In fact, Marsha Norman (playwright of ‘Night Mother) has advised writers not to put before an audience a personal and calamitous event which we are currently undergoing. And Common Sense most likely agrees with her, cautioning us that we need time to ponder and process any associated thoughts.
I’m ignoring the wisdom of Marsha Norman. I’m turning away from the sense of Common Sense. And putting forth a few random lessons I’ve learned recently.
Not All Marriage Proposals Are Created Equally
A few days ago, after my marriage became a mirage, I started chatting on the phone with an ex-boyfriend whom I haven’t seen in years. Our first two conversations cheerfully diverted me from the unpleasantness of my current circumstance.
However, on our third call, he asked if I would ever marry again, and when I joked that I had already proposed to three random men on the street, he asked simply: “Will you marry me?”
Clearly, this was a joke! I laughed! But then he insisted - repeatedly and dogmatically - that he was utterly serious. Apparently, a mentor of his had counseled him that now was the right time for him to marry (and hey, why not?).
I don’t think I’ll be calling this ex again. (But this was a good reminder that exes are often exes for a reason.)
DMV Employees Double as Marriage Counselors
During this frightful week of mine, I had to visit the DMV to renew my driver’s license, and as one of my pieces of identification, I offered my marriage license. Of course, I made no mention of my marital debacle, but the lanky young man behind the counter shook his head woefully at me.
“You didn’t take your husband’s name when you married,” he noted with dismay.
“This is a new century,” I smiled placidly.
“On, no, no, this is no good,” he claimed, “Why don’t I stick his name on your new license for you?”
I nearly laughed at the timing. “No, thanks. We’re artists. Our names are our calling cards.”
“Oh, no, no, men don’t like it when women don’t take their names,” he insisted in an all-too-earnest manner, “It hurts their masculinity.”
I might have said – if this is the case, the damage has already been done. But I found his absurd concern over my husband’s masculinity rather funny.
So I teased, “I think my husband should take my name, actually, because mine comes with an interesting genealogy. Also, it’s much easier to pronounce. Everybody botches up his name.”
The poor boy gave up after that.
Imagination vs. Reality
As I faced a new and uncertain future, I wondered (and worried) over where I would live once this house is sold. Thus, when I noticed a ridiculously cheap listing of a “single-family residence” in a lovely town nearby, I called up the realtor.
“I’m dying of curiosity!” I told her, “What’s wrong with it?”
She proceeded to tell me there was nothing “wrong” at all. In fact, it’s cute, clean and set in a lovely wooded area--and it's mobile!
“You mean, it’s a trailer park?”
“Oh, no! It doesn’t feel like one at all,” she exclaimed, “Once you’re inside, you’ll completely forget it's mobile! You’ll believe it’s a real home.”
Hmmm? I wonder if my imagination is quite THAT good? (Although... it's possible I've imagined a marriage. My dog, on the other hand, has just confirmed that he is real - ;)