Sometimes it’s hard to believe we are in the 21st cetntury. Recently, again, I heard another nasty dig on the television about Susan Boyle’s looks. What is the matter with people? The woman is a fabulous singer, who looks like a pleasant neighbour. She is NOT employed as a model! So why do people expect her to look like one? I’ll say again what many people have said before me. If she was a man, she would be allowed to go about her business without any comment about her looks. There are a few male singers, without model-looks who are not commented on by the media. For goodness sake, why can’t we leave her alone? And leave all women alone. It should not concern anyone else how we look. To assume it is your business is supremely arrogant. Every time we hear someone doing it, we should challenge them.
I have read a blog about this tonight…
I hhttp://www.thesecretdivorcee.co.uk/2014/03/ten-things-that-surprised-me-about.htmlave . This is all relevant. Having been divorced twice now ( yes, I know… what more can I say?) I would add the following points…
Husbands of your friends will hit on you…
This is both surprising, and horrifying. Do they think you are ‘going without’ some essential, err, sex? Hello! I have just got rid of a married man who was cheating, ie, my husband. If I wanted a married man who was cheating, I would have stuck to the man that I was married to!
Your life will get more complicated…
It will be awkward to organise access visits. Ex will make it difficult, but not impossible, and will organise this as if you do not have a life….
Previous husband, in my case, will announce a new wedding before the divorce is finalised… this was a surprise, particularly as exhusband held the divorce up until the last moment.
Blended families have their own complications. Even when they are pleasant, there will be issues. One’s own children can be difficult. When step-kids are hard work, it’s harder, because you are not linked by blood. Koudos to the people who are married to the parents of their children.
You will spend much of your life driving your child accross the city to accomodate the above…
Sometimes though, divorce is the only way to save your life. In which case, do it anyway.
At the weekend, a friend and I got a cheap night in a spa. Lovely! Twas only about twenty minutes into the journey, that I realised my make-up bag was sitting, oblivious, on the window ledge which is its normal home….
Disaster! Too late to turn back, without adding another forty minutes onto the journey, and anyway, I wasn’t driving. Friend and I have a very civilised arrangement. She drives, and I bring the booze…. Anyhoo, I digress. I have to say, that this is not the first time this had happened. I have nearly done it many times, as I do not keep said make-up bag in my handbag. This is less to do with my organisational skills than the not small make-up bag, and the amount of ‘essential’ stuff I carry around in my bag.
The last time it actually happened, I was seventeen, and going to a wedding, and unable to readily access a shop to get make-up, so I went without. Me, with my low self-esteem, with a boyfriend, who didn’t think I was pretty. I know this, because he told me (a whole other blog post). At the wedding, the bride, who was the sister of Tactless Boyfriend, insisted I sat on the Other Side of the church, not on the Family Side. A slight that I vaguely recognised, but would have been much more sneeped had I been on Mumsnet in those years! Anyhoo, it was a bit traumatic, but mainly because I needed all the confidence I could get, and my Mask was not available to me.
Roll on over thirty years…. I was a bit irritated. Mainly because I have a List of things I need to do at the last minute, and this includes putting my make-up bag into my case, and I had Failed. I know I shouldn’t need a list, but I am slightly dyslexic and find it easier to work in this way.
So. It was fine. Maybe not for people who live on the other side of my face, and have to look at me, but for me, it was fine. And curiously liberating. And yes, I KNOW that’s not an original thought, but I discovered it, for me personally, accidentally, rather than making a deliberate choice to do it as an experiment.
I don’t wear that much make-up normally, partly through time, and cba issues. On a night out, I will make more effort. I don’t intend to do it regularly, out in public, but it was freeing to know I could.
I wish I could go back and tell my seventeen year old self that it was ok. That the bride was a Bridezilla and I should have stood up to her earlier (this was the latest in a long line of unecessary slights). Oh, and that I was going out with a bit of an Idiot, and I deserved better.
The last point would take until my fifties to get into my head, but better late than never.
Continuing the theme of an ideal life is a simple life… My life has unfortunately got more complicated as I have got older. Or it may be because I got divorced. Or in a new relationship with someone who also had children, so we have become a kind of ‘blended family’, albeit one who doesn’t live together. I am glad that all the men involved have relationships with their offspring,and actually grit my teeth a lot to make sure it happens with the minimum of drama, but it does make life more complicated. Weirdly, the oldest progeny (in her twenties) needs more attention than the teenager…. I wonder how I got to this situation. I felt I had done all the right things, and should have been ‘rewarded’. I had tried, I felt, very hard, to be with the father of my child forever. If only he had felt the same, and his behaviour had reflected this.I had one child, was married to her father for almost twenty years. I even felt a bit smug… I was part of a an Endangered Tribe. Very few of us had made it this far. But pride comes before a fall, and all that. I had reckoned without an online-dating habit. Among other unsavoury habits.
But when you have a child with someone, if they have an involvement in said child’s life, you are stuck with them, even if you are divorced. Although my daughter is a teenager, and can make her own arrangements to see her father, he still needs to co-ordinate holidays etc with me. We only have six weeks in the summer to go away. He in theory asks me if dates are suitable, in practise tells me the holidays he has booked… He wasn’t enormously cooperative when we were married, so logically he wasn’t going to improve when we divorced. Although the ability to make my life (more) complicated will become less over the years, we are still tied. An umbilical cord that goes beyond the obvious. Our daughter will graduate, get married, have children ( probably). And we will both have to be there, and I will have to pretend that I forgive him. The father of my only child, who I feel (illogically?) biologically bonded with forever. I loved him dearly, and he betrayed that. In the worst possible way. And I may be wonderfully civilised in public, but I don’t think I will ever forgive such a betrayal of my love.
Why is it that despite being over fifty I still allow myself to fall for the hype? Yesterday, I finally admitted defeat and gave up on my latest mascara. The mascara itself was fine, if not my usual brand. But I had allowed myself to be persuaded, against my better judgement, that this was a ‘new and Improved’ version because the ‘wand’ part to apply the mascara was a different shape. In this case it was shaped like a mini-paintbrush with a swivel head. I don’t know why I thought this would be an improvement, and it wasn’t. It will disappear from the shelves when other people realise the same. It will not give me eyelashes like Daisy the Cow, and therefore make me more beautiful. The best shape for this is the standard wand. I have been using it in this form very successfully for over forty years. I must stop going against my better judgement and giving in to this stuff.
And I do this about other issues. Things which are far more important than the trivial issue of make-up. I have many times allowed myself to be be persuaded that Someone Else, either a person in real life, or a marketing team, knows better. In many cases this was not true, and I need to trust my instinct more, specifically about relationships and friendships and the bigger stuff in life. My instincts are not too bad really, when I don’t squash them down and try to ignore them.
There is a lot to be said for keeping life as simple as you can. Mine (and surely many others) are not as simple as I would like, and indeed, planned for. I am divorced with a teenager, which means precision planning to organise a social life around the other parent, his step-children and their father, plus my new man, and his children, yada yada you get the idea…. Christmas has become much more complicated. I never intended it to be with this way. I intended to be married to the father of my child forever, as did we all. Until his behaviour towards myself and her made this impossible. This new life is much better than it was, but occasionally I want to stamp my feet childishly at how complicated it all is sometimes. Life just makes it that way.
So, I don’t look for any more complications than I have already, in this new, richer, but more complex life I have unexpectedly found myself occupying. As the old saying goes, “If it aint broke, don’t fix it”.
Ever tried going without a title? As in, when you give your name you just say “My name is Parlsey Lioness?”. I have tried this recently to get round the ‘Ms’ ‘issue’.
It shouldn’t be an issue, but I don’t know if its just where I live, where it is unusual for anyone to have a title other than Mrs or Miss, but People in Offices (yes Women I mean you!) seem to struggle with it. Almost no-one can say it, and often resort to Miss in pronunciation. I’m not Miss, or Mrs, I’m Parsley Lioness, and if you absolutely have to identify me my some patriarchal ‘was someone daft enough to marry her’ system, I want to be Ms.
Mr does not do this, and its no-one else’s business that I am divorced, (twice) or if I am married or just damn choosy!
It can’t just be me, can it?
I do so hate it when women make out they’re stupid, when they’re not. I saw it again today. Someone was recommended a place to get something, but advised that parking was a potential issue, and very near to the police station, so not worth taking a chance on a ticket.
This bright, articulate woman said, “Oh, I’ll just plead ignorance, and turn on the charm”.
Women, don’t do this please. Very few of us are stupid, despite being told for a long time that we were. We don’t need to pretend to be. It doesn’t do us any favours.
STOP IT NOW!