Prior to his departure, Casper The Ghost held two jobs—he was the IT systems administrator for ywo different multi-million dollar corporations. On D-Day, as he was walking down the sidewalk to leave me, I heard him muttering something under his breath about the ‘commitment’ that he’d made to one of those employers.
He was the sole critical technical resource for both organizations—one retail, one medical. At the retail company, he’d agreed as part of his contract to give a full 2-month notice should he ever decide to resign. The muttering I heard was him talking to himself, lamenting about how—now that he’d done the deed and gotten me out of the way—he was still obligated to stay in town long enough to ‘honor’ his two-month notice period.
Honor and commitment … in the same sentence … and both uttered by his lips? They’re both such fluid concepts these days, don’t you think?
As things played out in the successive weeks, it became apparent that there was nothing even remotely noble underlying his decision to stay in town. Nope. He simply was sticking around because he had to—you see, the Visa he’d applied for had not been fully processed and received. [What Visa? I had no idea that he’d even applied for a Visa!]
Oh how thrilling the duplicity and suspense of the wait must have been for him. Once the Visa arrived in the mail, he’d then be free to bolt like a racehorse from the starting gate and leave the U.S.—with ‘her’.
I would later learn that Casper’s brother [a former Marine like my departing ex] was aware of my husband’s pending plans and had been his willing accomplice. Dear Brother-In-Law had willingly and knowingly let Casper use his address to apply for the Visa.
I was very disappointing when I learned of this two years later. I would’ve expected a good brother to say to a sibling about to careen off the rails something like this: “You know Bubba, you’ve been married to this woman for 29 years. She’s been good to you. You really owe it to her to tell her before you just up and disappear.” Especially since Dear Brother-In-Law had served our uncle in The Marine Corps, supposedly learning about ‘fidelity’.
But no, character deficit must be genetic. I can only surmise that Dear Brother-In-Law [like Dear Father-In-Law, the good Baptist Sunday school teacher] was afraid of ‘taking sides’ as well. Never mind that it would have been the right thing to do.
Note that when I refer to right and wrong, I am only talking about the WAY he planned on leaving. If he wanted a divorce, all he had to do was say so. Who in their right mind wants to stay with someone who doesn’t want to be there? Not me.
Right and wrong … Accountability … More fluid concepts! …
My bad! Had I chosen Physics rather than Nursing in college, I, too, would have been up on Fluid Mechanics. Always a day late and a dollar short it seems.
Oh, well, maybe next time.
A bit of related trivia: Casper always liked to tell me that USMC stood for ‘Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children’. I think this is an insult to the many men who served our country and who—unlike Casper and his Bro—apparently were absent the day they talked about ‘Semper Fi’