Getting By Ch. 02bySW_MO_Hermit©
Peter sat in the country club dining room listening to his wife Cynthia and his daughter Winona complain. They were complaining about Winona's fiancée. Cynthia had never liked or approved of Jerrod and took every opportunity to vent her dislike of him. Over the years the sweet, caring, kind and thoughtful woman he had married had morphed into an obnoxious shrew. She was very conscious of her perceived position and superiority. Peter was honest enough to admit Cynthia had been slightly stuck up in high school like many beautiful girls were. Of course to make it worse she had been a cheer leader and had the attitude to go with it. Still, all in all he felt she had been sweet, kind and caring. She just seemed to get worse as his income and position at the bank grew. Now she took every opportunity to lord it over her perceived inferiors and constantly strived to marry Winona off to one of the sons of those who she believed to be of the upper crust or who had money—preferably both. Their friends had to be professionals or well to do. She snubbed the people they had grown up with now when she consented to return to their home town. After all, she was better than them in her mind. In addition to that she had gone from being 'low maintenance' to ultra high maintenance now.
Cynthia disapproved of Jerrod, their daughter's fiancée for several reasons as far as Peter could determine. She did not like the fact he came from what she now considered an unsuitable background. His father was only a high school graduate and operated a small cabinet making shop. He also worked part time as a welder. For some reason Cynthia also disapproved of Jerrod's career as a Mechanical Engineer. Jerrod worked in one of the auto assembly plants as an engineer but in Cynthia's mind he had a blue collar job and was not fitted either by position or background to be Winona's husband. Several times in the past when a friend asked her what Jerrod did for a living Cynthia would sneeringly say, "Oh, he works at the assembly plant building cars," thus giving the impression he worked on the assembly line instead of working ON the assembly line.
Over the years as Peter had risen through the ranks in the banking industry Cynthia had forgotten they both came from working class families. Several years ago she had cut down on their visits to their families. Although she had not specifically given a valid reason Pete thought that was because they were no longer suitable in her eyes. Peter felt as if Cynthia was ashamed of their families, as if she thought they or she at least was better than them and it was beneath her to associate with them.
Winona and Jerrod had been supposed to meet Peter and Cynthia at a large "do" at the country club this evening. When Winona stomped into the club without Jerrod she angrily told them Jerrod was not coming. She said before he could leave home and pick her up Jerrod received a phone call from his mother informing him his father had been killed in an accident. Understandably Jerrod rushed off to be with his mother. Unfortunately Winona and Cynthia disagreed with Jerrod's actions. Also unfortunately and to Pete's disgust their disagreement was rather vocal and was quite loud.
After a few more disrespectful comments about Jerrod Winona looked up and smiled. One of her old boyfriends was approaching the table with a large smarmy smile on his face. He looked first at Pete then Cynthia and said, "Good evening Mr. and Mrs. Youngblood. How are you this beautiful evening?"
He then turned his attention to Winona and gave her a quick hug. He smiled and wrapped his arm around her then asked, "I saw you here all alone with your parents and wondered if you would do me the honor of dancing with me?"
Winona smiled widely and glanced at her mother. Cynthia smiled and gave her head a slight nod. Winona turned back to the shallow sounding young man and said, "It would be my pleasure." She allowed him to lead her onto the dance floor.
Pete watched as Winona and the young man moved quickly and flawlessly into the dance. She acted as if she had no care in the world other than having a good time. She was smiling and laughing while she flirted with the young never do well. To his disgust an older man followed the young one to their table. While Pete watched Winona that man had led Cynthia onto the dance floor. Pete seethed inside while he watched Cindy smile and lean against the man as they moved with the music. He was one of the more notorious womanizers of the club and disgusted Pete badly.
As the evening progressed Pete became more and more upset at his daughter and wife. Neither of the women was being very conscious of propriety as they danced. Winona was allowing her partner to take liberties that made Peter's blood boil with anger and disgust. He had already discussed her behavior with her once this evening and as far as he could tell she had only become more blatant in her actions.
Cynthia had become angry with Peter when he chastised Winona. He supposed she had elected to show her displeasure by allowing Saul to dance with her. She knew Pete disliked him so she was using him to get back at Pete. When the dance ended instead of coming back to the table she allowed another of the players to dance with her. Over the course of the next thirty minutes or so Cynthia allowed the three or four worst womanizers in the club to keep her on the dance floor.
Peter finally had enough. He moved onto the dance floor and cut in. Cindy at first refused to let Pete take her from her current partner. When he began catching attention from other dancers she reluctantly moved into his arms. Before the dance ended however she left his embrace and went to the ladies room leaving Pete standing on the floor looking silly.
Pete angrily returned to their table and picked up his drink. He killed it and ordered another. He threw it back and requested another. By then Cynthia had returned from the ladies room. The asshole he had cut in on smiled when he saw her come from the ladies room and met her at the end of the hallway. They talked a moment and he led her onto the dance floor once again. Pete watched in anger then took another drink. He was rapidly becoming drunk while he sat and watched his "ladies" on the dance floor. He was also thinking once again about the conversation they had before they had left him at the table and took to the dance floor with other men.
Peter leaned back in his chair and played the conversation over in his mind once more. He and Cynthia had looked up when their daughter approached the table alone. Winona's and Jerrod's meal had already been delivered to the table. Winona had looked down at the now cold meal and glared. Her mother looked up at her with a smile that soon changed to a worried look and said, "I'm sorry about the cold food Honey. I was so sure you would be on time I told the waiter to leave it for you when he served us. Where's Jerrod dear? Why were you kids so late?"
"Jerrod's not coming mother. He would rather go home to see his mother than be here with me."
"OH, you poor dear. What excuse did he use this time? Honestly, that boy will never learn will he? You could do so much better than him dear."
Peter remembered his shock at the vitriol when Winona explained about Jerrod's father's death. It had seemed as if she believed Jerrod had arranged the death to derail Winona's plans for the evening. Winona had immediately launched into a long complaint about Jerrod's insensitivity to her and her needs. He said, "Now Honey calm down. He couldn't help this and you know it. His father died for God's sake. Why are you here? Why aren't you going home with him Winona?"
Winona had looked at her father in shock. She took a deep breath and said, "Yes he could help this Daddy. There's nothing he can do at home tonight. Hell he won't even get there until almost midnight. He could have brought me here to the dance tonight like he promised and then gone home tomorrow. We had this planned for weeks and you know it. As for being there with him I couldn't have even if I had been willing to go. He didn't even call me to tell me he was going home instead of coming here with me like he was supposed to do. When I called him to find out where he was and why he was so late he said he had been so worried about his mother he had even forgotten our date tonight. Besides, going to that hick town he calls home is absolutely the last thing I have any intention of doing. I wouldn't have gone even if he had remembered to call me and ask."
Pete had stared at Winona in disgust. He wondered how his sweet loving daughter had managed to grow up into such an uncaring selfish bitch. He began to tell her she was overacting when his wife placed her hand on Winona's forearm and said, "We understand Honey. I've always thought he was a thoughtless man. You can do so much better than Jerrod. There was no reason for him to not bring you out here tonight. Now, let's call the waiter and see if they can get you a warm plate. The night's still young. Maybe one of your old friends will be here and you can at least enjoy part of the evening."
That conversation had occurred just before Winona and Cynthia had been swept onto the dance floor by the two men. That conversation and Cynthia's subsequent actions was also why Peter sat at his table pondering his marriage and watching his wife dance with her four assholes. He knew he had a few too many drinks as he watched his daughter and wife dance with all the shallow womanizers and posers that frequented these galas. In his opinion Winona was allowing way too much familiarity from all of the young men she danced with. He would have been slightly upset had he seen Jerrod doing some of the things to Winona that he saw other men do that evening and he had been expecting Jerrod to be his son in law.
Finally Winona and Cynthia returned to the table for a short time. The silence was thick enough to cut with a knife as the saying goes. Winona quickly left to dance once more. As the evening progressed Peter had became even more upset at his wife's attitude. After the second or third time Winona returned to the table Peter had once more tried to reason with her about her attitude toward what Jerrod had done this night. He also pointed out it was inappropriate for an engaged woman to act as she was on the dance floor. All he had done was make both women angrier. His attempts to make Winona understand Jerrod's actions had angered his wife. They sat and watched Winona dance twice more. She was laughing and flirting as if she had no cares in the world. Men were almost fighting for a chance to get her out on the dance floor. Peter had been glaring at his only daughter when Cynthia leaned across the table and hissed at him, "Are you just going to sit there all night drinking or are we going to dance Peter? I came here to dance and socialize. All you have done is sit here and drink and make derogatory remarks to Winona and me about our friends and lives. You seem intent on embarrassing me this evening. You won't let me dance with our friends so at least you could dance with me to show we are socializing here."
Peter felt another surge of anger when he looked at Cynthia after that statement. Her eyes were flashing and her lips were pressed together in anger. He began to see where Winona had gotten her attitude. He couldn't believe he hadn't noticed this in his wife before. When they had married they had been from working class families. He had gone to college then graduate school and worked his way up in the banking industry. Now that he thought about it Cynthia had always demanded more social mixing than he wanted or than was required by his position in the bank. She had always idolized those who had more money than they did or who came from prominent families. Peter had gotten in the habit of routinely acquiescing to her demands to attend banquets and social events in order to keep harmony in the household. Of course he did admit it was important for him to socialize some because of his position. He now realized at some time Cynthia had forgotten her roots and it saddened him. Worse to him was what she had turned their daughter into—a selfish self centered little society bitch.
After that thought came to him he unwillingly rose and held his hand out to his wife. He gave her a smile that looked more like a grimace and asked her to dance in an attempt to placate her. She primly took it and allowed him to lead her to the dance floor. Cynthia smiled and nodded to a few people in an almost regal manner as they walked past them on the way to the dance floor. Cynthia was stiff, still angry through the first dance. Midway through the second one she began to relax. Peter saw her staring across his shoulder and turned to see what she was staring at. Winona was plastered against one of her old boyfriends, her head on his chest while one of his hands rubbed the cheek of her ass and the other was resting on the outside of her breast.
Peter had muttered, "That girl."
"What?" Cynthia saw where he was looking and giggled. She then smiled up at Peter and continued, "Oh, yes. Isn't that sweet? It didn't take her long to find someone more suited did it? I'm glad. He's so much better for her than Jerrod was. I hope they start dating again."
Peter said, "Cynthia how can you say that? Jerrod treated Winona like royalty and if I remember correctly that young man treated her like crap. Jerrod is an Engineer for Christ's sake and that boy barely made it through college. He only has a BS in General Studies. How much more useless a degree can you get? You need to talk some sense into that girl if it isn't too late already. If you don't I will."
Cynthia stiffened in anger once again and hissed, "You'll do no such thing Peter. I know what's best for Winona and it sure isn't Mr. High and Mighty Jerrod. He's always running off for one reason or another and leaving Winona hanging. Tonight is just another instance of his high handed attitude. I'm going to do everything I can to see she keeps her backbone this time. That young man comes from a good family, a moneyed family and Jerrod's father is a damn carpenter for God's sake! Winona can do much better than a blue collar worker's son that builds cars. I don't care if he is an engineer Jerrod will never be worth the sweat off William's brow."
Peter said, "Bullshit. Have you forgotten what OUR parents did for a living? Like I said, if you don't talk to her I will. I've had it with that girl."
Cynthia stiffened and pulled away from Peter when he said that. She glared at him and said, "You'll do no such thing Peter. If you so much as say one more word in support of Jerrod or against William you will be very sorry. And no, I haven't forgotten what our parents had to do to survive. We're above that now though and I won't see Winona lower herself to those levels if I can help it." She glared at Peter then stomped off toward the restrooms leaving him standing on the dance floor once again.
After Cynthia had gone down the hallway out of sight Peter walked angrily back to his chair. He finished two more drinks before Cynthia came back into sight. She looked around the room until she saw Winona and smiled. Winona was sitting at a table with her old boyfriend. Cynthia walked over to her daughter. She took a seat at the table with them and talked a few minutes. Cynthia gave Winona a gentle kiss on the cheek, stood and started toward the table she and Peter were using. Partway across the floor she was stopped by one of the other members and whisked onto the dance floor once more. For the next 30 minutes Cynthia danced with first one man and then another never returning to her husband's table. Peter continued to drink and glare at his wife and daughter.
Finally Cynthia returned to their table. Peter stared up at her from his now bleary eyes when she approached. She scowled at Peter and said, "You're drunk! Honestly, I don't know why I married you sometimes. How could you? You embarrass your daughter taking sides against her in favor of Jerrod and then you embarrass me by getting drunk here in public."
Peter looked up at Cynthia through his bleary eyes and slurred out, "Well Fuck You. You're just like her aren't you? Or should I say she's just like you? I can't believe I've been married to you almost 25 years and I'm just now realizing how heartless and self centered you are. Cynthia you've turned into a snob! I liked you much better when you were just plain Cindy! And another thing, I am Pete. That's what I was called all my life until you got uppity and decided I needed to use my full name. I don't like it. I don't like it at all. I don't like what you've become either."
Peter stood and swayed back and forth. He looked at Cynthia and said, "I'm going home. If you're going with me come on." Cynthia stood and watched him stagger across the floor. She was shocked. She wondered what in the world had happened this evening. Jerrod wasn't even in the room and he had caused trouble. She really hated that man. Now he had even caused problems between her and Peter. It would take her weeks to get him back under her thumb again if she wasn't careful. Her friends at the club were right. She did deserve better than this.
Cynthia scurried off after Peter seething inside. She caught up with him at the Valet Parking area. When he saw her approaching the Valet heaved a sigh of relief. He had decided Peter was too drunk to drive and was going to refuse to let him have his keys. He smiled at Cynthia and handed the car keys to her. "Looks like you had better drive Ma'am. Here are your keys."
Cynthia grabbed the keys from the Valet and stomped toward the driver's door. She flushed in embarrassment as the attendant helped Peter into the passenger seat. After the doors were closed she hissed, "You've done it again. How could you embarrass me in front of the help? This has been an evening from hell."
The next day Peter woke to sunlight streaming into the bedroom and hitting him in the eyes. His head was throbbing. His mouth was full of cotton and his stomach lurched. He almost threw up when he rolled to the side of the bed and sat cradling his head in his hands, elbows on his knees. Finally with an extreme effort he rose and stumbled into the bathroom. He took a badly needed piss then turned to the shower. He had no idea how long he showered. He only knew the cool almost cold shower seemed to help his throbbing head. Of course it could just be that the three aspirin he had taken were finally taking hold.
Peter pulled his robe on and walked listlessly downstairs. He didn't see or hear either Cynthia or Winona so he wandered through the house to the kitchen looking for them. He did not find either Cynthia or Winona. He did not hear any sound. When he got to the kitchen he found about a half inch of cold coffee in the coffee maker. When he looked in the garage neither Cynthia's Mercedes nor Winona's BMW were there. Peter looked around the house in the locations they normally left notes to each other once more and found none. He had no idea where either of his women was. Pete looked at the clock and groaned. It was almost noon. He had badly missed his T time for his every Saturday morning golf game. He felt slightly bad about letting the gang down but what the hell. They could have called if they wanted to and as far as he knew they hadn't.
Peter made a new pot of coffee and poured a cup. He slowly walked into his home office. He sat in his desk chair and leaned back. Pete put his feet on the desk and rested his cup of coffee on his stomach as he once again thought about the previous evening. He also thought about the disrespect and disdain Cynthia had shown him over the last two or three years.
Pete began to wonder where he had gone wrong and what had happened to his family. He was finishing his fourth cup of coffee when he heard the garage door open. He walked into the kitchen to see which of the women had come home. It was Cynthia. She gasped when she saw him standing in the kitchen.