That Sunday evening, when she knew he wouldn't pick up his cell phone, she left a message to end their relationship, once and for all. He could start his Monday morning with a dose of reality, in addition to his hangover.
"You've been sitting on the fence, so to speak, and so have I." Her voice was shaking, but strong of purpose.
"Just because we've had some kind of relationship for 18 years, doesn't mean we're in love, or even really friends. It just means we've put up with a lot of shit from each other. I'm finished putting up with your shit. I quit!"
"All the hours we've spent together, all the evenings of drinking beer, and drinking wine, and drinking whiskey, while you flit about the BBQ grill, don't amount to meaningful communication. Being a good cook isn't the only requirement for my Prince Charming."
"Sometimes, I've sat for literally hours, half listening, because you won't let me get a word in edgewise. I can't believe I've gotten to the point that I yell, "shut up,' in order to say something. I'm not rude, but I become rude for self-defense when I'm around you. I don't like that. I don't want it. I don't need it."
"Truth be known, I don't want to live in a house on Lake Lavon with you. You've told me how it would be . . . but you never asked me what I wanted--not once."
"I don't want you to give up you vices "for me." I've tried to explain you have to do it for yourself, the way you gave up smoking.
"Trying to arrange your lifestyle so another person will approve isn't anything anybody ought to do. It won't work. You develop morals from your own set of rules. You have to have a sober brain for it to work."
"I've already heard you refer to me as the "ball and chain," when you made some behavioral decision that "the guys" thought was wimping out."
"I'm too old, and too much aware of my own ego to let you get away with crap like that. I won't be anybody's whipping post."
"You just want a woman to hide behind, and blame for your shortcomings. It ain't me, babe."
"I don't want to retire in the country with you. You said you bought the trailer for me, so I'd have some civilized comforts when we spent time at the lake. You called it a "trash trailer" to be fixed up."
"It feels more to me like an invitation to become trailer trash. I'm not interested."
"I don't want you to call me, and I won't call you. We can't be friends anymore."
"You have friends getting out of prison soon, and you need to decide if you're going to take care of them--or take care of yourself. I'm not going to be around to watch you drink your beer, snort your coke, and smoke your crack. It's no longer even entertaining."
"Don't call me, and I won't call you--ever."
She would have felt better if she could have slammed down the receiver. She had called on her cell phone, so it all ended with one simple, unmelodramatic push of a little button.
And this time, she belived she had ended it. He'll probably get drunk some weekend, and invite her for a BBQ party with the greatest party favors.
She liked the party favors that always seemed to be hidden somewhere in the house. The party favors were always temptation. She always replied to his question wuth a sarcastic statement saying only if he'd "twist her arm.
He didn't have to twist her arm. And he never set limits on her.
No more limits. No more phone conversations. No more of dealing with him when he was under the spell if the devil's dust.