Three blind mice run after the farmers wife. No. No, no. Three divorced guys walk into a bar. No. No, no. Three divorced guys walk into my life. All of them - within three months of one another.
It appears we’ve rounded that corner into our twenties heading into early thirties where people start getting divorced. I tend to have single friends and the ones that aren’t just got married or are one their way. So as of the start of 2013 I didn’t know of anyone who was divorced that I was aware of, aside from a whoopsie here or there on facebook – but out of 500 “friends”, I really know about 100. Okay 50 - at least enough to pay attention to divorces; and none of them are – wait, one, but he doesn’t count: That was just a fake out.
Then came College Chicago. College Chicago is this guy that I once made out with sophomore year of college. We lived in the same dorm and he was a pseudo-swatter I fooled around with in the dark a time or two after the guy I was with for two point five years broke my heart early in the semester. I didn’t see him much at all after sophomore year, so when he pinged me in February (eighteen) via Facebook, it was really random nine years out of the blue. And the start of the conversation went exactly like this:
CC. long time
Me: indeed. How’s life?
CC: it’s good. I moved to Chicago. Sans wife. How’s DC?
Me: you moved without your wife?
CC: We’re getting a divorce.
Me: oh wow. I’m sorry to hear. I thought you just got married.
CC: it’s cool. I did. Haha. We were married 1 blissful year. And then it all went to shit.
Me: can I ask how so?
CC: we had been struggling for about 3 years. And we thought getting married would solve our woes. And we thought a ring and a ceremony would make us closer. But it just drove us further apart. It was all very mutual. i needed to get out of pittsburgh and she is really happy there. so my company moved me to chicago.
Me: your story is the kind of thing why I want to write a book. […] I want to write about your (the royal you) 20s.
CC: yes. It’s been an intense decade
Me: it takes us 10 years to realize we’re allowed to admit mistakes. And be alone.
CC: the 20s are a crazy time.
And so on. That's one way to cut straight to the chase. We continued to chat - for weeks – on the daily. And he reminded me a lot of myself after The Ex. I could relate. Empathize. And did. He needed someone to talk to and it was then that I really came to appreciate that fact that I don’t have to have my mistakes on paper – though I choose to here, I suppose - because, as I’ve learned, we are allowed to admit them. And then I felt a little celebratory for that; that I realized my mistakes before they became major enough to have some stigma towards them. Are we allowed to celebrate the fact that we only failed a little where others took the plunge? I'm still not sure. But I continued to try to talk him though it. It's a rough world out there...especially in a new city, all alone. But it's so worth it!, I assured him.
He seems to continue to struggle with his struggles, but don’t we all? When it comes down to it a broken heart, it's all the same whether or not there’s a paper trail behind it. I offered advice and suggestions, and I hope it helps. Although he thinks people will, I don’t attach any stigma to people who are 29 and divorced. In fact, I admire the attempt at trying, and even more, the brevity it takes to admit that you failed.
This, a lesson that would soon come in handy when, out of the blue, one night in early April (six) a guy I had met in 2005 commented on a Facebook check-in and, soon after, was at the bar I was at: The vodka had run out at our bottle service and I needed some more. And as is the first rule of being broke: Never spend your own money. Once there, he ends up revealing that he has be separated from his wife for the past year. They were married a couple of years ago – he met her shortly after I met him and, were I not freshly dating The Ex at the time, I quite likely would have dated him. We had a good chemistry and banter that was quite visible as a friend asked back then, “What’s going on? Aren’t you with [The Ex]?” They met on match.com; when I saw that whole thing happen via the Internets, I thought, 'this will never last'. But when I invited him to
buy us drinks hang out that night, I didn’t
think it was going to be that short of a not last. But it was. And so, he
ended up on my couch that night because GFN informed Melon (later renamed to Potato by GFC) she
had custody of my bed that night as Potato was trying to get into it via text while I was in the middle of the dance floor licking the tongue of some separated married guy whose pool I'd skivvie-dipped in eight years prior in a city 230 miles away...or so I'm told.
This was the start of something. I had no idea what. I would soon find out.
To be continued...