(Do you mind if I call you Dearest? I feel like we’re getting so much closer these days)
I hope that one of the things I can accomplish through sharing is to show that I have learned the hard way so that you don’t have to. My divorce struck like a sudden car wreck, the causes of which were multiplicitous. Explaining it all might take going into the sort of exacting excavation and slow revelation that might make you feel like you were being made to watch Roger Stone’s JFK and I am not a lazy, sophomore American History teacher, so I am not going to waste four hours of your time trying to convince you of a version of events, when there is no ready path toward rectification. I can’t tell you how to avoid a divorce but I can tell you some of the ways I coped with the material conditions in the immediate aftermath.
My ex demanded an instant and complete separation of parenting, household duties and finances within two weeks of his announcement of his intention to separate. Thanks to Medical debt and his recent stint of unemployment times this lead to a perilous financial situation. But the real squeeze I found in my day to day was time. In our marriage the division of labor generally landed with me managing almost all of the cooking and cleaning, childcare and household planning, while he did all of the running of last minute errands and managed the finances.
Being the errand boy was a role my ex relished. He got to be the hero without having to do much planning or thinking or strategizing and he got to leave the house where he was constantly reminded of the responsibilities he was avoiding. It suited me as well, I hate running errands and I loved being able to let him bask in the adulation and accomplishment of picking up things.
This arrangement lasted for 14 years and suddenly losing it was practically debilitating. Some of my most frustrating moments in the months following the separation were the days when I ran out of pet food, or paper towels, and I didn’t realize it until right before my daughter’s bedtime. I can’t say I was at my best in those moments and often solved problems through force majeure. I have called favors with family members, or friends and implemented compromise solutions. My cat survived off of my-exes left behind starkist tuna pouches for a while.
Once I got past the initial shock of having my life turned upside down. I started planning ahead and that is when I fell into the embrace of Amazon Prime. Right here is where I place my disclaimer or at the very least acknowledge my own hypocrisy. I’ve read the headlines and I have heard about Amazon’s treatment of workers, its disruption to the brick and mortar economy, the environmental impact of its shipping and packaging practices.I know but…when parenting we all have to make choices and when our principles are stacked against our children’s material comfort, as well as our own sanity sometimes we compromise on principle. The convenience, the pre-planning and the economics were just too seductive to resist.
As long as I can stay 2-5 days ahead of any particular need I can get it at a competitive price without having to run an errand or be pressured to give a blowjob before I go to sleep. Now I have almost all of my non-perishable household supplies set up on subscription or frequent order on Amazon Prime. It’s almost too easy!
As much as I pre-plan life still presents unexpected challenges that can’t wait on free two day shipping. I still have make quick stops at the store before picking up the kid from after school care. And sometimes, in select emergencies, I pull up Prime Now and order some instant satisfaction. Prime Now is certainly more expensive at the front end then asking the ol’hubs to go to the store but If you’re anything like me you will find you can more than make up the savings through frugal measures that were previously inconceivable during married life. Without the ex I have brought my utilities bills down by about 20% in the last two years, I have nearly completely eliminating spending on restaurants and takeout through careful planning and home cooking which I will talk more about in my Sunday Cooking section. And that doesn’t even account for the gas money I have save without him inventing errands to run to avoid doing household chores.
Of Course this doesn’t replace childcare, or companionship or sex ( can get a vibrator with free 2 day shipping) or the added financial stability of two incomes. But getting things shipped to my door for free within two days of ordering it totally outweighs the life of gaslighting and sexual coercion I lived in exchange for my old errand runner. If you live alone with children it’s hard to overstate the value of home delivery.
So dear reader, if you’re worried that you can’t make it on your own. I can offer you this one reassurance. With a little bit of planning and some careful budgeting you too can replace your husband with Amazon prime.