“There’s a kind of freedom in being completely screwed… because you know things can’t get any worse.” ~Clark Kellogg (Matthew Broderick), in The Freshman.
My life looks a little tragic, today, but not in an interesting or romantic way. I’m not likely to get a write-up in the paper any time soon (“Hero Woman Impales Self on Fencepost While Pulling Toddlers from Burning Building”). I’m also not living with poverty or illness or any number of horrible problems that other unlucky souls are forced to contend with. In this time and place, on this planet, I am one of the lucky ones.
*There, that’s my obligatory humble preamble. Everything that follows will be pure navel-gazing, whining, and duck-face selfies with cocktails.
My tragedy is pretty dull, though I have been chucked through an industrial-sized emotional shredder over the last ten years. The short version: Got married to college sweetheart. Watched him fall apart over the next few years: Two DUIs, drinking, drug use, insane temper, multiple infidelities, trouble at work. Rinse and repeat. I tried to heroically patch it together for a couple of years. I felt like a Stepford wife, picking up his socks and red flags from the floor with a vacuous smile. A denial zombie. And then finally I slapped myself out of that spell 2 years ago. I got the house sold, moved into my own apartment in the city, hired a lawyer and got the divorce process started.
So. That sucked.
And now I’m stuck in Act One of every rom-com. The old cliché. I’m the Before in the Before/After photo. I’m Bridget Jones before she had her Haagen-Dazs-inspired epiphany. I’m Sally with that horrible bowl-haircut in When Harry Met Sally. I’m Pretty Woman when she was still just another run-down, scarred and ugly streetwalker. I’m just waiting here for my life to happen to me. Because, of course, waiting patiently for happiness to come your way is a surefire way to put your life together. Right? So — I’ll just wait here, then?