Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Other Side

I know a lot of women who have been treated badly by a spouse or boyfriend, myself included. I’ve often said, “You can’t truly know what is going on in a relationship unless you are one of the people involved.” I generally stick by that rule. In the interest of fairness, today I am presenting The Other Side.

Brad (name has been changed to protect the innocent) started working three days after I did. For at least two weeks I thought his name was something else because his last name is like another first name, and he speaks so quietly I thought his last name was his first name. He’s a good looking younger man who is fresh off the farm. Gullibility should not be punished.

I don’t know how they met, but a couple of years after he’d been working here, he met a woman. A big city woman. She was drop-dead gorgeous. She was a working woman, a sophisticated woman. A nice woman. So we all thought.

They dated for a year. They seemed to get along great! She would come into the office and joke with the other guys, and they had married young couples they would hang around with and go out with that were stable and good influences. All seemed right with the world. He proposed. She accepted.

She moved out of the big city and changed jobs to be closer.

Her mother was 3x divorced and didn’t have a lot of money, so the youngsters saved and scrimped and basically paid for the wedding themselves. It was beautiful and she was beautiful and he was so handsome and the angels smiled.

The year was going by in a whirlwind. They came to the office Christmas party at our house. They played pool, drank, ate and laughed. Whenever I saw them, they were smiling and hugging and touching and kissing. They’d been married 10 months.*

In December they bought a little house in the country and began thinking of fixing it up. In February they celebrated their anniversary with laughter and travel – she and their best friends ‘kidnapped’ him from work and drove to Kansas City for the weekend. Reports were that fun was had by all.

By April she was complaining. They didn’t have enough money. He was working two jobs. She was working one. She got a little dog that he went home every noon to let out. The guys at work teased him. I thought it was sweet. He hated the dog – then grew to like it a lot.

By May she was hard to live with. He was sleeping on the couch more than he was in the bed.

By June she decided she wanted a trial separation. She left to stay with a girlfriend.

Last weekend she moved out for good. He’s turned in his notice at work. They’re selling the house. He’s moving back home to the farm. She’s moved back to the big city. She took the dog, the furniture, and everything else that wasn’t nailed down. He just watched her go.

I’ve watched this guy go from a quiet, shy, happy kid (shut up…he’s 20-years my junior, so, yes, he’s a kid) to a guy who thought he was on top of the world with the girl of his dreams, back to the quiet, shy, unhappy guy of today. He just couldn’t give her what she wanted. She thought she was getting some guy to take care of her, and found out she had champagne taste on a beer budget. She’d been raised on her momma’s knee that she was a princess and by golly, should be treated like one – at least financially. She drove him into debt, then ran off and left him holding the bag along with his heart.

I know there are a lot of you women out there who have been left holding that bag by a man. I just want to remind you….there sometimes is another side.

*I found out later this spring that she ended up pissing off several of my co-workers that night while I was upstairs setting out food. After that night, they didn’t have much time for her. They never told Brad, so it wasn’t influencing him and they didn’t want him to feel badly that they didn’t like her anymore, but I just wonder if she was already plotting her escape…