Dust on Every Page


I seem to have missed the lesson on how to have a successful marriage. Maybe these are the secrets that sorority girls whisper about when the druggie freak girls walk past. Or sleep with their boyfriends. Maybe slumber parties where girls exchange make up and hair style advices, or compare breasts and other personal stuff is where they share their notes on how to be women. Or maybe-- I’m not alone. Maybe -- I'm not the only one who wasn't give the memo/email/handbook on how to truly imagine, construct and maintain a 'successful' marriage. But it sure feels like I am.

I come from the era when girls were ripping off their bras, stripping down their over-lined, over-shadowed, pancake based make-up for more natural looks. They were standing up for equal rights, fighting for legal abortions and the ability to play sports at school if so inclined. I also come from an era of drugs, free sex and rock and roll. Pre-Aids. Pre-Reagan. Pre-sunscreen. Post Watergate, and assasinations and Viet Nam. And my brothers were being told to express their emotions, while their grandfathers still called them 'sissy' if they cried. Mine was the first family to get divorced in my neighborhood. The first in my classroom. The first in my grade at Bissonet Plaza for that matter. We were also the first on our block to start receiving MS. Magazine. Gloria Steinem was God. Beautiful, but not girlie. Tough, but not ‘butch’. And at the time, definitely NOT married. Funny how images get in and stick. it's why advertising works I guess.

My husband left 3 months ago. My second husband. There used to be all sorts of options for divorce bound couples to check off as the reason for their legal separations. Not any longer. Now it’s insanity or irreconcilable differences. I don’t think our differences are irreconcilable. So one of us must be insane. The reason he gave, as best I can surmise, since he hasn’t really been direct or clear in his communication about it, is that I wasn’t a very good wife. He is unhappy. Or has been unhappy for a long time. Or, WE have been unhappy for a very long time. I'm guessing all of this translates to "I've met someone else" though he isn't saying. What he is saying is, mostly he left because I am unhappy and have been for a long time. And angry. There was something in there about just how angry I am. How angry we’ve been with each other. And disappointed. He definitely pointed out how we had both let each other down. And, yes, all of those things were true. But WTF! Isn’t that marriage?

Don't get me wrong, our story had dust on every page. ( I’m listening to too much Taylor Swift). But there was a LOT of dust. Fairy dust. Whirlwind dust. Sandstorm, life choking dust. Menopausal dried up bag dust. Look the other way, sweep it under the rug, dust.

But it also had such shiny spots. So many lovely, shimmering, glorious spots. Is it possible to blow the dust away? Scrub or polish the dust away. Regain some sheen? Or is this a case of 'dust to dust' dust? Is there a way to tell? If this is a secret exchanged between sleepover sorority sisters, can one of you please share?


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