The Person in the Elevator


The last person on earth that I would want to be stuck in an elevator with is my second (and last) husband Doug. I don’t want to say that I hate him. I don’t. I just dislike him intensely. He was so cruel and mean to me during our divorce that I would not want to be reminded to that horrific event.

There are other reasons that I would not want to be stuck ANYWHERE with Doug, and they have to do with his characteristics, many of which I did not find out about until after we were married or else I would have never married him. For starters, he is one of the most emotionally unavailable people in the entire world. In his family, showing emotion was viewed as a sign of weakness except for anger. It was okay to be angry because it showed you had spunk.

Let me tell you a couple stories about his family and showing emotion. One day his mother was angry with Doug’s father. His father ran upstairs to the boys’ room. They lived in a very old house, built in the early 1700s, so the wood in the doors was not very sturdy. Olivia, Doug’s mother, charged up the stairs after his father after she had grabbed a Civil War sword and plunged the sword into the door, just missing his father. Another time, Doug and his mother were quarreling about something and he took a cast iron cooking pot and threw it across the room, striking the refrigerator and putting a large dent in it. His mother stopped being angry and said that he was about time he showed some spunk.

The whole family was looney tunes. The grass around the house was quite long at one point, so instead of cutting it, Olivia threw gasoline on it and lit a match and set it on fire, almost burning the house down. Another fire-related incident occurred when Doug’s father threw the Christmas tree into the fireplace in the house instead to taking it outside and dragging it to the woods when Christmas was over. The entire tree exploded in flames and nearly burned the house down.

Now about Doug and specifically why I would not want to be stuck anywhere with him. He is obsessed with the Nazis from World War II. His heroes were the soldiers of the Nazi army. He has collected medals and various uniform hats from the war which he loves to wear. He is enthralled by all things German. He taught himself German and bought a satellite so he could get German television channels on it. He loves the movies, the news, the television shows. He wears shirts from the East German secret police, since they have been disbanded. We once had a fight about “the final solution” and the meeting the Nazis had to discuss it. Apparently there was one general there whose grandmother was Jewish, and Doug thought that was a terrible moral dilemma for that man, to decide to send his grandmother to the death camps. I screamed, “Moral dilemma?! There was no moral dilemma! The whole thing was immoral!” He didn’t understand how I could not see the moral dilemma of the situation. Nazi jerk.

Doug loves to lecture on contemporary or current events. He is politically conservative and I am liberal leaning toward progressive, so we agreed on practically nothing politically. But that didn’t seem to ever matter. Doug is 12 years older than me so he felt superior to me because he was more experienced in life, so constantly lectured me on the “correct” political stance. He also felt that he was superior to me intellectually. He was quite proud of his 135 IQ and talked about it constantly. I let him think he was smarter than me, though my IQ is 150. What difference did it make?

He fudged the truth about a lot of things. He pretended that he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. He went there for a year and failed out. Then he joined the Air Force because he wanted to be a pilot, but he couldn’t make the cut. He returned to school, this time to Syracuse University and did graduate. He was a school teacher for a couple years but didn’t like it, so his father, who was Assistant Commissioner in the New York State Education Department, got him a job at the State Education Department. He hated it but stayed there until he retired.

He could memorize lines from a myriad of movies and was constantly reciting lines from his favorite war and cowboy movies. If I never hear about the movie “Shane,” it will be too so. He admired the heroes of those movies because they were loyal and honest, although he himself was neither of those. He had no problem lying to someone when it suited his interests or throwing someone under the bus (me) when he felt threatened.

One of the reasons he divorced me was because I had bad credit and he thought his credit score was threatened. He seemed to forget that he had taken vow to be with me for richer and for poorer, in good times and in bad, in sick times and in health. He was afraid that my credit would affect him. That didn’t happen except for the fact that he had me sign a refinance of the house when I was in such a deep depression that my psychiatrist said that I was not mentally competent to sign such a document, but he insisted and so his credit became linked to mine at that time. Serves him right. He was also tired of my migraines and deep depressions and that was another reason he gave for divorcing me.

His method of asking for a divorce is what has really colored my view of him and how I feel about him (I don’t care if he throws himself in a river or shoots himself or whatever). I had just returned to work in another city after a depression. I lived in a tiny apartment in Austin and worked there during the week, returning home on the weekends, a 240 miles trip one way. Several weeks before I returned to work in Austin, I had told him about my credit and he was furious. He would barely speak to me, but did tell me that he would not divorce me. He encouraged me to return to work before my psychiatrist wanted me to. On the Friday after I had returned to work from a leave for depression, I stopped at my therapist for an appointment and told him I had reservations about returning home. He suggested that I call Doug and offer to bring home a pizza and a movie. When I called, there was no answer, which was strange because he was always home in the late afternoon. When I pulled into the driveway (we lived at the end of a dead-end road), there was a strange car in the driveway and a man waiting outside the car. I wondered why Doug did not come out and see what he wanted (Doug’s car was in the driveway so I knew he was home). The man came over and asked my name, which I told him. Then he handed me divorce papers and explained my husband was filing for divorce. When I looked up, Doug was standing on the porch watching this take place. So I packed some clothes and went back to Austin to live. Getting my belongings was a long process since he didn’t let me back into the house and he packed my belongings. I sent a truck to pick them up and bring them to me in Austin. There was one final box that was discovered after the divorce and I had to threaten to get the sheriff for him to give me the box which had important objects in it. It was resolved by my therapist calling him and asking him to bring the box to his office so I could get it. So you can see why I have little love lost on him.

Another thing about Doug that drove me crazy was that he would tell the same story over and over. There were some stories or lectures that I must have hear at least twenty times. He knew he had told the story before, because I sometimes reminded him of the fact, but he just wanted to tell the story again. He also was extremely jealous of any time I spent with my daughter and granddaughters and i did not see them as much as i wanted. He was afraid the children would get hurt if they came to our house and played outside. When I came back on the weekends from Austin, he wanted me home even though we never went anywhere or did anything.

For a long time, I wouldn’t drive on Bandera Road in San Antonio because he lived off Bandera Road, but 20 miles from San Antonio. Bandera Road just freaked me out because I knew it lead to his house. Just the thought of being stuck anywhere with him for any amount of time is upsetting.

So that is my story to not wanting to be stuck in an elevator with someone. As I said, I don’t hate him, but I really dislike him and want to stay as far away as possible from the man.

About mairedubhtx

I am a "youngish" grandmother of 15 year old twin granddaughter who has recently (is a year "recent"?) adopted Islam as my way of life, much to the consternation of my family. I love to read. I love to write. I am writing a book about my decision to revert, about my spiritual journey. I have another blog about stories from my youth, my parents, and grandparents. It's a blog so my OCD daughter will not be able to throw it out when I die. I suffer from depression and anxiety, for which I am treated, so my posts may be a bit dark at times. C'est la vie.
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