Well, they can be inviting
But some are altogether
As we die, both you and I
With my head in my hands
I sit and cry
– No Doubt
(DH, don’t argue the “as we die” part. We died. But we’re being reborn.)
This post is about memories. There are still things I need to remember. DH needs a specific example of something TOM and I said to each other online that was flirting and that I deleted so he wouldn’t see it. He needs me to figure out the correct order of events from that first night, which is still a little sketchy. He needs me to remember the 4th of July, because we were at their house, and even though I am pretty certain nothing happened, there are parts of that night unaccounted for.
There might be other things that he just hasn’t thought about yet. But for now, this is the playlist.
So, since I’ve thought about the 4th of July the least, let’s start there. TOM and Mrs. TOM had a big party, and we were there with all of our kids. I made a big crockpot full of the most delicious buffalo chicken dip. We got there early, and I helped Mrs. TOM set up. I remember standing around awkwardly for a least part of the party. I remember standing by the dining table, just eating chip after chip with my dip. Because of my Social Anxiety Disorder, parties can be very difficult for me, and I don’t really like to drink with the kids around. TOM would always eventually convince me to have a few drinks — he was always so eager to make sure I was drinking — but I do specifically remember being sober and uncomfortable and making nervous conversation with whoever happened to be around.
I remember their neighbor arrived shortly after we did, and she needed some help bringing over food and I think chairs and stuff from her house, so I went and helped her.
Wait, was that 4th of July, or New Years? I remember being dressed up. Was I dressed up on the 4th? I don’t think I was. Oh, but I had to have helped her on the 4th, because she had a crockpot and so did I. I didn’t bring any food on New Years, just alcohol. So maybe I helped her bring stuff over both times.
At some point, I remember TOM and I went to the corner store. DH is worried something happened then, but I remember it. I was still sober, and I was uncomfortable, and nothing happened. We barely even talked. I just made my smiley non-committal comments like I usually do when I’m anxious.
There were photos of me playing cards on the 4th, and I can’t find them now. I wish I could, because then I would know what I was wearing. :(
Speaking of playing cards, we did that. Mrs. TOM taught us a game that she learned growing up, sort of solitaire for multiple people. I remember that I joined the game because I was still sober and it gave me something to do with my hands so I didn’t feel so uncomfortable. I was sitting next to TOM, and that’s probably when he started pestering me to start drinking. When we used to have game night, and we would sit next to each other, he would sometimes put his hand on my knee, or play footsie with me. I kept trying to remember if we did that while playing cards, but I feel pretty certain we didn’t. I think I did put my foot next to his, just to feel close to him.
There were chairs set up in the back yard, and TOM was cooking food, I’m pretty sure. I remember going out there, kind of hoping I could talk to him alone, but I ended up sitting by their neighbor and talking to her instead. She’s a nice lady.
I remember the kids playing with water guns in the front yard, and breaking up a couple of arguments. I remember my middle son running through the backyard with a water gun. I remember one of my older kids keeping an eye on a friend’s toddler so she could join the fun without her mother having to follow her around. I think I forgot to bring swimsuits or extra clothes for my kids, so I just let them get their clothes wet. Mrs. TOM didn’t mind, and they were having so much fun, and not like they’re going to get cold in July, right? Thinking about the great time they had would make me smile if not for the context.
Once the sun went down, they pulled out the fireworks. DH loves fireworks, and he likes for me to take photos of them, but the last couple of years I have felt really burnt out on it. Actually, this is something I hadn’t thought to talk to him about, yet. I’m feeling like my photography is not progressing, and I am very burnt out on taking the same old photos all the time. I am not even sure I brought my camera to that party. I know DH knows some of this, but I hadn’t really expressed to him just how depressed I have been about it. It’s been really, really bothering me.
So I didn’t want to watch the fireworks. I am pretty sure one of our kids was scared, and I used that as an excuse to stay inside and talk to some of the other moms with little kids. Mrs. TOM’s sister was still inside, and the friend whose toddler my daughter had been watching earlier. I think I even watched one of the little girls for a while so her mom could go outside.
The next thing I remember is DH and TOM standing outside on the driveway, arguing about whether we were going home, and whether I was going with DH if he went. If you can’t guess, DH was tired and wanted to go home, and TOM was trying to convince him to let me and some of the kids spend the night, just like we did on New Years. And DH was adamantly against that, because on New Years TOM and I made out in his bedroom.
This is the only time I really remember struggling with myself about the affair while it was still going on, and that makes me sick because a) why didn’t I struggle more? and b) that’s the most I could muster? But part of me really did not want to go home, because obviously I wanted something to happen with TOM. And part of me really did not want to stay, because I didn’t want anything to happen with TOM. I actually felt really torn. And fuck that, why the fuck should I be torn? I shouldn’t have had any fucking desire to stay there with him! It should have been real fucking easy — go home with your fucking husband!!
In case you can’t tell, I feel pretty upset about this.
So, taking the moral high ground, I acted like I didn’t care either way, and told DH that I’d do whatever he wanted. And then I got angry with him for taking too long to decide, and yelled at the both of them to stop arguing and make up their damn minds already, because if I was going home I wanted to enjoy the last few minutes of the party and not be sucked into their disagreement.
Really, I was upset because of my stupid fucking internal struggle about whether I wanted to go home with my husband or stay and fuck my lover.
Fuck, fuck, fuck, FUCKING FUCK, GO HOME WITH YOUR HUSBAND, YOU STUPID CUNT! :(
I remember going inside, and TOM coming to find me, and asking me if I really wanted to stay — because he was trying to convince DH that I really wanted to stay, and that he was ruining my fun — and I told him that if DH wanted me to go home then that’s what I was doing. I was pretty irritated, and I probably sounded like DH was ruining my fun, which sucks because I was actually pretty pissed at TOM for sticking his nose in where it didn’t belong. I felt like, if he would just mind his own business, then I wouldn’t be feeling all this guilt. I’d have just gone home and accepted it and been fine.
Eventually DH called a cab, since TOM had helped us get our rather large family to his house and was now whining about being too drunk to help us get home.
(then maybe don’t get so fucking drunk every night, asshole)
DH drove our truck home with a couple of kids, and I rode home with some more of our kids in the cab. I don’t remember getting home, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that I was bitchy to DH. I sure got good at taking everything out on him when he hadn’t done anything wrong.
That’s everything I can remember from the 4th. I really do not remember anything happening between TOM and myself, but since I don’t know how long any of this lasted, I can’t be sure whether I’ve accounted for all the time or whether there’s stuff I don’t remember. I guess we’ll have to see how DH feels about it.