She came home today, even if only for a short while. In a way, it was kind of unbelievable. She has been avoiding this house for the past two and a half months, and has been careful to refer to it on almost every occasion as “your house,” as though it’s not hers to live in anymore. But there she was, in our house, and not just for a couple of minutes, either.
Let me back up a bit. Normally on Wednesdays she comes into town. The adulterer gives her a ride. She would usually teach a lesson in the afternoon and then have a rehearsal that night. Then she’d spend the night at a friend’s place, and teach a lesson the following afternoon. After that, the adulterer would pick her up and they’d go back to his place in Podunksville. Those Wednesday evening rehearsals are over for now, and won’t resume until the fall. But, since she needs to earn a bit of dosh, she is kind of obligated to come back to teach a bit. Mind you, these are students she had fully intended to ditch, but has kept them on because the reality of life has intruded.
Normally, I’d get a phone call from her on Wednesday morning, asking me to pick up the dog, or to make some sort of logistical arrangement dealing with the dog. She did not call this morning. So I called her. It was already nearly noon. My message was brief, and ended with “call me.” About a half an hour later she did call, and told me that she was at her friends house a couple of blocks away. These are the same friends with whom she “lived” for 3 months — the friends who encouraged and supported her acts of adultery as though they were somehow normal and not wrong or immoral. She wanted to drop the dog off, and I said she’d be welcome to do that whenever. She said she’d be over in a few minutes.
A few minutes later she did come strolling across the lawn with the dog in tow. I invited her in, and she came in without any resistance to that idea whatsoever. One of the first things she did as she entered the house was to sniff the air: I had just reheated some Japanese curry I’d made the day before, and she liked the smell. I offered her some for lunch (I’d already eaten) and she said she’d just have a small portion. I also made some coffee. She took both, but finished neither, and that was okay.
We chatted for a bit. She told me she had a girls night out tonight with some colleagues, including the friend she was visiting with this morning. She said she was going to bake some lemon bars to take along, as it was a movie night in the home of one of the women, and she said she’d need some butter. I offered her what I had, but it was not enough. She clearly came to me for help with this. I offered to take her out to buy some, and she agreed. However, we were both pretty tired — she looked very tired — and so I suggested that I needed a nap. She said she did, too. Holy crap! My wife is thinking about taking a nap in her own house! Stop the presses! That’s exactly what she did. She took a nap on the couch — I brought her a blanket, and she let me tuck her in. She did not reject any of this. She had rethought her ideas about cooking, and wanted to visit a bakery to get some things instead, so I suggested a half hour nap and then we’d head out.
After a half an hour, I went out into the living room, and she wanted to sleep some more. Oh, this is so typical. So I gave her another half hour and then we set off. We headed out to a bakery that she likes a lot, but they were closed for a lunch break. We had about 10 minutes until they reopened, so we went to a neighboring card shop so she could get her father a card for Fathers Day. What she did not know is that I had been at that very same shop a few hours earlier, buying a small gift for her — a little zippered bag with a retro flower and bird motif, big enough to hold pens and pencils, or maybe to be used for small toiletries and such. You’ve probably seen bags of this size. They’d fit neatly into a purse. Basically I needed a gift box to put a few small items into, and this was the nearest thing they had. Anyway, my wife bought a few candles and a card, and then we went to the bakery next door.
The bakery was pretty much sold out. Yikes. So, we had to go to a nearby grocery store to get some goodies she could take along. Then we began to head back toward her student’s house. On the way there, she asked if we could stop by a music shop so she could buy some sheet music, and I agreed. We had made such trips many times in the past, and I’d always waited in the car for her. We pulled into the parking lot, and I said I’d wait in the car. She was surprised. “What? You’re not coming in?” she said. What’s a guy to do? I went in with her. She bought a song book or two. I thought she was getting things for her student, but she said these were for her. Hmmm…
We then set out for the student’s house, and she told me en route that her brother had received a gift from me. It was the mug I had sent him a couple of weeks ago. He thanked me for it. This was the exact same mug I had made for her, but which she had never acknowledged receiving. Funny, isn’t it? As we were arriving at the student’s house, she was relieved to see that the student’s father was not there. He is in the midst of a very messy separation with his wife that will almost certainly end in divorce. Neither of them have the slightest idea about how to reconcile their problems, so that’s likely where they’ll end up. I’ve written about this before: the wife is trying to ready paperwork by herself. The husband apparently is doing some work on the house (he’s in the construction business) and the place was a mess. I got out of the car to help her with her things, and sneaked my gift into her bag: the little zipper bag, which also contained a couple of little chocolates, a rubber stamp (bird in a cage; kind of a nostalgic thing for her, based on one of her little decorative possessions), and a card in which I’d made an impression of the stamp and written a little inscription. She noticed this in the shopping bag, and asked me what it was. I told her it was a little bag I picked up for her that she could use for pencils and things. She said, “it’s cute,” and then went into the students house. Again, she looked back at the car as I was leaving.
“It’s cute.” See, I know her taste, and I know what she likes. I knew this would be perfect little thing to give. I also knew that she’d be likely to open it some time later today or even tonight, when she’s with her friends. That would make for an interesting scenario to explain. I’m pretty certain she would be wanting to tell them all about her horrible marital quandary, her “new relationship” (which is neither new, nor an authentic relationship) and there would be this gift from me. She did tell me that she’d be spending tomorrow with this aforementioned friend who lives a couple of blocks away, and I assume she’s spending the night there, too. I got a tentative, non-commital partial agreement to have lunch, maybe, tomorrow. We’ll see about that.
Now here’s the interesting thing. Dogs don’t lie. I’ve seen our dog come back from a week’s stay at the adulterer’s place before, and normally she seems very relieved to be back at home and often goes into the bedroom to sleep very soundly. This time was kind of anomalous, though. She slept for hours, like a log. When I got home from dropping my wife off, the dog was on the couch and only woke up when I opened the door. This is very unusual. Normally she’d be awake with the sound of a car approaching. She looked very groggy. She has slept very, very soundly all day. It was as if the past week had been very stressful for her, and that she was just very grateful to be at home in a place where she can totally relax and sleep off all that stress.
Not that I can really read much into a dog’s behavior, but I sense that things are really not okay up there at Camp Chickenshit. (Yes, I know, I used that term for the first time in months, but I think I primed it by using the word “crap” earlier in this post.) I suspect that she is spending time with this friend tomorrow, as well as with the colleagues tonight, to attempt to patch holes on the sinking life raft that is her adulterous relationship. I also suspect she may be testing the waters at home a bit, seeing how she feels about being back in the house, doing things like, well, taking a nap. This is actually very telling to me. I simply cannot see why a woman with her stated agenda would do any of this. Other obstinate spouses are more, well, obstinate.
So, the upshot is that things seem to be trending positively. I don’t know when they will ultimately turn around, or if that turn around will be fast or slow. But I do sense that things are getting there, bit by bit. Safe harbor is not that far away at this point, and I intend to bring us there as swiftly as possible.