Camilla and the White Witch of Bermuda
I was thinking about Mr. Big today and not with anger or indifference.
We were only married long enough to spawn three great kids a couple of decades ago, but he’s lived in the shadows of my life ever since the divorce.
He paid many of the bills for a decade, and he put the kids through school. This took a bit of fussing and fighting and eventually, an epic court battle during which time my handsome lawyer Jack told the court this:
“Your honor, this man owes my client $545,000.”
I never got any of that money — just money for the kids to have a fabulous and opulent post-secondary experience – but it was great to hear Jack make this statement in front of a variety of couples fighting over $300 a month.
Big’s money made life easier for our family — even if he himself did not.
Truth be told, Big was, really, the love of my life and I was devastated when he left in 1994. The kids were all under six at the time, and we spent a few years ferrying them back and forth.
Until the doctor told us to stop because Marissa was developing violent skin rashes and other horrible maladies.
“Visitation is for the parents, not the children,” Dr. Pratt, the dermatologist, sniffed.
The problem was Marissa’s evil stepmother, we’ll call the White Witch of Bermuda, my family’s version of Camilla Parker Bowles.
She was a terrible stepmonster, ask the kids. She locked them outside all day and made Nick eat his Beefaroni every day in the garage. She told Marissa she would never have nice hair, and proceeded to cut it.
Marissa was three.
I could go on.
Anyway, it became apparent that the whole situation was unworkable, so the kids visited their dad less and less.
Except for Nick, who went to live with them permanently. Five years later, Mr. and Mrs. Big shipped him off to boarding school.
And the rest is the stuff of legends and police blotters.
I was thinking about Mr. Big because he is an acquaintance of Prince Charles and I wondered if the Bigs were going to be on the Royal guest list for the wedding. Mr. Big and the first Mrs. Big (not me) actually attended the wedding of Charles and Diana – something he used to like to tell the kids when they achieved something really huge in life.
Marissa: “Hi dad, guess what:? I won the Principal’s Award at school today.”
Big: “That’s nice, honey. I had lunch with Prince Charles today.”
I probably will never know whether the Bigs will be rubbing elbows with the Windsors this week, but I am sure, as I live and breathe, that Mrs. Big, formerly the White Witch of Bermuda, will become fast friends with Camilla. They will have much to talk about — like tampons and showering together in front of the children.
I’m also thinking about Big because he’s about to become an old age pensioner.
He’s turning 65 in a couple of weeks. Hard to believe.
I was a mere child when he focused his gaze upon my unsuspecting self. At the time, he was a government big shot in the Privy Council Office and I was one of a group of babes nicknamed The Charlie’s Angels who were ensconced in the West Wing of Langevin Block.
He swept me off of Nine Wests.
I admit that I worried about being the wife of someone so much older, like what would our life be like – today.
I’m turning 55 in July and I’m spending two hours at the gym everyday.
He’s turning 65 and is waiting for a pacemaker.
And wears support hose.
Mrs. Big is also a relatively elderly lady who owns a hotel in Bermuda and a horse farm in rural Quebec. I don’t hear much about her, as the children have not seen her since the boarding school episode.
I hear Mrs. Big stores her dead cats in the freezer with the ground beef, and carries around a photograph of her dead dog. No really, it’s a picture of a dead dog.
The Hell’s Angel’s burned down her horse barn once.
God acts in mysterious ways.
Anyway, I’m glad I’m not married to an old dude, and I don’t have to worry about changing his Depends.
Scott and I are exactly the same age, and that’s the way it should be.
It’s great being married to a man who is a fully evolved human being who still has his original valves and other important parts which still work.
Mr. and Mrs. Big seem happy enough. The kids like Scott better than Big.
So everybody wins, right?