I got engaged to my ex on Christmas eve. Five months later we were married. There was not one minute of those five months that my engagement was not front and center in my mind. I never forgot that I was someone’s fiancé. Every time I entered a florist, bakery, bridal shop, printer (yes, it was before the days of Shutterfly or Minted), I began with something like, “I just got engaged…” or “My wedding is five months away.” It made the fact that I was getting married real. I loved saying it!
When my divorce was final it was like that, only I hated it. I had a new status that was front and center. Those first months it seemed like everywhere I went I had to begin, “I just got divorced….” The social security office to reclaim my maiden name, the DMV, my doctor, dentist, insurance company, bank, pharmacy, passport office, leasing agents that showed me my future home. When you are severing a life you had with someone for 30 years, there is a lot of business to take care of. Sometimes I could barely get the words out. I felt like I was swallowing them at the same time I trying to say them.
It’s funny the things that stick in your mind years later. My conversation with my car insurance rep was one of them. We had insurance through USAA because of my father’s military career. I don’t remember every word of the conversation, but I do remember being reassured there would be extra security put in place. I sat by the phone afterwards feeling a deep sadness. It is heartbreaking when all the years you spent building a life with someone becomes an extra password that shuts them out.
“I’m divorced,” got easier to say as time went on. After all, practice makes perfect. It also got easier as I began to acknowledge that I could define the kind “divorced” woman I would be…..but that is another post.