Adventures in Divorce

I always wondered why people who murdered their spouses didn't just get a divorce.... I now understand why

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Location: Nap Town, Indie-anne-ahhhhhh!, United States

No, I'm not a prophetess. Cassandra, according to Greek mythology, spurned the advances of the Greek god Apollo and her gift of prophecy was cursed so that her predictions would never be believed. Such is my life. I tend not to think like most people, which is a gift... but also a curse. So step into my mind, take off your shoes and stay for awhile... you're always welcome, loved ones.

June 21, 2010

The (In)significance of Girlfriends

(This is follow up to the previous post, All's Fair in Love and War.  I suggest you read it.  Thanks.)

Up until about a year and a half ago, it had been a LONG time since I'd held the title of "girlfriend".  Even before holding the title of "wife" for about 9 years, I was "fiance" for a year and a half, and "baby momma" for 5.  Not since I was 15 have I held the title of just "girlfriend"......until now.  I'm sure for most women the status of girlfriend is the norm and utterly commonplace, so I'm sure you have no clue why this makes any bit of difference such that it warrants a blog post (then again, many things written about in blogs don't deserve a blog post).  Patience...... let me explain.

Girlfriends (and boyfriends, too), at first glance, are afforded special status.  To gain that official title means that you play an important and intimate role in someone's life.  However, in reality..... you're one step above nobody.  Here today, gone tomorrow, and nobody (with the exception of a few) hears from or thinks about you ever again.  At best, you become "Who was that chick you messed with a few years ago??  The one with the old kids?", and hopefully not "Man, what was that crazy bitch's name you finally got rid of??"  Girlfriends are some of the most transient, non-permanent individuals in a person's life.  And thus, they are treated as such.

This realization didn't fully hit home until my Son got his first official girlfriend.  She's a nice girl, and so far I like her, but not-so-far in the back of my mind I know this is (hopefully) just a temporary thing in the grand scheme of life.  He's 16 years old, she's 17.  I don't care how much he or she thinks they may be "in love", I know there's a 99.9% chance they will break up eventually, most likely when she goes off to college in a year, if not sooner.  Knowing this (or believing this.... but what's really the difference?), I will be nice, kind, respectful toward their little relationship, but I have no plans on making her an integral part of my family.  (

(Notice I used the word "little".  I find myself using that a lot in reference to their relationship.  I always refer to her as "Q's little girlfriend" though I am constantly reminded by my own beau that she's not "little" and is very much built like a grown ass woman...... the adjective is not used in the literal sense.  But I digress.)

If you're thinking "Well yes, they are kids, of course you wouldn't think of her like that" then let me change the scenario.  I remember once sitting in my friend's basement talking to his then girlfriend (in her mind at least) and she was going on and on about plans to take trips and what they were going to do next year and we should all plan to do XYZ, blah, blah, blah.  I listened, smiled and nodded, gave the occasional "Oh that would be nice" but the whole time in the back of my mind I'm thinking "Chick, you ain't gonna last through the summer."  And I was right, because what I knew that she didn't was that he was a serial monogamist and I'd seen many like her come and go (and then try to hem me up in the club asking why he went).  So while she thought/hoped/wished/fantasized/delusionally believed she was The One, I knew otherwise, so I saw no need to get myself to attached to the idea of her being around.

So, this has me thinking about my own status as "girlfriend" and wondering how I am different from the females mentioned above, and so far I can't think of any reason why I'm not.  Yes, in my reality and his reality I am a very important individual (and vice versa).  But for everyone else around him who has seen girlfriends come and go, at this point in time they have no reason to take me seriously.  In the eyes of the permanent individuals in his life, I'm the current lady friend who sits in the same position as the past lady friend; the next girl who may just as easily become the ex girl.

The implications of this are twofold.  First is not being taken seriously by family, for the reasons stated above.  But second, and more vexing, is the disrespect and toe stepping by "friends".  Now, when my male friends get a new lady friend, I go out of my way to show that I come in peace and try not to make any sudden, threatening moves.  I think, however, that I am in the minority.  In reality, there is the attitude of "Bitch I was here before you, I will be here after you, and who are you to tell me how I can and cannot deal with MY friend" accompanied by that passive aggressiveness that females have gotten down to a science AND and art that's really not about the guy, but more about whatever the female equivalent of a pissing contest would be.  And honestly, unfortunately..... I can't really argue with the logic.  But logic isn't everything and it still pisses me off.  Add on top of this the notion that all's fair in love and war, and as merely the girlfriend I'm a sitting duck for toe stepping, sneak attacks, tomfoolery, and all sorts of other females' reindeer games.

(Do I sound paranoid?? Sorry......there was an incident.)

The reality is until there is some next level of commitment made, whether intentional (engagement/marriage) or unintentional (baby momma), the status of girlfriend means very little to the outside world.  Sometimes it almost feels like a joke, like I'm just waiting for someone actually to cock their head to side, pat me on the head and say "Oh, that's so cute."  I can almost hear the mental speculation as to whether I'll be the one back next year at the company picnic, or a guest at the next wedding, or at the next family function.....

With all that said, none of this really matters.  All that matters is how he and I feel about each other and the level of mutual respect we show one another.  You must walk before you can run, and walking the role of girlfriend is just one of those normal, everyday life things.  Just another one of my observations from my odd vantage point of being a girlfriend for the first time in my adult life, that's all.

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June 9, 2010

All's Fair in Love and War

Maybe she wasn't such a cootie queen after all.

History is always told from the perspective of the winner, not as it actually went down.  Our history books are all written in such a way that applauds the actions of the ones in control and condemns those of the loser.  This is simply one of the spoils of war; the winners get to tell the story the way they want it to be told, and very few actually question it.  This is not only the case in our civilization's history, but love as well. 

Some time last year a good friend of mine was telling me about a new guy she was kickin' it with.  He was a musician, handsome, sexy, and despite the fact that he was staying with her (temporarily til he found another place, supposedly), he had a girlfriend.  I told her run for your life, he's playing you as live-in booty while he plans a life with this chick, you're gonna get your feelings hurt.

Well, last week they got engaged.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to people who are in pre-marriage relationships:  One is that these people are in committed relationships and their relationship should be respected and left alone, and anyone who tries to interfere is just foul and dead wrong.  The other, which was best summed up by my mentor who was a notorious flirt, is "You're single until you're married."  In the Infinite Wisdom of my 20's (and by "Infinite Wisdom" I mean "I thought I had shit figured out and then I actually lived life and was proven terribly wrong") I was of the school of thought that the latter attitude was just awful and an excuse to sleep around for as long as possible.  And even still today I get irritated when someone persists in trying to holla even after I inform them that I have a boyfriend.  But my friend's good news got me thinking about whether this issue is as black and white, right vs. wrong, as I originally thought.

Take my friend as example.  When she first started "dating" her now fiance, 9 out of 10 disinterested women polled on the street would probably tell you she was being a scandalous scallywag for messing with someone else's man.  Now in hindsight though, I would merely have to say "She won."  The ultimate purpose of dating (for most people) is to find someone to build a life with, ideally to marry.  But the fact is that many people are in lackluster, half hearted relationships that they are holding onto for whatever reason, maybe because it's not bad but not really fantastic, or out of habit, or because that's what they think they want, or whatever.  If someone else comes along that is a better match, should they bypass it because of some sense of obligation to the lackluster relationship, or go forward and pursue greater happiness?  Should the interloper walk away from someone showing interest in them because that person is supposedly in a relationship which the interloper has no knowledge of its depth or complexity?

Let's take another example: my very own sister.  She dated a guy from high school for over 5 years, but then her junior or senior year of college she had another guy incessantly in her ear, calling her all the time over the summer, not really caring at all that she had a boyfriend.  That other guy is now my brother-in-law, they have 2 beautiful boys and a wonderful life together.  Had he abided by the "rules" and left my sister alone out of "respect" for her relationship with a guy who honestly was slipping, my sister would not have the life she has today.  My brother-in-law presented himself as the better option, plain and simple.  He won.

I'm not saying that anyone who is not married is 100% fair game and that the follow up question to "Yes, I'm seeing someone" should always be "But are you happy?" because really, that just comes off as rude and disrespectful.  I'm just making the observation that when it comes to love and dating, history rewrites itself such that seemingly questionable behavior all the sudden becomes justified and endearing.  I would be willing to bet that a great number of "how we met" stories involve the scenario "he/she was dating someone already, but I really wanted to get to know him/her" or some other reason why the situation wasn't exactly ideal at the time.  During none of the umpteen times your dad tells the story of how he met your mother do you think "Man, what an asshole", but rather "Wow, he really, really wanted to get with mom."  After the fact we applaud the persistence, the determination, the romanticism, and the poor ex ("Ole Whats-His-Name") just becomes a forgotten casualty of love.

So I guess I do have to agree that, in the grand scheme of life, you really are single until you're married, not in the sense that you can willy nilly do whatever you want in a relationship and use that as a defense (try saying "It wasn't wrong because we're not married" to your boo and see what happens.... you won't be in that particular relationship much longer), but rather there are no guarantees until you say "I do".  Married people are definitely off limits, and at that point you merely become a homewrecker.  But for everyone else, relationships come and go and the reality is that there aren't always clean breaks in between them.  In the end, when it's all said and done, the only person who matters is the one who won.

All is fair in love and war, loved ones..... and the victor gets to rewrite history.

*Disclaimer: AID will not be held responsible for any head busting or beat downs you may catch going after someone else's (wo)man.  Please proceed with caution.

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June 7, 2010

If you like it then you shoulda put some ink on it

Don't let this happen to you.

Commitment issues.....probably the most rampant mental disorder of men everywhere (and many women as well). Commitment, and marriage specifically, is seen as The Enemy; the sign that you have given up, surrendered, foreclosed all other options.

I can somewhat understand commitment an extent. The trust and faith hurdle can be a big one to overcome (yet not insurmountable). What I will never, EVER understand is this: name tattoos.

Specifically I'm talking about the folks you see with "Tammy" or "Trina" tattooed across their neck/arm/wrist/chest without nary a piece of jewelry on the left hand. And yes, I am zeroing in on the guys because let's be real: At the end of the day, men are the ones who control when a marriage is to occur. Women are usually on board first, waiting for their guy to finally propose. It seems like getting a guy to commit to marriage is a major feat. Yet, despite the proclivity of men to avoid saying "I do" for as long as possible, I still see guys with their lady's name tattooed on their bodies while declaring that they aren't ready for the commitment of marriage.

In case you weren't aware of this patently obvious fact, let me break it down so that it is forever broken and put things into perspective: Marriage, despite best efforts and intentions, is not guaranteed to be permanent. A tattoo, however, is with you for the rest of your natural born LIFE.

How is it that you are scared to make the commitment to make a life with someone, yet you will go have her name permanently implanted in your dermis?? Am I missing something here?? If you intend to be with this woman's name for the rest of your life, have given yourself a 25/8/366 reminder of her existence, have committed to this "artwork" (that term is used very loosely), why is the commitment to marriage so difficult? The whole concept seems very ass backward to me.

And ladies, I'm not letting you off the hook, either. Why would you permanently tattoo "Jon Jon" across your ass when Jon Jon doesn't think enough of you to make you his wife? Is it really wise to forever mark yourself with the name of a man who can up and leave tomorrow on a whim?  And if it doesn't work out, do you really think your new beau will want to look at that every day?

Word to the wise: Leave the name tattoos alone unless you're talking about your child, parent, or anyone else who, by default, ain't going anywhere. Even for married folks, don't do it. At one point I considered getting my ex-husband's name tatted on me (though he also shares a first name with my son) and I thank my lucky stars I had sense enough to get an Adinkra symbol instead, because I probably would have clawed the damn thing off myself (eff a laser). I have a friend who had the name of her husband, with which she has 5 kids, tattooed in HUGE letters across her back; I recently saw her in Facebook pictures with her new fiancé. Yes, there is the option of laser removal, but why put yourself through that unnecessarily? Go get a tiger or a butterfly instead.

There's also the matter of the superstition that when you get a tattoo of your lover's name, your relationship is cursed and you are doomed to split up. I'm not sure how true this is, but judging by the amount of cover up work tattoo artists do, I'd say it's best not to test the theory.

If you absolutely MUST express your love via the pulse of an ink covered needle piercing your skin 100 times per second, just do like my sister and brother-in-law and get matching non-name tattoos. Yes, if you break up it will be a reminder, but at least your new boo won't have to be subject to "Property of Booski" every time you undress.

But for real..... just get her a ring instead, m'kay??

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Adventures in Divorce: 06/2010 - 07/2010

Adventures in Divorce