I suspect the title of this page is probably going to be incongruous to its content. I guess that would make it organic to my life, which is full of incongruities right now.
My birthday occurred over the weekend, and as expected my wife was notably absent. Oh, I did get a text message, but that was about it. That message said she was looking forward to celebrating my birthday with me, on Thursday. That is, tomorrow. Or, put another way, four days after my actual birthday. But hey, I’m probably one of the few guys in the world with an obstinate, wayward spouse who is reaching out to him in this way, right? So, I’ll take what I can get, and be grateful for it, too.
She has been incommunicado since Sunday. The text was kind of predictable, because she’s back in town. Whenever she comes into town, she has to emerge from the fog a tiny bit to confront the real world. You know, the one that the rest of us live in. She has found temporary safe harbors for these frightful jaunts into the real world, and these come in the form of the homes of people who are uncritical about her life decisions. They may be naive, thinking her truly to be on some sort of genuine path of renewal, or they may be pathetic, as is the case with the place she is staying tonight. I’ve written about this place before: it is the home of an acquaintance who is currently in the process of dissolving her marriage, or at least trying to figure out how to do that all alone, without the help of her husband. The husband left a few months ago, and is living in another state.
Well, that husband is back in town. I don’t know why, but he is. Maybe he wants to visit his kids. He has a college-age son and a daughter in grade school. The daughter began pulling her hair out when the marital crisis erupted in their family. That was at least two years ago. She will carry those scars for the rest of her life. I feel truly sorry for her, as the damage will be even more severe and likely permanent if her parents do not reconcile. And it does not look like they will, but I hope I’m wrong. I mean, daddy is back in town, right?
This should be an instructive situation for my wife. She will see in full force the true dysfunctions of a family in the throes of marital separation and dissolution. Then she can compare that dynamic with ours. She has a husband who showers her with unconditional love. This acquaintance does not: her husband became a drunk, threatened her with physical violence, and then moved out. Theirs is a tale of despair and sorrow. I am pretty certain that this acquaintance would not want to celebrate her husband’s birthday anymore.
Thus the incongruities abound. My wife reaches out to me. She wants to spend time with me. She actually seems reservedly positive as well. I am truly hoping things go well tomorrow, because it will make it that much harder for her to carry out her futile and hopeless agenda.
There is one other incongruity I simply cannot explain. As I’ve written before, she has blocked me from her Facebook page, so I cannot see what she’s up to. I do, however, have a spare Facebook account, one that I opened with the possible intention of creating a professional page. Well, that never happened. It just languishes there, with neither friends nor likes. But it also is not blocked. This means that I can see her public profile. Although it’s limited, I noticed something very peculiar a couple of days ago: she changed her “cover” photo.
She has that new, awful Timeline thingie that Facebook is pushing on its users, another one of those supposed enhancements that just makes it less user-friendly. She previously had pictures of flowers and other things (like our dog), and for a time, I gather, had a picture of the gift the adulterer gave her for Valentine’s Day. (I just know this because it’s in the same photo album — the only one that’s publicly visible.)
So what, pray tell, is that new cover photo? Well, it’s one that I took of her back in August of last year. She’s standing in front of the mural at the Roslyn Cafe. Remember the show “Northern Exposure“? My guess is that, if you were old enough to be watching TV back in the early 1990s, you would remember it. If not, well, it was a show about a doctor with a freshly minted M.D. who was getting student loan remission by being sent off to the boondocks to be a community general practitioner. In this case, he was sent to the fictional town of Cicely, Alaska. Cicely, like many things televisual, doesn’t actually exist. Oh, it was supposedly fashioned after the real town of Talkeetna, Alaska, but nevertheless Cicely does not exist. In reality, it is the town of Roslyn, Washington. You know, Roslyn, at the western edge of Kittitas county, on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains, population 893.
Or perhaps you don’t know Roslyn. Well, I do. There’s a brewery there, and I do like my beer. They also make pretty good root beer, and my wife likes root beer. We used to live in a small town about 30 miles east of Roslyn, a college town where I had my first job. We would occasionally go up to Roslyn to get out of the summer heat, or just to go have a root beer. It was a nice drive along old country roads most of the way, and the town itself has a rustic charm about it. It’s an old coal mining town, populated initially by a healthy cohort of Croatian coal miners. There is even a Coal Miner’s Memorial that was recently installed. The town is almost hip, in a way — there’s even a glass blowing studio there, just behind that memorial.
Anyway, the aforementioned mural is one of the big tourist draws in the town. I’ve taken a number of pictures of my wife in front of that mural over the years. It has nostalgic connotations for us. When we went there last August, it was the first time we had visited that area in three years. We spent the morning and afternoon in our old home town, visited the sights there (limited as they are), headed out to visit some other friends out in the countryside, and then hit Roslyn on our way home. The air is really fine there, clean and crisp, and it is very quiet. The people are friendly and laid back. And there is also the brewery. Oh, and there’s a totem pole, too — that’s what you see in the picture featured for this post.
Thus I’m wondering why, all of a sudden, she should choose to put this picture onto her Facebook page. It hardly strikes me as a random or haphazard event. In a way, it almost seems like she is trying to send a message, like she’s trying to test the adulterer by shoving a bit of her former life right under his nose. I’m sure he sees her Facebook page; he has his own page, too. I can’t imagine she has told him about the provenance of that photo. That would not go over too well, I think.
So that’s where things stand today, 7 months and 13 days after the beginning of my wife’s descent into the depths of egotistical self-deception. I’ve been nurturing my connection with her slowly and steadily for most of that time, save for the first 22 days that I was unaware of her betrayal, and then the following week that I was trying to find my feet and figure out a way forward. I’m starting to think that this is “crunch time,” in a way — a time when the situation in our relationship gets critical. Critical for me, sure, but I can handle it; it is far more critical for her, since she entirely lacks the skill or wisdom to handle the inevitable breakdown of her current trajectory.
Wish me luck, dear readers. If I have anything to do with it, tomorrow will signal a real turning of the tide for the better in our situation.