As time went on, Rhett and I were starting to become a couple. We were going everywhere together. It started with Church and than spread to the Country Club, going to dinners, movies, football games and the Symphony. We had a lot of things in common. We both played Piano, both loved sports, we both worked in the same industry and definitely had a lot of the same business acquaintances. Our relationship continued to grow. I was slowly but surely having feelings for Rhett. We still lived in separate bedrooms but things were starting to feel different. When we would go out, we actually took turns paying for each other or went Dutch Treat. We talked a lot about our past lives. Her marriage to Bud, her 2 kids and grandkids. They accepted me very quickly. I even met her ex, Bud, on several occasions as well as at her family get togethers. Bud and I got along well. It was long after I moved in with Rhett that Bud had a girlfriend, Diana. So this made things a bit easier when we were all together at different family functions.
Back home in Metairie, things weren’t any better. Karen started hanging out with a lot of guys I never approved of in the past. I don’t know if she did it to piss Jane and I off or did it because she was still mad that I left to live in Charlotte, NC. Either way, I was having to fly back to New Orleans about every 3-4 weeks due to Karen’s different behavior. It even got so bad, that we had to put Karen in Counseling for a few months. While all of this was going on, my weight was starting to pick up again. As a Compulsive Overeater, I was always turning to food as a way out or to deal with a certain situation. It was my comfort zone. When I had problems dealing with something, I did one of three things: I ate, drank or gambled, not always in that order. The next vice that started was the False Pride. I started a habit of stretching the story just a bit to make myself look and feel better about me. As a matter of fact, the longer time went on, it got much worse. Every time I mentioned about something I did or someone I met or knew, I embellished the story. The pride was getting in the way of me being me. I was slowly becoming someone I wasn’t. I was no longer the man in the mirror. He was dead and gone. I started to feel better stretching the truth so much, I even started to believe the stuff was actually true. OMG, as time went on, these stories manifested into someone I was not proud of any longer. It seemed I was never happy no matter what the situation. But I kept this up for many years to follow.
Once I got back to Charlotte, NC, I asked Rhett if she wanted to go out on a date. She blushed a bit and said are you really asking me out on a date. Well, the answer was pretty obvious. By now, I had been living with Rhett for almost 6 months. I knew she was having feelings for me and vice versa. We decided to go to a very romantic restaurant and had one of those long 3 hour dinners. After dinner, we went for a long drive near the Lake and continued our back and forth flirting. I must admit, I felt like a nervous 16 year old on a Prom Date. We arrived home about 11:30 that night. We said our good nights to each other and started to our separate rooms, which lasted all of about 10 minutes. After this night, we never lived in separate bedrooms again. The next day, I asked Rhett if she would like to go to New Orleans and meet my family. She was excited to meet my Mom and her roommate Tudye, my Grandma, as well as my Aunt and Uncle. We also talked about Karen a lot and I explained that she would probably not get too warm of a welcome, considering she blamed Rhett for my separation from Jane.
Will to Live – Gluttony, Lust, Envy, & Pride – Part 34