“I LOVE them.”
“Yes. These are so great. I love them. I really love them.” After I said it for the third time, I thought he might turn away so I could breathe, but he didn’t, so I said it again. “I love them.”
“Miley Cyrus has them too.”
“Oh, in that case, I definitely love them.” I hated them. I hated them since the first time I saw them over two months ago when he asked me if I wanted them for Christmas. A month later, Christmas happened and he didn’t get me anything. Now I was opening my Christmas gift another month later and it’s exactly what I said I didn’t want. It would be tolerable if it was a piece of cheesy jewelry, because that requires money and thought and investment. Relationship investment. It would even be okay if it was a blender, because that would mean he wanted me to make him things with it. But it was a pair of MOCCASINS. Moccasins meant he didn’t care one bit what I got for Christmas from him, and he spent little to no energy purchasing these stupid shoes meant for a politically incorrect four year old. How was I going to face this problem in our relationship without sounding psychotic because I was using leather goods as a metaphor for “us”? So I just said it one more time: “Kent, I love them. Thank you.”
“No problem babe.” He got up to get a drink from the refrigerator while I contemplated if he would notice if I didn’t put them on. I set them down and pulled the blanket over my lap and pretended to watch whatever was on TV. He didn’t notice. He didn’t care.
The moccasins sat at the foot of the bed for the next two weeks. I left them there, still in their box, so he would see I didn’t like them without having to actually say it. Not once did he mention the unworn shoes. His mind was absent of them while I continued to torture myself by leaving them in plain sight. Everyday when we woke up, I looked at them, wondering if he would address the issue, but he remained oblivious.
The moccasins continued to stay on my mind all day at work. Everything everyone said to me sounded like moccasin.
“Hi Sarah, can you please moccasin these papers for me? Moccasin!”
“Sarah, want to go to Moccasin for lunch?”
Torture. Everyday. When I came home from work, my only hope was to get this off my chest, but Kent wanted nothing to do with the unworn shoes, and I didn’t have the guts to say anything. I could barely face it myself. You see, it wasn’t the moccasins. If it was, I’d return the shoes and get on with it. But it was about Kent and I and how we needed to break up a very long time ago. We’ve been carrying on like this for months: Me doing everything I could to not have a problem with the miniscule effort he put into the little things, like asking what I want to eat for dinner tonight before he came home from work. Once, he even brought home McDonalds and blamed it on a “super big craving”. Not like I would eat that crap, but grab a Big Mac for your girlfriend, right? Or how he started to do his own laundry- separate from mine. That was messed up, but I said nothing, and looked at the bright side of it: my colors stopped fading.
But these Moccasins. I couldn’t deal. It was a Thursday and Jeanine, the ex model turned accountant across from my desk, got flowers sent to her at work. Her and her boyfriend had been together for over a year, and he sent her flowers that day for no special reason. Other than still being really excited to date an ex model. I was eating my salad with a plastic fork as she read her little card. She let out a squeal and my compostable corn utensil snapped in two. THAT DICKHEAD.
I let my boss know there was a foul shrimp in my seafood salad and I needed to go home immediately. I ran out of that office in minutes, screaming at Kent in my head. Everything I wanted to say I was saying, just not out loud. Although I think I made angry and exasperated facial expressions in my car all the way home because I noticed plenty of people staring at me.
I bolted through my front door, ready to do it. I was going to break up with him. But nobody was there. He was at work. I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of that. I was so wrapped up in my sudden anger and adrenaline, I forgot that he had a job. The same 9-5 he’s had since we were together. I plumped down on the couch and looked at the clock: 3pm. I was already exhausted from my slight breakdown, I wondered if I would still do it when he got home. I closed my eyes and lay down. I am the only idiot in this situation right now.
“Sarah, wake up.” I opened my eyes to his face, two inches from mine. “Your turn to cook tonight, right?” I sat up and watched him go for a beer in the refrigerator. He’s so cute I can’t take it- everything from his golden hair to his dimples to his chippy demeanor. What on Earth would I do without him?