I am officially a divorcee. The papers stuck unceremoniously out of my mailbox when we got home this afternoon. There was a little while there when only I knew. The boys went about the business of fighting and emptying spent lunches into the sink, oblivious to the fact that I was processing the end of 18 years (6 of which we were separated). I suspected not even their father knew it was official. There was something lonely and comforting about standing there reading these papers while the boys went about their business not knowing anything had changed: Upon consideration whereof...
I did what any woman in my situation would do: I popped open a Corona and googled the trailer to An Unmarried Woman. Shortly after I first realized that we would actually be divorcing, I bumped into this movie on TBS or something. I remember thinking, "Ye gads, I don't want to be her." I was a few years younger, and to me, the word "divorcee" sounded like a guest role on The Mary Tyler Moore show. Although I loved that show when I was a teen and I loved MTM, I was not interested in being the Charo of the Mary Tyler Moore show. I wasn't a washed up, ukelele-player who takes a cruise whenever Barbie Benton isn't available, I felt like a star! I was Mary, the lovable single gal who gets into predicaments but comes out on top because of her friends. For all we knew, Mary chose to be single.
Divorcee. I own it now. I no longer snub it like the weird kid in the cafeteria (she was me anyway). Instead, I walk right up and sit alongside her. I offer her a cookie and talk to her like we're friends. And I realize, she's pretty cool. I don't understand why the other kids don't see it. Maybe it's her clothes or she doesn't wear her hair just right, but she's cool. She "gets it."
The truth is, I'm not sad about being divorced from him. I'm not grieving the loss of him. He's a jerk. I don't say that in a bitter way. I was or am a jerk, too. I love him and I hope we'll always stay friends, but he is a jerk. No, I don't miss him. I'm sad about the end of our marriage. When I think about our marriage, I think about the guy he was in the beginning--funny, sweet, loyal to me. That guy left a while before we separated, which made it easier. Not to be dramatic (although, why stop now?), but I'm sad about the end of our family unit--what it sometimes was and what it could have been.
Thankfully he made it easier for me. I was grateful for his cold, closed face. I was relieved when he said "What? I can't see what face you're making there." when I told him I got the papers. I welcomed the familiar feeling of loneliness when he grunted, "Oh. You ok then?"
"Yes," I said with no ambiguity. "Yeah, I am." Then I closed the door behind him and sat with my new friend.
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