Divorce: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

I’ve decided that Divorce is the gift that keeps on giving, instead of the thing that cut me off at the knees, leaving a barrage of scars. But getting here was a long haul.

And, I’m not saying that in a snarky or sarcastic tone, really.

Since my divorce, I have learned so many new things and am energized and excited in ways I never thought possible, especially at the beginning.  I have updated my resume (this seems easy until you consider my college roommate. She found her most recent resume on a floppy disc), interviewed for many jobs and am on job three post-divorce. I have made new friends, met new people, and learned new things. During my eight days at job number one, I found my lip gloss soulmate (it’s a thing) and learned how to use two monitors. During job number two,  I found new restaurants, stores, and deeper appreciation for cultural differences. Job number three led to my illustrious writing career and without it, you wouldn’t be reading this.

I used to want to stay home every night and watch tv. I still like doing that (way more than I should) but, looking back on my marriage (dinner, watch favorite shows, costco on saturday) that now feels like waiting for my turn to die. Now, I am writing, hanging with friends, finding new things to do. I used to want us to agree on all of our kid-related decisions. We didn’t. Still don’t. But, now I know that we won’t always agree and there is nothing I can do about it. So, I do my thing and he can do his. I have peace.

We had a lot of money. A lot of money. Now, I don’t have a lot of money. I learned how to do more with less, building better relationships with my kids in the process. And, teaching them you don’t need money to enjoy things and you don’t have to be in the front row to enjoy the show.  I’m not arguing that money doesn’t make things more fun, but fun can be had without. I am not necessarily materialistic, but I loved my home and my really nice car. Now, I am free as a bird, not defined by what I drive or where I live. Plus, I’ve learned to find joy and calm even when things are tight.

Before, I wanted my friends and their husbands to like us and want to hang out with us. We had some like that. But, now I have found that I can choose (and choose, I do) who I hang out with and what I do. Much easier and no stress. What can suck about only spending time with the people you choose?

What used to be a loss of all of my holidays has given me the permission to do different things, to make or break traditions. I spent one Thanksgiving or Christmas at the movies. Not crowded. Especially the chick flicks. The theater was filled with men and kids. Which only served to remind me; you don’t have to do all that work, spend all that money, while the ingrates go to the movies. And, you don’t have to spend time with his relatives, especially the assholey ones. Traditions are important, but we have made it our tradition to be flexible and try new things. Instead of making all of the decisions, we make decisions together. While that is more “friendy” than “parenty,” we all enjoy doing the things that we choose to do together.

While I was married, I was worried about my future for a variety of reasons. Now I have a plan for my future that excites me so, I cannot wait to retire. This divorce has given me the opportunity to live a second chapter, or start a whole new book. It has given me strength I never knew I had. It has given me new friends. It has given me new traditions and happier holidays. It has taught me I am creative and flexible and smart. It has given me freedom and joy. It has taught me a lot about parenting. I don’t know if I am a better parent, but I am a different one. I have always been open minded, but now I am not just open, I am receptive to new things.

The most surprising thing, though, is how this experience has enriched my children’s relationships with their parents. In my home, we spend almost all of our time together. If we watch television, we do it together. If we go to the movies, shopping, out to eat, we do it together. We take short road trips and go on local “adventures.” I try not to make other plans, waste time online, or talk on the phone when my kids are home and we are together. While divorce may make it easier to “play” us, it also makes it more difficult to have a favorite parent. I am not sure if this better, but I know if we were married, the relationship would be primary.

While all of these things are true, they are not reasons to divorce. I think it is way better for families to stay together. When that isn’t possible, you need to go through it. It sucks a lot of the time, but some moments of joy seep through. Everyday, I find reasons why divorce keeps giving me presents. And, I am thankful. It wasn’t easy and I had to choose happiness – something that is more difficult than it sounds.

The best thing…divorce has turned me into a perfect girlfriend; I don’t ever want to get married again and I don’t care about money.

I am totally free.

You Have Arrived!

Today, I found my answer to the question, “What do you do?”  My answer now is: “I use Google Maps everywhere I go because when I reach my destination, Google maps says, ‘you have arrived””

I love that! I have arrived. I love hearing it and it makes my day. Simple girl, I know.

And it solves my issue of whether or not to respond with my boring job or my exciting, fun erotica job.  I mean, really, why should anyone get all the good stuff in the first few minutes? They should have to work for that shit.  

When I thought of that last line, it amused me, so I left it. But, now that I think about it, I have changed some things in my experienced years. I no longer treat each new person I meet as a friend. I treat them like a potential friend. While this may be second nature for some, it is a new skill for me. I really pay attention to who is asking me questions, what types of questions they are asking, and how they respond to my answers.  I have learned a ton. 

A few weeks ago, I was in one of my local haunts when the bouncer (younger, hot, studly) approached me to compliment me on my outfit. I have known him for years, he is always pleasant and calm.  We have never exchanged names or numbers, but we have said hello.  And, the one time Jamie (partner in crime) decided to bring her own alcohol, he was very nice.  She had it in an opaque water bottle. She, like me, hates being invisible and waiting to get served. If I’m going to take my own alcohol, though, I would drink it in the bathroom. Or in the car.  Not Jamie. It was hot. And she thought we could stand 3 feet to the right of the door and that would be okay. I was trying to subtly tell her this was not okay when Younger, Hot, Stud walks over and says, “Ladies. C’mon. Really?”  She acted dumb and I just stood there wishing I had a beer.  He gave her a little lesson about where to drink her alcohol and never one time said anything like, “at your age…” And, you should know, Jamie is no fool. She finished her drink while he was being polite.

I was shocked at the compliment, though, as he had never done this before. Even my PIC looked up from her phone. I thanked him and he got called to duty. You know, drunk people aren’t the most responsible group.

About 10 minutes go by and he circles back. And, he says to me, “I’m sorry. I got called away while you were answering me. What were you saying?”

What? I can honestly say I cannot remember anyone ever doing that to me before. I sure noticed. I am looking forward to our next trip to that place and hope to raise a little cain while I am there. (wink, wink, Jamie)

I am used to being ignored. But, not only was I not invisible in this instance, I was center stage.  My “Invisible” blog generated a slew of emotions in my readers. So many who feel like me.  Invisible.

It seems like the universe has been telling me for a long time……why you gotta make things so difficult?  So, I’m not. Just like I have said before. After today I am through running after things. The ice cream man can go fuck himself.  Okay. I didn’t say it originally. But, it’s funny. Really, though. I’m done.  I’m done being sad I don’t get to hang out with my friends as much as I would like, so I’m making new friends. I’m done worrying about my teenagers hating me – they are supposed to and, to be fair, sometimes the feeling is mutual. I’m done talking to people who don’t listen. I could go on and on…but, do you get my point?  I am going to be interested in the people who are interested in me. I am going to do the things that I love with people who love it too. I quit caring what people think years ago. Now, I choose to do what is easy.

So, not only did I let go of something else, I moved forward in another direction. Not only is it easy, it doesn’t rob me of any joy. So, happy marches on. And, I don’t feel invisible anymore. If you don’t see me, I will find more who will.

I am Invisible

I am so fucking tired of being invisible.  And, you know what…I have news for you young people….you are fucking stupid.  And, here is why……

I’m older…..probably older than your parents. Not only have I been around the block a few times, I learned some things walking, driving, and running around that block. Like, how to tip. How to appreciate good service. And, what good customer service is.

So…..a few years ago, I decided to finally just call a truce with my hair.  I wanted, once upon a time, to have long, thick, curly “rocker-bitch” hair.  I wasn’t born with it and no matter how much money or time I spent….I was never able to achieve it. And, no, I never tried extensions….because….well….because.  I am a firm believer in “what you see is what you get.”  I will not swear more once I get to know you.  I will not dress less once I get to know you. I did not stuff my bra when I was a kid…..and now…well…..  Anyway…..this is me. I am still going to voice my opinion about whatever. I don’t have time (seriously….over half my life is over) to be something I am not. I no longer care if I impress people or not….which is the topic of another blog….about why being my age is so fantastic.

Anyway…..I started going gray in my late 20’s…..thanks, Dad (he was fully gray by 40…but, really, he had this beautiful white hair.  White.)  Finally…..luckily? For me…a new trend appeared about the same time I decided that I was no longer going to piss away money to hide the gray. My stylist had been begging me for months to do it.  So, I did.  And now, I have a full head of white hair with silver streaks…..it is gorgeous (I know this because I get a ton of compliments on it from others…some even asked me how I got it that color). And, it is easy and cheap.  But…..it and my age I suppose, have taken me to that invisible place.  

So…once again….I am in the best place in my life that I have ever been.  I am happier than I have ever been.  I am the best version of myself I have ever been….and, nobody gives a shit. I get it….I’m not young and hot anymore…..I get it. But….I am a better friend and lover than I was when I was young and hot….I have learned a TON about life and sex since I was young and hot.  And I don’t know if I was ever really “hot”…but, I was young…..and thin.  And got some attention.  But, now….(I was going to say I can’t even get arrested…but, I no longer want to and was not arrested back then either….although I have spent some time in the backseat of a police car)…now….despite big tits, a big mouth, and white hair…..I get no attention. I have to wait forever to get a drink at the bar. The men have stopped flirting and trying to pick up on me (okay….not really fair….there are just less of them now). Cinderella was right….you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. I finally understand what my Dad has been saying my whole life: youth is wasted on the young. I say it all the time now, too.

And…I can only see this getting worse as I grow wrinkles and a stooped walk. I will become further and further away from 25…..(shit…I’m closer to 75 than 25….fuck me...)  I will have to bring my own flask to bars, I guess.  Can you see it now…..I pull out my flask (because I guarantee some young waiter or waitress will see that)….and they come over to try to take it away or tell me I can’t drink from it in their bar?  Can you imagine? Because I see me (and everybody my age and older)…..dumping all of our frustration from this unwanted cloak of invisibility onto this unsuspecting ageist…..here is what I will say…”fuck you, you fucking fuck…..and then I am sure I would continue to pour all over her to make up for all the times I was ignored or not seen. Of course….this could be the fun part of being old and invisible.

This is why old people are grouchy…because they can be, they are driven to be, and they have a right to be. All you little whippersnappers better look out…….

Grandmas – RUFKM?

Every year after Christmas and before the 2nd weekend of January, 3 friends and I get together for breakfast and shopping in the little town of Truckee.  3 of us drive ½ hour one way. The other comes 30 minutes from the opposite direction. We meet and have a mimosa breakfast filled with love, joy, and relief that the holidays are over. Truckee is a cute little town with quaint little shops. We go mostly for the 50% Christmas decorations and to hang out a bit after the bustle of the holidays.  Of the 3 in our car…..2 of us have been friends since high school and the 3rd is the sister of the one we are meeting. Get it? We all have kids.  Mine are still in school. My friend from high school has 2 recent college graduates who are single. And….the other 2 are or soon will be Grandmas.

I realized on January 1…no trip had been planned.  Weird. I wondered why? One friend has a 2 month old grand baby and the other is going to be a grandma early March. So…I texted my high school friend (and, it is when I say things like “I texted my friend” that I still feel young) and said…..

“Hey, did I miss the plan?”

“No. I don’t think there is a plan.”

I thought about it. Oh….I texted her…..”I was just thinking that there wasn’t a plan because two of our friends are too occupied with being grandmas.”

OUR. FRIENDS. ARE. GRANDMAS.

When the fuck did that happen?  And, I mean….when the fuck did that happen.  One minute I am so young and so thin and so energetic I can work a physical job for 40 hours a week while going to college full time….and still go out and bang my head all night. Smoking and drinking the entire way.  Now, I wake up tired. One minute I am too selfish to take care of a plant. And now I take care of a family.  And dogs. And I am a grandma. Well…not officially.  But, I could be. And my friends are. And. What the fuck?

At one time all my friends were dating and partying in college. Then all of my friends were getting married. Then all my friends were spitting out kids, buying houses;  then getting divorced and now grandmas?  The only thing left is death…….

I know how old I am (believe me, I know….I feel it) I know that I am old enough to have grandkids. I know my friends have grandkids…..I don’t even mind that they are grandmas.  But, I am at the stage where all of my friends are grandmas.  Grandmas. Which means…..you know. I look like a Grandma too. And, I hang out with grandmas (okay…not really….only one grandma friend do I see regularly….because she (like me) likes to go out occasionally…explore new things.  The other people I hang out with are younger……or not yet Grandmas. I feel like I’m invisible already (thanks, motherhood and marriage) and, now…..now…..I’m in the grandma group?

There is nothing even remotely hip and cool about Grandmas.

Not sure if I should knit something or put on my thigh high boots and see if I can get a senior discount at my fave watering hole on a glass of wine……..FUCK……