Have you ever noticed when you are at your most vulnerable, someone invariably ends up asking you a question that sends you into a tailspin.
A total tailspin, complete with the immediate urge to raid the pantry for any/all chocolate, plop yourself onto the couch wearing your favorite oversized stained sweats and enjoy a fine box of Gallo rosé and handfuls of Cookie Crisp (hey, don’t judge: it was the ONLY chocolate in the pantry).
This has happened to me so many times post-divorce, I can’t even count them all (the inappropriate questions … not the vivid image painted above. I only drink Clos du Bois merlot, after all).
So the most inappropriate question of them all: Is she hot?
There is a natural curiosity inherent to all people, I have decided. They want The Reason. They want to close the loop in their minds inspired by the unbelievable idea that their awesome, witty, talented, virtuous, second-only-to-Jennifer Aniston friend had possibly become suddenly single.
So to them, The Reason is this: She must be hot.
OK, friends and readers, follow along with this line of reasoning: I, the aforementioned awesome, witty, talented, virtuous, second-only-to-Jennifer-Aniston friend, do not want to think about the fact that any “she” that inspired the dissolution of my marriage could be in any way, shape or form, “hot.”
And in my specific case, “she” was truly anything but “hot,” which resulted in quite the head-scratching and an amazing amount of loops being uncomfortably left wide-ass open.
There was a fabulous benefit to the fact that my ex and his ex-ex (they were high school sweethearts before he married me) created a website to celebrate their upcoming sacred nuptials only eight months after my divorce. And no, it wasn’t that our mutual friends that I had inherited in the divorce told me ALL about it. It wasn’t even the poetic realization that he was using the SAME “Best Man” that stood up for my ex at our wedding (isn’t that a direct violation of the Best Man Code?).
The benefit: pictures.
Pictures of him and her, together. Pictures of her, alone. Pictures of them with MY children. Pictures, pictures, pictures.
As if the images in my head weren’t haunting enough.
But I found something truly cathartic in the pictures. Because whenever someone would ask, “Is she hot?” (and trust me, it happens more than you can ever imagine), I didn’t have to rely on the admittedly harsh, seemingly-self-affirming-but-more-true-than-not response that I had developed referencing a saggy stick figure, beak-like nose, the desperate need for orthodontics and wrinkly, blotchy, old-looking skin. (Hey, I warned ya it was harsh, and I make no apologies for assessments made in my fragile, freshly dumped state…)
Nope, I got to hear first-hand from them, the askers of said inappropriate question. I got to see the looks — rather, the cringes — that directly resulted from browsing the pix of the newly — rather, once again newly — happy couple.
My favorite response (and you know who you are, dear friend of mine): “Oh my God. She looks like Marilyn Manson!” (followed by favorite friend performing a quick Google search of “Marilyn Manson,” printing the image and then inviting an entire group of passersby to perform an informal, side-by-side comparison, resulting in more thumbs-up than downs. Best. Moment. Ever.)
So there you have it: If you don’t want to inspire a just-dumped friend to imbibe copious glasses of wine from a box, please refrain from asking “Is she hot?”
And hey, thanks to this blog post, I just realized there is one way in which I’m definitely not second-only-to-Jennifer-Aniston. Imagine her dread when anyone asked “Is she hot?” in her post-breakup days. And trust me, ask they did … even of Jennifer Aniston.
Because even friends of celebrities feel the need to close that gaping, wide-ass open loop.
So … who wants to join me in sharing an incredibly inappropriate question you’re been asked? If you share, you just may find a virtual box of Cookie Crisp (or Gallo rosé) in your e-mailbox … 😉
UPDATE: Little did I know that when I published this post, the bat-shit crazy fun was only just beginning…
Click here to read A Blog for a Blog, documenting how my blog was the word-for-word “inspiration” for a blog penned by the OW in my marriage.
Click here to read Most Likely to Succeed…at Divorce?!?! which documents my personal rise to #1 Shit Divorce EVER (as determined by the geniuses at Google).
Click here to read Oh I’m Sorry, Am I Blogging Too Loudly? to read about how my ex took me to court — to stop my blog (First Amendment be damned, apparently…)
And click here to read I Spy with My Little Eye…A Blog Stalker?!?! to read about how I single-handedly caught my blog stalker red handed — and it turned out to be my ex’s new wife (As in, the significant other of the man suing me to stop the very blog she was commenting on. Six times. Under six different identities. Nice…)
One more link to share: If you want to see how this story all began — How My Marriage Ended with a Brick — click here. Good times!
And by the way: Thank YOU for stopping by. Please introduce yourself in the comments — I’d love to hear your story, too!
Not exactly an inappropriate question, but more of an inappropriate statement. When I realized my marriage was falling apart (which was when I discovered there was another woman in the picture) that said woman called me. She then went on to assure me that it would be ok, now that it was out in the open and that I shouldn’t worry about how this would impact the kids because kids are resillient. They’ll bounce back, she added with a laugh. This from a woman who didn’t have any kids of her own.
Isn’t it amazing how a “person” (term used loosely) with no insight about chldren — let alone your children — can make such a sweeping statement? Obviously, she was attempting to assuage her own guilt (assuming she has a conscience).
That’s another thing about divorce: the amount of trite coping statements made in the aftermath. I don’t have enough fingers or toes to count the number of times I heard the “the kids will be fine…they’re resilient” statement. The other that makes me cringe: “It can only get better!” Because in my reality, it has gotten increasingly worse!
Oh well, good thing I’m resilient. I’ll bounce back (she types with a laugh)… 😉
You are brilliant and so right on. Lady, I like your style!
Thanks for stopping by my blog!
My friend is about a year out from her divorce. Her husband cheated on her a ton of times, she didn’t find out until the very end. HOWEVER, there was one woman who he consistently saw, said they were just friends, because this woman was herself married. The day my friend’s divorce was finalized, her ex husband married this woman. People keep telling her, well at least they got married. At least he wasn’t just cheating. Maybe she’s his soul mate? Isn’t that the worst? Like she wants to hear that her husband cheated on her, and ultimately married, his soul mate? Like that makes it any better what he did to her for so many years? People are so stupid sometimes. Sometimes, if you don’t know what to say – don’t say anything at all.
And my story… when I cancelled my wedding, I just basically said I found out about a lot of lies that he told me, deal breakers, and we couldn’t move forward. Obviously the story is more complicated than that, but it’s not my job to tell my business to the world. Well, the most common question I get is, How did you find out? How did you find out about his lies? Did you follow him? Check his email? How should I find out if my boyfriend is lying to me? These questions are so insensitive, because these people don’t care about me or my healing. All they care about is the interesting side of my story, this morbid curiosity about how one finds out a liar (so they can use these tactics on their boyfriends/husbands). Pathetic.
People are un-friggin’-believable. Seriously…I got the “well, at least he got married” line all the time! Really? I think in their minds, the whole sordid deed is somehow justified in some way because at least one party found happiness through it all. On behalf of all those left behind, I say a big “Thanks. Thanks a lot” (accompanied by a universally symbolic finger gesture…) to all who say that. And you’re right: when in doubt, just don’t say anything at all!
In terms of your situation, that is simply awful and totally insensitive for people to pry. Why don’t people understand that if you wanted to share, you would … and could. I have never spoken with you in person, but I’ll bet if I did, you’d have a voice. And if not, you’d probably know sign language and have an interpreter. So wait for it, people. Wait for it. Don’t ask. Ugh.
Thanks for your stories, Catherine. Awesome (though kinda tragic) stuff! 😉
While I don’t have a story about divorce – seeing as I’m on my sixth/seventh (two with the same guy, I know) engagement and still no wedding date in sight – I do have a story about inappropriateness. I was a young mother (too young, even in my opinion as a young mother) and raised my son on my own. During all of that time, no one questioned the age of my child or myself – at least not to my face.
However, it seems the older I get, the more people become curious as to just how old/young I was when I had my son. I make it a point now to tell my son’s age, but not my own (not specifically) and gain a slight bit of sadistic satisfaction as I watch their faces become all screwy when they try to “do the math” and figure out just how old/young I am. The kicker is that I look about ten years younger than my actual age (thank goodness for good genes!), so when they go by my looks only, they’re “shocked” or “appalled” or “dumb-founded” that I had a child so young.
I just laugh at the stupid, silly people. I’m sorry that people have been so insensitive to your feelings though. I truly am. I would so have been there – as an active participant – for the Cassie – Manson poll though! I’m a little spitfire when it comes to finding the humor in irony and turning what can be a very bad experience into something hilariously memorable.
That reminds me . . . I need to share a story that I keep laughing at every time I remember it. I’m off to my blog, but I’ll be back! Keep up the wonderful writing!
Ms. Marshmallow — thank you for sharing this! I loved every word — you definitely made me smile.
Looking forward to checking out your blog as well … and I’ll look forward to seeing you around here again!
After church one Sunday morning I decided to help a VERY elderly woman descend the stairs to the lobby, and as she recognized me and thanked me, she acknowledged seeing my three children with me (read: running around). She said to me, and I QUOTE, “Now: do all three of your children have the same father?” And I was SO SHOCKED that I completely forgot to be polite and instantly responded, “Yes. Do yours?” Touche, old bag, touche!!!
Great blog, very wry humour, and sarcastic. I love it. (Sarcasm was my first language.)
That’s fantastic, Cat! I like your sharp wit. I would have gone for the shock value of it all and claimed that they were alien children sent here to impregnate all older women just to prove that menopause does not mean that their girly parts have shriveled up and blown away and that there really is life beyond the end of their upturned noses. But that’s just me.
LOL … to you both! Really, people just need to get a grip. I mean, who says these things? Oh yeah, people in my life, too…
He was the farthest thing from hot that there is. The fat piece of crap has made several of our friends cringe, followed by “what the hell was she thinking…and with him??” Is it worse to lose out to someone uglier than you or to someone that you would like to look like? After 2-1/2, I’m able to argue the former. Makes me feel just fine that she slummed. The fact that he was a cheating bastard as well was just icing on the cake.
They do get what they deserve, right? And justice is done… 🙂
Ah! I found this because you commented on my Huffpo piece today “Shit Your Married Friends Say” (thank you btw!). It is so true. And so sad. People want simplicity. They want black and white answers so that they can feel comfortable… it matters far less whether you are. Great post. Following you.
Thank you for stopping by — absolutely loved your piece!
You’re so right about simplicity and comfort. If we do anything to upset the idyllic little boxes we all fit into, society as a whole tends to scramble, trying to corral us right back in. Too bad I have no desire to live in a box…or be led by a shepherd.
I’m following you, too. Not in a stalkerish way, though… 😉
Ha, how funny and relevant! I was friended by my ex’s bff and you KNOW the first thing I asked on hearing of his marriage was, “is she hotter than me?’ to which he replied, “well she’s pretty hot, she was a model!” but no real answer as I was a model too, who fucking wasn’t if you lived in So-cal and were good looking? The answer to your question, she is not hot..saw her pic and the Marilyn resemblance is uncanny..high five whoever coined that ! They were honest. And if said girl is still stalking and want’s to make a case, bring it, I listen to the Clash and I do know my rights. No libel here.
I give my friend props all the time for his keen observation … and I will always remember that day at my former place of work, as he proudly came into the office with the two pics, side by side. I don’t think I had ever really SEEN Marilyn Manson before that moment, so I was stunned!
Just signed up with WP and found your blog. A friend went through “the other woman” scenario a few years back. Think I will have to send her your blog….she’d get a kick out of it (in a good way).
I do hope you send her here, because those of us who’ve “been there, done that” can SO relate!
Thank you for stopping by and sharing. I love boots too, BTW. 😉
I don’t know whether to laugh or be sad but you are one crazy-strong woman! And funny too 😀
this may be a little late – i just discovered your blog today…
it wasn’t a question (although there have been those too) but a comment. in one of first sessions – of ultimately a number of marriage counselors – the ex stated, “my mother is my soul-mate.” happily, contentedly, creepily.
i should have walked out then, but gave it the old, “i believe in my marriage vows” try and stuck it out for a few more years.
This is awful. Yet hysterical. I hope there’s enough distance now that you can see the humor in it?
Wow. Just wow.
I called her “Horse-Face” among others. (My ex’s…thing) She wasn’t pretty. I mean, there were some pretty features, but put together, not so much. I think the biggest thing was that she was my polar opposite. She tried so hard to be pretty. Fake hair, loads of makeup… It was bizarre to me that he went in such an opposite direction. Who was he? Needless to say, THAT one didn’t last. The current one is a bit more down to earth. Less fake. And yet, it’s still bizarre to me. Cuz how can he like someone else? Weren’t we “it?”