Friday, December 29, 2006

December 29th, 2006

Today is my 2 year blogiversary. Yep, I was so bored on my 25th wedding anniversary that I started a blog. What does that tell you!??

And now for the depressing letter. Get it out of the way. Moving on.

I’m writing here what I cannot send to you in a letter. So many times I wanted to pick up a pen and write you about the happenings of the last few months. I don’t ever want you to think that I don’t think about you and us every day. You have been part of my life for over 31 years. How could I not think of you every day? And today, what would have been our 27th wedding anniversary, I think of you at every twist and turn.

After that first year when we gave each other a refrigerator for our anniversary, we have not really exchanged presents or even been able to afford a nice dinner out. One year friends watched the kids while we went to dinner and it snowed and iced so bad we couldn’t get down their street to retrieve the girls afterwards. We had a night alone. I remember going out to dinner the last time in ’92 when my sister watched the kids. I hear of other friends who go on cruises for their anniversaries or give lavish gifts, and we have never been like that. A card here or there. Even friends threw us a 25th wedding anniversary party because we did not think to do so. So why is it I am thinking about us more today than I have in the past 27 years? I don’t know. Because it's over perhaps?

For years I asked for another wedding ring. I stopped wearing my wedding ring in ’95 and wondered if you even noticed. Wondered if you even knew why. It wasn’t because I stopped loving you if that’s what you thought. I was working 2 jobs to keep us going and woke up one night in a panic because my hands were so swollen that I couldn’t get the rings off. Did you even notice? So I took off all my rings, not just the wedding set, but you never said anything or noticed. Ever since we reconciled in ’99, I asked for another wedding ring. I thought surely you would have done something for our 25th. Something simple. Something inexpensive. Finally, last year, I bought my own replacement ring. I’m sure I made a big deal about it (because I really liked the ring) but it was just another example of you not listening or not caring or being embarrassed that you couldn’t figure out how to give me what I asked for in an affordable manner. I have never wanted riches, never badgered you about not being able to afford lavish gifts. Never humiliated you. I didn’t need to. I’m sure you did enough of that internally.

I swear I never planned this divorce. As much as you think I threatened divorce, I never ever thought I would leave the marriage. If I’d had this planned I would have bought luggage in preparation and not let you sign a 2-year contract for the cell phones. I just snapped one day and realized I couldn’t live this lonely existence where I did all the feeling and thinking and planning. True, I am the emotional one, the up and down one, and you have loved me consistently, ever steadily throughout the years. But I never planned to leave you once Dorothy graduated and went off to college. This was not planned. Every time we have celebrated an occasion recently as a family, I am so proud of the way we are able to work through this. But I remark to myself that nothing much has changed. We walk into a room and go our separate ways. We were able to go to a few parties this way, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and no one would have guessed we were living any differently. And it wasn’t until our screaming match last week that we had even aired our "dirty laundry." I’m sure there were a lot of times you wanted to scream at me or vice versa, but we have managed to keep this under control, and I marvel at that.

Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it hurts. We have been a part of each other’s lives since… well, since Gerald Ford was president. The girls adore you, and that will never change. I miss knowing you will always be there. You provide more for me than I will ever be able to list. It’s not something I can put down in words, put on paper. As hard as it is to fill out financial papers or sign parenting agreements, it’s much harder imagining you not there. And I’m sure you feel the same way. Sort of. I’m not sure if you will miss me because I was never sure if you noticed I was there. But deep down, I am sure my absence will leave a huge void in your life.

When we sat down Christmas Eve and "It’s a Wonderful Life" was on, I looked over and saw a tear in your eye. It caught me off-guard, and I started to weep. I asked if you were ok, and you said yes, but you weren’t. But I couldn’t tell if it was because you were imagining your life without me or just hearing "Old Lang Sine" made you misty. Either way, seeing you cry tore me up. I can’t stand the thought that I have hurt you. I know you think I am cold and callous towards our marriage, but I hope you know that this is the hardest thing I have ever done. As flagrantly as I have mentioned divorce (because it’s so prevalent in my family), I never ever thought it was this hard, and I never ever thought I would be going through this. Honest. I knew it was an option when we got married because it was rampant in my family, but I truly never thought I would go through with this. And I know you didn’t. I truly took our vows seriously: For today I love you with all my heart and I believe I always will. They were not idle words. I probably have taken you less for granted and loved you more these last few months than I have in years.

And now I love you as the father of my children. That will never ever change and never die. We have not been the best husband and wife to each other, but together we have been terrific parents. And that will never die. We will be at every graduation, weddings, births, christenings, plays & musicals as a family. I would hope we could even sit together and hold hands occasionally, proud at our accomplishments. No divorce will ever take that away from us. I want you to call when you’re in town so we can go to lunch. I will never have it in me to hate you or be angry with you. I want so much for you that our separation can never taken away. I want you to be happy and loved and appreciated. I want you to have the job of your dreams. No piece of paper will dictate my feelings. Never. I cannot ever imagine any holiday without you, and I expect to see you at that dinner table every Thanksgiving and Christmas as long as you want to be part of my family’s lives. We have been a part of each other’s lives for over half our lives. We will continue to parent together, be grandparents together, and I hope remain friends "till death do us part."


Friday, December 22, 2006

The Day the Laughter Stopped

I knew it was coming. It just couldn't last forever.

I arrived back "home" today, and, as usual, it's weird, but I decided to stay here (in the basement) because we have much to do around the house in the 4 days I'm here. Why waste it with driving back and forth between this house and my sister's house? Oldest kid came home yesterday and called me 100 times from the grocery store because she was buying groceries for her dad cuz there was no food in the house. So now the STBX wants to redo the wood floors to help sell the house (even though he would never have considered redoing them while we lived here, but that's another post). So the garage is full with crap in preparation for this alleged refinishing.

He borrowed my car to take things to Goodwill and starts to put some furniture in it that I had not "sanctioned" for giving away. I went ballistic. He now thinks I don't have a say in anything because I walked away. I explained that the house was HALF mine and the furniture was HALF mine and so was all the crap. He, at least, could consult me before giving stuff away. Especially MY stuff. We were screaming in the garage like we have never done before. So much for the laughter at Thanksgiving time. He said that since I had decided FOR him that we were getting divorced that I didn't get any say. Ohhh, back up the train, Buster. I lost it and told him that I had been telling him for years, but he just CHOSE to hear it the day I mentioned "divorce." He said, "I knew you were going to say that."

Glad he can read my mind NOW.

Wedding anniversary is next week. We haven't celebrated since 1992, basically. No dinner, no cards, no gifts. But for some reason, I am very maudlin about it. I get teary every time I hear Greensleeves. Yep, a Christmas wedding with Christmas music. Damn it.

This year's Christmas will be memorable. Go down in history memorable. Sucky memorable. Watching my furniture be sent to Goodwill memorable. Screaming in the garage memorable. Ahhh, but there's cheezy potatoes! Life is good! Merry friggin' Christmas to us all.

It'll be ok. Really. Keep filling my stocking. I love you all.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

It is better to give than receive...

Xmas Stocking
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I hate you Gary K. Wray... not really

Ok, Gary, this one's for you. And Pam, I really am thinking about my 6 weird things. Turns out, they are mostly phobias, and I never thought of myself as that phobic until I tried to list how weird I was.

A - Available/Single? It depends when the divorce is final. Can I be available before the divorce is final??? Wow, this is a tough one to start a quiz with.
B - Best Friend? Depends where I am. I have so many best friends.
C - Cake or Pie? Definitely Pie
D - Drink Of Choice? Diet Coke
E - Essential Item You Use Everyday? Computer, cell phone
F - Favorite Color? ?? green green green
G - Gummy Bears Or Worms? Bears, of course.
H - Home or Homesick? I don’t have a home right now, but I am not homesick for my old home. Does that tell you something?
I - Indulgence? Blogging and e-mailing
J - January Or February? January - not too bleak… yet. My mother hated February, and now I know why.
K - Kids & Their Names? Emily (Mabel) and Laura (Dorothy)
L - Life Is Incomplete Without? my sisters, my daughters, my friends
M - Marriage date? 12/29/79 YIKES
N - Number Of Siblings? 3 older sisters who were and are my angels
O - Oranges Or Apples? Apples, but I don’t touch the core. Oranges if they’re navel. I don’t “do” seeds.
P - Phobias/Fears? Seeds. Friday the 13th Abandonment.
Q - Favorite Quote: "Everything is ok in the end. If it's not ok, then it's not the end."
R - Reason to Smile? Two amazing young women for daughters
S - Season? Definitely autumn.
T - Tag 3 or 4 people? I would never do that to anyone.
U - Unknown Fact About Me? I can name all the presidents in order (and it really pisses me off when towns name their streets after presidents and name them in the wrong order… at least the first 5: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe. You can do what you want with the rest, but come one, folks, the first five presidential streets should be in order.)
V - Vegetable you don’t like? Beets
W - Worst Habit? Probably talking too much. Even at my age, I have to work very hard at listening more, talking less.
X - X-rays You’ve Had? I have broken a few bones in my foot. Clumsy, I guess. Hasn’t everyone fallen in a hole at the movie theater in the dark while exciting?
Y - Your Favorite Food? Would I look like “this” if I had only ONE favorite food? Ok, let’s say Potatoes, the food of my people.
Z - Zodiac Sign? Leo


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.