Our Story – “When I had you there, and let you go.”

Posted: June 3, 2008 in Calvin, Drama, Journal, Memory Lane, Warm Fuzzy

(Here’s the prologue, here’s part one, plus the editorial note, here’s part two, and here’s part three.)

In the process of writing all of the stuff about my ex and about Calvin, I’ve been going back and re-reading portions of my old hand-written journals of the time. I thought I would share some excerpts:

7/28/97 – “I pray that in the time to come I never look back on these words and think to myself, “Well, funny how things didn’t work out the way you wanted them to. You were a stupid, silly girl who needed to grow up.” I looked over the old journals I kept several years ago – the main topic of which was my ex, of course. Funny how even very early on there were signs that things would not work out – according to what I had written. And now I look upon those words and shake my head at my younger self for being such a fool. Am I doing a repeat performance now? Heaven knows ANYONE would question the wisdom of falling in love with a married man… But this HAS NOT been a mistake! If I take nothing else away from this time with Calvin, I will have the standards he has set that I will not compromise. I will have the strong bond of friendship we have cultivated. I will have the warmth and knowledge that I had the love of a truly amazing spirit, for however long it lasts. Those things, regardless of what the future holds, can never be taken away from me. Life will be much more bitter without him, but the memories, I hope, will take some of the sting away.”

8/24/97 – “I’ve noticed something different about the focus of my life. Before it used to be that I was focused on living – looking forward to life and whatever will happen in it. Now it seems I’m focused on survival. I don’t look beyond today anymore – just getting though the next 24 hours. Like I’ve got my head down and my hands in my pockets, trudging along and plowing through the snow. Only the snow that I’m wading against consists of loneliness, and bullshit details, and debt, and worries, and boredom, and frustration. Stupid things that are dragging me down, when all I want to do is look up, and swing my arms, and find the snow has melted and I’m walking – even running – freely. I want to be able to see what’s in front of me – even if it’s a bend in the road that I can’t quite see around.”

9/11/97 – “Bought a gun today. How weird! Never thought I was the type until I actually seriously started considering it. It didn’t feel as strange to hold a gun as I thought it would. I thought it would feel really alien to me, but it’s actually comfortable. Albeit, I haven’t fired it yet – hopefully this weekend. I wonder if it will scare me? Well, like I’ve always discovered, the anticipation of something is often more negative than the actual event. God, what a year! In no particular order – buying guns and jumping out of airplanes and tattooing and body piercing and the most incredible sex in my life and school and falling in love and going to clubs and skiing and a new job and getting divorced – wonder where this train is taking me?”

10/22/97 – “I’ve got to get the hell out of here. This situation just got to be too much for me all at once. I can’t tolerate being home alone this weekend – I can barely tolerate it right now. I feel like I want to run away for a while – forget about this stupid situation, my life, everything and everyone for one blessed weekend. I don’t think through this entire year I’ve been as depressed as I am right now. I’ve got to get myself back together – hopefully a weekend away will help. I really want to go to San Diego – I need the ocean. But I’m not quite up to that kind of trip alone – not just yet. Maybe Sedona?”

So as you can see, feelings and circumstances kept building and building and building, until I started feeling overwhelmed by it all. I wanted to stay, I wanted to wait, I wanted Calvin to pick me. I wanted him to get his drama over with. I wanted him to tell his wife how he felt – about her, about their marriage, about me. I’m afraid the words, “shit or get off the pot” did leave my lips. I felt guilty for feeling that way, and saying those words, because I really cared for Calvin and didn’t want to further complicate his life or make demands. I didn’t want to make him feel any worse than he already did. It was getting to the point where I wondered if I should remove myself entirely from the situation so he could make a clear-headed decision without me as an added complication.

After a bit of deliberation and stern self-lecturing, I took myself on a little get-away one weekend in late October of ’97. I drove up to Sedona by myself – it was the first time I went anywhere away from home on my own. I told Calvin I was going to clear my head and really examine what I wanted to do – wait or move on. He wasn’t, after all, the only one who could make a decision, here. I could tell he understood, while being simultaneously panicked. He didn’t want to stand aside and see me move on, though he would understand if I had to.

So I left on a Friday afternoon, listening to CD’s during the 2-hour drive up North. Those CD’s still remind me of that weekend, particularly Fleetwood Mac’s “The Dance” and (I’m embarrassed to say) Savage Garden. Yes, yes, I KNOW, but their song “Truly Madly Deeply” had meaning for me and Calvin. He said it made him think of me every time he heard it:

I’ll be your dream, I’ll be your wish, I’ll be your fantasy.
I’ll be your hope, I’ll be your love, be everything that you need.
I love you more with every breath, truly madly deeply do…
I will be strong, I will be faithful ‘cos I’m counting on
A new beginning.
A reason for living.
A deeper meaning…

Okay, and since I mentioned that one, I have to mention the other two that would cause us to pause and sigh when we heard them – which was a LOT since they were on near-constant radio rotation at the time.

LeAnn Rimes’ “How Do I Live”:

How do I,
Get through the night without you?
If I had to live without you,
What kind of life would that be?
Oh, I…
I need you in my arms, need you to hold,
You’re my world, my heart, my soul,
If you ever leave,
Baby you would take away everything good in my life…

And of course, “Our Song”, Abba notwithstanding (he proposed to me on the dance floor of Club Rio while “Dancing Queen” was playing, but that part of the story comes later), the Streisand/Adams duet of “I Finally Found Someone”:

I finally found someone
That knocks me off my feet
I finally found the one
That makes me feel complete
It started over coffee
We started out as friends
It’s funny how from simple things
The best things begin
This time it’s different
And it’s all because of you
It’s better then it’s ever been
‘Cause we can talk it through…

Anyway! I spent the weekend in Sedona – I got a quaint little room in an out-of-the-way lodge, I walked and shopped, I dined alone with my ever-present journal (feeling duly pathetic), and I went on a horseback excursion among the mountain trails. I wrote and I thought and I wrote some more. Never at any second, waking or sleeping, was my mind NOT on Calvin. I missed him immensely, and realized that there was no suppressing my feelings for him, there would be no “getting over” him, and I was kidding myself if I thought I could walk away.

I told Calvin this on Monday morning when we were back at work. His reaction lead me to believe he was rather, well, relieved. But it also lead to the inevitable, “Well? Now what?”

What we didn’t realize at the time was that “now what” decision was very shortly going to be taken completely out of our hands.

(Ha, this is the part where you guys are expecting the cliffhanger, right? NOT!)

Just a week or so after I got back from Sedona, I got an early morning phone call. A VERY early morning phone call. It was before 6:00, it was Sunday, and it was Calvin’s wife. Calvin, who worked on a compressed work-week at the time, worked a 6am-6pm shift Sunday through Wednesday. As Calvin was getting ready for work that Sunday morning, his wife confronted him about his feelings for me. He finally confessed, telling her that we had slept together, and telling her that he loved me.

Understandably, she flipped OUT. She called me and told me RIGHT off, calling me a homewrecking whore, among other more colorful things. She forbade me from ever speaking to Calvin again, ever speaking to her kids again, or coming anywhere near any of them. All I could do was continuously apologize, over her ranting, for having hurt and disrespected her. I don’t think she even heard me, and I don’t think it would have even mattered if she had.

Not understandably, though, is what she did next. Calvin later told me that after she got off the phone with me (and after beating the snot out of him), she stormed out of their bedroom, woke up both Michael and Marie (respectively nine and fourteen at the time), and told them, “Guess what? Your FATHER has been FUCKING Laura. What do you think of your FRIEND now???”

Suffice to say, it was a rude way to wake up for everyone involved. While I agree that she had every right to take her anger out on me and Calvin, there is NO way it was appropriate for her to drag her kids out of bed and include them.

Anyway. I spent all day Sunday wondering what the heck was going on over in Calvin’s household. It was obviously “shit or get off the pot” time for him – time for him to finally make a decision. I paced and I wondered, I wrote some more, I stayed by the phone, and I actually prayed. Finally, as I was getting ready for bed that night, I heard a knock at the door. My heart leaping out of my chest, I answered it. It was Calvin.

As soon as I saw him my heart sank – he looked like HELL, with a bright bruise purpling on his temple, and he looked like a person about to deliver bad news. We sat down, and he took my hands.

“Laura, my wife sent me over here to end things with you. I’m sorry. I love you, I’ll always love you, and despite what my wife wants I’ll never stop being your friend. We can see each other at work and talk, but I’ve decided that I owe it to my wife to give it another try with her. So we need to just be friends.”

To be continued…

(Laura: “Gotcha! You get a cliffhanger after all!”
Readers: “You suck, Laura.”
Laura: “Hush, you.”)

  1. Kim says:

    (Even though we know how it ends up and that it’s a very happy ending)!

  2. Taoist Biker says:

    This is me flipping you off.

    I agree, regardless of her right to be pissed, it was entirely out of line for her to throw the children headlong into it like that. WTF? What good did it do her at that moment?!? Sheesh.

    But even though it surely sucked to high hell at the time, the phrase “My wife sent me” is a tipoff. Not “This is what I want” but “this is what I’m forced to do.” Yep. Makes all the difference in the world.

    Oh, and every road trip my wife and I took in ’97 included our copy of “The Dance.” We both adore that album.

  3. Heather says:

    I believe Xf has a long, lost sister living near me…

  4. Calvin says:

    Still today it is amazing how “some” people will react when presented with the thought that the relationship is over and I want to be with someone else.
    All the love that you ever felt get’s turned 180 and all they seem to want to do is hurt you and anything you care about as much as possible???
    It’s to bad because when you go down that road you create feelings and memories that in many cases can never be forgiven.

  5. Laura says:

    Kim – SURELY this isn’t as bad as having to wait for Grey’s Anatomy to start back up in the fall?!?

    TB – This is me snorting coffee out my nose. Dammit! You caught me off guard, there. The “good” it did her at that moment was to try to get more people on her “side”, which is a common habit of hers. Suffice to say, since both kids ended up moving in with us on a permanent basis, her motivations were for naught.

    Heather – Hah! And I believe I know who you’re taking about…

    Calvin – Well, she hasn’t been psycho to us in a long time, so perhaps we’re all beyond that now… ?

  6. farmwife says:

    “All the love that you ever felt get’s turned 180 and all they seem to want to do is hurt you and anything you care about as much as possible???”

    Actually, I think it’s probably an almost automatic human response to protect themselves. Doesn’t make it any easier to deal with, but it’s not abnormal.

    I soooo hate cliffies! 🙂

  7. Calvin says:

    I will agree I do not think it’s abnormal to react in a negative manner yell…is fine and yes protect yourself.
    However my ex crossed the line when she continued to use the kids as a way to get to me.
    Target the money and all the stuff but do not ever for any reason involve the kids, these are the two areas she focused on. I spent almost three years and thousands of dollars plus the emotional toll on everyone just to get divorced and that’s only because when the judge said end it today or start all over I said yes to all her demands or god knows how long she would have made it last.
    It’s really sad because we had a signed agreement within months of separation that she went back on and using the kids was ok as long as in the end she got what she wanted.
    So I really understand that maybe the “automatic human response ” for some but I try to limit contact with those people.
    The only reason I even for a second considered saying “I do” again was because I was able to witness Laura go thru the same shit and not react that way.

    I guess that’s why the kids and I always say I hope you all find you a Laura becuase she is of a different thread than most.

  8. Laura says:

    Farmwife – Human nature does tend to make you do screwy things when your back is against the wall.

    Calvin – WARM FUZZY.

  9. rai says:

    I guess that’s why the kids and I always say I hope you all find you a Laura becuase she is of a different thread than most.

    That is so sweet that I got teary, and I’m not a weepy kind of person. I’m thinkin’ Calvin got a Laura because he deserved one. =]

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