I was married for 989 days. This may not seem very long but I consider it to be 17 dog years. I married late in life and I had always wondered about all the things my married friends had bitched about, you know, the way women spend money, the way they are moody as hell and how they have some grand scheme for interior design that doesn’t seem to serve any purpose but to spend more money. Mine had a bingo card of stereotypical wife traits and filled the card diagonally, by longitude, by latitude, at altitude, and in a 3D attitude. When the end came, slowly, like pulling a nine inch nail out of the bottom of my foot, I discovered a whole new world.
The first discovery is that everyone, universally, after they get divorced, wants to fix something they broke. Meeting a woman who was interested in me, and willing to get naked with me, and able to get up and the morning and not feel like I was going to be a poorer man for the experience was exhilarating. Yet at her door was my baggage and I trusted a woman as far as I could throw the paper airplane I had made out of my marriage license before I burned it in plastic pool filled with gasoline. NASA called and they said the space shuttle wanted to know what that bright spot on the radar was and I screamed, “FREEDOM!” in my best William Wallace voice. This isn’t the first time the government and I have crossed paths, and you’ll come to realize neither of us likes it when this happens.
I wandered a bit once the leash was released and I met a couple who had been divorced for a few years, yet were still dating. I can’t even write that and it not sound weird. I felt like calling in a single person as a translator. Being single is not the same as being divorced. It’s the difference between being a virgin and someone who isn’t being screwed right now. Single people are undamaged goods. They can still think clearly when it comes to relationships. Getting
a divorced person to sit in judgment of a relationship is a lot like getting a shark attack victim to help you set up an aquarium.
The dating ex-s said they couldn’t live together, but they found convenient to share time with one another because of the kids. As a writer I lack the filter that keeps inappropriate questions from popping out of my mouth, so I asked them if they were having sex. Drinking people will talk about sex, and we were all drinking or this would have never come up in the first place, so they admitted, yes, sex was the reason they were dating. My sex life during marriage was akin to pleasure cruise on the Titanic an hour after the iceberg. Propeller Man had a better time at the end than I did, honestly. The thought of having ex sex for me is akin to me reliving my last traffic accident. Oh sure, there was a bang at the end, but paying that deductible was a bitch. That’s what a divorces is, really, marriage insurance where you make monthly payments and then have to pay a ton of money at the end to get things fixed right again.
And like a car that has been T-boned, once you’ve been in a wreck you will never be the same again. You’ll start to compare women to the ex once you’ve reached a certain stage in the relationship and it will never be a good thing. When she flings something you own out of the backdoor because she found it on the floor the thought, “That just plain pisses women off when I do that” won’t pop into your head. The thought, “Oh my dog she’s as insane as the last one” will pop into your head and no matter what happens next, you’ll already be looking down that same path.
I was drawn to the dating ex-s because I thought it would be a bit like watching the smoldering fuse of a bomb that hasn’t gone off yet. How do you feel about her dating someone else, I asked and he said he was cool with it as long as the guy was good to her, and wasn’t a jerk. You were a jerk she laughed and I knew with a little prodding I could make that explosion happen, but I eased towards the door. Watching two people fight when they’re married is like being in the same room as two people chained to a ceiling fan with an Exlax overdose in both of them. Being in the same room as two people fighting who have divorced one another is like having to unlock them at full speed with your mouth jammed open.
Believe it or not, I still believe in love. I still believe in marriage, and by that I mean I believe that two people can commit to one another and decide to share their lives and not only be happy, but be incredibly happy. I believe that if you find the right person you’ll know it, and even if you are wrong, terribly wrong, horribly wrong, demonically wrong to the point you have that same sense to foulness the people who voted for Richard Nixon feel, it’s still worth it. If you’re going to be a fool in life, and trust me, you are if you keep living, what else is there to be, if not a fool for love? If you are going to believe anything at all, why not believe that one day you will meet someone and you will both be very happy until death do you part? Why not buy into this? No one else has anything else to sell when it gets right down to it, and it does. The two ex-s who are dating aren’t stupid for dating, no, they are stupid because they gave up.
Mike writes regularly at his site: The Hickory Head Hermit
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