A New Pair of Shoes
It’s 9:30 and the ticking of clock was getting exponentially annoying with every movement of the dial. The grandfather clock in the middle of the dining room obviously did not care about how much I want time to stop. I want it all to stop. The time between when he was supposed to be home and the present is just gradually getting slower and slower. It seems that every time I look at the clock it has barely changed the position of its arms. In these three and a half hours I have gone completely through all the stages of grief.
First the denial: the thoughts that he must be stuck in traffic, he’ll be back any minute, and then the thought that he must be working late again for the well being of our family. During this stage I warmed up the lasagna three times and prepared another salad for his hard work. Then after about 45 minutes of this, the lasagna could not take anymore and neither could I. The stage of anger took over the denial, and I called him over half a dozen times just to hear his voice, which got increasingly annoying each time it told me to leave a message. So of course I did; left a few messages, and very angry ones. If not for Andrew, who was in his room doing homework, I would have liked to throw a couple of plates, preferably at the cause of my anger.
The anger stage is too exhausting, and within 30 minutes I was bargaining already. If he just calls right now I promise to God I will not throw the lasagna in his face and instead throw the salad (not to mention tomato base stains are hard to wash out). I then raised the stakes: if only he comes home now and begs on his knees I will not file for a divorce. I guess some of this might sound a little like blackmail and female manipulation, but I would like to assure you that this is just part of bargaining and negotiating with God on getting your husband home.
Then the depression part kicked in; I was kicking myself for making the mistake of not only getting married but more so for getting married to him. Then I was kicking myself for thinking that if not for him I would not have Andrew. I couldn’t think anymore and grabbed the bottle of wine I prepared for us to have after dinner. I still had not eaten when the acceptance stage kicked in. My head was lightly spinning and all was great. The thought of men and shoes being similar kicked in, and when one pair is broken, no much how much you love them, you need to either fix them or trade them in for a new pair.
I woke on the couch to the sound of things falling in the kitchen. I got up and walked to the kitchen to find him drunkenly searching through the fridge, while my lasagna that I left for him on the table was now in the garbage. It seems that even on our 5th year anniversary day his poker buddies were more important than me.
“I think I need a new pair of shoes,” I said out loud, startling him into dropping the plate of cheese and crackers on the floor.
“For Christ’s sake, you scared me half to death. You don’t have to wait all nigh to tell me that, just get yourself a new pair. You got the money,” he said angrily, gathering the cheese and crackers off the floor. The plate amazingly didn’t break, and it struck me that this ceramic plate was much tougher than it looked; even being fragile it still didn’t break after being dropped by this man whom I once knew.
“I think I will,” I said, which seemed to have startled him again.
“You will what?” he asked.
“Get myself a new pair.”