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April 21, 2005

I got served.

I'm feeling funny today. No, not hah-hah funny. Just plain old funny. So if you came her for the comedy, come back another day, we're on a comedy hiatus (again).

Last night I arrived home to Chez Spinster to find this:


Divorce papers.
(By the way, my mom will be horrified that I took a picture of my divorce papers and put them on the Internets.)

I knew it was coming, of course. But although I talked to Mr. X several times during Tax Week, he had failed to mention that, oh, you know, he had filed for divorce. When I held the papers in my hand, I didn't even cry. Maybe ... I'm numb? I know I'm profoundly sad. Even when you expect The End and know it's coming, it's a shock.

I did the very best I could. I was young when I got married, but not fresh out of high school or anything. I was old enough to know better. And ya'll, I loved being married. I'm Southern, and old-fashioned, and I wanted to be his wife and wear a ring and love him 'til the day I died. Marriage at a certain age is more than love, it's status and life and adulthood. And I was RIGHT THERE. I was married. And loved it.

We spent almost ten years together, figuring it all out. And I loved him the best I knew how to at the time. I needed love in my life, and still do. I need love in my life. And divorce is crazy, at first you feel like it's killing you. Then you wonder why you aren't DEAD ALREADY. Goddamn, just KILL ME, please!

Because of my family and my friends, I made it through Christmas and New Year's, and every day in between. I have called my parents at midnight, crying. They listened, and then somehow -- I do not know how -- made me laugh. My mom once talked me off the ledge by telling me how my 80-year-old grandma wanted to meet up with Mr. X in a dark alley. My grandma is one tough cookie. And, as my mom pointed out, Mr X. HAS GOT NO BALLS. Her words, ya'll. (My family is the best.) And Jennifer stayed with me during an entire night in which I did nothing but listen to Patsy Cline and drink Jack Daniel's out of a coffee cup.

[I have two fantasies in my mind for how you act when life is hard. 1) You listen to Patsy and drink Jack out of a coffee cup. 2) You lay on the couch and eat Cheetos off your chest. This is my vision of dealing with life. I DO NOT KNOW WHY.]

And after Patsy and Jack and moments of pure weakness ("Please. Don't Go.") he still left and made happy-happy with his new girlfriend and I have our four cats and our memories and oh, yeah, apparently a drinking problem. But I am still alive, and that says something.

I was most afraid of the label. DIVORCED. "Well, you know, she's divorced." The Scarlet letter "D" of failure. And in addition to being old-fashioned, and Southern, I am also a Type A personality and I FINISH what I STARTED. I am an ACHIEVER. Let's be honest ... divorce was not in my game plan.

Unbeknownst to me, divorce sends you on this path of self-exploration that try as you might, you cannot escape. And when I started this fucked-up journey of completely unwanted self discovery, I learned two things. One: You can't be anything but yourself. Two: Life is short, but it is wide.

Before I moved to California, I tried desperately to lose my Southern accent. I wanted to be edu-macated like these west coast folks. After all, who in their right mind would want a loopy dixie girl in their office or in their home? Or in their heart? Or in their bed? In my mind I held an an idea of who I wanted to be and set out to become this person, The New Me. As it turns out, even The New Me with the (sort of) Educated Accent failed, and was imperfect, and ate Cheetos off her chest.

So in the past few months I've just gone back to being the Old Me, she's kinda nutty but I like her. She's country and has an affinity for beer and she's about to be divorced with four cats and some serious debt and very bad taste in music. She's taken up knitting and now apparently talks about herself in the third person. But she's an all right gal. And if people don't like her, or her animals, or her quirks, then fuck them AND their little dogs AND the horse they rode in on. You cannot be something you are not.

All you can be is what you are.
Failures and all.

Posted by laurie at April 21, 2005 10:39 AM