Yesterday would have been my 10th wedding anniversary. Nothing like that to make you feel old... and a bit alone. I'm grateful for having an ex-husband with whom I can be friends, one who sends me a nice message on Facebook to commemorate the day. We are friends on Facebook, and we regularly send birthday/Christmas messages, share news about our cats (who used to be best friends, but due to lack of typing ability have lost touch with one another - damn you, evolution!), and even occasionally send presents.
I'm also grateful that we got divorced, because can you imagine how weird it would be to celebrate your OMG 10TH ANNIVERSARY on Friday the 13th?? That's just asking for disaster.
I promised him I wouldn't write about him in this blog, and I won't... except this one time.
We started dating when I was in college - a Christian university. And he was a preacher's son. Remember that movie Footloose? Then you can pretty much imagine my life growing up. When one lives in the Bible Belt, getting married is merely a way to pass the time on the weekends.
Our wedding was the day after I graduated from college. I figured, family will already be in town for one event, so may as well not make them travel again later. The downside was that I got gypped on graduation gifts. The upside is that I only had to get a manicure once.
The wedding was small, casual (I and my 2 bridesmaids were barefoot), inexpensive, and fun. Guests colored on paper table covers with crayons, leaving us messages. Instead of a guest book, they signed on the mat board of a large framed picture of us. We later replaced that picture with one of our pet bunny, and turned the mat around. It's hanging in my bedroom now.
We split up pretty much right away. We were way too young, and had broken up twice before getting married. In fact, the summer before we got married, we lived together in a crummy apartment in a crappy college town in Texas, with nothing to do and no alcohol to make it better (dry city!). The fighting was constant. It was awful, miserable, a horrible summer... and it would have taught any reasonable people that they should not ever get married.
A few months later, we decided to try again. Our religious backgrounds made it difficult to accept defeat. The next couple of months were... interesting. Here's a tip: if your relationship is on the rocks, recovering from some pretty bad mojo, and you're trying to work it out? Don't move to another state where you don't know anyone and live in a tiny bedroom with a twin bed in an apartment with 2 other people. Just don't. At some point, you will throw a Gameboy Color at your spouse's head. And with how tiny the bedroom is? It will be pretty much point-blank.
(It's okay - he kept my Gameboy Color when we divorced, and I think secretly it was his revenge for that incident.)
But would I go back, and not marry him? No. We had experiences together. We had good times. We had love, and lots of it at times. We had... a fuckload of hamsters. And bunnies, mice, cats... I worked at a pet store and brought everything home! He accepted this about me.
Our divorce was probably one of the easiest in history. "Hey... we should get a divorce, before we end up hating each other." "Yeah, I think we should." A bit of crying, and that was that. It was right around my 24th birthday, in October of 2003.
He offered to pay for the paperwork, I just had to sign. By the time we finally got around to doing any of that, I had moved to another state, and tax season had come upon us. We both owed money, but discovered if we filed together we owed less. Hey, why not? We were still legally married.
The whole thing ended with me half-asleep in my bed in Missouri. The judge called me up from Colorado, with my still-husband on the line, and asked us each if we contested. "No," I blearily responded. And that was that. An entire and legally binding relationship, done. I think I went back to sleep.
So long, and thanks for all the hamsters.