Friday, February 1, 2008

The Big Split, Part III

The Big Split Part I and Part II led inevitably to Part III.

The final step was getting my ex down to the courts with me to sign the divorce papers together. We met at the subway station. I looked up from the book I was reading to see him walking towards me, a nervous grin stretching across his face. We took our last walk together to the court building.

He was on his best behaviour. He was always one to present his most charming persona to the outside world, and today was no exception. He was looking very handsome and was doing everything he could to be courteous and helpful.

When our number was called, the clerk who accepted our papers was a middle-aged black woman. Her accent told me that she was from one of the islands in the Carribean. She sifted through our paperwork, checking a detail here, banging down a red-inked rubber stamp there. All the while, she kept glancing up and searching our faces.

She asked us some questions regarding our paperwork. She had us sign here, and here. Now this copy. The she asked:

"Why are you two gettin' a divorce? You seem to get along alright."

"Uh..." We glanced at each other. "It's complicated."

She carried on, shuffling forms, and weilding her rubber stamp. A little later on, she fixed us with another searching look.

"Are you sure you want to get divorced?"

Who was this woman? The Oracle of the Family Law Department?

"Yes. Yes, we're sure." My ex's nervous grin stretched so tightly across his face that I though his lips would split.

She continued processing the paperwork. Finally, she gave us one more long stare, and rendered her verdict. Satisfied that she understood the situation at last, she tilted her chin towards my ex.

"You! You're the bad one."

I stifled the urge to do a touchdown dance. My ex protested.

"Me? Why me? What did I do?"

But it was too late. Her mind was made up. Having settled that matter, she finished our paperwork, took our $400 payment, and sent us on our way.

Now, of course a marriage is a complicated thing, and in no way do I wish to imply that my ex was 100% responsible for our breakup. We both had our issues and we both were experts at pushing each other's buttons. But I tell you, that woman totally made my day. She turned one of the saddest experiences of my life into a crazy, funny story.

Poor Ex. He won't soon forget that day either, methinks.


David said...

You had me lol'ing, literally laughing out loud. (AKA Mighty Mouse)

R.E.H. said...

That was actually quite funny. The woman singeling out your Ex as the "bad one" was the icing on the cake.

Wish I could've been there to see his face ;)

Aurora said...

How crushing if she'd randomly decided that *you* were to blame. In my haste that's how I read it at first. I was like, WHAT? No WAY! But the reality is much sweeter. Heh.

Karen said...

That is cute. I also wish I could have seen his face. Again I am going to do a comparison to my profession (I am relentless). In NJ we "pass no moral judgment". So it doesn't matter who is bad. This pisses off a lot of people who really, really need someone to say their ex is bad.

Of course, the courts know who is bad - and often they let the world know in little ways. And that makes me laugh. A small pleasure for me.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Do you think that lady was Miss Cleo the psychic? LOL glad she sided with you on things.

Tink said...

Being a judge, she's probably gotten pretty good at picking out the guilty party. Thank God for small miracles. Because divorce, no matter how civil the couple is to one another, is a nasty thing to have to go through. At least someone saw that it wasn't you. ;)

jameil1922 said...

hahahahahaha hilarious!! fabulous caribbean lady! thanks for making red's day!!!!!! hahahahahaha

nancypearlwannabe said...

Wow. I did not realize they pass judgement on one of you during divorce proceedings. That almost makes me never want to get married.

Sparkling Red said...

David: I thought I might have told you that story already. Maybe I kept it under my hat for fear of seeming too gleeful.

R.E.H.: Yeah, it was kind of like one of those Mastercard commercials. Divorce: $400. Look on Ex's face: priceless.

Aurora: I did sort of put myself in Ex's shoes and feel bad for him. He was trying sooooo hard that day. But it was still sweet.

Karen: Once I got over the surprise, I wondered how that woman kept her job. She couldn't be going around saying things like that without expecting complaints. From a professional standpoint, she was entirely inappropriate.

Ron: Yeah, maybe that's what Mistress Cleo does to make ends meet when the psychic hotline business is slow. ;-)

Tink: You've really put your finger on it. Because I left him, and because no one was aware of any troubles in our relationship, a lot of our so-called mutual friends assumed that I was at fault and I was the bad one. It really felt good to hear some of the blame land on him.

Jameil: *touchdown dance time!*

Nancypearlwannabe: Well, she wasn't supposed to be doing that. She was just supposed to approve our papers and send us on our way. I have no idea what possessed her to play judge. She was a rather odd woman.

Keera Ann Fox said...

I just wanna say: I love the tag you have for this - "humans are weird". Ain't that the truth!

sequined said...

What a great way to add some silver lining to a pretty crappy experience (or, cloud, I guess).

The Ex said...

Hahaha! She's smart. Always blame the men.

Jenski said...

I can imagine letting out one huge sigh of relief if that was me and that woman was saying that to me. Validation does wonders.

Maxie said...

I officially love that woman. Hilarious!

binky ink said...

You can't deny - women have the special intuition that men lack. Methinks she saw right through his phony act! Glad it made your last memory with him one worth smiling about..

Sparkling Red said...

Keera: You can bet that I'll have many more opportunities to use that tag. :-)

Sequined: Yeah, that's what I love about writing it down. If I can find something, anything, in a bad experience to turn around into a funny story, then it makes it all bearable.

The Ex: It's always a good bet to blame the man. ;-)

Jenski: Yes, I was sorely in need of validation at that time!

Maxie: I should see if she's still working there. I never even learned her name, but if her reputation gets around, she'll probably be in demand.

Binky Ink: I have found it true that women are better people-readers than men, most of the time. Although I have known a few sensitive men, and more than one completely oblivious woman. :-)