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1:10 p.m. - 2014-06-06
Home improvement
I've spent most of the last week powerwashing, scraping and painting the house, and landscaping. Annals of ex-wife revenge: Matt is still renting (and probably will be forever because his credit sucks) and A and I have a house. It isn't a McMansion, but it's a cute little 3-bedroom Cape and by the end of the week it will be one of the nicest-looking houses in our neighborhood.

I'm not a professional, but I grew up building our house alongside my dad, did carpetry and painting in the winters as a teenager, and grew and sold flowers at a farmstand/greenhouse in the summer. Along with taking tests, this kind of work is something I'm pretty damn good at. So far this morning four neighbors have stopped to comment and a random man in a car asked if I was for hire (I told him I'm not). (Maybe I should have told him to try the yellow pages, but I considered it a compliment.)

Last night and the night before, when A came home, her voice hit a high note that I haven't heard since Obama got re-elected. She is thrilled, which makes me happy because of course her opinion is what matters to me most. I like being able to give her one of the many things she thought were for other people. I have a mental list of things A thought she doesn't deserve, like a college education, and I have been trying to check them off one by one. (We're planning for her to go to college full-time in 2016, a year after I finish nursing school.)

I think about my kids, too, while I'm endlessly scraping off ugly barn-red paint -- how I want them to have a house they like to bring their friends too.

But I also think about Matt. And I admit that that's what has kept me going most of this week, barely stopping to eat. Matt picks up the kids Saturday afternoon and by then I want to have the entire front of the house painted, landscaped, planted and done. You see, Matt knows that I'm handy with paintbrushes and power tools, but he doesn't know that I can turn a house from peeling red paint and old neglected gardens to gorgeous in a week.

I am sure he will pretend not to notice, but I can also guarantee you he will notice. He always called me "The Martha Steward of (wherever we were living) (we lived in a lot of places).

Since we will be just back from the amusement park and I will therefore have an excuse to be in a skimpy halter top, I expect Saturday's handoff to be extremely satisfying for me.

This is not, NOT about trying to win him back -- not in any way, shape or form.It's not about showing him that I was, in fact worthy of him.

It's about showing him that he was never, EVER worthy of me.

Maybe that sounds arrogant, but he was a shitty husband. I was second to his career and his ego the entire time I was with him, and at the end he was nasty, cruel, flagrantly cheating on me and taking my children on outings with his mistress (and telling me I was mentally ill because this upset me). It's not that he's not deserving of me because I still weigh 100 pounds and get catcalled and he's developed a belly and a receeding hairline; it's because he's an ASSHOLE.

Of course, the fact that I'm still in pretty good shape and he's not is a daily source of satisfaction to me. I've noticed that since our divorce, I've been happy with my body for the first time since I was 8 or so. It's not that I look any different or I've lowered my standards; it's that, for the first time, I would rather be sexy than skinny. Before, I was glad that the way I looked made HIM happy, but it didn't make me happy. Now, having enough meat on my bones to look good in a bikini makes ME happy. As things stand right now, the one who came out on top of our divorce is definitely me. It's not just that I got custody of the kids and enough alimony to go to school full-time. I got the wife of my dreams, the house of my dreams, the family of my dreams, and the freedom to pursue my dream of speaking six langages and doing humanitarian work. He is old, fat, bitter, stagnating in his career, and renting.

Life is good.



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