What did I know. I was all about love, peace and kumbaya.
She hugged me in a warm embrace when we first met. Their daughter was a teenager and they had these traditional Friday evening dinners at her mothers house. This is all about love, right?
In the first dinner, the ex, with her husband sitting next to her, went on a memory lane train in order to share with me the beautiful experiences she had with my husband when they were married. Every one around the dinner table laughed and smiled, including my husband. In my head, a “What the F&!k is this?” banner flashed by. I was silent. I didn’t know what to make of it or how I should react.
On the drive home, I asked my husband, “What was that all about?” He explained that she was socially inept and not to think anything of it. Though it was an uncomfortable explanation, I accepted it, because I couldn’t imagine any other reason someone would act that way. What did I know.
At the next dinner, she looked at me, smiled and said, “Wow, you are so mature. How did you get that way?” She wanted me to think it was a compliment but it was really condescending and I wanted to shut her up. I thought to myself, I’ll show you socially inept.
I looked at her and paused. I picked up my fork and knife to slowly slice the steak then put a piece in my mouth. While chewing I looked as deeply into her eyes as I could and said, “Well, I was raped when I was teenager so in self-defense shot the man”. Silence. I kept a deadpan face and so did my husband. She stared at me for a few seconds and then quickly changed the subject. Mission accomplished.
No, that didn’t happen, but I never told her otherwise. It remained an inside joke that always brought on laughter throughout the years.
At the next dinner she threatened their daughter with bodily harm and chased her to her bedroom. Well, it’s a given that I will stand up for anyone in my presence who is at risk of any kind of harm. I stood up and followed them to the bedroom. Standing between her and her daughter I told her that she would need to go through me to get to her.
I’m a big girl with a soft spirit but also have ‘resting bitch face’ mastered. So, imagine my active bitch face. Rather than fight, she instead spread as much evil energy as she could through her eyes and walked away. What did I know.
What am I grateful for?
- Learning that exes have the power to kill a marriage, with their eyes, their words, their jealousy and venom, if not put in their place.
- Learning that if you marry someone who does not, on their own accord, put their ex in their place, in relation to the expectation of respect demanded for the new spouse, then days might need to be counted. Happy ending not forecasted.
- Knowing that I’ll take Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with Morrie before I ever take Dinners with Exes again.