Happy Anniversary, Baby…

This is not like me. Definitely very out of character. Me, someone a tad fixated on the past, anniversaries, some might say cheap nostalgia – and I let the first major anniversary of OEC go by without comment. Yes, almost a week ago, on April 14, one year had passed since Heads Up Day, the first overt statement that something was up, and my marriage was going down. Down for the count, KO’ed, 86‘ed. A day I still remember so well…(imagine those wavy flashback lines here, or Garth and Wayne doing their recreation of the same).

It was like many other work days, that April morn. We were backing down the drive, me bringing the Ex to the train station for another commute to work. But something different happened that day. I violated the dictum of not saying much in the morning, and certainly nothing of import. But the urge arose; I had detected a difference in her mien that I could no longer let pass by unacknowledged.

“You’ve been a little distant lately,” I said. “What’s up?”

“I’ve been meaning to say something….”


She did not go into details on that short drive to the train station. That would wait for that evening, so I had plenty of time to sweat and pace and imagine the worst. But even when you imagine it beforehand, hearing the gory details spelled out for you never seems any more palatable. Not that every gory detail came that night, or over the next few weeks. Remember, it was just the heads up. But something inside told me I was not in for a fun ride.

And you know what? It has been something less than fun. Is still less than fun. Things are better, subjectively speaking, with so many of you loyal C?WC? readers having a hand in that, with your words of encouragement and support and love and assurances that brighter days are ahead. And they are. Just not as close at hand, I fear, as I would like them to be.

The Ex has so moved on. Me? I still wallow in the occasional pool of self pity, imagine the worst while still, still hoping for the best. And still, amazingly, thinking about her way more than is healthy. Even the epithet-laced screed of a few weeks ago, the outrage outpouring she had kept in for so long, that has not made it easier to push her out of my head. Maybe it’s because of the ongoing contact over taxes and the house. More likely it’s this sense I cannot shake. The sense of having a connection to her that is nothing about love or nostalgia (though maybe a bit about loneliness). A connection that sprung up that first day we met at the Elks Club on October 10, 1998, that propelled her into immediate thoughts of marriage, and which I very soon shared.

I wondered this week: If we had never met then, more than 12 years ago, but met for the first time today, would the same thing had happened? What a silly speculation, eh? But there is this: We still share so many things, if not a marriage. Our veganism and ultra-liberal politics and desire to make the world a better place, in whatever humble ways we can. Our quirky (puerile?) senses of humor and love of the arts and the same sports teams. Our effort to try to be decent people, whatever our flaws.

Certain friends, if they are reading this, are gnashing their teeth right now. So many have told me all the reasons why this divorce is for the best, and all the ways she was not my equal. Maybe. As I’m sure certain of her friends say the same to her. And other friends have told me, repeatedly, that I should treat whatever relationship we have now as a business arrangement, predicated on only that last concrete connection, the house. But for me, the more ephemeral connection still endures. I know, though, it’s a one-way connection. So really no connection at all, right?

And that’s what keeps me from reaching out to her, like I almost did this weekend, when I was flush with cash and a sense of pride after one of my plays earned me – quite unexpectedly – a nice financial prize. None of the people I talked to or tried to contact were available to celebrate with me my good fortune, and in that moment I thought of calling her. She would have celebrated this theatrical victory in the past, I thought. She should have still been there now. But she wasn’t, and she never will be again, and there might be other events left uncelebrated. Or celebrated alone. I went home, cash intact, to no celebration at all. Yes, the pool is open but no loveguard is on duty; wallow at your own risk.

But not calling or emailing in that weak moment was good, no? I would not have been so resolute scant months before. I am learning. She does not share my penchant for clinging to the past, for noticing anniversaries or extolling nostalgia. Despite the past connection we were – are – different in significant ways, I see now. Ways I overlooked in the past. Love will do that. But now: strictly business.

There are more milestone anniversaries ahead. It would be too boring to mark every one. For others that is. For me, it could be too painful. Or too repetitive. This will be the first and last. Time to start creating new milestones and events to commemorate. Let the old connection fade; I have new ones to forge.


~ by mburgan on April 20, 2011.

2 Responses to “Happy Anniversary, Baby…”

  1. Teeth officially gnashing. 😉

  2. I know, I can hear them from here…

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