Monday, July 26, 2010

As I wound down my weekend of solitude yesterday, I decided to watch the last four episodes of the third season of Mad Men in an effort to be all caught up for the debut of the fourth season later that evening. I remembered most of the previous season, but I had some time to kill, there were no significant sports that needed to be watch or tended to, and you really can never go wrong with a little Mad Men in your life.

During the last episode, there was a point where Betty and Don Draper have to tell their two children that they are splitting. I really don't know the exact ages of their kids, but I'm guessing they are around 8 and 5 years old. The oldest one (the daughter) immediately gets upset, blames the mother, and stomps out of the room. The youngest one (the son) immediately runs to the father and says, "I don't want you to leave". Don Draper hugs his son tight, and Betty silently weeps with her head in her hands. Now, I watched this episode during last season, and I don't remember being emotionally affected at all. But yesterday was a different story. I teared up a little bit, but I fought it back. Then I tried to explain to my lady why I had gotten emotional, and I got even more emotional. Allow me to explain myself before you think that I'm getting soft in my old age (which may be the case).

That scene from Mad Men took me back to November of 1991, when my parents sat my brother and I down, and told us they were getting ready to start the divorce process. I was 16, and in my senior year of high school, and my brother was 13, and on the cusp of puberty. I had seen signs that there was trouble in paradise, but I still didn't see the actual divorce process coming. My parents were as delicate as they could be with this speech, but it still hurt..a lot. I knew things would never be the same, and although I'd still have quality time with my parents separately, we'd never be a family again..and we haven't been. Seeing that Mad Men scene just made me remember the pain I felt not only that day, but periodically since then. Children of divorce never really and truly get over it. You joke about it, you get angry, you push it back to the depths of your mind, you tell your therapist about it, and you come close to getting over it. Real close.

But then holidays come around, and you have to chose sides and loyalties. Or your son comes in town for the summer, and you have to divvy up the time without offending a parent. Or while you're planning a wedding you have to be concerned with your mother not having a man, or your father bringing his new woman, and how those things are going to mesh. I know I'm grown and that's life, but that doesn't make it any easier.

Sorry to start off on such a depressing note, but it was on my mind all night.

White Turns To Gray - Bilal


Steph said...

That's real serious. Sometimes you don't realize how the actions of our parents affect you until later, and you try to play it off but it still hurts. I remember the first time I heard Pink's "Family Portrait" and I broke down crying. It was hard.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Its a tough thing to go through. But I'm a firm believer in ending it before it gets ugly. Because for the children, the ugly memories become more prominent than the happy ones. I wish my parents did the sit down, talk, and end it thing instead of dragging it out for soooo long. We could've all adjusted and moved on with our lives a lot sooner.