That settled two things. Since my parents filed for divorce a few weeks ago, I was wondering if what I’d seen about divorce on TV and in movies was accurate. (Not the parents-trying-to-outdo-each-other-in-competing-for-affection thing. I’m too old for that. Sadly.) One of the first signs a marriage was really over, according to pop culture, was that parents started referring to each other only in relation to their children. "I talked to your mother" or "I don’t know, your father said that he’d be here".
Pop culture got that right, it seems.
The other thing that it settled was that it’s happening. My parents are ending almost three decades of marriage. Once you stop thinking of your partner as an individual and start thinking of them as the other biological parent of your children, that’s it, right?
I’m apathetic about it, probably because it’s been in the works for over a year. The first time my Dad moved out in the fall of 2010, I was upset. Very upset. Then he moved back in and I was happy. Then he moved out again and I was less upset than the first time. Then moved back in and I was less happy. Then moved out again and I didn’t really care anymore.
It’s kinda like that graph your D.A.R.E. teacher drew on the board for you, where you get really high the first time you do drugs, then crash really low, then you don’t get as high the next time and maybe you crash lower the next time or maybe you don’t, but there’s a new normal that’s lower than your old normal.
My brother, back from London, invited his British friends who live in New York back to our Connecticut home for a Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday night. Since we traditionally spend Thanksgiving day with my Dad’s side of the family, I assumed that this would be Mom’s thing.
When my Dad showed up, my brother set another place at the table. We all got our plates and sat down, Dad last. Upon taking his seat next to his soon-to-be-ex-wife, he said “We’re going to teach you all how to get divorced.”
Fortunately, he did not mean that he was going to give us a step-by-step tutorial on their divorce process, which is what I first thought. He meant that he was going to prove that two people in the middle of a divorce could get along, at least for one night in the presence of relative strangers.
And they did. Dinner was really fun, after the 10 seconds of awkward silence that followed my Dad’s opener.
My D.A.R.E. teacher was wrong about a lot of things. Maybe he was wrong about the graph too. Maybe the new normal doesn’t have to be low.
I got home from my basketball game last night around 10:45. I was hoping to grab some Chipotle on my way back to my apartment, but it closed at 10. Apparently Steve Ells has never heard of that whole “City That Never Sleeps” thing. Maybe if he spent less time saying sentences that start with “Back when I was starting Chipotle…” he’d be more in tune with the outside world. Seeing that Chipotle was closed, I went across the street to Gristedes. While wandering around looking for something edible, I tweeted:
(Don’t worry mom, I didn’t actually eat any of those disgusting things. I settled on brussels sprouts, green beans, and a protein shake.)
An hour later, I got an email:
First of all, :(. I don’t what’s more depressing, that this twitter account exists or that it followed me.
Remember how there was a dance circle at every high school dance?
And in that dance circle, the kids who could breakdance would do so and everyone would go nuts, even though you probably went to a suburban high school and they weren’t really that good?
And then there was that kinda chubby white kid in your class who thought he was hilarious, and he would jump into the circle and flop around on the floor and pretend to breakdance? And everyone was kind of like “…eh” and the dance circle would break up?
“Fall is what summer pretends to be, the best of seasons. Fall is as glorious as summer is tedious; as subtle as summer is obvious; as refreshing as summer is wearying. Crisp fall air blows as welcome as the day’s first smell of coffee. Fall’s brilliant colors remind us of the glory of nature and the multitude of things that are possible. Foremost among its qualities, fall is the season of romance. Take an informal poll, and you are nearly certain to find that a high percentage of the world’s precious supply of lasting relationships dates to the fall. Most people attribute this phenomenon to leaves falling, school starting and fireplaces being lit. The real reason is simpler. The real reason is sweaters. Everyone looks better in sweaters.”—Gregg Easterbrook