Bigger than Ben Hur

Well, this week brought a cancelling of the trip to Japan next month and some eat, pray, loving. The trip has been cancelled due to too much rain on the particular thing I export and therefore having nothing to export anymore. Being the work-centred person I am, the first things through my mind when I heard about the cancellation were, “Crap, are my Japanese supplies going to cover me for a few more months??” and “Now what am I going to do about my wedding dress?!?”

That last one is not what you think, by the way.

In my post-divorce flight from Japan 6 years ago, I left behind quite a few things – including my wedding dress. I’m not exactly sure what I was planning to do: go back and pick it up one day or maybe leave it to my ex to sell…. all I knew was that I didn’t have the space or money to take it with me at the time so I left it. Every time I’ve met up with my ex since then, he has asked me half-joking, “So what do you want to do with your dress?” and I’ve always said, “Well, it’s a $5000 dress, we can’t throw it away…” and then the conversation has moved onto other matters.

Except now something needs to be done about it.

About eight weeks ago I got a out-of-the-blue email from my ex late on a Sunday afternoon telling me that he was going to be a dad in a few months.

I tell you, the shock of that news was bigger than Ben Hur to me. Actually I’m still reeling from it and have to pinch myself every time I contemplate him being a father.

I was really happy for him and incredibly sad at the same time. I think I had a really good cry before punching out a reply email giving him my congratulations and telling him that he would be a really wonderful father.

Then his reply email came and it was so bittersweet, I don’t have words to describe the complex feelings I had as I read his words that were full of regret and what could have been:

“Yeah, it’s good news and thank you, but I really wanted to have a child with you.”

Apparently he is due to become a father on the 23rd of December and last week he moved house. He thought it wouldn’t be fair to his wife to be setting up a new life with boxes of my stuff and a wedding dress. I don’t know about you, but I can totally see where he is coming from…lol. Actually I feel a bit guilty. I’d be horrified if my husband and father of my child still carried around stuff belonging to his ex. So the plan was for him to bring me my stuff (or send it to my hotel) and then I could bring it back to Australia.

It was a good plan while I was still visiting Japan, but now I’m not so we’re still talking about what to do.

And this is where the eat, pray, loving comes into it.

Have you seen the movie yet? I wasn’t sure if I wanted to watch it even though plenty of people have raved about it and I even waited until it became a free-to-air movie before taking the plunge. I have to say though,  if you’re a woman, divorced and have some guilt about getting divorced, it’s definitely the movie for you.

I was sitting there on the couch with M watching it (I had his leash on so he couldn’t escape) and his comment an hour and a half into the movie predictably was, “I don’t know what the fuck her problem is!”

My reply was, “That’s because you’re not a divorced woman with guilt, love crumpet.”

I had several cries at different points during the movie and although it didn’t give me any answers, it was very nice to know that the feeling of not fitting into a traditional life is experienced by more people than just myself.

It’s taken me quite a few years to come to terms with the fact that the traditional life (husband, kids, white picket fence and a dog) doesn’t do it for me. I spent a lot of time continually asking myself why – why don’t I want to be married? Why don’t I want kids? What is wrong with that type of life? and getting no where.

It’s probably only been the last twelve months or so that I’ve come to terms with the fact that that way of life is not for me. I’ve stopped asking why I don’t want it and am at the stage of accepting that it’s not what I do want.

That doesn’t mean to say that I don’t still feel guilt at not wanting it. I’ve got a lot of guilt in my life – lots and lots about a whole variety of things. I’m not sure that I’ll ever be able to get rid of all of that guilt, but I’m hoping that I might come to a place of quiet acceptance and release…one day.


7 thoughts on “Bigger than Ben Hur

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  1. my dress was in storage for 6 or so years interstate, after an amicable divorce. (He’s been married again almost since the moment our divorce came through too.She’s great.) Anyway, I thought I was well past any emotional crap attached to it, but when I pulled it out of that storage unit and took it to the op shop I have to confess I had a big cry. It wasn’t anything to do with the ex, I guess it was more to do with all the dreams I had growing up about meeting someone and being with them for life etc. All that was bound up in the fabric of that one garment…

    I, like you, have chosen unconventional pathways instead, and for the most part am cool with that. Sometimes though, just sometimes, for a moment or two, I wonder why I have to be so different and make things so much harder for myself.

    You are awesome just the way you are, thanks for sharing this and I hope you get your dress issue concluded in a way that brings you peace 🙂


    1. I think I’ve got a lot of emotional crap as well and that’s why I’ve been subconsciously dodging the ‘disposal’ of the dress issue.
      I really don’t know what to do with it anyway. I don’t think I can sell it, but it’s big and bulky and not the best sort of thing to have laying around the house.
      Baggage – can’t live with it, can’t live without it 🙂

    1. Hiya 🙂

      We’ve discussed sending it. It’s going to cost about $350 by regular post. Fedex would be double that at least. The easiest thing is to bring it back in a suitcase. He said he would keep it until I visit again so that’s a relief.

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