During a conversation over lunch a few weeks ago, I found out that Antigua once ranked tenth in a list of countries with the highest divorce rates according to the Guinness World Records site.
Apparently though, since we were so close to the edge of the list, we have since fallen off and other larger countries which you would expect to find are residing there. It was for that reason that I didn’t immediately believe the person who was quoting the statistic.
Naturally, since the island is small I wondered how we could possibly be in a catalogue of countries that included the United States and Russia. And just to prove my point I decided to see how many people among us knew others who had decided that forever was too long.
And I was surprised that we were able to count on two hands, the names of people we knew who didn’t make it to the finish line – but with a score of 3.4 for every one thousand inhabitants, and if we include the many fairytale weddings which take place here on our beaches (and supposing that not all of them make it to happily ever after) – well maybe there was some truth to the matter.
However, it recently came to my attention that I was myself among the ranks of the divorced or soon-to-be divorced – and I didn’t even know it. I thought that pain in my joints was chikungunya-related, but it seems that it was because people were talking about me.
The person who was expressing her sympathy to my husband must have felt like that person who congratulates a woman on her pregnancy when she’s merely put on a few pounds, because I would have given anything to see the look on her face when he informed her that her news sources were not very credible.
Not surprisingly, she couldn’t remember the person who gave her the not-so-correct details, so I wasn’t holding out hope that she was going to look for the numerous people who she admitted that she had already told, in order to correct the misinformation.
But I couldn’t help but be weirded out by the whole thing. I don’t mind being talked about, but I had hoped that it would be because I got a recording contract, had a blog post go viral or had a kid who won an academic scholarship to Yale.
I’ve already written about the “joys” of living on a small island, and since everybody knows almost everybody else, news like that generally makes the rounds. However, I do have to wonder what clues were used to decipher that my marriage had come to an end while I was still in it.
Since I’d recently re-joined Facebook I had to wonder whether the fact that I neglected to indicate my marital status was the thing that did us in. Was the fact that I didn’t have any pictures of myself and my husband on my page a sure indication that the relationship had already bitten the dust? Or was it because I neglected to acknowledge our seventeen year anniversary a few months before it’s actually due?
Now I know how Beyonce and Jay Z must feel – because even though they certainly haven’t said anything about a divorce, they’ve been plagued by rumours that their marriage is over too. Maybe that’s why they’ve recently become a little less private than they used to be. Not that there’s any shame in being divorced mind you – sometimes things just don’t work out.
They say that where there’s smoke there’s fire, and since it’s likely that I’ll continue to do what I normally do (or don’t do), I won’t be surprised if my ears continue to burn me for a little while longer.