New Year’s Eve is a week away, so like many people over the age of 25, I haven’t a clue how I’ll be ringing in 2015. (Remember when you used to start planning the NYE festivities in October?!)
While I was lying in bed this morning, I reflected on what I did the past few years.
The past two years, I was in Manhattan with my dear friend Sue. Last year we did a blowout formal party (it was very Sex & the City) and the year before we hosted a low key dinner.
In 2011, Max and I had a quiet night – we just went to dinner and saw a movie in Ford. That would be our last New Year’s Eve together.
It was New Year’s Eve 2010 that got me out of bed and to my computer. I need to tell you about it so I can let it go.
My Husband Disappears into Depression
In late 2010, Max had been fading away into a shell of his former self. He was losing weight and his fair Irish skin became even more washed out as he hardly moved or ate. He wanted nothing to do with me; he wouldn’t speak to me, much less touch me. If I tried to engage him in conversation, he would look at me with exasperation and sadness, his face dark and distant. If he responded to me, it was as brief as possible. Other times, he just ignored me entirely.
I was utterly beside myself. Who was this sad, cold man?
Not that you would ever want to see your loved one in this state, but it was all made worst that this was happening during the holiday season. Reminders to rejoice and count your blessings and believe in the goddamn magic of the season were sparkling everywhere around me. I just prayed that my husband wouldn’t hurt himself. (He never did, thank God.)
We slogged through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my 31st birthday, doing our best to look like a normal couple. Though, on my birthday, I had a glass of wine too many. In the restaurant bathroom, I accidentally tearfully mentioned to my mom that Max and I hadn’t had sex in a year or whatever it was at the time. I then told her not to tell anyone. She never breathed a word about it.
|This was nothing like my New Year's Eve.|
I Have the Audacity to Kiss My Husband
Needless to say, the idea of trying to make merry for New Year’s Eve was out of the question.
So, we were spending New Year’s Eve with Max’s family, which sounded very boring but given Max’s state – which we were both keeping secret – I was trying to say yes to him as much as possible.
We went to Max’s sister’s house for some tasteless Chinese takeout and belated Christmas gift exchanging. Conversation with his sisters never came easily, but I remember it feeling even more awkward and forced. After a polite amount of time, we headed back to Max’s parents’ house.
It was probably around 10 p.m. when Max and I were upstairs getting changed for bed (yes, 10 p.m., New Year’s Eve, 31 years old).
I made a mistake. I had the audacity to try to sneak a kiss on my husband.
He pushed me away with disgust and disinterest. It was like I’d offended him by trying to kiss my husband on fucking New Year’s Eve.
I was hurt and humiliated. “What the hell is wrong with you?!” I asked in a hushed tone, knowing the walls were thin. “Is it so terrible that I wanted to kiss you!”
I honestly can’t remember what he said because I must have blocked it out. But the message was clear: he wanted no part of my love or affection, so I should stay away from him.
Not long after, I cried myself to sleep on an air mattress, Max and I as far apart as possible while still technically sharing the bed. I was asleep when the clock struck midnight. Happy New Year.
The next morning, Max’s mom, Sara, and I were alone in the kitchen while Max and his dad watched football.
“Is everything OK? I heard you two arguing last night,” Sara whispered. She was not being nosey; she was truly concerned.
I couldn’t speak without sobbing, so I just locked eyes with my mother-in-law and slowly shook my head.
She put her hand on my arm and didn’t say a word. Like with drunken birthday confession to my own mother, Sara and I didn’t speak of my New Year’s Eve argument again.
During the three-hour car ride home on New Year’s Day 2011, Max didn’t speak to me.
I haven’t thought about that in so long. Tears are falling as I write about that holiday, almost three years into my history. I can’t believe how the pain is still so real, even though I have moved on with my life and never doubted my decision to divorce Max.
I write this to leave it in my past.
What was your worst New Year's Eve?