Tag Archives: Root Beer

Greetings of the day

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.)

Roslyn CafeSo 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.

Welcoming the Year of the Water Dragon

I went to a celebration for the Tibetan New Year tonight. According to their calendar, the year is 2139. Like many Asian cultures, the Tibetans ascribe to the 12-year cycle of animals (ox, rat, dog, etc.) that describe the quality of the year; to this they also attach an element, e.g. water, wind, fire, earth. Some systems also attach male or female to the year as well. This year is the year of the Water Dragon. This is an auspicious combination.

In many Asian cultures, the dragon symbolizes the union of heaven and earth, and further represents growth and prosperity. Water symbolizes sustenance and magnetizing energy; since the dragon’s natural element is wood, and water nurtures wood, there is also the aspect of nurturing that comes into play as well. It is said to be a very powerful combination. This also marks the first time in quite a while that the elements have been in harmony with the animal. We are therefore supposed to be at the start of a 12-year cycle of luck. There was also advice given that, as with any new beginning, one should try to let go of past negativity and move into the new year with the sense of a fresh start that is open and positive. We should let go of bad habits, and I can certainly think of a few that need to be wiped away.

Perhaps the symbolism is significant in my life already. There were actually two ceremonies I attended today, one in the morning that included a liturgy for the new year, and then the aforementioned one in the evening that included a similar but slightly longer liturgy. Between the two I was mostly home alone. I was a bit concerned as to when and whether I’d be seeing my wife. She texted me mid-afternoon to tell me that she’d be teaching a student at home, and wanted to know if that were okay. I said, “no problem.” She got home about an hour prior to the lesson with a surprise for me: a Japanese-style hot dog. There is a food truck downtown that makes these, and we’d been talking about trying the for a number of months prior to this crisis; there is a shop in Vancouver, BC called Japadog we visited last year that does this, and it was really good. So she passed by the truck here in town and decided to get me a sukiyaki dog. I was very grateful, and told her I had something to share with her: a bottle of Red Arrow root beer. We had a nice enough time; she was cordial but a bit distant.

She had a rehearsal tonight and had arranged for a ride there, but I offered to give her a lift home. I brought the dog with me. She got in the car and gave the dog a kiss. I joked about her giving the dog a kiss but not me. I then took her to her friends’ house, and just gently reminded her that she could always come home. She rejected that idea, of course, and I had expected that. I just felt like I had to put it out there, that’s all. So, it was a positive end to a pretty much positive day.

My aspiration for this new year is one of prosperity, happiness and, of course, reconciliation. I’m realizing that, in many ways, I can be my own worst enemy, and so I am going to try my best to put aside negative habits and actions and to try to come at the world from a place of positivity.

Hey, hey, hey – another two-post day

I wrote my last update at a coffee shop on my way to work. I had another late start due to client cancelations/reschedules. There was a lady sitting on the couch opposite me, and she had her dog with her and was also toting her son, who looked to be about eight years old, and they were playing cards. The dog appeared to be some sort of flat-coated retriever mix, and its tail kept threatening to knock the drinks over on the knee-height table. That’s what I was contending with while writing that post. Fascinating, I know.

Now I’m sitting at home in the comfort of my living room. I got home around 8:00 p.m. The lights were totally out on the house, so I’d assumed that my wife still had not returned home. I was wrong. When I went to open the front door, the dog was there to greet me. Her behavior was a bit odd: she seemed tired and kind of depressed. Normally, when one of us would come home, she would get all hyper and prance around. She’s a Corgi, after all, and they’re very active dogs. This time, she just seemed kind of sedate. I saw this behavior after her first extended visit to Camp Chickenshit. In fact, she’s never really totally normal after visiting that place. It’s like she’s home again, and everything is familiar, yet she needs to readjust, because the pack dynamics have shifted. Dogs do need that sense of pack dynamics, and they need to know who the pack leader is. Normally that would be me. But when she goes to Camp Chickenshit, I think she gets confused. That role would have to fall on my wife. Maybe there’s no trust in the adulterer; why should there be?

Anyway, so what else did I discover when I came home? Well, for starters, my wife had left a note for me on the dining room table. I had left her a note before I went to work, letting her know that I had cooked some lunch and that there were leftovers in the fridge. I also wrote that I had bought potato chips, which she consumes voluminously these days (without gaining weight; I attribute that to the stressfulness of her situation), and that there was also some root beer in the fridge. Not A&W or Hires, but micro-brewed stuff. Craft sodas are all the rage these days, and there are dozens of places around the country that brew root beer. The note also thanked me for the stuff I’d bought and prepared, and also thanked me for having relocated her half-packed boxes into her closet. (I had to: they were an eyesore and taking up far too much space.) She also thanked me for the chocolate I had sneaked into her bag before she left. She also wrote, “Please let me know if there [is] anything I can do for you.” I felt that statement to be rather odd. There is actually something she could do for me: break off the affair and come home to reconcile, but perhaps that would be asking too much. She signed the note, “Best, [her name];” I found this a bit odd as well, as she must have learned that closing salutation from me or someone else.

So there we are.

I guess I just have absolutely no sense for where I stand right now. The affair is going on 4-1/2 months old right now, so I guess that would make it kind of middle-aged. Affairs tend to perish before they hit the one-year mark, and most probably die away months before that, say in the range of 5 to 7 months of total duration or so. Thinking back on all my pre-marriage girlfriend situations, few of them lasted substantially longer than that, and that is likely true of others’ experience as well. Affairs aren’t boyfriend/girlfriend situations, though, since at least one, if not both partners are married. But, with this aforementioned time frame, I guess that would mean that we’re getting fairly close to the affair’s death from natural causes, i.e. the endless lies, deceit and so on. Much as the human body can only sustain a fight against a mighty virus or disease for so long, so too can a human sustain a fight against the ethics and morality of human society for a limited time. Maybe that’s why I get the sense that the affair is being kept on life support. I don’t have any evidence to back this up, though; it’s just a hunch. I don’t really see it stretching on much more than another month or so. After that, the pressures of real life will just become too severe. But, I could be wrong. My wife does appear to have a small network of friends who support and encourage her path of infidelity, and that is a truly amazing thing to consider.

In the meantime, I continue to wait, to work on myself and my fixings, and to continue to build goodwill such that she’ll feel comfortable coming home when that relationship finally self-combusts.

Arrow, Water, Fire

Today is an inauspicious day. I have a Tibetan calendar in my kitchen that tells me this. Actually, it’s a western calendar overlaid with information from the Tibetan lunar calendar, including astrological information that is important in determining practice dates and so on. In Tibetan astrology, each day has a particular combination of elements (earth, water, fire, and wind) as well as a conjunction, which, without getting to complicated, refers to the location of the moon. It’s possible to have auspicious dates with inauspicious conjunctions and vice versa, and it’s also possible to have both be either auspicious or inauspicious. Today falls into the last category.

The element combination for today is fire-water; according to the calendar, “[t]his element combination is extremely unfavorable. Fire and water is the combination prefiguring death, any death, and any activity on this day will face significant obstacles that may weaken one’s vitality.” Yikes.

What about the conjunction? Arrow is “[u]nfavorable. Mentally, it indicates too much thought, which results in suffering. Physically, it indicates loss of senses or limbs.” Double yikes.

So, I guess it’s not a surprise that I’ve felt a bit off today. Not only that, I’m regularly posting on the discussion board of the community that is doing the same marriage reconciliation program that I am, and those boards have been particularly active today. It’s been kind of like Downersville in a way. It’s a really good thing that the discussion board exists, as it gives people like myself a place to vent and commiserate without having to take it out unproductively, like, for instance, on our spouses. Tomorrow and Friday look better, though.

The morning started normally enough: I woke up shortly before 6:00 and couldn’t get back to sleep. This has been typical for nearly 4 months now. There’s just too much on my mind, and if I do wake up, it all kicks in and starts spinning. I tried to sleep a bit more, but didn’t manage, so I just got out of bed and got the day started. I don’t really have weekends, but rather my days off are Wednesday and Sunday. I consulted my calendar and just decided that I really would take the day off and not do anything important.

My wife showed up just before 9:00 this morning. She took a bath, drank some tea I had made, and ate a couple of chocolates I had left her. She then did the laundry, which is something she has started doing again recently. She has neglected the housework for almost 4 months now, so that’s a welcome change. She commented on how clean the house was, and I told her I had cleaned the entire place on Sunday.

We had lunch together. I just made something simple. But, according to the principles of my program, I’m supposed to have one “date night” per week. That’s my date night for this week, I guess. We had a pleasant enough conversation, joked around a bit, and nothing too serious came up. I told her that I had a surprise place I wanted to take her next week, and she said, “is it ambush counseling?” I laughed. We are going to have a counseling session next week, but it has been mutually agreed upon in advance. I just told her it wasn’t far, and we’d just be there 20 minutes or so. She said, “Only 20 minutes?” I told her we could, of course stay longer.

I didn’t let on as to what this place is, though, she’ll find that out when we go there. It’s a root beer store. They sell pretty much nothing but root beer. The one near us (there are 2) also sells ice cream, and they make floats. My wife likes root beer a lot — it’s really the only soft drink she’ll touch — and she loves root beer floats. So this will be a nice surprise.

After lunch she told me that she needed to go back to her friends’ place. This wasn’t a surprise, as she’d left her computer there. Supposedly she is working on her dissertation these days, although I don’t see any evidence of it. I did offer to meet with her for another working session on it, but she was unsure as to what day might be good. She seemed to want to chat a bit, so I listened to her, and she began to tell me about an apartment she went to look at yesterday. “Gross,” she said. And it wasn’t cheap, either. Hopefully she’ll see that single life ain’t so great at her age. She did bring up her intention to move out (it’s been a month now, and she still hasn’t moved out). I looked at her and simply said, “You know, you don’t have to move out. This is your house, too.” That went straight to her heart, and to her conscience as well. She brought up the counseling session we’ll be having, and said that it’s okay with her as long as it’s about “healing,” but not about “fixing,” since, according to her, she’s done, and won’t be fixing anything. This story changes weekly, though. So, I just looked at her and said, “everyone has fixing that they need to do on themselves.” Point made. I hope.

This basically means she hasn’t made any progress. I knew she had gotten a couple of checks in the mail, so I offered to drop her off at her friends’ place on my way to the bank, where I’d deposit her checks. On the way out, I gave her a little root beer candy that one of my clients gave me. He had been to the root beer store last week and gave me a bunch of little goodies like that. My wife’s first reaction was, “gross!” It’s candy, and supposedly she shouldn’t be eating them, since she’s under the spell of her lover, who seems to have convinced her that processed and refined foods are evil. (Yes, they are unhealthy, but I do know that she likes all sorts of processed and refined foods.) I told her it was a root beer candy, and she unwrapped it, saw that it looked like a little root beer keg, and then ate it. She thought it was great. What can I say? That’s a good seed to plant in her mind which will be reinforced when we do finally go up the store.

At any rate, I do get to see her one more time today, as I’m taking her to a rehearsal tonight. She’ll then probably continue the pattern of coming home during the day tomorrow and Friday, and then some time on Friday afternoon she’ll pack off for another weekend at Camp Chickenshit. I have a book that I bought for her last week that I’m going to plant in her bag if I get the chance. It’s a book on the use of essential oils in cooking; it was on the bargain rack so it was only a few bucks, but it’s something she absolutely will enjoy. She loves essential oils and aromatherapy, and once or twice a year blows a couple hundred bucks buying oils from a supplier in France.

Now, if I can pull this off and secret this book into one of her bags, and if she doesn’t notice it until she’s underway, then I’ll have pulled off a big double-whammy: not only does she love essential oils, but I also know that she takes them to her lover’s place and does who-knows-what with them there. So that book would be both a reminder of me as well as a brake on their relationship, and that’s exactly what I want. I want him to feel my presence right there, breathing down his neck, making him feel impotent and embarrassed, and shamed that someone knows his “girlfriend” (or however he refers to her) better than does he.

Of course, since I’m always being lied to about what goes on on weekends I can get away with this. As far as I know, she’s just over at her friends’ house a couple of blocks from here, so what’s the problem with leaving a book or small gift for her?

This is one of the ways you can defuse an affair. First, you have to make sure that your spouse lies to you about it over and over again. You do that by not allowing them to talk to you about it, ever. They just cannot try to convince you that it’s a normal relationship. Next, you employ excellent relationship habits to build goodwill. Then, you give. Sneak a few gives in as surprises here and there, things they discover at home or while they’re going somewhere. These are reminders that you’re thinking of them, and if you do it right these acts also show that you know your spouse. And, if you know that your spouse will be going off with his/her lover at some point, try to sneak something or other into their bag, so that they can find it later. You’ve got to build up to it, though. 

I’ve been lucky thus far in that I haven’t had any adverse reactions to any of these kinds of surprises. Usually she thanks me for them later. On maybe one or two occasions she never mentioned the surprise, or did so much later. Right now I can benefit from the fact that she’s under the advice of an “energy worker” who has told her that “healing” my emotions is necessary, and that she needs to express gratitude to me regularly. So I’ve got a bit more wiggle room than normal in this regard.

Hopefully I can pull it off. Friday is an auspicious day: the element combination is “earth-earth,” which is the most auspicious combination, favoring the accomplishment of your wishes, and the conjunction is “friend,” which signifies meeting with friends.