A few days ago, the consequences of having been married to Loser once again became clear.
When #2 had just been found by one of the best traveling team soccer coaches in the state, we were all excited about her first tournament with her new team. I took her to her tournament and Loser took #1 to a different tournament. I met all the mothers and fathers on the first day. One of the mothers (who I’ll call Donna) and I immediately hit it off and became instant friends.
One night our daughters were playing on an indoor team during high schools’ off season. Her daughter, my #1 and #2 were on the same team. They were playing against some other girls from different counties, who dominated the area in high school. My two daughters were on the high school team that was always a top contender but never could beat the other county schools until they were upper classmen. Then they slaughtered them. Donnas’ daughter lived in another county but that night, she was on “our” team.
Travel teams were a mixture of those same girls. Girls who were rivals in high school, were comrades in arms on travel teams. Indoor soccer teams had the same dynamic with the addition of several college players as well as a few local professionals. Indoor teams were highly competitive. There were rankings and trophies and accolades.
Our daughters were playing a hard game one night and the indoor center was full of cheering parents. I was sitting on the top rung of the bleachers, flanked by Loser and Donna.
#1 was a diminutive player who was slower than molasses in January but faster than lightning in skill. An opposing player could be running down the court at fifty miles an hour and #1 would stick that little foot of hers out, take the ball away and have it at the other end of the court before the other player realized it was gone.
She was tough but she took hits. One of the fathers once said “I have never seen anybody take harder hits than #1.” He was right. At some point in the game, a girl “knocked #1 off the ball” and sent her flying. This was the same girl who would later freeze her pupil.
Loser jumped up and screamed “YOU PIECE OF SHIT!”
Everybody in the place heard him. All the players heard him and everybody on the bleachers got up and left. I mean EVERYBODY, including Donna.
He sat down and all I managed to get out was “you know,” before he turned around and with his famous rabid dog snarl said “SHUT UP.” I did of course, just like always. I sat there and wondered how my daughters felt but it occurred to me that a man who would call one of his own children a piece of shit, would have no compunction about calling other children the same thing.
That was the end of my friendship with Donna but having been conditioned to believe that everything was my fault, I thought I had done something wrong. Technically, I had. Donna, like so many others believed that I was just like Loser. How could I not be? I was married to him and had been for years.
I was recently able to reach out to her through a mutual friend. Telling her that I had divorced Loser was the impetus for a continued conversation and she asked the same question I had been asked over and over and over.
“How could you stand being married to him?” I didn’t have an answer. I never did. She remembered that night and said she made the conscious decision that she didn’t want to be linked with him in any way, which of course meant that I lost. He didn’t care if she stopped talking to me and he sure as hell didn’t care if she stopped talking to him.
We left it with the thought that maybe if I came back down to Florida, we would get together and have lunch. I don’t know if that will ever happen and I don’t know if she will ever call like she promised. But at least now I’m finally realizing that the friends I lost through the years wasn’t due to my lack of character but was instead due to my association with the loathsome, offensive prick I once called my husband.
What a price I have paid.