How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE

The Anniversary Gift

38 Comments


I heard a story today about a friend’s sister whose husband, out of the blue, laid the I want a divorce card on the table. She thought their marriage was good. Now this. I thought I’d play with that idea.

~ * ~

“So, what do you think Joe? Shall we go out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary next Saturday or what?”

Joe stared at his dinner plate. He’d been quieter than usual for weeks. Pat could see no apparent reason for this.

“Come on, Joe, it’s obvious something’s bothering you. What is it?”

No response.

He looked like a lost garden statue, she thought.

Pat closed her eyes and crossed her arms in a hugging manner. Joe had never been much of a talker but she didn’t know how much more cold silence she could take. It was hell living with a shell of a man who ignored her. He ate, slept and went to work. What was going on in that head of his? Maybe there were problems at the Xerox Lab where he worked? Everybody was cutting back these days. Maybe Joe was on the pink list.

“Joe, for the love of God, I can’t take this silent treatment anymore. Is it work or are you sick or what?” Pat hit the table with the palm of her hand just a bit harder than she’d intended.

Joe finally looked up. Pat almost cried with relief. He looked her straight in the eye and took a deep breath.

“Go on Joe. We’ve been married twenty-two years. There’s nothing we can’t talk about. Tell me. Let’s get it out in the open.”

“Are you quite sure about that, Pat? Can we talk about anything?” At first his voice was a whisper but as he continued, it grew stronger, more confident.

“I’ve been trying to figure out a way to let you down easy-like but as usual, you push and push at everything. He pointed a long finger at her across the table. You aren’t going to tell me what to do or how to do it anymore.”

Pat’s eyes blinked. She gasped and gripped the table. What was going on here? She’d never heard Joe so much as raise his voice in all the time she’d known him.

“Pat I want a divorce and I want it now. You can go celebrate your anniversary with your bossy mother or do any damn thing you want. I’m finished. Done.” Joe pushed back his chair and let it fall backwards with a clatter. He headed towards the front door. A hard slam reverberated like an exclamation point. A hush filled the air.

Pat slid down in her chair. She heard a girlish giggle. The little turd had finally found some balls. She wasn’t even shocked as much as relieved. Real peace at last.

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Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

38 thoughts on “The Anniversary Gift

  1. Nice one! Well written.
    Liz

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  2. Interesting take on the subject.

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  3. Well done Tess!!!
    This is often exactly how it starts – because one parner resents the other and that’s how it stays – until the line is drawn and they can no more…

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  4. I wasn’t expecting the giggle – nice twist!

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  5. It takes real talent to write such a short story and have it work! You’re to be commended.

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  6. Hi Tess, you had me the entire time, and you got me at the end. Well said!

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  7. Wow Tess!! Girl you are goood! I was nodding my head, smiling at the familiar image of having tp reach down a man’s throat and pull out the words… my heart was also tugged big time because I just celebrated an anniversary…so much of it,if not all, was relatable…. my eyes were tearing up for them both…

    ….and then the giggle? FABULOUS!!!

    What’s next?

    Secret feelings always come with surprize~

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    • Hi Toni: As one story teller to another, I’m so pleased you like ‘the anniversary gift’. The giggle came out of nowhere and surprised me too. I love being surprised like that. Yes, that is the question: what’s next. I’m happy to be chatting with you. I especially enjoy chatting about writing and getting feedback. Love reading your posts but lately have been drowning in post reading, comment responding and just keeping up. It’s a vicious circle. If you don’t hear from me, it’s because I’m buried somewhere in the blogosphere. Have a lovely Sunday. Tess

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  8. Well written story. It is a sad story that is true for too many people.

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    • I don’t LIKE these types of negative stories but mine was one of them although in a million years I would not have imagined my life like one of those. Excuse the expression, but crap happens. I didn’t want to allow this kind of thinking but it is just around the breakup not what you do AFTERwards. That’s what counts. I had to decide what was best for my daughter and 28 years later, I KNOW I made the right one for my daughter. This way she wasn’t exposed to her father’s negative non-contribution to her life. Anyway, she’s 34 and she’s happy about my choice. How sad is that! It was NEVER my idea that we would NOT be a family. I thank you for commenting, Derek, especially because of the field you represent. Tess

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  9. Tess, this was rivetting with a most unexpected kick-arse ending. Really, the writing just takes you into the moment.

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    • It might be unkind on one level but let’s face it shit happens. Maybe it isn’t even on HIS part. I’m a forgiving soul but life is full of unexpected crap and sometimes liberations. I just heard a story and not knowing how the wife felt, thought to give her some release. So nice of you go give such positive input. I’ll have to send stuff to you DIRECTLY for the fattest head I can muster. Kidding. Thank you for your heartwarming comment. More. Soon. I look forward to exchanging / swapping STUFF. I have been following your posts for a while and LOVE them. Tess

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    • Kick-ARSE is GREAT! Too bad this kind of thing still happens to spouses without any idea that it’s going to. I tried to give a little relief to the little woman—she’s still human or a hundred other scenarios (but her family might have had a negative impact on the marriage according to this particular imaginery story). That’s the part I made up because I had NO idea of the couple’s story or the true feelings of the wife. Thanks so much for taking the time to comments. Hopefully between your posting and mine, we’ll have lots more opinions to swap! Tess

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  10. Excellent writing, Tess! I felt like I was a fly on the wall eavesdropping on their private conversation. Superb!

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  11. Loved it! kind of thought there would be a twist at the end, but the giggle was totally unexpected!

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  12. Ha! What great tension and then relief. That one worked!

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  13. Not only is the giggle appropriate, it is liberating. The comfort derived from endless decades of unnoticed self-sacrifice is draining. I think this one is perfect. The imagery is excellent down to the sounds. Excellent job, Tess.
    Red.

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    • There you are again, Red. How NICE and thanks for the positive input. I enjoyed this little piece. I had no idea she would giggle but it felt appropriate and the relief, even I felt at the end. Odd when that happens. Up at the crack on dawn on a Sunday. My granddaughter’s First Communion yesterday. Busy all day with that. Trying to catchup on comments today. Thanks for your support. Have a great day. Tess

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  14. Nicely done! I can so relate. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was married to Joe’s brother.

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    • Nice to meet you Sharon. Sorry you were stuck with Joe’s brother for a while. thanks for liking The Anniversary Gift.

      I’ll be by your blog as soon as I finish this. Great to meet another book fiend. My books are holding up my house.

      Tess

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  15. I’ll bet seventy percent of marriages are held together because they can’t afford a divorce or are to lazy to get one.

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Some things in life are complicated. Let's keep it simple.

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