That phrase always reminds me of my father. He was big into hunting. One of many things we didn't have in common. But it's appropriate. After a few weeks of wrangling and accommodating, it looks like everyone will be present and accounted for in Maine in just two months.
I'm writing this from the motel where I've been living for the past few months. I haven't done much since February besides work, eat, watch TV and sleep. I had blowup after blowup with Christine's husband Terry and I just... had to get out.
I like to think I'm a strong person, but I can shoot my mouth off sometimes. Playing the good wife to that deadbeat was not really in my wheelhouse. As much as I should have grinned and bore it for Christine's sake, there are things I just can't stand. Laziness, lack of ability to contribute, ungratefulness, a neanderthalic perspective on gender roles... to summarize, he was not my kind of guy. I climbed into bed with him for as long as I could, but eventually I just couldn't stand it.
The final straw happened after the Holidays, when Christine's brother Angus was staying with us. Angus happens to be gay, and while Terry behaved himself while he was around, he showed his true colors afterward when he said he was glad it was just us again.
"Honey, your brother's a great guy, but he can be such a fag sometimes."
Look, I've been around for a while - not out as long as I probably should have been but plenty long. I've heard lots of stuff and lots of it was way worse than that. That doesn't keep me from getting offended when I hear language like that and definitely not when the person who is saying it thinks he's talking to his wife about her brother.
So I launched immediately into a tirade. I saw red. I screamed myself hoarse with "How dare yous" and "If you only knews" and just bawling. I don't even know what was said. And he didn't even have the manhood to apologize. He tried to defend himself and say he's sure Angus has heard worse and he meant it lovingly and blah blah blah homophobic bullshit.
So at the end of the night I just threw my hands in the air and said "What's the fucking point?" I didn't ask for this. I didn't agree to be the guardian and protector of this fucking marriage, to someone who doesn't appreciate the woman he's with and definitely doesn't deserve me. I should have knocked his fucking lights out.
So I stormed out, only occasionally returning for some belongings - but as they're not really mine, I mostly just left it. And I didn't tell you because part of me, if you can believe it, was embarrassed to have failed the wife test. But good, because I never wanted to be one. If I ever fall in love, if I ever get married, it will be to someone who's passed my test.
Of course, Christine wasn't thrilled, but I'm sure she'll be able to piece things back together when she returns. If she was the type of person who can suffer his shit with a smile, I'm sure she's great at rebuilding bridges.
Not me, though. I burn them.