Throwing a Divorced Guy Shower

By Frank Szivos

I am proposing a new tradition for guys recently divorced – a divorced guy shower.

If a divorced guy goes out on his own, he tends to move into an apartment with little more than the clothes on his back and some stashed in garbage bags along with a bed dug out of the attic of his former home, a dilapidated lawn chair and a picnic table covered in mold that once stood on his back deck.

He typically eats off paper plates (if he ever eats home) and uses plastic cutlery. He sips wine from an old stained coffee cup and cooks only dinners you can throw in a microwave. After all, he forgot to take some pots and pans in the divorce settlement. And who wants him near a stove, he might injure himself.

Let’s face it, after several years of marriage, most divorced guys aren’t ready to step out on their own. Heartache aside, they could be a danger to themselves; and are in desperate need of help.

After 20 plus years of marriage, my friend recently got divorced and moved into an apartment that looks as stylish as a frat house room. He jokes that he   feels as if he’s traveled back in time and, like it or not, and is reliving his college days.

He’s sleeping on an inflatable air mattress that he used for camping. Actually, he’s quick to add that he splurged for the queen size air mattress with the faux suede cover. Since this guy is on the dark side of 50, sleeping on this air mattress hasn’t been kind to his back.

Faithfully, he inflates it with a battery powered pump once a week, but after a few days some air leaks out and he sags into the middle. When he gets up in the morning, he swears he’s morphed into the Hunchback of Notre Dame and can’t straighten for hours.

Just getting out of bed is a challenge. Thankfully, the mattress is close to the floor, so he rolls out onto his hands and knees then crawls across the floor like a baby and grabs the window sill to pull himself upright. The man needs a bed, but he just doesn’t know how to go about buying one.

He confesses that any furniture that was in his home, his wife bought after dragging him, kicking and screaming to the store. He swears he recently went into a furniture store and stared at beds for about 10 minutes and walked out in a cold sweat – too many choices.

Did he want queen, king, double or single, traditional spring mattress or memory foam? The furniture choices over loaded his fragile nervous system and reduced him to a puddle of confusion. What’s more, the temptation to dive onto a real bed and curl up for a warm, winter’s nap was overwhelming.

So I and some of his other friends are chipping in to give him a newly divorced guy shower at his apartment. We could never do it in a restaurant or some public place; the world just isn’t ready for it.

I chose to give him a collection of cooking utensils in a ceramic holder attractively displayed like a bouquet of flowers. I’ve included a slotted spoon, a mallet for pounding, a potato masher and some wooden spoons. I’ve never used any of these items myself, but we’re going for a homey look here.

There’s little chance of his ever using any of these utensils since he believes God made diners and pubs for single guys. What’s more, he thinks he could hurt himself cooking; he’ll leave that to the professionals. Another friend is giving him a 13-inch TV that he found in his basement since our newly divorced friend doesn’t have one. He thinks it’s a color TV.

Granted the TV is so old it has a VCR built in – very high tech about 15 years ago. But it works and serves the purpose until he gets settled and can go out and buy a 52-inch flat screen so all his buddies can come over and watch ball games.

Our friend’s brother is giving him a shower curtain with plastic liner. The newly divorced guy thought apartments came equipped with that kind of stuff. When he showers, he throws the three towels he owns on the floor to absorb the spray.

We’re also presenting him with a lava lamp. At the moment, he only has bare light bulbs glaring at him from the ceilings. We thought if the TV didn’t work, he could watch the lava lamp – newly divorced guys tend to have a lot of down time on their hands until they get accustomed to their new lot.

Finally, one friend is presenting him with a year membership to a gym because he needs to get in shape for when he’s ready to search for a new girlfriend. We want to encourage him to start socializing; there’s more to life than sitting in a diner or at the end of a bar, watching hunting and fishing shows.

Yes, newly divorced guy showers could become a hot trend. You heard it here first. Divorced men are fragile and dependent as newly hatched birds. Married guys or experienced divorced guys who have regain their bearings need to reach out to their wounded brethren.

If you know a newly divorced guy, offer him a set of dishes or pot and pan set. He’ll never buy it for himself; and probably never use it, but it’s the gesture that might help built the foundation of his new life.

Frank Szivos is a free-lance writer who is thinking of becoming a newly divorced guy consultant. He can be reached on Facebook.

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