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October 26, 2006

About last night.

Last night I made dinner for someone, we sat on the patio and we were eating and he reached for the newspaper sitting on the table (my Sunday newspaper tends to sit and age on the patio table like a fine wine) and I cringed, pulled up into myself because Mr. X used to do that, used to read at dinner or watch TV because speaking to his wife was too much trouble, or maybe he just didn't have anything to say.

I knew this was different, but still. Little things like that surprise me still, the way you carry around these sense memories of things that became symbolic of festering wrong in a relationship, so strong that even now two years (!) from the day he walked out, you vow to put the Sunday paper in the recycling bin as soon as you've read it. Remove the temptation, even if it is an entirely different man.

Later, I sat out on my patio and Jennifer and I were on the phone, talking about some personal matters as ya'll know we are prone to do. We tend to talk things out because sometimes there are flashes of brilliance (who needs therapy?) There wasn't even wine involved.

"Women are crazy," she said. "I mean, men are crazy, too. In their own ways. But women are crazy."

"Indeed, we are," I said.

We both sat in silence for a while (we tend to do that also, cogitating on our curent interpersonal hypothesis.)

Then:

"You know what?" I said. "I am THRILLED about this fact. Because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that his new wife is just as crazy as I am. Maybe in different ways, but still."

"That's right," said Jen. "Maybe she hides it better, some women do, but it all comes out eventually. We are all nuts."

I think it finally dawned on me that when there are real problems, changing wives as easy as changing your socks won't solve a damn thing. Because women aren't so different from each other in many ways, we all want love don't we? Want someone to acknowledge us instead of studiously ignoring us at dinner. I wasn't the sole source of all his unhappiness. And she won't be the sole source of his happiness. People just don't work that way, and I wouldn't want that job if you paid me. Never, ever again.

This is strangely comforting to me. And liberating. And dinner was nice and not at all like it used to be back then, back when. But of course I threw the paper in the bin as soon as he left.

Just in case.

Posted by laurie at October 26, 2006 9:47 AM