Boys Don't Cry
The D-Train #21
Last week I wrote about how the only dudes I have been involved with have been emotionally unavailable, so I have been devoting a little extra brain space this week to why that is. But here’s the thing. When I think back on the boys before my ex-husband all I can think is just that – that they were boys. It’s not surprising they were emotionally unavailable. The high school one who dumped me for cocaine? I still see him from time to time. I have met his wife. He’s met my ex. We barely ever see each other anymore, but when we do there’s something almost like a tenderness between us? He’s not a bad guy.
I devoted an embarrassing amount of time to crying over my college boyfriend, both before and after we dated. He broke up with me unceremoniously, and that fucked with me for a long time. But when we were going out? He told me he loved me first. He told me he loved me over and over again long before I ever said it back. He was an artist, and he would make furniture for me and give me paintings and take photos of me. He was a musician, and he wrote and recorded a song for me. He got two of my friends to sing on the recording with him.
Here’s the part that I didn’t mention in last week’s newsletter. Years after we broke up, I saw him in a bar once on the Lower East Side. Weirdly, it was the exact same bar where I met my ex-husband the first time. (Burn that bar to the ground?). When I ran into my ex-boyfriend there, I panicked. I made my friends finish our drinks and run out. That fucker, I said. Let’s get out of here. I have no idea whether he wanted to talk to me or not, but when I saw him walking in my direction, I bolted. I ran out the door.
I went to another bar and got wasted.
If I’m really trying to be fair, we were all just dumb kids.
I’m thinking about my ex-husband.
And that one really was a problem. Maybe I gravitated towards him because he was just as emotionally bereft as I was? He wanted nothing from me, and I wanted nothing from him. Maybe that’s what happened.
I’m still thinking about my ex-husband.
Were we ever in love? Is there anything I miss about him? And the truth is, I can’t think of very much at all. Here’s what I do miss. I miss being the passenger in the car. Now, when I go somewhere, I’m always the driver. I like driving, but I also miss taking charge of the radio, and sitting cross-legged, and turning on the butt warmer and falling asleep. Also, I miss parenting help. Now, all of my parenting is solo. My kids are ages 1 and 8. It’s exhausting sometimes. And, finally, deep sigh, I will admit, sheepishly, that I sometimes miss wearing a fancy ring on my finger.
That’s it. That’s all I could come up with. I think that means that sometimes I miss being married? But I certainly don’t miss him at all.
My friend recently told me that her young daughter came home from her oovy groovy school one day and told her, mommy, you’re not filling my bucket! Her teacher must have told her the story of the dipper and the bucket, which says, essentially, the easiest way to fill your bucket is to fill someone else’s bucket. It’s a cute, kids-say-the-darnedest-things story, but it made me think. If I got together with someone, moved in with him, married him, and had two kids with him…and a year later, I can’t think of a SINGLE thing I really miss about him? I don’t think I ever even really liked him at all.
My bucket was empty. My bucket was a bottomless emptiness. I can’t remember a single moment when my bucket was full. Maybe that’s how it happened.
I’m trying hard to turn my focus to what I can fix. I’m a fixer, by nature. I like problem solving, and finding solutions. I can’t fix the fact that in my 20s I got involved with someone who had no love to give. And then I got wrapped up deeper and deeper with him, until I forgot that anything else even existed. But I can fix the holes his departure has left in my life. It’s good to name the things I miss about being married to him, and realize that I can easily fill those holes.
To start with, I’m going to go on road trips, I just decided. I’m not going to drive. I’m going to turn up the butt warmer to toasty, and enjoy the scenery.
I’m going to do a better job of spending time with friends when I’m parenting. Weekends get long AF with two little kids when you’re on your own.
^^me after two days alone with my kids^^
Lastly, a divorced friend of mine recently went to this hip jewelry designer in our town with her engagement ring and some other random jewelry she owned, and had a fancy new ring designed from the stones. The ring is beyond gorgeous, and I think I totally want to do that. I like fancy rings, after all, and what the fuck else am I going to do with my dumb engagement ring? It’s not like I will be handing it down to my kids as some kind of family heirloom (big ol’ nope). I could sell it, but that seems more annoying than it’s worth. If I take the diamonds out of my engagement ring and wedding band, and maybe throw in a few other random stones, I could probably have one hell of a big shiny ring.
Anyway, I’m going to wear it on my middle finger, of course. It will probably cost a small fortune to have it made, but I mean, really. Fuck it, I’m worth it. Right?
p.s. I wish I wasn’t always the driver, but even so, this is what I’m blasting in my car. Driver side seats have butt warmers, too. And this song, I swear, makes my loins tingle.
Also, I made a D-Train spotify playlist of all the songs I have linked to in this here little newsletter. It’s very girl power rah rah rah. I’ll keep adding new songs as I go. Enjoy!
AND in case you forgot, if you have not already bought a subscription, you can receive this regular old free newsletter every Friday AS WELL AS every Sunday. That’s double the divorcee fun landing in your mailbox. Do it!