I was in Boston when I found out my divorce was final.
In late November, our lawyer let me know she had scheduled the "bifurcation hearing" for December 30th. This concerned me, as I was supposed to be on the other side of the country I was not terribly keen on abandoning my holiday plans to make a for-show appearance in an uncontested divorce. Jake was only required to be there by phone, so I asked for the same and hoped for the best.
On the train from New York to Boston, I worried a judge would call and I would have to discuss the details of my marriage and its demise while the armrest hog next to me and the kicking child behind listened in, but the phone didn’t ring.
I forgot about the hearing once I got to Boston. It was luck, really, that I heard my phone ring in my pocket while my friend and I cut through a department store on the way to the parking lot. It was our lawyer, congratulating me. No one needed to talk to me. The hearing was deemed not necessary. The divorce had become final the day before. I thanked her, and hung up.
So there I was, by the escalator, in an overheated room that smelled far too strongly of perfume, at what is surely one of the more momentous moments of my life.
The thing was, it didn’t feel all that momentous, or exhilarating, or anything big, really. It was more of a "Well, thank goodness that’s over" kind of thing.
There was relief, but it was mostly just an ending.
It occurred to me, a few minutes later, that maybe I should celebrate or something, instead of merely hanging up and thinking a quiet little "yay" to myself.
So I sent some text messages: “My divorce is final!”
“It wasn’t yet?” was the only response I got.
On a number of levels, it’s nice that "getting divorced" has clearly ceased to be the defining characteristic of my life.