I never thought I would find myself in my mid-twenties being able to make sentences that included the term "my ex-wife." Guys in their mid-twenties don't have ex-wives. Ex-wives are for guys in their 50's with mustaches and hair plugs, and who drive red sports cars and play golf and smoke cigars while slipping bills to strippers. These are guys named George or Bert or Bob. They have trophy wives they despise and college-age kids whose names they mix up. Such is the profile of the man with an ex-wife, or so I thought, for there I was, smack dab in the middle of my 20's and a bonafide dee-vor-say. And you were the ex-wife who also hardly fit the profile.
But maybe that's not the best place to start, because before you were my ex, you were my wife, and before that you were my girlfriend, and before that, you were the seemingly shy girl who lived down the hall from me in the co-op where I spent the last two years of college. I asked you out at a party, but then I got worried you would think I was insincere because I'd been drinking, so I re-asked you out again the next day. By the time the year was over, we were ready to move in together, an act that your Catholic career-military father was none too thrilled over. He thought he could bring us around to his way of thinking by cutting you off financially, including your tuition. I felt like I was flipping the old man the bird when I wrote that first tuition check.
We lived in sin like that for the next couple of years, during which time your family gave us a grudging sort of acceptance. We finally relented and tied the knot after having been together for three whole years. We succeeded in upsetting your parents yet again by not having a Catholic wedding, but seeing as how neither one of us were Catholic, that would have been sort of a silly thing to do.
Over the course of our relationship, I watched you go from shy and quiet to opinionated and outspoken, from Sunday morning mass to Friday afternoon protests, from weepy girl ballads to punk rock. I'm not about to take even a shred of credit for this metamorphosis, I can only say that I was there and I watched it happen. It was a great thing to watch you become the person you were supposed to be.
It's kind of funny, but after we broke up, we realized that we should have just stayed boyfriend/girlfriend and saved a lot of the trouble that comes with breaking up as a married couple. But hey, in your early 20's, a three year relationship is fucking forever. Some people are meant to marry young and stay together forever, but you and I were not among them. Things all came to a screeching halt exactly one week shy of our first wedding anniversary. It was a breakup done the way they should be, with loads of anger and tears and weeknights spent drinking way too much Mickey's and bitter arguments over the division of the CD collection and even a bit of hate-sex thrown in. Funny thing, before it all went to shit, we had planned a vacation to San Diego. We went ahead and took the trip since we had already bought the tickets, and while it didn't totally suck, it definitely goes down as the weirdest vacation ever.