One of the benefits of the divorce journey is finding (and keeping) new friends. Now, there are friends lost during the same journey, some not so much of a loss, some a real sad disappointment. The majority of the lost friends were mutual friends of my ex and myself, many just simply not sure what to say when they see me, so they find it easier to not see me. Then there are those friends who decided it was best to come beside me, stick with me and add their support, bringing along with them their friends. Suddenly, I am Social Stevie, the single guy who is always available for a beer or a meal or a ride or to carry heavy furniture.
I haven’t really changed except I wasn’t always single.
Kurt, Ed and Frank are examples of guys who appeared on the scene 2018 AD (After Divorce). Ed is someone I have known for quite a while — I have known his wife for over 25 years. We performed sketch comedy together as well as being cast in a few plays together. It just so happens that he and his wife live in the same small burg as I.
I like using the word ‘burg’. Do not get it confused with the word ‘bung’. The two words have totally different meanings… most of the time. I may have lived in a place or two that could be adequately described as bung.
Last summer, Kurt Ed Frank started inviting me to lunch or dinner, apparently under the guise of supporting this soul mired in the pit of divorce.
Their support really wasn’t asked for. Strangely, I felt like I was supporting them by giving them a purpose. They were divorce survivors, each with their own tale of terror. We would get together and the stories/advice would start flying, my head nodding in acknowledgement, a smile of thanks with each tidbit. Truthfully, the hell my friends experienced through their divorce was not the hell I was experiencing. My divorce was not an easy time, but neither was it the ordeal my friends made it out to be. Their ex wives made my ex seem like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.
Along the way, I made three solid trustworthy friends that I can count on when I need them. We don’t share the horror stories so much any more. They got them out of their system.
They are getting to know me better now. We have reached the point where we are getting beyond the divorce stories, sharing out lives, sometimes they are shocked from what they hear from me. I come across as gentle mannered, Christian, a straight shooter who has lived a calm life (except for the divorce). Last week at lunch, I decided to regale them with stories from my motorcycle riding days, as well as answering their question of “Have you ever been in jail?”.
Yes. 2 days in the pokey. Bailed out by my church pastor. Why was I in jail? I got into a brouhaha with an old lady.
Chew on that for a while. My friends Kurt, Ed and Frank are doing just that.
There are more friends, more old friends than new, but new in the sense that I didn’t hang with them until 2018 AD. I have breakfast every Friday with a bunch of guys from church. They have been great, supportive in a better way than telling divorce stories. They have lifted me up, studied with me, and along the way my old self has emerged, the guy that studied the bible and was raised with it. What do those guys call me now? The Teacher. Perhaps more than anything else, I needed the esteem that comes from being able to share what I know from knowing God. It’s pretty cool finding that part of me again.
It’s been a journey. It continues. It will continue to continue until I die.. hopefully on a bicycle. I don’t want to die in my sleep.
Here’s a question — how do you want to die? (I know… yuck, Steve)