Some people call it freedom.

The wife flipped out yesterday around 1430.

She’s with her parents and I’m with mine. We’ve been living with mine for at least a year now.

At first, it was in two separate houses. Now, I’m (“we’re” when she was here/if she comes back) living upstairs from them in the three bedrooms and bathroom meant for my brother, sister and me nearly two decades ago.

She’s pissed at my mom for grieving for more than a month over the death of my grandfather (she also didn’t like him at all — he was kind of an asshole in his latter years). My mother took care of him from the beginning of his decline through nearly ten years until his death. The wife “doesn’t understand it.” Maybe that’s understandable — no one close to her has died since her grandmother (who raised her and her sister while their parents worked) long ago, and she wasn’t welcome at that funeral.

My mom broke down in front of the wife one afternoon after work. She was upset that her son’s baby-momma is acting like an immature bitch because a picture or two at my grandfather’s memorial happened to have his ex-wife in them. Mom is worried baby-momma won’t let her see her granddaughter after it’s born soon. And she expressed to the wife that it was especially bad for baby-momma to do this while she grieves her father/my grandfather. That’s all easy enough to understand and empathize with.

Compassion shouldn’t require experience, though.

I noted in our last phone conversation that the Jews give themselves much longer than she’s given my mom.

She’s pissed because the car my parents let us use for years has been commandeered by my dad since he wrecked his car. My mom drives another vehicle. There’s a brand-new huge truck in the driveway that no one drives except on the weekends — usually when hauling something. The wife’s argument is that she/we should get the car we were previously loaned while my parents use the monster truck as a commuter vehicle.

If you’ve ever parked in the state parking garages on San Jacinto, you know there’s not room for anyone but assholes with that size truck to park there. No reasonable person, and, especially not my mom, is going to let him drive that truck downtown each day and park it there. And if my mom doesn’t want to trade her Jeep with him and drive the massive truck to work a mile away, well, that’s sorta her prerogative.

Bottom line, and the wife knows and agrees with this: My dad’s driving has gotten worse over the years (and it was always a bit bad). He should be driving the oldest, already-fucked-up vehicle we have.

I’m not the one who has refused to take well-paying, short-term projects for over a year despite our poverty while sometimes looking for a job, sometimes just watching TV and eating every snack in sight and other times just sleeping or starting fights with me. Especially in the morning before I head off to work. A certain kind of special. (That’s why it’s better I work at home. Then I don’t have the axe (sword, if you must) hanging over my head all day.)

She is giving me an ultimatum: Me or your parents?

Years ago, and many times since, she’s said she’d never make me do that.

I don’t believe in doing that.

Me and Detroit or your parents and whatever your life turns out to be?

She tried to argue that since my brother’s ex-wife, his current baby-momma and, apparently, now Misty, dislike my family or mom, maybe it’s our fault.

Or maybe we just have a penchant for making really poor choices in women (as in most things). So far.

Anyway, to her argument:

Fuck that.

Had my parents done her harm, insulted her, poorly treated her or otherwise been her real reason for recent frustrations, outbursts, stays with her parents and now this, I would be 100 percent behind her.

And I am behind her.

But I’m not going to blame my parents after all they’ve done for us.

Her parents just showed up in the picture. They moved an hour and a half away and didn’t even tell her. That’s how good their relationship is. But she’s in love with them right now — her sister and her two kids have lived with her parents their entire lives, essentially — while her sister is out of the picture.

She has a family.

Not one that has ever helped us when they’ve known we were in dire need.

But a family.

I’m happy she’s there. I can’t take more of the bitching and moaning and anger. I’m not happy about the situation either, but I am working my ass off to get us out of it — without attacking the people offering the most help. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

Back to the ultimatum:

She was supposed to come back from her parent’s on Saturday. (She, apparently, spent a good two hours speaking about sex with our therapist and has, thus, bought a bunch of sex toys and lingerie to improve our lack of a sex life. She was particularly interested in coming home to give those a try. But I digress, as I don’t think I’ll be in the mood for that even if she does come home Saturday.)

I mention Saturday because upon leaving she said she’d be with her parents until she landed a job (likely in Detroit, possibly in D.C.). That was/is fine with me. I wouldn’t want to live with her parents (especially) for as long as she’s lived with mine. I’d leave to live with my own parents an hour and a half away instead, too.

Yesterday, she decided to give me the ultimatum — her or my parents.

Because I took “their side” about the car?

Then she stopped talking to me — saying I needed to think about it more and get back to her. I replied that this shouldn’t be put on me, as it’s her deal. (I didn’t say it that way, but you know.)

She said she’d wait and see about Saturday.

Nastygram via text message today:

The Wife, at 1415: I’m taking a nap. We need to talk later tonight.

I guess this should worry me, but it doesn’t. I’m done worrying about her divorcing me — met that threat enough times.

A couple of hours later (after driving through traffic and getting my haircut), I replied, “Okay.”

Were something to happen right now (and by that I mean us separating), I’m sure they’d (the royal “they” that keeps you from doing so many things and doing others — let’s call it the “public ego”) blame it on my recent conversations with my first ex-wife. I initiated contact. So I’ll take any fire anyone wants to throw this way on it.

It’s been strange. Pleasant. Cause to pause for reflection, of course.

N. seems to hold her cards close to her chest. Maybe she did that when we were younger, too. Sometimes I think so.

She claims to be an open book. I think she’s intentionally guarding herself. But I also think she’s opening up. A little. Slowly.

What feels the most strange, though, is that at the end conversations with N., after we say goodnight (and maybe this is because the vast majority of my chats are with the wife so it’s become a habit or maybe it’s history), a couple of times I’ve felt the urge — indeed, as if it were a habit — to say,

“I love you.”

Make of that what you will.

It passed and has only happened twice. But it’s a strange thing to realize you have that urge (even if only borne of habit).

I don’t know when the ultimatum conversation will happen. I suppose I will be informed at some point here.

And then I’ll report back.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.