There was a lot to celebrate, well beyond the binder full of paper signed off by a stern judge in January and followed by the paragraph of auctioneer-paced legal jargon and ended with, "The marital union is dissolved. Ms. Ashley, good luck."
It took a moment for the words to sink in. It has taken years for the divorce to take place. It has taken a lifetime to get here. What my mom had in mind when she planned this event all came from a silly conversation we had somewhere in all of the muck and the mire. We needed to laugh and so we started talking about all of the sassy, evil, fun, raw, overdone ways we could get together a bunch women to be happy that I was free of everything that made me (and us) cry, rant, unable to sleep or eat for months, lash out, and eventually leave for good.
Maybe a dance-around bonfire to burn the bouquet? Possibly a dinner party to finally crack open the wedding china? A swanky something? A silly soiree? Whatever it was, it was going to be packed full of grrrl power.
It was a good plan, it was the same reason we were laughing so hard when the pain was the greatest. It would be something to look forward to, it would be a break from the binder, it would be a reminder that life would (eventually) go on. That there would be happy dancing somewhere in the great beyond.
The only thing I knew for sure was that I'd be wearing my wedding tiara. Mostly as a sparkly "Goodbye, lovahhh, you so pretty and shiny on my head."
We didn't know how fucking long it would take to arrive in that great beyond, but last Friday, it finally arrived. (It hasn't actually taken me this long to recover...I'm just lazy.) If this all sounds a bit too lovely, do know that the name of the whole shebang was nothing but.
It started with buttons labeled Vamp, Feisty, Lucky and other great tags. My mom said everyone could pick their own. Except me. Since there wasn't Shoe Whore, I was Too Hot. (Thanks, Mama)
Yes, my mother insisted we serve this appetizer she enjoyed calling "Cut Your Own Sausage."
Thanks my friend Viola who I met in drama club in high school (go The Crucible senior play!), we called our night of spa-liciousness and drinks...
...wait for it...
[it's after the jump, swearsy]
A Divorcebration CockFail party.
Because you know...it...ummm...yeah. First, the explanation, then the photos that give more cockfailin' woman flailin' details.
My mom did an amazing job making it happen (the party, THE PARTY!). She set us up in a private room at our favorite nail salon, a gorgeous and girly nail bar painted pink and with purpley blue tiles.
I'm not even kidding, my buttocks were sore the next morning from all the vibrating. Shush it.
She and her good friend Jean made delicious appetizers and together, we set up a bar for appropriate mani-pedi buzzy-ness. There flowers and balloons and booze and the playlist I put together playing really loudly.
I know better than to ask for "rhinestones" at my nail salons. Oh no, they're "diamonds." And isn't this ring to-die? The delicious Sinful Cynthia gave it to me that night. And it's from (shhh) TARGET (nice find, mama).
We had a blast and we left laughing and with gorgeous fingers and piggies. I knew that some of my best grrrlfriends who are scattered across the country were with us in spirit and I was heartened that the women who were there from all different part of my life got along so well.
My mom and my "aunty" Jean. Love that the big old door to Brazilian bravery is just a pivot-turn away. Clearly this one was taken after a glass or three of the bubblayyyy.
We toasted to new beginnings. To everything ahead.
Once our nails were dry, we went out for a few more drinks.On our way out the door, my mom yellled to my friends to be sure I got home OK, "UNLESS SHE GETS LUCKY!!" (Yes, she said that out loud. My ears! My ears!)
We talked work and kids and dating and about how we could not live without our women friends. My CockFail party, just as my divorce, a complete success.
These women glow, don't they?
I was happy. I am happy. And kittens, long after the glass is empty and the polish has chipped off, even though the husbands and boyfriends and jobs and next big thing may come and go, it always seems that the women around me are still standing. Beside me, with me, raising a glass alongside me. Holding me up and holding my hand (just making sure not to smudge the gothy, glossy black on my nails).
I'm not saying many men are great (I know some, I love them, I am lucky to be raising one). But that night, they weren't there. My mom and my grrrls were. And that was just perfect.
These shoes -- and disposable pedi slips -- were made for walking.