And people are still talking about it
I broke up with my husband.
In the adult world, they call it divorce. A fancy name for breaking up or for legalizing it.
It’s a dirty word in suburbia.
It seems this shapeshifter of the couple’s world is frowned upon.
At sixteen, I believed my best friend and I would one-day live side by side. Our gorgeous families separated only by dreamy white picket fences. A romantic suburban euphoria.
By the time I was nineteen, I graduated to believing I had found the love of my life.
And of course…
“He’s a football player,” screams the voice on the other end of the phone.
“I wish I was there,” I say.
My sister Marylou is calling with news of our nephew.
It’s my senior year in college and I would rather be home. Our sister Kathy is giving birth to…
I pull into our driveway and whisper to my husband, conscious of our three boys in the backseat.
“You need to get out of the car,” I say. “I can’t take you to my sister’s like this.”
It’s my nephew’s eighteenth birthday.
As usual, my husband won’t do anything he…
It’s my friend Tina’s birthday and we are in New York City celebrating our October sisterhood. Two besties, two birthdays.
But tears are streaming down my face.
Only in the Big Apple could a woman crying in a restaurant go unnoticed.
The lights are city-chic and appropriately dimmed.
I’m sitting at a light.
It’s summer, the heat swells my fingers and makes my thick gold wedding band uncomfortable. I take it off and place it in the coin-filled ashtray.
I see a work van soaring towards me.
It happens so quickly there is no time for fear.
“Stop taking all of my attention,” I say. “I have three children who need and deserve it.”
My husband ignores my words in favor of acting out.
He is drinking and behaving badly.
It confuses me.
I tell him, again and again, to face whatever is bothering him, and deal…
About a year into my divorce my children are in the kitchen talking.
“Dad called,” says one of them.
“Big surprise, there’s a game on,” says another.
In the collective moment, they are acknowledging their father’s absence.
Since I retained an attorney their father has shown up to their games…
I’m watching The Kelly Clarkson Show when she confesses she can’t imagine getting married again.
I’m like, “Girl, I get you! I got you!”
I tell my boys if they get married I’ll throw my body across the altar.
Kinda dramatic? My boys think so. They usually yell, “MOM!”
“Colleen can do whatever she wants as long as it’s not a headache to me,” he says.
“I don’t like the way he talked to you,” says my friend.
Most people laughed when my husband spoke like this.
When someone is charming you can miss the danger in their words.