Today is Danielle Independence Day` –the 6th Anniversary of my divorce. To my regular readers, I hope you will indulge me for a brief side trip from my usual content. Danielle Independence Day has always been an empowering day. My wedding day was New Year’s Eve, which is a great day to get married if you stay together. When you get divorced, however, the memories creep into your celebrations like a bad case of poison ivy you can’t stop scratching. It is best to just start drinking at breakfast and pass out as early as possible. But Danielle Independence Day is a great day.
My divorce liberated me to figure out I was married to a man I didn’t respect, who didn’t respect me, in a sham of a marriage devoid of any physical attraction. And being raised a stubborn Catholic with a past, I figured I needed to stay to atone for my past lapses in judgment. I was never happy. He was like my gay best friend. There was no sex. There was barely love. It was a decent amount of like. And a “decent amount of like” is not swoonworthy.
Despite the fact he emptied out our bank account…forced me to rack up a $12,000 attorney bill…filed motions to take my dogs away because I couldn’t afford to take care of them (thanks to him emptying the bank account)… the added insult that he brought his mistress to town for his deposition/romantic vacation and stashed her at the same hotel we spent our wedding night…and overall being a massive industrial size douche…the 10 month battle was worth it. I was relieved, not full of regret. I had my chances to cheat and leave, and I didn’t take them. I do wonder if that would have saved me time and heartache. But ultimately the feeling of freedom obscured all the other questions and regrets. It took a while to get rid of the hate, but by the day of the final court hearing, I did a Mary Tyler Moore-twirl-in-the-street happy dance.
The one lesson I am grateful for throughout the whole miserable ordeal is that I was forced to discover my inner strength. That happens from rebuilding yourself from bankruptcy; taking jobs you hate to survive; saying goodbye to loved ones with no one to lean on;, feeling hopeless that nothing will ever be easy or go your way. Being vulnerable isn’t a side I show often. Those feelings are foreign to me because I don’t think that’s really who I am at my core. Most days I believe I would be okay staying alone if “The One” doesn’t come along. Then there are days that I wish I didn’t have to be strong. I wouldn’t mind being taken care of while I shut down my brain and my heart for a tune-up so I could handle challenges and pain and heartbreak without being on the brink of an emotional meltdown. If it is possible to be a badass and be a trainwreck at the same time, that would be me.
Do I need a protector? No. I can fight my own battles. What I want is to be respected for the badass superwoman that lives in my head. Aside from being Swedish or playing hockey, the number one quality I am powerless against is intelligence. Twice I’ve dated men who were insanely smart, but they were quite humble and awkward. That is incredibly sexy. And very rare to find at sporting events and bars or places I tend to frequent. Probably the greatest issue for me in my marriage was that I knew I was innately smarter than he was, and I just couldn’t respect him. And he would never give me credit for anything. Respect me for my strength and intelligence and I will do the same. Maybe I’ll even consider you as First Husband when I run for president. (Who am I kidding? I’m moving to Canada.)
So where is The One? Is there a MENSA dating site? “Badass trainwreck seeks wicked smart but humble soul mate for mutual respect but not smothering. Accents preferred.”