“How did that happen!?”Asked my sister
And rather more pointedly “Why are you spending Christmas with her!” from my girlfriend.
By the context and the gratuitous use of exclamation marks you may well have already surmised that the personal pronoun in question is referring to the Leaver.
The best explanation I can offer is force majeur and the best defence is that I had not planned it that way.
Or is it the other way around…
Pity with no malice a forethought.
I’m really beginning to get, “till death do us part.”
If there are children, really there is no other exit from a marriage except for that big light that beckons us and which we are advised to not follow. I say that only because I have no personal experience of a marriage without children. Perhaps any marriage produces surprisingly strong ties that are inescapable by time or space. My brother’s first marriage ended almost 20 years ago and he’s lived thousands of km away from his ex for most of that time. However, even though they were together for just over a half dozen years she still uses my brother’s (and mine, too) family name. I was quite chagrined to discover that when I search our family name on Google Images (it is quite a rare last name, and all who have it are directly related to us) my brother’s ex’s picture comes up ahead of mine.
The plan was the children were to spend Christmas at her place (Eve and Day) and I was going to get them at Boxing Day. Despite my mother’s admonitions – “how can you spend Christmas alone! Come home!” I was quite looking forward to the experience, maybe doing a spot of volunteering, then opening a bottle of wine, watching a movie etc. etc. Relishing the Peace-on-Earth and bit.
But the Leaver had a crisis last week and decided that no, she could “not handle” the kids, pining for home. She understood completely if I said no – although she’d already discussed it with the kids and they had thought it was a brilliant idea, so of course I’d be dashing their dreams, if I did not grant my permission for them to be home for Christmas – but could “we do Christmas” at my place?
And (according to the divorce guide books, advice columnists, lawyers etc.) just resign yourself to do everything wrong.
“It didn’t go so bad last year…” she said
Hmmm. Well I remember me very carefully, tersely busying myself about, ignoring all the cynical bitter little clauses and footnoted to any comment or reference or joke.
When do we deal with the reality of the situation like divorced adults and start leading separate lives?
Love is the province of the Brave.
And a few shots of vodka and my sister and brother-in-law should give me courage enough.
But there are repercussions compared to last year. I excepted with the knowledge that my girlfriend, who has never been married, is an only-child and thus has spent many a lonely Christmas, would be quite pissed. She has to spend another Christmas alone and the Leaver doesn’t. Why? Because the latter is needy, broken and almost perpetually in crisis.
Bad behaviour and narcissism rewarded? .
Intelligent counselling would have strongly suggested that I not have given in. That this sets a bad precedent and I should stay in control of my life, etc. etc. But there are those kids of mine and the thought of them getting hit by the shrapnel of their mother going to pieces on Christmas does not seem fair to them. To what end? There’s nothing left to be proven about her limitations as a parent or a single parent or a co-parent. The war is over. She capitulated the corollary of which, is I won.
Who cares. My house is absorbing the refugees.
It’s my kids house too, after all. So I can’t tell them not to come home for Christmas, if they want to be here and their mother allows it? And then they want their uncle there who’s visiting… but of course. And then how can I say no to my ex?
I wouldn’t say no to a stranger in need on Christmas, why should I treat her worse because I do know her? Because I’ve decided she doesn’t deserve it?
It’s a turducken of pity… or compassion… bit of love in there… Christmas spirit.
To the victor goes the spoils. To the victor comes the refugees.
And there’s the leftovers… That’s nice.
What could possibly go wrong?