Slice of Life: Divorce is not a failure

Pri Hollis (Angelika Kollin)

Pri Hollis (Angelika Kollin)

I got married in March 2013. It was a very intimate wedding at a hotel in Cape Town. Steven and I always went there at the time of our anniversary.

We had recently divorced and, when I was in Cape Town recording vocals for my album around the time of our anniversary, I called the hotel up, saying I would like to have lunch there.
I took my best friend and a photographer pal.

The hotel staff presumed my friend was my husband and brought out cupcakes with Steven’s and my names on them, an ostentatious dry-ice thing, free champagne and a really gushy card saying things like “we hope your marriage grows stronger with each passing year”.

It was so funny. We went into hysterics. But not out of meanness — because to this day Steven and I are very good friends. Our marriage didn’t work but that doesn’t mean it isn’t something to be celebrated.

There is all this heaviness about divorce. I don’t want to feel haunted by the perceived “failure” of divorce. I want to accept it by living it, not hiding it.

This belief that women divorcées are embittered — there’s a very overt streak of patriarchy in that. When things end for women, there’s this thing of: “He is going to move on very quickly but what about you?”

During my celebration that day, I wanted to get rid of that. And, really, it felt joyous. Not something wrapped in the typical perception of “you’ve wasted the best years of your life”. What I did that day really led to something quite lovely and hopeful for the future — my future. — Pri Hollis (32) as told to Carl Collison, the Other Foundation’s Rainbow Fellow at the Mail & Guardian

Carl Collison

Carl Collison

Carl Collison is the Other Foundation’s Rainbow Fellow at the Mail & Guardian. He has contributed to a range of local and international publications, covering social justice issues as well as art and is committed to defending and advancing the human rights of the LGBTI community in Southern Africa. Read more from Carl Collison

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