Greta and I filed the paperwork for our divorce. Our court date is January 26, 2010…. their will be no reception…. Gifts are still appreciated, though. But please, no more china. A very strange day in which we remembered why we need to divorce and why we are still family.
I received a text from Greta last night asking if I wanted her to pick me up after bringing Hannah to school…. Ok…. Wanna have lunch afterward? :)…….. Sure……Hannah is spending the first of the week with Greta, so after Greta played bus driver, we drove to the Jackson county courthouse in downtown Kansas City, usually a 30 minute drive… unless there is an accident, which there was. Our conversation was a little stilted in the beginning, I mean, what do you talk about? I’m sure we both had mixed emotions. We are both sentimental saps sometimes. We got off I35 on the Broadway exit and made our way to 12th street. Taking a right on 12th, we drove in front of the hotel in which we spent our first night as husband and wife…. I’m not sure she noticed, but I did. I smiled inwardly at the irony ( Is that the correct way to use “irony” Baird?) Finding a parking spot, I put a quarter in the meter for some extra time and we walked the three blocks to the courthouse. I emptied my pockets before getting exrayed (get it…ex..), while Greta set the metal detector off and had to undergo the dreaded hand held wand. We took the elevators to the third floor and carried the novel-size stack of papers to the correct desk. The lady was incredibly nice. She helped us seperate the stack into correct documents, placed sticky arrows by the places we each needed to sign and have notarized and then quietly told us we could find a notary on the second floor. We each carried our own personal stack of documents to be signed. Going back into the lobby of the third floor, we pressed the button to go down a floor. After finding the correct desk, we signed our arrows, the notary stamped our pages, and as we were about to leave, the lady asked to see my ID………. Uh….. I don’t have it…..
“What? You came to a government building to file for divorce without your ID?” (Or words to that effect…) Greta was pissed!
“I’m sorry, I can’t notarize the documents without your ID. I will keep your stack of paperwork until you come back with your ID.”
I confess, my first thought was… “How stupid could I be! The wallet is in my backpack…. in Olathe.” But my second thought was, “Why do I need an ID? You mean to tell me that two people print off the paperwork for a divorce, fill it out, and bring it to submit to the court, AND THE MAN ISN’T THE HUSBAND, BUT AN IMPOSTER? REALLY?” I apologised to the lady, but was getting pissed because Greta was pissed! So we walked out of the office, to the elevator, out the doors of the courthouse and part of the way to the car………..Silence…………. I felt stupid, imagined what Greta was thinking, defended myself by thinking of all the things she forgets…… We got into the car and started back to Olathe……. Mostly silence except for directions on how to get back on I35……. As we began the 30 minute drive to Olathe, a thought came across my mind which brought a smile to my lips, “Oh, yeah…..THAT’S why we are divorcing….” That little silent dance of angry words which throughout the years devolved into angry thoughts linked to silence which drove a wedge into the unity we were supposed to be. A long waltz into relational dysfunction. Honestly, we are toxic for each other when living together.
Eventually, Greta began to talk. I’ve lived with Greta for twenty years and know that she gets angry….storms, even if it’s silent…. and then forgets it. So we started to talk again. The air was let out of the balloon, and we began to talk about… stuff…nothing deep…. just stuff. We got my wallet and started back to the courthouse. After getting it all signed, notarized, and filed, (“Signed, Sealed, Delivered…. I’m not Yours…..” sorry…. random song lyric with self editing) the lady at the desk told us when the court date would be: January 26, 2010…. Dang….
We then left the courthouse, and drove to a little sandwich shop we have always gone to at the City Market. We ate and talked, then walked out to look at some cute shops close by. This is where we are at our best, if you ask Greta. Sharing creative ideas, even if we don’t communicate how we would use the items…. the other would understand anyway….again, 23 years of creative projects done together.
Getting back in the car, our conversation began to get more personal. We spoke of how we were doing, of our friendships, and family…. We spoke as people who have been more than friends for 25 years. Like two people who care deeply for the welfare and happiness of the other.
When Greta was working in a women’s retail shop several years ago, I came in to bring her something and was introduced to one of her co-workers. We traded small talk for a few minutes and then some customers chased me out so the shopping could continue. Greta told me later, that her co-worker said, “That’s your HUSBAND? You two act more like brother and sister…” Maybe she had a point. There are things upon which we communicate marvelously…. and others….. not so much. We get along great 20 miles from each other and texting, with intermittent creative or family excursions…. and eating….. oh, yes…. and Walmart….
Neither one of us can understand where, when, or why the dysfunction began. But she seems to be happy now, and is dating what seems to be a nice guy. How can our new relationship be? I have an idea….
Two Sundays ago, Greta and I attended a choral concert in which Hannah’s choir sang. Greta, once again came by to pick me up. I actually even put on a tie… As I approached her car, I saw the shirt she had on and began to laugh… same color as mine. I got in the car and looked at her skirt….. yep…. same color as my pants….. OH brother! After the concert and a short trip for ice cream, I took them by Indian Creek church to show them the architecture…. I love the modern vibe… actually, Greta blogged about it: http://mylifeasg.wordpress.com/ . To document our choice in outfits, Hannah took our picture in front of a wall which approximated the same color of my shirt and her blouse. The wall has textured words in the finish, so we found the word “Forgiveness” and put it between us…….
And that is where it will stay…..