Dinner with The Enemy

It was not a good weekend. To begin with, I’ve been overworked and all I feel is constant soreness and exhaustion. I need a break from work and I will get one starting this weekend but in the meantime, I’m struggling to make sure all my clients are taken care of first. I’m tired and cranky.

Carol and I had a dinner scheduled with her bosses. The plan was for me to drop the kids off with my mom on Saturday, go to the dinner with Carol, then spend some alone time with her afterward. On Saturday morning, Sarah was sick. I sympathized with my little girl but I was very frustrated to have the one last evening before our family vacation where I could spend some time with Carol taken away from me. I felt we needed that time together.

So, off we went to dinner with Phil and Janice with new plans to come straight home and take care of Sarah.

We got to the restaurant and I sat down across from Phil. He gave me a big smile and a handshake and all I could see in his face, mannerisms and voice was his son, Rick. They offered me a drink which I politely refused, knowing any amount of alcohol could be bad in this situation. We ate and chatted about work, vacations, Christmas and whatnot. Every casual mention of their son made me feel the burning anger inside begin to rise. I think I put on a good face though.

After dinner came the time for them to discuss work with Carol. Phil and Janice told Carol how great she has been for the business this year. Phil notified her that next year she’ll be making 10% more on her salary. For the amount she’s already making, that’s a fairly good bump in pay. Then he handed her an envelope. In it was a cheque for a massive amount of money for a Christmas bonus.

Carol said, “Wow, oh no, I think I’m going to cry! Thank you!”

I said, “Wow, that’s great, thank you,” in an attempt to sound excited and grateful.

It was an incredible amount for a bonus, but a pittance for what her job with them had cost me.

“Jack, I know we’ve been keeping her busy a lot, and you probably haven’t gotten to see her all that much thanks to us, but we really appreciate the work she’s been doing and hopefully she won’t have to work as much now that everything’s falling into place at our stores,” Phil said.

“Thank you, that’s really great,” I lied again.

They all continued to discuss work for a while. I looked around the restaurant, enjoying the beautiful waitresses. I wondered if they were hired solely on their looks. I wondered if they chose to wear the more revealing dresses while the less beautiful or less confident ones chose the other uniforms. I wondered which ones felt pressured to wear the dress and which ones just liked to wear them. I saw some very sharply dress women walking around and wondered if one of them was the owner of the restaurant. Maybe they both were. Or maybe they were the managers while the owners sat at home, figuring out how to cut costs to keep paying their useless children to sit on their asses.What did they all do when they weren’t working? What were their dreams? Who do they love? Do they feel loved?

Who here was celebrating a special occasion? Who doesn’t want to be here and is suffering through dinner with awkward conversation? Who is getting to know someone new and what will become of their relationship?

I saw a customer stand up and hug a waitress. I saw that waitress a few minutes ago, scowling as a waiter walked by and came close to running into her. Now she was smiling and talking animatedly to the customer. A little bit of sunshine to brighten her shift in this dark restaurant.

It was time to say our goodbyes, I stood up and thanked Phil and Janice for dinner. Janice hugged me. As I started walking, I felt pain in my lower back. That would serve as a good enough excuse for not being all cheery later.

As Carol and I walked to our car, Carol asked, “How am I supposed to quit when they give me that much money?”

I remained quiet. The night before, we went to my work Christmas dinner and the whole drive home we chatted like good friends. This time, I hardly said a word.

I thought about how Phil and Janice might as well be Carol’s in laws. This is her family now, she got bought off by less than she would’ve gotten if I was killed at work and it feels like that’s pretty much what happened.

“Hey Carol, sorry about your dead husband. Here’s some money to make up for it.”

“Wow, oh no, I think I’m going to cry! Thank you!”

It’s funny, this morning I was able to let go of my anger for a bit. I thought it was great, that I’d be able to get through the rest of my day without this hate inside of me. It’s all back now. I don’t know if I have the strength for this. I’m so damn tired.

Update: I texted Carol and told her how I’m angry again and now feel like I’m going to cry. She told me to hang in there until I get home. That we will get through this week.

I’m so very overworked and emotionally exhausted. I had a counselling session this morning and a long conversation with Carol afterward. I do not have it in me to relive it. I risk losing the details by not putting it down now but I can’t. I’m just so exhausted.

Maybe it’s time to take a break from journaling because it’s hurting more than helping right now. I’ll see if I feel like writing later this week, otherwise I may need to give it a rest until after vacation.

Thank you all for reading and writing.

Jack

5 thoughts on “Dinner with The Enemy

  1. Well I sympathize with you, I can’t imagine how grueling that dinner must have been. My affair started with my boss too. Now it wasn’t the job that made me have an affair but I’ll tell you the job didn’t help to not have it either. I made a lot of money at my job to. But one thing I realized is who care about the money. I lost everything. My self respect my divinity, my family and I don’t even work there anymore. Not because of the affair, but still. I didn’t do anything positive with the money. In fact I’m just as broke now as I was before I took the job. And in worse shape. I don’t know if she is willing to leave that job but with the owners being the parents of the OM I don’t see how she could keep it. Money comes and goes. There will be other jobs it’s all about your perspective. I’m not bashing her for her keeping the job. I’m just saying what I’ve realized over time. I know this comment won’t help your matters but I just had to say it. Maybe someone will read it and take it to heart.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hugs Jack, you’ve had a hard weekend for sure. You’re a much bigger man than most (this woMAN included).

    The pain and anger from infidelity ebb and flow, and you do what you need to do to take care of yourself. This is exhausting and frustrating, please make sure you eat, drink and rest. I will also say that betrayal trauma can come out as physical symptoms – crazy I know – but I have them too (now chronic back pain, one sided facial swelling that’s only remedied by taking an antihistamine despite having no allergies). I know you have an autoimmune disorder that’s could be partially responsible, but please make sure you’ve looking after yourself FIRST.

    You know how you need to put your mask on first before helping anyone on a plane? Same applies here. You’re number 1.

    p.s. – I hope your Sarah is feeling better xo

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You do what you have to do. Even though it does help to write it out, it can be exhausting and an emotional ride all in itself.

    You did really good during that dinner… I don’t think I could’ve done it.

    Hope your little feels better!

    Take care of you!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Jack, everyone is right, you need to take care of yourself first. I think you handled that dinner amazingly I don’t think I would have gone. Sometimes you can’t swallow it all, sometimes you have to say I am going to leave that one I’m full.
    Hope your little girl is better.
    Moisy

    Liked by 2 people

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