Monday, December 11, 2006

The Power of Words

The divorce papers came in the mail the other day. The word divorce is thrown around in today's society so casually that it no longer has the sting it did in the 50s when my mother filed for divorce. At that time, she was shunned, lost custody of the "friends" (seriously, she did not get one friend in the divorce), received not one dime of child support, and had her entire bank account depleted by my father. As it was, practically no friends were allowed to come visit the 4 of us sisters because "there was no man in the house." (Forget the fact that the man who previously occupied the small apartment beat my mother and sisters, drank like a fish, and screwed every woman in town.) So 5 decades ago the word divorce was fraught with stigma and secrecy, clouded in fear and panic that it was contagious.

But today, the word is practically meaningless. The divorce papers did not read divorce. (I have to read them again to see if that word is anywhere on there.) Instead, the legal term dissolution of marriage is enblazened across the page. Yikes! Isn't dissolution a scientific term for when you have a science class and show the students what certain chemicals can do to things? And I thought about other instances where the reality of words is shocking. A friend who suffered a miscarriage was shocked when the insurance papers read spontaneous abortion. That's its medical term. Yikes! And for anyone who has gotten (or whose partner has gotten) a vasectomy knows that during the consultation the words permanent sterilization are bantied about. Yikes, doesn't that sound like something the Nazi's did? I kept asking the urologist why he kept using that term, and he said that if he used the word vasectomy, the patient thinks it can be reversed too easily. It is startling to hear permanent sterilization, but it's effective. So effective that my STBX husband fainted at the consultation. But that's another story.

So a divorce is called a dissolution of marriage? So my 27 years is in a Petri dish with acid being poured over it. Yikes. This would be so much easier if I hated the guy. And so much harder if I loved the guy. I do neither. So after I read the papers, I signed them.



At 12:10 PM, Blogger Rasika Mahabal said...

Hi, Nice blog. Though I have not read it entirely, I liked whatever I read till now.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Stacie said...

The thing about a petri dish, is that once it is washed, and new specimens added, new experiments will grow...and so begins a new chapter in your life!

At 1:02 PM, Blogger greekchickie said...

Very good analogy, Stacie...

It was easy for me to sign mine, too.


At 2:07 PM, Blogger Haleigh Anne said...

When you asked "Isn't that what the Nazi's did?", I thought you meant the whole renaming of things to make them sound better...they did that, too. Political correctness? YIKES!

At 8:48 PM, Blogger ~gkw said...

I not only signed mine with my first wife quickly, but took her out to eat for a celebration dinner afterwards!!


At 8:50 PM, Blogger PLANET3RRY said...

AS Dexter from Cartoon Network would say:

"It's a Fine Day FOR SCIENCE!"

At 8:29 AM, Blogger Pam said...

Yeah. Finally. Laura has to wait another year after having waited a year. Aren't you glad you don't live where she lives?

At 9:32 AM, Blogger ~gkw said...

hey sweetie... I just tagged you with the Meme that New Mom got me with!!! You're it... It's posted on my blog..

sorry! *ducks to miss hard object*

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Cindy Barb said...

Ellen, Gary's cuz here, and I have to totally agree with you on the so called "Divorce Papers". The only same thing today as it was decades ago, "THE CHILD SUPPORT" Never got a penny from my husband, then he died and left nothing to top that off. But signing them, you love -- you hate, it's a complicated thing.

At 7:44 AM, Blogger Hotlegs said...

I found your blog and feel compelled to say hi. I too am a read head, divorced and in there you go, we are practically twins.

looks like you have a great support group...tons of friends from all over the country. That is GREAT.

take care

At 7:47 AM, Blogger Hotlegs said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Laura said...

Kind of surreal, isn't it???


Post a Comment

<< Home