Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

June 26, 2011

Door Closes, Door Opens

So my divorce was finalized on June 15.  I wasn't as bummed as I thought I might be.  My boss brought the papers down to be entered.  When he got back to the office he grinned at me and said, "You caused me some problems down there."  I was mortified.  I couldn't imagine what I had done wrong, procedurally.  I literally wailed, "ooohhhh NOOOOOO what did I doooooo???"  He laughed and said, "Just kidding.  What happened was I presented the papers to the Court Commissioner.  He looked them over and said, 'Counsel, is this Joanne Wolf, the paralegal?' I said, 'Yes, Your Honor.'  He said, 'You realize she used to work for me? Is this going to be a problem?'....."  Turns out it was a lawyer I worked for, when I first moved to Washington 12 years ago.  He left that firm when he was appointed to the Bench a year or so ago.  We had a good laugh about it, and apparently he and the Commissioner did as well, especially since Steve had called him for a reference when I applied for the job at Fisher & Lindsay, back in 2001.  Steve assured him that it would not be a problem at all and it was all good, so he signed off on the final pleadings.  I thought it was a cool way to bookend my law career in Washington State.  I was working for him and his firm exactly 12 years ago, because we got to WA on June 4 and I started working there around June 10.  I must say though, it's a little disconcerting when your boss tells you that the Judges and Commissioners are well aware of who you are because they read your work product on a daily basis.  I've always liked to think of myself as the anonymous face behind the scenes, cranking out the work.  On the other hand, my signature appears on hundreds and hundreds of documents filed with the Court.

When I got the final papers back, I sent my squeeze an email to tell him.  But I couldn't wait for him to answer me that way, so I called him.  I could hear the happiness in his voice, and when we hung up he sent me a very sweet message via email. 

Brian's come to terms with it and he seems more able to move on.  We had a rather surreal conversation about him dating.  I never thought I'd see the day, but here it is and it's really OK.  I truly want him to be happy and get out there and meet someone that is more suited for him than I am.  We want different things now, and it happens.  We've been getting along pretty well, all things considered.  He applied for and probably will get a great apartment in Tacoma that allows dogs.  He is now more able to discuss the splitting up of the furniture.  I'm not sure how much room I'll have in the POD, so we'll see what I end up having to take out of necessity.  When we were discussing people he would think about asking out, I was a little taken aback by the list.  It sort of proved to me something that I always thought from day 1, which was that while he may have loved me and all, it wasn't just me he was attracted to.  He was looking at and thinking about other women "that way" the whole time. And that only battered my self esteem further.  Fortunately, this is no longer going to be a problem for me in  my current relationship.  Cause I need to know that it's just me, and my boyfriend has admitted to having tunnelvision when it comes to being in a serious relationship.  I'm not talking about the silly 'List of Celebrities I Can Sleep With' list, that's fine.  I'm talking about me vs. the chick down the street, or the woman that works on the 2nd floor, or the one that works at the store, or the cute young bartender at the bar.  Someone that poses a real threat to my relationship. 

I told Brian that I want him to let me know immediately if he is unable to keep Sagan, because I will spare no expense to get him to the east coast, and he promised me that he would assist in the process.  In the meantime, I have agreed to continue to pay for the organic, made in the USA dog food from Flint River Ranch for Sagan. All in all, I think Brian and I have handled this admirably.  I mean, it really could have been ugly and that's what I was afraid of and prepared for.  I had an escape plan, and discussed with my boss the different scenarios that included the possibility of restraining orders.  Fortunately none of that was necessary.  I did have some bad days, emotionally, especially towards the end.  Thinking about the last time I'll sit on my reclining loveseat, computer on my lap, watching TV.  Leaving my job and boss.  The thought of saying goodbye to Sagan is the hardest one of all and I try so hard not to think about it. 

I had good times with Brian though, problems notwithstanding. We really never fought that much, and we definitely had a lot of laughs. We had a lot of cool experiences and we saw and did lots of neat stuff. We have always been friends and we'll see how much we stay in touch when I leave. The "Grateful Dead Years" were the Golden Age of my marriage. And what more can I say about the west coast? I lived the dream, I really did. Everything that I hoped for came to fruition out here and I had a blast. There were some really dark times too, but I don't really want to rehash or remember them. 

My last day at work was more bittersweet than my divorce being finalized.  My boss and I got really teary eyed when we hugged 'goodbye', but fortunately we live in an electronic age so staying in touch isn't that big a deal.  And he loves to travel and wants to spend some time on the east coast, so I know I'll see Steve again.  It's just really weird for me to think that I don't have to worry about what fresh hell awaits me on my desk every morning.  No more verbal abuse and constant interruptions from the clients.  No more I-5/Highway 16/River Road/Highway 410 commute.

Me, Steve & Deb.  I look horrible b/c I was all weepy and stuff. 

I was reading an article, on I think, about how baby boomers are reaching their 50's and deciding that they want more out of life, new happiness, and are starting to divorce in record numbers, and Facebook is having a direct impact on those statistics as old flames and friends hook up again. A few years ago, most of the divorces we did were short-term marriages. 7 or 8 years was the average. Now we're seeing a marked upswing in divorces among people who were married in the mid-80's to early 90's, after college or military service. Their kids are grown, they are only in their late 40's and early to mid 50's. You don't get windows of opportunities like this very often, or a second chance at happiness and a new life. You can either reach for the brass ring or stay in a miserable situation and then regret it for the rest of your life.

A lot of my friends have been saying that I'm 'brave' to do this and take this leap. I'm not sure what that means because I sure as hell don't feel brave. I've been too busy to think about it really, and I'm still doing everything on my own, which is something that I'm just used to doing cause I always have. I love my man so much and I need to be with him. We are meant to be together and the only way that can happen is if one of us relocates, and it's not fair to ask him to move here. There are many reasons for me to move back, more pros than cons. I can only hope that my stuff makes it back in one piece without it getting blown away in a storm or end up floating down the swollen Missouri River. The trip itself is going to be fun, and we have a place to go to once we arrive. We can pick up the keys upon our arrival on the Cape and move in. I remember when Brian and I moved to San Francisco, how finding an apartment fell into place immediately and I knew that moving there was meant to be. That's how I feel now. I really thought we were gonna have a wicked hard time finding a pet friendly rental home, and I was getting discouraged by the lack of selection, and starting to despair a little bit. To have an actual address takes a weight off my shoulders.

Now I am off on a new adventure.  By the time anyone reads this, I will be on the road, headed east.  I don't know what kind of WiFi, if any, will be available in the various hotels we stop at.  If I check in anywhere, it'll only be on Facebook.  Therefore, I expect to be offline for awhile, as it'll take some time to get internet up and running at our place after we move in.  I expect it'll take 5 or 6 days to make the trip, and we'll hopefully be back in time for 4th of July.

Here's 46 years' worth of memories and my life.  It was suggested that I rope off the sections, but they only give you 2 eyelets on either side, and 2 on the top cross beam, so you can't get terribly creative with it or make a realistic webbing that will keep stuff back.  I did my best to pack and actually had extra room.  I started looking for stuff to fill the empty spaces.  I couldn't reach to stack stuff up high except for the firsts section in the back.  Each section thereafter steps down in height.  I was running out of stuff to fill it, so I ended up putting the lightest stuff on top, and hopefully if it falls, it won't go too far.  The good thing about PODS is that they have a hydraulic system that lifts the container straight up, and then the truck backs in under it and it's set down on the bed and then locked down to it.  The only tipping will be when the truck is going over hills and mountains.  And since the trucks can't travel really fast with loads this heavy, the shifting will, hopefully, be minimal.  Still, I'll be on tenterhooks till it arrives on July 7th.  The 4th of July holiday really screwed me on when it would be delivered.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you, my dear sweet friends, who have supported me, held my hand and kept me sane over the past 6 months.  I truly don't know what I would have done without you guys and I appreciate and love all of you.  

When door closes, another one opens and it feels pretty damn good to step through it with my true love and soulmate.  See you guys soon!  MWAH!!!!!


  1. Bon voyage, darling, see you when you get there. Mwah, mwah!

  2. Good luck Joanne and safe driving. Sing a song on the way and enjoy LIFE. {{JoJo}}

  3. Anonymous2:10 PM

    Take care, enjoy the new journey!

  4. Dammit, this post is more emotional for me than you intended it for your readers, I'm sure. I tink it is because I so long for stability that you, giving up yours seems to be so hard for me.
    The soul mate thing too. I thought I had that and it was the saddest part of my life, but at the same time it gives me hope that I am not too old to have an awesome life, somewhere too....and to come and visit you to see YOURS!

    I can only imagine how EXCITED you must be. It must be like a long sigh at the end of a hectic day. Happiness, peace and time for yourself, well deserved and earned.

  5. Good luck on the trip. I know when I split from my first husband, I had a party on the day the divorce was finalized. Celebrating a new beginning. The future is all yours now!

  6. Belated congratulations on a divorce that wasn't too acrimonious...

    Hmmm, on June 26th Lucy & I were driving back from SW Missouri; a good trip (i.e. successful ride completion) even though trailer suffered two flat tires along the way! (next stop: tire store)