I was at Denny’s restaurant on my lunch break, enjoying a turkey club sandwich, an iced tea, and reading the newspaper. Sitting in a booth by myself, still having another 35 minutes to go on my break, and kids away at school miles away from where I work. I was in a peaceful state. That’s when I heard it from the booth behind me.
“Mike has been such a jerk lately, if he wants to keep putting his friends above me, why did he even get married. It’s like pulling teeth to have him stay home.” Said the woman whose voice sounded to be in her mid thirties.
“Consider yourself lucky. Bill’s home all the time and all he does is watch TV. Last night he asked to eat in front of the baseball game and then expected me to clean up his dishes when he was done.” Said the second woman.
My lunch was ruined. I was angry and sad at the same time. I felt like getting up, walking over to that booth and asking both women to marry me right then and there.
“Ladies, I use to be a good husband.” I would say on one knee “Marry me, and I will stay home with you, I will turn off the television, I will clean up my own dishes, and we shall go out afterwards and dance until midnight to the sounds of Dave Brubeck.”
I paid my check and left Denny’s very melancholy. How could these guys treat their wives so? Didn’t they know how lucky they were to have their companions still alive? How dare all these people who are married treat their spouses with disrespect. And yet, the guy who would dote on his wife is a widower.
I carried this anger all throughout the rest of the day. Then, on the drive home while I had the radio off, I felt the tears coming of anger, sadness, and pity of the greatness of my husbandhoodness that was being wasted. Finally, I got my head together and said out loud to myself, “You’re full of crap. You were no better and you know it.”
For the past few years my memories have strayed into rewriting memories. I have turned regret of not fully appreciating my wife to false memories of me being this great husband who is alone. I’ve done it because it hurts less when I think the world has done me great injustice instead of looking myself in the mirror.
I have to keep an eye out on this, I cannot let myself drift father and farther into what is false realities and unreal expectations. If that happens, I will create such a cyclone of anger trying to live a life that not only doesn’t exist, but never did.