02 July 2013

Green Bay - A Road to Regret

Whenever anyone tells me they're getting divorced...I always say, "Is there any way you could stay together?"

We talked it out, and talked it out, and talked it out.  I was leaving on a business trip for London.  I was not coming back.  Instead, I was being transferred to Philadelphia and that was as far west as I was going.

A car from Amm's would pick me up for O'Hare.  After 13 years of marriage, it all was over except for, "What airline, what hotel, where do I send the divorce papers?" The car was on time and pulled onto the driveway I had blown snow off of for 11 years.  We said good bye, I turned to the door and quickly walked to the black town car.

Less than a mile later, at 176 and Green Bay Road, I realized my cell phone was in the living room.  I asked the driver to turn back.  When I walked into the house - I could hear her washing dishes and crying in the kitchen. At the sound of the door, she poked her head out of the kitchen, looked at me and smiled. I said, "I forgot my phone,"  picked it up and walked out to the black town car.  Today would've been our 25th anniversary.

I've always been envious of those who have no regrets.


M.Lane said...

That, my friend, is why God invented cocktails. I'll have one for you today.


Anonymous said...

Mine/ours would-be-25th comes next month. As contented as I am today, regrets of leaving dog me daily, I second your motion, lucky them.


The View from The Back said...

Very powerful and very true.

The View from The Back said...

Tugged at my heart with familiarity and understanding.

David V said...

After reading this all I want to do is hug my wife.

SMTSOAD said...

So true, so sad.

The only way to have no regrets is not to notice opportunities and not know when they are gone.

The last two songs you've posted have been sad and enjoyable in equal measure.

Anonymous said...


tintin said...

Anon- From The Big Kahuna:

You're saying I won't have any character unless I do something I regret?

No, Bob.
I'm saying you've already done plenty of things to regret.
You just don't know what they are.
(a beat)
It's when you discover them.
When you see the folly of something you've done, and you wish
you had it to do over but you know you can't 'cause it's too late.
So, you pick that thing up and carry it with you to remind you that
life goes on... The world will spin without you...
You really don't matter in the end.
Then...you will attain character because honesty will reach out from inside
and tattoo itself all across your face.
Until that day -- however -- you can not expect -- to go beyond a certain point.

Anonymous said...

Just trying to figure out what part you regret...the time spent? the time since? forgetting the phone? the hopeful smile you turned from when you went back for it? where does the reqret fall on the balance of your life. I know for me it sits on the higher scale.

Smitty said...

The power of now, no pain past and go easy on the projecting out. What's done is done. What is tangible is this moment. I'll have that drink that Lane hoists, but it won't be for what might have been. That's wasteful drinking. I'll drink it for right NOW!

Anonymous said...

After reading this all I want to do is ANYONE'S wife.


Main Line Sportsman said...

I have very close friends going through it right now. I always wonder why someone chooses to add domestic strife to the cocktail of life when the drink is quite harsh to begin with. I suppose most feel there is no alternative. Then the kids get hurt...sad.

Anonymous said...

My sweet friend of three decades, you have many blessings. Today is the day to count them.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes you gotta chew your own leg off to get out of life's traps.

Ben said...

Just as with anything else in life, divorce triggers mixed feelings. I truly regret being divorced but I'm glad I'm not married to my ex. Where does that leave me? Even Steven, I think. As usual.

Anonymous said...

There is a special hell reserved exclusively for the initiator.

The entire community, one and all, swoops in to help shore up those inculpable souls who've had this awful thing done "to" them.


tintin said...

Main Line- That is one of my favorite comments.

Anon- Perhaps, in this world, it's okay to remember when you fucked up.

Anon- Some folks get traps but that was not my case.

Ben- I know but it is different for all of us.

Wow. I wonder what truly rank meanness crawled up your ass to make that kind of comment.

KSB said...

He who learns must suffer, and, even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
- Aeschylus

Anonymous said...

No no no, when I said "There is a special hell reserved....," I said it from the standpoint of being the one who left a marriage, I said it from within the "special hell" that was visited upon me by the community and family for having left the marriage. I did not say it well, I hope you will reread it and see it as a dismally failed abstraction of support rather than "rank meanness."


SMTSOAD said...

F - what a fascinatingly simplistic view, clearly you've never had the stones to realise when you've made a mistake and then do something about it.

Nor do I agree that the entire community goes one way or the other, the splitting of the friends is probably the saddest part of divorce in my view.

Much as you seem a reprehensible person I hope you never find out, whether as initiator or inculpable (and I'm not sure the two are really mutually exclusive).

Smitty said...

KSB: Good one. RFK reflecting on the death of JFK.

F: I read it the way you described on my first pass.

SMTSOAD: Geez, F clarified the statement, but you still cut loose. Reprehensible?

SMTSOAD said...

F - Abject apologies, my post was written before you explained what you meant. I seem to have fallen foul of my own prejudice (and hypocritically accused you of being intolerant). Your post was open to misinterpretation but, less forgiveably, mine was not.

Smitty - reprehensible, yes, when read as it appears, but written before I understood. Even so a good lesson.

Sorry everyone.


Anonymous said...

SOAD, I sensed you were reacting from the misinterpretation, not to worry. Yes, it was WIDE open to misinterpretation. Oh, to be able to write like Tintin. Clarity was one or two words away [clubs self on head]. "A good lesson" learned here as well.


PenPen said...

Looking back has its' pains, but it is how we learn what part is right and what isn't; often time lessens our ability to discern. I imagine her pain at the time has diminished somewhat. It takes courage to make needed changes, with hindsight most of us feel we could have done something better.

Lot's wife turned to a pillar of salt for looking backward, but salt was a valuable commodity, still is.
Salty tales are your specialty and we love them. Bravo for feeling life's responsibilities and thereby encouraging our thoughts as well.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I have been arguing a lot of late. Sometimes, a fellow is lucky enough to read what he needs to read.

Julia said...

I cannot imagine. I never married, but I got pretty close. In hindsight, I feel 80% certain that my "almost marriage" would have ended in divorce after a few years. But I still wonder what it might be like to be married. The lady or the tiger?