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Driving Miss Shari

I'm not proud of this, but I had to ask my husband for a ride to my divorce. I really, really, really didn't want to ask him.
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Mid adult couple in car
Mid adult couple in car

I'm not proud of this, but I had to ask my husband for a ride to my divorce. I really, really, really didn't want to ask him. I tried so hard to find an alternative mode of transportation. I explored every possible train, light rail, and bus route. I spent roughly the same number of hours researching this as I have spent planning weeks-long vacations to exotic lands. But no combination of public transport could get me to the courthouse in time for our scheduled 9:00 a.m. appearance before a judge. I even looked into going the night before and staying in a hotel near the courthouse. But the options were surprisingly pricey. I knew I could stay overnight with a friend in my former town, then beg a ride the next morning. But I just didn't want to commit 2 whole days to getting to a half hour court appearance.

See, here's the problem: Although I've always considered myself a fairly independent sort, after 30 years of marriage, I had become overly dependent on my husband in certain areas. For example, my eyes glaze over when I encounter anything relating to numbers and finance. And I've never been a confident driver (even though I've had a license since age 16). Because I went to college and graduate school in major cities (Boston and New York) and then lived in NYC for many years, I was able to live a satisfyingly drive-free existence. Even after my husband and I moved to suburban New Jersey and I was forced to drive, I devised creative work-arounds that enabled me to perform essential suburban mom tasks (and to access every mall within 10 miles of my home) without ever driving on a highway. If we were headed anywhere beyond my very limited comfort zone, my husband drove.

All good. No problem. Until we got divorced. We both moved to separate counties, each of us closer to our work in New York City; neither of us close to the courthouse in our former home county where, now that we had sold our suburban house, our divorce would become final. Ironically, I--the reluctant driver--kept the car. My husband and I had agreed to share it, even after the divorce, and since my building offers free, onsite parking, the 7-year-old Subaru lives with me.

The Saturday evening before our scheduled early Monday morning court appearance, I had dinner with a dear friend. When I explained my predicament, she said, "Why don't you just ask G (my husband) to drive you? What's the big deal? What difference will it make?" The big deal of course was that I knew I needed to stop being dependent on my husband. We were about to be divorced, for goodness sake! It was time for me to "put on my big girl panties," "grow a pair," and any number of humiliating clichés.

What did I do? Dear reader, I texted him, nonchalantly asking how he planned to get to the courthouse. He replied that he had no convenient way to get there, either. He offered to meet me at a train station located 5 minutes from my apartment complex (no highway driving required) and to drive us both from there. I immediately took him up on it.

And that's how my husband ended up driving me to my divorce. My friend was right: it didn't make a bit of difference.

P.S.: After the judge made sure that neither of us was on drugs or under the influence of alcohol, he pronounced us officially divorced and we left the courthouse together. My newly ex-husband drove us back to my new town, leaving me and the car at a supermarket so I could buy groceries. He walked to a nearby train and headed back to his new town. Then a guy tried to pick me up in the supermarket. I thought this was truly hilarious, and took it as a sign that the universe has a hell of a sense of humor. But that's a story for another day...