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.

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13 thoughts on “sizing them up.

  1. Maia says:

    Happy New Year Reese! Love catching up with you. Sorry to hear about Tucker. I’m dying to know what Brady really thinks about Brendan since your mom talked to him. I definitely think he should have told you about how he felt about you a long time ago or never said anything at all.

  2. Megg says:

    Aww Tucker. I’m so sorry!💔 Putting my dog down was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. Even though it was best for him, it was utterly and brutally heartbreaking. It has been a little over two years and it still tugs at my heart. I’m sorry for your loss of such a great friend. I don’t necessarily believe in Heaven, but I like to think of them all running around, free of pain, and endlessly happy.❤️

  3. Sara says:

    I am extremely sorry to hear about Tucker. It was obvious he was a nice critter and that you really doted on him from the way you wrote about him. I view my cats as family, so understand how hard his loss is for you.

  4. Jessi says:

    So sorry about Tucker😭

    Reese, neither one of you have boundaries and it’s clear Winnie is the only thing keeping you together. As the daughter of parents who stayed together “for the kids” and have relationship issues to prove it, please do yourselves a favor and break up. Co-parenting will be better for Winnie and neither of you will be forced to act. This comes from love and compassion and just wanting the best for you.

      • Jessi says:

        I’m so sorry…..that was more harsh than I meant. I truly want the best for you, and the whole Brendan/Sydney/lady at the pool and many other incidents scream boundary issues. You deserve to be happy and it just seems like you are really trying to make things work. Is Brady? He talks down to you, flirts with other women, has a weird friendship with Sydney, and just seems to not truly value you for the AMAZING woman you are. Don’t sell yourself short.

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