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Thank You, Orange!

July 18, 2012

Fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce. Now that I am part of that statistic, I think about all the other people who have been, are going through and will go through this mess! People tell you it’s like the grieving process. All I know is that my emotions have been all over the map. One day, I find myself waking up to a panic attack and wondering how in the world I will be able to actually sign the divorce papers. I can’t do it. I just can’t do it, I find myself chanting as I choke back tears and feel my heart pounding in my chest.

But then things change. Every day is a new set of amazing changes and drastically different feelings.

Back in May, I told my therapist that I was still in love with my husband. That I was living in a fantasy world filled with what I recognized to be the false hope that one day my husband and I would find a way back to each other. Not remarry, necessarily. But date, maybe. I wanted him to become my boyfriend. I couldn’t let go of the idea that we were still soul mates, that we were meant to be together and no piece of paper could change that. I told her that I needed my fairy godmother to visit me and sprinkle fairy dust on me so I would wake up and get over it. “I hate to tell you this, honey but the fairy godmother isn’t going to show up,” she had said.

Well, the fairy godmother showed up, in the form of a pair of plaid, pink shorts and an orange tranny.

On July 4, I was sitting at home, sort of feeling sorry for myself and lonely. When we lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, we always went to the beach to shoot fireworks on the fourth. It was one of the few times my husband let his guard down and loosened up. He and the kids spent the evening trying to blow each other up. It was always fun. I miss that. Around six in the evening I decided to go out. There was an event downtown so I rode my bike over to check it out. It was boring and lame, so I headed to home base, Pamplona’s for a beer. I was just taking my first sips and making conversation with a stranger when in walked my ex-husband and a woman. Our divorce had been final only two days before.

Oh, God, I thought. He went to the bathroom. She stood and waited for him. I could only see her from the side. He came out and they walked out. Not before I got a load of what he was wearing. White, button-down oxford shirt. Pink, plaid, knee-length shorts. My God. He’s turned into a frat boy. I couldn’t get the image of him in that get-up out of my head for days. It was really upsetting me. I kept contrasting this new persona with the memory I had of him on the day we met. We were children of the 80s. We met in college when everyone was listening to The Smiths, The Cure, The Cult, Psychedelic Furs etc… We were on the fringe, on the edge. My ex was a skater punk at 18. Maroon beret, army issue cargo vest. Vans and the ubiqitous skateboard always at his side. Even in the recent past, his idea of dressing for an outdoor event was a tucked in polo shirt, shorts and tennis shoes. Once, I tried to get him to dress more trendy. We went shopping and I suggested some more stylish choices. “This makes me look gay,” he complained. I didn’t really push any changes on him. I didn’t really care how he dressed. He could wear whatever he wanted. I accepted him just the way he was. Now, to see him dressing like a frat boy with his new girlfriend was so gross.

I knew he was seeing someone but knowing it and seeing it are too different things. It was pretty upsetting and I went home and cried after they left.

A week or so later, I was at home on a Saturday night determined to give my pocketbook and my liver a break when one of my friends texted me to come and join him at Pamplona’s, so I did. We were having a good time, man-watching and being silly when they walked in, my ex and his girlfriend. He looked over at me and gave me that weird, awkward smile he does when he’s clearly uncomfortable. This time I got a good look at the girlfriend. At the risk of greatly increasing my chances of going to hell I will use the words that came to mind as I got a full view of my ex-husband’s new girlfriend: Orange. Fugly. She was not an attractive woman. Long, stringy unkempt hair with a fake, orange streak on one side. Overly bedangled with earrings and jewlery. Orange complexion and distinctively masculine face and hands. What in the world was he doing? Wow! This woman (maybe) has no idea what a huge favor she is doing me by dating my ex.

He was, again, dressed very metro sexual or as my gay friend put it, “That’s the kind of clothes my people wear.” He looked ridiculous.

I decided to be the brave one and told my friend I wanted to go over and say hello since he obviously wasn’t going to bother to come over and introduce the tranny. My friend offered to come along. We walked up behind them. I tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around and said hi and stuck out his hand to shake mine just as I held out my arms to hug him like I have done every other time we’ve seen each other. I wasn’t about to shake his hand just because he was with his tranny. I introduced my friend and we were introduced to “Tracy.” Gross. He was nervously chatty and immediately went into a story about some mutual friends. He was going on and on. I didn’t expect that. I listened and watched her orange-ness squirm. I wanted to turn to her say, “That’s right. I’m his ex-wife and I’m damned good looking. Better looking than you, with your orange self.” Of course, I didn’t say anything. I keep my cool. I held my composure and giving all of us an out of the awkward situation said, “Well, we just wanted to come over and say hi. Enjoy your evening. It was nice meeting you.”

Naturally, as soon as we returned to our spots both camps were hyper-analyzing the other side. And of course, her orange-ness was all over him clearly marking her territory and giving me the clearest of signals that he is now hers. And believe it or not, I think I’m ok with that.

A month ago if he would have called me for a bootie call, I would have happily consented. Today, if I got such a call, I would tell him he’d have to get a chemical peel on his penis before I would touch it with a ten foot pole. ‘Cause Damn!

I know I’m being silly and judgmental in my assessment but I gotta say, it feels good to be over him or at least well on the way to being over him. I was really suffering in my fantasy world and couldn’t imagine how I was going to get out of it. I did feel sad when I went home that night, but only because it was the first time I truly recognized that it was really over. I don’t know who he is anymore. The man I loved so deeply is gone. I’m seeing a man who wants very different things than me, a man who is either faking his way through divorce recovery or really is a completely changed and unrecognizable person. Either way, he’s not my type anymore.

So, thanks Tracy. Thanks for being orange. Thanks for biting on your teeth and making that face that made you look even more like a horse. Thanks for being so completely different than me and thanks for hanging all over my ex to show me that he’s yours now. And, congratulations on his being yours and your influence on his fashion choices. May you mold him into what you want him to be. Just be careful because one day he may have to choose between you and his company and it’s not gonna be you, honey. Trust me, I know.

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From → Rantings

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