So – since January was definitely full of ups and downs, I went with J to a conference in New Orleans. It was an amazing opportunity for us to reconnect, but even more importantly, it was a great time for me to relax and enjoy myself since he was busy all day with the conference. We got off to a bit of a rocky start since we waited too long to eat and both got a little fuzzy, and then J drove from basically the Louisiana border to New Orleans without saying more than about three words. By the time we arrived, I was convinced that something was wrong. After we checked into the hotel, he did say that his stomach hurt and that he thought that his dinner had not agreed with him, so I let him alone.I realized that for the first time in our 30 years together, I now worry about silence….what is he thinking that he isn’t telling me? Have I done something wrong? Does he not want me here?
The hotel room itself was nothing special, but the courtyards were amazing, and the balcony was great – we could actually see Jackson Square, Cafe du Monde and ships passing on the Mississippi.
Right after we got in to our room and J opened the french doors, we heard yelling and went out on the balcony. A man stopped in the middle of the street below us, jumped out of his car, and proceeded to break up with his love…seeming to get more violent by the minute as he was moving around the car and banging on the hood and doors, yelling “how can you do this to me after all I have done for you?” and “don’t think I will take care of you any more” and cursing…and then he yanked open the back door and the light came on, and we realized that there was no one there. When he told his “baby” that it was over, he was talking to his car. At that moment, I knew that I was really going to enjoy the next four days.
We got up the next morning, hiked across the French Quarter, and had a late breakfast at the Cafe Fleur de Lis, and then Jeff took off for his conference, and I started exploring. I went to a dress shop called the The Voluptuous Vixen to shop, had a professional bra fitting and bought some beautiful (and expensive) lingerie. I actually enjoyed trying on beautiful lacy underthings, especially after the manager handed me a glass of champagne through the dressing curtain, and then another one when I left. The area of the US where I live still has blue laws and strict open container laws, so wandering around downtown with a glass of champagne would net you a visit to the pokey, not increased enjoyment of the morning.
I also went to the Voodoo Cultural Center and bought a bunch of candles as gifts. I looked for a place to have my fortune told/read but never found anyone that felt right. That night we went to a lovely dinner of Creole food at Tujague’s and then back to the hotel for romance.
The next morning after breakfast that included a Mimosa (did I mention that I absolutely do not drink), I set off to explore. I walked through down to Cafe du Monde and along the river, through the flea market and then back up Bourbon Street and down Royal Street, going into most of the antique stores. Sometimes I really wish I was wealthy!!! I had lunch (and a Bloody Mary) at Antoine’s and then wandered into Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo.
While I was browsing, the girl behind the counter suggested that I might like to have my fortune told. It felt right, so I agreed. She said that Irene had been telling fortunes for 70 years, and read both cards and palms. She then led me into a very warm closet of a room with every available space covered in antique lace and red velvet. The woman at the table, however, looked Miss Marple – a very old, somewhat Victorian Miss Marple. She told me that she had been telling fortune’s since she was 13, that I had a very long lifeline and a very long marriage line, that I had a tall dark man in my life who adores me and will have a male child in my life who will also adore me. She also said that I will start my own business and be very successful. It was actually one of the more delightful encounters of my life.
We decided that since it was so close to Valentine’s Day that we would just enjoy our Valentine’s celebration while we were here. The day ended with a lovely table d’hote dinner at Muriel’s (with a raspberry martini) followed by a moonlit walk through the French Quarter. Overall, this trip to New Orleans was one of the most enjoyable, stress free experiences I have had in the last few years. Even the trip home through a snow storm was an adventure, rather than a problem.
And then came Valentine’s Day – and he gave me chocolates and a card, but took flowers to our daughter, as he always had in the past. I was hurt again – we had a lovely time in New Orleans, and I did not want an expensive present, but I really missed getting flowers or something romantic. It had hurt enough at my birthday, but after the whole affair present fiasco in January and my realization that presents do have meaning for me, I could not understand why he was not willing to do the small things that indicated he thought I was worthy of care and romance. It called into question how he really felt about me. And then, during a conversation about something else, I realized that he was not buying me flowers or other romantic gifts because of HER. During the affair, when she was “just trying to help him save his marriage” and “trying to help him reconnect with me” she told him to buy me flowers and jewelry, as well as lot of other “romantic” advice.
He really was in a no win situation, since the advice may have actually been good, and it may have actually made me happy if he had followed it, UNLESS I ever found out that the advice had come from her…in which case I would have been highly pissed, and he might have had a really large lump on his head. Forward progress is so hard, and the affair continues to interfere, no matter how hard we try to put it behind us.