returning to the scene of the crime

Exactly a week from right now, I’ll be standing in the middle of my old vacant house in AZ, with John in tow, trying to get the money pit on the market. Probably waiting for the yard guy to come, and walking around interviewing a realtor or two, being overly enthusiastic about everything to compensate for the fact I am standing there with an ex-husband, feeling all awkward and weird and such.

I’ve been corresponding with some realtors to get things set up for when we’re in state. One realtor I was emailing with, I “accidentally” referred to the ex as simply “husband” to avoid feeling bad about myself one afternoon. I really should have inserted that “ex” in there. I meant to. I paused to, but for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I sat looking at her photo on her realty website. Such a nice looking older woman, one who looks like she’s been married for 40-odd years and has has strong opinions on what it means to be married. Having to write to her referencing a divorce – it made me picture her sitting at her computer, shaking her head when she read it, and muttering to herself what a sad, sad generation I am a part of, responsible for all of the social corruption in the country, how she misses the simpler, more formal times of the 1950s.

I should have just inserted the silly “ex.” Two powerful letters that severely changes the context of things.

It didn’t take long for her to pull up the county records and call me out on the odd situation: “why does your last name not match? were you awarded the property in a divorce settlement and are now selling it with a new husband?” She went on for 3 paragraphs trying to make sense of the situation and I felt like such an idiot. I had to sheepishly respond how I didn’t realize the actual marital status mattered and no worries, the situation is rather simple to explain and my “former” husband and I both have equal legal rights to the home. Then I rambled for probably a sentence too long about how WE’D be traveling together and WE can’t wait to meet her and WE’RE working together to sell this home. (You know, just to assure her she’s not walking into a snake pit with a venomous divorced couple. Perhaps make it sound like WE’RE even friends.)

The other realtor I’ve been talking to, primarily by phone, has this sophisticated sounding European accent. She sounds exoctic, and like she’s been around the block. She’s a team with her husband, but in my head, it’s like her 2nd or 3rd husband all because of what her accent makes me visualize, and I felt much more comfortable saying “ex” from the start. I feel like she would get it.

So, that’s what’s new in my life – an upcoming trip back to the “scene of the crime.” To avoid facing the real emotions I have behind it, I am amusing myself by stereotyping and coming up with fake lives for people I haven’t even met :). I think it’s going to be pretty heart wrenching initially going back to the house. I haven’t been there since I drove away almost 7 months ago and left everything I knew behind.

At least the one thing I have going for me this time when I walk out that door for the last time, I will not be focused on what I am leaving behind, but what I am coming back to.

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