My parents are getting a divorce.
Rationally, I know that 50% of marriages end in divorce, but I really didn’t see it coming.
My father is 58 and incompetent, according to my mother. My mother is 55 and confused. There isn’t another woman, and they still “love each other”, they’re just not “in love” anymore, whatever that means.
On Sunday my mother invited the whole family over for a ham dinner. After everyone was sufficiently stuffed, my father asked everyone to come into the living room for a big announcement. I honestly thought they might tell us they were retiring to Spain or adopting a child from Honduras.
The whole family gathered in the living room. I heard my Auntie Becky whisper “cancer” into my cousin Jeanine’s ear. I sat down on the floor and waited. My mother paced the floor. My father wrung his hands. And then they said it. “We’re getting a divorce.” My mother began to cry and then went upstairs. My father went outside to the garage.
I was left to entertain our family. I put a video into the VCR and went to my room. I could hear my mother crying, so I started crying too. I came downstairs an hour later and the whole family was gone. The ham was all gone too. “Weekend at Bernie’s” was still playing so I sat down to watch it.
I don’t understand love. I know it’s all lust and promises at the beginning, but I don’t know what comes after that.
My father says he’s moving out. He told me he’s looking for a “Bachelor pad” downtown. Every time he uses that term I roll my eyes and remind him he’s no spring chicken.
My mother is going to keep the house. She keeps talking about what she’s going to do to her garden. The same garden she’s had for the past twenty-two years and never put a spade to. She even went and bought seed packets at the hardware store. They’re still in her purse.
This morning my mother told me that in twenty-four years of marriage she never had an orgasm with my Father. I said I would prefer to know nothing about their sex life, and would now be seeking counselling.
When my father came home from work today he told me the divorce was not my fault. I told him I never thought it was. He then pulled me into a hug that lasted for forty-five seconds (I know because I was staring at the clock on the microwave).
We all had dinner together tonight. My mother made Tandoori chicken and rice. My father said, “Why didn’t you ever cook like this when we were together?” My mother chuckled, and I just shook my head.