Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Wedding Reception

Working with my sisters to ready the yellow canopy and set up the tables, my stomach was tied in knots. I wanted very badly to have my relatives believe my life was normal. I suppose I assumed that because I lived on the south side, they couldn't see my day to day life and had no idea what kinds of things were going on. I wanted to preserve this illusion that was probably much more mine then theirs.

My cousin arrived with the beautiful three-tiered cake she had made and set it on the white tablecloth. As nicely dressed people began to arrive, Wilson still hadn't shown up. I welcomed my family's neighbors, friends and relatives and accepted their brightly wrapped gifts with a smile. Everything looked beautiful.
"Wilson will be here soon," I told everyone.

But while I smiled, I was in pain, unable to keep my mind off of what I knew was happening in my home.

Wilson showed up an hour later, very drunk. Elaine, arriving in her own car, carried the chili and, followed by her children, went on down to the party. Mickey smiled encouragement to me. Wilson stumbled out and went on down to the gathering. His four older children followed. Joy was wearing the pink dress and bonnet I'd bought her the Easter before. Dale was drunk too, but saw my shame and refused to get out of the van. I picked up Tammy's baby girl, the one Tammy had said she'd named for me, and took Dale's family down to introduce them. I was unable to even look in Wilson's direction.

Suddenly Wilson grabbed me and pulled me over to dance around the canopy.
"This is a traditional wedding dance," he told me, slurring his speech as he stumbled along.
I could feel my face burn hot as everyone watched. When he finally let me go, I hurried into the house, humiliated. Eventually, Wilson and his crew left. A few of the guests came into the house to say good-bye. Others just left.

Bobby took Mickey, Andrew and me home. No one was there when we arrived, but beer cans littered the floor and their contents stained the living room rug. The empty boxes they came in were stacked five feet high in the kitchen corner and Burger King wrappers littered the stairs.

I looked around; initially more exhausted and dejected than angry. Bobby waited a few minutes, not saying much of anything.

"Look," said Mickey, "Wilson's pulling up."

I looked out the storm door. Wilson was trying to parallel park in front. He had a group in the van with him. Wilson looked up and saw me in the door. He quickly turned his wheel toward the street and drove away. Now I felt the disgust and anger - at myself just as much as him.

"Fine then. The reception is done, and I’ll be d----- if most of them are going to stay another night."

Bobby left and I started cleaning. Soon Elaine came for her belongings. I had no problem with her. She had tried to help with the day and had planned on driving back that night anyway. But Dorothy was with her.

"I paid $12 for the chili's hamburger," Dorothy demanded, "Pay me back."

"I didn't ask you to spend your money."

"Give me the $12 or I'm taking Mickey back with me."

I paid her and Dorothy climbed into Elaine's car and left.

Misty, Dale and Tammy stayed. I didn't mind Dale and Tammy, but I didn't want to take care of Misty anymore. Wilson wasn't there and I didn't want him coming back, so she might as well go too. I was through taking care of his problems.

"Where's those clothes you took? I'm tired of you owning into my stuff!"

"I didn't take your d--- clothes!"

"Get out and don't f------ come back!"

She ran to the phone and called her mom. After speaking to her quickly, she hung up and came back.

"My ma's coming to get me and when she gets here, she's going to kick your a--."

"Let her come."

Dale, Tammy, and Mickey sat quietly in the living room and said nothing. After Misty threw some things into a bag, she stood at the door and waited for her ride. As I stood at the top of the landing, Misty looked up at me and swore,

"You dumb, f------ b----."

"Least I finished school," I said as I turned and walked into my room.

Misty's mother pulled up in front and honked. Misty grabbed her bag and left.


Lisa said...

Okay Cattle & Cupcakes, I'm going to post this time before you!

This section here was my hardest. It was very hard to put up, let alone re-read. This section was - without a doubt - the worst day of my life, and one in which I pushed from my mind and never mentioned at all for years.

And I didn't have a clue what to title this segment.

My son, who has never read this, called while I was trying to figure out a title. I threw some top-of-my-head ideas at him -

- "The Absloute, No Hands-Down, Worst Day of My Life"

- "Sweetie - Your Face Matches the Color of the Punch"

- "No Words to Even Name This Segment"

He has never read my site or any part of this story that I know of, and so had no idea how to answer. So after he was finished asking the question he'd called for, I went back to brainstorming.

The phone rang again, and I anwered, thinking it was him, (I don't have many callers) and said -

- "The Stuff Nightmares are Made of."

Whoever it was hung up.

There are probably reasons why I don't get many calls.

Cattle and Cupcakes said...

Yeah, I check your site almost every day for updates! You memory clarity boggles me-I can hardly remember many conversations from yesterday!

I couldn't imagine the hurt that you felt. How on earth could you DEAL with a man so selfish?! Did he emotionally berate you until you thought you couldn't get out? What kept you there? The kids?! I know you loved Roland, the SOBER Roland, but MAN!!

Cattle and Cupcakes said...

And was it Andrew that called?! Was that the son that called you?

Lisa said...

Looking back now - I think I was deeply delusional. He didn't emotionally berate me. For some reason I just couldn't see reality. I honestly don't know what that was all about.

I know that my father and I have never had a real relationship - even though he was always there, he was emotionally "different" and might even be Aspbergers. But when we bring up that type of thing - aren't we really just looking for excuses?

All these years later - I still don't know why I did what I did.

As far as clarity; I wrote most of this 15 years ago. I read back on it now - reading what I had written fifteen years ago - and there are lots of details that I didn't remember. I told someone the other day that it was $7 I paid Mickey's mother in order to keep him. When I posted this last night, I see it was $12. That's just one example. There are some things I had totally forgotten. I trust what I wrote 15 years ago because at the time I wrote it, I know I was working hard to write everything truthfully and accurately. I'm glad a wrote it down when I did. I would never be able to write all this today.

The son that called was Andrew's younger brother :)

Cattle and Cupcakes said...

I hope at the very end of your story you post pictures everyone that are sorta up to date.

I love this story. It's so tragic, but so beautiful.

Lisa said...

Thank you. You are an encouragement. :)