If any of my other ex-husbands asked me over for a cookout and I’d tell them to go suck an egg. But Harry’s different. Underneath it all I always thought he was a half-decent guy so I went. Besides, it was his birthday. Well, smack my fanny and call me Sweetheart, it was an eye-opener.

He’d bought a trailer in a place called “Sunset Acres.” Not a bad spot as those things go. There was a nice little crowd gathered–some of his retirement buddies, a few couples from the neighborhood. I found him standing by the grill. Once my jaw stopped dropping I made him pose for this picture. Had to get the red shorts-and-shirt combo topped off with that big ol’ cowboy hat.

But this was Harry? Old conservative Harry who wore a grey suit and white shirt every day of his life, who trudged off to his accounting office like a drone? I’m watching him at the grill with that open shirt showing a little chest hair and I’m thinking . . . Really? This is the same guy who, when I’d give him the side-eye and drop a hint about heading for the sack would start talking about differential revenues or straight-line methods of amortization.

I was still reeling from these changes when the door to his trailer swung open and out stepped his new wife. At that point I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a sweet young thing from the titty bar down the road. Instead, it was a nice looking woman our own age. Slender with a good tan. She walked over to Harry, gave him a peck on the cheek, then joined a group of their friends in the backyard. I watched her hold court, regaling them with jokes that prompted loud, raucous laughter.

Harry was my first husband and I had two more after him, each one worst than the last. I took another bite of my burger and wished to hell I’d stuck with Harry.

Story by Will Conway

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