How To Get Divorced At 26


It helps to get married when you're 19

We signed the divorce agreement over coffee in the lobby of a hotel in Downtown Brooklyn. And maybe it was the fact that the death of a marriage born eight years before in a flurry of excitement and fun and emotion would occur in the sedate, near-empty lobby of an anonymous Marriott in the midtown of Brooklyn; or maybe it was because endings that come after protracted, painful battles, where nobody really emerges as a winner, almost always feel anticlimactic; or maybe it was just because everyone thinks in clichés as they sign their divorce agreements, but as I wrote my name, I was unable to stop myself from drifting toward the comfort of the most banal of thoughts. I wondered: Could this really be it? And I laughed a little at myself. And I signed the papers. It was over before we even drank our coffee, but that didn't mean we'd let that go to waste.

He reached for my cup in the way he had done countless times before. He stirred the sugar into it before pouring in the cream, like he'd always done. He always put the sugar in first, so it would dissolve better, before the cream cooled the coffee down. He pushed my cup back toward me, but I couldn't drink it. I let it sit there, getting cold. I told him I didn't want it, he looked at me, and suddenly a cup of coffee was a metaphor for our whole relationship, and I realized things could only get better from there. Because he was looking at me as though what I was saying was that I still wanted him, still wanted our marriage, even though I had done everything I could to get out of it. And although up till that point, I'd had no problem being cruel to him, it felt wrong to be that way anymore; it felt wrong to tell him that I didn't want the coffee, that I didn't want the marriage, that I didn't want him. But I didn't drink the coffee.


There was a time when I thought my marriage would never end. I guess everyone thinks that, or wants to think that. I got married on a whim when I was 19, and I wound up feeling trapped by the time I was 26. The first thing anyone asks when you tell them you got married when you were barely 19 is, So you were pregnant? I wasn't. Instead, I was desperate to escape a life that I felt was too far gone to be saved, not realizing the real problem was that it hadn't really started yet. I'd graduated from high school at 16, dropped out of college by the time I was 17, and at 18 was making almost as much money a night tending bar as I would at my first editorial job more than a decade later. I wasn't sleeping enough and I wasn't eating enough and I was putting as many things into my body—none of them meant to sustain me for more than a few hours, none of them very good for me—as I possibly could. And I knew it couldn't last, but I didn't quite know how to make an ending into an escape.

So when I met a man who was so different from everyone else I knew, and who was just enough older (eight years, to be exact) that he was interested in impossibly far-off things like the future, I was suddenly able to imagine a different kind of life, one in which I'd be tethered to someone else in a way that grounded me. At that time, I wasn't so much afraid of being tied down as I was of drifting forever. And so when we drove across the country to get married in Las Vegas, it was wild and it was free and it was crazy, but hidden under all that excitement was the very real part of me that felt relief at the prospect of entering a life of domesticity, of having responsibilities to another person and eventually to even more people. I could see the future, and it looked safe and secure, two things I had never really felt before.

And that was what happened. My future became my present, and it was safe and it was secure. We had two children, three years apart. We had a business together. We lived by a park. We had a life that was only unconventional in that I was a decade—or two—younger than most of the other mothers I met on the playground. But here's a thing that seems obvious in retrospect but still surprised me when it started happening—I grew up. My kids started getting older and went to school. I didn't want to be only a mother anymore. I wanted to finish college. I wanted a career. I wanted all the things that it still stings to think that I didn't think I could have when I was 19, things that I thought wouldn't work out for me, things that I maybe thought I didn't deserve, as if anyone deserves anything. I was safe and secure enough in my new life that I thought I could start building another one, not the one I'd so abruptly cut short so many years before, but something new, something stronger. But this wasn't what my husband wanted. He wanted me to stay home. He wanted to have more kids. He wanted to know pretty much everything I was doing every minute I was doing it. By the time I was 26, I started to feel like my life was stalling again. Instead of worrying that my marriage—that my life—would fall apart, I started worrying about the possibility that it wouldn't. And once I started thinking that way, it was all I ever thought about, until, eventually, it ended.

It ended in a way more popularly used to describe falling in love or going into debt—slowly at first, and then all at once. When you're 26, eight years of anything, but especially of a relationship, feels like a really long time, and maybe it is: two kids, three apartments, four drives across the country, I-don't-even-know-how-many fights and fucks and falling into and out of and back into and out of love again. And then, in the last couple of years, there were the holes punched into walls, into doors, into the cable box; multi-week trips he took to other countries because I told him I couldn't be with him anymore and he thought all I'd need was a little break before coming to my senses; late night drives to nowhere with my kids bundled up and sleeping in their car seats as it became clear that I didn't really have anywhere else to go. Countless times coming back home, defeated, hoping that maybe this time it would be different, knowing that it would eventually go back to being the same.

Our marriage was all of those things, but there were other things too. There was knowing that there was someone else in the world who knew me as well as I knew myself—in some ways better and in some ways worse, but still, it felt like it all evened out in the end. My husband could tell you at just what point in a kiss my jaw would click and that I had to set three alarms for myself—the earliest a good hour before I really needed to wake up—if I had any hope of being on time for anything. He would touch my hair with a softness people reserve only for the things they love the most, the ones they're most afraid of breaking. And he knew exactly how I liked my coffee—with two sugars and a lot of cream. I don't remember the first time he made me coffee, but I do remember when I started to think that he made it for me better than anyone else ever had or ever would. It was when we were driving across the country, on our way to get married, and we stopped at countless truck stops along the way. At the first stop, he hopped out and told me he'd get my coffee for me, that he'd make it just the way he made it for himself, almost-too-sugary and almost-too-light. Before he started making my coffee for me, I hadn't really had one way I drank it. But he made it even better than the magical, toffee-candy way that some bodega coffee has, and then—just like that—his was the only way I liked to have it, the only way I could drink it for a long time.

When my marriage did end, it was all in one big sweeping crash: There was a broken laptop, there were shattered dishes, there was an accusation flung at me that I had started to fall in love with someone else, and there was the final, damning fact that I didn't deny it, and that I wouldn't, even if I could. But even though it had ended, it didn't really disappear. It still felt, in many ways, like we were on the same road, even if we weren't sitting next to each other anymore. There were the kids, after all. We weren't going to be one of those enlightened divorced couples you hear about now who remain best friends despite not being married—this uncoupling was conscious, yes, but it was also complete—yet we still had to communicate. And there was the divorce itself, which was not what you'd call easy, though in some ways it kept us close. We had to talk a lot, to see each other on opposite ends of a table, each with a lawyer at our side. Even though we were splitting apart, the divorce was one last thing we were doing as a couple, one last thing we shared with nobody else.

It wasn't long after our initial separation that I started to get shooting pains in my chest accompanied by crippling headaches. It was due to stress, yes, but my doctor also asked how much coffee I was drinking. Five or six cups a day, I said. She told me I had to stop. And so I did, for a while. The pains went away. And when, months later, I started drinking coffee again, I mostly drank it black. I couldn't stomach the sweetness anymore. There were a lot of things that changed in the more-than-two years between the time my husband stormed out and when we sat signing our divorce papers—I'd graduated from college, cramming my three unfinished years of undergrad into two; I'd reconnected with old friends that I'd lost touch with during my marriage, and made many new ones; I'd started writing; and then there was the way I drank my coffee.

I couldn't talk to him about any of those things, though, couldn't tell him how I'd changed without him. And so, in that hotel lobby, signing our divorce papers, seeing him make me that coffee, and make it in a way that nobody in my life would have made it for me anymore, was a relief. It was the metaphor I needed, even if I laughed at it. It was permission for me to admit to myself that it was really over, that who he thought I was had disappeared, and now I was only who I wanted to be.


In the years since we sat together over coffee signing our lives with each other away, we've spent a significant amount of time together only once: in a hospital room with our youngest son, who needed to have his appendix removed. It was strange at first, if only because it was so normal. At first, it was not like it had been at the end of our marriage, but rather what it was like at the beginning, when we knew each other better than anyone else did. We sat talking and joking, and there was a part of me that, for a moment, wondered if anything really ends, wondered if it's possible to excise the nightmarish parts of life and just connect the good in it.

And then he left, at one point, while our son was in the operating room. He went to get us coffee. I asked for it black, but he brought me a cup that he'd prepared the way he used to make it, the way he made it for me all those days we spent on the road together and the last day we spent together as husband and wife. I don't know if he had ignored what I'd asked for or if he thought he knew better or if it was just an old habit that had kicked in because of the general uncertainty of the day, but it didn't really matter; I couldn't drink it. I told him I couldn't drink it, that I didn't like it that way anymore. He said I was being ridiculous and that I should just have it, that it was good. I thought for a moment about pouring it down the sink, but gave it to the nurse-on-duty instead, and went out to get my own.

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube

Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video)

Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.