Saturday, August 3, 2013

Divorce Decree

I remember very clearly the first social gathering I went to after my ex and I called it quits. Friends called and asked if I'd like to come to dinner with them and their children. I told them I'd be delighted. Then they asked the question I knew was coming and that I was dreading. "And will Kevin be joining us?" I wasn't ready to spill all the beans, so I politely said no, thank you, and made some excuse about him having a prior commitment.

And, it's like that, isn't it? You get to be known as the couple rather than the individual. I was no longer Barb. I was Barb and Kevin. As if we'd been conjoined. I know. People do that out of politeness. I get it. You don't invite one over for dinner without extending the invitation to the other. I'm the same way. Even though I was trying to, shall we say, re-individualize myself, I still thought of myself as Barb and Kevin.

Maybe it would have been easier if I'd detested him. I didn't. Maybe it would have been easier if he'd hurt me somehow. He hadn't. We had simply reached a point where, it was obvious, both of us were miserable and it wasn't doing either of us any favors to stay together. One of us had to be brave enough to call it quits, and that happened to be me. I took no pleasure in it. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I'd made a commitment and I was about to stand up and tell the world, "Hey. Sorry. I was wrong."

So, I went to the gathering alone. When I got off the subway near their house, I was caught in a torrential downpour. Guess what? I don't believe in umbrellas. I was sopping wet by the time I got to their door. Soaked and nearly manic with delight. I felt energized and free. The eldest son said, "Y'know. I can't really see auras, but if I could see yours, it would probably be glowing. There's something different about you." I laughed and said, "Well, I'm a soggy mess...?" He smiled and said, "Uh huh, and it's as if there's a light shining through all that water." It was the first time I felt I'd made the right decision.

But I'm not here to talk about my divorce. That was over 15 years ago - ancient history.

Recalling that long ago pre-dinner conversation the other day, I thought, what if we did that to all the things we don't like in our lives or about ourselves. What if we got to a point where we said, "Hey. I'm miserable, you're miserable. How about we just go our separate ways?" What if we said that to our addictions, to the stuff that fills our lives and keeps us from our dreams, to the people who suck the energy from us, to endless hours of TV and internet and... anything really. To whatever keeps us from being our authentic selves. How about we just divorce the unnecessary shit that's cluttering our lives?

How about that? Is it pleasant? No. Is it easy? No. But we owe ourselves that much consideration.

We all deserve to shine like raindrops dancing in the streetlight.


  1. Touche. Been there in that moment when someone told me I had glowed and got younger (and it wasn't a guy trying to date me). Hmmm. Applying to other things...not a bad idea!

  2. Oh, Barb, I really needed to read this right about now. I'm having a difficult time not being "Cyndi & Mike", and it's SUCH an adjustment. Even tho I'm not egotistical enough to KNOW that this was not written for / about me, I made it personal and it made me smile...

    1. It was written for all of us. :-) I'm glad it helped.

  3. I found you through Blessed are the Weird. Thank you for your thoughts, they make me think:)

    1. Hi Lila,

      Thanks for stopping by!! Always happy to have another "Weirdian" on board.


  4. Fabulous concept, divorcing our shit. Your posts always make me think.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.