The Way Things Are



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I did a bad, bad thing
2005-07-29, 10:28 a.m.

I did a bad, bad thing. It all started with the root of all evil: declutterfying. I went home Wednesday night, ate some Pringles, poured a glass of wine, and commenced to emptying out the closet in our living room that has been a repository for board games, miscellaneous computer parts, orphaned Christmas ornaments, blankets, and surprise! -- DW’S DIARY FROM 1999-2001.

Yes, you read that right. The man kept a diary for two years. It is a little blue notebook with the title “CASH” on the front, and well, I opened it because the man has some truly quirky qualities that I have heretofore perhaps not shared with you, which I will now as we skip down Digression Lane.

He makes lists, or rather, logs and he pores over them and he keeps them, and they can be very entertaining. My three favorite logs that he has shared with me are (1) all the movies he and his ex-girlfriend watched over a period of four years, whether they saw it in the theater or on video, who all saw it, and what they thought of it; (2) all the women he ever got past first base with, their first and last names, and a code of what kinds of touchy-feely ensued. There are 38 women on this list with whom he has been ahem, INTIMATE (I told you he’s a slut) and these are only the women whose names he remembers! There are more! If he doesn’t remember their first and last names, they didn’t make the list! Oh, and (3) a log of all of the videotapes he made of Cheers reruns. He spent a good many years taping Cheers reruns, and he has all the tapes stored in a box (in the newly declutterfied closet), and has a detailed log of which episode is on what tape, &c &c &c (as they would say in an old 1800s English novel).

So I find this little notebook called CASH and I thought, oh, how sweet. DW obsessively tracked each and every penny he spent over a period of years, which sounds SO exactly like him. Let’s look and see how much he spent on the beer at the golf course on May 6, 1999, shall we?

Except what I found was a DIARY. A hand-written man diary. And as his wife, I was obligated to read it, wasn’t I? WASN’T I???

It details things like going over to the girlfriend’s house, taking her kids to the park, playing golf, going out and getting drunk. Not a lot of detail – more of a ship captain’s log than an outpouring of emotions and feelings. Until we get to the part where things start to fall apart with his girlfriend, whom he dated for like 4 years and fully expected to marry. Things were not good with her at all, but I already knew that because he’s told me all this. Even when things were good, they weren't really good. It was poignant to read about how sad he was. Post breakup, there were a few very messy drunken entries.

Y’all, I SWEAR I just flipped through and read random entries. I wasn’t studying it or looking for incriminating evidence or anything. But…I did find where that sneaky little man may have told a fib or two to me after we started dating.

CASE IN POINT I: he may have downplayed his involvement with a woman with whom he had a strictly friends-with-benefits relationship after the breakup with the Girlfriend and before dating Me. He said they fooled around (DW speak for sex) twice, and that he never even came because he just didn’t like her, but they kept hanging out and getting drunk and it just happened. His penis would accidentally fall into her cootchie and before he knew it, they were doing it, but he didn’t inhale and he certainly didn’t enjoy it. Although in his diary, I found a statement where he says that he and M were fooling around about once a week, and this seems to have gone on for a few months. And he notes that she wants to date and wants a relationship, but he wasn’t into her like that. I giggle at how he minimized their involvement.

No wonder that woman really hates me. I couldn’t figure it out when I first met her. Sorry, M. I thought you were on board. Now I see all.

CASE IN POINT II: I know I have told y’all that DW and I met on the internet. He was advertising his manly goods, and I was perusing the personals looking for victims, I mean, manly goods. It seems that he might have kept up his involvement in meeting wimmins on the internet for about a month after we started going out, which is contrary to what he told me. I don’t think he went out with anybody, but he did keep in touch with quite a few of them for quite a while. Lots of talk of IM whosits, and email whatsits.

I mean, come on. He put it in WRITING for God’s sake, and left it sitting in a closet for me to find, underneath the detritus and junk accumulated there. It was just begging to be discovered. I think he meant for me to find it. Really. OK, not really.

But y’all, he wrote about me in there, too. I KNOW it sounds like I sat there and read the whole thing, but I didn’t. I skipped through, and had the bright idea to look and see if he wrote about me, and he did.

Did you know that man was completely and wholly smitten with me after 3 dates? That I am an awesome lover, horny most of the time, and look great naked? That I’m fun to go out with and very cool? I seem to remember being that way, a scant 4 years ago.

It did something to me to read what he had to say about me lo these many years ago, and to remember what it was like when we were first dating. It made me feel a little sorry for him for being married to me now, because time and stress do take their toll, and I am now a nagging insecure harpy, or at least that’s how I see myself.

I thought to myself, oh yeah. I used to be fun. I used to make him happy. I used to go out in public with no panties. He felt blessed to have me in his life. I wondered if he still felt that way.

When he got home FROM BUILDING ME A HOUSE I had the diary casually tossed in a stack of notebooks, magazines, owner’s manuals for long-discarded appliances, and asked him to go through all of it and figure out what was worth packing, moving, unpacking and finding a new place for in a new house. I made NO mention of the diary, and acted like I thought it really was a CASH log. He threw a whole bunch of crap away, but did keep his little diary. And he’s so sweet and trusting that it is still sitting out on the table with a 1999 guide to the best golf courses, and the owner’s manual for the lawn mower.

I should prolly feel guilty, but I don’t, and do you want to know why? I’ll tell you why. OK, I don’t know why.

Please let this be a lesson: if you leave your diary laying around the house (or laying around the internet), chances are good somebody is going to find it and read it.

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