Friday, 28 August 2009

Revenge - would you do it?

Revenge. One of the most emotionally loaded words in the dictionary. It can drive people to do the most outrageous things, such as the wife who forced her cheating husband to stand next to a busy road. His punishment was to wear a placard declaring his status as a cheat. Something tells me that this marital issue is far from being resolved, as not only does he cheat on his wife but she demands his ritual humiliation in public. There's also the fact that he actually went through with it, which is bizarre enough on it's own.

Or the writer who wrote the screenplay for 500 Days of Summer, a film about a former girlfriend in which he details how she ruined his life. The opening credits have the standard disclaimer that 'any resemblance to people living or dead is purely coincidental.' Then it adds: 'Especially you, Jenny Beckman. Bitch.'

I've often thought of taking revenge on people who have hurt me in some way, but I've only actually done one thing that could be called revenge and although I'm not proud of it, it's part of my past.

Years ago, possibly 16 years or so, before I met and married my ex-husband I was in an on-off relationship with a charming Irishman. I'm a sucker for the accent, what can I tell you? We had been 'together' over a period of 9 years and the relationship - if you could call it that - was going nowhere only I couldn't see that. Or chose not to.

On the occasion in question I went to his house as we were due to go out to dinner at a very posh restaurant in the countryside. I went upstairs to freshen up and immediately noticed the odd position of the bathroom mirror. It was on a swivel base and stood on the windowsill, and was positioned for someone much shorter than either me or my then boyfriend. Something didn't seem right. Instinctively, I went into his bedroom and saw the bed had been made. But it had been made in a way he would never do it, all tucked in and pillows propped up. That's when I knew that the b*stard was sleeping with someone else.

I'm not sure why - or how - but I said nothing about it during the car journey to the restaurant. Nor did I mention it during the meal, and I remember sitting, wondering how to deal with the awful realisation that he was cheating on me.

The agony of it was building up inside me throughout the evening, and as we finished the meal I couldn't hold it back any longer. I said: 'be honest with me, are you seeing someone else?' He looked shocked but said 'I wanted to talk to you about it...' .

I stood up to go, and walked towards the door. He followed. The waiter came over with my coat and held it up for me to put on. But something inside me snapped, and instead of putting my arms into the coat I swung a right-hook at my man and landed it on his cheek. He staggered back - in shock I think, rather than pain - as I grabbed my coat and raced out to the car. Behind me I could hear gasps and chatter from the other diners. Needless to say he followed me out and we had an almighty row outside in the car park.

That was the first and last punch I ever threw, but I still remember it vividly.

Have you ever planned revenge? And did you ever go through with it? Do tell, you're amongst friends here.


Kerree said...

Good on you. He deserved worse. And good on the other chick with the placard too. Although I would never be able to do that to someone only because I wouldn't stick around long enough.

I have planned many many revenge attacks in my life to anyone from boyfriends, to people who cut me off in traffic, to people who have backstabbed me....even my own father. Trouble is I'm too lazy to ever do anything that I plan and pretty soon the anger dies down and I don't feel like it anymore. Probably a good thing too as most of my plans would probably get me arrested if I ever actually went through with them :)

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Don't know about planning revenge, but having done a fair bit of waitressing I can confirm that your right hook in the restaurant is by no means unusual. We had right hooks, water thrown, people refusing to leave the restaurant (and presumably end the torture of the last meal together) and the waiting staff used to take bets on whether couples would split up if a particularly likely couple came in.

I once hit a boyfriend and he toppled over into a pond. Oops. only time I ever hit anyone

Iota said...

I have planned revenge, but never carried it out.

Fate did a marvellous thing for me once. I had been dumped by a new boyfriend, and actually didn't mind all that much (didn't really like him terribly), but it was very humiliating. He'd gushed over me on Valentine's night, then received a phone call the next day from his previous long-term girlfriend who 'dialled his number by mistake', but was feeling very low that day when she'd heard he'd got a new girlfriend, and could he just go round and give her a hug, bla bla bla. So I was dumped on the the basis that after years of on/off, this was the defining moment, and they were going to get married.

It was clearly bananas, and I did feel glad to be out of the whole thing - but pride was hurt, obviously.

Three years later, on my first wedding anniversary, I spotted him on the tube, on my way home to what I knew was going to be a lovely celebratory evening with my husband. By that stage, I knew that the engagement that had followed immediately on the heels of that Valentine's fiasco, had been called off (by her), and that he was not with anyone. He didn't see me, and I didn't call his attention, but it was very gratifying (oh I'm such a cow) to see that he looked thoroughly miserable. His head was low, and he looked at the ground as he walked.

I'd actually been terribly nice to him at the time of the break-up, and let him off the hook very lightly, which was very nice of me.

see you there! said...

I just let karma take care of it. Usually does a pretty good job.


amy said...

revenge is sweet in my mind! and good on you for punching him!!! apart from the old 'toothbrush in the toilet' trick i've not managed anything else but like they say 'what comes around goes around!' xx

getting stuff done said...

had an on off thing for a couple of years with someone I was in love with (he was not in love with me, of course, but I chose not to see that, especially as I liked to believe the things he said) but on one of our get back together nights (the last) I saw 2 toothbrushes in his bathroom and realised he really had not split up with his girlfriend as he claimed he had. And due to a coincidence whereby she had sent her CV to me looking for a job. I called her and told her that he was not faithful. She said thank you. He went ballistic. I don't know what happened to them. I actually feel awfully stupid about the whole thing now. Especially how I didn't spot how much he didn't love me at all earlier on. I feel I acted in the way that a stupid bunny boiler bloody would have. I would love that his life is awful now. But it isn't. If I see him, I still melt. Luckily I never see him. It all makes me feel stupid and sordid and embarrassed. At least I pissed him off though.

Pippa said...

Good for you! Would of done much worse, like ordered a really really expensive meal and then not eaten most of it.

I'm not saying much more on the matter because I don't want to get in trouble but I know of someones extended family member doing something very very spiteful to another family member and so them arranging for a lot of junk mail to be delivered to her house, and free one off magazines and sample products and various religious groups may of been told that they were interested in the religion and somebody may or may not of put in the paper the telephone number for her against an advert for various things for sale...

Oh and I don't daydream about my father getting remarried and me going to the ceremony and then when it gets to the point we are asked if anyone objects asking if "the fact that the bride is a husband stealing, affair having, diseased cough-cough and the groom is a affair having, lying cheating cough-cough is reason enough" and when being told then leaving the ceremony and going out and telling the driver that he should leave as one of them didn't go through with it and the same to the reception venue... of course I would never do such a thing!

Kelloggsville said...

I think the right hook is a much more sane approach than the placard, that's just screwed up on so many levels.

I was once dumped badly by a rotten boyfriend who had mistreated me in a number of ways. When he was lonely one night he called and took me out for a meal - yes I ordered the most expensive thing, hardly touched it and then as we left told him not to call again. Heartless but it gave me closure!

Audi said...

My last boyfriend was a coworker, and against my better judgement I started dating him. Right from the start there was something off; he didn't want me to meet his friends, he was elusive about certain details of his life. But I was really attracted to him (I have a thing for accents too; he was Zimbawean), so I just chose not to see any of that and chalked it up to cultural differences.

Logically, I knew something was amiss. He strung me along for about 8 months before I finally had enough and told him we were through. Months later I found out he'd been cheating on me with ANOTHER COWORKER - a friend of mine, too. She knew nothing about he and I, and when she found out she was horrified and stopped seeing him.

My revenge? Well, said ex was the secretive sort (makes sense, given his activities), so I basically just told him that I knew all about what he'd been up to and that I wasn't going to be shy about spreading it all over at work (I didn't actually; I only confided it to a few close friends). Not long afterwards, he left the company and took a job at what's widely acknowledged to be the worst possible biotech company to work for in the bay area. I'd like to think I had something to do with that somewhat hasty decision. My best revenge, though, was to get over him and find someone who's twice the man he could ever dream of being.

sallymandy said...

Now, I have to say what you did doesn't seem like planned revenge. That was an act of passion--and who doesn't have those?

I threw a shoe at my husband once. Can't remember why. I've often thought I'm smart enough to be a really good criminal if I wanted to plan some great revenge. But alas, I also don't think revenge really makes people feel better.

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

I love your tale - I bet those people still talk about what happened!
Strangely enough I wrote a short story about revenge yesterday in which a wronged wife left out in the cold plants a winter bulb surprise for her cheating husband.
Unfortunately every time I have sought revenge it has always backfired on me so I don't bother any more!

Imogen Lamport said...

I think that woman should have made the sign say he was sleeping around not just cheating (he could have cheated at cards for all that says).

I spent years talking an ex-boyf out of taking revenge on his ex-wife - not worth the bother (and possible criminal record) is my opinion!

Kayleigh said...

Okay, can I tell you for some reason I just *LOVE* that you up and slugged that guy? I know, we're not violent people, etc. But something about that image tickles me :)

I've never gotten a big revenge, but I get little ones when DH leaves something lying around for waaaay too long I'll hide it from him, then watch him go crazy looking for it, lol. I know, how passive aggressive of me! But I always tell him what I've done -- well, eventually ;)

I'm sooo bad!

That Girl39 said...

Hee Hee... you go girl! I wish I'd had the forethought to apply that sort of revenge on an old cheating ex! As for the man wearing he placard... how screwed up is that?! On all counts!

Caroline said...

oh I have loads! but not publishable!