If all goes to plan, 2014 should be the year in which I become a Divorced Woman, aka tainted, sloppy seconds, used goods, a scarlet woman, impure. Whichever way you want to slice the wedding cake, I will at some point jump from being a socially accepted statistic to one that draws sidelong glances in tearooms all o’er the place. Truth be told, I could have been divorced a lot sooner than now – New Zealand law states that you need to be completely separated – ie. living in separate abodes for a minimum of two years before they grant you the big D, so my year of divorce could have been as early as 2009. However, both myself and my estranged husband moved to Australia (different cities) in 2008-2009 and neither of us wanted to pay the outrageous costs involved with getting divorced over here – so we decided to wait until one of us had settled back in the land of bushy ounces before we bothered with it.
Firstly, I should say that “estranged” is not really the appropriate term to describe my husband here. Estranged means you are no longer on friendly terms at all, and while we aren’t exactly doing each other’s hair and gossiping about Gossip Girl on the regular, I’m fairly sure that we would have a friendly beer feat. LOLs if we bumped into each other on the street. The thing is, he’s actually a really great dude. I know, I know – why would one want to be separated from a “great dude” in the first place? Well, it’s a long story, but the jist of it is that we got married far too young (he was 24 and I was 20) and I didn’t even know who I was or what I wanted out of life at that point. I thought a trucker cap, a hoodie, a gypsy skirt and some skate shoes was a legitimately chic outfit, and not even in an ironic way. I hadn’t even experienced LSD, for crying out loud. At that point in time I was a silly young girl who was selfish and petty, and had no love for myself – which showed in my actions. I cheated on my husband and although he was a kind person who cared for me lots, I was not ready to be cared for and I dissed him at every turn. We also had very different goals in life – him; a family, me; the glamorous art world preceded by another shot of whatever’s cheap. (What? OK, OK, maybe I haven’t quite forgotten my roots). Anyway, in the end he had the patience of the special young man who waits hours for the job at Mainland Cheese, and I left him after inflicting the worst of myself on him. So that’s how things ended, not with a bang, but with a walk-out. I knew that it was for the best and it was – we have both been able to go forth and grow and learn about ourselves and be happy with people that are right for us. Many people at the time were major dickheads about our breakup (because every asshole thinks they have a supreme say over someone else’s life) and this was a blessing because it allowed me to recognise and cross a lot of scumbags off my friends list. In the end however, I harboured no hard feelings towards the ex, I just look on it as a rookie mistake of getting engaged after only 6 months and marrying not long after. Kind of like a Hollywood celeb marriage if you want to be glamorous about it!
Back to the present day – it still makes me laugh when somehow in conversation it comes up that I am married (because technically I still am) and the hilarious looks of surprise that cross peoples’ faces ensues. “But you and Chris have been together for like, five years!” they exclaim, frantically doing the mental maths, under the flattering impression that I am only aged 24ish. Perhaps I could fuck with these people by giving them a story about a weird Amish teen marriage or some such?! Chris likes to joke about dating a “married woman” from time to time, as if it makes him some sort of ultra-badass cool guy (which is laughable in and of itself, unless you consider his amazing beard).
Am I ready to be a “divorcee”? Sure, I guess – it’s just a label at the end of the day! Would I get married again? Absolutely! I ain’t no bitter devilbird.
Til Divorce Do Us Part,