Tuesday, September 12, 2006

SO Mickey Mouse

Was going to write something else, but this morning I am so in the mood for a clueless Wasband story.

The final crisis in our marriage brewed for a long time before it burst upon the scene. Kind of like those tropical storms that swirl in the Caribbean gathering strength for their assault on the Florida coast. During that ugly and storm-lashed period, The Wasband and I took the kids on a Disney vacation. (Yeah, I know. Irony again. But people—this is my life and while memories are mutable, basic facts are not.)

The kids (5 and 10 at the time) loved Disney World and adored what was then called "The Big Red Boat," a Disney cruise ship. The two of us, on the other hand, were totally miserable for large but unspecified reasons. I tried to talk to him, but he clammed up tighter than any of the faux shells at the spectacular Under the Sea review, showing nightly at the Little Mermaid auditorium on the Lido deck.

Not long after we got home, the bills came due for the mess our lives had become. (Among those bills was one for the transatlantic phone calls The Wasband made to his secretary from what must have been every working pay phone in the Caribbean. What—he thought I wouldn'’t notice that he spent $900 talking to her in 5 days. Waay after office hours.)

Okay, so comes the see-him-making-out-with-her-in-the-office scene, then the phone bill shows up, then a few other thrown-down-the gauntlet things happen (as I seem to say so often, I’ll tell those stories, too, just not right now). Finally, I opened my mouth and the fact that I knew marched right down my tongue, out of my mouth, and pitched a tent on the front lawn.

His response was to admit that they were involved but claim they were not having an affair and to promise that it would stop. And yes, I was stupid enough to believe it. For a while. As the days wore on, I tried to ignore what I intuited and concentrate on what I wanted to believe, but that strategy failed miserably.

Much later a counselor suggested to me that The Wasband controlled me through chaos, a truth that was painfully accurate. The chaos of this period was particularly painful—so much that I honestly felt I might be going crazy. Not "you’re making me nuts” crazy, but “does this mental hospital take my insurance" crazy.

Every day I struggled to find one thing I knew for certain to be true. Just one thing. I thought if I knew one true thing, I could construct a picture that made sense to me, build a foundation for what life was becoming. Trouble was, search as I might, I couldn'’t find a single thing The Wasband said or did during that time that I could ascertain to be true.

Then one bright Saturday morning, an answer popped into my head like a bubble on a Pop Up Video. I knew that if they were screwing around there would be mushy cards and notes. AND I knew where they would be.

I walked straight to the garage, opened the trunk of The Wasband's car, and pulled back the carpet over the spare tire. There, nestled in a bright blue file folder, was a stash of cards and letters from Joey. I read one: “I dreamed about you last night. You came to my door with a can of Hershey’s syrup in one hand and a can of whipped cream in the other. Oh, and you were naked."

If there had been a plate handy, I would have barfed into it. Lacking that, I shoved the cards and letters back into the folder and replaced it as close to its original spot as I could manage. With my heart beating so hard I could hear it in my ears, I stumbled into the house and into my sewing room, where I hid in the closet to think.

The idiot told me where he hid things. He told me where he hid things. Just how stupid did he think I was? Or, how stupid was he?

Back on the horrible Disney vacation, I didn’t want to carry my purse one day but didn’t want to leave it in the car in the MGM parking lot, either. With flamboyant, “I’m-so-smart" gestures, The Wasband opened the trunk of the rental car, peeled back the carpet over the spare tire, and stashed my purse in the open space behind the tire.

He even commented on what a great hiding spot this was and mentioned—more than once—how clever he was to have figured it out.

And then he used the same freakin place to hide proof positive that he was, indeed, having the affair he so vehemently denied.

Jesus help us all.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about my incredible transformation into Mata Hari and Elastigirl, all rolled into one. Right now I have to go LMAO about this again.


Suzy said...

How many children do you have?
Add one more....the WASBAND!!
Suprised you didn't toss him off the "Big Red Boat."

Mickey Mouse??? He was more like Goofy!
Great piece. And the wasband- "Piece of work."

Ziji Wangmo said...

Unbelievable...what a pussy wasband. he couldn't tell you about the affair, so he had to leave you hints as to where to find the evidence so that you could bust him. Good riddance.

Jenny Rough said...

As awful as this story is, I have to say it's sorta cool that once you decided to step back and ask yourself what you knew to be true you inner compass led you straight to X marks the spot.

Mystic Wing said...

Reminds me of a joke I once heard a female comedian tell:

"My husband and I separated for religious reasons. I was Methodist. He was Satan."

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Maybe you can chop him up into tiny pieces and hide HIM in his own clever hiding place!

liz elayne said...

so much i want to say but this line about how he controlled you by chaos stopped me in my tracks.

i have someone in my life who does this (luckily i am not married to that person)...how interesting. there can be a slight addiction to this chaos i think...hmmm. i am going to have to reflect on this a bit more.