My coworker was still in love with her ex-husband.
Well, that’s not entirely accurate. My coworker was still enamored of her ex-husband. I'm not sure if it was love.
They were still on speaking terms, but they weren’t exactly friendly. Since they shared a son, they kept things civil, and that was good enough for her most of the time.
Occasionally, my coworker's ex-husband would visit the home they had once shared. They would eat dinner together with their son, and it was almost as good as the old days with one exception: When they were still married, my coworker did everything she could to get her husband to drink less. Now that they were divorced, she wanted him to drink more.
As soon as he arrived, she poured wine and beer into his glass, alternating between the two spirits until he was good and drunk. She kept the booze flowing through dinner and served more alcohol with dessert.
Then she convinced him it wouldn’t be safe for him to drive home because he was drunk.
Fortunately, he handed over the keys every time.
He could have called a taxi, but he didn’t. On those nights that he found himself too drunk to drive, he waited until morning to go home. It was the responsible thing to do, and he knew it.
I don't know whether he realized he was being manipulated.
In the morning following one of her ex-husband’s extended visits, my coworker would come into work beaming.
She was a buttoned-up librarian-type woman who could have been a Mormon or a kindergarten teacher based on appearances alone. Looking at her, you'd never guess she plotted to get her ex-husband drunk whenever he came to visit their son, but that's exactly what she did.
My role in the story was nothing more than a Monday morning confidante.
She got to enjoy the company of her ex-husband, and I was always willing to listen. It made for an interesting conversation over coffee.
We lost touch once we ceased being coworkers, so I looked her up on Facebook to ask if she minded me sharing her story. She agreed under one condition; she didn't want her name to be used.
I hope her son found out the truth about his mother. I hope he's old enough to know how naïve it is to think that anyone would pour alcohol into someone else’s glass without wanting them to drink more.
My coworker was manipulative, but she wasn't a mean person for doing it. She wanted her ex-husband to have some good memories of their time together so that he wouldn’t resent their divorce forever, and she thought getting him drunk was the best way to accomplish that goal.
I don't care why my coworker poured booze into her ex-husband's glass whenever he came to visit their son, but I don't know if it gave her the moral high ground. In fact, I rather think the opposite was true.
What do you think?