Disclaimer: this was a hastily written post. Some of my readers have noted my unfair and unbalanced treatment of my wife. You’re right. These events happened, but I have omitted many of the nice positive things my wife did, sorry, I was just trying to vent a bit! Not that that excuses some of my wife’s poor behavior (but I had a share of poor behavior too). Just understand that bias as you read.
The canteen rattled as another shell impacted above. My renter, Ken, looked up and then back at his cards, I sighed with despair as he played a card on the makeshift table. We were huddled, head down in our foxhole, Christmas no-man’s land just above. When all the needed cleaning and cooking and serving had been completed, and I’d put the baby down for his nap, I decided enough was enough, I wasn’t going to keep spinning my wheels, I needed a break. I told my wife I was going downstairs to rest until the baby woke from his nap. She was pretty pissed. There was nothing to do at that moment even, just to sit and chat with relatives I’d been chatting with for the past two days without pause. She texted me a few times to tell me what a bastard I was and to not bother ever coming back. I know she is just extremely stressed. She’d broken down yesterday during the final preparations for dinner. She barricaded herself in the bedroom with a bottle of wine and said she wasn’t going to come out until her father apologized. At least it wasn’t me she was pissed at that time. So, I worked to make peace between her and her father while prepping the Christmas meal. I need to find that girl a good therapist once the war’s over.
Ken was a good kid. Christian, part of the youth group. Despite being three years her senior, he and my ex-lover, Sierra, were from the same graduating class at the university. I envied him in many ways, just starting his life, looking for a career, could sleep in and enjoy diversions to his heart’s content. I don’t think I was cut out to be a family man, but how do you know that until you are knee deep in it? Ken had already started to put down some roots, he had a local girlfriend who was thin and pretty and shared all his interests. My wife had ordered me to talk to Ken about his girlfriend washing her lacy panties in our machines when she was over. Of course, my wife’s first thought was they belonged to one of my girlfriends but realized how silly that was upon re-examination, particularly because it was a load of my renter’s clothes (gosh she is suspicious, but she had been ever since she had put the choke-hold on the sex department years ago). My wife’s primary concern was that it was unseemly for a nice Christian boy to see his girlfriend’s panties. I told her that it wasn’t 1950 anymore and I had seen her panties before we were married. I kept warning Ken about relationships, to make sure to wait to get married, even though his girlfriend seemed perfect, she was still his first. Being a youth group leader, I knew I shouldn’t encourage it, but I hoped they were having sex at least. I really didn’t agree with the idea of abstinence before marriage anymore, it had led to such a disaster in my own life and in so many others that I’d witnessed. If I hadn’t been so horny, I probably wouldn’t have made such a monumentally bad decision as to marry the girl I had been trying to muster up the courage to break up with. I can’t believe I was such a coward back then. But, that was one experience that taught me that cowardice wouldn’t save you, you’d only be running into a prison that is that much harder to escape.
After taking my beating at cards at the hands of Ken, I did feel refreshed and ready, “once more unto the breach.” When I returned, everyone was looking glum, and I thought my head was going to melt from my shoulders with the glare my wife was giving me. But, I asked her what the matter was and what I’d done wrong and she couldn’t give me any conclusive answer. Finally, I suggested we break out the egg nog and do some more presents, and she finally brightened up and her temper subsided.
Back to the old grind today. Hopefully, I can reboot my brain and get things functioning again over the next few days. This break between Christmas and New Year’s will be a welcome time for reflection and decisions.