Monday, April 23, 2012

In Memory of Walter

Divorce has ripped asunder nearly half of all homes in the USofA, but I'll tell you nothing keeps a husband and wife together like the bond of holy matrimony doled out by the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.  Believe what you will, but for many couples of my generation, the Holy Spirit was the only glue keeping us together through toil and strife.

Now mind you, I am old.  The cars had cranks on them, and the good Catholic Al Smith was running for President when I was in kindergarten.  We went without underwear for 2 years of the Great Depression. I’ve buried one husband, survived the mean old Agnes Flood, and that 1936 flood everyone forgets to mention, and also Irene and Lee of 2011.  Bless our hearts.   I waved my bra in Kirby Park when Gloria Steinem came to town, and picketed Insalaco's when they tried to ban Sweet N Low in the mid 1970's.  Along the way I had me two perfect little babies who both turned into mean old stinkpots:  a boy and a girl.  Very little of what I just listed is in chronological order.  

I beg your pardon, I never promised you a Rose Garden (just like the song) was true in the case of my dearly departed husband Walter and me. I’ll never forget one night when I observed him oogling our maid through the key hole during her toilette in the evening hours.  When I saw my Walter crouching down at her bathroom doorknob his hand poised and circling over his crotch, I remained calm even though my heart had already sunk to my knees.  I examined my conscience, then slipped away silently, before he noticed my pain.  I ran to up the staircase, tears streaming my face and slammed the door to the upstairs room.  I flung myself into the closet, where I could obtain the most soundproofing, and I just sobbed and gasped into my closetful of clothes.  I'm sure that I was howling, because never before had I felt such jealous rage towards another woman, this slutty maid of ours who never cleaned half as thoroughly as I did.  After several minutes, a presence came over me.  In the silence only devout Catholic women like myself utilize, I began to teach Walter a lesson.

Three weeks after I fired the maid, my Walter didn't know what hit him. It surprised and frightened me too when I later learned that arsenic in small doses often has that effect. A nightly sprinkle on those powdered doughnuts he loved so much landed him right in the ICU, but at least I got him to apologize to me for cheating in his heart with our naughty maid named Kaye.  Also for Christmas that year, he gifted me a beautiful string of pearls that I wear to this day.

I was so highly influenced by Valiant Lady, and I was so distraught by Walter’s betrayal,  I let my girlfriend Wanda Stavish talk me into a plan of garnishing doughnuts and other baked goods with a mixture of 3 parts confectioner’s sugar and one part Arsenic.  She’d never been a particularly good influence on me, as I fed this to my Walter for 3 weeks. 

Scratch cakes only! Nothing from a box.  Oh I began shopping at Percy Brown's and learned how to prepare extraordinarily delicious meals for my dear husband on a daily basis and not simply for the joy of cooking!  A right and proper woman must never accept the roving eyes of husbandly betrayal.

Additionally, getting a divorce while Catholic results in everlasting Hellfire, so I had to make the best of my situation. Kids today take the option of divorce, but back then, you didn't disobey your Priests.  By that same token, my scorn was not to become grist for the rumor mill at the next Altar and Rosary Society Spaghetti Dinner, so this is why I found myself acting quickly, and in a whirwind of tears.

Clean your homes by yourself!  Do not hire out for this wifely task!  Was it really Wanda Stavish’s plan?  Or was it all mine?   Who can remember now?  It all went awry when Walter almost died, and I remain so deeply sorry for it. 

But I truly believe a twist of events preserved my innocence.  Naturally, I concluded this was the work of the Holy Spirit.  Due to the runoff from some bore holes at the abandoned strip mines out in Eynon, everyone in the entire region drank quite a bit of arsenic by accident that year anyway!  Even me and the kids and all of our neighbors and friends! God somehow twisted this chain of events to diffuse any suspicion pointed in my direction, and Wanda and I have yet to discuss this incident.  We pretend that it didn't happen.  Sometimes I find myself forgetting about it too! God is Great.  Good is Good.  Amen.

Yours in the Love of Christ,
Mrs. Walter J. Katsellas

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