florida is a cesspool.

My vaccinated boyfriend thought it would be a good idea to go to Florida with his cheater brother. Ew.

He proposed the idea one day while he was at work, via text message of course.

“Was thinking of going to Florida for a weekend at the end of the month. Would you mind?”

“Of course I would mind. Florida is a cesspool and you have no business getting involved in that,” I replied.

“Why? I don’t plan on coming into contact with anyone except Hunter and we’ve both been vaccinated.”

I was typing back something along the lines of, “I’m sure Hunter will be bringing enough germs to infect the whole state,” but then Brady said, “I already got a ticket. I assumed you wouldn’t care.”

Do you know what happens when you assume, Brady? He was already on my shit list because he let Winnie sleep in the bed with us one night and now she refuses to ever sleep in her own bed.

We got into a huge fight about it, after the baby screamed and cried because she wasn’t ready to sleep and wanted to continue playing on the iPad. It was already way past her bedtime. Brady gave in and I said, “You can’t just give her whatever she wants like that. She’s already spoiled and I don’t want her to turn into a brat too.”

“Oh yeah?” Brady said with a straight face. “And you don’t think she got it from you?”

I got up and walked out of the room because I didn’t want to curse him out in front of Winnie, but needless to say, I let him fucking have it over text message.

So now I was really mad at him.

Luckily though, work has been a good distraction. I’ve been going into the office 2-3 times a week, mostly just to get out of the house. Mike and Paige are almost always there and stay cooped up in his office, which I thought was odd. I can understand needing to work closely together, but it’s just weird. Half the time, they don’t even know I’m in the office because they never come out. One day I cornered Sam to see if she had more information.

“He has her on a performance improvement plan so I think he’s trying to work with her,” Sam explained.

A performance improvement plan?! Interesting!

“Do you think she’s going to get fired?” I asked.

“It’s hard to say. I’m not exactly privy to information like that,” she said back.

And it’s like, you should be. You have the most access to Mike, you should know everything. But whatever.

The weekend Brady went to Florida, Brendan was also on vacation too — to some chic private island. So Winnie and I headed over to Mel’s to have company while we kept tabs on them. The four of us sat perched in the sunroom facing the lake in their backyard with wine spritzers and I complained. I’d told Mel a little bit about Brendan, but when she saw me spiraling while watching his Instagram videos she figured there was more to the story.

So I explained everything, including the whole separation scandal. I showed her the videos of Brendan and his supermodel wife taking a private jet to the island and frolicking on the white, sandy beach.

Mel was quiet for a minute.

“What?” I wanted to know, sensing her judgement.

“You already know what I’m going to say,” she said.

“Yes, it’s kind of inappropriate. I know that.”

“You’re having an emotional affair.”

Mel!” I gasped. “That’s a bit of a stretch.”

“You may not think so, but even his wife agrees. And you’ve deliberately not told Brady about him so you must know it’s true.”

Jeez. I don’t remember asking for such brutal honesty.

“What do you want to happen?” she went on. “You can deny it all you want, but you obviously have some feelings involved.”

“I don’t want anything to happen. He’s one of the closest friends I have here and I want to keep it that way,” I said.

We were silent for a moment while we sipped our drinks.

“I’m surprised, I guess,” she said. “You and Brady seem so good together.”

“We are.” I was defensive now. “I haven’t told him because there’s nothing to tell. I don’t want to make it a thing.”

“You know, this happened to us a few years ago. It was with him though, with one of his nurses. It was when he was working overnight and they spent a lot of time together. And then when he was home during the day, he’d be on the phone with her. She was a little bit older, divorced a zillion times and super sexy.”

It sounded almost exactly like Brady and Sydney.

“So what’d you do?” I asked.

“I got him to admit he had feelings for her and when he did, I told him he had to end things with her if he wanted a future with me.”

And then I got a flashback of breaking up with Brendan. I can’t believe Mel handled the situation so easily. If Brady admitted to having feelings for someone else, I’d definitely leave. But Mel is so smart, it’s no wonder she and her husband have such a strong marriage. I need to listen to her.

I wasn’t really worried about Brady while he was in Florida despite the fact that he hadn’t texted me since he landed and was hanging out with his morally corrupt brother.

But then on Saturday night, Hunter sent a picture in a group chat between the three of us. The picture was of Brady slumped on a couch, looking like he was passed out with a beer in his hand. But in the corner of the picture I could see a sliver of a girl dressed in a strappy crop top and jeans next to him. Excuse me?

“Where are you and who’s there?” I asked.

Hunter sent some crying emojis back. I wanted to fucking kill him. In a separate message, I said, “Tell me who is there right now or I’ll tell your wife about your secret kid in Chicago.”

“Calm down. We’re at the house and the maid is here,” he said back.

It took me a few seconds to realize that by “maid” he meant Daniela, the gorgeous housekeeper I’ve met a couple of times.

“And you don’t have to worry. I have that situation under control 😉,” Hunter added.

“You’re fucking disgusting.”

When Brady got home on Sunday night, I confronted him — mostly just to guilt trip him.

“You know, you’re a dad now. It’s super irresponsible to go to Florida and party with girls like that. You could overdo it and die of a drug overdose or something. Then what would we do?” I said.

Brady, who was bouncing the baby in his arms, stopped and looked at me like I was insane. “What are you talking about?”

“I’m just saying. Obviously your brother doesn’t care about his family and I don’t want him to be a bad influence on you. I don’t think it’s a good idea to do a trip like that again.”

“Okay,” Brady said. “I hadn’t seen my brother in a long time so I thought you’d understand.”

“Of course I understand! I just don’t see the need to need to hang out with other women and drink to excess like that. And whatever else you did,” I said.

“Okay. I’m sorry.”

“And stop apologizing to me!” I exclaimed. “Just do better.”

A little while later, while we were getting ready for bed, Brady said, “We should watch what we say in front of Winnie now. She’s talking and might start repeating things. We don’t want her saying ‘drug overdose’ or anything like that.”

And it’s like, are you seriously trying to lecture me on parenting when you’ve created a little monster brat of a child?

“Okay then when you know you’re in trouble stop picking up the baby to protect you,” I said.

“Okay.”

We got in bed and I made Brady tell me the details of the trip: what they did, where they went, who they saw, etc. He was sure to be super vague about the housekeeper, but then I thought of something.

“Did you ever sleep with her?” I asked.

“Sleep with who?” he asked, to buy time.

“Daniela. I sensed some tension there when I met her. Did y’all have sex?”

“No! Jeez.” He looked away. “I mean, maybe when we were younger, but I don’t think so.”

Which means they absolutely did and I’m so sick of Brady having sex with every woman he knows. He and Hunter are really not that different.

Standard

homeboy has been working out.

I saw on Mike’s calendar that he had a meeting with Brendan in the office. So I got dressed in a midi sweater dress and heeled boots and dragged my ass to the city.

When I got there, the place was deserted, but I saw that Mike’s light was on through the frosted window on his door. Because I’m nosy, dropped off my things and then walked over to eavesdrop. I wanted to see if Brendan was in there with him for their meeting. Sure enough, after a few seconds I heard them in there laughing. I stayed to see what they were talking about because for some reason I always feel like they’re talking shit about me. I have no reason to feel that way, but I do.

They carried on talking for a minute or two and then Mike suddenly stopped.

“Hello?” he called out. “Is that Reese?”

They could see me through the frosted glass, I realized too late. Fuck.

I pushed the door open. Mike was sitting behind his desk and Brendan sat in a chair opposite. They were both staring at me.

“Oh, hi! Sorry, I didn’t want to disturb. I decided to stop by today so if you need anything, I’m in my office,” I said.

Mike continued staring at me like he was utterly unamused, but Brendan broke into the hugest grin like he was thrilled to see me. I felt myself beginning to blush.

“Great. I will speak to you after this meeting,” Mike said pointedly.

“K!” I glanced at Brendan one last time before closing the door again. I wanted to die of embarrassment at being caught eavesdropping.

I went and worked in my office alone for a little while. Paige is still sending bitchy, passive aggressive emails while not replying to mine, so I’ve been deliberately excluding her from things and not responding to her either. Sorry, I’m petty and she’s messing with the wrong one.

Later on, I heard a knock on my office door, and I assumed it was Mike coming to talk to/yell at me.

“Come in!” I said and Brendan stepped in. I swallowed hard. He was wearing a fitted black t-shirt, those Lululemon joggers and Yeezy sneakers with his gold bracelet and an Apple Watch. He put a hand on his chest and I realized I had been completely checking him out. He’s like, very hot. It gave me a headache. “Hey!”

Hey,” he said back as he walked in completely and shut the door behind him. “I didn’t know you were coming in today.”

“Yeah, last minute decision. Didn’t know you’d be here either!” I lied.

“Cool coincidence.” Brendan sat in one of my spare chairs and looked around a little bit. “But I’m happy to see you. How have you been holding up? I thought life was finally going back to normal, but it doesn’t look like it.”

“Yeah, if I have to watch another minute of television I’ll probably blow my brains out. I can’t take it anymore.”

He laughed. “I feel you.”

Since things were going so smooth and normal, I decided to blow that up.

“You called me the other night. I assume it was a butt dial, or did you want something?”

“Oh, yeah.” His smile vanished and he leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “Sorry about that. I needed someone to talk to and I…sorry. I know it was late.”

So then I felt bad for not answering or checking to see if he needed anything. What would he need to talk about and why me, of all people?

“Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, yeah.” He waved like it was no big deal while avoiding eye contact. Obviously lying.

“Brendan.”

He looked back at me. “She…”

I already knew who he was referring to.

“I don’t really want to talk about it, if that’s okay,” he said.

And it’s not like I could force it out of him. So naturally, this made me even more curious about what was going on. His wife must be giving him a hard time again, I assumed, but it can’t be about me since we hardly talk anymore!

We continued catching up for a while. I complained to him about how Winnie likes Brady more than me and Brady’s mom who has been harassing me and my weekly wine binges with Mel. Brendan told me stories about their dog and showed me some pictures and videos that made me sad because I miss Tucker. He relaxed more and leaned back in his chair and from that angle I could really appreciate the way his body looked in his outfit. Which is obviously terrible, but I’m not sure how I could have avoided it. Homeboy has been working out.

At one point, we heard the main doors chime open and I assumed it was Paige or Sam coming in or Mike leaving.

Then I heard a girl’s voice squeal, “Hey, Mikey!”

For a split second, I thought it was one of his prostitutes or something, but Brendan’s face went blank and he froze.

“We’re having lunch. The three of us.”

And then it all made sense. It was Brendan’s wife.

“Oh.”

“Sorry. I’d better go. It was nice to be able to catch up,” he said.

“Totally.”

There was a knock on the door and then Mike swung it open without waiting for an answer. What if I was naked? Or what if me and Brendan were doing something we didn’t want him to see? Rude. He poked his head in and Brendan jumped up.

“Ready?” he asked Brendan. Beyond him, I could see the wife standing there, waiting. She was tiny and beautiful and dressed in a Balenciaga leather jacket that I know for a fact costs $5,000.

“Yes,” Brendan said and squeezed past him out the door.

Mike looked at me. “We’re going to lunch if you’d like to join.”

Wow, Mike was actually being polite and inviting me. As tempting as it was, the thought of sitting at a table with Mike, Brendan and his wife after everything that has gone down, was too much. Even for me. Plus, wasn’t Mike fully aware of their marital issues and how I was somehow involved? I glanced quickly at Brendan, whose back was facing me, as he said something to his wife.

“You know, I’d love to, but I’m swamped. I’d better stay here and work. Thanks though!” I said back.

He didn’t say anything and closed the door. But before the door shut all the way, Brendan’s wife looked me right in the eye. It wasn’t until I heard the door chime again that I realized my heart was racing and I had to force myself to calm down. And then once I was calm, I burst into tears.

What the actual fuck? I don’t even know why. I’m back on birth control so something must be going on with my hormones.

Anyway, Brady’s been working a lot so we haven’t spoken that much. Usually he leaves before me and Winnie wake up and then when he gets home, we need to eat, put the baby to sleep and then he has more work to do. At this point, I’m not going to beg him to hang out with me and the baby. If he wants to, he will. And surely he knows that this is how a lot of relationships end — by growing apart. So it’s up to him.

He worked one Saturday and I made plans for me and Winnie: sleep in and then do chores around the house, order groceries, nap, paint, etc. But at 11am, the doorbell rang. I assumed it was one of my various deliveries so imagine my surprise when Brady’s mom was standing there. Unannounced. Carrying lots of bags and food.

“I brought lunch and gifts!” she said happily once I let her in.

“Thank you. I didn’t know you were coming,” I said. I was trying to be polite but in all those hours she spent driving here, she didn’t think it would be nice to call? What if we weren’t even home?”

“I told Brady,” she explained. “Did he not tell you?”

Of course. It made sense; Brady and I hadn’t talked much and he doesn’t tell me anything anyway.

“No, but it’s fine. Thanks for coming. Winnie will be excited to see you.”

She only stayed for an hour, but did plenty of damage during that time, talking complete shit as always. At one point, she asked if we’d signed the baby up for any sort of activities or schooling. And it’s just like, she’s not even 2. So no. Plus, we’re still in a pandemic.

“Well, I’ll speak to Brady about that,” she said haughtily.

After she left, I sent him a message.

“I would have appreciated it if you’d told me your mother was coming today. An unexpected visit was the last thing I wanted to deal with today.”

A few hours later, he texted back, “What? I didn’t know she was coming. She didn’t tell me.”

I assumed he was lying, like he always does when it comes to his mother, but then he added, “I wouldn’t have worked today if I knew she was coming.”

And that’s when I believed him. His crazy fucking mother. She knows Brady doesn’t tell me anything so it was easy for her to lie, knowing she could blame him. She’s so manipulative, I hate her! And she emailed me an article and long diatribe about how we are hindering Winnie’s growth. Bye. It went into the trash immediately.

Standard

i caved.

Okay, so I caved. I reached out to Devin. I really didn’t want to, but I was dying for more information and he doesn’t have Instagram and I don’t have Facebook so what else was I supposed to do? I found some old number of his, unblocked him, texted, “Heard you’re engaged!!!” then turned my phone on its face so I wouldn’t sit there staring at it.

Literally ten seconds later, my phone rang. It was an unsaved Los Angeles number.

“Reese [Brady’s last name],” I answered professionally since it was during the workday.

“Hey.” It was Devin. Hearing his voice kind of made it feel like my lunch was going to come back up.

“Oh, hey,” I said back casually. “What’s up?”

“Surprised to hear from you. Figured I was blocked,” he said.

“You were,” I admitted. “But I haven’t done anything charitable in a few months so I figured why not.”

Devin laughed. “I guess I lucked out then. It’s so good to hear your voice.”

“Mmhm. So? You’re getting married?”

“Yup, you heard correctly. How did you find out?”

“That is truly shocking.” Somehow, Devin confirming the news made me stop everything I was doing. I needed to fully digest this information.

“Is it?”

“I never thought you’d get married. Like ever,” I said.

“And why is that?”

“Because you have major commitment and monogamy issues. Quite frankly I don’t think you’re capable of either one.”

Devin laughed again. “Ouch. You know I’m not like that anymore. I’ve changed.”

So naturally I wanted to know everything about this girl and why he was able to change for her, but not me. I needed to know her name, her age and where she’s from. I also wanted to know what she does for a living, how they met and how long they’ve been together.

“It’s been,” Devin paused to think. “Almost four years I think.”

“Four years!?” I exclaimed. I figured they’d been together for way less time, like less than a year. I figured it wasn’t *actually* serious and wouldn’t even last. But four years is a long time. Wow.

There was a bit of background rustling, like he was moving around, and then Devin came back. The background was quiet, like he’d gone into the bathroom or something for privacy. “Yeah. It was casual at first, but things got serious. We decided we didn’t want to see other people.”

“I guess she must be really special then. I can’t imagine you not wanting to see other people.”

“Are you jealous?”

“I mean, kind of. That’s all I ever wanted from you, but you were physically incapable of keeping your dick in your pants so…”

He chuckled. “But you’re the only one I was in love with. Those other girls didn’t matter. I was just having fun.”

“That doesn’t make me feel better, you know. That’s like saying, ‘I know I killed a ton of people, but I was having fun.’”

“God, I miss you,” Devin said.

He’s so smooth, slipping that in there like that. Luckily though, it has no effect on me now. Suddenly, I had a thought.

“Is she pregnant? Is that why you’re rushing to get married?”

Devin laughed like this was completely hilarious and absurd. “What the fuck? No, she’s not pregnant. I don’t want kids. I’ve never wanted kids. Unless it was with you, but—”

“Well, that will obviously never happen. And I have a daughter now.”

He got really quiet. “You do?”

“Mmhm. She just turned a year old.”

“Damn. By who?”

“Uh, my boyfriend.” I’d completely forgotten that I was going to pretend to be married already. “Who I’ve been with forever.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah, so…”

Neither of us said anything for several seconds and then Devin said, “Sorry, that caught me off guard.”

And it’s like, we haven’t talked in years, what did he expect? Did he think I’d be sitting around not living my life in case he wanted back in my life?

“Well, I’d better get going. I’m working and I’m sure you have a wedding to be planning,” I said.

“Yeah. Yeah, you are correct. Let’s stay in touch, beautiful.”

And I hung up right there because stop. You’re engaged and I’m pre-engaged so stop calling me beautiful and pretending anything could or would ever happen with us anymore.

Speaking of pre-engaged, the day after my freak out, Brady was so nice to me. He always does that; we get into a fight and then he just wants it to be over so he goes out of his way to be extra nice to me.

He brought me lunch to my little makeshift home office and had all these questions about work and what projects I’m currently working on. I was still reeling from my conversation with Devin and I needed some time alone so I was vague and pretended to be super busy.

I realized that I’ve been perfectly happy not being engaged or married the past few months/years. I haven’t even really thought about marriage at all. I’d decided to stop bringing it up because if Brady wants to get married then he’ll ask me. So I was definitely embarrassed about how I’d acted over the weekend.

Devin texted me in the afternoon saying, “Can we FaceTime later? I want to see you.”

No. But I sent a picture since he wanted to see me so bad. It was of me and Winnie taken by my mom on my birthday. Obviously the only good picture I’ve taken in the last year.

“Fuck. You’re so beautiful. So is she,” Devin replied.

Brady cooked dinner and we all sat down and ate together. One thing that is really bugging me is that despite spending all day during the week with me, Winnie just prefers Brady. When we’re all home together she wants nothing to do with me and cries if I try to pick her up or feed her or anything. And she clings on to his legs and follows him around the house.

I suspect it’s because Brady gives in to everything she asks for. One night she refused to go to bed because she wanted more sweets so Brady let her stay up and eat cake and ice cream! Obviously she was up all night with a stomachache so he should’ve just made her go to bed in the first place. I never thought I’d be the strict/reasonable parent out of the two of us.

After dinner, Brady finished up work and I fought with the baby to get her to sleep. I mean, literally fought. I have wounds to show for it. When she was finally asleep, I left the room and Brady was waiting outside the door.

“Is she asleep?” he asked.

“Yeah, finally. She’s a terrorist.”

“Aww.” Brady pulled me into a hug. “You’re such a good mommy.”

Ew. I can really do without Brady calling me “mommy.”

Later, we were fooling around on the couch. My phone rang, loud, on the coffee table. I’d turned it off silent to watch Instagram stories earlier in the evening.

“Do you need to get that?” Brady, on top of me, asked.

“No.” I assumed it was Devin, who can’t take no for an answer. And it was 9PM — 6 on the west coast —so not a completely inappropriate time.

But later when we were going to bed, I saw that it was actually Brendan who had called me. What would he need from me at 9PM? That is an inappropriate time. He didn’t leave a message and I wondered if there was an emergency? But I was too afraid of what he might’ve actually wanted and I didn’t call or text back. And I haven’t heard anything from him since. I swear, friendship with him is so weird.

Standard

he’s engaged?

Hey y’all.

A few weeks ago while I was casually tapping through stories and scrolling my feed on Instagram, I saw that Nick, my old fling from Chicago, got engaged. To that cute girl he has been dating, the one I met out at a bar. I was super surprised, considering the last time I was in Chicago, he tried very hard to hang out with me. But like, whatever. Nick is such a nice guy.

I messaged him to say congratulations and he replied, “Hey, thanks! 😉” and we proceeded to have a four hour conversation over Instagram message. I wasn’t really jealous or anything like that; I figured it would happen eventually. And I told him the truth — that he deserves to be happy, which made me feel bad because of what happened with us. Truthfully, I had no business even trying to date anyone when I still had feelings for Brady.

And then over the weekend, Preston sent me a weird text that said, “Devin is engaged.”

Y’all remember Devin, my awful ex from college? I have plenty of gross and traumatizing stories about him in the archives if you want to read.

“How do you know?” I texted back.

Preston sent me a screenshot from Facebook: Devin looking just as good as I remember with his arm around a cute brunette. The caption said, “Your boy is getting married! 🥂”

Oh fucking really?

I spent the next fifteen minutes studying the photo: the setting (it looked like a fabulous and modern high rise apartment), the girl (a rather plain brunette with pretty blue eyes and big pouty lips), their outfits (he wore skinny jeans that left very little to the imagination and she was in fucking leggings and one of those hideous tie dye hoodies the kids are wearing these days), what I could make out of the ring (the picture was too far away to see if it was even nice). Inside me, a weird feeling was brewing. I wasn’t sure if I was shocked or upset or if I cared at all.

I forwarded the picture to Kendra and seconds later, she FaceTimed me.

“Girl!” she exclaimed. “He’s engaged?!”

Luckily, I had locked myself in the closet for privacy.

“I know! It doesn’t make any sense!”

Devin is the last person I ever thought would get married. He can’t even commit to dinner plans. I minimized Kendra so I could study the picture some more. Devin looked seriously good, like he’s been spending the last several months working out and drinking plenty of water. He’s always been unnecessarily gorgeous, but he’s definitely aging gracefully.

“How do you feel?” she asked.

And then, for no reason at all, I burst into tears.

“Oh, Reese,” Kendra sighed sympathetically. “I’m sorry. I know it’s hard to see this.”

“No, no it’s not that,” I blubbered like a fucking idiot. “It’s just so weird.”

“I know. But he’s such a loser, Reese. I hope that poor girl knows what she’s getting into.”

“Yeah, I know. Such a loser.”

I was crying over my ex who I was with ten years ago so really, who was the loser? But it just didn’t make sense. I thought Devin would play women until the day he died. I can’t believe he got engaged before me.

So naturally, I started reevaluating my life. How is it possible that Devin, the biggest player on earth, who refuses to be tied down, has a fiancée? He’s engaged? He proposed to some plain Jane LA girl who wears tie dye?

Is something wrong with me? Does she have something I don’t? I know this is a destructive way to think, but I can’t help it.

Then I got (irrationally?) mad at Brady. How is that we can be together for so long, have a baby and buy a house together, but he doesn’t think I’m good enough to marry? I’m not sure if I’m being completely crazy about the whole thing because he did make suggestions of marriage a few times, but it’s not the same. It’s not the same as, “I think you are amazing, I am in love with you and want to spend the rest of my life with you.” He’s never really said that or shown that.

So I confronted him. He was sitting on the couch watching TV while Winnie napped next to him.

“You okay?” he asked, clearly noticing that I’d been crying.

“Not really.”

“What’s going on?”

“I just think it’s really weird that you haven’t proposed to me.”

A completely blank look took over Brady’s face so I continued.

“Why is it so hard for you? We have a baby and a house, but for some reason you’re scared to actually commit to me which is stupid because a baby is an even bigger commitment. It makes zero sense,” I said.

Brady just sat there blinking like this was out of left field and he was at a loss for words. But surely he understands my frustration. It’s not the first time I’ve brought something like this up.

“I’m not scared,” he said, turning back to the TV.

“Then what is it? Do you not actually like me? Because half the time it seems that way.”

“Can you please not do this right now? You’ll wake the baby,” Brady said.

Seriously? He is such an asshole, always dismissing me. I wanted to punch him in the side of his stupid head. I went upstairs and texted with Brendan for the next few hours.

Later that night, when we were in bed, I brought it back up because if Brady doesn’t think I’m good enough to marry, I’ll take my gorgeous baby to live far away from him and I dare him to fight me on it.

“You know I want to marry you, Reese,” he said, sounding exasperated. “I don’t even know why you’re bringing this up.”

“Then why haven’t you?” I demanded. “Don’t try to pacify me now when your actions have shown me the exact opposite.”

“What do you want me to do?” he exclaimed. “When would have been a good time to get engaged and married, Reese?”

“I don’t goddamn know, but you could’ve figured it out! You’ve had six years.”

“I’m sorry,” Brady said which made me even more mad.

“Don’t say sorry, just do better!”

We both turned to sleep and didn’t say anything else. A little bit later though, he had the nerve to reach over to me to try to get some. Read the motherfucking room, Brady. For fucks sake.

Anyway. I feel a bit ridiculous about how I acted over Devin getting engaged, but I’m still frustrated with Brady. We’re snowed in together though so hopefully this forces us to talk through our never ending issues.

Standard

sizing them up.

We remodeled our bathroom. Brendan agreed to have his company do it before he revealed the stuff about his wife and since things got super weird. The project was supposed to take a team of two about a week total which was perfect. It wouldn’t take very long and I didn’t have to worry about a bunch of random men in the house. I designed it entirely myself with no input from anyone else and I chose everything white with lots of texture and brass hardware.

But then they ran into some sort of electrical snag which slowed them down. Then someone ordered the wrong tiles and didn’t notice until I checked in when they were halfway through laying them down. I had a mini panic attack, but they assured me it was fine and we’d get the right tiles in.

I guess my panic attack made it all the way up the chain because the following Monday, we got a visit from Brendan. I hadn’t talked to him since our lunch and had no idea he was coming. Imagine: I was walking into my house after a mid morning walk with Mel and the babies and Brendan of all people was walking down my staircase. I almost threw up. Neither of us said anything as he continued down the stairs. And then the baby screamed.

“Oh, who’s this?” Brendan asked all sweetly as he got closer.

“What are you doing here?” I asked.

“Checking in on things.” He stopped several feet from us and looked completely gorgeous in a bomber jacket, jeans and boots. I loved his dressed down, urban look. And I guess I was just staring because he added, “Is that okay?”

“Oh, of course! Thanks for stopping by. This is Winnie. She just downed a triple espresso at Starbucks so forgive her for all the energy,” I said.

Brendan laughed, luckily, because it made things feel less tense. “How’ve you been?”

“Just fine. Can I offer something to drink? Water? Rosé? Vodka with lemon?” I said back.

Just as I was calming down and leading him to the kitchen, I realized that it was Monday and Brady was home. I was not ready for him to meet Brendan, especially after his little confession.

He laughed again. “Water is good.”

I poured him a glass and then slid it to him, not entirely sure what to say. It’s rare that I have nothing to say.

“The bathroom’s looking good. I told the guys to have it done by Wednesday, Thursday at the latest,” Brendan said. “Is that okay with you?”

“Oh, of course. I appreciate you checking in.” I was nervous. What the fuck? Who did he think he was, coming into my house and making me nervous?

“Sure, I’m happy to. Actually, I did want to talk to you about something.”

“Mhmm,” I said as I took a sip of my water, hoping he wasn’t going to bring up what I thought he was going to bring up.

“I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable at lunch the other day,” he said. “That wasn’t my intention at all. I shouldn’t have brought it up.”

“Mmm,” I murmured, still slightly at a loss for words.

“I guess I was in denial about everything for so long, but I was finally honest with myself. Your friendship means a lot to me and I don’t want to jeopardize it by making things weird. I’m sorry.”

“I mean, it’s fine. But why didn’t you ever tell me how you were feeling? I was kind of blindsided the other day,” I finally said.

“I didn’t see a point. Nothing was ever going to come from my feelings for so many reasons and I didn’t want to make things awkward after we’d already sort of talked about it.”

“So what was the point of even telling your wife in the first place? Because like you said, nothing was ever going to come out of it so it seems like a bunch of drama for no reason.”

“I wanted to be honest with her. I thought she deserved that.”

But I didn’t?

We heard footsteps approaching and I looked over to see Brady walking into the kitchen carrying the baby.

“She can’t just wander the house when there’s construction going on,” he said as he shoved her into my arms. I’d forgotten all about Winnie. “Please watch her. I have a meeting.”

I didn’t say anything, suddenly paralyzed with anxiety about the two seeing each other and the possibility that Brady had overheard any of that conversation. With them standing there next to each other, I couldn’t help sizing them up. They were similar in build, toned and lean, though Brendan was a few inches taller. And while Brady looked laidback and preppy in his jeans and button down, Brendan looked ready to hit the town in his streetwear and trendy haircut. Brendan had emotional, expressive eyes while Brady stood there looking utterly unamused.

Brady looked over at Brendan, who waved like an awkward child who had just been caught masturbating, and then walked out. Winnie screamed at the absolute top of her lungs.

I can’t believe Brady spoke to me like I was a child in front of Brendan.

“Anyway, I’m going to get out of here. It was good seeing you,” Brendan said.

It was not good seeing him! And then of course that night, I proceeded to have a dirty dream about him. Winnie was in it, but she was ours together (despite her having Brady’s literal face) and we were trying for baby number two. Pleasant.

Brady never asked me about Brendan but a few days later, I found out that he’d talked to my mom about it and she blabbed everything she knows: that Brendan owns the company redoing the bathroom and that he gave me a totally undeserved friends and family discount that brought the cost of the reno down by like 80%. Which was an issue because I hadn’t told Brady about the discount as I didn’t want him to get the wrong idea.

“Mom!” I exclaimed. “Why would you tell him that?”

“He asked, sweetie,” she said back.

Brady didn’t bring it up and I wasn’t about to either, but I was curious about what he was thinking. I thought he’d at least bring up the discount since he’d given me tens of thousands more than the actual cost of the renovation.

Anyway.

Work has been completely awful. I hate Mike and Paige. He’s always been an asshole, but he’s obviously rubbed off on her because now she’s an asshole too. She loves using a “in the future,” and “going forward,” in an email. But rarely responds to any emails I send.

And her VP title has obviously gone to her head and she thinks she’s above most things. I emailed her asking a question from one of our vendors with Mike copied. He replied back to just me saying, “When you get a question like that, just let the vendor know Paige will reply when she gets to it. No need to forward it along, Paige is very busy.”

And another day, I was giving her and Mike the lowdown on the progress of a project during a conference call. She interrupted me and said, “Yeah, I don’t need the details. Just tell me when it will be complete.”

Normally, I would have checked her, but I’m focusing on not getting fired these days. I complain to Brendan about it a lot and may have tainted his feelings about her because now he hates her too. And maybe it’ll work in my favor since Brendan and Mike are close. He can tell Mike how terrible she is and help get her the fuck out of here.

Ever since that day Brendan stopped by the house, things have been super strictly platonic between us. Well, mostly. He talks to me about his wife a lot, like how she absolutely loves the show Versailles and that I should watch it too and that she’s been growing her hair out for four years and has been debating cutting it, should she cut it? It’s like, stop. I usually tune him out when he starts up with the wife talk. And he’s back to posting super gross sappy shit about her on Instagram, I guess trying to make up for having “feelings” for someone else.

One night though, while he was spending the weekend at one of his family’s vacation homes, he sent me a text that said, “I wish you were here.”

And it’s like, do you really? Because if I was then what would you do about your wife, who is also there? I didn’t reply and the next morning, he apologized, blaming it on all the cold medicine he was on the night before. Yeah, okay.

Let’s see, what else?

Other than the weird stuff with Brendan, Brady and I have been getting along swimmingly. He’s been behaving and we’ve gotten into a regular sex routine, one where he uses a condom every single time. ☺️

We did get into a little fight though because I scraped the side of my beautiful car on the garage door opening. What? I don’t drive that often.

“I don’t understand how you can be so careless. It blows my mind,” he said, after seeing the damage a month later.

“Oh, fuck off. It was an accident,” I said back.

But then he took my car to the body shop to get it repaired without me even asking so whatever.

It was Winnie’s first birthday a few weeks ago. Obviously the huge bash I would’ve wanted wasn’t a possibility, but I was excited to celebrate the occasion with my little family. At the last minute though, Brady’s mom called wanting to drop some things off.

“Ew,” I couldn’t help saying. We hadn’t seen them in months and I was not looking forward to seeing them again. In the end though, the visit for very brief; his mother just dropped off some books, a tablet, clothing and a bottle of wine for us, which was nice. The dad didn’t even come.

Three days later, it was Christmas Eve and Brady’s birthday so we had Mel and her family over for dinner. It was chill and fun and Winnie was having a fantastic time hanging out with people other than us. Naturally, we all drank way too much and the six of us camped on the living room floor.

Lastly, we had to put Tucker down. I’ve been so distraught about it, especially since the baby has been looking for him and missing him. This is literally the saddest thing I’ve ever had to go through and I can’t really talk about it.

Okay, well bye.

Standard

is something wrong with him?

Hey.

My parents came to visit at the end of August for my birthday. It was such a relief to finally get to see them again after so many months. My mother arrived wearing a face shield, gloves and a mask because she’s not fucking around. My mom’s immune system is trash so she’s been being extremely safe since she gets sick often. So I was even more grateful that she traveled on a plane to see us.

They stayed for the weekend, giving Brady and me both alone time and much needed relief from each other. Brady got to talk to my dad about news and politics — things I have no interest in — and I got to complain to my mom about his behavior.

I told her about Sydney and the girl from the pool and she said, “Is something wrong with him?”

Yes, Mom, there is!

And then she offered to talk to him.

“I know sometimes you have a hard time expressing yourself,” she told me. “So I’m happy to translate how you’re feeling to him.”

And it’s just like, Brady understands exactly how I feel. He’s just choosing to act stupid about it. I appreciated the gesture though and since my parents left, he’s been on his very best behavior.

Okay, but the reason I really wanted to post is because I found out some juicy information from Brendan. I’ve been going into the office once a week, just to catch up with Mike and use some of the fancy equipment we have there. Brendan stopped by on one of the days I was there. We don’t talk or text as much as we used to; just a “How are you?” or stupid meme here and there. We used to text constantly, but I’ve been busy with the baby and he’s been busy with his wife and we just sort of fell out of it.

But he invited me to lunch and I happily agreed. I was excited to catch up with him. I used to love hanging out with him and talking to him.

He immediately started talking non stop about his wife and I was just like, 🙄😒. Even before their little separation, he never talked about her this much. So it was kind of weird and it almost felt like he was overcompensating.

“Well, I’m happy you guys aren’t having problems anymore,” I finally interjected.

“Yeah. I guess the issue kind of worked itself out.”

“Mmhm. So what was the issue? You never told me,” I said, taking one of his French fries.

I figured he wouldn’t tell me because he’d been so evasive up until this point. But then he looked at me and said, “Do you really want to know?”

“Of course!”

“It was because of you,” he said and immediately took a sip of his drink.

“Excuse me? Because of me?”

Brendan nodded. “Yeah. Because of how I felt about you.”

I just sat there, speechless. I had so many questions. But mainly, how did he feel about me?

“What?” I said.

He was suddenly super interested in the condensation on the side of his glass. He explained that his wife found out how much we were talking and hanging out last year and when she confronted him about it, he admitted that he liked me in “an intimate way.”

An intimate way? Fucking Brendan!

And she proceeded to blab to their families about what he told her and they had a meeting about it which resulted in the trial separation. And you know how Brendan and his wife hang out with Mike and his wife a lot? And vacation together? Apparently the wife even talked to Mike about it during one of their trips. Can you fucking imagine? I was so horrified at the thought of Mike knowing anything personal about me or hearing gossip about me. But apparently this is how and when he found out I was pregnant. He never mentioned anything.

After finding all of this out, I sat there for a moment and then I just started crying.

“Uh, I’m sorry? I didn’t mean to make you cry,” Brendan said. He tried to touch my back, but I shook him off.

“I wish you hadn’t told me that.”

“You asked me to,” he said back.

“And why would you tell your wife that you had feelings for me? You’ve never even told me that.”

“Well, I’m not going to lie about it.”

And maybe it’s irrational, but I was so annoyed with him. I felt blindsided. I had no idea he felt like that, especially after we had the talk about being just friends. I know we were kinda flirting, but I never thought it was harmful enough to cause problems in either of our relationships. I don’t even think Brady knows who Brendan is. I can’t believe he told his wife that he had feelings for me, but didn’t bother telling me this and continued hanging out with me and complaining about his wife to me as if everything was normal and didn’t have anything to do with me.

In my mother’s words, is something wrong with him?

“We probably shouldn’t hang out anymore,” I said once I’d stopped crying.

“Yeah, you’re probably right,” he said back.

We haven’t talked since that day. I need space to gather my thoughts. I had so many questions. Like, how much does Mike know about me and Brendan’s relationship, does Brendan’s wife know we had lunch that day, does he no longer have feelings for me and that’s why “the issue worked itself out.”

I’ve toyed with the idea of texting him, even started typing messages to him, but I don’t even know what to say. And I definitely don’t want his wife to see me texting him.

Bye.

Standard

i’m the least deceptive person ever.

Remember how I was bragging about Brady and how amazing he’s been lately? Literally a day later he made me mad and ruined everything.

He texted me saying, “I’m having dinner out so I’ll be home late. Eat without me.”

“For what reason?” I said back. Obviously I have no issues with him getting dinner with a friend or whoever, but it seemed a bit weird to me that he was purposely vague and didn’t really seem apologetic about missing dinner. He knows I kill myself every evening in the kitchen to have dinner ready for us.

He didn’t text me back of course and I spent the evening on FaceTime with Kendra. It started getting late and I hadn’t heard from him so I texted Brady again.

“Did you die? What’s going on?”

“Home in twenty minutes,” he said back.

And when he walked in twenty minutes later with his tie off I got even more mad.

“Who was so important that you needed to have dinner with them during a pandemic?” I asked.

“Uh.” He looked everywhere but at me. “Sydney stopped by the hospital for something and we decided to catch up after work.”

Fucking Sydney. Before I could go off, Brady grabbed Winnie from my arms and made a big show of spinning her around and goo-goo gah-gahing. I followed them into the kitchen.

“Sydney, huh?” I said. “You’re in love with her, aren’t you?”

“Excuse me?” Brady looked at me, offended.

“I can’t figure out why else you’d think it’s at all appropriate to have dinner with her in public when you have an infant at home.”

“I haven’t seen Sydney in months, Reese, and she’s my friend. There isn’t anything inappropriate about it.”

“And you know I hate her so I’m perplexed as to why you would think this was a good idea.”

“You have no reason to hate her.”

A thought popped in my head. “Mmhm. And where did you have dinner?”

Brady looked at me, suddenly silent and still. “Her apartment.”

I almost screamed. “You’re kidding me?”

He didn’t say anything, just stood there looking frightened so I continued.

“You schlepped your ass all the way to Brooklyn to have dinner with her at her house? It’s like you want me to get mad at you.”

“No, I’d like to be able to hang out with my friend without you reacting like a child.”

He is such an asshole. I didn’t have anything to say back immediately so he rushed off to change and I conspired to get rid of him. We didn’t talk much for the rest of the evening; he tried to tell me stories about work, but I ignored him and left rooms when he entered. I’m working on being a grown up and in general being less petty, but fucking Sydney. She’s a trigger for me.

By the following day, I’d forgotten about it and had a big dinner waiting for Brady when he got home. We even had sex that night.

But then.

We have this community center for our subdivision with a gym and pool and gathering areas, and Brady has been going to the gym there sometimes. Which is totally fine, but one day he wanted to take the baby to the pool with him. Obviously I was like ew, no. My baby has no business at a nasty pool — pandemic or not. This caused an argument, of course, because Brady’s favorite line is, “She’s my baby too.”

“Fine, you can take her but if she so much as catches a cold, we will never speak to you again.”

They left and I spent the alone time tidying up the house and ordering bullshit online. A few hours went by and I hadn’t heard from Brady. He said they’d be gone two hours tops and they’d been gone for almost three hours.

So I texted him, demanding to know what the fuck was going on. He didn’t reply for a while so I sent a few more messages. And then I called. When I still didn’t get an answer, I started to get a little panicky. What if something bad happened? You just never fucking know.

Since he wasn’t replying, I got myself dressed and made my way down to the pool. I’d worked myself into a frenzy at this point, convinced that I was going to see hundreds of ambulance, firetrucks and police cars outside the pool area.

But I didn’t. What I did find was a small pool area packed with gross people including Brady and Winnie. She was standing on his lap while he sat in a lounger. And sitting next to them was some woman, who was holding onto Winnie’s little hand with hers.

Oh fucking really?

I stormed over there.

“Hi!”

They all turned to look at me. The baby screamed.

“Hey!” Brady said. He turned to the lady he was with. “This is Allison.”

“Nice to meet you,” I lied. Obviously Brady already told her my name and if not, she had no business knowing it anyway.

I figured we’d all leave together since I’d clearly come to pick them up, but no one moved so I sat my ass right there next to Brady on the chair.

“You may as well have made this baby yourself. She looks exactly like you,” Allison said to Brady.

Here we go. People love to tell Brady how much the baby looks like him.

“She has my mouth,” I pointed out.

“No, I mean, identical. Every single feature. I’ve never seen a baby and parent look so much alike. It’s cute,” she went on.

“I was telling Allison how strong our family genes are. Even Hunter’s kids look just like him.”

“Yeah, except Winnie does look a little bit like me,” I said.

“No, she doesn’t,” Allison laughed.

This bitch. I gave her a look that told her I was done with her shit.

“Are you from Massachusetts too?” she asked me.

“No.” I turned to Brady. “Are y’all ready to go? She’s getting hungry.”

“Sure,” he said back.

We started packing up the toys, towels and drinks. From the corner of my eye, I saw Allison hand a towel to Brady, one she had been laying on, that apparently belongs to us. Ew. On top of everything else, he was letting strangers borrow our things. He put it in a bag and I made it a point to grab it with with fingernails and put it in a separate bag by itself.

Needless to say, Brady has not been allowed to take the baby to the pool since that incident. He’s not going to use my cute baby as a chick magnet. He really gets on my nerves with this shit. He knows how I am, but also, who would be okay with that? So many lines were crossed.

Anyway, that was a while ago. We are a lot better now. I’m back to loving the shit out of him again. He really takes care of us, but also he actually acts like he’s interested in me. Like, when he gets home from work he comes and finds me to give me a kiss and tell me how good I look and then suggests dinner options and activities to do for the evening. What a difference a little attention makes!

I’ll even forgive him for letting his mother call me “deceptive” and “unkind.” Lol, me! Can you imagine? I’m the least deceptive person ever — I’m very direct. And she said something like, “Well this was your decision, so you’ll have to live with it.” She’s such a bitch. I’ll have to tell y’all why she called me deceptive sometime.

I went into the office the other day. I was getting antsy at home and I’ve found someone reliable to watch Winnie occasionally so I figured why not. When I got there, Mike was the only person there. Well, him and Brendan. I had no idea Brendan would be there, I swear! And when I walked in to say hi to Mike in his office, they both looked shocked to see me and then looked at each other like they had just been talking about me.

Ugh. I love Brendan. Like, so much. He stopped by my office before he left and I demanded to know if he and Mike were talking shit about me.

And he looked at me like 🤨 and said, “Uh, no. Why would we?”

So I guess I was flattering myself as usual.

He then proceeded to sit and listen to me tell him stories about Winnie for two hours. I think his eyes started glazing over.

“Anyway, what’s new with you?” I asked.

He told me about how he and his wife got a puppy during quarantine. He hadn’t even admitted that they were back together by this point.

“And what did her dad have to say about this?” I asked sweetly.

“He’s happy. It’s not like we are having kids, at least not anytime soon, so this is good for now,” he replied.

Interesting.

“And they forgave you for whatever you did?”

Brendan gave me a weird look, staring me straight in the eye. Then he looked back down at his phone. “Yeah.”

I guess he’ll never tell me what really happened. But at least he’s happy, I suppose. And I talked him into redoing our bathroom so I’m very excited to get that project started!

Standard

i really, really dislike her.

Y’all.

The past few weeks have been the absolute worst. Between having to watch videos of unarmed black people getting killed on the street, having to even explain why this is an issue to grown, adult Americans, having people refuse to exercise precautions during a deadly global pandemic, a fussy 6 month old, and a workaholic baby daddy. I need an 8 week Caribbean vacation.

I’m happy to at least have Kendra and Carly who are going through the same thing with their husbands and daughters. Except Kendra has it even worse because John’s mom has been quarantining with them. Can you imagine? I wouldn’t even want my mom quarantining with us so I can’t imagine having someone else’s mother here with us.

Speaking of which, my mom has been so great and supportive during all this and we’ve been talking on the phone several times daily. She’s walking me through every step of Winnie’s development and giving me Southern mom hacks.

“Oh, she’s got a rash? Grab these four household ingredients…”

“She won’t stop crying? Here’s how to soothe her…”

“I have the perfect trick to getting her hair to grow. Drive to CVS and buy…”

Brady’s mom on the other hand is such a villain. Like I feel like she’s doing it on purpose to annoy me. The other day she called and Brady put her speaker. She proceeded to bitch and complain about wearing a mask, useless precautions, the economy, etc. Brady and I rolled our eyes at first, but then I just had to say something.

“Wearing a mask in a store for an hour or less isn’t that hard, is it? Brady has to wear one literally all day and you know he works twelve hour shifts,” I said.

“Yes, well Brady chose this path. He wanted to work in a hospital.”

“Are you absolutely kidding—”

Brady cut in, knowing I was about to go off. “Okay, we’d better go, baby is waking up.”

And you should have heard her during the protests.

“These people are tearing down their own neighborhoods and will expect us to rebuild it for them. Well, that certainly isn’t going to happen!”

I got that twitch in my eye I get before completely losing it. I really, really dislike her. And I’m thisclose to cutting her off completely because I will not have her talking to my innocent daughter about such negativity.

And I don’t say this very often, not even to him, but I am really loving Brady lately. He’s so sweet and supportive and most importantly, he doesn’t agree with his parents trash ideologies. When I say, “I’m actually starting to think your parents are stupid,” he says, “Yeah, I think so.”

He still hasn’t had the balls to stand up to them and tell them how wrong they are, but shit talking behind their back is a start.

When I’ve had a day with Winnie, where she won’t let me work or clean or do anything at all and I need a break, Brady will take her off my hands when he gets home.

Winnie can be a villain sometimes too. She will scream all day and nothing I do will calm her down, but as soon as Brady gets home she’s fine and giggly and looks at me like: “See. I just don’t want to be stuck in the house with you all day.” Which is fine because the feelings mutual, sweetie.

Although I am a little bit peeved because Brady told me he sent a playful mask selfie to one of his (female) colleagues. I got another twitch in my eye. Why are you sending selfies to colleagues? Isn’t she there? I bet it’s the same one he’s always gossiping with on the phone.

I made a new friend. Mel, she’s a SAHM who lives right next door to us. Her baby is a few months older than Winnie and her husband works in a hospital and she loves wine so we have a lot in common. I know we shouldn’t be doing this, but she comes over during the day and we let the kids play and it’s helping maintain my sanity. We complain about everything including the fact that our men work a shit ton of hours. And she’s super cute with a very chic blonde bob and a hot body from working out on a Peloton everyday. Now I want a Peloton.

The other day, Mel said, “I don’t mean to pry, but why haven’t you and Brady gotten married?”

And the question kind of caught my off guard because no one has asked me that, at least in a while.

“We just haven’t had a chance. With the baby and everything, we’d never have time to plan a whole wedding. And at this point, we wouldn’t even be allowed to have one…”

“Why don’t you just get married at the courthouse?”

Mel!” I said, scandalized.

“What? Why not? Big weddings are a thing of the past. Something small between the two of you could be so chic.”

And maybe she’s right, but why have an intimate ceremony when we can have a fabulous party with all of our friends and my family?

Let’s see, what else.

Work has been extremely slow, but we’ve started back up on most of our projects so that’s at least giving me something to do. Mike has gone back to work in the office and invited anyone who wants to come back to do and it’s like dude, I don’t think anyone is interested in sitting in an office and festering in all of our germs all day. No thanks!

Anyway, I’m having a hard time focusing on anything other than the state of the world right now so I’m gonna go. Don’t get me started on the vile duo that is Kanye and Kim. Complete and utter trash, those two.

Maybe I’ll try to update later this week about what else is going on. And please remember: Black lives matter. Wear a mask.

Bye!!

Standard

social distancing???

The other day, Brady’s mom called me. She never calls me.

When I picked up, she said, “Oh, hello. I didn’t expect you to answer.”

What was that even supposed to mean?

“I thought I’d call to check in with you. I’ve sent a couple of text messages and gotten no response,” she continued.

“Oh, sorry. I’ve been busy, as you can probably imagine,” I said.

“I understand.”

There was a beat of silence and then she said, “So I heard you’ve returned to work.”

“I have. Luckily we are still in operation. I was kind of worried I’d come back and there’d be no job for me, but that wasn’t the case. There’s plenty of work still for me to do.”

“And how is Winnie adjusting? It must be hard for her – she’s used to having your undivided attention so I imagine this is quite a transition for her.”

I could not roll my eyes hard enough. “She’s fine.”

“Do you need any help?”

“No. I’ve got it under control. Brady’s helping a ton when he can and everything is perfect.”

“Well, we’d like to see her,” Brady’s mom said. “We were thinking of driving to Connecticut on Saturday for a visit. We don’t need to stay long, perhaps until dinner and then we will leave.”

I didn’t say anything. Surely she was kidding as this was against everything we are supposed to be doing right now.

“How does that sound?”

“I don’t know,” I began. “We’re all supposed to be isolating so probably not. At least not right now.”

“Oh, don’t be silly, Reese,” Brady’s mom said dismissively. “We want to see our granddaughter.”

A few months ago, I’d decided that I was not going to deal with Brady’s parents – his mom in particular. Like I just don’t have the patience or desire to and she has no right to be a bitch to me. So I’ve been pushing them back onto him.

“Why don’t we talk to Brady about it? He probably has a better perspective,” I said. She huffed and we hung up.

A few days later, she called me again.

“Brady told me Winnie is measuring in the 20th percentile. This is a huge concern, Reese,” she said.

I almost fucking lost it.

“She’s small! She’s a petite baby. Sometimes babies are small!”

“They are, but usually due to an underlying issue or malnutrition, Reese. I’d like her to see our family doctor here in Massachusetts. He’s one of the best in the country.”

I quickly rushed off the phone, but she texted me afterwards and said, “I’m sure Brady already told you, but we are coming on Saturday to see the baby. We will bring lunch.”

I didn’t reply and when Brady got home, I let him fucking have it. If he isn’t going to control his mother, then he will have to take the abuse from me.

“Oh my God, relax. She’s not trying to be rude, she just wants to make sure Winnie is healthy,” Brady said, rolling his eyes at me.

“Of course she’s healthy! Didn’t you tell her that? You heard the doctor say she’s literally perfect!” I screamed. “And how could you give them permission to come here with this gross virus going around?”

“How could I not let them come visit? That’s so unfair. They haven’t seen her in months.”

Naturally, I was absolutely furious at Brady for being, in my opinion, irresponsible and taking his mother’s side over mine. I didn’t talk to him for the rest of the week.

As promised, Brady’s parents arrived at 11am on Saturday morning. I’d spent the morning crying because the whole situation was out of my control. Winnie, however, was excited for visitors and screamed and giggled as they all greeted each other. I stayed in the kitchen, pretending to clean.

“Reese. It’s nice to see you,” Brady’s mom said after she had come to find me.

“You as well,” I said back politely.

The dad followed her in, carrying the bags of food they brought. He was polite and hugged me (social distancing?????) while Brady’s mom began to unload the food.

Brady came in carrying the baby and his mother said, “Son, how about a tour of your house?” And then she turned to me. “You’ll set up the food, won’t you?” As if I’m some sort of slave!

By the time they got back from the tour, the food was exactly where she’d left it because I was too busy texting my mom, Kendra, Carly and whoever I could think of to complain about her. Brady’s mom gave me a disappointed look as she continued pulling takeout containers out of the shopping bags.

We sat down for lunch where Brady’s parents and Winnie did most of the talking. I’ve noticed that Brady is a teeny bit more confident around his mother now and actually gives his opinion on things. At one point in the lunch, he said, “That isn’t true,” and the mother said, “Yes, it is,” and Brady said, “Mom. That’s false and it’s absurd.” And she backed down. I don’t even know what they were talking about but it was nice to see Brady win for once.

After lunch and several mimosas for me, everyone headed back to the living room while I put Winnie down for a nap. When I got back, everyone stopped speaking and watched me walk in. It’s like, I know you’re talking about me. But I couldn’t even bring myself to care.

Brady’s mom starting talking again, asking Brady if he’s spoken to his brother. “Dominique is threatening to leave him and take the children with her.”

I almost choked on my mimosa at this piece of gossip. Brady didn’t seem to care and didn’t bother asking follow up questions so I had to.

“Why?”

Brady’s mom looked at me. “Because she’s selfish, immature and unreasonable. He should have never married that woman.”

Soooo…not because he goes around having unprotected sex with random women he meets in bars?

“Aww, but if he hadn’t, you wouldn’t have those adorable grandkids,” I said.

“If he had married someone normal and not someone from the ghetto, we wouldn’t have to deal with this crap and we would still have grandchildren.”

I gasped, Brady exclaimed, “Mom!” and Brady’s dad said, “Honey…”

“I’m sorry, but it’s the truth. She’s going to go after his money and assets. It’s no coincidence that she’s doing this now after he sold his patent. She’s classless.”

I couldn’t not say anything. “Have you considered that maybe Hunter hasn’t been a great husband to her?”

“He’s provided her with everything she could possibly want including two perfect children. She was living in squalor when they met, mind you. I’d say he has been nothing but excellent to her,” she said.

I got up and walked back to the kitchen. I couldn’t listen to it anymore. How out of her mind must she be to think Hunter is a good husband? I’d rather be poor than have my man treat me the way Hunter treats Dom. And obviously Dom thinks the same thing. Brady followed me into the kitchen.

“I think they should leave, don’t you think?” I said.

He nodded. “Yeah, maybe.”

“I wonder what she says about me when I’m not around. She’s probably telling people that I’m from a trailer park and that my parents are uneducated drunks, you know?”

“She doesn’t say that. I’m sorry for what she said about Dom. I think she’s just really upset about everything,” Brady explained.

And whether she’s really upset or not, her words are hurtful and unacceptable and I don’t ever want my daughter to be around it.

Maybe I was turned on by Brady kind of standing up to his mother because that night we had sex. Well, we tried to. After an hour of kissing and fooling around, Brady put it in and I said, “Oh, I’m not back on birth control yet.”

“Ugh, Reese,” Brady whined like a baby and it was actually quite funny. “I’ll pull out.”

“Does that actually work? Like, have you tried it with a woman who isn’t on birth control and she didn’t get pregnant? Actually, don’t answer that,” I went on.

Brady put a finger over my lips so I’d be quiet.

“But honestly. Winnie is not ready for a sibling yet. She needs to have the undivided love and attention from us for at least a few years.”

He continued, not saying anything.

“Wow, do you want more children like right away? I never even thought to ask you. How many do you want total?”

Finally, Brady stopped and got up.

“Wait, where are you going?” I asked, still completely naked on the bed.

“Forget it. I’m gonna go check on the baby.”

I guess my line of questioning was a turnoff. Also, once everything dies down I need to figure out birth control.

After their visit, I didn’t hear much from Brady’s mom, but she sent me a Mother’s Day gift: a bottle of Dom Perignon and a set of gorgeous crystal champagne flutes (that were $1,200, I Googled). There was absolutely no reason or explanation for the nice gift, and I considered not accepting it. After the comments about Dom and the things she said to me while I was pregnant, I don’t want to accept anything from her. But sending them back would cause more drama so I decided to just thank her and move on. I felt a bit bad that we’d only sent a card, but when I called her and the first thing she wanted to know was if I’m feeding Winnie regularly and if she’s gained any weight, I got over it.

The other thing I got for Mother’s Day is a car, finally. A beautiful white Audi SUV. Too bad I have nowhere to go in it, but it looks fabulous in the garage.

I’ve been eavesdropping on Brady’s work calls again. It’s so hard not to. The other day, he was working and I heard him shouting so Winnie and I ran upstairs to see/hear what the commotion was. Brady never shouts.

“If he doesn’t get his medication in the next fifteen minutes, he will die! Do you fucking understand me? Do you want to be responsible for his someone living as a vegetable for the rest of their life? Get him the fucking medication now!”

Winnie, not wanting to be left out, began screaming at the top of her lungs too, right outside the door. We had to make a run for it.

Another day, I heard Brady say Hunter’s name and I rushed to hear the latest drama.

“She’s fucking crazy. She went and got my cell phone records and has been calling every number this past week. She called my boss and all my business partners.” Hunter said this.

“Why is she doing this now? What set her off?” Brady asked.

Hunter began to respond, but to my disappointment, Brady took the phone off speaker so I couldn’t hear the rest of Hunter’s explanation. Just a bunch of Oh jeez’s. I tried to get the scoop later, but Brady wouldn’t reveal anything. A few days later though, after a couple of bottles of wine, Brady told me that Hunter has been meeting up with women from apps for sex. During a global pandemic. I lost it.

“Is he out of his mind? That’s so fucking vile!” I screamed.

“I know. He regrets it and feels really bad…”

“Of course he feels bad! What a terrible thing to do. And your mother is blaming Dom for being ‘poor and unreasonable.’ I think not wanting your husband to fuck random girls while there’s a deadly virus going around is far from unreasonable.”

Brady looked like he regretted telling me.

I went on. “And you refuse to hold him accountable. If someone I loved behaved like that, I would refuse to have a relationship until they stopped.”

“But he’s an adult. He can make his own decisions.”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake! That’s not how an adult acts. He’s a fucking child!”

I hadn’t heard much from Brendan. He wasn’t even responding to any emails that I copied him in and he wasn’t posting anything on Instagram. I was going to text him to see why he’d been silent, but before I did I ended up on his wife’s Instagram page. And she’d posted a picture of her laying in a hammock with a man and her legs draping over him. Neither of their faces were in the picture but based on the outfit, shoes, and gold bracelet (why do I have his wardrobe memorized?), I knew she was with Brendan.

And I felt a lot of things. Mostly, why is he even giving that manipulative girl another chance? She’s been so cruel and awful to him during their separation, I can’t see how he’d even want to go back to her. And I have absolutely no right to feel this way, but I guess I was a little bit jealous too. Just imagining her treating him like trash but him still worshipping her. But anyway, it has nothing to do with me and I have no right to feel anything at all about it.

I texted Brendan the other day though. I just wanted to see where he’s been and if he’d fess up. But he didn’t. He said, “Hey, I’m so glad you texted me, I’ve been thinking about you. Things have been so busy.”

And he absolutely did not fess up. Which is weird that he didn’t, but it’s also weird that I think he needs to admit anything to me at all.

That’s all for now.

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it was an accident.

Hi y’all.

I don’t even know where to begin. We’ve obviously fled to Connecticut and I’m even more thankful now for my mother and all she did to help me prepare.

Before we left the city, before my mom went back to Texas, and before it became illegal to socialize, I had lunch with Brendan. I left Winnie with my mom, put on a little dress (thank you, Trainer Wayne), four inch booties and some fur and met him at Serafina. Brendan had texted me a couple times since I’d gone on my leave, but I was so preoccupied that I kept forgetting to text back. Until he said, “Hey – I have something to give you. Wanna grab lunch this week?”

Hell yes, I did. And so we met for lunch. With everything going on with the baby and moving, I hadn’t spent much time thinking about little old Brendan. But when I saw him sitting at the two seater waiting for me, I was so excited that I had to calm down and remind myself to breathe. He looked so good in his perfect fitting black tee, with his blonde hair pushed back messily off his face, squinting at the sun coming in the window, his signature gold bracelet dangling on his wrist. It reminded me of when Brady and I first got together – how my heart would melt when I saw him, in a way I couldn’t really explain.

So maybe that explains why when Brendan stood up to greet me, saying, “You look…amazing,” I threw my arms around him and we pecked him on the lips. It was an accident.

“Whoa,” said a blushing Brendan as if it was all me and he was surprised. He immediately reached down to grab a Saks shopping bag to give me. “My stepmom helped me pick it out.”

We sat down and caught up – me telling him all about the baby, my trainer, the Connecticut house, the cars I want to buy; him telling me about current projects at work, Mike, his current favorite smoothie recipe, his wife. He explained that they’d made plans to spend Christmas together to try to work on their relationship and then at the last minute, after Brendan had hired people to clean, decorate and cook a Christmas feast and bought her several expensive gifts, she texted him (texted him) saying, “My dad doesn’t think it’s a good idea for us to spend Christmas together, sorry.”

I rolled my eyes so hard it hurt. “So when are you filing for divorce? She’s awful.”

Brendan looked at me like he was offended at me even bringing up such a ridiculous thing. Suddenly uncomfortable with talking about himself and his screwed up relationship, he asked, “So. How is your boyfriend? With the baby and everything…”

Brendan and I have made a point not to call either of our spouses’ by their names.

“Oh, he’s fine. He follows us around with hearts in his eyes. I think he’s just amazed that she’s here and she’s real and she looks exactly like him,” I said.

“You must be frustrated that she doesn’t look like you,” Brendan laughed.

“No, it’s fine. They’re both cute,” I said, which is so true. Maybe I wish Winnie had a little bit more hair, but with her big blue eyes, button nose and permanent look of confusion, she’s perfect.

The evening after we had lunch, Brendan texted me saying that he was happy we got to catch up and hopefully we could do it again soon. And by the way, could I get away tonight? No pressure, but he and some of his employees were at a bar and it would be nice to see me again.

The truth was I was already out – with Brady – on one of our first outings as parents. We’d already had dinner and had moved on to drinks at a bar. Brady and Brendan plus all his employees? I never wanted to the two of them to meet. That sounded terrible. I didn’t text back.

The past several weeks have been really hard. We moved into our new house and got settled and my mom went back to Houston for good. I was ready for her to leave, to be honest, but I didn’t realize how hard it would be without her.

Brady is still working at the hospital in the city and I started to get freaked out that he was going into the city, working all day with infected people at the hospital and then coming home to us. I made him park his car in the garage, get completely undressed, shower and only then was he allowed to speak to us. But even after all that, I was thinking, what if has the virus, he could be asymptomatic and spread it to us without knowing. So I started avoiding him all together and refusing to let him hold the baby. This is what spending twelve hours a day reading news headlines and talking to a baby does to a person. I was making Brady use disposable silverware and cups, following him around the house to wipe down anything he touched and “putting Winnie to sleep” for four hours in the evening in her room so I didn’t have to spend time with him.

Eventually Brady confronted me about it and assured me that the hospital did checks on employees everyday for symptoms before letting them begin work.

“But what if you aren’t showing symptoms?” I exclaimed.

So then Brady decided to stay in the city during the week so I’d feel better. Naturally, this did the opposite and I was miserable. Brady would constantly try to check in – texting me throughout the day and calling in the evening – but I was mad at him for abandoning us and staying in the city. How could he just leave his family like that? Who knows what he was doing there alone? In my imagination, he was hiring escorts.

After two weeks of staying in the city, Brady sat me down.

“We are going to have to figure something out. I don’t like being away from you guys for so long and I don’t think treating me like I have cooties is very fair,” he said.

I laughed at his use of the word “cooties.”

Brady went on to assure me that he was just as concerned as I was and that I needed to trust that he was taking necessary precautions. He explained that he hardly had to come into contact with infected patients – his team was placed in different units all over the hospital, not just that unit – and my eyes began glazing over. He mentioned the words, “infectious diseases,” “personal protection equipment,” and “medication therapy.”

“So I’d like to come home,” Brady concluded. When I didn’t say anything, he continued. “Of course, I’ll continue taking necessary steps to protect us, but she’s my baby too and I don’t want to miss out on anything.”

Little Winnie sat in my lap wearing a pink baby turban looking at Brady like she didn’t understand what “medication therapy” means either.

Winnie and Brady absolutely love each other and she recognizes him and gets so happy when he comes home from work. It’s actually so fucking cute. And it’s not like I wanted him to be away so I had no choice. We were going to have to figure it out.

It helps that Brady gets to work from home one day a week now doing computer work. It’s amazing because on these days I can shower, wash my hair, do housework (I had every intention of hiring a cleaning person, but obviously that can’t happen now), paint, walk the neighborhood, etc.

So Brady’s been working from home – setting up shop in one of the bedrooms upstairs. One day, I walked past and heard him on the phone. He rarely needs to get on calls because he’s mostly doing computer work and I heard him say something like, “Thanks for letting me know. It’s crazy how many things happen when I’m not there for one day.”

He had the phone on speaker and I heard the person respond. A woman.

“Of course. No problem, Brady,” she said.

Now I was interested. I stayed and listened.

“So do you have plans this weekend? I think the weather is going to be shitty again,” Brady said.

She sighed. “Well, originally this weekend I was supposed to go to Vegas for a friend’s bachelorette party. We feel bad that her trip got cancelled so we were thinking of doing something at my apartment. Something small, of course, but with a lot of alcohol. We need it.”

They both laughed.

Ew. Who was this? And why was Brady talking to someone who thought they were above social distancing guidelines?

“What about you? Do you have plans?” she asked.

“Nothing major,” Brady replied. “I’ve run out of things to do so I’ll probably give my dog a bath after putting it off for so long.”

“You’re so lucky. I was just thinking how nice it would be to have a dog to keep me company during quarantine.”

“Yeah. It definitely makes things less lonely,” Brady said.

Lonely? Why the fuck would he be lonely with a four month old and basically a wife? It occurred to me that whoever was on the other end had no idea we existed.

Another day I eavesdropped, I heard him talking to a woman – unclear if it’s the same woman – and they were bitching about one of their coworkers.

“She’s so unorganized, it makes me want to blow my brains out,” Brady said.

“I hate her, Brady,” she said. “The only reason I haven’t blown up is because of you. You’re literally the reason I’m still employed.”

“They’re trying to transition her out. We talked about it in a leadership meeting a few weeks ago. Super confidential, obviously.”

I could not believe Brady was gossiping and confronted him about it later.

“So who did have calls with today?” I asked innocently as I formed meatballs for dinner. Despite working from home, Brady doesn’t usually leave his little makeshift office until well past seven.

“Just my team. We have to go over our daily numbers on a conference call,” he replied.

“Oh really? I thought I heard you on a call with one person?” I said.

He tilted his head slightly and pretended to think. “I had a call with two of my colleagues and then spoke with my boss briefly. Why?”

“I heard you telling someone about confidential information you found out during a leadership meeting so it wasn’t your boss. Very unprofessional to be sharing that kind of information, by the way.”

“She’s not going to tell anyone,” Brady said, getting defensive. “And I think you’re the last person who should be lecturing me on professionalism.”

Brady was so mad that he didn’t speak to me for the rest of the night, but he’s stopped gossiping on the phone, at least for me to hear. I went through his emails on the iPad though, and saw that Anna emailed him congratulating him on his “bundle of joy.”

“Your mother sent me a couple of pictures and she is so beautiful. You’re very lucky,” Anna said.

Brady had responded, thanking her, but then asking all these questions about what she’s been up to and acting really interested in her life. It actually did make him seem a little lonely, like he was dying to keep the conversation with her going.

And maybe it’s my fault. I have zero sex drive and when Brady tries to touch me, I run away. At first, I was insecure about my body, but now I just have zero interest. He’s stopped trying for the most part, but he must be frustrated and lonely, I guess (but less lonely because he has Tucker).

The one good thing about this whole quarantine thing is that Brady’s mother isn’t around. Thank God. She drove me nuts when we were staying in the apartment and now she can only communicate via text. And she is sure to text me frequently to check on the baby and ask personal questions she has no business asking. I send her pictures sometimes, only when I’m in a good mood because when she responds “I hope you aren’t feeding her anything besides what we agreed,” or “It doesn’t look like she’s putting in any weight,” I want to keep my cool.

I was supposed to return to work at the end of March, but obviously that didn’t happen. I needed to check up on emails and we were still moving ahead with projects around the country so I still had work to do at home. I didn’t think to bring my laptop with my when I went on my maternity leave so Brendan delivered it all the way to me in Connecticut – dropping it off on the porch for a contactless delivery. He’s the best.

Anyway, how are y’all holding up? Are you ready to kill your spouses yet?

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