Slice of Life: Divorce is not a failure

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

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Carl Collison
Carl Collison
Carl Collison is a freelance journalist who focuses primarily on covering queer-related issues across Africa

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