The fight (verbal) started when she said “Honey, can we change the hotel reservations to Sunday night?’
I am furious and hurt. We had this vacation planned since the last vacation last summer. We planned to leave early Saturday morning to make Minneapolis by 4:30. Now my wife of 14 years is telling me she has a “mandatory” cocktail party for employees only Saturday night.
Let’s start at how Donna and I met. I, Carl Allen, was a junior in high school Geometry class. She was the new kid in school, and I was something of a math wiz. I fell in love with her accent. Donna was a Polish refugee from Gdansk, before the fall of the iron curtain. It was September of 1965. Donna, who was otherwise very smart, could not grasp some of the geometric concepts, and the teacher asked me to tutor her.
I was meeting her at her house after school, doing strictly tutoring all that year. Then for her senior year, her parents sent her to the local Catholic School, where she had been except for that junior year.
I sort of forgot her after that and graduated, went one year to the local state college, and got drafted (remember, this was 1968).
I decided to avoid being ‘cannon fodder’ and enlisted for a third year and was trained in electronics. During my service time I spent two ‘wonderful’ years in Viet Nam and managed to get a medical discharge because of losing half of my stomach and acquiring a 6” zipper scar on my abdomen. After my discharge, I found work back in my hometown repairing equipment in an industrial bakery.
I reconnected with Donna in an unusual way; ‘right’; she picked me up in a bar when I was done studying at the night school classes I was taking. When I entered with my friend Pat, I heard a squeal and my name being yelled out. She was there with a girlfriend and I was there with a classmate.
As I looked around to see what the commotion was about, I was almost tackled by a bear hugging Donna. She insisted that Pat and I join her and her friend Shirley. We had a few beers, talked and left after exchanging phone numbers.
I had no sooner gotten back to my apartment when my phone was ringing. It was Donna’s mother Louise, asking me to their house for Sunday dinner. I thought that was strange as when I was tutoring Donna her mother was very unhappy that I was there. I got the impression that if I was dog crap on the bottom of her shoes, she would scrape me off them, then throw the shoes away. I declined.
I assumed that that would be the end of it. I had liked Donna more then a little, but did not need her home drama. Instead, the next morning Donna called and asked me to come to that dinner. I explained how I felt and said that I would take her to dinner at a local Chinese restaurant instead.
After a pleasant meal and more catching up, I took Donna home and we made a date for the next weekend. I avoided her family like the plague. Then strangely, I got a knock on my door Wednesday evening at there stood Donna’s older brother Stanislaus, we had always called him Little Stash. His dad is Big Stash, dad is about 5’ 5” tall and Little Stash is about 6’ 4”. He was wondering why I avoided his family the previous Sunday.
I told him of my impressions, and he just about fell on the floor laughing. “She did it to every non-Polish or non-Catholic boy Donna even talked to. Finally Donna told her that she was going to be the one to decide who, when, and where she was going to date.” He continued, “Don’t take it personal, mom wanted to thank you for what you did for Donna back in school, and you can be sure that she will not kill you if you come to dinner.” He said laughingly, “No one would help burying the body.”
We dated exclusively for about 18 months and got married in 1974. Our son Jason was born in 1976. Life was good and I was moving up at work, and Donna became an accounts clerk at a local family owned business.
The problem that started this was about 10 years later when the company that Donna worked at had an ownership change. The oldest son of the owners took over the company. His name was Randy Kise, and I thought that he was a slime ball, and told Donna to watch out for him. She got mad and our home life became very strange and almost silent. Any attempt I made to find out what was wrong was met by “nothing” and usually with me spending the night on the couch. Needless to say I was becoming very frustrated and angry.
Then came the change in plans. We had a big fight that Monday before and I told Donna that I was cancelling the trip (real grown up that) and she could go to the party, but I would not be happy if she did.
She said “Fine, I am going to the party, and I am going to have fun without you.”
I responded, “When you leave the party go to your mother’s, because you will not be welcome here, until you get A MAJOR ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT. Remember, you have a husband and a son here who planned a nice FAMILY trip with you, but obviously your party is more important then your family.”
Now we had had a few arguments before, but this was a major blow-up. Donna packed an overnight bag and yelled as she was leaving, “I am going to stay at my mother’s now, I won’t wait until Saturday.”
Now I am a typical male, and this hurt my ego, but I was not about to give in. I decided not to cancel the trip, and decided that Jason and I would go alone. I did do some checking including calling my brother-in-law (my sister’s husband); who worked on the plant floor at Donna’s work, and asked about the party. What I found out was enlightening. So I made arrangements to protect the family finances
I called Louise the next morning and told her that I was changing the locks on the doors and the codes for the garage opener. I also said that if Donna wanted her clothes, they could call and arrange a time to pick them up. If Donna wanted to talk to me, she had to call, and let me know when. I told Louise that she had until Friday to call because I would be unavailable for three weeks after that.
After taking Tuesday off work, and getting the locks changed, I planned on moving all of Donna’s clothes, and because her jewelry box was actually my grandmother’s, started bagging her jewelry. In the bottom drawer of her jewelry case was a new unopened prescription of birth control pills. I found that interesting because after Jason was born the doctors told Donna that it would be dangerous for her to have any more pregnancies. I had a vasectomy when Jason was less then a year old. Curiouser and curiouser.
I started to wonder what else she was hiding. I also began to wonder if I should get an STD check.
Donna called and I hung up without listening. Louise then called and said Donna wanted to meet Wednesday evening at the house. I agreed. That evening about 6:00 there was a knock on the door. When I opened it there was my wife and her boss. I invited her in and closed the door on him. I handed Donna the pills and asked, “Do you want to explain? I have an appointment tomorrow at the free clinic for a blood test for STDs.”
That went over like shit in the salad. Donna started wailing and trying to explain at the same time she was moving toward the door. I stopped her and with some force said, “If you let shit head in, the marriage is over, this is between you and me. Now if you will stop crying, I expect and complete and TRUTHFUL explanation of what is going on here. If I hear anything that I even think is a lie, you are out the door. If I do not get a complete, to my approval, explanation, you are out the door. If you have already had sex with someone besides me, this marriage is over.”
She stopped crying and seemed to calm down enough to talk. She asked if she could tell Randy to leave. I told her to go ahead and that I would take her to her mother’s when we were done.
After telling Randy to leave, she came back in and sat down. Without raising her head from staring at the floor, she took a huge sigh and started; “When Randy took over, there was a lot of anxiety and excitement at work. We all hoped that this was the signal that the company...”
“STOP” I yelled; “That is not what you need to tell me, I want answers to what is going on in this train wreck of a marriage.” My anger was rising again to the heights that were there when she left. I continued; “I want to know how, why, when, and where you decided that shit head and your company was more important than your family. I want answers, but even with those answers, you’re going to have to explain to YOUR son what you are doing.”
Donna was sobbing almost hysterically now. She sat, for what seemed to me to be forever, and tried to get herself composed enough to continue.
“I need you to listen to me” I said with somewhat less heat. “I am hurt, confused, and angry. If you haven’t cheated already, these pills say that you are planning to. Well, I AM NOT GOING TO PUT UP WITH THAT. I am taking my son, and we are leaving Saturday for three weeks. If you do not get your stuff out here by then, you will have to wait until we return, because I have hired a security company to keep you and your boss/boyfriend away from the house.”
“I have also frozen all of the bank accounts, except for the savings. I froze all of the credit cards that we have jointly. Your personal card will still work, but you better call and change the mailing address. I also had your direct deposit moved from the checking to savings, so if you go to work, you will be able to access that. I took all of the savings money except for four weeks of your salary and put it in our checking account. I created a debit card with what we budgeted for this vacation. When the smoke clears, we will straighten out the finances to comply with any decisions we make.”
“I have also placed an app on my cell phone that records all calls to me so if you are going to put anyone up to bothering me they better understand that. I am not going to go to an attorney until I get back but you can plan on me doing that.”
“I think you should go and get some of your stuff from the bedroom so you have enough stuff for your party tomorrow and enough to last for the time we are gone. If it won’t fit in my car when I take you to your mother’s house, you can come early tomorrow and get the rest.”
“I also expect you to be here, WITHOUT shit head, to explain to your son why you are not going on vacation with us. I will be here when you talk to him, so tell him the truth.”
Donna sobbed out; “Please don’t do this, I’ll go with you.”
“Too little too late, you still have not explained the birth control pills. You also have not told me if it was just a plan, or if you have already dropped your panties for SHITHEAD.”
“His name is Randy...”
“I don’t care what the ASSHOLE’S name is; you and he have destroyed this family. Take the next three weeks to think about your life and what you want. I will do the same. Now go get what you need and I’ll drive you to your mother’s.”
“Oh, I do have one more question. What did you tell your mother about why you are there instead in the arms of your loving family?”
She took a deep breath and said, “I’ll call a cab, and I just told my mother that we were having problems and that I needed to get away.”
“That’s just great, you didn’t lie without telling the truth. I will talk to your mother and tell her what’s going on, and I will drop off your pills and hand them to your father. I am sure he will love that seeing as I have been sterile for several years, and he knows it.”
Defeated, Donna went into the bedroom and came out with a suitcase and her LBD and CFM high heels. When I started laughing hysterically, Donna got a strange look on her face and asked what was so funny?
“Well, I’m glad you felt that my anger and hurt mean something.” I said; “You obviously plan on attending the Saturday party. That changed my plans too; I will call an attorney tomorrow and start the divorce. I will also start a law suit against Shithead and his company. Now; CALL YOUR DAMN CAB AND GET OUT.”
As she got off her cell and started for the door, I repeated that I expected her to tell her son why.
The next evening, Donna and her mother came over and I sat Jason down with them and told Donna to start. Her mother started to say something, but I held up her hand. “This is something that Donna needs to do, you are here only to listen. I am not going to physically hurt you or her, so let her talk. When she finishes, you can then say what you want. OK?”
Louise nodded and Donna sighed.
“Jason, your daddy and I are having some pro...”
“NO, I was not having problems, now start over and give him the truth”
“I am having some problems, and I need to get away from the house for awhile. I also am not going on the trip because of the problems.” Donna said.