Friday, April 6, 2012

Just Because Friday: Remembering

I just realized something.

A few weeks (or months, I don't even remember) ago, I told you that I would be posting WEEKLY PHOTOS  of my baby bump.


I'm going to try REALLY HARD to remedy that.
Even if I don't think I look super cute.
Or cute to my standards.
I will be posting more pictures.
I plomise.

I mean, I PRomise.
I pinky promise, even.
Can't break one of those babies. 

I wanted to ramble talk about
my divorce.
I wanted to share a memoir with you that I had written for one of my college classes.
On August 17th, I will have been divorced for two years.
It's strange to think about.
Sometimes it doesn't even feel like it really happened.

Now, I've shared this memoir via my "notes" section on Facebook.
But, I feel like I need to bring it to light again.
I don't need any sympathy.
I just wanted to share a piece of my life that I have buried.
This is a piece of my life that will never fully go away... matter how happy I am now.

Photo by: SF Photography
Model: Myself

A Memoir

Note: The italicized portions are my thoughts and/or flashbacks.

Some memories are so painful that looking back on them gives you no other choice but to laugh. Like junior prom when you had to take your cousin instead of Joe Schmoe who was just so hot. Or the time that your little sister shaved half your head in the middle of the night, and you didn’t even notice until first period biology. You know, little stuff - high school stuff. But then there are those memories that are so painful they remain tattooed on your brain forever. A splinter that, if given the chance, will infect every happiness inside of you until you are left a bitter, empty shell of the person you once were. It only takes one.

I don’t remember much of my childhood. Brief snippets here and there tell the vague story of a girl who never sat still and talked way too much. Other than that, life before seventh grade is a blur.

I remember moving to Smalltown, Minnesota from Georgia when I was twelve. On the way, we stopped in Buffalo Ridge – a town littered with mammoth windmills and little else.

“Listen! Those huge windmills are making the weirdest sound!”

Maybe if I pretend to be sleeping, they’ll leave me alone.

“Michelle! Wake up! Come listen to the windmills!”

Oh, grief. Just kill me now. Do you honestly think I want to get out of the car in Middle-Of-Freaking-Nowhere, Minnesota to listen to a windmill? You have got to be joking…

My father, proudly and purposefully, flung the door open, allowing the March winds to crystallize my nose hairs.

“Out,” he says simply.

Seriously? Are you crazy? Hell has actually frozen over outside, and you want me to get out and listen to a godforsaken windmill? Am I the only sane one in this family?

As it turns out, I was. Not long thereafter, my father pulled me out of the car and locked himself snuggly inside, forcing me to stand awkwardly in the middle of  a seemingly abandoned Minnesota highway, wearing nothing but a t-shirt, basketball shorts and incredibly thin socks.

You only wish that was my memoir.

“It’s over.”

His words continued to echo in my head long after they were uttered – long after he had gone. I removed my wedding ring slowly, placing it gingerly on the table in front of me as I sank to the floor. Glazing over, I allowed the memories of my year-long marriage to wash over me, sending me cascading down into a deeper depression.

I didn’t move for three days.

I didn’t eat. I didn’t sleep. I couldn’t even cry. I simply sat there dazed and alone, staring at the symbol of promises and love that had now broken. This wasn’t supposed to happen to me. I mean, sure, we had problems. But who didn’t?

"You’re just not the same girl I married a year ago. I mean, I know you have depression, and I know that things are hard for you, but I figured after a year you’d make some progress, and you haven’t.”

I wasn’t good enough for him, and I wasn’t becoming good enough fast enough. I had assumed that I had my whole life to improve. I assumed that marriage meant forever. Silly me.
The lawyer’s office was freezing. Seriously, I could see my own breath. Don’t these people realize my lips are blue?

“Ms. Pearl?” The receptionist was too happy. I hated her. “Mr. Ryker will see you now.”

I felt like I was in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. There were magazines everywhere with beautiful people smiling up at me. This was my first time seeing a lawyer, but from what I understood, people aren’t generally smiley in their presence. It seemed more fitting to have self-help books strewn about, with titles like, “Depression and You: This is Your Life Now” or “How to Get Back at That Crazy Old Bat Who Stole Your Money and Ran.

“I’ll need you to fill out some paperwork,” he said, nasally, dropping what appeared to be a novel in front of me. “Here’s a pen.”
With outstretched, periwinkle fingers, I left-handedly took hold of the pen. Seeing my empty ring finger shot shockwaves of memories through me.

"Seth, we need to talk,” I announced into the phone.

"I’m kinda busy right now, babe. Can we talk later?” I hated it when he blew me off.

"No. You get somewhere you can talk right now. I’ll wait.” I added that last part in a “you-better-not-make-me-wait-long” kind of tone. I hadn’t even thought about what I was going to say to him. My fury had gotten the better of me, and I was connected to him before I even knew I had dialed.

“Okay. What’s up?”

I breathed deeply, steadying my voice. “Are you cheating on me?”

I don’t think I’ve ever filled out so much paperwork in my life as I did that day. It probably took me a good hour and a half before Mr. Lawyer Smileypants spoke to me again.
“So,” he began, folding his rather hairy hands into his lap, “tell me your story.”
Where do I start?

“Are you ready to go?” Seth asked, impatiently, looking me up and down.
“Go where?” I asked the question, though I already knew the answer. It was Saturday. We always visited his parents on Saturday. Every Saturday. “I mean, can’t we just hang out today? You and me?”
He rolled his eyes and gave his best martyr sigh. “Why do you hate my family?”
“Wait. What? I never said-“
“You don’t have to. It’s written all over your face. You stay. I’m going.” He then turned on his heel and left me standing there, utterly bewildered.

“Last call for Michelle Pearl for flight 207, nonstop to Minneapolis. Michelle Pearl?”
The perky-yet-concerned voice of the airline worker shook me from my stupor. This was it. I was going home, and never coming back. My marriage was officially over, and I didn’t even know why. I numbly rose to my feet, gathering my things. I think I knocked over someone’s coffee, but I didn’t care. Their life would go on. They could get another coffee. I would never get another Seth.
As I settled into my seat next to Call-Me-Catherine of 24b, I took a look around. Is this really my life? Have I just become another statistic? Michelle: 20-year-old divorcee from Whocares, Minnesota.

"Please don’t go.” I was begging now. I hated the way the words tasted on my lips. “Just… stay. We can fix this.”
“It’s over, Michelle. I’ll go stay with my parents while you pack. Maybe I’ll come back before you leave for good.” His face was totally emotionless. Why didn’t he care? I mean, you can’t just dump your wife like a high school girlfriend. This is different. Isn’t it?
Despite the fact that I willed them not to, tears coursed down my cheeks, burning my skin. Tears of sadness. Tears of anger. Tears of betrayal. “Fine.” I said, “Just go.”
“Look,” he softened, weaving his fingers through mine, “I’m here for you, okay?”
I backed away from him slowly. There were no more tears now.
You don’t get to say that to me anymore. You don’t have the right. Being ‘here for me’ would mean you were staying. Being ‘here for me’ would mean that you wanted to fix this. But you’re running. You’re only looking out for yourself now. Go.”
And he did.

Aunie Sauce



  1. Dear Michelle,
    I love your blog, and I've always loved your writing. Especially this memoir. You made me cry, and I don't cry easily. Thanks :)


  2. Oh my goodness Michelle. You just touched me in more ways than you will ever know. I feel your pain, though I was probably more in the shoes of your ex. I left my husband. Of 6 weeks. Like I was walking out on a boyfriend. It was so hard, but something I needed to do.

    This post really moved me. Thank you so much for sharing it. You are a wonderful, beautiful amazing girl!


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