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September 26, 1996

The Ex-Factor
Copyright 1996 - Greg Bulmash - All Rights Reserved

I've never really asked a woman to marry me before, but I have asked one for a divorce.

The situation was thus. It was when I was doing stand-up comedy. I'd convinced my friend, Stephanie, to try her hand at stand-up. She liked it and we ended up going to a number of open mike nights together. She was rather attractive and since we were so-often seen together, the subject of whether or not we were dating tended to come up in conversations with other guys. The answer... "no, we're just friends." Around this time I was about to turn 21 and was planning the ritual pilgrimage to Las Vegas. So I decided to invite her along.

The plan was thus. We'd go, do some gambling, have some fun, and have a brief wedding before we left town. Then we'd head down to Mexico and get a quickie divorce. That way when we'd go to clubs and the other guys would ask "hey, is that your girlfriend," I wouldn't have to hang my head and say "no, we're just friends." Instead I could honestly say, "no, she's my ex-wife and I'd rather not talk about it."

And why all this rigamarole, you ask. When guys asked if she was my girlfriend and I said "no, we're just friends," they'd get this look... like instead I'd just said "no, I have a bear trap clamped on my testicles." I hadn't even realized what a painful situation I was in until I saw it reflected in their faces.

So I asked Stephanie to divorce me. But she was resistant. I told her I could make it a good deal for her. She didn't have a boyfriend at the time and she was in the market. All I would have had to do was cite a certain reason for the divorce... "she kept insisting we have a threesome with some topless dancer she knew, but it went against my moral upbringing." She would have been the most popular girl in every club we hit. Guaranteed.

Amazingly enough, even after that, she still wouldn't consent to be my ex-wife. Eventually, though, it dawned on me what a mistake it would have been if she'd said yes. I wanted to get divorced for all the wrong reasons.

I've learned about myself since then. I don't want a meaningless quickie. I want the fairy-tale, the whole enchilada. I want to have a long estrangement, and then a big court divorce like I've dreamed of ever since I was a little boy.

So I'd like to thank Stephanie for turning me down. If I'm lucky, I'm only going to get divorced once and I've realized I shouldn't get divorced for the hell of it. No, when I get divorced, I'm going to divorce for spite or not at all.

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