I was pretty pleased with myself as I pulled onto my driveway and hit the button on the garage door opener. Addie's car was already in the garage which was nothing new since she was always home before I was. She would have dinner on and I was trying to make up my mind as to whether I should give her the surprise before dinner, during dinner or maybe after dinner as we sat on the patio and chatted about our day.
Our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary was in three weeks and I had gotten on line and found us a two week cruise. We both had plenty of vacation time coming and I couldn't think of a better way to burn some of it up than spending two weeks on a romantic cruise.
The timing was right as the last of our three kids had just gotten married and Addie and I were alone for the first time in twenty-one years. It was time to revitalize our relationship, put some spark back into it, or to put it a little more crudely – get into some hot monkey sex! Not that our sex life was lacking. We still managed to average twice a week, but with the kids around it wasn't the spontaneous 'go for broke' sex that we had engaged in before becoming parents and getting involved with three a.m. feedings and then school activities as the kids grew and then as they grew even older the after school activities.
There were times we found it hard if not almost impossible to have time for each other, but those days were gone now. Barry was married and living in California, Marcia had graduated from State and was working in Atlanta and Ralph had just married his high school sweetheart and they were moving to Ohio to take up the new position that Ralph had been promoted into. Yes indeed, the time was right for a romantic cruise.
Addie was setting the table when I walked into the room. I walked over to her and gave her a hug and a kiss and then I went to take off my work uniform and get into shorts and a T-shirt. Over dinner Addie told me that she had talked to Ralph and that he and his bride were safely in Akron and were unloading their U-Haul into their new apartment. Addie said Susan (Ralph's bride) told her all about the apartment and the neighborhood.
"It sounds like they will be happy there."
She set her fork down, took a deep breath and then said, "You know I love you don't you?"
As I smiled at her and said, "Of course I do" alarm bells were clanging in my head. That phrase, "You know I love you, don't you?" ranks right up there with "Does this dress make me look fat" and "Honey, is my butt getting bigger?" and I was saying to myself "Oh God, what did she do now? Hit something with her car? Make a checkbook error and we were now overdrawn?" It was a phrase that husbands do not want to hear.
She looked away for a second or so and then turned to me and said, "Sally wants me to go out with her tomorrow night."
"Some kind of a girl's night out or a Tupperware party kind of thing?"
She bit her lip and then said, "No Rob; on a date."
"A date? What kind of a date?"
"Her boyfriend's cousin is in town visiting and she wants me to go out on a date with them."
"Why would her boyfriend want to go out on a date with three girls? Why not just let Sally and his cousin have a girl's night out?"
"His cousin is a guy."
"Sally wants you to go out on a date with a guy? What is she, crazy or just stupid?"
"I told her I would do it."
"You told her you would go out with another man? Have you forgotten that you are a married woman Adelaide?"
"No I haven't forgotten Rob. I need for you to hear me out on this. Hear me out and remember that I love you and I want to live my life out with you. All these years we've been married Rob – and they have been great years – I have never had an orgasm."
I started to open my mouth and she held up her hand in a "stop" motion and said:
"Let me finish. I have enjoyed making love with you, but I have never had an orgasm. I've read about them and the girls I know are always talking about them, but I have never had one. I'm going to be forty-five in another month and I want to experience an orgasm before it is too late."
"And you are expecting me to just to go along with this insanity? Are you nuts?"
"It won't hurt us Rob. I still love you. It is just something that I want to do for myself."
"It has already hurt us Adelaide; or hurt me anyway. Three weeks until our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary and you finally get around to telling me that I'm a lousy lover; that I don't get the job done in the bedroom. Thanks Adelaide, I really needed that."
I got up and Adelaide said, "Where are you going?"
"Please Rob; I nee..." and whatever else she was going to say was cut off by the door closing behind me. I drove over to Bud's Bar and Grill and took a stool at the bar. I told Mavis to bring me a Coors and then I sat there drinking it and reviewing my life up to that point to see if I could come up with anything that would have alerted me to the fact that my wife wasn't pleased with my performance in the bedroom. Try as I might I couldn't come up with a thing.
Neither Adelaide nor I were virgins when we met and we took to each other like a baby duck takes to water. The love making was enthusiastic and satisfying and Adelaide was always wanting to do more. We had only been dating a month when Adelaide asked me to move in with her and then it was sex almost every night and Adelaide sure did seem to like what I was doing for her. She was satisfied enough that six months after we started living together she began hinting at marriage. Based on how well we got along living together I thought we would be a lasting couple.
Until that night I thought we had a great marriage and it had all changed in less than a half hour. Adelaide telling me that I hadn't been getting the job done for over twenty-five years was a hell of a shot to my ego – my male pride – but what was worse than that was the fact that my wife thought so little of me that she thought she could tell me she was going to go out with another man and fuck him and that I would just sit there and go along with it.
"What's going on Rob?" Mavis asked as she sat the fifth Coors down in front of me. "It isn't like you to just sit here drinking, staring off into space and peeling the labels off of the beer bottles."
"Got bad news tonight Mav. I just found out that my marriage has been a joke for over twenty-five years and as you can see the news was just a bit unsettling."
"You and Addie having problems?"
"You could say that Mav."
I chugged the beer in front of me, set the bottle down on the bar and then said:
"I'd better get out of here while I can still drive."
I didn't go home. I drove out to Stevens Point and looked out across the lake until I started to nod off and then I went home. The house was dark when I got there. I went to the hall linen closet and got a pillow and a blanket and then bedded down on the couch.
I woke up in the morning with a foul taste in my mouth and I skipped brushing my teeth because I didn't want to make any noise that might wake Adelaide up. I really did not want to face her that morning. I left the house, had breakfast at the IHOP down the street from where I work and then I went into work. It wasn't a good day. I spent most of it thinking of what I was going to say to Adelaide when I got home that night. It wasn't going to be pretty.
Adelaide's car wasn't in the garage when I got home which was odd because she always got home before I did. When I walked into the kitchen the first thing I saw was the flashing red light on the telephone answering machine. As I walked toward it I saw a note propped up on the kitchen table. It said:
"Meatloaf in the microwave. Give it three minutes. Don't wait up. Love you, Addie."
I hit the button on the answering machine and the voice said, "You have one new message and one old message. First new message. Thursday, 5:01 pm" and my sister's voice came on to remind me that we had to get together on what we were going to get our mom for her birthday and the voice said:
"End of messages."
I hit the button again and the voice said, "You have one old message. Thursday. 5:17 pm."
"Hey girlfriend" said Sally, "Change in plans. We will meet in the bar at Tomasino's at six instead of the restaurant. Kevin is so looking forward to meeting you. See ya."
I stood there staring at the machine for what seemed like forever, but must have just been twenty or thirty seconds and then I walked over to the microwave, took out what Adelaide had fixed me for dinner and then threw it against the wall.
It took me a little over three and a half hours to pack everything that I wanted and load it into my pickup and at ten thirty-five I drove away from the house. I spent the night in a motel, had breakfast at Denny's and at eight I called my boss and told him that I would be in late. By ten after nine I had cleaned out all the accounts at the bank, cashed in the five certificates of deposit (paying the penalty) and had cancelled all of our credit cards except the two that I had in my name only.
At ten-fifteen a 'power of attorney' was on the way by registered letter from a lawyer to Adelaide along with a note that said she should sell the house and keep the equity since it would equal what I had cleared out of the banks. Things would be tight financially for Adelaide until she could sell the house, but "Fuck her!" was the way I was seeing it.
.... There is more of this story ...