September 13th, it was a Friday. Just a year and two days after our last show of joint caring, Husband #1 and I ended our marriage with a lack of sound and fury.
Our marriage came to a close the same way it began: in a courthouse. We were married by a JP, on a Friday. Two college grads with mounds of student loans in a strange city with no family in the vicinity. I wore a black sundress with a very small floral vine pattern. Even when I bought my outfit, the words whispered in the back of my head:
Thank you, Laura Ingalls Wilder, or whatever book I picked up that little ditty from while voraciously reading in my youth. I decided to thumb my nose at that bit of nonsense.
No, I didn’t wear pearls. We were too poor for me to afford them, and I remembered Jacqueline Bouvier and the saying about pearls foretelling a marriage filled with tears and hardship. Even in my youth, I wasn’t willing to tempt ALL wedding myths.
It wasn’t that I didn’t dream of a big wedding. I did (and still have a magazine clipping of a Demetrios dress in my personal papers file. No, that’s not the dress. I just liked this modern version so I thought I would share with the rest of the class). I cried a year later when we watched Father of the Bride. But we were too darn poor and struggling to start a fresh life as new adults.
Now it was a Fateful Friday again, only this time Husband #1 was bringing me my copy of the divorce decree. I didn’t go to the courthouse. I went to get my hair cut and permed instead (don’t judge me until you’ve walked a humid day in my flat hair).
It’s funny. I know the story behind Friday the 13th being unlucky. I’m not a Knight Templar. Yet somehow I remember our divorce day being on the Day of Bad Luck. Maybe it’s because Husband #1 brought the divorce papers to my salon and I met him for a brief moment with a head full of perm curlers.
Not my best look.
Maybe I wanted to be remembered the way another divorced friend of mine appeared on her day in court: tall, stately, red hair blazing, and oh-so-thin. She looked good. She left a favorable impression. The kind of impression that haunts a man.
Perm curlers just weren’t doing it for my final moments as Mrs. Husband #1.
I did give him the skinniest years of my life. I would have liked to look stately and regal and triumphant, like some Greek Goddess. But that’s just not in my cards. I’m built like an Eastern European farm wife. I hail from hearty peasant stock. Breathtakingly beautiful just doesn’t flow from short and stocky.
I’ll take fun and perky as my descriptors instead.
Husband #1 saw me in my human form – cleaning toilets (why is the woman in that picture smiling?), waking up with morning breath, having bad hair days, and wearing baby puke down my back. Motherhood isn’t for the faint of heart. I may have been a regal statue at one time but I kept sliding off of the pedestal when someone’s boogie nose needed suctioning out with that blue ball thingy.
I was alone again on this Divorce-iversary so I made myself a beautiful swordfish steak with parsley-caper butter, wild rice and a glass of wine for lunch. Then I sat down and watched a marathon of Sex and the City.
Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with. ~Carrie Bradshaw