Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Diet Called Divorce

I've gotten back in the grove of working on my book which has left very little creative juices to stir the pot on my blog. However, I wanted to give you guys a little taste of my book, "A Diet Called Divorce". I have included the first few pages of the book below. I would love any feedback, suggestions or things you hope to read about in the book. I am currently around page 50 in the book and boy, is it juicy! Enjoy!!

Lost a Man and a Pant Size

The best thing about divorce has to be the affects it has on your physique. Sure, divorce diminishes your bank account, shrivels up your savings, pares down your number of friends, and eats away at your heart. But, it also shrinks your ass.

A year ago I stood tear-stained, grief stricken, in need of a shower and 15 pounds over weight in unfamiliar territory. I had recently left my college sweetheart turned husband of three years, the home and the new studded leather couches we bought together, a 250k life insurance plan and I found myself completely alone in a one-bedroom, yellow wallpapered apartment in the ghetto.

The new apartment was filled with all the 2nd hand furniture my husband and I had received from our parents when we were poor and just out of college, all of which we quickly replaced when we both landed above average jobs. Storing the old furniture in our garage had left the old furnishings dusty and obviously neglected. The couch was hiding it’s flaws and tears behind a newly purchased taupe slip cover but even the new pillows that accompanied it, couldn’t keep my apartment from looking like a garage sell had thrown up in it.

Cardboard boxes overflowed and filled the corners of my minuscule new dwelling with the belongings and recollections my husband didn’t want to keep and things I didn’t really want either but had fought for nail and tooth to prove a point, although I’m not sure what point I was trying to prove. The apartment was older and cheap; the furniture was mismatched and used, but it was mine.

I have to admit, my hurt pride kicked in the first few moments in my new place. The ceiling fan was out dated and had that weird mesh pattern from the 80s on it in a lovely shade of poop brown. You had to pull a rusted metal string to turn the lone bulb that served as the light in my closet and the appliances in the kitchen were closer to yellow than the advertised "cream" , But the worst part of it all was it was in the hood. The real hood, not white-people hood which means you have to shop at Wal-mart and not Target.

Sure, I had a few ghetto encounters such as the cat –call, "Hey hot cracka momma you be looking fine" from the gold-chained thug next door who I ended up buying illegal copies of newly released DVDs from for 2 bucks a pop or the kid digging in the dumpster outside my apartment for a Hustler magazine and telling me to "mind my business" when I asked him what he was doing and why he wasn’t in school. Even a white-bread girl like me made quick adjustments from my accustomed life-style.

And as I carried in the last load through the door, the new apartment tricked me into thinking I had just experienced a great taste of freedom. It made me believe that getting a divorce really wasn’t like scraping your face against a cheese grater. Sure, maybe I had to step down a few steps on the ladder of success and turn in a few of the toys you buy to prove it, but at least I wasn’t going to have someone holding me back anymore. This apartment was only temporary, after all and I was going to make sure of it.

Walking into the bathroom I squirted windex on the faded mirror and began wiping it off over and over again until I became content with the fact that I was going to have to look at myself for the next 6 months through clouded vision. It didn’t seem like that bad of a trade off to me. Crappy apartment in exchange for a fuzzy image of myself. I hated the way I looked and the less I had to stare in the mirror, the better. The prom queen who once upon a time stood in the same shoes had been exchanged for a frumpy girl in Target clothes who looked like she could be pretty if she lost a few pounds. I had become a warped version on myself, the mirror simply showed the truth.

A few hours quickly altered my naïve thinking when nightfall came creeping into my apartment, darkening my spirit even more as it darkened my walls. The first night alone in my new place and too broke to buy a television became the loneliest moment of my life. An empty and broken apartment was the equivalent of what had become of my life. I lay on my bare mattress that was desolate on the floor and cried crocodile tears until I thought I had run out.

“How had my life gotten to this?” I gently wept to myself. Shame filled my head and caused an unwillingness to cry out to God to fester itself into my soul. I didn’t speak directly to him, but I was too desperate not to try to reach him some way.

How had I gained the World and married the man of my (and many other’s) dreams, only to loose it all within a few years? This was not the existence I envisioned when I stood at an alter covered in white and pink roses, wearing the designer wedding dress that forced my father to take out a second mortgage on his house to pay for it along with the other forty grand in wedding expenses.

The memories of my husband surrounded me in the packed up boxes and piles of uselessness that I had carried from our home. Pictures that captured a happiness I allowed hurt to trump spilled out from the albums he would soon forget.

Our neighbors, who had been married for over 50 years and living in the quaint house beside us for most of their marriage, quietly watched us pack up the last hope for our marriage from their front porch. They held hands, drank a cup of coffee and rocked back in forth in their wooden porch swing observing a couple who didn’t have the grit they had to make a marriage last. They watched a couple who didn’t know what they knew; a couple who didn’t realize that marriage wasn’t suppose to be easy, nothing that was worth anything ever was. A set of young kids not giving life a chance to work things out, too immature to have ever been married, too immature to figure out how to make things work.

The wrinkles on their faces were webbed with wisdom and sadness as they watched us apologetically from the sidelines. I wiped the beads of sweat falling from my forehead with the back of my hand as I watched my neighbor bring his wife a cup of coffee. There were no words exchanged between the two of them because words were not needed. He knew exactly how she took her coffee and exactly when she wanted it. I, on the other hand, struggled to know what to buy my husband for a birthday present always settling for a gift card that he would politely thank me for with a swift kiss to my cheek. Turning my back to them, I knew I would never see them again. I was too weak and too ashamed to tell them goodbye.

He didn’t want any of our wedding pictures, “you can have them all” he said bitterly as he helped me load up the U-haul I had rented to acquire the rest of my belongings.

“Not even just one?” I whispered, hoping for any signs of remorse and change.

“No,” he said through grinded teeth, “not even one”.

“Stupid, bastard”, I thought to myself as I proudly slammed the door closed on the U-haul truck and started the engine. As I turned out of the driveway, I looked back in the rearview mirror, holding back the tears I felt swelling up and I saw him doing the same.

I almost turned around to tell him I had changed my mind. That I did love him and I wanted to be married to him and only him for the rest of my life. But, I didn’t

Hurt does not begin to explain what I put my ex-husband through. He didn’t want the divorce, so he claims, and choosing to believe him breaks my heart even more. Thousands of times I seeked forgiveness for leaving and thousands of times he has accepted, but his eyes told a different story. His heart is forever hardened and I will always be the bitch he wishes he could forget.

The divorce was a choice that seemed erratic and irrational to most of those around me, but I had my reasons—whether they seemed justified or not. Reasons I won’t expand upon out of respect for the man that I once called my Husband and a love I have for him that will never completely burn out. But the grounds that warranted my leaving was enough for me to walk out the door and leave the man I made a commitment before God to love forever. Although, regret and remorse would soon find me in this journey I was about to embark upon, at that moment, regret was one of the few emotions I was not experiencing; it was relief that was flowing through my veins and making me feel alive for the first time in a long time


Terri said...

More please :). Jen - you are such a FABULOUS writer. I love your blog and love you simple and genuine honesty. Love!

Anonymous said...

Jen...amazing! Can't wait to read are truly one of the most beautiful friends inside and out :) I admire you in so many ways and love to read your blog...and soon your book!!! I can only imagine what the "anonymous" readers will be saying now :) Love you!!

Amber Rawlings said...

love this.

The Kennedy's said...

Be true to yourself and your emotions, and you can never go wrong. You really have something great here and I believe raw enough for women to understand and relate to, I can't wait to read it all!
Heather (Andrea's sister)

Jack said...

You are a great writer! Keep writing more!

Steph Massengale said...

LOVE it so are so amazingly talented! Can't wait to read the rest!!

Robyn said...

Love it!!!! I can't wait to get a copy of "A Diet Called Divorce"!! I'm in no way an advid reader but I will definitely read this book! You are so talented!

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