[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
revenge is a dish best served piping hot...with corn muffins
i’ve been known to google an ex from time to time. heck, i google lots of people. even people i never liked in high school. hoping, i guess, to see their name in connection to some high-profile felony charge. anyway, i google an ex every once in a while. admit it...you do, too.
so, i google s. we’ll be referring to him as s because…well, because that’s the first letter of his name. anyway, s is an ex who was my sea change. i didn’t treat him very well, and that’s a statement brimming over with self-protection. i broke his heart. into tiny little jagged pieces. a lot of them. and, i regret it. a lot. that experience caused me to do a great deal of soul-searching. i asked myself some really hard questions about who i was, and who i wanted to be. i like to think i’ve come a long way from the careless person i was then. that i understand a bit why i did some of the things i did. that i’ll never do those things again. i just hate that i had to learn those lessons at the expense of a really wonderful person who loved me and trusted me.
s appreciated me in a way that no one really had before. or since, actually. he thought i was the bee’s knees. best thing since sliced bread. i hung the moon. you get the picture. one of my favorite pastimes – cooking – actually flourished while i was with s. s wasn’t much of a cook. okay, he could cook soup and ravioli. out of a can. oh, and frozen pizzas. anyway, with his encouragement, i started spreading my wings in the kitchen, trying new things, and gaining confidence with each success. he was so enthusiastic, so supportive, and an incredibly good sport.
once, we took one of our infamous road trips. although it seems baffling in retrospect, i seem to recall that it was a road trip to indiana. why indiana? why, i do not know…cannot fathom…am unable to explain. anyway, that was a long road trip. to make it more interesting, we decided that we would stop every hour on the hour, coming and gong, in an effort to definitively identify the best chili between our start and end points. it was a fun experiment, but, ultimately, disappointing. there is some bad chili out there, people. chili with cinnamon in it. a lot of cinnamon. chili with lots of beans and no meat. chili with unidentifiable, alleged "meat". chili on top of spaghetti, which was especially confusing to me, as that was usually referred to as "spaghetti sauce" in my family (don’t start with the emails, cincinnati). so, upon our return home i immediately set out to make the world’s best chili. well, immediately after eating a case of alka-seltzer.
and guess what? i made some damn fine chili.
so fine, in fact that s became addicted. it became our ritual: every autumn weekend, i was in the kitchen, making up a big ‘ol pot of red. we’d eat it until we were immobile, sprawled out on the couch, both of us with big fat smiles on our faces.
“j,” he’d say, “that is some damn fine chili. seriously. goddamn.”
“you know,” i’d retort, “sometimes i think you just keep me around for my chili recipe. i’m afraid to teach you how to make it…you’ll put me to the curb!”
but, i did teach him how to make it. and we pinky-swore to secrecy. and it was great. and fun. and he didn’t put me to the curb.
and then, it all ended.
so, i’m on a little google safari, and i google him, and i get a couple of hits. the usual stuff. some brief he argued. his unsuccessful bid in local politics. bleh. then, i happen to pop over to the image tab.
and, whammo – there it is.
this picture hits me like a ton of bricks.
there he is, smiling that smile, wearing his favorite shirt (the servicemaster one with “ed” embroidered on it), and his favorite glasses (the ones with the red lenses – “so i can always look at the world through rose-colored glasses, even when i forget to try” he said.). and, beside him is this…this…chick. and she’s smiling and he has his arm around her, and she looks sickeningly happy. as a matter of fact, they both look sickeningly happy. and, speaking of sickeningly, i want to puke.
so, i study this picture carefully, and i am able to discern several facts right away:
1. he has gained weight.
2. she is, clearly, a slammerkin.
3. his smile is totally fake.
4. even though i have never seen her before, it is obvious that she, too, has gained weight.
5. i am not in this picture anywhere.
oh, i can hear you now, gentle readers:
“you’re angry that he found happiness with another woman after you treated him badly and broke his heart into tiny little jagged pieces?!"
"you're some selfish piece of work.”
"i like my spaghetti with chili on it!"
but, i'm honestly not upset that he's happy. truly, it was my fondest wish that he would find happiness again. as a matter of fact, i lost a lot of sleep worrying that he might not. i mean, maybe i hadn't envisioned that he would be so happy...but, no, that isn’t what bothered me. that isn’t what caused my stomach to turn. what caused my skull to hurt as though an alien baby was going to come shooting out of my forehead.
see, this isn’t just a picture of a blissfully happy couple.
it’s a picture of a blissfully happy couple holding a trophy and a check.
it's a picture of a blissfully happy couple winning a chili cook-off.
| [tell me about it] | [link to this entry]