Thursday, August 16, 2012

Silver linings

I was at the mall today with my girls. Aden has spent much of this summer working for his TKD studio, so while I so wished he were there too, mall shopping is an entirely different experience when it is all girls,  especially when those girls are my daughters  ("Oh mommy, that looks beautiful!  You should get it!").

Our trip to the mall was so enjoyable; we bought some fun stuff, spent more than we should, and came home all smiles. In fact, my daughter Sophie told me earlier that today is her favorite day. Why? "Because I got my drum set and we are going to the mall to get my clip on earrings and a new pillow, and then we get to have Soup Plantation for lunch!  It's my favorite day!"

The happiness of the day echoed as we came home, organized our new shoes and put our new pillows in pillowcases.   And it occurred to me why I was so happy -- I didn't have to explain, justify, or go over every expenditure we just made. AND I don't have to worry about someone's idea of "spending fairness" which would mean having  to spend the same amount  in return (and life sure as hell isn't fair, is it? I never understood that one).

And I don't have to worry about something as stupid as explaining why I bought the one on sale. I like buying things on sale. Saving money is a good thing, so I like how I can come home and share with my kids how I got it ON SALE, and everyone in the house is as excited as I am.

I like how there is never any extra money missing from the bank. I always know the exact balance and there are no surprises.

I like how if I get the in the car and its on empty, it's because I made it that way.

I like how there are never any clothes on the floor of my bedroom. All the dirty clothes magically make their way to the laundry hamper. And I like having to do less laundry as a result.

I like how much cleaner the bathroom remains.

I like that I can move any stack of paper, any item in my house, and not catch hell over "touching my stuff" (my kids know that it does not fly in my house, so they don't say it).

I like that we can eat a Soup Plantation anytime we want. And use a coupon to do it, so the whole family can pig out for less than $30.

I like how I don't have someone else's mother telling me that I am doing something wrong, or there is a better way to do it, or why don't I do it this way?

I like how I don't have to use any "Rule of Three" for housewares selections anymore - If I like it, I get it.

I like how I don't have to hear about what a bad cook I am, or what a bad cook my mother is. (REALLY?!)

I like that I can leave the kitchen a mess if I want to.

I like how I feel better about myself, that I don't feel fat or ugly anymore.

And sometimes, when the girls aren't sleeping with me, I like how I can sprawl across the whole bed and not worry about someone hogging the blankets on a cold night.

There is a lot, A LOT A LOT A LOT A LOT of bad that comes with divorce.  More bad than good every day.  So sometimes, in quiet moments, I catch a good thing about it, and amid all the tumult and torment, a small smile crosses my face.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tonight we're going to party like . . .

Tonight I am having a party.  Not a birthday party or a graduation party, but the type of party that wields the double edged sword of happiness and sadness.  This party has been in the works since the end of November, and while initially I said I would not have it, when the time came, I decided I needed something to mark this moment with a party, just as we mark most milestones in our lives.

In fact, one of the first things a close friend said to me was "When's the party?" The party. Right now I am decorating and it is the first time in 20 years I have prepped for a party on my own.  And as I put up decorations in 100 degree heat, I am reminded of where I was just over 17 years ago, in a similar heat, putting up decorations before I put on a pretty dress. I'll be wearing a pretty dress tonight, but it certainly is not nearly as pricey, nor is it white. The decorations are not hearts and bells, but fiesta-esq decor.

However, this time I do have REAL champagne.  Not sparkling wine. Not California "champagne" (which is just sparkling wine), REAL champagne from France. Expensive as hell and something I most certainly did not have at that party 17 years ago.  So perhaps that is a good start. Perhaps all real life changes need REAL champagne to mark their significance.

And friends. While more people came to that party 17 years ago, there will be several friends here, some newer friends, some long term friends. We will have music, and food, and drinks, and some fun games, and a pinata filled with grown-up style goodies. We won't have cake, but I will have a chocolate fountain this time, and since I like chocolate more than cake, I think that is more than a fair trade.

This is not the party I wanted to have.  In my dreams, my party would have had a number and the word "anniversary" after it, but we cannot control the actions of others; we can't control fate or the hand that God deals us. All we can do is pick ourselves up afterwards, nurse our wounds, then work on moving forward on our new path. And every crossroads in life needs recognition. This party tonight is my recognition of the crossroads where I find myself, and like the aftermath of most parties, I hope it only gets better from here.