Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Threat

Last week I passed a coworker in the hallway at work. We used to work in the same group but don’t anymore, so I hadn’t seen her for a while. I noticed she had lost a lot of weight, and, assuming she had been dieting successfully, mentioned that she looked skinny. She stopped to chat and fill me in on the details. I expected her to tell me that she’d started a new exercise program or was doing one of those low-carb diets. But no. The reason she had lost so much weight recently was that her husband of nearly thirty years had, unbeknownst to her, met someone else and now, beknownst to her, wanted a divorce.


Crap, I always manage to blunder into these things with my little witty quips. What is the appropriate response? I usually end up gaping like a fish, with nothing actually coming out of my mouth, or saying something complete stupid and insensitive.

I do that because hearing stuff like this always makes me feel sick in the pit of my stomach. I imagine myself in the other person’s place, and the picture never comes out very nice. If my husband of thirty years had recently dropped a divorce bomb on me, things would be very bad. I don’t mean to imply that I'd collapse into a pile of quivering flesh and never arise again. OK, I definitely would collapse into a pile of quivering flesh, but I'd eventually get over it and carry on with life. It would still suck big donkey balls, though, and seeing it happen to someone you know makes it a lot harder to pretend that bad things like that only happen to guests on “The Jerry Springer Show."

In my younger days I would have just swallowed my panic at the thought of being in her shoes and gone on with my day. Nowadays, I’m a lot more proactive. Within a few hours of hearing her story, I had snuck up on Slag, climbed onto his shoulders, subdued him in a headlock and informed him that if he ever thought about leaving me for another woman after multiple decades of marriage, I would geld him on the spot. I would then put his testicles in a jar of formaldehyde and display them in the lighted curio cabinet next to my favorite crystal martini glass. And then I made him say “Calf rope.”

He wisely submitted to my demands. Actually, I think his response was something like “Are you completely loony?”

Why, yes I am, as a matter of fact. It’s a good thing he likes me that way.

And my response to my friend? I told her that if she ever felt like kicking his ass, I’d be happy to help her. Thankfully, she laughed.


Blogger Anne said...

Oh! Poor Slag! I don't know him in "real life" of course, but he seems like one of the good ones.

I wouldn't worry about your comment to your friend. I lost a bunch of weight because of stress once, but i was able to look at the bright side and say at least one good thing came from the situation - i lost weight. I took no offense at all when people noticed. Probably she didn't either, but she just needed to talk, since you asked. :)

9:26 PM  
Blogger Stucco said...

"Calf rope"? I put my foot in my mouth in a similar fashion all the time. "Oh, you're a cop? You have security issues?" If you ever were a fan of The Kids In The Hall, this might bring a smile- "How was I supposed to know he was a hostage?!?"

9:44 PM  
Blogger Cheesy said...

Oh Jill... a most uncomfy situation but I personally think you said JUST the right thing!
I too lost alot of weight at the time of my hubby's death. I have a cult of kids and after a few weeks of leave one of my co workers [Who did not known what happened] walked up and said OMG Cheese you look so thin! Did you have a nice maternity leave?? LOL I couldn't help but laff till I almost puked.. she Just stood there and stared as another coworker told her nooooo Cheese didnt pop out another one! I felt so bad for her as the other coworker leaned in and told her about our loss... but In a work place of over 100 some just didnt know.. but it was the first real releases of laughter I remember having after... theres sometimes a great after effect of even the most boneheaded things we say!

1:17 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

anne, Yep, Slag is definitely one of the good ones. I think you're right about my friend wanting to talk. She could have just mumbled something and kept going. And who doesn't like losing a little weight?

stucco, "Calf rope" is something I had never heard before I met Slag. It's apparently the west Texas equivalent of saying "Uncle." Don't recall the hostage line from The Kids in the Hall. My favorite skit is the "Laundry Day Fashion Show." Still makes me giggle when I think of it.

cheesy, That's pretty funny. Well, it's not funny, but it is at the same time. She must have been mortified. But sometimes everybody needs a big belly laugh after all the stress. I think my friend took it that way too. :)

8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry, no one knows exactly what to say in those moments. On the other hand, you went home and handled hubby in precisely the right manner! That is exactly how my wife would react. Though she doesn't have a favorite martini glass, so an old jelly jar would have to hold her little 'trophies'.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would (and in fact have) reacted exactly the same way. Poor Mr. Jazz didn't know what hit him.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jill, to the understanding kind, few words. Just to make sure, place in the curio stand the cutting tool with the label "Use in case of orchiectomy"

3:33 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

em, I think a jelly jar would work just fine. The container isn't the important part. :)

jazz, Oooh, are you saying that Mr. Jazz is no longer intact?? Where do you keep them?

piktor, Hey, I learned a new word! Now my day is a success! :)

2:03 PM  

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