I’m so glad I took typing

March 9, 2011

Even though I insisted that I was going to go to college, Mama made the rule that  I had to take two years of typing and two years of shorthand anyway, “just in case”.  Smart Mama.

In order to get all the college prep courses as well as Mama’s business classes, I went to summer school every summer during high school.  (As did many of my friends — summer school was very popular then, not punitive as I think it is considered now.)  Well, I didn’t go to college, but because wise Mama had made me take those business classes, I was able to get a job and make a good living.

Hubby’s really glad he took typing too, even though at the time he considered it as just a “filler” class.  But not all guys took typing when we were in school.  After all, they weren’t going to be secretaries, so why would they ever need to know how to type?  Ha!  I would guess the majority of those guys at some point regretted that decision.

Back then, none of us could have ever guessed that there would come a time when practically everyone would need to know how to type (I guess called keyboarding now).

But those short-sighted guys who thumbed their noses at typing weren’t alone.  If all of us could have seen into the future, the Spanish classes would have been alot more popular too.

Drive ten blocks to save ten bucks?

March 7, 2011

We did!  Of course, there was no guarantee that was going to happen.  But when we got off the toll road yesterday badly needing gas and still a couple hours from home, the gas station right there at the exit advertised (proudly?) regular gas for $3.99.  Hubby said, “No way!  I’m sure we’ll come to another station soon, and if it’s $3.99 too then we’ll know that it’s just gone up that much today, and go ahead and pay it.  But I bet we can find it cheaper.”

Sure enough, about ten miles down the road we came to a station advertising $3.49.  We filled up and congratulated ourselves for saving $10.00.

I’ve always kind of thought it was funny how we all will shop around for our gas just to save a few cents per gallon.  But for the first time yesterday when this happened, I thought “Wow!  I’m glad we did shop around. That was worth it!”

I remember 20 cents a gallon gas when I was a teenager.  I was the only one in my group of friends who had a car, so they would sometimes pool their money and buy 50 cents worth of gas for my car so that we could “buzz” the popular drive-in restaurants in town.  And, just think, for that 20 cents a gallon, there was a filling station attendant (a part-time job for many high school boys) who pumped it for us, washed our windshield and checked our oil.  And, if he was cute, we would flirt with him too.  What a deal!

It all began …

June 30, 2010

The following was in the newspaper yesterday:

“Did you marry your high school sweetheart?  The (newspaper) is looking for stories about couples who dated during their teen years and ended up married to each other.”

So, of course, I thought I would submit our story.  But when I looked back through all the Hubby posts here, I couldn’t find one that told the story of  when “it all began”.  That is really an omission, because it is one of the most important turning points in both our lives.  So, I’m going to correct that omission right now:

On New Year’s Eve, 1961 I was 15 and staying overnight with Robyn, one of my girlfriends. When it was almost midnight, her boyfriend, Wayne, called from a party to ask if he could stop over for a little while to see in the New Year with her. But she explained that I was there, so that probably wouldn’t work. No problem, he said. Just by coincidence he had a friend who he had wanted me to meet anyway, and that friend just happened to be right there at the party too!  So Robyn said okay – in that case they could both stop over.  But when Wayne hung up the phone, he definitely had a problem.  He didn’t really have a friend in mind to introduce to Robyn’s friend whom he had only met a few times, but he needed to find somebody quick! He looked around the room and his eyes landed on his friend Jim (probably one of the taller guys in the room, so he stood out). So Wayne went over and gave Jim a “sales pitch” about Sandy, his girlfriend’s “cool” friend, and convinced Jim to come with him to meet me.  The rest is history.  Jim and I went together, sometimes off but mostly on, for the rest of high school and married a year after I graduated.  We have just celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary.

I’ve always loved telling the story about how Wayne picked Jim for me.  And it’s no surprise to anyone who knows Wayne that he spent his entire career working in sales – he definitely had a talent for it.  But, to my way of thinking, the most important sales pitch Wayne ever gave was the one he gave to Jim about a girl name Sandy, on New Year’s Eve, 1961.

An Unlucky Combination

October 21, 2009


By 8th grade I was all settled into this junior high school thing and it was great!  I had made friends with a group of fun, funny girls  and we had lots of harmless, immature fun, like having slumber parties, endlessly discussing and trading clothes, talking on the phone for hours, teasing, spraying and styling our hair — always trying for a new “look”  (sometimes with unfortunate/comical consequences forever documented by our school pictures), and, of course, flirting with and discussing equally immature boys!  Oh yeah, and studying sometimes.

But one time that is particularly memorable to me was when my friends Karen and Soupie (Susan was her real name) and I stepped over the line and got so wrapped up in a silly idea of something “fun” to do, that we couldn’t see what the consequences might be.

We had an hour for lunch each day and after we ate lunch, we could spend the rest of the hour as free time.  On nice days, most students went outside and just socialized.  But the building was open, so you could come and go as you pleased, and most of the teachers, except for a few who casually patrolled the halls, were in their rooms or the teacher’s lounge enjoying a little free time too.  So, while the halls weren’t totally empty, there were very few people around during this time.

This particular day, as a group of us walked around outside, Karen kept adjusting the crinoline she was wearing under her skirt.  It was an old one handed down to her by her older sister and the waistband was very weak, so it kept hanging down so that you could see it below the hem of her skirt.  It was driving her crazy, so she just decided to take it off.

crinoline  This would have been about 1959 and we still wore crinolines sometimes under our full skirts to make them look, well, fuller

So Karen decided to go into the building to the restroom to take off the offending crinoline and Soupie and I went with her.  But once she had taken it off, now what was she going to do with it?  She thought about throwing it away, but she was afraid to do that without first showing it to her mom to see if it could be fixed.  Our lockers were at the other end of the building and she really didn’t want to walk all the way down there carrying her crinoline.  A real dilemma.  Ah, but that’s what friends are for … I had a “brilliant” idea!

You know that locker that I talked about yesterday that I had struggled to open the year before?  Well, it was just a few steps down the hall from where we were, and I still remembered the combination!  I also knew that Mike, a shy guy in our class, had that locker this year.  Wouldn’t it be hilarious if we hung the crinoline in his locker, and then we could stand across the hall and watch to see his reaction when he opened it!?!  Yes, “brilliant”, Sandra.

So that’s just what we did.  Unfortunately for us, we weren’t very sneaky about it.  A teacher who had a room near-by had noticed us (after we had already put the slip in the locker), and I ‘m sure could  tell we were up to something, so she just watched.  And we were having way too much fun anticipating how funny our little prank was going to be to notice that we were being noticed.  So, we waited in clueless, excited anticipation for Mike to come into the building and return to his locker. 

We didn’t have long to wait.  Soon it was almost time for afternoon classes to start and Mike came to his locker to get his books.  By this time, with lunch time almost over, all the kids were streaming back into the building, so the three giggling girls on the other side of the hall wouldn’t have been obvious to him.  And when he opened his locker and saw the crinoline hanging in it, he stepped back and stood there staring at it with his mouth wide open.  Just as we had hoped, he was dumbfounded.  And across the hall, we were c.r.a.c.k.i.n.g  u.p.  We were soooo clever!

We had about two seconds to revel in our cleverness … before the teacher who had been watching us and now saw what we had done, pounced.  First she walked over to Mike’s locker (as we watched in sudden horror) and took the evidence from the locker and told Mike she would take care of it.  Then she walked directly to the three perps where we  now stood frozen in fear across the hall and escorted us directly to the Principal’s office!

Yikes!  None of us had ever been in trouble like this before.  We were good kids!  And I suppose that’s the reason that in the end  Mr. Armstrong, the Principal,  just gave us a stern talking to and then sent us on to class.  The offending crinoline was put in a paper sack and Karen was told to take it directly to her locker. 

I don’t remember any other punishment.  But that was enough.  We were mortified.  And this experience definitely made us, and of course all our friends who we told about our visit to the Principal’s office, a little smarter about a line that shouldn’t be crossed when we were thinking up fun things to do. 

I like to think we apologized to Mike too, but I honestly don’t remember doing it.  But I’ve seen him at class reunions since, and he still speaks to me, so I guess he didn’t hold a grudge!

 So, the moral to this story is that if you mix three silly, immature girls, an old crinoline, a shy guy, a locker that a year ago I couldn’t have opened on a bet and a sharp-eyed teacher … you get a very unlucky combination … especially for the three silly girls who earned themselves a trip to the Principal’s office!

Unlocking one of the mysteries of 7th grade!

October 20, 2009


When I went to junior high school, which started in seventh grade then, I was overwhelmed.  So many things were different!

It was an older, much bigger school than my grade school had been.  And, for the first time in my life, I now rode a bus to school.  I had never attended a school before that wasn’t within walking distance of my house.

And now I had multiple teachers in different rooms, and different kids in each class.

It was all new and exciting … but parts of it were a little scarey and confusing  too.

In fact, my school career almost ended there.  Yes, I almost had to drop out of school in 7th grade.  And, I might have, if it hadn’t been for Richard.

Here’s the reason.  I could not figure out how to use the combination lock on my newly acquired locker!  I had never had a locker before, and I definitely had never had to use a combination lock before.  So, if I hadn’t learned to open my locker, where, of course, I had to keep the books for all of my classes … well, you can figure it out … I would have flunked!

But along came my knight in shining armor, Richard, a tall, skinny red-headed kid who seemed to have all the confidence in the world compared to my confused, overwhelmed self … and who worked a combination locker like a pro!

And do you know where Richard’s locker was?  Right next to mine!  Now I don’t know if Richard would have returned to his locker after every class otherwise (Some kids were actually organized enough to take the books for several classes at a time!), but for whatever reason that he did in those crucial beginning weeks of 7th grade, I am forever grateful.  Maybe he did it just out of curiosity to see if that ditzy but sometimes funny girl who had the locker next to his would ever figure out how to unlock her locker.

Finally, when Richard got tired of the responsibility he probably felt to go back to his locker after every class so that he could unlock my locker, he actually taught me how to unlock it myself!  Hooray!  I wasn’t going to have to drop out!

I really enjoyed the rest of my school years.  Years that I got to experience only because Richard came to my rescue and taught me one of the most important lessons I learned in 7th grade … how to open the combination lock on a locker.

 Tomorrow:  The story of how learning to use my combination lock got me in trouble!

Babs and Bons: The Cheerleading Challenge

August 15, 2009


talk smack (v) To talk trash … casting doubt on a person’s ability.  Ex: Before the fight, the boxers were talking smack to each other.

   100_4953xx    This is Babs.  Doesn’t she look dignified?  Of course, she can be very dignified, but she also has a hilarious wit.  She is married to a doctor and is herself a dialysis nurse, so obviously there are many times in her life when she has to be dignified and serious — but, when she is with friends, her wit is what you see.  And sometimes, she can even talk a little smack (all in fun, of course)! 

100_4973xs   This is Karen, the most popular girl in our class.   She was and is fun and witty, was a cheerleader and was elected prom queen (the epitomy of popular when we were in high school).  One of her “claims to fame” was her cheerleading ability … and specifically her jump.  She was one of those especially agile cheerleaders who could jump high in the air and extend her legs straight out to both sides.  But, Karen could and would take that one step further.  She would jump high in the air, do a perfect splits in the air and then maintain that pose all the way to the floor, landing in perfect splits.  When I would see that jump coming during a game, I would watch the fans on the other side of the gymnasium, because it was fun to hear them gasp and see them obviously talking about it after she had done that spectacular jump.  

Now, let me just say there is much of being a freshman in high school that I have forgotten.  But, I do remember that many of us (including Babs, Bons and me) had hopes in the back of our minds that we could be cheerleaders.  Never mind how realistic our hopes were (or how little our talent) there were many of us who tried out for cheerleading.

And then there was a reality check for most of us.  Even though many tried out, few were chosen.  With Karen, I’m sure, at the top of that list.  And no one could have denied that Karen was a natural at it, so we were all still friends.

Well, at the reunion Saturday night, Babs told me that it was time for a “wrong to be righted” — she was the one who should have been a cheerleader instead of Karen.  So, she and Bons were going to challenge Karen to a face-off.  It took me a while to figure out why Babs needed Bons to do it with her.

  100_5006x   I caught a picture of Babs talking to Kathy, Keith’s wife, who was a cheerleader a couple years younger than us.  Maybe Babs is asking Kathy for some “insider” cheerleading tips!?

 100_5005x    It looks like our friend Sue may be reminding Babs of the words to an old favorite cheer, “Go, Fight, WIN!”

 100_5013s    Babs told me that when the time came for the challenge, I should make everyone stand waayyyy back because she would need as much room as possible to do her cheer.  And then I asked her how Bons figured into the challenge and Babs replied that she was going to do the actual cheer, but she had appointed Bons as her designated “jumper”.  See Babs pointing at Bons?  And I think it’s pretty obvious from the look in Bons’ eyes that she’s thinking, “Like that’s going to happen!”

100_5028xz    While all of this was going on, if Karen was nervous that she was being challenged, she hid it well.  She did a good job of acting like she was having a great time, and wasn’t nervous at all.

100_5004xx   And then, just like when we were in school, there was a reality check.  I don’t know if it was something that Karen told her (maybe that she could still do her signature jump?) that made her drop the challenge, or if it was Bons’ laughing refusal to be the designated jumper, but Babs dropped it. (I suspect that was always the plan.)

This whole little Babs-created drama was a great sub-text to the reunion Saturday night.  I don’t think she ever really planned to do the challenge, but all of the conversation, speculation and laughs it generated were really fun.

Babs is a nurse at a location where kidney patients receive dialysis.  I’ve heard that people who have to do that regularly, not surprisingly, come to dread those visits.  But, if you had to have dialysis, wouldn’t it make it a little easier if you had a nurse like Babs?  Someone who always has a smile, a caring word and even a funny comment once in a while?

I’m sorry you didn’t get to do your cheerleading challenge, Babs, because I know it would have been memorable.  But, when you think about it, with your personality, I’m guessing you have been a wonderful cheerleader to all the patients you have taken care of over the years!  And, I’m also guessing, while some lifting and pushing might have been required, you probably weren’t ever required to do a jump!

The Reunion: Who invited all these “old people”?

August 14, 2009


… a memorable question from our classmate and reunion committee member, Jerry, when he walked into the last reunion!

Well, there’s just no getting around it, we do classify as “old people”.  But, that’s one of the nice things about a class reunion … when I look at these classmates (and sometimes their spouses!) I see the people they were when they were teenagers!

The two couples at our table:

100_4938    Lynn and his wife Barbara.  I didn’t know Lynn very well in high school and hadn’t talked to him since we were paired to process together at graduation.  He had been at some other reunions, but we just didn’t come face to face.  So, I was delighted we got to talk to him and Barb this time.

100_4940x    Ed and his wife Janelle.  I’ve seen Ed regularly over the years because we worked at the same company and also go to the same church.  But he and Janelle just married a couple years ago, so it was great to get to know her a little better. 

So, it was the six of us at a table, and the guys almost immediately found our that they share a love of history and that they had all read Steven Ambrose’ Lewis and Clark, so immediately they had a common interest to talk about, and it was interesting for Janelle, Barb and me too!

During the cocktail hour, I went around the room and took pictures.

100_4939x    I’ve known Terry since grade school.  Still a great guy,  who has lived for many years in Arizona.

100_4942   Barb, a committee member, and her husband Tom who still live here.  When Hubby was retiring as Sheriff, they thought he should run for mayor.  He wasn’t interested, but he appreciated that they were “fans”.

100_4943xx    This is Karen.  Her husband didn’t make it this time, but they have been faithful attendees at every reunion.  They now live in Vermont.  Karen was the “it” girl in our class … cheerleader, prom queen and all-around friend to everyone.  She was also funny as all get out.  And, as you can see, she’s still beautiful.

100_4951x    Barb, Me, Dixie, Cheryl, Kay.  We were all on the committee, except for Dixie who lives in Texas.

100_4953x    Babs, Jerry and Robyn.  Three truly funny friends yucking it up.  Jerry is the only man on the reunion committee — and the voice of reason.  When the talk gets sidetracked, he’s the one who smiles and says, let’s move on.  Bless him.  It’s not a job just any man could do, and still come out alive!  He’s also the one who made the “old people” comment.  A fun guy.

100_4954x   Sue and her husband Steve are regular attendees.  They live in Arizona.

100_4966x   Patty, Adele and Bob.  Patty was in our class only as a freshman, then moved to another school, but she and Adele (who lives in Oregon) have always stayed friends, so Patty came as Adele’s “date” since Adele’s  husband couldn’t make it this time.  And,Bob, who sat at their table, told us later how much fun he had, and I think you can see that on his face.

100_4955x    Candy and her husband John.  We don’t have a “chairman” of the reunion committee per se, but I guess Candy would be the one if we did.  We meet at her house and she always serves us wonderful appetizers.  She may be the single reason we continue to have reunions — her and her appetizers are the “glue” that hold the committee together!

100_4956x    Bons and her husband John.  They are realtors in Florida.  She is another classmate who adds alot of fun to any get-together!

100_4961x   Walt and his wife Sharon still live near-by.  He was one of the quiet guys in our class.  But, he did something at one of our reunions that I thought was so very thoughtful.  He brought a 1964 (the year we graduated) Kennedy coin in one of those little collector holders for each classmate who was there that year.  A really thoughtful gift to his classmates.

100_4985x    Chuck is a professor in Alabama.  He was in drama and speech with me in high school, and that is his field as an adult.  His dad, right up until he died a few years ago, ran a record store here that had every record you could think of — or, if they didn’t have it, they would find it for you!

100_4964x    The three amigos — Denny from North Carolina, Terry from Arizona and Paul from Florida.  Paul is another classmate who didn’t actually graduate with us because he moved to another school district, but these three have remained friends and used the reunion as a little mini-reunion of their own!

 100_4960x   Becky and Barb who are committee members.  Becky took over doing the little reunion yearbook last reunion.  A project that I had done for many years, along with Shirley who was also on the committee until she died.  And Becky does in two days what Shirley and I did over months — and cheaper.  This is one of those times I really miss Shirley because we would have such a good laugh over how much work we put into those little booklets — and then Becky comes on the committee and practically does it on her lunch hour!  I wish I could believe that’s just because technology has improved, but I’m afraid it’s that Becky is much more computer saavy than we were.  Humbling.  But, good for you, Becky!

100_4973xx   Jennifer (yes, that Jennifer), Cheryl and Karen

100_4968x    I had to put up this other photo of Jennifer, because I can just see the little girl giggle in this picture.  Still such a nice person and she has had such an interesting life.  I didn’t get to talk to her too much, but I do know that she  now co-owns an eco-friendly cemetary in upstate New York, and that there was one period in her life when she lived (I’ve been told for six years) in a teepee!

100_4970x    Kathy and her husband Gary.  She is a retired school teacher and an artist.  They live in Ohio.

100_4987x   Denny and his wife Suzan are still local.  He was one of the “cool” guys in our class, and a great fast dancer.  So, you can imagine how popular he was, but he was never stuck on himself.  Just a great guy. 

100_4988x   Keith and his wife Kathy.  They go to our church so we see them.  Kathy was a cheerleader, but she was a couple years behind us, just a “kid”.  BTW, this is the only picture I took that has Hubby in it, although inadvertent.  See him in the background on the right?  Just wanted you to know he was there too, even if his wife didn’t think to take a picture of him!

100_4995x    Kay and Jerry were both in the class, and many of us were surprised, to say the least, in high school when quiet Kay started dating “bad boy” Jerry. 

100_4996    But, they have had a wonderful marriage … and we’ve found out over the years that Kay can be a  “steel magnolia” when she needs to be and Jerry is really just a lovable teddy bear.

To my regular readers, thank you for putting up with a few posts that may not be of great interest to you.  But, the reason I did this is that, frankly, even with a couple of knowledgeable “helpers”, I haven’t been able to figure out how to put these pictures on my Facebook page.  So, I had to put them here so that my classmates could see them!

One last Reunion post tomorrow:  Babs and Bons:  The Cheerleading Challenge


The Reunion: Ol’ Time Rock n’ Roll!

August 13, 2009


Our 45th class reunion Saturday night was the best for me ever, and I have no idea why.  I was sick!  Wouldn’t you think that would have been reason enough to give this one a pass, or at least go but only have a so-so time?

Nope.  Sick and all, I had a great time.  And I know that part of the reason is that the DJ was spot on with the music, and once the group would get going on one of our old favorite “fast dances”, when that song would end, he would just go right into another one of our favorites, so he kept the momentum going.  A side note:  I think DJ’s are a very under-appreciated group.  They can make or break a party by not just the songs they choose, but how they mix them — just their timing and sense of what will keep that particular group on the dance floor.  This one was great at all of that!

100_4958x    Sue is a classmate who went to Alaska for college, married Kelly, also a teacher, and they still live there.  And they both have always loved to dance! (She’s cute, even with her eyes closed, isn’t she?)

100_5028    And Kelly is very good about dancing with lots of the women who love to dance, starting, of course with Sue, but then …

100_4979x    … with Kay 

100_5019x    … with Jennifer

 100_4991x   … with Kathy

100_5001x   And when Sue dances sometimes it’s hard to tell who she is dancing with.  She just dances!

100_5003x   And Sue and Kelly weren’t the only ones who were feeling the beat!

100_4999x    See Adele (from Portland, OR) in the pink?

100_5015x   At some point she changed into very practical footwear so that she could dance all night! (This was taken as she participated in a very fast congo line — running shoes were very appropriate!)

100_5028xx   Bob, facing the camera, had never been to a reunion before, partially because he is a Professor at a university in Saipan!   But, he said he had a great time!  It’s always fun to see someone new attend and watch them  enjoy reconnecting with old friends!

 ol time rock n roll   Yes, that’s me all the way to the right.  Sometimes when the dancing really got going, I almost forgot that I was sick!

dancing with denny   Denny was one of the few guys in our high school class who really enjoyed dancing the fast dances.  And he was always very good about dancing with alot of different girls (even those of us who were going steady with non-fast- dancing boyfriends) so dancing with him is one of my favorite memories.  And I got to dance one with him this time!  Suzan probably had hand sanitizer waiting for him after he danced with “Typhoid Sandy”!  btw, the outfit looked alot better before I took off my shoes and my jacket, but it was HOT in there!

What a fun time.

100_5030x    I couldn’t resist taking a picture of the room as we left.  This is the first time ever that I have stayed until the end of a reunion!

Tomorrow:  Pictures of classmates, when they weren’t dancing!

We didn’t see Love Story …

July 21, 2009


… so we didn’t know its heroine’s name.  And that made a big difference in our lives. 

When I was growing up, I only knew one Jennifer.  I remember her in grade school as cute … wirey and athletic, fun, always smiling, with pretty blue eyes, freckles across her nose and her long brown hair in braids.  And even after she ditched the braids as she grew into a pretty teenager, she was still, to me, the prototypical all American girl.  We played together in grade school, but we didn’t see as much of each other when we got to high school.  But, even though it didn’t happen too often, she was still one of the girls I always enjoyed when she was around.  Then we graduated from high school, she moved away and I never saw her again.

Fast forward 45 years … I found out at the reunion meeting last night that JENNIFER, the original, one-and-only JENNIFER, is coming to our class reunion next month!  

Of course, I’m looking forward to seeing her for all the same reasons you enjoy seeing any of your old classmates, especially the ones you haven’t seen in a long time — it’s just fun to hear what they’ve been doing.

But, I will also tell her something that I’m pretty sure will surprise her … that she, and not the heroine of Love Story, as is the case with many Jennifer’s, was the inspiration for our daughter’s name!  

When we were trying to think of a name for our daughter, after lots of debate, we chose the name Jennifer partly because the name had all kinds of good memories attached to it for me because of the original Jennifer, but also we didn’t know any other Jennifers, so it would be unique!

Then, six years later, still never having seen Love Story, I was shocked when we enrolled our darling little Jennifer in kindergarten and there were SIX Jennifer’s in her grade!

That’s when we found out that the heroine in the movie Love Story, which was one of the most popular movies released the year before our little girl was born, was named Jennifer.  And from the number of Jennifer’s our daughter has encountered all of her life, there must have been alot of people having babies about that time who had seen the movie and loved the name of the heroine.

In retrospect, maybe we should have gone with something reallllly unique, like Hermione … I’m pretty sure there wouldn’t have been six of that one in her kindergarten!

Can Stupidity be Terminal?

July 15, 2009


They had arrived at a time in their lives when they could enjoy the “fruits of their labors”.  He was retiring as a CPA with a large accounting firm and she was retiring from a long career as a professor at the near-by university.  Their children were out on their own as successful, happy adults.  They were buying a beautiful condo in Florida where they could live a sunny, golf-filled retirement.  Life was good, and right on track with their dreams.

But just days before they were to sign the final papers on the Florida condo, he dropped a bombshell.  He wanted a divorce.  He planned to marry the woman he had been secretly seeing for ten years.

She was devastated, followed closely by mad.

He had always been an “enthusiastic” social drinker but about ten years previous it had gotten out of hand, culminating in a drunk driving charge.  When she confronted him about it, he acknowledged that it had gotten out of hand and said he would really cut back.  But, in truth, he  just got better at hiding it from her.  He started having his after-work drinks at a topless bar in a rundown neighborhood where he could be  sure he wouldn’t run into any of their friends or his business associates.

At the bar he met a waitress with whom he began an affair.  The longer the affair went on, the harder she pressed him to divorce his wife and marry her.  For ten years he had avoided having to make that choice — he had been able to keep both plates spinning!  But, now that the long-held retirement dreams in his marriage were finally becoming a reality, he was forced to choose– retirement in Florida … or stay here with his lover.  He chose the latter. 

He asked his wife for a divorce while he cried and said he knew he was making the biggest mistake of his life, but he wasn’t willing to give up his topless waitress.

They both got an attorney and then they spent the next nine months hammering out a property settlement.  During that time I’m guessing the quote,  “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” may have popped into his mind a time or two, because she fought him at every turn to optimize what she kept from the marriage that she had been true to for forty years. 

Immediately after the divorce he married  his waitress and bought her the huge house she craved.  And, why waste all those empty bedrooms?  So her two adult, unemployed children came to live with them.  He had previously cut his work schedule to part-time in preparation for retirement, but now he went back to work full-time in order to support his new “family”. 

He had always been obsessively neat, to the point that he never wanted a dog.  Now, his new wife bought a very large dog.  Rumor has it that within months, he had taken the dog to the pound twice, only to have her retrieve it and bring it back home.

In the meantime, his ex-wife had taken part of her settlement and bought a beautiful condo that she decorated exactly as she wanted, and she bought a cute, sweet-tempered little dog to be her companion.  She finally had a dog, as she had always wanted. 

So, now his ex-wife is very happy.  She has gotten past much of the hurt of his betrayal, and is occasionally dating.  She has a large group of friends and is always busy with them.  She still works part-time at the university, and she just returned from a trip to Isreal with a group from her church.  Even though she would have never chosen divorce, now that she is on her own, she says she’s happier than she has been in years.  Her life is good.

He, on the other hand, has gone back to work to support the lavish lifestyle his new wife and her children and her dog require.  And, if he ever catches a glimpse of retirement in his new life, I’m guessing it’s as a tiny dim light at the end of a verrrry long tunnel.

Is stupidity terminal?  No.  But I’m guessing there are times when he almost wishes it was.  He’d be dead tomorrow, but at least he wouldn’t have to deal with the blankety-blank dog!

p.s.  I went to high school with this couple.  Both were in my class and our 45th class reunion is in a few weeks.  She’s coming and will have a wonderful time … I’m sure of it.  He’s decided not to come.