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?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Crafty Way to a Better Divorce

You can be happily moved on, married even -- and still some days it can still rise up and smack you -- you had to take a fully-loaded rat trap out to the trash, and it was difficult and messy and disgusting, and the person who was supposed to be there for you to help you with the difficult and messy and disgusting part not only wasn't there to help you with it, he was actually the difficult, messy, disgusting job you had to take care of.  And you can be enjoying a moment like a walk down the street on a Saturday blue-sky day in July when all of a sudden the thought of him and the phrase "You're such an Asshole!" or something similar appears.  I have suddenly muttered it under my breath or blurted it out loud on several occasions.

And it's embarrassing.  I mean, you're supposed to have moved on, and the emotional bruises are supposed to have disappeared, the scars just something that get touched languidly, thoughtfully, and no longer painful.  But at the same time it feels so good to just say it:  you, yes you, that guy I used to be married to.  no I can't remember your name anymore, but I just want you to know, because I never told you when we were married:  you're such an asshole.

Today's project helps externalize that sentiment in a productive, pretty way.  We must embroider our emotions whenever we get the chance.  Putting excessive detail on them helps define them more precisely, and can help distinguish what is healthy or rational from what is not.  And whenever I do reflect on what an asshole that guy was, and how sad it is that I was so patient and kind to him, and what better things I could have done with my time than stay married to him, I eventually reflect on how much money and effort I used up getting divorced, and how fucking worth it it was.  So it's a temporarily unkind moment, but the memory then leads to a great affirmation.  Someone else is stuck with him now, and the price I paid was one that allows me the freedom to say whatever I want.  (Happy Independence Day, by the way).

The materials for the project are available at craft stores like Jo-Anns, Michael's or Ben Franklin, and sometimes at bigger Target/Walmart types.  The towel is about $5, and the needlepoint work goes in a section of it that's woven in such a way that you can count squares and stitches easily.  The embroidery floss I used here was lying around from some abandoned friendship bracelet project of Purl's.  I free-styled the whole thing but if you are more of a stickler you can use an embroidery hoop and use a washable pencil or marker (make sure it is really made to wash out) to put your design right on the fabric.  I also typed up my phrase using a bunch of different types (fonts) to get ideas about how to shape the script-style letters.

Tip #1:  "Plan Ahea":  the original idea was to embroider "You're such an Asshole," but because I made the "A" so big, there was not room for the whole word.  I've justified the resulting "You're such an Ass ++++" as if I'd planned it that way, so as to be more spatially balanced, but that's just not true.  I ran out of room and then had to back up.

Tip #2:  Undo, Undo, Undo:  don't be in such a big hurry that you leave in stitches that you don't like.  If you don't make a mistake a project like this will take an hour or two, but this took about 3-4 hours for me because (a) I was free-styling and so I picked out several whole letters several times, (b) you want to get it right.  Just like you got your divorce done right no matter how times you had to re-work the settlement agreement.

So kick back and enjoy Independence Day, and if you spill your beer, you've got something to wipe it up with while smirking a little bit to yourself.