About this Blog

About this Blog: Divorce is something you do, not something you are. It is not easy, but it can be funny. I know hanging on to my humor gave me hope and courage. Divorce shouldn't cramp your style. There are whole industries devoted to helping brides plan their weddings -- why shouldn't we have a style guide for divorce?

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Relativity of it All

Christmas sucked.  Purl hated the place I've been living, and who wouldn't.  It's small as small can be.  Me trying to do more with less, and still coming up short.  She hated every choice I made and didn't make since the divorce, and it showed.  She's still a child, and she deserves to be able to live the fairy tale, now that the horror movie of the divorce and the frozen Russian tundra of law school is behind me.  She should be able to see that both her parents are better off with no regrets.  But she can't see that yet with me.  So all her teenage angst came out as did my middle life insecurity.  And we had about thirty seconds of good and 40 hours of sleeping (over four nights) and the rest was squabbling and meltdowns and silence.

Fair warning, too late to help you if you've already read that first paragraph.  When I was a kid my cousin asked me if it hurt to get your stitches out.  She had stitches somewhere, a cheek or something, that were coming out in a week.  I'd had stitches, a few times, so I said yes.  She started to cry and got super anxious and fearful.  My sisters, and her sister, turned to me demanding why I'd told her the truth, and I was on the outs with them for the rest of the day.  So apparently that's in my nature, to tell you that something is going to be painful, so that you're prepared, instead of knocked over by a surprise attack of dismay and grief.

Now on the other hand, tensing up when you are headed for a collision is supposed to be bad.  You should be relaxed.  You should not know what hit you, or is going to.  Kind of like a deer that doesn't know it's being hunted.  Apparently the venison tastes bad because of the adrenaline that kicks into its system when it thinks it has a chance of getting off scott-free.  [which doesn't mean you don't have toilet paper on your shoe, by the way, as I found out in an awkward moment].

Knowing that, I still am going to tell you the truth.  Even if it hurts.  Yes it hurts to pull a band-aid off your knee.  Yes it hurts to get divorced.  Yes it hurts to know that it still hurts on holidays.  For me, depending on how you count it, that's years!  Five Christmases since the divorce was finalized.  Seven Christmases since the big separational crisis -- the schism if you want a more exact term.  Eight years since the trip to Paris and the New Year's Eve dinner that made me realize that this was just one of the worst possible marriages ever.   And I am still now waiting to have that one, great, happy Christmas that makes it all worthwhile.  That makes all the dud Christmases pale.  That makes Purl sink and melt into a sofa and feel joyous contentment.

Maybe it will come next year.  Or maybe the next.  That's the relativity of the thing.  The divorce.  Some days it seems so far away.  So many many days that I haven't had my life worsened by a bad relationship.  So many days of self-directed goodness.  And some days it seems like the transformation to the new me has not taken place yet, and everything is still the same crappy thing it was before.  So many days of hitting my head against the wall without a breakthrough.  So many days of not getting out my good Christmas decorations and having a blast with friends and family.

Relativity -- I won't go on to do the comparison of my life with the relatives'.  We can save that for another day.  But think about the time phenomenon.  It's relative.  So do whatever you can, zoom in or zoom out to get the perspective that makes it look good to you.  The fact that you are trying should make the difference.  Maybe you can't see it yet.


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