The living room had a single brown leather sofa and a large TV with huge free-standing speakers on either side. These speakers were my first husband’s passion. He would take out a tape measure to check the distance between them, the TV and the sofa. Other than that, he was quiet, reserved. His mother, who lived with us, was not. Much of what happened during that time has faded, but a few things stay with me. The way she would make him sit on her lap, his embarrassment at her kisses, her coming into the bedroom while we slept, her odd questions about whether he used soap in the shower. I spent all day at home with her.
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I had no money of my own, and no way of going anywhere. He would come home from work and the three of us would sit side by side watching that enormous TV. When it got late, his mother would say, “Now go straight to bed and don’t talk.” She put a red sock in with the white wash and blamed me for ruining his lab coats. She put a hair scrunchie in the pressure cooker and told me it was God teaching me a lesson for asking her to move her hairbrush from the kitchen work surface. Was I losing my mind? Slowly I began to feel afraid for no reason; I lost weight – it seemed I had married a man and his mother.