November 24, 2015
One morning I groggily trudged down the stairs to make my morning breakfast of an omelette and oatmeal. I sat down at the dining room table, and that’s when I noticed that there were a pile of boxes next to me that hadn’t been there before. Just glancing at the top box, I could see my copies of Michael Symon’s “Five Ingredients” and Aaron Sanchez’s “Simple Food, Big Flavor” peeking out of the not-very-closed flap.
John, while I was working and staying away in the spirit of avoidance and to digest this awful situation, had been packing my things for me.
My fury steadily rose as I looked down at these haphazardly packed boxes of my belongings.
How dare he do this without so much as a discussion?
How dare he pack MY stuff behind my back?
And doing a halfassed, shit job of it in the process?
The anger heaved against my sternum as if it were trying to break free to go upstairs and kick his ass.
I made myself calm down into a moderately civil state and waited until he was out of the shower. He came downstairs and settled into his usual nook on the couch (I swear, there should have been a permanent imprint of his ass on that cushion. Thank God it wasn’t memory foam). I slowly walked over to him, careful to keep my temper in check.
“Hi,” I said.
“Hi!” he said, smiling.
I’ll smack that smile right off your face, you prick.
“Don’t do that.” I blurted out, pointing to the pile of boxes. I mean, Jesus. Aside from this being a total dick move, how was I supposed to find anything?
“Do what?” he asked, seeming confused. But coming from the man with the master poker face I couldn’t tell whether or not he was just playing dumb.
I cleared things up and told him – clearer and less politely this time – to stop packing my shit. I added that he was going to have to be patient.
“I have been,” he responded. “But it’s been over two weeks now. This has gone on long enough. We both have to get on with our lives.”
I had no words. I just stood there staring at him in disbelief. Did he seriously think that I could just magically pack up 6 years worth of shit and be gone in two weeks?
“You know,” I started, now trying very hard not to lose it. “this may come as a shock to you, but this isn’t exactly easy for me.”
“I know that.” he coldly acknowledged with an expression telling me that he also didn’t care.
“YOU were the one who wanted this, not me!” I felt my voice grow louder and start to crack with the threat of tears. At this point, I stopped caring about being calm. I was baffled at how could he be this horrible to me, a woman he had spent 6 years of his life with. He was treating me like I had been the one who was leaving him for some insipid bimbo from work.
“I know that too.” He nodded again with the same indifferent expression.
WELL THEN WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!
I knew I had to maintain a modicum of cool if I didn’t want to see this escalate into an all out War of The Roses shitshow of insults and destroyed property. But I was furious.
“Well don’t you worry.” I mockingly assured, eyes narrowed in contempt, my vexation bleeding through my voice in spite of my vow for civility. “I’ll be out of your life as fast as I can.”
“Okay,” he nodded and agreed as if I had told him I was going to the grocery store.
Douchebag. Fuck him.
I know I didn’t deserve this treatment. What had I done, after all? Nothing, that’s what. It was his idea to buy this house, his idea for us to live together and merge all of our stuff together like Ozzy and fucking Harriett. Hell, it was him who had to practically drag me kicking and screaming out of the adorable, cheap little Lakewood apartment I loved where I happily (and stubbornly) enjoyed my independence a good two years into our relationship.
But I also know that if I start sinking to his level and getting nasty, this will go downhill to places I really didn’t need it to go at this point in time. For my sake, and possibly his.
Later, he came home and again took that same place on the couch, this time eating a bowl of the wretched canned soup he had been eating in lieu of my home cooking. I smirked at this thought, knowing he will never have so much as a bite of his favorite dishes of mine ever again. My pulled pork and pho were forever gone to him, he’d now have to suffer with his preservative-laden Campbell’s Can-O-Crap.
I approached him again.
“I’m sorry for getting angry before.” I apologized, although I knew I had every right to be angry.
“It’s okay,” he accepted. “I was only trying to help.”
Textbook John. Too passive to admit to me that he was trying to send me a glaring signal to get the hell out of his house, he takes the innocent tone of “trying to help”. To keep things civil I played along.
“I know.” I responded. “But you know this isn’t easy for me.”
“I know that,” he acknowledged.
You just don’t care
Without another word, as speaking to him would clearly lead nowhere, I climbed the stairs back up to my room. I had a very-much-needed Taco Tuesday date at Barrio with my gal pal since sixth grade, Tam.
We had far too many chips and tacos, and as you can imagine the tequilla flowed as my longtime friend manned her damage control post by keeping the both of us drunk, happy and tearing my unworthy ex a new one.
She came to the decision that we needed to make up a really, really bad nickname for John. The last time I had done something like that I was about 10 years younger and the name sounded more like a spasm of Tourette’s. But the thought of it made me feel better, and so did Tam’s enthusiastic contempt for the man who had hurt her friend.
Maybe I’m luckier than I thought.
Afterwards, because we were drunk and my friend’s chocolate shop was only a block away, we decided that it was imperative that we stop in for a visit. As I was hoping, Paul was working, mixing brownie batter as we walked in. It was good to see him, but when he asked how I was doing Tam wasted no time telling him her opinion of John and what should be done to his genitals. I could tell this made him squirm a little. He was clearly uncomfortable with my situation and even made the subtle point of reminding me that he became friends with us both at the same time.
Either Tam didn’t notice his discomfort or didn’t care, because she continued to go on in detail about how hard she wanted to punch John in the face and exactly how many times.
Seriously one of the best friends I’ve ever had.
She went on ranting, and I watched her, smiling wide with gratitude. This wonderful person had my back, and if the tables were turned I’d totally have hers.
We collected our chocolates, said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. When I eventually got home, the tone she had set for the night almost acted as a force field against the heaviness that now permeated this house. Maybe it was my mood, maybe it was the margaritas, but I felt better than I had in weeks.
I brushed my teeth, crawled into bed and fell asleep watching old episodes of Sex In The City.
I think I’m going to be okay.