We recently got a caller ID box. It’s the best little invention since sliced bread, especially for antisocial types like Robert and me. The reason we have a phone is not so our friends and fans can call us, but basically as a conduit to the Internet. And our rule is if the phone rings and we look at the caller ID and we can’t figure out who it is or we know who it is but simply do not want to take the call, we let it ring. So a couple of nights ago, right in the middle of dinner and our evening video, the phone rang. We ignored it. Later, Robert peeked at it and said it was a number in the (936) area code. I knew that to be somewhere in East/South East Texas. He also told me that the ID was “Judy Hanson.” Hrm. I dated a worm about 10 years ago named James Hanson, and he had a sister named Judy. And their family lives in Nacogdoches, Texas. I’ll make a long story short here.
This guy was a creep of the highest order and never cared about me. I know this NOW; I didn’t know it then. It turns out his mother had been calling me (or maybe it was him). The reason I know this is because I decided (after a day or two of several calls) to look the offending number up on Infospace.com. Sure enough, it belonged to a Judith Hanson in Nacogdoches, Texas. I decided to call the number to find out who, if not the a$$hole, was calling, and WHY…. Curiosity killed the cat, you might say. (But satisfaction brought it back….) I also wanted to take that opportunity to tell them to please stop calling my house.
So what do you do when you find out that an ex-boyfriend is dying of liver cancer and wants to talk to you? His mother told me this when she answered the phone. When I told her I didn’t want to talk to him because I had nothing to say, I could practically hear her jaw drop to the floor. I did tell her, though, that I hoped they’d honor my wishes and please stop calling my house. Quite frankly, I was shocked the fucker is even still alive; he drank like a fish the whole time we were together. Basically, he was a raging alcoholic, it is fairly safe to say. And to their credit, they have not called anymore. But what gall! What nerve! What cheek! I know why he’s calling me. And its NOT the reason Michelle, my friend in Austin, thinks it is: She thinks he’s in a Twelve-Step Program and maybe he’s doing his affirmations. Affirmations my big wide hind end!
I know why he was calling. For one thing, he’s gone through his address book and he’s had to reach back ten years. Because none of the other women he was seeing (two of whom he was seeing while he was with me) would have anything to do with his sorry ass, and neither will I. Now, all these years later, when I’ve finally gotten my sanity and my self-respect back on track, he calls? And I’m supposed to fall down on the floor with my legs in the air? I think not. He wants me to “forgive him” so he can die in peace? Uh, forgiveness is God’s job, not mine. If memory serves me well (and you know how keen a woman’s memory is, guys!), the last time I saw him, he was standing me up in the pouring rain in the parking lot of a dive bar in Pasadena in March 1994.
Even so, at first, I felt a little bad about my behavior. A little hard-hearted. After all, what would it have cost me to “forgive” him after all these years. If he is indeed dying…. I’m happy and content now. It would have been no skin off my nose so to speak. And since I’m not really a heartless bitch, but kind of a softy, I did brood about it a bit afterward. But not for too long. Because what he did says this to me: Even after all these years, he STILL l thinks it’s MY responsibility to make things right for him? So no matter how you slice it, his motives are selfish even today. Federal district judge Sam Kent said it best: “Put a calico dress on it and call it Florence, but at the end of the day, a pig is still a pig.”