Back to the beginning

31 07 2012

After the diamond kiss, Mort then spent ten days here with my family and friends. I am not sure who was trying to impress who more…..him to my parents or vice-versa. They liked him immediately. Given the size of the diamond, you can guess that he came from money. But even with a wealthy upbringing he didn’t have any of the affectations often associated with it. He was smart but not arrogant, well-travelled but grounded.

When my parents fell in love with him almost as quickly as I did, and realization set in that I was really going to be living on the other side of the world – they took those ten days with Mort to be five-star tour guides, going into full ‘sell’ mode on everything that was fabulous about our city with the hopes that one day we would come back to settle.

After his visit, I then took 3 weeks to pack up my stuff, find a loving home for my cats (he was highly allergic), and spend as much time with family as possible…..I then boarded a plane to my future.


Chance encounter…almost

27 07 2012

I am in the process of trying to serve divorce papers.  A very tricky thing to do when you can not find the other party.  The law here is that you have to be separated for  a year before you are able to file for divorce.  I applied the very day that I was able.  From there you are assigned a court date usually about 2 months out.  You are then (the applicant) required to serve (the respondent) at least 28 days in advance of the court date.  I lost my first court date back in March as we were unable to find him to serve the papers.

I applied again and had a second court date earmarked for the 19th of July.  We know that he is around given the (thankfully now infrequent) random drunken voicemail messages, but never with an indication as to where exactly he is. The very day before the clock ticked out for my second attempt at 28 days of service requirement, I thought I saw him…

I was on my way to Clare’s sports carnival.  I was driving down a street in my neighborhood and saw a man walking from behind that I swore was Mort.  It was the height, the gait and disheveled appearance.  Now mind you I haven’t laid eyes on him in well over a year so the instantaneous physical reaction that my body had was bizarre.  It was a state of deep stress that he was in my neighbourhood, and yet exhilaration that the universe had looked after me in such a way as to deliver this random timely moment to know his whereabouts to enable the hired server to swoop in on him.

While my mind went into overdrive about who I call first; my lawyer or my rock of a dad, my body went into a weird state of shock and began to shake violently all over.  I had enough control to be able to pull round a corner and sit and wait until he walked past.  While I did this I was on the phone to my dad first for two seconds of panicked/excited “oh my god I think I have just driven past him”, and then a trail of expletives before I quickly called my lawyer and sat on the phone with them until the man in question walked past, lowered his hoodie and revealed himself to be someone else’s nightmare, not mine.

A carat kiss

23 07 2012

So when Mort flew over to be placed under the microscope by family and friends, he came with a little gem.  Well not so little actually, 2.63 carats of perfection.  He presented it to me with a kiss…literally.  We kissed and he passed the diamond into my mouth, luckily I didn’t gasp with excitement or that could have been a much more amusing albeit slightly awkward story to tell.  But there was this beautiful unset round diamond that was given to him by his mother.  It gets better, I even had a second choice of a pear-shaped one which he had brought over as well.  Just realizing how fitting the pear-shaped one would have been given the outcome of the marriage.

Into thin air

22 07 2012

Back to the story.  As you can imagine, after a quickie proposal we both went through a few weeks of WTF from friends and family, this was before it was popularly acronymed and people actually shouted it rather than texted it.  But we both knew, we knew it was right.  With us both at 29 years of age you have dated enough and done enough and know what you will and will not compromise on.  What I really wouldn’t compromise on wasn’t put to the true test until 12 years later.

I think in relationships you have to come to grips with the fact that there simply is not ‘perfect’, you would be delusional if you thought that there was.  So again back to the balance, what is key is that your core values and mutual respect are equal …beyond that you can have some leeway in how similar you are with your character traits.  I am more of an upbeat extrovert, while he was more mellow and very, very smart.  That was what was an instant attraction for me.  Not to say that I am not smart, I was a straight A student and all that good stuff but where I would devour books, I think he only ever read one in its entirety in our 12 years together “Into Thin Air” (great book which I have also read and this will have relevance later)…but he could name the leaders and mountains and water systems of even the most obscure countries (great to have on your team for Trivial Pursuit).

So after the proposal I had 3 weeks back at home with my family and friends explaining and sharing while he was doing the same back in his country.  He then flew out to meet my family because on the words of my parents..”there is no way in hell you are getting married until we meet this boy”.

A lost tooth

18 07 2012

I decided it was time for a quickie slice of ‘the good’.  Maddie lost her first tooth yesterday with exuberant delight.  She was wiggling and wiggling and then there it sat on her tongue like a little piece of rice.  Of course by the time that bedtime rolled around she had lost the little gem, not just from her mouth this time but from her little clasped fist.  Luckily she knows exactly who the generous tooth fairy is and said “well you saw me lose it so I am sure you can still put a bunch of money under my pillow.”  And that I did….$5.  Major inflation since I was a kid and after all, it was the first tooth – extremely exciting.

Yellow smiley face

17 07 2012

I take a strange kind of solace in the fact that even those who are familiar with the story that is to unfold here, are looking forward to the next installment.  Even my parents have said, “we know what happens but we still can’t wait to read the next post”.  This may sound odd given that it was a hellish ride living through it the first time so why would you want to read about or relive it all over again.  But it is the release, the cathartic detachment that makes it possible.

And frankly even when you think you know the story in its entirety, there will be surprises along the way…because at times when sharing the snippets of stories with nearest and dearest, I could almost see the look of ‘oh, please, no more’….not at all in a non-supportive way, but it was painful to hear the dreadful deeds of Mort, whom they once knew as their friend.  So sometimes I just couldn’t bear to tell more.

So back to the story and the quick engagement (1998).  We chose not to disclose to family or friends that we had gotten engaged until I was on a plane flying home.

When I landed and greeted my awaiting parents at the airport, I flashed them a big smile as well as flashing them my plastic yellow smiley face ring on my wedding finger…(that was what was presented until we could pick out an engagement ring together). The look of shock on their faces was indescribable….mind you….no where near the look of shock on their faces 12 years later when they saw Mort staggering drunk with puke on his jeans.

Days of wine and roses

13 07 2012

The beginning of a serious relationship is always beautiful. Butterflies in the stomach, slight heady awkwardness and just generally thinking the other person is the bees knees. This was no different. We met when I was 29 and travelling. What could have been just a lovely holiday romance was jet propelled into an engagement within 4 weeks of knowing each other. Ok, yes I can hear some saying ‘well duh’ you didn’t even know each other….but the incubation period of a relationship is not directly proportional to its longevity. Many couples are together for a long time before marriage and then it falls apart quickly. And you have to remember that although the engagement came quickly, there were 10 good years of marriage (and I get a wretched taste in my mouth when I say that as I detest all that he is now)….moving on…

In that short time together I met his parents and one of his brothers (who actually introduced us as I had befriended his girlfriend in a chance meeting) and his wonderful group of friends.

There was this particular moment, 3 days after we had met, when we had gone away for the weekend with his friends to a ski lodge.  It was a magic weekend filled with fun, laughter and major frivolity.  One night everyone had gone to one of the chalets for a party and Mort and I were on our own.  We had a bottle of wine, a cheese platter and a blazing fire…but no wine bottle opener.  We decided it was too cold to traipse to the lodge next door so instead Mort got a coat hanger and deftly opened the bottle of wine much to my delight.  Nothing was going to hold him back from getting into that wine.  Funnily enough in the good years in the marriage it was actually a running joke when explaining to friends about our quick engagement…I used to say “how can you not fall for a man who can open a bottle of wine with a coat hanger”.

Amazing how that one came back to bite me.