My sweet husband turns 35 today, meaning he has five years, tops, before I trade him in for a younger model and an overpriced penis car that goes vroom.
If you had told me 15 years ago that I’d be in a happy second marriage with a younger man, some bright day in the future, I would have bitterly laughed in your face and then lit another cigarette. Up to that point, all I knew of marriage was that to the wrong person, it could be hard and explosive and soul-crushing and sometimes very scary. I had never felt more alone than I did when I was married. Internally, I was suicidal most of the time; externally, angry and defiant. I could not remember what happiness actually felt like for a long, long time; we just brought out the worst in each other, two fighters with different agendas. Even our marriage counselor told me to throw in the towel, but we held on for another 18 months. It was quite telling that our best and most mature conversation was when we decided to divorce. No yelling, no threats. Just…reality. Here we are, and it’s not good for anyone. We have to save ourselves from each other. Reality felt so good, the weight lifting from my shoulders so abruptly that it took my breath away. Then the fear came. And the logistics. And friendship triage. And stupid mistakes. And learning. Fuuuuh. So much goddamn learning.
I met Justin during what should have been a classic rebound phase. After my husband moved back to the Midwest, I spent the summer getting in trouble and kind of dating and smoking too much and making new best friends on Seattle dancefloors I barely remembered the next day. One of those summers.