"Love My Way, It's a New Road"

It’s those changes in latitudes,
changes in attitudes nothing remains quite the same.
With all of our running and all of our cunning,
If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.

Jimmy Buffet

Every coffee mug on my shelf tells a story. I only have about 9 because who needs more than that? This morning I used one of my favorites and recalled the story behind it. It’s not a pretty story.

I got this mug in St. Thomas while in port during a cruise. I like cruises, so usually I’m relaxed and enjoying vacation. This was one of those difficult vacations because my ex and I were not in sync. We took this cruise when my daughter was in college and my son was a teen-ager.  Looking back on it, I think perhaps my ex was realizing this was one of our last family vacations, just the four of us, so he felt pressure for this trip to be perfect. Who knows?

There were some highlights on this trip. I loved St. Martin, the French side. It is on my bucket list for a return trip. We watched World Cup soccer on the huge jumbotron screen on the ship while floating in the swimming pool.

But my husband was simply difficult. He was in a heavy controlling mode and was frantically trying to make friends with other couples. That usually is quite easy for us because we are outgoing and fun to hang out with. This trip, he was wound too tight, so after a couple of encounters, the other couple would disappear. He couldn’t catch the hint that his behavior was causing this. I had one instance when he was screaming at me because I had disappeared when he was trying to find one of the couples. I had “disappeared” because I was checking on our teen-age son and his activities as instructed by my ex. He left me in tears, totally devastated and emotionally beaten down. I simply couldn’t do anything right this entire trip.

So you get the idea – this vacation was no picnic for me. Yes, I had some moments that were fun, but I have had more relaxing vacations than being stuck on a ship in the middle of the ocean with a nut case of a husband. Back to my coffee mug and St. Thomas.

We get off the ship in St. Thomas and go out to a beautiful beach for the day. I have to say, St. Thomas is not my favorite Caribbean island. They treat the cruise ship passengers like cattle. I was offended by their shuttles that put the tourists in the back of a truck like this:

st thomas

I was also mildly insulted that they have all these high-end luxury goods and then next door is an open market selling counterfeit knock offs. Save that for Canal Street in NYC. Toss on a measure of local rudeness and I’m ready to get back on the boat. The rest of the family has gotten some sort of souvenir on this trip. My daughter bought sunglasses, a hat, and other things. My son purchased a couple of things. Even my ex had purchased some clothing. I was empty-handed (not like I minded, I just hadn’t seen anything).

Then we go into a chocolate shop. I pick up the mug and consider getting some chocolates. For some reason, now my ex is in a hurry to return to the ship. He tells me to put it down, so we can go. I tell him to wait a second while I buy the mug. He begins to berate me. Yes, he gets seriously aggressive about me buying a stupid mug. As is inevitable in our marriage, I acquiesce and put the mug down because I am not willing to fight over this. Who steps into the fray? My daughter. She tells her dad to calm down, step outside the store and let me get the damn mug. She tells him that it is the only thing I have tried to get the entire trip. He is dumbfounded and silently goes outside. My daughter – my champion. How embarrassing. I had to have my child defend me from my own husband. That is seriously fucked up.

I love this mug. I love the shape, the color and the complete irony of its message. Fuck you, Ex. I keep the mug to remind me that nobody will ever treat me that way ever again.

mug2

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Comments on: "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes" (9)

  1. It reminds me of a time when I stepped up to defend my mom. It didn’t go too well for me. I don’t have time right now, but maybe I’ll share the story one day 🙂
    And you are right. We will not allow anyone to treat us like this. Ever again.
    xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how the mug keeps reminding you every day

    Like

  3. Right Peace Love and chocolate , !!! yeah same goes with the Songs !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I could totally relate to this story – that of going on a final vacation and not having it be as you hoped or dreamed. My ex and I went to Europe a bit over a year ago to “celebrate” our 25th wedding anniversary. Right before the trip, I finally realized that, despite his promises, he had no intention of working on himself or our marriage. I was in a depression nearly the entire trip – crying into my pillow after he had gone to sleep at night. We did have some lovely times and I saw so many wonderful places – but the memories are tainted by the fact that the trip was a sham. One of my goals in life is to go back to Europe and see new places, as well as some of those same sites again, so I can make new, wonderful memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing that story – these grand vacations aren’t always what people think.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That reminds me of our very last wedding anniversary. A very nice hotel and restaurant. Except he kept complaining all our married life that I was too fat, and he takes me to a restaurant! Oh well. That night, I had brought a few things to use in the bedroom (mainly scarves to tie me, blindfold me, I didn’t own any toys yet). He tried, for about 2 and a half minute. But he wasn’t interested in sex, and even less rough sex. Spanking hurt his hand so he stopped after… one blow. I knew this was it. He was never going to be able to satisfy me in the bedroom, couldn’t care less what worked for me (he went to sleep next to me while I masturbated to a porn movie), and he had no idea what I would really enjoy doing. The one visit we took, he didn’t stay with me, I was taking too much time reading the information… And he wasn’t there to discuss any of it with me. No exchange during that trip. It wasn’t as bad as yours, I didn’t cry myself to sleep, but I sort of knew this was it. There was a detached feeling, like someone else was taking that trip with him, not me. I can totally relate to what you experienced.
      And Maggie, to relate to what you wrote: after the fact, when I told the kids I wanted a divorce, they were telling me “But dad made efforts, he took you on this grand weekend away…”. Yep, even kids have ideas of things that are so far from the reality we experienced!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks for your comment. One thing my ex and I agreed on was that anybody in any relationship (friends, dating, marriage, family) experienced a true test of that relationship when they traveled.

        As for your kids – nobody likes change, particularly change they perceive as bad. I can completely understand their grasping at straws and declaring your trip a romantic getaway.

        Nobody, except those in that relationship, can truly understand the undercurrents and dynamics at play.

        Like

      • Ah, travelling and testing… Imagine moving countries every few years! Now that’s a test for you 😉
        The kids really did think it was a romantic getaway. It was probably the first time ever they had seen their dad organise something for me, for us. They just didn’t realise what happened in the background of said trip. Or as you say the undercurrents! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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