The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

13 February 2003

The D word

I am speaking, of course, of what Tammy Wynette referred to as D-I-V-O-R-C-E.

No, I'm not contemplating one; after having gone through the process in 1987, I have no marriage to undo. But I've always found the concept a bit disquieting, an uncomfortable reminder that the best of intentions will not always guarantee the best possible results. And seeking some connection between theory and real life, I looked at my own parents, who were wed on this date in 1953. My mother died in 1977; had she lived, they would be celebrating their 50th anniversary.

Or would they? Is it possible that somewhere along the line, after five children and however many harsh words, they might have decided that enough was enough?

If the topic was ever discussed, it certainly wasn't discussed in front of me. And I tend to doubt that anything was in the works in 1976 when she took ill, what with a nine-year-old still in the household. (Feel free to point out that in 1987, my younger child was six, and there had been a separation prior to that.) But for the life of me, I can't think of anything holding them together except the five of us: I may be wrong — it wouldn't be the first time by any means — but it always seemed to me that within two hours of the last child moving out, they'd put the house up for sale and head in opposite directions.

Second marriages, they say, are often better. After the standard Decent Interval following Mom's funeral, Dad married a co-worker, and theirs (she was also previously wed) might be; while there were certainly some rocky periods along the way, there's less of a sensation that there are burning issues being suppressed, and by now it's lasted two decades and more. My ex-wife's probably wasn't; while the chap in question was a bit more exciting to be with (and how difficult is that?), he had far too much fondness for the Peruvian marching powder to suit her.

Still, one doesn't get to a second marriage without going through a first. And with the hated Valentine's Day looming, I wonder about this mysterious force that works to bring together people who seemingly shouldn't even be speaking to one another, let alone making a vow to remain together for always.

But that, I suppose, is an entirely-different word.

Posted at 7:55 AM to Table for One

Dear Charles: Don't give up -- I'm loading up an *extra* set of love-arrows to shoot at unsuspecting Babes in your vicinity tomorrow!


Posted by: DavidMSC at 8:18 AM on 13 February 2003

It's not the (1) unsuspecting (2) ones in the vicinity I'm worried about.

Posted by: CGHill at 9:51 AM on 13 February 2003

I wonder about this mysterious force that works to bring together people who seemingly shouldn't even be speaking to one another, let alone making a vow to remain together for always

So odd. Been thinking of my divorce too. 12 years ago, but would I do differently ? I'm tempted to say yes. But I distrust the part of me that now has regrets. Is it because I'm am sometimes weary inside and wish, sometimes to have sanctuary? Or am I yet again, projecting on to my ex those characteristics I 'need' in a person claiming to love me.

I have a 'written in blood' rule to examine why someone attracts me. Am I seeing who he has himself to be, or have I somehow morphed him into being what I need him to be, thus, committing, in my rule book, a deep violation against the morphee. The only way I can see to protect against manipulating someone for my gratification is to gratify myself. Intellectually, financially, emotionally, and sexually. Theory is, if I see another person from a place inside of satisfaction and strength, I will, thus, see clearly and be able to accord the other person the recognition that their actual, unique self deserves...or something like that...geesh

Isn't that a bunch of convoluted hogwash? But what sucks is I believe it. I Think it protects me from what you described so well...the frigging force!!

Posted by: zee at 11:20 AM on 13 February 2003

Wow. You guys are all way ahead of me. I've been married since 1975, and we are trying to figure some way to divorce without it being a fucking train wreck. For you guys, it's looking back on a root canal, for me, it's still on its way. Any advice will be appreciated (and probably wasted on me :)

I am rather disheartened at the idea of ever finding true love (or was that just indigestion?) again. You're right about morphing, Zee. We definately fill in the blanks of the beloved's personality with what we want to see. We look at each other now and wonder, what was I thinking? Who was I in love with? It seems that I was in love with my own dream. How can I ever trust my feelings like that, again? On the other hand, I was, for sure, in love and I miss that.

As for marriages ending. Everything else ends. Why should we get so upset when marriage turns out to be no different? Death is natural and sets the stage for rebirth. (I tell myself.) And if there is only eternal silence after death, well, at least it's peaceful. I mean, it *is* peaceful, isn't it, guys...? Please, don't tell me you spend evenings having screaming arguments with yourself.

Posted by: John B at 1:46 AM on 14 February 2003

As the stats say:

50 percent of marriages end in divorce.

50 percent of marriages end in death.

See that you choose wisely.

(Screaming arguments with oneself? That's the very essence of blogging.)

Posted by: CGHill at 7:28 AM on 14 February 2003