Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I'm just gonna break the wrist and walk away. Break the wrist, walk away.

I had an odd experience at Steak 'n Shake last week. It was for me a sublime moment, akin to the escalation I witnessed back in February.

My first clue that something was askew was when I noticed a beautiful chocolate shake untouched, the kind with the whipped (pronounced "whup") cream, sprinkles, and cherry on top. Why was it just sitting there? Why hadn't the lady handled up on her shake?

I then began to observe the non-verbal behavior of the apparently husband & wife. They were engrossed in conversation, more him talking than her, however. I then succumbed to temptation. Although I was there with the family celebrating Sarah's last day of school, I began to eavesdrop to see if my hunch was correct.

It was. I was witnessing the initiation of a divorce. She didn't see this coming and was taking it hard. He was trying to console her with affirmations that he would take care of her financially. I'm not sure that was helping.

I have no context of their relationship and I don't intend to assign blame or even contemplate the theology of divorce and remarriage. Yet, I will say that it was a sad moment. I can say with confidence that this was not the way they originally drew it up.

Surely they went into the marriage with unbridled optimism. Surely they went into the marriage in love and expecting to live happily ever after. But there was less better and more worse, at least from his vantage point. For whatever the reasons might be, that which once seemed so promising now was on death row.

Her chocolate shake was put in a to-go cup as they prepared to leave. She needed some extra time in the restroom to touch up her make up and compose herself after a significant amount of tears. Did he think he'd just break the news and walk away? Just break the news, walk away? As Rex would say, "I don't think so."

Now comes the official aspects and the ripples from that lunch announcement. They would have to go to court where they officially terminate their marriage. She would have to break the news to her family & friends. New living arrangements would have to be negotiated. It seemed as though she was contemplating many of these things and others as she realized the weight of what had just transpired.

As I too realized the significance, I was sad, for both of them. This looked as though it was going to be a lose-lose for both of them. I prayed for them, but their future still weighs on my heart and mind. They were normal people. They had a broken marriage, but they're not all that unique. It has happened to the best of folks. So many have undergone that beating and experienced the difficulties & damage divorce can bring, particularly when children are involved.

This was about as up close and personal as I've ever got to divorce, so I may not have the greatest amount of ethos to speak to the subject. If you or your parents have experienced divorce, you can relate better than I. You know firsthand that nobody wins. Two lives that were previously intertwined now have to be dissected. One may want to hang on, to retain the relationship and stability in life. People cannot just break the wrist and walk away.

4 Comments:

At 01 June, 2006 11:45, Blogger James said...

My father abandoned Mom and me when I was two. They divorced when I was five. The wrist is healed, but still tender after more than three decades.

I thank the Lord for my wife and for His grace in our lives. Without His grace, I might be sippin' on a chocolate shake in a to-go cup.

 
At 01 June, 2006 13:05, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Tis very sad when someone abandons their vows for personal comfort or pleasure. There was a time when a man's word meant everything, and if he broke it, he was ostracized. Today, there are vow breakers all around us who continue their lives without hindrance.

Also, a real lack of class to break the news in a public place. But, then again, someone with class keeps their vows, for better or for worse.

Still, I must echo James' comments. It is only by God's grace that any of us stand. We must remember to thank God for strong marriages and rely upon Him to keep them strong.

 
At 04 September, 2007 15:41, Anonymous Anonymous said...

can someone please explain what does "break the wrist and walk away" exactly mean?

 
At 04 September, 2007 16:14, Blogger GUNNY said...

It's a Napoleon Dynamite movie quote. Rex speaks of that move in the martial arts class.

Enjoy the video clip.

 

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