Friday, March 25, 2011

The Letter

Sharon sat at the kitchen table and stared blankly at the two pages she had written so far. Matt was gone, off again supporting his selfish interests. There was always money for new hunting gear, sports equipment or a gym membership, but what did she have? She gave up extras for herself when their first child was born. He had sacrificed nothing.

It was all there in this letter. Her anger, disappointment and dissatisfaction kept filling the pages like an overflowing toilet. Like the plumbing problems she had to fix herself, the housework and chores he never helped with, the life she seemed to be living alone with the kids . . . this too, she knew, she would have to fix alone. Writing it all down was cathartic but she was afraid she wouldn’t have the courage to give it to him.

“Thirteen years” it began. “Thirteen years and no orgasm” was what she wanted to write. What a selfish lover he had turned out to be, claiming she was frigid. Everything was her fault. There was nothing she could do right.
Sharon began to list her inferiorities. According to Matt she didn’t dress well enough, didn’t smell good enough, couldn’t cook right, didn’t keep the house clean enough, didn’t discipline the kids properly, wasn’t smart enough. She paused and thought about that one. She was the one with two college degrees, the one who wrote his papers for the classes he never finished. She was plenty smart. Hadn’t she read that book on chess after he bought that onyx chess set? He had bragged about his childhood expertise at the game so she hoped they could share some fun. Naturally he won the first game. Then she won two in a row. They hadn’t played since.

Why wasn’t he proud of her? Why did he have to belittle her? She was a different person at work, happy, cheerful, well-liked, but at home, from the moment Matt’s car, the new one, pulled into the garage, the clouds hung low and dark over her life. Just last night she had panicked when she heard the garage door opener. Dinner was almost ready, but should she have made corn instead of peas? How angry would he be?

She finished the third page with a subtle request that they go to marriage counseling. Sharon folded the pages and wondered how Matt would react to her desperation. He was unpredictable if nothing else. Perhaps she would share the letter first with her friend at work and get his opinion. She smiled to herself.

copyright 2011 by Debra Chapoton