‘The Father’ is Flea’s Dad. I like to call him ‘the father’ because he likes to call Flea ‘the child’.
When he’s in town, I get all giddy because I can go to the cinema and read whole newspapers and eat Pringles on the sofa. And have a shower without someone pointing at me and saying things like, “Why has your tummy got lines on it?” [answer: YOU put them there]
Anyway, that’s how I came across this article which tells me that us ‘modern women’ aren’t “moping around in pyjamas” when we get divorced. Instead, we’re throwing gay parties to celebrate our divorces and having our Tiffany & Co engagement rings made into ear-rings. How fun!
News flash: on a good day, getting divorced is the most depressing thing you’ll go through without anyone actually dying. On a bad day, you’ll while away the hours fantasising about how to commit the perfect murder.
To the untrained observer, divorce might look like the end of a relationship. But if you have children, it’s actually the beginning of a whole other relationship: being exes. You’re now joined at the hip to a guy who hates you for another 18 years. Or put another way – for about a thousand more weekends. More if you count school events, birthdays and Christmas. What could be more fun that that? Poking out your own eye with a rusty nail?
Usually when you break up with a guy you at least get the big finish – you know, where you tell them they’re a schmuck and then you do the flicky-hair thing as you walk away. You just can’t do that in a divorce. Or if you do, it’s immediately followed by, “right, so, erm, see you next Sunday.” Which takes the wind right out of your sails, trust me.
When you get divorced, there are all these rules.
You’ve got to be a responsible grown-up. You’ve got to remember that, as much as you want to might want to kick your ex in the shins on a regular basis, he’s the only Daddy your little girl has got, and nothing’s more important than that. This means never rolling your eyes, remembering not to use that special name you have for him while your child is in range, and doing your level best to hang on to your sense of humour when disagreements do arise.
With a bit of luck and a fair wind, you’ll get through the thousand weekends, and your child will feel that the life she got was just as good as the one you took away from her. And most days, I’m pretty sure it is. But we’re still not throwing any parties just yet.