So here I am, having turned forty years old, married with two small but growing children. I have no debts to speak of, I love my job at the bank, and I don’t have an ounce of fat on me. Thankfully, I am married to a nice enough woman. Or so I thought. She takes care of our children, she manages the household affairs with aplomb and she regularly puts out. But this state of peace and happiness in the Joseph household came to a blistering halt at last year’s Christmas party. I have thought back on some famous quotes that I have heard over the years and I have taken time to reflect on how these well-known quotes apply to my sudden twist of fate.
1. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Everybody knows that Neil Armstrong made this famous statement when he set foot on the moon back in 1969. But in the Joseph household, I made this same statement when my wife finally agreed to hold a Christmas party in our house after ten years of failed negotiations with her.
2. “Can’t we all just get along?” Sure Rodney King uttered these famous words back in the 1990s after the infamous Los Angeles police beating video surfaced. But I had occasion to utter the same phrase as well. It was just an innocent butt- grabbing in a state of drunken stupor at our first Christmas party, but unfortunately for me, the posterior I grabbed on that fateful night belonged to none other than my wife’s sister. I never realized that my two seconds of folly when my cranium was saturated with vodka would cost me so much grief. First of all my wife saw me doing the misdeed. She surmised (correctly) from that fleeting incident that there was more to the story than just a one-time act of marital mischief by a drunken husband. I tried to deny everything to my suspicious wife but she would have none of it. Waving a vodka bottle in my hand, I asked my wife for forgiveness by mimicking, “Can’t we all just get along?” She didn’t take too kindly to my feeble attempt at contrition. The sarcasm likewise didn’t go over too well with her.
3. “A day that will live in infamy.” President Franklin D. Roosevelt etched these famous words into our collective memory in response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. But in the Joseph household, I had occasion to use this same phrase. Shortly after the Christmas party incident, the sister (she the villain in my story) had the nerve to tell my wife that this was not the first time that we had been intimate. The truth is, the sister and I had a thang going on for the past ten years. But my wife wasn’t supposed to know of this. The day that the sister revealed everything to my wife was in fact, a day that will live in infamy in the Joseph household.
4. “Na, na, na, na, na, na, na na, hey, hey, goodbye.” Some unknown singing group sang this little diddy and it has been played and replayed at everyone’s party for ages. Unfortunately for me, my wife sang this same song to me as she served me with the divorce papers. I will never forget the punishing words she used as she threw my belongings onto the road: “You wait and see. I’ll screw your happiness.” Ouch!
5. “I’ve got all my life to live; I’ve got all my love to give, and I’ll survive, I will survive.” Gloria Gaynor sang these famous words back in the 1970s as an anthem to feminism, a tribute to women’s independence and emerging self-confidence. After the court ordered me out of the house I paid for, I too became a philosopher of sorts, singing the same anthem to any gullible single woman who would listen to and understand my tale of woe and misery.