Al and Tipper Gore...are no more. I do not know how I can go through life, or ever believe in love again, as my marital ideal has been irreparably shattered.
Oh, please. I was far more bummed when Buffy stabbed Angel in the gut and shipped him straight to hell.
Before anyone calls the men in the white suits and butterfly nets (who, for the record, are on the speed dial of all my nearest and dearest), I am aware of the difference between fact and fiction. However, since I do not know anyone involved, it's all the same to me.
What's even stranger to me is the media hand-wringing over what shall become of their poor children. (Who are, may I point out, competent adults.) There's even a term for it all: ACODs (Adult Children of Divorce), because anything bad that happens must be medicalized until it's completely trivial.
In fact, I recently came across this article in the Guardian. Not only is it awesome because it features quotes by Lee Borden (my divorce lawyer! Eeeeee!), it's awesome because of all the garment-rending that occurs when competent adults have to (gasp!) deal with adult things.
OK, I'm sounding heartless here. Blame it on Au Bon Pain being out of my favorite kind of sandwich. But not only am I divorced, I'm one of those tragic ACODs. My parents split when I was 21, just a few months after I completed college.
And, you know what? I lived. It was OK. In fact, it was better than OK, as my parents seemed happier for it. They're friends now and get along just fine. There was awkwardness, and transition, and mourning, but in the end it all worked out.
Here are some things I learned, may it help the Gore children* and the other ACODs of the world:
1. In the term ACOD, the keyword is "adult." You're a grownup. You can handle it. Really.
2. Yes, you will feel guilty that your parents stayed together "for the kids." But that was their choice, as adults, to do. It's not your fault. So let go of the guilt, and thank them for their sacrifice.
3. While we're talking about "not your fault," the divorce is not your fault. In fact, it basically has nothing to do with you. Seeing the divorce as 'all about ME and MY feelings!' is an act of narcissism - whatever pain you're going through, your parents are going through far worse. They did not do this to "break up your family," destroy your perfect world, or throw a wrench into Thanksgiving plans. Marinate yourself in a little Boone's Farm, sob to your friends, then dust yourself off and get on with it.
4. Understand that your parents are undergoing a profound emotional journey. Divorce is an ugly, miserable thing that upends your life, obliterates your daily routines, and erases all your plans for the future. It's a "reset" button that usually only gets pressed after massive system failure. Getting divorced, instead of limping along in a bad marriage, is an act of courage. Sadly, for many folks who haven't been there, it is seen as an act of weakness. Your parents aren't being weak.
5. A child of divorce is generally shielded from the inner workings of the breakup. However, if you're an adult, expect your parents to lean on you a bit and maybe give you some gory details. That's a good thing - they're demonstrating faith in your ability to handle it like an adult. Because, as we've established, you're an adult.
6. One of the great lessons of adulthood is being able to see your parents as people. Assets, liabilities, strengths, weaknesses, gaping character flaws and all. What you're experiencing is simply a crash course version of that lesson.
In the comments, tell me if I'm being really harsh, or find a way to make the title of the post have anything to do with the content of the post. Or speculate about the Gore divorce.
*Am I the only person who thinks they're all named Karenna?