Joe Gets Out-smarted and Mare Gets Her Due


Joe determined that the time was right to sell the bar business based on economic conditions at the time.  I am sure Mare was very happy to know of his decision for it would be the end of crazy years for her.

When it came time for the legal closing meeting with the new buyers, Mare showed up with her own attorney to represent her. [I’ll let you add your own exclamation point there.] Do you believe it?  Joe must have shit in his pants, but even a rage-aholic knows when to behave, right? Her lawyer, Mr. White, demanded on Mare’s behalf to get one half of the proceeds from the sale. Done deal.

Mare told me Joe never, ever said anything to her about her bold move. She thought Joe didn’t like it one bit, but he knew he deserved what he got. And, she got what she deserved as a monetary compensation for all the nonsense she put up with. She is one smart, bold woman.

Lesson Learned~Explore all your options. And, as the songs says “Maybe you’ll think before the next time you cheat.”

Mare and her marriage

I have given lots of thought to Mare and her marriage to Joe.

I was wounded as any little child would be as a result of what I experienced. As I look now through adult eyes and look past my own hurt, I think of Mare and what she felt and thought.

I wish I had been less critical and more supportive of her. Less judgmental. She didn’t talk to friends or her family about Joe’s behavior. She did not see a therapist. She didn’t take Valium.

Many people, including myself, wonder why she stayed with him. She loved him and she knew he loved her. He loved being married to her, their home, and having the family, my brothers and me. He didn’t realize nor did he care that he was putting his marriage in jeopardy.

She wanted to be with him and, especially, keep her family intact. She would not have been able to support and house herself and three children on her earnings. Joe’s job provided excellent benefits and, most importantly, future financial security through Social Security, pension, and 401(k) benefits.

Mare was keen and she knew what divorce would mean for her and her children. She didn’t like the stigma of divorce and she knew the negative financial consequences which would follow.

More important, she wanted to prevail. She wasn’t going to lose what she had to a cheap whore. She knew one day he would stop and he eventually did.

What my father thought of his behavior, I have no idea. I don’t think he was ever apologetic or remorseful. I don’t think he had a clue how hurt my mother was, nor the effect on me and my brothers.

A therapist of mine had this perspective: With my parents’ generation and their ethnicity, there were certain things married couples didn’t do sexually. It was thought coarse. Men went outside of the marriage to gets these particular sexual needs met. Whatever.

My personal perspective is that men who continually cheat as Joe did [it wasn’t a fling and it wasn’t a love affair] have a compulsion, even an addiction to a thrill or a high they get from illicit sex. Maybe they have a bad gene. Whatever.

Lesson Learned~The important thing for me is that women learn how to identify these men and stay far away from them unless they want their heart broken and their children broken.

Something about Mare

There was something about Mare. She was endearing. She smiled; hardly ever frowned. There was a softness about her; no hard edges on her. She was easy to approach and was eager to offer help. She told me her goal was to be kind and helpful to someone, everyday.

She was eccentric and said things that made you laugh out loud. She talked to everyone. She wanted to know “where people came from”. She was non-judgmental. She was habitually running late, but never hurried. Her watch, the kitchen clock, and the clock in her car were hardly ever set to the correct time and she didn’t care.

Despite her outward softness and approach-ability, she had an inner steel rod of character and strength. Her constant advise to me was: “Be bold. Persevere. Show compassion.” These were words she lived by.


She was an extrovert. She loved to get in her car and “go out’. She loved her cars and they always seemed to turn heads~the 1968 Firebird, the green Dodge Charger, the black Lincoln Continental, the Ford Taurus SHO. Cars represented freedom to Mare.

There were some things Mare was dead serious about and she would let you know it. She had no use for the post office because they would return her out-going mail because she had the wrong zip code. “Now couldn’t they just figure it out?”, she would say.


Automated voice systems irked her to no end as she would try to talk as if she were talking to a real person. The telephone company was another irritant. She would dial a number incorrectly, a recording would come on and say the number didn’t exist and she would insist she dialed correctly. I would say “But Mom, it’s not a real person, just a recording.”


Red traffic lights were negotiable~ “Why waste my gasoline and time?”

She would never buy fruit or vegetables already in a bag. She thought the companies trained their employees to put one rotten piece in every bag just to make more money at her expense. She often used the 800 numbers on appliances to let the companies know that their “engineers didn’t know anything and they should ask house wives what they needed before they embarked on designing anything.”

Comcast was her nemesis as the television was a great source of entertainment and diversion for her in her later years. When it didn’t work, she got worked up. She would call customer service and “tell them off”. If I tried to defend the company or give and alternative explanation, she would say, “OH, bullshit!”.


Where my father was ‘thing smart’, Mare was ‘people smart’.

You wouldn’t want to argue with her as somehow she would always prevail, despite logic. When Christa McAuliffe was chosen as an astronaut for the Challenger Mission, Mare thought that was awful. Joe thought it was a great accomplishment. “No woman should be sent into space. Her place is in the home with her husband and children”, Mare stated. When the space ship exploded and Christa was killed, Mare spoke up for her bereaved husband and two children, aged 6 and 9.


Lesson Learned~Don’t bet against Mare. In the long run, you will lose.