Saturday, June 30, 2018

Know-It-All--"Thank You Ashley Madison" excerpt

Thursday, May 23

     Angie tied a red Kabbalah string around my left wrist at lunch. In the evening, Jody and I met up with some friends at a local bar. Suzy walked over.
     “I wasn’t surprised at all when you said you were getting divorced,” she announced.
     “When you and JB were at our dinner party, I could see there was a disconnect. At your book release, JB was there, but he wasn’t with you. He was just standing around on the periphery hanging out like a visitor. I started talking to him about your book, about how big the night was for you. He was like, ‘eh.’”
     “It was hard for me to be around him," I said. "Apparently, it was hard for him to be around me, too.”
     “Well, you know he did what he did because he knew you couldn’t stand him,” Suzy said. “I’m not excusing what he did, but that’s why. Why did you stay married to him? Why did it take this to get you to leave?”
     I fantasized about punching Suzy in the face. Instead, I said, “I believed JB loved me and was faithful. I thought there was something wrong with me for being unhappy. I thought I was a bitch. If I’d walked out sooner, my mother would have sided with JB and my children would have hated me.”
     “But you knew there was something really wrong with him.”
     “I thought I was a bitch for not liking him. I took my mother’s advice and kept reminding myself of good qualities I thought he had. I tried to make things better. I figured JB was put on my path to make me more selfless, loving, helpful, so I worked hard at that.”
     “But you knew, you knew in your gut something was wrong for a long time.”
     “Yeah, but the first half of my marriage I was drunk,” I laughed. “The person I am today did not marry JB. The person who married him was a cynical sarcastic party girl who needed to prove how smart she was. JB was the same. Like attracts like. Later, I recognized how hollow that was and then I got sober.”
     “So what’s the take-away from this?” Suzy asked condescendingly. “You knew, even though no one else knew, yet you stayed. You need to listen to your instincts.”
     Punching Suzy probably would have felt good.

     “How was your day?” Golf Guy texted.

     “Pretty good. Just got home. Went out with friends to hear a band.”

     “Was it fun?”

     “Sort of. Went out with a bunch of divorced chicks. What did you do?”

     “We had our last night of the golf yoga program, then my partner and I went out to dinner.”

     “How’d the program go? How did you tie the two together?”

     “Lower body stability and upper body mobility, proper breathing and visualization and meditation.”

     “Sounds good.”

     I crawled into bed thinking about smug Suzy. Damned know-it-all.

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