For six years I had the perfect marriage. Sure, Angela had been raised in Wisconsin but I was able to look past it. I thought our love would last forever. Little did I know that a single grotesque word would cause everything to collapse.
We were walking through our local Target, picking up some snacks for the Vikings game, when she became parched. I suggested we ask an employee if there was somewhere to get a drink, and that’s when she unleashed a horrifying torrent of disgusting syllables.
“Where’s the bubbler?”
With that one question, my marriage was over. I walked away, sat in the car, and cried as if a kick had gone wide left. I asked myself how I couldn’t have seen it coming, and all the warning signs came flooding back to me; her insistence that Piggly-Wiggly was a reputable grocery store, her twice-weekly Culver’s lunches, her love of Brett Favre starting before August of 2009… At that moment, I realized that love had blinded me to the truth: that she was from Wisconsin, and that would never change.
Angela moved back in with her parents in Wausau. This has made sending her the divorce papers difficult, since that collection of hollowed-out propane tanks that calls itself a state insists on having addresses put the letters BEFORE the numbers, but I know this is the right thing to do, and the last thing she said to me hammers that point home.
When I saw her for the final time, handing her a check for alimony, she told me the second-worst thing I’ve ever heard a person say:“I’ll put this in the TYME machine.”