It was toward the tail end of the 80s ... and I went to work at this one particular company that I could write many, many blog posts about! Let's start with the supervisor I started with - Sue ...
Sue was one of these people that I just met and clicked with instantly! We shared alot of things in common: when you come to work, you work, and, you dress for work, not a club; literature/reading/English things ... Sue was the one who 'got me' so well that for my birthday, she gave me a book of e.e. cummings poetry :)
Now, Sue was married to Bob. Whenever she would talk about Bob, it honestly wasn't much. It might be something like "Bob called" - very insignificant like that - but when she did mention him, it was with a look of distaste. There was no picture on her desk. I actually had to ask her several times to bring in photos from there wedding - as close as we were, all of a sudden, to ask this, was like I was asking for her to donate a kidney.
You could tell this wasn't going to good, here ...
Slowly, as we worked together and got closer, she started to confide things : it wasn't too good and she was just grateful there weren't children involved. Altho there was a house - they did have that. He would make grand promises he couldn't keep that hurt her heart. One specific one I recall was around a supposed trip to Disneyland and then he pulled the rug out from under her.
And then came the day she developed a bad toothache ... that led to a marital scandal.
Sue was the woman who consistently ate lunch at her desk and never took the time. I'd look across at my librarian-looking friend and actually feel guilty for leaving! ... Well, she came down with this tooth deal ... if I recall correctly, the dentist could fit her in late that afternoon and, as she wasn't feeling well, she decided to just leave now, go home and rest until ...
Bob was working in a corporate something or other. It was a desk job. So she was quite surprised when she pulled in the driveway and there was his car - was he sick, too?! In the days before cell phones, these things happened like this!
Nope. HE WAS BANGING A WOMAN FROM HIS OFFICE IN THEIR MARITAL BED!!!!
Sue was hurt, and angry, and confused, and every negative stripe of emotion. She was in the horns of a popular song back then - should I stay now, or should I go??? Having been there myself, we talked long.
She cried alot.
Bob blamed his corporate job - even tho he made a good salary and had just received a promotion, he blamed the job. So he quit and took something simpler that was supposed to make him happy and thus of course he would be faithful.
I pointed out that one of the immediate problems with this was that they would be short on their mortgage, ergo, wouldn't Sue have to drop out of college and get a second job, and wouldn't Bob be really happy then, as he was threatened by her going to college! Sue gasped but she did see my point, indeed.
And then, unable to make a decision, she made a weird flipped out Sue decision that I understood.
She didn't tell me. No, this one, I had to catch her in.
I really wasn't trying to. I really didn't think anything was going on. She fell into an affair with the guy in the warehouse that - well today you would say 'he might go shoot up someplace, that one'.
She was embarrassed. She was striking back, and I got that. I'd been there too (and would again) ...
And then she did something even more weird: she decided - you know what? Bob has to grow up! I'm going to quit my job - to force him back into a real job! I'm going to become a full-time student!
I was just - speechless. I could see this blowing up nine ways from Sunday - losing the house, not having a dime in her pocket when he did decide to up and leave her ... and, and - I was losing my best friend here! My best friend at work!
Sue hugged me and cried too and assured me that (a) really, she KNEW this jackass was going to leave. she was already looking into displaced homemaker programs, financial assistance, and lawyers. (b) she just wanted to be in a better position with the courts because he would leave.
I didn't think we would completely fall out of touch, but it happened ... less than a year later, someone from the job said to me, "Hey Jean when you go to that bookstore you like so much in x strip mall, stop into that supermarket - Sue is front end manager."
That didn't make any sense whatsoever, because that was her 'old' grocery store, in her 'old' neighborhood, by her 'old' house. Now - I'm a curious sort, but you know what?
I just couldn't go in there. I knew there was a reasonable story - sure, Bob HAD left, and she was just waiting on all this financial aid stuff to come in, and as she had been a very good manager, they hired her in a NJ minute! But - I don't know - I just couldn't go in there.
I was just now having a case of "whatever happened to?" which nearly always gets me upset MUST STOP DOING THIS TO YOURSELF JEAN MUST STOP and I looked her up and --
She's still living in that house.
She's still married to him.
WHAT THE --?!
I don't know what's got me MORE gabberflustered: that they're still together ... or that she was a literary foreshadowing of intense best friends who cut and run and don't tell you how it all turned out.
MUST STOP DOING THIS TO YOURSELF JEAN MUST STOP