Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Mediator

So, Simon and I are mediating our divorce, which basically means that we are trying to avoid paying lawyers, if we can manage it.  Saves money, saves time and is a little friendlier.  Today was our first meeting with the mediator.

She was half an hour late, which didn't impress me; and when she walked into the office, my left eyebrow went up.  Imagine an explosion at a potpourri factory.  Visualize a woman being eaten alive by the trappings of her femininity.  She tottered on five-inch stilettos.  Ruffly mauve skirt with equally ruffly blouse.  French manicure (of course) and a sparkly rhinestone necklace that I might wear to a dinner party or something.  Sara Palin designer glasses; bleach-blonde hair all piled up on top of her head;  eyeliner drawn out onto her temples, a la Cleopatra.  She led us into her office, scented by aromatherapy candles and accessorized with a little tray containing perfume, body spray, hand lotion, etc....  Elementary, my dear Watson!  We zigged when we should have zagged and have wandered into the office of an Avon representative.  Or (for you Harry Potter fans) Dolores Umbridge.

"Sorry to be late," she said, dropping into her chair.  "I needed to go to my mother's house and put in her IV."  "You have to set your mom's IVs?  Yourself?"  "Uh-huh."  OK, I started to like her.  Then she rattled her biscotti jar and said, "I'm arriving too late to make coffee for you, but would you like a biscotti anyway?"  She unwrapped one for herself and I took one, too.  We both sat there during the meeting, gnawing biscotti in a very unladylike way.  I decided that her necklace was perfectly OK for daytime wear. 

I will maintain my divorce attorney relationship with Chad, but mainly as a check and a balance for this process. 

The mediator says that, if we don't hit any major snags in the negotiations, she can complete the divorce in about 6 weeks.  Three sessions, two hours each. We are going in for the first of these sessions already next week.  She wants to meet us once a week for three weeks, then get the papers drawn up and move forward.

Six weeks.

I thought it takes months?  Not if the wheels roll smoothly, I guess.  So, am I experiencing cold feet?  No.  I don't want our marriage back.  I am scared to death, though.  So scared that my knees feel weak.  A while ago, I listed all the things I could think of that scared me.  What were they?

Poverty. Yep.  That still scares me.

Where I will live.  Yes, this scares me, but less than it did. I will not end up under the Fourth South viaduct. I will find something. Just hope it's not a fixer-upper, because I'm not very fixy-uppity.  On the other hand, my friend Aimee learned all sorts of things by simply Googling how to do them.  If Aimee can take out a toilet and put in a new one, so can I.

Loneliness.  Maybe I will be too busy learning the basics of plumbing to be lonely.  I'm not afraid of the "time on your own" loneliness.  I am scared that I will miss the kiddos horribly when I don't have them.  I won't miss getting affection (since there wasn't much) as much as will miss giving it.  Not being needed will make me lonely.

Dating.  That doesn't scare me much any more. I'm feeling a bit fatalistic about it at this point.  I still keep hoping that my stray dog of a heart will  come home.  My friends roll their eyes and say, "Oh, for Pete's sake, Kate!  Just go to the Humane Society and get a new one."  "Guys, the dog is not a real dog.  It's a metaphor!"  "Then this is a metaphorical Humane Society."

Regarding the state of my heart, I try to be good. No contact with CB.  Gifts and reminders put away.  I am trying to spare my friends the role of Breakup Buddy.  I ran today. I wore my favorite silk skirt.  No backsliding!  It's so hard, though.  At least 14 times a day, I think of how I have backed off and wonder whether I have made a huge mistake.  How, if we never bridge this gap, maybe it'll be my fault.  When I get to thinking this way, my fingers itch for the phone.  But I don't do it.  I mean, holy shit!  Let's have some dignity, here!  If nothing else will pull me through, please let my ego save the day.

Which gets me to, "Please".  This is what the voice in my head says all fucking day.  I muffle it by trying to engage myself in different things.  I made Red Flannel Hash for supper!  I let Sara have a friend to sleep over!  I listened to Real Salt Lake vs. Monterrey on the radio!  I weeded the front garden (until I got rained out of that activity)!  I worked hard all day!  I bought picnic supplies for our weekend at Bryce NP.  But still, I found myself sitting in the truck or frozen with my hand on a cupboard handle;  at those times, all I am thinking is, "Please."

Please WHAT?!?  Whom am I asking for help?  Not God, 'cause I don't believe in God.  Am I begging myself for something?  Is it just a plea to myself to be tough?  To stay focused?  To find the beauty in radishes again?

I need to figure it out.  [Sigh]  Ah, well. One thing I know I am not begging the universe for:  peaches.  I have thawed a bag of them that I picked from the tree last fall and ate some with plain yogurt, a sprinkling of brown sugar and a few pecans.

Tomorrow, I'll make smoothies for  for the kids' breakfast.  And it will be a new day, maybe one that will hurt less than today.  Please.

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