If you’ve ever been through a divorce/separation/breakup in which kids were involved, or seen it happen in someone else’s life, or heck, even if you’ve merely watched it portrayed on TV, you will know Rule #1:
DO NOT BADMOUTH THE EX IN FRONT OF THE KIDS
This means that is is ethically superior to burn your ex’s clothes, sell their Boxster for $1, give away their vintage record collection and spread rumours about their having weird-colored spots “down there”* than to say something less than complimentary about your ex in front of the kids.
I am a child of divorce, and I totally understand why it must be so.
Also, burning clothes is a lot more fun.*
Since I am a child of divorce and I
am genetically predisposed to fail at marriage know why it must be so, I have made huge, monumental, beyond-human efforts not to badmouth the Dane if there is a chance the little pitcher will hear me. Not that there’s all that bad to say, let’s be honest, but if a a girl hasn’t got a right to bitch about an ex, then what right does she have?
I’ve had a rough year like you wouldn’t believe, and now that I’m starting to see some light my body is shutting down on me. It’s like it’s saying: “OK, we outran the hungry lions, leapt out of the burning skyscraper and swam out of the shark-infested pit. Now I’m gonna make sure you stay out of trouble, if I have to kill you myself.” Guess that’s why it will never be the brains of the operation.
So this morning I dragged my miserable, stiff-jointed, aching self to the doctor’s office doing a walk that would have made Jack Sparrow proud, and I was given a shot, happy pills, even happier pills, a shoulder to cry on, and a week off work to “look after myself”. Doctor’s orders! And since I’m still in mega-frugal-mode I went for some low-anxiety retail therapy at the local thrift shop instead of spendier options like cocktails or a massage, which in hindsight wouldn’t have landed me in trouble.
Still, I got a lot of really cool tops (one is 100% silk!) and spent only $40. SCORE.
C found ways to entertain himself in the thrift shop, which mainly involved lugging my shopping trolley around and jumping out from racks of clothes to scare me. He already has a strong (if slightly misguided) fashion sense, so I started asking for his opinion on my potential purchases to try to discourage the hiding-and-jumping-out thing, which was doing a number on my already shot nerves.
“Hey Bubs, what about this sweater? It’s great! Do you like it?”
“Look! What a cool top! I’m going to try it on!”
“No, I don’t like it.”
“Oooh, this is a great dress! What do you think?”
And then, with no warning at all (C wasn’t being rude, I wasn’t even remotely mad), I slipped and fell into this telescoping montage of long-past nahs and bahs and mehs and shrugs and I just snapped:
“PETER, PAUL AND MARY, YOU ARE JUST LIKE YOUR FATHER!”
It’s not like I dropped a soap opera bomb and hollered “Jesujalbérto NO es tu verdadero padre!”** in a Venezuelan accent, and even if I had C probably wouldn’t have heard or understood it, but I know I said it and I feel like shit. Because I am a child of divorce and I know why it must be so.
I failed rule #1.
I failed my young child (who deserves better in soooo many ways) and I failed young me (who also, but hey), and I even failed my preternaturally-unenthusiastic-but-otherwise-eminently-decent ex.
Where are those happy pills?
Comments are open for advice, condolences, and contact details of your hot single friends (especially if they like fiery Latinas with adorable baggage.) Because like it or not, mama is back in the market. And I have some great new tops that need wearing.
* Honest, I’ve never ever done any of these things ever. My only act of mild revenge was to use his credit card to buy some Kindle books, and it was over faster than you can say Hunger Games. I may be a crap mom, but I am a highly ethical person. No, really. Stop smirking. NOW.
** “Jesus Albert is NOT your real father”, a soap opera classic of all times. I think it’s against Venezuelan law not to include that line at least once in any given soap. And a character called Jesus Alberto. Who is not your real father. But I could be wrong.