The Cast of Characters aka my lifeline

Our move across the street was successful. We didn’t have much to move so that helped. Once we got settled I started to enjoy the pool and the gigantic hot tub on the property. I’m not kidding when I tell you 20 people could sit in the hot tub. I am also not kidding when I tell you every walk of life shared that hot tub in that apartment complex. I was living the precursor to the top rated show “Melrose Place.” I loved some of the late night conversations. I never needed to go out at night because it was more amusing there than any other place I could imagine. We also had a sand volleyball court and every single weekend that I/we were around we played volleyball all afternoon. Again, not kidding….all afternoon. Sometimes all weekend. I finally started making friends with my immediate neighbors and learned quickly that my husband probably didn’t like them as much as I did. Here’s the thing with me, I have an eclectic group of friends that surround my life. I love knowing all kinds of people. They all bring something amazing to my world. You cannot live your life like vanilla ice cream. That would be so boring. But that’s just me. I’m sure it didn’t help that I started collecting all these people in my world that offered distractions from what was a sad definition of a marriage. I figure he has invested about $4,000 into me so far but he needed to mold me into his mom so that would take some intervention. And so the full court press began.

She came to visit.

This should be fun. I cannot remember how long she visited because honestly, I have tried to forget most of this part of my life but it was long enough for her to start “teaching” me all the things her son loved so much (which ultimately had nothing to do with me). What I can tell you is we both worked full time jobs so she had the luxury of nothing but time to cater to him. She cooked all day and washed his clothes. He’s a grown man. He’s 7 years older than me. His mom washed his underwear because he didn’t like the way I washed them. Yes. It’s true. He humiliated me one night in front of her and said “Show her how to wash my underwear so it’s nice and white, just like you do it.” So she decided to lecture me on how to wash her son’s clothes. It started with, “first you pre-wash and soak them…..” Here’s an idea….How about your son wipes his ass the right way in the first place? How about we live somewhere that doesn’t have coin operated washing machines that don’t have a “pre-wash” cycle on them? How about you mind your own business?! Yeah, that wasn’t the response she was expecting. That was the end of that discussion.

Next trainable moment for Emily. I came home from work one day to another prepared meal with one of his favorites, of course. Okra. He loves Okra. “Mom, show her how to cook okra the way I like them.” Are you fucking kidding me? Do you know to this day I fucking hate Okra? Do you want to guess how many times I cooked him his Okra? ZERO. This visit was not shaping up to be the results getting expedition she set out to accomplish because guess what? I wasn’t going to lay down easily. We were just touching on about a year into this marriage and I was starting to get pretty pissed off at everything. Even when she wasn’t there he would call her a lot to see if we were allowed to buy a new dining room table and chairs. She would tell him no, we didn’t need it or deserve it yet. Pretty sure the “deserve it” part was reserved for me. He even called her to ask if we could buy a VCR. That’s amazing. A grown man. Once again she said no. His solution was to tell me to bring the VCR home from the bank on the weekends when everyone left the branch and take it back late Sunday night so no one would know. How’s that for cheap? Ah the irony of this time in my life….Sadly, I did most of the shit he asked me to do because I tried to be the good wife. He was in fact the reason I ultimately lost my job at the bank, but I will save that story for another post.

In the meantime we have my neighbors for the release in my life. The craziest summer of my life began when the boys from Boston moved in to the apartment directly above ours. THAT was mayhem! Not for me, but as a witness to all that those bad boys did. Man whores. LOL. But they were allowed to be that way as young, single guys fresh out of college on the hunt for all we dream of in life. It was like having a front row seat to the revolving door of women. Unfortunately, it meant putting up with hearing their sexual escapades too. Apartment living brings us all closer. The door directly across from me offered another world of friendships. Two people lived there but they were only roommates. One owned her own “roach coach” now known as a food truck, long before everyone needed to have a food truck. She busted her ass to make a great living. Her roommate had immigrated from Iran. He was a florist. He always brought home beautiful bouquets. They also liked to smoke weed and listen to the Stones. Hours and hours were spent sipping wine and listening to Mick sing us into another place. Those are great memories. Then there was another couple upstairs, across the way from the Boston boys. I loved them. They were funny. She still remains a friend to me because of the magic of facebook, so she knows this journey I am weaving in this blog. One of my favorite memories of them was listening to Prince at ear deafening levels because, hey, it’s Prince. We all played volleyball together, drank together and laughed together and it never always included my husband because I know he didn’t like this influence in my life. I was grasping on to my identity as a young woman and it was his biggest battle with me. He could not control me completely. I was seeing the light and hitting my stride.

And so began the battle of a woman with a fiery spirit and a man who made her feel like shit at every turn. When you hear “You aren’t smart enough” enough times, there comes that defining moment wear the lioness awakens and says “watch this”.

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