Today in Things I Should Have Seen Coming: the jewelry my ex-husband gave my was fake. And really, why wouldn’t it be? It’s the perfect, almost too cliche, synopsis to the story of our marriage. Lies — all of it.
Almost three years ago, at the start of what would become a long, drawn out and difficult divorce, I had tucked little pink suede bag that contained the jewelry he had given me away in the back of my safe. Admittedly, it wasn’t much: two rings, a third passed down to him from a family member, and a tennis bracelet.
It seemed unfathomable, at the time, that I would ever reach this point, standing in a quaint little shop trying to convert the pieces into cash. I imagined myself handing them over to our daughter when she was older or just letting it collect dust, because selling it would just be wrong. Disloyal. Tacky, even.
And yet none of those horrible guilty feelings even crossed my mind today. The whole experience was oddly freeing. What is sentiment compared to a mortgage payment? Very little when you’re desperately trying to keep your child in her home. Besides, I do not owe loyalty to someone who can’t even be bothered to pay child support. I just need to lay my head on my pillow at night knowing that I did as much and fought as hard as I could for my kiddo.
And that’s when the woman behind the counter said it, “Oh honey, I’m not quite sure what kind of metal this is. And the stones are not diamonds on these two pieces. I can only take these two rings.” The first “real” piece was the one passed to him from a family member. In other words, he didn’t have to buy it. The second we had purchased together. In other words, I had paid for it.
And instead of crying. I laughed. I laughed so hard I had tears coming out of my eyes.
“I’m glad you’re taking it well …” Poor woman, I wouldn’t know what to make of me either.
At one time I might have felt shame, anger, disappointment. But today, I’m way past allowing myself to assume responsibility for his actions. This is exactly reflective of who he is and that is exactly why we’re divorced. And thank God for that. Thank God, I have a second chance.
I decided only to part with the ring that had been given to him. I took the $15 the clerk offered me, went over to the chocolate shop and bought half a pound of fudge. I assure you, it was much more satisfying than he ever was.