On my hike down memory lane, I stumbled across this gem……….


When we lived in Newcastle in the green and grassy province of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, we decided to give the kids a treat by taking them to the Chelmsford dam for some game viewing fun.

Just a short segue here, I’m not sure that I mentioned my late husband was a very handsome man. His looks were up there, on a par with Rock Hudson and Robert Mitchum. Thinking about it now, maybe I should not have married such a good-looking guy considering how jealous I am. Women were always hitting on him. Come to think of it; men also found him attractive. My hairdresser thought he was ‘Divine, Darling’.

In this yin-yang life we live, there was a side to my ‘Tall, dark and handsome’ husband that was not so engaging. He had a razor-sharp tongue that could cut down the most hardened head in the room.  On one occasion at a clubhouse dance party, a woman walked across the floor, in full view of the crowd, and said,

“Okay, you swine!”

Silence washed over the room, as every ear tuned in to the spicy, little drama that was unfolding in our corner.

“I walked all the way here, with everyone watching, to ask you to dance. Don’t you dare say no”!

Even I wanted him to say yes; her humiliation would have been just too much to bear. He did get up and dance, but from that day, I watched Maureen very closely.

On another occasion, the three of us were sitting on a couch together, and she leaned across me, digging her elbow into my chest, and planted a fat smakaroo, slap -bang on his lips.

It was so bold. I could not believe my eyes. John pulled back and looked at her. He raised an eyebrow and uttered a dry, “I see.” I never loved him more.

So, it became obvious Maureen had a crush on my man. She said he looked like Robert Mitchum and being Scottish, called him her “Rabbie”.

Anyhoo, to continue, we were driving around the nature reserve, pointing out the different animals and their names, like the magnificent Kudu, with it’s regal spiralled horns, the handsome black and white Gemsbok, the nervous Black-faced Hartebees, and the graceful little Oribi.

Seeing all the different animals entertained the kids and me, but John was a bit bored and wanted to go back to the club, preferring to watch the human Springboks play their game on TV instead, and of course have that Lion Lager, cold, in a glass in his hand. He was beginning to grumble and grouse a bit until eventually, I lost my temper,

” You, you just want to see Maureen, don’t you?” I snapped.

In the ice-cold, frozen, wasteland that had become their parents’ mood, the children sat quietly for a moment, then, taking what they could from the row, asked, “Where, which ones?” 

And then, “Hey Mom, what are “Reens?”

My mother would have given me a swift slap for using that ‘vulgar’ term, one just did not use that word; it was not polite.

“What are ‘Reens?” My head was beginning to swim. “Reens; I don’t know, Reens what are you talking about?”

“You said Dad just wanted to see some more Reens.”

Understanding flashed through my mind, and washed away my irritation, laughing, I said,

“Maureen, not more Reen!” They still looked confused. “Maureen, the lady with the red hair!” said John.

For some reason, the fact he had identified the woman I mistrusted so much and mentioned her hair, shades of Dolly’s ‘Jolene’ rushed through me, and a surge of jealousy; redder than any ‘locks of flaming auburn’ scorched my mind.

The game viewing was abruptly cut short. We drove home in silence. The kids were subdued, and sat quietly in the backseat, no fighting about not wanting to be in the middle, not a whisper.

Once home, we all climbed out of the car, kids scattering in different directions. Sean went running next door to get up to some scandalous, but fun activity, Laura, under her yellow Jasmine hideaway, and Brent listening to music on the hi-fi. I started cooking dinner. Guess where John went?

That was the night I happily kept his dinner warm for him, on high.  On remarkably high, something like, 475 to 500 degrees. I did not want him to come home to a cold meal after all.

Don’t think he enjoyed his freshly burnt and blackened, meat and two veg.

Who said revenge is best served cold?

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