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I have had the pleasure of hearing TallGirl and ShirtlessRoland pontificate longer than you’d imagine possible on the skill required to – I’m sorry, there’s no delicate way to put this – flick boogers.  TallGirl’s technique involves wiping the thing back and forth from hand to hand until it’s ready to be flicked from the thumb with the middle finger.  Similarly, ShirtlessRoland launches from the thumb, but with the index finger and only after rolling it around a couple of times.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I have just learned, much to my displeasure, that I am not divorced yet afterall.  No doubt this is nothing more than a legal maneuvering brought on by his paranoia or intention to wiggle out of the settlement he agreed to when he thought I was dying.  Whatever the case, I just wish I could wish him gone.  Funny what time changes.

On the bright side I get to spend another weekend celebrating divorcing him and I imagine it will be twice the fun as the first.  In the meantime, though, there is much frustration and the feeling that I just can’t get rid of him.

Remember kids, you can pick your husbands and you can pick your nose.  But you can’t flick your ex-husbands off your thumb.


About a year ago I received a card from a friend wishing me a Happy Hallmark Day.  For the first time ever, I realized that it was possible to both acknowledge Valentine’s Day as a silly occasion and as an excuse to touch someone’s heart.  In contrast, not only was it not celebrated during my marriage, it was a source of angst.  No greeting card company was going to tell ThatGuy when to show affection.  Being neither an abnormal psychology major, nor having an inclination to write a dissertation on the topic we’ll leave that alone. 

Anyway, on that same day, I received a very sweet, heartwarming, handmade gift from ShirtlessRoland.  I, on the other hand, had made arrangements a couple of weeks in advance to have cannoli shipped to him from “our” bakery in Baltimore.  However, a freakish 45 inch snow fall prevented shipments from being made.  With less than 24 hours to re-plan, I found a bakery closer to his home and had them deliver the cannoli to a local florist, who in turn delivered the cannoli and a mug full of daisies to ShirtlessRoland’s doorstep.  Whew.

But I think he was a little confused as to why I sent him flowers and cannoli.  Truth be told, I am too.  I was new to this and didn’t really know the protocol.  A year later I think I’m still kind of lost and found myself awkwardly planning for another gift exchange of foreign principle.  Taking ShirtlessRoland’s lead from the previous year, I made a gift.  He made another as well.

I love this idea.  Somebody thinks so much of somebody else that they take the time and use their own two hands to create something out of nothing for them, not unlike my philosophy on knitting.  If someone knits you a scarf, they didn’t just give you a scarf; they gave you their time.  They gave you the space in their thoughts while sitting in a doctor’s office, or on a bus, or in their favorite coffee house.  This concept has the added benefit of avoiding long lines to purchase clichéd chatchkas and bad chocolate made in a faraway land a romantically long time ago.

I have learned that any excuse is a good excuse to show somebody you love them in any way you can.  And conversely, there really isn’t ever a good excuse for withholding affection from the ones you love.  That lesson is what truly made this a hallmark day.

Another lifetime ago I left the courthouse in tears after my divorce.  I was there alone, unless you count my attorney – and I don’t often recommend that you do.  I was upset by the other people in the courtroom who were hootin’ and hollerin’ with joy when the judge stamped their decrees.  I was past being bitter and I was past being angry.  I was just sad; sad that the silly little fairy tale I believed in when I was way too young to get married, but walking down the aisle anyway, turned out to be, well, unreal.  I was sad that I was alone.  And I was sad that even though I didn’t believe in divorce, I was the one who had to initiate it and see it through.  I thought all those other fine, young divorcees ought to be sad, too.

I got in my Grand Prix and drove away.  Or I tried to, anyway.  See, I have a long standing habit of getting lost in downtown Raleigh.  As I made my third pass down McDowell Street, looking for an allowed left turn, I switched on the radio and the DJ introduced the newest song by Cher.  Actually, it may very well still be her newest song.  The chorus lifted me.

Do you believe in life after love
I can feel something inside me say
I really don’t think you’re strong enough, no

I drove back to work for a couple of hours, then picked up my young daughter from daycare and went home to embark on single-motherhood.  Alone.  But lifted.  I’ve never heard that song again that I don’t think about that day leaving the courthouse.  It isn’t a sad memory, it’s one of strength.

We all have songs that have somehow touched our lives.  Any time I turn on the radio, or change to a new station and happen to catch a song at the very beginning, I feel as if there is a deeper reason why at that particular time I am being allowed to listen to that particular song in its entirety.  My karma has AM/FM.   Call me crazy.  I’m ok with that.

I spent this morning waiting for a phone call to tell me that I am divorced.  I did my chores, ran my errands, talked to friends on the phone, and all the while wondered what on earth it would feel like.  Would I be sad?  Would I be relieved?  Would I finally understand why those people in divorce court all those years ago were so joyful?  Then an old fear I thought I’d put to rest crept back in.  Would I be less of a person?  An uglier human?  Less worth of love?

And then the phone call came.  It is official.  I am a twice divorced single mother of three.  The fairy-godmother did not wave her evil wand and take away my dignity or turn my Jeep into a pumpkin (thank God!), so maybe the first six months of this process that I spent agonizing over the stereo-type was a silly waste of time.  And I recall somebody telling me that at the time, too.  Several somebodies.  I am shocked to report that I don’t feel sad, or relieved, or joyful, or, really, anything. 

That’s not quite true.  I feel excited.  ShirtlessRoland just texted me to say he’s on his way.  We already, coincidentally, had a romantic trip planned to coincide with TallGirl’s competition out of town this weekend.  In a few short hours we’ll be loading up the car and embarking on…well, something.  I hope the radio gives me a hint as to what it might be.