"Damn it Tim, you had better stop ignoring me on this. I'm getting damned sick and tired of putting up with it."
The 'it' she was tired of putting up with was actually a 'them.' Hal and Charlie were my two best buds. We had come together in the third grade and had been pals ever since. We had drifted apart after high school. Hal joined the Air Force, Charlie had joined the Navy and I had joined the XYZ Corporation. My first choice had been the Marines, but I found out that they had no use for a guy who had blown out his right knee playing football.
I did all right at XYZ and in four years I had worked my way up to loading dock foreman before meeting and marrying the daughter of the VP of Sales. Shortly after that I became warehouse manager and don't think that I didn't catch a constant ration of shit over that. The fact that I worked my way into the job was lost in the shuffle, and the skinny was that I had "married my way up."
About a year after the marriage I ran into Charlie at Wal-Mart. We headed for the nearest bar and proceeded to get blitzed as we caught up on what had happened over the years. A few weeks latter invited him over for dinner and he met my wife Heidi. After the evening was over and Charlie had gone Heidi said, "I really didn't care for him. He's too pushy, too sure of himself and I didn't like the way he looked at my tits."
"Honey, everybody looks at your tits like that. It is the price you pay for having the greatest looking 38DDs in the world."
Still, the bottom line was that Heidi didn't care for Charlie so I rarely had him over to the house.
Another six months slid by with me and Charlie getting together once or twice a week at Rosie's Bar to drink a few brews and shoot some pool. One afternoon he called me at work and told me to be sure to make it to Rosie's that evening after work. When I got there I headed for the booth we normally sat in and he stood up and said "Look at what I found," and there was Hal. It was a long night as we sat, drank and played catch up. Hal had come home from the Air Force, gotten married and was working as the service manager at the local Ford dealer which is where Charlie found him when he took his F-150 in for service. Before the evening was over I had invited Hal and Charlie to a meat burning at my house on Saturday.
Heidi was luke warm to the idea and I couldn't understand why. She didn't even know Hal and I rarely subjected her to Charlie. Charlie brought his current girlfriend, a brassy redheaded sexpot who managed to set Heidi's teeth on edge. Hal's wife Mary was a good looking lady who was very pleasant company so I was just a little surprised when the day was over to hear Heidi say that she didn't care for Hal or his wife. I had humored her when she said she didn't care for Charlie, but I wasn't going to do it again.
"Well try and disguise your dislike because Hal is one of my oldest friends and I expect that we will be seeing a lot of him and his wife."
"Honestly Tim, what can you possibly see in those people?"
"What do you see in Steph?"
"Steph is my best friend Tim, you know that. We go all the way back to grade school."
"My point exactly Heidi. Hal, Charlie and I go all the way back to the third grade."
"Yes, but it is different. You like Steph, but I don't care for either Hal or Charlie."
"How do you know that Heidi? Maybe I can't stand Steph, but I put up with her for your sake. Think about that why don't you."
I got to work cleaning up the backyard from the party and Heidi stormed into the house. The remark about Stephanie didn't set well with her and she was cool toward me for the next couple of days, which was too bed because I really did like Steph, but I had my back up over Heidi's attitude toward my friends.
Over the next two years Hal and his wife and Charlie and his constantly changing girl friends were over to our house for dinner, barbecues and the like and every time Heidi was civil and when the event was over she would let me know just how unhappy she was. I probably didn't help matters any by simply ignoring her and not responding to her comments and that may have been a good part of the reason that things seemed to be going stale in our marriage. Sex went from almost daily to four times a week and then twice a week and sometimes even twice in two weeks. We were 'snappy' with each other and bad arguments started over trivial little things.
One day, after we'd had Steph and her current boyfriend over for dinner, she called me at work and asked me to meet her for lunch. As soon as the waitress had taken our order Steph cut right to the chase.
"What's wrong between you and Heidi?"
"I don't know what you mean."
"Yes you do Tim, it was as plain as the nose on your face that you and Heidi are in trouble. What's going on?"
"I don't know Steph, I don't honestly know unless it is the thing about Hal and Charlie."
"And that is?"
I explained the situation and Steph just looked at me and shook her head. I finished with, "And I just can't see that as being the problem."
"You and Heidi have been married, what, coming up on five years now?"
I nodded a yes.
"Five years and you don't know her any better than that?"
"Better than what?"
"Are you going to tell me that you don't know that Heidi is a snob?"
I must have looked confused because she went on, "That's right Tim, a snob. Heidi doesn't dislike Hal or Charlie because of the way they are, it is because of who they are. You are in management at XYZ and you are supposed to be hobnobbing with the vice presidents and the other managers and not car mechanics and truck drivers."
"That doesn't make sense Steph. If she felt that way she never would have married a guy off the loading dock."
"Of course she would have dummy. She loves you and that love painted over the loading dock. It painted you as her Prince on a white horse, her knight in shining armor, or whatever, but there isn't anything painting over Hal and Charlie and as far as she is concerned they are beneath you and you are forcing her to associate with them."
"So what do I do?"
"I don't have a clue baby, not a clue."
Given how well Stephanie knew Heidi I didn't doubt her assessment one bit, but it changed nothing as far as Hal and Charlie were concerned. In fact, things got worse. Because my relationship with Heidi was so bad I began spending more and more time with Hal and Charlie and on any given Saturday or Sunday you could find the three of us in my garage working on our cars and trucks. This ground on Heidi, but I was past caring about what she thought about my friends.
She changed her tactics. She began to complain about them and what they did. They were always staring at her chest. They were making lewd comments and remarks to her when I wasn't close enough to hear. They copped feels off of her and pretended that they were accidents. "While you were in the bathroom Charlie asked me when I was going to break down and give him a taste and Hal just smirked at me and licked his lips. Some friends you have!"
It went on like that for six months and then one day I got the ultimatum. "Damn it Tim, you had better stop ignoring me on this."
I'd had enough so I dumped on her. "Heidi, I don't believe a fucking word you are saying or have said about Hal and Charlie. You haven't liked them since the day you met them. You don't want me around them and you'll pull any bullshit you think you can get away with to try and get me to dump them. Give it up Heidi, because I'm not fucking buying it!"
"Oh? I'm lying am I? We will just see about that mister. They will be here today to work on their cars, drink your beer and fuck your wife so why don't you just drive your car around the block, park it and come back. Then go upstairs and sit behind the wall and listen to what happens when I tell them you were called away."
"Give it a rest Heidi."
"Oh no you don't. You called me a liar so now you get to find out the truth about your so-called buddies. If nothing else you have to let me prove to you that I'm not lying."
She had me there. "Okay, but when this is over I don't want to hear another bad word about either of them from you."
"I don't believe this. You are still calling me a liar even though I'm staking myself out as bait to prove to you that I'm not."
So that was how I came to be sitting on the floor just behind the wall at the head of the stairs and feeling slightly stupid about it. Charlie, Hal and I were tight and I knew that there wasn't any way that they would be going behind my back with my wife. Off color remarks? Sure, I could see how Heidi might take that, but all the guys I've ever known have flirted like that with girls, even married ones. But I had told my wife that I didn't believe her so I owed it to her to at least sit there and listen while she tried to make her case.
The doorbell rang and Heidi went to the door:
"Oh, it's you guys."
"Damn it Hal, it doesn't seem like she is happy to see us."
"Tim isn't here" Heidi said, "He had to go over to his mothers."
"How long is he going to be gone?"
"Most of the afternoon so there isn't much sense in you guys sticking around."
"Get serious girl. You tell us that we have all afternoon that we can spend with the best piece of ass in the state and you say there is no sense in sticking around? Where do you want it sweet cheeks, on the couch or in the bedroom?"
.... There is more of this story ...