Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sold! To The Man In The Second Row With An Ax To Grind

When I was talking regularly with Mr. High School*, we sometimes talked about his marriage (which ended with his ex-wife's infidelity several years before we were in touch with one another). He called our lengthy phone calls "therapy sessions" and, between phone calls, he would sometimes drop me a note (snail mail style) and ask how much he owed for our last therapy session or tell me how much he appreciated those conversations.

He told me how even before the infidelity, his wife had controlled all the money coming into the house and no matter how many hours he worked or how much money he made, she gave him an "allowance" of thirty dollars a week. According to him, she spent the rest of his money on "crap from Princess House and Longaberger baskets" and when she left, she took all of it with her and left him with an absurd amount of credit card debt, which he paid off as part of the divorce agreement so that he could keep the house they had purchased together (as an added bonus, he got the second mortgage he had to take out to pay off the debt).

About a year or so after the divorce, Mr. High School and the Ex happened to show up at the same estate auction, where the man she left him for began bidding on a "rare" Longaberger basket. Mr. High School could not resist and began bidding as well, hoping to drive up the price. They went back and forth at a furious pace until the price was nearing $400 and then Mr. High School dropped out of the bidding and the Ex's New Man triumphantly claimed the ridiculously overpriced basket for his lovely lady.

The friend who was there with Mr. High School said, "Man, that was crazy! What would you have done if he had stopped bidding?"

And Mr. High School said, "I would've paid for the basket, taken it home, set it on top of my television set and sat in my recliner looking at it and thinking, 'There's one of those sons-of-bitches I paid for that I actually got to keep.' And it would've been worth every penny."

*It's always hard to pick a single Mr. High School post to link to--anyone interested in the whole angsty saga can find the links to most of the MHS posts, in order of their appearance, on the sidebar under Shallow Thoughts On Deep Things...A Masked Mom Sampler.

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