They say that good things come in small packages, but a stick of dynamite is pretty small and one of them can ruin your day. Both of those things could describe my wife Betsy. At five foot even and a hundred and five pounds soaking wet she is definitely a small package. Great looking, a fantastic cook, superb in the bedroom and ninety percent of her time is spent in spoiling me rotten.
It is the other ten percent where the dynamite comes in. Betsy does have a short fuse and when something sets her off there is hell to pay and to be bluntly honest about it if I had known of that ten percent and how she could be when she was in that "zone" I'm not all that sure that I would have asked her to marry me. I suppose the red hair should have been a sign, but I didn't think of it at the time. I mean when she goes off, she goes OFF!
For example. I am a regional manager for my company and I travel a lot visiting the nine offices in my region. I travel a lot, but I'm usually not gone all that much. I have a schedule set up that has me home a good deal of the time. I'll fly out on a Sunday night, visit three or four offices and fly home on a Wednesday and be home for the rest of the week. I'll stay home the following week and then fly out Sunday and repeat the process.
Well, sometimes the schedule gets out of whack. I had flown out on Sunday, visited three of my four offices in the northern part of the state and was at the fourth one on Wednesday morning when the company's entire computer system went down. I didn't get to fly out that day or the next and it was Friday afternoon when I got home. I showered, put on a comfortable pair of sweats, grabbed a beer and sat myself down in front of the TV to relax and watch the Rockies play Arizona.
Betsy came home from her job as an office manager at five-thirty. She came over and kissed me and told me to change so I could take her out to dinner.
"Not tonight honey. I just want to relax, have a couple of beers and watch the game."
"That isn't going to work for me Rob. I've been home alone for a week and I need to get out."
"I'll take you tomorrow honey. I've been eating in restaurants all week and I'm tired of it. Just let me sit here and relax and we will do something tomorrow."
"So you pick the TV over me. Okay, if that's the way you want to be."
She left the room and came back a minute or so later with a cast iron frying pan and swung it into the middle of the TV screen. Shit flew everywhere as the tube exploded and Betsy turned to face me with a defiant look on her face and a "What the fuck are you going to do about it" stance. I did the only thing I could do. I took a pull on my beer and then said:
"Looks like you have a mess to clean up. I was looking for an excuse to buy a new wide screen anyway" and I got up and went down into the basement where I had a workshop set up. I puttered around until bedtime and as I headed for the bedroom I glanced into the living room and saw that Betsy hadn't cleaned up the mess. When I got to the bedroom I saw that Betsy, who normally slept nude, had on her PJs. That meant she as in her "withhold sex mode" until I was able to sweet talk her out of it.
Anyway, that is how Betsy could be when something set her off. Why did I put up with it? Because ninety percent of the time Betsy was more than any man could ask for.
But it was that ten percent that put me in the position I found myself in. I was sitting behind the desk in my home office with my 1911 A1 Colt .45 on the desk in front of me. There was a round in the chamber and I was watching the door to the office and waiting for it to open.
The events that led up to me sitting there watching that door took place almost a month before and I didn't even know it at the time. I had come home from one of my trips expecting to enjoy the rest of the week with Betsy, but Betsy was a little cool toward me when I got home. When I tried to take her in my arms and kiss her she twisted away and said she didn't feel good and she headed for the bedroom. It was that way for the rest of the week and through the weekend. She pushed me away every time I tried to get close and didn't respond whenever I asked her what I could do to help. That was not the Betsy I was used to.
There was no change by the time Sunday rolled around. It was one of the rare times when I would be gone two weeks in a row and I couldn't even get a kiss goodbye when I left for the airport Sunday night. I pushed Betsy to the back of my mind and buried myself in my job, but Betsy came back every night when I returned to my hotel room. I called home every night to check in, but even on the phone Betsy was non-communicative. I resolved that when I got home we would sit down and hash out the problem even if I had to sit on her to keep her from walking away.
Betsy wasn't home when I got there late Wednesday afternoon. She still wasn't home when I crawled into bed at ten-thirty. I woke up when she came in the house and slammed the front door and I looked at the bedside clock and saw that it was just after midnight. She wasn't all that quiet which told me that she wanted me awake and aware of the time. I was sitting up in bed with the bedside table lamp on when she came into the bedroom. She saw me sitting there and she gave me what I can only describe as a smirk. She didn't say a word as she undressed and put on her PJs. She got into bed, rolled over to put her back to me and said:
"Turn out the light."
Her attitude pushed a button and I said, "Turn it out yourself" and I got out of bed, took my pillow and went to the guest bedroom. In the morning I got up, showered, dressed and headed out of the house without a word to Betsy. I usually made coffee, read the morning paper and discussed what the day was going to be like with Betsy, but not that day. I stopped at the Village Inn for breakfast and then went into the office. I didn't get much done that day because my mind was trying to process what was going on with Betsy.
Betsy wasn't home when I got there and she still wasn't home by bedtime. I decided to wait up for her determined to get to the bottom of what was going on. She came home at one in the morning and was surprised to find me sitting on the couch fully dressed and waiting for her. Before she could say a word I pointed at the easy chair across from the couch and said:
"I'm going to bed."
"No you aren't. You are going to sit down and tell me just what is behind this pissy attitude you have had toward me for the last two weeks. And you are going to do it right now."
She went over and sat down. "All right. You want to have it out now that's fine with me. I was going to let things go until I got over it or got even, but we can do it now. You aren't happy with the way I've been toward you? Gee Rob, that's just too bad. But how am I supposed to behave toward a cheating bastard."
"What? Cheating? Are you out of your mind?"
"Yeah Rob, right! Like I'm supposed to think you would admit it. Your denial doesn't mean shit Rob because I have two witnesses."
"You have witnesses who say I was cheating on you? You couldn't possibly have witnesses because I have never cheated on you. I have never been unfaithful to you."
"You are a good liar Rob and I would almost believe you if Connie Morris hadn't seen you and her husband backs her up."
"Well you are certainly going to have to tell me about it because I have no idea of what you are talking about."
"You deny that on the trip before the last one that you spent the night with some bimbo?"
"Of course I deny it. It never happened. I'll say it again Betsy. I have never been unfaithful to you."
"Come off it Rob. Connie and her husband Darrel were in town visiting relatives and they were in the hotel lobby when you came in with the woman. They saw you laughing and they saw you get on the elevator together and Connie heard the woman tell you that she was in room 316 and Connie heard you tell the bitch that you would be there in fifteen minutes. So deny it all you want Rob, but I know better."
"You don't know anything Betsy. The woman's name is Marsha Bollinger and she is the manager of the Harpersville office. All nine of my branch managers were in town that day for a joint meeting. Marsha was there with her husband Frank and yes she did give me her room number and I did tell her I would be there in fifteen minutes. I picked up some paperwork in my room and took it to her room and gave it to her and then she and her husband went to dinner while I went back to my room and made my nightly call to you."
"Oh yes, your nightly call. That's the call you make every night you are gone to make sure that I'm at home and not out screwing around like you do. Well Rob, did it ever occur to you that there just might be someone here with me when you call? Oh ho! I see by the look on your face that something like that never occurred to you. What's the matter Rob; you think you are the only one who can play outside the marriage?"
"You have been cheating on me?"
"Not yet Rob, but I'm working on it."
"That's where you have been these last two nights?"
"That's right hubby dear; I've been out shopping. I just haven't found what I'm looking for yet."
I stood up and headed out of the room.
"Where are you going Rob? You are the one who said he wanted to talk."
"I've already said all I have to say. I've never cheated on you, but you don't believe me when I say it. No sense in sitting there and beating a dead horse."
.... There is more of this story ...