All that self-help woowoo couldn’t have prepared me for the next whammy. If anything, it just thickened my rose colored glasses which, when finally shattered, led to corneal lacerations that would render me blind to hope and love for the next couple of years.
It all started with me chit-chattin’ on the phone with a mutual friend of mine about my EX. There I was... on a self-righteous, emotional fast-track of understanding and forgiveness; ruminating aloud about my ability to look at my marriage objectively and see how I contributed to its failure...how I admittedly could’ve been a better wife. I explained away his one-night-stand as a forgivable one-night-drunken error in judgement. I told her that I felt ready to be friends with MY EX again. And while I sat there validating his actions with his depression and alcohol dependency plus my desire to have him back in my life; there was a palpably uncomfortable silence on the other end of the line. Next thing I knew, she was commending me for my emotional bravery but insisting we meet for lunch. Still glowing from my emotional achievements, I didn’t even realize she was inviting me into one of those conversations where a face-to-face sit-down was required.
So I met her at a NY diner, all hugs and smiles, and ordered my standard diner fave of cheeseburger and fries. She seemed nervous and uncomfortable and I felt badly for her. Maybe she was having relationship issues I could help her with. But, the conversation started and I instantly lost my appetite; even for greasy comfort food. I still felt badly for her, but only because she was carrying the weight of telling me stuff about my EX I never knew and certainly wouldn’t have guessed. Here’s the deal: No sooner had that mother-fucker hugged me tenderly goodbye at the airport and sent me on a cross-country journey that clearly defined “The End”, some younger dancer chic was shackin’ up with him in our house! Yep, she and her dog cohabited with MY EX & MY dog; invading the space that we had created together and was a reflection of OUR love, OUR 8 years together and OUR collaborative style!!! The bitch slept in OUR bed, drove around in MY car and basically usurped MY position by way of her young, stanky snatch! What’s worse? I KNEW THE BITCH!!!
The blood that coursed through my veins quickly switched to venom and all that self-help woowoo shit went straight out the window! I didn’t even know how to sit there in my own skin. I wanted to run through the streets beating my chest, screaming like a wild banshee. And at the same time I wanted to disintegrate into dust and get swept under the retro diner table. Maybe this wasn’t my reality? Maybe I was really sitting at the movie theater with a big box of popcorn watching a formulaic Hollywood drama unfold about a woman scorned. Maybe this was a nightmare that would end at the blaring sound of my 6am alarm. Or maybe I was simply dead. Because this most certainly couldn’t be MY life!
No such luck. This shit was, in fact, real. I sat across from our mutual friend; silently processing the red alert news flash. Hmmm...so, while MY EX was hugging me goodbye at the airport, was she unpacking her suitcases and hanging her clothes in MY CLOSET? Was she in MY kitchen sporting an apron and a perfectly coiffed hair-do while waiting for him with a home-cooked meal on OUR imported dining room table and OUR bridal registry dishes? Had she sprinkled rose petals on OUR hand-crafted bamboo bed that was made for us on OUR Mexican honeymoon vacation? And what was going through his mind? Was he simultaneously hugging me and laughing behind my back thinking “Good riddance! Out with the old and in with the new!”? How long had they been planning this? How long had they been sleeping together?
He had already clocked in a drunken 1-night stand and now this hoochie! How many other random skanks were lurking behind the scenes of my marriage that he never planned on fessing up to? In fact, who was this pathological yahoo that I married? Next thing you know, I’m gonna end up on ABC News 20/20 as one of those foolish victims that believes she’s living in marital bliss while her husband has multiple families across the US. OMG, I’m one of those dumb chicks! I fully blame my upbringing for my naivete, unflappable trust, belief in the institution marriage and honoring your vows. Fuck love, trust, honor and respect! What my parents should’ve taught me was “Trust no-one” and “Men ain’t shit!”