My Canadian Ex-Husband & Other Shameful Secrets

I have an ex-husband who is Canadian.  He and I were married for 3 years and are now quite good friends.  After our divorce, I fell in love with and had twins with a man I did not ultimately marry.  He’s still a very involved father in the twins’ lives and he and I are also, in our way, friends. 

I have not typically trumpeted the details of my personal history at the various social gatherings I have attended these past years.   I usually let people assume, as they do, that my current husband is the father of all of my children.  Most of the time, this lack of information sharing is natural reticence.  Reticence and cool remove are rare jewels in a culture where gloppy personal stories are shared like fudge at every gathering.  Besides, I like my peeps a little shy so that when they do reveal their secrets, it’s like winning a lovely prize.

On the other hand, I like the sassy fun hip people with a past.  I love the courage and folly of bad life choices and stories of fun drunken debauchery and bad boyfriends and torrid travel romances.  I can view a divorce (or 2) or a kid out of wedlock as a colorful part of someone’s past, but I’ve never wanted to be someone with a past.  I want to be the funny  wacky, but still pure & innocent sidekick.

The truth is, I’m a little embarrassed when I do get close enough to someone to tell them my story.  I’m always afraid that they’ll see me as this single mom, smoking cigarettes, while her bastard children run around the yard in dirty diapers.  Or as a bitter cynical divorcee who got married in the nick of time. 

Even with this, I’m still often chosen to be the funny & wacky sidekick to smartass babes with dark pasts and I love that role because we’ve all got our secrets.  And in the end, everyone needs a good belly laugh from someone who *knows* them in that "I’ve been there too, sis" kind of way.

Hi. My name is Rachael and I have a dark and sordid past. 



15 Responses to “My Canadian Ex-Husband & Other Shameful Secrets”

  1. September 19, 2006 at 5:51 pm

    Hi Rachael.

    Wow, is it just me or does this sound like an AA meeting?

    I agree with you on the past thing. People with a past are more interesting but you wouldn’t want to be them. Unfortunately, I have a past so I guess I am one of them. Sucks to be us, eh?

    At least we’re a hit at cocktail parties.

  2. September 19, 2006 at 8:00 pm

    I would go to this particular AA meeting. And I would bring you both real fudge.

  3. September 19, 2006 at 10:33 pm

    Ugh! Do ya REALLY wanna know? I mean, you’re past seems so much more interesting *teehee* than my hum-drum, runaway-bride-esque life… (wink, wink). Bring over an evening’s worth of martinis and I’ll spill all!

  4. September 19, 2006 at 10:46 pm

    I’m taking it a bit easy in the blog-o-spere this week, but had to say I love this post. Are you sure you wrote this and not me? Sounds we’ll all get along just fine.

    Thanks for popping by and commenting on my blog while I’m in hiding for a bit (Ironically due to part of *MY* past rearing its head coupled with sad anniversaries.)

    Hopefully, my substitutes won’t completely turn it into a porn/penis fest in my absence.

  5. September 20, 2006 at 11:48 am

    Um, my name is Bad Mother and I have a Past. Of the Dark and Sordid variety.

    I so hear you on this. I have moments of feeling irresistably drawn to writing about my Past, because the details would make for some kick-ass story-telling, but I always back off for the reasons you state: although I love a girl with a Past, there’s a big part of me that wants to be able to walk both sides. I want to be able to ‘pass’ for white-bread; I want to delude myself when necessary about my own innocence.

    One more way that some of us sometimes treat our lives as texts, being selective about our stories…

  6. September 20, 2006 at 1:53 pm

    Maybe the key is to embrace our pasts and stop pretending to pass for whitebread…? A little risky, but maybe it’s the way to go!

  7. 7 MeL
    September 20, 2006 at 1:57 pm

    Oh mama. Do you know how loomingly large I TOTALLY FUCKING FEEL YOU?! You do know, don’t you. C’mon, you know you do.

    And you’re wearing your naughty underwear today, I can just SENSE it. I have a vague preoccupation with whether or not my son will remember, as a grownup, the time he got into the “naughty” drawer and came up with handcuffs, a leather flail, and a pair of unmentionably un-mom-like panties. Needless to say, the drawer is better locked now, but the only people I *really* worry will one day judge my past are the kids.

    Then again, how cool would it be to find out my uber-mormon-squeaky-clean mother actually had a dark past I never knew about? Soooo cool.

    Thanks for giving me something to think about this afternoon that doesn’t involve PBS programming or broken garbage disposers. It’s days like this that a girl needs to be reminded she is GLAD she has a past…

  8. September 21, 2006 at 1:21 am

    Let me get this straight. The man who fathered your twins is not the man you are currently living with? I’m sorry, but you are not the person I thought you were. I am removing you from my blogroll forthwith and will continue to pray for your salvation.

    A person who was once a fan.

  9. September 21, 2006 at 1:23 am

    That was a joke, by the way.

  10. 10 Michelle
    September 21, 2006 at 7:45 am

    Shout it out from a mountain top sister! Amen!

    I’m proud of my checkered past, and usually preface any details with “I had a REALLY freaking good time in my 20’s” I wasn’t always making the “most sound” decisions but I wouldn’t change a thing.

  11. September 21, 2006 at 12:32 pm

    Totally and completely have a past. I even visit it sometimes in the present. I think my bad past could even include two minutes ago! 😉
    I don’t think it sucks AT ALL. Even the pain I have endured…was worth it and truly made me the crazy whacked out fucked up character I am today.
    Slainte Crankmama…I am lifting my glass to you! (well not like literally right now as I am at work and would be fired for drinking on the job…but ya know…later I will lift my glass to your damned soul!)

  12. 12 SingleMama
    September 21, 2006 at 12:39 pm

    Truly, I don’t even bother to tell people about how I ended up a mom. Most of them don’t believe me.

  13. September 21, 2006 at 7:43 pm

    I love you ladies! Even smartasses like you, Emma. As for being proud and shouting from the mountain-tops, dearest college roomie M, that’s what I love about you. Personally, I think I’ll keep mumbling into my oatmeal.

  14. September 23, 2006 at 10:16 am

    I’m like Jesus, I befriend all the whores and sinners and they flock to me like white on rice. I, too, admire a more colorful past because then I don’t have to make excuses for mine (although I have a painfully boring past, I like to live vicariously through others.)

    It’s true, I don’t have a sordid past, but I only associate with those that do.

    So, I’m in, right?

  15. September 30, 2006 at 1:36 pm

    I love a “sordid” past. It makes for a more faceted personality. Those of us with a past are usually the fun ones, the ones you can be yourself with, the ones who will egg you on to do something “naughty”…. And I love it!

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