INDEPENDENCE & FREEDOM: DIVORCE EDITION

My rings & booze... awaiting their fate.
I've never really written about this a lot over here, but if you're a friend or a faithful reader, you would have gleaned the fact by now that I was married once.  You'd have also caught wind of the fact that I have a boyfriend, who I am most definitely NOT married to.

My EX-husband and I were together for a while before we got married and then we got married.  After about a year of marriage, it was over.  When you tell people you got married in 2007 and were separated by 2008, you get such shocked responses.  "OH! So soon after the wedding?"  You know what?  Why don't you get credit for time-served BEFORE the wedding?  There were years there.  A wedding can serve as a distraction from the rest of the relationship.  When you're preparing for a wedding, you're not even in your relationship anymore, you're party-planning and things can very easily fall by the wayside, and as you neglect your relationship you can easily ignore the problems that are there, the problems that have been and continue to grow.
I was a really pretty bride, FYI.

If I learned anything from getting married, it's this:  Don't just get married because it seems like the next natural step and progression of your relationship.  Don't get married out of the obligation of "well, we've been together X number of years, I suppose it's time to get married."  Don't do that.

I'm not jaded against marriage, per say.  Though I'm very quick to throw out a loud and assertive "DON'T GET MARRIED" to anyone who is single.  Marriage and relationships are hard work, and with the right person they are worth it.  I'm not ruling out the possibility of getting married again one day.  It will be different though.  Right now though, I'm happy and I don't need to change a thing.

On Monday, July 11, 2011, my boyfriend and I celebrated our faux-versary.  It's the day we picked to be our anniversary.  It's hard to pinpoint a day as a couple to celebrate when you got together as an adult, right?  I mean what day do we pick... we weren't kids in high school who decided to be boyfriend & girlfriend on a specific date.  Things just fell into place.  Of course though I can tell you when we first kissed, and the first time I said "I love you" and he said it to me, and all that jazz.  Relationships are a progression.  Sometimes you don't know you're even in one until it hits you like a truck that damn, you really have it hard for this person.

On Monday, July 11, 2011, after 3 long years, my divorce was officially finalized in a court of law.  I felt so good!  On my way out of the court room, I wanted to slap-five everyone else in the court like I was a basketball player making my way out of the locker room.  I was grinning really wide, and the other people in the court room who were smiling back at me were other women there.  It was "family court" so there were cases of divorce, child support and restraining orders.  Women, we are all in it together.

FREEDOM tastes like Jameson
On Saturday, July 16, 2011, Jaclyn and I went out and celebrated my divorce.  I'd said for 3 years that there was going to be a divorce party.  I'm not going to regale you with the whole story of how drunk I got, because... well because.  But I did get ridiculously shithoused.  Did you know that when you tell bartenders that you just got divorced, you get free shots?  I got a lot of free drinks that night.  I got yelled at by a bouncer when I tried to leave the bar with my drink to make a phone call.  Did you know that you can't bring a drink outside?  I didn't.  Did you know that it doesn't matter if you keep one hand on the building while you're outside?  The bouncer still gets just as mad and tells you "This ain't fucking freeze tag, go back inside."

Here's another pro-tip:  Don't get in the middle of a stranger's conversation/argument.  After I'd gotten yelled at by the bouncer and went inside, I saw a couple that looked as though they were having an argument.  I'd had several drinks and shots and thought it was my duty to mediate and help them.  So I get right in the middle of them and say "listen.... don't get married.  Stay happy, don't get married."  The guy said some more words to me... I don't know exactly what he said... but he wasn't pleased with my wisdom, and then I said something back to him that ended with "ya mother/ya face," something to that effect.  Well he got up, and made motion like there was about to be a punch coming to my face, so I ran away to the other end of the bar to the safety of my friend Jaclyn.

Girls just wanna have drinks.
I'd decided that night I would get rid of my wedding rings in some sort of cathartic and symbolic fashion.  I just had no idea what.  Just like how I figured I'd "just know" when/where to scatter my dad's ashes, I figured the time/place would occur to me when I should dispose of my rings.  And for anyone who tries to say "you should have sold them for the money!"  No.  It's not a seller's market for gold and I know what kind of hits I'm looking at for used wedding jewelery, that's just more hassle than is worth the money.  At the beginning of the evening, I put them on the table as Jaclyn and I toasted our first drinks and asked her if she had any ideas.  She said she didn't know, what was I thinking of doing?  I said that ideally, I'd like to shove them up a hobo's taint.  She said this plan was faulty, as the taint is not an orifice, and I counteracted that point with the fact that there is a little divot... I'm sure it could hold a size 6 ring.

Once we moved on to the next bar, I put the rings in my bra so I'd remember about them, but they kept colliding with my phone (I keep that in my bra when it's small purse night), so I put them on my pinky so I could see and remember I was supposed to do something.  The night progressed, I drank and danced, having fun, and at one moment I looked down and one of my rings was gone.  Good, I thought, that is what was supposed to happen.  The second ring?  As I was outside getting some air ("trying to maintain" as I call it, that blissful moment before barfing where you think you might be able to get a handle on yourself), I had a moment of clarity.  I took the last ring off my finger and threw it into 2nd Avenue.  With that catharsis behind me, I leaned my right hand on the Escalade next to me and had another catharsis:  I unabashedly puked at the curb.

This has definitely been a time of tying up all my loose ends and it feels great.

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