Monday, January 25, 2010

Kick Him to the Curb

I couldn’t suppress the giggle as I put the finishing touches on my Thrift Sale advertisement and the giggle erupted into a full-fledged belly laugh as I re-read the copy.

“Threw my husband to the curb and now I’m selling his stuff”.  I do believe I’m a marketing genius! This is not just any advertisement. This is the title page to the next chapter of my life!

It is May 2008 and I have been officially divorced for 8 months… now separated from my ex-husband for almost 2 years. Twenty-five years is a very long time to invest in another person and the life you build together. It's a very long time from the dating/mating dance to birthing and raising babies, from struggles with teenagers and his alcoholism ... to, ultimately, infidelity, abandonment, and divorce.

Anybody who has been through a similar situation understands the excruciating pain, both physical and mental that such a situation causes. It invades your waking moments and saps your strength and your health. It creeps into and hijacks your dreams…a place where you once felt safe. It mugs you, by surprise and in the dark, and you wonder if you’ll ever be yourself again and not the victim of what feels like a violent crime. It causes you to question everything you have always known to be true and to wonder if truth, in fact, really exists at all.

Yes, 25 years is a very long time… on the other hand, 25 years is not all that long. If we live to be a hundred, it's only a quarter of our life… Yikes! A quarter of my life! If you add that to the first quarter, that means half of my life is gone and we’re still working on the premise that I’ll actually get to that 100-year-old mark. I’ve got to get over this nonsense because I’m sure that girl I left 25 years ago is still in there somewhere and she’s got a life to lead!

This package, smelling of last week’s garbage and delivered to me like a bomb, is about to be unwrapped and I just know that somewhere in the debris, I will find something fresh and alive… and hopeful. Like a seed.

And now that innocent seed, planted in January, has been fed and nurtured and has grown into something resembling Jack’s beanstalk. I don’t know why, but I’ve decided I’m going to make this move to France happen. Living in a foreign country has always been on my “bucket list” and the stars are aligned. My children are grown and at school, my mother is healthy, I have no grandkids, my friends are beginning to spend much of their time away in the winter, my job is good but no so good that it can’t be lost and replaced. It’s now or never…. and it’s possible that I may only live until age 70!

And so begins the colossal problem of selling my home that I have lived in for 20 years. This could take years in this market. However, as it happens, I put the house on television (I work for a cable company) and damn if it doesn’t sell within 3 weeks! This is a very good sign.

Now it’s time shed “things”…everything that I don’t need…. much of what I think I need, those things that are no longer important, and a lot of things that I must accept are really not important. This is excruciating. Thus the ad. Please understand that this is false advertising at it’s best. I didn’t actually kick my husband to the curb…he left. And I’m really not selling his things. I dumped them in the street a long time ago! But this is all about marketing.

Between the ad on both TV and in the newspaper and the signs around town that said things like “If We Don’t Have It, You Don’t Need It”, and “Our Dollar Menu Won’t Make You Fat”, I had a yard sale that resembled a traveling circus. Men arrived looking to dig through the remains of the wreckage of a man’s life, women arrived to help with “the cause”, and curiosity seekers arrived…. well, just because they were curious.  In the end, I made $4500 at the sale. $4500!!! The most I’ve ever made at a yard sale is $300! That’s an airplane ticket and several months rent. Another very good sign.

Sell house…check. Sell stuff…check. Find a temporary home….check. Learn French. Oh,oh! Learn French! Okay, this might have to wait. Get long-term visa (that’s a whole article in itself!)…check; pick a town to live in and find an apartment in said town….check, check; banking, taxes, yada yada…. double check; quit job….check; put remainder of household in storage… check; say goodbye to all the people I have loved for so many years and will dearly miss….check; take a deep breath….gasp! What the hell have I done!

Get on the plane with a one-way ticket to a new adventure………check.

This article originally published in the Wittenberg Enterprise, Feb. 10, 2009


  1. I remember this sale! How sweet. . .

  2. Wow, fascinating to read your story. You are an incredible writer.

  3. Merci, Jacqueline. Welcome and thanks for reading. I knew someone another lifetime ago with the same name. Is that you? And if so, how in the world did you find this blog?

  4. Aloha Delana, I communicated with the person we know in common on facebook and he told me the two of you were no long together. He didn't say why, and being the curious person that I am, I did some google research and found your blog.

    You have to say one thing for the guy, he is an inspiration, he inspired me to travel around the world and end up living in Hawaii, a life I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy. He inspired you to live an exotic life of adventure and new experiences. It sounds like you are happy and living your dreams. I guess maybe we both just had the wanderlust in us and that likely had nothing to do with him.

    Maybe we can compare notes of our experiences both relational and travels. Maybe it will give you some inspiration for one of your blogs.

  5. Bonsoir Jacqueline,
    I would probably never use the word "inspiration" and our ex-pectorant in the same breath. Sometimes you've just got to get through the muck in order to get where you want to go!

    My email is Connect with me there.For some reason I haven't been able to open your site. This is all pretty funny, don't you think?


Talk to me!