for the Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge of 20 February 2021, divorce.
I thought about writing a silly limerick, as this is such a good prompt word, but thought I’d try some prose instead.
I’ve never really known divorce. I have friends who are divorced, I have a cousin who is divorced, but I’ve never really seen it close-up. But I thought that, today, I’d post about it, particularly from my parents’ perspective. My parents both died in 2012, but were probably no older than many of you. He was born 1941, she 1944, and under different circumstances, they might still be here. In fact, I still enjoy speaking to my mum’s elder sister to this day.
Divorce was not a word in my parents’ vocabulary. My mum used to moan incessantly at my dad, anout my dad, she would even spend hours alone in a room, shouting (loudly) about my dad. But they stayed together.
After I left home, I presume it continued. From two hundred miles away, she would spend an hour on the phone, complaining about my dad. I used to say, if it was that bad, she should think about getting a divorce (after all, I was no longer a dependent). But she wouldn’t hear of it.
I listened to all of these complaints because I thought that she had nobody else to offload on. A few years later, I was staying with her. Somebody phoned and she spent ages offloading to them – and I realised that, far from being the only person available, my mum would offload on anyone who was prepared to listen.
It was an interesting lesson in people – while I took on board that my mum had a problem, and took the next step of trying to think of a fix, my mum simply wanted to broadcast to people that there was a problem. I’ve found in life that some people can be like that – and I find that their willingness to look for a “fix” governs my own interest in their problem.
But throughout this time, she would not countenance divorce. In fact when I look back at when she seemed happiest, it was when my dad moved into a care home. She was still a “respectable, married woman”, but my dad was not around to bug her.
So, I think she liked the idea of being married (certainly over being divorced) but on the subject of my dad in particular, she might have been more equivocal!