He had it comin'

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"?


sallymandy said…
Hi Duchesse!

Oh my, I cringe just thinking about that first story. I could be Olive, too. But not the first and third. Maybe most women don't show remorse, but the facts are....two wrongs don't make a right, and a lot of us WOULD feel remorse. And guilt. And who needs that?
mette said…
Well,well.. I believe something like this does happen, although I have never heard any stories about people around me. Things like these are tragic, someone has been suffering all too long, being unable to talk about it to anyone. There must have been `signs´long before. To an other matter.. Family suicides are tragic too. I won´t go into details, as this is not the topic, but I have heard of a few, by people I knew. And if I know a few cases, then there certainly are far too many!
Ru said…
Not the deadlier by a LONG shot. That phrase is a male projection (as are so many stereotypes about us).

All I want to say is that if men didn't treat us like interchangeable service machines we wouldn't have to take revenge would we? All we are looking for is to be fully valued...and that shouldn't be too much to ask.
Anonymous said…
I won't tell in public what I treated my Ex-Dh to when I found out he had cheated me over 1,5 years and then told me into the face that he never had loved me anyway - in 22 years. It was worth all following troubles indeed. Rest assured, it was not a crime, but I felt oh! so good after doing it to him, and never felt any molecule of remose....
I truyl understand each and every of these women.
LPC said…
Well, the heart wants what the heart wants, and the heart hates what the heart hates too.
Mardel said…
Oh, these stories do make me cringe, but I can see it happening. I could be Olive, too, but the other two? I can imagine feeling the kind of rage and pain that lead to the actions, but I think I would advise them to pause first as I think I would have done as well. But I have too many years practice in not backing myself into corners.

I think I would feel remorse, and that is what would hold me back. I also agree with SallyMandy that two wrongs don't make a right. But the men, well they all deserved something, and I don't think the women would have reacted as they did if they hadn't been pushed far beyond reason by events prior to the trigger.
Frugal Scholar said…
Luckily, I don't have any stories to share. Hopefully, I never will.

Why this topic, Duchesse?!
These are stories of passion gone awry...love lost.
Revenge seems to be the response here...I hope that I never have to be tested in this area for I do not know what I would be capable of!
I like the mink story the best...applauding from here.
Duchesse said…
sallymandy: No they don't! And Matty and Brenda received no approval from anyone as far as I know.

metscan: I actually have a few more stories but could not use them here even with names changed.

Ru: Yes, they wanted to be valued. Though in Brenda's case (as her friends pointed out) her ex was free to do as he wished.

Chatelaine: Now you have intrigued me, wondering what in the world it was...?!

Mardel: Even if one is "pushed beyond reason", the law does not necessarily exonerate. As I recall, there have been cases where a wife has killed her partner after years of abuse and got a minimal sentence, but the circumstances have to be quite extreme.

Frugal: Why? I had recently witnessed another story of revenge, and was thinking of the topic. How women act in adversity is an important subject to me.

hostess: Well the mink is a 'victimless crime' story (unless you consider the minks!)
Mardel said…
Duchesse, I'm not exonerating the women and I don't think the law should either, I am just wondering what causes some people to break with all reason and react in such an extreme way. I've long been interested in why some people sometimes react without thinking of the consequences, often with tragic results, and others do not.
The only one I would have wanted to something like this to took off to another country - just as well. Oh, this was over 15 years ago and I never think of the @#%?&*+!! except when topics like this come up. He did cause me lasting financial harm.

mardel, it is very rare that the law will exonerate people for crimes of violence - the bar for "self-defence" is very high. But jurisprudence does take into account both mitigating and aggravating circumstances.

One story I can relate, almost comic in hindsight though not at all in the time, concerns a fellow who worked in an area where he was supposedly defending the rights of working women, and it turned out he was snorting cocaine (and drinking heavily), paranoid, and making death threats against his ex-wife.

Ex-wife's brother, a real "feminist man" and a genuine nice guy, actually took on the old patriarchal male relatives' role of threatening to beat the ¡@£€# out of the abuser. The abuse came to a sudden halt.
Duchesse said…
mardel: Yes, I wondered too and I see your point. In Matty's case she truly lost it- she said she actually saw red.

Brenda was on leave from her job for stress when that happened, and later I saw Brenda do some other not well-considered things, and have distanced myself.

Olive just wanted to make her point. She and Al were a happy couple- not to say they never disagreed. I met her in her 80s, she was a character!

lagatta: That is another fascinating topic, the public and private persona.
Anonymous said…
I'm going to have to be anonymous to tell the tale of my sister -
Her boyfriend of five years was being evasive and non-committal about New Years plans, so my sister guessed his password (he was a dummy - it was his dog's name) and checked his email. Sure enough, there was graphic and detailed correspondence with a married woman he worked with. Among other things, they discussed their plans to spend New Years together at a resort hotel.

So my sister called the hotel and cancelled the reservation. The clerk said, are you sure? Because we have a long wait list, and everything is booked around here on New Years. She was sure.

The resort was a five hour drive away. I'm guessing they did not double-check their reservation before embarking.

I hope they had a WONDERFUL New Years together. My sister sat at home and cried.

She's married to someone else now, so it seems to have worked out OK in the long run.
Anonymous said…
A certain woman I knew nailed all his designer suits to the floor. Simple, weird and inspired. Me, I think I might be nastier.
Duchesse said…
Anonymous @ 6:36: If one were to take the revenge low road, this is a masterpiece, b/c while not causing physical or reputational harm, it sends a message.

Madeleine: I've heard a similar story, where the woman simply cut off half a sleeve from every jacket. Saves your floors :)
Hi Duchesse, I found your blog through reading Hostess's and after reading this post, it reminded me of a an old boyfriend.

I better introduce myself. I'm a fellow Canadian, formerly from Toronto, now living north of the city,in Schomberg.

I worked in the dental field. When I got married at 40, moved north, and no longer had to work; my work mate, nicknamed me, "the duchess of Schomberg".

Way back in the 80's, I had a boyfriend who was a buyer for an exclusive store. He travelled often, to Milano, Paris, and Dublin.

He was a little too perfect, and I often wondered if I could ever live with a man, who's closet was set up like a store. He had a winter closet, a summer closet, and everything was organised by colour. Plus, he lived in Mississauga!

He bought me exquisite clothes; how often does one recieve an antelope skirt,( and why would you want to? ) and introduced me to Cristal champagne, and very fine dining.

Eight months later, I was waiting for him to return from Milan, when he called me at 6 a.m.
He informed me that his trip was delayed, and he would not be home for several weeks.

When I woke up enough to speak, I told him it sounded like he was calling from across the street, the connection was so clear, and echo free!

The connection suddenly broke up, and he started yelling, "hello, can you hear me? Hello, HELLO, I'LL CALL YOU WHEN I GET BACK" and the connection was lost.

Now, call me suspicious, because I am; and I called his work later that day, when he usually took lunch, and asked to speak with him.

He was where he usually was at that time; at lunch.

Yes, of course I would like to leave a message.

"Please tell him that Donna called, and I hope he had a great trip to Italy."

I then wrote a note, to include with a bag of finger cots (if you don't know what a finger cot is, google it) and addressed it to his office.

I didn't mark it personal, or attention to, and I hope his boss opened the envelope.

My note read; You left your condoms behind, and I thought you might need them in Italy.

I never saw him, or heard form him again.

I'm not sure which category, i would fit into? lol.

Duchesse said…
Donna: Welcome; you have introduced yourself most memorably. I'm surprised he thought he could get away with it for weeks- downtown Toronto is a smallish world, especially if he's visiting his usual haunts. You sound well rid of that one!
Belle de Ville said…
Interesting topic...or maybe it's just interesting because I've been dealing with some issues recently.

Such as...I just found out that the boyfriend of my closest female friend has put his profile up on match.com. So after investing 4 years of her life with this man and thinking that she has an exclusive relationship, he's out there on the prowl. And what can I do about it...nothing. I'm not going to be the one to tell her.

But, this man really has it coming!
Duchesse said…
Belle: Somebody has to do it, if not you.

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