If At First You Don’t Succeed…Bang, Bang Again
My plan was to stay out of the house as long as possible that evening (actually a few years seemed like a reasonable amount of time to let Dick simmer down from what he was about to be hit with). Okay, I know, I’m exaggerating a tiny bit. Maybe he would have calmed down in about a year and we could have dealt with the situation in a mature manner. Who was I kidding! I was dreading facing him and dealing with the fallout which I knew was going to be inevitable. However, the time was rapidly approaching when I would have to face the music. The song that was about to be played was not my style. How I wished I could have found a new melody…something more upbeat, lively and festive.
To add insult to injury, my attorney called me on my cell phone in the late afternoon and told me if Dick became abusive or out of control after he was served the papers, I should call the police and then call him. Great! With my overactive imagination already kicked into high gear busy giving me sneak previews of the multiple scenarios of what Dick would do or say to me, this gave me a few new options which I hadn’t even considered up till that point.
When Dick came home from work, he informed me that he was taking our daughter, *Ashley out to dinner and to look for a new bicycle for her. At that moment, my heart sank and I began to wonder why absolutely nothing in my life ever went remotely smoothly or easily. Of all nights, why did he have to pick that one to be out of the house!!! Nonchalantly I asked if he was planning on being home before 8:00 pm.”Why?” he demanded. “No particular reason…just asking,” I politely lied, hoping he couldn’t see my heart banging against my tee-shirt and my legs quivering underneath my capris.
I drove off shortly after they left. When I finally meandered back home around 9:15 pm, after sitting at my local Starbucks for a few hours slowly sippng a Shaken Iced Tea (which was the perfect beverage to go along with my quivering nerves and trembling limbs) everything seemed quiet. What was going on here? Did the processor come? I went upstairs. Ashley was in her bedroom reading a book on her bed. “Hi,” I said. “Hi,” she murmured quietly. “What time did you come home?” I questioned her. “About a half hour ago,” she responded. “Did you get a new bike?” I continued. “No, we just went to a few different shops and looked around,” she replied. I then went into my bedroom. Dick was taking a shower. He didn’t seem upset or frazzled in any way. Maybe the processor came and they weren’t home, so he wasn’t able to deliver the papers. It seemed I was getting a break that night and I’d have to reprieve until a later date.
As I started to calm down, my nerves were immediately rattled by an extremely loud banging on our front door. The house literally shook. Ashley ran into my bedroom petrified. To be perfectly honest, I was scared to death too. She said, “Someone is trying to break into our house. Let’s call the police.” Realizing that the processor was at the house FINALLY, I bravely stated, “No one is breaking in the house. Tell Dad to see who’s at the door.” Dick,, who was out of the shower at that point, turned to me and said, “You go answer the door.” Was this guy for real? It was pitch black outside, the light on our front porch was burned out and my husband wanted me to go see who was nearly pounding our door down. A fight started brewing at that point. We argued back and forth over who should answer the door. Suddenly the banging stopped.
All was quiet for about 10 minutes. Then out of nowhere the pummeling started up. Again the argument resumed over who should answer the door. After about five minutes the racket subsided. This cycle continued for about 45 minutes. Finally Dick went downstairs, looked out the family room window, saw no one, opened up the garage door went outside and saw no one there. Once back in the house, the banging on the front door resumed. This was getting creepy. Again, Dick looked out the family room window. This time a man was standing there. He looked at Dick and said , “Are you Dick ******? ” “Yes,” my husband replied. “Your wife has a summons for you,” the stranger continued. At that point Dick turned to me and said, “It’s for you.” Tenser than a rubber band about to snap apart, I hastily responded, “It’s not for me, it’s for you. Open the door.” Dick didn’t budge.
Now Dick, Ashley and I stood in the foyer staring at the door. “OPEN THE DOOR,” I yelled at Dick. He refused to move. I repeated this command several times without any cooperation from my husband. But then again, why should he start doing anything I asked at that stage of the game. Finally I walked over to the door, opened it and looked at the tired, elderly man standing in the dark on my front porch. When I gazed at him, I tried to hide my amazement. This was not the way I pictured the Grim Reaper of Matrimony to look like. It was actually a bit anti-climactic. I expected a big, burley, muscular, henchman type to be standing there. I wondered how could such a powerful, menacing banging that shook my home to the foundation come from such a meek, grandpa-looking figure? Impatiently he said to me, “Tell Dick to come to the door.” I turned around and said, “It’s for you.” Dick finally walked up to the door and the processor said, “Dick, your wife wants a divorce. Here’s your papers.” Then he left.
I was totally dumbfounded. While I had no idea how divorce papers were actually served, I never imagined it would happen like that. And from what I was told afterwards, this was definitely not the typical scenario. Then again, the way things went in my life…why should that have surprised me?
*Name has been changed