I’ve been packing books

every day, and there are still so many left to pack.

It’s a good thing there are a lot of them, because there isn’t much else. I’m leaving landisdad & the kids most of the furniture, kitchen supplies, the cats, the art, the photographs. And of course them.

I find it easy to launch into a kind of melancholy over the feeling that I’m walking away from everything I’ve worked for for nearly 17 years. The fact that I am coming out of this marriage with only slightly more furniture than I came into it with.

It’s not so much the stuff itself that I am melancholy about, but the emotions and memories that the stuff represents. I tweeted the other day something about not knowing who gets to keep the wedding pictures–my friend replied, “put them in a box and leave them for the kids.” And there’s a certain logic to that.

And that same logic applies to almost everything. Dishes, towels, bedclothes. It’s all just stuff. In the long run, it won’t matter at all who keeps what coffee table, or what set of silverware. And happily, landisdad and I haven’t had any major disagreements about who gets what stuff–we’re fighting less and less these days, as we wind down the last weeks of our marriage.

The Bee, in particular, is excited about furnishing the new place. She thinks it’s fun to help me pick out a bed, or a couch (she doesn’t understand yet, why I get to buy myself a queen-sized bed, when there’s only one of me to sleep in it). Part of that is that it gives her some positive frame for the future, and I’m happy to give her that frame if it helps to make it easier for her.

Partly, though, I just resent having to buy all new things–not just the things that are nifty to buy, like a bed, but banal, everyday things like spatulas and measuring spoons. I need some comfort in familiarity, too.

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January 27, 2011. separation.

3 Comments

  1. Becca replied:

    It would be so much easier to comment if I were an emoticon kind of bloggy type – I could just surround you with parentheses, brackets, and combinations of punctuation I don’t even understand myself… But then we’d both have to throw up.

  2. Jody replied:

    Well-said, Becca.

    Listen, my mom was the one who walked away from the stuff. I didn’t mention it because she also walked away from the kids, which makes my experience very different from what your kids’ experience will be (and of course, it’s a lot more complicated than that). But I will say, the stuff she left became a huge, I mean EPIC issue for my mom. The pop-psych in me thinks it’s easier for her to get cranky about all of “her” stuff that she spies in photos taken at my dad and step-mom’s house than to deal with the emotions around leaving her kids, but it MAY be a worthwhile data point. My parents divorced in 1986, and until I told her please to stop it in 2009, my mom was still regretting her kitchen bowls.

    Maybe you should take a spatula or two just for the hell of it? It’s not like it’s going to break Landisdad’s financial back, right?

    Feel free to disregard this datapoint of assvice, btw. Like I said, in situations where you’re not running away from your kids [for example, renting a studio apartment in the hip part of downtown that then requires you to work a weekend job and not be able to arrange a regular visitation schedule or ever have anyone stay the night, but hey, “the kids don’t want to come stay with me”], the stuff may not have to carry the same weight someday.

    But just in case it does, maybe take a spatula. And a print off the living room wall.

    Sorry, REALLY sorry, if this is just totally unhelpful and inapplicable. Back to what Becca said, in that case.

  3. Jody replied:

    I meant, it’s a lot more complicated than “my mom left us,” not that there’s any complexity to the assertion that your kids’ experience will be different. Their experience is already definitely different.

    Although I did smile a little at the Bee, because I was 15 when my parents divorced, and my dad got a new apartment before my mom changed her mind, and I was TOTALLY INTO helping him decorate it. I can see the new kitchen towels I brought over one weekend right now.

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