Yes, as a matter of fact, I do suck. This past week-end, in Cape Cod.
Josie called me up, this past Sunday afternoon. "I've got a story to tell you," she said.
"You know I'm all about the stories," I said, moving into the little bedroom to hear her over the sound of Theo's X-Box.
"Just got back from my parents," she continued. "And we're sitting there, eating dinner, and your name comes up. And suddenly, without warning, my dad just blurts out, 'You know, I think that Corbett's a real asshole. I can't stand him.'"
Well, I have to admit, I was a little bit stunned by the start of this conversation. I mean, Josie's father, since I've known him, has always been a bit volatile. And, he never really has treated Corb very nicely. Every time he sees him, he tends to glare. Still, this seemed a little harsh, even for him. Or at least, if he said it, I'm surprised that Josie told me.
"I'm really not sure what to say to that..."
"Neither was I! But I wasn't about to let him get away with it, and so I told him that Corb and I have very similar opinions on a lot of things, and in some ways, I almost feel as if we were separated at birth, so I'm a little bit offended that he would say something like that."
I sat down on the bed. "Well, that was nice of you, Josie. Thanks."
"So then my father says, 'I just don't like the fact that he came between you and Ted."
I laughed. Oh, God. "What did you say to that?"
"I made it clear to him. I said, 'Dad, do you realize that Ted didn't even meet Corb until about a year after we'd separated, and that by that time, I already had a boyfriend? In fact, Ted never cheated on me, not once, during all the time that we were together.'"
Hmmm. Well, right on, Josie. These are all true things, too...are you listening to that, great deity in the sky? Maybe that'll buy me one less rung in Hell. Well, maybe...
"And then, you'll never guess what he did. He actually apologized! He said, 'Oh my God, I never knew.' My mother and I were looking at each other with our mouths open. And he's sitting there, telling me he wants to apologize to Corb, for the way he's treated him. I mean, he never apologizes for anything! Can you believe it?"
"No, I really can't..." And then, I paused. "He's not going to, is he?"
Josie laughed. "No, I think I talked him out of that. But I did tell him that maybe in the future, he can stop glaring at Corb whenever he walks in the room."
It's funny how simple misunderstandings can turn a whole relationship sour, so quickly. Really, I didn't expect Josie's parents to welcome Corb with open arms...and I'm not sure how he'd react if they did. However, I can absolutely understand how this sort of misunderstanding came about...why wouldn't they think that Corb broke the two of us up? They don't know our back story. Why would they?
"Then we started talking about what a good father you are to the kids," continued Josie.
Gee, I was really enjoying this call!
"But my dad say at that point that he wished I had never married you."
So much for that one...
"But I just looked at him and said, 'If it wasn't for marrying Ted, I wouldn't have two beautiful kids.' And my mother stood up for you, too. She said, 'Everything happens for a reason, Joe. Don't forget that.'"
Everything does happen for a reason, I'm a firm believer in that. I know that I can honestly say that despite all the pain we went through to get to this point, I don't regret the road that I've traveled. Far from it. Being with Josie brought me three wonderful kids, and a strong friendship with a nice girl. And, if it wasn't for that relationship, I never would have met Corb, because I doubt I would have ended up in Eldredge.
As Tallulah Bankhead once said, "If I had my life to live over again, I'd make the same mistakes, only faster." Or, to paraphrase the quote I found scribbled on a piece of paper on Ashes' desk a few days ago, "Never regret anything...at one time it was exactly what you wanted."
Those are good words to live by, I think. Even so, it's awfully nice to see Josie's father come around to Corb's many virtues. I have a far higher opinion of my guy than the asshole!