I’m gonna fight ’em off. A seven nation army couldn’t hold me back. They’re gonna rip it off.
Taking their time right behind my back.
And I’m talkin’ to myself at night.
Because I can’t forget.
Back and forth through my mind.
Behind a cigarette.
And the message comin’ from my eyes says, “Leave it alone.”
Don’t wanna hear about it
Every single one’s got a story to tell.
Everyone knows about it.
From the Queen of England to the hounds of hell.
Seven Nation Army, The White Stripes – to listen, click here
I have ticked another first of the list.
Last night, the children and I attended a party. Hosted by my sister, for her son. My nephew lives out of the country, and he made a brief visit home, before he moves even further away to another continent.
I used to be very close to my nephew. I looked after him and his sister frequently when they were younger. My niece and my eldest son were in the same year at school, so most evenings I would collect them from school and they’d stay for dinner (my sister went through divorce about 10 years ago and I supported her/helped her with childcare whilst she was getting on her feet).
With him living away, and then me moving abroad too, I haven’t seen him for nearly three years. The time hasn’t diminished my fondness for him. I was excited to be seeing him, and spent Saturday morning baking him a cake (he used to love my cooking, so I thought it’d be a nice surprise for him).
In my excitement at seeing my nephew, I hadn’t given thought to the fact that I’d also be seeing lots of other people for the first time since the bomb.
So, how have you been?
Everyone clearly knows what has happened. Gossip spreads far and wide. And I know this is a hot topic. As I’ve said before, nobody who knew us as a couple can believe it. It’s causing intrigue. Why have the golden couple come to this?
Despite clearly knowing, everyone felt the need to ask – so, how have you been?
I answered honestly.
“I am doing remarkably well thank you, for somebody who got chucked on Christmas Day. The children are doing brilliantly. I have come to terms with it and I am moving on etc.”
So, how’s ex?
“Sadly, it is not going great. We rarely communicate. He’s been difficult. Acting like I instigated this. Portraying me as a creature from hell. Re-writing the entire history of our union etc.”
Everyone was incredulous.
As the night went on, the topic kept being raised. Well meaning. Being kind and complimentary, or trying to be:
– I’m doing amazingly well (thank you, that’s very kind of you to say),
– I look amazing, divorce suits me (ha! Well I will take that as a compliment, I think),
– I am proper fit now (really? like I wasn’t pretty before, and this has somehow worked wonders. Stop the press – emotional upheveal is more effective than cosmetic surgery. Don’t waste 1000s on expensive procedures, just get the love of your life to dump you),
– I could get any man I wanted (Ha! Again. Yes, I’m going to bag myself a real catch),
– I will be ok (Have you been listening to me? I am ok now, thank you very much),
– I will be snapped up in no time (Phew. That’s a relief. Am I a fish? Do I look like I want to be snapped up? I never knew. I will go to sleep more soundly tonight now you’ve imparted those pearls of wisdom),
– he will regret this and will come back begging (err, no he won’t. He doesn’t do admitting he’s wrong. Ever. And he’d never concede he’d made a mistake. Never).
The list goes on!
Goodness, it was tedious. Retelling the same story over and over.
As the night went on, and people became more tipsy, the level of probing, of wanting more detail, of having an opinion, intensified.
– What really went on? (I have no fucking clue and I doubt I ever will)
– Is he seeing somebody else? (Yes. Of course. That must be it. Silly me. Why didn’t I think of that. You’re like Sherlock Holmes. He’d never admit infidelity, even if he has somebody else waiting in the wings, which he probably has),
– He must have somebody else. You don’t just stop loving your wife (yes, you’ve said, and there’s really no need to restate your point, or elaborate),
– Surely I must have seen it coming (err, no. That’s why it was an utter shock),
– Surely I must know more (No. I really don’t. I have divulged all I know),
– Why don’t I ask him why? (I did in the beginning. But it seems I do not deserve honesty, so it is was it is),
– Why aren’t I fighting to ‘win’ him back? (Win him back? Like he’s some sort of prize. And I should demean myself. No thank you. He is not a prize. I deserve better),
– Beneath the ‘bravado’ I must be destroyed (Ha! Thanks for that. Yes, it is pretty devastating but I refuse to dwell on the destructive aspects),
– You would have him back tomorrow if he asked you (No I really wouldn’t. Too much has gone on. I could never trust him again),
– I know you’re saying him telling you he doesn’t love you anymore is a deal breaker but surely you’d have him back if he said sorry (No. Again. Just no. End off).
To say it was an odd experience would be an understatement. It was bizarre. It’s weird how when something like this happens your private life becomes a public affair. People would never dream of asking such personal questions, or request such intimate details, under normal circumstances.
Given the rocky few weeks I have had, this could have been a bad night. But thankfully I was on form. I didn’t buckle. I answered, with humour mostly. I felt like I was detached. Like it wasn’t me I was talking about. I think I have been probed so much I have become desensitised, in a way. I did not feel sad. I did not feel like crying. I just went through the motions.
And despite my impending divorce being the favoured topic of conversation with most of the older guests, I had a great night. And so did my children.
I danced. I laughed. I had wonderful chats with my nephew (he loved his cake) and his friends. They didn’t know me or have any interest in my situation. One of them enjoyed chatting with me so much he asked my nephew to pass me his number – ha!!! I’m a cougar and I didn’t even know it. I doubt I will contact him, but it’s an ego boost that an attractive 25ish year old would want to go on a date with me. Apparently, the friend, who is from Argentina so speaks most fluently in Spanish, told my nephew (who also speaks Spanish fluently) he wanted to get to know his fit Aunty better. Ha!!! Hilarious.
It is good to get this one, a big social gathering, under my belt.
I am looking forward to the day when my private life is mine again. When I am no longer defined by this. When I can just chat about nonsense with people and have a laugh.