During one of The Genius’ Cleo bashing sessions, he told me I was living in denial. That our marriage had disintegrated a long time ago. That he should have ‘blown it up’ (That phrase makes me feel bad for the person saying it.) in the first year. That not only were we not lovers, we were not even friends.
So imagine the chuckle I had when I discovered the card he gave me for our 14th wedding anniversary in January, 2011, which began with, “My Angel Wife…”.
To be fair, it was more than a chuckle. I busted out laughing, spitting forth my gluten free beer that I had popped in celebration of a job well done as I ended the Day of the Purge.
He recycled a Christmas card that was very fitting for that year. We were planning our move to California, leaving in a month; selling our little version of a cottage in the woods, leaving 3 feet of snow behind and heading west. On the front of the card, up on a hill, tucked in the snow, sits a cottage. He wrote Happy Anniversary over the door. A snowman and his girl hug in front of evergreens dotted with red balls. Embossed in red foil, along with My Angel Wife, are the words: You make me feel happy, jolly, merry, joyful, blessed…
He circled blessed, and wrote below it: So blessed.
I was thunderstruck by those words.
Blessed? Why? Because I made it super easy for you to cheat on me for four years and THEN I got the brilliant idea to move us closer to your mistress? Because when I finally caught you I didn’t throw your stuff in the street, try to turn your kids against you? I didn’t lose my marbles in front of the children? I didn’t attempt to take my own life? Instead I seized your betrayal by the gonads and saw to it that it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Is that why you felt so blessed?
It gets better…
On the inside, printed in red on a blue sky, it reads: You bring out the Christmas in me. He crossed out Christmas and wrote: BEST. I bring out the best in him.
It needs no sauce, I’ll leave it as is.
I am laughing right now as if someone just told me about the best scene in a dark comedy. A laugh with a touch of the cringes.
Below that he wrote:
You are my angel. Thank you for sharing this lifetime with me. I am excited and proud and blessed to be on this adventure with you. Happy Anniversary. I love you.
In 2011 I read that with pride. We were embarking on a great adventure. Our marriage was only going to strengthen, we were going to put down roots in a place that would nourish our souls, and be able to raise our children in nature’s hands.
But when I read it now, I realize he left some words out:
You are my angel. But I’m in the market for a little devil. Thank you for sharing me in this lifetime. I am excited, because I am so living a double life and you have no idea, and proud, because I have been able to pull it off for almost four years, and blessed to have never been wrong, so I must be doing something right. This is going to be one hell of an adventure! Happy me! Oh, I mean…anniversary! I love you. But not really. Cuz we’re not even friends. Not to mention lovers.
Not that I needed it, but this card shows that I wasn’t walking around in denial. I knew our marriage had problems, but I was under the impression that we were working on them. That we were taking steps to reignite our passion for life by making bold changes. That we were still partners, in love and committed to our relationship, flaws and all. That our family was rock solid. That challenges were to be expected as we raised our two small children and adjusted to being a family of four after 10 years as a couple, but that our love for each other would see us through. I believed the words he wrote.
I was duped into believing all that. Flat out conned. Looking at this card, reading the words, seeing the little drawing of a snow angel…it makes me feel dirty. It’s mystifying.
What does he write to The Happy Dance Chick?
You’re my real angel. The true angel. The one who makes me feel really truly blessed.?
What a bizarre world he created for himself. This is why Elin Nordegren, Tiger Wood’s former wife, decided to get her degree in psychology, I imagine. It’s hard not to want to understand what goes on in the mind of someone who can weave elaborate lies and craft prose that is as meaningful as belly button lint, but deliver it as if from the bottom of the heart.
I am really happy I found this card today. I cleaned out the whole house. My two hour block for cleaning was stretched to eight. I made that choice. And in the final 15 minutes I found this card.
I wasn’t in denial. I was being deceived. Masterfully.
This card clarifies for me why I feel no need to recreate a relationship with The Genius. I will never trust him again. So I’m going to work to create the best co-parenting arrangement I can and look forward to when the boys are 18, without wishing the time away.
This card also leaves me wondering if I will ever be able to trust again. I naively felt I had conquered that fear, but it’s not been tested. I’m curious if I will even get to the mock test. I’m feeling the need to protect myself right now. Cocoon. Focus.
I started off my day on a tear to purge the house of clutter and ended up eliminating any doubt that, regardless of the stress, pressures and chaos of divorce, I am blessed to be where I am, right here, right now.
So, I choose to embrace the crap, remain without anger or regret, release any desire to understand The Genius, and be grateful for the abundance of exciting opportunities that are within my grasp. It all needs love. And I choose to do what is in the best interests of my goals first and foremost. Those goals include creating a loving, magical childhood for the boys. And reaching the apex of my potential. My choices will reflect my boundaries and needs, and support the outcomes I aim to achieve. I will have to choose to do things I don’t want to do, but because it’s for the greater good I must. I will be conscious of the many choices I make in any given day, both big and small, for they all have their impact. Not all my choices are going to feel good at the time, but I will realize the benefits at the most perfect moment.
I have to come up with a cocktail named Choice.
But now I must sleep.
Stay with me on this ride. And please take the time to follow me on Twitter. Tantalizing morsels get the spotlight there in real time, with photographic evidence! Did you miss my shot of the Blue Angels? What a day I had with Mr. Delicious on the waterfront, watching the planes and experience my own angelic encounter. I consider what she did for me right up there with what I did for The Boy, better even. That’s for next time…