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He Ain't No Ike Turner.

Issue Date: Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2004

I made a phone call last week that was very hard for me to do. Well I made two tough phone calls, but we’ll only discuss one of them here.

I called my ex-husband, X.

I left in the summer of 1999 (why didn’t Prince write a song about that? Huh?). I left because of irreconcilable differences. That phrase usually means ‘cop out’ or nothing at all to those who have not been through a divorce. Maybe to those who haven’t been through it, it just means a title of an old Drew Barrymore movie that made most of our mothers cry. But to those who have been through the severance of a marriage it also means everything, a chance of survival, and a key to financial freedom, finding yourself again or even growing up.

I’m not saying that X was some masochistic bastard who beat the livin snot out of me on a regular (or irregular) basis. We just didn’t do right by each other. It is as simple as that. I was not blame free and neither was he.

We were young and stupid. I was looking for a family to take care of and he was looking for someone to take care of him and his family. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. All I knew was that I was graduating from college, I was so in love with his daughter, and X and I were best friends… It had to work… right?

That graduation day (the same day as my wedding) would start six years of laughter, tears and ungodly frustration.

We were lazy and we didn’t work on our relationship.

He took me for granted and I took for granted that he wouldn’t care what I did.

I was the disciplinarian for his daughter while he played the good guy.

I swear to you people. I have never been so lonely in my life.

Because of that loneliness I started to chat online at the direction of one of my co-workers. The people in that online chat forum filled up an empty space in my life. I lived to talk to them.

I would come home from working late, fix X’s dinner, get him dressed in his ‘costume’ [he is a night shift police officer - still] and say goodbye to him at 10pm. I never listened to the scanner for fear of hearing him get into some altercation. The town we lived in was a huge transport thoroughfare for drug trafficking an a Deputy Sheriff had lost his life doing a routine drug stop one evening a few years before I graduated. Man, that was scary!

I could only watch so much TV and we lived far enough out of town that it was a waste to go back into town for fun sport and amusement. So… I would sign on, and talk to people that I had never met before. Listen (or read) stories, real stories about these people and their lives. It was interaction. It was my lifeline.

A habit formed. I would get excited to see X pull out of the mud that served as our driveway so I could sign on. I began to bring home a six-pack of Coors Lite longnecks from the Kroger in town. On special occasions I would get a bar of Dove’s milk chocolate to go with my beer.

The six packs and the chocolate became my painkillers and the people on IRC (the chat room) became my therapists.

I was miserable.

I was living in a 1976 Redman doublewide trailer. I lived maybe 1000 feet from my mother and father in law. It took 45 effing minutes to go get gas people. We would get iced in during February and the power would go out. Oh jeebus, the cold!

The trailer was electric with a gas heater (that ran on electricity… HA HA HA!). X would forget to call and have them fill the propane tank, but it didn’t really matter, if the power went out, the heater wouldn’t work anyway. I pledged my allegiance to that Honda generator up in the shed.

I put X through the police academy so we were a one-income family for the better part of a year and a half. Which didn’t really count for much when you had a little girl (me!) with two degrees making $10 an hour. Yep, ten dolla-roonies. Sweet.

I have actually uttered the phrase, “Your daughter and I are hungry, go kill something.” And… I wasn’t kidding. You ain’t got shit on me Skah-lett. I’ll bust a move on your curtain wearin ass.

It didn’t get much better. The summer I left I was making $21,500 a year. A YEAR! We were a 52K a year household, with no mortgage. Living hand to mouth. Where did it go? Not sure. I have heard many a rumor. I have seen evidence. I am just glad to be out of there.

I’m not putting this down on paper to crucify X, his character or his family. What I do want to do is put it all behind me.

The last time I talked to X was almost two years. It was before I even met Mister, my knight in shining Lincoln.

I needed to call X to ask him to sign over some stocks to me that my parents gave to us for our first Christmas. I dreaded that phone call. I’m not sure why. I just didn’t want to call and ask him for a favor. We were best friends, then lovers, then married and then estranged. It ended badly I am sorry to say. I was not mature, and JesusGod neither was he.

The phone call went something like this:


[mumble] Yeah?

It’s Sue.

Heeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeee, how are you?

Fine. Did I wake you up?

Yeah, but hell, I needed to get up anyway. [sound of stretching]

Listen, I hate to call and ask you for a favor, … [uncomfortable pause] did you get my email about the stocks?

Naw, you know that mutha piece of shit innernet, I hardly evah get my email anymore. What’s up?

Well you know those [name of] stocks that my parents gave to you and I for our first Christmas?


I would like to change them to my new name. IjustgotmarriedlastSeptember… [breathe] andIwouldliketochangethename on the stocks tomymarriedname.

No shiiiiiiiieyet?

No shit.

Well, that’s great. Finally find you a good one huh?

Yep… he’s the best. I’m so lucky.


So, about those stocks, would you sign them over to me?

Awww Hell Suz, you know I don’t give no shiiiyet about that stuff.

Well, I would really appreciate it. I’ll send you a return address envelope and everything.

Shiiiyet, just send it oooownn [on] and I’ll sign ‘em and return ‘em.

Thanks X. So much, really.

So, How're yo' momen-ems?

[Translated loosely to being "I would like to inquire about the health and well being of your mother, your father and the rest of your ilk."]

They’re fine. I’ll let them know you asked about them. I’ll send you those papers, thanks again for signing them.

Naw problem.

20 minutes pass with him doling out gossip quicker than Aunt Maye.

Thanks again X, I really have to run.

Ah-righty, bring that new husband of yours out to meet us.

[I can barely keep from screaming “Hell NO!”] Sure, next time we’re in town. Kiss R [his daughter] for me, Bye bye.

I am an awful hateful person. The whole time he was totally civil. I just could NOT stop thinking. Holy shit, what a redneck. I was married to that???

So much water under the bridge. Really.

My sister asked me one night why I really left X and I told her. I could only wake up one time by my crying friend to hear that she felt guilty about sleeping with X the night before… confronting him with it and him saying, “Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you I slept with ___ last night.” No biggie huh? I could only go through one eptopic pregnancy with no support. I could only feed 14 people for so many nights. I could only live with a passive aggressive, matriarchal, misogynistic, holy rollin bitch of a mother in law for so long. I could only deal with the ‘language barrier’ [thanks Stacey!] of East Texas for so many years without cracking and going all postal on those sum’bitches.

I also couldn’t deal with the resentment that was growing inside of me. I was number one head honcho of martyrdom, ladies and gents. It was sickening.

Reb also asked me why I chatted on that ‘Internet thing’ and I told her I had never been so lonely in my life. Out of all the things I told my sister that was the thing that hurt her the most. That I was out there in East Texas all alone with all of these people around me. The loneliness made her cry for my pain.

To me it was all about realizing that I was not loved for who I am or was but yet how much I was willing to tolerate.


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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

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