In case you’ve missed it, my life is RIDICULOUS. And I’m about to uncover a whole new level of crazy…
I am Mark’s fourth wife. Yes, you read that right. I’m number FOUR! Mark started collecting ex-wives at an early age. He had three marriages before me, and all three of those women cheated on him with various losers. Long story short, he got screwed, but he’s totally over it. Whatever, I ended up with an amazing husband!
Last week I told Mark I wanted to blog about this, but I know that his first wife, Cindy, follows my work on Instagram, Facebook, etc, and I was afraid it would hurt her feelings. Mark said, “Why do you care?”
“She’s still a PERSON.”
“I could care less!”
So, away we go!
I had the exquisite pleasure of meeting Mark’s first wife, Cindy, at his mother’s funeral in 2008. Oh yes, she actually showed up. She hadn’t spoken to the woman in twenty years, but she came to her funeral. In fact, Mark’s mom hated Cindy. But hey, you know the saying “Curiosity killed the cat.”
Mark, his brother and I were standing in the foyer greeting people as they entered the hall. Mark was doing really well. He’d made peace with his mother’s passing and was smiling, shaking hands and talking to people. I turned to talk to a friend of the family, and was in conversation when I heard Mark say, “Uh, Cindy. Hello.” I turned to see two large people walk into the main hall.
“Wait,” I said, my hand on Mark’s arm. “Was that Cindy? Like, as in ‘Cindy’ Cindy?”
“Yeah,” he said, a strange look on his face. Clearly he was taken aback by her presence.
“Oooooo!” I said, hopping up and down and clapping my hands. “I’m gonna go talk to her!”
I struck a pose in my fitted black suit and tossed my long chocolate hair. “Because I look GOOOOD!” Hey, all is fair in love and war, and she showed up at this shin-dig. It’s open season on her.
Mark laughed and shook his head. “Oh God…” But I was already gone, practically jogging to where Cindy and her husband were sitting. I hadn’t moved that fast since I found out Weight Watchers made a peanut butter cup ice cream dessert.
(A little background… Cindy is on her third husband. She’s now married to a guy who was Mark’s best friend when HE was married to Cindy.)
When I reached their seats, I bent down and grinned. “Hi!” I stuck my hand out to Cindy. “I’m Mark’s wife!” I swear, I hadn’t smiled that big in a long time. It was almost criminal, having that much fun at a funeral.
She shook my hand and smiled awkwardly. Her husband sat there horrified. He looked a little like Dilbert in a shirt that was too small, sweating and shifty-eyed from nervousness. She was wearing a lavender floral dress, nylons and white pumps, and her hair was cut in a buzzed short cut. “Uh… hello,” she said. “It’s so nice to meet you. I heard Mark got married again.”
‘Bingoooooo’, I thought. ‘That’s why she’s here.’
I can’t remember exactly what we said to each other because I was busy trying to talk and laugh in my head simultaneously. At one point, she asked me how we were doing, what I did for a living. I told her I was a wedding photographer and a stylist. I said we were doing great and were very happy. A look of sadness crossed her face, and she said, “You know, back then… I was really young. I was really stupid.” I realized the look on her face was actually regret. “I made really bad choices. I screwed up.”
I looked at her husband squirming in his seat, and the laughter in my head stopped. Suddenly the situation was just really sad. I smiled and said, “We all make mistakes. That’s the past. Trust me, Mark is so over it. We’re really happy together.”
“That’s good,” she said with a sigh. “I wanted to know how he was doing.”
“He’s a great husband. He’s happy.”
She nodded and smiled.
I felt so bad for her poor husband, sitting there hearing about how he was second (no, third behind the guy she cheated with) choice. She made it really clear that she was kicking herself for letting Mark go. Well, that’s life, Lady. Mark had begged her to come back, but she wouldn’t leave her boyfriend, said that he spent more money on her, that he would give her whatever she wanted. And Mark moved on. Unfortunately, he had to get it wrong two more times before he hit the jackpot. His friends said he had a “broken picker” until he met me.
Jason, an old friend of Mark’s, was at the funeral. His wife Maggie had been Cindy’s best friend when Mark was married to her. I ran up to him after the service and whispered, “Cindy’s here.”
“Like, ‘Cindy’ Cindy?”
“Dunno. But I talked to her.”
Don’t worry, my friends. Just when you think you’ve heard it all, the story gets better…
Cindy decided she really wanted Mark to take a photo with Jeff and their “Third Musketeer.” Mark and Jeff stood there looking horrified. Awwwwkwwwaaaaarrrrrddddd…
After the photo, Cindy came to me and handed me her email address. “We should keep in touch.”
Seriously? Like, really? I know things about you, Lady. I’m married to the guy you used to sleep with. Don’t you think that’s a little weird? I smiled and handed her one of my business cards so she could look at my work online. “What do you do for a living?” I asked.
She smiled proudly. “I’m a lunch lady. I work in a high school cafeteria.”
(And the hits just keep on comin!)
She said, “I’d really like it if Mark and Jeff could reconnect. I’m just so sorry about everything that happened.”
“I’ll tell him.” I didn’t know what else to say. I figured I should just go along with it, then walk away and never see her again.
After everyone was gone and the hall was locked up, Mark and I got into our rental car. “Cindy gave me her email, said we should keep in touch,” I said.
“Yeah. She said she thinks you and Jeff should reconnect.”
“I have absolutely NO desire to do that. I never want to talk to that guy again.”
“Why?” I teased. “Sounds like a ball to me.”
“Because he fooled around with her when I was engaged to her.”
“Wow,” I said, the smile falling from my face. “Why did you marry her?”
“I loved her.”
That evening, we went to dinner with Shane and Katherine, a couple I absolutely love. We don’t get to see them often because they live two thousand miles away. Mark knew Shane from way back, from during the “Cindy Days.” In fact, Shane had a mad crush on her before she became the first Mrs. Kelly.
When we got to their house, I ran in, threw my arms in the air and did the Mary Katherine Gallagher Superstar pose. “Cindy was at the funeral!”
“WHAT?” Shane said. “Like, ‘Cindy’ Cindy?”
“Yes! It was the best thing EVER! Christmas came early this year!”
During the car ride, I recounted the Cindy Incident from the funeral. Katherine laughed so hard I thought she was going to pee herself. We climbed out of the car at the restaurant and headed inside. Shane said, “Well, you’re the best-looking of all of Mark’s wives.”
“You’re just saying that because I’m standing right here.”
“No, seriously. You way outdo them.”
“Right on!” It was great. I deserved a trophy. Best Looking Mrs. Mark Kelly. And I have to say, Shane is a genuine cutie-pie. He looks just like Bobby Flay, and I have a mad crush on Bobby Flay.
We settled into our booth, still talking about the Cindy Incident. Shane said, “You know why she showed up, right? She wanted to see you. She wanted to see what he married.”
“I hear you had a crush on her back in the day,” I said, winking and laughing.
“She was hot,” he said. “I was so mad when I found out Mark was dating her. I was like, ‘Oooo, that Mark guy… I just hate him…’”
“Hey,” Mark said, pointing at Shane, “You weren’t the only one who was jealous. There were a lot of guys after her.”
“What is up?” I said. “Did this girl have beer-flavored nipples or something?”
Katherine said, “She’s gone way downhill,” and recounted an embarrassing double breast feeding story about Cindy and her five-year-old twins, and I laughed so hard I was rolling around in the booth kicking my feet.
“Just think,” I said grinning, my hand on Mark’s arm. “You could still have some of that.”
“Awwwwww,” he said, as we all laughed. “That’s alright. I’m over it.”