Sunday, June 29, 2014


I started blogging as Pollyanna as a response to my divorce.

Recap:  I decided to get divorced in May 2011, and we lived separately-apart (upstairs downstairs) in the same house until June 2012, when he moved out.  We were officially divorced in January 2013, but I have "felt" divorced since that first decision three years ago.

When I first started blogging at, I strongly identified with that word "divorced."  It seemed to define me in many ways, just as "wife" and "mother" had defined me.

I felt like it was on my forehead, tattooed in large, ugly letters: DIVORCED.  I knew the baggage that such a label carried: unsuccessful, broken home, quitter, vow-breaker.  It was my scarlet D, and I faithfully pinned it to my chest each day when I got dressed, and before I left the house.  I slept with it, too, tucking it under my pillow near my cheek, alone in my bed.

Being divorced has baggage, no way around that.  Others would judge, and I judged myself, despite the brave face I put on to make it through the day.

But time passed.

I can barely remember the girl I was three years ago.  Isn't that funny?  The thoughts that went through my head then seem only tangentially related to the thoughts I have now - she seems like not-me, like someone from another era, someone from a book, someone not quite real.

Somewhere along the way, I lost my scarlet D.


When I first took steps towards divorce, I didn't know exactly what I wanted, I only knew what I did not want.  With every fiber in my being, I realized that I needed to be divorced to stay alive.  I was suffocating in my marriage as if I had a plastic bag over my face that only ocassionally blew to the side to give me enough air to hold on to life, but not enough to live.  The anger of our household, the yelling, the lies, and the utter lack of support or partnership made it hard for me to breathe.  I did not know what I would do with my life, but I was determined to live.

With the first gasps of freedom, I think I thought "New partner!  I will find The Right Man and all will be well!"  I embarked upon a series of dating misadventures to this end, and unsurprisingly, found nobody who fit the bill.  I cringe a bit to think of some of those dates: I was not exactly a catch, as bruised and battered (fortunately, "only" psychologically and not physically) as I was.

More time passed, and I reconnected to so many parts of myself.  The hiking that my partner professed to enjoy but neither joined nor accommodated became, once again, a regular part of my life.  Camping trips increased.  My attendance at concerts (including the free ones) increased.  The house filled with friends.  I ate healthier food, and watched my body change.  I ran, and ran, and ran, and felt the exhilaration of it.  I volunteered - with nobody telling me that it was a foolish way to spend my time, or grumbling about how I was gone - and found deep fulfillment in it.

I mothered.  I found mothering to be suddenly easier, not harder, with his influence out of the house: no more managing moods, no more explaining his temper tantrums.  Consistent rules, a smiling mother, and my daughter blossomed.  The more I blossomed, the more she blossomed.


I don't know how to pinpoint the moment that the D fell off, but it's lost and I haven't seen it in ages.  I don't think about it very much at all, to be honest.

Sure, my ex is still a regular part of my life, and I communicate with him nearly every day (even if the communications are one way: informing him of summer childcare, gymnastics schedules, etc.)...but he's just a person that's involved in my life, much like a neighbor or a cousin.  He's not someone I think about unless we're face to face.  I can't explain it - he is just not an important part of my life any more, even though he's a regular in my life.  He just "is".

I don't debate where my marriage fell apart any more.  I don't spend a bunch of time wondering where I went wrong, or why he behaved the way he did, or how to prevent that from ever happening to me again.

The D seems to have slipped off.


What's it been replaced with?

"Single Mom" mostly.  Being a single mom is a regular part of my day to day, and my decisions revolve around my single-mom-ness.  Everything from what time I go to work to how I structure my free time to if/when I go on dates to, well, everything, is about being a single mom.  I know my daughter counts on me for much, including love and stability, and I do everything in my power to provide the stability of two parents even though I am only one.  (Her dad loves her, but "stability" isn't his specialty.  She spends on average 3 nights a month at his place....his choice.)

I like being a single mom.  How's that for bizarre?  To me it means that I'm independent and strong, that I'm capable and brave.  It means that I demonstrate how capable I am on a daily basis: I manage to pack a healthy lunch, get my child off to school, be one of the first ones in the office, bust my rear end all day (working through lunch because I can't work late, because I need to take my daughter to gymnastics or simply get home to feed her and be there for her), and manage to keep the laundry more-or-less caught up, the yard mowed (bane of my existence!), the bills paid, the birthday party presents purchased, the right sized clothes in the closet (no matter how fast she grows).  The money parts of that equation are tricky, but I'm managing, and I like that I can manage it.

I think that before I was a single mom I associated that term with vulnerability, fear, anxiety, brokenness.  But no longer.

Now I associate it with being a freaking rock star.

Yup, I'm feeling like a rock star.  Sure, there's a new gray streak in my hair, and I'm too tired to stay out until 10pm....but still, a rock star.


My ex was updating his Facebook status recently (not sure why it took him so long!) to "Divorced" and it popped up on my feed.  I couldn't remember what my status was, so I looked up my own status.  "Single."  That feels so much better to me than "Divorced" even though it amounts to the same thing.  I am not defined by having had a failed relationship.  I'm just not in a relationship right now.  I'm single.  I like that.


Define me how you wish.  Sure, I'm divorced, and I won't deny that, and if you want to think of me as a Divorced Woman then go ahead - I can't stop you.  But for me, the label has lost its power, and I'm just back to being myself.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.


On a totally different note....

I enjoy being single so much that I can't seem to find a single man in fifty miles who meets my exacting criteria for dating.  I amuse myself with this: it's not like I'm a supermodel millionaire famous artist cancer-curer, for Pete's sake, so where do I get off being so picky?  I don't know, I only know that nobody can capture my interest.   I think that, because of this, I'm going to become a crazy cat lady (hold the cats, though).  I want to do what I want to do without reporting in to anyone, and I like my busy life, and I don't want to make room for anyone in that life, it seems.

But there's a problem.


I am NOT agreeing to live out the rest of my days in celibacy.  And the whole friends-with-benefits thing doesn't appeal, and there's only so much appeal to solo acts, and I'm not a one-night-stand kind of girl.

Not sure what I'm going to do about that.


  1. Fwb relationship is the best thing there is. I have 3 of those friends. I am happy they are happy. Human are not made to be monogamous. The only reason people are monogamous is because they need to raise an offspring and the best state to raise an offspring is to be monogamous. Since you are single, go play and have sex, until you want to have another offspring, there is no reason to be monogamous (tie yourself to a man - sounds like a bad dream for me).

    The society wants monogamous relationship. But who the fuck cares about society? Living through other people expectation just to conform society standard is not the way to live. Live is short. 40s is not exactly young. Only only time that matter now, not the future, not the past. Have safe sex with a great man even if it is only for the sake of having sex (meaningless sex). It's a foolish endeavor to deny your own impulses. To deny our own impulses is to deny what makes us human.

  2. Anonymous, thanks for your note. What you and I agree upon is that we should follow our impulses - but your impulses and mine appear to be really different.

    I don't like monogamy because of society, or because I want an offspring, or to help me raise my daughter. I want monogamy because it feels good. You like fwb with multiple people because it feels good, and I'm not judging that, but for me that would be a nightmare.

    I know better than many people that life is short; I spent several years fighting for my life (cancer). Maybe because of that experience I fight really hard to make my life the way I want it, living each day fully. For me, fwb isn't a good deal, so I don't do it. I want a type of tenderness that is not available within fwb; for me, fwb feels sad, not joyful, and I'm all about the joy.

    The beauty is that you can have fwb and be happy, and I can avoid it and be happy. I suspect that neither is perfect, but perfection was taken off the table long ago. :-)