Deb Amy And The Terribly, Horribly, Funny, Divorce Story

Divorce is not a joke. Rarely is it funny. Except in the case of one of my best friends giving me a refrigerator magnet I could not put on my refrigerator, so I carried it in my wallet until that wallet was lost.

It said this:

There are two sides to every divorce. Yours, and shithead’s. 

I’ve been single for over ten years and that makes me laugh as much now as it did back then.

That’s a good thing because divorce can wipe away a smile and humor – at least temporarily. And like with many things, sometimes you don’t even realize it’s missing until you find it.

During one of my first dates after divorce, I was sitting on a floor pillow at Thai restaurant.  I may have been drinking my drink or eating a spring roll, I don’t recall many details.  I do know that we were in the midst of an interesting conversation and then, my date laughed. Really laughed. That’s when the little voice inside my head told me something important. He wasn’t laughing at me. He was laughing because I’d said something funny.

And then I remembered:


I had forgotten. Yes. I’d forgotten I was funny. Isn’t that sad?  And right there, and then, I was me again — someone I refuse to let go of, or ever forget about, again.

But, no matter how funny I may be, humor is not always appropriate.  While my editor has told me she thinks I’m funny in my writing and in real life (which I take as a high compliment), she also had me pare back the humor in my novel, THE GLASS WIVES.  The book needed to be more balanced, so I added heft and depth. I removed some of the quips. She was right. Too many one-liners were distracting.

So I’m saving them for future books. And dates.

Photo credit: Chris Sgaraglino

26 Replies to “Deb Amy And The Terribly, Horribly, Funny, Divorce Story”

  1. Amy, I just savored that post like a little truffle, I swear. The sentiments–about life and writing–are spot-on. Thank goodness for our wonderful agents and editors who step in and help us see where the balance is needed. Humor is such a hard fence to walk in writing, I’ve found–because sometimes it comes out of nowhere–and that can be a good thing or, as you so aptly put it, a distraction.

    Here’s to more “good” distractions in your future, dear!!

  2. I say Thank God you got away from somebody who made you forget who you were, and that you are living in the sunshine where you can breathe and live and laugh freely. As for the need for ballast with the humor – I think that’s come out in every post this week. You can’t have funny without the serious to highlight it. Even the slapstick type humor always has the straight guy.

    1. I think it’s normal to pack away the funny sometimes – so I don’t mind that it happened. I’m just glad I realized when it was back and that I’d lost it! xo

  3. Great post, Amy! I love that magnet. And I love that you were able to find your own voice again — and that you parlayed that voice into a wonderful book that I can’t wait to read!

  4. Humor is like pepper; excellent in just the right dose, but needs to enhance the food, not take it over. Huh. That’s pretty good and I just made that up. Seems I’m not just a clown after all.

    Joking aside, I’m glad you found yourself again, Amy. And if I ever see that magnet in a store, I’m totally buying you a new one.

  5. I loved this post, Amy. I, too, am divorced (now remarried) and had to learn how to find myself and my sense of humor again in the wake of some very serious experiences. I even remember exactly the time I realized my current husband (then boyfriend) appreciated me for my sense of humor – it was a moment that meant so much in terms of returning me to who I was and helping me become who I am.

    Thank you for sharing this personal and unique take on humor. It made me think as well as smile.

  6. Love the magnet! I could have that saying cross stitched on a pillow!

    One of my divorce stories was when I was chatting with a male friend and realizing I was about to edit what I was saying so I sounded less smart, then realizing I had been doing that for years so I didn’t outshine my then husband. Ugh. Can’t even believe I was once that woman and it’s only been a year since the incident. Easily the hardest year of my life but the future is so much brighter .

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