The next day began with my dad and me sitting at my kitchen table poised with two notepads with the word ‘divorce’ heading the pages. On my pad the word was boxed-in, underlined and letters re-traced before we even began. My dad had also come armed with two bland looking manila files marked “L divorce #1” and “L divorce #2”. My younger sister had already chalked up two divorces for various reasons, hers without the crazy shit. My dad pulled out a clean manila folder and branded it with “Ripley Divorce #1”. For some reason we both found this funny. (remembering in these situations in the absence of laughter, the default setting is tears….fuck that).
What became disturbingly obvious is that the law here states a ‘no fault divorce’ which means that you have to be ‘separated’ for a year before you are even allowed to apply for a divorce. So much for the American television and movies where people blink akin to “I Dream of Jeannie” and they can be divorced. So even if your husband has become a deceitful, philandering, odious, unworthy shitbag…..it meant that the word MRS. was going to appear on my legal documentation for a year. How desperately I wanted to drop that “R”.