Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I'm getting a divorce. For whatever reason I've decided to call it quits. The reason doesn't matter. Okay, that's a giant lie; but let's just pretend that it doesn't matter. Let's say no one was at fault, that my marriage just didn't work out.

"That's how the cookie crumbles" and other little annoying sayings will now be repeated to me for the next year. When they (coworkers, family, friends, and strangers in the bar I start to talk to after one drink too many) ask me if I'm okay in a tone of voice that makes me want to open their mouths and shove tennis balls down their throats, I'll just say I'm fine. I'm fine. Dandy. Wonderful. Freaking Fantastic - and yes, I will say it with capital letters.

Before I knew it I had written my name next to his for the last time. It was a final sheet of almost blank paper with titles like "The Petitioner" and other legal jargon typed across it. As the ink slowly dried on the page, a stark black that is now forever imprinted on my mind, it hit me that very soon I would be legally divorced.

I'm 23-years-old. Aren't I a little young for this sort of thing? My husband and I were married before our 21st birthdays. We weren't even old enough to drink legally at our wedding, not that it mattered. I remember looking at my left hand while I sipped champagne - a ring, a band, a mark that said forever in silent desperate words. I have to admit it scared me even then.

I beat most of my friends to the altar. They followed one by one, paired up and matched up like they were ready for the Flood to start and with looks on their lovesick faces like "Where's the damn boat?" If they aren't married they are thinking about getting married; and if they are married they are thinking about kids. And I'm getting divorced. I'm the perpetual third wheel, or fourth - if they already have a cute drooling bundle of soggy joy.

That isn't the worst part. The worst part is when it comes to girls' nights out. They turn to me with sad cow eyes after talking about their kids and ask if I want kids. The word "no" rolls out so fast and hard off my tongue I swear you could clock it in at 90 miles an hour. I don't hesitate. I don't sit and think. I spit that word out before the god of mischief and misfortune decides to give me a surprise the next time my cycle comes around. Oops, birth control is only 98% effective and those little blue lines on the home test kits scare the crap out of me.

If it isn't the sad cow face over kids, then I get the look for the fact that I just want to be alone right now. I don't want to be someone's wife, mother, or girlfriend. Right now I'm happy being me, relieved not to have to worry about anyone, or do someone else's laundry. I don't want to get married again. Sure I want a long-term relationship with a wonderful dreamboat man, but I don't want to live with anyone again. You can have your house and I'll have mine. We can do sleepovers and have pillow fights.

I was lucky in that my divorce has been easy. It shouldn't be this easy. We had no debt, no kids, and no house. We shared a last name, something that very soon will be changed, and that was about it. I'm starting over for the first time. I'm doing things I had never done on my own: my first bank account, my first cell phone bill, and my first apartment. I missed out on a lot of firsts because I went straight from living with my family to living with my husband.

I'm a divorced woman. Okay, so I'm not divorced yet since a judge hasn't signed the papers, but it's pending. Even though I wish it didn't, being divorced does come with a certain stigma. A very cute guy told me the other day that he would never date a divorced woman. My family doesn't believe in divorce. You hear the word divorce and even in our very modern society it rings certain bells. Maybe not as much as it used to, but I live in the Bible belt, and around here they take marriage seriously (which is why, here in Oklahoma, we have one of the highest rates of divorce in the country). I would cough and say "hypocrites" here, but you wouldn't be able to hear me.

You would think being the person that makes the choice to leave would make it less painful; when you shove everything you own into trash bags and grab your hissing cats that it would hurt less. Never believe for one moment that the person who leaves isn't in pain, that their heart isn't breaking, broken, gone. Throw in a nice healthy dose of guilt and you've got yourself one hell of a deal. I just can't understand why everyone hasn't tried this at least once.

19 comments:

Angela/SciFiChick said...

I'm so sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you!
And I can honestly say that I love owning my own home and living by myself! I hope you begin enjoying it soon too!
*hugs*

Aaron M. Wilson said...

If it didn't work, it didn't work. Being from Nebraska originally, I’d say that people from the dust bowl just have too much fun judging others. Ignore them.

Nothingman said...

my prayers are with you buddy, just be brave and hang in through tough times, they will pass, its always better to make new starts.

Hope everything gets better soon.

hugs and best wishes.

Cee said...

Sorry you are going through this in your life but in hope see beginings in things that hurt I say. But then again, what do i know :)

Kimberly Swan said...

I'm sure that was a difficult decision for you to make, and clearly it's causing you pain. Now you begin life just for you, and as hard as it seems today it will get easier with each week that passes. You only live once, enjoy every minute of it that you can. :)

T.C. Robson said...

Everything's going to be okay, Katie. You're going to be just fine. I apologize greatly for this happening, but it's not the end of the world. There's a reason for everything, and you'll soon see a big, shiny, polished silver lining to all this. A new beginning and a fresh start are never bad things. Scary as all hell, but never bad. We're all here for you, so if you ever need someone to just talk (or type) to, you've got a long roster of people waiting to listen (or read).

Tia Nevitt said...

My sister was about your age when she divorced, and the situation was much the same. Take some time and enjoy being single again. You are young enough to start over. Don't worry about stigmas. No one can take away your self respect.

dingobear said...

(hug)

NouveauBlogger said...

Sorry for your situation Katie. It must be very difficult for you. Hang in there! Kimberly is right, I'm sure it will get better as time passes.

Christopher said...

Hi, I just stumbled across your website and I am intrested in your story. Best of Luck and get a cellphone that give you unlimited minutes, like T-Mobile, it's great.

Robert said...

Hey Katie, really sorry to hear about the divorce. I can't imagine how that must be, so best of luck and just take advantage of being single :)

SQT said...

People who act like divorce never happens are total hypocrites. Let's see.. My mom-- divorced once (remarried), brother #1-- divorced, brother #2 divorced (remarried), Sister-in-law--divorced (remarried), In-laws-- contemplating divorce...

You get the picture.

I'm glad you're happy being on your own. I think once all your friends and family acclimate to the fact that you're on your own, things will seem normal again. Then you can have the oh-so-fun job of trying to fend off all the blind dates. (I'll go away now)

Ron Simpson said...

My mom was married at 16 and divorced by 21. She had a harder situation with 2 little kids in tow. She met my dad (stepdad, but I call him dad) a few years later. They fell in love and got married. They are still married after over 34 years. So if some people have a problem with a divorced woman, rest assured there are plenty that don't.
I know it had to be a hard decision to make. But if it was the right decision for you, then I do not blame you. You only have one life, you might as well make it the best you can.
I have a theory on relationships. I call it the "theory of diminishing returns". When a relationship gets to the point that you are putting more into it than you are getting out of it, and it shows no sign of improving, then it is time to pack it in and leave. In the end, nobody can make you happy, your happiness comes from within. I hope it all works out for you.
You know if you need any support or help, I am only an email away. I have very few people in this world that I call a friend, and I count you as one of them.

Sheila said...

Oh God, I'm so sorry Katie! I hope you will be enjoying yourself soon enough. Lots of hugs and kisses your way!!!

TerriRainer said...

Sorry to hear that Katie! I won't give you any of the cliche'd crap that I heard when I got divorced, just know that everything happens for a reason :)

Bill said...

I'll be praying for you Katie. My wife and I are both on our second marriage. What we found from our first go-round is what we didn't want in a spouse and relationship. Yes, it hurts like a bitch now, no matter which side of the fence your on, but with time things will get better and the pain will go away.
Bill

Kahnee said...

Much Love, Katie....

Manchu said...

This blog is about books so all I can say is to read The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. This book will leave you more satisfied when you finish it.

T.C. said...

Hi, Katie...how are you doing? Everything all right? Let me know. I got myself a new blog - I'll have it up on Thunderweasel here soon.