Posted on | August 14, 2011 | 15 Comments

Sometimes when I’m out, maybe at the grocery store, maybe at a nice restaurant, someone will pass me by and I will breathe in a billow of perfume or cologne that makes me want to chase them down and ask them where they bought it or what it’s called.  As they pass, I find myself closing my eyes and letting the warm wind of fragrance transport me  somewhere exotic or just somewhere new. But then, after they’ve moved on, somehow the scent changes. It’s not that it was an unpleasant choice, it’s just that it stayed a little longer than I needed it to.  It soaked into my plate of food or the shirt on my back, becoming this overpowering, nauseating smell and I wonder why I ever liked it to begin with.  And then I’ll smell it again somewhere and the whole process will begin again.

This divorce has made me rethink a lot of my choices.  I’ve spent a lot of time questioning my capabilities and my aptitude.  I’ve spent a lot of time since Friday thinking about what it means to no longer be married.  I can be almost anywhere these days and it suddenly hits me that I’m a divorcee.  I feel like a caricature of myself; like I should have on something in a leopard print and maybe get a perm.  I should take up smoking Virginia Slims in long, Holly Golightly cigarette holders and I should definitely invest in hairspray.

No matter where I go, the scent of him lingers.  He was the whole of my life for so very long.  He was my other half, my husband, my best friend.  And just because I sobbed into a wad of tissues in a half-empty courtroom on Friday, I didn’t suddenly lose anything other than the right to call him my husband.

And it was a right.

There were things that were wrong about our marriage.When I met R, we were both enveloped in a cloud of the softest cologne, basking in the newness and the crisp appeal of each other.  Ours was a perfume of robust blooms and musky undertones; both light and full, dense and all-encompassing.  It became, over time, a worn and familiar smell, neither pleasant nor unpleasant; just simply… there.  I need to make one thing very clear because it is something I’m not sure has been all that clear through the teary-eyed blur of this blog.  I do not regret one single second of my marriage to R.

If I was handed a clock to rewind time, I would do every single thing the same.  I would smile across the table at him at Murphy’s in Atlanta.  I would kick leaves at him and laugh as he cupped his hands and tried to use his breath to warm the frozen tip of my nose.  I would say yes. I would walk down that aisle.  I would hold his hand and dance with him to “So This is Love” from Cinderella like we were a fairy tale couple.  I would marry him again and again and again.

I loved R when he asked me to marry him.

I loved R when I said “I do” at the altar.

I loved R when I told him I was pregnant with his son.

I loved R when I nursed that son for the first time.

I loved R when we fought, when we made up, when we laughed together and when we cried.

I loved R for the better part of six years and there are still many, many things about him that I love and many days that I wish our love could have found a way to survive.

So if I haven’t made that one thing clear, let it be made clear today.

I would rewind time and marry R over and over again.

Because how could I regret the marriage or the love that brought the world J.  Our marriage, our love, created the most wonderful little boy and for that reason, even if there were no other… I will never regret my love for the man I married in 2007.

Divorce is horrible; but it’s supposed to be horrible.  If I had gone into marriage half-assed, waltzing in and out of love with complete abandon, then I would imagine this divorce might be easy… it might be a new beginning, a fresh start, a license to hit up the bars and delve into one-night stands.  But I didn’t waltz in to my marriage and I don’t believe that R did either.  We loved each other very much when we made the decision to spend our lives together.  We stood, forehead to forehead, lips to lips and we basked in the sweet, musky undertones and the soft, lilac-ed top notes of our love.

But if I’ve learned anything through this process it’s this:

Sometimes even the sweetest and best loved smells can sour if they linger too long where they are not supposed to be.


15 Responses to “Perfume”

  1. KristinaYellow
    August 14th, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

    I love that you said divorce should be horrible-I think sometimes people forget how much thought needs to be done before you get married. It’s not an easy prospect and divorce is no difference. J is a luckey little boy; he will always know how happy you are to have him in your life and it definitely shows.

  2. Heather
    August 14th, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

    That is beautiful and honest…

  3. Anthony from CharismaticKid
    August 14th, 2011 @ 11:20 pm

    Do you think you’ll ever marry again?

  4. melissa
    August 15th, 2011 @ 9:12 am

    beautiful, honest, raw post!!

  5. Jana A
    August 15th, 2011 @ 9:16 am

    Beautiful. Just beautiful.

  6. IdahoGirl
    August 15th, 2011 @ 10:57 am

    My heart goes out to you – beautifully written.

  7. Cindy
    August 15th, 2011 @ 11:55 am

    How beautiful and eloquent this is. You’ve put into words many of my feelings about my marriage and divorce. It is a good reminder not to try to hang on to something that is no longer meant to be, but to rejoice in the beauty that once was. Thanks!

  8. beachmum
    August 15th, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

    Well put. As always, your post was beautiful. I hope you have some closure and can begin healing.

    On a side note (related to perfume). I threw out my husband’s body wash (it’s my fault because in a rush I picked it up while grocery shopping). After using it he smelled like a 17 year old boy getting ready for a date (very musky and over powering). Yuck.

  9. KLZ
    August 15th, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

    I almost feel like buying you a pack of smokes. I supposed something leopard print will have to do.

  10. Law Momma
    August 15th, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

    Anthony: I don’t know if I’ll ever remarry. I suppose the answer is maybe? It would depend on the person and the circumstances of my life.

    KLZ: OMG yes. Please. Spandex and leopard print like Fran Drescher’s mother on The Nanny…

  11. Stephanie
    August 15th, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

    This is a beautiful post. I love it- thank you for sharing.

  12. Joel
    August 15th, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

    great posts lately.. don’t feel like your readers are tired of “woe is me, etc”. You are grieving. I am grieving my divorce too. And we all grieve in different ways. Your getting your thoughts out in the way that is best for you.

    Obligatory disclaimer / warning.. unsolicited advise coming!

    Try to stay more focused on the front windshield and not the back window. Enjoy being able to choose what you want to watch, let the house get messy if thats ok with you, and just being single again. I like your “choose happy” mantra – I am trying to do the same but as you know some days are good and some you will fight back tears all day (like I have been doing today). Our pain is temporary. It won’t always feel like this.

    G-d bless you and J.

  13. amberlee
    August 15th, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

    Nice comment Joel.
    Your writing is so beautiful. You will get through this, time heals all.

  14. facie
    August 15th, 2011 @ 11:46 pm

    I am not sure how long I have been reading your blog (maybe a year?), but your love for your ex has been very clear to me, so I am not surprised you would do it all over again. But IMO it takes a pretty self-aware, together, whatever the opposite of bitter is, and honest person to say that.

    Your perfume/smell analogy is a great one.

  15. Adamsday
    January 2nd, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

    I’m new here, but every single thing you write just touched me. Thank You.

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