The other day I was on the prowl in Target's Valentine's Day clearance section, and I bought some heart-shaped balloons for the children. Um, may I suggest NOT buying them, if you have the opportunity? Because it turns out that if you tip the balloon and look at the top of it, it resembles something other than a heart. Something more like large, perky boobage. And in fact, as it deflates, it develops NIPPLEAGE.
In my household, the line between Noticing and Not Noticing is right between Rob (4th grade) and William (2nd grade). Rob took one look at a balloon and said, "Um, isn't that kind of...inappropriate?" But William, even when the balloon was tipped toward him at a demonstrative angle at chest height, still didn't know what Rob was talking about.
I hope I am not the only one (and in fact I KNOW I am not the only one, and am using this only as a convenient sentence-starter) who is visited by Conflicts of the Past. I can get all worked up about something that happened in SECOND GRADE. "That's what I SHOULD have said to that bitch," I think to myself, thinking bitterly of my 8-year-old opponent.
Useless. But I can't help it. Some of us are living Banks of Old Fights and others of us are not---and just TRY tearing down that kind of edifice, if you have one. Those vaults are made to LAST.
Recently I've been stewing about something that happened more than a dozen years ago, so at least it's within my adult life as opposed to when I was in my single digits. Still, this is a retro vent and I do hope you'll bear with me.
Oh, this is so dumb. Well, no, it isn't. It ISN'T dumb. I really am still very, very mad and hurt (but mostly mad) about it. I've told you a little about my first marriage, so you know it didn't end well. He and I agreed to get a divorce, and we agreed on how all the stuff should be divided up, and we both helped each other find and move into our new places, and then he hired a mean lawyer and sued me for marital desertion (or was it abandonment?) so I received many unpleasant lawyer letters even though there was nothing about the divorce that needed to be disputed.
That's not what bugs me, though: I wanted a divorce, so even though he went the Unpleasant Divorce Lawyer route instead of the $19.99 Do-It-Yourself Kit route I'd suggested, I got what I wanted and he had to pay for the unpleasantness he evidently wanted because I'm sure that lawyer wasn't cheap.
What makes me SIMMER WITH RAGE is that my ex then got our marriage annulled. By the Catholic Church. When neither one of us was Catholic, nor was our marriage in the Catholic Church. And he was able to do this without my consent, and in fact against my STRENUOUS OBJECTIONS. I wrote many, many letters to the Catholic Church, insisting that my former marriage was REAL and VALID and did not meet the requirements for annulment.
Finally a secretary sent me a little note saying, basically, "Um, off the record for a moment---you realize that 'annulment' is just the way the Catholic Church gets around their 'no divorce/remarriage' rule?" Yes, I knew this. I DID NOT CARE. Even if it doesn't actually mean the marriage is invalid and never happened, that's what it SAYS IT MEANS. I'm not playing GAMES, even with my BAD MARRIAGE. Which DID HAPPEN and WAS VALID and did NOT meet the requirements for annulment. ...Sorry, I don't seem to be able to get out of this loop.
The annulment went through. According to the Catholic Church, which was not in any way involved with the marriage or its participants, the marriage was invalid and never happened. My ex is free to marry a Catholic girl as if he were a never-married man. This makes me so angry I can barely talk about it. It's so stupid I can barely stand it.
But of course, it doesn't REALLY matter that it was annulled. It's not like we WANTED to be married to each other and some third party told us they had dissolved our marriage without our consent: we WANTED the marriage dissolved and so we voluntarily divorced, and I would LOVE IT if the marriage had never happened. I should be GLAD it was annulled. When it comes up in conversation that I was married before, I can lower my eyes and say, "It was a very brief marriage, back while I was still in school. It was annulled." This sounds so much prettier than "We got a divorce."
But I'm still so mad I could SPIT. Partly I'm angry at my ex, and I'm hurt by the way he wanted to make it that our marriage was NULL. Not "over" but "never started." Partly I'm angry at the Catholic Church, for doing the annulment, and for thinking they had the right to do that.
All right, I'm done for now. You DO do this, right? You have old stuff you're still not done being mad about?
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...