Dear Elizabeth

A letter to a former friend.

Dear Elizabeth,

Rooibos TeaAs amazing as this might seem, I’ve been thinking a lot about you this winter.

It started when I found an old box of rooibos chai tea in my pantry. You might not recall this, but you introduced me to red tea years and years ago at your Howard Mesa home. I bought a box and drank it often at home. Somehow, it got shifted to my RV and brought up to Washington. The box “expired” in 2009 — giving you an idea of just how old it was! — but the tea still tastes fine.

Each time I have a cup of that tea, I think of you. I think of your wonderful little home on the Mesa. The wood burning stove. The views. Your work-in-progress illustrated book about the local plants. The cats. I think of dinners there and the few times you came to our pitiful — but much loved, at least on my part — cabin a few miles away and let us cook for you and Matt.

I think of the old days, when things were still good between all of us.

I really liked you. I thought you were a good, well-grounded, happy person. I was happy that you’d become a part of your daughter’s life. You always made me feel welcome at your home. You made me feel like a friend.

So imagine my disappointment when I wrote to you in September 2012 to tell you about my ex-husband’s infidelity and warn you that some men, when left alone, will find companionship other than their wives. I never expected you to forward that email to Matt. I never expected it to be forwarded to my estranged husband with the complaint from Matt that I was trying to destroy his marriage.

I didn’t bother you again after that.

Or, actually, I did. As I was driving away from Howard Mesa that last time in April or May 2013, I tried to call you on the phone. It rang and rang. I wondered if you knew it was me and were purposely letting it ring. I don’t recall if I left a message. It doesn’t matter. You never called back.

At that point, I knew that any friendship we might have had was over. And I began to doubt whether you’d been my friend at all.

Fast forward to today.

A mutual friend — someone you might not even know personally — told me that you and Matt had split and that Matt had remarried very soon after the divorce.

All I can say is wow.

I’m left to wonder whether he already had a replacement for you when he complained to my future ex-husband about me trying to destroy your marriage. Or whether you finally wised up and dumped the man who’s likely responsible for some of the seriously bad advice my future ex-husband received during his costly and futile attempts to steal my business assets.

It doesn’t matter to me. Water under the bridge.

I called you today to chat. A little about this, and a little about what I want to finish up with:

I still think you’re a fine person. You have a good heart, you’re smart, you’re attractive, and you’re relatively young. I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding a much better replacement for the man you left behind — if you even want one. Maybe you’ve already replaced him.

No matter what happens to you in this life, please know that I’ll always wish the best for you. Also know that if you ever need someone to talk to, my phone number is the same and I’ll do my best to answer or return calls from you. My door is always open for you, too.

If I never hear from you again, that’s fine, too. There’s just one tea bag left in the box. When it’s gone, I won’t be buying another box. The chapter of my life that included you and your rooibos tea will finally be closed for good.

Your friend,
Maria

February 8 Update: Well, as more facts about your breakup come to light, I now fully understand why you never got in touch with me again. Was it shame? I doubt it. Women like you don’t feel shame. No matter. I’m embarrassed to admit how much I misjudged your character. You’re just as low as the demented old whore who snagged my wasband with her sweet-talk, lies, and lingerie photos.

But I am glad that Matt was on the receiving end. He deserves whatever shit he gets.

Still, don’t marriage vows mean anything to anyone these days?

I’ll never understand why you forwarded my email message to him. But don’t worry; I haven’t lost any sleep over that and don’t think I ever will.

As for that invitation to call or stop by — you can just forget about it. And I’ll toss that last tea bag. I’m eager to close the chapter on you as soon as possible.

3 thoughts on “Dear Elizabeth

    • I’ve been wanting to blog about Elizabeth for some time now — seriously: I think about her every time I have a cup of that tea. But it was the news I got yesterday that finally gave me the poke I needed to get out what I had to say. I hope she wasn’t hurt as badly by her divorce as I was by mine.

      I was heartbroken when I realized that Elizabeth thought so poorly of me that she shared my well-intentioned communication with her husband, who despised me. I’m sure she still harbors whatever ill feelings she had then about me. Whatever. Some things need to be said and if they can’t be said privately, I’m perfectly happy to say them publicly.

    • Sadly, I just heard the rest of the story from a friend. Apparently, I completely misjudged Elizabeth’s character. I should be very glad to get her out of my life. Sheesh. Is there anything from my life with my wasband worth remembering? I’m beginning to think it was ALL a huge farce.