tagLoving WivesA Dear John Letter for Jeff

A Dear John Letter for Jeff


Dear Jeff,

By the time you read this I will have left you.

I know this is kind of cheesy leaving you a Dear John letter, but I knew there would be a horrible scene that I frankly just don't want to face. Consider me a coward if you like , but I can't face the hurt I know I'm going to cause you. You see I got bored. I'm bored living the same routine way we've lived for the last 28 years, plus the 4 years we dated in college. I'm tired of you reading my mind, and finishing sentences. Even though it feels good when you rub my neck or feet that certain special way, I just know you'll do what needs to be done just by the way I sigh, or the way I plop down into a chair or bed., and that is starting to bother me. It feels like I don't even own my own thoughts, and it is scary.

I'm also tired of our boring sex life. Oh I know you'd object most to that statement. I know I rejected your advances 98% of the time, and hold off initiating sex until I'm good and ready. You have to understand, knowing you want me gets me hot, and I love being on the edge sexually for days before finding relief in a release. And I know you've wanted to be more adventurous, but I always see you as my kids' Dad, and the thought of him getting adventurous sexually just seems inappropriate. He should be a fine upstanding conservative man. So I never sucked your dick like I wanted to, even though you made love to my pussy for hours with your SO talented tongue. And I never gave you my ass because that dick of yours is way too big! I never wanted to have trouble walking the next day baby, so you have been out of luck.

I know all of this seems hypocritical and selfish. It seems selfish because it is, and that is why I am leaving. I need the thrill of the chase, the excitement of a new lover, and you can never be that again. You were so hot when we were young, playing that guitar with Buddy in the band, riding your Harley in that sexy leather jacket, the wind in your flowing blonde locks, sweeping me off my feet on the dance floor whether at a rock and roll club or in the ballroom, the beautiful paintings you made of me and the kids. But we grew old and complacent in how we treated each other. The rock band gigs faded so you could coach soccer, the Harley is parked in the garage, buried beneath the kids sports equipment in front of the mini-van, and my knees just couldn't keep up on the dance floor. You do still have that beautiful hair though. But now the kids are grown, and I'm not comfortable in the mini-van life, which you seem to have grown to love.

I assure you, I haven't cheated on you, and you remain the only man I've ever had sex with. I have found men who interest me, though, and before I began sneaking around on you, thought it best to break it off with you. I couldn't bear the thought of disrespecting you by sneaking around, Jeff, I always loved you too much for that.

I'm sure our paths will cross again, but I do not ever want to discuss this with you. I've spoken with Sam, and requested he represent you in the divorce. He has drawn up the paperwork leaving you with everything but my clothing and personal effects, which I moved out today. I even left you ½ of my pension and took on ½ of our debt service, minus the mortgage. It's only fair, I helped incur it, and I want to be at least fair. Please, shed your tears in private, so when we meet for the kids events, we can continue to avoid a scene. But fair is fair, so if you wish to respond in a letter, I promise to read every word, and to value your parting thoughts.

Love Ellen

I read it over and over again, frozen to the spot in the kitchen where I picked it up. There were no tears, not yet. I was too numb. There was nothing to indicate this was coming. There was no expression of discontent, no hint of wanting more, no fighting, no clues of another man in her world. We touched, we kissed, we smiled, we did the little things that two people intent on growing old together. In fact, I had spent the last year trying to Romance her, trying to re-kindle our passions now that our youngest had moved out for good after completing college. I bought jewelry, only to be admonished it was too expensive, and she'd rather have chocolate. I turned the control of sex over to her because she claimed I was stressing her out by pressuring her to make love. She told me holding hands was just as good for her. I guess she did give me a clue, I just thought she was slowing down with her change of life.

So here I stood, the last to know. I grabbed a beer, and a shower. Yes, at the same time. When I finished the beer, I grabbed two more, and went back to the shower. There was no one around to admonish me for leaving a water trail on her floors. I drank intent on finishing my supply. That wasn't going to happen, I cellar fine beers like wine aficionados cellar wines. I cellared wines too I didn't make a dent in the beers I had stored, but if I had, I would have turned to my wines! I did make a serious dent in my consciousness. I woke up the next morning with a searing headache, on the floor of my basement, naked from the shower. I went upstairs, threw up everything I had consumed, went to bed and cried.

I was 11 when my grandmother died. Grandpa took me aside and talked to me a lot at the wake and the funeral. He taught me a lesson: "You get three days of mourning when someone dies. God raised the dead in three days, you can resurrect your life. Cry. Scream. Kick things. When you're old enough, drink. Get into a good bar fight. Pray. Do as much of this as you can. Then stop and get back to your life. Honor the departed by moving on. A man doesn't dwell pn a past he lost, he lives in a present he is building and the future he's moving towards."

Grandpa was wise. I considered my wife's desertion to be the death of our marriage. I cried my eyes out, drank myself silly, put holes in sheet rock walls with my fists until they were bleeding, then used furniture or whatever else was handy to get the job done. I screamed. I kicked. I drank. I barely ate, but I figured, hey beer is grain, yeast and water, just like bread, right? And wine is fruit. There, my food groups all in two bottles.

I was off for the summer. She waited until the day after the school year closed to leave. Good planning. But I woke up the Tuesday after the Friday she dropped her bomb and came out of mourning. First I called my kids. Ellen had let them know about her decision, and they had frantically tried to call me. I was too drunk to answer the phone, but assured them I was ok. I cleaned up the house, and then called my favorite charity to come and get a truckload of donations. There was no way I was going to hang on to the clutter of a failed marriage. I kept furniture that had been in the family. I boxed up pictures and photo albums, my kids could have them if they wanted. I treated all other memorabilia the same way, but threw away the ridiculous knick knacks we had acquired. What the hell did I care about the Spanish pottery or the brass cats we bought in Portugal?

The next couple of days, I visited Home Depot, purchasing flooring and carpet, paint, and oh yeah, new sheetrock. I intended to make the house my home now, the pink and coral walls and frilly curtains were history. I stopped at Sam's and signed the paperwork. He said since it was uncontested and only one lawyer was involved, our divorce would be final close to the time school went back in session. I sold the mini van, and drove down to a little dealer in a back alley downtown, I drove home in a '76 Triumph Spitfire convertible, just like I'd always wanted. British Racing Green, beige leather upholstery, and chromed wire wheels. I unpacked the Harley, which was easy after purging the garage of all that old unused clutter.

But the best move I made was to call Buddy. That call changed my life as quickly as my wife's letter, just days earlier. A half an hour after telling him what happened, Buddy and the boys descended on my home. Buddy was my best friend since third grade. We formed our band together, played ball together, took the same classes, double dated together. He was my best man. I was his. The demise of my marriage was catastrophic in his eyes, and there was no he would let me go through the metamorphosis of my home front alone.

Our band had stopped playing years ago when life intervened, but the people we had befriended had not forgotten us. When I say Buddy and the boys, there were a lot of boys. We had played for weddings, funerals, parties, and picnics for many people. We had often performed at a cheap rate or free because we liked the floks who followed us from gig to gig. Good will begets good will, and when they heard I had trashed my place with the intent to re-make it as my home, the good will gates opened wide. Over the next two weeks, painters, carpenters, masons, plumbers, every type of tradesman you can imagine fixed so much more than my walls. Within a month, you couldn't recognize my house. It was remade inside and out.

Funny thing about a crowd of guys, they come with a crowd of girls. Their wives and girls dropped by project "Jeff's House" to supervise, and soon began bringing their single friends for project "Jeff's Lovelife." No one was aggressive in their matchmaking attempts, it was too soon for that, but it was obvious that seeds were being sown, and soon I was out dancing and partying 2-3 nights a week. Impromptu barbecues and parties popped up at my house, and I never lacked for company, though I really didn't want to jump into a relationship before my divorce was final.

Buddy suggested re-forming the band. In fact he had gone out and secured gigs already, in some clubs where the owners were old friends. Before the fresh paint was dry on my house, "Buddy and Jeff" opened at Jimmie's and took over Friday nights. He hooked us up with Saturdays at a little dance club down in the city, and booked a duo act for Sunday afternoons at a popular seafood restaurant down on the water. We sounded like we had never stopped playing. We were all at similar places in our lives, where our kids had either moved out or didn't need us any more. We all looked pretty good, and all carried all our own hair, except Ronnie, our drummer. We hit it off big. Our "following" was happy to come out of hibernation and paid their covers to pack the houses every night.

My sons visited every chance they got, helping with my renovation and even sitting in with the band once in a while. I had them under strict orders not to tell their mom a thing about me, and if she asked, tell the truth. "Dad was very upset, but has moved on and is fine." My daughter who lived in Australia with her finacee, was under similar instruction. My kids were good to me, and I had always trusted them to respect my wishes. I knew they were truthful when they told me Ellen was getting no information from them of my well being.

I also took time to fight solitude by enforcing healthy habits, improving my diet, and stepping up my exercise routines. I never let myself go out of shape, but now hit the pool with vigor, and the road (running or biking) with determination. Every evening, even before going to a gig, I also lifted, alternating leg days with upper body.

I had remade my home, my social stature, my activity calendar, my relationship with my kids, and my body within a month of Ellen's departure. I guess it was time to respond to her letter. After all, she had invited it, right?

Dear Ellen,

Thanks. You were right.



I emailed it to her. Short and sweet, it said it all. I didn't have her new address, and actually didn't want it. Someone tried to tell me she had hooked up with some handsome kid my daughter's age who drove a fancy car and was a real smooth talker. They had been seen together down at the shore in clubs and on the beach. Anytime someone told me about her, I politely told them I didn't care to hear. But we had many friends, and those little pieces soon fit together to paint a picture of a torrid September-June Romance. Maybe October-June. November- May? It didn't matter to me, I actually wished her well. Grandpas three day rule had me all "moved on," and I liked the me-right-now too much to dwell on the us-that-was.

The end of the summer is a sad reality of a teacher's life, but August is a hot time for a musician. This year was no exception. Buddy and I were booked into festival after festival, right through September. Labor Day had us playing 2-3 times a day. The busy schedule kept me from reading her emailed response. I wasn't ignoring her, I just thought we were exchanging one letter and moving on, after all, that's what she wanted, right? I just was too busy and having too much fun to check email.

In fact, I had all but forgotten my marital travails when Sam called with the news that our case had indeed taken a fast track. It seems a certain clerk with a family court judge was a fan of a certain band. I was to be officially single Friday. After a month and a half of life metamorphosis, Friday I would again be a bachelor. We were playing at an Arts festival/Street fair in town, and suddenly, all those short-short-high skirt-wearing and deeply-plunging-neckline sporting females were fair game. Cool!

The street was mobbed when we took the stage. We cranked the amps to "outdoor" settings, and let fly with our hard driving style of blues. We covered songs, we sang originals, we improvised jams on the spot, and had people partying heartily. It felt really good. The guys had dug into the vaults and found our masters from back in the day, We never did get around to cutting a record before we started having kids, but we found plenty of material to fill a couple of makeshift albums now. CD's are much easier to produce than vinyl used to be, and we put together old and new tracks, and the sales table was doing a brisk trade. I was getting looks from women of all ages that had me truly ready to break my sex drought. I didn't see Ellen in the crowd. I missed her attempt to get behind the stage, as I slung my guitar on the backbar which I had put on my bike years ago especially for guitar transport. I didn't see her running towards me as Michelle, a 30 something buxom blonde swung her leg to sit behind me. I didn't see her face drop as she realized another woman was sitting in her seat for the first time in the entire life of my 25 year old bike. I didn't see a tear form as I drove off away from her. I wish I had.

Michelle was awesome. I'm not going to tell you about how I buried my face in her ample cleavage or blow by blow descriptions of her blow by blow job, or how much cum I deposited after weeks of denial, look for another story. Suffice it to say, I went after her all night long, rebounding like a 16 year old and cumming like a horse. I totally wore her out. At the end of the night, she told me she would never forget me for our time together, but suggested I not to call her again. I guess she was afraid of how long it would take her to recover and be able to walk normally.

I didn't think I could avoid Ellen forever. And I didn't. I next spotted Ellen next at our regular Friday night gig at Jimmy's. She came in the door with her boy toy and another young couple. They found a table, ordered beers. As soon as I saw her, I gave the boys a sign that we were moving outside our prepared set list. The band had always loved playing "American Woman" back in the day whenever we spotted an ex girlfriend in the house, and it was always the offended guy who got the mic as soon as the girl was spotted. It was our way of closing ranks in respect of our friend. We clung tenaciously to the ideal that a girl who broke up with one of us wasn't good for any of us, and none of us ever crossed the line to date another's ex.

I began the guitar riff in the slower style Lenny Kravitz popularized when he covered the tune. I never enjoyed the tune more as I sang with all the soul I could muster. The guitar solos were memorable, and really got the crowd going. I didn't see Ellen's face drop when she recognized we were playing this old tune for her, but Buddy's wife did. She later told me tears began to well as I sang the lines "stay away from me" and "go on and let me be" and streamed freely at "Don't come knockin' around my door, I don't wanna see your face no more." She left before the end of the song, barely in control. Boy toy and friends didn't go with her, and stayed for hours drinking and dancing. I guess there was some trouble in paradise.

A week later I got a visit from my older son. Apparently Ellen and Boy Toy had it out that night. He was apparently tiring of her charms, and she was tiring from keeping up with the activity levels, sexual and non, of a twenty something boyfriend. He was upset that she had restricted his lifestyle by avoiding places where we played. Word had gotten out the band was actively gigging again, and wherever we played was the place to be. It also turned out that he was more than displeased that she had given up property rights in the divorce, and had been planning to move into my house. I had suspected he was gold digging, but what a usurper. I guess he didn't know of our prenup agreement that if either of us left the family for greener pastures, we left completely. The other would keep the home, the money, the furniture, the accumulated material of a life together, regardless of how short or long that life had lasted. It was her Dad's idea, since he didn't trust any man's intentions with his little girl. I had no intention to harm her, so I would have signed anything. Apparently Ellen remembered, and that was probably why she proposed such an easy to accept divorce agreement.

Boy Toy had sent her packing and she had spent the last night crying to the kids over the phone. I really did feel for her, but remember, I had spent my three days in mourning for my marriage, and was now free to care without being affected myself. The kids were not happy with my attitude. Of course, they saw me as still unattached, and believed I should take their Mom back into the family home, at least to help her get on her feet. I disagreed. To take her in meant I'd have to be responsible for the mood swings she would undoubtedly experience in spades. The normal menopausal experience she shared with me prior to the divorce was bad enough, dealing with them, her feelings of rejection by Boy Toy, humiliation in crawling back to me plus potential guilt over dumping me in the first place were not items I wanted to add to my daily menu. I was eating better, living a simpler uncluttered life in a clean uncluttered home, enjoying my golden career years as a highly respected teacher, having a ball with my band and playing duo gigs with Buddy, and my love life had never been active. I couldn't imagine bringing home another woman only to have to introduce her to my ex-wife sitting in the living room watching TV and eating ice cream and bon-bons. No, I had never enjoyed being single this much when I was young, and had no plans to do anything to crimp that style now.

Days stretched to weeks. The kids toned down their "take her in" lobby to the point of "help her out," and I obliged by letting them raid the storage unit I had rented for the furniture and stuff that was too good for the dump when Ellen finally rented a small apartment. I even loaned them the truck the band had purchased to haul gear from gig to gig.

With the new school year in full swing and an active schedule for the band, I rarely saw Ellen. She taught in the same district, but in a different school building, so our paths crossed occasionally, but I truly didn't take notice of her when that happened. I was a popular item of discussion in the rumor mill. Maybe it was due to the frequent appearance of the Harley or the sports car. Maybe it was my enhanced activity level that carried over into school life. Maybe it was my new status as the available bachelor. Rumors didn't matter to me. The band was immensely popular, my barbecue parties were renowned as a good time, and I was never lacking for female companionship. Happy as a clam, I simply didn't miss married life.

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