2007-03-12 - 4:07 p.m.

When it comes to death it would appear that I never know the right thing to do. When my ex boyfriend’s mother was killed in a car accident I was paralyzed with quandary as to what the appropriate course of action would be. The problem was that Jon and I had been broken up for three years when she was killed and hadn’t spoken to one another in two years. Not because I didn’t try either…he would simply just not speak to me. He hated me and according to what his sister told me from time to time when I ran into her, he was still not over the breakup. So when his mother was killed I didn’t know- should I go to the funeral or not? I had also just gotten married when the accident happened. I mean like JUST gotten married. I imagined that going to the funeral newly wedded after not having spoken to Jon in two years would be awkward and would not have helped to soothe his soul at all. So I sent a card and flowers. As it turned out, Jon and I ended up on speaking terms again a few months after that. I think his mother’s death put a new perspective on things for him. He revealed to me that he had been hurt that I hadn’t attended the funeral and, as it turns out, his sisters had hidden my card from him because they thought it would break his heart to hear from me. He told me that he had remained very angry with me for months after his mother’s death because he thought I had let it go unacknowledged. It wasn’t until he found my hidden card that he was able to talk to me again. I should have just sent the card directly to him and I should have gone to the funeral. But I had, at the time, thought I was doing the appropriate thing.

So…the other day my old boss sent me an e-mail to tell me that my fantasy boyfriend’s father had died the previous day. As you may remember, my FB and I were very close but not in an inappropriate way. I mean, we were friends and we enjoyed one another’s company. The only reason we may have been sly about our friendship was because it was awkward on his side. His wife is not the type of woman that accepts young women as friends for her husband and I get that. I do. On my side of things there wasn’t need for sly-ness, not only did Jon know about my Fantasy Boyfriend when he and I were together but later, when I started dating and then married Eric, the FB was still present and accounted for and to this day when I say “my fantasy boyfriend” Eric knows exactly who I am talking about. So, there was an element of secret in our friendship and it was inappropriate, really, for us to ever see one another outside of the restaurant. But it was just one of those things. I could never explain what the draw was between the two of us, but there it was. Present from the first day I met him ten years ago. We just needed to be around each other. Not once did either of us, in all those years, do anything that any wife could have been upset about. Ever. But how was she to know that? I suppose if my husband were disappearing for a couple hours every so often in the afternoon and I found out that it was suspected that he was at some young waitresses house I would be pissed off too. I would, too, go crying to somebody about it. As it turns out the wife in this case had gone to my FB’s parents and apparently it was a huge deal. Like, they went to family counseling at their church and crap like that about it. I never found any of this out until last year when I was home for a visit. And immediately when I found out that my presence in FB’s life had caused any drama in his family I backed off. I didn’t even live in the fucking country anymore…but I backed off. I barely looked at him when I was home and it was very very sad for me. SO. It explained a lot…my finding out about the wife thing. FB’s father was also a customer at the restaurant and for all the years I worked there he was funny, charming and very friendly to me. I would often sit with him when there was nothing to do and chat with him while he drank his coffee and ate his toast. But in the last couple years that I worked there he became a little hostile towards me and whenever FB and I would talk he would get between us. He wouldn’t leave the restaurant until FB would. Before that FB would often stay a little later than the rest of the group he ate breakfast with so he could talk to me for a couple minutes. It was that couple minutes of chit-chat everyday between us that was so important. His presence could make my day and the lack of his presence could break my day. And I believe it was the same for him. Anyway, his father started sticking close and our couple minutes of chit-chat were forever taken away. My work friends thought it was hilarious that FB’s father wouldn’t allow us to talk. They especially thought it was funny when FB’s father would go to the bathroom and FB would quickly look around for me but the minute his father returned he would look back into his coffee cup. He would still stop over at my house from time to time for coffee on the back porch, but only if he had a meeting in Vicksburg anyway. And once or twice he stopped by when his wife was out of town. He never did anything that was not purely honorable. His wife should always feel safely married to him. He was always a gentleman and it became clear to me over time that he simply needed a friend who wasn’t so ingrained in his life. If that makes any sense? He needed someone who didn’t know every last detail about his life…like an escape. He needed an escape. And he needed someone to just download to. I don’t think he had, or has, anyone that he can do that with. SO. The point of this entry is that I don’t know what the appropriate thing to do in this situation is. I want FB to know that I am thinking of him, that I am so sorry for his loss. But I don’t think it’s appropriate to send him a card. Right? Like, that would be really bad? I could send a card to his mother but then again, I am sure she hates me too (I’ve only ever met her in passing once or twice at the restaurant). And, like in the Jon incident, I have no guarantee that anyone would tell FB that I sent my condolences. And my only reason for sending a card is to let FB know that I am thinking of him. I have nothing to hide so I should just send the card to him…but damn, what if that causes trouble and then in addition to having just lost his father he has to go through family drama again?

Oh…this is just too confusing for me. I wish it could be appropriate to just send a condolence text message. That would be so much easier.


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