Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Okay, this one will be petty, but I’m going to indulge myself. A friend of mine is making this delicious looking cheese and jalapeno stuffed pork loin that looks just astounding (and like something I will have to try myself) and posted about it on his social network page. Unfortunately, he lives a few states over, so I will be unable to show up at his doorstep with a plate in my hand and drool on my shirt. But like me, he, too, is divorced albeit far more recently than I realized. I thought he was divorced for a year or two, but it turns out it has only been a few months.
Seeing this post, it reminded me of a guilty pleasure in which I indulge. See, when I was married oh so many years ago, we had purchased a quarter of a cow. The cow’s name was Moomoo, and she was very sweet and gentle. If you called her, she would come up and if you were sweaty would give you a little cow kiss on the hand. And she was delicious.
Okay, that part was just a joke. We never knew the cow as anything other than the meat in our freezer, but along with the great choice cuts were round steaks. The problem with round steak is that it tends to be very tough, and I’ve personally never liked it as just a steak meal. So, I did an experiment. Having lived in New York City, I remember the food vendors in the street that made cheese steak sandwiches right on their cart, and I loved them. Green peppers, onions, mushrooms on a hoagie were like a slice of heaven to me. So, one day, I thawed a round steak, sliced it as thinly as I possibly could and made my own version of that sandwich for my so-called beloved wife and me.
And she loved it.
After she broke my heart and threw me out, the guilty pleasure of which I’ve spoken a few times already was simply enjoying the knowledge that she would never again get to have that sandwich. Is it petty? Yes. But when she decided to give up on us (and, yes, it was her decision; I was wanting to work on saving the marriage), she also elected to give up on everything that was us. She lost out on my cooking, my romantic gestures (like sending several score of cards to her at the Los Vegas hotel where we were staying when we married to surprise her on our arrival), right down to the mundane benefits like splitting chores such as mowing the lawn and folding laundry. Yes, I fold laundry.
Was it all roses? No, but I had arranged to have fresh flowers delivered to her every day for a week and paid far enough ahead so if anything happened to me, they would continue to come for a long time to come, so there were certainly a lot of roses. She’s not getting those anymore, either.
I’m not perfect. I know that. But I hoped, and worked hard, that in her life I was at least “value added”. I brought in income, I worked around the house, I helped with the kids, plus other husbandly duties. I tried to keep her happy, sexually gratified, gave her entire body massages, took her out on mini trips and generally just tried to be a romantic and good husband. My favorite memories were sitting together on that entirely too small for two people recliner as we watched movies. I was kinky, romantic, emotionally supportive, and now it’s gone.
I often wonder about her. I wonder if she kept the hand-written love letters, I had given her (a little more frequently than every other week), and if she did if she ever re-reads them. Knowing her, I’m sure they’ve been burned. I wonder if she looks at her jewelry collection and thinks of me. I wonder if she misses our trips.
I wonder if she misses the cheese steak sandwiches.
Sometimes we make decisions without really considering the larger impact. Sometimes we know the extended consequences. When she asked me for a divorce, I realized that I had been in the marriage alone for too long already, but before granting the request I suggested she think about it for two weeks, after which if she still wanted it, I would move out. In that time, I had my heart attack, and spent most of that time on the couch, immobile, in great pain while she accused me of faking it in the name of drama. Ultimately, I don’t feel like I lost that much in the divorce. I wonder how she feels about it.