...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

it's been 7 hours and 15 days. sort of. feels like it.

I got a divorce last week.

It happened almost as quickly and easily as it was for me to type those six words. No real pretense. No obvious clues. Just the end.

Perhaps you're asking yourself, "Did one of you cheat on the other? Was it those pesky irreconcilable differences that always crop up? Did you wake up one day and ask yourself 'Is this all there is?' and decided to be foolish and look for someone more passionate and scary?"

No. None of those things. I wish there'd been some of those issues, really. I think it would've made the end easier. We could've avoided each other and stormed apart. As though it were all real. Instead, I walked out the door one night last week, glanced over my shoulder, gave a last look and met silence.

Then my work husband - now officially off the clock and officially my ex - closed and locked the door and turned his back.

I learned he was leaving when another manager approached me at the start of my shift a few weeks ago, bursting to share news with me. "Have you heard?" she asked. "He's leaving. Only has a couple of weeks left."

The smile I'd been wearing? Oh, it remained. But it tightened, along with my gut, which felt like it'd been unexpectedly punched. "Leaving," I repeated. Not so much as a question, but more as a fishing expedition. I needed to reel in the why's and when's, absorb the answers, contain my sadness, and appear to be happy for him. Smiling. Smiling. Each question was gifted with perfectly plausible answers. It's time for him to move on, my friend explained. Operate under a larger revenue arm of the business. One day, she said, he'll manage his own and he must have the tenure in.

Honestly, there were tears brewing in me, the kind that made my eyes ache with a need to escape. Absolutely foolish of me. So I bit the inside of my cheek to stop them, and I smiled. Unfortunately, my brain hadn't caught up.

"He'll HATE it there!" I practically yelled. "They won't GET him! He WON'T fit in!"

My friend agreed, though I think more out of a desire to back away from the smiling crazy lady (this is becoming a common feature, btw) whose mouth was starting to bleed than in true affirmation of what I was saying. My words, of course, really meant "Who'll I hang out with? Who's going to fully appreciate an entire conversation peppered with double entendre and smirk like we're 12? Who'll truly appear eager and interested in seeing me as I come through the door at the start of my shift, encouraging me to hurry back because he has things to tell me?"

Denial, that most delicious in the stages of grief, hit pretty fast. I walked around the rest of my shift, helping customers and talking to myself. "He's not really going to go. Nothing's been formally announced," I thought. "This is all probably just silly talk." The next evening, when a different manager said to just wait and see when someone questioned her on my work husband's rumored departure, my heart skipped, and I thought how excellent I was to be right. The three years we'd spent together were not for naught. Smiles. Smiles.

It's clear why I'd think the way I did. Truly, we were perfect for each other. We knew it almost instantly when I reached across the table and shook his hand when he interviewed me for my job, and the bond only grew from there. Our part time marriage seemed solidified when, just a couple of weeks ago, he paused and turned back toward me. "Say it..." he requested. "Say it again..."

"The Dharma and Greg Initiative," I repeated. "That's what our team name will be when we dominate next year's World Series of Pop Culture on VH1!"

("We'll be unstoppable," he laughed, lifting me up and spinning me around the biographies. "No! Not just unstoppable! We'll claim that network! We'll OWN VH1!" I cried.)

Two days later, there was a note. Not specifically to me, no. How foolish. But a note taped to the break room door, alerting us all on upcoming staff changes. Three notations down, there was my divorce papers. "Wish him luck! We're sure he'll miss us all!!" it said, highlighted in pink marker.

"'Miss us all,' I'm sure," I muttered. "Me! Miss me!"

This thought despite what was turning into acceptance.

On the last closing shift we shared, neither of us worked much until after we locked the doors. Instead, we stood around and talked. Reading from a truly awful humor book of "what if" questions, he asked, "Would you rather have breasts that tuned in radio waves so you could have an instant party wherever you were, or body hair there that morphed into different shapes every 15 minutes?" I smiled, thinking no one could ever claim that our pretend love was ever mature.

"OK, here's what I think," I replied. "Body hair there. I mean, seriously? Can you imagine how much fun getting dressed or going to the bathroom would be every day? 'Hey, come look! It's shaped like a dragon fighting a knight! No wait! It's a rabbit chasing a ball!' That's your real party right there."

There was arm punches and stupid laughing that followed. That was really how we said goodbye to each other. Oh, I'll admit, for a fleeting bit of time, I thought about following him to the other store. Continuing this. But a bit of selfishness won out in the end. That store closes an hour later! There's some priorities over pretend!

So he'll find a new work wife at the other store, if he hasn't already. These types of relationships are clearly easily replaceable. I see it quite often. Though I hate it. Hate it. I fear groveling at his feet should I have to call over there to check on a customer request, and get him on the phone. Is he happy? Does he miss me? Is she good do him? Does he remember? All the questions I'd like to ask instead of if they have a copy of whatever new Nicholas Sparks books come out.

New things dim the old, I'm told. A new manager comes in this week to take my ex's place.

But I'm clearly dimmed.



Blogger FTN said...

This tragic love story left a tear in my eye. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Did the trials and tribulations of a work-marriage drive him away? Did he have a mid-life crisis and decide he wants a ditzy 18-year old work-wife, along with a fancy new sports car?

Or was it just time to move on...

There's always the option of trying to make him jealous by engaging in pop culture conversation with the new manager. Even though I'm sure it could never take his place.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007 8:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ihad a similar relationship when I taught though it wasn't as flirtatious and no double entedres (it was a Christian school after all) and while it was all very casual it is amazing how close we can feel in those types of arrangements. About a year after I left I heard she had moved to another school about 100 miles away. Guess she couldn't stand to stay there without me.

pwqewhk (Mmmmmm nice)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007 9:22:00 AM  
Blogger Nature Girl said...

Oh Man. I so could have written this post a year ago. Though I had the priveledge of working for my manager twice in two different states, when It was time for us both to move on it was very very sad. I adopted him as my brother and I still keep in touch with him and his wife. His wife, by the way is my fairy blogmother and I adore them both more than life itself. I stayed on at the store for 2 weeks after he left and that was all I could take.
(ps, we missed each other, it's up)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007 9:38:00 AM  
Blogger JamesMommy said...

Oh, geez! I must be a sucker...I was all like, "WTF?! She just wrote about trying to date and blah, blah, blah". Maybe it's the strain my work hubby has been sharing though.....I did just dream I told him "Hey, I'm not your real-life wife and I don't have to put up with your moods so get over it". Hmmmmm....

Wednesday, August 01, 2007 12:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such is the tragedy of polygamy .... only the original, 'legal' wife retains full rights in such events unless the husband chooses otherwise. Work wives are relegated to an even lower status than spiritual wives and thus are left unprotected. I am sorry for your loss. Truly.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Choppzs said...

~Big HUGS!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007 1:23:00 PM  
Blogger Nanette said...

Oh sweetie! Your story has not been lost to me. I want to reach right through the screen and give you a giant hug!!!!!!! Written very eloquently, I might add. (((MILK)))

Wednesday, August 01, 2007 1:45:00 PM  
Blogger kimmyk said...

I'm sorry to hear you got 'divorced'. I don't think I've ever heard that expression before or actually witnessed a relationship such as that. I don't think I'd work well in a situation like that. I don't do well with intimacy and people and strangers so much. The very thought makes me cringe. Weird huh?

I hope your new manager is as equally nice. If not, then maybe your 'ex' will help you find out.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007 6:06:00 PM  
Blogger The Savage said...


Wednesday, August 01, 2007 9:04:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Penmark said...

You scared me! My heart leaped into my chest at the thought of another marriage - seemingly happy enough - biting the dust. Now I need to rest... :)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007 9:04:00 PM  
Blogger SuperWife said...

GREAT post!! I cried. I laughed. I nearly offered to be your partner on WSOPC, but I'm soooo not worthy. But, you know, if you don't have any other options and need some lame-o to fill in, I totally will not say that "whatever" was before I was born. **eye roll** I mean, first, it probably wasn't...'cause I'm old...and second, I can come up with way better excuses or feign a heart attack.

Best to you as you struggle through the new "relationship" woes and I hope the new boss isn't a jerk.

Thursday, August 02, 2007 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

FTN - Ah, if I had the skillz to make someone jealous, I'd probably totally whip that one out of my book of tricks.

My only saving hope? That all the women who work at that one are so much older than hot fake wife me. I'm sure he's wallowing in regret right about now.

FL - I must not be quite as enticing! He only moved on about 5 miles from me. Probably so he could pretend and think about what I'm doing.

Stacie - I think, if for no other reason than this gig is grocery money for us, that I have to hang onto this job! Perhaps I shall set my sites on some enticing young male floor lead and see what transpires. Ha!

Jamesmommy - Sorry for the stress! As alluded, I rarely got the real life stresses from the work hubs. We were so very high school romance instead. Plus, it's a pretty nonstress gig I'm working at.

XI - Thank you for your sympathies. Not having to take home his stresses, whatever they may have been, made this work marriage set up quite ideal. For the both of us.

Choppzs - big hugs taken!

Nan - I just read this again. Things in here that should have been edited. But thanks for the kind words, as always, sweets!

Kimmyk - Generally, I'm not a "seek you out" kind of person, and honestly, being comfortable with getting attention from others has only been something I've been willing to try to take on in the last couple of years. So I get what you're saying. But honestly, not to sound all sappy and whatnot, I clicked with this guy pretty quickly, so it felt natural to hook up in that platonic way men and women do.

As for the new manager, well, fingers crossed.

Savage - taken.

Elizabeth - Hope you got a calm rest! Sorry for that! Heh! Latent writer thing to draw ya in!

Superwife - Thank you! Should this story of pretend love denied ever transfer to the cinema, I hope I can use your remarks as advance praise on the poster!

And SERIOUSLY!!! THANK YOU!! I mean, if the category is freakin' "One Hit Wonders of the 80s," if you're gonna drag your ass up to the mic, don't then get up there and say you weren't born until 1989!!! Why volunteer to be the team rep, then. Hell, why volunteer to be on the team AT ALL!!?? Have you not had a radio on at any time in the last decade? Have you not been to any pick up bar? Seriously!? You don't know that Dexy's Midnight Runners performed "Come On Eileen"? Then I have no sympathy for you (not you. totally you can be on my team!).

Ok, obviously I have a passion for wasteless information. Forgive me.


Thursday, August 02, 2007 10:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you totally scared me. but, i know what you mean. and it sucks. bad. so, sorry. i feel for you!

Thursday, August 02, 2007 4:49:00 PM  
Blogger FindingHeart said...

Crap, here I am feeling all guilty for getting so far behind in reading and then my reader finally shows, "I got a divorce." schwaa?!! It was a sucker punch, but well written. :)

(I hope he got custody of the red stapler! Ha!!)

Thursday, August 02, 2007 6:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well 10 minutes isn't that bad, food for thought.

Friday, August 03, 2007 9:35:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Youdamom - Sucks really, really bad. It's not as fun at work anymore. I shall hold back my tears, though! Why? For tonight I meet the new manager!

FH - Sorry for the sucker punch. It wasn't how I originally started this post, but in editing, I recalled the whole "drama" part of writing.

If he got the red stapler, he stole it, and if he stole it, then I should commend him for sticking it to the man!

Nocturnal - As always, you've given me an idea of something to chew on with that food for thought.

Friday, August 03, 2007 1:28:00 PM  

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