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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Late night Musical thoughts

The husband- the sweet, sweet husband ‘o mine- downloaded all my songs for me last night. The old iPOD. I’m so not technically savvy that I can’t figure out how to turn the thing off (you don’t turn it off, do you?) BUT I have 58 songs on it.

Thank you, husband.

The only thing I had to do in return was let him kick my butt at Trivial Pursuit (that’s right, you heard me, I LET YOU kick my butt. LET. YOU.)

So after the husband and the Gavinator went to bed, I stayed up late listening to all the songs and getting all weird and lost in thoughts like I do when I listen to music that reminds me of stuff. Most of the music reminds me of my senior year of college and graduate school. I talk about that time in my life- that time that is now a decade ago- a lot because while it was a fun time in my life filled with all night parties, football games, road trips, roommates and friends, late night studying sessions at Eat-N-Park, and of course, boys; it was also an important time in my life. I made a lot of decisions during those three years that I still feel the impact from today.

The decision to go to graduate school, the decision to take an internship and assistantship, the decision to leave the safety of 4 roommates after 4 years and go at it alone, the decision to only apply for jobs out of state and take a job in South Carolina, and of course, the decision to settle and make a life with someone I didn’t love: the ex.

What strikes me as odd is that although the ex was obviously a big part of my life during the latter part of that three year time frame, nothing reminds me of him. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Perhaps it is because physically he was a part of my life but emotionally he staked zero ground. Or perhaps like after someone dies and the one awful memory of that someone lying in a coffin is enough to overshadow all the zillions of wonderful and happy memories because it is the last memory; the traumatic final months when we were married and then divorced are enough to overshadow anything that may have been good because they were the last of our time together.

Divorce is strange and really, not totally unlike death. It is the death of a relationship and of all communication and contact with someone. There are always the memories of the time together but they can- and usually are- overshadowed by the end.

I don’t understand divorce.

My parents divorced when I was 16. My mom moved out two days after my 16th birthday and I remember that my friend, Jodi, had spent the night and we were both pissed that the movers were making so much noise so early in the morning (and by early, I mean 16 year old early… like 11:00 am) and I was so embarrassed that my parents were so uncool and would wake us up just to split up after 20 plus years of marriage. I remember not being the least bit shaken by their divorce. I went to dance practice the next day and I was told to take my costumes home before coming back for after dinner practice but since I went to my mom’s house for dinner and I couldn’t leave my costumes there, I had to bring my costumes back with me. My dance instructor was all “I told you to take your costumes home” and I was all “I didn’t go home, I went to my mom’s” and she was all “WHAT? Your parents divorced!?! You poor thing!!” and immediately took into her office to offer her condolences and to offer a shoulder to cry on and I was all “Huh? I’m fine. No really, I’m fine.”

And I was fine. Maybe I had read enough Judy Blume books to know that the divorce wasn’t my fault and my parents still loved me but honestly, I think I was totally fine with it because I was a self-centered, spoiled brat who was totally in it for ME and no one else. My parents’ divorce meant I got to live alone with my dad- a dad who traveled ALL the time- and pretty much do what I wanted when I wanted. Divorce meant my parents would be focusing on themselves, rebuilding their lives, and starting all over again and hopefully they would be too into their own lives to worry about what I was doing. I just wanted to fly under the radar. I knew they loved me. I didn’t need them all up in my business and showing up at all my school functions and waiting up on me when I came staggering in way past curfew to prove it to me.

I was fine with divorce- in fact, I had the social live to prove I was almost too fine with divorce- but that didn’t mean I understood it. The only time I got upset over the divorce was on my mom’s birthday the November after she moved out. My dad was driving me to school and I asked him to mail mom’s birthday card for me. I asked him what he got for her or if he had a card to mail to her. He sort of laughed and told me that they were divorced and divorced people don’t buy birthday cards for each other. WHAT? I was shocked. What do you mean? You spend 20 some years with a person and have three kids together and you stop remembering their birthdays just because you’re divorced? How could he not send her a birthday card?

I get it now. The ex husband’s birthday has passed 5 times since our divorce and it has never even registered as a blip on my radar screen… never mind provoke the desire for me to send a birthday card his way. I don’t even have to force myself to not think about it. I just don’t. I don’t “not” remember his birthday out of spite or secretly want to mail him a pig’s heart with a nail through it, I just don’t anything it.

I get it but I don’t understand it. I get it because I feel that way now but I don’t understand it because vowing to love someone forever to have it not only end in divorce but also in what is essentially the death of a person- even though they’re not dead- is so strange. You don’t send birthday cards to someone when they’ve died, after all.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can get your perpsective on your ex since there were no children involved. Nothing ties you to the ex. and it really is like a death. But when children are involved, I can't see the whole not ever thinking about the ex. I, mean, there is a living, breathing example of the ex's existence. Sometimes a clone of the ditched spouse.
but yeah, I don't think one can ever really understand divorce...
great post btw:)

Heather

11:38 PM  

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