I never thought I would quit like I did ~ being a faithful, dependable sort of gal ~ But I suppose everyone has their limits and Lord knows that I reached mine. I suppose you are wondering what I am talking about. Well…it’s only a distant memory and a short story now.
It was a nice joint! I loved it when it was only a plan on paper. I watched the construction and every little detail as it materialized from my dreams into the sweetest little place on earth. Yes…I made sure that The Joint was perfect! The excitement of finally moving in was almost anticlimactic to the anticipation! Surely, I thought, this was just the beginning of happy ever after…
You heard that expression made famous by that baseball movie??? “Build it and they will come”… Yes indeed….That is a true statement. I built it and they came… My joint became a popular hangout! It was there that I first saw HIM.
I remember the first time I laid eyes on that handsome devil. He was tall, dark and handsome…uh-huh, uh-hum…that’s the way I like it! The first time he walked into my joint, I fell head over heels for him. Just to look into his huge brown eyes was food for my imagination. I wanted him and I wanted him bad.
He came around The Joint for about 2 years before he popped the question. Funny how you don’t notice things when love is new… Then later, you begin to notice the things that were always there ~ while blinded by love. We had not been married too very long before I began to notice that he was a bit of a pig His breath stunk in the morning from cigarettes and booze. And, he farted with far more frequency than ever. As if I was not annoyed enough, his friends began coming to The Joint… They were pigs too. The Joint stunk of cigarette smoke and stale booze. His freeloading family began to drop in whenever they were in town. I looked forward to their visits just about as much as I would look forward to a cockroach invasion.
How does total bliss turn into total misery? How do dreams get crushed so badly that there is nothing left to look forward to? How does your greatest hope turn into your biggest failure? Yet it can and does ~ way too often.
As much as I loved that joint, I began to hate it. It had been my dream come true. I decorated every square inch of The Joint. My personality showed in the smallest details. It was a pleasure to cook for those who ate in my little joint. But, gradually my happiness gave way to discontent. Initially, there were just small annoyances, but the small annoyances began to take on a life of their own as they grew into really big resentments.
I suppose it was really his friends that tipped the scales. They began hanging around my joint like it was their own home or something… They treated my kitchen like it was theirs ~ helping themselves to whatever they found in the fridge, pantry or even a pot on the stove. They made messes in my kitchen, dirtied dishes, spilled stuff on the counters and floor, but never made any effort to clean up after themselves. Worst of all was how they “missed” the toilet when they were well into the alcoholic beverages. My dream world turned into my worst nightmare as I wore myself out trying to keep The Joint clean. That is when resentment took over.
It was Christmas time… Holidays are always so much worse than other times of the year. Lots of preparations went into making a wonderful holiday in my joint. Everything must be perfect. I wore myself out days ahead of time with the cleaning and planning. Then exhausted myself with the preparation of the food and beverages I would serve. All in all, with everything that was going on, it should have been obvious that it was a bad time to push my cuckoo buttons…
What was the final straw??? I was on my last nerve when HE brought a new friend into The Joint. She was all legs and blond… I wanted to rage, scream and throw stuff. But, instead, a kind of strange calm took over. In an instant, I saw an end to my nightmare. Hope peeked into my being ~ hope that I could have a dream because my nightmare was ending ~ right then and there!
My existence was like working a job that I hated. Suddenly, I was through! Just like that!
Like drifting in a dream, I walked over to the table where he had settled comfortably with the blond. On the fringes of my daydream, I heard him tell me she was his cousin. HA! Like I’m stupid enough to believe that old story! Voices around me seemed muffled in a supernatural place of calm and peace ~ like from a distance. Was it because of the distance I placed between him and my heart? No matter. I was in a place that I was beginning to like ~ instantly.
All was surreal as I slipped off my wedding band and slapped it down on the table top. What I said next is laughable now, but so serious that day so many years ago. I looked deep into his eyes and uttered the words that would live in infamy forever among my family and friends... I said “TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT”! Then, with a flip of my dark curls, I was out of there forever!!!
From the distance of time, I can tell you that I still feel a fondness in my heart for “The Joint”. I am sorry I had to leave it behind. I am married again and in another home that reflects my love and personality. But, I will never refer to my home as “The Joint” again. There was only one after all...
Written by Darlene Cirinna
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