LOOKING PRETTY GOOD RIGHT NOW
So, here’s another thing I’ve discovered at this Empty Mess stage of my life. My group of Bunco Babes now matches the national average . . . 50% are divorced.
For years, our group of twelve ladies gathered to play the popular dice game. Our husbands claimed it was just an excuse to drink wine. Mine would ask ridiculous questions like, “What do you do? Sit around in lingerie and brush each other’s hair?” No, we did not reenact a scene from a Porky’s movie, but the wine part was definitely true.
Once a year we would have couples Bunco and invite the guys. They would stand around, elbowing each other in the ribs and encouraging their wives to have one more glass of wine in the hope they would go home feeling a little frisky—which we often did, so everyone was happy.
Every couple has their reasons for splitting up. Some are understandable, and some leave you scratching your head in wonder. You can never know what really goes on behind closed doors. However, the speculation can drive you crazy, especially after bingeing on a Lifetime movie marathon where the battered and abused, yet highly intelligent and beautiful divorcee, leaves the big city and the cruel husband to find love with a farmer in small-town America. The falling-in-love montage always includes a town parade or a romantic picnic in the countryside. Although I love a Sunday movie marathon day as much as anyone else, none of the women in our group have gone off to rural America—not yet, anyway. Perhaps there is still hope. Those farmers are always so ruggedly handsome . . . and independently wealthy! We just want our friends to be happy, right? And I want to be cast as the BFF who is invited on an all-expenses-paid vacation to the Tuscan countryside to visit the friend who, after great adversity, has fallen in love and married an Italian count.
We all still love each other, and we are doing our best not to take sides, but the couples dinners and Bunco games will never be the same.
My husband and I find ourselves still trying to get use to all this empty-nest together time. The kids are gone. Couples Bunco is over. It’s just Me and Him, Him and Me . . . just the two of us . . . ALL THE TIME.
Of course, I have all kinds of encouraging, uplifting, mutually beneficial suggestions of things to do that my husband commonly refers to as nagging. Is the glass half empty or half full? I say full! So I can’t be nagging, right? No matter the number of times he tries to convince me that spending a day chasing, or worse, watching a little white ball roll across the green is a good use of time . . . I can’t subscribe to that!
We are finding our comfort zone. Compromising isn’t as easy as it once was. He does his thing and I do mine—and on good days, those are the same things.
We spent one especially good day at home, working in the yard on one project or another . . . my idea for sure . . . and then went for a swim in the backyard pool. The same pool we wonder why we ever built, now that our four-legged children are usually the only ones to enjoy it. Well, at least they didn’t desert us. We were laughing and reminiscing about happy days from the past. So many of those memories included our friends, and the conversation turned to the inevitable questions of “Why?” and “They seemed so happy.”
My husband then turned to me with his handsome, boyish grin and said, “I’m looking pretty good right now.”
And he was right.