By this time my whole family knew. How do I explain my family?
What happens to one, happens to all. If you’re loved by one, you’re loved by all. Do I have to carry this on to if you hurt one?
My niece Julie was in the supermarket when her mother called her and told her about me and dave. She just put her groceries back and went home. She felt sick.
Stephanie had to hang up and lie down when I told her.
My little niece, Sadie, said “When she dumps him I’m going to fly to Japan and laugh in his face. Ha! Ha!’
Dave had been loved by my family, first of all because I loved him and also because he was always generous and happy to see any of them.
But when he did the unthinkable, it was if he had been a president erased from Mount Rushmore. He no longer existed to any of them.
My days became filled with phone calls. My nephews all called me on their way to and from work. My nieces each of them called all thru their days.
And my sister, my sister barely got off the phone with me. Each of them trying to give me comfort.
One good side to this was that I was forced to act upbeat because I knew how we all felt about each other. If I lay in my bed in a ball, something that I was a hair away from doing, they would all suffer with me. A brave face gave them some peace and surprisingly made me feel better too.
The night before dave left for the boat he sat on the bed and told me that his girlfriend, I still didn’t know her name, would be flying in at 6 a.m. and then they would catch a plane to Florida.
“You know how hard it is for me to wake up that early” he said looking at me pleadingly.
I just looked at him in shock “You can’t be serious, I’m not waking you up.”
He just said “well will you show me how to set the alarm?”
And I also did something else. When I looked in his suitcase I saw he hadn’t put in his skin cream or his sun protective clothes. I just threw them in without saying anything.
The next morning he stood at the foot of the bed and said good- bye. I didn’t answer.
He said “I understand” and left the apartment.
It was like a light came on. I jumped out of bed. I saw that he left his dirty underwear on the floor by the bed. I picked them up and put them in the wash. Later I wondered why I didn’t just throw them away.
I grabbed his pillows and put them in the hall closet. I stripped the bed and put on clean sheets.
I felt happy and free for the first time since this whole thing started.
In fact I felt happier than I’d felt in years.
The stress of having him in the house and pretending that he wasn’t spending every moment emailing and phoning his girlfriend in Japan had really gotten to me.
I made dinner plans with friends and had play dates. I went to my first movie in 15 years (dave couldn’t sit through a movie, we watched everything on video). In case you’re interested, it was “Bad Teacher”. Loved it.
My most rebellious moment occurred around mouthwash. Dave was a constant user of Listerine. The day before he broke his girlfriend news I had gone to Costco and bought 6 big bottles of the mouthwash.
I returned them all.
And most importantly I turned his office into a guest room. The office was a dusty mess because he wouldn’t let anyone touch his piles of papers and cd’s. I rarely went in there in winter because he kept the heat up so high and in summer, well, just the dust.
I bought big plastic containers and filled them with the cds, papers and magazines with his face either on the cover or inside.
In an effort to show me support Sunday had become a traditional family day with my niece, Julie, her husband, Paul and sweet Violet.
Paul dragged heavy book cases etc down to the basement to be thrown out. I had my super take out the 20 year old couch and one Sunday as part of our entertainment we all went to Sleepy’s so I could buy a new bed for the “guest room”.
In the bed store while Violet went around testing all the mattresses, I picked out a top of the line trundle bed. No longer would my visiting relatives have to sleep on a pull out couch in the living room.
I was a little scared when the salesman added up the purchase. Julie had a look of disbelief on her face when I said to the guy
“Listen, I just got dumped by my husband after 36 years. Can’t you do a little better on the price?”
He said “I can’t but let me call my boss.”
He dialed. “There’s a lady here who just got dumped by her husband after 36 years, is there anything we can do for her? Take off $150 bucks if she buys it right now?” He looked at me. I nodded.
I was really happy.
First of all I felt like I had taken back control of my apartment and part of my life. Second I saved $150.
It was strange that though there had not been one day in my married life when I had not either seen or spoken to dave on the phone, I didn’t miss him at all.
Other than my strong commitment to never giving Rupert a lonely moment, I felt so free. I could stay out as long as I liked and eat dinner at whatever time there happened to be a dinner served.
One thing I haven’t yet mentioned was that even though dave assured me that we didn’t need a lawyer because I could trust him, I got a lawyer. Only a stupid person would have bought into his reassurances. I no longer knew this man.
She was recommended to me by close friends. She was smart and comforting and expensive. I figured it probably cost me 35 bucks just to shake her hand at the door but I’ve never regretted hiring her.
On occasion she’d ask me questions or give me advice that would make it necessary for me to contact dave on the Love Boat.
I would text him and he’d give me terse one or two word answers. He always gave me the answer I wanted but he included not one personal word.
Occasionally he’d text me to tell the band something or send an email to one of the promoters of the tour.
A few days after he left I received an email from his Japanese partner and a close friend for 25 years.
I love you forever ! I cannot find any other word.
I do hope we can keep working together !
My days were really busy. I visited my niece, Stephanie, I spoke on the phone constantly (mostly with my sister but almost every other member of the family called me daily) and the Sunday ritual was becoming more and more fun.