My Sassy-Pants Gave Me Away
Chuck has been dealt a rather severe blow. What does he make of it?
Two clothing-related incidents precipitated the biggest fight of our marriage and of my life just one month after the wedding:
ONE: Chuck bought a pair of work slacks that were too long and he asked me to hem them. Knowing I was a sewing efficianado and eager to please, this seemed perfectly logical to him. Since he didn’t know about the drinking, he couldn’t factor in my poor tailoring skills while hammered. I hemmed his pants alright. They came out about three inches above his ankles. To my credit, both pant legs came out even and would’ve been fine for Napoleon Bonaparte. He was not pleased.
TWO: We planned to go to Ellicott City, MD for dinner to celebrate our one-month-a-versary. He made a point of saying he couldn’t wear the new pants I ruined. I chose to wear an above-the-knee jeans skirt. That’s all I remember. I’m sure I wore a top, but it was the skirt to which he most strenuously objected. He thought it was
skanky inappropriate and that I should change into something more conservative–something in crinolines and a large hoop skirt that would block traffic, perhaps?
a raving lunatic iratated. I pre-drank enough vodka to get me through the trip and was feeling sassy. So in an out-of-character expression of honesty I told him, “You have no right to tell me what to wear.” He disagreed. Vehemently. I couldn’t think of anything to say in my defense, being so ill-equiped at debating my rights, so I took Humphrey for a walk. But I walked away in my best sassy “So-There!” strut.
Chuck was not the kind of guy a wife in a hooker-skirt walks out on. He followed me. What ensued is probably still talk of the neighbors. He yelled. I yelled back. Don’t ask for a transcript. Humphrey’s dead and he was the only one rational enough to remember. More yelling then Chuck walked away from me, leaving me and my “slut-skirt” to ponder our transgression. I really wanted to stay outside all day, but Humphrey wanted his treats. I went back to the apartment.
I felt like I did so many times as a little girl–I hadn’t done anything wrong, but my grandmother thought I had, so she gave me the “evil eye.” I felt small and helpless and little-girlish. Chuck gave me the “silent treatment/cold stare” until I couldn’t stand it any longer. I apologized, changed my clothes and we headed for Ellicott City.
In the car, as victor (maybe I should call him Victor) he reviewed the situation, including how appalled he was that I yelled openly in the neighborhood. His yelling didn’t come up. That’s when I, the vanquished bad girl, ran out of excuses and energy. I told him the truth. Whatever the outcome, it had to be easier than the last month.
He was visibly relieved and said, “Thank God, I thought you were going crazy.” I wanted to say “I am.” But I cried instead. The rest of the day and evening he talked about how to fix my drinking problem. He was a problem-solver and I was a doozy of a problem.
Is this the end to Lorna’s alcoholism? Has Lorna’s secret shaken the foundation of her marriage?