I was lost, adrift on a sea of broken promises and crushing disappointments that obliterated the safe, dry patch of land where my marriage had once stood. My husband was my touchstone, my true north that is, until his love for me headed south, taking his sense of humor along for the ride. And in their wake, all that was left was a man so petty; I started to call him ‘The Hall Monitor’.
It seemed like all the things he had loved about me, the very things that had drawn him to me in the first place, were the things that now annoyed him most. The way I told a joke, the way I dressed, you name it, he criticized it.
And he didn’t just state his opinions, he droned on and on and on. The man took longer to make a point than it would for someone to bleed to death from a paper cut. It was exhausting trying to have a reasonable conversation with him. I was sure I was either going to go insane or to prison and really, the only thing that kept me from shooting him, besides the fact that we didn’t own a gun, was a moment of divine inspiration: Write The Petty Chronicles.
Like that old joke where the guy means to ask his wife to pass the salt but blurts out “You’ve ruined my life you selfish bitch!” that was me. I wanted to say what I was thinking but I was afraid that if I started, I might never stop.
It’s hard to fight a strong undertow, even if you believe you won’t go down. I felt myself giving in, but I wanted more than anything to make my marriage work; to please him. Then one day, like a surfboard to the head, it hit me. “Save yourself,” I heard a little voice say, “before you disappear completely.”
So I wrote. And I wrote. The virulent scratch of pen meeting paper allowed me to release the bellowing screams of rage that might otherwise have led me to beat my husband senseless with my favorite “All Clad” sauté pan. It was perfect! I was able to say all the mean things he absolutely deserved to hear while not engaging him in conversation of any kind, which at that point would have been about as welcome as a test of the emergency broadcast system.
The Petty Chronicles were my therapist when I couldn’t afford one and comfort food that never added a pound to my frame. They were my confidants when I knew my friends were tired of giving me the same advice, “Leave Him!!” and a safe harbor when I thought I might be going down. They saved me. The Petty Chronicles saved me.