Posted by: itneverrainsinseattle | May 21, 2010

In Soviet Russia, News Reads You

I think I may have mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again: it’s hard to have a good sense of what someone is thinking when they rarely volunteer any information.

Have I mentioned here that, among other things, I studied Russian history and government (and language) while I was in college? In addition to all those other things I know I’ve mentioned — you know, being a young math brat and a radio personality and a print journalist and all that. Yes, I was, at one point in my life, a Sovietologist-in-training.

The Soviet Union was a closed society. Information did not flow freely, so the West had to figure out ways to determine what was going on there by gleaning hints. You know, things like: if the major Moscow newspaper, Pravda, ran a story about how the General Secretary was “vacationing at his Dacha,” that meant he’d been dead for three weeks and the Politburo was still trying to figure out who should replace him. Things like that.

It’s a practiced skill/art to figure out what’s going on when you get so little information. Especially when that information appears to be self-contradictory.

Is Penny still on board the Divorce train? Is she living in denial? Is she doing nothing about moving forward?

We had a brief conversation yesterday morning. I mentioned apartments.

She only said a couple of sentences. Something like, “I won’t be able to afford the three-bedroom. I think the two-bedroom townhouse is the best option.”

Holy cow! So much information in there!

Yes, she said a couple more sentences than that, but you get the idea. For me, this was a fire hose of information after a very long drought. She is thinking about building her new post-divorce life. She does realize that we will be financially independent from each other. She is thinking in practical terms. She is not thinking we’ll just go on like this forever.

And she didn’t sound bitter or angry or recriminating. Granted, she didn’t sound happy, but the point is that she sounded practical. Realistic.

The house is the last remaining Big Issue to resolve. I’m doing what I can to stall the bank while we prepare to talk to a real estate agent about the prospects of selling. There are still logistical issues, as well — my knee surgery, for example, will complicate the moving and child care pictures for a while.

I’m not happy about getting a divorce. I’m not thrilled that it’s come down to this. But I’m no longer dreading it, and I’m ready to start the next chapter in my life. And I’m cautiously optimistic that the signs continue to point to “amicable,” and that my new life will not be launched with a lot lingering drama.

Our wedding anniversary is near the very end of August. Between now and then, I’ll be paying a quick visit to my old home town, undergoing surgery, rehabbing my leg, putting up my house for sale, moving into a new place, and filing for divorce. I’ll possibly be looking for work (again).

Never a dull moment here in Seattle.



  1. Wow. Things are moving forward. Forward is good. I’m happy for you. Hope things continue…

  2. Well this is good news, right? Now you can be a little bit more confident about pushing things to progress. I hope you have a good weekend πŸ™‚ I’ll be around if you have time to chat!

  3. Forward is better than backward my friend. πŸ™‚

  4. Greetings from Las Vegas my friend…amicable is a great thing, and I really hope it can come to that for you two. And onward, you are getting to the point where you realize that you’re better off…and that is fantastic.

  5. So many things on your plate in the next several months. Just take it one thing at a time, my friend. Sometimes looking at the whole picture is too overwhelming. Hang in there….it will all happen.

  6. I thought your contract was renewed until the end of the year?

    In any case, yes, it’s all going to happen very fast now, becasue the hard part is over: The decision is made, the “talk” has taken place, the negotiations are basically done, reality has set in for both of you.

    Those were the difficult things. The rest is just logistics.
    Congrats! You’re basically there, my friend.

  7. If Penny is talking about the type of house she could afford, then she is definitely thinking of next steps. My ex and I didn’t really discuss division of assets and child custody until after we’d filed for divorce – I wish we could have talked about it before as you and Penny have been doing. He was just stuck on not wanting a divorce and wanting to work on the marriage – that went on for about 9 months and I felt I needed to file to get things moving forward.

  8. Glad to hear things are moving forward. Keep looking ahead… and good luck with the knee. πŸ™‚

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