Thursday, March 5, 2009
Love and Other Natural Disasters
Love and Other Natural Disasters by Holly Shumas
"Attending to someone outside of the marriage robs your partner of the intimacy they deserve."
"You needed a book to tell you that?" I wished I could believe his conversion, but it seemed a little too convenient and showy, like something you'd find in a revival tent.
I was tired of being jealous of Laney. There, I'd admitted it to myself. I had two children by this man; I shouldn't have had to feel jealous of anyone. I should have had a secure place in the world. I shouldn't have had to wonder why he'd stopped writing that e-mail, if he planned to finish it later, or if he'd just gone ahead and called her instead.
I found myself wishing Thanksgiving had never happened. I liked to think Jon would have come to his senses after Olivia was born and ended things with Laney on his own. If he had, I would never have been the wiser. I would never have had to rethink my entire relationship with him. I wouldn't have lost my best friend, my family. But once you know there's no Santa Claus, you can never convince yourself otherwise.
I liked to think of myself as being without regrets. Rationally, I knew they were useless. But I was a person with a thousand "what-ifs." the funny thing is that if you follow your what-ifs back far enough, they become someone else's: What if my mother had been impregnanted by someone who actually gave a damn? What if my father had stepped up and decided to be a better man once he knew he was having a kid? That's when you realize just how foolish it is to retrace your steps when all you can really do is take a good, hard look around and walk forward.
I wasn't the tattoo type, but if I had been, I'd have an anklet that read: this is your life, so now what?