First, a little mood music (and slinky Fosse choreography) from "Chicago" as a prelude to my topic: women and vengeance.
All names have been changed.
Matty attended a conference out of town. When she came home, she found her longtime boyfriend asleep in their bed... with her best friend.
Matty grabbed a tube of Krazy Glue from the kitchen and used a good squirt to bond the part of his anatomy most involved in the indiscretion to his abdomen. It took a plastic surgeon and a urologist hours in surgery to return him to some semblance of normal. Matty was unrepentant in court and got a 2-year sentence, most of it served on probation. (She had not even a traffic ticket before this.) She told us, "It was worth it."
Olive's story dates back to the 1960s, when she was a housewife in the far suburbs. Her husband Al was often away on business, and treated himself to regular golfing and fishing trips with his buddies. At home with four small children, the isolation got to her. She felt insufficiently appreciated. Or something.
The family car was in her name. One day she drove that Caddy to the dealership, traded it for a beater from the back lot and with the difference, treated herself to a Blackglama mink, "just like Judy Garland's".
Her niece told me the story, and said she hoped she'd inherited Olive's spunk. Al said he did have it comin' and began to treat Olive with more respect. He bought the Cadillac back, she kept the mink.
Brenda was separated from her husband Pete when she had an opportunity, gained by sneaking into his apartment, to check the dating site replies on his computer.
She found the expected innocuous replies about favourite music and movies, let's have coffee. But she also found a file of correspondence with one women, an exchange far more intimate and graphic.
Brenda was devastated by the content, because some of the acts and preferences were exact references to their lovemaking over the years. She snapped when Pete's pet name for her was used for this other woman.
She opened his address book and sent this file to everyone: his clients, his friends, his mother.
When she told me several days later, I predicted that Pete would have her charged with a number of offenses, beginning with trespassing. He did not press charges, but divorced her.
She never showed a shred of remorse.
A family counselor told me that, in his experience, when a woman chose the revenge route, she rarely expressed regret. I'm not condoning violence or criminal acts, and would have begged Matty and Brenda not to do it, had I seen it coming. Olive? I could do it.
The "deadlier of the species" or just "enough is enough"?