Tag Archives: lover

Coffee with The Ex-Wife of My Ex-Mother-In-Law’s Lover

RIP Kathryn Joosten from Desperate Housewives

Yesterday I saw a woman I’ve known for years, and decided to sit with her for a bit at the counter at Dunkin’ Donuts.   I see her around our small town, she lives near me.  She’s a recently retired school bus driver and has more time on her hands these days.   She’s a talker and sometimes I don’t have time to chat but yesterday I did.  I’ll call her Miss Debbie.

When I saw Miss Debbie at the counter I remembered someone’s blog post where they listed simple things we can do for others, and one of those was to listen to an elderly person talk, because sometimes they just need to.

Miss Debbie is probably in her seventies, but she’s mobile, healthy and spunky so “elderly”  doesn’t seem quite right, but I guess on paper, she is.

She is also the Ex- wife of the man my Ex-mother-in-law had a long-term affair with. 

Let me explain.   I may have to distribute a chart later.   Years ago and for a period of many years, my ex-mother-in-law was sleeping with this woman’s husband.   Everybody knew.  We live in a small town outside of a large city.  It is a bed of gossip.   The affair between my Ex-Mother-In-Law– let’s call her Shirley and Miss Debbie’s husband, who I’ll call Larry, was common knowledge.

I took the stool next to Miss Debbie and we chit-chatted for a bit. She told me about problems she was having getting work done on her house and her latest cataract surgery.   I suggested a couple of contractors I know.

As always, she eventually asked if I’d seen my Ex mother-in-law, and I said, no explaining again that  I don’t have any contact with her, or have any reason to have contact with her.  I added that I hadn’t heard anything either way so I guess she’s okay.

Then Miss Debbie said, “It was all in my face, that was the most hurtful thing.”

Yes, I nodded.   Truly that must have been horrible.

The woman who would later become my mother-in-law, Shirley, used to pull up to a nearby lot outside Miss Debbie and Larry’s house and beep her horn for him until he came out.   I repeat:   Shirley beeped her horn for all to hear —  until Larry left the home he made with his wife and two children and went off with her.   That would be a hurtin’ thing.  A country song inspiring hurtin’ thing.  A spit on your own porch and clean your gun hurtin’ thing.   I can’t imagine.

Granted, Larry was no prize, obviously.   Still, he was somebody’s husband —  and this somebody was sitting next to me having coffee.

Let the record reflect:   Some men do leave their wives for their mistresses.  It happens.   Case in point:   Larry eventually left Miss Debbie, moved in with Shirley and her children, one of them being my future- and ex-husband. (ha!  That sounds funny . . . but I digress . . . )  Still later, Larry married Shirley.  An alcoholic, he almost missed his own wedding because he’d been out drinking the night before.  Not surprisingly, perhaps, Larry and Shirley’s happy union was short-lived.  Shirley eventually kicked him out but not before an “accidental”  shooting . . . by Shirley . . . but I digress . . . again.   This was over twenty years ago.

Debbie still lives in the same home, Shirley still lives in hers.   Larry, however,  died last year, I think it was liver damage, cancer, karma, whatever.    His last days were spent living alone in a little apartment, his grown daughter providing assistance.  His home going service (funeral) was planned by ex-wife Miss Debbie and his children. I’m not sure if Shirley and Larry ever officially got divorced, but  my Ex-mother-in-law Shirley was the last wife of record.   Someone called Shirley to see if she wanted to come or contribute.  She did neither.

Sitting there with Miss Debbie, who knows my husband (Shirley’s son)  left me, and hearing the pain in her voice when she reflected on her husband’s affair, “. . . that was the most hurtful thing,”  I felt for her.   Just like labor pain for some, there is some pain that you can’t forget, even if it was long ago.

I offered just a little comment, saying,

“Well, I gotta tell you.  I’ve never had any interest in somebody else’s  husband.”     This make her break out in a good loud chuckle.

“Me neither,” she said.

Just Me With . . . a coffee break.

P.S.  If anyone knows of that blog post that inspired my coffee with Miss Debbie along with this post, please let me know.   I want to give props.

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“We Thought You Were Dead, Mommy” — Almost F**ked to Death

I hadn’t been well.  I hadn’t been taking care of me.  I admit.  I was depressed.   I was underweight.   I hadn’t been sleeping, I hadn’t been eating.   This was mid-separation but before divorce proceedings had begun.  It was also before we had a visitation order and my then husband did not take the kids out much, instead he would visit our marital home.  I don’t remember why the kids weren’t there.  It may well have been the first time he did take them.  I honestly have no recollection of why the kids were not home — that never happened — so I had a visitor.  Our relationship is not relevant to this story, but he is a good guy and he spent the night.  It may have been the first time I’d had a visitor since my separation.  It had been a while.

We didn’t get much sleep.

I was in actual pain the next day.  Afraid I had contracted a horrible disease I called my  best friend, who happens to be a gynecologist.  She said it was probably just irritation.  Did I mention it had been a while?

It got worse.  I started spotting.  Damn, this can’t be good, I thought.  When I described the latest symptoms to my doctor friend, she said, I needed to be seen immediately.  (She’s never been my personal  gynecologist, that would just be too weird).

By this time, I had  frequent and painful urination, along with the bleeding.    I was so uncomfortable.  When I finally got to my gynecologist,  I was given a diagnosis of urinary tract infection and a prescription for antibiotics.  I’m a little prone to urinary tract and bladder infections.  I had them while pregnant and had them as a child. I knew the drill.  Since I  now had my antibiotics,  I’d assumed I’d get better.

I didn’t.

I started to have flu symptoms . . .  fever, chills.   After a couple of days, I’d become a little disoriented, had trouble driving , and was sensitive to light.   I felt like crap.

But mothers can’t get sick so I tried to play it off.  Plus I was taking antibiotics, I just needed, I thought, for  them to kick in.

They didn’t.

I got progressively worse.  I got more feverish and my head felt like it was splitting.  I couldn’t eat, couldn’t drink.  I hurt all over.  I’ve taken care of the kids before with the flu, but this was debilitating.

Finally I called my mother to help me with the children because I had trouble getting out of bed.   She took care of them during the day and I stayed in my room  — feverish.   She checked on me a bit but her attentions were with the kids.  Confined to my room,  I got progressively worse.

During this time in the separation process, on some days the ex would drop by to see the kids  in the late afternoon.   He did so,  relieving my mom for a couple of hours, but I don’t think I got out of bed.  He  left by nighttime.

But it was Just Me With . . . my five kids.  I was the only adult in the house.  And I was very, very sick.

Taking Tylenol and forcing fluids did not bring down my fever and the antibiotics seemed to do nothing.   I still had painful frequent urination and was barely making it to the bathroom.  Laying down caused excruciating pain in my head.  Sitting up was still painful but not quite as bad.  So I sat,  without television,  reading material, or music.  I just sat on my bed in a darkened room, shivering.

My first set of twins told me they had checked on me that night.  They said when they peeked in my room I was sitting up with my eyes open and my arms flat and motionless at  my sides, palms up.   My eyes must have rolled back into my head because my children told me that  though my eyes were open,  they only saw the whites of my eyes, and I was not responsive.  They said I had no color in my face, that I looked completely white.

“We thought you were dead, mommy.”  They said.

Ugh.  My poor babies.  They thought they were in the house with their dead mother.

“So what did you do?‘ I asked later.

“We ran back into our room and got under our beds.” 

My poor babies.  I think they were maybe eight years old at the time.

Later,  “Baby B” twin  convinced “Baby A” twin  to go back and check on me again. (“Baby B” twin is always convincing the other kids to do things . . . there was an incident with an open window . . . but I digress . . .)  When “Baby A” twin looked in on me,  I was on my bed, but I had slumped over, with my arms still at my sides, and eyes still open.

So I hadn’t  laid down —- I had tipped over.   Yeah, I must have looked dead.  My poor babies.

Frightened even more, the girls reportedly  stayed up all night until they saw me get up to go to the bathroom early in the morning.  I do remember going to the bathroom.  I remember seeing them down the hall and not being able to speak.

When my mother came again later that day I told her I had to go to the doctor.  But my mother doesn’t drive.  My dad had dropped her off and left.   He didn’t answer his phone.   So . . . I drove myself.  Obviously,  I wasn’t thinking clearly.   I could have, should have, called a neighbor or friend, but I wasn’t thinking straight. My mother didn’t know how sick I was, since she had spent most of her time with the kids.  I think she was just relieved that I agreed to go back to the doctor.  Luckily, he doctor’s office was less than two miles away, though I distinctly remember considering pulling over to rest.

When I finally arrived, my doctor took one look at me and said,

“You’re sick.”

(ya think?)

“I think you need to be in the hospital.  How did you get here?”

He was horrified that I had driven myself .  They sat me in a wheelchair while the nurse got a hold of my dad who drove me to the hospital.   I stayed for four days.  I had  a kidney infection. I had never been that ill in my life.

If I hadn’t gotten to the doctor, I very well could have died right there in my house, alone with my kids down the hall.

My poor kids,  traumatized by spending a whole night thinking their mom had died in her bed. To this day, years later, they check on me at night.  If I am sick they check on me often.

“Mommy, are you okay?”

I eventually recovered, though I was weak for quite some time.  My body was run down by my depression, the physical problems that resulted from it and my complete lack of self-care.  I was a mess.

In a way, it was a learning experience.   I had to have the discussion with my children about where to go and what to do and who to call should they be worried that something has happened to me.  They should never have to suffer through the night thinking their mom is dead.  It still makes me shudder, my poor babies.    The whole experience forced me to  realize that I would indeed be the only adult in the house for an indefinite period of time and that the kids need to know what to do should something happen to me.

I’m all they have.   It’s a little scary.

Plus, I felt guilty.   My serious illness and the traumatic experience to my children were  triggered by my having a  “visitor” whose liveliness caused a urinary tract infection, which progressed to my kidneys, and landed me in the hospital.

I couldn’t catch a break.

So ends the tale of me almost getting f**ked to death.    And you wonder why I’m a little hesitant to get out there.

Just Me With . . . . a lover, a  kidney infection, and reports of my death slightly exaggerated.

I later told my visitor that he could claim bragging rights to almost f*cking a woman to death.  He was not amused.  He’s a good guy.

Facebook Mutual Friend with the Ex’s Girlfriend — Part Two

So if you read my earlier post, “Facebook Mutual Friend With The Ex’s Girlfriend — Part One”  you know that sitting at Starbucks I found out for sure that my Transitional Man –the first man I had dated since my separation — who I’d met by a chance encounter on the street,  had also dated my Ex-Husband’s Girlfriend.

When I told him he was freaked out.  I do believe he stuttered a bit, “Wha Wha What?”  This dude is an ambitious, self-assured lawyer.  The fact that he was at a loss for words is no less than extraordinary.

“Yes,” I said, “My  husband is living with her.”

“Living with her?”   He was astonished.

“Yup.”  I was still getting used to it.

Now here’s where I tread lightly.  I don’t want to bad mouth the Girlfriend .  After all, she is not the woman my Ex left me for (that relationship didn’t work out, surprise, surprise) and though she has done some things that have overstepped for sure,  I don’t want to use this post as any kind of venting situation.   So I will condense and dilute his comments.

Actually, I didn’t ask him anything about her.   He just started talking.   It felt like he wanted to be my source of information.   First he assured me that they had not slept together.  (I find that quite hard to believe,  he buys his condoms in bulk).    Then he said something very interesting.  He said  he didn’t think she’d be very “kid friendly.”  Next, he made a most caring comment–   he said, “It must be so hard to have another person around your kids who you don’t know and you have no control over.”  He added,  “I guess you end up just having to trust your Ex and that’s gotta be hard.”   God Bless my Transitional Man — he hit it right on the head.  Then he repeated that the Girlfriend wasn’t the kid type and volunteered some additional information I won’t repeat.   It was somewhat worrisome  since he described her as not kid friendly and expressed sympathy at my situation.    Hmmm.

In any event, my Transitional Man turned out to be very sensitive and  thoughtful  (By the way, he has no kids, never married — so this was particularly insightful) .    I really appreciated that.

Though he may have been exaggerating his stance for my benefit, it was clear that he was not impressed by my Ex’s choice.   Again, I’m not going to repeat all the things he said, but this — this — was simply a gem:   After describing The Girlfriend as “harsh” he said,

“I don’t get it.   Going from  you to her is like going from

Alicia Keys . . . .

 to  . . . .

Omarosa

(You know, the villainous  reality show  contestant from The Apprentice, the one  people loved to hate).

Just Me With . . . a Smile on My Face.

Postscript.  Not only did my Ex marry the Girlfriend, but they have procreated.  So much for her not being the kid type . . .

Facebook Mutual Friend with the Ex’s Girlfriend? – Part One

A Chance Meeting

My ex-husband and I had been separated for a while but the divorce was not yet final. We had married young and been married for a long time.  The break up was difficult and not my idea.  Drama ensued.  Eventually friends told me I needed to get out, go out with someone – anyone — not to find a boyfriend or husband or any real relationship, but as a first step to moving on and feeling single instead of just, well — jilted.   See, The Best Advice I Never Took

On an extremely rare holiday downtown shopping trip with my sisters, I had a chance meeting with a guy while looking for a parking spot.  We had asked him if we could take his spot as he was about to pull out.   He was reasonably attractive and had a law school sticker on his car.  So I (also a lawyer) thought, “ I’m going to be forward  and strike up a conversation.”  I found out that he was an associate with the very same law firm I had worked for in a previous life.  (This was an amazing coincidence since he is African-American also and there have been very few attorneys of color employed at this firm.)   He was friendly, seemed nice and let’s face it – good on paper.  I asked for his card.  Oh, and did I mention that he appeared to be at least 10 years younger than me?

How Stella Got Her Groove Back

It took me two whole months to get the nerve to email him.    When I did, he remembered me right away.  It was just the ego boost I needed.  We went out.  Long story short, I knew him in the Biblical sense (in hindsight, probably too quickly) .  I wasn’t emotionally equipped to build a relationship and didn’t know how to date.  Plus, I had no time what with all those people I had made over the years (the kids).  And, I was still a wreck.  It was a struggle to maintain the face of normalcy for extended periods of time.  I couldn’t or wouldn’t do the fun activities he suggested we do –so it kind of became a very short-lived  — arrangement.

But I had met my secret goal:  I had been with a man, not my husband, who had not ever known me as someone’s wife.   It didn’t hurt my self-esteem either, that after five kids and a nervous breakdown, I was able to snag, albeit briefly, a younger man who would have been “a catch” for any woman.   It was what I needed at the time.  So when it fizzled with him, it was okay.   He’d been my —  my Transitional Man.

Fast forward a couple of years.  The Ex announces he has a girlfriend now (he’d had them before but this time he was bringing one around the kids).  So I did what every woman with a computer and internet access would do – I electronically stalked — I mean — researched her.  First stop? – Facebook.   Success.  I now knew what she looked like, what her hobbies and interests were, and that she was 10 years younger than  me.  Seeing her picture didn’t bother me.  But as I scrolled down I saw something that did bother me.  We had one mutual friend.  ONE MUTUAL FRIEND. Not my Ex, of course not.  I’m not his friend on Facebook or anywhere else.  No, our mutual friend was my Transitional Man!!!   Aha!  That’s why her page yielded so much information.   You see, most of the Girlfriend’s entries were accessible to me because I was a “Friend of a Friend.”   Hmm.   But then I realized that the”Friend of the Friend” stuff works both ways.  Most of my settings were already “Friends Only”  (I had a stalking issue I’ll blog about later) but just to be safe I took down pictures and personal information.  It wasn’t long before the Girlfriend changed her settings to “Friends Only ” — meaning she’d probably looked at my page and discovered our Mutual Friend as well.

The real issue, however, remained  — One Mutual Friend.  I told myself that since The Girlfriend  and my Transitional Man graduated college the same year maybe they knew each other from some professional group, even though she’s not a lawyer.  The voice in my head was screaming WHAT IF THE GIRLFRIEND WENT OUT WITH MY TRANSITIONAL MAN TOO?    I mean, that would just be wrong on so many levels.

I tried to dismiss the thought from my consciousness.  How unfair and sick would that be?  My chance, movie-like meeting with my good on paper Transitional Man—and maybe he’d been with The Girlfriend, too?–  Ew.  That would be way too much exchange of DNA in a small world with not nearly enough degrees of separation.  In short, it was just freaking me the hell out.  And this is not a small town, mind you.  We live in a large metropolitan area.  What the hell?   Yet I could find no common ground – school, work, etc. between the Girlfriend and my Transitional Man that would administratively explain their Facebook friendship.  I resigned myself to leave the question unanswered.  Transitional Man  and I sometimes exchanged Facebook pleasantries (I “liked” his new “in a relationship” status) but I did not think it appropriate to approach him and ask.

A few months later (and after Transitional Man’s relationship status was back to being single), I got a text out of the blue from him about some law stuff.   We chatted and had the “let’s catch up” conversation.   I agreed to have coffee with him. (I hadn’t seen him since our last “date”). Since Transitional Man initiated the meeting, however, I thought it now appropriate  to ask him ever so casually, while sipping over-priced coffee at Starbucks, about how he knows his Facebook friend —  the Girlfriend.

Just Me With a Question: So, how do you know [the Girlfriend’s name]?

Transitional Man’s Answer:  Oh.  Yeah, I’m not that good friends with her but I’m really good friends with her cousin.

(Wait for it . . . wait for it . . .)

And  [Ex-Husband’s  New Girlfriend] and I went out a couple of years ago.

In case it is in any way unclear:    My Transitional Man had dated my Ex–Husband’s New Girlfriend.

Just Me With  . . .  A Heart Attack — (Oops there it is.)

I thought Transitional Man was going to have a heart attack too  . . .  See Facebook Mutual Friend Part Two

Postscript:  By the way, The Ex and the New Girlfriend are married now.

Postscript:  The Transitional Man is married now.

Postscript:  I am single.  I am quite contentedly single.

See also:  Happy Birthday to My Ex-Husband’s Ex-Girlfriend