tagLoving WivesNew Year's Evolution: Joke Over

New Year's Evolution: Joke Over

byMichaelFitzgerald©

Copyright © 2018 - This is an original work by Michael Fitzgerald and is protected under copyright by U.S. copyright law. It is only submitted at Literotica.Com. Any submission to another site has not been authorized by the Author and is an infringement of copyright. Such other site is requested to remove this story. All persons depicted in this work are fictional and at least 18 years of age.

There is something in common among some of LW's best stories. In that number I include HDK's No Reply and George Anderson's take on that story, Agena's A Joke and Nathan Sperro's Stretching His Comfort Zone. New Year's Evolution adds another link to the chain. Give Piper Hamlin credit for delivering a terrific gut punch. Qhml1 commented and got it right. It's never funny to the guy on the short end of the stick, even if he winds up, forced to laugh it off. When I read stories like these, I ask what I might have done if that happened to me? My bet is that you do too. Thanks to Piper for letting me play with his jewel of a story.

*

How we got to where we are:

It's New Years Eve and Dan is at his parents for the party, joined by his wife Nancy as well as his children Jason and Judy. In addition are his younger brother Brian and wife April, joined by their children Todd and Cameron. The party barely has started when Brian reveals to Dan that he's sleeping with Nancy. When Dan tells his mother the shocking news, she says she supports him and calls a family meeting where Dan endures a series of disastrous revelations. Everyone applauds Brian's and Nancy's liaison, Jason acknowledges that he may not be Dan's son and Judy thought her mother was a tramp. Each revelation, the group tells Dan, resulted from something sarcastic that he said, intending to be funny. Dan has taken what he just heard seriously. He can't believe he's been so badly misunderstood and ends up alone, sitting outside in the dark, wondering how things could go so wrong. Nancy comes out to join him, and we pick up the story there.

And ....

I left the room and went to the back porch. No one seemed disturbed. As far as I could tell, everyone got festive again immediately. Eventually, Nancy came out and joined me.

"Dan, you seem upset."

"Why shouldn't I be? I've just heard some of the harshest things imaginable, and everyone I am close to seems fine with it."

Nancy's eyes looked like they were smiling. I hadn't seen her eyes look like that since we were dating. She put her hand on my shoulder, "Dan, you didn't really take that seriously, did you?"

I was getting angry, but I held my tongue. Maybe Nancy could explain what had just happened. At least, I hoped so.

"Your sister Jennifer is pregnant. We'll hopefully be grandparents too at some point in the not-so-distant future. I'd like our grandchildren not to be confused on how to react to what I know will be an adoring grandfather." Nancy said this like she was speaking to a particularly slow-witted school boy.

Something you need to know about me ...

After this story first came out, I got a lot of feedback, most of it calling me an asshole for the way I treated my own mother and my kids. Honestly, I never realized the impact I was having, and I made every effort after that night to make amends to them. But you need to understand that I wasn't out of line for its own sake; I'm not a bad guy.

You need to know that I'm basically very shy. I don't pick up on the subtle social cues everyone else gets. I'm the color-blind guy in the art museum. Sure, I can see the picture; I'm just not sure why they like it. I'm the first one to get left behind in the conversation. My brother Brian is the one that everyone talks to; me, not so much. I try to reach out, but I never seem to connect. Usually, I try to tell a joke that I heard, and everybody laughed. Not when I tell it though, and more often than not, I hear someone else tell the same joke a few minutes later and do great. When it's me, people just get bored or annoyed. I never know why. I wind up embarrassed and not knowing what to do. Nancy knows all this; she married me in spite of my social failings. Even so, I may not be the life of the party but I'm not stupid.

So back to the party, the back porch and Nancy ...

I was saying "I'm so sorry" again. "I get it, Nancy. Jennifer wants me to stop making jokes that she doesn't like and - I'm finding out now - no one else likes either. I'll apologize when I go in." I said this looking out into the night. My thoughts were increasingly bleak and angry. I looked back at my beloved wife and her smiling eyes, but my face was colder. "I get what you said but what I don't get, Nancy, is this?

"Why didn't one of the people who say they love me take me aside privately and tell me what Jennifer wants? Why didn't you? When my mother said she supported me and called the meeting, she was walking me into a trap. My children knew. You knew. They were hurt. Presumably, I hurt you too. So this was what? Revenge? They're my kids. I'll always love them. They're young and they make mistakes. But you didn't make a mistake, did you, Nancy?"

Nancy shifted in her seat and put her hand on my arm to silence me. I ignored her and kept talking

"The way I figure it, Jennifer called you to say that she'd appreciate you asking me to lighten up. That left you with choices. You could come to me and tell me what Jennifer said, but what's the fun in that? Instead, you rounded everyone one up and convinced them to play your practical joke on me. You pulled the strings. I saw your eyes as you came out here. Your beautiful, gleaming eyes are betraying your; even blind-eyed me can see how you really felt. It's that obvious; I can tell. You loved what happened tonight. Tell me, Nancy did you talk about me after I walked out? Did you laugh at how totally I was crushed?

"I know I get a lot of things wrong and I'm going to have to deal with that. I keep walking into walls but that's on me and I'm not making excuses. But what about you, Nancy? What about you?" I looked off into the dark, gathering my thoughts. I never thought I would be saying what I would be saying now.

"I've always loved you. Nancy, are you saying that you think I don't?" As she listened, I could see that Nancy had begun to realize her practical joke was going off the rails. She looked at me sharply. It was time to cut this off, time to get me , her clueless husband Dan, back inside where she would calm me down and put me back in my place.

"No, Dan, I know you love me." She leaned over to kiss me but I moved away.

"And do you trust me? Have I ever done anything to make you doubt me? To doubt my word? To make you wonder whether I have your back? You trust me absolutely, don't you?"

"Dan, you know I love and trust you. But what's the point? Where is this going? What has all this to do with anything? Really, Dan, it was just a joke ..."

"I'm sorry to cut you off, Nancy, but let me make my point. You see, for years we've been a good couple. We loved and trusted each other. And, I think, we still love each other that way. But tonight, ... well, tonight, you see, I watched as you choose not to have my back. As I watched you set me up and let me suffer, I saw you enjoy what I was going through. You thought it was funny.

"Nancy, you have a secret place inside you where you say it's okay to hurt me. I don't think you go there often, but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe you go there more than I know. So no, we are not getting divorced unless you want one. And yes, our love will go on unless you stop loving me.

"Ah, ... but trust. Well, my trust in you took a big hit today. We've been together for so long and that means a lot. Let's just say I trust you "mostly." It's like they say; from now on, it's trust but verify. I'll work on being less of a social pot hole and you'll try to be better than 'mostly trustworthy.' It's not what I wanted but it's the best I can do with what we have to work with."

Nancy was looking down at her trembling hands, maybe from the cold but perhaps from something else. "Let's go in. I assume my family will be at me until each has their pound of flesh, but that's what are the Holidays for." I reached down for my wife to help her to her feet. "Put a good face on it, Nancy. No one need know what happened between us tonight. I'd hate to ruin the kids' good time. And just when I'll be so busy apologizing." Nancy followed me in but then disappeared, pulling my mother into the kitchen behind me.

Brian put his arm around me and gave me a shake. "We got you pretty good, didn't we?"

"Sure did, little brother," I acknowledged. "Yep, you guys were too sharp for me. I was totally fooled and each and every one of you got your pound of flesh out of me." I looked at my mother as she returned, and saw her wince at my comment. My father saw the exchange and went to her. They didn't look happy. The party wound down quickly after that. We were home minutes before the ball dropped. Nancy tried to cuddle but I ignore her. You wonder perhaps how I was able to handle this confrontation so well. When you don't pick up on peoples' feelings, it's easy to trample them. And, I can tell you from experience, it's easier to cross the line that not. It's easier to come across as callous than not. Having just apologized to them, I suggest you ask my kids.

And Ever After ... Something you need to know about me ...

Over the next several days, Nancy tried to talk about what had happened. She was sorry that I was still angry. What could she do to cheer me up? It was only a joke. Couldn't I let it go? Not long after, the belated New Year's presents that I ordered arrived. Everyone there got one. Each in its beautiful box, wrapped elegantly, was a gleaming one-pound brass weight, engraved "Tare weight of one pound of flesh taken from Dan Martin -- 12/31/18." Mary was opening it as I passed through the kitchen on my way to my car. I didn't wait for her reaction.

I don't "get back" at people but not because I'm noble. I just don't know how. Practical jokes just seem hurtful and I never see any humor in them. I always wind up the but of them because I never see them coming. I just knew how I felt when I got blindsided again, hurt and wary, trying to protect myself one more time.

So I dealt with it my way, which I am sure was not funny one bit. I made a habit of looking at the bank statement and receipts. Nancy used to handle the checkbook. She hated it when I started to check on her. I asked if she had a problem with me looking? Was there something she didn't want me to see? I could see she wanted to scream but what could Nancy say? Of course, I was entitled to look at our finances. I looked at little things like receipts after she's gone shopping. the phone bills, the odometer on her car. One day, Nancy came in just as I was comparing yesterday's receipts with the map, tracing her route. Just getting ready for taxes dear, I said. Nancy gasped and was gone.

Just before Valentine's Day, I had to work late and called home to tell Nancy not to hold dinner for me; I'd catch a bite near the office. I took a break around 6:30 p.m. and walked across the street to a quiet place where I've eaten for years. Nancy was sitting in a booth with a well-dressed, well-maintained man of about my age.

"Nancy, why don't you introduce me to your friend? I didn't know you had a date to tonight." Nancy blushed.

"Really, Dan, Dr. Ross isn't a date. He's my therapist. I started seeing him after, ... well, you know. And he's been really helpful. Dr. Ross suggested that you join us and see if we can help you get over your anger issues." What planet did these to loonies escape from? Then again, I get things wrong. Maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought. Maybe, they were just trying to help, especially Dr. Ross. But then I decided to say fuck it to this ambush.

"Nancy, let me get this straight. You tell your shrink that I'm having dinner and the two of you decide to trap me in a half-assed treatment session. And that's so I can get over being angry at you for betraying me. Why do you think trapping me this time will work better than the last time? Do you think this makes my trust you more?" I turned on her idiot family counselor. I didn't need savvy social skills for this. I was throwing rocks.

"What's your role in this, Doc? You're going to help me with my anger disorder? Who says I have an anger disorder? I don't recall being diagnosed by anyone. And most definitely, I don't recall consenting to be treated by you. Maybe I should give the state licensing board a call and complain about that?" Dr. Ross turned remarkably pale. At least he didn't run away. Having toasted his marshmallow, I turned to my beloved, mostly trustworthy wife. And yes, I was angry, I thought, with good reason.

"Do you really want to know how to put this behind us? It's easy. Stop lying, Nancy, to yourself and me. You rubbed my face in the shitty way I was treating people and I had to deal with it. You got off on it. You need to accept responsibility for the damage you did me. That brass weight I gave you? Put that pound of flesh on your desk. Every time you see it, promise not to be that dumb again. Do you even realize you've never apologized? " I turned and walked out. Nancy sat there, speechless. Her shrink stared into his smartphone as if it had a trap door. Maybe Nancy will step up and meet me halfway. Maybe she won't. I don't get to make that decision. But after all this, I know two things. I'll still step on peoples' toes and have to apologize again, and Nancy will never play another practical joke on me.

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by Anonymous

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by Anonymous03/21/19

I'm completely confused. Is this contest entry a sequel? To what story? I thought contest entries were supposed to be standalone stories.

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by Anonymous03/18/19

This Story Just Doesn't Cut the Mustard. (But,It Does Cut the Cheese!)

Who wrote this,the dim wit who was the butt of an inexcusable family ambush? What exactly did he do/say that would make his family try to make him believe that they were all a bunch of immoral trash? -more...

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by Anonymous03/17/19

Eh,

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by Anonymous03/10/19

Deserves a higher rating.

Dovetailed perfectly as a sequel/follow up story. A lesson learned in life kind of tale. Loving Wives is a very tough category and of the best stories here have very little or no sex involved. I enjoymore...

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by Anonymous03/09/19

This seemed plausible

I enjoyed your version ending to story but it does not feel like the actual ending more like further character development. Please continue this story till satisfying conclusion also really enjoy yourmore...

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