Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I have a friend whose husband very emphatically dislikes me.  In his estimation, I'm very very crude.  I call shit "shit." I don't use euphemisms for bodily functions.  When I had a recent sewage backup caused by the bad kids who stuffed their toilet with paper towels and handy-wipes, the fact that I talked about raw sewage coming up from the floor drain in my solarium caused him to forbid her to visit me.  Raw sewage got added to the list of words that are forbidden.  Since I was having a raw sewage problem, she wasn't allowed to talk to me.  And if she did talk to me, she couldn't talk to him about what was going on here.  He claims he can't trust her not to use those "bad" words when she talks with me.  However he has no problem telling me to go fuck myself.  "Fuck off!" is okay but calling raw sewage "raw sewage" is forbidden.  So all during that crisis in my life, the words raw sewage and shit made me off limits to her because he has a problem hearing about the specific problem I was having.

They pick up my Doxie to walk with their Chihuahua every morning.  I don't ask, but she gives me the lowdown on Marly's "output."  I don't need to know how many times Marly made "output."  Euphemisms for normal bodily functions make me gag.  I have a hard time with people who are too precious to call shit "shit," but who have no problem screaming at a neighbor to "Fuck off!" or "Go Fuck Yourself!"  It all seems pretty crazy to me.  But since I'm crazy, intimating that someone else might be a touch crazy is the like the pot calling the kettle black.  I usually don't go there.

I've been buying beer and bourbon for her for a long time because he counts the beers she drinks at home, so rather than battle it out with him, she comes to visit me when she needs a beer but has exceeded her "allowed number of beers" at home.  I'm astonished by how controlling he is and how much of that controlling behavior she puts up with.  They have "good chemistry."  I think that's a euphemism for good sex.  And I understand the power of good sex.  I lived with Tom for five years longer than I would have if the sex hadn't been so good.  But in the end, good sex couldn't make up for bad communication and a lack of reciprocity in our relationship.  By the time I left him for the last time, I was disgusted with myself for living with a man who never once told me he loved me, but who was a good fuck but not a good lover.  And Tom wasn't a tenth as controlling as my friend's husband.  I'm astonished that she allows him to tell her what she can and can't do, let alone what she can and can't say.

She and I were going shopping today.  She stopped by to show me that ads for Old Navy that made her want to shop there.  But as we were talking she told me about my next door neighbor asking her one morning as she and her husband where walking the dogs "What's going on with Peggy and her tenants?" My friend told my neighbor about the raw sewage problem and it's very deliberate cause.  Her husband stood there calmly listening to the conversation.  But when they got home he was furious that she used the "forbidden words" and told her she isn't a "trustworthy person" because obviously she can't keep her promise not to use those words.  If I were her I'd be choking on words.  Those words would be like bones stuck in my throat.  I'd be strangling on those words.  But his rage over the use of "forbidden words" is like she'd been fucking the mailman on the front lawn and charging admission to watch.  His rage over the words she uses is so out of proportion to the offense that as she was standing in her kitchen with a full quart of ice water she'd just pulled from the fridge he grabbed the water out of her hand and emptied it over her head.  She just stood there.  When the bottle was empty she calmly walked out of the kitchen, picked up her purse and keys and left.  She had to go visit her dying blind mother who lives in a nursing home north of Salt Lake.  On a good day that's a painful visit.  She adores her mother and seeing her in her current state is always painful.  Her mother has vascular dementia.  Same illness my mother died of.  Only her mother was a loving and good mother.  So the pain she feels is terribly poignant even without carrying the pain of her abusive husbands treatment of her.

As she was telling me this story she started crying.  I asked her "Has he apologized?" "No."  Apparently he feels completly justified.  But what he doesn't know is that his behavior has pushed her to make plans to escape and stay elsewhere next time he goes off on her.  And I'm betting he won't have the slightest idea why she's left him.  She does everything for him.  He'll be like a helpless baby if left to his own devices.  He has no idea that he is mentally ill.  And when doctors have tried to get him to take a drug that will help him with his out of control rage and abusive controlling behavior, he refuses to take the pill that would help him.  He doesn't think he has a problem  But I'm the crazy bitch with a potty mouth.  At least I take my pills.