A few weeks after Voldemort moved out back in the Spring of 2012, I had a hair appointment with the stylist who’s been cutting my hair for over a decade. She cut Voldemort’s hair, too, during our marriage.
I showed up for my scheduled haircut and the stylist, Mary, remarked that Voldemort had just been in the week before. I replied that it was shameful to me that he could drag his butt out to the suburbs for a haircut and not bother to see his children.
That was as far as I went.
Months later, Mary (unprompted by me in any way) said that she hadn’t seen Voldemort in a long time. I replied that he must’ve found a new stylist closer to his new home. Shrug.
Fast forward a year after that and I had what turned out to be my last appointment with Mary. She asked about the divorce and I told her we’d had the settlement meeting the day before. Then she dropped this on me: “He’s been coming here all along. I just didn’t want to tell you because you were so upset when I mentioned it before. I’m always careful to reschedule your appointments, so you don’t run in to him.”
Oh, spare me. I have no patience or respect for people who blame me for their choices. Mary laid all the blame and responsibility for her choice to lie on my shoulders.
Even if I had been “so upset” (I wasn’t, I was pretty cool about it), that’s no excuse for going out of her way to deceive me. She had a choice. She could lie, or she could simply keep her mouth shut. I never asked her about Voldemort.
He was allergic to making appointments in advance, so she rescheduled my appointments to fit him in at the last minute? Hope she enjoys flaky clients who don’t tip, because I knew as I sat there listening to her that I’d never be back. I kept my mouth shut, because, y’know, scissors.
I asked around and found a lovely new stylist who’s never heard of Voldemort. Since she hasn’t been cutting my hair for 10 years, she looked at me with fresh eyes. She did a great job.
I should’ve broken up with Mary a long time ago.
The whole debacle made me realize again that a divorce changes so many more relationships than just the spouses, kids, and in-laws. Mary should’ve stayed mum on the subject of Voldemort if it was her intent to keep us both as clients. I certainly didn’t ask about him. That she didn’t keep quiet might reflect her stress over the mechanics of our divorce in her business, but I think it was more than that. I saw her at least 80 times over the past decade. We were neighbors. Her kids are about the same ages as mine and we used to be in the PTA together (back before homeschooling). There was, I thought, a personal aspect to our relationship. And it couldn’t withstand the damaging ripples of the divorce.