The story of Debbie's Parking Spot vs. Bunty the Cat - an example of why I'm divorced.
DEBBIE'S PARKING ONLY. All Others Will Be Towed. We lived on the 2nd floor of a DC rowhouse converted to apartments. And my husband was a chronic liar.
He lied about things there was no reason to lie about, like saying his parents were very tall. They were both taller than he, but in reality very average. He once avoided answering his phone for a week because he'd told people he was going to London for The Ashes test cricket series. He once kept me awake all night trying to convince me that his female friend wanted him to be a surrogate father but needed my permission. She did not appreciate being called at 3 AM to verify this shit.
He was never happier than when he got someone all wound up.
At the time of this event, I was house-sitting in Silver Spring and also working at the hotel in downtown DC. I'd stop by our house on my way to let the dogs out and feed them dinner.
I wasn't trying to be mean, not truly; I was in a pretty good mood. The cats were chilling. I took some food out of the freezer and put it in the fridge for the husband to eat when he got off work at midnight. But when I called him at his workplace, something came over me:
"Hey, listen. I put some cholay in the refrigerator for you. But when I came in the house, Bunty ran out, and I can't find him. I have to go take care of the dogs. So be careful when you come home in case he's in the alley." I was looking at the cat the whole time these words came out my mouth. I felt so very clever as I went to feed the dogs.
Once the dogs were fed and walked, I sat waiting for the husband to call and chastise me for lying to him...but the call never came. I thought about calling to ask him about the cat, but decided to stick it out. By morning, he still hadn't called so I did; no answer. I went home before going to work.
I started to worry - what if something had happened to him and he never made it home? I drove a little faster. As I pulled in the alley, though, I could see his car in the usual spot. Now I was mad. How could he not call me to tell me the cat was fine when I knew the cat was fine?
So I pulled in to park, a little fast, and just touched the cinderblock wall with my bumper. And the wall fell.
First came the downstairs neighbor to see what was going on. I told him I did it, and I was already on the phone to the landlord. Next came the husband's head over the railing of our patio. As soon as he saw me, he went back into the house. By this time I had a complex mix of emotions: anger with the husband for not even asking if I was okay, for not calling, and a combination of remorse and absolute entertainment for having knocked over the wall. To be fair, the grout had been cracked since we lived there, and trumpet vine was growing between. Even if I hadn't touched it with my bumper it would have fallen eventually.
So I stormed up the stairs and into the apartment. Husband was sitting at the computer as usual, listening to The Backstreet Boys (as usual.) He didn't look up.
"Why didn't you call me last night?" I shouted. "I was worried something happened to you!"
He shrugged without looking up. My inner 5-year-old prankster was feeling a little gleeful. I pressed.
"So why didn't you call me?" This time it was his turn to shout.
"I CAME HOME LAST NIGHT AND LOOKED OUTSIDE FOR HIM FOR AN HOUR! AN HOUR!" He turned red and spittle formed in the corner of his mouth. Then he turned silent again, face to the computer.
"And where did you find him?" I was beginning to gloat a little.
The husband pointed behind him without looking, directly at the cat sitting in the middle of the room where he always sits.
Yes, I laughed. "So you don't like it when I lie to you?"
I didn't laugh as much as I'd planned, since I hadn't planned to knock down the parking bay wall. And I had to go to work. At least I knew everyone was healthy. The next day, the wall had been replaced with new cinderblocks and fresh grout. I hung my sign out there: DEBBIE'S PARKING ONLY. All Others Will Be Towed. The Husband continued to lie to me about things that didn't need lying about.