A while ago, I alluded to an event that transpired where I felt a bit wrecked and then quite relieved. Here's what happened: my husband, G, and I have a roommate, D. My husband has lived with D for the last eight years and when we got engaged and then married, it suited us financially to stay living with him because we live in a great house in an awesome neighborhood and all in all, D is a pretty easy dude to live with. Except for one problem. G and I have never liked his girlfriend. Now, I could go into all the many petty reasons that generally dislike her:
she's a horse girl, meaning she owns her own horse, but she is also super cheap, expecting other people to offer her their food, money, time, energy without consideration and without anything in return. Ah petty. But what isn't petty of me is that I have continued to be quite gracious towards her, for the sake of D, never once trying to argue, let alone discuss at all, the many religious and political reasons that we disagree. I'm not a confrontational person. In fact when I am met with confrontation or an insult, I am often completely struck silent. This girl, J, has repeatedly insulted me in my home - about my housecleaning, my cooking, my activities in my own home, the movies I enjoy watching with my husband, the choices I make on a day to day basis. If she doesn't agree with what I have chosen to do, she tells me and often in a snide, unexpected way. As far as her political and religious beliefs go, these topics have remained taboo in our house and for a very long time we managed to avoid them as a group. But all of the subtle comments have taken there toll, added up to this big haystack of insults in my brain, so much so, that I would actually flinch when she'd come into my house. A house where she had a key.
Keep in mind, I am not the only person I know who doesn't like this girl. She has been the topic of conversation with many of our friends much too often just out of sheer confusion that D would pick her. D is a reasonable, kind, intelligent person with an open heart and, ehem, correctly aligned, critically thought out, liberal political beliefs. And yet on Valentine's Day, D proposed marriage to J. At this point, (as into weddings as I am) I tried to help her out a little with her wedding planning, and with that I made some serious attempts to see a little bit of what D sees in her, to no avail. The more time I spent with her, the more I didn't get it and the more difficult it became to be near her. But they were engaged. And they weren't moving into our house, so they'd have to find a place together - D would move out soon. But as I've mentioned before, he hasn't yet.
About two months ago, G and I begrudgingly agreed to bbq in our backyard with D and J. We drank wine and the conversation shifted from the normally benign conversation about high school (G, D and J all went to high school together, snoozaroo but a safe-ish topic nonetheless) to homosexuality. Where it began to get ugly. You see, I believe that homosexuals are no different than heterosexuals in their right to marry, right to be human, right to be. Two of my best friends, my wedding officiant, a few of my family members are homosexuals. Many people have made better, more eloquent arguments about the civil rights of homosexuals than me, so I'll leave it to them and simply nod my head, clap and cheer and vote for them.
J on the other hand believes that older gay men prey on young confused boys to make them gay. Pedophiles every one. Her bible tells her that they are wrong. But I want to qualify that statement - I don't actually think that THE bible says that, I think that her religious beliefs have fed her that kind of hateful crap and for her it is safe to be judgmental and bigoted.
And here is where she crossed the line. Threw the last piece of straw on the haystack to break my back - more of a pile of logs actually.
Despite many attempts at conversation topic changes, each topic became more heated and, in D's words to me later, J began to attack me. She has no problem with racial profiling if it's for the benefit of her "America." She only sees bad things to come from healthcare reform. And finally, she announced her intrigue over the Tea Party and I could take no more.
But like I said, I have little or no ability to deliver clever come backs or even eloquently argue my views when put in controversial situations. It's one of those things that I hate about myself. I got up, proclaimed "WE'RE DONE!" and stormed out of my backyard. And then I called my mom who had to calm me down. G continued arguing for me for a while and then finally D suggested it be better if she not stay the night. D left for a business trip the next day and two days later came home and apologized to me. I was still stewing, but I was never really mad at D. I think now I maybe should have been, just a little, and maybe that I still am, just a little. A week later, J emailed to apologize to me - sort of, in her way, via email. I still didn't really know how to respond because I felt caught between supporting D and disliking his choice of fiance. So, I talked to D and told him how I felt. I mentioned four specifically hurtful and rude bits of straw in the haystack and told him that, despite trying very hard, this was the last log, and I just don't like J. To which he said, "you should tell her." He further suggested that if it's too difficult in person, that I email her back.
So I tried. I composed and edited and re-edited exactly what I told D. I carefully laid out four times that she had insulted me, quite insensitively and followed up with how uncomfortable she makes me in my own home. I did much of this composing at work, saved it, and then I drove home to get a little more perspective, to read it again and send it from there. But when I walked into my house, J was there, waiting to talk to me in person. No one else was home.
She asked me if we could talk and I first told her that I didn't want to, that I'd composed an email but hadn't sent it yet, but then... like polyester curtains, I exploded into flames. I yelled at her for easily 10 minutes and to my surprise she didn't yell back. I said all of the things that I'd carefully composed in my email but I also said some other things, some things I probably shouldn't have said, those things I'm always afraid I'll say, some things that sunk me to her level. I told her that she didn't deserve D.
Yep, too far.
And then I kicked her out of my house.
And then I went for a run. And then G came home and I told him. He said, well, that solves that, we probably won't see much of her now. Of course he is on my side. When D got home, I apologized to him, said that I didn't expect her here, didn't mean to explode. He had no idea what I was talking about and he left to talk to J. J returned her key to D. D and I talked again, and he insisted that we were okay, but that he was officially looking for a place to move to now. Um. yeah.
Let me take a break here to remind you that they were engaged in February, and it was now August. Engaged but still not living together - by choice? I leave that one for you to analyse.
Here is where I skip ahead. It has been a mostly nice two months not to have seen her, except that today is September 25, and D still lives here - or stores his stuff here; he hasn't slept here more than a few times since then.
Two and a half weeks ago, D told G that he was obviously his best man. Um, huh? For a while we weren't sure that we were even still invited to the wedding, but, of course we were. Oooookaaaay. I then forced my friend and MOH to RSVP yes, even though she never ever wanted to go.
But then came the slow trickle of emails. Sera is invited to the wedding but not the rehearsal dinner. Great! I didn't want to go to two events, let alone the wedding.
Then, Monday, this week, G got an email from D stating that I was now uninvited - they just don't want any drama. I could keep my mouth shut for five years, but they figure I can't for one night. Oh wait, she couldn't keep her mouth shut, so she figures I can't.
But G is still best man. Here is the thing:
I never wanted to go to this wedding. I still don't. It starts in two hours. But, this puts G in a weird situation. Of course he can handle it, but a weird situation nonetheless. It was bad enough that he had to come up with a toast for a couple that we don't think should be together and now he doesn't have me there either. And maybe it's better that I'm not there, but honestly, I feel a bit separated from my own husband over this stupidness. This pettiness. This lowness. I do not want to be separated from my husband by a rude, selfish, bigot and our roommate who couldn't find a place to move into before November. So while I didn't want to go to the wedding, yes, I'm a bit angry at being uninvited. And finally, I'm a bit angry at D.
Tonight is the ceremonial end to this drama, and I won't be there to see it. I sent G off in a rented tuxedo (that doesn't look as good as the suit he married me in (tacky purple vest and tie (yes that is petty, but whatever.))). G promised me he wouldn't say anything nice about J in his speech. But how would I know if he did? Is it easier to lie? Is that the same as my holding my tongue the last few years?
Part of me thinks I deserve a drink, but I may save the champagne toast until D's things have finally been removed in November. And tonight? I just don't know what I'm going to do with myself.
* all the images are from the new Postcards from Penguin: 100 book covers in one box. They just seemed to fit.