Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Falling From Grace
Alright, that's probably not true... But dating is hilarious and it's fairly easy to write about. Divorce is hard and sad and finding the humor is pretty tricky. I know I've been writing about dating throughout this blog, and all the ridiculous adventures I've been on, which you all love to hear about. But I'd be remiss if I glanced over the part where I'm single at 31 because my marriage did not work out.
Several readers have asked me how this project got started, why am I different from any other girl trying to find love in the big city. The truth is, I might not be that different which is exactly why I'm so relatable. Sadly, there are a million other girls like me all over this country. Girls who thought they'd met their match, found their prince, and were living their happily ever after. Only years later (in some cases - months later) to discover that this life, this marriage, this husband was not at all who or what they thought they'd signed up for. Maybe he was an alcoholic / workaholic / cheater / loser / insert awful adjective of your choice here. Maybe he was all of the above. Maybe he was none of the above and you just grew apart, life happened. Maybe he changed his mind about wanting children and you found yourself ten years after you thought you'd be a mother, writing a blog about how you're not a mother.
No? Just me then.
I'd also be remiss if I did not add on to yesterday's blog that I did, in fact, join a sorority in college. After not getting accepted into the three national sororities at my school, there was a local chapter that welcomed me with open arms and open hearts. My sisters are still some of my closest friends despite years and miles between us. My big sister, the girl who truly adopted me, is getting married in December and I'm thrilled and honored to attend her wedding. We've all moved on, some have moved away, but there is an unbreakable bond between us that we will share forever. A decade and a half ago, I made a promise to strengthen and uphold our sisterhood. Kinship, love, and pride. It's not just a slogan, it's a way of life. It's letting those other girls know that I have their backs. Always have, always will.
How does this relate to motherhood? Because I know what it's like on the other side. I know that there's a big, wide world of women waiting to welcome me once I have a baby of my own...and not a moment before. There are stages of friendship, no matter how close you are to another woman, no matter how long you've known her. When one of you gets married, it changes things. When one of you has a baby, it changes things. She develops new relationships with other mommies out there, because she's going through things you can't possibly relate to, and frankly, might not want to hear about. All she can talk about is nap schedules and feeding times and poopie diapers. Is she really going to confess her breastfeeding tales to a girl who was out at a club last night? Not likely. There is an unspoken boundary between mommies and non-mommies that just doesn't get crossed. It's not that they don't want to tell you about their new life. It's just that "you wouldn't understand."
Those are my least favorite words in the English language. "You wouldn't understand. You're not a mom." Well, someday, I might be, and then maybe I'll get it. Whatever these women are talking about, I WANT IN! I want to know what it's like. I want to be a part of it. In the military, they recognize men by rank: Private, Captain, Major. Women recognize each other by title: Single, Wife, Mother. There is always something to aspire to.
Some of you have no clue what I'm talking about. You think I'm bitter and jaded and jealous. I'm not. Those of you who are still waiting for to meet your husbands, or for your husbands to be ready to have kids know what I mean. I do not begrudge anyone their happiness, as one reader commented yesterday. I simply want my own happiness and I've been waiting my whole life to find it in marriage and motherhood.
Why tell you all of this now? Well to start with, I couldn't talk about it before. It was easier to tell you funny dating story after funny dating story because there were no consequences there. Going out with a guy who cracks open his Darth Vader piggy bank is hysterical, but I'm hoping that hasn't happened to anyone else! How many of you can tell me you ended up on a date with a man who threw up and still tried to kiss you? Or put you on the phone with his mother? Or burst into tears when you told him you didn't get butterflies on the date? Or picked his nose and then wanted to hold your hand? Or was a one-armed Cuban prison guard?
I sincerely hope that NONE of those things apply to you! But chances are you (or your mother, or your sister, or your friend) is divorced. Maybe she's divorced and dating. Maybe she has kids, maybe she doesn't. Maybe she's turning 30, or even 40, wondering why and how she is supposed to start all over. Maybe she's scared to death and just knowing that someone else has been through the same things is helpful. I know that not every girl is willing to put her Dear Diary online for the whole world to read. But I am. You don't have to like it. You don't have to agree with it. I'm not writing for anyone else these days. I'm writing for me, because I know that if I'm going through this, someone else is too. If I've made just that one girl feel better, made her laugh, talked her through her tears, then it's all been worth it.