despite outward appearances, life for me these days isn’t all clotted cream and honey. or wine and english roses, if you prefer. there’s still the small matter back home of Irreconcilable Differences, Division of Property, and, ultimately, Divorce.
ladies, here’s a little detail about marriage that you’re probably aware of: you’re not just marrying that man—you’re marrying his entire family. but here’s a counter-tidbit that doesn’t get as much play: when you split up, you’re divorcing that man’s whole family as well—and your whole family is divorcing him. just as you joyfully informed them of your impending union, so shall ye sheepishly inform them when it all falls apart. and woe unto you if they were into your spouse. in such a case, you may suspect that they’re wishing they had a choice about which of you they get to keep. and your suspicion, of course, will be correct.
separation and divorce are like break-ups to the umpteenth power. in my case, i told my parents, and they immediately blamed me. (guess which one of us they’d prefer to keep.) and as much as my husband’s family loves him, i’m pretty sure they’re blaming me, too. so then today, i get email from his aunt in india wondering why i’ve left her in radio silence for the past month and a half. i always talked to her (over the internet) way more than he did, so i was left holding the bag on this one.
what do you say in this situation? “i’m so sorry to have wasted your time—and your airfare to the states three years ago”? am i supposed to give the beautiful, expensive sari back? i felt guilty. i felt embarrassed. and i also felt like a six-year-old having to tell a friend i wasn’t allowed to play at her house anymore. because that’s ultimately the way it goes, isn’t it? my one consolation is that, maybe this time around, i’m the one that someone will wish they could keep.