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Jude McLean Author

Sneaking Out - Part 3

00:00 / 06:01

Okay, guys, this time I got smart. What better place to hide from one's husband than in plain sight? Husbands never look in the most likely place. Sorry fellas, the truth hurts. This week my hideout was at my mother-in-law's house. She's an absolute doll. For any of you who remember my Valentine's Day article where I said she wasn't my number one fan, that's all changed. We're buddies now. It only took eight years, eleven months, seven weeks, and five days.

We drink tea out of pretty, hand painted teacups; she lets me choose my own from her extensive collection. I usually go for the one with orange blossoms on it. We eat shortbread, peach tarts, chocolate chip cookies, pound cake, apple pie…. maybe I only went there to stuff my face with goodies, don’t judge me! As I was saying, we drink tea and I daintily nibble on a warm scone while we solve the world's problems.

Her house was warm and cozy. It wasn't overcrowded with new S.H.I.T club members, like the parking lot the past few days. Misery loves company, but geez, people, could you at least park two spaces over? I shouldn't be able to read the latest issue of Field and Stream or your copy of I’m Okay but You’re an Idiot that you're reading from my driver's seat.  Whatever happened to keeping yourself to yourself? This isn't a potluck, for pity's sake! Deep breath…. I digress.


Where was I? Oh right, my bosom buddy mother-in-law.

She didn't know she was being used. Bless her heart. She assumed I was there to visit and enjoy a warm cup of tea and friendly conversation. Everything was going swimmingly. We were solving the world's problems. Everyone should watch The Muppets and then all would be well; and gossiping as one does. I mean, really, we aren't saints. If my middle-aged, rotund neighbor chooses to wear a black, pleather mini skirt and get a perm, then she’s begging for us to gossip about her. Them's the rules.

So, as I said, everything was grand, until my mother-in-law asked, "Does Luke know where you are?" Crap. 

I took the moral high road and told her the truth. And what did she do? She grassed me up! See if I feign interest in her quilts again! She texted my husband, saying, "Your wife is here with me, and we are having the nicest chat." I never did like the miserable, meddling, old cow. How could she? After all, we shared? I won't talk behind just anyone's back, you know? Geesh. Apparently, she doesn't honor the code “Chicks before….”

Anyways, Luke then texts me, "Bring me home a slice of pie when you're done using my mother." He's got some nerve. Bring him pie, he says! I'll bring him pie alright and shove it right up- I won't finish that sentence because it has occurred to me that I don't have a leg to stand on. Dammit. My brilliant plan wasn't so brilliant. Why couldn't I have stayed in my car? So what if the club was getting crowded. It now has occurred to me that I have abandoned my purpose. And what was your purpose, Jude? You might be asking. No flaming idea. Weren't you listening? I abandoned my purpose; therefore, it's gone. Kaput.

I got in my car and drove home but not before making a pit stop at McDonald’s for a chocolate milkshake with whipped cream. I was sulking, so the whipped cream was necessary.  I joined my club members with a weary half-smile as I slurped my milkshake. The man in the car to my left had the nerve to roll up his window. Apparently, my slurping disturbed his melancholy moment. 

Be that way I said, being the child that I am. I wouldn't want to infringe on your Bass of the Month centerfold. And by the way, that isn't a Rock Bass; that’s an Alabama Bass. Amateur. I looked to my right. The woman reading Cosmopolitan rolled up her window too. I have news for you, honey; no matter how hard you stare at that magazine, you’ll never look like the PYT on the cover. You’re middle-aged and are wearing a mother's ring with four different birthstones in it. That cellulite ship sailed years ago. I think to myself as I lick off the last of my whipped cream from the bottom of my straw and slurp that much harder just to irritate the woman. I paid good money for those calories, and they are coming with me. Now that my milkshake is gone and everyone has given me the stink eye, I'll go where I'm really wanted. Home.

I walked through the back door with a slice of homemade apple pie on a pretty cut-glass plate, lovingly wrapped in cellophane. Luke met me at the door. I hung my head and handed him his pie. He placed it on the nearby table and gave me a hug. "Welcome home," he said.

I haven't snuck out of the house again. But I may or may not be the reason pine needles appeared in the sheets on his side of the bed, his coffee tasted like Tabasco sauce yesterday, or that his sandwich had a stink bug in it three days ago.

I never did give that penitent speech. Come to think of it, I don't think that word means what I think it means. Wait until tomorrow when he has to use the bathroom. I’m sure the fly on his boxer shorts wasn't sewn shut before I washed them, but you never know what poor quality clothing you're going to get these days. Hehehe. I have a new hobby.

Read Sneaking Out Part 4

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