Mister E and I got our marriage license yesterday and while I was sitting in the uncomfortable seats in the shiny new building watching vatos and their pregnant ladies more than 10 years my junior exchanging phone numbers, I remembered the adventure of RJ’s and my divorce.
When we decided we were getting a divorce, it was basically a case of “I don’t hate you. Let’s get divorced before we start hating each other” and he bought me a DIY divorce book.
Because we had no property and no kids, it was basically a case of loading up the CD-ROM, typing in our information and taking it to the county clerk with a small sum of money. The ladies at the office were fascinated by the fact that RJ had given me half of the money for our divorce, giving me my first taste of what I call “divorce envy.” I think some people think I had it too easy, so I keep my non-horror story to myself most of the time.
The actual divorce was quick and painless, with the exception of the fact that I fell asleep in divorce court. We got married here in Lamesville but we got divorced in College Station (also known as Conservatown) and they had one courtroom for the misdemeanor set. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been to misdemeanor court, but what they do is stick a bunch of people in a lecture hall and call them up to the judge’s bench one at a time. She gives them their sentence, they swear never to do it again, and the frat has a party that very night.
On the day I was supposed to get divorced, I had been up 32 hours. I had come off my shift the day before and been too nervous to sleep much, then followed that with another 18 hour shift and by the time I changed into a business suit and showed up at the courtroom I was kind of loopy.
I must have dozed off during the Parade of Bros because the next thing I knew they were clearing out the courtroom and brandishing a broom at me like I was a vagrant. I informed them that I was supposed to be there getting divorced and they gave a collective gasp of surprise. I was hustled off to the judge’s chambers, where she asked the basic questions such as “are you both wanting to get divorced, is there no way you can resolve your problems,” and “why were you sleeping in court?” I answered them properly and the judge picked up her rubber stamp then realized that a key form was missing from my file. The form RJ was supposed to turn in 30 days before the hearing.
“I’m going to kill him,” I said in my torpor to an officer of the law. “I am going to strangle him.”
“Don’t do that,” replied the judge. “I don’t want to see you back here.”
She explained to me that she could grant the divorce but that I would have to get the paper in by the close of business that day and wait an extra 30 days for the divorce to be finalized. I agreed, signed the papers, then drove to RJ’s work and proceeded to drag him out by his hair to get the form notarized so I could take it back to the judge. He went into the bank while I inhaled an entire cheeseburger, constrictor-style, and then we dropped the form off at the court.
Apart from confessing to the desire to murder my soon-to-be-ex-husband, everything went pretty smoothly. In my usual way of recommending things, if you’re getting divorced and have nothing to argue over, don’t bother with hiring a lawyer. They have those books up there for every state, and with the internet these days you probably don’t even need that. Seriously, save yourself the money and just print those forms out. Make sure you both get your forms in, though. It’ll really put a damper on things if you, like my mother, intend to get married on the 31st day after your divorce is final.
Today, the lady at the clerk’s office asked if I’d ever been married. Then she asked if I’d been divorced longer than 31 days. That’s when I started laughing and Mister E had to drag me out so we could meet our officiant and get lost downtown trying to find our car.
But I got a watermelon out of the deal, so it’s all good.