Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

The rest of the story.

Sharing big news about your life, for the most part, is simple enough.  Etiquette gives us permission to send out personalized engagement, wedding and baby announcements.  In fact, all of life’s main events, even the sad news of one’s passing, can be posted in newspapers across the land, sometimes accompanied by a rather nice photo.  The same, unfortunately (for me) cannot be said of divorce.  As a rule, unless you’re someone on the radar of TMZ or Entertainment Tonight, marital separation is a thing mostly spread along phone lines and whispered about in polite (and especially impolite) conversation.  The grown-up version of this telephone/telegraph game is pretty darn effective, too.  However, just when I think everyone has heard about my situation this past year… along comes a relative or friend who chokes back their potato salad on a sunny Sunday and says, “What the…?!”

 

 Yeah.  Sorry ‘bout that.

 

 Unfortunately, I can’t take out a paid advertisement or send engraved announcements, because I believe Emily Post and Miss Manners would frown on that kind of behavior, but I’ve been given an internet soapbox to stand on and, by golly, I’m going to use it.  After all Emily, your last name was Post.  So, I will.

 

 See, a funny thing happened on the carnival mid-way of marriage.  Literally.  Half way through what was turning out to be a pretty amazing life (two kids, a cat and a Mr. Katz) the man I thought I’d married started to disappear.  Dissolve, actually.  In one year he: suffered the traumatic lost of his mother to pancreatic cancer; found out (by accident) that he had been adopted as an infant (this discovery made at the tender age of 47), thereby wiping out his entire history and tethering to nearly 50 years of Judaism; learned of his only son’s autism; and returned to the destructive crutches of his bachelor days.  The rest of us were left standing like sideshow characters with tricks not good enough to be noticed, at least not by the main act, not for a decade.  Recovery, when your soul has been ripped from the mooring in your heart, isn’t always easy.  Or even an option, for some.

 

Over a ten year period, the foundation on which I’d originally formed the union of my marriage, two + decades ago, underwent a gradual, insidious transformation — the ground under my feet slowly disintegrated.  What was once a solid surface began to change to broken pavement, which was eventually replaced by eggshells that ultimately crumbled to a fine, lightweight sand, blown hither and yon.  The decision to walk away was not an easy one, but to move forward in an upright fashion, the ground beneath your feet should be stable.

 

Short of wearing a sandwich board while doing the above-mentioned walking away, to let people know what’s happening in your life – informing people of a major life change can be tricky.  At best.  You sort of step into the conversation when asked, or side-step it if you’re not sure what people do or don’t (or should or shouldn’t) know about you.  As a writer, I had a press junket a few years ago that mentioned my books, my family, my cat… and a husband.  In addition to that, thousands of postcards were printed up with similar information.  Having given out handfuls of those postcards, there are still hundreds left.  But, not a husband.  It makes for verrrry interesting dialogue when I’m out on a date and someone looks at the postcard, then up at me, then back at the postcard with a pink-cheeked furtive glance at the Viking at my side.  Yeah.  That’s not weird, at all.  But, there is no budget for new postcards – so, I just smile and let people make up their own stories as they walk away.

 

After all, as I have said repeatedly, at the end of the day – it is all about the storytelling, right?  So, to quote one of my all-time favorite storytellers, Paul Harvey (whose passing we honor on February 28th), those of you who have emailed, Facebooked, called or were just simply flushed as you walked out the door, now you know… The Rest of the Story.

 

Good day!

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