I love to write for the Huffington Post. My favorite sections are Politics, Religion, and Crime. I even recently made my first contribution to Huff/Post 50. That hurt. But I never thought I would be writing for this particular vertical.
Yes, my wife recently asked me for a divorce. And yes, I never saw it coming. See, we had a plan. When she had put in 20 years with her government job, we were going to move from the Midwest to Alabama, my home state. We purchased a home there five years ago and everything was set. Note: my wife is from Chicago.
But the closer it got to my wife's 20 year anniversary at her job, the more our plan started to fall apart. In retrospect, I should have seen the signs, and they were not subtle. First, with only three months until retirement, she took a promotion to relocate to Virginia -- by herself. Her idea was to go there and work for three years to increase her pension. "I'm doing this for us," she reasoned.
After two months of talking every day on the phone like a husband and wife who find themselves apart but still in love, next came the Dear John email with a list of reasons why she wanted a new life without me. After reading the list, heck, even I wanted a new life without me.
And this brings me to my mom's idea. Let me first describe my mom. She is 73 years old and still works full time. She is the hardest worker I've ever known. But people who know her well, especially me and my siblings, would not refer to her as a "thinker." If my mom gets a joke at all, it's usually an hour after it was told. In my entire life I've never heard her say, "Let me run this idea by you."
So more my surprise when one day out of the blue, she blurts out the mother of all ideas, the crème de la crème, the most stupendous conviction of significant abstraction uttered in a thousand lifetimes. "A marriage should be good for four years, and each partner has the opportunity to renew at that time for another four years."
I was dumbfounded. It was pure genius. Seriously, why not? It should be like driver's licenses, presidential terms, the seasonal Olympics, the FIFA World Cup, and even leap year. I can't tell you how many friends and acquaintances have gotten divorced after exactly four years of marriage. We're living in faster times, be it food, careers, or speed limits. Why not divorce? The Seven-Year-Itch has become the Four-Year-Ditch.
"Honey, we need to pay the car insurance," I can see a husband saying to his wife. "And the plumber is coming tomorrow. When we go shopping, let's get some more of that gluten-free cereal we both like. Oh, and we need to renew our marriage license this month." Then after seeing the expression on her face, he might add, "I mean, if you wanna."
Think of it. No more divorce; simply let the license expire. How easy is that? After all, some people will do anything to keep from moving to Alabama.