As you may or may not have heard, I have recently become unmarried, which means that I have suddenly become able to do things that I promised not to do for the rest of my life. Not naming any names, but through the magic of mental illness, a certain ex of mine was unstable enough to warrant some time apart even before we officially called it off. He called it "trial separation" - I called it "practising being single again." He spent the time thinking, stealing money out of our joint bank account, and not taking his anti-depressants, and I spent the time partying with boys who don't share my last name (may not even have last names, for all I knew). Obviously, a good time was had by all.
But I've had to learn some things along the way.
Like: It doesn't matter how old he is. What matters is when his kids, who are your age, call him in the middle of the night because they want some Wendy's.
Like: When you're in bed with a teacher and he huskily whispers in your ear that he likes to be spanked, it kind of kills the mood to picture the innocent children who are doubtless being corrupted by this pervert. And it's not that spanking is so bad, just that you always thought of teachers as being rather sexless, and when you start picturing your second grade teacher while someone's feeling you up....you've pretty much lost the game.
Like: Even though he's a broad, built, handsome firefighter who picks you up in a Prada suit and opens the door to his hot little car for you on your way to tapas (your favourite, without telling him), tells you all about his volunteer work at the SPCA and asks you to dance before splitting dessert, and then leans in for the perfect kiss without getting fresh when he drops you off, it's still okay to not return his calls because his facial hair is too "wispy".
Marriage, if nothing else, is habit, and in the 8 years I've spent in this past relationship, I fear I've adopted some rather bad ones.
Like: being way too comfortable with nudity. Like forgetting myself and changing clothes in front of men I haven't known very long. Not that they're complaining, but about the time when my clothes are on the floor and I'm bent over searching the bottom drawer for an elusive t-shirt, I freeze and think, There's some sort of unspoken waiting period for this shit.
Like: not changing the sheets after every single, erm, emission. You can get away with that when it's the same emission every night, but when you're seeing different emitters, it's more polite not to have someone else's leftovers on your linen.
Like: not carrying any money with you when you go to the bar. Single girls don't need to buy their own drinks either (at least, not this one), but she should always carry cab fare. And as dresses lack pockets and she doesn't have a husband's at her disposal, she has to carry her cash and lipstick herself. Learning to dance with a purse again is bullshit.
Getting married was easy. You invite people to send you gifts, write some sappy vows, drink some champagne, and voila - married.
Getting divorced is easy. You throw your diamond ring with all your might at your ex's eye, get strange men buy you margaritas, sign your big fat maiden name beside the X, and presto - divorced.
But getting into the mindset of un-married, that weird transitional phase where you actually have to shave to have sex, is harder.
And surprisingly fun.