The more recent meltdowns have been at home.
In front of Mr. X.
In front of friends.
But strangers, I have been lucky for a while.
Roger handled all of the dry cleaning.
We both hated ironing and he liked his shirts pressed.
Plus for some reason, he had more "Dry clean only" clothing than I did.
So it was his "job."
After he died, like everything else, it became my job.
I do not really remember what I had to drop off but I guess when I did (because I certainly do not remember this) I spewed everything to her.
All the details.
I was in my "tell everyone" phase of grieving.
She was shocked like most people.
She was sad.
She remembered him.
And she said the typical thing "But he was so young."
[And there will be a whole other entry about how many times I have heard that...]
I think I have been maybe twice to the dry cleaner since that day.
And certainly not in a while.
Yesterday, I needed to drop some things off while Mr. X waited in the car.
I told him she would probably make me cry.
So I was hoping and slightly praying that she would not remember me.
That perhaps I would be confused with all her other customers in our neighborhood.
As I dropped off my items she asked me, "How are you?" in a very pleasant voice.
"Good," I replied hoping this was just the generic "How are you?" question that normal adults ask each other in greeting.
"How is everything going?"
"Good," as I started to think "Uh oh, she may know 'who' I am."
"How did court go?"
Wow, I must have told her a lot. And fuck, she does remember me.
"Not good. He got off free."
She was repulsed.
As most people are.
She then told me what I already know but it is so nice to hear:
"Your husband was such a nice guy. I remember him. He was a great customer."
I started to tear up.
Okay, I have to get out of here soon.
She asked if I would marry again.
"Of course I will."
"Good. You are too young and he would not want you to be alone and sad."
I made it out of there without crying in front of her.
Mr. X was waiting in the car.
He asked me how it went.
I started to cry.
It is just nice to hear others talk about Roger.
About how much they loved him.
How much they miss him.
But I was determined to stop crying as we were about to go to the grocery store.
I was not going to cry there. Again.
So I was good at first.
But then, as always something popped up.
That stupid "I Will Remember You" by Amy Grant.
That song gets me every time.
I love that song really.
But I kept it under control.
At least to most people.
The tears came harder as we returned to the car to go back to my house.
I seriously thought I would not still be affected this much by things.
I thought the meltdowns would stop.
At least in public.
Boy was I wrong.