Several years ago, when my son, Trey, was just two years old, Jackie, my husband, was summoned to Sunnydale, California for school.
We were put up in a very nice hotel suite with kitchen, small stove… anything one would need over a two-month stay. It was a special time for me. I had gotten to know my brother Bob, all over again.
I had no idea he loved me as much as he did. Expecting anything but contempt from my family was a hurtful, hateful war I would never win. You see, it's not that I'm a theif, a liar or untrustworthy. It's just that I'm obnoxious. And that is harder to overcome than the afore mentioned crimes.
Bob had a cute 1-room apartment in Santa Cruz. On one wall he had several pictures of me that had been taken for an album cover with the WKQX hometown album. I was one of the top ten finalists for the artwork on the cover.. I really loved those pictures and wish I had them now, but as this story progresses, you will understand why I do not.
Seeing those pictures, so predominant on that wall, meant more than he could know. I loved, worshiped this brother. I was
always proud to be seen with him, and he was so wonderfully, sarcastically funny. He is in several Television shows and movies today, everyone can enjoy him. But at the time I was there, he was struggling; as most actors are want to do.
Jackie despised him and made innuendo about our relationship being TOO close. .
My favorite pictures are of Bob and I on the beach in Big Sur. Magical, and in a storage unit in New Hampshire.
It was torture coming home to Chicago. I vowed to move there and everyone I spoke to, felt I was exaggerating until they, too, would be posted. Tom and Cindy Kowitz, my brother Mark, and now my daughter, have all made Caifornia their home, a couple who worked with Jackie at National Semi-conductor, shrugged me off, on their way to the airport
Cindy and Tom, the very first of our friends to see Devo after she was born, Tom actually being the fourth person after the doctor, me and Jackie, to hold her. In other words, very close to us. They threatened the company they would go with another firm that would post them in California. That was that, they were gone. To my paradise
I had told my brother Mark, 5 years my junior, how wonderful it was. He too felt I was exaggerating, until he decided to book from Kenosha. He ended up in Santa Cruz where he worked for Surf Sushi on Pleasure Point in Big Sur as a chef... and he had a catering company “A Catered Affair.” He had never been so happy… and broke. But he could be himself and not have to live with the prejudices of the north, and a not so open’ minded family.
Like most endeavors in my life, someone else benefits, and today, everyone I love, well a lot of them, are in California. If Jackie and I had moved there instead of Texas, perhaps things would have been different.
Today, I wish I was there.
But we chose to be transferred when he was with National Semi-Conductor, to Texas, and his, well, our entire family Jack and
Lee, Anna, all moved down to Texas to be with us.
Jackie had grown to be a typical Texas husband. There are more neighborhoods in Texas that have at-home wives, per capita. The men here revel in it. And the women bask. So no one is hurt.
And ladies, yes, I will be expecting some rhetoric and it is welcome. But the time my husband gave me to stay home and watch my babies grow, was the greatest gift I could ever get, next to the birth of those babies.
Having me revert back to super-wife was easier for him than I, but I did my best.
I had left Sauce, sugu as the Italians call it, simmering when I went out to meet with Debra. The table was set, the sauce in the crock pot . The children washed up and we all sat down to a wonderful Italian dinner. I coudn't tell you how it tasted. Jackie carried on with the kids as if nothing had happened. I was concerned for them, he was giving thema false sense of security.
Everything appeared normal. But how could it be? For chrisakes, I slept with a woman. I am in LOVE with a woman, and there are enough self-help books out there to know that you don't want your partner to fall in love . Having an affair is not the crime.
The house cleaned, clothes washed, dinner served
And he was happy all over again.
After bathing and bedding the kids, I came down to our bedroom to take a bath. Jackie was watching television, smoking pot and everything was just hunky dory.
I first washed the thorns out of my hair from the roses Debra had given me. I ran the bath, adding bath salts and a glass of wine to the windowsill of the garden tub. I took off my jeans and shirt and slipped into the only comfort I had for the last 24 hours. I spent as much time as I could, hoping Jackie would be asleep when I finished. I pulled Debra’s T-shirt over my head, turned off the bathroom light so as not to disturb Jackie when I opened the door And thankfully, the room was dark and he was asleep Or so I thought...
To be continued