The Divorce Post

We’re getting a divorce!

We’re getting a puppy!

Both those statements are lies. That last statement is a lie. I’m not getting a puppy. Some people may have figured something was up from other clues. If not, then the final clues above should answer your curiosity.

It’s bad grammar to say we’re getting a divorce. The correct thing to say is that we’re getting divorced. Just like you’re supposed to say “I have been graduated from college” rather than “I have graduated from college.” Language. It’s funny sometimes.

Even saying “we’re getting divorced” seems wrong somehow. There are quite a few connotations in “getting divorced” that don’t really apply to my relationship with Jennifer. I think it’s because we’re tied up with what marriage means and what it’s supposed to mean to a couple that we gain all of this negative baggage about what divorce means to those people. People have developed a fairy-tale notion of what a marriage should be and define success by those impossible terms: Living happily ever after, forever and ever, and Twuewove.

But we’re adults here, and we should have a more reasonable, less naive definition of a successful marriage. Were the people in the marriage happy? For the majority of the time, yes. Did the people in the marriage grow and learn from each other? Very much so. Are the people in the marriage stronger as individuals than before? Yes, certainly. Did the people in the marriage respect each other during and after the marriage? Yes, absolutely. So, by that criteria, I would say it was a successful marriage.

And since each of us can now move on and accomplish other things in our lives independently of each other, I would say it was a successful divorce, too.

Do you know how spiral galaxies form? When two normal, smooth elliptical galaxies collide, their gravities tug and pull at each other as they spin towards each other, pulling their stars into a spiral pattern. While the colliding galaxies are together, astronomers used to mistakenly categorize them as single irregular galaxies rather than two colliding galaxies. Without seeing the motion of the galaxies over a long period of time, it’s hard to distinguish two galaxies from one weird mass of stars.

After coming together and orbiting each other for some amount of time, the cores of the two galaxies inevitably hurtle away from each other, tugging along whatever stars had fallen into their influence. Their destinies were intertwined together in a brief eon which spun their substance into the spirals that we see in the sky. Although their cores remain mostly the same, and moving with the same momentum as before the collision, each galaxy has gained some stars and substance from the other before departing. The new stars and new spiral structure will remain with each from then on. And astronomers may look at the sky and see two distinct, beautiful spiral galaxies each going their own way in the universe.

If you are lucky, you can look up at the sky and see an irregular galaxy getting successfully divorced and becoming two spiral galaxies. The universe is not static, despite Einstein’s cosmological constant. To expect anything that complex to remain the same over any period of time would just be childish fairy-tale wishful thinking.

Even so, twuewove…

 Goodbye galaxy NGC5427! A part of you will always be with me! Literally.

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