November 18, 2006

The way it used to be was like this: I got married (1995). Had two kids (1997, 1999). And then got divorced (2002).

After my divorce, I figured I would get married again. Someday. But the circumstances surrounding that someday were not yet imaginable. Post-divorce for me was filled with worries. Worries about how my kids were going to be. About my finances. And about how many cigarettes I was smoking. (Ooh, I was really skinny.)

But I also felt relieved and more like myself than I think I had ever felt. And that part felt really good.

In that post-divorce period of time, Thursdays were for me. My kids spent Thursday nights with their father so those were my nights to get out, throw back some Cosmos, blow off some steam and do a little flirting.

Thursday nights were spent with my best neighbor, at the local bar where we knew the band. And drinks were inexpensive. Even free, if the right bartender was working. My friend and I would show up there, commandeer a few seats outside, or belly up to the bar, and wait for the fun to begin. Actually, the fun always began the moment we left our houses. In our defense, he and I never drove drunk, choosing to either walk home, get a ride or catch a cab. And we utilized the buddy system. Never leave a man behind.

Thursday nights at the bar were where I got to know my current husband, after having met him a few months before at his restaurant. Almost eight years ago tonight, he offered to give me a ride home from that bar. But I didn’t make it home that night. No, I lost my virginity (kind of) to him, before we even went on a date. The date came over a week later. (You can read the whole story here. Don’t be so shocked. It worked out, didn’t it?)

And then, five years ago tomorrow, I married him. (Here’s our faux New York Times wedding announcement.) I was older and wiser the second time around. And really, really in love. Because once you’ve been married, had a couple of kids and then been divorced, you’re only going to get married if you really, really want to.

For those who get it right the first time, kudos. I wish I had. Divorce sucks. Divorce is hard on everyone involved. Divorce is forever. But sometimes, divorce is the right thing to do.

But I can’t say that my first marriage was a mistake because if I hadn’t married my first husband, the father of my children, I wouldn’t have my children. Sure I would have had children but they wouldn’t be the specific ones that I have now. Half me, half their father. And I love, adore and cherish who they are. (Even though they fight too much.)

And if I hadn’t married their father the first time around, I wouldn’t have ended up here, in my small town in South Florida. Which means I would never have walked in to my husband’s restaurant that late summer day back in 2003. I never would have met him. Never flirted with him. Never would have had that (humorous) first night together. And never married him and started this amazing, imperfect life that we have together now.

Happy 5 Year Anniversary to my husband. I love you. And this counts as your card.

 

July 29, 2011