I have an interesting conundrum regarding my imminent matrimonicide: I don't know who knows about it. I'm sure there are people who don't know about it who should know about it, and plenty of those who do know about it who haven't told others who should know about it. If you read this space regularly, then you know about it.
But what about the others, the people I encounter in my daily dailyism? Most people at work know about it, but one unlucky soul recently approached me at a workthing and asked me where my wife was. I told him about it as gently as I could, and he shrank into himself and liquefied into rivulets that ran out to the curb and down the storm drain.
Then there are the parents of the boys' friends, classmates, teammates, etc., whom I see often at the playground, or when I pick up at school. They know they rarely see the four of us together, but that's no guarantee that they know about it. Some of them act as if they know about it, and gossip being what it is, I usually assume they know about it. It's completely narcissistic to think that, given that most people are too consumed by their own dramas to concern themselves with mine. And I thought everyone at work knew about it before that poor soul turned into awkward soup.
Worse still, there are those who actually know me, who share my bloodline, who don't know about it. One such person is one of my favorite second cousins, who e-mailed me over the weekend to say she was catching up on my archives and read the announcement. Immediately I felt very bad, because my first thought was: "Where you been, sister?" My second was: How the hell had she not known about it until now?
It's true I don't have as close a relationship with my extended family as I'd like, but this particular kinswoman has always stood out among the group. She is lovely, kind, funny, grounded, and mostly sane, and I see her often because her parents and mine are summer neighbors. Yet here it was, an eternity since the schism, and she was just finding out about it. From my blog.
I should have told her myself. But she had to read about it. Like a reader. And with all due respect to all readers out there, a cousin who writes so sweetly and eloquently about how she loves both of us and wants to help us all weather this storm (and who also routinely invites us to her home for beer and lobster) deserves a greater level of intimacy.
[I'm sorry, J. You deserved better.]
How do you tell people about it so everyone knows it's out there, and you don't have to wonder if this person is either pussyfooting or genuinely ignorant?
I'm thinking of having cards made. And why not? Marriages and births are as much life events as divorces are. Therefore, they deserve equal marketing:
request the honour of your awareness
that they will soon be Mr. and ex-Mrs.
We and the children are deeply grateful
for your love and support,
though our main concern, frankly,
is that you know about it.
And that we know you know about it.
You think Emily Post would approve?