We started dating in the tenth grade. See My High School Self, My Vampire Boyfriend. We married after I finished college (he didn’t finish). We eventually had five children, two at a time. We separated years ago, suddenly; it was not mutual, nor my choice. A nasty and prolonged divorce became final in February. So, after more years than I care to mention, my high school sweetheart and I were finally, legally, broken up.
So, it’s Just Me With . . . my five kids in our little fixer (Ex-Hoarders) home. See Piss, Puke, and Porn. I keep a land line there because I have children, not all of whom have cell phones, and it is important to me to have another number, not affected by minutes or power outages or charging status, that I know will work. Like many people, though, my cell phone is the best way to contact me. Just in the last week or so I had told my ex-husband to please call my cell, rather than the house phone, because I don’t always get the messages right away or get up to answer it.
Two nights ago, I got a voicemail on my house phone from my ex-husband asking me to give him a call about dresses for the girls for his “marriage” in June.
Let’s review, shall we?
My ex-husband had had the kids for an overnight over Mother’s Day weekend. We arranged for him to bring them back early Sunday so that I could spend Mother’s Day with my children. By my standards, Mother’s Day Sunday was a successful day. The kids did not fight much. They even played together outside and took videos of each other spinning on a swing. No tears, no drama.
Monday evening my ex-husband took the kids for his scheduled dinner time visit. Afterward, he dropped them off as usual. We settled in for watching a little Dancing With the Stars.
The landline rang. We let it ring. My cell phone did not ring.
I remembered hours later that I had gotten a call and checked messages. I’d received a message from the diving coach. Oops need to return that call, I thought. Next, I heard the message from my Ex-husband, which bears repeating:
“Could you give me a call when you get a chance so we can talk about dresses for the girls for my marriage [in June ]?”
huh (Weird that he didn’t say “wedding” . . . but I digress . . . )
This was Monday night after their Saturday night visit and the redundant Monday dinner. Since the kids had said nothing, I assumed that they did not know, and this was his way of telling me.
I was wrong.
When I returned his call the next day, he told me that he and his girlfriend told the kids on Saturday, the day before Mother’s Day. He added that he was surprised that THEY didn’t tell me when they got home. Let the record reflect that the kids got home — on Mother’s Day.
So, to recap, summarize and conclude:
My ex-husband dropped the kids home on Mother’s Day assuming that they would inform me that he was getting married. He thought that they would tell me this — ON MOTHER’S DAY! This was his plan. And when that plan failed, he left me a voicemail on a landline I don’t answer and that he had been requested not to use.
My wedding? (I don’t even remember how much that cost);
My divorce (oh around $35,000 and counting);
Announcement of the Ex’s Engagement? (PRICELESS!)
There’s really no good way to hear this news, but there are really bad ways to announce it, and this was one of them, well actually two: one failed attempt at getting the kids to tell me on Mother’s Day, and another stealth voice mail message about dresses on a phone I don’t answer.
But kudos to my kids who had enough sense not to rush in with this information on Mother’s Day. None of them said anything (and they don’t usually work well together) yet they must have sensed that Mother’s Day was not the day to tell me — or perhaps they sensed correctly it was not their place to tell me.
Or maybe they thought I already knew?
Regardless, and putting my feelings about the marriage aside, I gotta give props to my kids. And hugs.
Just Me With . . . the best kids ever and a voice mail from my Ex — everything.
Oh, and by the way, he’ll be getting the dresses for the girls.
Postscript: Months later it was one of the kids who told me that the happy couple was expecting.
You know what they say about payback — see “Father’s Day Announcements To My Ex ”
For an earlier insensitive Mother’s Day celebration, see “Worst Mother’s Day Card Ever”
For a more uplifting Mother’s Day tribute, see “To My Best Friend On Mother’s Day”
For a discussion on how I felt about the news, see “How Do I Feel About My Ex-Husband Getting Married”