If Pinterest and Target are to believed, it’s never too early to start planning for the next holiday. While this year I pulled a Fay Wray for Halloween with the kids (seriously, how do you say no to a giant gorilla hand?), there are many other costumes I could have donned as well based on real life and not fiction. One year I’m going to gather up all you fabulous divorced moms and we’ll have one hell of a costume party. Here are some of my ideas on what to come as, but feel free to add in your own.
Costume: Dress up in boxing gear or as the bag itself.
Slams! Punches! Jabs! You’re swaying to try to avoid abuse with every email, remark and message sent by kid. Yet the hits just keep on coming, no matter how much you try to avoid them. You are a punching bag. You’re divorced. You’ve both moved on. Why are you still his target? Maybe it’s brain damage from years of fights.
Costume: Come as you are.
You hear whispers among “concerned friends” about your fate as a divorcee. Your see your circle of people feeling better about their own lives because, well, at least their husbands didn’t leave them. Yep, you’ve become the town cautionary tale. Own it. It’s way more fun than being a role model. Trust me.
Costume: A clear box, with you inside, filled with dollar bills, and a little fan blowing them around as you try to grab hold.
You’re raising the kids, volunteering at school and sports and doing paid work too (but every mom is a working mom). But yes, you’re also getting child support and (whisper now, as it seems to be a dirty word) alimony. Still, he accuses you of working the system and getting more than you’re entitled too. A favorite phrase of his is “That’s why I pay you child support,” when he doesn’t want to do something. An excellent response is, well, nothing, because he’s a jerk who doesn’t deserve a response. But say it in your head for fun anyways. I’ll start you out: “No, you pay me child support because you cheated and we live in a no-fault, community property state.” Boom.
Costume: Wrap yourself in tin foil or shiny fabric. Spray your hair silver and have mirrors.
Those statements he makes to you: “You don’t care about the children.” “You don’t spend enough time with them.” “You didn’t realize they were sick.” “You let them have too much screen time.” “You need to be a better role model.” Yeah, those are all about him. So wrap yourself in reflective material, hold up a mirror and let those accusations bounce back to him.
The Negligent Parent
Costume: No costume necessary!
“The kids are dirty! Their clothes smell! Their hair is too long! You forgot to pack xyz for them when they came to me for the weekend! They didn’t bring xyz back with them to you because you’re not teaching them responsibility!” Yeah, thanks. I got it. I suck. Blah blah blah. No one else has complaints about your kids. And you forgot to mention that they’re getting great grades, enjoying sports, do volunteer work, are funny and smart and generally well rounded. But that’s probably all from him. Right?
Ghost of Your Former Self
Costume: Veil yourself in tulle or cheesecloth and pile on the purses, jewelry or other goodies you had to sell in your divorce. Maybe throw in some cut out labels and price tags for good measure. Lay off the personal grooming.
Never mind that you didn’t want those things anymore, and hadn’t ever really. Other people notice that your wedding ring is gone, along with all the pretty adornments of your former life. Revel in your satisfaction of knowing that money can’t buy happiness, even if you don’t believe it yet yourself.
Personal Secretary/Cruise Director
Throw on some Mad Men chic or jaunty all white wear and an overly perky smile either way.
No, really. I’m so sorry your new wife/girlfriend/mistress plus your combined staff/minions can’t help you keep track of your kid’s school, sports and social events. I’ve tried to help you by getting you included on all the email lists and forwarding you all the information. I’m sorry you lost hard copies that I gave you. (Though somehow you blamed me for that too. Impressive.) But, see, we’re no longer married. And you’re mean. And I’m a bitch (so you’ve told me again and again). Why would I keep enabling you by providing this information again and again? Get your shit together.
Costume: Trench coat, sunglasses, fedora and a magnifying glass.
Will he show up for the holiday concert? Will the extra time he requested with the kids actually be used? What’s his new residential address where he’ll have your children during his custodial time? Is he going to follow through on the call he promised? Why does he need their passports for the weekend? You need super sleuthing skills to discern any information from your paranoid ex.