The “F” Word or [Thank You for Slapping Me]


noun fail·ure \ˈfāl-yər\
1a  :  omission of occurrence or performance; specifically  :  a failing to perform a duty or expected action <failure to pay the rent on time>
 (1)  :  a state of inability to perform a normal function <kidney failure> — compare heart failure (2)  :  an abrupt cessation of normal functioning <a power failure>
c  :  a fracturing or giving way under stress <structural failure>
2a  :  lack of success
 b  :  a failing in business :  bankruptcy
 3a  :  a falling short :  deficiency <a crop failure>
 b  :  deteriorationdecay
4:  one that has failed
My son and I were out and about, our usual Sunday routine. We noticed a business under the process of setting up in a vacated space. He suggests I check them out and apply. I’ve been job searching for quite a while now and desperation feels at an all-time high. While I’m not excited about the thought of going back to retail, I check them out anyway when I get back home.
It is a jewelry company that specializes in……..engagement and wedding rings. *sigh* I am reading the job descriptions… the words, “cherished, memorable, proposal, excitement” jump out at me. I wonder, “can I be genuine in that kind of job?”
An SNL skit materializes in my head. Instead of the Target lady, I’m the bitter divorcee selling happy young couples their engagement rings….comedy gold, I’m sure.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-love or romance. I even had a revelation recently while watching the Today show the week leading up to Valentine’s day. As I watched a young man propose to his lovely on national television, It occurred to me that I’ve never been proposed to. No down on one knee….no giving of a ring…no exclamations of “yes!” and utter exuberance. My young self was so anti-traditional that I asked him. Anyway, I have since added, “Be proposed to” to my list of Things I Will Experience in my Lifetime (because I refuse to call it a bucket list.)
Being proposed to….yes! Getting married again…… It’s the thought that counts, right? Let’s just hope it’s not a public proposal…no jumbotrons or national TV involved. Although……since it will most likely be the one and only proposal I ever get maybe it should be ridiculous, over-the-top and involve a musical number. We’ll just avoid any recording devices so as to avoid becoming a Vine, #proposalfail.
For me the appeal of the proposal is the thought that someone finds you so special that they are compelled to proclaim it and ask…ASK… you to stay with them indefinitely because there is no one else like YOU. That…..would be nice.
I found myself in a little office one Thursday this past January signing my divorce decree. Time slowed down as the little ball at the end of the pen rolled and distributed a thin black line on the smooth white paper. My mind drifting back to the memory of signing our marriage license on a cool night of a September many years ago. Tears welled in my eyes, while the words, “we really made a mess” flickered through my head.
Not once in that little office, though, did I feel as if I was making the wrong decision. As tough as it has been, I wouldn’t change my mind. There is this picture in my head that is like a pros and cons list but for me it’s all cons and cons. Yeah, divorce sucks but staying in a relationship where you are perceived as less even more.
I find myself at 42, trying to start all over again. I have no place of my own, I don’t have a vehicle of my own, I have a part-time job that makes me yearn for a full-time-using-my-skills job. I desperately want to be able to provide for my kids properly. When I do find the job and get my own place, it’ll be spartan because I’ve had to let go or sell most of my possessions. Financial stress is a constant companion and I lose a lot of sleep to middle of the night anxiety rushes.
Regardless, there is a plus side (yes, a plus side!) I no longer have to listen to the never-ending list of my faults and short-comings from a person who is supposed to love me. My flooring will never again be “eggshells.” I won’t have to accept non-apologies. I will never spend a night exhausted, blinking into the dark, not sleeping and filled with fear because maybe, just maybe this will be the time he totally loses it.
It is interesting that words, those infinite combinations of letters that I adore, have been one of the most wounding of weapons. Whether uttered through clenched teeth or typed out on a tiny screen, they can be unfailingly painful and more searing than an open hand meeting with your face. They are felt deeper than a pointed finger thumping into your chest. They leave you shaking more than clenched hands digging into your arms throwing you off-balance.
Yet….yet, they also can be comforting, soothing and healing.
The day I filed my divorce papers was tense, long and draining. I was having the worst week I’d had in years. My car had been repossessed. The ex had chosen to make a downright dirty power play which became the impetus for filing. It was nearing evening when I went into the bathroom and ended up getting a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Yipes! I hadn’t showered that morning or bothered with makeup. I had thrown on whatever clothes I could find before I took my daughter to school…basic mom uniform of I-think-it’s-clean t-shirt and jeans. I looked how I felt. I would rather give birth three days in a row then endure the previous three days again. That is how utterly exhausted I was. Then I did a double take of my T-shirt and started laughing out loud.
I thought….of course…of course. I wondered what the court clerk was thinking when I walked up…serious and intensely nervous. I laughed some more and then promptly sent this to my friend:
Maybe the universe was trying to tell me something. The T-shirt has a point.


noun free·dom \ˈfrē-dəm\
1:  the quality or state of being free: as
 a :  the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action
 b  :  liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another :  independence
 c  :  the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous <freedom from care>
 d  :  easefacility <spoke the language with freedom>

 e  :  the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken <answered with freedom>

f  :  improper familiarity

 g  :  boldness of conception or execution

 h  :  unrestricted use <gave him the freedom of their home>