Living the Not-So-Single Life

Posted on | November 26, 2011 | 7 Comments

I have spent time being jealous of my ex-husband’s current situation.  Yes, I have J, and for that I am eternally thankful… but there have been moments when I’ve thought that just once I’d like the opportunity to go out and have fun without paying a babysitter or worrying about the phone ringing.  Just once, I’ve thought, I’d like the chance to be totally single again.

Last night, I had that chance.

Last night, around 10, I got an email asking me to meet a local friend out at a local bar.  My friend who came to spend Thanksgiving with me was ambivalent, we could go or we could stay home.  At first I thought I’d stay home; there was basketball on and I’d already had a glass or two of wine.  But then I remembered those moments when I cursed my ex-husband’s ability to go out and be a single man without responsibility.  And so I went.

We hit the bar around 11, smoke billowing around, a twinge of marijuana floating past from the small groups hanging out on the back patio.  There was a band of dred-locked men playing southern rock on the stage and the bar was populated with a mix of ages from the barely 21 to the almost retired.  We found our friend out on the patio and stood and chatted for a bit.  She’s going through a divorce as well and her son had drug her out to the bar with his friends.  I showed her a few recent pictures of J and my out-of-town friend laughed.

“If guys come up to talk to us, you can’t start whipping out pictures of J,” she grinned.

And it wasn’t that she was wrong because she wasn’t.  Of course you shouldn’t do that at a bar.  But suddenly, I didn’t want to be anywhere where it wasn’t acceptable to talk about my son.  Suddenly, I didn’t want to meet anyone who wouldn’t find him to be an amazing asset rather than an awkward liability.  Suddenly, I wanted to go home.

There is a time and a place for a single life.

I used to go out to bars with friends and not mind that I came home smelling of smoke and stale beer.  I used to laugh and flirt and toss my hair with the best of them.  And then I met R and we got married, and I left those days behind me. I chose to leave those days behind me.  And last night, I made that choice again.

Because as much as I think that I’d like to be carefree and “really” single like my ex is, the truth of the matter is… I don’t want to be.  The truth of the matter is, I don’t envy his life nearly as much as I thought I did.  Because at the end of his night, when he takes himself home, whether alone or with someone else, he is going home to an empty house.  He is going home in a car without a car seat, without pacifiers scattered on the backseat floorboard.  He is going home to a house without a Fisher Price kitchen and a lot of stuffed monkeys scattered around.  He is going home to a home without J.

And I?

I am not.

So the next time I start to envy his life, I’m going to remember who really has it good.  I’m going to remember that while it is perfectly fine for some people, it is not what I want.  I don’t want to be anywhere or with anyone where it is uncomfortable for me to talk about my son.

And if that means I sit home on the sofa?

I’m okay with that.  Because the view from my sofa is pretty sweet.  It is peppered with the accessories of the life I choose to live now.  These are my accent pieces; these are my jewels.  They don’t mean much to a jeweler or a banker, and they aren’t going to impress the hottest guy in the bar… but I wouldn’t trade these baubles, these Mickey Mouse dolls and Fisher Price animals… for all the riches in the world. I wouldn’t trade these Little People and Weebles for all the Jimmy Choo’s on the planet.

This is my life.  This is what I choose.  This is who I choose to be.

And for the first time in a really long time, I’m perfectly okay with that.


7 Responses to “Living the Not-So-Single Life”

  1. beachmum
    November 26th, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

    I seem to be responding to your posts with a lot of “amen sistah’s however, amen fits, so there. I agree. While I’m not exactly in your situation, the thought of dragging myself out past ten on a weekend night (or any night for that matter) is totally unappealing. There was a time when I never imagined I would say that. There was a time when, like your post, I was carefree and constantly felt the need to be social. I am happiest when I’m at home. I often get criticized for my lack of a large social circle, or my lack of enthusiasm for wanting to pretend I’m 27. Truth of the matter is I’m content at home. On my couch. Watching a monitor to make sure my kid is ok. I’m fine with spending my extra money and free time perusing Old Navy to make sure L has the latest and greatest. I’m totally comfortable with spending my time playing trucks, searching for pacifiers, or watching my little boy marvel in wonder at kites at the beach. I am a mom and I’m exactly where I should be.

  2. mags
    November 27th, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

    Your writing is beautiful!

  3. Lola M.
    November 28th, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

    Yes. Oh, so yes.

  4. Anonymous
    November 29th, 2011 @ 2:35 am

    Well… I am very much in your corner and there is no doubt that you are the real winner in every possible sense of the word. But, there is a time and place for everything. If you get the time and opportunity for another quick jaunt to a bar, do please take it. Occasional nights out can be fun and do not invalidate any part of your life.

  5. Shannon Martinez
    December 2nd, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

    such a beautiful place to be!

  6. Carol Piersoll
    August 1st, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

    LM – I’ve been reading through your archives….looking for wisdom, strength and support. I’ve found all that here. Our situations oddly similar, the broken hearts, shattered dreams, the same. This post really resonates with me, the other day I was complaining to my mom about the same thing…”it must be nice that he can have breakfast with his girlfriend, sip his coffee on the way to work, and have no other responsiblity in the morning. It must be nice that he can work out, go to happy hour, etc, without a care in the world.” My mother looked me square in the eye and said “Don’t you dare envy him, Carol. He is the one missing out. He isn’t nearly as happy about his situation as you think he is.” She is probably right, as you so elequently pointed out. I would rather be exactly where I am! Thank you for all your writings, you are a tremendous source of support for all of those that find themselves in similar shoes.

  7. Law Momma
    August 1st, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

    I always feel a bittersweet twinge whenever anyone says we’re in the same situation. Bitter because my God, NO ONE deserves that heart ache and sweet because… yes, we’re in this together. We’re not alone.
    You can bet your ass that you’ve got it better than him. 🙂

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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