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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Getting over your divorce is not like the flu!

Submitted: December 14, 2015

A A A | A A A

Submitted: December 14, 2015




Did I hear him/her right?

“There’s a whole world out there waiting for you.”

“When a door closes a window opens.”

“You need to move on now.”

“Get back on that horse.”

“Start dating again.”

Do people REALLY think such platitudes help?

Here’s a news flash: NO! They don’t!

I guess they are people who watched way too many “Brady Bunch” TV shows as a kid.

Maybe these are the same people who make light of losing your house to the bank. “Well I guess that makes you a ‘homeless’ person.”

There is a list that Psychology professionals use to judge ones “life” stress levels. It is called the Holmes-Rahe scale and the only event that is higher than divorce is the death of your spouse. When you add up all the related items that have happened in the last year, all the toxic additives that come with divorce, it is easy to hit the magic 300+ number (mine was 495). With three combat tours as a commander it should be a multiplier but it is like the difference of being stabbed with a pike or a broad sword. Either way its messy and hurts so bad you’re numb.

So now the people in your life are saying these things to ….what? Cheer you up? How in hell is THAT supposed to cheer me up?

Well, two months since the divorce will fall just after Christmas day. Oh boy! Can’t wait. So now you have the very stressful offers: “Come to our house for Christmas. (Fill in name(s)) will love to see you.”

Your mind rapidly flashes forward. There you are at the family gathering. Everyone is sharing presents and hugging. Baking bread brings back previous Christmas times when you were with her/him.

Now, let’s add the “looks”.

You know what I mean.

The, “Awe poor guy/girl they just got divorced. Let’s go tell them some lame cliché lines for the season.”

But wait…that’s not all! Let’s add the angry old lady who’s had too much spiked egg nog, telling you how it was your fault actually and they liked him/her better.

RIGHT!! Can’t wait to be in THAT situation!

So the alternative is staying in where ever the hell you are now, watching the normal Christmas movies, like Die Hard (hey!... it was SET on Christmas time!). Buy a nice steak and non-spiked egg nog as people don’t appreciate how if it’s done right, the basics don’t need to be amended.

I HAD to do something so I volunteered at the local humane society to walk dogs.

Yes, thank you, I AM aware there are cats there but I won’t be in that area.

It isn’t as therapeutic as I hoped it would be.

I’m walking dogs that had been given up by their owners because they didn’t love them anymore.

OK! Maybe…Do you think I’m reading too much into this?

I am a well-trained dog handler who has taken two terrific German-born, German Shepherd dogs to become certified working dogs. But they have so many dogs that need to be turned around so they can find a real home so if I can get them to not pull on the leash by the end of my 30-minute walk, I’m doing good.

Hold on. There is a lesson here for me….ahh…abandoned…turned around quick so they can find a new…. I now see why “they” say those platitudes…they think we’re just stray dogs that need a new home.

Is that as weird as it reads?

I don’t know why the director of volunteers told me that they would be open on Christmas for volunteers, but that is where I will spend my day. Teaching dogs to ‘get back on the horse’.

We were married 5,136 days.

That is lots of great memories.

Come on….you can still feel the happy times in your heart. That wonderful jolt you got when you just happened to look over and he/she was looking at you and you both smiled, feeling the love.

Got cha’ to smile!

Which brings me to another stupid cliché. “All’s well that ends well.”

OK, smarty-pants. What is a divorce then? It SURE doesn’t ‘end well’ for at least one of the participants!

And the horse metaphor must have been from someone that never rode. Full disclosure, someone let me ride their horse never telling me it was a well-trained cutting horse. The clowns then had me ride close to some stray cows and the horse cut left and I fell right. When I looked up I could swear the horse was laughing! Come to think of it, I think it was disgust more than a laugh.

I’ve tried to think of words, they COULD say, that would make me feel better but none come to mind. The best words are silence with a hint of humility of the enormity of your feelings that no one but you can know. Like the song says, “You say it best when you…just shut up.” I took some literary license there, sorry Alison.

You do have to be careful what you say during this post train-wreck time.

I got caught all the way from Africa one night.

My friend, who had known us both during ‘those happy times’ called to ask me how I was doing. Probing deeply but not asking THE question. Finally, he asked if I was seeing anyone. The connections wasn’t the best and I didn’t want to burden him so I said, “yes.”

“Good.” Then a rapid fire. “What’s her name?”

I had just heard the song by Looking Glass. “Brandy” I said, “like the song.”

There was a long silence. “How DARE you bullshit me!”

“You had a love that is so rare in this world that I couldn’t even believe it myself. You aren’t even CLOSE to THINKING about it. “

I felt like crap! Here was a true friend with whom I’d shared many combat missions and years of friendship. I said I was sorry and he accepted my apology with his normal class. Before he hung up he said, “This Christmas is going to be very difficult for you, my friend. I know you. Promise me the only metal you’ll put in your mouth will be a fork or a spoon. “

It’s funny that you can sing songs for decades then one day the lyrics hit home. Before they were just words that rhymed but now they hit you like a heart attack:

“…and losing all your highs and lows. Ain’t it funny how the feelings go away.”

How in hell are we supposed to ‘bounce back’ when we are so numb that we can’t be happy OR sad.

“Fake it.”

How is that fair to the person you are with? Would you want that? No!

I guess the fact is that we can be diagnosed with clinical depression. The up side is that I can tell you that you can drive FOREVER without being tired! Your focus is fine, hunger is gone, motor skills tuned. Normal driving rotations are not needed for marathon drives. The numbness has unusual advantages.

So out of character, but in this state of unfeelingness I turn to my Roku for romantic comedies a.k.a. “Rom-Com”.

Wow! There are a lot of them.

OK. “Harry met Sally” is a classic and Meg/Billy Crystal are great in it. I’ll start there.

OK. That was good. Let’s find another Meg Ryan.

“Joe vs. the volcano”. Meg plays three parts in it! OK. The opening part where the employees are coming to work is priceless. If you just see that part it is worth it. They must have filmed an IBM factory in the 80’s! The Google wunderkids must have seen it too and vowed never to have that feeling in a Google workplace.

Next will be a Rom-Com without Meg Ryan. Ah. John Cusack. “Serendipity”

I’m detecting a pattern here that hits me wrong. What do you think?

  • Girl and guy are strangers
  • “the” event where they meet
  • Using the Meg Ryan Rom-Com model: girl hates guy
  • Guy likes MR’s blue eyes and perseveres
  • MR softens and sees the guy isn’t a creep
  • Climax event of movie forces her/him to make a choice
  • They are madly in love together forever and always (but you have to do it at sunset or I guess, some reason, it doesn’t work. )

AH HA! You see it too!

Yes. If you run the movie backwards, you have … divorce!


So here are some sayings that are better than the ones that started this story:

If you fall I will be there to catch you. ~ with love The Floor

I don't need a hair stylist; my pillow gives me a new hairstyle every morning.

Don’t worry, if ‘plan A’ fails, there are still 25 more letters.

When a door closes…..use explosives.

Laughter is like a windshield wiper; it doesn’t stop the rain but allows us to keep going.

© Copyright 2020 David Kutchinski. All rights reserved.

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