I remember dates. It’s a gift, and a curse. It used to drive my ex-husband crazy. This, from a dude who forgot my birthday — twice — when we were still together. But me? I remember numbers for some reason, always have. I can rattle off his land line phone number from high school. I know the birthdays of people I haven’t had any contact with in years.
Recently, it was my best friend’s birthday. I’d never forget that, of course. But it also reminded me of the Other Woman (well, the original other woman was his teenaged lover before her, . . . but I digress . . .). Let’s call this Other Woman . . . Penelope Homewrecker, shall we? (I don’t really blame Penelope for wrecking my home, though. Though she certainly made choices I would not, my ex-husband did not have to honor her — requests?) Anyway, Penelope’s birthday is two days after my best friend’s. I know this because years ago, when I first discovered their affair, I did my fair share of research, as did my work colleagues at the time. I was working in a law office — enough said. Before long I had her full name, her address, her real estate records, current and prior addresses, etc. , and — her birthday.
I remember sharing the information with my best friend. She responded with one of those completely irrational comments only a true friend would say. She almost growled, “How dare she have a birthday near mine.” My friend was right, by the way:
How dare Penelope have a birthday close to my very best friend’s special day?
How dare Penelope have a birthday?
How dare Penelope even exist?
It reminds me of a scene from Sex And The City when Carrie realizes that her on and off boyfriend Big has chosen a woman named Natasha over her — and he is actually happy. Carrie tells her friends she’s ready to accept it. For a beat the women were silent, but then they gave, an irrational, nonsensical, yet incredibly supportive response.
Natasha. What a bullshit name.
I just love that — showing support in such an subtly obvious way, via a frivolous statement.
So thanks to my best friend for expressing outrage that my husband’s mistress dared to have birthday near hers.
How dare she? Indeed.
By the way, Penelope and my Ex didn’t last. (Long story, well not so long, but it’s a good one. I may blog about it at some point, maybe.)
Much later, after Penelope and the Ex broke up, my Ex announced he had a new serious girlfriend. I did the required Facebook check on her, and I noticed that Penelope and the Ex’s new girlfriend were Facebook friends. When I checked again a little later, the two women were no longer Facebook friends.
There was some kind of unfriending situation between Penelope and the new girlfriend.
Perhaps Penelope Homewrecker didn’t want to see posts by her replacement.
Heh heh heh
I wonder if later, Penelope, who had likely thought she’d become the coveted Mrs. Ex, was treated to posts about my Ex’s wedding and subsequent procreation? I’m guessing that Penelope and the new girlfriend must have had some mutual friends. Yes?
Heh heh heh
My investigation days are over. They’ve been over for a long time. Years. I never look at my Ex’s or his wife’s Facebook pages or his family’s pages. I really have no interest now. But those damn numbers stay in my head. As I said, it’s a gift, and a curse.
So, Happy Birthday Penelope Homewrecker! I literally can’t help but remember the date.
Of course, Evil Me wants to ask: What’s your Relationship Status now?
Though, Regular Me acknowledges that Penelope Homewrecker dodged a bullet and may indeed be the luckiest woman in the world.
For those who follow celebrity gossip, think of it like this: My Ex-Husband’s mistress pulled a Penelope Cruz. Let me explain. For a long time (by Hollywood standards) Tom Cruise and his wife Nicole Kidman were a golden couple.
It didn’t last. It was rumored that Tom left Nicole Kidman because of his affair with another actress, Penelope Cruz.
When Tom and Nicole divorced, Tom and Penelope went public with their relationship.
But then they broke up.
Penelope escaped becoming the wife of Tom Cruise, known to control and overshadow his wives. And at some point, Tom Cruise went a little crazy.
Crazy Tom Cruise went on to marry once perky, but later suffering Katie Holmes, while Penelope Cruz ran free! (Katie Holmes is now Ex Mrs. Tom Cruise, by the way, but they had a child together so she still has to deal with him. She’ll never be completely free.).
And Penelope Cruz? I picture her frolicking in a field somewhere.
Of course, in this scenario this would make me Tom’s jilted wife, Nicole Kidman, mother of the first kids. And I’m okay with that.
And I’d be okay with this, too:
Just Me With . . . numbers in my head. And a song in my heart, a country song, “Little Bit of Everything”
Weddings. Ahh weddings. It’s that time of year. Starting off with a bang this year with the Royals William and Kate, but for regular folk some people will be getting invitations to sibling’s, cousin’s, aunt’s and uncle’s, best friend’s and acquaintance’s. Me? I haven’t attended a wedding since my marriage ended. And actually, I’m kind of in between life stages for weddings, anyway. My friends are either already married or simply not going to do that (or if they do, it’ll be somewhere in Vegas). For the most part, second marriages are not in full swing yet. The younger members of my family aren’t old enough or ready. Despite my marrying young, the rest of my family and close friends don’t generally do that. We’re slow that way. So, I’m probably off the hook this year.
Still, I’ve been invited to a few weddings over the years, but I politely decline.
At first I thought it would make me too sad to watch a marriage ceremony when mine didn’t take, but really I’m afraid I’d be one of those drunken hecklers you usually find at comedy clubs.
Officiator: “Do you promise to Love, Honor, and Cherish . . . .?”
Me: Yeah, they say that NOW . . . Everybody SAYS that . . .
Officiator: “Forsaking all others . . .”
Me: HA!!!! Until a juicy young piece of a** asks for a ride home after work . . . Forsaking all others . . . for a while . . .
Yeah, perhaps I am right to politely decline live attendance at weddings.
Still, I struggled with my last decline. A very good friend of mine, who had been my bridesmaid and I, hers, at her first wedding, was remarrying. She was and is deliriously happy. Her first husband turned out to be a complete schmuck. I’d known him from college too, actually longer than I’d known her. I did not expect his bad behavior. Neither did she. He cheated on her. Got some other woman pregnant — twice. First, abortion. Second, well she was six months pregnant when he finally had to come clean. He first complained of depression and suicidal thoughts (to soften her up, I think), then hit her with, oh and by the by, I have a girlfriend and she’s pregnant and having the baby (unlike the first pregnancy) — WHAAAAT?!!!!!!!!. Despite this, my friend tried to save her marriage, something I couldn’t fully comprehend at the time, but I understand now. She got him into counseling, on antidepressants, and did not kick him out. They tried to work out a plan for this child, who was coming, no matter what.
It didn’t work; he left their marital bed to go to this woman’s hospital bedside and watch their child’s birth, giving the baby the same name he and my friend had discussed if they ever had a child. Cruel. You see, the schmuck didn’t want children at all when he and my friend first married but then softened and consented to one, just one. Sadly, my friend could not get pregnant. So his impregnating another woman and giving that baby the name they had decided on . . . well that’s whip worthy.
I remember talking to her over the phone — while her husband was at the hospital shortly after the baby was born. It was unspeakable. That is a pain no one should have to endure. There’s a special place . . . for that man. After the baby was born, he never really came back home, except to change clothes. A couple of days later as she worked from home and thought he was at work — and he thought she was out — he came by and left a note, saying his place was with the baby and the baby’s mother. After 12 years of marriage, she got a break up note. (She found out later it was all preplanned as he had already applied for and was given “parental” leave from work. Ugh.)
My friend talked her way through this with her girlfriends; all we could do was listen. (A favor she returned to me later).
But, my friend met another man, by chance, at an event. He, too, was suffering from the effects of a cheating and also spiteful spouse. They clicked immediately. They fell in love. Some of us girlfriends (original bridesmaids) were worried that it was too soon, that it was a rebound situation, that this guy was also hurting too much – that it was like meeting someone in rehab — you have a lot in common, but is it really a basis for a positive new start? My friend explained, “You know, bad things happen all the time, suddenly — car wrecks, cancer, hurricanes, and we accept that and adjust. Why can’t we accept it when good things happen, suddenly, seemingly ill-timed?” Okay, she’s a genius. And she is a brilliant, talented, quite no-nonsense, kind of woman with a dry sense of humor. She’s not even religious, so it’s not a “God sent him to me” type of thing. They just found each other. After dating for a couple of years, last year, they married at the beach. You see, except for the horrible ordeal with the schmuck, good things tend to happen to this woman. She even sold her old house in this horrible market in a matter of weeks.
She’d found her true love. She won’t have children, and his are almost grown, but they have each other and have been happy, really happy.
I did not attend her wedding. It was a semi-destination wedding small affair and although she would have been thrilled if I’d come, she kind of expected I wouldn’t make it, and was really cool about it. I was in a bad way and couldn’t handle long drives, plus I wasn’t sure what I would do with my kids. Plus, it’s not really good for me to be around for these things. I might have cried — too much. I was in her first wedding, and she in mine and neither one ended well — I dunno – – was I being superstitious? It certainly wasn’t jealousy. I have never been happier for anyone getting married. She deserves happiness, just because she’s cool, let alone all the crap that schmuck put her through. I definitely would not have heckled her.
Sometimes, it’s okay to stay away. I have her back, though, and she mine. We both know that. I may attend William and Kate’s special day, though. And I’ll call/text/email my friend to see what she thinks of it . She loves royal weddings. After all it is thousands of miles away and on television and on delay (I’m not getting up at 4:00am) and I don’t actually know William and Kate. So I think it’s pretty safe for me to be in TV attendance.
I haven’t lost all capacity for romance, damn it.
Just Me With . . . a remote control and well wishes to all the brides . . . from afar.
I did go to a wedding, eventually. See “I Went To A Wedding Alone”