There is a club that very few people make it into, and it’s called the Divorce Club.
The club is elite. It discriminates against good people. It discriminates against functional people. Worst of all, it discriminates against people who actually eat prepared meals. And I’m snobbish enough to tout that I’m a member.
The numbers are daunting. Only 50% of men and women who have been married once will ever make it in. Thankfully they make it a tad easier on those who have been married again by accepting fractionally higher at 99% of second marriages and 99.5% of third marriages.
If you are lucky enough to be in those small percentages, welcome to the Divorce Club. I could get in big trouble for telling you how it goes down in the Divorce Club, but I feel everyone deserves to know if they are even thinking about making themselves eligible for membership. Because, if you knew just what we have to do as members, and just what kind of hazing and other welcoming tactics you have to live through, you may just think twice about ending your marriage just to get in.
And with that precursor, allow me to present to you with:
TEN RULES OF DIVORCE CLUB MEMBERSHIP
You may not ever, under any circumstances, admit that any part of your divorce was your fault. Did you have an affair? It’s because he was abusive and pushed you into it. Did you have a serious temper? She’s just spreading crap that isn’t true because she’s mad that her plastic surgery didn’t work out. Did you have an obsession with tattooed penguins that drove a serious wedge in your relationship? It was nothing compared to his obsession with two-headed hedgehogs doing circus tricks. Remember, always their fault, never yours.
You must constantly declare that you’re happier than you’ve ever been. You will be tempted to cry sometimes. Fine, whatever, but do it alone and behind closed doors. Nobody must ever think you’re sad or depressed about it. You’re bigger and better than anything good you ever had in that stupid marriage.
You must always seek out other divorcees and tell them how their situation could have been worse by comparing it to your own. This will give comfort to them in this time of their lives when they’re happier than they ever have been. Be sure to keep rule #1 and rule #2 here.
If it was your first divorce, you must immediately jump into a relationship with an unstable and unpredictable, yet sexy mate. Excess baggage is a serious must. In fact, that excess baggage is the only way you can possibly get the sexy mate requirement fulfilled because no sane hot person without baggage is going to have anything to do with you. Get used to it.
Once in this relationship, you must propose marriage within two weeks, and you must be married the following week. No exceptions. Failure to do so will bar you from the club. Don’t be too worried though. The Divorce Club only has a 0.005% failure rate with this rule.
You must spread rumors about your ex. The more vicious the better. If you’re a woman, you must always tell everybody that he is gay. If you are a man, you must always tell everybody that she liked to poop on the floor when company was over. Other acceptable unisex rumors include tales of infidelity, abuse, negligence, and child abuse. Once you’ve used those up, you need to be sure and destroy their name completely by spreading rumors involving cravings for breast milk, weird fetishes, and licking animals when people weren’t looking. Remember that when it comes to divorce, people will believe anything because nobody wants to believe that it just didn’t work out, especially when you’re keeping rule #1.
You must demand way more than your share from your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. You deserve more. You can get more. If you make him suffer hard enough and long enough, he’ll give you everything. If you make her wish she had been hit by a Mack truck the day before she met you, she’ll eventually concede and fold like a piece of paper. Then, it’s all yours.
If you were on your second marriage or later, you must declare that you are never going to be in a relationship again, even though secretly you want to ride that bull to the next rodeo faster than the first one bucked you off. The world must think that you’ve learned your lesson and that there simply isn’t anybody good enough for you.
You must constantly update your facebook and twitter status with very subtle yet foreshadowing clues of what you’re going through. Say things like, wow, I’ve never been through anything that forced me to be so aware of the good things of life. Or, I never knew having so much time to myself could be such a good thing. Or, well, I’m gonna go jump off a cliff, now. Later world. You can’t let people know what you’re going through specifically because that would break rule #2. Not to mention, people don’t like whiners, and Facebook hasn’t implemented a dislike button yet.
You must not share the rules of the Divorce Club with people that are not in the Divorce Club. Ever. Under any circumstances. They don’t want to scare off potential members.
Crap. Did I just break rule #10?
Oh well, I’d like to see them try and kick me out. It wouldn’t work. I’d just be back in another 6-12 months.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS, what rules did I miss? All you fellow divorcees… keep the list going just for funsies.
Yeah, I said funsies.