The Anticlimax of Divorce

Ron wasn’t so happy a few months ago when I started blogging tidbits that did not concern Robert directly. He said that this blog is about the baby and it should not be concerned with our personal life. I see things differently, and I feel what I am going through is also part of Robert’s life. In fact I blog about these experiences to put things in perspective, and to remember how lucky I am to have him at this point in my life.

Yesterday was a tough day for me. I was working as I always do every 2nd Sunday, because these are the days when Ron showed some willingness to “babysit” for me as I try to fill my quota of working hours. A friend called me at work to tell me that she spotted Ron with his girlfriend in front of our old flat, they were fussing over Robert in his pram. It hit me like a stab in the heart. When I closely examined my misery, I clearly identified it as sorrow for myself and my situation. Ron will find it very easy to move on, and god knows this city is full of single and available women. Whereas as a single mother of a young baby, I would score very low on the eligibility meter. The fact that I might never find a mate does not bother me at all, only the inferiority -and difficulty- of my position in comparison to Ron’s. Difficulty however is a property of being a mother as he once pointed out to me, not so gently.

It’s completely irrelevant to me whether Ron’s companion yesterday was a girlfriend or just a platonic friend who was helping him choose a new car seat for Robert, as he told me later. In fact, it is nothing to me, because as of tomorrow he will be a free man. But I am only human and perhaps my pain from what I heard was what led to our argument as he gave me and Robert a lift home. The crux of the argument was money as usual, and I am sure it will come to play between us many times in the future. The first ex-wife hasn’t finished arguing with him about this subject either.

Although he shouted at me that he will not “babysit” again for me. I was grateful that he did come to pick up Robert today and give me a lift into town. Otherwise, I would have had to take Robert to divorce court with me. The hearing for the divorce was scheduled for this morning at the High Court. My lawyer phoned yesterday to say that he wasn’t going to attend with me in court, and a trainee attorney was going to do it instead; A Muslim woman by the sound of her name. My case was so simple so I did not mind, besides the woman’s name translates as “the honest one” and to me this was auspicious. When I met her I was shocked by how young and pretty she was. She was pregnant, and expecting a baby boy in September, so we had lots to talk about. When we arrived at the advocates offices I was again handed over to one of the young guard. Perhaps it was just as well, as this put me at ease. Another auspicious name I thought when the advocate introduced himself with a biblical first name and a surname reminiscent of my son’s. The advocate explained the process to me since my case was going to be heard first in the roll of divorces. All the time the attorney and the advocates fussed over me to make sure that I wasn’t nervous.

I tried to tell myself that I was not nervous, but I was in fact preoccupied. Otherwise I would have taken much more in of my visit to the High Court. Something that I am not likely to do again in this lifetime, I hope. I do not know what route we took or how we got there, because I was busy talking a mile a minute. We arrived at the court room, the honest one explained the setting. The judge arrived shortly before ten and we all rose; he looked familiar. I was sure I have seen the honorable judge on television passing judgment on a high profile criminal case. The court was in session at 10:00 and I was out of there just before 11:30 .. a single woman. I was number 24 on the roll, but first the judge dealt with all the postponement requests, then the remaining cases were heard in order. None of the arguments took more than ten minutes so my turn came quickly. Unlike legal dramas on television, legal work is mostly accomplished outside of the courtroom. The judge had obviously studied all cases carefully because he asked all the pertinent questions. Matters of insolvency, debt and property registration were dispensed with first and then the judge turned to the divorces.

I was called to the witness box. After taking the oath I was asked to verify my details, the details of my marriage, and Robert’s birth date. I was asked to identify my signature and Ron’s on the consent agreement. Then the advocate asked the judge to grant a decree of divorce. The only question the judge asked me was if I worked. I answered that I worked part time. He then asked who looked after Robert while I was at work, and I said that he had a nanny. I should have addressed the judge as my lord, but I just gave straight answers and forgot to append my respectful address. I thought that Ron might have had a scathing comment about this if he had been attending. The judge granted the divorce and I was dismissed. The whole process took less than five minutes.

I returned to my honest attorney. She gave me a sunny smile and said: Congratulations. It felt really strange to be congratulated on something I did not feel really happy about. I was numb, I did not know how to feel. I still don’t.
Today was a brilliant and beautiful autumn day, the sky was clear and the sun warm. We walked back from the High Court to the lawyer’s office, and the honest one gave me a lift back home. I cannot complain about the way life is treating me; people are very supportive and I am endlessly grateful.
Jackie bought me a chocolate cake yesterday, and today there was a piece of blueberry cheesecake waiting for me. Ron dropped Robert off without a single comment, it is the shape of things to come I guess.

Still, there is some pain. As I was pushing Robert’s pram towards the park, I felt the sudden dejection and loss. I had a long relationship with Ron, and beyond the love I felt for him, and notwithstanding his lack of appreciation for me as a person, I gave him a deep and undivided commitment. It will take me some time to recover the person who dissolved into this long and rocky marriage.

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