Note from Toni: Today we have another installment from Lexi Lamb in our Raw Reality series, single mom stories of strength and survival. Lexi is a writer and single mom to two boys ages 6 and 10. If you missed her previous contributions, you can find the links to those at the bottom of this post.
Here comes the bride (again), all dressed in w…., wait, white? A white dress may spontaneously combust on me because pure I am not. My brain is ringing with the reality that I am getting married again, or maybe the ringing in my head isn’t the words but warning bells sounding off, “Hey dumbass, didn’t we say we were not going to do this again?”
Ask my friends if they thought I would get married again, ever. Seriously, go ahead and ask any of them. You will get the same answer, a resounding, “No way not her. You may also hear things like “Lexi is too independent, or she gets bored easy, or no one can keep her attention”, and so on. It’s all true, every word; they are not lying, and I did not lie to them when I told them I would rather be hung by my eye lids than ever get married again.
A few years ago, I went to a wedding with my boyfriend at the time, a semi formal event in the dead of the summer at the top of a skyscraper in uptown. It was an indoor wedding, but the floor to ceiling windows let in an immense amount of heat and all the men were literally wiping the sweat from their foreheads and the women were desperately fanning themselves. The air conditioning could not keep up with the amount of people slammed into the small space.
We all sat close to each, other jammed together, to watch the sacred ceremony of holy matrimony. All I remember thinking was, “what a load of crap.” All the pomp and circumstance for almost everyone to end up divorced, cheating or hating the marriage they are stuck in.
The sweat dripping from the audience was almost audible, but was I sweating? Nope, not me. I sat there, heart beating fast and loud. So loud I think it was trying to get the attention of the bride and groom to warn to them not do it. Chills popped up all over my body and the mini piece of cloth I called a dress, did nothing to conceal the goose bumps. My boyfriend looked over and mouthed, “Are you ok?” Damn he noticed, so I turn to him and give him the best fake smile I can muster from my jaded brain and mouth back, “yes, I’m fine,” while I am trying to rub the goose bumps down.
I hardly knew the couple getting married which made my response even more extreme. At that point all I really wanted was some wine or vodka so I can numb my relationship issues. To avoid any further negative physical responses to this union, I shift my attention to my hot date and what I would rather be doing with him at the moment.
My negative mindset towards marriage and divorce should have gotten me booted off every guest list I made it onto. No matter how much I adored the people getting married, I still thought it was a poor choice. If any tears were shed by people at the wedding, I had to swallow back a sound of disgust. I looked away from the tears like they were offensive. As people said “I do”, I wanted to scream, “DON’T DO IT!” I stared at the wedding couple wondering why they wanted to get married and when they would get divorced.
I thought in detail about what would cause their divorce. I am sure some of my friends are reading this wondering if I felt like this at their weddings, and as I hang my head in shame, I admit that if I was in attendance that’s how I felt. The only thing reason I am openly admitting this is because my other divorced girl friends had similar reactions and feelings, but will never admit it.
On one girls beach weekend, one of my friends and I sat on the floor of our hotel room with the sliding glass door cracked watching a couple that we did not know, get married next to the pool. We sat there watching the whole thing, discussing how ignorant the people were to get married. The fact that this couple was obviously on their second marriage made the ceremony even more ridiculous to us.
She and I sat up there watching, laughing and daring the other person to scream, “STOP THE WEDDING!” Mature aren’t we? It’s probably the reason no one should let single moms wander the nighttime streets together. OUR brains are about poisoned and warped for a long time. Being single and being hit on by married men all the time does not help fix them either. But that is an entirely different topic.
There is one wedding I attended recently where I had a different experience. The wedding was a couple hours drive away so I got a hotel and took my two little men as my dates. It was a beautiful outdoor wedding, where I did not know many of the attendees, but I felt excited to see my friend get married.
When she said “I do,” a few tears actually rolled down my face. Yes, the same tears I said I scoffed at in the past, tears of happiness for my friend. Honest happiness that she found such an amazing guy and looked so incredibly beautiful during her ceremony.
I felt the hand of my youngest son brush the tears from my cheeks as he says, “Mommy, are you sad?” I pulled him close and whispered into his ear, “No baby, I am happy for my friend and I am very proud of her.” He looked up at me and smiled from ear to ear, “She does look pretty,” he whispered back.
We stayed for the entire ceremony, laughing through it, dancing with her, until my kids were exhausted. We went back to the hotel room and as I climbed in bed between my babies I realized one hole in my heart somehow mended itself. It took 5 years, but damn, it somehow happened, unexpectedly.
Being a divorced single parent can seem like a nasty punishment at times, but in many ways it’s a gift. It makes us survivors and teaches us incredible lessons and perseverance. For me, it made me a stronger woman and a better mom. Now, I hope it makes me a better wife, yes the second time around.
Single parents are amazing people and their children are even more amazing. Male or female, I admire and respect every single one of you for the journey you are experiencing. You only get to live life once, so try to heal your heart and love your babies, your families and the friends who help you keep going each day.
Check out Lexi’s other posts here at Small Key Big Door:
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