A TRUE STORY
This is a true story. I know it’s true because I made it up.
I saw a woman, on the bus the other day, wearing a coat similar to one my ex-wife loved. This woman’s coat was like a time machine taking me back to the First Century when I was married.
A marriage made in Heaven? To say that is stretching it. I married out of a sense of duty because “we” were pregnant. I don’t know what my ex-wife’s motives were for marrying me. Love may have had something to do with it.
Let’s call my ex-wife Barbara because that is her name.
Barbara and I were similar: stubborn, controlling and perfectionists. We differed when it came to our tastes–especially when it came to colors. I hated whatever colors she loved, and she hated whatever colors I loved. Another difference between us was that I never felt the need to comment on her clothing, or tell her what colors to wear. At times, during my marriage, I felt as if I was a little boy being yelled at by my mommy because of the way I dressed.
Barbara’s birthday was approaching. What shall I buy her? What does she need?
I am a practical person. Perhaps I am too practical. When it comes to buying gifts for people I automatically buy them something they need. In my first serious relationship, way before I was married, I did not understand why my girlfriend yelled at me for her birthday gift.
“A toaster? A toaster? Why are you so goddamned practical?” she screamed at me.
“But your toaster doesn’t work properly,” I said.
“I know, but you could have bought me a ring, necklace or bracelet,” she said.
“But you already have lots of rings, necklaces and bracelets. You needed a new toaster.”
“I don’t have any jewellery from you. I would love something special from you; something I don’t need!”
“Isn’t a toaster something special from me?”
She stormed out of the room in a huff. I had spent a lot of time wrapping up the toaster to make it look nice. I understand now why she was upset.
Back to Barbara and her birthday. Barbara needed a new coat. She was good with money and rarely spent it on herself putting our kids first. I decided to buy her a coat. I went to the store and picked out a coat with colors I hated.
How happy Barbara was when she opened her birthday present! She cried tears of joy. Barbara wore that coat long after we separated.
All this went through my mind, the other day, when I saw that woman’s coat.