Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed

About a month ago, when I was smack dab in the middle of having to tell people about our divorce, I picked up a new fiction paperback at Target, called How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed, the debut novel of Theo Pauline Nestor. It was a great book -- primarily because so much of it resonated with me in my first- and now my second- divorce, but also because as I read it I realized that my situation really could be SO much worse.

I had to laugh when I read a couple of pages, where the main character is lamenting about having to tell everyone in her life about her divorce. I have feel like that over the past couple of months, and I'm sure I will for some time. I see people I haven't seen in awhile and cringe, even consider avoiding saying hello to them, knowing they will probably ask how me and my husband are and then I'll have to tell them. So when I read the below excerpt from her book, I loved it and just had to share:


"...Eventually I will have to tell everyone who hasn't heard through the grapevine. Some people will get the whole story and some people will just get a terse "We've separated" without explanation. The trick is deciding who gets what... But then I'm filled with dread as I realize there are still legions of people who deserve and need to hear the whole story. Still ahead of me are dozens of oh-my-Gods and oh-I'm-so-sorrys and you-must-be-kiddings. I can hear the sympathetic and understandable questions coming at me one after another, and I can feel my tongue, thick and unfamiliar, forming all these tedious words one more time.


I consider a form letter that begins, "Dear Good Friend Who Deserves the Whole Story, I'm sorry this is coming to you as a form letter. I'm sorry about a lot. I'm just sorry."

Or maybe I could build a website, www.whatthe#&?!happened.com, complete with a FAQ page:

  • Q. What about the children?
  • A. They live with me but they will stay with him every Friday and every first, third, and fifth Thursday night as well as the first Saturday of every month. Yes, it is hard to remember which week it is. Yes, at least once a day the children mention the movie The Parent Trap, in which a pair of ingenious, separated-at-birth-but-reunited-by-fate twins scheme until their divorced parents finally and joyously reconcile. Which brings us to the next inevitable question...


  • Q. Will reconciliation be possible?
  • A. No. If you read The Whole Story (use password to access the secure site) you will shake your head and say, "No, you cannot get back together." If you do not have access to The Whole Story, you--- like the Transportation Coordinator at my daughter's school ----may feel compelled to advise me to go back and try to work it out and say in a scornful voice what a shame it is when families break up.

  • Q. Are you okay?
  • A. No, I'm not. Thanks for asking.


  • Q. Is there anything we can do to help?
  • A. Yes, click on the "Send Money" link below. Most major credit cards accepted."

You may not find it near as funny as I did, unless you have been through a similar experience. It just hit me the right way, how it would be SO nice to deal with some of the conversations, questions and bullshit just like this! Don't get me wrong -- I have had amazing support, from wonderful friends and from my family. It is all the acquaintances that I have had to talk about it with; those conversations are the ones I hate. I know they mean well but it is still sometimes unpleasant.

Oh, and going back to my former name - now that has been an experience. I'm not there yet, still using my current last name until the divorce is final. But I've decided to go back to my first married name, because that is my son's last name, and because most of the community knew me by that name for the last 12 years of my career. But the first husband and his wife were NOT happy. Although that's a story for another time.

Busy week at work, getting ready for our baby event on Saturday. Theresa, my college roommate, is in town for a job, and she, Jace and I are heading to dinner tonight. I'm ready for Saturday, our event and then for Sunday and Monday when I'm off work and can relax!

6 comments:

Lucas said...

I DID find that funny actually and my mom is going through those same feelings right now but not because of a divorce. Call me if you want the WHOLE story. We'll chat.

And just as a funny sidenote, when The Captain is away, which is more often than not, I sleep smack dab in the middle of our king sized bed. :)

Tara said...

I found that pretty funny too! I do love sarcastic humor.

Speaking of sarcastic humor...why in the world didn't you choose to go back to Gasaway? :)

Anonymous said...

I think Nancy Gasaway Waring Bolduc Waring Ehm would be awesome!

Anonymous said...

Go back to your own name - not the first husband's. Don't worry about having the same name as your son - those who know you will know the truth, and no one else matters. Be strong - be who you are, not who someone expects you to be.

Tara said...

Whoever told you to go back to your own name must not know your maiden name. :)

keckeley said...

Your post took me back about 22 years - I'm with you - I tried so hard and then when I was done, there was NO going back. Hang in there with your positive attitude and take whatever name makes YOU happy!