On Monday, I went to the courthouse at lunch to file the divorce papers.

I kept setting the metal detector off, but they must have deemed me non-threatening, since they let me in so I could get in line.

There were two women ahead of me in line. One of them was trying to get a restraining order, and the other one was trying to get a restraining order against her overturned. She apparently failed, since she raged away from the clerk’s window, spitting “I don’t think yelling and screaming constitutes a threat!”


When it was my turn, I handed the understandably embittered clerk my paperwork. While I did have two copies, I had left one (my copy) at home, and brought the original and John’s copy with me. Unfortunately, I needed the clerk to stamp and approve all three copies. It makes sense when you think about it, but as you know, logic and thinking about it are not my strong suit, just one of the reasons that made me end up in this situation.

I went back to the jobette, where E said, “That was fast!” I explained what had happened, and she told me to just make another copy and go back. I felt weird about using the office copier for my personal business, but she said that I needed to get it over with, so I did.

Back to the courthouse, where – stop me if you’ve heard this one before – the woman in front of me was, yes, getting a restraining order. Between the restraining orders and the people waiting outside the probation office, I began to have serious concerns about the entire “jury of your peers” concept*.

Finally, it was my turn, and this time the clerk was able to stamp and file my paperwork. Thirty days after John is served with the paperwork, I will go back to the clerk and request a summary judgment. I will give the clerk stamped, self-addressed envelopes so the court can mail the final decrees to John and me six months after that date.

She also gave me a summons to appear on August 16 – what is it with me and summons to appear in August? – but explained that it’s only in case I don’t file for the summary judgment. The court wants to make sure that the case is concluded one way or the other, and this is their way of making sure that the case isn’t just out there unresolved forever, like my nine year (unofficial) separation.

I then went to the post office and sent John’s paperwork to Deborah. By the time I got back to the jobette, it was long past the half hour allowed for lunch, which is why I’m lucky that my coworkers are so awesome.

While it’s good to get this dealt with, it’s still sad, and I can’t help feeling that Dad would be disappointed in me. When he died, I was still married, living in a beautiful apartment which we owned (and which sold last year for half a million dollars more than we paid for it – we should never have sold it) in the best neighborhood in the most beautiful city in the world, and had a good job which made good money. Now I’m living in a weird hippie house, barely scraping by, and struggling to pay my freakin’ divorce fees (it’s only fair to note that we split the costs 50/50), and don’t own anything other than a 16 year old car. Not exactly an improvement.

I told my boss/partner about this – he knew Dad well – and he said that Dad would be proud that we built our business together and we still have it, even though times have been hard. He said, “You’ve been through a lot, but you’re still out there swinging.”

Maybe that’s all any of us can do.

*I told Megan about this, and she said, “The ER and the ambulance did that for me a long time ago.”

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3 comments on “Courting

  1. Guy Charbonneau

    I think your Dad would have been sad for you but he certainly would have understood that couples who sometimes stay together because of what others would say or think are the ones making the mistake. He would have stood by your side all the way and would be proud of everything you have accomplished by yourself rather than the things that did not work out as a couple.

  2. Mike Charbonneau

    Life sure does like to throw the odd curve ball, doesn’t it? What’s particularly annoying is when you’re dealt a hand you didn’t ask for. What doesn’t destroy us makes us stronger… Here’s wishing you the best from hereon in.

  3. Joy

    I think that the two Charbonneaus have said it all for me….it is so easy to be wise with hindsight! Lots of good wishes from here…..jx

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