You knew it was coming, and I can’t put it off any longer. Too many of you have been asking me about what finally happened with Jenni, and while I don’t have good news, I’m also not going to sugar-coat the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God. And why would I? It’s not like I did anything wrong, fell short in some way, or made the egregious mistakes that led to the dismal demise of a relationship that, certainly in hindsight, didn’t stand much of a chance, given the caliber of individual we now know we’ve been dealing with all this time.
Shit hit the fan between Jenni and me in late January. She had openly flirted with a co-worker of hers on Facebook one day, and when I called her out on it, she attempted to turn it into a “privacy” issue, saying I should never have been “looking over her shoulder” in the first place. Doing so meant that I harbored an inherent distrust for her (which wasn’t entirely incorrect, given her semi-elusive behavior up to that point) and that if I saw something I didn’t like, it was my own fault for — and I quote — “snooping.” No, I wasn’t snooping, and yes, everything I saw was completely public and unprotected. But this gives you some idea of the logic she sometimes employed, or rather, the complete lack of it.
But that didn’t stop her from blocking me on Facebook for over a month. You read that right — my punishment was to be taken off her friends list and blocked from her activity for over a month. Somewhere around this time, she managed to reconnect with an old boyfriend from high school named Shannon. She met up with him for lunch one day, assuring me it was strictly platonic, since Shannon is married and she was, after all, with me, and the two of them spent the afternoon reminiscing about the old days. But, and you had to see this coming, things between them began to change pretty rapidly, even though I did not, obviously, know it at the time.
All I did know at this point was that my relationship with Jenni was taking a dive. In about another month’s time, she could scarcely scrape up a few hours a week to see me. Our communication dwindled; our e-mails dropped off, texting was practically non-existent, and you can pretty much forget talking on the phone for most of our relationship anyway. And the more concern I expressed about all this, the more she insisted that her life was in “turmoil” (see the very first entry here on Not Yet Defined). She gave me every excuse in the world: stress from her job, stress from her class, stress from her mother and sister, the kids’ practices starting up again, etc.
In fact, let me paste an excerpt from an e-mail, and then I’ll dismantle it:
We have nose dived because my life took an unexpected turn and I had to get a job. That turn was enough to throw me completely off the mental balance beam. I had it in me to make the struggle to try and be as balanced as possible, but I don’t have the energy to do it any more. You expect some grand reason, but there isn’t. You want some concrete, grab hold of answer, but there isn’t one.
The main problem with this statement is that she’d landed that job nine months prior. And so I told her: the job you got nine months ago doesn’t seem to explain the nosedive we’ve taken in the last 30 days. No amount of logical gymnastics will get you around the fact that she was blaming March’s difficulties on a job application she filled out the previous July. And that was a huge, huge red flag.
Only I couldn’t get any more out of her. I even told her flat-out at one point that I knew there was more going on than she was telling me, and I did, at another point, ask her whether she was seeing someone else, since that would explain absolutely everything that had been going on: her sudden lack of time, her sudden tendency to miss work and class, and her unwillingness to even let me stop by her work and bring her coffee, as I often did. The mechanics of our relationship had come to a screeching halt with, she would have me believe, no concrete explanation under the sun whatsoever.
Except that there was an explanation, she just didn’t want to fess up to it: by this time, she had started seeing (and sleeping with) this married Shannon. About a week after the above quote, she wrote another e-mail suggesting that we back away from our exclusive relationship and go casual. All talk of the future would be off the table, and we would have no real responsibility to one another, just the occasional visit, whatever that may consist of. I accepted the offer, not knowing what was going on behind the scenes, and while there wound up being no “visits” like the ones you’re probably thinking of, I can’t say I wasn’t holding out hope of a reconciliation.
None of this stopped Jenni from becoming absolutely incensed at the time I was spending with Whitney. Never mind our “casual” status, Jenni nearly had a meltdown when she found out Whitney and I were going to Omaha to see our derby girls on the road, and then going to the zoo the next day. Intuitively speaking, that one event probably justified, in her mind, what she was doing behind my back, and the fact that months of promises of exclusivity had gone out the window for the sake of some old school cock.
Then, about three weeks ago, I found out the truth: Jenni had in fact been seeing someone, and a trail of bread crumbs I was given (I will not reveal my source) led me straight to this Shannon. I have pictures of them taking a walk in the woods, sitting together at Chilis, etc. And my source informs me in no uncertain terms that the happy couple had been sleeping together all this time. So at that point, the only question was how and when I would forcefully eject Jenni from my life, never to return.
Jenni’s original plan was to get some friends together and throw me a birthday party on Saturday, May 22nd. We’d go to dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack, and then we’d head up to the Westport Flea Market for karaoke night. So I got the idea in my head that I would get up to sing karaoke, but immediately beforehand, I would “propose a toast” on the microphone to the Jenni who had brought all our friends together for my birthday… but had cheated on me with a married man and kept me hanging on regardless. I even had the toast written down in my head, and all was ready.
But that afternoon, Jenni sent me a few texts complaining of a migraine, to which she is prone from time to time, and asking how I would feel if she “couldn’t make it” to my birthday that night. I told her in no uncertain terms that I would not be there if she missed the event, and left it at that. Meanwhile, my Xanax prescription had run out, but she informed me that she had a handful I could bum off her. And if I could swing by the nursery where she worked before 2:30, I could pick them up then.
I arrived right at 2:30 and saw the strangest damn thing: there was Jenni, with a migraine, working A) out in the sun, and B) with her headphones on — two things people with a migraine never, ever do.
She handed me the Xanax in a zip-lock bag and went straight back to wrap up her work for the day. When she got back out to the parking lot, she found me waiting, and I told her: I’m not going to be there tonight. I know about Shannon, and I know that it started before you and I split up. So here’s how this is going to go. I will never, as long as I live, hear from you again. And if I ever do, I will go public with everything I have and everything I know, and I will not even spare Shelly, Shannon’s wife, in the process. Your life will be in the toilet for a very, very, very long time. Period.
After that, she put her out hand (but did not look me in the face) and said, “Give me back the Xanax.”
I said, “You can kiss my ass. And go fuck yourself.”
And I walked back to my car and went home, never to hear from her again.