When I met him, Hubby had been married for 10 years and had two kids, a son (Jr.) and a daughter (T). Now before everyone gets in an uproar, I met him when he was married but didn’t start dating him until after he was divorced. Actually, he asked me out just to upset the ex. But that’s another story for another day. We’ve had our share of problems with the ex over the years, but things are civil now that there are grandchildren involved. She lives in the same city as the daughter (about 350 miles away) and calls from time to time to fill us in on stuff that she thinks we should know but that T isn’t telling (won’t tell) us. I wasn’t all that surprised to get a voice mail message from the ex yesterday, and very happy that it wasn’t about something that was wrong. It was to ask Hubby and me to come for a surprise birthday party for T next weekend. Ex said she knew it was short notice, but hoped that we could come to help brighten T’s spirits since she’s been having problems in her marriage.
Ordinarily, I’d be calling to make kennel reservations for the dogs and hotel reservations for us, but Hubby just started a new job and doesn’t have any vacation time yet and he works on Saturdays. Also, MIL is having cataract surgery next week and we don’t want to leave her alone. MIL and ex don’t get along and haven’t spoken since the divorce over 20 years ago, so taking MIL with us is so totally out of the question. Then an evil thought popped into my head. Of course she wants us there – she wants us to pay for the party. Mind you, this is a lady that hasn’t bought her children or grandchildren birthday or Christmas presents in I don’t know how long, but has a revolving account with the local rent-to-own store in order to keep up with the Joneses. This is also a woman that split the cost of Christmas dinner with T and then told T that her cooking of the dinner was her gift to T and the kids for Christmas. I could go on (and probably will at a later date!), but you get the picture.
I called ex and politely explained that we couldn’t come because of Hubby’s new job and MIL’s surgery and she said she understood. But hubby and I both expect to be the bad guys in whatever story T was told about the failed party attempt. That’s something that he and I can predict with a great deal of accuracy. When something goes wrong or the ex can’t get her way, it’s always Hubby’s fault. And he’ll hear about it for the rest of his life.
Then another sad thought crossed my mind. After 23 years of dealing with this woman, I can accurately predict when something we say or do is going to be used against me at a later time/date. Maybe that’s why I cringe every time I see her number on my caller ID.