Bewitched and Be Ditched – Chapter 1

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The lover who just walked out your door
Has taken all his blankets from the floor
The carpet, too, is moving under you
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue

Bob Dylan

The world mocks the old fool in his last grasp, who runs off with a young floozy so this tale I’m about to tell is pretty much a classic laugh. And yet few men would be quite so foolish as my husband Edgar, who after a four-day sex orgy with a Columbian groupie dumped me his wife of twenty years. Whatever age men are, they tend to believe they are still young cockerels and up for a hump if a young chicken comes on to them. And yes, dear reader I hear you, why would Edgar, an 84-year-old, and not a dumbo, not be suspicious of the motives of a 42-year-old floozy who had a reputation for sucking up to old guys for financial gain? Why would he convince himself she was consumed by love for his brilliant mind and his sort of still-functioning appendages rather than his pocketbook? Apparently, a greenie optimist would. 

Yeah, I know delusions are not just a masculine weakness, plenty of rich old ladies have been deluded into believing guys half their age are mad with love for them. And there are some people who don’t care and don’t mind paying. It all depends on how they want their cookies crumbed.

I remember a bearded dinosaur, not even as old as Edgar who had tried to kiss me when I was in my forties. To kiss him seemed like trying to make out with Santa Claus. I certainly would not, at my ripe old age, be deluded into believing a forty-year-old guy who dropped into my lap was attracted to my scintillating mind rather than my comfortable lifestyle. Give me Santa now and if he has a fascinating mind and sense of humor, I’ll gladly kiss him with pleasure. Don’t know about anything beyond that. 

Edgar’s sudden departure sent me into a flat spin. It was however, his second dumping of our freshly murdered but still warm marriage that caused the real kick in the gut. It was then my mind went blank — the place where memories should have been emptied. According to the therapist, memory loss is mostly a refusal to face reality; in truth I wanted anything but that! The reality was senseless, unthinkable. How could our twenty-year creative union be so disposable?  

Here’s the spoiler so you’ll know what’s coming, so you will be prepared. This is the legacy I give to you. I wasn’t given that courtesy. I wasn’t prepared for the soul crushing agony that tore my life to pieces.  I had been living in some happy bubble walking along the beach of destiny with Edgar, the love of my life. In truth I was off with the fairies drowning in the surf while a groupie lifeguard, who had latched onto Edgar’s glass balls, plotted my demise. 

Something died and the thing that died was my marriage. Do I sound bitter? So would you be bitter if a few months into the recent virulent Covid-19 pandemic, your life was shattered by horrific changes in everything you had taken for granted!  I’d believed we had formed a deep and natural union that would always be us.  I’d discovered this romance I thought I was living with Edgar was a bogus flyover, an elaborate fairy tale. And not only I’d been played for a fool, I was the fool. Just a dumb dreamer or what? You guessed it, I’m a dumb schmuck dreamer who discovered love was Russian roulette. Yeah, you could gob-smack me with a hundred reasons why an old guy, after a four-day sex orgy with a gold-digging groupie, would dump his ever-loving clever wife. Yeah, I know, I prefer to think about myself like that – it makes me feel less humiliated.

Having read this far you may be wondering where I am going with this tale, which isn’t far from my own thinking. All I can say is six months after being dumped I decided to write about this betrayal, abandonment, and heart break. To give words the power to transform my grief and total confusion, to fill in the holes in my memory because some vital information had gone missing. At best a stock taking. Personally, I would prefer to write a different story with an ending to tickle the mind and warm a romantic heart. Who needs to read this raw stuff about female rage, anger mixed with inappropriate curse words. Not many laughs in that although my friends did laugh about my aging husband who went slightly mad after he met up with a fake religious groupie. You may think the laughs in this would be a far and few between and yet I even found myself laughing hysterically when I wasn’t crying. Who wouldn’t, it is truly hysterical. 

I believe we get three chances to correct our idiocy. And Edgar is the first to admit he acted like an idiot and then threw away his three chance to end his obsession and endless lies, which ultimately was what he wanted. Human foibles make us who we are, and few people have their shit together least of Edgar. Most people would know better than to try to hold on to his past life without giving up his fantasy of having found the perfect fit to his neurosis until it was too late. 

When I first met and fell in love with Edgar, I was writing a memoir about the fascinating 1960s and my successful career in the fashion world. Not to mention my less successful series of relationships with men of my generation because successful men wanted a wife who would look after them and the kids. When I met Edgar my career had become less demanding, which made me believed I could look after him and helped him achieve his due to the fullest of his potential. 

As you can imagine I am not one to sit around thinking beautiful thoughts so over our twenty years together I did write three books. I’d just finished the corrections on the last and sent it off to the publisher with a hula hoop and sigh, what am I going to do now to keep me busy. Isn’t it enough for a mother with grown grandchildren to be content reading books or visiting museums, but where’s the pleasure in doing it alone? Which of course brings up the next question — what happened to all those fun girlfriends who once filled my empty spaces before I hooked up with Edgar? Apparently in our patriarchal world, when you get together with a guy, he takes over your life and — bam — you got only him. And twenty years later, it is only when he has time for you. Yeah, my own fault.  My mother would have mocked sarcastically — so the little miss know it all who thought she was so clever ended up just another domestic slave.

I’d previously attempted to write a novel, a sort of reworked Wuthering Heights set in in the 1950s and 60s. Great idea I’dthought, but a novel requires quite different skills to writing memoirs, my previous books. Out of curiosity I picked up the discarded manuscript and read it over. How dumb I thought. As a dyed-in-the-wool feminist, I’d played chicken. I hadn’t emphasized how our world is still at a crossroad, still dominated by egocentric men despite vast changes in equality for women. I assume all you women out there know what I’m talking about. And if I do have any sympathetic men readers, I don’t mean to insult men, I’m just telling it the way I see it. 

No doubt as you read this tale you may begin to question if I am making this up for a hoot. Let me assure you this tale is mostly true, like 98 percent. The other two percent would probably get me sued. There are a lot of uptight, easily offended people out there. Of course, I’d love it if the man-eating groupie/vampire who enticed Edgar with porno picture of her privates would sue me. Then other vulnerable Sugar Daddies would know to avoid this Columbian groupie out to strip them of their goodies. 

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