The Way Things Are



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So when we left
2005-09-20, 2:43 p.m.

So when we left our small-town alcoholic saga yesterday, I believe it was the end of the evening at the Free Live Music Bar, and DW was announcing to me that I needed to drive home because he had overindulged.

People! I have nothing against drinking adult beverages! As you can see, I might be called a hypocrite for yattering on about a woman who I believe is a raging alcoholic, all the while sipping my lite beer and having to drive home for my husband, who miscalculated his body weight and rates of absorption and metabolism. But there’s a time and a place, and there are so many more facets to life than “when’s my next drink”.

So anyway, I was perfectly fine driving home because 3 lite beers + 3 hours = me perky and alert. We get home, and I was in bed expecting DW to clamber in after me at any moment, when the phone rang.

::Ring ring!::

DW’s indoor/outdoor voice:

H’LO!!!!
Whaddaya mean, what do I think?...
It doesn’t matter what I think, it’s what you think…
Well. Honestly? I don’t like her. Laura thinks she’s okay, but I don’t like her…
She’s loud, she’s obnoxious, she’s rude, she’s a name-dropper, and she’s embarrassing to be with in public…
Well, you don’t have to marry her. Like I told Marie when we were going out, we’re not dating, we’re just fucking. You can just tell her…

At this point, I got up and slammed the bedroom door because (1) these two will talk on the phone all night like junior high girls and DW is LOUD (2) there is no 2, but (3) I don’t want to hear about DW’s arrangement with whom we affectionately call Psycho Marie, and (4) I realized that my plan of action to receive some action was indefinitely thwarted by (1) (see above).

So Sunday, there we are out at the new house, working our collective tails off, and our carpenter Gary comes by with his wife to show her his hard work. That sounds dirty! To show her the reason he hasn’t been home for the last 2 years. Anyway, we mention to Gary and his wife that Don is dating somebody, and her name is Court Lane, and Gary’s trying to figure out who she is because everybody knows everybody else, and who is this mystery woman?

Then DW’s neuron’s fire up, and he remembers Court’s “maiden” name (as if!), and Gary starts hooting “COURTNEY LOVE! COURTNEY LOVE! OH MY GOD – DON IS DATING COURTNEY LOVE! It’s not Court! It’s Courtney! Courtney Love! Oh my God, Don – RUN! RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!”

Ah, we got the rundown on ol’ Court. The many husbands. The many DWIs (she had already told me about 5 of them). The men she has run through in town.

Anyway.

Now I’m all conflicted because I sound mean, petty, and gossipy. But it’s not like I met this perfectly nice person and then heard all this bad gossip and chose to believe the worst in somebody I previously liked. It is like I met somebody who really stunned me with her bad behavior, whose stories all had so many holes in them, and then I learned the filler for all those holes, and the story was complete.

But still, there’s an undercurrent of niceness way down in there, and I feel bad for the woman. She’s obviously a sick puppy (Don says she carries a bottle of vodka in her purse) and this disease has taken a very pretty, very promising woman from a very nice family, and turned her into the small-town joke.

For instance, she called me yesterday evening. She was slurring a little bit, and we chatted about what we had done that day (she had gone over to the Sports Bar for lunch and got home 7 hours later), and we talked about packing and moving and what a pain in the ass that is. As it turns out, she had a message at home from a Laura, and she thought it was me because she doesn’t know any other Lauras, and she was worried that something was wrong, so she looked us up in the book and called to find out what was going on. Well, it’s wasn’t me, but y’all, she went to some trouble to find me and make sure everything was okay. Sure, her reasoning might have been clouded by alcohol, but I certainly never pick up the phone and call anybody, especially not going to any trouble to find somebody who I think might have left me a message but no callback number.

I’m not looking at her like she’s somebody I need to reform and save. I can't do that. But I did tell DW when he got home that how ever we feel about her, as long as she’s in Don’s life, she’s going to be in our life unless we want to disassociate ourselves from him, which we don’t.

To which DW replied “it won’t last long. Don and Gary ran into each other today, and Gary filled him in on the parts of the story he’s missing.” I cringed a bit, but it appears Don was already connecting the dots for himself. Because when they left Free Live Music Saturday with us (at midnight! MIDNIGHT!) she wanted to go back to the Sports Bar til they closed at 2, and then head over to the Tot because they close at 4 or somesuch ridickerous nonsense. 4 a.m. What in the world?

I digress…

In the parking lot, she discovered that she had missed a call on her mobile phone, and the message left was a grizzled voice saying “Dumb stupid slut. Sluttin’ up the whole bar…fucking whore…dumb slut…” and on and on. Turns out it was a 70-something-year-old man she had dated at one point, who was, to say the least, a bit disgruntled at seeing her at Free Live Music. I think the fog might have started to clear a bit for Don when she made him listen to it and he heard for himself how popular she is…

Don declined further bar-hopping with her that night, and that’s when he called DW with that fateful question: Well, whaddaya think?

So, what do you think? What do I think? I think I feel really sorry for her. I don’t think pity is out of line here. I feel guilty for having such a shitty attitude about her, and I simultaneously feel a bit of revulsion, mixed with a pinch of snarky fascination.

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