I didn't get married until I was 38. It was my first and so far only marriage, and I kind of felt that I should have known what I was doing by then. You know, career first, marriage and kids, second. my Ex was 35, and it was his first marriage as well.
For two grown-ups we certainly managed to make a big old mess of things — so much for maturity with age.
Of course, in Northeast Louisiana, I found that most women who were my age had teenagers and some were already grandmothers. So, when I also became pregnant for the first time at 38, I was definitely considered an odd bird.
However, the advantages to marrying "late," so to speak, are many. If you've been alone, you've learned how to handle a car jack and can change a tire in under 30 minutes. If you've been alone for the first 15 years of your professional career, you've learned how to rent moving trucks, how to pack like a pro, and how to drive a 26-foot U-Haul van pulling your car behind it.
You have repaired a leaky faucet, unclogged a bathtub drain, and replaced various and sundry household fixtures and appliance parts. You've had to be self-sufficient.
The chores of life I can handle on my own. What I find I miss the most is the emotional support. For no matter how bad my marriage was, and mine was very bad, I could at least count on Stinky to be there, another warm body that could help ease the troubles of life. Don't get me wrong, under no circumstances would I want that life or him back. What I miss is the sharing.
Living with someone makes life easier. Two incomes, two sets of hands, two drivers. Two people to help get the kids to school, ball practice, parties — I lived a life where there was a mother and a father, a son and a daughter.
But with so many of us, we have found ourselves completely alone with no one to turn to or to count on except, well, except ourselves. It's lonely, and sometimes it wears even the toughest of us completely down to the bone. It's our world now.
We didn't ask for it. It happened to us.
But here's the good part — we have each other. In the midst of our worst day, when we've been ill and still had to go to work, when our less than friendly neighbor has called us to cuss us out because our dog accidentally got out again and they can't tolerate the fact that we have done the unthinkable — my God, we've broken the leash law (what is the world coming to for Christ's Sake?) — even on these days, we must take heart. We are not alone. We have each other. We're communicating every day to women just like us who are hurting, sad, confused, lonely.
What a great world we have here at First Wives World.
I am so very proud and very blessed to be a part of it. There. I feel better, now.