My phone rang at 3 am…it my son calling…my first thought “What’s the bad news?”
Mom, are you awake?
Well, I am now…what’s going on?
She’s crazier than a “soup sandwich”, Mom!
What’s a “soup sandwich”?
Mom, didja ever try putting soup between two pieces of bread? That’s CRAZY! Totally MESSED UP! Just like SHE is!
Okay….where ARE you? Sounds like you are playing in traffic!
I’m on Highway 98…walking home after work…
What do you mean Highway 98? You are going to get yourself KILLED! You got off work hours ago! Where’s your car?
Well, Soup was SUPPOSED to pick me up after work, but she never showed up! It’s the day before payday, and I can’t afford a taxi. So I have to walk home.
WAIT! WHAT? Why didn’t she show up? Where is she? Did you try to call?
Mom, she sent me a text message tonight at work. Wait, let me read it to you…
“WE NEED AN OPEN MARRIAGE. I’M TOO YOUNG TO BE TIED DOWN TO SUCH A BORING, POOR MAN LIKE YOU. I NEED SOME TIME TO THINK ABOUT WHAT I WANT TO DO. I NEED SOME SPACE.”
(The old “I need space” thing…He was crying now…)
Everything will be OK, Joker. Tell me what else happened…
(Just how do you console your son when he tells you something like this?)
“Three nights ago, she got dressed nicely, put on her make-up…then casually picked up the car keys and said “I’ve got to go get a pack of cigarettes, I’ll be back in a while. Don’t worry about me.” Don’t worry about me? To just go get cigarettes? An hour passed, and then two..I started to worry at three and four hours!”
He said that his mind began working overtime. He called the Sheriff’s office to see if there had been an accident. Five, six, seven hours had passed; he called the hospital. He sent text messages every 30 minutes. He called her cell and only got a recording. After his third phone call, the cell didn’t even ring, it went directly to voice mail. She had turned the phone OFF, obviously. Eight, nine and ten hours. Finally, at 11:30, she came dragging into the apartment. Her hair was wet and full of sand.actually, there was sand all OVER her!
“Where ya been?” he asked calmly. (She hadn’t learned in over three years of marriage that her husband using a calm, reasonable voice indicated trouble.)
“Oh, well, after I bought a pack of cigarettes, I went down to the beach and sat near the pier and just watched the waves and I fell asleep and just woke up!”
“Weird! Because I went to the pier looking for you and didn’t find you!” (He lied just as smoothly.)
“Well, I wasn’t at THAT pier, I was at another pier! Well, I’m going to go take a nap, I’m REALLY tired!”
“I thought you fell asleep on the beach and just woke up! You shouldn’t be tired!”
“Well the sand was hard, and it kept waking me up!”
“Okay…” Well, obviously he wasn’t going to get the truth about where she had been and what she’d been doing. But in retrospect, after receiving the “open marriage” text, it was pretty obvious what she had been doing!
He then told me that last night Soup arrived two hours late to pick him up. She was ALWAYS late, but never TWO hours! She sent several text messages saying “I’M ON MY WAY NOW”. When she finally got to the store, she was dressed to go out, and gave him a hateful look when he got into the car. He said “I need to take a shower first…if we are going out.” “ME” she said “not WE! ME! I’M going out.”
She backed the car out of the parking space, and then drove him home in silence. At the apartment she sat in the driver’s seat, just staring straight ahead as she waited for him to get out of the car. His birthday was the next day and he had hoped they would spend some time together. (THAT’S not going to happen, he thought.) He opened the car door slowly, and began to get out. “Have fun.” He said, but she ignored his sarcasm. “I will.” And he ignored hers.
He fell asleep on the sofa while waiting for her to come home. The sound of a drunk tripping over the pile of shoes at the front door woke him up. “SHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!” Drunk giggling… “You’ll wake my roommate up!” More drunken giggling. “Roommate??” He thought “WTF?” He decided not to let them know he was awake. Barely opening his eyes, he watched them stumbling around. The man had his hand and half his arm down the front of her pants. “Oh FUCK!” She whispered loudly “That fucker is asleep on the sofa! Com’on, lesh go to MY room!” The couple stumbled down the hall, bumping into the walls and doors as they went. More giggling. And the sounds of two people NOT SLEEPING together. He didn’t want to think about it. He didn’t want to hear it. He put the pillow over his head and wished the earth would swallow the sofa with him on it.
Then, today, he woke up and found himself alone in the apartment. The car was gone. He called a co-worker and asked for a ride into work. When he got the “open marriage” text, he shook his head and muttered “Happy Fuckin Birthday, Joker!”
Up next: Soup ‘n Salad