Tag Archives: gifts

My Ex Husband is Getting Married Today

Should I buy him a present on his big day, or is my lack of presence the gift he really wants?

Today is 11-11-11 and at 11:00 am by ex husband is getting remarried. The ceremony will be outdoors in the mountains, so there’s a chance he’ll be extending that theme and it will be 11 degrees.

I am not invited.

This is not surprising since our breakup was my idea. I remember very clearly rehearsing my short speech for months, and then on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend in 2004 I spit it out:

“I think you know what I’m about to say. We should get a divorce.”

During my months of rehearsing, I imagined that my husband would agree. “Let’s stay friends,” he would say. We would celebrate birthdays together, occasionally go out to a family dinner, and continue to raise our two young daughters as a team.

It didn’t happen that way.

Apparently as absolutely certain I was that he would also want the split, he was just as absolutely shocked that I wanted to leave him. It blindsided him. And he was angry.

To make matters worse, I remarried only 18 short months later. “Tom’s such a nice guy,” I used to say. “It’s too bad he can’t find a nice girl to go out with him.” It never in a million years occurred to me that I might end up being that nice girl. He wasn’t my type, even if I didn’t know what my type was.

It was a scandalously short courtship. And if I was my ex, I would have been angry too, even though Tom and I didn’t have our first date until 6 months after the break up. Our son Jake was born three weeks before our one-year anniversary. We’ve trudged on, building a busy life together with our kids.

My ex went on to have three different long-term relationships. Emily & Mary Belle liked them all. But he really hit the jackpot with his bride today.

She is beautiful. Smart. She has a great job. And she is really sweet. She never had kids of her own, but she loves our girls. This is the most important thing to me, so I am not just pleased – I feel like I won the lottery.

This is her first (and hopefully only) wedding so it’s a very big deal. And this is (again – hopefully) my ex’s last wedding. They’ve been planning the big event for some time, and from what I can gather that the girls have told me, it’s going to be very special. I truly want it to be beautiful and memorable and something far far from freezing.

My ex doesn’t read my blogs. He’s not my Facebook friend. He doesn’t recommend me on Linkedin or follow me on Twitter. Although I see his Christmas card hanging on the walls of our few mutual friends, I’m not one of his recipients. The only connection we have is through our two beautiful daughters. If we didn’t have them, I wouldn’t even have a clue that he was remarrying today.

Maybe by the time our girls have kids of their own, my ex will become more comfortable and want to share birthdays and occasionally go out to a family dinner. I hope by now he realizes that I radically changed from the quiet little insecure mouse who married him into the gal you can’t shut up, and that we were no longer a good fit. He should have already been convinced that I’m a difficult person to live with, and his life must be much more peaceful not having to pick up the pieces of my daily over-commitments. I was merely a 13-year pit stop on the way to true happiness.

My wedding gift for ex husband is this wish: Let this girl be your soul mate, the one you were destined to be with for the rest of your lives. Please be happy, find the best in each other, grow together, and be a shining example to our daughters of the kind of marriage they would aspire to have one day.

What’s the nice thing about my gift? It’s something that you can keep – and re-gift over and over to every bride and groom.


Filed under Humor

It’s My Birthday Today. Please PLEASE Don’t Get Me Anything!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday. For one day out of 365 and a quarter days I get to have my cake and eat it too. Unfortunately, I have a lot of wonderful friends who want to give me more cake, and as much as I appreciate the thought, effort and financial exchange, I don’t want to eat their cake too. At 49, my metabolism isn’t what it used to be.

My husband Tom asked me what I wanted for my birthday. “Your homemade jambalaya and a funny card,” I answered. I’ve now made it to the age where that answer doesn’t secretly mean: “And dinner at a really expensive restaurant this weekend. And something sparkly. And flowers.” I can’t afford the money or calories for the dinner, we’re not going anywhere that requires any bling, and in just two days that bouquet will be dead and stinky. However I will probably give my husband the pseudo-silent treatment if that funny card is something lame like a zany cat hanging upside down.

My kids asked me what I wanted for my birthday. For a few years now, I’ve been giving them the same answer: “I want you to be really REALLY nice to me all day.” Too bad this isn’t the kind of gift that just keeps giving. But it’s still what I wish for every year when I blow out my candles.

I have friends who want to buy me gifts, and I try to nix that one before it pops out of their well-meaning mouths. Here are my reasons:

1. I’m trying to get rid of the crap I already have. I don’t need new crap to add to it (not to say that your gift is crap, but frankly the formula is: GIFT + TIME = CRAP).

2. If you give me something, I will feel inclined to buy something on your birthday, and I’m pretty broke. It’ll probably be something from the Dollar Tree in the line of that lame and zany cat hanging upside down and it will immediately fall into your crap category. Let’s just not do that dance.

3. If you buy me something, I will have to send you a thank you card. That means $3.95 plus tax for the card and the 44 cent stamp, and that’s about the price of a venti café mocha from Starbucks, which I can’t afford. There’s also the time to drive over to the drug store, park, pick out something better than a lame and zany cat hanging upside down, and then the real clincher – trying to think of something funny to say on it when I’ve already used up my funny trying to write this damn blog.

For the three previous years, between work and getting my MLS, I was very VERY busy on my birthday. So busy that I didn’t answer the phone or look at one email. Throughout the day I heard various slightly off-key voices singing: “Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear Cathy. Happy birthday to you.” I didn’t want to take the time to figure out how to turn the volume down, so I just put a pillow over the answering machine. No offense to any of you who sang to me last year. I wasn’t talking to you. Your voice is lovely.

It took me over a week to get to the emails, and I don’t think I even answered them. I believe I was just visualizing a virtual high-five as a response. The Facebook messages were long gone out of the Facebooksphere by the time I read them. I felt like a very bad friend.

Happy Birthday Facebook notifications

This year I’m answering the phone (and unfortunately hearing the entire happy birthday tune without the ability to fast-forward), glancing at emails and reading my Facebook responses. Although I’m still very busy this year (rather than very VERY busy) it is a high quality problem to have a lack of time to read birthday wishes from your friends. I am lucky to have so many great friends, or at least people who claim to be my friend on Facebook.

My good friend Lisa just popped over with some flowers and a card. Fortunately the card has a pair of Renaissance angels instead of a lame and zany cat hanging upside down. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that the flowers will be dead and stinky in a couple of days, and she could have got herself two Starbucks venti café mochas for the price.

I think I’d better not inform my good friend Lisa about my latest blog.


Filed under Financial Insecurity, Friends, Humor, Parenting