I love love love the new Beauty and the Beast movie. One of the best parts, of course, is the Beast’s library, so I wrote “Belle Would Be Enchanted by These 10 Lovely Libraries in Hotels” for USA Today 10Best.Read All Entries
confessing a 35 year old lie
Our assignment for Week 7 of Blogger Idol was to reveal a secret. Oh, boy.
After 32 years of marriage, my husband is about to learn something that he never knew about me.
And he’s not going to be happy about it.
I have very mixed feelings about confessing it after all this time but the fact that this week’s assignment is to reveal a secret seems to be a sign that I need to finally get this out in the open. I just hope that, ultimately, honesty really is the best policy.
Michael and I met in college, when I was a sophomore and he was a junior. We fell hard for each other, and were pretty much inseparable once we got together.
I loved everything about him, from his long blonde hair to his infectious laugh to the way he held my hand. I loved that he wrote poetry for me. I loved that he lit up a room. I even loved the quirkiness of his aversion to eggs.
The only thing I didn’t love was his purple sweater.
He had this wool, purple turtleneck that he absolutely adored.
It was horrendous.
I think his parents had bought it for him on a trip to Italy but really? A wool, purple turtleneck?
He wore the thing everywhere, and I would subtly hint that maybe he should take a break from it for a while but, no, it was like he was Linus and it was his security blanket.
We had only been going out for a couple of months, and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings by telling him it was a really ugly sweater. (Sorry, mom and dad.) I would post an actual photo here so you can see for yourself but there are no pictures of him wearing it. Trust me, I made sure of that.
One night, he fell asleep while we were watching TV in his dorm room, and I saw the sweater lying in a pile of clothes on the floor, taunting me.
That’s when I did the unthinkable.
I picked it up, tiptoed outside and threw it down the garbage chute.
And it was gone. Just like that.
I was a little mortified – and a little pleased with myself.
When he looked for it the next morning, I acted all innocent and “What do you mean you can’t find it, baby? Didn’t you just throw it on that pile like you always do?” I was shaking inside but tried to hide it by going on the offensive: “See, this is why you should put things back where they belong.”
He ripped apart his whole room, convinced the sweater had to be smushed under his bed or rolled up in a corner of a drawer or stuck on a coil of his boxspring.
He was so distraught that he actually invited a bunch of friends over for a pizza party/search party and we all traipsed through the dorm, looking for the damn sweater. Because there were no photos of it, Michael asked one of his suitemates, who was an art major, to draw the sweater on a “Missing” poster. He was ready to offer a reward, and I physically had to stop him from plastering posters all over the Student Union.
The next day, we took the off campus bus to Oakdale Mall to try to find a sweater just like it. Of course, there was nothing like it (nor should there be), and our bus ride home was a quiet one.
By this point, I was feeling terrible. I almost told him what I had done but I knew it was bad and I was seriously afraid of losing him.
The overwhelming guilt forced me to be understanding as he went through Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ five stages of grief even though I felt like screaming, “Get over it already. It’s a sweater!”
When he wrote a dirge about it for his English class, I had to restrain myself from ripping the paper from his typewriter and sending it down the incinerator to join its subject.
To this day, when we see a guy wearing purple, he’ll bring up the freaking sweater again, I’ll start sweating, and we’ll both shake our heads as he wonders, “Where could it possibly be? It couldn’t have just disappeared.”
So, Michael, now you know: your beloved future wife burned your favorite sweater to death in an incinerator.
I’m sorry. I never should have done that.
I betrayed you, the man I love most in the world, first by destroying something that you really cared about, and second by lying to you about it. It’s the only secret I’ve ever kept from you, and I’m deeply ashamed.
I am relieved, though, that you now know what happened. I hope you’ll forgive me and maybe even find some humor in it.
The karmic irony of the whole thing is that, as awful as I thought you looked in that sweater, I know I look so much uglier than that right now.