Losing More Than Your Mind in a Divorce

Reflections on the day he took the spoon caddy

This truth is known in divorce — From time to time, you lose your shit. Literally. Like, it was there on Tuesday and today is Thursday and it is not there. This is the Jack-In-The-Box of divorce suckitude and you can’t predict when it will pop up. But, I have an idea on how to make this easier and it is brilliant.

My soon to be ex-husband’s name was still on the deed to the house until the divorce was final. So, he felt the legal right to be there. This had not been an issue as he had “spousal induced health issues” that caused his blood pressure to skyrocket to 220/145 when he was around me.

Literally, I might have been able to kill him by jumping out from behind a wall and yelling, “Boo!”

He was never at the house when I was. What meant was that he would come by from time to time and either clean out or pick up stuff that was his. Or he felt should be his. On some days, the change in household appearance was so subtle I felt like I was staring at that puzzle where you have two pictures side by side and have to figure out what is different. Sometimes I didn’t even notice something was different until shit got weird. Like when I went to make eggs.

I cracked my eggs in the pan and went for a spatula. We had this stainless steel canister/spoon holder that I would unceremoniously cram 16 spatulas and spoons into when only 14 would fit. So unceremoniously, I must say, that I almost didn’t notice it had been removed from the home and replaced with a large plastic Harkins Theatre reusable tumbler cup from 2013.

The 16 spatulas and spoons had been shoved into the cup and remained so prolific that there was and overflow of spatulas and spoons on the counter. It begged the question of not only why there was an urgent need for the container but what in Sam hell was he going to put in there?!?! Clearly, I owned all the spatula real estate!

This brings me a concept I think needs to be embraced by our society: There needs to be a registry for divorced people like they have for weddings and baby showers. The intention, of course, is that your friends help you replace your miscellaneous small household items that seem unimportant until they are not.

Having been through two of these divorce things, I can tell you there are three certainties:

1. You will at some point find yourself in your home and exceptionally intoxicated.

2. This will compel you to dig deep down into your soul and then dig deep down into your freezer where you will find a frozen pizza.

3. You will take said pizza out of the oven and lose your shit when you realize you no longer own a pizza cutter because you lost it in the divorce.

When my first marriage broke up (don’t talk to me about patterns, I know I’m no walk in the park….) my dear friend Deanna understood my very real fear of this scenario and sent me a very nice Kitchenaid pizza cutter with a label on it that read “Vanessa’s.” We felt this sent a clear message that it was not to be trifled with. When the stainless steel keeper of crap went missing, I ran to that drawer to ensure that (and the wine bottle opener) was still there. Relief.

We need to appeal to Target to have a gift registry added. Bridal Showers, Baby Showers, Divorce. In the middle of a divorce, I don’t know a single person that wouldn’t feel better running around Target with one of those price gun things selecting random crap to be replaced after a marital apocalypse. You could register for wine, for God’s sake!

There are so many rays of sunshine and joy in this idea.

Now you get to register for all the things your soon-to-be-ex-spouse wouldn’t let you have. Like, dinosaur salt and pepper shakers. Or fun.

This is not a gender specific activity. I long for the day I stumble upon a soon-to-be-divorced man’s support group on a Sunday. They’ve been watching the game all day and have full liquored up their buddy and turned him loose in Target.

“Hey dude, remember how your wife wouldn’t let you have that FryDaddy deep fat fryer because she was concerned it might result in your waistline expanding after you fry and eat 4 pounds of chicken wings? Get that shit on your Divorce Registry.”

Grab. Scan. Happiness. Chicken Wings. BOOM!

I am serious. There is pure joy here. And let me tell you, as a person who has been there and done that (twice) I would absolutely go up to that registry and buy some random person I don’t even know a pizza cutter. Just an “I feel you” gift from a stranger. Man, that would make me feel good. What do you need? I got you. Let’s do this.