Rob and Lori Ch. 03byJust Plain Bob©
Working part-time at the store with my dad was one thing, but working full time was something totally different. To put it simply, dad was set in his ways. I had a fresh Business Management degree and a ton of new ideas to expand the business and increase profits, but every suggestion I made was met with:
"That's not the way we do things" or "I see no reason to change something that has worked well all these years."
It slowly dawned on me that unless or until my father died all I was ever going to be was a clerk in the store except for the times he took a couple of days off and left me in charge. Quite frankly, that was not going to be enough for me.
I sent out resumes and pretty soon I found myself working for XYZ Corporation. To say that my father didn't take it well would be an understatement. In fact it drove a wedge between us. It was so bad that it was totally uncomfortable whenever I stopped by the house to visit. I did my best to try and explain to him why the move was necessary, but he wouldn't listen and he wouldn't accept it.
Lori and I were living in an apartment and trying to save money for a house. Lori was happy with her job and I was doing well at XYZ. Lori made it clear before we got married that while she wanted kids some day she was not in any hurry. She said that she had not invested her time and money in getting a degree just so she could sit at home and raise babies. To make sure that there were no surprises she was on birth control pills AND she used a diaphragm AND I was expected to use condoms. Using rubbers was a small price to pay for a sex life that included sex four and five times a week and I was not required to use the rubber raincoat when we did anal which Lori liked a lot.
Marriage did not change Lori; she was still as strong willed as ever and determined to have her own way only now it was over things like furniture, appliances, vehicles and other things like that. We went furniture shopping for the apartment and hit half a dozen different stores without my seeing anything that I liked. Lori saw a few things that she seemed to like and she asked me my opinion and I didn't have a favorable one. Two days later I came home from work and found a new couch, love seat and easy chair in the living room and they were the ones I told Lori that I didn't like. What I wanted didn't count as far as she was concerned.
We needed a refrigerator and the one she wanted I told her not to get and pointed at a different model and told her that it would be a better one. Then I came home from work and found the one she wanted sitting in the kitchen. I got the last laugh on that one. One of the reasons I told her not to get that particular fridge was that I knew that it was too tall to fit under the cabinets over the space where the fridge was supposed to go. The model also had cold water and ice cube dispensers in the door, but I knew that there were no water lines anywhere close to where the fridge would go. As a result the fridge sat out in the middle of the floor where we had to walk around it whenever we were in the kitchen.
I stopped going shopping with her since she would always buy whatever I said no to. That included clothing. If I told her that a dress she tried on didn't look good on her that is the one she would buy. I finally got to the point where I let her do whatever she wanted. That is not to say that I let her run roughshod over me. I was looking for a recliner and Lori went with me when I went looking. I narrowed my choices down to two and then went home to think about it. The next day when I got home I found that Lori had ordered me one and it was not one of the two I was interested in so I sent it back which pissed Lori off no end. She responded the way that women all over the world did when they were displeased -- she cut me off. We went five days without making love which I thought was stupid since she liked sex as much as I did so she in effect cut herself off. When she was ready to 'forgive me' I told her that I was too tired and made her go three more days before giving in to her. It happened twice more, but I always paid her back in kind. If she cut me off for four days I made her wait an additional five days before I gave in. Eventually she figured out what I was doing and stopped using sex as a weapon.
We finally saved up enough money to put a down payment on a house and of course Lori and I didn't agree on which one to buy. After a month of looking I finally told her that she could pick the house, but I got to pick the lot and neighborhood and we moved on.
It was in the fifth year of our marriage that something that disturbed me greatly occurred. Lori came up with tickets to the opera and I just flat refused to go with her. I did like classical music, but I could not stand opera or ballet. When I said no Lori just shrugged and said that she would get someone from work to go with her.
The afternoon of the performance I decided that I could at least 'soften the blow' so to speak. When I got off work I stopped and got a dozen roses and drove over to where Lori worked. I planned on taking her to dinner before the performance. I was parked in the employee's parking lot next to her car when quitting time came. I saw Lori come out the front door and as soon as she came to the end of the sidewalk a car pulled up and she got in. As it pulled away from the curb I saw that the driver was Randy Combs. I got out of my car and put the roses on Lori's front seat and then I followed them. They drove to the Longhorn Steak House and went inside. I sat and waited until they came out and then I followed them to the Ashton Auditorium which was where the opera was being performed. I was still sitting where I could see Randy's car when the crowd started streaming out of the building. I followed them back to Lori's car and I saw her lean over and kiss Randy before getting out of his car and into hers.
I drove home and was sitting on the couch flipping channels on the TV when Lori came in. There hadn't been enough time between my leaving and hurrying home and Lori's arrival for them to have done anything so at least I didn't have to worry about following Randy into her, but I did have to wonder if I might have in the past.
"How was the show?"
"It was fine, but a strange thing happened."
"Oh? The costume fall off of the fat lady?"
"No, nothing like that. I rode over to the auditorium with the girl I gave the extra ticket too and when we got back to my car I found a dozen roses on the front seat."
"Maybe you should think about locking your car. Where are the roses?"
"I tossed them on the ground. I thought that whoever put them there might be watching and I wanted them to know that I wasn't amused."
I certainly wasn't amused. Lori had just flat out lied to me. She rode to the opera with the girl she had given the extra ticket to? I wasn't aware that Randy had undergone a sex change operation. I followed Lori up to bed and we made love before Lori rolled over and went to sleep. I laid there staring up at the ceiling and wondered about what other lies Lori might have told me. How many other times had she gotten together with Randy since we had gotten married? True, they hadn't done anything that night except have dinner and go to the opera and the kiss she gave him didn't seem all that hot, but that was that time. What had they done the other times if indeed there were other times? I thought back and remembered that every time we were separated, for whatever reason, it always seemed to be Randy she ended up with. When I finally did fall asleep it was not a restful sleep.
Lori's trip to the opera made me start thinking and the thoughts I was having were not all that nice. The biggie of course was "Is my wife cheating on me?" I couldn't bring myself to believe that she was, but I did start paying more attention to the things she said and did -- or said that she was doing -- and I did spend a lot of time looking for clues that all wasn't right with us. I didn't notice anything that rang any bells and after several months I relaxed my vigil.
Another couple of months went by and one night Lori came home and informed me that she had another two tickets for the opera.
"Are you going with me this time?"
"No sweetie, opera and ballet are two things I could never get into. Why don't you take the friend who went with you last time?"
"I'll see if she wants to go. If she doesn't I'm sure that I can find someone."
The night of the opera I was again outside Lori's office waiting for her to get off work only this time I wasn't parked next to her. I was parked in the back where I could see her car and the front door. This time she got in her car and I followed her as she drove to the Super 8 Motel on Benson. She pulled into the parking lot, walked up to the door of room116 and knocked. The door opened and there stood Randy Combs. He leaned forward and kissed Lori and then came out of the room and got into Lori's car. I followed them to Mario's and watched as they went in. Forty minutes later they came out and drove to the auditorium and I settled in to wait. Two hours later people came flooding out and I followed Lori and Randy back to room 116. They both got out of the car and went inside.
There it was. Lori was cheating on me. I debated sitting there and confronting her when she came out, but then decided that I needed to put some space between us until I had a chance to cool down. The way I felt when I saw the two of them enter the room and close the door behind them I could do some great bodily harm to the both of them. Just as I turned the key to start the car the door opened and Lori came out. Randy walked her to her car, they kissed and then she got in the car and Randy returned to the room. That left me thoroughly confused. Lori wasn't in the room long enough for them to do much more than exchange some kisses and that made no sense. Rent a motel room for a couple of kisses?
I drove like a mad man and broke a dozen traffic laws to beat Lori home and I made it just by a hair. I was sitting on the bed taking off my shoes when Lori came into the room. I looked up at her and said:
"It was one of Vivaldi's shorter ones."
"Any trouble getting rid of the extra ticket?"
"No. Mary took it and told me that she would be more than happy to go with me whenever I could get tickets."
I had my socks off by then and she walked over to me, pushed me down on my back and pulled my boxers down. She said:
"You don't really deserve this since you make me go to the opera without you, but lucky for you I am horny tonight."
She went down on me and after several minutes of very good head I returned the favor and then we made love. I didn't sleep well that night either as I laid there staring at the ceiling and thinking about the fact that Lori had lied to me again. And just what the hell was going on with her and Randy?
I spent the next two months watching and checking up on Lori, but found nothing. I was right on the edge of confronting Lori when the wheels came off of our marriage.
I came home from work one night to find Lori and Randy sitting on the couch in the living room. I walked in and Lori said:
"Good! You're home. Now we can get this over with."
"Get what over with?"
"Since you cheated on me I have decided to get even with you."
"What? Are you out of your mind? I have never cheated on you."
"No use denying it Rob; I have witnesses."
"How in the hell can you have witnesses to something that never happened?"
"Of course you are denying it Rob; that was to be expected. This is how it will go. Randy is going to spend the night with me. You can leave and go to a motel or you can sleep in the spare bedroom. In the morning we will be even and we can sit down and discuss where we will go from there."
I started to say something and then just clamped my jaw shut. I went up to the bedroom, got out a suitcase and packed enough clothes for a couple of days. I got my toiletries out of the bathroom and headed downstairs to the living room. I stopped and looked at Lori.
"I have never cheated on you. I have never even once thought about cheating on you, but I don't believe that you can say the same. I know all about the time you spend with Randy. I know he is your opera buddy and not some girl you work with. I know all about the last opera that you went to and how it ended up in room 116 of the Super 8. You are dead wrong about my cheating on you and there is one more thing you are wrong about. There will not be a sit down in the morning to discuss where we will go from here. I have already made that decision. We won't be going anywhere, but I will be. I'm out of here. Take your sex-toy up to the bedroom and enjoy him for the rest of your life because I'm gone!"
I walked out the door without looking back. My cell went off before I reached the end of the block. It was Lori of course so I turned the phone off. I checked into a motel and in the morning I went into work and told Harv (my boss) what had happened and that I was going to have to resign and leave town. He told me not to be hasty and give him a couple of hours.
Maria, my secretary, handed me a pile of message slips when I got to my office. They were all from Lori and I tossed them into the trash. I turned on my cell and found that I had eleven missed messages and five voicemails -- all from Lori. I deleted them and then I took the stapler on my desk and smashed the phone into little pieces and threw the pieces into the wastebasket. I called Maria in and explained what had happened and apologized for putting her in the middle when I asked her to block all calls from Lori.
After Maria went back to her desk I started clearing mine so I wouldn't leave a mess for my replacement. At ten-thirty Harv called me into his office and when I got there he asked me if I would take a transfer to the Detroit office. I said it would work for me providing Lori would be told that I had come in and quit. Harv said he would keep the transfer between him, Maria and Marge Whitlow who was our manager of Human Recourses. I went back to my office and finished clearing most of my work.
At lunch I signed up for a cell phone, got a new phone and phone number and then I hit the bank and took out everything. I didn't have to do anything with the credit cards because Lori and I each had our own in our own names. I filled out a power of attorney and sent it to my sister Ellen to give to Lori so she could sell the house. The money from the house would make up for me cleaning out the savings, checking and taking the CDs from the safe deposit box and would give her enough to pay for the divorce. Just before I left work I called my mom to let her know what was going on between Lori and me, but I didn't tell her about the move because I knew that Lori would get it out of her.
The next morning I was parked down the street when Lori left the house for work and by ten I had everything out of the house that I wanted loaded in my car and the U-Haul trailer I had rented. I drove over to the motel and parked and then cabbed to work. I thought it possible that Lori might show up at XYZ and I didn't want her to see the car and trailer loaded and ready to go. I finished clearing my desk by the end of the day, said goodbye to Maria and Harv and headed back to the motel. I got a good nights sleep and in the morning I headed for Detroit.
The drive to Detroit took two days and when I got there I checked into a motel about five miles from XYZ's offices and then I called home. I got my mom and told her that I was all right and gave her my new phone number and told her that under no circumstances was she to give that number to Lori.
"You need to call her Rob. The poor girl is frantic with worry."
"Not my problem mom. Let her boyfriend take care of things."
"You need to face..."
"No mother! I do not want anything more to do with Lori -- period!! Now let it be or I will hang up."
"But..." and before she could say another word I hung up on her. Twenty minutes later the phone rang and the display showed that it was my parent's home phone so I answered and heard Lori ask:
"Rob? Where are you?"
So much for my mother keeping it to herself. I disconnected and then turned the phone off until I could get the number changed.
Over the next week I checked in at the new job, found an apartment, got a new phone number and read the manual to learn how to block my number from appearing on the screen or caller ID of anyone I might call. I contacted my sister Ellen and brought her up to speed with what was going on and set it up with her to email me when she needed to get in touch with me. I got a Tracfone at Wal-Mart that I would only use to call back home with and then I settled back to enjoy my new life.
What Lori was doing with Randy freed me from my wedding vows as far as I was concerned and I started dating. I found a sweet little redhead who was open to a 'friends with benefits' relationship and all in all I was doing well. I was happy with my job, happy with my life and now it was all going to hell.
To be continued...