I thought about my dead ex-husband and I actually smiled this time. And it wasn’t because he was dead..
I will admit that ours was not the happiest of marriages. There were many things that were wrong. And while neither one of us were the perfect spouse, at least for each other, it was what it was. Most of my memories are not pleasant ones, but recently I thought about him and I smiled.
Our marriage was not great. We probably should not have even gotten married, but we did. We should have separated sooner, but we did not. Why we stayed together those long seven years, I will never quite know, but we did. And it was painful, for both of us. Yet, I thought about my dead ex-husband the other day, and I smiled.
I have carried a lot of anger towards him, my dead ex-husband. The lies he told, the money he stole, the way he treated me. Answering the phone calls of the other women as if I were his secretary and not his wife. Discovering the video tapes he made of himself and the multitude of women he cheated on me with. I was living the Hip Hop song “It wasn’t me” each freakin day. The women he screwed in our home, on our couch, in our bed. Hell, he even told his family that I left him for another woman. I get pissed with him all over again each time I think of him.
Reality is I get pissed at me. The behavior that I allowed to happen during our marriage just enrages me. The fact that I allowed fear and embarrassment to keep me in a marriage that should not have even happened. I get mad at myself when I think about the years wasted and lost that I will never ever get back. I get mad about the children I didn’t have, the celebrations I missed, the friends I never made and the ones I lost contact with while I was with him. Yet I thought about him the other day, and I smiled.
Early in our marriage we decided we would have one date night a week. A day or evening that would be just for us. The same night each week, Monday. We were not in the greatest place financially, but we always managed to have enough to grab some rib tips, chicken wings, fries and white bread from a hole in the wall near 76th and Cottage Grove. Then we would go back to our home, watch TV or a movie and laugh. We would just be with each other.
Those Mondays were the best part of our marriage. Mondays were days to look forward to. The end of a long work day was met by an evening of just us. Impromptu singing and fashion shows, rides around the city like we were tourists, or watching the rain fall were enough. The best part of our life together happened on these Monday nights. It was a time when everything was going to be OK, if only for that day. Those Mondays were special. Those Mondays made me smile.
When we got away from those Mondays, we got away from us. Things went downhill from there. One Monday missed, and then a month of Mondays missed. We were missed. The anger lies, and resentment invaded our marriage when we got too busy for Monday. There was never enough of us when we lost Monday night. We lost us when we lost Monday nights.
So it surprised me when the other Monday, I thought about James and I smiled. Or maybe it was that I finally found some good chicken wings.
Anyway, it was a smile.