By Gina Gareri-Watkins
“So, what’s the latest salvo in the divorce wars?” I ask Selena as I balance my second margarita on the closet shelf above our heads.
“Please. I told his lawyer yesterday that hubby had better come to Jesus soon about the porn thing, or we’re talking big dollars here. Rod Stewart dollars.”
“Don’t ya just hate it when that happens?” I laugh.
“Shut UP!” Selena barks.
Selena’s in the middle of a protracted divorce that started with a basic dilemma — she hated her husband — which escalated into a full-out war when she hacked into his computer and discovered a stash of Internet porn. One particular appalling image to her was a naked woman, swooning, with an over-sized pacifier in her pursed lips. The location could have been much, much worse.
“What gives with guys, anyway?” I ask. “Are we going with Irreconcilable Differences, or Infantile Porn?”
“That, plus he kept stealing my Victoria’s Secret catalogues,” she reminds me.
“Are you sure it was your husband, and not your son?”
Selena eyes narrow to slits.
“Truce?” I gamely offer.
Selena ignores me and absently stirs the bottom of her drink with a crumpled straw. “Where do single women go trolling nowadawys?” she reluctantly asks.
“Hey, don’t look at me. Besides, my experience has always been you go trolling for men, all you’re gonna come up with is bottom feeders.”
Selena snorts again and knocks back the dregs of her drink.
“Besides, if you want more dates than you can handle, just pretend you’re still married,” I advise.
Selena stares at me. “You are kidding.”
“Nope. I can’t tell you how many men have chatted me up in front of their wives. No man EVER wants a serious commitment, so naturally there’s nothing better than a married woman. You watch. Your soon-to-be-ex will be hitting on me next week.”
Selena searches for a weapon among my clothes as I sidestep her aim.
“Okay, clearly I’ve overstepped but I can’t help it — discarding my youth, along with my clothes, makes me cranky.”
Selena waves a spike heel at me. “Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing. We have work to do here.”
Selena drags my age-inappropriate clothes (her standard, not mine) to the middle of my closet, while tossing others into a cardboard carton destined for Goodwill. Their hollow forms stick out at awkward angles, and I imagine women of all ages at the sorting center fighting over my castoffs.
“I just don’t understand why you want to keep these low-rider jeans,” Selena argues as she holds the worn pair above the box. “I realize they’re comfy — what with your flab hanging over the waistband unrestricted — but they’re just too dangerous to wear. The chances of you showing your hysterectomy scar are way too high.”
“You know what, Selena?” I whine. “There is not enough alcohol in my house to get through this little project.” I reconsider and say, “Okay, toss ’em, but I’m not giving up the cammos.”
Her eyebrows go up again. Selena’s eyebrows always arch to their maximum position whenever I make a claim she deems ridiculous.
“You really ought to renew that Botox treatment of yours,” I offer, “your eyebrows are adding 10 years to your age.”
She ignores the bait and continues. “The cammos?” How old are you? When did you start playing Army?”
“No, seriously,” I beg, “the last time I wore them, my girlfriend’s French husband loved them. ‘Lou a jou. So sew-pheez-tee-cated!'”
The margaritas are twisting my absurd French accent, but Selena gets the gist.
“I think his English was failing him, then. Otherwise he was into that U.N. Peacekeeping Mission look,” Selena adds, “which might mean he swings both ways.”
“Well, he was French,” I answer.