I spent most of the day with a good friend who was visiting from out of town. She didn't know that today was the day. This was on purpose. I'm trying to transition from today being super special to this date being just another summer day. Not making a big deal of things seemed like a good plan. After dropping off my friend at the train station, I ended up going bikini shopping. This was not planned. A store window had a sale sign; I need a new bathing suit.
Three bathing suit stores later and nothing to show for it, I found myself trying on formal dresses on a whim. I gave away all my dresses that reminded me of milestones with my husband, so I thought it would be nice to have something tucked in my closet should a formal occasion arise. I found one little peach number that I just loved. It was very short. I am not. This did not perturb me. This dress was not only super cute, it was on sale. How could I resist? I sat down in the change room facing a mirror. This was when I realized I would have to remember to tug on the dress before sitting down so as not to be indecent. This, for some reason, didn't strike me as especially problematic. Keep in mind, I'm actually a fairly boring, fashion-challenged individual in real life. You know, the type of person who finds jokes like the one below just hilarious:
|A longer, looser version of what I tried on|
In the midst of my daydreaming about me and the little peach dress living happily ever after together, I dropped something in the change room. As I bent over to pick it up, I noticed my bum was immediately about 5 degrees cooler than it had been. I quickly pieced together (I mean, I am an intellectual badass, after all) that the dress coverage was not sufficient in the bent over position. Obvious solution: wear the dress only to standing cocktail parties and the like, then outright refuse to pick up anything off the ground. I am embarrassed to say it was at least another 20 minutes before the more rational side of me took over, and forced me to put the dress back on the rack and leave the store. I still smile fondly when I remember the little peach dress. I hope it finds a good home.
By the time I got back home, it was evening. I had a quick dinner and then set up for my pity party: computer streaming love songs (I don't own a radio yet), strawberry smoothie (in retrospect, this was probably an occasion where opening the bottle of wine in my cupboard would have been entirely appropriate), and spa products (a wonderful gift from my mother, who very correctly assumed I would enjoy them but would not splurge on myself). So, there I was, by myself in my dimly lit apartment, soaking my feet and reflecting on the perfect summer day not that many years ago when I got married. I vividly remember looking up at my husband during our first dance, immensely grateful that I would never again be alone - here was the man who would be the father of my children, the man I would grow old with, the man I loved with all I had in me. It was precisely at this moment that I noticed my little pity party station did not include Kleenex. Some creative stretching so as not to spill my foot bath on the floor, and that situation was quickly fixed. I continued my jaunt down memory lane. The Kleenexes continued to pile up. It was cathartic. Somehow, the videos in my head of my life with my husband began to sting a little less. Watching the story of our life together unfold from this vantage point, I could begin to see that the end was inevitable -- not that this somehow diminished the heartache, sadly, it just helped with accepting things couldn't be otherwise.
And so, marching forward, my goal is to keep my chin up and accept that my new life is what it is, and that the past was what it was.