WHO NEEDS DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES?
5 June 2005
The regular TV season has ended and those of us who were hooked on programs like The Medium or Lost or Desperate Housewives have been left high and dry with only a new spate of reality TV to keep us company.
Today I discovered that truth can be just as good as fiction and that if you want to find weirdness in your life, sometimes you don't need to look any further than your own front yard, because if it isn't there, maybe you don't need it after all.
We attended a party today. In order to protect the innocent (or the guilty), I'm not going to say what kind of a party it was or where it was held or name names of who was there. But suffice it to say there were about 40 people in attendance and as we all sat around getting caught up on what had been going on in our lives since we were last together, it began to dawn on me that -- heck, the women of Wisteria Lane don't have any more claim to weirdness than my own little circle. Only in my case, this doesn't come out of a script.
For starters there was the guy who was arrested a month or so ago for trafficking in drugs and possibly having something to do with an apartment where some sexual assaults had taken place. He's been to trial and has been sentenced to serve a year, but the judge still needs to determine whether it's to be house arrest or in prison. He has to do a month in detox first. But first, he was there at the party, drink in his hand, dark glasses hiding his eyes.
He has a wife and two children who are devastated, emotionally, and financially. One child was due to graduate from high school, but was unable to complete the season and hopes to get a degree through summer school classes. This is a beautiful child with incredible eyes who has always had a big grin every time we meet. Today the smile was gone and the child spent a lot of alone time, not really interacting with people.
There is the woman who has just gone on oxygen because of severe breathing problems. She is trying to find a way to go on Disability, but isn't sure she can because her husband was just fired from his job and she's not sure how they can find enough money to live if she doesn't continue to work.
There was the guy who works as a construction worker, but who found a small lump in his neck the other day. In a matter of 2-3 weeks, it has grown from the size of a pea to the size of two quarters lying side by side with some infiltration into surrounding tissue. He will be operated on very soon and the doctor warns him that because of the nature of the operation, he may find that he will no longer be able to lift his arm over his head. Did I mention that he works construction and that this is his dominant arm?
This fellow and his wife have been married about 10 years and thought all was going along swimmingly until a woman called the other day asking for XY. She said that her name was ZY. The wife thought it odd that someone with the same last name would be calling and asked X about it.
Turns out that "Z" is his second wife (he is now on his fifth wife). She had divorced him, he thought, 30 years ago. But it turns out that she never did divorce him because she had heard that he had been killed in an auto accident. She is only now contacting him because some legal situation she's in requires that she submit his death certificate, which, of course, she cannot now provide.
So it appears that he went through two "marriages" that weren't marriages at all, and the wife he thought he was married to for 10 years isn't his legal wife after all.
Then there was the guy who was there with his young son and his fiancee. This guy's wife worked herself to death--literally--waiting on him hand and foot. She died of a stroke about 2 years ago, in her mid 40s. He's a guy who can't hold a job, who has done some underhanded things in the businesses for which he has worked, and while everyone at the gathering was quite cordial to him, there was lots of whispering behind his back. The new fiancee appears to be stepping in right where the deceased wife left off. I wonder if she knows what she's in for.
Then there was the woman who actually showed up, to many people's surprise. She has absented herself from the group, without explanation, for a very long time. There was a reunion of sorts with her sibling, whom she had not seen in a year, which was very touching.
I didn't make the rounds of everybody at the party, but by the time I'd gotten the stories on these people, I figured I had enough to start my own Desperate Housewives spinoff.
When I get in a group like this, my immediate reaction is to shake my head and thank the gods that our own life is so uncomplicated and trauma-free. But then I remember the 2 dead kids and realize that if I'm creating my own Wisteria Lane, I have enough going on in my life that I have earned a right to be there too.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
I took this picture today--don't remember his name.