It’s been almost a month since I got this text at work:
Got a letter saying everything is done and final.
So that’s how I knew I was divorced.
As I started to share this news, I realized that I did not anticipate how awkward the next stage of the conversation would be.
Because most people we encounter don’t really want to “go there” with you during daily life, so instead they offer something innocuous and brief to be polite and to quickly move on with their day. The classic, uncomplicated “heyhowareyouI’mgoodthanks” interaction we have 17 dozen times each day.
But nothing about a divorce is brief. Or innocuous. Or uncomplicated.
So this is what happened:
Hey! How are you?
I’m fine thanks.
You sure? You look especially like a bridge troll today.
Well my divorce was just finalized.
Oh. *eyes dart around. pulse quickens. dessert cravings intensify.* Congrats?
I got the VERY AWKWARD AND UNCOMFORTABLE “Congrats” several times within a week. And every time I didn’t know how to respond other than, “Maybe?”
So I thought I would list how it feels to be divorced, one month in:
How it Feels to Be Divorced
- Getting to eat dinner in bed every night
- Still sleeping on only one side of that bed
- Getting unnecessarily panicky that the only kind of mayonnaise allowed in the house during my marriage had recently gone through a re-brand but Former Husband may not be aware of this and he may be confused the next time he buys groceries and WILL HE BE OKAY?
- Staying late at work if I want to
- Eating ice cream for dinner (or not eating dinner) if I want to
- Going out for a drink if I want to
- Realizing that I haven’t made eye contact with a man for 7 years and also realizing that doing this requires intentional practice and conquering very real fear and anxiety
- Watching only the worst, brain candy stuff on Netflix
- Tired. Everything is relentlessly NEW.
- I’ve never been electrocuted, but when the guy taking my dinner reservation cannot understand my new last name and instead asks if I have another name I could give so I must give my married name and say, “Hamilton. Like the musical.” and that is quickly accepted as my last name, might come close.
- Learning about myself again
- Dying a little when marking “Single” on tax forms
- Getting super excited/nervous over a first date again
- Being a little sad about going to a gala alone
- Being a little excited about going to a gala alone (don’t need to BABYSIT HURRAY)
- Accountable and independent — who kills bugs and builds furniture and researches cars to buy and carries the 60-pound dog? I do.
- Agonizing over what to do with the wedding ring
- Agonizing over if I should get a tattoo to replace the wedding ring
The list above is as much to remind myself of the good stuff, as it is to remind you, dear reader, that for people who are going through a life change, nothing is uncomplicated. A great tip I read was to always ask people, “How are you doing TODAY,” because their list may be as crazy as mine. (probably not … but maybe. :))
Until next time, xoxoxxoxo’s