When you get married there is hoopla. Even when you elope and get married under a tree in a Northern State wearing jeans…there is hoopla. Hoopla in the form of flowers, champagne, cake, cameras and people. There are people there smiling and happy. There is activity. There is merriment. There is happiness.
I got divorced today. Sitting at my desk. Alone at 2p on a Friday afternoon. No hoopla. No people. No merriment. Just a signed piece of plain, white paper. I got divorced on the day before I would have celebrated being married. It’s just a date on a piece if paper but the timing of it is just one more sad part of this story.
It’s a lot of work to get divorced. I am not sure what I expected…certainly not hoopla but I guess I thought it would feel different. Like the end of something. Like the final page of a book; a book with a twisted plot that I never saw coming. I thought there would be hoopla of some sort-even if it was just relief or closure. Maybe at the very least I thought the thing that ended it all would be on some special paper, legal and impressive paper-but it’s not. The final decree is on plain white copy paper with black ink and a red signature scrawled across the top that makes it official. It’s not impressive. And I am not quite sure how to feel about that. Something so powerful and altering should look the paper. It should look like it matters. But it doesn’t.
Am I supposed to be happy? Am I supposed to be sad? What am I supposed to feel or even do right now? I don’t know. I really don’t know. It feels like I should do something. But what? I don’t know.
This happened on a Friday. I’ve hated Friday’s since this all began. Fridays are the worst day. Friday is the day that most reminds that me that I am alone. No more making plans, no more Friday food or a cozy night at home. Friday mock me. They tease me like a school yard bully. I suppose it’s fitting that this would end on a Friday. The Friday before I would have celebrated being married.
On the middle of the plain white paper it reads: The prior name of Plaintiff, ELIZABETH HELEN HAYES, is restored to her.
Just like that. My original name is restored to me. Thanks to my piece of plain white paper I am back to where I started…name wise anyway.
So now I take my new old name and “restore” my life back. I’ll change my name in social media. I’ll alter my “about me paragraph” here on my blog. I’ll change my license, my checks and the name on all my bills. I’ll change my monogram. I’ll relearn my signature. I’ll start over with my old name. Guess it’s fitting-all these changes I have to make-fitting to have to change so much because of something that changed me.
And so, with the flourish of a red pen on a plain white piece is paper-it’s done. And that is that.