It amazes me how self-sufficient I have become since I got divorced. All of the little things my ex used to take care of like home repairs, yard work and programming TIVO suddenly became things I had to learn how to do on my own, without any tutorial from him. It’s not like I had the opportunity to tap him on the shoulder when he was heading out the door and say “Oh by the way, could you show me how to change the belt on the vacuum cleaner and that trick you do with the screwdriver that keeps the faucet from dripping?” Nope. He was outta there and I was on my own.
The good news is that I have figured out most of this stuff and found that when I didn’t know how to fix a problem I could hire someone who did. I’ve discovered that I am actually pretty handy around the house which is something I surely never would have known had my ex not pissed me off to the point where I wanted to kill him. But since he definitely wasn’t worth a trip to prison (I relish my freedom and culinary choices way too much for that) trying to learn things for which I was sure I had no acuity was my only real option. Let me tell you, there’s absolutely nothing that forces you to become a resourceful person like being painted into a corner.
When it came to tallying up the pros and cons of being on my own, the items I registered in the plus column far outweighed the minuses. For instance, there are no more remote control wars in my house. I can eat the same thing for supper four days in a row out of a single bowl and I don’t have to share the wine. And when it comes to getting the 52 pound bag of dog food from my car to the kitchen, I am proud to say I have perfected the pull, drop and drag method (pull it out of the car, drop it on the back porch, drag it into the house) so I don’t need him for that anymore either. I don’t have to share my bed unless I choose to do so and the water bill is half what it once was; my ex was obsessive about doing laundry and taking overly-long showers.
All that being said I must admit that being on my own took some getting used to. Even though I was certain I wanted to divorce my husband, deep down I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make it on my own. Afraid I would feel lonelier than I did justified. After all, we humans aren’t meant to lead solitary lives. We’re meant to couple up and procreate and build a family; be part of a community. But I have learned that I am happy here on my own and although I’m not a Mrs. anymore I’m not missing out on as much as I thought I might. If I’ve learned anything from this it’s that one isn’t the loneliest number after all and although that might be a small comfort, in the end, it’s all I need to know.