My Mom used to tell me things as an adult that she would never have told me as a youngster. Mostly these revelations came out of the blue without any logical connection to what we had been talking about or doing. It’s almost as if she had a box of memories stored in her brain and every once in awhile the lid snapped open and a story popped out. I enjoyed it when that happened.
For instance, one time my Mom told me she liked foggy weather. She said Londoners loved the fog—that’s why they live there—and that she wanted to live there, too. My Mom was an Anglophile so that made sense. (Hey, Mom, have I got a cape you can wear! “It’s veddy British.”)
She also said a funny thing happened in the fog and told me about my Dad and a former girlfriend named Peggy. She was one of his extra-marital affairs. As my Mom tells it, he tired of her before she tired of him. One early morning after a tryst she drove home in the fog, got confused, crashed into a tree, and was killed. My Mom said my Dad whistled (a happy tune?) the whole time at the funeral.
Another time my Mom told me my Dad was not present at my birth.
“What do you mean he wasn’t there? Why not?” I asked.
“He was playing golf,” my Mom said.
“But you had a C-section. You knew ahead of time when you would deliver.”
My Mom also said that a few days after I was born, she and I went home in a taxi—due to another “golf game.”
I asked my Mom how she felt about that whole deal. She said she wished she had wrapped a golf club around his neck.
Here’s another golf club story:
When my sister’s first marriage was in its last stages of disintegration, I moved in with her to help her out. Her DHS (Dick-Head Spouse) had taken up with a sleaze and wasn’t around. (At ten o’clock at night he claimed to be “playing golf.”) Plus my sister had a sixteen-month-old baby and another baby due in a couple of months. (I swear I’ve heard this story before!) Plus she was basically a wreck. Infidelity is not a positive mood enhancer. Especially not when mixed with pregnancy hormones.
One night DHS was supposed to come over. He was a no-show. My sister sat in a rocking chair, her big ol’ belly protruding forth. She looked like a swollen ladybug wearing a muu-muu—little head and arms, giant abdomen. She sipped on a White Russian (the non-standard pre-natal beverage to fulfill daily calcium requirements) and wondered aloud to me where he might be.
I said, “Duh.”
My sister extricated herself from the rocking chair like that roly-poly ladybug on its back trying to right itself. She grabbed the car keys and a golf club—a driver of some sort—and headed out the door. (This is why you have live-in babysitters.)
She found DHS’s van parked in front of the sleaze’s house. She barged in through the front door, waddled from room to room swinging the club. She found the two sleazes in a darkened den, on the floor watching TV, and smoking pot.
I don’t know what she screamed at them because I wasn’t there. But I do know what she did next. She beat the crap out of DHS’s van. Then she drove home and very calmly told me what happened. We laughed.
The next day DHS reported to his insurance agent, Allan, that his van had been vandalized and he filed a claim. My sister called Allan and told him the real story. Allan laughed, too.
Now in the news is another story of yet another distraught wife faced with the infidelities of her golfing husband. It appears this wife, too, got the golf club after her DHS’s cheatin’ ass.
My Mom divorced my Dad. He didn’t want the divorce. My Mom wanted her dignity. Financially and socially, she got the short end of the stick. But I admire her for the guts it took to do that back in the 1960s. It was the right thing to do.
My sister divorced her DHS. It was the right thing to do. He tried to make her pay his taxes. She won that round—without golf clubs. She also went on to Hubby #2, two additional kiddies, and a good life with no golf.
If the Distraught Wife in the news asked me for advice, this is what I would tell her based on experience:
1. Serial Cheaters don’t change. They cheat again and again because they feel entitled.
2. Love and respect are expressed through behavior, not a bank account.
3. Mentally move on. Physically stay put. Put DHS out back in his own house. You can get one through the Sears Catalog. See below.
It’s big enough for only ONE, if you catch my drift. Added bonus: When the kids go outside to play, they’ll have a mutt to play with.
4. Your children will learn from your actions.
5. One day you will be able to laugh about the golf club episode.