Thinking about Love
"It's Finally Over" (2): Game for Miserable, Separated & Divorced Women

Pajama Talk

It’s 6:43 pm and I just put on my pajamas.

My last stop before going home to stay for the night (I had gone home before, but that was to prepare dinner for later and then to take my daughter shopping) was the tailor shop. As I walked over to the man who works there, he looked at me and said, “You should go home and rest.”

“I will, thanks,” I said as he took my receipt. At first I didn’t realize why what he said had made me feel warm, appreciated. Then I realized that it was the nicest thing that anyone had said to me today. It was, indeed, the only thing that showed some degree of concern or care for me, and it came from a man who I have seen about ten times in the past seven years. And it made me feel that lacking all the more.

It’s not that I’m isolated. I have my children, but they want all of my concern, they rarely give any back (at least so blatantly). I have my colleagues, but they are generally involved in their own lives and seem to shy from “intruding” in each other’s lives by asking personal questions. So if you don’t say anything, no one asks. And I have my friends and my parents, but I guess they are like white noise, you take them for granted for being there—and so you don’t notice their presence as much as you should because it is a basic underpinning.

So, as I sit here in my pajamas before the sun has set, I realize that most of my days are spent with women, and so having a man express concern for me was perhaps part of my surprise, pleasure even. Maybe that’s one of the hardest things about being single once you have been married, not having a man show you that he cares for you, that you are important to him, that his well-being depends on your well-being, that he is there to soothe you as you try to release the tensions of the day.

But as I sit here contemplating having a man knowingly kiss my neck and then sit down next to me, picking up my legs and massaging my feet as I tell him of my day’s travails, I realize that I never had that—it is an illusion that never came true for me. It seems that I was always the one soothing, but never being soothed. When my ex-husband would come home I was always asking how his day was, and serving him (but never, never, foot massages—he had disgustingly thick toenails).

Perhaps, when I realized that neither my feet nor my ego would be massaged by him was when I realized that the marriage was over, that I am more alone with him because each day I am confronted with what I don’t have—what I will never get.

We have no toilet paper. I have to get dressed and go to the supermarket. Maybe the clerk there will ask how I am.


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