I was talking to a friend the other night – someone who has offered a great deal of support to me even after a brief falling out. (He would probably be surprised to know how much I appreciate that he’s back in touch & on Team Linda.) He mentioned his cousin & how she was divorced 10 years ago. At the time, she wrote about how there was so much fanfare around weddings… but not so much around a divorce.
And maybe that’s where the problem is. The wedding gets the fanfare. The marriage… not so much. After that day of flowers & beauty & love – and I have incredible memories of my own wedding… it was an amazing day & I have to say, The Ex & I did it right. But after that day, after the cake top has been put in the freezer (ours didn’t make it. cream cheese does not freeze well.), the flowers (there almost weren’t any – the florist was almost an hour late) and the Yahoo… (Yahoo? yes, The Ex was drinking Yahoo on that morning. It is featured prominently in several pictures that my sister took before the ceremony)…. After all of that…
The fanfare is gone.
It’s not that I thought there would be fanfare every day. There shouldn’t be. There should be a softening of things – a settling into life without bridal registries (The Ex: “We could choose whatever we wanted people to give us & we chose dishes?”), without RSVPs (seriously, she isn’t coming to the wedding because of how I addressed the invitation?), and without worrying about whether your earthy-crunchy bridesmaid was going to shave her legs because you chose knee-length dresses. But as all of this softening is going on, the marriage is getting no fanfare. There is routine… Friday nights with the X-Files & pizza (we knew it was time to stop this particular routine when the Domino’s delivery man commented, “Hey – you moved the couch!”). There is mundacity, there are years of trying to get pregnant & the frustration surrounding that. There is unemployment & house closings & laundry & kids & diapers.
There is no fanfare for marriage. Unless you create it. And perhaps that’s where we fell down.
And if there is no fanfare for marriage, there is definitely no fanfare with divorce.
There is paperwork – miles & miles of paperwork. (yes, I did spill wine on mine at one point. with that much paperwork it was pretty much inevitable) There are mind-numbing days in court – waiting – only to leave without even seeing the judge (The Ex always brought a book. I usually interrupted his reading with comments such as “Your lawyer is a cow.”) There are tears, nausea, and a realization that by throwing off my former PR & Marketing career & going into retail, my wardrobe has taken a hit & there aren’t too many decent court-appropriate outfits in my closet.
But no fanfare.
I offered to buy The Ex a drink when we left the court that last time. He wanted a coffee instead. He is, after all, the man who gave up coffee for Lent as his sacrifice which meant that my sacrifice that year could only be putting up with him not drinking coffee.
I went home that night & was grateful that friends had cancelled the plans we had made for that evening. I opened up a teeny bottle of champagne that had been in the fridge for probably a year & called my sister. It was a quiet end to a quiet winding down of a marriage. Fanfare be damned.