Thursday, 31 December 2015

A Thoughtless Remark at the Office Party

 
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My husband was very pleased that his ex-work invited him (and me) to their Christmas party, a full 12 months after he left last year.  Although, he has not missed the work itself, being very happy and occupied with all his projects at home, he has missed the people, some of whom have worked for him for twenty years or more.  HIs right-hand lady of about 12 years - sort of Secretary/Customer Liaison/PA, is a super capable, attractive person, aged now about 41, happily married with two young teenagers.  They all worked a 12-hour day, and in the trucking industry, these days were often fraught and difficult. I suggested that we sleep over at the venue so that he could enjoy a few drinks. My mistake. Although he never became 'ugly' drunk at all, he did become very relaxed, beaming and hugging everyone and generally being the centre of attraction.  I did cringe a few times when he did/said things which are uncharacteristic.  e.g. telling one young mechanic (while sitting next to the new boss - his II -i -C of many years): "The worst day of your life was when I retired" (implication?  - 'your new boss will not be as good as I was'). The bad thing though happened at the end of the evening:  I was sitting quite far away as everyone went up to him to bid him goodbye. When the PA lady's turn came, he put his arm round her shoulders and announced for all the world to hear: "M has been a big part of my life for a long time. If I ever had an affair, it would have been with M!" Then he slid his hand down her body and squeezed her behind.  I sat, frozen, embarassed and devastated. In one fell blow, I felt all my love and devotion over 39 years had  been an illusion. For the longest time he had been lusting after his secretary !!!!!!  Needless to say, I was totally miserable for the rest of the night.  It wasn't much use berating him as we went to bed, he wasn't listening properly and couldn't understand what the fuss was about.  I spent a sleepless night on the couch.  The next morning I tried to explain what had upset me, but guess what - he couldn't remember a thing, had no idea what I was talking about.  Do you know how frustrating that was?  Actually, he looked so puzzled and shocked, I wanted to laugh, as cross as I was. Very chagrined, he immediately took up my suggestion and telephone M (and several other people) to apologise because his wife said he had made an ass of himself, although he didn't know what he had said to offend.  Most of them were still half asleep as this was only 8 am.
Of course, no-one but myself had taken any offence.  I just hope that M had been suitably repulsed by the very suggestion that an old, overweight man like my husband should think of her in that way. I am very fond of her but I am now so sad to think that she has indeed been a bigger part of his life than I have for so many years. I guess that's the way it is in the world of work. Certainly, on a daily basis she spent a lot more hours with him than I did.  (I'm not counting sleep).

I just wanted some verbal reassurance, which he tried to give, but my husband is in any case a man of few words, they come very hard to him - unless he is one-over-the-eight.  Ironically, in the past, I enjoyed these occasions because then he would declare to the whole world how much he loved me.  How could his brain now be so disconnected from his mouth?  How could he not think that these remarks would hurt?  He has forgotten about the whole thing but It seethes in my mind and I struggle to be normal and nice to him at the moment. This woman is 25 years his junior and I am 65. I don't know how I can gloss over it. Blogging helps.  Another thing has helped this week:  hubby experienced a painful rectal tear one morning after a visit to the bathroom.  He had to hobble around as it was the Sunday after Christmas, saw the doc on Monday and is still hobbling. He can't believe what has happened to him.

Maybe it's the razor blades I fed him.

29 comments:

  1. Hee, hee, hee. I love it when Karma bites 'em in the ass.
    But really, a careless, drunken remark does not negate 39 years.

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    1. You are of course, quite right. I am now restored to normal (4 weeks and two new posts later....)

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  2. I write as one who has been married 44 years. Men lust after women, and that’s all there is to it. I used to have affairs all the time and am relieved beyond words that age and medication have now left me less interested in women than in my two cats. Instead of you focusing on your husband’s lust, you might instead focus on the fact that he apparently never made the effort to betray you in spite of what appears to have been considerable temptation to do so. He’s a man, and to blame him for lusting is to demand that he be other than a man. You might also entertain the thought that if liquor took away your ability to control what you said, you too might throw a skeleton or two out of the closet. None of us are perfect, and to discount the love he has given you for decades over something like this is harsh. Even Jimmy Carter confessed to lust. It’s just who men are.

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    1. Hmmm...lots of wisdom here, but I hope your affairs were before you married? Otherwise, why get married? You are quite right to challenge me and caused me quite a bit of self-flagellation for my occasionally sexy dreams (see new post). Meanwhile, I have to read all these other comments..looks like quite a discussion has ensued.

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  3. Men are dogs. I know its hurts, the things he said, but he does still love you, always has and always will. Be good and mad, go buy something totally outrageous and make him pay for it. And no office party next year.

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    1. Denise, you are so right (see newest post, have bought undies, dyed pubes successfully, and am sporting long, blonde wig on selected nights).
      Definitely no office party next year. !!!

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  4. I am in the Olga camp here. I love the karma, although that kind of karma should really be reserved for priests who screw children, and should be delivered by a 7 foot 300 pound cell mate called Tiny. I also agree that indeed this situation does not negate 39 years of marriage.

    I want to write a longer comment but it is after 4 in the morning here, I have to crash. But in the meantime, do a little research on working spouses.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_spouse

    Don't get me wrong I am not making excuses for your husband, in fact I am a good bit pissed off at your husband right now, more so than I have any right to be. You guys have done it right, another man that honored his marriage. So what's this crap? More tomorrow, I am falling out of the chair tired.

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  5. Thank you everyone. We are away for a week from tomorrow, but I will reply to you all soon. Meanwhile, I am to present the case to some of my female friends and when I get to see my husband's one brother-in-law one of these days, I shall also ask his opinion - he has known my husband since he was in short pants. Also, he and I had an interesting discussion recently about whether meeting someone regularly with whom you had a common interest e.g. books/chat in a coffee shop really amounted to having an affair or not....

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    1. I missed your reply while writing War and Peace below. One word of caution, make sure the people you consult have your best interests at heart.

      This is your marriage you are talking about, not some theoretical problem for the sisterhood.

      Regarding common interests, many people get jealous of intellectual platonic relationships especially if they go across gender. First test, would one be just as jealous if the relationship was of the same gender?

      Most of my internet friends are women. Yes I am wussie, but I find men want to discuss the specifications of their damned engine or computer and don't want to talk about feelings or love. Hell most men of my age won't even talk about sex. Women will. But it doesn't come off like an erotic novel, its how sex and love in general sense improves the human condition and the spirit.

      Fifty-odd. It is your marriage. It is worth saving. You and your husband are a whole greater than the sum of your parts. Don't do something now that you will regret later.

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    2. Happily, I have been saved from making a lot of damaging remarks by my husband's early entry into the fray (see next post....)

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  6. Men are dogs, indeed we are. We lust for women, indeed we do. Unfortunately, that doesn't tell us a whole lot nor does it provide any solutions. I am 66 and every time I go in a grocery store (about the only place that I see women any more) I feel a little tingling, a tiny buzz, in my balls about three times in each aisle. BTW I am going to be a bit blunt here, and you know how to delete a post if you don't like it. Men are dogs and we get turned on by women. If you want us not to get turned on by women, castrate us. It is a simple fact of life. The other simple fact of life is that men do not operate in a vacuum. Men are dogs because dogs got laid more often and passed down more traits.

    So let me ask you, when you are in the food market and a man gives you an admiring glance, do you get pissed off and think "you dirty dog." I am not talking about wolf whistles, staring, getting hit on, pawed, or god forbid having some asshole kiss your feet like that airport story you related a while back. I am talking about an impromptu glance. Do you feel just a tiny tingle? Does it feel good to know that there are men who find you attractive? It is a complicated dance that we humans do. This shit was laid down in our genes before we were human. Getting pissed off at men for lusting for women is like getting pissed off at your dog for peeing on and sniffing fire hydrants.

    So there is a tingle and the trick is to keep from becoming a roar. I get very pissed off with this notion that men are dogs or boys will be boys, oh well. There is nothing we can do. Yes we are fighting 200 million years of evolution, but we do have a rational intellect. And I believe your husband has used his intellect to make a value judgement. I love my wife more than I love screwing other women. I hold her in a high regard and I am not going f--- things up by following the dictates of the little head. Actually the little head doesn't have much to do with it, it's the danglers below the little head injecting poisons that cause all the problems in the big head. And yes it is the big head...the largest sex organ on the human body, that causes all of this unhappiness.

    Too long, continued below.

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  7. Continued from above.

    So let's throw some alcohol in the game. When I first got into engineering I felt that I should socialize to some degree with people I worked with, so I used to go to these various functional parties and I was amazed...totally amazed how too much alcohol could loosen up tongues to the point that I started to fear for careers. BTW I don't drink...especially socially. I was heading for a gutter in my youth and I was saved by a woman. I am married to her and any value that I possess as a human being can be attributed to her. The last time I was drunk was Christmas Eve 1975 before I started going with her.

    But let me ask you, are the babblings of a drunk mind some great philosophical truths or are they pretty much stupidity caused by the loss of impulse control? Remove the governor between the shit dump and the shit chute and all sorts of strange shit will emanate. Personally I would not want to walk the aisles of a grocery store while drunk. I am quite sure I would make an ass of myself.

    If indeed your husband truly can not remember his actions, then I assure you the governor was drowned in alcohol. Visual input. Wow M has a really nice ass. (But so does A). Let's face it that is a great philosophical truth. And it fires an impulse in the drunk or sober mind...I would like to pat it. And boom the governor is shut down and a very good and loving man reverts to 200 million years of asshole red in tooth and claw evolution and pats that ass. Would he have done that when he was sober? No. Would there have been an impulse to do so sober? If he has an intact set of balls...yes! But the governor diverts those impulses. When the governor is drunk, the impulses are let loose.

    Oh so, typical man, I am: A) defending loutish behavior because boys will be boys. B) blaming the booze and C) deflecting some of the blame on M's rather magnificent ass. Yes and no.

    Its not M's fault that she has a magnificent ass. But is she entirely blameless in how she displays it? Typical evening wear makes women look really good. I have never quite understood the games that people (not individuals but society in general) play. Women spend a lot of money making themselves look good. When we men notice, we are dogs. I am not suggesting that we should all go around in chairman Mao approved fashion wear left over from the cultural revolution, but I don't know what I am supposed to look at when I am presented to a woman with a plunging neck line and a tight skirt. I know your eyes are up here, but why is there so much cleavage showing? Sorry I am a dog. But as I said I am not operating in a vacuum. Dump a gallon of alcohol into the mix and hang on to your hat.

    So your husband was in a situation where he was being fawned over by a lot of people he hasn't seen for a year, he got too drunk, and he most definitely made an ass of himself and humiliated the woman he loves.

    So is it simply boys will be boys, make allowances for booze, and well M was asking for it dressed like that? And are you being overly sensitive?

    Too long, continued below.

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    1. Ok, I get that you are in the boys'camp here, even if only to defend millions of years of biology. I feel somewhat soothed nonetheless by your good sense and talk of the grocery aisle. I too have not been drunk in many a long year and am wondering about an experiment - just to see what I might say. NB to be conducted in the privacy of my own home. However, difficult to accomplish - very hard not to fall asleep.

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  8. Continued from above;

    Society does not forgive drunkenness in many arenas. You don't wipe out a family of four with your SUV and expect any sympathy for the fact that you were drunk. So neither should you forgive shit behavior induced by booze.

    Trust takes a long time to build, and it can be shattered in a moment. Once it is shattered, the pieces can't be picked up and glued back together. You have to start over. Your husband screwed up no doubt, and you have every right to be hurt and infuriated by it.

    So the question is what are you going to do? No don't gloss over it. Take him to task for it, but keep the punishment relevant to the crime.

    Fifty-odd from the things you have written about your marriage in the past, I think you do have a good marriage and a good husband. And I think you are a good person. Don't throw that in the shit can.

    Men are nitwits when it comes to the verbal arts so don't expect much out of that department. When I get into serious discussions with my wife, I feel like I am battling Watson, that IBM computer that whooped humanity's ass in Jeopardy. She has a great memory, a lighting quick mind, and can parallel process. Arguing with her is like arguing with a prosecutor who pulls out a rap sheet a quarter mile long listing all your previous failings. I can't remember 90% of these past sins, and I can't bullshit her. Then, as she tells me, "I would get in a battle of wits with you but I don't fight an unarmed man." So don't expect any great philosophical discussions with your husband. We are for the most part incapable of it and I have never quite understood the female desire for men to explain themselves other than to wipe our noses into it. How would I go about providing a rational explanation for me making stupid statement about having affair with a woman and grabbing her ass, especially when I don't remember doing it.

    So extract your revenge. Buy something outrageous but don't sell your trust and love for the price of some bauble. Don't gloss over it. I would sit him down and not ask for explanations, but get him told..."Buster you f---ed up. And here is what you are going to do."

    Apologize to M....good.

    Never get drunk again. If you must drink socially, then you make it a point to sip those drinks slowly or leave before control is lost.

    Rather than demand an explanation from him, explain to him in no uncertain terms how much he has hurt you and damaged your trust. Demand an apology from him, but not an explanation.

    Now there comes the question of punishment. Again don't sell hurt and anger for a bauble...get one whatever it may be, but that is just a pragmatic move. Make it something that you won't mind resenting.

    But for the true punishment, I believe you should extract a daily back rub, not some quicky but indeed a good deep relaxing massage that he spend some time and effort on. Make him buy a book or research it on the internet and make him do it properly. A good massage is given in the nude, with no talking, and when he reaches for something that doesn't have a sore muscle attached to it, slap his hand.

    Why massage? Because it will get both of you together, touching, with no need for talking. Touch is an extremely powerful form of communication with human beings. We like it so much we for most part abandoned our hair...talk about evolutionary costs. Let his hands apologize to you for him and let your back, ass (yes it has muscles in it) and legs gradually forgive him.

    If your husband is like me, he is not going to be able to touch your back for long without wanting to kiss it. Allow that but no other hanky panky until your body has forgiven him. Oh hell it may take months, especially if he gives a good back rub.

    When you can't take it anymore make love to him and show him that he doesn't need to look anywhere but home. He know this already, but just remind him.

    Forgive him but slowly!

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    1. “I find men want to discuss the specifications of their damned engine or computer and don't want to talk about feelings or love.”

      Maybe they don’t feel safe with you as your view of men is overwhelmingly negative. Regardless of gender, I find little depth in most blogs, but where it exists, I think it might even appear more often on men’s blogs, perhaps because they don’t have to look another man in the eye when they’re writing. Men are not “less than” women when it comes to depth and sensitivity, but they evolved to value some behaviors over others. Putting on a tough and competent front for example, or being able to display anger but not tenderness. Yet, which gender suffers more when a spouse dies? Which gender is more likely to commit suicide or become mentally ill, and which becomes more isolated with age and dies sooner? Men are intensely sensitive and emotional, but they have the misfortune of being less resilient than women and of it being less acceptable for them to display their emotions. Whereas women keep on keeping on, men suffer and die ten years before their spouses.

      In my marriage, my spouse has made by far the most money, but I have done everything else, including many things that men don’t usually do—such as laundry, dishes, and cooking. I have also built us one house and extensively remodeled another. Still, she has often done things—such as mountain climbing—that are usually done by men (she would often be the only woman in her climbing team). Yet, she is not in the least “manly,” and I don’t feel in the least effeminate. How this relates to your comment about preferring the company of women and your negative generalizations concerning men is that I am the one who displays emotions freely, whereas I call her “John Wayne,” because it can be hard to get anything out of her. We complement one another marvelously but often from different sides of the customary gender divide, although she is very much a woman, and I am very much a man.

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    2. Guilty as charged on all counts. No I don't like men, and I have certainly spent enough time with the smelly lot of them...4 years in the military, 19 years as test technician, 16 years as a test engineer. I spent 70 to 80 hour weeks at working away from home for weeks at a time with nothing but men. There were times I could have cried for a plate of macaroni and cheese and an hour with my wife.

      Oddly enough I agree with just about everything you have said. You may as well add that we suffer colorblindness, hemophilia, and host of other genetic diseases from the missing tail on the Y. You might further add that we are most of the gunshot victims, most of the victims of violence as well as most of the shooters of said guns and the perpetrators of most of the violence. We commit most of the rapes and are even the victims in some of them. We do most of the spousal abuse, but yes, you will find notable exceptions.

      Men seem to hold the patents on all the paraphilia other than masochism. Women at times beat and even kill their children, but they seldom screw them.

      Most of the prison populations are male. Most of the wars are started and fought by men, again with notable exceptions. In an extensive warfare with civilian involvement women suffer at the hands of the occupying forces

      I have often stated that my personal belief is that women can well live without men, but men do substantially better with women in their lives. So yes I agree with you on that account.

      As far as building a home and remodeling, I am one of those oafs who can't pour piss out of a boot with the directions written on the heel. I couldn't build a self respecting dog house. But I could engineer a job fairly well and write some rather magnificent directions to paste on that heel. I do all the dishes help with some of the housework and laundry, but the results of my cooking efforts are pretty sorry.

      I even love cats. My little lady cat is sitting on my lap right now using my upper thigh as a kneading pad.

      But you are absolutely right, I do hold a lot of negativity to men, and I will even admit that I am not very objective about it. But you know what they say...men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Unadulterated bullshit. We both evolved right here on good old planet Earth and I wish we could use our intellects a little more and our gonads a little less.

      Shit another installment. Please forgive my indulgence.

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    3. “Shit another installment. Please forgive my indulgence.”

      You shit another installment? Well, yes, despite being a man, I’ll somehow try to forgive you, and since we’re not being told to shut-up, I’ll even help you carry on. I also rather like you as one who is both honest and respectfully embraces disagreement. Yes, men are a mess, but that’s not all we are. If there’s a bump in the night, my wife would properly insist that I go to investigate, and I would properly insist that she let me. Likewise, I have every confidence that I would die for her, but she says she doesn’t know if she would die for me, which is fine because I wouldn’t want her to die for me (I’m traditionalist enough to think that it would be somehow wrong). When the Titanic went down, the men put the women in the lifeboats—the same women they denied suffrage to—and watched them float away. Yes, men are the aggressors, but they are also the protectors, which means that men often die while trying to protect country, ideals, women, children, dogs, cats, and other men.

      As for wars, few women go, but one heck of women support sending the men. If it were otherwise, there wouldn’t be so many wars. I’m not even aware that more women than men actively oppose wars. I know that women are more likely to vote Democratic, but it’s evident that voting Democratic doesn’t mean less senseless death.

      I don’t know what cats have to do with anything as it seems to me that men and women are about equally divided on the cats versus dogs issue. My wife is more a dog person, and I’m about equal. (For decades, we had dogs, but now we have two cats because we finally got tired of the work that goes into having dogs). I’ve also not perceived the men who like cats are less manly, and maybe they’re even more manly for having to kicked against all those early stereotypes about boys and dogs versus girls and cats.

      As for smelling bad, I would lay that more on women’s doorsteps as they’re the ones who are more likely to wear what are euphemistically referred to as “fragrances.” Sweat doesn’t make me gag or give my wife migraines; perfume does.

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    4. I think we are not being told to shut up because the blog owner is away. As such I prefer to wait until she gets back, before replying.

      However because it is not controversial, I do agree on fragrances. My wife also gets migraines from perfume and cologne. One trick she uses when stuck near perfume at a theater or public event is to smear Vicks Vapo-Rub in her nostrils and upper lip. I recently got into wet shaving and I am having a difficult time finding unscented shaving soaps. I bought several that were mildly scented and had to give them away.

      Febreze absolutely gags me. I associate it with filth from back on my days on the road. Poorly cleaned common areas in hotels and filthy rental cars reeked with the stuff.

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    5. Hey, this is a fascinating conversation. I thought you and Snowbrush would get on and am delighted that it is happening on my blog territory. I didn't think that Snowbrush would revisit but I'm glad he has. I am also in the 'no perfume camp'. My husband is too (except for Old Spice after shave). He doesn't like perfume smells on me other than natural (clean) body smells so we have saved a lot of money over the years.

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  9. While we eagerly await Sextant’s next installment, I’ll just speculate that, given the high standards to which you hold your husband, he must be one hell of good man for you to have stayed with him this long. You feel betrayed by him, but from my point of view, the betrayal is more yours. By talking about his stupidity to your friends and his family, are you seeking advice or wreaking vengeance by making this man who loves you look bad to others? You sound more particular than God about how you view human frailty. If I were him, I would trust in YOU over this because your self-righteousness is causing you to take a five-cent problem and turn it into a $50 problem. Forgiveness simply doesn’t appear to be in your vocabulary.

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    1. While I agree that perhaps a public forum on the internet is not the greatest place to solve marital difficulties, it should be remembered that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

      And the problem is that she has suffered a huge sense of betrayal because her husband is a good man. This thing needs repaired by the principals involved, not friends and family. So I agree with what you are saying, but I am not sure I would call it a 50 cent problem, but then again I have never had an affair. To me it is a big problem but not one I would associate with in dollar costs.

      Forgiveness is very much in her vocabulary, I have seen it in her other posts, She is pissed off right now and rightfully so.

      Oh, as a point of information, my installments are over. Amen.

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    2. Yes well, I daresay I deserve this so far...but matters have been resolved (see two new posts). Just one point of order - neither my friends nor our families read my blog. The selected friends I mentioned are very discreet (all e-mails deleted).

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    3. Sorry Sextant - I was trying to reply to Snowbrush's last remarks.

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    4. And yes, of course, all is now forgiven (11th January)

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  10. As someone who has done several stupid things when she drank more than she ought to have, I always wished I would forget those comments and dumb acts. While I don't condone your husband's comment and actions I do know that alcohol can turn a person into someone he/she would never normally be. I hope that forgiveness will come. All those years should mean more than one foolish moment in time.

    Take special care of yourself.

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    1. Thank you, Eileen. Of course we have now worked it out (see latest post...) Secretly, I do know that I over-reacted. Blame the insecurity issues I've had since childhood.

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  11. Many years ago I worked in an office and had a male coworker, we were pretty good friends, often went out to lunch just the 2 of us or when with a group we would sit together. We laughed that we were each others 'Work Spouses'. We never had an affair but people started talking and thought we were so it made work uncomfortable sometimes, not for him and me but with the others.
    When you spend 8 hours a day with someone you do become attached and I can understand his comment because maybe that's how he felt about her while working.
    Hes still a dog for having said it in front of everyone.

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    1. Thanks for that. I've always worked with women so have difficulty imagining working closely with dynamic men.

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