Stranger In The House. 9/21/12

“This never was one of the great romances” has to be just about one of the best song opening lines of all time, right up there with “I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth”. Alas, it happens to be true. Not to go all Holden Caulfield on you, but it’s probably best to start at the beginning. My soon to be ex wife – from now on “STBX” and I met when I was here on vacation in 1991, just 2 days before I was due to fly out. Not to cross the border of TMIistan, but it ended what was, even by my standards, a particularly long dry spell. We  had that night, all the next day and the morning of my departure together, and let’s leave it at that. STBX came over to Merrie Olde England twice in the next eight months, and we kept in touch by fax. yes, folks, it was that long ago. The interweb wasn’t so much a series of tubes back then, more like something a 5th grader might make out of drinking straws, and transatlantic phonecalls required a second mortgage. Thanks, Worldcom, your spectacular collapse wasn’t all bad after all.

I don’t think we ever got out of the pre relationship phase, you know, the initial period when you are on your best behaviour and always deferring to the other person. I’m sure you’ve all had conversations along the lines of “Where do you want to go to dinner?”
“Oh, I don’t know, where do you want to go?”
I’m not sure, do you have a preference?”

We didn’t live together until I stepped off the plane 14 months after flying out, and I reckon we’d spent less than 3 weeks total in each others’ company by then. As I needed to start working right away, we didn’t have much opportunity to work out the knots and really establish a relationship, and  so we sort of just got on with it.

Fast forward 20 years, and you can see why we are divorcing. It’s not that we grew apart, it’s more like we just never grew together. We don’t hate each other, it’s just that we don’t love each other.

” I get the feeling that I don’t belong here, but there’s no welcome in the window anyway. And I look down for a number on my keychain, ’cause it feels more like a hotel every day”.  Except more like a hotel that doesn’t provide meals. STBX has pretty much given up on the idea of family meals. She’d much rather go out to eat, or if we are all home, make herself a sandwich after the kids are in bed.  Now, I’m not old fashioned by any standards, and don’t expect her to have the dinner ready every night,  but when she has given up on the idea of us as a family, what the hell am I supposed to do?

About the only thing left is the laundry, and when she was laid up with knee surgery I was doing that for three months, so in all respects this isn’t my home, just the place where all my shit is. At least for now. I really do feel like this is nothing but a transit station. STBX said she felt like I had “Checked out” weeks ago, and to some extent I have. I’ve always been one to get the pain over with quickly. When I had abdominal surgery three years ago, I took the first possible date even though it was just three days before a very busy school weekend- Yes, that standup routine  was true. Well…. most of it. I did add some exaggeration for comedic effect- largely because I didn’t want a long drawn out period of discomfort.

Same now. I am ready to move out, and as soon as I find somewhere that is not a squalid little grief hole, I will pack up and go. Likewise with the legal process. I see no need to drag it out any longer than necessary.

Sorry if I have been  bleating  on too long, but sometimes it takes a little longer than usual to get there. My close school friends are used to this, as they had to read all my reflection papers. Poor Bastards. I bet they thought they were in the clear.

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