… for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it simply: by the lives they lead. ~ Edith Wharton
This is one of my favorite stories of all time.
I had known for quite awhile that my marriage wasn't going to survive, and so I made arrangements to visit a divorce lawyer. Three days before my scheduled appointment, Dipshit walked in the door with orders from the United States Government to go visit Iraq. For 18 months.
Because I was young and dumb and actually cared what other people thought, I decided to wait until after his deployment to file for divorce as I really didn't want to be known as "That Bitch Who Left Her Husband Because He Was Being Deployed" (yes, military wives gossip just as bad as everyone else). I'll also admit I was holding on to a sliver of hope that maybe his deployment would strengthen our relationship.
Yeah, right. He was cheating on me within a week of going to Ft. Knox for briefing.
So after some back and forth, hemming and hawing over the course of six weeks, we finally decided to call it quits. And I was left in our apartment with all of his stuff.
We've all read the email that gets passed around from time to time about the woman who has a huge seafood dinner the night her divorce is final and puts all the shells and fish bones in the curtain rods of the home her now ex-husband will be sharing with his new wife. The old open can of olive-oil-packed tuna in the winter coat pocket trick. Lining the cat litter pan with his shirts and then packing them away (okay, so maybe you haven't heard of that last one but it did cross my mind a time or two). But I didn't do any of that. I decided to take the high road and pack everything nice and neat into boxes that I left, unopened, in an unused hallway of our apartment. All of his clothes, CDs, DVDs, books, and even holiday decorations sat unused, untouched in the hallway until Dipshit's return 18 months later. I also paid off our computer, my engagement ring, two joint credit accounts, AND paid down three of HIS credit cards from having balances of over $3,000 a piece to under $1,000 each as well as keeping the car and loan payments current.
I'll admit I spent most of the money that would have been left over. After all, Mr. Marshall Field, miLord Taylor, and Ms. Lane Bryant were my therapists of choice.
When Dipshit got back from Iraq, I had held out hope that because I hadn't been a complete and utter bitch during his deployment and wasn't contesting the divorce, we'd at least be able to part on amicable terms.
I'm a strong enough woman to admit: I WAS WRONG.
I kid you not, I still swear to this day that Dipshit had some kind of dry erase board where he was detailing new and demeaning ways to humiliate me. Like when he closed out our bank account without telling me. Now I realize the account needed to be closed eventually. But I hadn't been expecting Dipshit to come home from work one day, toss $300 at me and say, "This is your half of what was left in the bank account. I closed it out today." I had multiple problems with this as:
- The $600 in there had been from my unemployment check I had deposited the day before.
- He hadn't used the account in over a year so I didn't feel he was entitled to anything in it.
- I had already cut and mailed checks to the utility companies using that money.
- I'd had no advance warning he'd been planning on closing out the account because if I had, I wouldn't have done any of the above.
I may have gone a little ballistic. Perhaps I threatened (and tried to make good on my threat) to break his nose. A lot of yelling and screaming and throwing of things took place, not going to lie. And he laughed.
There were many other incidents that took place between Dipshit's return from Iraq and my moving out, but that one far and away took the cake (except for the weekend when I was gone and his girlfriend came to visit and stole my boots. Who does that? Really?).
A few weeks later, I came home to find Dipshit packing some of his boxes into his work van.
"Where are you going with that stuff? Did you rent a storage unit?" I asked.
"Are you moving out?" I began to panic. I'd just had an interview and was hoping to stay in Chicago while I waited to hear if I'd gotten the job or not, but that of course meant I was dependent on Dipshit's sense of honor to stay in my apartment.
"So what are you doing?"
"Well, let's face it. You're a psycho bitch and I know you're going to ruin my stuff so I'm taking it to Ditzy's." Ditzy is obviously not her real name but really? You're dating a married guy. You deserve to be called Ditzy.
"You heard me."
"So let me get this straight. You honestly think that I'm going to lash out and destroy your stuff now when I had the entire time you were in Iraq to do it?"
The question caught him off guard and I think even he realized his logic was made up of swiss cheese.
"Fine. I'll help you with this."
I marched through our courtyard under the watchful eyes of our neighbors who'd been outside enjoying the balmy summer afternoon. Most of them knew what was going on by that point and had been encouraging me to be a bit more vengeful. I went into my apartment, Dipshit not far behind me, and grabbed his toolbox. I turned, went back through the kitchen, and out onto the back porch where I held the door open so Dipshit could carry his drum out. I let the door shut behind him, and then…
… I swung my arm back…
… and let the toolbox sail off the back porch and into the courtyard a half story below. "You honestly think I'm going to help you, you fuckin' bastard?" I yelled.
My neighbors stood up and started applauding. Loud cheers of "You go, girl!" and "Give the asshole what he deserves!" followed. Adrenaline pumping, I spun back into the house, grabbed a guitar that to this day, I have no idea where it came from or what it was doing in our apartment, and was about to let it meet the same fate as the toolbox when Dipshit caught up with me.
I'm sure it comes as no surprise that another fight ensued.
Several days later, I was passing through the dining room and saw Dipshit on Amazon buying a Coldplay CD. The same Coldplay CD I'd given him as part of his Christmas present from our first Christmas as Mr. and Mrs.. Curious, I had to ask.
"Why are you buying that CD? You already own it."
Louder but still incoherent mumbling.
"Dipshit, why don't you just open your mouth and use your words!"
"It was stolen."
"When you were in Iraq?"
I thought about it. Dipshit's work van had been broken into a few times, but I knew it hadn't been broken into since his return. We hadn't had a break in at our apartment, as I'd obviously have noticed that. I gave up and asked, "Where?"
Huge sigh. Fairly long pause. "Out of Ditzy's car."
"I put all my stuff in Ditzy's car and someone broke into it and stole everything while she was in school on Monday."
"So all of your books, CDs, and DVDs, along with your drums and stuff was stolen?"
I cried. I was laughing so hard I cried.
Karma: you gotta love that bitch's sense of humor sometimes.