I turned 52 today and I must say it feels pretty great. I just had the realization that at this point in my life I have the most love in my life I have ever had. And I have always had love in my life…from family and friends and special guys here and there too. But somehow there’s more than ever before. My life keeps expanding, at a time when for many it starts shrinking. I feel lucky and blessed. I am spending my birthday weekend at my dad’s beach house in Charleston near Coos Bay and it’s one of my favorite places in the world. So lovely and peaceful. I find myself today thinking more about my future and not any of my past. Thinking of all the things yet to accomplish and travel to and do. All the friendships to deepen and delight in, and family to cherish and enjoy the company of…and all the romance that lies ahead for me too. It’s a bountiful and beautiful world.
“In the end, life is all about seeking reassurance, she thought, we’re all engaged in looking for some kind of sign that will tell us we’re not really alone. We want a bond, an anchor that will hold us fast to a landmass of belonging somewhere, of being close to someone, of having something more than the clothes on our backs or the houses we live in or the cars that we drive in. And in the end we can only gain that reassurance through people. No matter how we fill our lives with the trappings of a carefree independence, we still want the bond. Because a vital connection with another human being always carries the potential to act as a viable approbation of the self. If I am loved, I am worthy. If I am needed, I am worthy. If I maintain this relationship in the face of all difficulties, I am somehow whole.”
–Elizabeth George, For The Sake Of Elena
For David B. (who will always be worthy)
Those of you who know me personally know that my ex husband cheated on me, and perhaps, even though I have never written about it directly before, you might have been able to read between the lines. Being cheated on is one of those things that you have no idea how it truly feels until it happens to you. The blow to your self-esteem, the horrible pain and anguish, the anger and sense of betrayal. Since it happened to me I have talked to many women (and a few men) about it, who were also cheated on and it’s always felt great to be able to commiserate with each other and know we weren’t alone in feeling the way we did. It helped to be able to talk about it and I have had great conversations about the healing process. I have also had great conversations about the subject of revenge and boy have I heard some great stories!
In my case, my revenge was not allowing him back into my life, even though he desperately wanted to be with me. It was also very satisfying to make sure his new girlfriend knew that he kept trying to get back with me, even though he was now with her. I felt it was important for her to know that the only reason he was now in an actual relationship with her (instead of just using her for sex a few minutes every week like he did the last months of our marriage) was because he couldn’t be with me. You can imagine the impact that knowledge she now had did to their relationship. I didn’t even find out about the affair until a month after we split up, when he decided to confess it to me in an ill-thought-out attempt to get me back. It wasn’t the reason I ended the marriage but it sure made it easy to keep the door slammed shut. It was surprising how painful finding out about the affair was, since I had already ended the relationship. It threw me into a tailspin for a few months but I was able to work through all the various emotions with the help of counseling and move on. The Carrie Underwood song about “the next time he cheats”, well that has special meaning to me now and I am sure many many women can relate. BTW, I am not personally advocating any of the stories I am sharing and these are not things I personally did. Copy at your own risk.
Here are my five favorite stories of revenge.
1. BRUSH YOUR RAGE AWAY. At least three people have told me about this one….they found out about their cheating partner and took revenge by using the partner’s toothbrush to clean the toilet. Preferably a very dirty toilet. One woman told me she took great satisfaction in cleaning up around the rim where the worst grime was. Nasty? Yes. Great revenge? Absolutely!
2. CHEATERS R US. You know that appalling reality TV show called Cheaters..where they follow people around, try to catch them cheating, and then stage a confrontation between the cheater and the cheatee? They also have a website where you can enter your cheater’s info into their data base for the world to see. One woman told me about doing this and how much she liked knowing that many people would read about his despicable behavior. And yes, real names and photos are used. She said the last time she checked, over 100,000 people had read his profile. Now THAT’S getting the word out.
3. SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY’S BEST FRIEND. Revenge and fun at the same time? A woman told me about how she seduced a buddy of her husband, right after they had split up. This particular friend had had a falling out with her ex, primarily because he had been pretty vocal about how badly the ex treated her. Having a fling with this particular buddy was a great boost to her self-esteem, a lot of fun, and drove her ex absolutely bonkers when he found out.
4. MARKING YOUR TERRITORY. You will have to read between the lines on this one because I was sworn to secrecy on the specifics. So picture a piece of furniture left behind by the ex for a couple of months until he could move it into his new girlfriends house. You can use your imagination for the rest of the story.
5. SNIP SNIP SNIP WENT THE SCISSORS. This is my favorite story of all, and a huge hit everywhere I have shared it..people love it! One of my customers told me that her husband was a complete slob dresser, even though he was a highly paid professional. Worn out docker pants with holes and torn hems, and ratty t-shirts that were faded and ripped. It drove her nuts that he didn’t care more about his appearance. However, he had this very weird quirk. He LOVED cashmere sweaters and would buy three or four new ones each year, dropping at least three hundred bucks on each one. Presumably he wore them with his dockers? So he had about a dozen of these beautiful sweaters. She caught him in a one-night stand and he confessed to having had about a dozen of them over the years of their marriage. A dozen sweaters…a dozen affairs….hmmmm. The day before she moved out, she went into his walk-in closet with her little embroidery scissors and cut moth holes into every single one of those cashmere sweaters. At least five or six in each sweater…about the size of a pencil eraser. Gaping holes, impossible to repair. And the icing on the cake? She put a dead moth on one of the necklines. Just to seal the deal.
- That’ll teach him: Scorned woman gets her revenge by spray-painting ‘cheater’ and ‘liar’ across her boyfriend’s car (thisismoney.co.uk)
- Wife Uses a Billboard to Get Revenge on Cheating Husband (PHOTO) (americanlivewire.com)
- Wife Gets Revenge on Cheating Hubby, Sells All His Stuff on Craigslist (newsfixnow.com)
“As you can see, within our bodies each of us has the elements needed to produce phosphorus. And let me tell you something I’ve never told a soul. My grandmother had a very interesting theory: She said that each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves; just as in the experiment, we need oxygen and a candle to help. In this case, the oxygen, for example, would come from the breath of the person you love; the candle could be any kind of food, music, caress, word, or sound that engenders the explosion that lights one of the matches. For a moment we are dazzled by an intense emotion. A pleasant warmth grows within us, fading slowly as time goes by, until a new explosion comes along to revive it. Each person has to discover what will set off those explosions in order to live, since the combustion that occurs when one of them is ignited is what nourishes the soul. That fire, in short, is its food. If one doesn’t find out in time what will set off these explosions, the box of matches dampens, and not a single match will ever be lighted.”
-Laura Esquirel, Like Water For Chocolate
I went to the Junk Salvation show Friday night with my friend Pam, from Peonies & Possibilities, and we had a wonderful time…meeting old friends, making new friends, looking at the amazing displays, and finding a few treasures….I scored 20 vintage greeting cards and wanted to share these three family birthday cards…I especially love the “boudoir dressing table” feel of the first card and the sentiments of the brother card. I will either do an art project with the cards or turn around and re-sell them to vintage card lovers at the Plucky Maiden Junkfest show I will be a part of in March.
A woman came into my shop today looking for tea cups. Three tea cups, as a gift for a friend who was getting married. Actually, remarried. Years ago, there were three of them who lived on the same street and would get together at least once a week for cups of tea and good chocolate and talk about how horrible their marriages were. They were all so unhappy and it helped to talk to each other and commiserate about their husbands. Ultimately, all three of them divorced their husbands, within six months of each other.
This woman’s friend is the first of the three to find love again and since it is her second marriage she’s not doing a big celebration and has no need for all the normal gifts usually given at a first marriage. So this customer wants to give her a special gift and is putting together a gift basket with tea, three tea cups, and some wonderful chocolate, as a reminder of their special friendship and how they helped each other through a very challenging period in their lives.
And now they can drink tea together, in peace, and happy.
“In the dim light the shape of her face seemed unaltered; for all her cooking she had remained thin. Her smile was, as always, one of rueful courage against enormous odds. Fred thought that what he had loved was her unhappiness, although it was a quality which made him feel uneasily inferior to her. He had thought she knew of great cosmic causes for discontent of which he, in his mundane way, was cheerfully unaware. This unhappiness, which she gave off like a rich and potent smell, had been, for the years, the decades he had known her, the secret of her sexual attraction.”
John Mortimer, Paradise Postponed
I have often pondered what draws some men to woefully damaged, neurotic women…and this quote made some sense of it to me.