I am working on forgiving my ex-husband because I read somewhere that my life won’t be prosperous until I let go of my resentments. I carry them forth like some necessary burden, like a song I hate but can’t get out of my mind.
It’s kind of like the ice cream truck that trolls through my neighborhood every afternoon. As the tinny sound of a carnival song being played on an out-of-tune-toy- piano approaches, all I can think about is how much I hate that friggin’ truck. And just as soon as I have convinced myself that today would be the perfect day to actualize my fantasy of running after it with a baseball bat and knocking the speakers into next year, I think of the poor, crazy bastard driving the damn thing and for a moment, I am able to difuse my steadily building rage. Who is he and how can he stand to listen to that deranged music all day? I ask myself. Is this the only job the poor slob can get, for God’s sake? Is he deaf or mentally deranged or freshly released from prison? More than likely, I’ll never know the answers to these questions but for a moment they block the glare of the unwanted resentment the ice cream truck incites in me, which is a relief.
My point here is that once I take my focus off the thing that enrages me, like my ex-husband or that endless spate of tuneless, bothersome, calliope music, and focus on something else, like forgiveness or the poor bastard that drives the ice cream truck, I lighten my load considerably and maybe leave room for something good to take it’s place.
Forgiveness doesn’t come easy though. It’s a lot of work; almost a second job. And you have to begin trying your hand at it even if you don’t particularly feel the love at the beginning. My impetus to start the process was the sheer fact that I got tired of hating him and equally tired of listening to myself talk about how much. All the hating in the world won’t bring back the years I wasted or the love I never got, only wrinkles and frown lines. And there’s nothing redeeming about that.
It occurs to me that if executives in the cosmetics industry could make a fortune marketing a line of skin care products made specifically for the divorcee scorned. The marketing campaign would be a no-brainer and could say things like: “You can’t change the past but you don’t have to let it show on your face” or “You might hate him but you don’t have to hate the way your skin looks”. Because let’s face it, nothing is worse than a sad, angry divorcee except a wrinkled, sad, angry divorcee.
I’ve really thought long and hard about this (which has etched even more lines in my face) and have come up with a marketing campaign for a line of skin care products that would be great for aging divorcees everywhere. Here are a few of them:
Send Off: Send him packing, then say goodbye to wrinkles.
Wipe Out: He wiped out your bank account but you don’t need to lose your good looks too.
Enrage Erase: Erase him and his memory from your face.
Good Riddance Exfoliator: Say goodbye to him as you peel away that layer of dead, flaky skin.
Bitter Balm: You may be bitter but those frown lines don’t have show it
Never Say Dye: Did your divorce leave you with flat, lifeless-looking hair? No one will be able to tell after you use this shampoo with color enhancer.
Of course, looking good is only half the battle when it comes to surviving the aftershocks of a divorce. Feeling good, actually sloughing off unwanted anger and emotional baggage is the other half and it’s an uphill struggle from the word “Charge!” The weight of it alone would put the strongest porter to shame. But I know unless I make an attempt to forgive my ex, the trunks and valises I carry with me on a daily basis will only continue to get heavier, waterlogged with the endless flood of emotions that have nowhere to go.
And one more thing, I may be ready to forgive but I can’t forget. I’m ready to acquire a new set of luggage but I never want to forget what the contents of the last set looked like because next time around, I want them to be lighter, brighter and filled with better memories.