About a year ago, I was sitting in Starbucks working on my laptop. There were three older men at the table next to me shooting the breeze– they were talking about their wives, the stock market and whatever else older men talk about over coffee. One of the men mentioned his wife’s shoe addiction and what he would do with all of the shoes if she died. I laughed because it was funny. At that point, they included me in their conversation.
While talking to these men about “life”, one noticed that I wasn’t wearing a wedding ring and made mention of his observation. I explained that I was a single mother going through a hellish divorce. I didn’t go into details about my story but explained that I didn’t have an attorney and was representing myself. We continued talking about the divorce and marriage in general– about the fact that you can be married for years but never really know the person. I told them that there was extreme debt, huge lies and that I didn’t even know who I was married to.
I live in a small town– everyone knows everyone. I didn’t quite realize how small my town was until that day.
One of the gentleman said, “we should introduce you to a fellow named (X) who comes in here often. He is also going through a horrible divorce and has even hired people to follow his x-wife. She’s sleeping with everyone and is just a mess. I feel bad for the guy. His daughters are as cute as buttons– they could be child models”.
My jaw dropped. He was talking about my X. He was talking about my daughters.
The other gentleman joined in by saying, “Poor guy– he has a lot of money and was Pre-Med before shifting his course. He is pretty tore up about the whole situation. Found out through friends that she was cheating on him”.
I just stared at them. I opened my mouth and the following words came out, “You are talking about my X-husband. The only thing I can say is that you can’t believe everything you hear”.
They couldn’t believe it. This nice girl sitting in front of them was the harlot that they had been hearing about. The monster that they have conversed about for a year over decaf coffee. They mumbled. They asked questions. They couldn’t believe that this “nice young man” who told them tales of almost becoming a doctor, tales of his fortune and his woes was my X. I could see it in their eyes– they felt incredibly bad and didn’t even know what to say. What can you say? They too had been conned by him.
Truth be told–
- My X wanted to be a doctor but confessed while intoxicated one night that he changed his course after being caught cheating on an exam in college.
- I never cheated on him although I was so starved for affection by the end of our marriage that an innocent stranger offering me a simple hug could have been my target.
- He didn’t have money- he didn’t even have a car at that point. He drove a company mini-van because all of our vehicles had been repossessed. Ironically, just a few weeks prior I watched a tow truck drive through town carrying our Toyota Tundra as I ate my lunch.
I left the coffee shop and these kind gentleman wished me well. They went on about their day. I went on with mine.