Thanks to the knee doctor for editing help and medical tech support.
I hate my life. My wife is a shrew and my daughter is her clone. My son was so disgusted with my refusal to deal with any of it, that he left home as soon as he was eighteen. He knew what was going on, and wanted no part of it. My daughter knew what her mother was like, and decided she wanted to be just like mommy. I pitied my daughter's poor husband.
I knew I made a mistake before my first wedding anniversary. Mildred seemed to think she was more attractive than she really was, and was constantly flirting to reinforce her self-image. The trouble was, it didn't stop at flirting. Apparently, she didn't think there was anything wrong with screwing other men, as long as I didn't know about it. The big trouble was, I always knew. For twenty-six years, I have known, and for twenty-six years, I have said nothing. I guess it is easy to see why my son left.
The big question is, of course, why didn't I leave? I wish I had a good answer. I didn't like what my wife was doing and I didn't condone it. I was just too lazy, or complacent to do anything about it. I was getting my meals cooked, my laundry done, and my house cleaned. Mildred never denied me sex, and often initiated it. She was a nag and a real bitch, but I had learned to tune it out. I believed that I had no alternatives.
Unfortunately, I was an average type of guy. My hair was receding a little, I needed bifocals, and I was about twenty pounds overweight. The extra weight wasn't muscle, just belly flab. I was in the same job for twenty-six years also. It was boring, and I was at a dead end, career wise. The young kids were smarter than me and had more ambition. I worked just to put food on the table. I had no savings, no retirement plan, and the only insurance was what the company offered. We never even bought a home. We rented our house from my wife's brother. My future was as bleak as my past. Life sucks.
Mildred held up a little bit better than I did. She did some kind of exercises on a regular basis. She also watched her weight better than I did. She had to stay in shape, so she could pick up guys.
Now I don't want to make things sound worse than they really were. Mildred was not going out and constantly picking up guys to have sex with. She was discreetly having affairs. It was only one guy at a time, and maybe only one or two different ones each year. I don't know if they ended up dumping her or vice-versa. I really didn't care. At least she had the decency to never bring them to the house.
I never had any interest in other women. I did get hit on a few times over the years, but I just laughed it off. I was sure they would have been disappointed if I had responded to their flirting. It seemed like too much trouble to me.
My daughter, Julie, was married to a milk-toast type of guy. Who am I to throw stones? She probably picked him, because he reminded her of me. Shortly after the wedding they had twins: beautiful little girls. They were adorable, but I couldn't help thinking they would end up like their mother and grandmother. What a shame.
The only high point in my life was my secretary, Joyce, and our company mail boy, Rodney. Joyce wasn't actually my secretary, because she took care of six reps in the office. I just felt like she took better care of me than she did the other five guys. Rodney was my ray of sunshine. I liked him because he had a good attitude. He never complained about anything and always had a smile for me. I don't know if he aspired for much, career wise, but he seemed to enjoy what he was doing. Joyce and Rodney were pretty close around the office, and always seemed to be sharing gossip and some type of daily joke. I looked forward to spending my day with them, as much as I looked forward to getting away from my wife. Joyce and I had been working together for thirteen years, and I still didn't know much about her. The two most important things that I did know were that she was single, and she hated my wife. I never got too nosy about the reasons behind either one of those facts.
Things got interesting one day when my daughter, Julie, barged into the office to announced that she had just enrolled the twins in a scoliosis research study. It seems that both of the girls had slight curvatures of the spine. Since genetic scoliosis is hereditary, several groups had obtains big government grants to study how it is passed on from generation to generation. She carefully explained how it can affect the heart, as well as other medical problems, some life threatening. I could tell that she was extremely concerned. Part of the research involved studies of the genetic backgrounds of the family of the test subjects. Julie very proudly presented me with a small padded envelope that contained a small plastic bottle, and instructions on how to spit in the bottle, and put the cap on. I always thought they used cotton swabs and took samples from your cheek. The envelope was pre-paid and pre-addressed. All daddy had to do, was follow the instructions. She thanked me for agreeing to help, and she left smiling.
"What did the spawn of the devil want?" Joyce was bringing me a fresh cup of coffee as an excuse to pry.
"She enrolled the kids in a scoliosis study of some type and needs my DNA. You shouldn't speak so harshly about my wife."
"I thought you did those DNA tests four or five years ago."
"I did. It was through the company medical program."
"Weren't those tests good enough?"
"They don't even know I did them. I was just checking to make sure the kids were mine, before I made out my new will."
"I can understand why that would be a concern." Joyce had a big smile on her face. She seemed to get great enjoyment out of insulting Mildred, every chance she got. "Well, don't keep me in suspense. Are you the father or not?"
"Julie and Jason are both my children. What more can I say?"
"With luck like that, you should play the lottery."
"There is nothing wrong with Jason. He was just fed up with the whole situation, and pissed that his dad didn't make it right. Joyce. You have to stop putting Mildred down all the time."
"Sorry boss. I just can't help myself. Are you going to pee in the bottle?"
"It's spit, Joyce. They want me to spit in the bottle."
As if on cue, Rodney walked into the office, with the daily delivery of mail and memos.
Joyce's eyes lit up. "Rodney, baby you are just in time. John needs you to spit in this bottle for him."
I think Rodney was just as surprised at Joyce's remark as I was. I realized that this study was important, but all of a sudden what Joyce said seemed like a great idea. I handed Rodney the vial, and Joyce and I both watched as he carefully put his DNA inside.
"The label on the bottle says, "John Ritter". I don't mind doing this as long as you two guys keep me out of trouble."
"No way, Rodney. John and I will make sure you don't." Joyce dropped the bottle into the envelope and sealed it. "I'll see that this gets in the mail today boss." She was smiling ear to ear as she walked out of my office. Rodney looked perplexed.
"You know she is sweet on you, Mister Ritter."
"Joyce always says nice things about you and I see her looking at you when you don't notice. She said a couple of times that she wished you weren't married."
I always thought of Joyce and me as friends, but I never considered that she was interested in a different type of relationship. I was flattered by what Rodney said, and I realized I was smiling to myself. Joyce would make a hell of a better companion than Mildred. I decided I better pay more attention to what was going on.
"Thanks for the help Rodney. I'll see you again this afternoon."
Things went on as normal for the next few weeks. I was trying to be a little more attentive to Joyce after hearing what Rodney said. I thought it was odd that my secretary had a higher opinion of me than my wife did. For the first time, in my married life I was seeing some reason to consider a divorce. I have always been very complacent about my marriage. The more attention I paid to Joyce, the nicer she was to me. I liked that arrangement.
On Friday afternoons, I usually tried to sneak out of work a little early. No special reason, just something I started to do years ago, and saw no reason to stop. No one ever seemed to complain. I got home, plopped myself into my easy chair, and heard my wife and daughter arguing in the kitchen. It was evident that they had no idea I was home. It was a strain, but I was able to pick up bits and pieces of the conversation.
"No, Julie, I have no idea who it could be. I was sure it was your father."
"My father? Damn it, Mom. This is not my father." I assumed at this point she had gotten the DNA results back and was holding them. "I have no idea who my father is, and to make matters worse, my own mother has no idea who he is."
There was a lot of mumbling and confusion when both of them were talking at the same time, but I could still get some of it.
"They can't even put a name to this DNA sample. It is not in any database of any type. If you can't help me, who the hell can?"
I was getting a kick out of hearing my daughter browbeat her mother. Paybacks are hell. It would have been nice to get all of the conversation, but I had to be satisfied with a portion of it. For the next few minutes, I could not make out what was being said. The last thing I heard was something about another test on Tuesday morning, and the door slamming as Julie left. Sooner or later I would have to tell them the truth, but for now, I was savoring the moment.
Well that was really exciting and the highlight of my week. Joyce would be ecstatic when I related things to her Monday. I was a little disappointed that I would have to wait till Monday to tell her.
After supper, Mildred announced that she had to go see one of her girl friends, who was having personal problems. She didn't know how late she would be, and told me not to wait up. I doubted that she had any girl friends with personal problems, but thought it was a great time for me to go see Joyce.
"John, what the hell are you doing here? You should have phoned first. I look like shit."
"Sorry. I couldn't help myself. I thought you might want to know how your little trick with the DNA sample played out." Joyce looked good. She had on sweat pants and a pullover shirt. It was the first time I had ever seen her without make up, and she looked pretty good. I was wondering why I hadn't noticed how attractive she was before. I had seen her everyday at work, but I never really looked at her.
"Do you want coffee or a beer?"
"I'll go for the beer, but if I have more than three, I won't be able to drive home."
"Okay. I'll make sure there are at least four in the frig, maybe six."
"Six beers and I'll fall asleep."
"Don't worry. I got a big bed."
Damn, if Joyce wasn't hitting on me. I didn't come here for that. I just wanted to gloat about the situation between my wife and my daughter. Joyce was looking to get me in bed, even if I was drunk. I am a pretty poor drinker, mainly because I don't do it enough.
We started off talking about the DNA trick and laughed about the results. After that, the conversation drifted all over the place. In three hours, I had all the beer I could handle, and I was feeling no pain. Joyce convinced me that I could not drive home. We finally ended up in bed. I got my first blowjob in eight years, and was more than happy to return the favor. We screwed twice that night, and once the next morning.
When I got home, Mildred was still in bed. I kicked off my shoes and lay down on the sofa. The next thing I remembered was my wife shaking me. "What are you doing down here? Go up and take a shower, and if you are still hung over, use the bed. If you are going to go out drinking, at least learn how to do it properly."
Mildred could not imagine that I had spent the night with another woman. She assumed that I had gone to a bar, got drunk, and staggered home. I found the whole thing to be hilarious. I knew that I would be doing it more often from then on.
Since it was Saturday, there was a lawn to be mowed and cars to be washed. I worked the entire day and felt great. It was as if a whole new world was opened up to me. I could see now, that I no longer had to be resigned to a life of humiliation and nagging. I had no trouble at all imagining a life without Mildred. I had no trouble imagining a life with Joyce, and decided the next time that I saw her, there would be no more than two beers.
I thought the weekend would never end, but Monday did eventually arrive. Joyce was all smiles and looked better than ever. We decided that we were going to be real cool around the rest of the staff. It worked until Rodney came in. I guess he had a sixth sense about things, because he immediately knew that something was different between Joyce and me. He didn't say anything, but just looked at both of us with the biggest grin you ever saw. We both gave him a big grin back, and he knew for sure. I think it made his day. No one else in the office had a clue.
From the conversation between Mildred and Julie, I figured something was going to happen on Tuesday morning. Joyce had Rodney spit into one of the little cups from the drinking fountain. I carefully put the nasty thing in the top left drawer of my desk. I pinched the sides of the cup to form a funnel. At about ten o'clock Mildred arrived unexpectedly, or so she thought. Joyce politely escorted her into my office and left the door open.
"John, there was a problem with the DNA sample that you gave Julie two weeks ago. She needs another one. I brought one of the bottles with me. Do you mind?"
"Of course not. What was wrong with the last one? It didn't seem that complicated."
"I am not sure, but the sample got contaminated somehow, and it could not be used. It will just take a second." Mildred handed me the bottle and sat waiting for me to spit. Just then Joyce stuck her head in the door.
"Mildred, if you have your parking ticket, I can validate it for you."
Mildred rummaged through her purse, and handed Joyce the ticket. I quickly filled the bottle from the cup, without looking. I held the bottle up to my mouth as my wife turned her head towards me. I was as slick as a Vegas magician, as I put the lid on, and handed it back to her. I have to admit, there was no doubt, it looked like I had spit in the vial.
"Here you go." Joyce said, as she handed Mildred the validated ticket and went back to her desk. Mildred smiled, took the bottle and dropped it in the envelope. The inside of my desk drawer was a mess. My secretary and I spent the rest of the afternoon giggling like school children. Joyce did not complain as she cleaned my desk drawer.