Today is Halloween and I am dressed as a pirate lass. As I sit here waiting to meet my kids, ex and his girlfriend to go trick or treating, I thought I’d regale you with a ghost story, a story of a Halloween past when my ex dressed up as a pirate and took his role just a tad too seriously.
We had just been separated a few months when Jonah decided that he wanted to have a Halloween party for his kindergarten classmates. As always, I bought beer for the adults because I believe that a bunch of parents of young kids who barely know each other need a little social lubrication in order to mingle. Since it was fall and I had made pumpkin treats, I got some good dark beers, not really noticing that one particular chocolate stout had a really high alcohol content. Maybe he was getting into his pirate role or maybe he is just a little shy and didn’t realize that the beer was particularly alcoholic, but by the end of the party my ex was pretty inebriated.
He said that he needed to eat and so we headed out for dinner at a restaurant in Northampton with some friends. We couldn’t decide where to go so we ended up at the Teapot, a pan Asian restaurant that isn’t really anyone’s favorite. Another couple, my two kids, my ex and I sat down at a table in the back of the room. By this time it was clear that he wasn’t feeling so well because he was resting his head on his hands on the table, just waiting for the food to arrive. The kids were a bit perplexed so we told them the truth that he had had too much beer to drink and was feeling a bit sick. In the meanwhile, the couple that accompanied us was having some marital troubles and the wife started making snarky comments to her husband, who in turn reminded her that the kids already had a drunk father at the table and didn’t need a marital spat on top of it. Oh…did I mention that it was also the husband’s birthday? The poor guy was just trying to have a good time.
The food couldn’t come fast enough but when it arrived my ex waved it away and said that he couldn’t eat. We chose to ignore him and ate everything up. As we were about to get the check, my ex, well, started vomiting, right there at the table, or rather on the floor underneath the table. It was loud, it was smelly, and it was embarrassing. Diners at the next table grabbed their plates and moved to a different part of the restaurant. My female friend rounded up the kids and went outside and left her husband and me to deal with the situation. We were mortified, but the ever so polite Asian servers were very cordial to us. We paid the check with a very large tip and got ready to hightail it out of there. Except my ex couldn’t walk on his own. He was drunk, remember.
So I had to escort him, dressed in his pirate garb, bobbing and weaving and clutching my arm, down the long corridor from the back to the front of the restaurant to leave. I felt ridiculous. Nevertheless, it reminded me of the last time I marched arm in arm with him, at our wedding, where we walked ourselves to the altar instead of having my dad “give” me away. This was undeniably the inverse of that moment, a divorce march if you will.
As we exited onto Main St, arm in arm, a young guy took one look at my ex and said, Looking for your land legs, eh? At least that broke the tension.
It was a memorable Halloween, birthday celebration, and divorce procession. And the kids learned a valuable lesson about the dangers of over imbibing. The Teapot is forever known to my son as “the spot where Papi puked.” All I can say is thank God we didn’t go to one of our favorite haunts.