by Jeanne Adams
Have you ever been in one of those awkward situations? You know the kind, like John Candy and Steve Martin in Planes, Trains and Automobiles. You're whistling along, minding your business, when either you or someone in the conversation says something REALLY stupid.
Or risque. Or just plain offensive.
Or worse, you let a secret out that you thought EVERYONE knew, but really, they didn't? (And they weren't supposed to?)
Very recently, I ended up in one of Those situations. Everyone in the room knew, but me, that we weren't discussing someone's recent divorce. Uh-huh. You guessed it. I stuck my foot in my mouth, big time.
Now I'm a shoot-straight-from the hip kind of gal. Those of you who know me well know I do my best to be polite - hey, no excuse for rudeness, evah! - but I also don't dance around something too much. That said, I'm also a good secret keeper, to borrow a phrase from Harry Potter. If you tell me it's not for public discussion, then it ain't. If I deem it too personal, from MY perspective, I don't share.
This person, however had told everyone and an English village that her no-good-cheatin-spouse was shacked up with his no-good-salesperson-of-the-month. The Couple had been seperated on and off for the last two years and now she, The Angered Spouse, was calling it quits because he - Cheating Spouse - had been caught in flagrante dilectco with the Other Woman.
Divorce proceedings insued, joint custody, etc. The Angered Spouse got alimony, support and a lot of sympathy from her social circle and the world at large.
All good, right?
Wrong. She got what she said she wanted, but turns out she really loves the no-good-cheatin'-now-ex spouse. I'm not even going to ask the obvious...WHY? I'll just say that now, post divorce, she had decided to get rawther upset if anyone dissed Ex-Cheatin'-Spouse any harsher than to say it was "...a shame he'd been so short-sighted as to cheat on (Angered Spouse)"
Everyone knew but me. Now, in my defense, I was NOT dissing the Cheatin' Spouse. Nope. I just wondered, (alas) out loud, why everyone was avoiding the topic when everyone was apparently dying to talk about it. Sort of like that "big pink elephant in the middle of the room" syndrome where everyone avoids mentioning the obvious.
See? NOT a diss. NOT a direct hit, though I'm perfectly capable of it. Just an innocent (catalytic) remark.
You'd have thought I'd opened the floodgates. To a person, everyone began to discuss it. Me? Well hell, I clammed up, not expecting this avalanche of a reaction.
Then....(drum roll please)...in walks the Divorced Angered Spouse, into the middle of the maelstrom. So what does the crowd of discussers do?
Yep. You bet they did. Everyone shuts up and looks at ME. Talk about getting thrown under the bus.
ME??? What did I do? *looking innocent and aggrieved*
Now, you can probably visualize this scene with me. The aftermath was NOT pretty, but I couldn't have written this scene and gotten away with it. Seriously, truth IS stranger than fiction. It was all melodrama and sheer Soap Opera Digest pathos.
Part of me was (painfully) involved in the scenario, and the writer part of me was busily taking notes in case I could use this in a book.
I reviewed said mental notes later, after discussing this with the Patient, Loving Spouse (Mine!), as I peeled out of the outfit I'd been wearing - soaked by Angered Spouse and her lethal rasberry martini - and set it aside to go IMMEDIATELY to the dry cleaners.
I realized that no one, I mean NO One, would see that scene as anything but pure cheesiness, complete with tossed martini's and the dramatic Storming Out of the Divorced Angered Spouse.
(As a side note, it's hard to get martini out of wool)
So, what about you? Any of those Pure Cheese scenes ever happen to you?
What about the Stranger than Fiction stuff?
Or have you just been in one of those full-body-shudder, John Candy, Eeeeeeeewwwwwww! moments?