Home » A Wasted Life » Finally…..Just The Two Of Us

Finally…..Just The Two Of Us

The movers delivered our furniture and every room in the house was full of boxes, stacked from floor to ceiling.  It was a daunting task and took me several weeks to get everything unpacked and put up and put out but I finally did.  I was ready for adventures with J***.
This was the biggest house we had ever owned.  It had a swimming pool, which I was not happy about but it was on the 8th green of the golf course, which J*** was happy about.
J***s’ middle brother lived about ten miles away, and I know he was happy about that, too.
It was time for him to have everybody come over to see the house.  He invited his brother and his wife, and his mama and daddy.  They all swarmed in and started looking around.  R*** sat down in the sunken den and said to us, “this is a big house.”  J*** said “yeah, it is.”
Then R*** said “who’s going to keep it clean?”  J*** laughed and walked into the kitchen.
And so it began.
His mama and daddy hung around for a few days and then left.  I went into the bedroom where they stayed to change the sheets and straighten up the room.  I smelled something so I started looking around.  I found her spit can under the bed.  I also realized that she had used my facecloths to “wash herself” after she used the toilet.  I told J*** but he didn’t say anything.  He didn’t use facecloths so I guess he didn’t care.  I had to throw them all out.
J*** was settling into his new job.  His first hire was D****, the woman I had heard those rumors about and I remember that it flashed through my mine that I thought it was strange.  I didn’t say anything about it to him but I wondered why he would hire her.  He brought her up to the paper for an “interview” and actually invited me to go to lunch with them.  I remember that even though we had never officially met, she was so attentive to me and acted like we had known each other for years.
Getting acclimated to is job was time-consuming and he didn’t give much attention given to me.  There was also the issue that the current editor didn’t want to retire.  He described her as the most passive aggressive person he had ever known.  It took her a while to move out of her office even thought she wasn’t yet leaving the paper, but she finally did and J*** moved in.
I spent my days decorating the house and did quite a bit of shopping.  He’d complain about it now and then, but when I would get petulant about being alone, he would say “that’s what the moneys’ for.”
J*** had always done the yard work but had grown tired of it.  We had a big yard and I told him I would take it over if he would get me a riding lawn mower.  For my birthday, he bought me a John Deere.  I was thrilled but that thrill was tempered when his brother and his wife came over one day.  J*** wanted me to get on it and drive it around.  I didn’t want to but I did.  They all three stood there and laughed at me.  I have no idea why he seemed to get pleasure out of what was essentially making fun of me.
Christmases were still wonderful.  One year he gave me what looked like a shirt box but it was heavy.  I opened it and he had rolled up every conceivable kind of quilt magazine he could find and tied each one with a ribbon.  I looked through them and picked out a replica of an antique quilt.  He went to play golf and by the time he got back, I had made that quilt.  It was always one of my best memories.
When we went to peoples’ houses, or awards banquets or just about anything, I started to notice that as soon as we walked in…….he walked off and left me standing there by myself.  When we were sitting at a table, he would sit there until the ceremony or dinner was over and then get up and work the room.  That involved drinking as much as he could and talking to as many people as he could.  I wasn’t a drinker and I wasn’t a newspaper person, so I was left alone at the table.  Nobody seemed to be interested in having a conversation with me.  I didn’t “do anything” and I wasn’t educated.  I guess people regarded me as just a “housewife” and therefore, I was uninteresting.
It was time for him to assume the Executive Editor position.  The paper made a big to do about it and threw a great party for him.  The lieutenant governor was there, along with a lot of hoity-toity people.
He made the rounds and had a great time.  He never once sought me out so he could introduce me to any of them.  I just stood against the wall and watched him.
There were symphonies, black-tie dinners and oyster roasts.  The oyster roast included some of the top attorneys in the area.  K**** and her boyfriend, E* had come up to see us.  They were both firefighters and I was so proud of them.  They went to the roast with us and K**** came up to me and said “do you think dad is going to be embarrassed to tell people what we do?”  I was surprised that not only would she ask that, but that it would actually occur to her to ask that.
J*** had retained his reputation for being a bully.  There were loud confrontations in the newsroom and a lot of the people hated him.  I had gotten a few more of the “how can you stand being married to that man” questions.
J*** had great plans for the newspaper when he first arrived but there seemed to be little motivation from the newsroom.  He more or less asked what the hell was wrong with everybody.  One person said they were saddened by the death of the woman who was supposed to have been his second in command.  She was extremely well liked and respected but had gotten killed before he got there.
J*** threw up his hands and screamed “I don’t fucking have time for death!”
That remark had a subtle but telling impact that I don’t think he ever considered and certainly never expected.
One day J*** got to work and a woman gave him a bumper sticker that said “I’LL TRY TO BE NICER IF YOU’LL TRY TO BE SMARTER.”  He put it in the window of his office, like he was proud of it.
The woman who gave it to him is the woman he said told him that if it weren’t for her husband and me, she could “really go for him.”  Apparently, they had a close working relationship.
The time for us hadn’t happened but I kept waiting.  I imagined there was too much going on at work but thought that once he had gotten his feet wet, there would be time for me.

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