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|Isn't she lovely? But don't rub her the wrong way.|
This topic is a favourite with film directors, given the number of movies that have been made in this genre. Their pet theme is that of the aging and faithful wife who is abandoned by her husband for a younger model, and her reaction to get her revenge. The storyline is usually juicy and it involves all of the audience very quickly. The women feel it and the guys just have to duck. We exit the movies and we start to say something and our woman says, don't talk to me. I'm pissed at you!
My most memorable film on this subject is, "Waiting to Exhale" which added colour to the mix. Husband, who was black and successful dumps his black wife for a younger, white new woman. I thought there was going to erupt a riot in the theatre. The husband made his announcement, then said to his wife, I'm leaving now but I will be back for my clothes. What clothes would he expect to find when he came back?
Fatal Attraction was another outstanding film based on a silly premise that a man can have sex with a woman who he just met, but be expected to be hers for life. When she finds out that he is married she pulls out every nasty trick in the book to stick it to him.
The problem is that both of these stories are based on solid facts. Both also make the man the villian of the piece, when in real life women can be as irresponsible as men, and sometimes they can be more so. Here are a couple of examples that place the man as villian. Case number one involved a work colleague. We worked in a nightclub until one in the morning. After that we went to after hours club, but he always had a woman on his arm while his wife waited at home. I warned him he was cruising for a bruising, but he didn't listen.
Apparently, on this fateful night he went home as usual about 5am, and went straight into the shower to wash away the smell of the other woman, again, as usual. What he didn't notice was the pot of something on the stove that sat over a low fire. Suddenly, as he stood in the shower completely exposed his wife appeared with the pot of boiling rice and threw it over him. Why rice? Because it is sticky starch that clings to whatever surface, and on him it just burned and burned and burned. Apparently he passed out with the pain. He carried those scars with him to his death, which was an early one, but not so early that she could be charged with murder.
No man would have even thought to do something like that. Sure, we kill one another, and we torture, but that was off the chart.
I should have learned my lesson from that, but I didn't.
Several years later I was working in an hotel dining room as a person who had no love obligations. There were always visitors available to entertain, so together with one of the other waiters we did just that. However, I met one of the local ladies and a relationship developed even though she was married. Then she told me who her husband was and I nearly fainted to know that he was none other than my co-pilot and work companion. His wife said that she didn't feel guilty because he didn't care about her, and as I knew he played around rather than going home to her.
The summary of a long story is that she had a plot for him to find me in his home and in his bed where out of insane jealously he would kill me and go to jail and out of her life. It came within a whisker of happening exactly as she had planned. Hell hath no fury, indeed!
I have learned my lesson!
Having said all that I will close with the story of a couple who I came to know about 55 years ago. I knew him as my boss at the electrical power company. He was a smart guy and an absolute straight arrow family man. He worked all the hours he could find to earn a living and to personally build a house for his family. There were times when we guys from his crew would go over on our days off to help him pour concrete, so we knew how super proud he was when the house was finished and he was able to move his family in.
It was less than a year after that when the hammer fell. His wife announced that she was in love with another man whom she had had as a lover all those years when he was working to build the house. He said, I thought you loved me! She replied, "I never loved you!" And then she ordered him to move out of her house immediately. He told us he came so very close to killing her on the spot, but he realised that he could not hurt her without hurting the children. So, with a very heavy heart he left and his life went straight downhill. He became one of those people we see living in a cardboard box. We call them bums. This man was no bum, and I wonder about the stories of all of the homeless.
So, here's a project for someone who has the stamina and the courage and the heart to pursue the stories of so many people who live in sub-human conditions. What happened to bring them to such a place? I bet it would make really compelling reading.
Copyright (c) 2014 Eugene Carmichael