May 2010

Reminders that, yes, I am getting divorced

By Suzanne Strazza

1. Sleeping alone is no longer a novelty.

2. The other side of the bed is covered with trashy magazines, the clickers, extra clothing and cats. I clear it off only to change the sheets.

3. There are no longer little beard hairs in the bathroom sink.

4. I worry a lot more about losing my job.

5. My kids are eating a LOT of Ramen.

6. They are also watching a LOT of movies.

7. I don't feel ashamed about either.

8. I am suddenly a person with appointments: Attorney, Realtor, Therapist.

9. I had to find the fuse box.

10. I do things like drive to Bluff for dinner.

11. I have horrible imaginings about the car breaking down, knowing that I no longer have a person to call from the side of the road.

12. There is finally enough room (almost) in my closet for all of my shoes.

13. I wake up early and write — it's quiet in the house at 5:30.

14. It's also quiet in the house at 7 p.m.

15. In fact, it's just quiet in the house.

16. The kids never fight any more.

17. When I clean out their lunch boxes, I find unrecognizable things in there. Oh, yeah, Dad packed this.

18. When I am telling a story, I stumble over the word “we.”

19. If I cook a steak, I don't have to share it with anyone.

20. I know, without looking, that the last Little Debbie is right where I left it in the pantry.

21. Now the chocolate is in my underwear drawer out of convenience, not necessity.

22. My big heavy river kitchen lives in my living room because I can't move it into the garage all by myself.

23. I occasionally wake up in the middle of the night unable to breathe.

24. No one at work ever says, “Suz, your husband is on the phone.”

25. I've ditched the really long, impractical hyphenated last name.

26. Every time I sign a check, I have to remind myself to stop after “Strazza.”

27. My to-do lists often say “Shower. Get dressed. Eat.”

28. Sometimes they even tell me to “Get out of bed.”

29. I get to spend my 15th wedding anniversary in court.

30. I no longer have to feign interest in things I really don’t give two hoots about.

31. “That's not my job any more” is my new mantra.

32. I say things that start with “I am a single mother.”

33. I use the phrase “the boys' father.”

34. I'm dating.

35. I left my sick child at home while I went to work. (see #4)

36. Sometimes I burst into tears for no apparent reason.

37. When I paint or rearrange the furniture, I don't have to justify it.

38. I catch myself wanting to “check in” when I make decisions. I have to consciously tell myself that I no longer have to ask permission to do something like go to a movie or drive to Bluff for dinner.

39. When I first wake up, I lie in bed in the dark and try to remember if there are children in the next rooms or not.

40. I feel guilty all of the time.

41. I am eating a lot of curry.

42. I have to get up and get my own coffee in the mornings.

43. “What would you like for dinner?” never comes out of my mouth.

44. See #5.

45. I cook AND do the dishes and take out the trash and bring in the wood and shovel snow and scrub the toilets and mop and tile the baseboard.

46. We haven't eaten at the table in six months.

47. I buy bottles of wine. Although they just sit, unopened, in the pantry because drinking alone still seems a bit pathetic.

48. There are times when I have no idea where my children are.

49. I can listen to whatever music I want, whenever I want.

50. I have a LOT to write about.

Suzanna Strazza writes from Mancos, Colo.