me your Mrs. Scharf, and for making all my dreams come true.”

Vintage Bob Mackie, New Mrs. Scharf

Treva Brandon and Robby Scharf WeddingWell, I did it.

It was the world’s longest walk down the aisle. Only a few yards, but it took a lifetime to get there. It was a journey that had more twists and turns than a Hitchcock movie, more starts and stops than the Indy 500, and more bumps and bruises than a mixed martial arts match.

But on May 24th 2014, I finally got married. All said and done, I went from Miss Brandon to Mrs. Scharf in 51 years flat. Catch your breath everyone, it was record time for the late blooming bride and groom.

I didn’t do it alone. I had help, lots of help. From friends and family, to celebrity designer Bob Mackie. From head to toe, my wedding day was a team effort.

It took a village to get me married, and now I must thank the village.

Treva Brandon and Robby Scharf WeddingStarting with my stepmother, Suzanne Charney and her incredible wedding gown she gave me. It’s an original, one-of-a-kind Bob Mackie, designed for her first wedding about 35 years ago.

She was smart enough to keep it boxed up all these years, and I was lucky enough to be able to wear it. I was given something new, something borrowed, and something blue for my wedding. This dress was my something old, my something vintage, and my something precious.

Suzanne Charney is a TV and film actor and dancer, well known for her role as the lead dancer in the movie “Sweet Charity.” You can’t miss her. She’s the Bob Fosse babe with the swinging ponytail and legs for days http://youtu.be/rw_M-ai1I0k

Anyway, back in the 70s, when Bob Mackie bobmackie.com was designing all of Cher’s sexy, fabulous costumes, he took some time off to help Suzanne create the wedding dress of her dreams. They sketched and they stitched, using fabric from Paris, and hand beading courtesy of the wardrobe department at NBC.

get-attachment-3.aspxIt was the first dress I tried on after I got engaged. Aside from being slightly tight in the bust, it was perfect. I tried on 27 more dresses just to be sure, but I really didn’t have to. There’d be no other dress that even came close. So thank you, Stepmother. I hope I did it justice.

There will be more to talk about in future posts, but for now, here are some quick thanks to my wedding pit crew:

Alterations expert and tailor to the stars, Mario Gonzalas www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/moviesnow/la-et-mn-ca-tailor-to-the-stars-20140223-story.html#page=1. I will miss all the fittings and fun in your studio, but luckily, I have some pants that need hemming, so I’ll see you next week.

IMG_4523Mike Messex http://www.messexindustries.com, the genius graphic designer who brought our Save-The-Date, wedding invitation, and party favor shot glass concepts to life. He knows me, gets me, and puts up with me because I’m the bride goddamn it!!

Click on Treva & Robby Wedding Invite to see more of our collaboration.

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Treva & Robby Wedding Invite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To all our friends and classmates from Beverly Hills High School who came through in the clutch for us:

Make-up artist extraordinaire Jeanine Kabrins Canter Treva Brandon and Robby Scharf Weddingwww.facebook.com/pages/jeanineCanter-Make…/193329035942. Wow, holy shit, and thank you! You annoyed the hell out of me with all your touch-ups, but your meticulousness showed – you are truly an artist.

Photographer Alex Berliner abimages.com. Thank you for capturing every nuance and moment. From under the chuppah, to the Soul Train line dance, you were everywhere. You sneaky little bastard! I’m surprised you didn’t catch me on the toilet, which would’ve been a nice shot.

Videographer Adam Ritz antishadow.com. I’m not sure who had more fun at my wedding: you or me. I love a vendor who not only has creativity and vision, but enjoys the job too! You were awesome to work with and even more awesome to party with!

Cantor Gary Shapiro http://youtu.be/o-ZhVpbW5Uk. He’s a man of faith AND a professional stand-up comedian all at the same time. His heartfelt ceremony was touching, personal, and fall off your chair funny. If you weren’t laughing, you were crying; if you weren’t crying, you were cringing listening to his stories of me as a young virgin.

Treva Brandon and Robby Scharf WeddingAnd finally to my HUSBAND (love saying that word) Robby Scharf: for waiting 51 years for me at the end of the aisle.

I thank you and I love you. I do, I do, I do.

One Last Blast Before Take Off

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The gang gathers for the big send off.

When you’ve been single as long as I have, every night is a sort of a bachelorette party. With no husband, no kids, not even a pet, I’ve been able to come and go as I please. I can get wild, go crazy, live it up, party hard, stay out late or not come home at all.

Let me tell you, single life might sound exciting, but it gets old and boring especially after so many years of it.

I’ve seen it all, dated it all, experienced it all, and have sowed every last wild oat. I have memories and stories and lots of secrets and stuff that I’ve shared with my curious married girlfriends. You know, like the time me my friend and I ended up in a limo with Rick James and his entourage, or the time I had to take a blind date to the emergency room because he got bit by a scorpion, or the like the time I tripped on pot brownies in the middle of the ritzy El Paseo shopping area in Palm Desert.

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A few shots in.

You get the picture.

I look at my single life as one big horizon-broadening learning experience for which I am grateful. Sometimes it was challenging, sometimes it was painful, but mostly, it was a wild, wacky, and wonderful ride that made me who I am today. Now, after 50+ years of bachelorette hood, it’s time to move on to something a little quieter, a little more stable, a little more permanent, and a lot more domestic.

Not before one last blast though! Bring on the bachelorette party, middle-age style, that is!

No male strippers here, no tequila luge, no body shots, no stripper poles in the party van, and no puking at the end of the night, although some of us did come close. We were just a bunch of old friends ready for some fun, a few laughs, and a chance to stay up past 10pm.

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Official bachelorette head gear.

I’d share with you the naughty things we did and who got drunk as a skunk, but you know what they say: “What happens at the bachelorette party stays at the bachelorette party.” The only people that will ever know for sure are our Uber drivers.

I’m ready for take off. I am ready to start this new chapter of my life. The best way to say goodbye I’ve decided, is to let my good friend Joanne Sala do it for me. This was her toast to me; it wasn’t so much a farewell to single life as it was a warm WELCOME to married life.

“I cannot believe your single days are behind you. How am I going to live vicariously through you if you’re not going to have any more crazy single girl escapades? I guess it’s goodbye stolen kisses, brazen flirtations, and hysterical dating horror stories.

This marriage thing is going to be a major adjustment for you, but I know you’re ready. As someone who’s been married for 23 years, I can tell you that you have to be loyal, faithful, trustworthy and have sex with your husband at least once a month, whether you want to or not. But bonus – take it from me – being married means never having to swallow again!

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Joanne Sala, former single gal, current married sage.

But seriously, I wish you and Robby every happiness in the world. My advice to you is to be good to each other. Be kind. Patient. Put each other first. Resolve conflicts quickly. Don’t hold grudges. Let the phrases: ‘I’m sorry,’ ‘You’re right honey,’ and ‘I don’t know, what do YOU want for dinner tonight’ roll off your tongue.

Enjoy this next phase of your life as the happy honeymooners I know you will be. I love you guys so much.”

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See ya later single life. It was fun, but I can’t say I’ll miss you.

Sexy Lingerie + Mature Bride = Old Floozy?

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The “Open Bra” worn the mature way.

If you look inside my drawers – not those drawers, but yes, those drawers too – you’ll find a lot of beige. Beige underwear, beige bras, beige everything. Nothing too exciting, nothing too fancy, sexy, lacey, or daring, just a lot of functional, practical beige that gets the job done.

I know what you’re thinking right now. I have boring drawers.

Crazy as it sounds, somehow I managed to get through my entire swinging single life without ever buying a stitch of lingerie. Never owned a garter belt, a thigh-high stocking, or a push-up bra. And what’s really crazy is that I love lingerie! But every time I’d set out to go buy myself a sexy little something, I’d get distracted by other things: like buying new sneakers or some cute workout wear.

Hey, Lululemon is sexy, isn’t it?

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The “Open Bra” worn the right way.

I can’t say I’ve never WORN lingerie because I have. For about 10 minutes, about 20 years ago. It was a creepy crotchless catsuit an ex-boyfriend gave me for Valentine’s Day when I lived in New York. It was so cheap and disgusting I threw it down the trash shoot when he wasn’t looking right after I tried it on. I couldn’t get it off me fast enough. Two weeks later I broke up with him, his tacky taste in lingerie having a lot to do with it.

So just when I thought my lingerie days had passed me by (and who was really paying attention?) something life-changing happened.

I had a bridal shower.

And I scored. I am now flush with lingerie. Each gift box I opened contained the most beautiful, hot, gorgeous, delicate, outrageous undergarments I had ever seen. Everything from Victoria’s Secret to La Perla, to Cosa Bella, to chic exotic labels I’ve never even heard of. I even got some edible undies.

All this new lingerie is great, but now I have to wear it. The question is, should I? I’m in my 50s, I don’t want to look like a total idiot in a teddy.

Ladies, at what point are you too old to wear lingerie? Is there a maximum age limit? An expiration date? I realize there’s a moment in life when one can go from being a hot babe to looking like an old floozy. Am I there?

Should I be age-appropriate and stick to what I’m comfortable with – a nice beige Wacoal bra and underwear set? Or should I let out my inner sexy bitch and say fuck it?

Fuck it!

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A sexy bitch in the bedroom and in the kitchen!

My inner sexy bitch says you’re never too old for lingerie…as long as it’s got a crotch.

Look inside my drawers and you’ll see a whole new me. You’ll see an explosion of COLOR with fabric and styles that scream sex! Along with some new hot pink panties, boy shorts, and lacey thongs, my drawers also have a few black silky things that make me feel like a Bond girl. I think I’ll wear them for my next jewel heist.

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Hungry and horny, anyone?

And for those times that I feel a little self-conscious about my body and age, I’ll just turn off the lights and let Robby eat my undies.