Sunday morning came way too quickly.  She did too, apparently.  So much so, that she actually woke up semi-refreshed.  I didn’t bring up anything about what I overheard the night before.  I didn’t want to give her the satisfaction.  I decided that I have to hold myself responsible: I’m that hot.  So who could blame her, right?  And I’m not completely innocent in the whole touching myself in someone else’s home department, either.

Back in college, my very good friend introduced me to America Online – brand new and damn exciting – especially when you get into the chat rooms.  My first time and I had two ‘events’ going on simultaneously.  One in Hawaii, the other somewhere I don’t remember.  It was discreet, me being the only one in the room and I couldn’t help it.  They were hot.  It was just extremely difficult to keep typing with one hand through all the feverishness.  But I will say, 1. I was at a friend’s house sitting at his desk and 2. I didn’t touch anything with my ‘friendly finger’ and 3. I’m sure he knew and I’m positive he was proud.

That morning I was determined to make the best of it – again.  I got up, got in the shower and, as I’d hoped, my moving around prompted her to do the same.  While she was in the shower, I meandered into the bedroom, hoping that things weren’t in too much of a disarray.  It was like I had X-ray vision – I could almost see the germs all over my sheets, pillows, shams and (yikes!) comforter.  But nothing prepared me for what was mixed into my sheets.  At first, I thought it must be a mirage – they looked so familiar to me.  And then, my logical mind deduced that she must have the exact same ones I did.  But how did she get on the flight without a hassle?  It hit me.  Hard.  This bitch actually found my sex toy box and used them at her leisure in the night.  Who the fuck does that?!?  I just stood there, paralyzed.  One of them I had recently bought at a toy party, too.  I never even got a chance to use it.  Poor thing.  Shoved into the depths of infection.  It had a very short life because there was no way I could use it now.  A waste of materials and a waste of money.  Great.  And my favorite: my waterproof silver bullet, dangling off the side of the bed like it was trying to jump.  It knew it had been in unfamiliar territory.  How the hell was I supposed to address this?  I followed my pattern of self-preservation and shoved it deep down in my gut.

After a few deep breaths I walked out, not touching anything.  A little while later, she was showered, dressed and had some time in the bedroom to herself.  I was extremely conscious of where she was and what she was doing.  Not once did she come out of the bedroom until she emerged to finish prepping in the bathroom.  I went into the bedroom and it was clean – picked up, I should say.  Including the toys.  She did not, I repeat, did not wash them.  There’s no way, I would have seen her.  So now, my whole box was contaminated.  I don’t quite remember what was going through my head at the time.  It’s just a cloud of a memory.  Who does stuff like this?

First mission of the day: find her meds.  She used my phone to call around.  After so much complaining about Atlanta not having her Adderall, she found it on the second call – right down the street.  She acted like it was the toughest thing she’d ever done: ‘this would never happen in Chicago.’  Whatever.

Now, my initial plan once her prescription was filled was to go into the city and walk around, maybe hit downtown Roswell – something mildly entertaining and inexpensive but hopefully not around a lot of people.  I didn’t want to subject my misery on others any more than I had to.  Unfortunately, it was very rainy and overcast – not ideal for walking around downtown anywhere.  So, I settled on the mall.  Indoors, some light shopping, food and distractions galore.  But first, her pills.  It was simple enough, went right in, filled it, paid.  I walked around a bit, not wanting to talk to her.  I just couldn’t look at her.  She was pretty, once, but her appearance to me was extremely tainted, to say the least.  She needed to detox.  Badly.

In the car, she surprises me again with something she’s bought for me.  To her, buying stuff fixes everything.  To me, this doesn’t resonate with the whole minimalist mentality she continuously spouts  about.  She bought white candles for the candelebra in my bedroom.  This was a perfect opportunity to mention that I’d prefer a box of shiny new toys instead, but I thanked her with, probably not the appropriate amount of enthusiasm she was expecting, but it was still a thank you.  And then she tore into her prescription bottle like a kid on Christmas day.  She guzzled down her Adderall in about 1.2 seconds. And about 2 minutes later, I couldn’t shut her up.

We get to the mall and, I knew it, she was complaining.  ‘Ugh, I can’t believe you took me to the mall.  I’m a minimalist, what would I shop for?’  How about a pair of pants that actually reach your ankles?  She was wearing these black pants that were at that awkward length – not quite pants, but not quite capris, either.  And flip flops.  In January.  I know Atlanta has had a surprisingly warm winter, but flip flops were not appropriate.  ‘I’m such a California girl.” followed by an annoying hiccupy-laugh and a flip of her hair.  This was one weekend that I couldn’t wait to be done with so I could get back to work and away from her.  That’s so sad.

How many ways did she embarrass me in the mall?

Store #1: trendy fashions – she scours the racks, telling me what I’d look great in.  The sales guy comes over and she holds a shirt up – ‘wouldn’t this look great on her?’ – sales guy says sure, but I think she would look even more fabulous in brighter colors, like this orange.  He holds up a shirt.  She says – ‘No, I don’t think so.  I’m going to have to disagree with you.’  Me – (in my head) I’m not buying anything so does it really matter?  And personally, I do look really great in brighter colors that most people couldn’t pull off, but whatever.  She continues to pour through the racks, belting out random things just for attention, I’m sure, but I was annoyed and it hadn’t even been ten minutes yet.  She has, yet again, attracted an audience of sales people.  But this time, it’s not so positive.  She strikes up a conversation with them anyway and just as I think we may be headed out, she barks – ‘We’re engaged to be married, so we were looking for something fun to wear instead of traditional, ya’ know?’ – Every sales clerk looked at me with that same pitying glance – ‘Really?  You picked her?’  Since I was luckily standing behind Deluded’s left shoulder, I instinctively shook my head in a ‘hell no!’ gesture.  And then I stormed out.

Store #2: upscale, older clientele, ridiculously unaffordable – she bounces around looking at stuff.  ‘I love this store’ she says.  I don’t really care.  I stand around, not looking at anything.  Sales people walk around like buzzards – either hoping I’ll buy something or watching for theft.  It was pretty obvious but I still didn’t care.  She strikes up a conversation with a random employee.  Of course, she’s in overdrive right now.  I stay out of the way – away from her, away from their clothes, away, away, away.  Just as two clerks are hovering around me like bookends, she comes up behind me – ‘ready to go dear?’ – I disappear in a huff, no response.  She is certifiably insane.

Through the throngs of people, my annoyance increases.  I really despise crowds.  She decides to strike up a conversation again.  We had a few laughs and somehow, the topic got around to strollers and kids.  I do not believe that a person with a stroller has the automatic right-of-way.  Meaning, just because you have spawn does not give you license to run over my feet or ram into my heels without an ‘excuse me’ or some type of ‘my bad.’  If I choose to let you go in front of me, sure, go ahead.  I do the same for elderly people.  But please, don’t charge through a crowded mall like the seas should part for you because you figured out how to procreate.  It’s not rocket science.

She looked at me quizzically.  ‘Wow.  I completely disagree.  (of course)  Is it because you don’t have any kids of your own yet?’

There was almost a murder at Perimeter Mall.   How dare she?  I stopped in my tracks.  ‘Why would you say something like that?’  Well, she said.  ‘You’re harsh.  I just think that parents get the right of way.’  I took another deep breath and my walking sped up.  It reminded me of when my sister said to me years ago…’When are you going to grow up and settle down?’  Why is it automatically assumed that getting married and having kids is what everyone wants to do?  Is marriage and family the only means of growing up?  I think not.  I was so angry.  If I wanted to get married, I would’ve done it already.  If I wanted to have kids, I would’ve done it already.  I don’t operate on everyone else’s timetable.  Those things will happen for me when the right person comes into my life and that is what we decide to do.  I choose not to force it and make myself, my spouse and my children miserable.  Why?  And if it doesn’t happen, am I a loser?  Hell no.  I’m not going to be disappointed with myself either way.  These are the choices I have made for myself.  No one else.  It’s another form of telling women what to do with their bodies.  It’s abusive.  So stop it.

We finally left the mall a while later.  I didn’t know what else to do.  Let me clarify.  I didn’t know what else to do with her.  There is plenty to do in Atlanta, but if you’re in bad company, it’s just wasted effort.  Plus, if she said one more thing to me any where similar to what she said earlier, I might have swung on her.  I wanted to get home, but we needed to swing by the grocery store first.  I offered to cook dinner, but now that her Adderall was kicking in, she didn’t really have an appetite anymore.  We settled on salad.  All of a sudden, she was grabbing everything: radishes, cucumbers, mushrooms, onions…and wine.  And beer.  ‘But the beer is for you.’  ‘I don’t want any.’  ‘Well, maybe I want to try it.’  ‘Whatever.’  And the wine?  A big  1.5 L of Chardonnay.  Wow.  She hands me $15.  At least she covered the wine.

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