Tuesday, June 12, 2007

On my mind

So, what do you do? You suck it up and jam it way down, out of the way, knowing that at some time in the future, you’ll haul it out and mull it over – but for now, now when you’re too busy, too emotional, too sensitive, too tired – you cover it with a lead blanket and leave it in the crawlspace of your mind.

Even when it’s “good”, being divorced is a bitch.

This week I overheard two forty-something-year-olds talk about their daughters' husbands. Both young men came from divorced backgrounds and "oh the inconvenience of having to deal with all that"; "Special consideration for new step-spouses", "animosity between the divorced exes", "sensitive seating arrangements at all functions", "extra bridal showers to accomodate all the parents and step parents."

Whine, whine whine.

Guess how hard to be one of those divorced parents? Guess how much we don't want our divorces to be an issue. Guess how many times we just swallow insensitive comments because we're just so embarassed to be in this situation?

The gal at the counter overheard them talking and joined in. Her son had just gotten engaged to a gal who's parents are divorced and "oh, what a mess, trying to please all those people..." She went on to say, "Seeing she came from a broken home, she gravitated more to ours. She loves us and our friends and that's who she really wants to come to her wedding. But she feels obligated to invite both her dad and her mom's side as well. Too bad we have to involve them, it would be easier if we could just make this our wedding."

What? Is that what people are going to say/think about me and my kids' 'broken home'? This was my fear eight years ago when he left, that my future daughter-in-laws' families would make assumptions as to who my sons are, and what kind of life they've had, because Mark and I couldn't manage to stay married. Just because Clint, Max and Drew's dad and mom didn't stay together, doesn't mean we don't want to celebrate their joys, share their accomplishments, love their partners, help with their hurts, encourage their dreams, hold their hands and be a part of their lives.

Which brings me to the phone call I got tonight regarding Drew's grade 7 grad dinner. Each student is allowed to bring 2 guests - in 88 out of 90 cases, those guests would be a mom and a dad. I ordered 4 tickets - one for Drew, one for me, and a pair for Mark & Sherry who said they'd like to have dinner with us.
"This is highly irregular, do you have special permission to bring an extra guest? Have you talked to the principal? Seating arrangements have been made assuming 2 parents per child. You realize that this will upset everything. I know of one other family that talked to us in advance explaining their unique situation, I had no idea you have special circumstances as well."

Well, sorry.
So very sorry. I hate to be a bother.
But, I'm special and have special circumstances.
I am divorced.
My ex has re-married.
Drew has three parents in his life.
(A few weeks ago when Drew found out his dad and step mom wanted to come to his grad dinner he said, "Mom? Do you think you could get a boyfriend by the 19th? It probably wouldn't be so awkward for you then. And we could ask for 5 tickets. I would have more people there than anyone else.")

I will deal with the lump in my throat and my burning eyes sometime later. I'm too busy to dwell on it now. And I've got an early day tomorrow - up at 4:45 am, on the freeway by 5:30, so that I can catch the Langdale Ferry to Keats Island at 7:20 as a foot passenger. Meet the water taxi at 8:15 am and be in a class with Arrow's executives on Fundrasing by 8:45 am.

And I have no clean work clothes. I forgot to stop by the drycleaners on my way home from work - (where all my pants are) so I have NOTHING to wear. Nothing. And it's supposed to rain, so open-toed shoes (all that I have right now) are not going to cut it.

I will deal with my wardrobe insufficiencies now. And that stuff in the crawlspace? I'll look at it on a different day.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Just now, at 11:00 pm, while in the midst of this pathetic pity party I'm having, Clint dropped in. With a cute female friend. Because I saved all the photos Adam took with my camera, I was a hero. He gave me a kiss, asked for some food, then wondered why I had been crying. When I told him, he said, "Can't you just stand around at the dinner? Do you really need to sit?"
2. All those things stuffed under that lead blanket? God's looking after them. By the time I get around to peaking under there, either my heart will have changed, my circumstances will have altered or those things will have disappeared.
3. The day after tomorrow is Thursday. That's always a good thing...



raych said...

Oh Jane. You don't know how much I wish I could marry one of your sons (in the least-weird way possible) and have you for my mother-in-law. 'Inconveniences' and all.

Anonymous said...

That's a really good idea. I'll marry one too. Since there's a bit of role reversal here with the women making offers for the men, I'm going to need to know what their dowrys are. And do they have hope chests filled with tupperware?

We'll have the funnest family holidays EVER.

Good thinking Raych.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the comment I made yesterday went through...I didn't get that yellow notice at the top, nor did my comment disappear after I updated...

Anyways, I wrote to tell you that I hurt for you and with you and it's all going to work out.
Love September