We had gone to Pennsylvania to a family wedding. My husband was absent, remote, not present. He was physically there, of course, but not emotionally. This was years before he announced that he wanted a divorce.
We were strolling along the streets of the small town we were visiting. I can’t remember exactly what had passed between us in the previous short span of time. What I can remember is a brief dialogue we had as we walked. Apparently I had not received the reply I expected to some comment or question. I stopped, looked him in the eyes, with puzzlement in mine, and told him, “You act like someone who’s having an affair.” In hindsight, I realize the look on his face said it all. I continued with my accusation, “You are, aren’t you?”
At this point D did what he has always done best. He put on his poor-pitiful-me look, donned his best salesman cloak and presented a spiel like I had never heard before, and hope I never hear again. “No,” he insisted, “I’m not having an affair.” I don’t remember the rest of what he said to convince me of his innocence, but I do remember my queen of denial kicking in to the extent that I felt the need to apologize to him for thinking and saying such vile things. And I did. My jaw is gaping as I write and I have an enormous urge to kick my own ass. What was I thinking?!
Here’s the thing, I had never accused him of infidelity. I know I didn’t just blurt it out without some considerable forethought. Why didn’t I trust my gut? Why did I second guess my instincts? Today, the answer is obvious: I didn’t want to know. It didn’t seem so simple at the time, though. Matters of the heart are complicated.
This story gets even better. After we had established that D was not guilty, we shopped and window shopped at our leisure for quite some time. I saw and admired a rather expensive watch. He insisted on buying it for me. I still wear it today. A logical, thinking person would have recognized he was paying me for buying what he was selling that day–that he was a really good husband and he had done nothing wrong. In retrospect, I think I did recognize his so-called generosity for what it was.
Today I’m neither sad nor happy. I’m not angry. I’m idling here in neutral, just remembering.
Here’s a delightful, laid-back Christmas song for you, if you’re so inclined. I heard it at my granddaughter’s recital this afternoon. Jingle Bell Jamboree by Keb’ Mo’.