My mom gives me magazines. Lots and lots of magazines. Mostly People, some Star (don't judge, you'd read 'em too, admit it), and some of the more matronly mags like Good Housekeeping (now you can judge, I won't be hurt) and Ladies Home Journal. I separate them and put them to good use around the house: a few in the upstairs bathroom (that's the bathroom that in theory is supposed to be for me and Molly, but judging from the pee splatter that I clean up daily, I think some boys use it too), some in the mancave bathroom, a few in the living room and the rest in my gym bag.
I happened to have about 3 minutes of me time the other day, so I began picking things up around the house. A blurb on the cover of Ladies Home Journal caught my eye...an excerpt from Nora Ephron! I decided to put off the picking up for another month, sat down with the magazine and prepared myself for the delicious treat that is Nora.
She didn't disappoint. The article was titled "The Ex Factor" and if you can believe it, it was about divorce. You can read it here. She had me at the first line: The most important thing about me, for a big chunk of my life, was that I was divorced.
I am at living in that chunk right now. And I hate it, but hearing that even the great Nora Ephron felt this way was comforting. I wish, with all my heart, that I could speed up this stretch of time, if only to get past this big blob of feelings and hurt and growth and change. Sometimes it seems as though I am getting over it, that I am making progress to becoming just Jenny, not Jenny the Divorced One or Jenny the Single Mom. I'll be feeling relatively normal, like everyone else for a few days, and then BOOM. A reminder will come and shove me back into that corner of confusion and disarray. That lonely corner where divorced women go.
The reminders can be subtle: a kid at school will ask me about my husband. "I don't have a husband" I always reply. They either shrug it off, or ask more questions, "Why? Why don't you have one? All mommies have one."
The mail...almost every single day I get something addressed to him. That was really fun when some wedding cards came, congratulating Big Daddy and Secretary on their nuptials.
The reminders can be glaringly obvious, of course. When the kid's behavior has me at DEFCON 1 and I'm stressed and tired and I want desperately to be able to look over at the father of my kids and wail, "IT'S YOUR TURN" but of course I can't...because I'm divorced. When they were a little bit younger and the barf disease would rip through our house like the Tasmanian Devil, and I was on my 5th tour of emptying the barf bowl, ready to puke myself, and most moms would have a husband there to help change vomit-strewn sheets and pajamas, it was oh so very obvious that I was divorced.
But, like all awful wounds, this one is healing. It will leave a scar, and not a small one, but I'm healing.
There was another line in the story that I liked.
And I survived. My religion is Get Over It. I turned it into a rollicking story. I wrote a novel. I bought a house with the money from the novel.
I've been threatening to write a book for a long, long time. I started it, a couple of years ago and got to Chapter 7, but haven't even looked at it in ages.
It's a fiction tome, a funny yet poignant look at how one woman's life is turned upside down when her husband has an affair and does the unthinkable...leaves her for the bimbo. The book actually bears a strong likeness to this blog, come to think of it. But of course, writing a story about a fictitious woman, albeit a woman a lot like me, gives me a little more creative freedom (ie., the ability to describe in greater detail the finer points of my marriage and divorce). "All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental" and all that jazz.
Reading this bundle of words and paragraphs from Ms. Ephron inspired me that day. I reserved a copy of Heartburn at our local library, for starters. And I began to think about that book I started writing. Began to wonder if mayhap I should start adopting Nora's religion of Get Over It and pen my own rollicking story. Or finish the one I've started.
All names will be changed, of course. To protect the insolent.