Ingrid, the trophy wife

24Oct08

Ingrid had always wanted to be an actress. After graduating high school in Wisconsin, she moved to Chicago to take acting classes and try to find herself a commercial agent. She flamed out pretty quickly. Not that Ingrid wasn’t talented, but she couldn’t escape her somber demeanor, which didn’t mix well with her all-american good looks. Apparently nobody likes a girl-next-door when she always looks like she wants to slit her wrists.

We met at a cocktail party in my penthouse condo. I was making a killing in real estate at the time, and making inroads with the upper echelons of Chicago’s society. Mayor Daley and his political machine were even considering appointing me an Alderman to the City Council. When I saw Ingrid on the balcony I was immediately taken. This was a point in my life when I was accustomed to getting anything I wanted, so my pursuit was decisive.

“You know this is my party, right?” I asked her, as I pulled two glasses of champagne from a passing waiter’s tray, handing one to her.

With an uninterrupted movement, she handed the champagne glass back to the waiter and said, “Whatever you say, friend. Your place isn’t tacky at all.”

As she started to walk away, I asked, “How much would you like to redecorate it?”

It was an expensive courtship, but we were both happy. Ingrid enjoyed the spoils of my capitalist conquests and I enjoyed the self-esteem boost of wasting thousands on meals and gifts and trips to Europe and the Caribbean. After a year of dating I proposed and bought Ingrid a suburban castle out in Lake Forest.

She seemed content to watch classic films in our home theater, lounge by the pool, thumbing through glamour magazines and host dinner engagements for our most esteemed friends. There was discussion of children in the next year or so.

I was so busy with work, and providing for Ingrid, I guess I didn’t notice the slow descent into depression. The constant boozing and Xanax breakfasts. I mean, I knew she was sleeping with the gardener, but I didn’t mind. I was away so much in the city, she was bound to get lonely. And it’s not like I didn’t have my mistresses.

What caught me off-guard was when Ingrid stole off to Nice with her girlfriend and most of my savings. I’m sure her new life on the Riviera is beautful, but I’d be surprised if she’s not still depressed.



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