The Price Of Love.


We had a nice Christmas. The turkey turned out great (thank you, Jamie Oliver,) the chocolate cake we had instead of fruit cake (all of us hate mixed peel,) was moist and the champagne was flowing. My sister, Millie, was following her drug regime and was pleasant and chatty. We ate, joked, sang Christmas carols, and played charades. After pulling both ‘Gwyneth Paltrow’ and ‘Homer Simpson’ out of the charades hat, I now have a newfound respect for those who participate in improvisational theatre.

My Aunt took Millie home. I got a panicked call shortly after they arrived to say Millie’s estranged ex was waiting on the doorstep, noticeably drunk. Millie wanted to let him in but my Aunt was refusing. Aunt Jo is a strong woman but she is 65 and not really up for a tussle on a doorstep in suburbia on Christmas evening. Yet somehow she managed to get she and Millie inside the house where they double bolted the door.

The ex hung around for over an hour, hovering like a bird of prey, eventually disappearing into the night. Millie and Aunt Jo relaxed, thinking he had decided to leave them alone until they heard the sound of glass being smashed. The ex had gone round the back and broken one of the bedroom windows. He was attempting to climb through when Aunt Jo attacked him with a copy of the Yellow Pages. She beat him so hard that he fell backwards, cutting himself on the broken glass. Aunt Jo dropped the phone book in shock, yet was unable to disregard the irony of it falling open at the section on security padlocks and windows.

Millie called the police and the ex was hauled away leaving a trail of mindless insults in his wake.

You’re nothing without me. No one else will want you. You’re a psychotic. You’re so ugly not even a blind man would find you attractive. You’re old and alone and childless. I never really loved you.

Millie was devastated. Despite all the recent troubles, she still loves him. She thought they had a chance to reconcile. After over an hour of heated argument on the phone on my part, I managed to convince her not to take him back – EVER – and to press charges. The police are holding the ex for two days. I am hoping when he gets out tomorrow that he doesn’t immediately go over there and cause a ruckus. I’m fed up with it. I’ve worked so hard over the past few weeks to help my sister resolve her mental health issues and I will not have that progress compromised by an alcoholic buffoon.

Aunt Jo is staying with Millie for the next few days. She is keeping a baseball bat under the bed. I have come down with a case of the ‘flu and am feverish and slightly irrational. The whole situation is beginning to resemble a very absurd French farce. All over the house I have candles burning, lit as an offering to all the gods I can think of in an attempt to ensure my sister’s protection. I can’t sleep for fear of the smoke alarms going off.

Sometimes the price of love is very little – a smile, a touch, a gesture of affection. Sometimes the price of love is too much – manipulation, control, coercion. Millie rang me half an hour ago, assuring me she would not take the ex back even though he’s the only man who has ever told her that he loved her. This pronouncement of love is what she craves more than anything else in the world. It is a timeworn desire. So all night I will pray, ungracious with desperation, that overnight her ex will be struck dumb and will not be able to tell her he loves her in the morning, causing her resolve to waver. Take his voice from him, I pray, coat his tongue with paralysing ashes, make him mute; for the price of his words of love is far too great for my sister to bear. Oh Lord, hear my prayer……

20 thoughts on “The Price Of Love.

  1. I am glad to hear the majority of Christmas went well, but I am sorry to hear about your trials. God bless Aunt Jo! (I had an Aunt Jo, and even at 65, I think she would have happily beat someone to death with a baseball bat!) I hope and pray that it turns out well.


  2. This sounds so much like my daughter’s ex … if we ever meet, only one of us is going to walk away!

    She was devastated when he went … but she has three lovely kids who’ve always supported her and she’s now living with a great guy.


  3. Gosh what a rotten way to end a nice evening. I am glad everyone is okay, and I hope your sister is able to stick with her plan of never taking him back. The thing about love is: there is the talk, and there is the walk. My guess is your sister has never actually been given love by a lover – I mean, and man can say he loves her all he wants, but if he is smashing windows and hurling insults, that’s not love…I hope she finds someone who really does love her.


  4. Wow. I hope your sister keeps to the bargain and presses those charges. What a loser. Maybe Aunt Jo will get the chance to use the bat on on him, though I’d hate to see the jerk cause further trouble.

    Hope you feel better!


  5. Oh My!!! Way to go Aunt Jo! I hope you sister will press charges – guys like that just keep coming back…Your Aunt Jo sounds like a tough cookie! Hope all turns out well.


  6. I’m sorry to hear. This is really sad.

    But if I may lighten up the air a bit, I’d like to say… I love Jamie Oliver!!!! The coolest chef ever. No wonder your turkey rocked! 🙂


  7. Weston – so nice of you to stop by. Aunt Jo is a legend, it is true. I’m sure all will be well – for some reason the day seems brighter than it did yesterday!

    Paisley – I know. It is heartbreaking. Everyone deserves love, but real love, not just empty words.

    keith – I’m so sorry to hear your daughter has gone through a similar experience but am delighted to hear it turned out so well!

    PWADJ – you summed it up so well. I hope it works out too.

    April – I’ve been thinking of you. I’m giving you a virtual hug right now. Secretly, I’d love to see Aunt Jo use the bat on him. She has a devil of a swing.

    tball – Aunt Jo is tough. One of life’s gems. You immediately feel better in her presence.

    Chris – a fellow Jamie Oliver fan. YAY! Every single one of his recipes that I have tried has turned out well. He makes food that is really tasty. One of my fave recipes is his spaghetti and meatballs. The meatballs are so tender they just melt in your mouth. You must try them. I think they’re in the first book!


  8. Oh dear – you had me in stitches with the image of Aunt Jo clobbering him with the Yellow Pages… and then the page falling open on security locks! I’m trying oh so hard not to laugh… I mustn’t laugh. No. There I go again, I can’t even type straight.

    I have to agree with Poet – I wish your sister well too, and I hope that one day she has someone in her life who truly loves her.


  9. Selma,
    This is hard to live with, I imagine. There are no simple answers, only complex and difficult ones. I pray your prayers are answered. Although, I have to tell you that Aunt Jo is a hoot – that she couldn’t flatten a drunk dude with a phone book is awesome and good for her to upgrade her weapon of choice to a baseball bat – a gal after my own heart. “you go, auntie!”

    Hope things take a turn for the better.



  10. daoine – you are right to laugh, Aunt Jo is a true character. If she were after me I’d run like the wind!

    writerchick – it’s a tough situation for sure. I think however, that if the family sticks together we can get through it, especially with Aunt Jo leading us into battle!

    craftygreen – my sister is trying to be strong but she is an incurable romantic. The phrase ‘love is blind’ definitely applies to her.


  11. Selma, I came to wish you a happy belated Christmas, and to thank you for your comment on my blog. Reading your post made me smile and get sad at the same time. My heart aches for Millie. She is lucky to have you and aunt Jo by her side.


  12. Your Aunt Jo… ROCKS!! Give her a hug from me (when you’re feeling better).

    I’d like to send out some strength energy to both you and your sister. I pray her resolution holds fast, and that he loses interest in making her life miserable. I also hope she finds the healthy love she needs, that she sees it when it arrives.

    Get well soon.


  13. Kudos for Aunt Jo!!!!! I want to be a tough old bird when I grow up, full of spunk and firmness and upper body strength for lifting bats and heavy tomes.

    As to the rest…(((((Hugs))))).


  14. I am so happy the majority of you Christmas was so nice. I am also sorry the day ended on such a sour note. Aunt Jo, you rock.
    As I was reading the list of insults this jerk spouted off as he was being taken away, I thought they are likely true, BUT in reverse, words that apply to him. Love is expressed in actions not words. His actions show no love at all but instead his own self centered needs and fears.
    I hope your sister realizes that his actions are unacceptable and reflect his own knowing that it is in fact he that will never be able to find another as wonderful as your sister and is afraid to let her go.
    All are in my prayers.


  15. Welcome, Bill. I am delighted you stopped by. I also believe love is expressed through actions not words. I hope my sister realises this before it is too late.Thank you for your wise comments.


  16. Ingrid – I am thrilled you stopped by. Thank you for your kind wishes. Without Aunt Jo, none of us could have gotten through this, that’s for sure. Her sense of humour never deserts her!

    Meleah – I hope one of the powers that be answers my prayers too. It’s a tough situation.

    Laurie – thanks for your prayers. I really appreciate them.

    Groovy – Aunt Jo is amazing. I also want to be like her when I grow up!


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