Fried Chicken Fiasco
He proposed to me in the pot-hole infested, trash-strewn parking lot of a Value City department store. I had been hoping for Macy's. The ring was purchased with the insurance money he recieved from a car accident. Nothing life threatening. A woman in a mini van had backed over his car in a KFC drive-though. Apparently this particular KFC franchise had lost sight of the meaning of "fast" food and the woman was trying to escape--Undoubtably to one of the 3 billion McDonald's in the area. I had thought for a while afterwards that alot of this was my fault. How had I allowed myself to get to this point with a "man" who was so assured at my answer that he put no time into the question? Then I realized--I don't eat fried chicken.
What I lovingly refer to as the fried chicken fiasco was the beginng of the end of a long stream hints and occurences all screaming to me: "get the hell out." These signs, along with my conscience, had unfortunately found themselves at the bottom of a long list of things at which I had competently ignored most of my life.
With the ring reluctantly on my finger, I began to evaluate seriously my reasons for removing it. Reason number one: The Mother. Nobody really likes their inlaws, but this went beyond a simple distate. "The Mother" was a pot-smoking, foul-mouthed bitch whose favorite pass time was to invite us to her home for the sheer joy of treating me poorly. The scene in her home was always the same. The wrinkled little witch sat on a couch in desperate need of steam cleaning with her morbidly obese husband, the both of them chain-smoking and watching football. This was the sole period in my life in which I enjoyed football. During football season I was guaranteed to only be insulted during commercials and half-time.
What bothered me the most wasn't The Mother but the fact that The Ex chose to always take her side. I have always been a tough woman. Occasionally, I have ran into a random boy whom I beat up in middle school. The meetings are always met with averted eyes, fained unrecognition, or the obvious crossing of the street in fear. In the instance of The Mother, I felt that I shouldn't have had to defend myself--that it was his duty. In this relationship I was overly competent in holding my tounge and my breath.
The breathing room I should have had away from The Mother was taken up by other issues. Reason two: The Brother. The brother lived with us for a while, renting out our unfinshed basement. He brought his female pray to the dungeon nightly. Their incessant screams assured me that somewhere in his dungeon he was hiding a rack and thumbscrews. I searched for them once while doing laundry, but they were too well hidden.
The Brother's dungeon always smelled like pee. This due to the fact that he wet the bed when intoxicated. The Febreeze and air fresheners only heightened the smell. It was a wonder to me that the female pray didn't run for their lives at first scent. Undoubtably, alcholhol was inhibiting the Preys' senses. Then again, I was still there, sober, so what did I know.
Soberly, I took the ring off my finger to contemplate Reson Number Three: The Me Factor. I realized that it would not have mattered if another young pretty girl changed places with me tomorrow. As long as the girl was tall, tan, and blonde, The Ex wouldn't even notice. What he was in love with was having an attractive woman, any woman. I played no part in the equation other then filling the variable X. In Algebra, any number of things can be represented by X, as long as they fill the criteria surrounding the equation.
I gave the ring to a friend to have appraised and never saw it again. Another lesson learned. I had decided that being The Ex in the equation suited me much better than being an X. Since The Fried Chicken Fiasco I have moved on to better things. I am now no longer a variable in a complicated equation. Is my ex happy? I am sure that he is, counting on certain factors. I am not, however, as confident that his newest item of affection feels the same.