The Perfect Analogy

Before my ex-husband and I had even gone to court to end things once and for all, I found out he had created a Match.com account. He didn’t exactly do much to cover his tracks — our bank accounts were still linked and I saw the charge for the membership fees plain as day. It didn’t upset me. We were a month or two from our court date, so the wheels were already in motion and there was nothing that would change my mind. But I thought it showed a real lack of class on his part not to even wait til he was actually single before looking for my replacement. When we split up, my first priority was my daughter, and helping her through the whole transition of our family breaking up. His first priority was finding someone new.

A month after our divorce, he met ‘Shirley’ online. Their first date consisted of dinner at Red Lobster and a visit to the Super 8 down the street. How do I know? The bank accounts had not yet been separated and I saw the charges. I shook my head but didn’t think much about it. After all, I was busy sowing my own oats. Their relationship quickly progressed to the point where she was introduced to my daughter and spending the night with him while my daughter was there. I was less than thrilled when I heard about that, since they had only been dating for a month or so at that point. I knew that if it had been the other way around, he would have had a fit if I had a guy spending the night with my daughter right across the hall.

Shirley was very much like my ex monster-in-law: controlling, bossy, overbearing, opinionated, and generally a pain in the ass. When I first met her she was nice, but it didn’t take long for her to start stepping on my toes. She had an opinion about everything, including how my daughter’s hair and clothes should look. Ironic, considering that her own hair and wardrobe looked borrowed from a frumpy middle-age mom from the 80s. I tried to be nice and get along for a while but she disrespected me one time too many and I finally told my ex-husband I didn’t want her around me anymore.

After they had been dating for several months, I admitted to Stacy that it surprised me a little that he found someone before I did. After all, being married to him had been like having a teenage son. I couldn’t imagine any woman getting excited about taking on that kind of guy. Yet there he was, in a seemingly happy relationship, while I was still dating and looking for Mr. Right. I’m not gonna lie — it stung a bit how quickly he was able to move on {not to mention how eager his family was to forget that I ever existed}. Don’t get me wrong… I wasn’t regretting our split. On the contrary, I was happier than I had been in years. But it hurts to feel replacable. We had been together for nearly two decades. I needed time to get used to just being me without being part of ‘we.’

Anyway, when I told Stacy how I felt, that I had kind of assumed that I would meet someone and be in some kind of relationship before my ex, she said, “Think of it this way. You’re both looking for a new car. YOU are taking your time, researching online, test driving different cars, and figuring out exactly what you want. HE bought the first car he found for $100 on Craigslist.”

Well said. This is why I heart Stacy. She also said that even on my worst day, I’m cuter than Shirley. I’m not generally one to toot my own horn, but I have to agree with her on this one. It wouldn’t matter at all if she had a great personality but alas, she does not.

Yeah, it's catty, but I couldn't help myself.

Yeah, it’s catty, but I couldn’t help myself.

I no longer feel hurt about him moving on so quickly. He’s now married to Shirley, who is essentially a younger version of his mother. He has to sneak junk food and check with her before making plans to do anything, sometimes including spending time with his own daughter. She is absolutely in charge of that house. He has made comments to me, all but admitting that she is a bossy control freak, which tells me that perhaps he is second guessing his rush to find a new wife.

I might still be single, but at least I’m calling my own shots and answering to no one but myself. That feels pretty damn good.