~Friday, December 11, 2009

Do-Over

It wasn't just the same venue, but it was the same damn ballroom. The open bar was stood where the bridal party's table had been. The table catty-corner to the one Christopher and I sat at was the one where S had told me no man would ever love me. I looked down and shuffled my party shoes. The same carpet.

I wore my White House Black Market dress to the party. I've worn it at every company Christmas party for the last 4 years. I've switched jobs so much that nobody knows I'm wearing the same outfit. So it didn't occur to me to try on the dress and make sure it still fits. Of course it fits, I've worn it for four years.

Only it didn't fit.

I went to the doctor last week and learned I gained 10 pounds (!) in the last couple of months. A blood test confirmed that I'm still not regulated on my thyroid meds and he upped my dose so I wouldn't be hypo anymore. I'm feeling a bit better, but it wasn't enough to make my dress zip up all the way. Thank god I brought a shawl that covered up the back of the dress.

So that's how I ended up in the bathroom. I was re-adjusting the dress that didn't zip.

When I walked in, the infamous stall was occupied and I was glad I didn't have the option to confront it. I heard the familiar metal bar being pulled to lock and unlock the stall door. So they fixed it since S kicked it in. Any remnants of that night had been covered up so you would never know it had happened. The boy was in rehab, covering up himself.

I stood at the sink and inspected myself in the mirror. I remembered his sister coming into the bathroom and escorting me out like everything was my fault. She didn't want the bride to know what was happening. You don't understand, I had cried, shaking. He attacked me.

But S had already approached her with his version, saying he came to the bathroom to talk to me and inadvertently scared me. I laughed coldly at the sheer audacity of it.

He attacked me, I whispered again.

It was obvious she didn't believe me. How can someone just not believe a woman who says she's been attacked? How can that happen? The wait staff saw me being dragged across the floor and yet she didn't believe me.

She sighed, I don't know what to tell you. He's an alcoholic. She shrugged like it excused his behavior, like I deserved it because I knew how he can be. Like it was my fault for... for being attacked.

I don't think I have gotten over the treatment his sister gave me that night. I used to really like her and admire her, but since that moment, I really kind of despise her.

I swiveled to the side and inspected myself in the mirror. Even though the dress didn't zip up all the way, I think it's the prettiest I ever looked in it. Because I filled out the top of the dress, it made my waistline look tiny.

Besides the impromptu memorial I held in the bathroom, I really didn't have too much time to entertain my anxiety. Even though a company Christmas party is a gift for the employees, it's still very much work function and Christopher and I schmoozed with the owners and their spouses.

I was very pleased with Christopher. There was an open bar that cost the company $43 per person just to drink. I joked to him that he was required to get the company's money's worth. So he hit the bar pretty hard, but no one could tell he was slowly getting drunk next to me. He was also unshaven (at my request); he looks steamy with a five o'clock shadow. I enjoyed watching watching my co-workers' reactions when they realized the handsome man was my boyfriend. (I don't write about work much, but of the 35 employees, 33 are women in their 20s and 30s. It's like walking into a sorority house every morning. Cattiness abounds. For example, it's really cold today and most of the office are wearing Uggs. Someone is keeping track of who are wearing the real ones and who are wearing knock-offs. Mine are real.)

As Paige put it, the night was a do-over. This time we happily got in the car and drove home listening to my Christmas music. I put on my jammies and headed to Christopher's where we cuddled under his flannel blanket and watched Tropic Thunder while drinking Diet Coke and eating Cheez-Its. I had slept the best I had all week.

11 comments:

Breeza said...

I'm so glad you were able to leave that place with a better memory. And you sound so happy. :)

Trucker-Mouth Wife said...

That's great that you could leave there with better memories!

Every experience in life shapes who we are. I don't ever wish what you went through on to someone, but it did make you the person that you are today. You are brave, strong and courageous.

I am the daughter of an alcoholic and have heard excuses for my "father's" behaviour all my life. It shames me that people legitimately think the excuses make it all okay. It doesn't. And there was no excuse for her brothers actions either.

I'm so glad that (it seems like) you are happy and moving on with your life.

Abusive relationships, no matter who it is (a father/mother, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc) always leave their mark. But it's up to you to decide how to let it effect your life and future happiness.

SuvvyGirl said...

yay for do-overs that go well! And kudos for working with that many women. I could not/would not do it.

Dawn said...

Beautiful.

Jaclyn said...

As the sister of a potential alcoholic and potential emotionally abusive husband, I can tell you that " I don't know what to tell you. He's an alcoholic," might not mean that she was blowing you off. "He's a great guy and wouldn't ever do that" is a statement that would certainly mean she was blowing you off.

"He's an alcoholic" might mean that she believed you and believed that you should break up with her brother, but did not want to tell you that directly. She may have worried you wouldn't break up with him, or you might get back together with him and tell him what she said which would only contribute to his downward cycle. I would have loved to tell my sister in law to run like hell, but until I see evidence of actual abuse I really feel like I can't get involved. If she was a friend in this situation, I would have led the intervention for her, but as the groom's sister I had to try to pretend to support the marriage. You may have more evidence of your SIL's feelings about your relationship, but from what you described it is possible that she believed you and just didn't feel she could get involved. I wouldn't tell my SIL to leave my brother, but I would be very happy for her if she made that decision.

dont eat the token said...

Yay! A great night!!

I hope the Dr. med change helps :)

Blue soup said...

I'm pleased that you were able to lay some more ghosts to rest. I hope that venue now holds new -- positive -- meaning for you.

I quite like Jaclyn's comment about the sister. I don't really know about alcoholics (despite my mother claiming my father was one, it was only in the final few months before he died that I became aware of the difficult relationship he had with alcohol and even then, he was never violent towards me. I just saw it unpick him).

But I do know what it;s like to be in a position where you know that there;s nothing that can be done. I know how exhausting that can be. I know how you find yourself thinking "it;ll never change so why bother". It's no excuse, but perhaps his sister is just weary of him now. Fed up with him. She should probably have cared more about your plight, but I believe that when someone has put you through hell - which he may well have done several times over with his family - you can just close off, even while others are being hurt.

Just an idea.

Sorry about my typing. I'm in bed at a really weird angle x

V said...

:-)

Bathwater said...

There you go! Perfect! I am glad it worked out the way it should you deserved it. Glad Christopher played his part well.

So if your office is full of 20 ans 30 year old women maybe next time you could slide me in?

Paige Jennifer said...

Yeah, you seriously deserved this do-over. Dress-shmess - you were happy and comfortable. More importantly you were able to see the past as a moment instead of your destiny.

Or to put it another way, YOU GO GIRL!

Cuddleslut said...

This is only my second post of yours that I have read and I must say, I'm sold.

Sucked in. Following.

I will probably spend the rest of my night drinking Bud Light Lime from a can and devouring your entire blog so I can understand who this Scott person is.

I'm so glad I've found this!!!!

 

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