Way back when I was married, I had a fairly ordinary social life.
There were activities that were organised at the weekends that involved the kids. And then in the evenings, we’d occasionally go out for dinner ‘a deux’, or alternately have friends over or go out to friends.
All pretty normal stuff!
But being a divorcee, you just don’t get invited to dinner parties. I don’t think anyone means to be unkind. But I don’t think they know what to do with a ‘spare woman’! Or do I mean ‘loose cannon’?! Hmmm!
Over the last six months, I have found myself hanging out with a slightly different group of people. People that I would never have met if I hadn’t got divorced – and I have found that I am much more able to ‘be myself’ with them than I have for years. I’m not sure whether it’s my age, or my life having been turned on its head through divorce, but, for the first time in my life, I have a totally ‘like me or leave me’ attitude.
I didn’t even realise, until recently, how much pressure there was in my marriage to “conform” to the middle class social stereotype, or quite how much of an attitude I have! For years, I kept my mouth shut if someone upset or ‘slighted’ me. But if you piss me off now, you’ll get both barrels! It’s liberating and it feels fantastic!
Maybe it’s exactly this attitude that has resulted in my hanging out with people like my gay friend Julian and ‘partner in crime’ Sarah. It hasn’t just opened my eyes to life, it’s opened up a whole new world.
For example, my latest social plans are to arrange an evening out with Sarah, Julian and his partner Paul. And we’re planning a trip to a gay club – for a cabaret evening. In my previous life as a middle class housewife, it just wouldn’t have happened. And I’ve got to admit, the prospect of this evening out has put a smile on my face. Whilst I would not wish to offend my married friends, I don’t ever remember being quite this enthusiastic about going to friends for dinner!
Don’t get me wrong. I like my friends. I often feel sad that I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like. And I like having dinner with them and catching up on their news. But my life has changed so much, that faced with the prospect of an evening discussing kitchen extensions and other such things, I worry that I would have nothing to contribute! Or even worse, I’d tell them things that they wouldn’t quite know how to handle!
If I told them about the life I have now, the conversations I have with the people I’ve encountered writing this blog [all of which will of course remain confidential unless permission granted!] how would they react?
I really wonder what they would say if, in the middle of a discussion on the virtues of Farrow & Ball paint, I piped up and said:
“Well, I can’t comment on the paint, but I do know a man who bought his wife a “make your own sex toy” kit. They made it together and she took it on all her business trips. They’re very easy to make and very life like. They're divorced now, and he's not sure whether she's still got it and still using it...!”
And the problem is, the “new improved divorced Lara” probably would say it.
And I don’t think I’d get invited back!
Life has moved on…..