Last night I cried over a parking spot. Well, it wasn’t over a parking spot as much as the lack of one. I had been out for the evening, arrived home itching to wash my face, brush my teeth, crawl into bed to play Words With Friends and crash for the night. Only, I couldn’t because there was nowhere to park. It was just enough to put me over the edge.
For twenty years I lived in a nice (enough) four-bedroom house with a double wide driveway which was always there for me. Not once in those twenty years did I arrive home unable to park my car. I never put any thought to it. I never reconsidered an evening out for fear that it would end with my not being able to park and, well, crying over it. Now that I have downsized (significantly), the parking void is real. And last night it was just enough to make me cry.
Only it wasn’t the insanity of not being able to park that made me cry. It is certainly what set me off, but it was, like the lack of sex in a failing marriage, symptomatic of other things.
Today was my date with the judge. After two years of rankling, discussing, acquiescing, negotiating and conceding, it was time to get divorced. I was emotionally ready. I had the date circled on my calendar* and awaited its arrival with calm and even a little bit of excitement. It has been a long time coming, I was entirely resolute and ready but the anticipation of it kinda snuck up on me and, as a result, the fact that there was not a space in front of my door laying in wait for my arrival was enough to reduce me to tears. (Okay, full disclosure: it was a little bit of an exaggeration when I said that there was “nowhere” to park. There were places to park, but they were further away from my front door than was acceptable to me. There, I said it.)
In the past two years I have separated from my husband, sold my house, moved to a two bedroom apartment, held a job, did freelance work on the side, raised two kids, fallen in love and now, gotten divorced. It’s all good, but it is also a lot and ya wanna know something? I’m tired and, therefore, parking challenges make me cry.
My mother has often pointed out to me, with more than a hint of frustration, the fact that I consistently crash through big, scary things with aplomb and a decent amount of grace. I plow through situations that might bring others to their knees with strength and my sense of humor (almost) always intact. However, throw me a curve ball as ridiculous as not being able to find a parking spot and I am ridiculously, embarrassingly and frustratingly destroyed, albeit it temporarily. She is right. Guilty as charged.
To my credit, however, I have a very quick recovery. As it is happening, I am one million percent sure that my angst and agitation are directly related to whatever little tiny issue sets me off; like the other morning when I nearly (but didn’t) screeched, “what do you mean you are out of salt bagels?!?” at the poor pimply kid behind the counter. It usually takes me just a few minutes to realize and (eventually) acknowledge that it isn’t about the parking spot at all. It is then that I muster all my fortitude and remind myself, “I can do this.” And I do.
Most of you started reading this blog because you wanted to follow Jess’s story. I realize that for the past several months my entries have been sporadic, seldom about Jess and frequently about me. Rest assured, she still has plenty of story left in her. She’s been along for this ride and has (as recently as this afternoon when I nearly lost my mind over her coat and backpack being strewn across the floor) been subjected to my emotional-episodes-that-aren’t-about-the-parking-spot-or-sold-out-salt-bagels.
Hang tight. I am getting closer to establishing a new reality that is not built around the next huge thing I have to deal with…at least I hope I am.
*Not really. I don’t even have a calendar on which I could circle something, even if I wanted to. It was, however, noted in my handy iPhone, along with a note to schedule the kids’ annual check-ups.