Ready to Sign Them Papers?
Updated: Apr 25, 2020
"I glanced over at my soon to be husband, and said to myself, “I will love and cherish you for the rest of my life.”"
-Felicia F. Clark, "The SistaGurl Blog" September 13, 2018
“Dissolution of Marriage and Marital Settlement.” I read these words to myself as I stood in line at the courthouse. It was four sheets of paper, front and back. The breakdown of my marriage. 7 years broken down into 4 sheets of paper. Paper like any other that can be torn, shredded, and ruined by water. It felt like my marriage was as easily ruined as the paper I was holding in my hands. "What the hell is this?" I asked as I stepped closer in line.
Seven years prior, we were in such a rush to get married. We went down to City Hall to get the marriage license. We were so proud to have obtained it. The day of the wedding, I jumped out of bed. I was tripping all over myself. I couldn't contain my excitement. I had on a short peach A-line dress and he wore a nice peach button down shirt and slacks. We looked very cute. And happy. As we made the walk from underground parking towards City Hall, we held on tight to each other’s hands. I glanced over at my soon to be husband, and said to myself, “I will love and cherish you for the rest of my life.”
Fast forward seven years and there I was at the very same courthouse to receive more paperwork to dissolve my marriage...this wasn't the first time I tried to dissolve my union. Saying goodbye to everything I believed he was, and attempting to say hello to everything he was not. My husband turned out to be a con man and left like hell-fire with another woman. “I’m stronger this time”, I thought as I stepped closer to the lady at the window.
(I'll further explain). I filed about a year ago (year 6 of my marriage), at the urging of my friends. But, truthfully speaking, I was not ready. So much so that
when I made the decision to end my marriage the first time, it wasn't even my decision.
That showed because I dragged myself out of bed and went to the courthouse. Dressed in my pajamas and a head scarf, with dark circles around my eyes complimented by the bags underneath them from crying and lack of sleep. I was depressed and looked every bit of it. A far cry from when we got married. When it was my turn at the counter, I burst into tears. I was ashamed and filled with guilt. I watched her stamp the forms with the heavy red stamp that read in bold red letters FILED. I felt nauseated each time she hit the paper. But like I said, I wasn't ready, so I conveniently found myself unable to obtain his signature, by the deadline required. Literally and figuratively staying married a bit longer. (This way he would have enough time to beg for forgiveness and we could move forward towards reconciliation.)
Fast forward to Year 7 of the marriage, I journeyed back to the courthouse. This time, I’m ready. I’m tired. I stopped waiting on his call and as a matter of fact I hoped he wouldn't. What’s that saying? I was very ready to divorce this man. I was no longer in shock and I’m okay with that concept. And if for some strange reason my friends were to tell me to reconsider or to take my time, it would certainly fall on deaf ears. I am not a failure, I didn't do anything wrong, I seek no pity. I was READY.
It was finally my turn in line; I give a slight smile. I hand the familiar woman the papers. She again stamped FILED on each one of them. In my mind I wondered if my 50% coupon off a large Iced Mocha Latte was still good. This lady better hurry up. I have shit to do.